LOCKDOWN got the blood pumping for a Swindon fitness instructor, who has launched her own online workout classes.

Annie Ruggiero started Active with Annie at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and was amazed with the positive response.

The 21-year-old said: “I’ve been teaching classes for a couple of years now at various gyms around Swindon.

“When lockdown hit I had only been working at some of the gyms for a year and so I didn’t get furlough pay from them. So I was wondering what I could do and that’s where my idea to do online classes came from.

“I charged £1 per person at first, it was just my friends to start with but it has grown from there and it’s now £2 a class. It’s a really friendly group and it lets us socialise for a bit.”

Annie is only running classes at Nuffield Health Swindon Fitness and Wellbeing Gym as other gyms across Swindon have yet to reinstate classes.

Her group has grown from 10 to 25 people per class.

Annie says the future of fitness could move online once the crisis is over.

She said: “It’s a lot quicker for people than them having to travel to the gym, shower and get back home or go to work.

“I want to carry this on now for the foreseeable future. I have wondered why this wasn’t done before at a larger scale. It’s the convenience of it which is good, it’s a no-brainer, it fits into people’s day much easier.

“It’s all done from the comfort of your own home, you don’t have to drive anywhere, you can stop and start when you want – it’s great”

Annie explained it has helped customers feel more comfortable because they can turn their cameras off and don’t feel as self-conscious as they might at the gym.

She says it has also helped people’s mental health through lockdown.

“I think I’ve helped a lot of people during the pandemic because it had given them something to do,” Annie said.

“Mental health has been a key issue since coronavirus hit and everyone knows fitness helps with that so more people have been trying to exercise more.

“It gave people a chance to feel good about something, like they’ve achieved something. They felt better, physically, emotionally and mentally.”

Annie holds does various classes over the week including HIIT workouts, legs, bums and tums, and dance aerobics.

Find the group on Facebook by searching for Active With Annie.