Free classes a chance to so­cialise

Hastings Leader - - News -

Wairakau Ver­coe is a real cham­pion for the classes, en­cour­ag­ing oth­ers to “get off your butts” and join in.

Since they first started about three weeks ago, the strength and bal­ance and bad­minton pro­grammes run at Flaxmere Com­mu­nity Cen­tre have grown in pop­u­lar­ity, both for their phys­i­cal ben­e­fits as well as so­cial ones.

The free classes are run four times a week for peo­ple aged 60 and over, com­pris­ing four one­hour ses­sions with phys­i­cal ex­er­cise tar­geted at strength­en­ing the shoul­ders, hips and joints.

Hast­ings District Coun­cil Com­mu­nity Cen­tres team leader Wendy Beeke says such ex­er­cise is tar­geted at fall preven­tion, as well as all-round im­proved flex­i­bil­ity, bal­ance, gen­eral fit­ness, so­cial well­be­ing and health.

Num­bers tak­ing part have swelled from about six at the be­gin­ning to more than 20, with par­tic­i­pants en­joy­ing bad­minton and the up­beat strength and bal­ance classes set to mu­sic and tai­lored to their ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

Af­ter each class at­ten­dees are in­vited for a cup of tea and some home cook­ing pre­pared by staff and oth­ers in the com­mu­nity cen­tre kitchen, and will of­ten spend as much time chat­ting and eat­ing as they do in the class.

“We are mak­ing things like scones and soups — a cou­ple of weeks ago we had seafood chow­der — they love com­ing here to hang out and I think that’s part of what brings them back.”

She says it’s also nice to see that in­ter­ac­tion con­tin­u­ing out­side of the pro­gramme.

“They are start­ing to look out for each other out and about — it’s re­ally neat to see, it’s an awe­some vibe.”

The par­tic­i­pants them­selves are also vo­cal in their praise for the pro­gramme. Wairakau Ver­coe has been at­tend­ing right from the start and ad­vo­cat­ing the classes to oth­ers telling them: “Don’t sit on your butts at home — come over and join in — come and do some ex­er­cise and meet peo­ple.”

She’s also a fan of the pos­tex­er­cise min­gling, not­ing the po­ten­tial pit­falls.

“We lose 379 calo­ries and then put on 400 hav­ing a feed — it’s just awe­some,” she laughs.

Wairakau says the train­ers go above and be­yond to en­sure ev­ery­one en­joys them­selves.

The strength and bal­ance pro­gramme runs on Tues­days and Thurs­days, 11am to 12pm, and the bad­minton classes are held ev­ery Mon­day and Fri­day from 11am to 12.30pm.

■ For more in­for­ma­tion, or to sign up, go to the Flaxmere Com­mu­nity Cen­tre at 30 Swansea Rd or call (06) 879 9812.

Classes of­fer op­por­tu­nity to ex­er­cise and so­cialise.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.