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11 quirky ways for women to get fit in Norfolk - from Ultimate Frisbee to surfing

PUBLISHED: 12:30 20 February 2020

Running has lots of benefits for body and mind. Picture: Getty Images/ iStockphoto

Running has lots of benefits for body and mind. Picture: Getty Images/ iStockphoto

francescoridolfi.com

Sport England’s #ThisGirlCan campaign aims to break down the barriers which might discourage women and girls from exercising and enjoying those feelgood endorphins. From Clubbercise to climbing, here are some fun local ideas for getting active.

Weightlifting improves strength and resilience. Picture: Getty Images/ iStockphotoWeightlifting improves strength and resilience. Picture: Getty Images/ iStockphoto

1. Korfball

Originating from the Netherlands, mixed gender team sport Korfball has elements of netball, handball and basketball which is played in more than 50 countries. As well as all that running about being a great cardio workout, it's a fun and sociable sport too.

Norfolk has an active korfball scene, with clubs based at City College Norwich and UEA - see Norfolk Korfball Association's Facebook page for details.

You don't have to travel to snowy climes to try snowboarding and skiing. Picture: Getty Images/ iStockphotoYou don't have to travel to snowy climes to try snowboarding and skiing. Picture: Getty Images/ iStockphoto

2. Weightlifting

If you're worried that weightlifting might make you 'bulky', then fear not. Women don't produce enough testosterone to pile on muscles like men can - but it can help define and build muscles, improve flexibility, strength and energy levels as well as increasing bone density, which reduces the risk of developing osteoperosis.

You must train either with a club or a coach. To see if you like it, try a taster session - many of them are free. You don't need any special kit, just comfy clothes and shoes - the club or coach should supply the rest.

To find local weightlifting clubs search activenorfolk.org

Golf is a great way of disconnecting for a few hours. Picture: Getty Images/ iStockphotoGolf is a great way of disconnecting for a few hours. Picture: Getty Images/ iStockphoto

3. Clubbercise

Your raving til dawn days might be behind you, but if you like the idea of a workout that feels more like a night out on the town (without the hangover) then throw some shapes at Clubbercise. Part aerobics, part dance it's taught in a darkened room with disco lighting set to a soundtrack of uplifting club anthems. Music and dance are great stress relievers, which help to improve mental health. Classes cost around £5 and all you need is a pair of trainers with good cushioning and comfy fitness clothing - maybe you've still got a Global Hypercolor T-Shirt lurking in the back of your wardrobe.

There are Clubbercise classes in the greater Norwich area, Dereham and King's Lynn - see activenorfolk.org for your nearest.

4. Surfing

Getting out into the fresh air and hitting the waves is a great way of improving mood and relieving stress - not to mention the feelgood endorphins that are released when you catch a wave. You might more readily associate surfing with Cornwall, but if the weather conditions are right you can get some powerful swells on the North Sea coast and there are some great surf spots in Norfolk.

Open every day from April to October, Glide Surf School on the Esplanade at Cromer is the perfect place for beginners to start, with individual and group classes available. There you can cover the basics of paddling, catching waves, standing up, selecting waves, turning techniques, etiquette and safety - and all the equipment you need is available to hire. They also offer Stand Up Paddleboarding lessons. See the Glide Surf School Facebook page for details.

5. Skiing and snowboarding

Skiing and snowboarding can be a great way of getting active. It's a good cardiovascular workout and help develop strength and agility - and it takes skill and balance to stay upright. And being outdoors in the elements can help improve mental wellbeing. If you fancy hitting the slopes, you don't have to travel to colder climes - Norfolk Snowsports Club at Trowse on the outskirts of Norwich, which has a dry ski slope, offers beginners' and improvers' skiing and snowboarding lessons, with taster sessions available. Visit norfolksnowsports.com for information.

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6. Golf

Golf can be played competively or for leisure and has lots of benefits for physical and mental health, not least getting a good blast of fresh air, which is brilliant for improving mood and stress levels. It's an activity which really allows you to disconnect - it takes about half a day to play a round on a full 18-hole golf course, or nine holes should take a couple of hours. You don't need a massive array of clubs to get started - your local golf course will offer beginner's courses to learn the basics and will provide you with all the kit you need including balls and tees. And it's usually fine to wear trainers rather than golf shoes when you're starting out.

7. Ultimate Frisbee

As well as being fun and sociable, Ultimate Frisbee, described as a cross between netball and American football, is a great cardio vascular workout and, because it involves a lot of sprinting and changing direction, improves strength and agility. It helps develop better hand-eye coordination too. If you're playing indoors you'll need trainers and clothes that you're comfortable running around in - and if you're playing outside studded boots are recommended.

Find your nearest Ultimate Frisbee club at activenorfolk.org

8. Climbing

Norfolk might be a bit short of mountains, but that doesn't mean that you can't take up climbing. With indoor climbing you follow a series of coloured grips, with different colours corresponding to a different level of difficulty. A work out for body and mind, climbing can help improve problem solving skills, resilience and judgement.

Climbing centres, including UEA Sportspark in Norwich, will offer a range of climbing courses for all levels. sportspark.co.uk

9. Nordic walking

Using specially designed poles, Nordic walking is a great whole body exercise - your upper body gets a workout, it strengthens core muscles and improves posture and the walking poles help you to walk faster for longer. In groups it's a fun and sociable way to enjoy the great outdoors and make friends too.

Many instructors will provide Nordic walking poles, so all you'll need is comfy weather-proof clothing, trainers or walking shoes if it's wet.

Norfolk Nordic Walking offers taster sessions and walks in Norwich and further afield. Forthcoming locations include Blickling and Eaton Park in Norwich. See norfolknordicwalking.co.uk

10. Trampolining

Take the leap - trampolining is an exhilarating way of bouncing, twisting and somersaulting your way fitness, including improving strength, co-ordination and balance. And it's low impact, so it's easy on your joints. Trampolining parks are springing up everywhere across Norwich and Norfolk, so you can go and try it out. All you need to do is wear comfortable clothes - any other equipment will be provided. Many of them offer group fitness classes too.

11.Running

Running is one of the easiest activities to get into. Very little kit is required - you just need a pair of good trainers and a supportive sports bra. Running is good for your heart and strengthens bones and tendons - and whether you run on a treadmill or outside it's a great way of clearing your head. Don't worry about your pace or distance to start with. A couch to 5k programme is a brilliant way of building up your running - they can be download for free - or there are plenty of running groups for beginners around the county. If you want to set yourself a goal, why not aim to complete a Parkrun? These 5k timed runs happen at 9am every Saturday morning all over the country. And to celebrate International Women's Day on Saturday March 7, the Holkham Estate is hosting a special parkrun in support of #ThisGirlCan, followed by post-run treats in the Courtyard Cafe. See parkrun.org.uk for your nearest.


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