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Yellowknife's face of fitness
Exercise instructor up for national award for fitness professionals

Chris DiCesare
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Yellowknife woman was recently nominated for a prestigious award that recognizes excellence in the field of health and wellness.

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Tara Newbigging, pictured above, has been nominated for canfitpro's Fitness Professional of the Year award. - Dave Brosha photo

Tara Newbigging, who owns and operates FIT2theT, was nominated for canfitpro Canadian Fitness Professionals' Fitness Professional of the Year based on the strength of her many accomplishments and a letter written by Kristen Cook, one of Newbigging's students.

Newbigging, a 26-year-old health and wellness consultant, has been in Yellowknife for three years and in that time she has distinguished herself as a leading health and wellness expert. She uses physical fitness training combined with mental aspects of physical training to "help people have overall health and wellness that improves the quality of their lives," Newbigging said.

"I didn't really realize how big the nomination was and I didn't realize how big an impact I've had on the North."

In her letter to canfitpro, Cook said: "the most magnetic and perplexing technique Tara incorporates is not something that is easily put into words."

"Participants have all identified a 'certain something' that makes you want to come back again and again. The feeling makes you want to put everything into your workout, push yourself a little harder, and not disappoint her."

"This 'certain something' has been referred to as an 'aura' or 'enthusiasm' but what it does, is helps participants feel better about themselves."

Newbigging's dossier of work is chock full of achievements including working with Yellowknife's schools to develop specific workout regimens for students.

She has worked on training routines for the territory's Canada Winter Games hockey team, Yk Figure Skating Club, and the city's boys' midget hockey team.

Newbigging has provided services for local organizations like the Workers Safety and Compensation Commission, Yellowknife Health and Social Services, and BHP Billiton Diamonds' Ekati Diamond Mine.

Newbigging said her services are highly personalized and she creates fitness programs specific to her clients' needs.

"I listen to my clients and I build exercise routines that are unique to them," she said. "I want to create positive awareness for them to build on and to develop a fitness regimen."

Newbigging said she put in long days building her business, but the hard work has paid off as she is developing name recognition and is starting to become a face of fitness in Yellowknife.

Newbigging said one thing that made her business reasonably economical to start up was not having to worry about obtaining the equipment of a traditional gym to operate her classes, which include the dance-fitness curriculum of Zumba, and other personalized boot camp-style classes.

Newbigging said she is motivated by "making a difference, helping people feel better and creating positive energy" for the participants of her programs.

She has an Honours Bachelor from Laurentian University in Physical Health and Education and she majored in Health Promotion. She also holds certifications in: kinesiology, personal training, fitness instruction, sport balance training, Zumba Dance Instruction, and is a wellness consultant.

Newbigging said she would like to expand her business across the North, but the biggest challenge for her right now is to be able to grow professionally as her business grows.

She said that she wears many hats operating FIT2theT, from basic bookkeeping to maintaining her website and writing blogs that promote health and wellness are all part of a regular day.

Newbigging has been active in fundraising for Cancer Society and has been associated with the Terry Fox Run and CIBC Run For Our Lives.

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