Wellness Wednesdays on the lawn of Midtown Park give fitness enthusiasts an opportunity to try 12 distinctly different workouts from some of the most popular fitness studios and gyms in Raleigh, and the classes are completely free and open to the public. Boxing, barre, and CrossFit are on the schedule for the current Wellness Wednesday season which takes place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. each week until June 27.
When North Hills Live stopped by Wellness Wednesday, CycleBar was setting up 48 stationary bikes in Midtown Park for back-to-back cycle classes.
“We are behind North Hills. This is our community. This is our family and anything we can do within that community, we support,” said instructor Larissa Lotz, who was teaching her first outdoor class that night.
She said Wellness Wednesdays also provide great exposure for the fitness studios that participate. “Sometimes people are hesitant to take a class, but if they can try it in a Wellness Wednesday, they are a little more willing,” Lotz said.
Torri Taylor and Destiney Goodman were both looking forward to the outdoor cycle class after attending their first Wellness Wednesday with Camp Gladiator the week before. The two women work on North Hills property and said they walked to Wellness Wednesday after work.
“I work at CAPTRUST, so it’s right here, why not check it out,” said Taylor. “The group workouts are intense, but really fun.”
“It’s spring, and it’s so nice outside. Plus, Wellness Wednesday is fun, and it is not your normal night at the gym,” Goodman added.
North Hills has earned a reputation as a fitness destination thanks to its variety of fitness studios. Since the end of 2017, Orangetheory Fitness, Midtown Yoga, and CycleBar have opened in the Park District, creating what locals refer to as Fitness Row. Pure Barre, a barre and Pilates studio, and Fitness Connection, a full-service gym, round out the fitness offerings and are longtime North Hills tenants.
Kane Realty is committed to encouraging healthy lifestyles at North Hills. This is evident from the miles of sidewalks that promote foot traffic, public outdoor fitness areas, and a farmers’ market. In conjunction with sponsor UNC REX, North Hills has posted signs giving the distance to nearby destinations to encourage visitors to leave their cars and walk. There are plans to link the North Hills East expansion to nearby greenway trails.
“We have a mindset for healthy lifestyles on the property and that manifests itself in many ways, and Wellness Wednesdays is part of that overarching effort,” explained Anna Zevenhuizen, special events and marketing manager for Kane Realty’s Midtown Events. “Wellness Wednesday is popular because we are able to highlight area gyms with free fitness opportunities, and the timing matches up well because people get spring fever and want to get fit for the summer.”
The number of people attending Wellness Wednesday has been growing steadily since the program launched four years ago, Zevenhuizen said. On average, classes draw 150 people and the most popular classes can have up to 300. All the fitness studios in North Hills along with Fitness Connection are offering Wellness Wednesday classes, and many studios from other parts of Raleigh are participating, including Raleigh CrossFit, PBX Pilates Barre Extreme, and Burn Athletic.
“Wellness Wednesdays are really popular, and we have a waiting list of gyms and fitness studios that want to work with us,” said Zevenhuizen.
Upcoming Wellness Wednesday events are:
May 9 – Pure Barre
May 16 – Raleigh CrossFit
May 23 – Title Boxing
May 30 – Orangetheory Fitness
June 6 – Rex Healthcare
June 13 – PBX Pilates Barre Extreme
June 20 – Fitness Connection
June 27 – Burn Athletic