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Fort Nelson has a ball with chair yoga

Lisa Hogg's chair yoga class has never been more popular. The class is offered as part of the recreation program at the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality Rec Centre.
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Lisa Hogg's chair yoga class has never been more popular. The class is offered as part of the recreation program at the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality Rec Centre.

The interest in yoga in Fort Nelson is part of a wider trend in British Columbia that has people placing a higher emphasis on the importance of health and fitness in their lives.

Hogg, also the owner of Blissfit Yoga, partly attributes the healthy living trend to a wider availability of information, aided by growing adoption of technology to get the healthy living message out to people of all walks of life.

"The overall knowledge of health is more wide-scope," she said. "Whereas before, people ate McDonalds every day and didn't think twice, I think knowledge is more available now.

"It's a whole-body approach to eating right and being busy and fit, and knowing what helps how you feel physically and mentally."

Hogg also said the increase in health and fitness awareness is generational.

"My generation is much different than my parents' generation was in their view of how fitness is important," Hogg said.

Danielle Morine, recreation program manager with the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality, said the town's recreation centre is working with local business to expand its offerings.

Before the new Rec Centre opened, the town was only able to offer two or three classes a week, but that has expanded to three or four classes a day.

"It's expanded huge since we got this facility," Morine said.

Due to rising interest from consumers, the number of health practitioners in Fort Nelson is also on the rise.

"When I got this position, there were only maybe two people who were qualified to teach fitness classes. Now we have six at the centre and countless others in town. And that's not an easy qualification to get," she added.

That collaboration with the private sector is important, Morine said, and it's possible because interest among both consumers and instructors is rising.

"It's not just the demand and the interest in consumers, it's the demand and the interest of the people who want to put in the work and become certified trainers," she said. "They're really interested in pursuing that type of education. People want to become yoga instructors. People want to become personal trainers and fitness leaders. I don't think that was the case years ago."

Morine's vision as the program director involves offering the community the things that they find in a big city.

"Just because we're isolated, doesn't mean we don't have talented people," she said. "My goal isn't to have a bunch of people in this town who are ripped. I want to provide healthy lifestyle options for people."

Last month, the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality released its Spring Program and Event Guide, featuring many of the same classes that have proven to be popular - and some new offerings, too, such as Fit at 50.

"We created that one because we had a number of people over 50 who wanted a strength training and cardio class. They're not people with limited mobility - they are very active. They just want to be surrounded by people who have the same fitness needs as they do."

Fit at 50 is offered on Tuesdays. Two other popular programs, according to Morine, are Osteofit and Acquafit.

On May 9, NRRM will offer Move for Health Day. It's a free day of fitness and health in the Rec Centre's Fitness Room. Free daycare will be provided during the events.