World Mental Health Day 2018

For many of us, living a healthy lifestyle is incredibly important – we eat as “healthy” as we can, we run, we lift, we play sport, we practice yoga, (& party, of course) and we always try to better ourselves physically, strive for the perfect image, but sometimes, we forget about something.

Something incredible, something which keeps us alive, something which we simply do not appreciate enough and something we cannot see through our own eyes.

Our minds. 

In the past week, it is estimated that 1 in 6 people will experience a common mental health problem. A statistic we should not be able to ignore, yet, let’s face it, we’ve done a good job of doing just that in years gone by.

10th October, 2018’s focus is on young people and mental health in a changing world. Mental illnesses often start in young adulthood; and in a generation of social media domination, a plethora of hourly comparisons, and increasing worries around body image, relationships, “fitting in”, school grades, uni degrees and job securities (to name a few), it is absolutely paramount that we give young people access to the support they need to grow up happy, healthy and more than ever, resilient… and that’s why we’re offering everyone – past members, potential members, whatever shape or size, however your state of mind – a 5 day free pass to relieve any daily stresses through exercise. ?

Mental Health can be a sensitive subject, with people commonly afraid to open up about personal issues for fears of being scrutinised or judged. We busy ourselves rounding up followers and likes, and have more ways than ever to connect with one another (digitally anyway), but then why are we still leaving eachother hanging? Despite having large social networks, why has it been found that twenty-year-youngs report feeling lonely twice as often as those in their fifties and sixties?

Well, we don’t know the definitive answer, but what we do know, is that World Mental Health Day, has been created to bash the stigma, combat the fear, and draw attention to the fact that we are all human, we all have ups and downs, and we have all been given this life, because we are strong enough to live it.

It is equally important to take care of your mental health, as it is your physical health; but what effect does exercise have on wellbeing? It plays a huge part! Even a 10 minute mooch can increase mental alertness, energy and promote an overall positive mood! Regular routine exercise can increase self-esteem, as well as reduce stress and anxiety and you can find so much more insightful information about the benefits of physical activity on mental wellbeing over here.

As well as offering you free entry from Wednesday to Sunday, we have also enlisted the help of our amazing staff members to talk about what helps them when it comes to mental health and physical activity, and what could help you…

Esther Lewarne, our central operations coordinator, said she’s never been very good at sport and always been quite intimidated of the gym and the people that use it as she thought they’d judge her ability. She plucked up the courage to get a PT at X4L so that she could learn to use the equipment and also to see what she was capable of. The main goal really was to lose weight. 

 “I never realised how much I would enjoy exercise and what impact it would have on my outlook and mental health. I will never be a size 0, nor will I be the sort of person that trains 7 days a week but I will always have the respect I should for my mind as well as my body and continue to exercise on a regular basis without pressuring myself to be the best.

Exercise now gives me a release that I wasn’t getting before and keeps my mind and body healthy. I will be forever grateful to myself for taking that first step”.

Jon Wright, Founder, commented: “The benefits of exercise go beyond just the physical. Exercise has a key role to play in helping to manage mental health problems including anxiety, stress and depression. To mark World Mental Health Day, we want to give everyone the chance to get away from everyday stresses and improve their mental wellbeing by getting active.”

James Hesling, our General manager of Leeds North says that “health” is something that many people don’t realise falls into different forms. There’s the obvious physical health, which is why so many people join Xercise4Less but what’s equally as important is emotional and mental health too. Mental health can be improved in many forms, exercise being one of them! When we exercise we release endorphins in our body and our brains uses them to make us feel good!

#handsupforhealthy minds toolkit has been designed to give you nuggets of information on the mental health of young people aged 18-24; including facts, practical links, and downloadable content as well as some handy self-care tips!

Of course, there is no right way to do “fitness”; and there is no right way to take care of our mental health, but you can count on us at Xercise4Less from now until Sunday.

Fill in your free day pass – work up sweat, and sweat out the stress – we’re here for you. ? 

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff when You Start University

The car boot is crammed full of your stuff. You’ve said goodbye to your family and it’s time to start up the engine on a great new adventure. Starting uni or college can be both a hectic time and a stressful experience as the 500% increase of students reporting mental health problems over the last ten years underlines. Leaving home for the first time, trying to get used to new freedoms and new routines while you’re meeting new people from all over the world can be daunting but Xercise4Less Gyms are here to remind you not to sweat the small stuff! University is a time to be enjoyed, not endured, so here are some student tips on how to last the distance in your new college life.

Set Yourself Up for Success on Campus

When you finally start higher education you might find you have less time to sleep and less time to think about your health and wellbeing. Socialising, boozing, eating fast food late at night is all part and parcel of student life. But this life-changing experience doesn’t have to come at the cost of your physical or mental health.

