Abena Boateng-Queeley (photo above left) has been teaching Group Exercise classes at World Health Edmonton for over 20 years, and she does it all! Everything from Group Active to Group Ride to LIFT. She sat down with us and shared how Group Exercise has impacted and influenced her life.
Right after High School, Abena joined up with a local club and participated in Group Fit classes being instantly hooked. Heading to sessions as often as she could, the staff and instructors got to know her well. Well enough, that the group running the classes asked her if she would get certified and start teaching which she accepted, starting her career as a Group Ex instructor. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Group Fitness is also responsible for introducing Abena to her husband. As a young man, Dave started attending classes taught by Abena. And in the same way Abena was hooked, so was he. David got certified, then started instructing at World Health alongside his future wife, Abena. They married, had two beautiful girls (Jayda and Rhianna) and brought their lessons and training into their home.
“Group Exercise is a part of our lifestyle,” Abena explains, “the children don’t know anything different. We build our activities during evenings and weekends around what we learn and do in Group Exercise classes.”
We asked Abena how new members could prepare for walking into a new Group Exercise class.
“Come in with an open mind and when selecting a class to join, think about what you enjoy doing. If you like dancing then look into the Zumba class, cycling then look into spin, and if you like lifting then Group Power is probably the one for you. Also come in knowing what your fitness goals are. If you want better overall fitness, work on your cardio, get stronger etc.”
Abena’s Class recommendations for specific goals:
- Overall Fitness = Group Active or Group Power
- Strength = Group Power
- Cardio = Group Ride or Blast
- Flexibility and Balance = Group Centergy
“In Group classes, it’s all about comradery and challenging yourself in a comfortable, supportive environment without fear of failure as there is no judgment within the studio.” Abena shares, “And you make friends, a lot of people who joined my class back when I started are still attending today, so when you’re new and you come back week to week you get to see the same faces. You can build relationships that way.”
“It’s a great environment to be in, more comfortable, and you get fitter faster by going to Group Ex Classes because you are not trying to figure it out on your own – it’s all guided.”