Suffolk: Zumba, keep-fit or cooking? Which healthy living class will you sign up for?

TOO frightened to step straight into the gym this New Year? There is another option - healthy living classes run by Live Well Suffolk will help ease you in gently.

“Often people have the perception of going to an exercise class and finding 20 size-eight dancers,” said Richard Crick, community health coach for Live Well Suffolk. “But our courses target those who are not physically active and want to make changes.”

This January, Richard and his colleagues will be offering free support to those who have vowed to lose weight, get active and live a healthier lifestyle through their six-week community health courses.

“Give it a try,” he said. “The idea of our courses is to make people feel better about themselves.

“Each session is an hour and a half long. We talk about health changes in the first half an hour then do an hour’s activity relevant to the course so either zumba, keep fit, yoga or we have cook and eat sessions where everyone helps prepare a meal then sits down to enjoy it together.”


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The courses run throughout the year, but as people make a conscience effort to get active as part of their New Year’s resolution, the latest batch are quickly filling up.

“We normally have between 10 and 20 people on a course and the last series were all either full or oversubscribed,” said Richard. “The January ones are filling up quickly and we have had a fantastic uptake with the zumba sessions at University Campus Suffolk.”

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Live Well Suffolk run a series of healthy living programmes as well as the community courses, working with residents from Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich, Sudbury, Felixstowe and Haverhill.

“Life expectancy in these areas is lower than elsewhere in Suffolk. It can vary by as much as 10 years in some areas and we want to address those health inequalities.”

The team also offer one-to-one stop smoking support and client-focussed personal health plans to those in these areas, or those in need to extra support.

“To ensure our services reach the people they are intended to help we have a triage system, those accessing the courses have to either come from one of our targeted areas or have a medical condition, be from a BME group, be a carer, suffer from a mental health condition or be overweight.”

By going along to the taster sessions, it is hoped people will be able to gain the confidence to move embark on a regular exercise regime, using their local facilities.

For more information on taking steps to a healthier future, visit tasters@livewellsuffolk.org.uk or call 01473 229292

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