Breast Cancer Awareness Month – Exercise and Self-confidence with Emily McEvoy

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

This October, Xercise4Less is supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month. According to Breast Cancer Care (2019), 1 in 7 women in the UK will develop breast cancer in their lifetime and an estimated 600,000 are alive in the UK today having been diagnosed. Exercise has proven to be beneficial for those who are undertaking cancer treatments. It’s important, though, to ensure that this is done safely without putting too much pressure on the body. Regular exercise can reduce anxiety and depression, strengthen muscles and reduce the risk of other health issues.

To support this cause, Xercise4Less is shining a spotlight on the importance of women’s empowerment. We will be doing this by sharing members’ transformation stories and body exercise advice throughout the month of October. These blogs will not focus on anyone who has previously suffered from cancer, however, as we believe that exercise is essential for those who are going through cancer treatments, we would like to share our support. 

The impact of weight-loss on self-confidence

It takes time to get used to the numerous changes that breast cancer brings, mentally as well as physically. Many women see their body transform and often lose their confidence throughout this period. At Xercise4Less, we believe that exercise can boost women’s confidence no matter the challenges they are facing in their lives. Therefore, we would like to dedicate this transformation story to all the women out there who need a little motivation to never give up.

Emily McEvoy is a member of Xercise4Less Dundee who has struggled with her body confidence for a very long time. At one point, she gained nearly four stone in less than a year and had “stopped caring completely about my body”. For Emily, at that time the highlight of her day was “running home and stuffing my face and pretending I’d start being healthy next time”. Her skin was bad, she was uncomfortable in her own body, her self-confidence was low, and she felt completely unmotivated. As she says of herself, “my attitude to life was crap”.

It hadn’t always been that way and Emily “had always been somewhat fit and healthy being vegan most of my life” but now she felt stuck. She was now so overweight that she had stopped going out and “was embarrassed to actually do anything physical”. That was about to change though.

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Emily was finally ready to transition to a healthier lifestyle. The catalyst was a bad break up. She decided that she no longer wanted to be a “slave to my bad habits anymore”. Plucking up her courage, she started going to her local gym in Dundee but initially found it difficult to commit to regular sessions. “It was such a struggle for so long I was obsessed with being skinny I’d get put down so quickly and stop going.” Gradually, though, Emily was able to overcome her body image worries and make exercise a real habit.

Trying the Female Only Zone for the first time was a turning point in her body confidence struggles. Seeing women of all ages lifting weights made her “want to get strong and look after myself and my body”. That boost to her confidence empowered Emily to move from 14 stone to 10 in less than 12 months. She felt her whole life change as her body changed. Her self-confidence rose because she was now taking care of her physical and mental health. Now, when Emily’s stressed or upset, the gym is “where I can get out all my feelings in a positive way instead of stressing out and overeating my feelings.”

What has Emily learned from her body confidence issues? “My mental attitude has changed so much. Feeling fitter and being able to do more and actually being happy with my body instead of hating looking in the mirror is the best feeling”. This whole weight loss experience has made her vow to never stop looking after her body, “I’ll never do this to myself again”.

What advice does Emily have for individuals who are keen to improve their body confidence? “No matter your shape, size or life situation, the gym is the best place to clear your mind!”. No matter the physical and mental pressure your body is under, working out can help you thrive.

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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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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.


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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Get Moving this National Fitness Day

At Xercise4Less Gyms every day is fitness day, but this Wednesday, the 25th of September 2019, is particularly special. It’s National Fitness Day! Last year more than four million people took part in what is the largest physical activity celebration in the country. This is such a positive initiative and highlights the important role exercise plays in making all our lives healthier and happier. We say a big yes to that!

A whole 24 hours of fun exercise is increasingly important for the country as the UK population is lagging behind with its levels of physical activity as the sedentary attractions of our phones and tablets take over. The WHO (World Health Organisation) has even ranked the UK 123rd out of 168 nations for poor physical activity. That lack of regular exercise has been strongly linked to many preventable diseases like type-2 diabetes, cancer and osteoporosis. Of course, exercising has a huge additional benefit on our mental health as well so encouraging more people to be more active in their daily lives is of immense help to all of us.

So, what are you going to do on the 25th of September? Here are five fun ways to mark National Fitness Day 2019.

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1: Take Up a Free Gym Pass

If you’re not already a member of Xercise4Less, why not take us up on our offer of a free gym pass? Emulate the whole country and get in a fitness session at your local gym with one of our unlimited free gym passes for 1, 3, or 5 days. Experience everything our gyms have to offer with no strings and without restriction. You can lift weights, run on the treadmill, take a spin class or fit in some Pilates. Whatever exercise you fancy on National Fitness Day is up to you! Just fill in the online form here and we’ll send you your pass straight away. It’s that simple. We look forward to seeing you working hard at your nearest Xercise4Less gym on 25 September.

