Exercise? That really takes the biscuit but we are going to try!

THE Independent’s staff come in all shapes, sizes and ages but we all share one thing in common: the love of a good biscuit, writes Trevor Baxter.

The Independent staff with Caroline, centre

Actually, cancel that – any type of biscuit will do, whether it’s an old-fashioned plain digestive for yours truly or an Oreo for our vegan head of sales Iain Blackwood-Hobbs.

But we are also easily tempted by cake, chocolates, and even Brussels sprouts flavoured crisps!

Our confectionary-laden table is as important a piece of office furniture as our desks, chairs and filing cabinets.

And while we will happily embark on Dry January and flirt with Veganuary, a biscuit ban is as likely as Oldham Athletic winning promotion to League One.

Most of our happy band though lead a sedentary existence, even if one of us actually made it off the couch but couldn’t quite go all the way to running 5K.

So, we decided to do something about waist lines expanding almost as quickly as our award-winning Local Communications group. Indeed, watch this space on the latter point!

But what? None of us are gym bunnies – walking to Pots and Pans leaves us out of breath and only our head of design Steve Hodgkiss looks good in lycra.

Attempting to find a solution was almost as tiring as exercising itself. 

Then we received correspondence from a good friend, fitness guru and wearer of purple, Caroline Fisher. 

The legs and lungs behind Nordic Walking Saddleworth, Caroline informed us we could embark on a training regime to reduce body fat while at the same time building muscles. 

Better still, these exertions – all seven of them – would take just 70 seconds, could be done without leaving the office and all within the comforting sight of the biscuit table.

As a result, we decided to be Caroline’s pupils and signed up for a course of Isofitness Exercise. That includes you, Amanda!

Tony with Caroline by the Independent’s confectionary table

Over the coming months we will report on our progress – or lack of it – and the person who benefits the most will win… a packet of jammie dodgers!

So, what are we letting ourselves in for? Caroline, one of only five official instructors recognised by the World Isometric Exercise Association, is happy to spread the gospel.

And with official classes starting for everyone else at Saddleworth Rangers Rugby Club, Shaw Hall Bank Road on January 21, it may be worth reading on.

“Isometric exercises are scientifically proven and have been thoroughly researched and tested to deliver amazing results in terms of muscle tone, body shape and strength increases from exercises lasting only 10 seconds each,” explains Caroline.

“No other exercise system is more efficient at engaging more muscle fibres than isometrics. 

“Isometric training is suitable for any level of fitness and strength – from OAPs to muscle men.

“Muscle training has recently been highlighted in the British Journal of General Practice to be most effective intervention to delay or reverse frailty in the elderly.

“Once you have tried isometric exercise you will wonder why everyone isn’t doing it,”

“But I will still be Nordic Walking because it is very complementary to the isometric training.”

So, if you can’t wait until next month’s Independent to find out if isometric training does what it says on the isobows – the only piece of equipment required – then look out for Caroline’s classes.

Starting on January 21 they will be on Mondays (2.45pm start), Tuesdays (9.15am) and Thursdays (6.15pm).

This is a three-month programme which is tutored during the classes then repeated at home with the equipment and manual provided.

Both classes, workplace schemes and one-to-one sessions are available. Classes are limited to 10 participants.

More information is available via at Facebook.com/pg/isofitsaddleworth

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