5 Reasons Why Exercise Lifts Your Mood

treatment. At Xercise4Less Gyms we see our members increasing their energy levels daily; feeling better about their bodies and improving their confidence and self-esteem through exercise.

So, we were happy for one of our members at Xercise4Less Leeds Kirkstall, Jess Geary to share her own gym experience with her 5 Reasons Why Exercise Lifts Your Mood. Take it away Jess!

1: Exercise Energises Your Mental Health

There are a variety of ways in which exercise can improve your mental health. Firstly, working out increases your level of endorphins- which are natural mood lifters. Exercise also increases serotonin, a neurotransmitter which helps your brain regulate mood, sleep, and appetite. Sleep patterns are massively improved by tiring yourself out through exercise. This helps protect your brain from damage, and safeguards your muscle health. Finally, exercise reduces the chemicals in our immune system which cause us to feel down.

For Jess, “going to the gym really helped me through some really difficult times”. A gym workout can really help you feel a sense of achievement, as well. “I would go to the gym for around 45 minutes and would come out feeling as if I’d accomplished something good”. That led to feeling “really proud of myself for doing a great workout and eventually seeing the results”.

2: Working Out Help You Make New Gym Friends

Jess knows that exercising can also be a really good way to socialise; “you are bound to meet people in the gym if you are going regularly, or even with your friends!” It makes a nice change from going down the pub or sitting around in a coffee shop. As Jess puts it, it’s a super healthy and different way to socialise with people who have similar interests to you.” Exercising with your new friends or a gym buddy group can also motivate you to stick to your workout routine for longer.

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3: Improve Your Brain Function with Exercise

Working out increases your heart rate which pumps more oxygen to the brain so “sometimes after a gym session, you can leave feeling much more awake and sharp”. Exercise also encourages the release of hormones which help grow brain cells. Your red face after a tough gym session is just great for those little grey cells!

4: Leave the Gym with a Feeling of Accomplishment

Creating a fitness plan and sticking to it gives you a real sense of achievement. Jess certainly feels that after her workouts, “one of the main reasons exercise lifts my mood is because I leave the gym having accomplished something”. Completing a tough workout gives a sense of achievement that improves your mood and mindset for the day ahead, just as soon as those endorphins kick in! “It’s a super-effective way to keep your mind focused on something, even just doing a small 30-minute workout can make me feel much better about the day”.

Working out regularly will soon show some physical improvements. Commit to exercising longer-term and soon you won’t be the only one to notice how your body’s changing. It’s a real mood enhancer for Jess when people start to pay attention, “a really great feeling when people start to notice you’ve been going to the gym”. Everyone loves a compliment so “this is a really simple and effective way to boost your mood”.

A Positive Change to Your Mood

Reaping the mental health benefits of exercise as Jess describes is easier than you think. Just join Xercise4Less Gyms! Get all the advantages of working out in an inclusive community of friendly people keen to get fitter. Strive towards realistic fitness targets at your local gym. Work out the best value gym membership for you to lift your mood by joining Xercise4Less today.

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The Ten Best Gym Tips to Kickstart Your Gym Membership

You’ve just joined Xercise4Less Gyms. You’re ready to commit to working out regularly. But you’ve never used a gym before and aren’t quite sure where to begin when it comes to exercise. Don’t worry, help is at hand. Our expert Personal Training staff have come up with a list of the Ten Best Tips to Kickstart Your Gym Membership, so you start your new fitness routine with just the right momentum.

1: Understand What You Want from Working Out

Before you step into your new Xercise4Less gym, it’s important to be clear about what your fitness goals really are. Adding muscle? Losing weight? Or do you have a more specific target like a race or competition to get fit for? Your fitness targets will change but having a compelling reason for exercise will keep you committed to your new gym and help determine your fitness programme when you start.

2: Your Initiation into All Things Fitness

Sitting down with our friendly personal training staff in your inclusive 1-2-1 personal training session is a great first step to building on those initial goals. Get a feel for how the gym works and use the expertise of our PTs to create an individual fitness programme that will works for your goals. You can also check out our blog on Gym Etiquette here.

3: Stick to Your Individual Fitness Plan

You have a good idea of why you’re exercising in the gym. Now you know how your new gym works and you’ve created your workout plan. But getting fit doesn’t happen all at once. Progress can be slow so try to stick with your gym workout even if you think you’re failing. Be realistic and you’ll find that you’re progressing towards your targets even if it’s only inch by painful inch! Your commitment to working out is the key and you’ll commit more easily when you have a realistic plan to follow!

