FREE taster sessions at Rossendale Leisure Trust gyms in Bacup and Haslingden proved a huge hit as residents tried out new activities.

At Bacup’s Pioneer Gym, seven taster classes were on offer from Hiit Step and indoor cycling to Pilates.

Janie Britton, from Stacksteads, attended with her neighbour Karen Wright, after she made a New Year’s Resolution to herself.

She said: “I was sitting at my sister’s on Christmas Eve, which is also my birthday, wondering what I was doing in my life. I am bereaved and I have not been doing much for about a year so this was my New Year’s Resolution.

“I want to do a lot more to improve my fitness as I have a sedentary office job. I am very much driven by goals and wans to get my weight down and bring my diabetes under control. Life is too short and Paul would not want me to just be sitting inside.”

The legs, bums and tums session was not something either Janie or Karen had tried before but they are now looking to include it in a regular workout along with indoor cycling and cross trainer work.

Karen cares for her husband Garry and regularly swims at Marl Pits, does cardio vascular work and cycling, but she admitted she needed someone pushing her and so found the class very encouraging.

Rossendale Leisure Trust fitness trainer and health activator Claire Smith ran the class at Pioneer.

For council tax advisor Heather Dalgleish exercise usually involves fell running, cycling and mountain running.

She said: “I don’t tend to come to the gym, but the class has been useful as I got to do more strengthening and toning. I signed up to do the five classes back-to-back.

“Legs, bums and tums was something I had never been to before but it was very good for my gluts as I have an imbalance.”

At the Adrenaline Centre, four taster classes were held including a kettlebell workout and cardio exercises with step aerobics.

Over the whole week end, both venues welcomed scores of new people on the different taster sessions and many signed up for future classes.

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Cathrine Smyth Media.