For those who fell in love with Lemon Cree’s brand of bounce fit and other exercise programs back when founder Theresa Ducharme toured the communities to train and engage Eeyouch in fitness in a fun and friendly atmosphere, the program is now available online.
Realizing a long-sought dream, Ducharme and her trainers have managed to put the program online thanks to a series of videos that subscribers can watch on their home computers or on the road via their electronic devices either to workout by themselves or in a group.
“It was an idea I came up with several years ago because there was a demand from people who wanted to continue on with me and wanted to work out from home,” said Durcharme.
“After visiting all of the communities, I didn’t want to leave them high and dry without giving them some tools. This was again inspired by the women living in the James Bay.”
Ducharme said her website features 12 videos and about two new ones are added every month. Subscribers can choose from a selection of yoga, bounce fit and power-fit videos. All of them feature Ducharme leading group workouts that were filmed while she was on the road, working with First Nations groups in different provinces.
To give the videos an organic feel, Ducharme said they decided not to do any editing. So if a trainer falls off a ball during the workout, that’s what subscribers see. The same goes for participants working out with Lemon Cree. Since some can’t always keep up with the pace, there are scenes of them working within their own limits.
“You will see people of all sizes. Though I have my own models, when we are working out we have large women and men who exercise with us, so it is all very real. Since there is no editing, you are funny moments, because people fall off the ball or start laughing – we just left it as is,” said Ducharme.
All of this is by design in order to recreate the warm, supportive, unintimidating and welcoming environment that has become synonymous with the Lemon Cree brand.
And, this is how Ducharme said she envisioned these videos, with the participants from places like a women’s shelter in Fish River, Manitoba, where some of the women stop working out because they are completely out of breath. There are moments that are both funny and endearing, much like working out with Ducharme in person.
Subscribers can communicate with Ducharme online. She said some of the women, like those at the Friendship Centre in Senneterre, work out with the videos every day as part of their routine and communicate their progress to her.
“Some of the women at the Friendship Centre are older and have health issues. I see that they are feeling stronger and now some are saying that they feel more flexible. That is music to my ears and makes me teary eyed. I love to know that we are all getting fit together and they are sharing this in their communities,” said Ducharme.
The online program also includes a series of recipes that are being developed with Lemon Cree’s chef, Simon van der Maaten, who has been working with residents of the Webequie First Nations in northwestern Ontario. Van der Maaten has created recipes using what is available locally and so they often include wild meats and what is found in a northern grocery store.
Subscriptions run at $4.99 per month and more information can be found at www.lemoncree.com