World’s ‘happiest exercise classes’ could be coming to Portsmouth

SOUTHSEA GREEN: A hidden gem

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New sessions dubbed the world’s ‘happiest exercise classes’ could be coming to Portsmouth.

The 30-minute classes, run by David Lloyd Clubs which has a branch in Port Solent, aim to provide a mood-enhancing antidote to the end of summer.

Vitamin Me includes light therapy and endorphin-releasing exercises with the scents and sounds of summer as a background.

Rather than being greeted with mats or dumbbells, guests will instead with met with sun loungers and a pit of sand to dip their feet into.

The classes are being trialled in London, but if they are successful they will be rolled out across the country.

Sessions start with gentle stretches, and then once guests are comfortable on their sun loungers they can switch on their light therapy lamp for 15 minutes of artificial day light - which is claimed to improve mood and energy levels.

One in five people in the UK experience mildly debilitating symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or winter blues.

Elaine Slater

Finally guests will take on a high intensity 10-minute cardio session.

Psychologist Elaine Slater said: ‘One in five people in the UK experience mildly debilitating symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or winter blues.

‘It’s a complex condition that recurs each year, most likely triggered by a lack of natural daylight in winter.

‘It affects levels of the hormones melatonin and serotonin in the part of the brain controlling mood, sleep and appetite; our circadian rhythms.’

A David Lloyd Club spokesperson said: ‘We are always looking for innovative classes to introduce to our clubs that really benefit our members.

‘When we discovered that 41 per cent of people suffered due to the change in weather and daylight hours, we wanted to introduce a class that helped combat those feelings and so the Vitamin Me class was developed.’

The session follows the successful trial of David Lloyd’s ‘sleeping’ classes, which have been held in Portsmouth.