Online classes keeping the borough in tip-top shape

Michael Scott


Michael Scott


THE lockdown has presented many challenges for people who have had to stay at home, one of which is staying fit and healthy.

Gyms have had to close and with the public only allowed to partake in one daily dose of outdoor exercise, people have had to find other ways to keep active around the home.

And with very little other option than to slump on the couch and dive into a bag of crisps, rather than go for a drive and dive into your nearest swimming pool, gyms have been finding innovative ways of trying to keep our bodies in top shape (or as close to it as possible) for when we are finally released from lockdown.

Social media sensation Joe Wicks, who up until recently has been hosting daily PE sessions online after schools were closed, has inspired a number of fitness facilities into trying online classes.

Instructors belonging to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council's suite of leisure centres have also been going online to provide classes.

They've proven to be quite successful too, with something for everyone. From 'mum and me' classes for new mothers and their babies and the 'ABC 3 Star Challenge' for children, to boot camps, Advanced H.I.I.T and a dance workout for those with plenty of energy to burn.

There's even classes for the over 50s and mobility classes for those working at home aimed at reducing the risks related to sedentary work/prolonged sitting.

One of the Get Active ABC instructors, Simon Patton, explained why they had decided to take their classes out of the gym and into their living rooms.

“A working group was established recognising the need to promote good physical and mental health within our community during these challenging times,” said Simon, who has worked for the Council since 2003.

“We also wanted to keep our patrons engaged by placing the instructors they knew on an online forum.

“We have eight instructors from local centres and a number of council community coaches participating. Between us we are trying to provide a broad variety of classes which will appeal to a broad range of age and ability.

“Classes range from high intensity circuits /Boot camps to Pilates and Tai Chi to sports coaching and dance and play.

“Instructors have produced classes to cater for a range of abilities from beginner to advanced, seniors and those with disabilities.”

Classes are advertised on the getactiveabc Facebook page and council website. They can also be viewed on YouTube by searching for getactiveabc

Simon, who currently works in the Cascades centre in Portadown, added that so far the classes “have been very well received”.

“To date, over 50 classes have been produced with over 8,000 views/reviews in the last two weeks alone,” he added.

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