That’s why we put our heads together at Xercise4Less to offer an easy way for you to stay fit as a fresher. Until 30th September we’re offering a fantastic student fitness deal of £0 Joining Fee and your First Month for just £1. Our student gym membership also comes with a Free 3-month tastecard and 2 Personal Training Sessions. If you want to try us before you join you can take up our 5 Day Free Gym Pass, available until 30th September. You won’t run out of steam during your first few months at university when you can join your nearest Xercise4Less gym!

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Never Running Out of Steam

Take the weight off your new student life with a fitness routine to work off the partying excess and keep you on a good academic track. Exercising regularly boosts your energy levels, enabling you to fully experience the best student life has to offer, and come out with a respectable result afterwards. When you sit down with an Xercise4Less Personal Trainer to plan your fitness programme, don’t limit yourself to exercises that you’ve always done. University life is about experimenting so play around with free weights, a Les Mills BodyBalance class or virtual cycling.

University is about making friends, too, so find a new workout buddy to extend your uni network. Create a fitness plan that you’ll stick to with achievable and measurable goals. Schedule your workouts to fit within your weekly class schedule. Exercise consistently improves your cognition as well as boosting your memory so workout during your college day. You can even cram for an exam while you do cardio on the stationary bike!

Keeping the Weight off Student Life

It’s easy to wander off a healthy nutritional path when you’re caught up in the excitement of student life. Take a breath though to focus on your food. Eating a balanced diet can help you feel better, cope with stress and perform well in the classroom. Learn to cook on a student budget. Don’t spend all your money on takeaways or microwave food when you can whip up a delicious home-cooked meal for less. Cook food in bulk then freeze it in meal-sized portions so it’s even quicker to heat up than microwave meals!

Avoid having too many fattening snacks in your student accommodation. Why not keep healthy snacks like mixed nuts and Greek yoghurt on hand for those late night study sessions. Or use your free 3-month tastecard for a healthy restaurant meal at a fraction of the normal cost. Remember to reward yourself too and indulge in your favourite cheat food every now and then.

Taking Care of Your Mental Health

Going to university is an amazing opportunity to step into independent life but it can take a toll on your mental health. A deterioration in mental health is now a real problem for students in the UK. The suicide rate of UK students has increased 56% over the last ten years with over 15,000 first year university students reporting mental health issues in their first year.

We’ve talked about the physical benefits of exercising and taking care of your diet but working out is just as important for your mental health. In fact, exercise is considered vital by mental health professionals for reducing stress and keeping a balanced mental state. Fitness also demonstrably improves your concentration and recall so exercise is ideal in the run-up and during exams!

We like to keep our university fitness offers affordable on a student budget. Sign up to Xercise4Less Gyms before 30 September for only £1, pay a £0 joining fee and receive a free 3-month tastecard and 2 Personal Training sessions to boot. Or you can try our student 5 Day free gym passes, also up to September 30th. You don’t need a third level education to know that’s a great bargain!

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Ride Like the Wind on Cycle to Work Day 2019

Strap on your bike helmet for Cycle to Work Day on 8 August and get pedalling with Xercise4Less Gyms! It doesn’t matter whether you love cycling to work or haven’t been on a bike for years, now is the opportunity to get on your bike and grind out the gears outdoors or in the gym. You can ride solo to your job or take on a biking challenge with your gym friends for this national bike to work day. With Xercise4Less however you can also make cycle to work day just the start of your bicycle adventures.

Cycle to Work Day is the UK’s biggest cycle commuting event but don’t let that put you in a spin. Xercise4Less gym members can already include cycling in their weekly fitness programme. The benefits of riding a bike don’t have to be limited to cycling to work every day when you can access loads of stationary bikes and indoor cycling classes like spin sessions or virtual cycling.

Let’s take a look at why you should get the lycra on and ride your own Tour de Fitness at your local gym. 

The Benefits of Getting on Your Bike in the Gym

At Xercise4Less Gyms we like to lead from the front when it comes to indoor cycling. That’s why we provide 30 spin bikes including IC7 bicycles and 16 upright and recumbent bikes in every gym. There’s no need to bike to work every single day when you can benefit from cycling in our gyms whenever you want. Our spin classes or indoor cycling sessions offer amazing opportunities to go up the gears of your fitness plan. Just think dark room, stationary bikes, blaring chart music and a class full of sweaty cyclists and prepare to be blown away by your fitness improvements.

There’s no need to soft pedal how indoor cycling can supercharge your fitness. Spin cycle classes and virtual cycling increase your cardio fitness while being low impact exercise and there’s no chance of cars splashing you! Indoor cycling helps increase the endurance of your leg muscles and adds muscle definition to your legs and core. Spin classes will also benefit your joints with improved balance, coordination, and gait. As a bonus indoor cycling classes can be a great way to make some new gym buddies. Our gym members have lots of indoor cycling options including spin classes and virtual cycling. Check out our fitness class timetable to come along for the ride. 

