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HEALTH & FITNESS


Inactivity can cause ‘rapid loss’ of muscle mass


Just two weeks of not using their legs causes young people to lose a third of their muscular strength, placing them on par with someone 40-50 years their senior, according to new research. The University of Copenhagen study


has shed fresh light on the dangers of not exercising. Te findings conclude that a fortnight of inactivity also causes ‘rapid loss of muscle mass’. Te study – which sought to explore the impact of high inactivity caused by being injured or ill by immo- bilising a participant’s’ leg in a pad – also demonstrates the dangers of simply spend- ing excessive amounts of time on the couch. Details: http://lei.sr?a=j6t4W_O


Total Fitness eyes acquisitions


Resurgent health club chain Total Fitness is bidding to drive growth through “opportunistic” acquisitions as the company continues its turnaround strategy. Having hit hard times at


the start of the decade, the business is currently 60 per cent of the way through an estimated £18.5m refurbish- ment of its estate (17 clubs and counting), which has so far seen membership increase from 76,000 to 90,000. Pr ivaty equity firm


NorthEdge Capital recently backed a management buyout of Total Fitness with an investment of £11.5m and NorthEdge partner Ray Stenton has told Leisure Opportunities that the chain is looking to drive growth through a number of channels. “Te business has grown well with limited


Total Fitness non-exec director Ray Stenton is gearing up for growth “New builds aren’t on the immediate radar,


investment and there’s a real opportunity to build on that. There’ll be opportunis- tic new site openings based on acquisition – we’re looking at two or three possibilities at the moment,” said Stenton, who is also a non-executive director of Total Fitness.


At-risk patients are being denied vital services


NHS ‘rationing’ blocking access to exercise referrals


Some obese and inactive NHS patients are unable to access public health initia- tives designed to improve their wellbeing because budget cuts are causing these ser- vices to be rationed, according to the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH). Te RSPH survey of public health work-


ers revealed cuts are having a direct impact on frontline services seen as key to combat- ting Britain’s inactivity crisis such as weight management and exercise referral schemes. “Tis snapshot suggests that funding cuts


are beginning to bite and are having a direct impact on frontline services,” said Shirley Cramer, chief executive of RSPH. “A strat- egy which undermines prevention defies logic and is only storing up problems for the future, which will be amplified in terms of cost and impact to our nation’s health.” Te physical activity sector has led the


way in offering its exercise and weight man- agement skills to facilitate GP referrals, however experts have identified a need to work more closely with frontline healthcare professionals to boost the effectiveness of referrals. Details: http://lei.sr?a=b8Z2Z_O


4 Should selfies be banned in gyms?


Almost 40 per cent of health club users think that selfies should be banned in gyms, according to new research which reopens the debate surrounding photos and fitness. The latest research from Les


Mills found that while one quar- ter of gym users take in-club selfies, 39 per cent would them banned. Fitness selfies – sometimes


referred to as ‘fitspiration’ – have become a significant fixture on the social media landscape, account- ing for a sizeable chunk of the 17 million selfies uploaded to social media websites each week. Despite their popularity among


although we might consider it were the right site to come up. But there are a number of for- mer Total Fitness sites that were sold during the restructuring of the business, and they’re the most obvious things to look at if we can get them to work; the Wrexham reopening (in April 2015) was the first of those.” Stenton said the business is also looking


at potential boutique offerings in the north. Details: http://lei.sr?a=A7E4X_O


One solution could be to create selfie-free zones in gyms


sought-aſter youth demographics – and the fact that selfies oſten amount to free market- ing for businesses – selfies and gyms have not always enjoyed a picture-perfect relationship. Selfies were revealed to be gym goers’ biggest pet peeve in a recent survey, which found 76 per cent of gym users cited selfies as the thing that most annoyed them during a workout. But despite these setbacks, selfies continue to go from strength to strength on social media


Read Leisure Opportunities online: www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/digital


– particularly among young gym users – and many believe they should be embraced by gyms. “We can’t escape selfie culture and who wants


to; they’re a great way to share experiences with friends and family,” said Les Mills UK CEO Martin Franklin. “However, there’s a time and a place for them. Gym goers need to put in the hard graſt and earn their bragging rights to be able to post their selfie with pride.” Details: http://lei.sr?a=A2q7d_O


Twitter: @leisureopps © CYBERTREK 2015


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