4: Ask for Help When You Need It

Were you an expert on your first day at work? No? Well, the Personal Trainers in every Xercise4Less gym know what they’re doing. When it’s not going well in the gym, stop and ask for their help. Our PTs are very approachable and always ready to provide guidance when you need it. Don’t be embarrassed; our friendly fitness staff love helping out our gym members.

5: Set a Workout Schedule that Works for You

Committing to a regular work out isn’t always an easy habit to maintain. Make it easy on yourself by scheduling a time that you’ll be able to manage on a regular basis. Whether you have Off Peak membership, a Flexible membership or a monthly subscription pick an exercise time that fits your work and home timetable and you’ll find working out easier. Make sure too to plug in some time to recover after your toughest sessions. There’s no benefit to overworking at the gym.

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6: Show Commitment That’s a Class Above

Share the workout pain with some of the other Xercise4Less members and commit to some group fitness classes. We offer an amazing range of up to 40 exercise classes a week at every Xercise4Less gym so there’s have plenty to choose from. Work up a sweat and create some camaraderie among the other members in spin classes or Les Mills sessions. Commit to going every week and you’ll soon see real improvement.

7: Find New Gym Buddies

Group fitness classes are also a great place to make new friends when you first join a new gym. Bond with some new gym buddies while trying to breathe and chat after an exhausting Core4FiiT. Try our Body Transformation Camps and make friends for life over an intensive 8 week period. Or work out with other like-minded female members in our Women Only gym zones. At Xercise4Less we’re a very friendly community full of members ready to meet and greet.

8: Get into the Zone

Sometimes you just want to work out on your own without distraction. You know your fitness plan, so get into your exercise zone and focus on cranking out those reps. No-one else is interested in how much you’re sweating; they have their own workout difficulties! Stay focused, commit to your own plan and see the benefits start to flow.

9: Smash Your Targets with a Stunning Playlist

And what better way to get you into the fitness zone than a killer playlist. Curate all your favourite up-tempo tracks from rap and rock to disco and pop into a smashing exercise playlist and you’re your gym session much more fun. Great music will energise you and soon all you’ve have to do is press play to kill your workout.

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10: Track and Measure Your Goals

Finally, on our list of ten tips for starting out at your new gym, track your progress through measurable goals. Create short, medium and long-term goals that you can really commit to. Give yourself something real to aim for and celebrate when you hit your targets. Don’t beat yourself up though if you don’t always achieve what you’re aiming for, focus on making positive strides overall.

The Benefit of Joining Xercise4Less Gyms

Sign up to our inclusive gym membership and you’ll soon feel part of a real community of new fitness friends. You’ll never have to worry about fitting in or finding out what to do in the gym. We’re always here for you and not just on your first day at an Xercise4Less gym. Don’t miss out on our free 1-2-1 fitness session when you first join and kick off your fitness journey with the right tools.

One Pint Workout for Go Sober October from Xercise4Less Gyms

The Xercise4Less Gyms One Pint Workout with Sam Turpin

As part of your monthly gym membership, Xercise4Less are always looking for new ways to help our exercise community. For Go Sober October we asked Sam Turpin, our fab Health and Fitness Executive to provide a beer-burning workout routine just for you. His One Pint Workout will work off the calories a typical pint of beer contains almost as quickly as you can down a pint.

(One Pint Workout Vid)

Ready for ten minutes of alcohol sweats?

Throw Your Weight Behind Go Sober October

Before you start burning off those excess alcoholic calories, however, just consider how calorific alcohol can be. Alcohol actually contains almost the same calories as pure fat, at about seven calories per gram. Pints of lager can contain up to 180 calories or a slice of pizza while stouts and ales are equivalent to devouring a bagel at 250 calories per pint. Prefer cider? A sugared doughnut has just as many calories!

Wine or spirit drinkers can’t be complacent about their alcohol calories either. A medium-sized glass of wine will set you back 159 calories while a single gin and tonic comes in at around 110 calories.

Looking forward to that One Pint Workout now, aren’t you?

You might be under the influence…impression that it’ll be easy to shift any excess beer weight, but this One Pint exercise programme will have you panting for a drink by the end of it! As Sam explains it the One Pint Workout works as follows:

There are 3 circuits.

Spend 30 seconds on each exercise and take 30 seconds rest between circuits.

