Teacher Lynda takes small steps towards big change

ARMS UP: Lynda Doyle (left) and Barbara Chrisp at a yoga class as part of the PACES project in Peterlee Football Club
ARMS UP: Lynda Doyle (left) and Barbara Chrisp at a yoga class as part of the PACES project in Peterlee Football Club

A TEACHER who feared her career was over has returned to fitness thanks to the Exercise Challenge.

Lynda Doyle, 51, was struggling with her weight and mobility after breaking her leg 20 years ago, but she has taken a step in the right direction due to a Move4Life Programme which helps those at risk from cardiovascular disease and type two diabetes.

The deputy head teacher at St Joseph’s RC Primary, Blackhall, lost a stone and improved her fitness by attending classes at the Pavilion in Peterlee.

Lynda said: “I have a demanding job both physically and mentally and I knew I needed to do something before it was too late, I felt it was becoming a problem that might end my treasured career in teaching.

“Then last year I saw an article in the local newspaper about a chair exercise class that has really helped people who were really unfit address their health issues and had helped to turn their lives around.

“It inspired me so I picked up the phone and was put in touch with Barbara Chrisp who devised the Exercise Challenge course.”

After leaving her job in banking in 2008, Barbara is now a health and wellbeing trainer as well as a qualified yoga instructor for Move4Life.

She said: “The emphasis of the class has always been on education, self-discovery and camaraderie, not one of competition in terms of weight loss.

“Over the years what I have found is that many people come to me after they have found that other weight 
loss programmes have worked initially but then put the weight back on as underlying issues have never been addressed.

“These can be things often related to their mental health, upheaval in their personal life or, as in Lynda’s case, a long standing condition that has had a knock-on effect on their fitness.”

The course, part of PACES (Peterlee Active Community Exercise Scheme), consists of ten weekly classes of 30 minutes exercise, identifying goals and nutritional education.

Lynda added: “What Barbara and her class has done is nothing short of 
amazing, I was in a terrible place mentally and physically and with the help of Barbara, my family and other 
class members, my situation has completely changed 
and I feel fantastic.

“I’m delighted and not just because I have lost a considerable amount of weight but it’s more to do with my appreciation of what is good for me, my general fitness has improved considerably and the pain and flexibility in my leg and ankle is much more manageable.”

The next PACES Exercise Challenge begins on Thursday, February 26 from 6pm-7:30pm, each session costs £3 and to book a place call 0191 5869957 or email: paces@peterlee.gov.uk