Local yoga and fitness classes improve wellbeing

Staying healthy has never been more important as the world struggles with the coronavirus. But many of us are unsure about what to do as many “normal” activities are on hold.

We decided to find out what’s available for Castle Vale and Falcon Lodge residents and spoke to Zoe Woodward, our Wellbeing Activity Coordinator at Compass Support. She shared information about Wellbeing First initiatives that the charitable subsidiary of The Pioneer Group is undertaking to keep residents fit and healthy, both physically and mentally, and also her top tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Free online classes

From the start of lockdown, Compass Support has been providing four free online yoga and fitness sessions a week with hundreds joining live via Facebook and thousands accessing the recorded sessions.

Zoe explained that

we want to keep Castle Vale and Falcon Lodge moving and active, while also using yoga for flexibility and also mindfulness. Our sessions encourage residents to take time out for themselves and try something new.

Normally, we’d be getting people out and moving. From Tai Chi to running, mindfulness classes to walking, we have a full programme and will reinstate it hopefully next year. In the meantime, we have gone online and are also slowly re-introducing in-person activity.

As the online sessions are free, anyone can join in, with whole families participating. The beauty of the sessions is that taking part in the privacy of their own homes, no one feels pressured to wear the right gear or keep up with other participants.

Zoe explored Zoom to find out how she can give participants feedback on correct techniques and positions.

The classes are open to anyone, but participants are joining from across the country too. The most popular video has been watched over a thousand times.

New beginner’s yoga classes at The Sanctuary

Since the beginning of October, Compass Support has also been delivering in-person classes at The Sanctuary, and anyone who is interested is welcome.

The classes are socially distanced, limited to 10 people and take place on Mondays at 10 am. Lasting 30 minutes a session, participants are currently doing a six-week beginners yoga programme. Anyone interested should contact Compass Support or drop into The Sanctuary to enquire.

Zoe’s five top tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle

We also asked Zoe to share her top tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle:

  1. Move your body every day – whether you walk, garden or play with the kids, make sure you move.
  2. Look after your mind as well as your body – take time for yourself (even five minutes) to do something for you, such as reading a book or taking a bath.
  3. Put your phone away – or use it to phone someone.
  4. Prioritise sleep – turn your phone off an hour before bed, have a cup of tea or even write a journal…putting your worries in a book and not in your head.
  5. Eat a healthy balanced diet – prioritise healthier food, e.g. fruit and vegetables, maybe good a little more often from scratch or add an apple a day or another portion of veg.

You can find out more about the free fitness classes by clicking here.