That’s ten minutes for the alcohol calories to start pouring out of you.

High Knees (Up)

Kick off the One Pint Workout with a High Knees exercise to improve your lower body power and flexibility.

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Drive your right knee towards your chest and quickly back on the ground. Immediately drive your left knee towards your chest. Alternate knees as quickly as you can for 30 seconds.

Raise the Bar with Squat Jumps

Squat Jumps will literally pull those pints out of you as you involve your whole core and lower body in this workout.

Stand tall with feet hip-width apart. Push your bum back and lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Then jump as high as you can. Allow your knees to bend 45 degrees when you land before dropping back down into a squat to jump again.

No Half Measures with Toe Dips

Our One Pint Workout continues with Toe Dips to isolate your abs and work your hip flexors without overloading them.

Lie on your back. Alternate driving your knees up toward your chest while not letting your toes touch the floor between reps. Keep your ribcage from arching or your lower back flattening out.

Beat the Beer Blues with Bicycle Crunches

Target improved abs with some calorie-destroying Bicycle Crunches.

Lie flat on the floor. Put your hands behind your head. Bring your knees in towards your chest and lift your shoulder blades off the ground. Straighten your right leg out to a 45-degree angle while turning your upper body to the left and bringing your right elbow towards your left knee. Switch sides and do the same motion to complete one bicycle crunch.

Walking Lunges are Pint Sized Perfection

Walking Lunges target your glutes, hips and hamstrings and work off some of that beery weight.

Stand with your feet hip distance apart. Take a large step forward with the right foot and lower your body toward the floor. Push off your left foot so the left knee lifts up and you land with left foot in front in the same bent knee position. Now push off the right foot to lift the right knee and land with the right foot in front. Walk your lunge forward as far as you can go.

Expel Calories with One Pint Burpees

Finally, the last alcohol-burning exercise in our One Pint Workout session, burpees. Test your balance and co-ordination while working most of your major muscle groups.

Drop into a squat with your hands on the ground just in front of your feet. Kick your feet behind you, keeping your arms extended for a raised plank position. Jump your feet back towards your hands. Then leap into the air with your arms straight above you.

Last Call for Improved Health and Wellbeing

Feeling a lot more sober after our One Pint Workout? Don’t miss out either on our tips for preparing for Go Sober October here. Sam Turpin is just one of the many expert fitness staff you can expect to work with when you join Xercise4Less Gyms. Sign up to one of our flexible gym memberships and enjoy great value exercise benefits from friendly personal trainers to inclusive fitness classes. This October Go Sober and join the real community of Xercise4Less Gyms!

Go Sober for October

Go Sober for October and Replace Gin with the Gym

Before you say no to going 31 days without alcohol for Go Sober October 2019 think of the benefits of trying a booze-free month.

More satisfying sleep. Increased energy. More positive mood. Improved skin. Better concentration. Slimline waistline. A fatter wallet.

All of that sounds pretty good to us at Xercise4Less Gyms. So, why not take up this alcohol-free challenge and support a fantastic cause like Macmillan Cancer Support along the way?

We’re not saying it will be a breeze to give up alcohol for October but as always, we’re here to support you! Here are some practical tips for Go Sober October to get you through the month without letting a drop of drink pass your lips.

Plan a Proper Break from Alcohol

At Xercise4Less we want to help you improve your health and wellbeing so as you say goodbye to the pub for the month, we’ll be right beside you. First tip is to prepare for Go Sober October just like you’d prepare for any competition, in advance! Begin cutting your alcohol consumption in September to about 50% of what it would normally be, and you’ll make a sober October far less of a physical shock to the system.

Work out a less hectic social calendar for October so you’ll be less tempted to jump off the wagon and onto the drinks trolley. Exercise your creativity and come up with potential alternatives to your usual alcoholic drinks with a more sober mocktail perhaps, a non-alcoholic beer or even ginger beer! Keep your shopping list free from alcohol and avoid traipsing down the beer and wine aisle in your local supermarket from October onwards. If you can, clear all those spirits bottles out your house or lend them to someone who won’t be tempted to drown their own sorrows in your alcohol.

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Getting Through a Sober October

When going Sober in October, it can be a good idea to try to keep your mind off what you’re missing. Instead set yourself some goals for the month like fundraising targets for Macmillan or starting a new group fitness class at your local gym. Take your mental focus off alcohol and plan some healthy treats for those lovely hangover-free weekends. Meet up with some old friends but go for a walk in the country and avoid those country pubs! Do something you don’t associate with imbibing a few drinks.

