Gina Wakeham has an alternative to some of the most common concerns about joining a traditional gym.
Keep it small, very personal and use technology that saves time and produces results.
Wakeham has opened a Vibes Fitness franchise in downtown Victoria, a spartan space that uses wave vibration platforms with personalized training to cater to any fitness regimen - from elite athletes to seniors and people needing a rehabilitation program.
The platforms, manufactured by an Ontario-based company, fire up the muscles at a rapid frequency - up to 3,000 contractions a minute. Wakeham said because the machines immediately engage and warm the muscles, users can achieve results much quicker than using traditional exercise equipment in bigger, often crowded gyms. The technique is also considered easier on the joints - and your schedule as workouts can be reduced to 15 minutes from an hour with the same results, she said.
"We've had professional athletes, players who get an optimal workout with their own settings, and we have seniors and people in recovery who don't want to go to a gym or don't have the strength to workout for an hour - it's a wide range who can benefit," said Wakeham. "You always have a personal trainer."
Users can focus on a specific area, say a leg or knee, or use the platform for pushups, squats or any number of core-strength workouts. Testimonials from customers say working with a personal trainer on the machines has increased flexibility, trimmed fat, boosted energy and built muscle mass.
Wakeham is offering a free trial week.
It's the third franchise for Vibes, which also has a studio in Sidney, which opened in May, and one on Fort Street near Richmond Road. Founder Jessica Cruise, a former golfer at Camosun College, said the small studios have attracted a growing and varied clientele based on word-of-mouth and referrals from doctors, naturopaths and chiropractors.
"In this fast paced society, it is sometimes difficult to find time to maintain and improve our fitness and health levels," said Cruise. "Other times, it's difficult to initiate a program because of physical limitations or pain. The technology behind [vibration-assisted exercise] was specifically designed to address these issues."
Wakeham is the daughter of B.C. and Victoria golf hall of famer Bill Wakeham. The studio is at 623 Broughton St. Call 250-590-5644 or see vibesfitness.ca
TASTE OF MEXICO FOR CAMOSUN
Puerto Vallarta Amigos, which has earned legions of fans with their authentic Mexican fare served from their food trucks and a new floating restaurant at Fisherman's Wharf, are rolling into Camosun College this fall. Ramesh Espinoza, Amigos co-owner, says the company has struck a deal with Camosun and the college's foodservices provider, Aramark, to provide lunches from their trucks at both the Lansdowne and Interurban campuses starting Monday. Ramesh Espinoza, brother Jorge and their parents, Antonio Espinoza and Angelina Cortes, are owners of the business that prides itself on using family recipes handed down through generations. The family had restaurants in Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco.
SEAFIRST HONOURS ORIGINAL FOUNDER
Seafirst Insurance officially cut the ribbon on its impressive new building in Brentwood Bay last week, with president Doug Strong unveiling a plaque dedicating the head office to his mentor and original owner of the firm. The building at 7178 West Saanich Rd. is now known as the William A. Eastgate Building. Eastgate's widow, Fran, was there for the dedication as was their daughter Kim Smith, who has been with the firm for more than 33 years. "I wanted to honour the man who not only started Seafirst Insurance (formerly Seaboard Properties), but gave me my first start in the insurance business and helped me make my dream possible," said Strong. Seafirst is still a locally owned and operated full-service insurance agency with branches in Sidney, Saanichton, Oak Bay and Colwood as well as Saltspring and Pender islands.
UVIC GATHERING ECONOMIC BOOM
The University of Victoria is billing it as Canada's largest academic gathering - and an economic boom for the region. The 82nd annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences will bring 70 scholarly associations and more than 7,000 delegates to the city next June. Suzanne Dane, who is managing the event, expects the gathering to generate between $9 million and $12 million in economic activity. Based on poll at last year's event, 40 per cent said they would bring family, resulting in 2,800 extra guests. According to Tourism Victoria, the average overnight visitor spends $408 a day on accommodation, food and entertainment. Local businesses with products or services to offer are invited to a vendor fair at the Crystal Garden on Sept. 28 from 8: 30 to 10 a.m. There's information at www.uviccongress2013.ca
DESIGNERS GET WHOLESALE STORE
The Trade Source Design Centre is a new business at 1111 Fort St., catering to designers, architects and contractors. The wholesale studio carries a range of products, including wallpaper, upholstery fabrics, window blinds, drapery fabrics and hardware and cork, bamboo, wood and wool floor coverings. The company serves the interior design community and doesn't sell to the public. It is set up so designers and architects can bring their clients in for product selection. It is the first trade wholesale showroom on the Island to carry such a large product range, director Jan Wallace said.
