Charlotte Harding finds out the fitness benefits of combining singing and dancing.
Exercise didn’t always used to be so fun. Going to the gym or doing certain workouts usually resulted in tears of pain rather than laughter.
In recent years there have been a wave of workouts such as Zumba, Piloxing, Clubbercise or Bounce fit which tap into putting fun back into exercising.
Looking for a new workout, Helen Ward-Jackson stumbled across Swoove©.
“You have to sing, woop and move,” explains Helen, who is now a Swoove instructor.
“I came back from being abroad and joined a gym but wanted to do something else and I heard about Esther Featherstone’s class. She had taught Zumba but wanted to offer people something a bit different.”
Mixing aerobics and dance with singing, Helen says you use all the core muscles building strength and tone.
“The singing alone can burn off 150 to 200 calories an hour, depending on how loud and how much you sing,” she smiles.
“It is also very good for the soul as everyone can sing, even if you don’t think you can.
“If you are particularly stressed there is nothing better than venting by singing, whooping and moving for an hour.
“We get people who just dance or just sing but once they get more confident you see people coming out of their shell more and more.”
The workout can burn 600-800 calories depending on how much effort you put in.
“It is just really fun, we have such a giggle,” she says.
“Some people come feeling self-conscious to start with but once you get into it, it is really fun.
“Some people struggle with the co-ordination, some the singing but we all get it wrong, even me. But when I do, I just have a giggle. Some moves are easier than others and you pick them up really quickly.”
Since Esther founded the workout in 2014, Swoove fitness has grown to include a number of different workouts from Swoove Stretch which is a conditioning class on the floor with mats to Swoove Mumma for ‘yummy mummies’ who would like to do a gentler version of Swoove.
The core class is aimed at those aged 15 to 65, but Helen says she has a lady who is 78. “It is for a mix of abilities and ages,” she reveals.
The Swoove class is an hour long but the boxing version is only 45 minutes as Helen says it can be quite intense even though it has no contact but sees less singing and is less vocalised.
There are a number of classes all around Sussex from Lindfield to Burgess Hill, Lewes, Ringmer and Forest Row.
“I do classes in Seaside in Eastbourne, Pevensey and Polegate,” says Helen.
“Maria does them in Old Town and Hampden, Charlotte does Bexhill and Mel does Lewes but we see ourselves as one team doing it together so if we are away on holiday we suggest other local classes.”
Not only a great workout, it also increases your lung capacity as not only is singing wonderful for doing this, but so is exercising.
The breathing exercises that are done at the beginning of the class is part of the warm up and will help improve lung capacity as will the Swooving you do in the rest of the class.
Attending classes you can pay as you go at £5 a class, or some have loyalty cards where you pay £50 for 12 classes.
“I had never heard of or done Swoove before I came back but found Esther,” smiles Helen.
“I have lost two stone doing it along with Slimming World and lost four inches so I have found it really worth while...and fun.”
For more information on Helen’s class visit - www.facebook.com/SwooveHelen or East Sussex www.facebook.com/SwooveEastSussex
For general information on Swoove visit swoovefitness.com
This first featured in the July edition of etc Magazine pick up your copy now.