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Yvonne Kohter's sit-down workout classes in Deeping St Nicholas, Crowland and Baston could be perfect for South Holland residents not getting enough exercise



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A series of innovative sit-down exercise classes could provide the perfect gateway into the fitness world.

Yvonne Kohter runs a variety of programmes in Deeping St Nicholas, Crowland and Baston - with her chair-based classes proving to be particularly popular.

Participants require just comfy shoes and clothes for the hour long sessions, which can be ‘quite intense’. Resistance bands are used as an alternative to weights, while marching on the spot to improve cardio provides a worthy challenge.

Yvonne Kohter runs a number of chair fitness exercise classes
Yvonne Kohter runs a number of chair fitness exercise classes

This can offer an alternative to gentle Zumba or Pilates - classes where people may struggle to get up and down from the ground.

Former business analyst Yvonne first ventured into the fitness world last August, and she is delighted with the feedback she has received on her chair exercise sessions so far.

“It took off quite quickly, which is great because I do those classes after the school drop-off,” she said.

The set-up for the classes in Crowland
The set-up for the classes in Crowland

“It’s great because, like in my other classes, everyone works to their own ability and their own strength. They can stop when they want to, I can give alternatives to those unable to do certain exercises.

“I enjoy all my classes, but this is a different level. I find it really rewarding just because of the people I’ve met - able-bodied, disabled, just the stories they’ve got.

“With these guys, it’s always a bit of a laugh. I walk away feeling quite warm - a feeling that I’ve not really had in previous jobs because it’s been quite corporate.”

People from all walks of life take part at Yvonne’s chair-based classes. At the moment, her youngest member is 26 - while the oldest is 91.

Yvonne at one of her weight-based fitness classes
Yvonne at one of her weight-based fitness classes

The former was worried about being the youngest in attendance, but Yvonne says age or fitness level doesn’t matter to her.

She added: “It’s such a mix of people that obviously want to get active, want to tick that box and say ‘yes, I’m doing 30 minutes a day of proper exercise.”

Another big factor for those taking part is the chance to meet new people while getting fit.

The set-up for the classes in Crowland
The set-up for the classes in Crowland

At her other classes, Yvonne says it’s difficult to talk to anybody until the end because of how out of breath everybody gets.

With the chair sessions, however, exercise can be coupled with chatter.

“There’s a social element too. I don’t know if that’s just because you’re seated, but there’s a lot of chat that goes on,” Yvonne said.

“Everyone’s got quite friendly - it’s been really nice, I really enjoy doing them.

“If they’re chatting, getting to know each other and got out of the house for an hour, that ticks a box for me.”

With her youngest child heading off to school for the first time in the coming weeks, Yvonne now hopes to expand and bring seated exercise to a whole new range of people.

She said: “My other classes I knew I wanted to keep local in Deeping St Nicholas - I’m not venturing out with those classes.

“These seated classes, I’m ready to venture out - where is the need, where do you want me to be? I’ll be there.”

Yvonne believes chair-based exercise can be perfect for anybody who currently doesn’t do enough exercise.

Spirit of 2012 - a charity that aims to create a legacy for the London Olympics - recently found that up to 45% of all over 16s in South Holland are inactive, meaning they exercise less than 30 minutes a week.

That is slightly below Boston (46.3%), but higher than all other parts of Lincolnshire and well above the national average (27.5%).

The Local Authority Health Profile 2019 also found that our percentage of physically active adults is 58.8% - compared at a regional level of 65.7% and an England value of 66.3%.

Yvonne says that her sessions can be excellent for those looking for a way into the fitness world - with one of her current participants being a prime example.

One lady has been going along while recovering from an ankle injury because she couldn’t find any other suitable classes.

She therefore travels to Deeping St Nicholas or Crowland for the sessions.

“She was using a stick to walk with and now she’s not using it for short distances, like from the car to the venue,” Yvonne said.

“She’s written down goals and said to me ‘this is what I want’. She wants to be able to come to my standing classes, and this is her gateway of doing that.”

For anybody looking for a fun and social way to surpass those 30 minutes a week, this could be the class for you.

  • Crowland Methodist Church, Tuesdays from 9.45-10.45am
  • Deeping St Nicholas Church, Wednesdays from 9.30-10.30am
  • Mayfield Clubhouse, Baston, Thursdays from 9.45am-10.45am


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