Former Suffolk policewoman launches online Pilates classes during lockdown
PUBLISHED: 11:00 18 April 2020
Lucy Buchholz tries a class with Kerry Wheeler, who had to adapt her business when social distancing was introduced.
Working for home kills my back. I’m either hunched over my laptop sitting on a bar stall, the sofa, or worst of all, in my bed. I wanted to find a way to stop my body from aching and creaking, so when my boss suggested I should try a Pilates workout from Keep Well, I was curious to discover whether it would help me.
Kerry Wheeler, owner of Keep Well and former policewoman, has recently moved her Pilates classes online so her clients can still maintain aspects of their ‘normal’ routines whilst in lockdown. Kerry very kindly invited me along to try a class.
I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t feel mildly apprehensive before the class started. I had never done Pilates before and I had certainly never attended an online fitness class from my living room. The class was in my lunch break, so my mind was still whirring away, thinking about my never-ending afternoon to do list - then Kerry’s face popped on my screen, followed by four others smiling back at me. After a quick introduction and chat about our weekends, we were asked of any aches and pains we had so Kerry could tailor exercises for each of us.
Pilates is a combination of small-movement exercises that requires you to focus on the positioning of your body and your breath. As we worked our way through the different body parts, I became attuned to Kerry’s voice and found myself in a state where I could feel my muscles working, but I was also very relaxed - I had completely forgotten that I was in my living room.
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During the class, Kerry took a number of breaks to check our postures, advising toes to be pointed inward or hips to be tucked a little tighter if needed, so we all gained as much as possible from each move. A lady in the class had previously hurt her knee, so Kerry offered alternative positions that would provide a lower impact.
I returned to work feeling much calmer. My thoughts had settled, and my body felt loose and open. Each of Kerry’s classes are categorised by ability level and have a maximum of five people, so everyone learns together.
The other women in the group expressed how important the Keep Well classes are to them, especially during lockdown. The class provides an escape from reality - whether that be keeping the kid’s entertained, worrying about what to cook for dinner, or just taking the mind off the current events that fill the news.
Kerry says: “I love that Pilates almost forces you to relax as you need to be focused on your body and breathing - you’re not doing it properly if you’re worrying! It’s amazing to see the effects the movements can have on the body and I enjoy sharing them with my clients to help them improve their health, fitness and wellbeing.
“Pilates is incredibly relaxing and it works wonders for your physical and mental health. That’s why it was so important to me and my clients to move our classes online once lockdown was enforced. I’ve had really positive feedback from everyone and it’s nice to see familiar faces and to help keep up a normal routine. The online sessions also mean that people who couldn’t usually make our classes in person can now join online,” Kerry adds.
To join one of Kerry’s classes or for more information, please visit keep-well.uk/pilates.
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