Healthy fun in the forest with new fitness sessions

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FITNESS classes in the picturesque surroundings of South Yorkshire’s woodlands have been launched by the Forestry Commission for people wanting to take up exercise and lose weight in the new year.

Sessions range from more traditional exercise classes to conservation tasks, which maintain the woodland while also enabling volunteers to get fit.

The latter are now being staged at Bentley and Brodsworth community woodlands in Doncaster; Cudworth Common in Barnsley and Phoenix Park in Thurnscoe.

These “woodland wellbeing” sessions involve work such as willow coppicing, tree planting and scrub clearance.

Pam Warhurst from the Forestry Commission said: “We all over-indulge during the festive season, so why not take up a new hobby in our forests as a fun and cheap alternative to a trip to the gym.

“Research shows that people enjoy themselves more when exercising outdoors.

“With so many activities to choose from at Forestry Commission sites, we can help you stay healthy and fit.”

Elsewhere, Nordic walking sessions start on Tuesday, January 31 at 1pm at Bentley Community Wood. Classes cost £3, which includes the loan of walking poles.

For more information call Emily Holmes on 0776 8808252.

“Buggyfit” sessions for mother and babies also begin at Kiveton Community Wood at 1.30pm on Thursday, February 2.