Portsmouth is hit by fitness mania

From left, customer Joanne Rentoul, Roko staff members Vince Sanders and George Pike with customer Peter Bayly and manager Alun Davies 
Picture Ian Hargreaves (161212-2)
From left, customer Joanne Rentoul, Roko staff members Vince Sanders and George Pike with customer Peter Bayly and manager Alun Davies Picture Ian Hargreaves (161212-2)

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PEOPLE who have had an indulgent summer were given a chance to get a little fitter yesterday – for free.

Gyms across Portsmouth joined in with National Fitness Day.

Customers and staff get involved in National Fitness Day at Roko in Copnor. (L-r) Customer Joanne Rentoul, staff members Vince Sanders and George Pike with customer Peter Bayly and manager Alun Davies

Customers and staff get involved in National Fitness Day at Roko in Copnor. (L-r) Customer Joanne Rentoul, staff members Vince Sanders and George Pike with customer Peter Bayly and manager Alun Davies

The annual event is designed to encourage more people to get active by joining a gym or sports club.

And as part of the action, Copnor’s Roko Health Club offered people the chance to take part in a number of free activities, including badminton, tennis and squash.

Visitors were put through their paces during a series of gruelling outdoor ‘boot camps’ in the morning and evening.

Physical trainer Rob Stroud, 27, led the 7am boot camp.

‘There was a lot of grimacing and heavy breathing from the guys taking part, but everyone had a great time,’ he said.

‘We were working with a load of things you don’t normally find in the gym – tyres, sledgehammers, medicine balls and ropes. It was pretty intense.’

The day also saw the chance for children to get involved in fun 3k runs and adults join a longer 5k challenge.

There was even a barbecue to help re-energise exhausted participants.

Alison Chase is a trainer and studio co-ordinator at Roko and said events like the NFD could prove vital in the fight against fat.

‘Being fit is one of the most important things when you’re looking after your health and well-being,’ she said.

‘The hardest thing is getting into a routine. Also, sometimes people are worried about going into a gym. They really shouldn’t be.’

The nationwide campaign was launched by fitness group UK Active. It saw 2,000 gyms taking part last year.

Paralympic gold medallist Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson backs the day and said: ‘NFD is an important part of the year because it’s all inclusive; everyone can and should get involved. It’s a great opportunity to spread the message that everyone in Britain can play their part.’