Revitalize your workout routine with these local options.
Who among us hasn’t made the New Year’s resolution to exercise and get in shape? It can be daunting to jumpstart this goal, so here are some fitness options to help you use those yoga pants for something other than Zoom meetings.
Brittany Tobin opened Zen Fitness in July 2020, and as other businesses struggled to stay afloat amidst the pandemic, she was able to build a thriving business. “Our wedding actually had to get pushed back because of COVID-19,” Tobin says. “If that wouldn’t have been delayed, I wouldn’t have been able to open the studio.”
A common misconception about yoga is that it’s just stretching and increasing flexibility. While those are core aspects of yoga, there’s more to it than doing the downward dog. Tobin says yoga can also strengthen smaller muscles that support large muscles and can even lower cholesterol. “It also helps you focus your breathing,” she says. “Being able to focus your breathing is a key tool for managing stressful situations.”
Tobin encourages everyone to try yoga. She’s had people in her classes ranging from as young as 4 years old up to 80. “It will absolutely improve your golf swing,” quips Tobin. “That’s the number one thing
I tell men to get them to try it.”
While starting a new exercise like yoga can be scary, Zen employees make every effort to remove the fear factor. Instructors encourage verbally and hands-on (with permission), ensuring everyone gets into each pose correctly, so they reap the most benefits from the exercise. “I encourage everyone to try yoga at least three times before quitting,” Tobin says.
Zen offers a wide variety of classes that range from a relaxed candlelight yoga where poses are held longer, to a more intense yoga sculpt class that combines yoga poses with small weights to help tone bodies. Zen Fitness also has an aerial yoga class. This involves doing various poses while suspended in the air. “It really feels like going to the chiropractor,” she says.
Zen Fitness offers new members an unlimited month for only $65, allowing access to every class as many times as desired all month long.
Another studio option for getting some exercise is Club Pilates. With seven different formats of Pilates, there is something for every level and ability. “We have regular slow Pilates and other fusion classes,” senior sales representative Frances Lewenstein says. “There’s beginning, intermediate and advanced classes.”
The small studio and class sizes allow for more personal attention and correction, something a bigger studio can’t always offer. Because classes have no more than 12 people at a time, “Trainers can really tailor to specific needs,” Lewenstein says. “The studio is unique with how small it is and gives it a small-town feel.”
Pilates is a great workout for strengthening your core, increasing balance and elongating muscles. It also helps to build your mind-body connection. She says, “You just feel good afterward.”
People can sign up for classes by calling the studio or visiting the Facebook or Instagram pages, where they’ll find a link to create a profile. Club Pilates will then reach out and get connected. Lewenstein recommends people take advantage of the free intro class to figure out if Pilates is a fitness fit for them.
Regardless of what type of exercise floats your boat, the White Bear Lake area has options to help keep those resolutions intact.