As we transition into the New Year, you may have set the stereotypical get fitter resolution but lack the knowledge and tools to make a sustainable change. You might be looking at purchasing a gym membership or that magic latest diet fad but before you do be sure to check out your local football club and their FIT FANS initiative; it’s FREE, inclusive and fun!
The programme enables people to learn and put into practice small, consistent changes to improve their health.
Funded by Sport England through the National Lottery and run at around 40 EFL Clubs across the country. It is a free health programme for men and women aged 35-65 who are looking to lose weight, get fitter and lead a more active life.
Average weight loss statistics for the FIT FANS programme are impressive and exceed those of many other programmes. On average women lose well over 3kg and men over 5.5kg by the end of the 12 weeks. We also have evidence that lifestyle change and weight loss is sustained over the following 12 months. More than 90% of men and 85% of women lose weight during the programme with many losing a clinically significant amount. Our data shows FIT FANS helps people to increase physical activity, reduce sedentary time, leading to weight loss, a significant reduction in blood pressure and improvement in self-reported mental wellbeing measures.
However, the benefits extend much further than just weight loss, with many participants commenting on the positive effects it has had on their mental health and social activity.
Nic attended FIT FANS with Northampton Town Community Trust credits the programme for indirectly helping those close to the participants too. He said, “It has not only changed my life but changed my kids lives too.”
The programme brings a diverse group of individuals together to form an environment that mirrors that of a family. A FIT ROVERS participant echoes: “Taking part in FIT ROVERS was the best thing I’ve ever done. The sessions and workouts are brilliant, but the camaraderie and banter is even better. I lost over a stone and a half but even more importantly, I feel like I’ve learned to enjoy myself again and that people like me, which has made me like myself again.”
Lifelong Villa fan, Kate attended her beloved clubs FIT FANS programme which gave her the motivation to change even after the end of the 12-week programme:
“The 12 week programme was fun, informative, and motivating. The classes have set us both on our way to a whole new healthier and fitter lifestyle. Michelle, Dru and Josh supported us all the way and delivered the health and fitness messages in a way that made us feel like we could succeed.
This motivation has stayed with us even though the course has ended. We have since signed up to more fitness classes, are watching what we eat and are losing more weight.”
In 2020, the programme won the Leaders in Sports Community Award which showcases the most innovative organisations and people driving the sports industry forward.
1000’s of people have made massive improvements to their health and lifestyle and there’s no reason that can’t be YOU. So before you spend a fortune on gym membership or weight loss plans, try your local football club, it’s FREE, proven to work and you might find having fun and making new friends too.