Let’s Get Physical


At one of Winnipeg’s wellness centres

By Holli Moncrieff



The most common New Year’s resolutions have to do with fitness. It seems almost everyone wants to get in shape, stay in shape, or refine their shape, and with good reason.


Our physical fitness affects so many things, from our mood to our general health to the way our clothes fit.


You don’t have to join a gym or health club to meet to your fitness goals, but it can help. Buying a membership means that you’re making a serious commitment to yourself and your health. Not only that, you’re hiring a team of professionals who are dedicated to helping you reach your goals. When it comes to keeping resolutions, accountability can be a huge factor in whether or not you are successful.


One thing we often forget in our quest for the perfect form—getting in shape can be a lot of fun once you find an activity you like. Most health clubs have many different classes and programs that are included in your membership, or available at a discounted rate. You can keep trying different activities on for size until you find the one that fits you perfectly.


Shapes Fitness Centres

Shapes has six locations in Winnipeg, and feature both co-ed  and women-only gyms.


They offer MOSSA programs, which are taught worldwide, so you can take the same class in many different fitness centres, even when you travel, and know it will be consistent.


“MOSSA is the most respected delivery of high-quality group fitness programs that are pre-choreographed,” explains Jan Zaharia, Shapes Group Fitness Supervisor. “Over 300 hours of effort goes into designing each and every class.”


Shapes holds eight MOSSA classes at a time, which include Group Power, Group Kick, Group Blast and Group Ride. Each of these programs has four new “releases” per year, which means an entirely new routine for every class.


“You’re always pushed to a higher level, so your body never gets used to it. You always see results,” Zaharia says. “Our programs are super effective.”


Equipment: Each location has hundreds of pieces of strength-training and cardio equipment.

Classes: Along with MOSSA, Shapes has bootcamps, Zumba, and a variety of yoga classes. They have a hot yoga studio at every location.

Personal trainers: Certified fitness coaches are available for an extra fee.

Fees: Fees vary, but there are often deals and discounts available. As of this writing, an annual associate membership was on sale for $319.


Rady Jewish Community Fitness Centre (Rady J.C.C.)

Most of the Rady J.C.C.’s members are families, and the fitness centre does everything it can to make things easier for those with small children. They have daycare and babysitting on site, plus a variety of fitness classes for kids and teens that include kids’ kickboxing, yoga for teens, and bootcamp for teens.


“You’ll find a different energy here than you will at other fitness centres—it’s a very social, vibrant atmosphere,” explains Mark Spencer, Director of Fitness and Health. “People don’t just come here to work out. They come here to socialize, to eat in our restaurant, to see musicians, plays, and hear guest speakers.”


Everyone is welcome to join the Rady J.C.C.—you don’t have to be Jewish.


New members go through an in-depth onboarding process where they can meet with a personal trainer and receive a customized workout based on their goals.


“Our members receive a copy of their workouts,” Spencer says. “We also follow up with them at regular intervals.”


Equipment: The Rady prides itself on having the latest in fitness equipment, including Jacob’s Ladders and the TRX Body Suspension training system. They also have a running/walking track and a salt-water lap pool and steam rooms.

Classes: Along with a variety of yoga, aquatic, strength-training and cardio classes, the Rady offers Zumba Gold and other toned-down options for older athletes or those recovering from injury.

Personal trainers: Members can choose from several different personal trainers. A one-on-one session and assessment is included in the membership fee.

Fees: Individual memberships begin at $57 per month, while family memberships start at $107 per month.


Wellness Institute at Seven Oaks General Hospital

Even though the Wellness Institute is a medical fitness facility designed for people with chronic illnesses, those in perfect health are also welcome.


“Our fitness facility is open to the general public, and even though we’ve been open for 19 years, we still hear that people didn’t realize that,” says Darren Brereton, Director of Health and Fitness Programs. “We hold over 100 classes per week, so we offer a wide variety for different levels and interests. We consistently evolve our programming to keep it excellent.”


Due to its origins, the Wellness Institute has a lot of additional support for those with sports injuries or chronic illnesses. Stress tests and physiotherapists, respiratory therapists, chiropractors, massage therapists, occupational therapists, and a sports injury clinic are available on site.


“It’s a one-stop shop for health and wellness. We have an excellent intake process where we design a program to help our members meet their goals,” Brereton says. “We work with our members instead of just telling them what to do, and come up with programs that meet their needs.”


Equipment: Over 100 pieces of weight-training equipment, over 80 cardio machines, a warm-water therapy pool, indoor and outdoor tracks, whirlpools and steam rooms.

Classes: Low impact, step, cycling, TRX, yoga, karate and aqua-fitness classes are included with membership.

Personal trainers: Personal trainers for either general fitness or Pilates, nutritional counsellors, and weight-loss coaches are available at an additional fee.

Fees: Individual fees start at $49.50 per month.