‘Movement is medicine’: Free sessions inspire business
A FREE 12-week fitness program pushed an Emerald mother of two to start her own business.
Angie Smart moved to Emerald in March last year, and involved with the Healthy Active Highlanders program soon after.
She said it was the perfect way to meet people across the region and become part of the Central Highlands community.
The program, funded by Central Highlands Regional Council, encourages men and women to get active through no-obligation fitness sessions.
Mrs Smart has been a group fitness instructor for 15 years and after the program, realised there was a need for more group classes in Emerald.
Smart Fitness was created to encourage residents to get active in a safe environment, and offers a range of fitness classes including boxing, step classes, hand weight classes, body attack, body pump and more.
Mrs Smart said many of her initial clients were community members who participated in the 12-week program.
“I’ve always believed movement is medicine,” she said.
“If we can get people out and moving, it’s the first step towards improving your lifestyle and creating a healthy habit.”
After thoroughly enjoying last year’s program, Mrs Smart has already signed up to be an instructor as part of the 2020 fitness classes.
“It’s great for mental health and just getting people involved, out and meeting people,” she said.
“Group fitness is much more motivating than doing it on your own.
“It makes it a lot more fun and gives some people the little push they need.”
Mrs Smart said group sessions were perfect for people who had never exercised, had a long break from exercise or found gyms intimidating.
“Gyms can be intimidating — even just walking in can be intimidating for some people,” she said.
“Doing it this way as part of a community program, there are generally more people who want to get back into exercise, or want to socialise, so you just feel a lot more comfortable.”
The council has called on qualified instructors in the region to submit expressions of interest for the 2020 Healthy Active Highlanders free fitness program.
From pilates to boxing, the program aims to offer a wide range of group classes.
Instructors can be from any town across the region, and will be responsible for co-ordinating safe, enjoyable and professional fitness classes.
“I encourage everyone to come along and get behind the program,” Mrs Smart said.
“I think it’s an awesome program, and the more people that get involved, the longer it will run.
“And if you’re looking at starting a business it’s the best way to do it.”
For more information or to register your interest, visit the council’s website.