Sheffield health scheme fighting fit during recession
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Sheffield health scheme fighting fit during recession

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An award winning fitness scheme is helping thousands of people in Sheffield to beat the squeeze and stay healthy during the recession.

Fitness Unlimited, the city's most popular health and fitness scheme, has defied the economic downturn to record bumper membership figures.

More than 16,000 people in Sheffield are now using Fitness Unlimited's gyms, spin studios, swimming pools, group classes and health spas - a 4.5 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2009.

The scheme offers access to four facilities operated by Sheffield International Venues (SIV) - the world-class Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, four times leisure centre of the year Hillsborough Leisure Centre, Concord Sports Centre and Don Valley Stadium.

Steve Brailey, chief executive of SIV, said: "At a time when industry research has suggested that the health and fitness sector may be facing a slow recovery from the recession - it is pleasing to know that people in Sheffield have access to an affordable, quality membership scheme.

"Post-recession, spending on expensive gyms and private health clubs has suffered elsewhere, with many people rethinking spending priorities during the downturn. At Fitness Unlimited, we are very much bucking the trend and since February 2008, our sales have increased by 25 per cent.

"Driving participation in physical activity is one of SIV's key objectives and the quality, value for money and diversity offered by Fitness Unlimited continues to ensure that health and fitness opportunities are accessible to all in the city."

Fitness Unlimited is celebrating its 10th birthday this year and since January 2000 has helped to improve the health of more than 100,000 people in Sheffield - nearly 20 per cent of the city's population.

The range of venues on offer and a continual commitment to high-level investment have also been key to attracting and retaining members during the recession.

Steve added: "At the heart of the scheme is value for money and a quality product. As budgets tighten people are looking for better value deals for their health and fitness spend. Fitness Unlimited members are choosing value over private health clubs and gyms with expensive joining fees and monthly rates.

"Fitness Unlimited aims to make it as easy as possible for members to continue their quest for healthy lifestyles. From using lane swimming to group fitness classes, we offer physical activity for the whole community. Having access to four venues across the city means members can take part in physical activity all day every day at a location suitable to them."

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An award winning fitness scheme is helping thousands of people in Sheffield to beat the squeeze and stay healthy during the recession.
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