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Grease Your Fitness Wheels with an Xercise4Less Spin Class

With 30 spin bikes including IC7 spin bicycles, your local Xercise4Less gym offers you every incentive to get in the saddle and get cycling. Our Cycle4FiiT spin classes are high-intensity cycling workouts with constant pedalling using varying resistances and speeds to simulate the effects of riding a bike uphill, downhill and fast along straight roads. Work out with an inspirational personal instructor and listen to pulsating chart music as you push yourself to the limit. You won’t be spinning your wheels with indoor cycling; this spin class is a rough ride that will increase fat loss and build muscle as you burn between 500 and 700 calories in an hour’s workout. You can book Cycle4FiiT or any indoor cycling classes with the Xercise4Less mobile app, on our website or at your local gym reception. Spin classes are usually run multiple times during the week. 

Change Exercise Gears with a Virtual Cycling Class

Before you ride off into the sunset, spin classes are not your only indoor cycling options. A Virtual Cycling class is a terrific way to build your fitness and build some confidence for cycling outdoors. Stationary bikes will never be dull again when you can choose your location, get on your bike and ride away virtually to destinations around the world. Feel like you’re actually riding outside the gym as you pedal as fast as you can. Virtual cycling isn’t just some gimmick either, riding a virtual bike improves your workout by increasing exercise awareness, concentration and effort rather than staring at a gym wall. You’ll be aided by virtual instructors who’ll guide you along some of the world’s most exciting cycling routes while providing encouragement. Virtual cycling is perfect for every gym member no matter your real body shape, your age or your fitness level. 

Ride on to Improved Fitness Levels with Xercise4Less Gyms

National Cycle to Work Day is a great opportunity to get out and pedal towards new fitness levels but with Xercise4Less gyms it can be just the start of a fun fitness journey. Whether you take your bike to work every day or want to go to the gym more regularly, an Xercise4Less gym membership will enhance your fitness at an affordable cost. Our friendly inclusive gym is a real community that can help inspire you to your fittest level yet. Get on your bike and sign up to Xercise4Less Gyms on take your bicycle to work day! 

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Drink in the Benefits of World Plant Milk Day 2019

Vegan? Lactose intolerant or dairy-free for health reasons? If you’re a fan of almond or soya milk in your coffee or you prefer a dollop of coconut milk on your cornflakes, then the upcoming World Plant Milk Day is perfect for you. On August 22, 2019 the organisers of this annual non-dairy milk extravaganza are encouraging you to ‘do your body good and do the world good’ by avoiding dairy milk and try one of the many plant-based milk alternatives.

As part of a general food trend in the UK towards vegan foodstuffs, plant milks are increasingly popular. You no longer have to search for coconut milk in your local health food shop; alternative plant milks or mylks are widely available in every supermarket. To celebrate World Plant Milk Day at Xercise4Less Gyms we want to have a closer look at how popular dairy alternatives can fit into your health and fitness plans. 

How Non-Dairy Milk is Good for You

Nutritionally, non-dairy milks have a lot to recommend them. Plant milk is a good and sustainable alternative to dairy milk and even brings some added health and wellbeing benefits. Research has shown that a wholefood, plant-based diet that includes plant milk can help prevent obesity, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and even some kinds of cancer.

Avoid dairy milk and cows won’t be crying as plant milks are simply better for animal welfare. The methods of the dairy industry cause huge stress to the bovine population. Drinking soya lattes is also better for the human population and the planet as animal agriculture causes major greenhouse gas emissions. Dairy farming also requires more extensive land usage than growing plants so any reduction in dairying means more sustainable agriculture to feed the world’s ever-expanding population. Non-dairy alternatives are also a veritable land of milk and honey with an incredible range of plant milks from almond to hemp to cashew and quinoa milk. With this range of dairy free drinks continuing to grow, it couldn’t be simpler to make non-dairy milk part of your nutritional plan.

But which type of plant milk should you go for on World Plant Milk Day? 

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The Cream of the Plant Milk Crop

We’ve gone from having soya milk as the only real alternative to dairy to an overwhelming number of plant-based milks currently available in UK supermarkets:

  • Soya milk – The original plant milk is the most nutritionally similar to cow’s milk. Moderate in calories, soya milk is a good source of protein and calcium and is delicious as a cooking ingredient or in coffee.
  • Almond milk – One of the most popular non-dairy alternatives, almond milk is rich in nutrients and contains powerful antioxidants against cancer and heart disease. Perfect for pouring over cereal.
  • Rice milk – Nut and gluten free and extremely low in calories, rice milk is naturally sweet and ideal for baking. It also makes a refreshing drink on its own.
  • Oat milk – Oat milk has more protein and fibre than most plant-based alternatives but also more carbohydrates and sugar. Oat milk has the least impact on the environment of all the various plant milks.
  • Coconut milk – Rich in iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc lauric acid, coconut milk boosts your immune system and is used extensively in cooking and baking. It’s pretty good in a cup of coffee too.
  • Cashew milk – The creamy cashew milk is also perfect for coffee and tea as it doesn’t have a strong taste. Porridge lovers will really milk this non-dairy alternative dry. 

