Women and girls do side planks on the boulevard during Heather Hawley’s moving circuit in Centennial this summer. Photo: Denise Bacon

By Denise Bacon

A stroll around the South Centennial neighbourhood on a summer evening may have brought a big surprise to unsuspecting residents! Women and girls from 10 years old to the young at heart were doing wind sprints between curbs across a quiet residential street. The activity kept changing as I followed this group with wonder and some envy. Wind sprints turned to jumping jacks, stretching back and leg muscles, planking and jogging.

Overall health through fitness of mind, body and spirit is at the heart of this “moving circuit” or “boot camp” in our neighbourhood. It started with a small group of like-minded women led by personal trainer  Heather Hawley. Over time, the group attracted more and more women, some of whom bring their young daughters to introduce them to a healthy lifestyle. A healthy, active lifestyle empowers women, Heather says.

The Centennial neighbourhood is ideal for all of us to be active and to stay fit throughout the year. We don’t need to go to a gym since the safe, quiet streets, parks and waterfront trails call out to us to get and stay fit. A personal trainer can be a good idea for some of us to get motivated and to get on the right track. Maybe I’ll come across whole new groups of people doing wind sprints and planks when I walk through our neighbourhood as the seasons change!