story and photography by Joel Dryden
It's no secret regular exercise is of utmost importance to one’s physical and mental health. Crossfield residents looking to stay fit have multiple exercise options within town limits, including some programs many may not be familiar with.
For residents looking for some help getting started on a workout, various personal trainers in Crossfield offer custom training programs and one-on-one coaching. Alicia McMane, an instructor with Live Like You Mean It, said boot camps and personal training sessions can help with motivation.
“A big part of it becomes the camaraderie,” she said. “I think…the thing is knowing that your personal trainer has the experience and the knowledge to help you and keep you safe.”
Though anyone can watch a video on the Internet for instruction, McMane said having a trained professional by your side can ensure you’re completing your exercises in a safe and effective manner. She said her classes largely focus on functional exercises.
“We spend a lot of time working on (muscles and exercises) you’re going to use in your life, to make gardening or kids or your yard work easier,” she said.
For those looking to add more focus and balance to their life, there is also the opportunity to join a local yoga class. Yoga instructor Cheryl Hoff said participants in her classes are often surprised at what they discover.
“It ends up catching them by surprise. It’s kind of a lifestyle as well,” Hoff said. “People find it soothing – they find it supportive and inspiring. It creates a beautiful sense of community.”
Hoff said residents should give yoga a try if they find themselves having trouble “turning off the monkey mind.”
“It just allows you that one pointed focus of breath and body movement together, and it really does just put your mind on the mat,” she said. “That’s all that occurs, is what’s on the four corners of your mat. There’s no competition, there’s no judgement, just your mind.”
For a more unique workout, residents can try their hand at martial arts at Rising Sun Tae Kwon-Do, located in downtown Crossfield. Instructor Beth Gabriel has been with Rising Sun for more than a decade and said martial arts benefits more than just health.
“There are definitely health benefits. I think above and beyond that, for younger kids, it’s really about learning discipline,” Gabriel said. “It’s more about self-control with the younger kids. For the older kids and teenagers, it’s amazing the confidence they can build from being a part of the class.”
The classes are also open to adults, she added, making the exercise a great family activity.
“It’s a great way to blow off some steam,” she said. “Come hit stuff.”