BABY Jake Reah got Sunderland’s weekend of health and fitness off to a flying start.
Helped along by his mum, five-month-old Jake took part in a special yoga session to kick off Sunderland’s first Feel Good Festival.
The event aimed to get more Wearsiders thinking about their own health, and what they can do to stay in shape.
Demonstrations, information and advice was on offer at locations across the city on Saturday, including The Bridges, Sunderland Minster and the Museum and Winter Gardens.
Rebecca Klein and her seven-month-old son Jenson got the day under way with their baby yoga classes.
The 25-year-old said: “The feedback has been fantastic, and the babies are loving being here.
“People don’t realise that yoga for children is massively beneficial and helps them stay relaxed, improve their digestion, and make them sleep better.”
New mum Sophie Reah, 20, from Whitburn, took part in one of the sessions at Sunderland Minster with five-month-old Jake.
“He loves it,” she said. “We’ve been doing baby yoga for about nine weeks, and he never stops smiling. Jake used to hate lying on his stomach, but now he’s completely used to it.”
The inaugural event, which was free to all, was staged by Sunderland Live and businesses across the city.
The idea was to host a Wear-wide event that coincided with the build-up to yesterday’s Marathon of the North.
At The Bridges, fitness instructor Connor McCutcheon, 25, led by example when he got on the rowing machine for a demonstration.
Connor, who works at the Wellness Centre in Washington, said: “This has been a big weekend for Sunderland but there are still a lot of people out there who don’t know what fitness facilities we have here. The event has been all about showing them that they can get involved –everyone can take part.”
At the Museum and Winter Gardens were hair, beauty and fashion stalls giving people the latest tips on how to stay looking good. Stuart Roper and wife Susan, from Armageddon Fitness in Southwick, hit the floor to demonstrate a few push-ups to those interested in toning up.
The duo have been in business for the past three years and run various sessions, including bootcamps, kickboxing classes and personal training.
Stuart, 32, of Seaburn, said: “More people then ever are thinking about their own health and what they can do to improve it. We believe the prevention is better than the cure.”
Shopper Michael McCabe, 33, believes the festival proved a point.
He said: “I never realised how unfit I was until I saw these guys demonstrating. I’m off for a skinny latte.”