With most Hutt City residents spending their time safe at home, Hutt City Council (HCC) has turned to social media to help people maintain their physical and mental wellbeing. 

At Alert Level 4, the Council’s Active in the Hutt team had to stop all of their fitness and exercise classes they offered out in the community.

However the team rapidly found new ways of being able to motivate and energise people of all ages through offering their classes online, says Hutt City Council Sport and Recreation Manager Mark Curr.

“Now more than ever it’s really important that our people have the chance to get active without needing to leave their house.

“That’s why we have set up a Facebook group, HCC Fitness, and are offering all of our classes online using Facebook Live.

Our awesome instructors have seamlessly adapted to providing low impact fitness, yoga, pilates, zumba and strength classes using the online streaming service.”

With Facebook Live people can either tune in live to the classes as they are being broadcast, or watch the full video of the class that is posted to the page once the broadcast was completed.

The classes are also being broadcast at the same times as they were previously running at community facilities, Curr said.

“The viewing figures and feedback we have received so far has been overwhelmingly positive, with dozens of our more than 300 group members tuning in to watch each class either live or afterwards”, Curr said.

“Some of our users have even joined Facebook for the first time just so they can tune into some of our classes”, he said.

Low Impact Fitness class user Tricia Logan said she had done three of the classes so far, two of which had been live, and they “worked very well for me”.

“I think they’re a perfect length of time for when you’re doing it on your own and I’ve had no trouble with sound or visuals.

“I am very grateful to the team, Council and the other fitness instructors for making this happen and giving us a feeling of normality and helping us keep up with our fitness.

Another Low Impact Fitness class user said the classes were “really valuable to my mindset under lockdown…I also feel good after doing these classes”.

Curr said the online classes were just one part of a package of content that were likely to be published through the Council’s Facebook page in the coming weeks.

“We want to make sure that we are providing activities, exercises and sports that people can enjoy either at home or close to home during the lockdown, so we’ll be giving our people great ideas of how they can play, learn and be active.”