Hi Everyone,

Thanks so much to those of you who sent in your questions. Some were very similar to others so we've condensed them down to the following. Do remember to ask the instructors in your local venue for help and advice - they'll all be ready and willing to help!

Check back next week for one customer's journey back into fitness.

Let's Do It Together! 


Question 1


I am just wondering what exercises you recommend for someone with osteoarthritis in knees and possibly hips?

I am not keen on going to the gym as your blog says don't go it alone. I like classes. Now I have had conflicting information from health care professionals. I used to attend kettlebells and loved it but was advised it's probably not good for me. Was also advised that TRX isn't good for me. I currently attend one of the Boxerfit classes where the instructor gives loads alternatives but at one class I felt he was guiding me away from bunny jumps.

I feel I should be able to do most classes with alternatives - body step may be an exception as is the couch to 5k run due to the paths. But what do you think?


Move it or lose it applies especially to people with osteoarthritis as with anyone else. Physical activity is important for overall health but it’s even more important for people with arthritis; you probably find you tend move less because it’s painful, then you start to lose the ability to move. It can become a vicious cycle.

There are three key areas you need to focus on:

  1. weight-bearing cardiovascular activity, to keep your bones strong and your heart healthy.
  2. muscle strengthening activity, to relieve strain on the joints.
  3. flexibility and range of motion, to help prevent falls and keep your joints mobile.

These can be found in many of our classes and it sounds like you are already doing some of it. We would suggest classes such as BodyPump, Kettlebells, Spin or RPM, Boxerfit (low impact options), TRX, Yoga or BodyBalance and Gym Circuits.

We also have qualified gym staff who would be able to create a gym programme for you specific to osteoarthritis and although you would be doing some of these exercises on your own we have gym staff available to support you through this process.  For more details, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. directly and we can discuss this further.  Good Luck!

Exercises to Avoid

  1. Running and jogging
  2. Skipping
  3. High-impact aerobics
  4. Any activity where, at any time, you have both feet off the ground at once, however briefly

Question 2

My 12 year old daughter is interested in coming to the gym. Is the gym a good idea for a 12 year old and if so, how does she get started?


Yes, the gym is a good idea! Children at this age need physical activity to build strength, coordination, and confidence — and to lay the groundwork for a healthy lifestyle later in life.  If she is 12 and is already at secondary school then to get started please contact your local venue to book a gym induction. These times will vary across our venues. After the gym induction she will need to be supervised in the gym by an adult who has also undergone a gym induction.

At the gym induction the gym instructor will ensure she is competent in using the gym equipment and guide her towards what exercises and equipment she should be using. We do have an Active Energy Memberships that would offer your child access to Swimming, Sportshall, Gym and Classes, Ice skating and Muga Pitch for only £15.00 per month.

Question 3

How do I start to use weights?


There are two ways to approach this:

  1. Speak with a gym instructor about booking a personal programme session where they will focus on the techniques involved in lifting weights and what exercises you should be doing. You will then have a progressive personal weights programme to follow.
  2. Book into a Learn to BodyPump session. Bodypump is a full body group fitness workout that uses a barbell and weights. The 'Learn To' session focusses on the correct technique for the more commonly used exercises in this class, all of which can be transferred to using a barbell or dumbbells in the gym. 

Question 4

What’s the best clothes and trainers to wear?


When you go to the gym, it's important to wear clothes that are breathable and flexible. It's good to look good – but remember that fitness and safety are your foremost concerns. Ill-fitting clothing can cause itchy skin, rashes, or more serious injuries. Wear clothing that will facilitate a solid workout.

Wear a breathable material like cotton or polyester. When you work out, you'll get hot and sweaty, so you want to make sure that your clothing doesn't trap the heat. If possible, choose a top that is specifically designed for wicking sweat. For women we would also recommend a sports bra. For your bottom half, wear something flexible, with an elastic waistband: gym shorts, sweatpants, track pants, or yoga pants. You should be able to perform a full range of leg workouts while you're wearing the bottoms.

  • The shoes you wear will depend upon the sort of exercises that you're doing. If you plan to do any cardio, then bring shoes that will offer plenty of protection for your feet and legs.
  • If you'll be running on a treadmill, then make sure to bring running shoes. If you will be using an elliptical or exercise bike, then your footwear doesn't matter so much – just wear something comfortable that you can stand in.
  • If you'll be training weights, make sure to wear something with ample ankle and arch support. Running or cross-training shoes are always a good choice.

Question 5

What happens in an induction?


Our gym inductions are taken by qualified, friendly staff who will guide you around the equipment to ensure you know how to use them safely and effectively. Gym inductions can also be tailored, so whether you are a complete beginner or a previous gym user looking for a refresh, we can help.  You will be required to use the equipment during this session so please dress accordingly.  All customers must complete an induction prior to attending our gym facilities. 

Question 6

Do I need experience to join a class?


No you don't. All of our fitness class instructors are qualified to 'coach' class participants whether they are a beginner or experienced. In our classes there are lower options available for beginners and we do have beginner classes available which we would always recommend trying first.

Where possible we would also recommend you try some of our 'Learn To' or beginner sessions that are available as these are designed to prepare beginners for classes such as, BodyPump, Spin/RPM and Kettlebells.