Pandemic Pilates, West Hampstead instructor offers free workouts
- Credit: Archant
Missing her grandchildren during lockdown in West Hampstead, Ginny Greenwood MBE is running twice daily sessions under the hashtag ‘a plank a day keeps the virus at bay’.
Fitness guru Ginny Greenwood is missing her three children and five grandchildren while on lockdown in West Hampstead so she decided to offer twice daily workouts for free.
Participants stuck at home have substituted tights, pillows and cans of beans for the usual specialist equipment during the 40 minute Pandemic Pilates sessions under the hashtag aplankadaykeepsthevirusatbay.
“I use Instagram so people don’t have to do it with you, if they can’t watch it live the videos are saved. By the end of the day 60 have watched it at different times.”
The 10am morning session focuses on strength and conditioning while the 5.30pm workout is all about stretching and flexibility.
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“Anybody can access it, if you’ve never done it before or haven’t done it for years no prior experience is necessary.”
In between reading stories to her grandchildren over Skype, the 62-year-old former Charity worker wondered how she could help herself and others.
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Having quit the Not For Profit sector to become a pilates instructor two years ago, she could no longer run her usual classes in gyms, leisure centres and community halls.
“I haven’t seen my family for weeks and thought what am I going to do? I need something to give me structure during the day, and what can I do for other people?”
A friend delivered a tripod, she sent the link to all her contacts, and word has quickly spread to friends and family.
“People love it, I would like to spread it even more.
“It’s great to do 40 minutes of exercise to feel energised - particularly in the morning. People are probably sitting a lot more than usual, working at home in chairs that are not very ergonomic. They need to get up, do some exercise use their muscles and stretch out, Pilates is great for that.
“People send me photos and say what music they are listening to. It’s always good to put some on and have a dance around.”
The workouts help to open out the chest and hips, but also to release tension she says. “I usually use a band a block and a ball and weights but people are using whatever they have in the house, a pair of tights, a cushion, books, or water bottles filled with rice or tins of soup will do.”
She adds: “At this difficult time we need to look after ourselves mentally and physically but also to reach out and connect with people through Zoom or Instagram.”
As a freelancer with no work coming in she’s suggested a small contribution of between £5-15 per week “depending on people’s financial circumstances and how often they’re joining in. It is absolutely not obligatory.”
She’s also set up a Just Giving page for people to donate to the NHS if they wish to.
#pandemicpilates live streamed on Instagram @exercisewithginny