Oftentimes the new year is a time to place a renewed focus on physical fitness and lifestyle changes. While gyms and fitness studios may be open for in-person workouts, many still prefer the added safety of exercising at home. It can be a challenge to form a home workout routine, but joining an online program or community can help with motivation and accountability. Here are a few options to choose from in the Wheeling area:
The Movement with Allison
Wheeling native Allison Hickey has been working in fitness since 2006. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology while playing college volleyball at West Liberty University. Additionally, Hickey is a trained physical therapy assistant. She has 14 years of experience training and coaching fitness classes in the Wheeling area.
For several years, Hickey has run the popular fitness program “The Movement with Allison,” which became an LLC in November 2020. The Movement offers in-person classes at The Highlands Sports Complex and at a variety of other outdoor locations when weather permits. For those who prefer virtual fitness, The Movement also runs a virtual training program with daily workouts and guidance posted to a private Facebook page. Hickey also shares workouts and body-positive content to her Instagram page.
She says The Movement is for anyone looking to make a positive change in their life.
Hickey said, “If I were to pick a category of people best suited to train with me, it would be anyone who is truly committed to making a change, prioritizing their health and fitness and those who have an interest in learning how to move better and making it a lifestyle.”
The Movement client Kevin Sikora says the accountability and community provided by the group have helped him through the periods of lockdown.
“Even though we were not able to be together physically, the virtual workouts keep me accountable to continue moving,” said Sikora. “The variety of virtual workouts kept things interesting, and Allison was always available to help out with any questions we might have, concerns about workouts and recommendations on achieving our goals. The Movement community, through both live and virtual workouts, made the past year more bearable.”
If you are interested in joining The Movement with Allison, please email MovementWithAllison@gmail.com or send a DM to Allison on any of her social media platforms.
Restore Yoga and Wellness
Owner of Restore Yoga and Wellness, Nicole Snodgrass, RYT, CHHC, has been teaching yoga for over 17 years. In July 2018, she opened up her St. Clairsville studio, which now has a staff of 14 teachers and service providers. The studio developed virtual class options following the shutdown in April 2020, and Snodgrass said the classes have been well-received by clients.
“Our students have been very pleased with having the virtual option,” said Snodgrass. “Many of them had been dedicated students and having the ability to maintain their practice at home has been very convenient for them.”
For beginners, a gentle yoga class is offered twice weekly, along with a once-weekly Restore class and Chill class. For those with more yoga experience or looking for more of a challenge, the Breathe and Flow class is offered four times each week. Additionally, a Baby & Me class is now offered once a week. Snodgrass says the studio will be expanding virtual options in 2021 to include workshops and new classes.
Restore Yoga and Wellness has a free app available on all operating systems. Booking for virtual and in-studio classes is done through the app with registration required in advance so links can be sent prior to class start.
Body Weight Blast with Brad Becca
Brad Becca, NASM CPT, CES has been working in the fitness training industry for two years, focusing on the areas of athletic development, sports performance and general fitness. His “Body Weight Blast” classes are offered online and do not require any special equipment. Becca says the workouts are best geared toward Individuals in the age range of 10-30 who are looking to improve their athleticism, functionality and overall fitness level.
Though he is still offering outdoor training sessions to clients, Becca says the pandemic has shifted his focus towards virtual training and his social media platforms. In addition to using Zoom for training sessions, he also offers short daily workouts on his Instagram page.
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“I also just released a 30- day, easy-to-follow body weight program for those who wish to train on their own and not in a live setting,” Becca said. “With the launch of my own fitness brand, BB Athletics, I plan to release more online programs in the near future and train more individuals from all around the world.”
Alex Remes from Los Angeles is a client and says Becca’s training classes helped him bounce back after an injury.
“I started taking these classes after a year of injury rehab and was looking to get my athleticism back,” Remes said. “After three weeks of classes, I feel ready to return to the field, and I highly recommend these classes.”
Ashley Wear is a Wheeling native and certified instructor of PiYo Live, which is a blend of Pilates and yoga, and Core de Force Live, which is a type of non-contact mixed martial arts. Prior to the pandemic, she was teaching weekend classes at Nicky’s Garden Center in Wheeling and every Tuesday at Grand Vue Park. Wear offers free online workouts for both types of fitness class on her YouTube channel, as well as live workouts on her Facebook page.
Wear began her journey into fitness instructing in 2016 after struggling with depression following the tragic death of her mother in 2013.
“I was in a very dark place,” she says of that time in her life. “Fitness was my hope, my turn around, my way back to myself and has actually helped me create the best version of me.”
Wear says she focused on self-care, healthy nutrition, daily workouts and positivity to turn her life around. She is now dedicated to helping others turn their lives around.
“My purpose is to pay it forward,” Wear said. “If I can just help one other overcome self-loathing or depression, it is all worth it!”
Wear says her workouts are suited for all fitness levels. Modifications are offered for beginners, and all workouts are designed to be fun and judgement-free. If you are interested in getting started, reach out to Wear via Facebook or email at email@example.com.
Yoga with Kylie
Wheeling yoga teacher Kylie Ignace, E-RYT 200, has been leading yoga classes in the area for eight years. She received her 200-hour training with Yoga Medicine and has gone on to take several continuing education courses in yoga therapeutics. Her passion for personal growth has also led her to become a certified life coach.
When COVID-19 shut down fitness studios and group classes, Ignace wanted to provide a free yoga resource for those who were not able to afford other paid classes. She offers a series of videos on her YouTube channel that are best suited to those who have a foundational knowledge of yoga. For beginners, she also offers a five-part “Beginners Guide to Vinyasa Yoga,” which is also available free of charge.
In addition to the free resources, Ignace has also developed a paid subscription service that allows users to form a community and take a deeper dive into topics that help create a more intentional life. To supplement the regularly added yoga classes, Yoga with Kylie offers journaling and meditation activities centered around specific themes. Members can also request class themes and topics, and all are offered the chance to meet together in a monthly Zoom room.
Ignace says the program is a result of one of the few silver linings of COVID-19.
“As difficult as this pandemic has been, it has also given us a gift to slow down and get honest about what is working and what isn’t,” she said. “I hope that everyone has taken this time to ‘create’ more than they consume.”
Weelunk readers can receive their first month ofYoga with Kyliefor $1 using the code “WEELUNK21.”
• Wheeling native Jennifer Materkoski is a graduate of West Liberty University and Kent State University, where she earned a master’s degree in journalism and mass communications. Before beginning her current role as director of communications and employee engagement for a global business process outsourcing firm, Jennifer worked in local media and non-profit communications. She is a current board member of Generation Wheeling, also chairing the organization’s Work Committee. She lives in Wheeling with her husband, Rich, and her three children: Mason, Mercer and Miller.