The Intercultural Association of Greater Victoria has awarded its 2012 Diversity Scholarships to Christina Yui Iwase, a Japanese immigrant studying political science at the University of Victoria, and Dean Duthie, a sergeant with the Saanich Police Department working on a masters in education and leadership at UVic. Each scholarship is worth $1,000 ... Cyndi McLeod, vice-president of global advancement, marketing and business development at Royal Roads University, has been awarded a scholarship to attend Beijing Language and Culture University where she will study languages this fall.
McLeod's post-secondary career spans 26 years, including 15 in China. She's been with RRU since 2009.
NEW SERVICES FOR PARENTS
Tumblebums Play Centre, the region's only indoor play centre for toddler and infants, has added some new services at its facility at 133-735 Goldstream Ave. in Langford. Brenda Kovitz, a certified sleep consultant, will provide individual and monthly consultations with parents whose children are experiencing irregular sleep patterns. Another service will see financial planner Dale Collins of Prosperity Planning provide monthly discussions on family financial issues. The first of his seminars on Registered Education Savings Plans is slated for Monday from 3: 30 to 4: 30. Check www.tumblebumssolutions.com
The Vancouver Island Health Authority is looking for consultants to plan a ventilation system upgrade and improvements to the boiler and auxiliary systems at the Eric Martin Pavilion in 2013. The RFP closes Oct. 5. VIHA is also planning a fire alarm system upgrade for Royal Jubilee Hospital and an RFP for design work is due Oct. 5 ... Chow Low Hammond Architects are working on a study to assess the Salvation Army's Addiction and Rehabilitation Centre at Johnson and Wharf streets downtown. The three-storey building could be in for a major remodel and reno.
The study is expected to be complete in December. For more information about upcoming projects, visit www.yellowsheet.ca.
OUR PLACE TARGETS BUSINESS
Our Place Society is launching a new program aimed at businesses that can fund and serve the most important meal of the day to the city's homeless. "Our Sponsor-a-Breakfast program is a great way to connect two diverse worlds," said Don Evans, executive director of Our Place Society. "We know it takes a whole community to provide a sense of hope and belonging for Greater Victoria's most vulnerable citizens and sponsoring a breakfast provides a way of working together to help achieve this goal."
Our Place typically serves breakfast to 300 and up to 1,500 meals in total on any given day. Once the cost of breakfast is covered by a business, Our Place said it will be able to reallocate funds to focus on its goal of providing weekend meals.
LOCAL EATERIES TICKLED PINK
Seventeen restaurants and bakeries throughout the region will be appealing to your sweet side over the next month to raise funds for breast cancer research. The Tickled Pink Dessert Campaign was launched Friday with proceeds of specially designed desserts going to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation's CIBC Run For The Cure. The list includes four locations of Ooh La La Cupcakes, where owner Sheryl Andrews is participating for a second year in a row. "We are a business of all women employees and we want to contribute any way we can to rid a disease that has impacted so many women," said Andrews.
Other restaurants include Bubby Rose's, Cakes Etc., Heron Rock Bistro, Il Terrazzo, Lighthouse Cake Co., O Bistro, Ric's Grill, Ross Bay Pub, Sam's Deli, The Dutch Bakery, The Mix By Ric's, The Soda Shoppe and Truffles Catering.
Andrea Carey, director of operations and community engagement for the Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence, has been selected as one of the Top 25 Women of Influence for 2012. Women of Influence produces the annual Canadian ranking and a seasonal magazine.
BEER MILKSHAKE ANYONE?
The Red Robin Restaurant chain is adding a beer milkshake to its menu Oct. 18 to celebrate Octoberfest. It will incorporate Rickard's Red draft with quickserve ice-cream, vanilla and caramel. Red Robin, founded in Burnaby in 1985, has four Edmonton locations and 13 in B.C., including one in Victoria near Mayfair Mall.
CREDIT UNION CEO SPEAKS
University of Victoria alumna Tamara Vrooman, now president and CEO of Van City Savings Credit Union, will give a special presentation Sept. 18 about redefining wealth and what wealth means within a co-operative and sustainable financial services model. A history major who graduated with a master of arts in 1994, Vrooman became the leader of Canada's largest credit union in 2007 after a public sector career that included a three-year post as a provincial deputy minister of finance. UVic's Centre for Co-operative and Community-Based Economy is hosting the event as part of its speaker series. It is free and open to the public from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Bob Wright Centre, Room A104.
ON THE MOVE
Wendy Steen Mitchell Dance has moved to a new studio at 2033 Belmont Ave., ending a 20-year run at the Cedar Hill Rec Centre. She's been operating a studio in Victoria for 38 years and offers classes in ballet, modern, tap, jazz and hip-hop for all ages. The new studio has more than 2,000 square feet of dance space and Steen Mitchell has exclusivity from Monday to Saturday. Her teachers will also continue to teach at classes at Cedar Hill as they have done for many years.
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