Make sure, too, to drag some mates into doing Go Sober October with you. It’s easier to hold yourself to account when other people are sharing the alcohol-free pain! Some people will find it easier to give up that glass of wine than others, but it will get easier as you progress through your dry month. Keeping yourself busy during October will help but also keep in mind why you’re taking some time off from drinking. With Go Sober October you’re supporting a fantastic cause that helps many ill people. But the health benefits flow to you as well. Let’s look at how abstaining from alcohol can help both your mental and physical health.

The Health Benefits of Going Sober for a Month

Cut out alcohol for 31 days and you’ll see the physical benefits within a few days. A Sober October will give you a much more satisfying night’s sleep as alcohol can really affect your sleep quality of your sleep. You’ll feel your energy levels increase and your ability to concentrate at work and at home improve considerably. With alcohol to dehydrate you, your skin will look far healthier.

With the physical improvements that a sober month will come mental benefits. Feeling more energetic? You’ll feel more inclined to go to the gym leading to more happy endorphins flowing through your body. When a known-depressive agent like alcohol is taken out of the equation and exercise replaces it, you’ll feel sunnier and less prone to depressive thoughts.

You may even lose a few pounds just from the lack of alcohol as that’s loads of extra beer and wine calories that you’re no longer guzzling. Cheers to that! Stopping drinking will also mean you add pounds to your wallet rather than your waist. Celebrate your newfound riches by buying some clothes to fit the leaner non-alcoholic you.

Fighting Fit for the Longer Term

Ultimately, cutting out beer or wine for Go Sober October 2019 will improve your health longer-term. We’re not killjoys at Xercise4Less Gyms but think about cutting back on alcohol over the whole year rather than just one month and take an extra fitness class during the week rather than an extra trip to the pub!

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Find Your Fit with the Right Exercise Goals at Xercise4Less Gyms

Find your Fit this Summer to Achieve Your Exercise Goals

At Xercise4Less Gyms we’re really looking forward to relaxing and having some fun during the summer Bank Holiday on 26 August. This rest period can also be a great time to reassess your exercise goals and make sure that your current fitness programme is actually the right one for you.  Discover the perfect exercise plan for your body, one that fits snugly into your schedule alongside your work and life commitments, and you’ll quickly slide into a routine that sees you maintaining your fitness, boosting your health and feeling more energised day-to-day.

Let’s find the right fit for your exercise needs while you’re putting your feet up for the long weekend!

Discovering an Exercise Programme that Works for You

Finding your fit is all about exercise exploration and discovery. Trying to fit into a fitness regime that you don’t enjoy is completely counterproductive. A productive exercise programme has to be one that you find challenging but that you also find fun. There are plenty of ways to get into shape so go out and experiment. That’s why Xercise4Less provides so many different exercise options in all of our gyms from spin studios to free weights to boxing rings, functional fitness areas and loads of inclusive fitness classes. We want you to try new things and explore the different ways your gym routine could manifest. You never know what you’ll enjoy until you actually try a new class or exercise routine.

If you enjoy your exercise programme, then it’ll never feel like a chore and you’ll be a lot keener to get to the gym on a regular basis. This applies whether you’re completely new to gyms or a regular, looking to change up your existing fitness programme. Once you find a productive and fun workout routine, you’ll find it easy to maintain- and those slightly ambitious goals you set will soon seem much more realistic.

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See Real Results with Insider Knowledge

The choice of how you get fitter is really up to you because nobody understands you better than you! Be patient, though, when finding your fit. Strike the right balance, start small and work your way up. You don’t have to completely transform your fitness programme and try seven different types of exercise all at once. Change your workout plan gradually and temper your own internal expectations. Work out with our personal trainers and change in your fitness programme that’s right for you but still delivers real results.

Your Fitness is Your Own Goal

Finding the ideal fitness session for you is made a lot easier if you can draw on some intrinsic motivation. Having a specific reason to get in shape like a holiday or a special occasion can motivate in the short term but ultimately losing weight or getting fit is more successful when you’re doing it for yourself. So, choose who you want to be. Make your fitness goals match your own well-being and satisfaction needs in a way that is right for you.