Which is your favourite?

A Key Part of Your Exercise Plan

When you join an Xercise4Less gym you soon realise the importance we place on getting your nutrition and diet right as part of your overall fitness programme. If you are looking to get fit, maintain your current weight or lose weight, a varied diet including plant milks is the best way to nourish a healthy body.

Let us plant the idea with you then of our incredible Body Transformation Camps. Our 8 week gym programme for men and women of every fitness level completely changes old habits and diets and creates new healthy ones. Fitness sessions are only one part of how we help your transform your body though. You get inclusive access to superb nutritional tools like the Xercise4Less nutrition app to tailor your meal plan to your own specific calorie and macro-nutrient requirements. Change your body and mind for good with the right fitness knowledge and book our life-changing body transformation camps on World Plant Milk Day!

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Treat Yourself to an Xercise4Less Gym Membership Today

Remember when you were thinking about getting back into the gym or wanting to work out for the very first time?

Well, now is the time to treat yourself with an Xercise4Less gym membership. Not only will you get to work out in a fun exercise space but from 25th July to 12th August you’ll also receive a bonus FREE 3 month tastecard subscription. So, now when you work out hard, you can lap up the tasty rewards of massive restaurant discounts after every session. Ah, sweet refreshment!

Why Pampering Works for Your Workouts

That fantastic tastecard offer got us wondering how can you use treats to keep yourself motivated even on your least energetic days?

If you want to treat yourself right, a post-exercise reward may be the perfect incentive to keep working out. Keeping fit isn’t easy and the motivation of even experience gym users can falter. A great way to stick with your training is to provide yourself with a treat, what researchers call ‘indulgent incentives’. Of course, we all know that the biggest reward for a fitness session is knowing you’ve achieved your goal! But sometimes what you really need is a pampering experience or something tasty in the fridge to look forward to. If you do enjoy a delicious reward though, it’s important not to treat yourself like dirt. Banish all your guilt about treating yourself. You’ve worked hard in the gym and now you’re rewarding that hard work.

Here then are a few fun ways to treat yourself well after you’ve sweated buckets.

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Doing Nothing Works a Treat

There’s no need to make rewarding yourself complicated. Why not simply do nothing after your workout at your local Xercise4Less Gym. Take some time for yourself as an exercise reward. Maybe watch some television, read a magazine or book, lounge on the sofa scanning your Instagram page, or just savour not having to rush around. What about a nap? That’s a great way to treat yourself after you’ve burned through your energy stores. As a sweet reward you’re also helping your tired muscles recover. 

Indulge in a Treat and Eat Through Your Workout Rewards

Why not make a post-exercise meal a standing treat for you and your gym buddies? When you pick up the free 3 month tastecard subscription that comes with your new membership you’ll have every incentive to work harder in the gym. Knowing that you can look forward to a delicious re-fuelling after a fat-burning session will keep you going harder and longer in the gym.

Naturally, at Xercise4Less Gyms we’d encourage you to eat mostly delicious healthy foods but every now and then, why not indulge in one of your favourite sweet or savoury delicacies? After all, you’ve probably just lifted a personal best or run your fastest ever 5K and it wouldn’t be fair not to treat yourself right!

Treat Yourself to a Something New

You may have smashed your fitness goals for this week so now could be the right time to reward yourself with a shopping spree. Remind everyone how hard you’ve been working in the gym and buy an exercise outfit that shows off your impressive new physique. If clothes reflect who you are, then show people what your newfound fitness is all about! Or motivate yourself to work out even harder and treat yourself to some new fitness gear like fancy exercise shoes or gym tech.

Pampering Treats for Your Tired Muscles

Give yourself and your feet a treat with some much-needed TLC after a tough workout session at your local Xercise4Less gym. Soak your feet in some warm water or take a relaxing bath filled with essential oils to soothe your tired post-gym muscles. Freshen up with a long invigorating shower to beat the post-workout DOMS and get your body ready for the next gym session.

If your budget will stretch to it, why not treat yourself very well with a post-workout massage to knead out any tightness knots. Alternatively, when money is tight, ask your partner to give you a massage after exercise to help speed up your recovery.

