Getting fit in Pomare costs nothing
A free fitness programme is encouraging Pomare residents to improve their health and wellbeing.
Regional Public Health and Change Fitness have teamed up to create the fun exercise scheme. The 14-week programme is called Mahitahi.
It was named by members of the community and translates as ‘‘Working together, working as one’’.
Programme director Nathan Martin, from Change Fitness, said Mahitahi had been popular, with about 60 locals at the weekly sessions.
The aim is to teach locals how to exercise and eat healthily,
Participants are encouraged to walk or run a short distance around the neighbourhood.
‘‘They don’t have to run a marathon or go through a gruelling test,’’ Martin said.
‘‘It’s literally a one-kilometre block, in which they get to go through their neighbourhood.’’
Other exercises include squats, high-knees and lunges in time with music. Families, locals and members of the wider community have been involved in Mahitahi, with ages ranging from 2 to 79.
Local residents Claire and Frank Vekony look forward to the regular fitness classes.
Claire said her biggest improve- ment over the past five weeks was her breathing. Her motivation had also lifted.
‘‘It’s a nice, relaxed environment,’’ she said.
‘‘I would never go to a gym. I’d feel too judged.’’
Community champion at Regional Public Health Twiggy Welsh said the programme was family-focused.
‘‘It’s just a good opportunity for families to come together and just do fitness.’’
Rawiri Nathan, who Martin is mentoring to lose weight and eventually do a half ironman, has proved a big hit. Although he does not live in Pomare, he has been attending and works with a different local every night.
Martin says it is important to have role models and he is inspiration and an example of what can be achieved.
Personal trainer Jermaine Robinson leads a class at the Mahitahi initiative in Pomare.