Create a Fitness Plan Just for You

As much as we’d all love improved health and fitness to happen randomly and without effort, you really do need a plan. Your plan will be more successful if you know what your goals are and how you want to achieve them. Increase your odds of reaching your fitness goals by creating specific long-term goals and make your goals fully measurable. Put in a realistic plan for your real body that is realistic and attainable and don’t forget to reward yourself when you achieve short-term results as well as celebrating long-term success.

Don’t Put Off Finding Your Fit

All the exercise goals in the world won’t help though if you don’t have a fitness plan to implement them so don’t put creating one off. There will always be a reason to delay or to start working out ‘later’ if you look for it. As a new Xercise4Less member you can sit down with one of our personal trainers to put together a complete exercise programme that will deliver real results, and see you have fun doing it, whilst working out in your local gym. When you’ve found a new activity that you enjoy, working out continue will come a lot easier.

Even if you’re a long-time gym member, why not discuss your fitness plan with a personal trainer to make sure it really fits your personal preferences and your exercise goals. This summer bank holiday work out your mind and find your perfect fit!

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Healthy Halloween Treats to Haunt You

Halloween can be a bit of a monster mash up when it comes to eating healthily. So many temptations to scare your will power senseless! How can you avoid being spooked by the unhealthy snacks and treats on offer at every doorstop or at every Halloween party? There’s no need to wrap yourself in a white sheet when you can use these some useful tips for healthier trick-or-treats.

Eat Up Before You Trick or Treat

The healthiest thing to do on Halloween is of course to draw the curtains, turn off the lights and pretend you’re not in when the doorbell goes. But if that won’t do and your kids are determined to go trick or treating, then fill up first before you leave your house. Have a healthy meal before you bring your family out touting for chocolate. With less room in their small stomachs, they’ll be less likely to over-indulge on sugary Halloween treats. Make sure you have something to eat too so you’re not tempted by the toothsome treats calling you from the hall table. Off to a Halloween party just for adults? Treat yourself to a fibre-rich or protein-rich meal to help you feel full throughout the night and soak up some of that wicked alcohol into the bargain!

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Choosing Healthier Foods at Halloween

Halloween is in full-swing and you want to keep you and your family extra healthy. Try and surreptitiously replace as many sweets at your party as you can with healthier snacks. Kids eat thousands of sugary calories on Halloween so any time you can persuade them to eat a healthy snack instead of a wine gum, you’re winning! Hand out healthier treats like clementines, nuts, raisins, pumpkin seeds, sugar-free chewing gum or offer snack-sized packs of low-fat popcorn, pretzels and healthy sweet potato crisps to your guests. Persuade yourself and your family to only indulge in dark chocolate, great for your heart health, instead of a less healthy milk chocolate treat. 

Dress Up Your Halloween Snacks

You won’t trick everyone with obviously healthy treats on Halloween night so be creative in how you present snacks that are actually good for you. Up the fright factor for nutritious Halloween snacks. How do banana ghosts, plum and raisin spiders, cheese monsters or carrot witch fingers sound? Play with your food this Halloween and disguise how healthily you’re eating. The only limit is your spooky imagination!

Halloween is Only One Night

While you should try and eat healthily during the Halloween festivities, it’s important as well to have some fun. Lighten up and allow yourself and your family some sugary treats. As we know at Xercise4Less Gyms, it’s not what you eat on one day but rather how you eat all year long that will determine your health and wellbeing. So, don’t be a killjoy and deny your inner sweet tooth anything to chew on. Indulge in the occasional sweet treat this Halloween and scream with joy.

Burn Off the Halloween Calories with Xercise4Less

If you haven’t managed a fully healthy Halloween, then you can always work off the calories at your nearest Xercise4Less gym. Check out our Halloween exercise routines here and feel a lot healthier about Halloween.

Not already enjoying an Xercise4Less gym membership? Sign up today for scarily good value fitness in a friendly and inclusive workout environment that will get your skeleton in the best shape possible!

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Trick or Treat Halloween Workout

A Killer Trick or Treat Halloween Workout

Workout your inner skeleton this October 31st with our murderous Trick or Treat Halloween Workout. This Xercise4Less fitness guide will target and tone your arms, core, back and glutes without slashing you completely to shreds. Consign your Halloween sweets to a bubbling cauldron during this 15 minute workout as you blow away the cobwebs and put the frighteners on fat.

Caution. This workout may involve the use of a broomstick. It is Halloween after all!

1: Call On this Ghostbusters Halloween Exercise

For this Xercise4Less workout make sure you perform each Halloween-inspired exercise for one minute. For the Ghostbuster, that’s 30 seconds per leg. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat the scary workout for three rounds.

