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Need a new workout? U Got It

Published in the Vancouver Sun on May 9, 2011.


Juggling family engagements, job deadlines and personal sanity on a day-to-day basis can be a workout in itself, but thanks to a group of Vancouver women, there’s a new way to get -or stay -in shape even when your schedule is conspiring against you.

Local entrepreneurs Sara Shears, Debra Karby and Melanie Finkleman have developed a 30-minute workout called Ugi, which uses a single piece of equipment-their Ugi ball-and combines strength, core, stability and cardio training in an intense routine that can fit into anyone’s haphazard lifestyle.

What first began as an idea over a cup of coffee two years ago has now evolved into a growing business. The Ugi workout can be found at gyms in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Seattle, Chicago and St. Louis. In addition, the women are on the eve of presenting their idea to the famed investors on CBC’s Dragon’s Den.

“I felt like there was a real lack of exercise going on outside of the gym and outside of working with the trainers,” says Shears, who has been a personal trainer for 15 years. “I wanted to create a workout that would be comparable to a workout you would get in the gym with a trainer or with a group class, but be portable and realistic in its time frame and sustainable for people to do outside of the gym.”

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