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The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise at Spark Health & Fitness, Low Fell

woman working out

The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise at Spark Health & Fitness, Low Fell

The past two years have been challenging for many people. With gyms closed and a large proportion of the nation working from home, there is no denying that sticking to a fitness regime was difficult. Here at Spark Health & Fitness, we survived by running online classes which offered a mix of cardio and strength training. Whilst these turned out to be a roaring success, it is liberating to see our valued clients face-to-face again, and witnessing the joy that our classes and programmes bring to the Low Fell community.

Upon welcoming new and old customers back to the gym, we asked them what was the motivating factor in returning to this environment after two years of home workouts. The response was always the same – the mental health benefits of exercise.

 

So, what exactly are the mental health benefits of exercise?

Dealing with daily life can be a struggle for many, regardless of their age, gender and personal circumstances. Juggling family and work commitments can become overwhelming and leave you feeling out of control.

Exercise can be an important resilience technique, as we have complete control over when, where and how we exercise. Breaking a sweat can release endorphins, a natural chemical that makes us feel good. Studies have shown that physical activity can help:

  • Achieve happier moods
  • Give you focus and help manage stress, anxiety or intrusive and racing thoughts
  • Give you better self-esteem by achieving fitness goals
  • Reduce the risk of depression

 

But, can’t I just workout at home?

While you can reap the mental rewards of a regular fitness regime at home with minimal equipment, we believe that there is strength in numbers!

Research shows that people involved in smaller group fitness classes stick with their programs for longer due to the sense of community, motivation and support they can provide. A few words of encouragement from your training pals can go a long way in helping you reach your goals.

Exercise, socialising and mental health are all closely related. Having five or more friends or spending more than two hours a day with other people can help to boost your mood.

 

What type of drop-in class or programme would you recommend for a beginner?

At Spark, we run a variety of classes and programmes for all abilities. Our six week ‘First Steps To Fitness’ programme is ideal for people who may have never stepped foot in a gym before.

If you’re not ready to commit to a full six-week programme, we have a range of drop-in classes including HIIT sessions, lifting and kickboxing, which have a multitude of mental and physical benefits.

We have recently launched our ‘Punch N’ Power’ drop-in class which combines resistance training with boxing. This short, 30-minute session is great for reducing stress and relieving negative feelings.

 

Ready to get moving? Call us on 07725 751 171 or email us at info@sparkhealth.co.uk to get your endorphins flowing.

Fat Loss Vs. Weight Loss: What’s the difference?

Fat Loss vs Weight Loss graphic

Fat Loss Vs. Weight Loss: What’s the difference?

After years of stepping on the scales every morning, focusing on weight can be an easy fitness trap to fall into. Spark Fitness are here to debunk some common myths relating to weight loss, and uncover why we should be prioritising fat loss over weight loss.

 

Say goodbye to regular scales

The issue with obsessing over weight loss each time we step on the scales, is that the number we read through frightened fingers isn’t only measuring the amount of fat on our bodies, that number also includes water and muscle weight.

 

How to lose fat and maintain muscle

When we talk about muscle, we’re not talking about Arnold Schwarzenegger pecs. We’re talking about the essential muscle tissues that provide strength and agility whilst helping your body to control inflammation and regulate healthy blood sugar levels.

At Spark Fitness, our ultimate goal is to help clients lose fat and maintain or build muscle.

A combination of a wholefoods diet, cardiovascular exercise and strength training are the best way to lose fat and maintain muscle. 

Now to address the dreaded ‘D’ word. No, a diet doesn’t mean eating salad and oatcakes for the rest of your life. When we talk about creating a tailored diet for fat loss, we mean creating a temporary calorie deficit that is based on minimally processed, whole foods that have a high nutrient density, are high in protein and also keep you satiated (so no need for sneaky trips to the snack cupboard at midnight). 

 

Body Composition Analysis At Spark

So you’re interested in losing fat? We hate to break it to you, but fat loss simply cannot be mapped using a weighing scale.

But never fear, the Spark professionals are here. Whenever we get a new client that joins the Spark family on their fat loss journey, we offer them an in-depth body composition analysis to help them wave goodbye to their up-and-down relationship with their bathroom scales. 

Body composition analysis involves looking at the bigger picture, including your overall percentage of body fat, bone density, total water and muscle mass. Results can be dramatically influenced by age, gender, activity level, genes, weight maintenance and calorie intake, but it can give us a great starting point and can help us shape your fitness program so that you are guaranteed to see results.  

You’re probably wondering what we replace bathroom scales with, the answer is a segmental body composition monitor and a good old fashioned measuring tape! We typically measure chest, waist, hips, arms and legs. Forget stepping on the scales every morning, we recommend checking your measurements every other week once you have started on your new fat loss regime. 

