Class highlight – Fit and Healthy

Want to get some exercise in to help with existing conditions?

Our fit and healthy class gives you a structured workout, that allows you to push yourself whilst ensuring we keep everything in check.

The class gives you an opportunity to increase your energy levels, strength and range of motion.

All levels are welcome and exercises are adaptable to individuals to build up your confidence and endurance.

What if I cannot do some exercises?

All exercises have alternatives, we adapt to everyone to allow you to work a level suitable to you.

I tire quickly, what if I can’t last the whole class?

We understand that levels of fitness vary, our Fit and Healthy class have rest breaks built in, and these can be scaled to suit everyone.

Will everyone be looking at me?

The Fit and Healthy class is set at a quiet time in the gym, we also pride ourselves in having a small community with a maximum member limit.

We find this allows people to build their confidence, both within the class and using the equipment.

To find out more contact us

Class highlight – Boxercise

With its mix of cardiovascular, hand eye co-ordination, balance and timing, it’s no wonder that Boxercise is one of the most effective cross-training classes available.

These high energy, fun and stress-busting workouts will get you working out whilst having a blast.

Combining boxing combinations, core conditioning and footwork you are sure to burn calories without even thinking about it!

You don’t need to be a boxing guru, we’ll show you everything you need to know and we have pads and gloves, so you only need to bring yourself and some water.

We will work multiple muscle groups, enhance your range of motion and help you tone up.

First time and really want to give it a go? – we have beginners classes to get you up to speed!

To find out more contact us or log onto our Social Media to watch a class preview video!

Class Highlight – Kick Boxercise

Little bit of boxercise with some kicks added to the mix!

Kick Boxercise is a great all-round work out that helps you improve hand/eye co-ordination, burn a load of calories and have a great time doing it.

Improve your balance, timing and technique with our fully qualified trainer.

Work all your muscle groups, whilst improving your self-confidence.

Looking for a bit of stress relief, pop some gloves on and let it all out!

Kick Boxercise covers all areas of the body, increasing both your flexibility and range of motion, best of all you don’t need any background in boxing or martial arts! – just pop along and we’ll show you everything you need to know.

If you want a class that’s going to help get you in shape, relieve some stress and be a good laugh, contact us on for more information.

Class Highlight – Circuits

A great way to burn some calories, working through pre-planned exercise for a number of rounds. Typically, we work for 45 seconds a station working your whole body with a number of different exercises, then take a break and repeat (a few times!) 

During the classes we will be doing things like squats, lunges, press-ups, sit-ups and star jumps just to mention a few. 

We like to think of the first round as a banker, then push harder during the next ones! 

Don’t worry about fitness levels as its all about giving the best you can and all of exercises have variations to allow you to progress in difficulty as your performance improves. 

Working out in a class can help you push that little bit harder, offers a chance to mix cardio and resistance training together. 

If you are interested in joining one of our Circuits classes contact us for more details 

Class highlight – Bootcamp

Pressing, jumping, lunging, carrying it has got a bit of it all!

During our bootcamps you will be working hard, pushing yourself to the limit – we do not quit!

Bootcamps come in all shapes and sizes, this doesn’t mean you need to be super fit to take part, you can start at various levels.

Do I have to lift really heavy things? As heavy as you can, this is about pushing yourself, whilst we have different weights, we’ll help push you to your absolute best.

Do I have to know all of the movements? Not at all, we’ll get you warmed up, show you any moves you aren’t sure of/familiar with and keep an eye on technique to keep you safe.

This is a class where ‘I can’t’ doesn’t exist, we turn up ready to crush it, giving 100% from start to finish.

Bootcamp provides a great atmosphere for team spirit, pushing each other to the limit and a joint hatred of the instructor!

One minute you are carrying a sandbag, next you are flipping a tyre.

If you are interested in joining one of our boot camps contact us for more details

The options we have available for Exercise Referral

If your doctor or health professional feels that physical activity can help with a health condition, they can refer you to join our Exercise Referral scheme.  

You can also refer yourself to Spike Fitness Exercise referral scheme if you have any existing medical or health condition, or even if you just need some extra support, guidance or motivation. 

Spike Fitness Exercise Referral scheme is the perfect way for people with health conditions to increase physical activity levels and improve health. 

We have dedicated Exercise Referral trainers that can put together workout programmes specifically for people with a multitude of health conditions. 

The Exercise Referral programme covers a huge variety of health conditions. These include asthma, arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, as well as depression and anxiety, osteoporosis and a range of other conditions. 

