Looking to get into tip-top shape this summer? How about an athletic program that's serious about getting you fit while also taking advantage of the town's natural surroundings?
Well, the has just the workout for you.
On the Beach
Beach Boot Camp is a new fitness program that will take place all this summer — from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend — at .
Classes will take place every Thursday and Saturday morning, from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., at the beach.
"We are one of the few towns to have our own beach and to be on the shoreline," Lou Pane, the director of the town's recreation department, told East Haven Patch. "So I think it's a great venue to have it at our beach."
It's a drop-in program, which means residents can participate in as many or as few classes as they would like, with the fee for each workout only $5.
And the program will kick off its season this holiday weekend, with its first class on the beach Saturday morning.
"This is a high-energy workout that's equally great for men or women," Pane said.
'Always Loved Fitness'
The boot camp classes will be led by East Haven native Kim Standish.
Standish, who graduated from East Haven High School in 2007, has always been focused on being in great shape.
"I've always loved fitness," she said.
She said that interest began in high school as she worked hard in her training as a member girls soccer team. And that focus continued as she moved on to play for Eastern Connecticut State University.
"When I was in high school, my coaches stressed good fitness and form as an important part of being a good athlete," Standish said.
"And to me, that was also a really good way to challenge myself," she said.
When she decided to chose her professional career path, Standish said she knew she wanted it to be in the realm of athletics. And so it just seemed to be a natural choice to focus on developing and teaching exercise classes.
"I finally was like: I want to do something with fitness," she said.
'Definitely for Everybody'
Enter boot camp.
Standish — a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor — said decided to develop and teach her own boot camp workout program.
"I drew from all of my experiences as an athlete, as well as my research," she said.
Although some boot camp classes are targeted for those who are already in top athletic shape, Standish says her program is open to all fitness levels.
"It's definitely for everybody," the fitness instructor said, adding that although "by nature a boot camp "is hard working and higher intensity," she can individualize the workout for each participant.
"When we do an exercise, let's say the goal is to do 15. Well, that doesn't mean you have to do all 15 — it's just the goal," she said. "You go at your own pace, and feel successful at it."
"I encourage everybody to give it a chance," she said.
Moving It Outside
Standish has been leading a boot camp at her family's church, , for a while now.
But when she decided to approach the recreation department looking to lead a boot camp program for the town, she was looking for a different location.
"I wanted it to be outdoors. And Lou thought that that would be a great idea," Standish said.
She also wanted it to be an affordable class, as well as one that didn't come with any long-term commitment for participants.
"That way, people can come and go as they want and we can create a good environment," Standish said.
"It's just less scary that way," she said of encouraging residents to attend a class.
'Healthiness and Exercise'
Pane said although this is the first time the town has sponsored a more intensive fitness class like this, it fits in perfectly with one of the department's main goals of "promoting healthiness and exercise."
He noted the department has a such as low-impact aerobics, yoga on the beach and zumba
"It's a part of what we're doing here at the recreation department," Pane said. "Hopefully this will build on what we have doing... and take it even further.