Why a free Leeds gym has been opened for patients at The Light GP Surgery

Pictured Simon Long, Ciara Kelly,  Nicola Marchant, Health Coach, and Dr Helen Lawal, try out the gym at The Light Surgery in Leeds
Pictured Simon Long, Ciara Kelly, Nicola Marchant, Health Coach, and Dr Helen Lawal, try out the gym at The Light Surgery in Leeds
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A city centre GP surgery has opened an in-practice gym in a bid to combat health issues that are costing the NHS millions every year.

The Light Surgery, inside The Light retail centre, has introduced a fitness space that offers free circuit classes to patients.

The Light Surgery, run by One Medical Group, in Leeds city centre, is thought to one of the first in the country to set up circuit session for patients.

The Light Surgery, run by One Medical Group, in Leeds city centre, is thought to one of the first in the country to set up circuit session for patients.

It is part of a push for ‘lifestyle medicine’ which focuses on preventing and treating illnesses caused by bad diet, lack of exercise and chronic stress.

Nicola Marchant, health coach at the medical practice, said the scheme would save the NHS money by making people healthier and less reliant on prescription drugs.

She said: “If you can get people exercising, it can cut their medication down and save on operations which will save a lot of NHS money.

“If we can just get people moving it’s a win-win situation for them and the NHS.”

The idea from the gym came when Nicola, who is also a personal trainer, noticed that her patients in the clinic did not have the confidence to a mainstream gym.

She hopes the new scheme will bridge that gap in the market and help people who don't feel comfortable in every day gyms get into exercise to benefit their health.

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The ‘Surgery Circuit’ was officially opened by Dr Helen Lawal, the head GP for lifestyle at the clinic but also known for her appearances on How to Stay Well, Food Unwrapped and BBC’s Britain’s Best Junior Doctor.

Dr Helen Lawal, said: “Seventy per cent of health problems can be linked to lifestyle, but it can be so difficult for people to make changes without the proper support and knowledge.

“With all the contradicting advice, fad diets and lifestyle trends in the media, it’s very easy for people to be confused about how they’re supposed to keep healthy. We’re trying to keep it as simple as possible.

“Prescribing these classes could make a big difference to someone’s health and mental well-being – we all know exercise can boost your mood, and Nicola makes it all fun.

“It’s also a great way to socialise – so it’s an all round win-win for both patients and the health care system.”

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The gym is open to all members registered at the practice and is free to attend.

Users can be referred to the circuit classes by a doctor or can self-refer.

Find: The Light Surgery, Balcony Level, The Light, The Headrow, Leeds LS1 8TL