Xercise4Less Gyms Always Treat You Right

When you join Xercise4Less gyms today you won’t just be treating yourself to hours of pleasure in the gym but between 25th July and 12th August you’ll also get a free 3 month tastecard subscription! Treat yourself with respect whether you’re ready to join a gym, new to gyms, a casual gym goer or already an experienced gym user and get the royal treatment with a Xercise4Less Gym membership.

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Fitness Friends Together on World Friendship Day 2019

World Friendship Day is coming up soon on 30th July. There couldn’t be a better time to remind ourselves of the power our friends have to inspire and encourage us, both in and out of the gym. The United Nations describes how the International Day of Friendship takes many forms, all of which centre on a “shared spirit of human solidarity”. We believe exercise to be an important one of these forms- one worth celebrating.

We know it can be a challenge to maintain a positive attitude toward exercise week in, week out- but at Xercise4Less Gyms we see every day how having a gym buddy can help you maintain a healthy body and mind. In honour of World Friendship Day 2019, we’re going to look at some of the benefits of working out with a friend (or friends).

Group hug?

The Science of Exercising with Friends

The original idea for a world friendship day came from Hallmark Cards back in the 1930s but there is actual science showing how working out in a group can supercharge your levels of motivation.

The health benefits of friends exercising together in an Xercise4Less gym or elsewhere really underline the phrase ‘strength in numbers’. Studies have found that gym users in groups are hugely influenced by those working out around them. One study showed that starting a fitness programme with friends means that you’re twice as likely to complete it than someone working out on their own. No wonder that group classes like spin cycling, Les Mills sessions and dance-based classes have increased so much in popularity over the past few years.

But what are the exact benefits of exercising all for one and one for all?

 A Friendly Commitment to a Healthy Routine

Exercising with friends comes with benefits but also with responsibilities. We’ve all been there. You have absolutely no intention of going to a 6am boot camp but you feel yourself pulled out of bed because you can’t leave your friend there on their own. Positive peer pressure ensures you keep your exercise commitments, otherwise you’re deep in the doghouse.

It’s much easier as well to stick to a fitness session at your local Xercise4Less gym when you know that you’re going to be training with friends. When you work out with gym buddies in a Zumba session, the friendly encouragement can be positively infectious. A bond is created through the sweat and tears and a sense of camaraderie springs up, leaving you wanting a little more help from your friends.

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Your Friends Help Push You Harder

Fitness friends aren’t just there to encourage you though, they can keep you accountable when your motivation is at its weakest. When you’re in desperate need of some extra oxygen, friends can inspire you with their fitness deeds. Looking across at your fitter boot camp neighbour can motivate you to keep going a little longer; no-one wants to be the weakest link in a group setting.

The thought of what you would tell your Xercise4Less exercise buddies can stop you before you eat the whole of that very tempting chocolate cake. There’s no shame involved because you know from sweating buckets together that the support of your fitness buddies is genuine. And you’re happy also to provide your support when your gym friends need it.

Fun and Fitness Games with Your Friends

Working out alongside other Xercise4Les gym members can lead to new friendships. What could be better than having someone to chat and laugh with in between Body Transformation Camp sets? Having fun when you’re exercising really does make your workout go quicker. And what greater excuse is there for a post-exercise meal than a gym session with a friend.

Having friends in the gym is also more likely to lead you to new forms of exercise from our inclusive group classes to lifting free weights for the first time. Gym friendship opens up all sorts of possibilities and with an exercise partner you now have no excuses not to diversify your workouts. Why would you feel intimidated about going to the Combat Zone for the first time when you can go with a friend to show you the ropes? Or you can feel comfortable working out with an old friend in the privacy of the Ladies Only gym zone.

You’re in Good Workout Company with Xercise4Less

At Xercise4Less Gyms we understand how helpful working out with friends is. That’s why our gym members enjoy inclusive group exercise classes. It’s so simple to book exercise classes online or via our mobile app that you have no excuses not to start working out with friends on World Friendship Day 2019 or any other day!

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Authentic Workouts at Comfortable Xercise4Less Gyms

An Authentic Fitness Experience at Xercise4Less Gyms

Finding a gym that’s right for you and right for your fitness goals isn’t easy. But at Xercise4Less Gyms you’ll always find an authentic gym that will make you feel right at home and at ease when you’re working out. We want you to get fit and feel great while you’re getting into shape. Not only do we provide all the exercise equipment that you need to transform your fitness, but we create a comfortable environment for you to work up a sweat.

Joining a gym and working out on a regular basis can be uncomfortable at first but our perky Front Desk staff and our encouraging Personal Trainers will soon put your fears to rest. An Xercise4Less gym is for everyone no matter your fitness level or gym experience. We offer a workout environment that is non-intimidating for the beginner but fully authentic for the experienced gym bunny. For our female members too, you can work out in comfort in our private ladies-only gym zone.

We know that the more comfortable you are in an authentic gym, the more you’ll work out and that makes us very happy!

