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So much gain for so little pain

In today’s fast paced world, who has time to exercise? All it takes is 30 minutes three times a week to see a difference in body weight, strength and flexibility in as little as six weeks, says Sara Tastula, general manager of the Southridge Mall location of Goodlife Fitness.

Joining a fitness club can be intimidating, but Goodlife eases new members into the facility with a personalized service approach.

“When they first come in, we tour the full facility, go over health-related questions, find out what the fitness goals are and what they are looking to achieve,” says Tastula. Then we discuss the available options that best meet the clients’ needs.

New members also receive a free personal health profile – an assessment of their health prior to starting an exercise program. This provides a benchmark to compare to future results.

The Fit Fix Program
Most new clients at Goodlife start on the Fit Fix program, which involves completing a 30-minute circuit of nine weight machines that target all the major muscle groups from head to toe.

“We really, really push the circuit because it’s fast, you are going to see results because you are doing strength training, it’s safe and everyone is able to do it”, says Tastula. “It’s a great place to get started and then people branch off from there.”

Personal Training
Goodlife Fitness specializes in personal training programs. Personal trainers offer one-on-one workout sessions targeted to clients’ specific needs and time schedule. All club trainers are certified by Can-Fit-Pro, most have a background in sports or physical education and they are continually upgrading their training.

Specialty Programs
Group training is also available for those who want to share their personal trainer workouts with friends. A number of specialty group training programs are also offered, such as Learn to Run, and Fit Fore Golf. The Six-Week Fat Loss Program is very popular and results are guaranteed. It includes one-on-one workout sessions with a personal trainer, fitness assessments and a nutrition plan.

For women who prefer to exercise in the company of other women, Goodlife offers a special Women on Weights training program and their new facility in New Sudbury will have a women’s only section, including the Fit Fix circuit and cardio equipment.

Exercise Classes
Exercise classes are another great way to get fit. “It’s fun,” says Tastula. “You are in and out in an hour and you don’t have to think about your workout.”

“We offer a wide variety of classes and everybody is able to participate because they are instructed at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. It doesn’t matter what the skill level is, everybody is able to follow along,” says Tastula.

Exercise classes are standardized across all of the 161 Goodlife locations in Canada. People can visit another location and find the routine and music are exactly the same.

The unique classes are designed by a New Zealand company based on input from professional dancers, doctors, physiotherapists and chiropractors, so the moves are safe and effective, says Tastula.  The routines are changed every three months for variety and there is plenty of room in their large studio to accommodate everyone who wants to participate.

Child Care
Parents with young children often find it difficult to get to a club to exercise, but with a child-care facility on-site, that problem is solved. Children can have fun in the company of safety-trained child-care workers in the playroom for a minimal fee while members complete their workout.

The Challenges
The greatest challenge for most new clients is sticking with it, says Tastula. Many people start with good intentions but quit before they have really had a chance to see results.

The second turning point for a lot of people occurs when they reach their initial goal.

“Some people continue on because they feel great, but there are others that quit as soon as they reach their goal,” says Tastula.

The key is to make exercise a regular part of your life in order to keep healthy. If you quit exercising after you have reached your goal weight, you are likely to return to your old habits and gain back some of the weight you lost.

Goodlife conducts regular service calls with members to encourage them to keep coming in, to determine if there are any medical reasons why a client can’t come in, and to discuss possible membership holding options.

The Benefits
There are many benefits of exercising. In his book, Living the Good Life, David Patchell-Evans, the founder of Goodlife Fitness, lists 125 reasons. Many are familiar, such as weight loss, increased muscle strength and increased flexibility.

But perhaps the best on the list is Number 92: Exercise “gives you a greater appreciation for life because you feel better about yourself.”
Tastula agrees. “Exercise is a great stress reliever. It just makes you feel better.”

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