Squad tri their hardest

MEMBERS of the Spring Into Summer squad are today finding their stride, on the Evening Star's 12-week fun fitness programme supported by Ipswich Borough Council and Swallow Belstead Brook Hotel.

By Tracey Sparling

MEMBERS of the Spring Into Summer squad are today finding their stride, on the Evening Star's 12-week fun fitness programme supported by Ipswich Borough Council and Swallow Belstead Brook Hotel. Week Three brought an aerobics class, as features editor TRACEY SPARLING reports.

WITH arms whirling and legs kicking, the Spring Into Summer squad threw themselves into their latest challenge with gusto.

Some might not have heard of a 'tri class' before, but they soon discovered it was a mix of aerobics, step aerobics and toning with weights. The class at Northgate Sports Centre saw the 20 Star readers, Star team and instructors from Belstead Brook Leisure Club take part.


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Ipswich Borough Council's fitness coordinator Shelley Boak led the hour-long session and broke it down in to three 20-minute sections - with frequent breaks to grab a drink to rehydrate.

Many of us were beginners and not used to terms like 'grapevine to the left' and 'mambo' moves, so it took a bit of practice to nail the routine.

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But the end of the aerobics section saw the group looking somewhat coordinated as we completed a sequence of steps to the music, although a few of us still had trouble with the footwork!

“I felt like Michael Flatley towards the end,” laughed Rob Willows, 36 from Pinmill Close in Ipswich.

“I really enjoyed it,” said Sharon Wright, 36 from Wickham Market.

Evening Star reporter Rebecca Lefort said: “Because it's in a group I feel I have to keep going when I might pause for a break if I was on my own. And because I have to concentrate on the moves and co-ordination I end up forgetting about the fact I'm exercising and am out of breath!

“It was also really good to have a motivating and enthusiastic person teaching the class who reminded me that exercise can be fun.”

Shelley was impressed with the enthusiasm of the squad. She said: “The tri class is a combination of three different areas, aerobics to get the heart rate up and burn calories, step aerobics is impact work to build up the legs and lower body, and toning for muscular strength and abdominals. So it's a general, all round exercise.

“I think the group did really, really well. I admit I was a bit nervous at the thought of having so many beginners, but they were great. They looked like they enjoyed it, and they got the combination of steps in time to the music.”

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To keep the momentum for exercise alive in between Spring Into Summer events, Swallow Belstead Brook Leisure Club gave the squad swimming vouchers to use every week.

Aerobics classes at Ipswich sports centres are taught by professional instructors who can help and advise on specific needs and fitness objectives. They range from the tri class, to aerobics, bodytone, cross training, circuit training, kick aerobics, legs bums and tums, line dancing, step and tone, ladies only, and 50 plus.

Tri classes run at: Maidenhall on Thursdays 6-7pm (easy), Northgate on Mondays and Fridays 6-7pm (intermediate), and Whitton on Tuesdays 8-9pm, Thursdays 7-8pm (intermediate).

Weblink: www.ipswich.gov.uk/Sport/Fitness+Classes.

JUST three weeks into the Spring Into Summer programme, the participants are already making a positive difference to their lifestyles. REBECCA LEFORT caught up with two of them to talk fitness, food and fun.

Age: 39

Lives: Maybury Road, Ipswich

Occupation: Behaviour support assistant with children

Q: What do you hope to achieve with Spring Into Summer?

I wanted to see how fit I was. I do PE with the kids and I always take part so I wanted to push myself. Considering my body shape I am actually quite fit already though.

Q: What stopped you keeping fit in the past?

I didn't have enough time with three kids and working full time. Before I worked full time I did some aerobics classes. Spring Into Summer has helped because it has made me make the time.

Q: Have you tried any sports before, and how did you find them?

I've played basketball at school and also football and squash, though I prefer just watching football.

Q: How are you getting on with the group?

It's fun. The first night I sat next to Sharon and we said to each other “what are we doing here?” so it's nice to have people around you who are in similar situations.

Q: Is weight loss part of your aim? If so, how have you tried before and did you fail or succeed?

Plus what's your favourite food - and is it good for you?

Losing weight is part of my aim but I don't know what would be good enough. I weighed less than I thought I did when I started. My son has been in hospital recently, though he is out now, and that messed up my eating habits.

My favourite food is chicken and pasta which isn't that bad for you - until you put the sauce on!

Q: How has the nutrition advice helped you?

Yes, it was interesting to learn that you have to make sure you eat carbohydrates with every meal, which was completely different to what I had heard before.

Q: How have you found Spring Into Summer so far?

It's been lots of fun and I'm really please I got on the programme. I'm 40 soon so I thought it was time to finally do something. I found the climbing wall scary because I had hurt my arm beforehand, but I did it which I was pleased with.

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