It's easy for the stresses of everyday life to impact your mood. Knowing which methods work for you is a good tool to have in your arsenal.


Become a Recreation and Sport Centre member

One of the great benefits of yoga is improved flexibility, although this is just one of a number of benefits of regular yoga practice.

ladies in a yoga class

Some of the key benefits of a regular yoga practice are:

  • Lowered stress levels
  • Lowered  blood pressure
  • Improved lung capacity
  • Anxiety relief
  • Reduced chronic neck and back pain
  • Improved sense of balance and flexibility
  • Stronger bones

At Christchurch Recreation and Sport Centres, yoga features as part of the group fitness programme. Stretch and Release is a 50-minute casual class which incorporates yoga and pilates principles.

For those looking to learn more about yoga, we offer term-based classes that run for 10 weeks. If you are new to yoga, this is a great option – allowing you to explore poses and work with one instructor throughout the term.  

If you're looking to de-stress, Restorative Yoga classes are also offered. These classes typically involve only five or six poses, supported by props that allow you to completely relax and rest.   

It's easy for the stresses of everyday life to impact your mood. Knowing which methods work for you is a good tool to have in your arsenal.

three women participating in group fitness class, jumping

Slow down

Make it a priority to take small breaks in your day to relax and take some deep breaths. You'll feel recharged and find it easier to get stuck back into your work schedule.

Our Stretch and Release classes are perfect for winding down both the body and mind.

Eat well

Good nutrition is important as it helps your body function at its best. Give some extra thought to what you are feeding yourself and your family, and think about any small improvements you might be able to make.

When the going gets tough, remind yourself of how good it makes you feel when you eat food that nourishes your body.

Exercise regularly

Working out is a great way to relax the body and mind, so find something that you like doing. If you'd rather work out on your own, one of our qualified instructors can put together a free personalised fitness programme for you as part of a Gym or Gym & Pool membership.

Book in time with friends

Make a date with a mate, and make sure it involves a lot of laughter! In addition to being proven to relieve physical tension, laughter is also a lot of fun and something we could all do more often.

We suggest bringing a friend along to one of our Zumba classes. It's a great partner workout, and we challenge anyone to get through a class without cracking a smile.

Group fitness class in action - two women and one man exercisingStretch when watching TV

If you’re tuning in to a show, remind yourself to stand up and stretch during every ad break. 

For those who stream their TV shows, make sure you break up your binge with stand-up breaks between episodes.

Get out of the office at lunch

Take a break away from your computer. A small walk around the block is better than nothing.

You’ll find that you come back to your desk refreshed and ready to tackle the afternoon’s tasks.

Walk the extra block

Get out of the habit of parking next to your destination. If you're heading into the city centre choose the cheap car parks and walk the extra distance - you'll be adding extra exercise time into your day, reducing traffic in the CBD, and saving money.

Take a quick class

Have you got 30 minutes spare? Give our Core Zone class a go for an efficient conditioning workout. 

Calf raises

Do them whenever you can. Do them whilst folding the washing, waiting at the pedestrian crossing, or even under your desk whilst you’re working. Calf raises improve circulation and keep the tendons and muscles around your ankles flexible.


Put on your favourite album whilst cooking dinner. It'll make your evenings that little bit more lively, and you’ll find you get everyone’s hips in the room wiggling too. 

What are you waiting for? Walking is fun, free and for everybody.

two women and on man walking on treadmills

Your mood will improve

A brisk walk is proven to increase your body’s production of feel-good hormones. Walking is a great, natural way to reduce stress and anxiety.

Combat heart disease

When you spend more time walking, you help raise your heart rate and lower your blood pressure. Regular exercise makes for a stronger and healthier heart that's less likely to develop heart disease.

Strengthens muscles and bones

Walking tones your leg and abdominal muscles, as well as increasing your joints’ range of motion. Stronger muscles help to improve posture and reduce the risk of bone disease. Shifting the pressure from your joints in this way helps lessen pain for those who suffer from arthritis.

Strengthen your core

Five people engaging in kickboxing classA strong core helps form the foundation of good posture. Yoga and Pilates are great ways to build up the strength of your mid-section.

Sit straight

This is particularly important for office workers who spend most of the day at their desks. It can be hard to remind yourself throughout the day to sit with a straight back. If you do put in the effort, your lower back will thank you in the long run.

Support your spine

Strong lower back muscles give your spine the support it needs. Aqua Fit and Aqua Deep are great ways to target muscles that can easily get overlooked.

Lift weights

It’s important for both men and women to keep on top of their bone health as they age. The best way is to make sure you are including weight-bearing exercises in your routine. Pump is a great way to get started with friends.

Spend time in the sun

Vitamin D is also essential to maintain bone health. Remind yourself to take small breaks outside during the day, it's great for your physical and mental health.

Interactive equipment and a relaxed pace of play is what makes the Southern Centre's multi-sensory experience so special. 

Man making shadows against a wall

A sensory room is a safe environment designed to encourage brain activity. This is often through special lighting, music, smells and objects. It's a social and relaxed environment that helps lower stress levels. 

Sensory rooms are truly for everyone. They are a valuable tool for children and adults of all abilities, including people with intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorder and mental health conditions. The benefits that users experience are far-reaching, but most importantly it's always a fun visit!

Pioneer Recreation and Sport Centre has Christchurch's very own multi-sensory room. The Southern Centre uses innovative lighting and sound technology which allows participants to explore and create at the touch of a switch.

Interactive equipment allows participants to feel vibrations, touch different textures, change lighting effects and experience different smells. 

It's a unique facility that caters for the needs of its users, empowering them to control their own play environment. Sessions run for 30 minutes with a staff member in the room to help familiarise everyone with the features.

Let your friends and family know about the Southern Centre, but don't forget to book first. A quick call and a small fee are all that's needed for an interactive session with us. 

Join our fitness centres. Our friendly staff can set you up with a membership and chat through your personal goals. 

three women doing yogaWhen making resolutions, it’s important to set up healthy patterns that will help maintain your enthusiasm.

Take a look at our tips for forming a fitness habit:

Goal setting

It's proven that setting goals helps keep people on track. It's also a good idea to break up a bigger goal into smaller, bite-sized chunks. The progress you see helps encourage you further towards your overall goal. For example, we like to review your personal fitness programme progress every 12 weeks and make another new goal for the coming months.

Prepare your gear

Lay your clothes out before bed, ready for the next day. When people have lost the motivation to head to the gym, we always suggest they put their gym gear on before making the final call as it often helps sway their decision.

Small rewards

Positive reinforcement can have a big impact on your overall motivation. Little rewards have been proven to help people keep their resolutions. A non-food reward is best – how about letting yourself watch another episode of your favourite TV show after you’ve been to the gym?

Meal preparation

Focus some of your time on Sunday evenings on preparing lunches for the week ahead. Having lunch already prepared in the fridge in the mornings makes you less likely to buy your lunch. This little tip will help save you money and your waistline.

Remember that it is little, everyday habits that make an overall healthy lifestyle. Keep up the hard work and your fitness level will thank you for it.