Newton Mearns doctor provides free online fitness classes

A junior doctor is seeing patients in a GP surgery before switching to her workout gear to host free fitness classes from home during lockdown.

Doctor Ashley Walton at work in hospital.

Dr Ashley Walton, 28, from Newton Mearns, works in a GP practice in Glasgow’s east end and as a locum doctor in hospital.

Ashley is a qualified fitness instructor for East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure, who are running a series of free online workouts each week.

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She is encouraging people of all ages and abilities to get involved in the free fitness classes to keep active and minimise stress.

Ashley hosting one of her online fitness classes.

Ashley said: “I’m still seeing my patients who aren’t suspected covid cases, but it’s a different world in general practice at the moment.

“It’s much more streamlined and typically all patients we see need to be physically examined.

“I don’t get very stressed but I’m sure I would without fitness in my life.

“I think it’s very important for people to look after their wellbeing, especially at the moment, so it’s great that East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure is running these classes for free so everyone can access them from home.”

Ashley, who also has a two-year-old son, usually teaches 27 fitness classes per week, including sessions at Eastwood Park Leisure Centre and Barrhead Foundry.

Her popular online classes have included Disco Body Attack and high intensity interval training classes such as Grit and Core.

She added: “Fitness & teaching is a massive passion of mine. I love that I still get the chance to teach. It’s giving me some normality in my life and I just love the community feel, the music, the moves and the buzz.

“I’m missing taking the classes in person but the online sessions have been awesome for encouraging friends and family who don’t have fitness as part of their life to try a wee bit from the comfort of their own home. It’s also been great that regulars who normally have their set routine are trying out different style workouts.

“People are also reporting that they are losing weight and toning and that the classes are giving them a sense of accomplishment so they are definitely helping with mental health at this difficult time too.”

Ashley’s classes are part of a varied fitness timetable run by East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure, with live classes available every week day, which can also be accessed to catch up anytime after the session finishes.

Ashley added: “The classes are announced on a Sunday for the week ahead and there are classes every week day.

“My top workout tips are to set achievable goals, use an activity tracker and get creative with household items – fill rucksacks, use water bottles, get involved in the online workouts and have fun with it.

“Fitness classes are fun and never feel like work to me. I give lower and higher impact options so it should suit everyone and you’ll feel great after completing a class.”

To take part in East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure’s free fitness classes during lockdown visit ER Culture and Leisure’s Facebook page