Whether you’ve brought your trainers out of retirement, purchased a new mountain bike or woken up to the sound of PE with Joe Wicks over the past few weeks, chances are your attitude towards exercise has been affected by the Coronavirus crisis.
Life under lockdown has brought even greater attention to the benefits of movement and physical activity and many of us have turned to cycling, walking and running to keep active outdoors. According to Sport England across the first six weeks of lockdown, 63% of people found exercise to be pivotal to their mental wellbeing and many have turned to new health and wellness rituals to keep active whilst staying at home.
Not surprisingly, the fitness industry was one of the quickest to adapt to the UK’s quarantine measures and within a matter of days a swathe of home workouts, led by some of the country’s top personal trainers and fitness brands, were made readily available for people across the nation to get stuck into. From Instagram live HIIT classes, to Youtube yoga tutorials and virtual PE lessons, resources for at-home exercise have never been easier to access.
Cue Jessicarr Moorhouse, a Manchester-based Doctor, Physiotherapist, Personal Trainer and Founder of TRIBE.MCR– an innovative health and wellness initiative specialising in group workouts, personal training sessions and specially curated corporate wellness programmes – who has been keeping her clients motivated throughout the crisis with her weekly workouts and impromptu fitness raves.
Jessicarr established TRIBE.MCR in 2018 after deciding to take a step back from full-time medicine and pursue other career opportunities in the field of movement and exercise – two things that she has always been extremely passionate about. Building upon her extensive knowledge and time spent in hospitals learning about physiology, exercise prescription, gait analysis and postural assessment, Jess ventured into the fitness industry and gained her personal training accreditation, which then led her to create TRIBE.MCR.
“It was about establishing a tool for helping people to feel good mentally and to be able to do that with meaning in an environment that felt inclusive,” explains Jessicarr. Rather than focus too much on the aesthetic outcomes of a fitness routine, the doctor-turned-personal trainer has an honest and holistic approach and is one the city’s biggest advocates of exercise that boosts people’s wellbeing and social connection to others.
Prior to lockdown, Jessicarr hosted weekly outdoor workout sessions in Manchester’s Sadler’s Yard situated near to Victoria train station, as well as weekend classes in the picturesque Marie Louise Gardens located the suburb of West Didsbury, and through hard work and a positive attitude, she has been able to establish a friendly and welcoming offering for anyone wanting to keep fit and look after their mental and physical wellbeing.
Rather than an exclusive club for fitness fanatics and cardio converts, Jessicarr created TRIBE.MCR to show people how movement can be a medicine rather than just a way to lose weight or reach a new personal best.
Over the past two years she has collaborated with a number of like-minded individuals to spread this message even further working with the likes of Sacha Lord, Manchester’s Night-Time Economy Advisor to offer free monthly group training sessions for those in sector; Photographer and Yoga Teacher Madeleine Penfold and Creative Strategist and DJ Alice Woods to curate Shake Your Soul, an event combining feel good moves, yoga flow and live music; and healthcare providers and charities such as Greater Manchester Moving and Manchester Cares, to engage with people of all abilities and ages.
Like many others, Jessicarr has adapted her offering for the digital realm during lockdown, pivoting toward zoom workouts and sharing her own fitness routine via Instagram. She has also continued to work for the NHS, fitting locum shifts around her PT work, which has helped keep her busy and active amidst the ongoing crisis.
“I personally find the public support fantastic, however the news and narrative around the pandemic is constant and can be stressful, there’s no respite, she explains.” And yet despite the current circumstances, Jessicarr is grateful to still be teaching and connecting with her clients and even thinks she could utilise these online platforms post-lockdown. With less commuting and rushing between appointments Jessicarr has also found time to establish some better eating habits, doing a weekly shop rather than eating on-the-go and grabbing takeaway coffees (though Greater Manchester does have some brilliant independent coffee shops, so we can’t blame her).
Driven by her passion for movement and desire to make people feel good, Jessicarr also shared some of her wisdom for keeping mentally and physically active during lockdown. From embracing the warmer weather and getting outside, to making sure to always do a warm-up and warm-down when doing more vigorous exercise, she believes that now could be the perfect time to adopt a new exercise habit, as you can do as little or as much as you like.
Despite these uncertain times, Jessicarr continues to be a positive influence for her existing clients and those just starting out on their fitness journeys. A champion of movement as medicine and exercising for feel good vibes, we’re sure that she will continue to be force for good in Manchester’s wellness community during and post lockdown.
To find out more about TRIBE.MCR and Jessicarr’s weekly workouts and one-to-one session visit the website here.
To book a session with Jessicarr visit her booking page here.
Words: Jenna Campbell