There are so many benefits to be gained from a regular weekly workout, whether in the gym, studio, pool, court, or pitch. Most people who sign up to a gym at the beginning of the year, do so determined to get into shape; to be fitter, slimmer, faster. By the end of the year they often discover that exercise gives them more than that, and some. They not only learn that their weekly workouts promote better sleep, improve productivity, and that they are doing their bit to prevent problems like heart disease, cancer and dementia, but that they are enhancing their life in other ways, too.
Halo Leisure has been celebrating the hundreds of personal and very individual success stories of customers of all ages and abilities who come through their doors every day. They all have something to say about how Halo is helping them in more ways than the obvious one. Here are five of our favourites to inspire you.
1. Halo helps me and my daughter keep moving (together), says Leanne
“I know many young girls fall out of love with exercise when they hit their teen years. My daughter Ellie left behind dancing and trampolining at primary school and didn’t enjoy the team sports at secondary. She also had less time for out-of-school clubs with all the homework she gets. But I can see, too, that screen time can, too easily replace swimming and sports for growing children, and I wanted to make sure the balance was right for Ellie.
“Halo offers some great membership deals for young people (£20 per month for 12 to 23-year-olds), so we signed up and started going to some group exercise classes together, and with the support of Halo staff, I introduced her to the gym. She loves it, especially when we’re both running on the treadmill, side by side. I’ve planted the seed that this is something you should never grow out of. Now some of my friends are talking about bringing their sons and daughters to classes too. Spread the good news!”
2. Halo is helping me rebuild my life, says Clare
“I remember seeing that metaphorical light at the end of what had been a dark tunnel. I was in Halo’s pool and there was no pressure on my knee or back, and I felt a sense of freedom, a relief from pain. And that led me to Halo’s personal trainer who helped me realise I can do more than I thought. More than I ever believed.
“I was a police officer until, seven years ago when I was 26, a fall at work injured my back and knee, and left me walking with two sticks and on a mass of medication (and so prone to weight gain). The pain in my knee is constant. I am medically retired. Getting active has been so important for me. My goal is to walk unaided. And I’ve learned you don’t know how strong you can be until you start moving forward. It would be easy to stay in bed and shed tears – believe me, I’ve been there – but finding the right exercise routine and the right trainer can be transformative. Halo has been good for my head and heart, as well as my body. It’s given me purpose again.”
3. Halo taught me to swim – with my grandchild! Jon
“I never learnt to swim as a child and, while I encouraged my children to learn when they came along, I never dared give it a go as an adult myself. That changed when my grandchild arrived and the water beckoned once more. I signed up to Halo’s adult learn-to-swim classes and I am now in the pool twice a week and benefiting from one-to-one lessons to build my swimming skills. I’ve realised that this is not just about having fun with grandchildren, but about my own health too. Swimming has helped build my strength and lose over two stone in weight. The staff have been brilliant, and all those old memories of what swimming pools used to be like have been replaced with clean facilities, private changing rooms, hot showers, and peaceful pools that permit me to go at my own pace.”
4. Halo’s helped me tackle depression, says Bob.
“Part of the problem with depression – and it’s a big part – is the secretive part. You don’t want to tell people you are not feeling right. When I was first ill with post-traumatic stress disorder, I came out of hospital and went back into work, and it was a nightmare. I could feel myself collapsing, physically and mentally. And then, however odd it seems to everyone else, you become afraid of trying. You lock yourself away. I can see now that not talking, not getting out there, was only making me feel worse. I have changed and I am glad to see the world is changing when it comes to mental health. I don’t talk to many people, but I have talked to the people at Halo and it has been so helpful in ways that are hard to explain. Take Pilates, for example. Just knowing the Pilates teacher understands where I am at makes the class so enjoyable. I’ve learned that my depression was impacting on my posture and on my breathing. Taking that class has improved my health. And just having that little bit of extra support in the gym, the instructors reminding me they’re there if I need them, makes all the difference. Now getting up and going to the gym gives me a taste of freedom…a sense of sanity. The small victories as you progress help you forget the bad moments and inspire better habits. I can see, looking at this journey I’ve been on, that a whole number of things have helped me get better. But the first one has to be knowing someone is there for you. You have to find someone who understands you, and who can help you make that first step. In my case I found the support at Halo, and exercise has been crucial to my recovery. And now there is no going back.”
5. Halo’s helped me tackle my osteoarthritis, says Claudette
“I have osteoarthritis in both knees, testament to wear and tear from years – really fun years – of being part of a rock and dance band, which also involved loading heavy equipment round for gigs. I retired a few years back, with ambitions to write. But I’d put on some weight, a result of being less mobile because of the arthritis. I have to use my mobility scooter to walk my two Cairn Terriers. I’d tried dieting, but it wasn’t enough on its own. Then I discovered Halo’s Toning Suite which uses power assisted gym equipment that is designed for those with any mobility issues. Within a few weeks I was starting to feel the difference. I could bend more easily, move around with less pain, and that made me feel so much better in myself. Now I’ve lost a stone and a half, I am swimming three times a week and going to the Toning Suite most mornings. Crucially, the exercise helped me build my strength and keep my joints supple before my first knee replacement last summer, and in the recovery in the weeks that followed. When I came out of hospital, I couldn’t bend my leg at all and now I have such flexibility it’s surprised the doctors!”
Halo helping YOU get healthier
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Founder and editor of FitNet.
Previously gymnastics coach, massage therapist and personal trainer with 20 years of experience. Former gymnast and dancer.