Last week I had the pleasure of running a fitness circuit session at the Manchester Foyer. For those that aren’t familiar with the Manchester Foyer allow me to expand. It is a supported accommodation service for young people aged between 16-25 in need of housing who are actively engaged in education. Residents have access to in house key workers which assist them along their journey to independence. They achieve this through working on their personal development and social emotional well being. Majority of the young people living at the Foyer have faced or are currently facing challenges whether that be with family, relationships, self confidence etc.

So it made sense that we reach out to the Foyer and offer our services. After liaising and building a good working relationship with a member of staff there, we arranged an informal session with a few of the residents. The idea was to discuss what issues they think are most relevant to themselves and their peers in a informal relaxed environment accompanied with appetizing hot pizza’s that went down a treat.

Fitness / Self defense was one of the issues brought up by both male and female members of the group. They expressed how they would enjoy having the chance to learn how to defend themselves whilst simultaneously improving their health and fitness levels. I myself just happen to be a qualified fitness coach so it was a no brainier to supply the demand demonstrated. We arranged a suitable day and time for a pilot fitness circuit session to run within the Foyer which already has an area with some appropriate equipment.

The session was based around High Intensity Interval Training. You exercise at a station for a designated amount of time, have a short rest period and then move on to the next station until you have completed all stations. The stations varied from shuttle runs, kettle bells swings, boxing pad work, burpees etc. This type of training is excellent for raising the heart rate, burning fat, boosting metabolism, strengthening the anaerobic and aerobic systems whilst offering a mixed variety of various exercises.

Those that engaged in the session enjoyed the challenge and a few residents also came down to briefly observe what was happening as word of mouth spread throughout the living quarters. Using fitness as a tool to engage young people can be extremely beneficial as exercising is known to release endorphin’s within the body which are chemical hormones that give you a good feeling. It can help to reduce stress and its fair to say making the transition from your teens to early twenties can be a immensely stressful phase of life at times. Engaging in regular exercise provides a opportunity to socialize with other therefore combating isolation and improving interpersonal skills. Exercise can also improve your self esteem as over time physical changes to your body become more visible.

Overall the fitness session was a success and we plan making it a regular thing at the Foyer. Myself and colleague also plan to facilitate a number of different sessions over the up upcoming months there and elsewhere.  They will focus on a wide range of social and personal matters young people would like to see change which fall under are project ‘You Can Be The Change’. For more info regarding my fitness training sessions check out the Champion In Action Fitness page on Facebook and Instagram.

“Health Is Wealth”