“Optimal Fitness Camp” is a free weekly workout program for Burlington Township residents that will be held in Green Acres Park every Saturday morning starting May 6.
Burlington Township’s Recreation Department is giving residents a chance to incorporate fitness into their lives without the financial and time constraints of a gym.
“We’re all about a more healthy society,” Recreation Director Diane Flannery said.
In a partnership between Burlington Township’s Recreation Department and Optimal Sport Health Club, “Optimal Fitness Camp” is a workout program that will be held in Green Acres Park every Saturday morning at 9 a.m. The program started May 6. The fitness camp is free to Burlington Township residents ages 15 and older and will span the spring and summer, going as far as September depending on the weather.
Through the camp, residents will participate in strength training, running, agility drills, jumping, intense cardiovascular activities and flexibility training. Flannery said she sees the program as the first steps toward getting residents into a physical fitness routine for those who are sedentary or who may have lapsed with their fitness.
Errol Garner, one of the camp’s trainers, said, in his experience, the idea of going to a gym can be intimidating. He said often when people start working out, they walk into a gym and are unsure of how to use the equipment, or they may simply be fearful of judgment from other gym goers.
Garner said the goal is to take residents who have been deterred from working out for any number of reasons and offer them an opportunity to get in shape in their hometown park without the intimidation factor.
“People don’t need to be afraid of this,” Garner said. “They think it’s too hard for them, but we want to get across the sentence of it doesn’t matter who you are, you can show up and we’ll help you.”
Garner said they are expecting residents at all levels of fitness to come out, and the plan is to use the terrain of Green Acres Park to show residents bodyweight workouts geared toward all skill levels.
Steven Koenig, owner and business manager at Optimal Sport Health Club, said he understands going to a gym for multiple hours a day isn’t feasible for many residents. He said the camp will not use equipment, and the goal is to make use of Burlington Township’s park, so residents can take the skills they learn at the fitness camp and continue to work out during times that fit into their routine.
Koening said even if the camp is the only time during the week residents work out, it’s a step in the right direction.
“If you can come once a week, it’s something that will benefit you more than doing nothing,” Koening said.
Flannery said if “Optimal Fitness Camp” goes well, the program has the potential to become an ongoing event for the community.
The camp will take place on the fields behind the racquetball courts at Green Acres Park. Residents are encouraged to register prior to attending and must fill out a liability waiver to participate. Residents interested in “Optimal Fitness Camp” can get more information and fill out a liability waiver at https://optimalnj.com/camp/ or http://www.twp.burlington.nj.us/recreation.