Keeping fit with Rawfit exercise classes in English

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Photo: Shirley Nadeau

Rawfit participants enjoy the camaraderie of exercising with friends in the great outdoors. Vivian Yatabe Bilodeau provides resistance with a large elastic band as Katherine Bleeker strains to run forward. In the background, Shelley Dupuis holds back Yvonne De Bulnes.

Those who want to stay in shape but can’t stand the thought of being cooped up inside a gym have a new option in Quebec City. Rawfit focuses on exercises done outdoors, in all kinds of weather – rain or shine.

Heidi Kongsholm, who arrived in Quebec City from Denmark last year, is a qualified Rawfit trainer who leads enthusiastic local English speakers in exercises in the beautiful Parc de la Plage Jacques-Cartier facing the St. Lawrence River four mornings a week.  

Kongsholm explained, “What we basically do every session is a series of full-body exercises involving musculation and cardio. I also try to add a lot of play and a mix of exercises for variation. It’s never the same each session. I add different kinds of equipment, such as weights, medicine balls, sandbags, rings, and so on. I started in Quebec City this spring, when they opened the park.

“I like being outdoors enjoying nature. It’s my motivation to get people out and explore the beautiful nature where we do the exercises,” she said.  “Your attention is on everything else – birds, boats, the tide going in and out, people passing by. 

“Rawfit is a Danish concept; the company has been based in Denmark for six years. I’ve been doing it for five years in Denmark and I am now a qualified trainer. I’ve been training for many years, doing a lot of running, cycling and yoga, but I really like the Rawfit concept because I like the idea of training the whole body, as well as the socialization. It’s really important for me, training in nature. I have between four and 10 people in groups at a time. No more and no less, because we work in pairs and it also has to be fun.” 

Kongsholm came to Quebec City in 2017 with her husband, who works for a branch of an international Danish company, and their children, now 10 and 14 years old. 

During one recent session, the four attendees, all women, went through a series of exercises in pairs or alone. It was clear they were all enjoying the routines and the companionship of working out together. One amusing exercise involved a large elastic band which one participant put around her hips; her partner then pulled on it to hold her back while she strained to run forward. 

While one partner does a V-sit (sit-ups) her partner does a high plank (pushups) while holding the other’s feet down. The exercises can be adjusted to the person. There are many other individual exercises that the group did in rotation, sharing various pieces of equipment. 

Anyone interested in joining the group can contact Kongsholm via her Facebook page. Free trials are available. 
Currently all sessions are at Parc de la Plage Jacques-Cartier off Chemin du Pavillon, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 to 10 a.m. and Saturdays from 8:15 to 9:15 a.m. 
Heidi Kongsholm directs a group exercise which involves pushups and sit-ups.