The Halloween Ghostbuster or lateral lunge will completely terrify your glutes, abductors, adductors and quads into submission. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed straight forward. Step out with your right foot as wide as possible. Engage through the right heel as you drop your hips down and back. Keep your left leg straight while stretching the groin on the left leg and maintaining both soles on the ground and toes pointed straight. Punch your right heel into the floor to push yourself back to the full standing start position. That’s one rep. You may be white as a sheet by the time you’re finished this Xercise4Less gym workout!

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2: Dancing Skeleton

Ward off the evil chocolate spirits with a Xercise4Less Dancing Skeleton workout. This standing crunch will work your obliques while improving your balance and stability. Stand with your feet shoulders-width apart, toes facing forward, and your hands on your hips. Engage your abs as you tilt your pelvis forward as if you’re trying to bring your hips up to your chest. Then, tilt your pelvis backward to stick out your butt as you bring your shoulders back and chest forward. Return to starting position for one rep. A wickedly tough workout exercise.

 3: Shortcut Your Road to Fitness with a Halloween Slasher

This fitness workout would make a fabulous scary movie, but the Halloween Slasher really takes it up to a whole new level of fear.

Stand with your feet hip-width apart holding a dumbbell in left hand. Extend your left arm overhead, aligning your wrist above the shoulder. Step back with the left foot while simultaneously lowering your left arm. Bend both knees, performing a reverse lunge while lowering the dumbbell towards the ground. Reverse the movement, stepping your left foot back to return to the starting position. A fat-scything workout exercise from Xercise4Less gyms for your fitness demons.

4: The Spook-tacularly Helpful Monster Walk

A spine-tingling workout for your abductors, the Monster Walk or Band Walk uses a band to get your muscles working scarily hard.

Place a band around both ankles and another around both knees. There should be enough tension that the bands are tight when your feet are shoulder width apart. Begin by taking short steps forward alternating your left and right foot. After several steps, do just the opposite and walk backward to where you started. You may feel fiendishly tired after this Halloween workout.

5: Fitness Toil and Trouble with the Grave Riser

We weren’t joking about the broomstick. So, grab a broomstick in your local Xercise4Less gym for the Grave Riser workout. No, really.

Start by lying flat on your back with your hands on both ends of the broomstick in front of you and your feet flexed. As you slowly raise your upper body off the ground, keep your legs straight and pinned to the floor. Make sure you tuck your chin to your chest as you come up. That’s one Grave Riser rep.

Fitness Fanatics Welcome Every Day

We are frighteningly fanatical about fitness at Xercise4Less Gyms and not just at Halloween. But we welcome everyone no matter your level of fitness, weight or gym experience. So, if you’re not already enjoying our not-so-scary gym membership, why not join our freakily fun exercise community today!

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Stoptober – Working Out How to Quit Smoking

With Stoptober 2019 just around the corner in October, now is the ideal time for you to improve your health and the health of those around you by stopping smoking. Manage to quit tobacco for the 28 days of Stoptober and you’re up to 5 times more likely to be able quit ciggies for good.

You’re not alone if you can’t give up. While the number of smokers is going down overall, there are still over 7 million people in the UK still puffing away. In addition, and worryingly for the UK’s future health, the age group of 25 to 34 years had the highest proportion of current smokers, according to the Office for National Statistics.

At Xercise4Less Gyms we have a great antidote to nicotine withdrawal. Exercise away the urge to smoke at one of our gyms for the length of this month challenge and start seeing the health benefits immediately.

Kicking the Nicotine Habit

Finally kicking the unhealthy habit of smoking will transform your life. Exercise will play a major role in helping you put down the pipe, cigar, vaper or cigarette for good. The discipline of exercise will leave your smoking habit in ashes, but it won’t come easy at first.

Nicotine is very addictive so coming off cigarettes isn’t pleasant. You’ll probably suffer withdrawal symptoms for a few weeks while the tobacco cravings could potentially last for months. Combine the chemical withdrawal with the mental crutch that the act of lighting up can provide and you need a psychological replacement; something to occupy your time and distract you, something you can invest in. That’s where exercise comes in.

Working out at your local gym will combat both the physical and mental symptoms of withdrawal. Scientific studies have shown that exercising even moderately reduces cigarette cravings both during the workout and afterwards for up to 50 minutes. Let’s now look at the specific benefits of stepping away from your pack of cigarettes. 

