In these uncertain times keeping fit and healthy is vital for a lot of people in Orkney. Therefore, it’s great that so many of Orkney’s fitness class instructors are hosting virtual classes.
There are a variety of fitness classes available online. To find more information about the online classes visit www.facebook.com/oicsportandleisure.
Along with technology, this would not be possible without all the instructors and the sports and leisure staff coming together with ideas and enthusiasm to ensure physical activity is still accessible for people in Orkney.
Katell Roche, Senior Duty Officer in Sports and Leisure at the council said: “It is so important to our service that we continue to deliver the benefits of physical and mental health by bringing some normality to our community during this uncertain time.”
Matthew Byers, Pools Team Leader said: “It’s been so heartening to see fitness and sports instructors from across Orkney strive to provide people with the means to look after their health and fitness whilst in isolation.”
As well as many online fitness classes, Active Schools Orkney, aim to provide social media content to encourage children and young people to stay active at home.
Carolynn Leslie, Active Schools Co-ordinator said: “We'll be providing videos and challenges made by the Active Schools team, while also promoting free community club sessions, young ambassador content, national initiatives and motivational videos."
Here is a little overview from local Fitness Class Instructors about what they are offering and how you can get involved.
Kim Hamilton, Fatburn Extreme and Gamefit Instructor said: “I am delighted to be able to continue to offer our Fatburn Extreme and Gamefit classes during this challenging time. It is so important to try to maintain some normality when everything is so abnormal! I have loved reading all the positive comments and messages we have received from people taking part in the classes, and hearing from so many people who are now managing to try the classes for the first time. We have reached such a wide audience and encouraged participants who perhaps would not have been comfortable to come along to our regular classes. Now they are able to try it out in the comfort of their own home and realise what fun they can be as well as hugely beneficial. I can’t wait to see everyone again back at our regular classes, but in the meantime, this is proving to be a great alternative.” Their classes can be found on their Facebook page here.
Donna Wilson, Fatburn Extreme and Gamefit Instructor added: “In normal circumstances I teach Fatburn Extreme/GameFit three times a week and to be able to continue providing classes during these uncertain times is amazing. The response from the live classes has been overwhelming and really positive. Knowing you are providing a sense of routine, structure and an escape for people is great. Keeping fit and healthy is vital at the moment and I am grateful to be part of that - and that this in turn helps me to keep physically and mentally healthy.”
It’s not just local people who are benefiting from the online classes, Sara Duffy who moved to Canada said: “As a frequent gym user, when my local gym closed due to Covid-19 I was left wondering what to do to get my mix of different workouts. I saw Donna posting about Fatburn Extreme live and even though I’ve never really enjoyed classes, I thought why not give it a go. What can I say, I love them, a hard 20 minutes pushing yourself to the max. Having it available for 24 hours is perfect for me being six hours behind in Canada.”
Donna Cuthbertson, Orkney Dance and Fitness Instructor said: “Group exercise classes have never been so important for our social, physical and mental wellbeing. So, I’ve carried on, trying to stick to the same timetable to create a sense of normal in this upside down world. It’s something to look forward to as well!” To access all Donna’s classes follow click here.
Katie Rafferty, Health, Fitness and Wellbeing Manager said: "It's important we all try to keep our spirits as high as we can during this challenging time. That's why we are providing exercises and workouts on our social media channels, and working closely with our partners, Les Mills and Life Fitness, to offer a great range of classes for all abilities. We are also putting out a series of blogs focusing on fitness and wellbeing that will help those across Orkney stay positive while at home.” Links to all of The Picky’s social platforms can be found on their website.
Adele Lidderdale from Yoga Orkney said: “Interacting with the people that attend the online yoga and pilates sessions has been key in helping me maintain a positive outlook throughout this isolation period. It's great to have chats with members and helps us all maintain some sense of familiarity from before which we find comforting. I like the idea of putting appointments in the diary so that we have some kind of structure in our day.
“It's very important to remain as mobile and active as possible so that we don't start to suffer from other ill health effects. I've tried to mix up the schedule a bit doing weekly rotations of yoga, pilates and barre sessions. I have also been running restorative yoga sessions to try and help people wind down and take care of their mental health. Exercise helps burn off excess stress hormones which can help us maintain a more positive mental outlook. There is always something to look forward to and taking proactive steps to maintain this is vital.”
Joanna Sutherland from Just Dance Orkney is offering PoundFit online during the pandemic. She said: “Pound’s motto is ‘Rockout. Workout’. I’m really enjoying offering classes online. It’s actually great fun to be at home working out in my kitchen but have all these fabulous people joining in with me! Lots of new folk have also been giving it a go which is super. It’s really important to stay active and keep not just our bodies but our minds busy too. Pound can really help with that. It’s a mix of cardio and strength training done to awesome music so you don’t even realise how hard you’re working as you’re too busy trying to hit your sticks!”
Pound is inspired by playing the drums and is designed to really gets the blood pumping. There are modifications you can choose to make it easier/harder but anyone can do it, although it is fairly fast paced.
To join Jo for Pound classes or for more details please check out her Facebook group page ‘Pound. Rockout. Workout. with Jo – Orkney'.
Jo added: “Grab your drum sticks or wooden spoons and let’s make some noise!”