The Slow Zumba classes improving participants ‘mind, body and soul’

A Coventry woman has turned her life around after starting a new CV Life exercise class.

Julie Cameron had done no exercise for years and found herself in a rut – particularly after lockdown which saw many people become isolated.

Struggling with various health issues, it was recommended Julie take up Slow Zumba – a more relaxed version of the popular dance exercise class.

She joined a weekly session held at Xcel Leisure Centre and hasn’t looked back. Julie now exercises daily, her health has improved and she says Slow Zumba has had a huge impact on her “mind, body and soul”.

The classes are held each Wednesday from 2pm, as part of CV Life’s Coventry Moves project which is run with funding from Coventry City Council and Sport England. The sessions are led by independent Zumba teacher Mandy.

Julie, pictured on the far right, said: “I’ve gone from someone who does no exercise, to doing this and being much more active. It has inspired me greatly – it’s been  really good for my mind, body and soul.

“During lockdown I got into a rut and I forgot how to get out and do things. But now I’m getting out more.

“I’ve started doing some Youtube Zumba each morning, so this class has inspired me to get daily exercise after doing nothing for years.

“I do prefer Mandy’s lessons though. They are better because it’s live and you have support and everyone just gets on with it.

“The  group is lovely – it’s not competitive, and you meet like minded people. Come and try it, I guarantee you’ll love it, I’d honestly wholeheartedly suggest it anyone.”

Mandy, who  runs the sessions, said: “Most zumba is quite fast but this is slowed down. It’s for anyone who struggles with the usual zumba.

“It’s incredibly important for older people to stay active for their mental health and their physical health.

“I make sure the sessions are lots of fun, because that makes people want to come back. This class is a real feel good one. It’s one of my favourite classes.

“Come along and try it. Most people who do absolutely love it so come along and try it and see how you get on.”

Jade Woodward, Community Programme Coordinator for CV Life, said: “We are really trying to get people, particularly from the older generation, to increase their activity after the Covid pandemic.

“Mandy’s Zumba class has really taken off well, we have lots of people who come along and enjoy the class who might not have had access to this kind of thing without the Coventry Moves programme.

“We’re seeing new faces each week, but we’re also seeing the same faces keep coming back.

“There is clearly a need for this kind of thing in the community so it’s great to see people here, being active and having fun.

“There is a real social element to it as well, all the  ladies seem to have a great time and  get along and often they’ll go down to the cafe for a cup of coffee after the class.”

Slow Zumba is held at Xcel Leisure Centre every Wednesday at 2pm. Find out more about Slow Zumba and the Coventry Moves project here.