Eastbourne woman says her new fitness invention is a cheap and easy way to improve physical and mental health
Photo Credit: Julie Ford with her Instepp apparatus (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-190313-202003008
The gym takes time, money, commitment and limits you to its four walls but fitness expert Julie Ford has found a solution to these problems and invented a product which allows people to walk and tone their way to good health.
Julie, a mum of two grow-up children, is from Eastbourne and the creator of a new simple fitness invention called Instepp which allows people to tone their bodies with resistance training while walking.
Julie is passionate about the product, which has only just been made, and is determined to improve the health and wellbeing of people of all ages and abilities.
“People say it is easy for me. It is not easy for me, I used to be much heavier than this and it does take hard work. I am blessed with energy though. However, if you get out there, enjoy the fresh air and get walking, you too can feel this good and have more energy too.
“Walking increases serotonin, the body’s happy chemical.”
Health and fitness have always been at the centre of Julie’s life. She has worked as PE teacher at the Tideway School in Newhaven, at Bede’s and latterly Eastbourne College.
She said, “From teaching physical education in schools, to personal training across all ages from 18 to 80.
“I have explored and embraced every innovative idea, trend and fad. I also try to keep abreast of the latest scientific research.”
After undergoing surgery and radiotherapy to beat breast cancer in 2011, Julie began to come up with the idea of Instepp. At this time she’d had enough of gym training.
She said, “I sat there and I looked at all these young girls coming in and I felt vulnerable, weak and a little bit pathetic.
“They gym had been my whole life and I just didn’t want it anymore. Many people feel very intimidated by the gym and I can completely understand why."
“It also take commitment and 80 per cent of those that sign-up with a new year resolution in January have stopped going completely by March.”
With this in mind, Julie is using her product to encourage people out of the gym and on to the Downs, seafront, park, street or even in their own front room.
Instepp is made from thin neoprene material and is designed to comfortably fit between the arch of your foot and the inside of your shoe. It is a lightweight device and the red and black handles, which provide a 5lbs/2.3Kg resistance, are comfortable to hold. You stride out, bringing your wrists up to your shoulders in time with your walking pace.
Julie says Instepp can be used for people recovering from strokes, once they are ready to move on from the physiotherapy stage, and she hopes the NHS will back her product once it is up and running.
She also believes Instepp could help those suffering with dementia and mental health problems because it encourages people to get out and about in the fresh air.
She said, “Walking and keeping your body strong are the most natural and sustainable forms of exercise, leading to a healthy body and a healthy mind.
“Instepp has been born out of my love of walking and resistance training. It’s suitable for all ages, compact, lightweight and folds away neatly into its own drawstring bag to carry on your back.”
At £24.99 Instepp doesn’t break the bank and could bring many health and fitness benefits to all ages.
Julie said, “I am not going to promise you will lose weight, but if you get outside and start walking with Instepp you will feel better about yourself and sometimes that really is half the battle.”
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