Sante Health offers free fitness classes in Fresno’s Woodward Park. Photo contributed
The Santé healthcare system in Fresno is looking for new ways to get people moving after gyms have temporarily closed. Santé runs group fitness classes that are open to everyone at the Art of Life Healing Garden in Woodward Park.
Kelly Lilles, director of marketing, medical services, events and education, said Santé’s exercise in the park is a great way for people to go outside to drink vitamin D while social distancing themselves.
“It’s all around good and healthy for the body and mind,” said Lilles.
The company used to hold painting events at Pinot’s Palette, but when the pandemic broke out, it worked with the Art of Life Cancer Foundation to provide a source of outdoor fitness.
The courses are held in collaboration with local fitness trainers.
Fresno’s F45 training and Jenna McGill will be featured in upcoming classes on April 14th and May 5th.
Fresno area fitness instructor McGill will host the high fitness class on May 5th.
Before the pandemic, McGill was teaching classes with GB3. Exercising outdoors reminded her of her sports practices.
“Fitness has always been a huge passion of mine,” said McGill.
For the past few years, teaching fitness classes has given her a way to speed up apart from her daily work and family upbringing. While many people teach fitness classes as a career, she finds time outside of her job.
“It also helps keep my mind, body, and spirit healthy,” she said.
She looks forward to being in a class again after the Covid-19 restrictions wear off and the sense of community becomes a big part.
“Losing that sense of community since last March was one of the most difficult things for me personally.”
The benefits of community workouts are more than just physical, she says. When she shows up tired or stressed and benefiting from the energy of others, she says, people walk away strengthened. Even after just 30 minutes, the mental and emotional benefits are worth it, she says.
“There’s just something magical when people get together and what kind of energy it brings,” said McGill. “We can only have that one hour to leave it all at the door.”
Group training promotes motivation and a sense of belonging, she says.
Lilles plans to continue offering the courses even after the restrictions are lifted.
The next courses on April 14th and May 5th will take place at 7 a.m. They are free and include snacks. Places are limited to 30 but open to the public. Individuals can register here.
“It goes beyond calories and weight loss or whatever. High fitness is really a game changer for mental health, ”said McGill.