Success of new fitness class to be celebrated

By Paul Hardman   |   Reporter   |
Wednesday 14th September 2022 9:15 am
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Trainer Donna Whalley hosts a 'Paracise' class for people with low mobility to raise money for the Huntington's Disease Association Isle of Man -

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The founder of an exercise system designed for people with reduced mobility is coming to the island to hold a mass workshop at the NSC.

Fitness instructor Sarah Goldsack invented Paracise after being diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, and since 2019 has trained 10 instructors who conduct the classes in the island.

She said that Paracise had been a ‘huge hit’ in the island, and recommends it for anyone who is older or finds regular fitness classes too demanding as it is low impact, low intensity and involves no floor work.

In addition, Sarah says that it may help those with conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia, or back pain.

The first instructor to bring Paracise to the island was Donna Whalley, who saw it advertised on Facebook.

Among the local women who say Paracise has benefited them is Kerry Wilkinson, 60, from Douglas.

Kerry said: ‘A friend of mine recommended me to go to a class about four years ago, as I suffer with serious back problems.

‘And when I first started I had to use a chair as I had no balance at all.’

‘Before that I was having frequent spinals (anaesthesia) twice a year, and I’ve not had one in four years’

‘If I don’t do paracise I feel like I can hardly walk’.

She added: ‘I’m on 600mg of pregabalin and I take morphine based tablets twice a day just so I can keep going, but since Paracise I’ve never looked back. It’s been the most amazing thing to help my back and keep me going and get me out of bed and moving every day’.

And Maggie Stall said: ‘I hadn’t exercised for years. At 65 I thought “this is it”, the aches and pains and lack of mobility is part of getting old, how wrong could I be.’

She continued: ‘I went to a Paracise class and could not believe how good I felt afterwards.

‘Within weeks my aches and pains had gone, I had loads of energy I was more mobile and I just feel so much younger.

‘I also lost weight as I was able to be more active in all areas of my life.

‘I cannot tell you how much happier I am in myself, my family and friends have also noticed and love the new me.’

Paracise has been recommended by NHS Wellness Advisors, as well as local cancer care teams, Age UK and Parkinson’s UK.

All of the island’s Paracise instructors will be attending the mass workshop, including one of the most recently qualified, Olivia Helmer, 25.

Since January, Olivia has been holding classes at the Parish Hall in Jurby and Gena’s Dance Academy in Peel.

Sarah summarised: ‘The population of the island has fully embraced Paracise and all it stands for; we remind people that a positive attitude towards, facing illness or injury and getting older is paramount to being able to cope with the changes in our bodies.

‘Paracise improves mobility, functional movement needed for everyday tasks’.

People can book £5 tickets for the workshop at the NSC at 10am on September 21 at paracise.com

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