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Spring Back Into Fitness


Spring Back Into Fitness

April is here and that means that spring is firmly in full swing. As the days grow lighter and the plants and animals begin to reawaken and reemerge, it’s hard not to feel optimistic.

With the lengthening days, our energy levels naturally begin to lift in response to the increased light, and after the cosy hibernation of winter it feels wonderful to shake ourselves back to life and inject more physical activity into our day-to-day schedules. As such, springtime presents a fantastic opportunity to leave the lethargy of the colder months behind. It’s a brilliant time to get up, get out and get moving as you begin to work towards your fitness goals.

How can Spark Health & Fitness help?

Here at Spark, we have a range of fantastic fitness 6 week programmes, with something to suit everyone.

Our gym provides a fun, inclusive and morale-boosting group environment in which to improve your health and increase your fitness. With skilled and supportive trainers on hand to help guide you towards your goals, you’ll start making progress in no time. So, what exactly is on offer?

First Steps to Fitness

Looking to get into fitness but lacking confidence? Our First Steps to Fitness programme provides a supportive environment where you can begin your journey towards better health and work at a pace that suits you.

Get Fitter

The clue is in the name! Get Fitter will help you hone in on any areas you’re looking to improve, whether that be cardio, strength or body conditioning. As the programme progresses, we’ll gradually up the tempo and support you as you push harder and surpass your targets.

Midday Momentum

Do you struggle to fit me-time into your busy schedule? Our six-week programme includes three 30-minute weight-based HIIT sessions a week, helping you de-stress during your lunch break and boosting your afternoon productivity.

The Power Project

Ready to step it up? Good, because when we say step it up, we really mean it! As part of this programme, you’ll receive a structured resistance training plan that is tailored to your requirements and goals and designed to challenge you. All sessions end with HIIT to ensure you really feel the burn!

7am Burn

These sessions are designed to set your metabolism alight and leave you feeling supercharged. Sessions include bodyweight training, boxing and functional equipment, along with bursts of high-intensity cardio. If you’re ready to work hard, this programme will certainly pay off.

If you’re looking to boost your fitness in a welcoming, community environment, our 6 Week Programmes could be for you. Call us today on 07725 751171 to find out more.

Intermittent Fasting: Everything You Need to Know

Intermittent Fasting: Everything You Need to Know

Intermittent fasting is all the rage right now, having recently become an incredibly popular approach to fat loss and maintaining a healthy weight.

Intermittent fasting defines an eating pattern where individuals limit their food consumption to certain hours of the day. Research suggests that it is not only a productive strategy for fat loss but also offers benefits such as improved brain and heart health and reduced inflammation. Let’s take a closer look at the ins and outs of intermittent fasting.

What is intermittent fasting?

It is an eating pattern that switches between periods of fasting and eating. Put simply, it’s not as much about what you eat, but when you eat it. Fasting for a certain number of hours each day can help your body burn fat.

Is it safe?

In short, yes. Intermittent fasting is likely very safe if you are healthy and well-nourished overall.

Our hunter-gatherer ancestors – whose access to food was very different to our own – often couldn’t find anything to eat. As such, humans evolved to be able to function without food for extended periods. It follows that occasional fasting is likely a more natural way of eating than the standard three meals per day that we are used to. It also remains an integral practice in many of the world’s major religions to this day.

However, whilst studies show that intermittent fasting has an outstanding safety profile, it is always highly recommended to consult your doctor beforehand. This is particularly important if you have any underlying health conditions or if you are a woman who is pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to conceive or have a history of amenorrhea.

It is also strongly discouraged if you are underweight or have a history of eating disorders.

Are there different methods?

Yes, there are several different methods most commonly employed for intermittent fasting.

The most popular strategy is the 16/8 method (AKA Leangains protocol) where you limit your intake of food to a set 8-hour window each day. There are other forms of fasting such as the Eat-Stop-Eat strategy and the 5:2 diet.

Should you try it?

Ultimately,  this type of fasting will suit some individuals and not others.

Here at Spark Health, our coaches are well-equipped to be able to comfortably advise you on this practice. If you are looking for support and advice about intermittent fasting, and are wondering if it could help to aid your fat loss, we can help.


