How these neighbours are enjoying Saturday driveway exercise classes in lockdown

A Saturday night out with a difference is bringing neighbours together by keeping them fit on their doorsteps.

Residents in Martindale Park in Houghton have been joining in an exercise session each weekend, with 42 taking part in last Saturday’s session.

It was the idea of Michael Foster, who asked his neighbour Trevor Langford if he could share his skills as a physiotherapist and fitness enthusiast with the street by leading the class.

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The Saturday night fitness sessions have proved a hit with residents in Martindale Park in Houghton.The Saturday night fitness sessions have proved a hit with residents in Martindale Park in Houghton.
The Saturday night fitness sessions have proved a hit with residents in Martindale Park in Houghton.
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The classes have grown week-on-week, with plans to continue with the 5pm sessions throughout the lockdown.

With each family on their front lawn or drive, Trevor leads a routine which includes squats, lunges, running on the spot and stretches.

Trevor, 39, who lives with children Faith, seven, and Joshua, eight, said: “They’re not long sessions, about 10 or 15 minutes long.

“I've made them so they’re a bit progressive each week, so a little bit longer and some people will already be quite fit and others not at all, so I make sure the exercises aren’t too difficult or can be made harder, so that two people with different fitness levels can do the same session.

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“The community has got to know each other and I’ve lived here 11 years and there were some I’d never spoken to before, although I knew most people, but know we all know each other’s names.

“Just that 10 to 15 minutes on a Saturday evening has really added to the atmosphere.

“My kids love it. We’ve had toddlers up to some older people.

“Somebody shouted over to me the other day that their legs were still hurting, but they were looking forward to the next session and I think it’s a great idea and so pleased my neighbour suggested it.

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“I think if everybody gets out and gets some exercises, socially distanced of course and not encroaching on each other, it makes you feel so much better and it's something to look forward to.”

Trevor is continuing his work with the Platinum Physiotherapy and Personal Training in Coxhoe by seeing clients via video calls.

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