Mountain trek for Heath Gym members helps to ease the stress of Lockdowns
Nineteen members from The Heath Gym have completed a gruelling trek to the summit of Mount Snowdon in the first of a series of 'Away Day' events.
Mark McGrath, manager of the popular gym at The Heath Business and Technical Park in Runcorn, has launched the Away Day challenges to help people overcome the struggles of dealing with the loneliness and mental stress of Lockdowns during the pandemic.
Mark said: Lockdowns have been tough on everyone, and I was aware that lots of people have been struggling during this difficult time. Although The Heath Gym is back open, I felt we should offer our members the opportunity to meet others in fun and challenging activities outside of the normal gym environment.
Heath Gyms first Away Day was staged on Saturday, July 31st when 19 members aged from 20 to 70 years of age took part in a trek to the summit of Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales and the highest point in the British Isles outside of the Scottish Highlands.
Heath Gyms Fitness Co-ordinator Ann Brindley helped to organise the event and was on hand to offer encouragement and support to the trekkers during tough parts of the walk. Paul Woods, a third member of the Heath Gym team, also supported the walkers.
It was certainly a different experience from the gym and gave people a chance to do something they might not otherwise be able to do if they dont have friends or family willing or able to take part in this sort of activity. It took around three hours to reach the summit. After posing for the obligatory photographs, we then descended at quite a decent pace with the whole challenge taking around six hours to complete which was a pretty impressive performance, explained Mark.
All the members who undertook the challenge were local people who live in Runcorn, Widnes and Warrington.
He added: Weve currently got 250 members at Heath Gym and were in the process of building up the membership again following the pandemic. We had a fantastic response from those who took part in our Snowdon challenge, and we will be holding more Away Days in the future with activities such as paddle boarding and other experiences you wont find in the normal gym environment. More/2
Gym member Mark Lightfoot, aged 58, from Runcorn, said: I really enjoyed the experience and have wanted to do the climb for a number of years but none of my family or friends were interested. In fact, they thought I was mad doing it for the first time at my age! I appreciate all the effort it took, especially behind the scenes, to organise something like this.
Thanking Mark McGrath and Ann Brindley for organising the event, Mark Lightfoot added: I also know the added pressure you felt on the day as you took your responsibility of Group Leader extremely seriously and wanted everyone to enjoy the trip safely. It was great to have the opportunity to mix exercise and socialising in the outdoors.
Heath Gym is renowned for its friendly atmosphere and the professional approach of all its instructors who can create exclusive training programmes to suit all abilities. The main gym has a wide range of cardio and resistance machines along with a well-equipped Weights Room with resistance machines, power racks and dumbbells up to 50kg. There is even a special female gym, a private space where ladies can exercise.
About The Heath
The Heath Business and Technical Park is a phenomenal regeneration success story. Formed in 2000, its owner and operator, SOG Ltd, has transformed a once single occupancy corporate facility into a thriving independent business park. The Heath now provides office and laboratory accommodation for more than 120 individual organisations, ranging from business services and IT specialists to those at the cutting edge of science, research and advanced manufacturing. Around 2,000 people are employed at the site. For further information, telephone 01928 515988 or visit www.theheath.com
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PAUL SMITH ASSOCIATES
5th August 2021