Hadleigh personal trainer's fitness live-streams help residents to stay healthy in mind and body during coronavirus lockdown
A personal trainer’s rapidly-expanding online workout group has been recognised by the mayor of Hadleigh, thanking him for his efforts to help people stay healthy during the coronavirus pandemic.
Hundreds of people have been keeping active from the safety of their own homes, as members of WorkIn Together, a new Facebook group which livestreams morning exercise sessions to follow along to.
The sessions are run by Wojtek Wasag, a personal trainer and fitness instructor at Hadleigh Pool and Leisure, who set up the group three months ago, after he was forced to stop his face-to-face sessions when the public lockdown took effect.
Wojtek, who is originally from Poland, explained that hearing from many of his regular clients about the struggles they were having inspired him to set up the group, but only expected it to have 40 to 50 members.
“I never expected this to grow as much as it did,” he told the Free Press. “Today, we have around 800 people in the group. It has gone well beyond Hadleigh.
“When I think about the group now, I don’t think about the numbers. I think about the relationships I’ve built and the people I’ve managed to meet from doing this.
“It’s not just about fitness. It’s about changing your life. The goal is to show people how much they can change when they get into it.
“I would say it’s even more important mentally than physically. A lot of people would come to the leisure centre every morning and that would set them up for the rest of the day. When the lockdown started, they lost their whole routine.
“What I’m most proud of is being able to help them mentally. There’s so many ways to help people, even if it’s not face to face.
“It’s absolutely amazing to see. It’s amazing to get the messages from people who admit openly their mental health was in a bad place and, thanks to this, they feel better.”
With lockdown restrictions starting to ease, Wojtek has begun offering mini ‘boot camp’ sessions outside Hadleigh Pool and Leisure, but said he also plans to continue the online group going forward.
At a recent outdoor session, the 23-year-old received a surprise visit from a group of locals, including Hadleigh mayor Helen Allan, who gave her thanks on behalf of the town, and presented a cake baked by local resident Suzi Wright.
Sue Wilkinson, who lives in Hadleigh, said: “It gives you something to get up for in the morning. It helps our mental wellbeing and keeps us mobile.
“It’s something we can all share together. Wojtek has really pulled together the community spirit.”
The workout sessions are streamed on Facebook Live six days a week, starting at 10am. To tune into the broadcasts, search for ‘WorkIn Together’ on Facebook.
More by this authorThomas Malina
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