Xercise4Less Gyms: Inclusive to all
At Xercise4Less Gyms we focus on making fitness accessible to everyone no matter their age, body size, fitness level or physical and mental abilities. That’s why it was so heartening to hear recently from Space Inclusive how our gym in Nottingham was helping their clients with learning difficulties to feel much more comfortable with exercise.
Space Inclusive work with people with learning disabilities in the East Midlands. They’re “committed to improving the lives and prospects of people with learning difficulties” and they’re particularly passionate about maintaining and promoting healthy lifestyles. Most Space Inclusive clients already want to improve their fitness and the organisation “always offered a gym programme”. But recently they’ve wanted to harness the well-documented benefits of strength training for bone strength, flexibility and weight management. This then was “the start of our journey with Xercise4Less”.
Learning the benefits of exercise
All individuals have a need to stay healthy and fit and we want to make our gyms inviting spaces that can adapt to the needs and interests of our members. Working with any group who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized like people with learning disabilities is important as regular exercise has a very positive impact on their lives in terms of health, employment, independence and confidence.
According to Space Inclusive director Richard Mynett, not only are the Xercise4Less gym sessions “helping to maintain and improve health for individuals” but they also “improve confidence and team working”. Space Inclusive are always delighted when their clients realise the benefits of regular exercise and a health and balanced diet. In fact, some of their clients have “even adapted their diets as they are keen to see results from the work they are doing at the gym”. And working out in the gm hasn’t only helped in a physical sense but helped build their clients’ confidence “both in the gym and in other areas of their life, as well as giving them a real sense of achievement”. Even better some of Space Inclusive’s more independent clients are now exercising on their own, meeting friends and making new fitness friendships all thanks to the social outlet provided by working out in the gym.
A helping hand from Xercise4Less Gyms
Space Inclusive has highlighted too how a rapport has been built up between our friendly fitness staff and their clients. Our inclusive environment has made it easier for their support staff to train with individuals who have learning difficulties. Richard Mynett finds the typically friendly atmosphere of an Xercise4Less gym especially inclusive, “the staff are always welcoming and will help with clients by giving us their skills and knowledge” as well as “encouraging correct procedure to ensure safety”.
For people with learning disabilities who how haven’t used the gym before, that’s particularly helpful as they feel more comfortable in this new environment. Add in the “high quality of the equipment and the realistic pricing” as well as the location of our Nottingham gym “in the heart of our community” and for Space Inclusive Xercise4Less is now a great option for their clients.
The way forward for real fitness results
For Space Inclusive clients the future looks bright on the fitness front. With practical steps taken like introducing gym diaries so that everyone can “keep track of their progress” their clients “have really engaged with going to the gym”. As they see and feel the benefits of working out in the gym, they’re more open to trying “different forms of exercise and sporting activity”. And that’s something Space Inclusive is keen to encourage.
As Space Inclusive director David Bingham points out, “some of our clients have become very independent in the gym and we are hoping that they can role model the skills they have learnt to other clients who haven’t had as much experience in a gym setting”. Importantly Space Inclusive’s clients can also see just how much fun and enjoyment everyone is having in the gym as they “embrace the sessions”.
We love working with Space Inclusive and their clients and we hope to continue making our gyms an inclusive friendly community that everyone can be an enthusiastic part of!