2: Cycle Around the World in a Gym Near You

National Fitness Day is about trying something new and what could be more novel than some virtual cycling? Pick a cycling route that you’ve always wanted to attempt, plug in the co-ordinates on the stationary bike and start pedalling! Ride off into the sunset as you ride virtually in exciting and exotic destinations around the world. No more staring at the wall as you cycle in the gym, just make sure to pay attention to your virtual bike instructors so you don’t miss anything on your cycling journey.

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3: Take Advantage of Our Free 1-2-1 Fitness Session

If you’re just joined Xercise4Less Gyms, National Fitness Day is the ideal time to take advantage of our free one-to-one personal training sessions. Sit down with experienced PTs and create your own fitness programme to build muscle, lose weight or maintain your fitness. In your free 1-2-1 personal training session we’ll advise you on the best exercises and workouts for reaching your individual goals as quickly and as effectively as possible. Map out your fitness future on National Fitness Day 2019.

4: Sign Up to a New Group Exercise Class

Time for a change? Use National Fitness Day as a jumping off point for a new exercise regime. All routines get a bit stale after a while and then it’s easy to fall off the workout wagon. Keep your fitness fresh with some new group exercise classes. As part of your inclusive gym membership you can enjoy as many free fitness classes as your knees can take! Choose from energising classes like Core4FiiT, the famous Les Mills BodyAttack or Zumba and Yoga. We offer an amazing variety of fitness sessions every week, all easily bookable online or via our mobile app.

5: Change Fitness for Good with a Body Transformation Camp

What better day to change your attitude to exercise than National Fitness Day 2019? Sign up for an Xercise4Less Body Transformation Camp and see incredible results after only 8 weeks. We give you the right mental tools and the latest fitness techniques to start transforming your body. You get the latest nutrition and exercise information including our superb nutrition app and support and advice from our expert Personal Trainers. Get fitter than you’ve ever been with a complete body transformation.

A Fitness Journey Begins with One Step

National Fitness Day isn’t of course just about one day. The aim is for you to commit to exercise for life. And an Xercise4Less gym is the perfect location to step out on your fitness journey. With no joining fee and 50% off your first month, this is the best time to join the nation and start getting fit.

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National Fitness Day 2019 – Abbie Marshall

 The Importance of Exercising

National Fitness Day is the perfect excuse to get back in the gym, try a new exercise class or just get off the sofa and on your feet for some physical activity. On Wednesday 25th September 2019, you can get involved in all sorts of fun events that will get you moving and that highlight just why exercise is so important for everyone. Not that we need an excuse to work out at Xercise4Less!

As part of our National Fitness Day celebrations, we wanted to focus on one of our members from Xercise4Less Sheffield. Let’s turn the spotlight onto Abbie Marshall to see just why exercise plays a vital role in her life.

 Why Working Out is Good for You

Abbie Marshall strength trains regularly at the Xercise4Less Sheffield gym and fitness has become increasingly important in her daily routine. She is adamant that “fitness is so beneficial for both physical and mental health”. That’s why Abbie has been active from childhood “and weight lifting was the next thing for me.” As she points out, “not many sports continue to adulthood, so finding something which I can do lifelong was important”.

So, having started weight training in 2015 in her second year of university, what was the initial spark for getting into free weights? “I was setting up some strength training for one of the university teams which I ran. I had the opportunity to join in and then found out I could deadlift quite well.” That was only the start for Abbie though. “I continued to strength train and learnt how to Olympic lift too.” Abbie enjoys weight sessions because she “rarely lacks the motivation to train” but it wasn’t always the case. She’d been going to the gym and “doing just cardio bits and wasn’t motivated”. Weightlifting has transformed that attitude to fitness though. Since then hardly a day passes by that she’s not working out at her local gym in Sheffield and that includes National Fitness Day!

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A Lifetime Journey

Abbie is on a lifelong fitness journey and she continually remarks on how working out has helped her in her general day to day life. Exercise has become a vital part of her routine, making her “feel more confident and better” about herself. Abbie also knows that physical activity has a really positive effect on mental health when you’re feeling down or stressed. “When I have a bad day, I know that an hour or two in the gym will help. It’s a great cure for stressful days”. That’s why on National Fitness Day Abbie is so keen to recommend going to the gym.  Any final tips on strength training? Try her favourite weightlifting exercise, deadlifts. “They’re a great compound movement which engage wider muscle groups”.

 Enjoy Working Out on National Fitness Day Like Abbie

Fitness isn’t just for one day, it’s for life! And at Xercise4Less Gyms we want you to enjoy working out as much as Abbie. She loves training at our Sheffield gym “as they have a range of free weights and the stair climbers!” They’re the only cardio she enjoys in fact; it’s strength training all the way for Abbie.

If you want to try weight training for yourself, join Xercise4Less today and work out in a real gym motivated by friendly fitness staff. Benefit from our free inclusive exercise classes full of supportive members and a gym full of fitness equipment. Take up one of our free unlimited gym passes on National Fitness Day 2019 and you’ll see exactly why Abbie Marshall is a Xercise4Less member!

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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. ?