Our highly-trained personal trainers are ready to get you started with a variety of enjoyable physical activities to choose from. Being more active – even in a small way – will set you on the path to a happier, healthier you. 

Your dedicated trainer will promote healthy lifestyle changes, encourage you to start a suitable exercise programme, advise you on how to exercise safely and support you through the programme with any advice you need. 

Options available for memberships, Personal Training and classes or a combination. We can tailor packages to suit you and your needs. 

These will give you access to our facility from opening to 5pm and at the weekends too. 

Our exercise referral personal trainer will work closely to ensure you receive the best possible exercise prescription for you, which could include small group exercise classes, personal training where applicable and use of our fitness studio. 

We have a few options available: 

Fit and Healthy class on a Tuesday at 11am. This is a circuits style class, there are many benefits to a circuits class Improvements in cardiovascular fitness, Improvements in muscular strength, Improvements in muscular endurance, Increased social interaction during a workout, Increased adherence to exercise. . 

Fit and Healthy Membership. This gives you access to our training facility Monday to Friday from opening to 5pm. You will have a program designed by myself with your conditions in mind. This will be for you to follow when in the facility. This package also includes the Fit and Healthy Class on a Tuesday, we would recommend two gym sessions as well as the class each week.

Fit and Healthy Personal Training. This package includes 1 x 45 minute Personal Training session per week, 1 x Fit and Healthy Class access per week and a membership to come into the gym between opening and 5pm Monday to Friday.

For more information, contact a member of Team SF today.

Lifestyle changes to help your exercise referral.

Old habits die hard. Changing your habits is a process that involves several stages. Sometimes it takes a while before changes become new habits. And, you may face roadblocks along the way. 

Making small changes in your day to day routines can make a huge difference to your lifestyle.   

How can I make exercise a part of my regular routine? 

  • Make everyday activities more active. Even small changes can help. You can take the stairs instead of the lift. Walk down the hall to a colleagues office instead of sending an email. Wash the car yourself. Park further away from your destination. 
  • Be active with friends and family. Having a workout partner may make you more likely to enjoy exercise. You can also plan social activities that involve exercise. You might also consider joining an exercise group or class, such as a dance class, hiking club, or volleyball team. 
  • Keep track of your progress. Keeping a log of your activity or using a fitness tracker may help you set goals and stay motivated. 
  • Make exercise more fun. Try listening to music or watching TV while you exercise. Also, mix things up a little bit – if you stick with just one type of exercise, you might get bored. Try doing a combination of activities. 
  • Find activities that you can do even when the weather is bad. You can walk in a mall, climb stairs, or work out in a gym even if the weather stops you from exercising outside. 
  • Remind yourself why you want to be healthier. Perhaps you want the energy to play with your children or your nieces and nephews or to be able to carry your own shopping bags. Recall your reasons for making changes when slip-ups occur. Decide to take the first step to get back on track. 
  • Problem-solve to “outsmart” roadblocks. For example, plan to walk indoors, such as at a shopping centre, on days when bad weather keeps you from walking outside. 
  • Ask a friend or family member for help when you need it, and always try to plan ahead. For example, if you know that you will not have time to be physically active after work, go walking with a colleague at lunch or start your day with an exercise video. 
  • After reaching a goal or milestone, allow for a non-food reward such as new workout gear or a new workout device. Also consider posting a message on social media to share your success with friends and family. 
  • Choose rewards carefully. Although you should be proud of your progress, keep in mind that a high-calorie treat or a day off from your activity routine are not the best rewards to keep you healthy. 
  • Pat yourself on the back. When negative thoughts creep in, remind yourself how much good you are doing for your health by moving more and eating healthier. 

For more information on our exercise referral program, contact a member of Team SF.

Benefits of exercise referral

Physical activity can play an important role in preventing and managing health conditions such as coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, mental health problems, musculoskeletal conditions and some cancers. It also has a positive effect on wellbeing and mood, providing a sense of achievement or relaxation and release from daily stress. 

Exercise referral schemes are popular and they may offer other benefits aside from physical activity, such as helping people to socialise, providing a means of getting involved with the community and providing affordable access to facilities. 

We hear it time and time again, that regular exercise is good for us and it can contribute to helping us lose weight. If you are busy and have a long day sat at a computer or desk or have a sedentary lifestyle it’s never too late to start. You can start slowly and find ways to increase your physical activity. This in turn will help prevent or control many diseases and could help you live a little longer! 

What are the health benefits of exercise? 

