New Oiler helping Edmontonians get fit

Edmonton – Any doctor will tell you it’s important to stay active, but getting up for an early morning workout is easier said than done.

It’s being made a little easier for Edmontonians thanks to some encouragement from an Edmonton Oilers defenceman.

Immediately after signing with the Oilers this summer, Edmonton native Andrew Ference started the “November Project.”

The concept of the project is simple: wake up early in the morning, get some exercise, and meet new people.

“It’s just getting up in the morning. It’s being around a group of people that are enthusiastic about being around other people and working out,” explains Ference.

The free workouts start at 6 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and are open to anyone who wants to participate. The workouts range from climbing stairs, to running hills, to what’s called “Destination Deck.”

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“There’s something infectious about being part of something real, and I think that’s why people keep coming back,” says Ference.

The Oilers blue-liner originally started the November Project in Boston with a group of friends when he was a member of the Bruins. He says as many as 400 people participated in the early morning mornings.

The number of participants is growing in Edmonton thanks to word-of-mouth and social media. Organizers announce the location of the next workout on the project’s Twitter account, @Nov_ProjectCAN. Seventy-two people took part in Friday’s session.

“It’s great people are coming down giving high-fives as they go up (and) pass each other, always saying ‘good job, keep it up,'” says Myles Grimble, who’s participated in a few of the workouts

“It’s pretty awesome, helps you keep going. It’s a really big team effort you know, so it’s really awesome to see that,” says Jordan Greeve, who recently started taking part in the workouts.

Nadim Chin will be taking over “The November Project” starting next week, as Ference begins training camp with the Oilers.

“Somewhere where you can just get up, meet friends, and just have fun early in the morning because your evenings and weekends are for socializing,” says Chin.