Go Zum way to improving your health

Zumba dance instructor Jean Walsh is offering free classes to anyone who signs up to the Mail's Race for Fitness campaign.
Zumba dance instructor Jean Walsh is offering free classes to anyone who signs up to the Mail's Race for Fitness campaign.

DANCE and fitness instructor Jean Walsh has her own distinct reasons for backing the Hartlepool Mail’s Race For Fitness campaign.

The 60-year-old has worked as a district nurse for more than 30 years and has noticed a change in the town’s population.

“They’re living longer,” said Jean who somehow finds time to be a ballroom dancer, dance teacher, keen walker, body tone expert, fundraiser and runner as well as holding down her own job.

But that doesn’t mean they are getting healthier, said Jean.

“They are living longer, but often with different medical problems that could be improved with a change in lifestyle,” said Jean, who lives in the Fens area of town.

“We only have to look around and read the press to see the obesity problems that are becoming increasingly a drain on the NHS.”

Jean has now offered town people a chance to try out either Zumba dancing or pilates free of charge as part of the Race For Fitness campaign.

She added: “Lack of exercise and poor diet cause many medical problems. Many of these are preventable and improvable. Our life is in our own hands.”

In a link-up with Race For Fitness, she is offering people their first session free if they come along to classes she is starting at the Grange Road Methodist Church Hall from Monday, February 6.

The offer to Mail readers is:

l A free first session to anyone who joins up for Zumba sessions on Mondays at 5pm, Tuesdays at 5.30pm, or Thursdays at 5.30pm;

l A free first session to anyone who joins up for pilates sessions on Wednesdays at 5.15pm;

l A class free of charge to anyone who brings along a friend.

Jean added: “There is a really good saying that exercise can add years to your life and life to your years.

“It not only improves your physical life, but also helps psychologically and socially. As long as people find an exercise they enjoy they will probably have a better chance of continuing to do it and then the feel good factor helps you maintain the programme.”