Health goals in 2020 made easier by Kennewick fitness center

Kia Ora Fitness allows workouts anywhere
Stationary bikes at Kia Ora in Kennewick

Kia Ora Fitness owners Lisa and Karl Christensen have a difference approach to working out and staying healthy. As many people set out to better themselves in 2020, the couple has designed their business to fit almost anyone’s lifestyle.

“If it’s not something you like, you’re not going to do it, right? And there should be no expectations,” Lisa said, “it shouldn’t be about what size you are. It shouldn’t be about how much you weigh. It shouldn’t be about all that stuff. Those kinds of things are just sort of the icing on the cake that comes from really good health and fitness and everybody’s different.”

Lisa says there shouldn’t be a standard to fitness and health.

“You need to feel good and not worry about all that other stuff,” Lisa said. “So we try to make it really inclusive.”

The real-time and digital classes offered at Kia Ora follow suit to Lisa’s outlook on health. The fitness center offers a main room with various types of weights, machines and stationary bikes. There are motivational quotes along the brightly colored walls and large windows to let light in. This is only one portion of the fitness center though.

“The other side has a 25-meter pool,” Lisa said.

The pool has five lanes for lap swimmers and since Kia Ora is Arthritis Foundation certified, the pool stays between 84 to 86 degrees.

“So maybe a little bit warm for lap swimmers, but people seem to love it,” Lisa said.

She says people with joint pain or any muscle issues can use the pool or soak in the hot tub.

“Then we have a dry sauna in each locker room, which has wonderful health benefits,” Lisa said, “Just a cool shower and a then a little dry sauna and it helps with building your immune system and cleansing the body of all kinds of things.”

Apart from the luxurious aquatic aspects of Kia Ora and the standard weightlifting and cardio elements, the fitness center also offers music driven live and digital classes. The group fitness programs are a partnership with Les Mills, a New Zealand based overall health organization. Les Mills creates the music for the group fitness programs and Lisa says that is a big part of what draws people to the classes.

“The music does drive the class and we try to really incorporate that into everything we do here.” Lisa said.

Kia Ora cycles through Les Mills songs to offer a variety to members but they also take suggestions and can re-run older workouts. Lisa says they also can cater the workout space, class size, and even off-site location to their members.

“So people’s lives are really busy and the entire world has changed a lot with all of our technology that we have at our fingertips,” Lisa said, “We’re trying to stay in line with that.”

Members can enjoy a virtual class setting if they are less social, feel intimidated or just want a class to themselves. The member can adjust the TV volume, light settings and ambiance of the room. The program is relatively new to Kia Ora but with its success, they are adding four more programs to the list of options.

One of the most popular features of the on demand, virtual classes is the accessibility.

“So maybe you’re not getting out,” Lisa said, “Snowmageddon comes again and you can’t get out of your house, or you’re just not feeling it and you don’t want to leave, so you’ve got that. You can stay into your workouts by doing them at home or when you travel.”

New year’s resolutions can easily get ruined by not sticking with a routine or health plan. Lisa says everyone leads busy lives and by being able to explore your options and enjoy different aspects of fitness, you are more likely to stick to your goal.

“To be successful at anything, it needs to have a regular occurrence and our fitness is no different,” Lisa said. “So if I come periodically, right, I get into it. It’s January 2nd and I’m going to go join a gym and I start and I go like 10 times and I get really, really sore and I drop out. It’s not good for you. That’s who we care about the most. We want everyone to be successful.”

The fitness center is open 24 hours a day. Members use their fingerprint to enter and they have access to the center at any time.

Kia Ora is also offering a new year’s special like many places do this time of year, but theirs has a musical twist.

“So right now we’re running a special $20.20 to join and then you could enter to win two free tickets on February 14th to see Blake Shelton in Tacoma plus a free hotel night,” Lisa said.

Those interested in joining Kia Ora can sign up online or go to the fitness center in person.

“Talk to our staff who are friendly and really well educated,” Lisa said, “We have people that are devoted to fitness and know their stuff. They’re here to help everybody. Talk to them and let them know what your needs are. Definitely get started.”

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