As a busy secondary school teacher, exercise now forms an incredibly important part of Claudia’s lifestyle. With her working lifestyle preceded by a high-pressure degree, unfortunately, she hasn’t always been able to maintain a healthy lifestyle and has battled some mental challenges throughout her life.
“I have battled against my mind for as long as I can remember,” said Claudia. “However, it has been exercise that has lifted me out of some of my lowest moments. I still suffer from frequent waves of depression and anxiety, and I think I probably always will. However, it’s about finding ways of managing it. For me, the gym is always my first go-to.”
She was first introduced to the gym during her time at university by her super-active grandma. Initially, she found the gym to be a great way for a bit of ‘me time’ as well as restoring some balance to her life as she juggled her studies.
Following her degree, Claudia discovered Anytime Fitness in a very interesting way! Having travelled to Australia for a three-week break around the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, this holiday escalated overnight into an unplanned 18-month stay which meant she had to temporarily establish a new life on the other side of the world. With her world flipped upside down, she knew she had to discover a gym to return some normality to her life and came across Anytime Fitness, which has a huge presence in Australia.
“Despite being stranded in quite possibly the most beautiful place in the world, it was a period of huge uncertainty and upheaval, explained Claudia. “Overnight, I found myself having to establish a life for myself on the other side of the world and any sense of routine I once had completely disappeared. As my mental health began to deteriorate, I knew finding a gym was essential to restore some normality to my life and that’s when I discovered Anytime Fitness!”
After returning to the UK, Claudia did her best to be active but with 12-hour working days and her current gym being too far away, she needed a change. The long distance to her gym meant she found it hard to establish a routine and unfortunately, it took a toll on her mental health. Knowing she had to readdress the balance, she signed up to Anytime Fitness Addlestone which proved to be a key turning point.
“Since moving to Anytime Fitness Addlestone, it now takes me less than 10 minutes to walk to get to the gym. This means I can get there at least 4 times a week and I have absolutely no excuse not to go. I always thought I preferred to work out alone. However, after one of the team suggested group classes to me earlier this year, I started giving them a go and have loved it. There’s nothing like a Friday Zumba class with Luis to switch off and shake away the stresses of the week. Plus, you get to meet new people. It’s the only thing that gets me away from school at a socially acceptable hour on a Friday night.”
With exercise now locked into her routine, Claudia has some inspiring words for anyone who may be thinking about joining the gym or finding it a struggle to have the confidence to do so.
“Do it! What have you to lose? My grandmother was still going to the gym nearly every day at 82 and looked and felt amazing for it! Don’t think of going to the gym as an onerous chore, but rather as an investment in yourself. No matter what your age or level of fitness, I guarantee you will feel better for it.
“The mind is a powerful thing, and I honestly believe that I would not be here today if it were not for the power of exercise. Exercise has enabled me to achieve great things, and now, working as a teacher, it is what enables me to overcome the immense stresses of everyday life and be the best teacher I can be for my students.”