Fitness Month – Real Life Stories
We caught up with two of our fitness customers who have come back into fitness after years away from the gym and classes. Both have been through beginner’s classes and are now enjoying the benefits and boosts that come with leading an active lifestyle. The words are entirely their own – no bribes were necessary! This is straight talking, from the heart chat from people just like you.
First up is Rhona Maxwell; Rhona is a busy working Mum who is office based three days a week, is Mum to two year old Freya and is married to a pastry chef. Challenges indeed for keeping trim and healthy! Last April she started with the LAL Fit Into Summer programme and is now a regular at many classes across Perth.
“I first joined Live Active using their 12 week 'Fit Into Summer' offer last year. A major house renovation, followed by the birth of our daughter and a year's maternity leave spent largely enjoying tea and cake with other mummies had left me feeling like I was back at square one fitness wise. I've previously been a fan of outdoor bootcamp style classes and was a little apprehensive about how comfortable I'd feel in the gym environment.
Luckily there are plenty of classes and venues to choose from where I live in Perth. I followed the advice of one of the instructors who suggested I make the most of my 12 weeks, try out most things, and find what suited me. I started out at some of the introductory classes like Spin Start with Derek (who is brilliant at keeping everyone motivated!), and Bodypump for beginners with Kirsty who was great and teaching the right technique to avoid injury. I committed to changing my lifestyle to become more consistent with how I eat, drink and stay active. Without doing anything drastic I began looking and feeling better. The facilities in LAL venues are fantastic - I have to confess I really didn't expect them to be as high a standard as they are.
As the end of my 12 weeks approached I was enjoying my new routine and decided to continue with a full membership. I've been a regular at Spin, Bodypump and Body Balance ever since and recently discovered a love of Yoga. I've just started the LAL Couch-5K programme one night a week, and am even toying with the idea of a PT session (who am I?!).
Somewhat annoyingly I've also found myself saying the kind of things I've been rolling my eyes at for years; how important hydration is, how exercise gives you a buzz, it's a great stress reliever etc. etc. But honestly - it's all true, and totally worth it.”
Next up is Nickii Kane who came back to LAL after a few years out, re-joining with her husband two years ago. They both like to cycle in the summer but felt that winters were dragging down their fitness levels so that every year Summer, getting back on the bike felt like a bigger challenge. She has also experienced prolapse discs in her lower back and finds that she now lives pain free!
“I was a LAL member as a teenager but gave up, like a lot of people do, due to other social commitments and priorities in my late teens and early twenties. I re-joined as a joint member with my hubby a couple of years ago and never looked back since!
We had both let a comfortable life get the better of us and decided we needed to get it sorted out. We were both fairly inactive, especially in the winter months when the summer road bikes were tucked away in the shed, not being used.
Initially I attended an aquafit bootcamp class at Perth Leisure Pool on Monday evenings with a friend and we really enjoyed it. It was a great fun and such a fab way to stay fit without actually feeling like you were doing that much (until the next morning!!)
As the winter months approached I looked into spin classes in an attempt to keep up the cycling momentum between October and March. I was hoping that when Spring came round again it wouldn't take the entire season to get back into the swing of things and up to the level of fitness I’d been at the previous year.
LAL told us about the spin start classes and we booked into those right away. Derek was the instructor for the half hour sessions we attended and he made us feel really welcome, helping us to understand the bike set up etc. Throughout the session he would talk to the entire class with step by step instructions to ensure everyone understood what gears they should be using and the approximate number of rpm (reps per minute) they should be aiming for at any specific time.
At the end of every class there is always an opportunity to ask questions and instructors will approach the newbies for feedback. I think this is one of the things that made us feel really welcome and it was great to see them advise people on when they were ready to progress to the next level of class... of which there is many to choose from.
I generally attend the LES MILLS RPM, GRIT and BodyPump classes as I like to stick to what I love and know but I have tried BodyAttack and BodyBalance classes which are also great workouts too.
As part of the BodyPump programme they offer a beginner's class which is brilliant for getting to know the techniques involved and familiarising yourself with particular weights for different parts of the full class. Generally there are only ever 4 or 5 people in these classes at a time and everyone is in the same boat.
I use Bells and Rodney facilities and like to get to both establishments at least twice each week. I really do think that LAL offers a great selection of classes at different times of the day/ week so there is something to meet everyone's needs. Their new App is also brill.
Since joining LAL I have noticed a great difference in myself in general. I have far more energy day to day. I'm not someone who weighs themselves to see results (scales tell me lies!) as I believe the key to health is in feeling and looking different. My body shape has changed so much since I started my fitness programme and I certainly feel more toned than I have been in years. I’ve dropped two dress sizes and have managed to sustain without having to change much in my diet. I generally eat quite well any way but we still enjoy a take away at the weekend - well why not?!
I had problems with my lower back (prolapse discs) for a long time and over the past two years I have managed to strengthen my core to the extent it’s now supported in that area and I'm mostly pain free (yay!!). Anyone with similar issues shouldn't be put off going to the gym to help repair themselves but they should speak to their GP first. I did, and I also talked to the fitness coordinator and instructors at my local LAL establishment. They were all great and they’ll talk to you in confidence, recommending classes which can be done with low impact options to help you along the way.
I take no credit for my personal results on this journey, I give all that credit to the instructors at LAL for their continued support and the enthusiasm that they ooze. I'd especially like to thank Kirsty MacDuff, Fitness Co-ordinator at LAL. She's a fab motivator and I usually see her at least once a week in class. She knows when I start to flag and when I'm tired in class and will keep me and the others in the class, on track and motivated. Derek, Diane and Paul are all ace too!”
NOTE: We'd like to say here that full credit must go to Nickii for her hard work and commitment - we're just delighted she chose our classes to help her on her way.
If you'd like your step into fitness story to have as happy an ending as these two then what are you waiting for? Click over to our 'How to Get Started' blog and find out how you can make real changes that last a lifetime. Still unsure? Why not look at some of the questions we were asked for our virtual surgery - you own concerns might just be answered there. You can also drop into any LAL venue where you'll find an inspirational instructor just like Rhona and Nickii did. #LetsDoItTogether