Wakefield fitness instructor helps get people moving to improve mental health

A Wakefield fitness instructor is helping the district get moving to improve mental health amongst those hit the hardest by the pandemic.

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 12:31 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 12:32 pm
Debra is helping the district get moving to improve mental health amongst those hit the hardest by the pandemic

Debra Judge Smith, a fitness instructor based in Altofts and Stanley, knew that she had to quickly adapt after her fitness classes came to a stop last March due to the pandemic.

So, she took ‘Inspire Fitness’ online and also secured funding from registered charity GASPED, to help those who were feeling vulnerable, isolated and who couldn’t afford to workout online.

Her mission is to launch outdoor group classes when restrictions ease, while continuing her virtual classes, to help those who may feel anxious about integrating socially again get back into health and fitness.

One of Debra's clubbercise classes pre lockdown

Debra said: “Many people have embraced online fitness for their physical and mental fitness during Covid.

“It's been phenomenal to provide this service and support during such difficult times

"Group Fitness and exercising together to music has a huge positive impact on mental wellbeing, mood and happiness as well as the usual physical benefits and I am looking forward to welcoming people into an outdoor session.

“I’m going to carry on hosting the virtual classes because of accessibility and comfort purposes, some people may not feel comfortable integrating with others due to their own personal reasons.

“A lot of people are genuinely fearing going back into fitness, not just because of the virus but the idea of communicating with others after so long.

“So my mission is to help those people get back into fitness, and promote a really healthy outlook going forward.”

Her first outdoor session will take place on Saturday, April 3 at The Brig playing fields in Altofts at 10am.

The class, called Fitness Mash Up consists of body weight training, strength and flexibility, combined with dance workouts, including clubbercise, zumba and motown fitness

To join, bookings need to be made in advance and all participants must comply with social distancing requirements.

Debra said: “The funding will hopefully get new people involved, as well as realising the benefits of exercising.

“I’ve built up a community full of amazing people, but it’s also a support bubble for a lot of people.

“If members are nervous about beginning a fitness journey, they can come to me and I’ll help them find a comfortable starting point.

“As well as aesthetics, the mental and physical benefits are undeniable and I want to share that with as many people as possible and help them get back into fitness after the pandemic.”

To find out more or make a booking, see Debra Judge Inspire Fitness and Well-being on Facebook