11:05am Thursday 20 February 2020

Volunteers get free gym membership to kick start a healthier lifestyle

Researchers from the Sport & Exercise Science Research Group, based in the University’s Department for Health, are looking for volunteers to take part in a three-week trial.

They are seeking men and women between the ages of 45 and 64 who are currently inactive and overweight and recruitment will be on a first-come first-served basis.

The researchers will assess each volunteer before and after the trial with the aim of finding out whether moderate or vigorous intensity exercise is more successful in reducing heart disease risk factors. Potential participants will be asked to fill in a health questionnaire to assess whether they are eligible to take part. During the three-week intervention, they will be required to visit the University’s gym several times a week and reduce their food intake. They will be assessed at the beginning and at the end of the three-week period.

Felicity Nurdin, who took part last year, said: “I decided to sign up for the trial because I was feeling very overweight and sluggish. I was asked to walk on a treadmill and to reduce my food intake by a third. The outcome of it all was I felt wonderful, so much more awake and full of life. I thoroughly recommend it to anyone who wishes to shift the post Christmas blues.”

Andy Tigwell, who recently completed the study, added: “Participating in the study was just the kick start I needed. I felt healthier after completing the study and more confident in myself after losing approximately one stone in eight weeks. One other benefit of participation was the free gym membership and I have just started a cardio/weights programme and now attend the gym four times a week.” 

Jean-Philippe Walhin, the PhD student conducting the research said: “Both groups will receive the same dietary advice and all participants are expected to lose about a kilo a week, which is a healthy rate to lose weight. We will also give each volunteer feedback on results, such as their fitness, diet, cholesterol, blood pressure and body composition. There are lots of benefits of taking part in the trial. Not only is it a good way to kick start a healthier lifestyle, it is also a chance to enjoy six months free gym membership.”

Those who are currently on medication or who suffer from heart disease are not able to take part in the trial.

For more information on taking part in the trial contact Jean-Philippe Walhin on 01225 386478 or email jpw23@bath.ac.uk.

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