New fitness classes for ‘fat people’ coming to Exeter

New fitness classes specifically designed for “plus-sized” individuals are coming to Exeter following a successful pilot scheme last fall.

PHAT Health was created to help people who have been told to lose weight and become more active, but who do not feel comfortable in regular gyms and fitness classes.

Jess Crew, PHAT program organizer, said: “Many gyms and fitness classes say everyone is welcome, but in reality, they just do not cater to larger bodies.

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“‘PHAT’ means excellent. It’s a bit of a play on words as ‘fat’ has been used negatively, but some ‘phat’ is the opposite – excellent. Our classes are definitely phat.



Members of the PHAT team, from left to right: Anna Janota, Sarah Randall, Meg Hughes, Jess Crew

“As for the pilot, the people who participated in the pilot filled out questionnaires at the beginning and the end, and they all said that they were significantly more confident in their daily lives, more active between the classes and as a result of doing the classes.

“And we’ve got excellent feedback on how inclusive and accommodating the classes were.”

The positive feedback means that Jess and the team have secured additional funding to offer people an additional block of sharply declining classes, which will take place in Exeter’s Beacon Heath and Southenhay areas, as well as a continuation of the classes previously offered in St. Thomas.

Classes begin on January 25 and will all be live-streamed so people can sign up as a member for personal or online sessions. Members can then choose to attend 1-3 classes a week, which Jess said will be reflected in the price.

“All the instructors will tailor their teaching to people with large bodies, people who may not be used to exercising regularly and who are nervous,” Jess said.

Jess said that “people who are overweight are being asked to constantly exercise more”, but that some classes elsewhere simply do not suit people with large bodies.

She added: “And it’s awful to feel like you’re the weird one when you’re trying to do something that you think is difficult at first.

“So feeling included, feeling welcome and being felt is really, really important, and it will help people get strong hearts, strong bodies and hopefully a strong mind, just as we try to fight all the effects of the pandemic, as we have seen. on people’s lives. “

In addition to the physical benefits of regular exercise, Jess hopes the classes will also support members with their mental health.

“Everywhere over the last few days, there’s been a lot of talk about Blue Monday, and how miserable everyone is in mid-January, and I’m definitely dealing with that,” Jess said. “And most people I talk to are feeling pretty miserable right now.

“The first thing I want to say is for mental health, getting the blood pumping, doing something with our bodies is a fundamental pillar of good mental health – it’s not just about the physical.”

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To find out more about the classes or to book, visit the PHAT website here.

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