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Island’s smokers invited to ‘Take the Leap’ with Island’s biggest ever Zumba class to mark No Smoking Day 2012 2 March 2012

Take the leap logoThe Department of Health is marking No Smoking Day 2012, which this year features the theme ‘Take the Leap’, recognising that quitting can be tough and that a big leap is required, as well as emphasising the energy people can often gain from quitting smoking. The image of a smoker leapfrogging over a cigarette aims to be empowering and positive - and to promote that it is possible to begin a healthier new lifestyle.

In keeping with the overall theme of wellbeing, Quit4You - the Island’s stop smoking service - is sponsoring a huge event and encouraging everyone to ‘Take the Leap..... Try Zumba Fitness’. The aim is to create the Island’s biggest ever Zumba class. The event will be held on Sunday, 18th March at the National Sports Centre (NSC) in Douglas. With the 18th March also being Mother’s Day, a special Zumbatomic class for children aged 4 - 12 years will be held from 2.15pm - 2.45pm. This will be followed by the Zumba Fitness Masterclass from 3.00pm – 4.00pm, for those aged 16 and over. However, anyone over 16 years is welcome, male or female and those aged 13 - 15 can join in either session with parental supervision. Both classes will be free and anyone is welcome to attend. All you need to wear is comfortable, loose clothing, training shoes (or dance sneakers if you have them), and bring water, a towel, enthusiasm and a big smile!

Minister for Health, David Anderson MHK, said: “I am delighted that we can offer these free taster sessions for No Smoking Day, and would encourage people to take part. Zumba is a great way to promote physical activity by doing something that is fun. This initiative ties in very well with three of our key strategies, namely our overarching Health Strategy, as well as our Tobacco Strategy and Government’s Physical Activity Strategy.”

The Zumba taster sessions offer a unique opportunity for anyone to come and try the Latin-inspired calorie-burning dance fitness-party that blends red-hot international music and contagious steps. Since its inception in 2001 in the United States, the Zumba program has grown to become the world's largest – and most successful – dance-fitness program, with more than 12 million people of all shapes, sizes and ages taking weekly Zumba classes in over 110,000 locations across more than 125 countries.

The Department’s Public Health Directorate is working closely with the NSC and various Zumba Instructors on the Island to plan the event. The sessions are guaranteed to provide fun and laughter; and as well as appealing as a kick-start to quitting for smokers, Zumbatonic class for 4 – 12 year olds also offers a great activity for children to share with their mums on Mother’s Day.

Michelle Poyzer, Senior Health Promotion Officer and Zumba Instructor said: “The session will last for one hour, and will include a warm up, a selection of easy to follow dance routines from across the globe, and a cool down. Different Zumba Instructors from around the Island will be taking different songs, so participants can get to try different styles. You don’t have to be a great mover, or have any dance or aerobics background at all, just come and give it a go! The emphasis is on fun, not perfection.”

Anita Imberger, Tobacco Strategy Coordinator added: “More than a million smokers across the British Isles use No Smoking Day to try to quit. The day is not about pressurising people to quit, but letting people know about free help and support that’s available if they do want to take that first step. Evidence shows that people are four times more likely to quit smoking if they combine using a product - such as Nicotine Replacement Therapy - with sessions at their local stop smoking services.

“We hope that lots of people will take the opportunity to try something new that will be great fun. Quit4You Advisors will also be available in the reception area if anyone wants to pick up information about ways to quit smoking, or have their Carbon Monoxide Reading done.”

As part of No Smoking Day, Quit4You is also offering free Quit Kits, packed with information and tips for quitting smoking. For your free Quit Kit, call Public Health on 642639.

For more information about the Quit4You Stop Smoking Service, visit www.Quit4You.gov.im, telephone Anita Imberger (Tobacco Strategy Coordinator) on 642404 or email tobacco@gov.im.

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