Sarah Ingram demonstrates exercises that help build stability and strength.

Sarah Ingram demonstrates exercises that help build stability and strength.

Work it out with Sarah’s Active Rehabilitation

Sarah's Active Rehabilitation is owned and operated by Sarah Ingram in Fernie.

Sarah’s Active Rehabilitation (SAR) is owned and operated by Sarah Ingram in Fernie. Ingram is a cross between a personal trainer and physiotherapist. She’s more than a personal trainer with a lot more education and a solid anatomy background. Ingram is registered with the BC Association of Kinesiology. Rural kinesiology is rare. Of the roughly 350 registered kinesiologists in B.C., 325 were in the Lower Mainland in 2010.

Ingram will analyze the bio mechanics, nutrition and exercise prescription that is specific to individual clients. People visit Ingram with different goals like weight loss or increasing their skiing skills; injury rehab can be a big part in achieving those types of goals. Her services could be seen as a graduation from physiotherapy when a person is not 100 per cent healed.

Ingram said some of her clients who are recovering from injuries finish their recovery process better than before due to her training.

Even with elite athletes she helps find their weak links and often finds an old lingering injury. Other clients have issues associated to their jobs, like posture, to correct.

Ingram has been in Fernie for 13 years back when the only gym in town was Pro Fitness.

Before moving to Fernie, she was working in Vancouver in a 44,000 square foot gym facility when she realized she was not a city girl and was restless for change. Within a few hours she had a job at the Fernie swimming pool and the gym and feels her move to Fernie was meant to be. Once in Fernie, Scott Cownden approached her for input on the layout of a new gym, Evolution, that he was building.

Ingram sees many clients who have been referred by doctors, physiotherapists, chiropractors and word of mouth too.

The most common problems she sees are knee and lower back issues which she links to Fernie being a ski and biking town. “The mechanics of the two sports have athletes being bent over so hip flexors are tight,” she said.

She like to uses the term ‘pre-hab’ which is preventative exercise so injuries do not become a long term problem.

Some people getting started with an exercise program get intimidated by comparison. The high level of fitness of people living in Fernie has coined the phrase ‘Fernie fit.’ However, Ingram explained, “It doesn’t really take long in a gym [for people] to get comfortable and realize it’s a personal journey.”

Her business has grown over the years. In the first four seasons, she tree planted in the spring to stay afloat but her business has grown to the point where she is quite busy. She has brought Tara Hatch to work on her team as a Certified Athletic Therapist.

Accountability is huge to recovering. Figuring out what motivates people is a major component of Ingram’s work. She can also give guidance for exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle changes. Appointments are one hour and the intensity depends on the individual. The first couple sessions with a new client Ingram assesses how far they can be pushed. Some people are getting out of pain while others are trying to push themselves into the pain threshold, even professional athletes.

“It’s really fun to watch people go through the changes,” said Ingram. “It’s a positive spiral with exercise as people begin eating better and feeling better. I love what I do.“

“We definitely change it up. I’ve had some clients for 10 years and they ask how do I come up with a new workout session every time. We have fun.”

SAR does a lot of core and stability training with traditional weights and a lot of circuit training. Ingram explained some people have great strength yet lack stability. “Balancing on one leg and doing a squat yet the person can’t keep the knee over the foot [shows lack of stability],” said Ingram. “By increasing ones’ stability, you can increase your power.” There is an abundance of equipment, from balance aids like bosu balls (half ball), balls, foam rollers, weights and the TRX straps. Fit to Play is a good program for the weekend warrior so as not to have your body limit you.

Ingram trained all summer with a hockey player who came back from his tryouts saying he felt like he cheated because he performed so much better than normal. “That’s what cross training can do for your sports and this is why all the professional hockey and ski athletes train all summer.”

Sessions range from $50 to $65. The first session is $65. A ten session package is $525 with GST included. For more information, visit or call Ingram at 250-423-9167 to book an appointment.