Visualise a souped-up version of Morris dancing with big plastic coloured sticks.
You are coming close to imagining what a typical Beatsfit session looks like.
It sounds extraordinary, but Beatsfit, which mixes music making and exercise, is proving highly contagious in South Holland.
The brainchild of Gosberton Risegate musician Liz Lenten, together with her personal trainer niece Maddy Leather, the pilot programme has been tried out at a number of community groups locally, and they can’t get enough.
Liz explains that the sticks, or boomwhackers – pitched plastic tubes – are used at the same time as participants join in the exercise – shakers and bells may also be used.
She said: “It’s just worked brilliantly. We have had fantastic feedback, and people asking us to come again.
“It’s been a surprise how well it has gone and how much people have enjoyed it. We have surpassed our projected outcomes. It’s a full body and soul work-out. It’s brain training, sociable, a body work-out and it’s safe and can be done pretty much anywhere there is space.”
An inability to play music isn’t an obstacle, as Liz says they have yet to have anyone in a class who has played an instrument before.
Lack of mobility isn’t a problem either, as Liz proved when she started out with a broken foot!
The classes can be done sitting down if necessary, and Liz says most people are not regular exercisers.
Whatever their fitness level, classes can be adjusted to suit them. Liz says most people have worked up a bit of a sweat during the 45-minute session, which may be increased to an hour-and-a-half for “super fit” exercisers.
Liz already knew the many benefits of music to health and wellbeing – she runs youth choir Vibe (she’s always looking for new singers aged 8-18), a music club in Quadring as well having a professional career with her band Auburn – they have just played support on the UK tours of Grateful Dead and Jefferson Starship. Auburn will be touring again in the summer with their album Love & Promises.
“My whole life is music,” says Liz. Contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org