Meet Exeter Leisure’s Michelle Bristowe

Dec 1, 2021

If you’ve ever attended a group exercise classes run at one of our city’s leisure centres, the chances are that you might have come across Michelle.

Michelle works to encourage local people to get more active. Sounds very much like Live and Move!

Michelle always knew that she wanted to work in the leisure industry and undertook an exercise to music qualification in 2006. Before working with Exeter Leisure, she was a dancer at Disneyland Paris. What a job!

So, OK, we get that Michelle is one of those people who are very active and always on the go. But we wanted to know whether she sometimes struggles to stay motivated.

She told us: ‘Life is busy, and I think exercise can sometimes be bottom of the list! I try and walk short distances instead of always getting in the car. I also try to plan meals for the week to avoid picking up bits randomly. That’s when I’m drawn to the quick fix ready meals. Eating fresh is so much better for our bodies.’

Michelle was also honest about the importance of us all finding the exercise that’s right for us:

‘Forcing yourself to go for a run or play a sport you don’t like doing is normally going to end in failure. Think about activities you enjoy and find a group or an organised event offering it, so you’re committed to it. And maybe take a friend, too!’

Sounds like good advice. What about getting our kids to move more too? Michelle told us that in her view, it’s really important for children to get involved with exercise, and that swimming or bike riding can be great for all round good health and can encourage little ones to make lifelong habits from an early age.
So, if you are about to embark upon a bit more movement in your life, there are plenty of ways to start. Michelle reckons that group exercise classes offer a great chance to switch off.

‘In a class, I’m not thinking about what I’m cooking for tea or what party the kids have got on at the weekend! It’s as much about my mental health as the physical.’

And if you’re a bit nervous about starting a group exercise class, you can rest assured that exercise instructors such as Michelle know how daunting it can be and really love seeing the journey of new participants.

‘Making that step to your first class is probably the hardest bit. In time, people’s confidence will grow, fitness will improve and then we start to see them at more classes!’

Thanks so much Michelle. To find out about group exercise classes, go to Exeter Leisure or download the Exeter Leisure App.

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