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Mid-Week Mugging: Waterfront Fitness and Pilates

A career was born out of gaining baby weight
Vanessa Morrell is owner and operator of Waterfront Fitness and Pilates studio at 17 Gowan St. Sue Sgambati/BarrieToday

It's not like Vanessa Morrell has been fit her entire life.

The owner of Waterfront Fitness and Pilates studio discovered personal training after gaining a ton of weight during her first pregnancy.

"I got up to about 200 pounds and for someone who's 5'2" that's a lot of bum," she said laughing.

Eighteen months later, son number two arrived and Morrell hadn't lost the baby weight from the first child. 

Before son number three came along, the Innisfil woman decided she needed to get her body back in shape. 

She started a nutrition program, weight training and hired a personal trainer at her gym.

Through her journey, she realized she could help others. 

"I love training. I think I could do this for somebody else,"  Morrell thought. 

Morrell did in-home personal training for 12 years travelling from Barrie to Toronto and in between.

She got sick of the driving and found her body was suffering.

"I was driving so much and creating bad postures into my body so much I knew pilates was the way to get strong and into proper positioning where I needed to be," she said. 

"Because there wasn't a whole bunch of classes available in the pilates I wanted to do I thought maybe I should open my own studio and offer this to other people who need pilates in more of a time frame that works for them."

She became a certified pilates instructor and opened Waterfront Fitness and Pilates across from the Allandale Go Station in 2015.

The studio has classes at 6 a.m. and 7 a.m.

"Which is the classes that I would normally do if I was a civilian working out. I'd want to get my workouts done - 6 - 7 - get home, get the kids sorted, shower and I'm on my way for my day."

In addition to a variety of classes, Waterfront has three reformer machines which is more a physio-based exercise. 

Morrell says it's best to change up workout routines.

"Keep your body guessing. Getting it to do new things all the time is the best workout that you can do for your body. Walking, eight training, cardio exercise, pilates, yoga."  

The studio also offers nutrition assessments.

"Nutrition is 95 percent of the game.  So if you're not eating right, yes, of course you'll get strong. You'll build your cardiovascular, but if you're looking to lose weight, it's about nutrition," Morrell explains.

The Barrie businesswoman says her studio can help on both fronts for men and women. 

"It's the full deal," said Morrell.

Waterfront Fitness and Pilates is located at 17 Gowan St.