Taking Fitness Outside!

This post was written by Wiley Ho Apr 28, 2021 in Fitness
outdoor fitness at Norseman Field

The warmer weather spells good news for fitness class enthusiasts. With most indoor classes suspended due to provincial public health orders, NVRC is working hard to bring outdoor classes to the community, including cardio and stretch classes, as well as specialized health management programs. Read on!

Outdoor fitness membership classes 

In compliance with current provincial public health guidelines, each class is capped at 10 participants with physical distancing of 2.5m. Pre-booking is required for each class (no drop-ins). From Cardio to Muscle Fusion to Stretch, it’s all happening outside! Book-a-visit fitness membership class here: Fitness Classes Booking Page.

Outdoor fitness registered courses (series)

NVRC is pleased to be able to offer outdoor fitness courses to meet a wide range of needs and off-peak schedules, including:

  1. Chronic Health Conditions Fitness Outdoor 
    This specialized outdoor training program will focus on maintaining and/or improving your cardiovascular health, strength, and balance through adaptable functional exercises. Particular attention will be paid to fall prevention, balance, agility, postural improvements and flexibility training. Designed specifically for people living with stable chronic health conditions who are independent in their physical activity, participants must be medically cleared to exercise by a physician prior to participating in this class. Class will run rain or shine, as there is cover available.

    Kerstin Wallbrecht is a highly qualified instructor whose goal is to educate the class on simple, effective exercises they can do on their own at the park and at home. Kerstin invites anyone who might be interested but unsure to call and see if it’s right for them!

    Mon May 3- May 31 (no class May 24) 9:30-10:30am Fen Burdett $42.64 Register online
    Wed May 5- May 26 9:30-10:30am Fen Burdett $42.64 Register online

  2. SIRvivor Outdoor 
    This 6-week specialized exercise program is designed to support men living with prostate cancer, to increase flexibility, improve muscle and cardiovascular fitness and learn safe and effective exercise through 1-minute exercise intervals. It has been created and tested by researchers and implemented across BC. This program has been subsidized through funding that has been provided by BC Clinical Exercise Physiology Lab and through philanthropic donations from the Prostate Cancer Supportive Care (PCSC) Program to assist in meeting the exercise needs of prostate cancer survivors. This program is suitable for most individuals with prostate cancer, only excluding those at high risk of adverse events. This program is being delivered through a partnership with British Columbia Parks and Recreation Association. For more information, please call 604-983-6534.

    Monday and Wednesday May 26-Jun 30 10:30-11:30am Kirkstone Park $22 Register online

  3. HIIT Outdoors
    This high intensity interval training class will use a variety of exercises and techniques to provide a well-rounded workout. The participants will be presented with a high intensity exercise followed by a short rest interval.

    Tuesday May 4- Jun 1 6:00-6:45am Fen Burdett Register online

  4.  Athletic Stretch Outdoor
    A class specifically addressing those areas that so badly need more flexibility to avoid injury and enhance performance. You will be taken through a series of Athletic stretches including some Hatha Yoga that will leave you incredibly supple and relaxed. For men and women.

    Wed May 26-Jun 23 W 10:30-11:30am Delbrook Plaza Register online

  5. Express Workout Outdoor
    Are you up for this outdoor fitness class? Limited for time? Boost your metabolism with this high intensity workout that will improve your muscle strength and cardiovascular system. Class will run RAIN or SHINE.

    Tues May 25- Jun 29 12:15-1:00pm William Griffin ATF Register online
    Thurs May 27-Jun 24 7:00-7:45am William Griffin ATF Register online
    Thurs May 27-Jun 24 12:00-12:45pm William Griffin ATF Register online
    Fri May 28- Jun 25 9:45-10:30am Delbrook Plaza Register online

    For these and other outdoor courses, check out: Fitness (Adult) Booking Page 

  6. Spin class with a view
    In March, NVRC piloted its first Outdoor Spin Class down at Shipyards. Despite initial challenges of transport and storage of the spin bikes, and cold and windy conditions, these outdoor spin classes have become a big hit.

    Kat Town, a spin instructor for over 10 years, became a pioneer spin instructor when classes moved outdoors. “When we started in March,” Kat says, “it was still pretty cool. I teach two classes back-to-back, and by the time the second one finished at 7:05 p.m. it was 2 degrees! I brought a calf-length furry lined parka to wear between classes so I didn’t freeze!” 

    Kat remembers the first few classes being a challenge, like having to contend with high winds and having tree limbs falling around her. She has learned to securely clip her lesson plan to her bike and keep rolls of paper towels bike sanitizing from unfurling in the wind. And answer a lot of questions from curious onlookers. “These are all things I never had to worry about when teaching indoors!” jokes Kat. She loves teaching spin and says those attending her classes are really enjoying being outside. “We’re excited to be back.”

    The Spin Outdoor classes at Shipyards are currently full, but you can add your name to the waitlist. Or try our NEW Spin, Strength & Core class at Delbrook Community Recreation Centre. 

An insider view at outdoor programming during a pandemic 

“I love my work and consider it a privilege to help my community, and this year is no exception; however, it’s been a bit of challenge,” says Janelle Eisler-Carr, Fitness and Active Living Supervisor at NVRC. For months, Janelle and other NVRC staff have been busy finetuning the many logistics behind outdoor fitness classes.

Janelle explains, “NVRC works closely with the City of North Vancouver and the District of North Vancouver to book outdoor spaces. Special consideration is given to find locations that are easily accessible by all modes of transportation, that are clean and safe, protected from rain, quiet and not too public, and don’t interfere with general public use. With the closure of many indoor facilities, NVRC works with private clubs and other organizations also looking for outdoor space.”

“We’ve had to get creative and think outside the box,” laughs Janelle. “We want to avoid having to cancel classes if it rains, so we’ve considered all different covered spaces from bleachers and stadiums to plazas with shade.”  For instance, who would have guessed that the large overhang at Delbrook Community Recreation Centre would make a perfect spot for outdoor fitness classes? 

“Our patrons have been incredible, adapting and changing with us,” Janelle says and adds, “if you feel comfortable to come out, NVRC invites you to join us outdoors!”

Wiley Ho.

A long-time North Vancouver resident, Wiley works as a technical writer and is the current newsletter editor for the North Shore Writers’ Association. She spends her free time reading, hiking and discovering new things to try at North Vancouver Recreation & Culture!


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