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Community-wide wellness program starts next weekend

The idea of wellness is different for just about everyone. That’s a good thing for the folks in Woodbury, because a new wellness campaign, We Are Well Within, Woodbury should have something fun for everyone. 

The brainchild of Anytime Fitness (Bielenberg) owner Sindy Graham, the first We Are Well Within, Woodbury will be a summer-long health initiative designed to give residents, community leaders and businesses a reason to work on personal and team wellness goals, while participating in a number of activities around the city.

“Health and wellness is more than just exercise and diet,” Graham said. “The list of things you can do is pretty extensive.”

And indeed, it is. Graham has partnered with the Woodbury Community Foundation, Excel Lifeforce Martial Arts Training Center, and Woodbury Spine Wellness Center to develop the wellness campaign. Calling themselves the We Are Well Within, Woodbury ambassadors, this group has reached out to other businesses and organizations to develop a list of free activities and classes.

That’s right: a list of free activities and classes. 

That list will cover everything from exercise competitions and workouts and nutrition workshops to workshops on spiritual wellness and sessions on healthy eating and food preparation. 

Four facilities have been designated as host facilities, including Anytime Fitness (Bielenberg), Excel Lifeforce Martial Arts Training Center, Woodbury Spine Wellness Center, and the YMCA Woodbury. Each location will offer programs. For instance, Anytime (Bielenberg) is offering boot camps, yoga and meditation; Woodbury Spine will offer programs to explain the benefits and types of chiropractic care.

Though those locations are the host facilities, many of the programs will be held at alternate sites and even some of Woodbury’s parks, depending on the activity and its requirements. All of that information will be available in a booklet that will be handed out to team members who register to participate. 

The program is aimed at bringing together teams of four or five members who participate in the classes or activities together. Teams get points for every activity in which they take part, and individual points are awarded when one team member attends an activity on his or her own. Prizes will be awarded for top team and individual achievements.

Still, Graham recommends that team members work together as often as possible.

“We’re trying to encourage working as a team,” she said. “That long-term support for one another is very important a lot of times, as we try to plow through things. This way, you’re all working toward your health and wellness together.”

Team members who sign up for We Are Well Within, Woodbury also get to work out at the YMCA on Fridays, or Anytime Fitness (Bielenberg), for free.

Graham’s Woodbury gym opened just more than a year ago. Prior to coming here, she had worked with Anytime Fitness in Albert Lea. There, she had conducted a “Biggest Loser”-type competition for clients. 

Here, she’s taking the fitness challenge and fine-tuning it to be more of an overall, well-being kind of competition, one that focuses on more than just losing weight. An active member of the Woodbury Area Chamber of Commerce, Graham started reaching out to other business owners to see if they would want to contribute, or participate. She’s received a lot of support for the program. 

She plans to formally launch registration for the project during the April 25 Woodbury Community Expo at East Ridge High School. Each of the host sites will have registration information and website information listing the dates and times of activities that will be scheduled. Though registration information will also be online in coming days, teams that register for the We Are Well Within, Woodbury program will receive extra points.

There are no requirements for attendance, she said. 

“They’ll get what they put into it,” Graham said. “But with all of these great programs, who wouldn’t participate in this? Who wouldn’t? Even if they only attend one thing, they’re going to gain something from it.”

Teams must register by May 9 to be eligible for prizes. We Are Well Within, Woodbury officially kicks off with an event at Bielenberg Sports Center from 11 a.m. to noon, on May 1. The event runs through Aug. 3. 

For more information, contact Sindy Graham at, or by phone, 651-714-0800. 


Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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