WALX’s Preston branch has described how it’s helped locals improve their fitness without visiting a gym.
Conventional fitness centres can be intimidating for new members, so WALX set out to remove any negative connotations now associated with exercise. Matt Gibbs, ‘WALX Master’ at the Preston branch, explained:
"Plenty of people don't like the gym, so we're trying something different, and once people meet the social group and get outdoors in the green spaces, they see a lot of physical, postural, mental and social improvement.”
Gibbs is proud to be able to give WALX Preston members the chance to exercise in Avenham Park by the River Ribber, which offers a number of different routes. Many people are able to explore places they’ve never been to before, despite having lived nearby for years. Gibbs said:
"We never talk about exercise – it's about meeting friends and having a good time.”
The outdoor fitness franchise runs three types of sessions, enabling walkers of all abilities to get their exercise fix. Explorer WALX involves everything from short, gentle strolls to long, demanding treks, while Total Body WALX introduces drills, strength training and the use of Nordic walking poles for upper body conditioning. Those looking for a less strenuous session can enrol onto Wellness WALX, which hosts more gentle activities with balance, flexibility and strength in mind.
Gibbs explained how these more relaxed sessions can benefit the elderly in particular:
"Older people who come along are excited to do the walk at their own pace, build up their fitness, and are soon covering bigger distances while […] building relationships with new friends. People at certain stages of their life can be unsure about something new, but we're trying to break that barrier down and show them that if they give it a go, they'll realise how good it is.”
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©