Movement for All at the Newport Recreation Center
The Newport Recreation Center is starting a new program for those who might need some professional help and encouragement taking the first step towards a healthier life. “The First Steps program is all about learning how to put your body in motion and making space for yourself,” says Recreation Program Specialist Jenni Remillard. “Everyone deserves to be able to get out and take a walk in nature or feel comfortable working out at a gym.” The First Steps program is about just that; taking those first steps. Even thinking about going to a gym can be intimidating for a variety of factors; not knowing how to use the equipment, feeling out of place or self-conscious, not knowing what type of exercise to do or how far to push yourself, or feeling like it’s an impossible task.
“This program is for beginners or those who need to start again,” says Remillard. “Taking that first step can be the hardest one.” Remillard knows all about starting over. She battled back pain for years after a serious fall in 2005. “I found myself in a cycle of going to physical therapy, improving from the therapy exercises, graduating from therapy, not staying consistent with movements, and then ending up back in physical therapy within a year or two.” Remillard says what finally broke the cycle was continuing movement. “I found a way to not only get inspired to keep moving, but also get over that hesitancy to get to a gym. I’m now doing this for me and giving myself permission to be in that space and do what I need to do for me.” She hasn’t been back to physical therapy since. “It’s really empowering to go from being scared of reinjuring myself to being able to do what I can do now.”
Remillard wants to share that empowerment with others. She’s been working with Brenda Luntzel, the Fitness Specialist at the Newport Recreation Center, to create a program to help people get started. “This program is not about losing weight,” says Luntzel, “it’s about providing a safe and supportive environment for people to be more physical and healthy, and help people break through their physical and emotional barriers to movement. You only have one body to get you through your long life. Take care of it, move it, feed it well, and appreciate what it can do for you. No matter what shape you are in now, your body will respond in a very positive way once you take that first step.”
There will be a First Steps open house on Sunday, Sept 25th from 2:30-5pm which will include mini intro exercise classes, informational tables, facility tours, a chance to meet with Brenda, and a panel discussion and mingle time. The open house will take place on a day when the Rec Center is closed to the general public. Pre-registration is encouraged, but not required. Contact Jenni Remillard at email@example.com or visit the City of Newport Parks and Recreation Facebook page or their website for more information.