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​Suffolk Libraries offers new online fitness sessions

A woman doing yoga in her home.

Suffolk Libraries is delighted to offer new free online fitness sessions.

Suffolk Libraries worked with local fitness instructors to provide free online activities as part of its Jumpstart campaign earlier in the year. These events were very popular and attendees said how much they help to boost their wellbeing during the winter lockdown. Suffolk Libraries is marking Mental Health Awareness Week by offering new weekly sessions which will run until the end of June.

The activities are designed to be as accessible as possible and to encourage people to get exercise whilst stuck at home. Although lockdown measures are now easing many people will still benefit from online classes if they find it difficult to take part in physical sessions.

A recent Suffolk Libraries survey found that over 80% of the people who took part in these activities earlier in the year felt more motivated and 76% felt happier. 91% of people said they had increased or continued some form of physical activity since taking part.

The additional free sessions will all take place via Zoom as follows:

Yoga for all – every Tuesday, 6pm to 7pm from 11 May until 1 June.

Pilates for all abilities – every Saturday, 10am to 11am from 8 May to 29 May

POUND fit music exercise – Thursdays, 6.30pm to 7.15pm on 13, 20 and 27 May and 10, 17 and 24 June

Online dance workshops – On 17, 14, 15 and 21 May.

Sit and stretch on Tuesday 18 May and 8 and 22 June.

You can book your free place via the links above.

People who enjoyed the previous sessions said:

“The activities which Suffolk Libraries have instigated are a brilliant idea to keep us healthy, motivated, active and even happy, especially welcome during lockdown when other classes and activities have been suspended.”

“Wonderful yoga sessions and Pound Fit sessions helped me get active after years of no exercise. I now walk most days too. The sense that I was part of a community really helped as well.”

“Thank you very much… it has enabled me to get out of my lockdown/ January slump and start the year fitter and healthier (mentally and physically).”

Suffolk Libraries also recently shared feedback from people who had benefitted from the Me Myself and Baby Perinatal support service.

Sarah Lungley, Suffolk Libraries Wellbeing Manager, said:

“Helping to support people’s health and wellbeing is a big part of what we do. It’s been a really difficult time for everyone and it’s really heart-warming to get so many positive comments about these activities and how they’ve made a difference. Campaigns like Mental Health Awareness week help to highlight how important it is to talk about our wellbeing and to remind people there are many organisations out there who can help.”

Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 10-16 May and is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation. The week provides an opportunity for the whole of the UK to focus on achieving good mental health.

There is a theme of nature this year which ties into two other Suffolk Libraries initiatives. The Wild Reads project, run in partnership with Suffolk Wildlife Trust has recently been relaunched to encourage people to explore and celebrate the connection between nature and the written word. The new Featherbed Tales digital story sharing service also focuses on themes which celebrates the natural world.

There is also plenty of advice and information available via Suffolk Libraries' health and wellbeing pages.