Flexibility class good base for fitness

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Living active with Amanda Dyer

Good muscle flexibility helps reduce pain, prevent injury, aids balance and assists us to cope with the rigours of life.

With this in mind, I checked out the Adults Keep Fit class held by the Dunedin School of Ballet and Dance.

Principal Robyn Sinclair has run classes for 18 years which have changed over time to the current format which has been going for eight years.

Robyn developed her format to offer a friendly and inclusive community class while supporting herself to go the distance physically in teaching a range of classes throughout the week.

We began with a fascial warm-up, a gently flowing series of dynamic movements to get the body moving and blood circulating.

Robyn is engaging and warm and I was soon smiling alongside other participants as we moved on to yoga and Pilates exercises, accompanied by relaxing music as we completed each progression. They were all effective and enjoyable movements and not a plie in sight.

We then did different exercises using a Pilates ring, hand weights, soft stability balls and a Swiss ball.

Throughout, Robyn gave encouraging instruction on technique when required and my classmates didn’t seem to mind my lack of co-ordination in getting my arms and legs to do the right thing at the right time.

The exercises offered a good challenge and highlighted areas I need to strengthen.

As I get older, my body reminds me of the importance of stretching and keeping up my flexibility.

It is all very well dashing around playing hockey or going to the gym, but if you do not have that base, then it can come crashing down as I have found out the hard way.

I enjoyed my time at the class, among friendly and encouraging people, and I left happy and energised and a bit more stretchy.

There are a range of gentle exercise classes on offer in the Dunedin community and these offer a vital activity option, particularly for those who have injuries, mobility issues, or those who are just keen to keep active and strong, making activity not just something we do, but something we enjoy and can benefit from for a lifetime.

For more information on classes, visit www.moveme.org.nz or call me on 474-6357.