After seven years of operating her Jule’s Fitness Centre, Julie Rice is amazed that there are still people in Morrisburg and the surrounding area who don’t know the local gym exists.
“It still amazes me that people will come in and say I didn’t know you were here,” said Julie in a recent telephone interview. A police officer in the Toronto area, Rice counts on her mom and dad and friends to keep the gym running smoothly and successfully. It has been doing so since it opened in 2006, just east of Mac’s Milk. That was followed by a move to the Morrisburg Shopping Plaza and from there it went to its current location at 59 Main Street, Morrisburg (former Early Years/Spinning Wheel Restaurant building).
Jule’s Fitness has a solid membership base several of whom have been members since the start, but Rice says, “we find that we get lots of people from outside of town, and fewer members from right in town.”
She also says that the majority of members are over 40, “and we would like to see more young people. The gym is an ideal solution for kids and teens who are maybe not involved in team sports, but who need a way to get exercise and work out on their own and on their own schedule. I don’t see a lot of kids out playing anymore.”
“The gym is a great way for them to burn off some energy, and release some stress and it’s a healthy environment.”
Actually, this applies to all age groups, she adds.
Julie credits her mom and dad and friends all of whom volunteer their time to her keep the gym going. “Mom and dad have put in a lot of hours at the gym. They have the same vision I do. They like to see people come in…and then later hear them say I have lost inches, or that they are feeling healthier.”
Jule’s Fitness Centre has all the equipment you would find in a larger sized gym in a bigger centre…ellipticals, treadmills, steppers, exercise bikes, hydraulic exercise machines, a vibration machine, etc. In addition, there are dedicated areas for stretching and a section dedicated to weight training. A new area is underway that will include a heavy bag and speed bag.
Functionally, the gym includes everything a person/member could ever want for medical rehabilitation, muscle building, tissue reduction (weight loss), cardiovascular training for heart/lungs and sports injury rehab.
Programs can be geared to any age group and any kind of medical issue….spinal, back, arthritis, shoulders, hips, etc.
“There are a lot of nice people who come here,” says Julie’s mother and gym volunteer Sandy. “It’s a lot of fun. It is beneficial, but it is social as well. There are a lot of people who come to the gym, that I never thought I would see here. Some just come to walk on the tread mills, especially in the winter, when it is not safe to walk outdoors. In summer the benefit is that the building is air-conditioned.”
“We have one lady who comes in because she has back problems. I can’t get over how well she now looks.”
Among Sandy’s favourite pieces of equipment is the vibration machine. “It’s great for people with bone density problems. There are some gyms in the cities that are strictly these types of machines. A lot of our members go on it after they have worked out. It is great for circulation problems, osteoporosis and muscle relaxations.”
Volunteer (qualified) trainers are on hand at the gym to help people set up a program specific to their needs. The trainers will also work with the local medical community and chiropractors to set up programs to benefit their patients.
Programs can be set up for everything from people who have had hip, knee or shoulder replacements or injuries to people with breathing issues. Programs can also be set up to work on sport specific workouts to prep for hockey or figure skating, basketball, etc. or they can just be a basic generic program that will start a member on his/her journey to fitness and better health.
“It’s funny,” says one trainer. “A lot of older folks who come here, thought it was younger people who came, but it’s not. Actually, there should be way more younger people than we actually have. I think a lot of the younger crowd don’t realize the gym is here and mom and dad don’t know either.”
While many members come in on their own, there are also some groups that work out together.
The gym is open Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. Friday hours are from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Saturday is from 8 a.m. until noon. The gym is closed on Sundays.
Memberships are flexible and set up to be as attractive as possible to members. They are available on a yearly or monthly basis. Many people join on a short-term basis to work on an injury or medical rehab and end up staying on. Family packages are also available and programs can be set up for all ages, from children physically big enough to use the equipment safely to seniors.
It is Julie’s objective to keep the membership’s affordable.
“We aren’t fancy,” says Sandra. “We are just a small town gym.”
“We have trainers who can work with our members for certain sports, for injuries or to bounce back from medical issues. We are local and people don’t have to worry about transportation.”
Julie says she is an advocate of healthy living and remains committed to keeping the gym going in Morrisburg…to give the community a means of getting fit and staying fit and healthy. “I believe in staying true to your roots. I always come back to Morrisburg. It’s my home town.”
For more information call 613-543-3037 or drop in at the gym.