A Real Gym for Real Bodies

To help you start getting into your best shape, all our new gym members enjoy a FREE one-to-one Personal Training session. We’ll help you get comfortable around the gym and around the equipment so you can get the most from your workout sessions. Our Personal Trainers will also work with you to plan realistic targets for your normal body shape and to get the most from an authentic exercise session at Xercise4Less Gyms.

But that’s only the start. No matter how experienced a gym goer you are, our Personal Trainers are always on hand to explain, guide and motivate you to really ramp up your fitness. You can also take advantage of all the FREE group exercise classes you’d expect from an authentic fitness centre like Xercise4Less Gyms including the world famous and fabulously effective Les Mills workout sessions. Don’t miss out either on our intensive Boot Camps or our incredible and life-changing Transformation Camps. Alternatively, you can create your own circuit training routines to burn off calories or gain muscle in the huge space available in a real gym like Xercise4Less.

All the Right Equipment for an Authentic Gym Workout

As an inclusive gym [LINK to Inclusive blog] Xercise4Less Gyms [LINK] aims for an authentic workout vibe where you’ll feel comfortable both exercising and asking for help when you need it. The feel of a gym is determined by the quality of people working out and the people working in it. At Xercise4Less Gyms you’ll find friendly approachable people including our Personal Trainers and your fellow members ready to support and motivate you. We want you to be comfortable so if you’re not sure how a resistance machine operates or how our Transformation Camps work, all you have to do is ask someone in our gym.

However, at an Xercise4Less gym it’s not just the people that build an authentic atmosphere to deliver your health and wellbeing ambitions. You’ll also find the right equipment to take you to a higher level of fitness. In our great value gyms, you’ll find as much exercise equipment as your quivering muscles can stand. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an experienced power lifter or completely new to resistance training, you’ll the right fitness kit to hone your muscles or blow away your body fat. You won’t need to queue for machines either even if you work out at peak times. We provide twice the number of fitness machines of a normal gym. We’re want you excited to come back as often as your tired body can handle!

A Comfortable Environment for All Our Members

Part of being an authentic gym is allowing everyone who exercises to be comfortable when they work out. That’s why we emphasise the Ladies Only gym zones available in all Xercise4Less Gyms around the country. We won’t stand for any gymtimidation in an Xercise4Less gym and we understand that some female members are just more comfortable working out with other women.

Feeling intimidated at the gym isn’t restricted to just our women members though, everyone can feel judged about their workout form or their current body shape. We’ve made it our mission at Xercise4Less Gyms to make you comfortable in our authentic gyms. Our approachable staff are there to assist you whatever your fitness targets are. Whether you need an encouraging word or motivating advice you’ll find it from our Personal Trainers and fitness staff in your local Xercise4Less gym.

Trust in the Authentic Fitness Community of Xercise4Less Gyms

We want you to get comfortable starting on your life-long journey of fitness improvement. We work at building an authentic and supportive workout environment that will keep you coming back day after day. We’re an exercise community that is there for you on every step of your fitness journey. You’ll never be intimidated or frustrated by the lack of help and support that you get when you join Xercise4Less Gyms today. For us, that’s what an authentic gym is all about!

Everyone’s Welcome at Inclusive Xercise4Less Gyms

all year fitness xmas dinner blog

Everyone’s Welcome at Inclusive Xercise4Less Gyms

We like to think that working out is the right step for every person who walks through the door at Xercise4Less Gyms. As an inclusive gym we want to make you feel good about exercising whether you’re a first-time gym goer, an experienced work out machine or an occasional gym visitor. There is no perfect gym shape or mould of how you should look or how fit you should be to work out at any of our Xercise4Less Gyms. We are as welcoming towards gym newbies as we are towards power lifters and provide a friendly exercise environment that works for both female and male gym members.

At Xercise4Less Gyms we work with every type of body. It doesn’t matter your size, your gender, your athletic ability, your age or your physical condition. We work with you to reach realistic goals that fit your ambitions. Accommodating our Xercise4Less gym to your fitness needs means innovations like ladies only gym zones so everyone can build your body confidence in comfort and security. Xercise4Less gym members include everyone from people suffering from illness to members shy about working out on a regular basis. We provide a friendly and inclusive space so you can focus on your fitness and leave your body anxiety behind. 

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Join an Inclusive Community Which Supports You

Finding a supportive community to workout with is really straight forward with Xercise4Less Gyms.

We provide a huge variety of FREE group exercise programmes to include you in our community. You’ll get your training off on the right foot thanks to an initial one-to-one fitness class with our friendly Personal Trainers. You get to know us, and we get to know your fitness ambitions.

