AN all women healthy lifestyles group held in Skipton has been hailed a great success.

The group, which meets once a week at the Broughton Road Community Centre, is tackling diet, fitness and confidence in the Craven District Council run healthy lifestyles programme, which is funded by North Yorkshire County Council, as a way of improving people’s health.

The 12-week programme combines exercise with nutritional advice, along with free access to a range of facilities at Craven Leisure, and is run by a team of qualified instructors at venues across Craven.

Naseem Aziz signed up to the Broughton Road group in October last year, and lost more than a stone in weight, achieving her target.

“It’s building the confidence that we never had,” she said. “I’ve really enjoyed it, not just myself but the other ladies have really grown in confidence to go swimming and walking. It’s given us more confidence in lots of different ways. It was a really good opportunity and I would recommend it to anybody.”

Naseem is now on the 12-week maintenance programme, for those who have achieved their five per cent weight loss target, which includes ongoing nutritional advice and a further 12 weeks of free access to a range of exercise facilities.

Parven Ali started on the programme at the same time, and has now also progressed to maintaining her target weight after losing a stone.

“It’s been really good. It’s built up my confidence and helped me know what to eat,” she said.

“There’s a bit of a competitive side to it as well. Me and my friend have been walking together for ages but this has motivated us to do different routes and find out more about healthy eating. We look at the labels on packets now and look at what’s got the highest sugar and fat. I’ve really enjoyed the programme, it’s very motivating and it keeps you going.”

Those who sign up are weighed at the start of each session and are given advice on nutrition and healthy eating. An exercise circuit is also set up in the hall with a range of different activities.

Class instructor Hannah Storey said: “They take it at their own pace and do as much as they can. There are different options for those who aren’t as mobile.”

There are currently nine people on the initial programme and eight on the maintenance programme at the Broughton Road centre.

“This group has done very well,” said Hannah. “They turn up every single week and that’s important to get that consistency. They’re doing really well and it just goes to show how you can get results by coming along every week.”

Stephanie Harrison, Craven District Council’s healthy lifestyles co-ordinator, said: “We’re really proud of all those who have done so well throughout this programme. We’ve been extending this programme to new venues across the district, providing people with a great opportunity to get fit and healthy. “

To find out more about the programme, for men and women, visit: