Staying hale and hearty in the North Dakota heartland

Northern Prairie Wellness Center promotes health, fitness and nutrition in the Lignite area

Old routines may die hard.

But neuroscience tells us that health and fitness can also be habit forming.

“Schedule a time for fitness,” suggests Shelley Bartow, manager of the Northern Prairie Wellness Center in Lignite, North Dakota. “Myself, I get up early at about 5:30 for my workout, because I’ve got young kids, and if I wait until after work, it’s not going to happen.

“I’m a physician’s assistant, and I try to encourage patients to set aside even 10 minutes a day for some type of physical fitness,” she adds. “And it only takes 21 days to form a habit.”

Since 2006, the non-profit Northern Prairie Wellness Center has promoted physical fitness and sound health to the Lignite community at a nominal rate, because “good health is something that should not be cost prohibitive,” says Bartow.

With a variety of free weights, resistance machines and cardiovascular equipment, the facility offers, or soon plans on offering:

  • Women on Weights (WOW), a strength training class, led by a personal trainer;
  • Winter yoga classes; and
  • A weekly youth-focused program to teach healthy habits.

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“I’m also hoping to do some free public education classes this winter on macronutrients—what’s a protein, what’s a carb—as well as reading food labels and navigating the grocery store,” says Bartow.

Enbridge is committed to promoting well-being in the communities near our pipelines and facilities. In 2016, we invested more than $275,000 in community-strengthening initiatives across North Dakota, and we also recently contributed $8,000 to the Northern Prairie Wellness Center for building improvements and purchase of new equipment.

Students at Lignite’s Burke Central High School are also encouraged to use the facility’s strength training and cardio equipment free of charge during the school week.

“We want to promote fitness to students—to get them involved now, so that they will continue when they’re older,” says Bartow.