Having a safe and inclusive fitness space is vital to make you feel comfortable working out and to help build a positive relationship with your body. Xercise4Less Gyms works hard on creating a gym that is fully accessible. Everyone from the friendly front desk staff to the motivating Personal Trainers are focused on making your workout experience as positive as possible. We don’t want you feeling self-conscious or intimidated when you visit a Xercise4Less gym. We really want you to pick up the exercise bug and we’ll do whatever it takes to get you fitter. You’ll still get the heart racing but in a non-intimidating or non-judgemental workout space.

A Safe and Encouraging Workout Space for Men and Women

Xercise4Less Gyms has a reputation for accessibility and that means we build an environment that works for all our members no matter their fitness level or their gender. We provide all the kit an experienced body builder could need and all the cardio and resistance machines a beginner requires to start their fitness journeys.

Our gyms also accommodate the needs of female members who fear gymtimidation and are more comfortable working out with other women. As an inclusive gym we provide our female members with a ladies-only gym zone that is separate and private. You can still work out at maximum capacity but with maximum support from like-minded women and without any anxiety. Whatever you need to supercharge your fitness wise, Xercise4Less Gyms will accommodate your ambitions.

The Personal Side of Getting Fit

Plenty of gyms claim to be welcoming exercise spaces. But at Xercise4Less Gyms we make inclusivity and accessibility a real priority. That’s why we value the role of our Personal Trainers in addition to the amazing range of equipment and the fantastic welcoming space that is part of your local Xercise4Less gym.

Our Personal Coaching programmes are a key factor in making you feel welcome and feel part of our exercise community. The highly qualified trainers that you’ll work with at an Xercise4Less gym are super motivated to help you achieve the fitness goals you’ve set while feeling good about doing it. They’ll guide you through your workouts and they’re always on hand to provide encouragement when you need it most. What more motivation could they need than seeing our gym members make real progress in their fitness levels?

Join an Inclusive Fitness Community at Xercise4Less Gyms

At Xercise4Less Gyms we’re determined that your workout experience will keep you coming back for more. We’re an inclusive community of gym goers who are there to support and motivate you towards the ambitious goals that you’ve set for yourself. That includes everyone from the Personal Trainers to the General Manager to the other gym members.

We want to make you feel comfortable and relaxed so you can feel at home in a Xercise4Less Gyms. We want you to gain self-confidence in your fitness as well as gaining muscle! We accommodate our fitness ambitions to your exercise needs and empower you to reach your goals.

Sign up to an inclusive gym like Xercise4Less Gyms today and turn exercise into a positive and fun habit as part of the most inclusive support network possible.

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Gary French – Transformation Camp Winner

Transformation from truck stop diner to Porsche owner as HGV driver from County Durham wins a brand-new sports car

Fitness challenge at his local Xercise4Less gym wins Gary French a Porsche – and a five stone weight loss.

When Gary French, a 50-year old HGV driver from Hartburn, nervously walked into a gym for the first time in January 2018, little did he know it was the start of a journey which would lead him to a complete body transformation – and behind the wheel of a brand new Porsche.

Above: Gary French, Marketing, Fitness and CEO.

National gym chain Xercise4Less launched a competition at the start of 2018 to provide additional motivation to people undertaking one of its 4FiiT eight-week Body Transformation Camps. Over 14,000 people took part in the Transformation Camps in 2018, and 14 of those with the most praiseworthy physical transformations were selected by the Health & Fitness team and invited to tell their story, after which a public vote was held on Facebook to choose the winner.

Gary was chosen as the winner after revealing his commendable two stone weight loss, achieved during his first Body Transformation Camp, before enrolling in many further camps – he’s currently starting his eighth!

Above: Gary French.

After years of no exercise, truck stop treats and full English breakfasts, at the start of 2018 Gary realised his body was suffering the consequences of his unhealthy lifestyle, finding himself out of breath climbing the stairs and unable to touch his own toes. Motivated by a fear of missing his children’s big milestones, Gary overcame his nerves and joined Xercise4Less Stockton-on-Tees, booking in a personal training session with Natasha Livingstone. Several weeks later he joined his first Body Transformation Camp.

Gary said: “I’m so excited to have won this car. As the competition was coming to an end, there were two Porsche Boxters parked outside the Porsche garage nearby, and I said to my wife: “this car has my name on it”. Little did I know, it actually did! It’s an amazing added bonus to my transformation and the perfect way to celebrate how far I’ve come.

“I wanted to lose five stone so I could still be around in 20 years to see my little girl walk down the aisle and to watch my son walk out for Middlesbrough as their first team goalkeeper! It was nerve-racking walking into the gym that first day, but I was quickly put at ease. The camp was fantastic – I formed great relationships with everyone, and we all shared information and support. Our camp came to an end, but I was totally hooked and so were the rest of the camp. I had lost two stone in eight weeks and I was over the moon.

