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REVIEW: Body Combat at Haydon Centre and Gym

When it comes to exercise, I am far more at home pounding a pavement running, than taking part in a class. And, my relationship with gym memberships has been as fleeting as the money in my account to pay for them. Therefore, it is testament to Total Guide, and the Haydon Centre and Gym that I found myself participating in one of their Body Combat classes.

The Haydon Centre and Gym is a community hub, visible through its members, staff and the smiles that they radiate. From reception to class I received a warm welcome from all, one that I am yet to experience in any gym I have visited to date.

I was fortunate enough to be introduced to some of my fellow class participants and instructor, Natalie, prior to my Body Combat baptism. All of which reassured me of the benefits of Body Combat, and importantly the fun that I would have in the class.

For, although excited about the possibilities of karate punching and kicking my way through the martial arts inspired class, I also know that I am no expert and suffer from a severe lack of coordination. I have never mastered simultaneously patting my head and rubbing my stomach, let alone flossing. Therefore, the thought of successfully performing a cross jab and sidekick seemed far out of reach.

Nevertheless, Natalie eased us in gently with a series of moves to warm our bodies and prepare us for the challenging tracks ahead. And never once did I feel the judgemental glare of Natalie our instructor, or my classmates as I fumbled my way through the moves. In fact, it was quite the opposite with Natalie's passion spurring me on to work harder and give my all.

I will not deny by track five, I was somewhat lost with the direction of my shuffle and high kick. But, I was certainly having fun and appeared to be burning some serious calories in the process.

The one-hour class sped past as quickly as Natalie’s moves and was a thoroughly enjoyable and uplifting experience from start to finish. I loved the eclectic choice of music from Pink, a Hairspray track and 100% Clubland Hardcore. I was also in awe of Natalie’s ability to professionally sing along to the tracks while performing the moves.

Body Combat at the Haydon Centre and Gym was the perfect way to lift a mood on a dark, damp winter evening; sharing a space with a group of likeminded friendly individuals and punching away the stress of the day.

I will never be a martial arts expert, but I certainly know where to go the next time I am looking to get my karate kicks. Or, even try my hand at another class featured in Haydon Centre and Gym’s extensive programme.

By Emma Smith

Haydon Centre Swindon

Haydon Centre & Gym

Part of the Better leisure group. With a large sports hall, state-of-the-art gym, dance studios and large meeting rooms, Swindon's Haydon Centre has something for everyone.

Thames Avenue , Haydon Wick , Swindon , Wiltshire, SN25 1QQ

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