Regular exercise and physical activity may 

  • Help you control your weight. Along with diet, exercise plays an important role in controlling your weight preventing obesity. To maintain your weight, the calories you eat and drink must equal the energy you burn. To lose weight, you must use more calories than you eat and drink. 
  • Reduce your risk of heart diseases. Exercise strengthens your heart and improves your circulation. The increased blood flow raises the oxygen levels in your body. This helps lower your risk of heart diseases such as high cholesterol, coronary artery disease and heart attack. Regular exercise can also lower your blood pressure and triglyceride levels. 
  • Help your body manage blood sugar and insulin levels. Exercise can lower your blood sugar level and help your insulin work better. This can cut down your risk for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. And if you already have one of those diseases, exercise can help you to manage it. 
  • Help you quit smoking. Exercise may make it easier to quit smoking by reducing your cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It can also help limit the weight you might gain when you stop smoking. 
  • Improve your mental health and mood. During exercise, your body releases chemicals that can improve your mood and make you feel more relaxed. This can help you deal with stress and reduce your risk of depression. 
  • Help keep your thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp as you age. Exercise stimulates your body to release proteins and other chemicals that improve the structure and function of your brain. 
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles. Regular exercise can help kids and teens build strong bones. Later in life, it can also slow the loss of bone density that comes with age. Doing muscle-strengthening activities can help you increase or maintain your muscle mass and strength. 
  • Reduce your risk of some cancers, including colon, breast, uterine and lung cancer. 
  • Reduce your risk of falls. For older adults, research shows that doing balance and muscle-strengthening activities in addition to moderate-intensity aerobic activity can help reduce your risk of falling. 
  • Improve your sleep. Exercise can help you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. 
  • Increase your chances of living longerStudies show that physical activity can reduce your risk of dying early from the leading causes of death, like heart disease and some cancers. 

For more information on our Exercise Referral Scheme, speak to a member of Team SF.

What is an Exercise Referral?

An Exercise Referral is a specific and formalised programme whereby a medical professional refers a patient to a fitness programme, or a patient can refer themselves if they are ready to embark on their healthier lifestyle and have medical conditions, these are often based within the community. It is not the same as a ‘recommendation’ to exercise. A formal agreement will exist between the referrer and the exercise project. Usually (though not exclusively) run by local authority leisure centres, they will typically ensure a 12 week supervised programme of physical activity tailored to suit the needs of the referrer and the referred client, with a view to improving their state of health. 

The principal of referral to exercise was established in the early 90s and since that time a range of qualifications and competencies have been developed to ensure the safe and effective programming for clients with a range of medical conditions. 

What level of instructor can work with referred clients? 

The Exercise Referral Instructor (Level 3) 

  • An exercise referral instructor’s role includes designing, monitoring, adapting and implementing exercise programmes for individual clients with a range of medical conditions. 

Occupational Role 

  • Assess, monitor and manage risk to clients arising from exercise participation throughout the referral period 
  • Analyse information relating to individual clients with regard to safe and effective programme design 
  • Identify, agree and review short, medium and long term goals to ensure the effectiveness of exercise programmes 
  • Promote a range of physical activity opportunities in accordance with the needs and health status of the clients 
  • Tailor progressive exercise appropriate to the medical condition using results from the physical/exercise assessments, medical information, national guidelines and client goals and objectives 
  • Develop and apply strategies to motivate clients to adhere to an exercise programme during the referral period 
  • Keep up to date with health and fitness industry developments and exercise guidelines for medical conditions 
  • Make the appropriate decisions relating to clients, where required, refer the client to a more appropriate professional 

Occupational Competence 

  • Exercise Referral Instructors are aware of their professional role boundaries and are able to support clients with the following medical conditions 

Respiratory Conditions 

  • Asthma 
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) 

Musculoskeletal Conditions 

  • Osteoarthritis 
  • Rheumatoid arthritis 
  • Joint replacement 
  • Simple mechanical back pain 
  • Osteoporosis 

Cardiovascular Conditions 

  • Hypertension 
  • Hypercholesterolaemia 

Psychological/Mental Health Conditions 

  • Depression 
  • Stress 
  • Anxiety 

Metabolic/Immunological Conditions 

  • Diabetes Type I and Type 2 
  • Obesity 

Making time to stretch – Part 2

Last week we started to looked into the benefits of stretching, this is a continuation or part 2 of that, highlighting some of the other benefits we can gain by introducing a solid stretching routine into and around our training program.

Increase your range of motion gaining greater freedom of movement, allowing your joints to work through their entire range.

A flexible muscle requires less energy to complete a fuller, wider range of movements. If the muscle requires less energy to perform the movement our performance increases, we’ll take that!

