Yukon health and wellness conference highlights local fitness industry

Yukon’s most fit and those hoping to get shredded will be sweating and learning in the Whitehorse Westmark hotel next month.

Yukon’s most fit and those hoping to get shredded will be sweating and learning in the Whitehorse Westmark hotel next month.

Multiple hotel boardrooms are being taken over for I’mFitYukon, the territory’s health, wellness, and recreation conference happening May 5 to 7.

Attendees can try their hand at a range of workouts from yoga to more cardio intense bootcamp-style sessions. Or they can hear lectures on topics including nutrition and the business of personal training.

“Any fitness level is welcome to show up. They can participate as much as they want or sit and watch as much as they want,” said organizer Lee Randell. “There’s no sort of expectation. It’s really open to people to experience and to learn.”

Almost everything at the conference is being run by local professionals who teach classes around the territory.

“(It’s) trying to get the word out as to what’s offered and what local talent we have,” Randell said.

For the first time this year the conference will also offer specific sessions for children. Kids from 4 to 12 can try out a bootcamp workout, take a self-defence course or learn more about nutrition, for example.

“We mostly did it to try and stop people’s excuses for not being able to (come.)” Randell said. “To kind of tear down those barriers of people coming to the conference.”

It’s also important for adults to model healthy behaviour for their children, she said.

Along with classes for the general public, the conference is a chance for Yukoners who work in the fitness world to maintain their certification.

People who are nationally certified to work as personal trainers or run group classes are required to get a certain number of continuing education credits each year in order to maintain their status.

That often means travelling Outside to find some place offering the required classes.

“For 20 years when I was trying to maintain my personal training status I had to travel out a lot in order to maintain that and it was very costly,” Randell said.

By attending certain classes over the weekend, Yukoners will be able to get the credits they need without leaving the North.

Randell works with Recreation and Parks Association of the Yukon to certify instructors to give classes in Yukon communities.

The goal is to eventually have a certified fitness professional in each community of the Yukon, she said.

“Now those community members are going to come together in Whitehorse to continue their education and get their education credits,” she said.

“They are also planning on getting together to share ideas about things that have worked.”

The conference’s keynote speaker will be US Army veteran Sgt. Ken Weichert. Weichert is a fitness trainer and international speaker.

Weichert works as a resilience trainer, Randell said.

“He teaches people how to overcome obstacles in their life and how to take that obstacle and make it into something positive.”

Along with speaking, Weichert is running various fitness classes.

The conference will have a room set up for local businesses. Anyone presenting at the conference will likely have a booth there offering more information, Randell said.

Other related professionals, like physiotherapists and massage therapists will also have spots, she said.

“A big goal of the conference was to get out (and show) what is offered.”

A full schedule of events and more information on registration is available at www.yukonhealthcoaching.com/imfityukon. Attendees can register online for the whole conference, one day or individual classes.

Contact Ashley Joannou at ashleyj@yukon-news.com

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