If you’re looking for help and advice with fat loss strategies such as intermittent fasting, consult one of our excellent trainers at Spark Health Low Fell. Call us on 07725 751171 today.

How to Stay Active Over the Festive Period

How to Stay Active Over the Festive Period

Temperatures have plummeted and the days are almost at their shortest as we approach the Winter Solstice. During the cold and dark month of December, it can be easy to hibernate and spend your evenings curled up on the sofa, and you may be left wondering how to stay active.

Of course, it’s only natural that your energy levels should be a little lower during the winter. It’s our bodies programmed response to the darker, shorter days. Plus, many of us often end up a little burnt out from all of the festive preparations and social gatherings, leaving little energy left over to get pumped in the gym. Over-indulgence doesn’t help with boosting our energy, either, and usually leaves us feeling sluggish and sleepy. Let’s be honest though, this time of year often lends itself to exactly that!

But, just because your calendar is looking a little jam-packed, and your pyjamas and a hearty meal are temptingly waiting for you at home after work, doesn’t mean your fitness goals need to go out of the window. So, today we want to share a few top tips for staying active over the festive period.

Steer clear of the snooze button!

When the house is cold and the world is still in darkness, it can be incredibly easy to hit the snooze button…over…and over…again!

However, the morning is, for many of us, a prime time to get exercise in without being disturbed. During the winter in particular, many people find they prefer an early-doors workout, so that once they’re finished their workday or their seemingly endless list of festive errands, they can head home and cosy up straight away.

It’s also super important that you get enough sleep every night in order to ensure you feel energised enough to get active during the day. If you’re looking to be up and at ‘em in the early hours, you’ll want to be mindful of hitting the hay at a reasonable time the night before.

Here at Spark Health & Fitness, we strive to create a timetable wherein everyone can find a class time that suits them. If you think getting your blood pumping before you begin your day could help you to stave off the festive inertia, why not head to one of our ideally positioned 9:15am classes?

Exercise in groups and alongside friends

At this time of year, we all need as much encouragement as we can get in order to help us stay focused on our fitness goals. To be honest, this is very much true at any point in the calendar, although it’s certainly extra important during the festive season.

That’s why we believe wholeheartedly in engaging with group workouts and exercising alongside friends. Our programme sessions here at spark provide a supportive and engaging group-orientated environment, where everyone can boost each other’s morale and hold one another accountable. At the end of the day, you’re much more likely to show up for yourself if you know that others are expecting you!

Mindful exercising when the viruses strike

Illness and the festive season come hand in hand for many of us.

Lower temperatures and extra socialising means viruses spread and take hold much quicker, particularly if you’re feeling stressed or burnt out.

However, regular exercise is an important part of a healthy immune system. So it’s extra important to stay committed and keep moving at this time of year.

It’s important to be very mindful of exercising when you are feeling poorly, though, as this can worsen your symptoms and delay your recovery if you aren’t careful. If your symptoms aren’t too severe and you generally feel okay, gentle exercise such as walking or cycling are advisable. If your symptoms include a cough or a fever, however, you ought to steer clear of over-exerting yourself and rest up until you feel well enough to get back on your fitness game!


Looking for an inclusive and supportive environment where you can achieve your fitness goals? Look no further than Spark Health. Contact us today to find out more about how we can support your fitness journey.


We’re celebrating over 50,000 gym visits!

We’re celebrating over 50,000 gym visits!

Our gym was founded in Low Fell, Gateshead by Managing Director Mark McPherson in 2015. From the beginning, Mark’s ultimate goal was to help local people live happier and healthier lives.

Building a gym with a focus on a flexible approach to exercise and a friendly and supportive atmosphere, Mark established a variety of affordable pay-as-you-go classes as well as six-week programmes suitable for complete beginners and fitness fanatics.

In the past 7 years, Spark has become embedded in the Gateshead community, taking a holistic approach to health and wellbeing. We regularly contribute to the Low Fell edition of The Advertiser, offering free nutritional, mental health and fitness advice to residents.

On November 26th 2022, we will be hosting our annual awards evening at Gateshead Rugby Glub. This event celebrates the achievements of Spark goers within the community who have met with their challenges head-on and have successfully achieved impressive health and fitness goals.

To see what our Managing Director, Mark, has to say when reflecting on the business’s development, read our article in Portfolio North here.

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. 



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!



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