It would be easy to think of performance as an athletic based measure and whilst true, it also works in everyday life when our muscles have to respond quickly to a stimulus, having a greater range of movement gives additional protection to quick reaction movements such as tripping/twisting etc.

Having an increased range of movement and reducing muscle stiffness can also assist in slowing the degeneration of joints.

Improves your performance in physical activities, this is the easiest benefit to sell, everyone wants to increase performance in one way or another.

When we exercise, we are stressing the body. We want to ensure our muscles are ready to perform for us, in the most optimum way.

Let’s take a look at what we need to prime the body for exercise:

Prepared muscles – ready for the chosen movement paths and are warmed ready

Connected – our mind and body know which muscles are being used and is able to activate them on request – they have been primed during the warm-up.

Looking at a deadlift, if we don’t prepare our hamstrings and glutes, we could end up using our lower back which could result in a decrease in performance or an injury.

Range of movement is critical to performance, keeping our body in balance helps to make sure we can perform when required in the specified way.

In short, the greater the range of movement we have, the greater amount of the muscle we can activate. If we have a tight muscle, we may only be able to utilise 40-60%, if we increase our flexibility, our strength and performance will increase along with allowing a wider range of exercises to be undertaken.

Increasing blood flow to your muscles – it’s fair to say, that over the last 12 months we have become more sedentary, working/studying from home has meant less up and about time.

When seated some of our muscles begin to adapt to the positions and shapes we are staying in for long periods, this shortening or as we experience it tightness of the muscles is caused by restricting the movement of the muscle.

Luckily, our muscles have got our backs on this one, they just what to relax and stretch out!

By promoting circulation (blood flow), we can increase the supply of blood to our muscles and joints allowing for better delivery of nutrients and removal of waste products. This in turn leads to a shortening in recovery time for exercise and assists in removing the tightness we face from prolonged time in a single position.

Furthermore, joint stiffness can be reduced by regular stretching.

Pinpointing body imbalances is a positive side effect of stretching. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to predict potential problems with our muscles?

Stretching allows us to recognise areas of tightness (if its tight, this could lead to injury if continually placed under load), see how symmetrical our muscles are, and fine tune our body to reduce the imbalance.

If we are stretching in a lunge and can open our hips up more on one side than the other, chances are that we will experience this restricted movement in our main workout, for example when squatting we may experience hip shift when moving into the bottom of the squat, and as we apply force to return to standing, these issues are exacerbated when loads are added to the equation.

We can utilise stretching to understand what we should improve (or correct) before the issue becomes a problem or worse still, an injury.

Stress relief – stress causes additional tension in our muscles; this is due to our bodies tightening up physically in response to emotional feelings. Typically, we tend to hold stress in our upper back, shoulders and neck.

Well, stretched muscles hold less tension, combined with good hydration can help alleviate stress.

It can also help reduce tension headaches, reducing overall body tension will assist with the tension from headaches.

Stretching can allow you to relax and mentally unwind, coupled with controlled breathing allowing us to let go of some of our stressors. Stretching doesn’t need to be for performance, it is equally as important for relaxing and spending some time working on ourselves.

Quick takeaways

When warming up, consider the activity you are about to undertake, look to use dynamic stretches to mimic the movement paths we are going to use, warm and prepare those muscles ready for that purpose.

When undertaking static stretches, we still need to be warm, if we are stretching after exercise we are covered, if it’s not after exercise make sure we have conducted some movement, light jumping jacks, walking up and down the stairs etc can help get the blood moving and allow us to have a productive stretching session.

Time is important, but longer does not equal better. We would look to hold stretches for 30-60 seconds – this can be shorter whilst we are starting out:

Get into the stretch position, feel the tension, it shouldn’t be painful.

Wait for the tension to reduce, allow yourself to ‘sink’ into the stretch a little more if you can and hold for the rest of the 60 seconds – shorter when we first start out.

Don’t bounce in the stretch, we want to allow the body to feel the tension in a controlled, smooth manner.

Regulate your breathing during the stretch, try to have a normal breathing pattern.

Focus on larger, main muscles such as lower back, thighs, hips, shoulders and neck.

Aim for symmetry, we want to be equally flexible on both sides of our body, this is especially important when recovering from injury.

Allow stretching to be a relaxing activity, be that after exercise, when unwinding from a tough day or as a self-relaxing activity. It is not a sprint, we are looking to relax our muscles, remove tension and generally feel better afterwards!

If you have any further questions or would like to understand how stretching can improve your daily activities or performance speak to one of us at Spike Fitness.