“As well as the personal training sessions with a phenomenal and extremely helpful personal trainer who was on hand to answer any of our questions, the camp also helped me get to grips with my diet and improved my mental health. It lifted my spirits, confidence and wellbeing and helped me deal with the daily grind of life. I can safely say if I hadn’t walked into the gym that day, I think I could have been looking at heart failure, a stroke or worse in the future.”

Above: Gary French.

Gary’s next challenge will be to take on the annual coast to coast cycle ride in August. He hopes to complete it in 24 hours, raising funds for the Children’s Heart Foundation at Freeman’s Hospital in Newcastle.

Peter Wright, Xercise4Less CEO, said: “We’re delighted for Gary, he’s a very well deserving winner of this amazing Porsche prize. He has worked so hard, never losing sight of his goals, but I think surprising himself by how much he enjoyed it along the way. If you’d have told him he would be signing up for eight of our Body Transformation Camps and taking on a Coast to Coast cycle ride 18-months ago, I don’t think he would have believed you, but there’s no stopping him now.”

Above: Fitness Manager, CEO and Gary French. 

The Xercise4Less Body Transformation Camps include three personal trainer led sessions every week, access to the personal trainer and other camp members for support and advice via an online community hub, plus complimentary access to the Xercise4Less mobile app. Click here for more information.

Above: Fitness Manager, CEO and Gary French. 

Overcoming Diabulimia with Beth from Wigan

Taking Care of Both Your Mind and Your Body with Xercise4Less Gyms

Sometimes it can be hard to understand how connected our physical fitness is to our mental wellbeing. And sometimes a breakdown in our mental strength can lead to a life-threatening situation for our bodies. That’s what happened to one of our Xercise4Less Wigan Personal Trainers, Beth.

In 2012, just before her 12th birthday, Beth was unfortunately diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. She found it very difficult to deal with her new-found medical condition. As Beth admitted, “it hit me hard”. To add to her weakened physical health, she found caring for her condition mentally draining. Beth explains that “after years of hating the same routine every day, I stopped looking after my diabetes”.

Soon her medical situation spun out of control, she “let it control me” and “before I knew it, I had diabulimia and depression”. Beth lost so much weight that at one point she weighed shockingly just 3 and a half stone and was close to death as the picture on the left shows all too clearly.

Thankfully Beth managed to pull herself out of this serious situation with a lot of mental hard work and the help of exercise. These days she is happier than ever and weighs a healthy 10 and a half stone as you can see in the picture on the right.

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The Struggle to Overcome Eating Disorders

The type of eating disorder that Beth suffered from is increasingly common in the UK’s population with society’s unhealthy focus on the ‘perfect’ body shape. Women, in particular, suffer from bulimia, anorexia, and binge eating disorder. Beth suffered from diabulimia: an eating disorder common in a diabetic where the person purposefully restricts insulin to lose weight.

Diabulimia is also desperately common with up to a third of women with Type 1 diabetes and even higher levels among the 15-30 age group. The consequences of diabulimia can be severe, leading to organ damage, stroke and even death, which Beth came close to.

So how did Beth manage to pull herself and her body back from the brink?

Realising a Positive Body Image through Exercise

As Beth says, “everyone has a goal in life” and initially when she had started to recover from her weakened physical condition and low mental state, her goal was to get fit. Then her goal was to join the Marines. She worked hard to “smash my goal” but due to her health condition that ambition proved just out of reach.

When she recalibrated her personal goals though, Beth realised that becoming a Personal Trainer at the Xercise4Less Wigan Gym would enable her to “help others achieve their goals” as well as allowing her to “understand and enjoy fitness” for herself. Working at our inclusive gym in Wigan, she quickly realised that she wasn’t bothered about being “the most athletic or the muscliest or the slimmest”.

Beth didn’t focus on her body image, she worked out “to be healthy” and “to control my diabetes rather than it controlling me”. She wanted to be “strong inside and out” and never experience diabulimia again. Exercising in a friendly and supportive gym every day meant Beth could avoid judging her body and “just focus on a better you”.

Strengthen Your Mental Health and Wellbeing with Xercise4Less Gyms

Beth wanted to share her story to inspire our gym community. Her experience shows that no matter your fitness level or how low you’re feeling, working out at your local gym can be hugely beneficial. As you’ve seen with Beth, exercise has been a constant strength in her struggle with health issues and with mental depression.

When you join our Wigan gym or work out at any of Xercise4Less gyms, you’ll be part of a real community of supportive and likeminded people who want to improve their physical fitness and their mental wellbeing. You can work with Personal Trainers like Beth who will encourage and motivate you to realise your personal fitness ambitions. Your health is in your own hands, but Xercise4Less Gyms will also be there to hold your hand right through your fitness journey whether you’re ready to join a gym, new to gyms, a casual gym goer or already an experienced gym user.

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