Matt Powell, 22, lives in Sutton and has just graduated from the University of St Andrews in Scotland where he read History & Middle East Studies. He is now actively looking to take up a career in journalism. As a keen rower, Matt joined Stalham Community Gym two years ago so that he could keep up his level of fitness during the holidays. He was in the rowing team representing the University and it was important to him to maintain his fitness. His parents had seen the gym sign hanging outside the Baptist Church and suggested he gave the gym a look. First impressions of the gym were that there is always a friendly atmosphere, it has well maintained equipment and is a good environment in which to train. It is great that there are such good facilities locally. Matt enjoys the mix of age groups that frequent the gym. He’d like to see a few more cardio and weight training equipment and that will definitely come when the gym moves to the Poppy Centre as there is funding reserved specifically for this purpose. Matt says, ‘The main benefit I notice is that I am much fitter, especially after the long holidays. Paul is great, a really helpful trainer who gives me exercises that I wouldn’t have thought of.....and he keeps me on track!’
Carol, aged 60, has been a member of the gym since Spring 2014. Carol joined because she wants to keep herself fit. As well as coming to the gym on Mondays and Thursdays, Carol also likes to swim twice a week. Carol is a diabetic and has had Type I Diabetes for the last 33 years. This requires her to inject 5 times a day. Fitness is a key element to her overall health and wellbeing. Carol is a Patient Champion for Diabetes in Norfolk and gives talks to groups and individuals as well as being an operator on the Diabetic Helpline. She believes emotional and practical support is an important part of the service to families as well as to the individual. Carol discovered Stalham Community Gym one day when she was walking past the door and popped in to find out about joining. The main benefit of attending the gym has been strengthening her core muscles. 5 years ago Carol was struggling with prolapsed discs and now her core is so much better and she truly believes this is the best state of fitness she has been in for many years. Even better she is now a size 10! Carol knew one or two people at the gym and has made other friends easily too. she particularly enjoys the Bullworker classes, aerobic workouts and weights. Carol says, ‘Paul is a great encourager. He pitches exercises at your level. Anyone thinking of joining us here at the gym should just do it! Don’t hesitate! The great thing is the feeling of wellbeing after a session.’
Lis Brooks, 58, who lives at Sea Palling, joined Stalham Community Gym three years ago. She was referred by the Nurse Practitioner at her local surgery because she was suffering with anxiety attacks brought on by depression and was two stone overweight with a high cholesterol level of 10. The Nurse Practitioner suggested that exercise would be good for her heart plus get her out of the house to meet new people.
At first Lis was a reluctant gym goer but knew she had to do something. In fact the hardest part for her was walking over the threshold on the very first day. However, a warm welcome from Paul, the gym instructor soon allayed these fears. Now keeping fit is part of her lifestyle and the gym is here to stay in her life. Lis says that she is getting fit for old age! ‘Even in your mid 50s you can feel stiff getting out of a chair. It is important to be able to do domestic chores and the benefits I genuinely now feel are being able to easily get out of the bath, bend down to get to the oven and reach up to put washing on the line.’
Lis’ message to anybody considering joining the gym is to come along and take a look for themselves. ‘We are all shapes and sizes, all ages and there is no lycra or mirrors! Paul, our gym instructor is brilliant. He is very encouraging and approachable.’ To date Lis has lost a stone in weight, has gone from a size 22 to a 16/18 and even better has lost four inches off her thighs!
Lesley, aged 63 has been a member of Stalham Community Gym for nearly two years now. Her initial reason for joining was to keep fit in her older age. Having always been active enjoying disco dancing and walking in her youth Lesley spotted the ad in the Stalham News and without telling her husband popped in to find out more about becoming a member. At the age of 29, Lesley had an above-the-knee amputation caused by cancer of the bone. This disability has certainly not held Lesley back and with her positive outlook on life she has embraced the fitness programme that Paul designed specially for her. Her motto is that as long as she is physically able she will keep coming along to the gym. When asked to describe how she sees the gym, Lesley quickly responded with, ‘It’s a friendly place where you can work as hard as you want and Paul is a great trainer. One day I saw someone weight lifting and jokingly asked if I could have a go. Paul was quick to show me what to do and now I incorporate it in my routine. I love it!’ There has been several benefits to Lesley being a member of the gym....she has lost weight, has more confidence, is more active and best of all she walks without a stick!
Why not find out for yourself how Stalham Community Gym can help you!
Karen, aged 61, has been an active member at Stalham Community Gym since August 2014. She retired as a teacher in July 2013 having taught at Stalham Junior School for 24 years. Karen is registered blind with a degenerative eye disease called RP - which is short for Retinitus Pimentosa. Having Holly in her life for the past two and a half years means that she has more confidence in getting out and about. Karen was initially recommended to the gym by her doctor for weightloss and general fitness. Arthritis was becoming a problem too. “I was going to wait until the gym moved to the Poppy Centre but my doctor did a GP Referral and I haven’t looked back,” said Karen. “I was most impressed with Paul, the gym instructor. I felt he listened to me and adjusted a workout to suit my needs. He is always attentive and encouraging and everyone has a laugh at the gym.” she added. “The personal benefits after six months are that I have lost a stone and a half, I am much fitter and can walk further. Holly accompanies Karen to the gym and is made welcome by everyone and of course Holly keeps a keen eye on Karen making sure she is doing the routine that Paul has given her!
Alan is 66 and lives in Hickling. He has been a member of the gym almost since it first opened in April 2010. His initial reason for joining was to keep his general fitness going. Alan attends all three sessions and enjoys weightlifting. He has devised an extensive programme which pushes him to his limits. Over these last five years he has lost two stone in weight thanks to Clare Burt, the local NHS Health Trainer, who regularly visits the gym to meet members. Clare has helped Alan enormously with changing his eating habits. Alan says that ‘Clare points me in the right direction with my healthy eating regime and she is worth her weight in gold’. Alan enjoys the social side of keeping fit with others too. There is great camaraderie at the gym and he has easily made new friends. Alan is a full-time carer for his stepson and believes that not only has it helped with his caring, the regular exercise that his stepson also takes is helping with managing his weight, especially important with the type of medication he is on. Alan has always worked out at home with a Bullworker and introduced the benefits to Paul, the gym’s fitness professional. The concept has taken off and Alan and Paul now run a small class for ladies and gents of all ages and it’s a lot of fun! Alan says, ‘As for Paul, he is my bosom buddy - it’s great that the gym has someone like him there to look after us all.’