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Taking women Beyond Wellness

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Life is full of ups and downs and two local women – Kristin Immerkar and Tammy Webster – have embraced the concept that a healthy lifestyle along with friendships and support can get you through even the lowest of lows.
“We are just like you,” said Webster. “We have experienced the ups and downs of life – had fertility issues and miscarriages, lost loved ones, searched for ways to maintain healthy weight, and had personal health crisis’ and failures.
“We have also created amazing families and relationships, maintained professional jobs and healthy lifestyles (physically, socially, mentally and emotionally), and found ways to balance the pressures and expectations that are put on women in all aspects of life. We have learned to lean on each other and to never be afraid to ask for support or to just step back and take a break to refresh yourself.
“We leaned on each other to help move through some of the toughest things in our lives and have also celebrated some of the biggest accomplishments in our lives together,” she continued. “What we learned throughout our journey is that women do not share enough and lean on each other enough.
“The two of us quickly saw the power of communication and sharing, realizing that there is someone else out there that went through the same thing. Sharing and supporting each other made us stronger and helped us get our feet planted firmly and strongly in the ground.”
Wanting the best for all women, the duo created Beyond Wellness. Starting as a weekend retreat, they now offer weekly fitness classes that combine fun with friendship.
“We are ready to help everyone on their wellness journey,” said Immerkar. “We want to inspire and provide women of all ages with the opportunity to communicate with each other and learn the importance of healthy lifestyle practices and feel how much stronger you can be by implementing small healthy changes to your daily routine.
“We want to help women reconnect with themselves, creating a peaceful state of mind and overall wellness. So, we first created the Beyond Wellness Retreat to give women the opportunity to begin or continue on their own personal wellness journey.
“We wanted to provide women with the opportunity to focus on themselves and learn ways they can incorporate wellness into their everyday lives,” she continued. “The focus of the weekend was to inspire women to move beyond perceived limitations.”
Last summer the first Beyond Wellness Women’s Retreat was held at Wellman Lake with great success.
“We had women from the various areas of the province and all walks of life attend our retreat,” said Immerkar. “The weekend was full of great presentations from certified guest speakers discussing physical, social/emotional and mental wellbeing. There was tons of great conversation on healthy lifestyle practices and many laughs were shared.
“The retreat offered a variety of fitness and other physical activities, with body and mind playing a central role in the weekend. The women also took part in Drums Alive, Yoga, Canoeing, Amazing Race, Tabata Classes, Healthy Lifestyle Book Share, Healthy Recipes and Taste tests, and evening entertainment around the campfire from the talented local Burghart Girls.
“The weekend allowed everyone to leave refreshed and understand that everyone’s wellness journey looks different, that everyone has something they are working on or struggling with, that there is support throughout the community for all aspects of health, and that you are not alone on anything,” she continued.
“And, the retreat allowed us to hear and see what women would like to have offered within the community in order to help them reach their overall wellness goals.”
Webster and Immerkar feel that women’s health is extremely important and should be a priority, but often it is not due to our busy lives, causing us not to take the time we need for our own health and overall wellbeing.
“Women need to make healthy lifestyle changes and stay on top of their own health,” said Webster. “When women take charge of their own health they instill healthy habits into their home, and into their children, family and friends, leading to everyone they are around living a healthier life.
“It is important for all women to know that it is never too late to take charge of your health and become a stronger you. This is where we fit in…. we are and will continue to provide women with the opportunity to take time for themselves and provide opportunities for women to become more educated on the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.”
Fitness can be intimidating for those who may be struggling with weight or just getting into a healthier lifestyle. Beyond Wellness understands this and has started offering weekly classes that cater to all fitness levels, encouraging attendees to only push their bodies to a level that is comfortable to them.
“Wellness and ‘healthy’ look and feel different for everyone,” said Immerkar. “Every small step that you take leads you to a healthier life. Make little changes, and they will lead big overall changes in your life.
“We want to help you take the first steps into healthy lifestyle changes, physical activity routines, or provide you opportunities to take a break and look after yourself. We want you to be strong and well in all areas of your life!”
Both Immerkar and Webster are certified instructors in the programs they offer as well as a number of other areas, allowing them to watch their participants for proper form and guide them safely on their physical journey.
Immerkar is certified through Manitoba Fitness council specializing in Group Fitness and Sport Conditioning, Aqua Fit and Drums Alive. She also holds a Bachelor Degree in Education and in Physical Education.
Webster, who also holds a Bachelor Degree in Education as well as a Masters Degree in Special Education, is a certified Drums Alive and Run Jump Throw instructor. She can also take her skills on the ice as both a certified Power Skating Instructor and Hockey Coach: Level 2.
“Since our successful retreat, we have been organizing and providing activities and classes for women to take part in,” said Webster. “We have teamed up with other women in the Valley to provide a variety of different activities with some examples being Drums Alive Class, Tabata, Transform Live and even paint classes, just to name a few.
“We will also be providing a wellness retreat weekend each summer at Wellman Lake, this year from August 14 to 16. We have big plans!”
The next round of fitness classes with Immerkar and Webster are set to start on Feb. 26 and will feature Aquafit, Drums Alive and Tabata. Details and sign up can be found on their Facebook page: Beyond Wellness Retreat.
A few days before that (Feb. 24) they will team up with local businesswoman Cyndi Miles for a Paint and Sip evening.