 

Ready to find your Spark? Contact us at info@sparkhealth.co.uk for more information on our tailored training programmes. 

SPARK AWARDS 2019

SPARK AWARDS 2019

We held our 2nd annual awards evening on Friday 29th November at Gateshead Fell Cricket Club.  We are so very proud of all of our clients and what they have achieved in the last 12 month.

It was great to see so many turn out for the evening and we all had a great time…

 

Sponsoring Local Sports!

 

Sponsoring Local Sports!

We are proud to be sponsoring local sports this year.  Thomas Wilson FC, Dunston UTS & Local Boxer Micky Mollett.

Thomas Wilson FC Sponsored for 2019/20 Season.

 

Dunston UTS Sponsored for 2019/20 Season.

 

Micky Mollett Sponsored for Fists of Fury 5 Event at the Lancastrian Suite, Federation Brewery on Saturday 21st September 2019.

Boxing Day Bash

Boxing Day Bash

Each year we hold our annual Boxing Day Bash, this is a challenge for the whole family.  We start with a run then go on to complete a Metafit session and a Boxing Session.  All registration fees go towards our chosen charity, this year we are raising money to purchase a defibrillator for the Loft.

 

SPARK Awards 2018

SPARK Awards 2018

This year we decided to celebrate the achievements of our clients with an awards evening. We coupled it with our Christmas party.

It was so hard to choose the award winners out of all of our clients as there are so many people who have achieved so much.

Well done to all of our winners and we hope for an even bigger event next year!

 

 

Great North 10K

Great North 10K

A huge congratulations to our very own Hannah who completed the Great North 10k on the 8th July.  Hannah is training for her first Great North Run and is absolutely smashing her training, her times are getting faster and she is getting stronger week on week.

Also a huge well done to some of our clients who also took part…

Becky Jones, Chris Hart, Faye Dobson & Paul McKenna.

Castle & Derwent Triathlon 2018

Castle & Derwent Triathlon 2018

Congratulations to Lou Thorpe who completed another Triathlon on the 8th July!

Lou has been a client of ours for a number of years and has been on our semi-private training programmes as well as attending our Pay as you Go sessions.  Lou always puts 100% into her sessions and this comes across in everything she does.

Well done Lou, another fantastic achievement!

 

 

Coast to Castle!

Coast to Castle!

Mark and Graham completed the Coast to Castle challenge on Saturday 23rd June, they cycled from Newcastle to Edinburgh over 3 days and battled against a headwind most of the journey!

Leg 1 – Newcastle to Seahouses

Leg 2 – Seahouses to Dunbar

Leg 3 – Dunbar to Edinburgh

 

                       

                 

        

 

The Blaydon Race

 

The Blaydon Race

Here are just some of our lovely clients who completed the 2018 Blaydon Race.  The Blaydon Race is an annual event and is a serious road race, the overall distance is 5.6 miles and starts in Newcastle City Centre and finishes at the playing fields on Shibdon Road in Blaydon.

Ponteland Triathlon

Ponteland Triathlon

A massive well done to Gillian, Graham and Lou who all completed the Ponteland Triathlon on Sunday 29th April 2018.  This is just one of many events that these guys have signed up for this year.

They all put 100% into their training here at SPARK Health and are constantly pushing past their limits!

Another amazing achievement!

Mad March Mare

Mad March Mare

The Mad March Mare is an event held at Hexham Race Course and is a 10k obstacle course, which is held on the first Saturday in March.The first event was held in 2015 and Team SPARK decided to enter a team.  There were 8 of us who took part and for some of us were the toughest challenge we had faced on our health & fitness journey.  The team did great and many faced their fears head on. 2016 saw the team grow to 12 as some of our clients were inspired by the previous year’s team.

Then came 2017, wow this year was just unreal we entered a team of 35 and the course was the toughest yet with an increase in the obstacles to 30.  Our team of trainers had also grown to 4 who all took part and managed to stay with their group the whole way to help support and encourage each one of our clients to get around the course face their biggest fears/challenges and cross that finish line.

All 35 completed the course and to say we are proud of how many of our clients entered and completed the course is an understatement.  Some clients and even some our trainers hadn’t done anything like this before.  For some of us there were obstacles to be conquered that hadn’t been the previous 2 years, to this being achieved on the 3rd year was fantastic.

With 2018 MMM bring cancelled due to the ‘Beast from the East’ the organisers made this years MMM even tougher with 40 obstacles.  Team SPARK absolutely smashed it again and even though it was challenging we had lots of laughs along the way.

We are super proud of everyone!

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