Keep Fit With Chris

by Matt D’Arcy

CHRIS PACKHAM, who began Amovate’s Keep Fit classes more than 10 years ago, may be back in the UK—but he’s still keen on keeping us fit!

You’ll remember that Chris’ dad Bob, and Amovate Vice-President Ian Bedford, kept the twice-weekly classes going for many years after the initial launch in 2008 before stepping down earlier this summer.

Now Amovate’s Cormac Murphy—who comes from a family of talented Rugby League and Rugby Union professionals—and other volunteers are keeping up the good work.

But Chris, a physiotherapy technical instructor with 10 years experience in the NHS, remains committed to maintaining the health and well-being of all his old friends and pupils from the Amovate classes.

He and colleague David Gunning have produced a booklet, “Fit In 50 Seconds” aimed at people with sedentary lifestyles. It is a simple 14-day exercise and nutrition plan that can easily be incorporated into your working day.

The booklet has already sold more than 1,000 copies to business and industry in the UK as employers see an opportunity for their staff to follow its advice whilst sitting at their desks or work benches, improving their health and wellbeing.

Now, through Amovate, Chris, who has an M.Sc in Exercise Science, is offering, for £6.99p, a “Fitness Pack” which includes a copy of his booklet, a stress-ball, and an ingenious water bottle, which can be attached to your belt, and then folded away after emptying.

(You can see a photograph of the Fitness Pack here)

Chris, who returned to England to take up new positions in football and hospital physiotherapy, is happy to post the pack from the UK although this could cost you another £6-£7.

He says: “If sufficient people are interested I could potentially send a number over in one delivery. But if people just wanted a copy of the booklet they can order this online at the link here, and the delivery of the book only is a lot cheaper”.

It may also be possible to have a number of the packages delivered to the English address of someone making regular trips between the UK and Vale da Telha, who could then bring them back to Portugal.

For more details, contact Chris via his email at, or check the website

Cormac, who is now running the Monday classes, says any new members interested should come along and join in the fun. You will find details below.

(Julia Curphey, who has professional experience in this field, having worked for Duncan Bannatyne of Dragons Den in one of his health clubs in Shropshire, will resume the Wednesday sessions from September 5th).

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The fitness classes were started in 2008 by Bob and his physiotherapist son Chris…and from small beginnings come great things.

At first day we had to make do with sitting on chairs whilst rapidly tapping our feet on the floor, running up and down the room, stepping up and down on step trainers and using elastic straps as tension bands for working our muscles.

It was pretty basic stuff, but gradually Bob, Chris and Ian—who joined a few weeks after the classes began—started begging, borrowing or buying more equipment.

Now, thanks to their efforts, it’s quite possible that Amovate has the best-equipped gymnasium facilities on the Algarve’s west coast!

It is now equipped with a multi-gym, three treadmills, four cross-trainers, two rowing machines, three static exercise bikes, sit-up benches, weight benches, a couple of dozen step trainers, abdominal crunchers, a variety of equipment to tone up or strengthen various parts of your body and a large assortment of free weights.

The classes are held twice a week, at 11.30am on Monday and Wednesday at the Old Schoolhouse, situated where the road forks outside Vales, towards Arrifana to the left and Vale da Telha to the right.

We have a hard core of around 12-15 enthusiasts, with an average attendance probably of 10 to 12.

Each session lasts for one hour and normally begins with a 10-minute aerobics warm-up to music, followed by around 40-45 minutes of exercises using the equipment, weights and floor mats you can see in the accompanying pictures.

The routines are changed for each session so there’s no risk of anyone getting bored and the entire session comes with a background of enjoyable music.

It’s fun to be fit…and these classes make it fun to get fit!

So come along and see for yourselves:

All are welcome. No membership fee is required and the cost per session is just €2.50. If you would like further information please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Contact Us

1. By e-mail :

2. Address:  Caixa Postal 205, Vale da Telha, 8670 – 156, Aljezur

3. Or message via the Amovate Facebook Page at

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