Group exercise classes to be relaunched in the Cotswolds
By David Wood
Leisure centres in the Cotswolds are set to relaunch group exercise classes from Monday, May 17.
The move has been described as "a huge boost" for the mental health of the community.
Cllr Jenny Forde, cabinet member for health and wellbeing at Cotswold District Council, said: "I'm thrilled that we are now preparing to introduce group exercise classes back to our leisure centres. It's great that people will be able to get back to doing what they love, or maybe even taking up a new activity.
"Group exercise is incredibly important for our mental health and with this being Mental Health Awareness Week this incredible news comes at a perfect time as physical activity and the social aspects of group activity play such an important role in boosting our physical and mental wellbeing.
"It's also really encouraging to see everyone's collective efforts in following the rules paying off. While it is important to keep following the rules, keeping fit and healthy is equally important and this is a major step towards that for our communities."
Everyone Active's Leisure Centres in Cirencester, Bourton-on-the-Water and Chipping Campden, run in partnership with Cotswold District Council, reopened on Monday, April 12, after three months of closure due to coronavirus restrictions.
Following the latest announcement from the Government, group exercise has been given the green light to resume from Monday, May 17, in the penultimate stage of the four-step roadmap.
As restrictions have eased, many have been eager to return to group exercise in centres and Everyone Active's strict operational measures mean they can do so in a Covid-safe environment.
Research commissioned by ukactive* showed that 58% of people had managed their mental health and wellbeing during lockdown through being active, while 63% said that taking part in sport and physical activity with others could help with feelings of loneliness.
Jamie Nesbit, contract manager at Everyone Active, said: "Many of our customers thrive on the social element of exercise, not just for motivational reasons but also because they enjoy seeing friendly faces in a familiar environment.
"With social contact having been limited over the past year, the ability to mix safely with other members of the community will be appreciated by many.
"The importance of mental wellbeing is proving increasingly resonant with the public and customers can reintroduce group exercise to their fitness regime in the knowledge they are addressing the needs of body and mind."
Everyone Active has committed to keeping its customers safe and active, ensuring it will meet and exceed Government guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19 with the Everyone Active Pledge. Full detail on the operator's pledge and safety measures can be found here.
Customers wishing to attend group exercise classes are required to book in advance via the Everyone Active website or mobile app.
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