With the New Year well under way, gyms across Ottawa were hit by a wave of new registrations. While many schools offer activities to encourage people to be active, Carleton University held their semi-annual Open House Fitness Week for the third year in a row in an attempt to keep New Year resolutions on track.
By mid-week Lesley Bowbly, fitness coordinator and trainer at Carleton, was able to share that 800-900 people had registered for fitness classes. The open house offered over 75 different classes, ranging from aqua zumba to kickboxing and everything in between. Bowbly explained that the open house allows people to see what they like before they commit, and it it helps prevent participants joining a program and later transferring to a different one.
“It’s been really busy, it’s been great!” said Sam Holmstrom, a first year psychology student at Carleton, and a receptionist at Carleton’s fitness Welcome Centre. “Lots of people have been coming to sign up in the hour following their class, and kickboxing has been really popular.”
Like many school gyms, Bowbly explained that student’s participation “tends to be more of an ebb and flow” as school assignments and reading weeks greatly affect class attendance/ However Bowbly finds that external clients, participants who are not students, tend to be the more reliable class goers.
Bowbly believes that pushing the Open House Fitness Week to the second week in January allows students to get back into the swing of things, and gives them the opportunity to decide what classes they’ll commit to. And while it can take weeks to make a habit, encouraging people to attend free fitness class in the second week of the year also keeps those “stay fit” New Years’ resolutions on track.