Get­ting fit in Po­mare costs noth­ing

The Hutt News - - COMMUNITY - By GE­OR­GIA FOR­RESTER

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.

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