Mayor to get fit and showcase our local sporting facilities

Fitness instructor Kevin Lavery from Waves Leisure Complex. in Lurgan checks out Mayor Mark Baxter before he embarks on his new  fitness regime
Fitness instructor Kevin Lavery from Waves Leisure Complex. in Lurgan checks out Mayor Mark Baxter before he embarks on his new fitness regime
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“Since becoming a councillor and holding down a full time job, to my shame my own lifestyle is somewhat sedentary.

That, coupled with being partial to the odd sausage roll, fitness levels are at an all -time low.

So I’ve decided this year to get more active not only for my own health reasons but to get a real insight into some of the leisure services that the council offers, and to engage with some of our local sports clubs to really appreciate what they do in their communities as coaches and volunteers. I will also use it as great opportunity to spend some leisure time with my own young family in an otherwise busy mayoral year.

Last Wednesday night I took the first steps by visiting my local council leisure centre Waves. Ryan Flynn gave me a health check and fitness assessment, plus great advice on nutrition and lifestyle. I’m following an eight-week programme and will be assessed again. I think this will give me a fantastic foundation in my quest for fitness.

I’ve got an exercise plan and a diet sheet which is very detailed and has proved difficult to follow rigidly. I’m basically warming up on the low impact machines ie. the cross trainer and treadmill, and progressing on to weights, three times a week.

It’s not particularly easy but then I’m not particularly fit. But even though physically exhausting, after one session I feel so much better mentally and taking that initial step of going to the gym is the hardest. Already I feel that I should be more active every day and find myself doing everyday things like walking the dog with more enthusiasm.

It’s early days for me but so far so good and I’m confident that I can lead a more healthy lifestyle and try my best and encourage others to do the same. I plan to continue at the gym for at least eight weeks as well as check out other council facilities and sport clubs. I also believe our parks are fantastic, Lurgan Park in particular is a firm favourite. We have such great places like this on our doorstep so I really want to highlight all that is good about the borough as well and all the opportunities that exist out there for us and our families to become more active.”