Barre Star Hall of Fame: Karen's Fab & Fit @ 40

When Karen Keller moved back to Calgary six years ago, she was struggling to find the perfect workout to keep her consistently motivated. “I walked a lot in the other cities I lived in and had a yoga studio I loved, but the lifestyle is so different here that I never felt like I could totally get back on track, no matter what I tried,” she explains. Both of Keller’s parents were athletes and she had always run and played tennis, so maintaining a certain level of activity was an important to her from an early age. Karen felt herself slipping, especially when heading back to work after maternity leave, and was struggling to balance work and family life and still fit physical activity in daily.

On New Year's Day 2013, Karen resolved to get her fitness groove back. A friend introduced her to BBS shortly thereafter and she knew right away that she had found her perfect fitness fit. “At first I loved the challenge I got during the workouts, but at the same time, found it really energizing and always felt feeling amazing,” she says. “The focus on toning, stretching and good form hit all the right notes for me—and I enjoyed doing it all to music—unlike the pilates and yoga I was more used to.” Karen enjoyed feeling like she’d gotten a solid workout without feeling sore for days afterward. Instead of reactivating her old injuries, she actually believes BBS has helped her with her flexibility and hip issues.

Within just a month or two, Karen’s friends and family were commenting on how her body had changed and she was noticing shifts almost on a daily basis. Turning 40 on May 2nd, Karen is looking sensational and feeling more energized and youthful than she has in years. “After the the first six-week challenge, my body’s fitness age went from 27 to 23 years old! Quite a bit younger than my technical age,” she says emphatically. “Thanks BBS for making me a happier and fitter person every day!”


How did you first find yourself at BBS and how did you get hooked on it?

I originally started at Barre Body Studio in January 2013. My good friend, Niki King, posted something on facebook when the new studio opened. I was already looking for a new workout regime, so I jumped at the chance to try it. At the time I had been aware of barre, but hadn’t tried it. Niki and I went together one Sunday and the rest is history.

Tell us about your 30-day challenge experience(s) along the way.

I did a challenge right after I started and really loved the experience of having a class every single day for a month. My goal was to whip myself back in shape after an uncharacteristically sedentary period in my life and I did just that. Afterwards, I felt leaner, stronger and had more energy, I definitely lost weight, but more importantly, I felt happy.

It’s great how Marlo took the time to try and build a community around the studio too. This latest challenge in particular had a great feeling of camaraderie.I love the challenges because it's a really healthy way to channel my urge to workout every day!

What exactly is it that you love about BBS?

I really enjoy the workout itself—I find all the pulsing kind of meditative! I also really love that I can come midday during the week. For me there’s nothing better for my headspace than to get away from my desk and do something physical. I can do barre every day without getting injured, unlike a lot of other high-impact workouts, like running. I've spent a lot of time with athletic injuries in the past and am keen to avoid those types of setbacks at this point in my life. BBS has instructors who keep the workouts fresh, but also provide some very entertaining banter during class. They're a super fun, charismatic bunch and I love that.

So what comes next? What physical fitness or health and wellness goals are you currently setting for yourself now?  

I really want to start working on my flexibility. One of these day, I'd actually like to do the splits! It might not happen, but it's good to set lofty goals. Also on my to-do list is quitting sugar. I'm planning on starting with a 60 day cleanse in September, after the spring and summer when I know I'll have less temptation.

I want to stay fit right through to old age and never find myself saying, “I'm too old to keep in good shape.” My dad is 69 and still works out 3 times a week! I hope to be the same type of positive role model of health and fitness for my 5-year old son. He is genuinely proud he has such a strong mom—that's probably the best reward of all.