Leyland fitness class ensures elderly aren’t left out

Diane Oakden during an online class

A fitness teacher from Leyland has reopened her indoor exercise classes for the first time in months, but is adamant elderly and vulnerable people won’t miss out.

Diane Oakden, 57, who owns Do Fitness with Diane, has mixed her sessions so they can be done both in-person and online, to allow more vulnerable people to take part.

Diane said: “They’ve really missed the classes during lockdown, as it’s a lifestyle choice for them that’s great for friendship and for their mental and physical health.

“(The elderly and vulnerable) are my top priority; I wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to them in my classes.”

Diane’s classes include indoor seated pilates lessons and Zumba, focussing on posture and flexibility, done at a safe distance.

The online classes, via Zoom, are primarily for the elderly, helping them to loosen their joints, remain fit and keep their morale up.

Diane during one of her Nordic walking classes.

Since reopening on September 16, the new COVID-secure measures at her business include a one-way entrance system, maintaining a two-metre distance, hand sanitation and bringing your own exercise equipment for pilates, including mats.

Diane added: “Now, I have to have a new booking system. My clients have to follow all of the social distancing guidelines and regulations the government have set out.

“All of the windows and doors will now have to remain open for extra ventilation.”

Mrs Oakden, like many other business owners, was forced to suspend activity at the end of March, leaving her ‘without any income.’

People who are aged 70 or over, regardless of ill-health, are categorised as being clinically vulnerable and are at a higher risk of severe illness from Coronavirus.

Government guidelines on indoor exercise classes includes the one metre plus rule, enhanced cleaning practices, engaging in NHS Test and Trace, wearing face coverings and refusing people who have symptoms of the virus.