Strength in numbers

Fitfreek owner Julio De Aguiar (Hamilton Hill) puts some participants through their paces.|Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d413212
Fitfreek owner Julio De Aguiar (Hamilton Hill) puts some participants through their paces.|Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d413212

The number of outdoor-based fitness and workout groups has grown in the area recently, with health-conscious people moving away from gym-based workouts and going outdoors.

One such group is Fitfreek, with owner Julio De Aguiar saying the growing expense of one-on-one personal training drew more people to the cheaper outdoor fitness option, which allowed everybody the chance to get the most out of their workouts.

Mr De Aguiar, who has run sessions out of multiple locations throughout Cockburn, Fremantle and Melville since January last year, said peer support played a big role in the growing popularity of these types of groups.

‘A group environment can offer a huge amount of motivation and support to keep people focused and coming back,’ he said.

‘I believe they’re growing in popularity because of the support each person gives to each other, not everyone is confident enough to exercise in a gym, but training in a group allows each member to receive attention.’

Similarly, Fitt Club Fremantle’s Nicola Weaver, who said their group focused as much on the community side of things as the exercise, had great responses from those who took part.

‘These groups promote being active through fun and we get a lot of people who do not enjoy the gym or are afraid about getting started back into exercise,’ she said.

‘Some of the results include weight loss, coming off anti-depressants and improved skin and people enjoy being outdoors with like minded people.’

Act Belong Commit health promotion officer Sarah Graham said there were not just physical but also mental benefits to this type of workout.

‘Physical activity is probably one of the easiest ways to boost mental health and research shows that people who exercise on a regular basis experience higher life satisfaction then those who don’t exercise at all,’ she said.

‘Being active is great, but being active with others is even better because physical activity in groups keeps us motivated, allows us to catch up with friends and widens social networks; all of which add further benefits to mental health and regular involvement in social activities results in strong personal support, one of the most important factors for maintaining good mental and physical health.’

Jessica Nico