Ten perfect activities for ‘non-sporty’ people!

Trust us – we know that familiar sinking feeling that happens deep in the pit of your stomach when someone mentions the words ‘team sport’.

Here at MMU Sport, we recognise that it’s not for everyone, and that’s why this term, we’re delighted to unveil our brand new Active Lifestyles programme, which has been designed to help you be more active, healthier and ultimately happier, by offering a range of classes and activities that are more about ‘me’ and less about the ‘team’!

  1. Yoga

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Flexibility and strength are the two main things that spring to our mind when we think of Yoga.  But before you do what many do and reject yoga as an easy activity, remember that the benefits of yoga on the body and the mind have long been celebrated around the world.

Originating in India around 5,000 years ago, it’s an ancient form of exercise that focuses on strength, flexibility and breathing.  And it’s no wonder that it’s still around as a popular activity – yoga is fantastic for you, as it engages the mind as well as the body.

Whereas purely physical exercise can be done almost without thinking, yoga must be approached with concentration and awareness, as you target the whole body, rather than just one area, which sounds great to us!

Start and finish your working week with a spot of express yoga at The Union.  We’ve got a mat-based session running on Mondays and Fridays between 12:30pm and 1:00pm, followed by a stand and stretch session between 1:00pm and 1:30pm for extra brownie points!

  1. Swimming

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We’re huge advocates of swimming here at MMU Sport and not just because we’re lucky enough to have the Manchester Aquatics Centre right on our doorstep!

Swimming is the perfect way to clear your head, relax and reflect, while burning calories and building up your stamina.  We’ve also recently found out that 30 minutes of swimming is equivalent to 45 to 60 minutes of cardio, such as jogging.  That’s fantastic news during this cold weather!

Swimming is also a sure-fire way to make you feel refreshed and revitalised before you tackle the rest of your day with a relaxed (smug) look on your face.

Come and take part in our free lunchtime swimming sessions, which take place every week on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 12:00pm and 1:00pm at the Manchester Aquatics Centre on Oxford Road, as well as a dedicated women’s only session every Wednesday between 1:30pm and 2:30pm.

  1. Kinisi Flow

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Our first thoughts with this one were, what on earth is it?  Well, creator and our very own instructor, Michael Dean, promises us that it’s a ‘follow along class that will engage your mind, as well as your muscles.’

So, expect to open that class door to be greeted by a circle of yoga mats and exercises that are a balanced combination of Pilates and Tai Chi.  You’ll focus on learning each section individually, before putting all of the moves together into one fluid, flowing routine at the end.  Expect to gain strength, with a few muscle shakes along the way, and leave the class with a sense of inner peace.

Join us and give it a  go at the Birley Dance Studio every Tuesday lunchtime between 12:00pm and 1:00pm.

  1. Circuits
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Marilyn Monroe by by Andre De Dienes (via m-louis.tumblr.com)

We know, we know… circuits have a nasty little way of conjuring up memories of school day bleep tests.  Well, put those memories to the back of your mind: our circuits classes are simply designed to help you fit in as many different exercises in a short amount of time, to tone your muscles and wake up your body!

We personally think circuits are great for people who get bored quickly – you’ll be switching to a different exercise every five minutes, so it’s a nice, short and snappy way to pack in your 30 minutes of fitness!

Get your 30 minutes by popping along to our Circuits class at the Birley Sports Hall every Tuesday evening between 6:00pm and 7:00pm and on Mondays between 5:00pm and 6:00pm at our Cheshire Sports Centre.

  1. Boxercise

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If you’re familiar with ridiculously stressful days that finish with the burning desire to take out all that pent up anger on something, then Boxercise may well be your answer!

You don’t have to be the next Mike Tyson or Anthony Joshua to take part.  You just need a burning desire to challenge your strength and stamina, and be prepared to come out of the class feeling exhausted but empowered at the same time.

Pop along and put your strength and stamina to good effect at Trinity Sports Centre every Wednesday evening between 5:00pm and 6:00pm.

  1. Meditation
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Jon Hamm as Don Draper – Mad Men _ Season 7, Episode 14 – Photo Credit: Courtesy of AMC

If it’s good enough for Don Draper, then it’s good enough for us!  This is just pure ‘me time’.  A chance for you to zone out, forget your stresses and just concentrate on yourself.  Generally, we spend so much time looking after every other area of our body and lives that we forget to spend even a few minutes a day looking after our most valuable and complex organ – the brain.

Meditation is said to be one of the best tools available to help balance your emotions, deal with physical and psychological distress and promote the peace of the present moment.  So, give it a go, take a break and relax in our welcoming environment with a group of likeminded people.

Help your body and your mind through the last few days of the working week by coming along to our Meditation session at The Union every Thursday between 12:30pm and 1:30pm.

  1. Jogging Club
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Via https://joggingjeans.wordpress.com/

We’ve all felt that pang of envy when a friend breezes in first thing in the morning, without a single bead of sweat on their forehead, announcing that they’ve squeezed in a 5km jog before you’ve even had chance to burn your toast.  Don’t be put off – you too can be that person.

Our jogging club is a great way to get into running.  They meet every Thursday evening and it’s a sure fire way to help you build up your overall stamina and help you on your way to running 5k.  Our club has dedicated run activators who will be there to help you every step of the way.

Meet our club at All Saints Park every Thursday at 4:45pm.

  1. Rave Fitness

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Blending dance moves and stretches (we’re particularly partial to the three minutes of squats that sneak their way into each session), Rave Fitness delivers this all to the beat of 90s-inspired dance music.  So, whether you’re a seasoned Zumba lover or you dance like your dad, this class is guaranteed to help you meet new people, burn some calories and leave the session with a huge smile on your face.

Sorry guys, but our Rave Fitness classes are a secret between us and our lovely female students!

Fancy giving it a go? Come along to our class at The Union every Thursday between 5:15pm and 6:00pm.  And, if you want some extra brownie points, you can bounce across to PiYo afterwards.

  1. PiYo

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Dubbed by the Telegraph as ‘the work-out that won’t make you cry’, PiYo is a kind fusion of the best bits of Pilates and Yoga, providing a fun and gentle, yet challenging class that tones your muscles, helps you burn lots of calories and gives you a jolly good stretch.

Like the sound of this? Pop along to the Birley Sports Hall every Thursday between 6:15pm and 7:00pm.

  1. Hula Hoop Fitness

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Sorry guys, this is another one just for the ladies!  Cast your minds back to when you were growing up and hula hooping your way round the school playground – well, it’s back, and it’s a fantastic low-impact way to keep fit, flexible and active!

And, if like some of us, your hula hooping efforts as a child were disastrous, don’t be put off!  There are loads of tricks to hula hooping that our class will be sharing with you, and no co-ordination, rhythm or dance experience is needed – just the willingness to learn and have some fun.

Join our instructor, Julie Hoops (yes!) every Friday evening at the Sugden Sports Centre between 5:30pm and 6:30pm!

If you want to find out more about our brand new Active Lifestyles programme, then visit our website.  And, if none of these take your fancy or fit with your schedule, then we’ve got plenty more free activities on offer through our Active Campus programme.  Visit our website to find out more.

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