Smokingly Positive Health Benefits

You might endure shortness of breath when you exercise, especially if you’ve been a chain smoker. That will go away quite quickly as your lung function improves significantly when you stop smoking. Stubbing out your cigarettes and working out will lead to positive physical changes like an improved immune system and increased circulation.

You might be worried about putting on weight when you quit tobacco, but exercise will burn off any extra calories you’re eating as well as helping to suppress your appetite. Psychologically, regular fitness sessions will distract you from the urge to light up, improve your mood and help you cope better with stress through the pure endorphin rush of working out.

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A Quit Smoking Personal Fitness Plan

The first step in trying to replace smoking with exercise could be sitting down with one of our friendly and supportive Personal Trainers. Create an individual exercise plan to combat those nicotine cravings. Make sure you aim to start slowly and build up as you feel the physical withdrawal symptoms ease. Concentrate on setting up a fitness programme that is simple to follow and doesn’t stress you enough to start rolling a ciggie!

Pick exercises that you can build on and that you enjoy. If you like walking, start on the treadmill and work your way up to slow jogging. Soon you’ll stop puffing and start enjoying your workout. If you prefer the camaraderie of a group fitness class, you’ll have plenty of great exercise sessions to choose from in our gyms. Try out exercises new to you like virtual cycling, lift free weights or try your hand in the boxing ring. Making exercise simple and attractive is key to combating your urge to start smoking again.

Eat Up the Benefits of Stopping Smoking

With the return of your sense of smell and taste after quitting cigarettes, you may be tempted to eat your way through those cigarette cravings. Focus on a healthy diet. You don’t need to suddenly become a virtuous eater but if you can manage to eat healthily most days, you’ll retain the benefits of all those gym workouts! Try and avoid refined sugar and processed foods and don’t become addicted to chocolate in place of tobacco, even healthier dark chocolate.

The Healthy Support You Need to Quit Smoking

Exercise doesn’t have to be completely exhausting when you’re just given up cigarettes. Joining Xercise4Less Gyms will provide a real support system for your change in lifestyle. Our friendly fitness staff and motivating gym community will be ready to encourage the new healthier you. Stopping smoking is always a challenging task but making exercise a replacement habit is simply easier when you’re an Xercise4Less member.

 Joi

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Empowering Women in Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month can be a useful time to think about fitness issues that impact our female gym members. Breast cancer often brings with it serious body confidence challenges. An altered body through the physical changes caused by cancer treatment can have a seriously negative effect on a woman’s self-confidence.

Here at Xercise4Less, we know that making fitness as accessible as possible makes a big difference to female wellbeing and body confidence. Exercise empowers women of all ages and equips them with fantastic tools that impact mental health including body positivity. When you can lift a barbell above your head, you can combat insecurities about your body more easily. So how can working out at your local gym aid female empowerment? 

 Self-confidence with Emily McEvoy 

 Low Intensity Workout with Libby Frost

 Female Empowerment with Charly Stakim

How Exercise Can Improve Your Body Image?

Although body image dissatisfaction can affect both men and women, studies have shown that women in particular tend to feel especially negative about their bodies. That can harm both a woman’s psychological and physical health with an increased risk of suffering from depression and eating disorders. Exercise though is an important factor to enable women to fight off feelings of low self-esteem and actually be body positive.

Recent studies have found that just one workout in the gym helps improve a woman’s body image. When young women with pre-existing body confidence issues worked out at a moderate intensity for 30 minutes their body positivity shot up. And those effects weren’t just in the moment, they outlasted the fitness session by at least 20 minutes afterwards.

Let’s look at the areas where a workout can help empower Xercise4Less female gym members.

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Fitness Boosts Self-confidence

If you’re in need of a boost to your self-confidence, fit in a quick session at the gym. After sweating through a Les Mills BodyCombat class, you’ll walk out of the gym feeling much better about your body than when you first stepped through the door. Every time you work out, every time you choose to increase your strength at your local gym, you empower yourself. Keep working out and you’ll soon see your physical activity underpinning a new level of self-confidence.

The Positive Discipline of Regular Exercise

Having a regular fitness routine is thus key for longer-term improvement in female body confidence. That discipline of working out routinely is a huge help in changing your body image for the better. When you join an Xercise4Less gym you’re making a lifestyle change. With our inclusive fitness plan, you’ll push yourself harder each exercise session. That mental toughness required to keep going to the gym and keep sticking to your fitness programme will infuse every other area of your life with a more positive attitude.

