The Warinanco Park Fitness Festival in New Jersey
“I know I’m strong. I am brave. I am enough.”
These are some of the positive affirmations fitness enthusiasts chanted with the instructor of an intenSati class on Sunday afternoon. The class combines aerobics with an almost dance-like quality along with motivational sayings that empower participants. The class is all about self-love, a healthy body and mind and feeling grounded. Participants punched kickboxing style, did squats, reached for the sky and marched in place while thinking—and saying—happy thoughts. Make no mistakes, everyone did break a sweat and a smile more than once.
This was just one of the many workout classes offered at the first Warinanco Park Fitness Festival. Held on August 11 at the Warinanco Sports Center in Roselle, NJ, this expo brought together workout lovers and spectators with trainers from local gyms and sports specialists.
“The goal is to get people out and get active,” events manager Rebecca Bird told RunnerClick. “It also allows people to get out of a fitness rut by allowing them to try something new.”
Fitness And Food
And a class like intenSati was definitely something new and fun. Sometimes making working out fun is just what we need to get us out of a routine. That’s why Zumba is another great class to work out a sweat in a fun way that doesn’t feel like exercise. The class led by Theresa Loneker was filled each time it was held throughout the day with people of all ages. Latin music with banging drums boomed from the room as participants rolled their hips and shuffled their feet.
Different classes were held throughout the day, each located in four different areas such as Cardio Zone where Zumba and an intenSati class was held. The other zones included: the Strength Zone, Stretch Zone, and Kids Zone.
This included a strength training class led by Bird on the turf that included doing 20 reps of overhead arm extensions with dumbbells, squats like a ball, and a run carrying the ball to the other end of the field and back.
“People are often used to doing the same thing, but this expo offers different classes that have people using different muscles,” strength training participant and boot camp instructor Terry Gleason said. “And variety is the spice of life.”
Gleason is the owner of Happy Hour Fitness that is all about Exercise Outside The Box. This means working out outside at places like Echo Lake and Nomahegan Park; never in a gym, The Strong Like Bull Boot Camp is all about intervals while using body weight.
For Gleason, teaching at the Warinanco Park Fitness Festival is a great way to “meet lots of different types of people” instead of the regulars she trains. For participants, the classes were small enough to feel almost one-on-one with instructors to try new things, learn fitness tips, and start of the weekend in a positive way.
Other classes included adult soccer, HIIT with weights, Plyoga with Gleason, yoga and a physical therapy demo with Dr. Aaliyah Rasheed.
Each class offered were 20 minutes long. This gave participants a taste of the class without being too tired. And if food better suits the heart, the Warinanco Park Fitness Festival also held cooking demos throughout the day. The goal is to give people new ideas on healthy foods to make for the family.
Recipes demoed included a mango salsa, Caribbean chicken kebabs, and healthy pasta salad—all items of a delicious summer meal. Participants were shown how each item was made (and how easy it is to do), and try a sample of the flavorful-ness for themselves.
Fun For The Family
This was a family friendly event with activities for the little ones as well. Out on the turf tikes played in an inflatable obstacle course and older kids played games of soccer. Kids also joined their parent in Zumba class and intenSati.
Although this was the first Warinanco Park Fitness Festival, Bird said this is just one of many events to take place at the Warinanco Sports Center. This includes a Food Festival, Sunday Funday, and Fall Festival. In the winter, the turf is removed to turn the field back into the ice skating rink.
The Sports Center included the Warinanco Café for food and beverages, as well as bathrooms to suit the needs of participants. Fitness classes are regularly held at the Center. This includes a class for moms to do with their children. And when not in the Center, going for a run around Roselle Park is beautiful and hilly. There is also a soccer field a track for all exercising needs.
Fitness festivals are a great way to meet local gyms and instructor, jump out of the comfort zone and work muscles that runners don’t normally work. This helps to prevent injury and make the body strong. With a strong body and mind, goals can be crushed while living a healthy life