One of the great challenges of lockdown has been for people to stay fit and healthy through exercise. It’s a challenge Chloe Redmond of The Body People has risen to.
Hi Chloe. Tell us about The Body People. When did it start and what do you do?
It all started about 10 years ago and it was just called ‘Dance Chloe’. It was just me teaching a couple of dance classes. But over the decade we have been growing in Walthamstow, and now it’s so much more. I have an amazing team of all-female instructors and we offer classes in Box and Core, Zumba, Pilates, post-natal Pilates, yoga, HIIT, pregnancy fitness, “legs, bums and tums” and Boot Camp.
How do you stand out?
I think the fact that our instructors are all female and from a range of different backgrounds. That’s reflected in our classes. We have the old Walthamstow and the new Walthamstow and that mix of race, age and class you find here.
We are also a bit different in the fact that we’re a fitness studio offering pre- and post-natal fitness, as well as baby massage classes.
How have you grown since you were established?
We have grown the number and variety of classes and expanded the team to at least a dozen instructors.
How do you support the community?
With the influx of babies in Walthamstow in recent years, it’s great to be able to offer such a range of classes for mums and their kids. We employ local instructors which provides people with opportunities for work. The philosophy of The Body People is about spurring each other on in the classes we run and that’s of real benefit to the community.We understand the positive impact good exercise can have on people’s mental health.
What have been the challenges of Covid-19 and how have you dealt with them?
The challenges have been trying to keep the classes going, as we know how important they are for people and how much they rely on them for their mental health. The questions we were facing were ‘how could we create as much normality as possible for people? Could we do classes outside? Could we form support groups?’
It has been really tough, but the online classes have been really successful and we have been determined to keep going. It has just been about staying above water.
What makes Walthamstow special?
Well, I think there’s something special about London generally. No matter where I am in the world, I still love coming home. It’s something about the mix of dry humour and the weather here which makes us so strong.
There is a really strong community here. I love bumping into clients at the market or the shops. The community feels like a family I can share things with.
Why should people support local businesses?
Places need the right balance and it might sound simple, but by supporting local businesses, you’re helping them to exist. With a local business, you’re getting a personal service.
It’s more important than ever to support our local businesses whenever you can. With your continued help, we will recover from the pandemic and be here for our Waltham Forest community - providing jobs, keeping our economy alive and continuing to serve you.
What places do you like to visit locally?
I would say Opal Boutique, HR Parsons & Sons Butchers and La Cafeteria, which I visit to buy things but also to catch up with the owners and staff.
Visit the Body People website here for all the latest information and updates, and make sure you follow the inspiring Body People Instagram account here