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Free fitness camp continues this week in Living Word Church parking lot

Trainer Rita Wario encourages all types of health during pandemic

By Josh Bootsma

LANSING, Ill. (September 2, 2020) – Trainer Rita Wario is turning her church’s parking lot into a gym this week in an effort to help people stay healthy and COVID-free. Wario has been holding sessions this week from 6:30 a.m. – 7:10 a.m. this week and will continue doing so on Thursday (9/3) and Friday (9/4) at Living Word Church in Lansing. She hopes that she’ll be able to do similar camps in the future as well.

Closures force creativity

When Fitness Pointe, the Munster gym where Wario works as a personal trainer, initially closed because of COVID-19, the Lansing resident started looking for a way to encourage others to be healthy in other ways. She started a Facebook group called Mom in Training Fitness in early April and began sharing health and wellness tips with followers. Wario also has a blog by the same name. Although “Mom” is in the name, she says her group and workout camps are for everyone.

“I really felt this struggle with [COVID] because I knew what people really needed during this time was to know that there are natural, holistic ways…to combat any disease that affects your body,” Wario said. “Physical activity is one of those.”

As things began to re-open a bit after the initial shut-down, she noticed that the outdoor services at Living Word Church were more highly attended than the indoor services. “That kind of made me think: I think people are just more comfortable in general being outside,” Wario said.

After talking to one of her friends in South Carolina who was leading a fitness camp at her church, Wario asked Living Word Church if she could host one in the parking lot and the church agreed. She chose this week because of the pleasant weather.

Future fitness

Rita Wario’s fitness camp ends on Friday, but she hopes to continue providing free workout sessions in the near future. (Photo courtesy of Rita Wario)

Wario said she had a handful of people for the first two days of the camp, but a lower turnout Wednesday (9/2) morning due to rain. Wario said Thursday’s routine is focused on Yoga and stretching while Friday’s routine is focused on cardio exercises.

Although a weeklong camp is a short one, Wario hopes to continue providing free fitness sessions in the future. She said in order to better fit with people’s schedules, she is considering doing a Saturday morning workout and others on weekdays after work hours. She hopes to continue doing the fitness camps outside as long as the weather will allow. People interested in being a part of these free fitness sessions can contact Wario at [email protected] for more information. Her blog can be found here.

Living Word Church is located at 2248 186th St. in Lansing.


Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.


  1. So Proud of Rita for taking the initiative to do this! I reluctantly participated Lol. B/c 6:30am is quite early for this mama! However, it turned out to be the best way to start my morning, and so I am glad I joined. No pun intended, ..but being outside was a “breath of fresh air”. I typically workout in my basement on the treadmill, with arm bands and free-weights. But now I got to experience, the fresh air, birds singing, the beauty of the morning sunrise, and quietness, even in a parking lot, was good for the soul! Rita played positive uplifting music, and gave us encouraging words as well. If you can make space in your schedule to join DO IT! Plus, It’s FREE!

  2. This is a selfless act on Rita’s part. What better place to showcase what God is all about but in a church parking lot. Great workout…body, mind and soul.

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