Fitness Helps You Accomplish New Goals

When you join an Xercise4Less gym you’ll sit down with a Personal Trainer to create an individual exercise plan. You’ll find that setting healthy fitness goals will empower you. The satisfaction you’ll feel when you smash your exercise targets will underpin a new body positivity. Once you’ve started achieving your health ambitions, you’ll be inspired to set new goals for the future. A body positive cycle!

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A Fitness Connection for Female Gym Members

Xercise4Less Gyms tries to create a supportive workout environment for all of our members, female and male. So, when you become part of our fitness community, you’ll find plenty of female members to learn from and be inspired by. Whether you’re working out in our female-only gym or fighting up a storm in the boxing ring, you’ll be encouraged by other women to embrace your physical and mental strength. The communal power of fitness will supercharge your body confidence as you focus solely on your fitness.

Positively Fitter with Xercise4Less Gyms

Friendly. Inclusive. Real. They are the watch words Xercise4Less Gyms lives by. We aim to provide our members with a supportive exercise space and the right fitness tools to strengthen their fitness. Empower yourself by signing up to a gym membership during Breast Cancer Awareness Month and look forward to working on your body with positive confidence.

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National Fitness Day 2019 – Thomas Bosworth

Reach Olympic Heights this National Fitness Day

The 25th of September 2019, National Fitness Day, is for everyone no matter how fit or unfit you are. A national day of exercise is a great idea even for a professional athlete. A Liverpool Speke Xercise4Less member, Tom Bosworth, is a big supporter of getting the whole country out exercising. Tom isn’t just an Olympic race walker for TeamGB with a Commonwealth Games silver medal and two world records to his credit, he’s also a “man who can walk faster than you can run!” So, get off the sofa and stride into the gym this National Fitness Day 2019. Although you might be a bit slower than Tom!

 Keeping Fit as an Olympic Athlete

For Tom, “fitness is more than just about keeping healthy, it’s my job”. After attending Leeds Beckett University and working out at his Leeds gym, Tom finished 6th in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Thanks to that incredible result he received lottery funding and private sponsorship enabling him to devote himself full-time to race walking. Tom can now “train everyday and race to the best of my ability”.

How does an Olympic walker exercise on National Fitness Day or any other day? Tom’s training really is full-time. He trains twice a day every day except Sundays, “covering between 100km – 140km a week”. In addition, he works through three sessions in his Liverpool gym, “focusing on lifting, squats, deadlifts as well as core work using a lot of Pilates techniques”.

 Eating Up National Fitness Day

National Fitness Day isn’t just about exercise, of course; good nutrition is just as important for a proper healthy balance in your exercise life. And it’s all part and parcel of Tom’s life as a professional walker. Despite moving to Liverpool recently, he still spends a lot of time in Leeds as well as training at altitude for months at a time and that puts demands on his diet.

“Keeping on top of my diet when at altitude is very important, as it’s easy to get sick when training hard in such a tough environment. What are Tom’s tips for food fitness? “Keeping a balanced diet, rich in iron, keeping well hydrated and no alcohol along with a good sleep routine”. If that works for an Olympic athlete, then it will work for you on National Fitness Day!

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Making a Great Fitness Team

As Tom works hard towards the incredible challenge of competing for medals at the Olympics, he knows the importance of a great team around him. And that real team includes Xercise4less Gyms. “When I’m home I need a gym that can match all my training needs and Xercise4less has everything I require and more”. With our fitness support, Tom feels he can really maximise every day.

Every day counts now in the build-up towards next August’s Olympics in Tokyo. Until then Tom will be “spending many hours in the Xercise4less gym before heading to altitude”. That’s why “Xercise4less wanting to work as part of my team is so important”. We’re just delighted to play a part in Tom’s arduous preparations and are willing him on to Olympic glory!

Make Xercise4less Part of Your National Fitness Day Team

Take National Fitness Day 2019 as a jumping-off point for your renewed focus on exercise. You don’t need to train twice a day at your local gym, but you can be inspired by what a fellow Xercise4less member can achieve!

If you’re not already a member, try our no contract gym memberships giving you a flexible monthly payment plan, over 400 pieces of the latest gym equipment, separate ladies-only gym areas and up to 40 fitness classes each week. Make it easy on yourself this National Fitness Day and join the friendly Xercise4less community today.

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