Creators of Salford outdoor fitness programme, U-First Fitness, stress the importance of exercise of mental health and criticise the government’s handling of gyms over lockdown.

U-First Fitness, located in Buile Hill Park, focuses on improving the mindset of clients as well as their physical health, believing this will achieve longer lasting results.

Sarah-Jane Broderick said: “One of the most important things for us as personal trainers, is getting people to feel good and focus not just physically, but also mentally before we even think about dropping dress sizes.”

Coronavirus and the isolation of lockdowns have taken their toll on people’s mental health.

Anthony Tucker said: “The government needs to start working with gyms and small businesses in order to start helping people.  Doctors also need to start referring people to gyms, or there has to be some sort of discount or incentive rather than just prescribing antidepressants.”

Sarah-Jane added that: “When we exercise, when we move more, our body produces endorphins, endorphins are responsible for the kind of feel good happy feelings. It’s the same chemical that is released into the brain where we laugh, when we see loved ones, and when we eat chocolate it’s the same kind of happy feeling.”

The Eat Out to Help To Help Out scheme saw, in some instances, two mile long queues waiting outside of McDonalds. Meanwhile gyms and leisure centres remained closed.

The Government launched a campaign to reduce obesity, but some feel they did not put the necessary tools in place.

Anthony added: “The government keeping Off Licences open and shutting gyms makes no logical sense to me.

“When people are stuck inside they’re likely to be bored, visit the off licence and gain weight and then feel worse mentally.

“When they come out of lockdown, the likelihood is, they will be in worse shape than they were before and potentially become more vulnerable to viruses, not just colds but the flu also.”

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