The folk of Wilmslow are keen on staying fit in an organised way.
There's at least four "lifestyle" fitness centres around the town.
Let's take a healthy walk around Wilmslow...
Summerfields -- Handforth Dean -- Leisure Centre -- Water Lane -- Dictionary
Energis Fitness Club, formerly Club Sportif Fitness Health & Leisure Spa, formerly Living Well, formerly Viva Health & Leisure, is at the back of the Summerfields shopping parade. Details to be confirmed...
Logo: Water Squirts
The fishermen in the foreground are indulging in rather more gentle exercise than the users of the centre's facilities.
The Total Fitness and Rehabilitation Centre at Handforth Dean is not really in Wilmslow but the owners are very keen to have that association, so they have named the entrance to the car park "Wilmslow Way". It's the newest and largest health club in the area; They claim it's "probably" the largest in the world. It has a car park so large you'll "probably" be worn out walking from your vehicle to the entrance. I think it used to be an indoor tennis centre but was refurbished.
A local artist has modified a nearby direction sign from " Total Fitness and Rehab Centre" to " Total Fatness and Kebab Centre".
I was a bit worried that the "and Rehabilitation" meant it was full of ex-junkies going cold turkey but it turns out this refers to injured people. Apparently top-notch footballers with broken legs, groins, etc. come from all over the country for sessions here. The piece de resistance at Total Fitness is the 200 metre indoor running track enabling you to run or jog without the risk of getting wet. Also featured is cardio-vascular exercise equipment, resistance equipment (I had a sten gun myself once, but it was always jamming), a dedicated spinning studio, a flume (very popular with footballers), squash & tennis courts, an enormous Irish-themed pub-cum-bar-cum-cafe thing, sunbeds, a resident doctor, aerobics - this place really has got it all. On the wet side there's not one but two pools - one for swimming up and down in lanes and the other a "relaxation pool" which as far as I could see is mostly used for chatting up members of the opposite sex. There's male and female and mixed saunas, a steam room and a foot spa (that's a bowl of warm water).
All this for only £40 per month + joining fee.
Logo: Conservative Party 1985
The Leisure Centre
Within the council-run leisure centre is the Fine Lines fitness centre. I suspect it's the cheapest place in which to work up a sweat, being based on the pay-as-you-go principle, around £3 a go plus a £16 joining fee. Patrons can look out from those black windows on the first floor onto the cricket ground.
Lots of machines for the pushing and the pulling and the pedalling and so on. A "recline cycle" is available for the laid-back. There's a swimming pool in the leisure centre albeit not part of Fine Lines, or FL, so you only pay for what you use. But if you're dead keen you can buy "unlimited use" tickets which work out cheaper than any of the other three gyms at about £27 per month. I'm not sure this is available all year or just in summer. Apparently people don't exercise in summer so it may be a seasonal promotion. An important factor is that in peak hours there's a pre-booking system so you can't necessarily have a spontaneous workout. The leisure centre also features exercise classes and regular light opera, which no other fitness centre can offer (not even Total Fitness and that's saying something). Another unique feature is the "private health & fitness centre" where you can exercise unseen by others; not sure why unless you want to lift weights in the nude or something.
Logo: Naked Man (doing the Lambeth Walk)
BJ's Health Club, also known as BJ's Health & Beauty, has closed. According to the papers it may be converted to luxury flats.
Dictionary of Fitness Terminology
Confused by your visit to the fitness centre? You need the Dictionary of Fitness Terminology.
Fitness Centre - gymnasium
Trainers - plimsolls
Cardio-vascular workout - getting out of breath
Resistance workout - moving heavy things
Recess - playing leapfrog
Isotonic workout - G+T in bar
Spinning1 - riding bicycle with no wheels
Studio - room
Aerobics - see cardio-vascular workout
Step exercise - standing on wooden block
Low impact step exercise - standing on styrofoam block
Spa - large bathtub
Whirlpool spa - who pulled the plug out?
Nutrition programme - packet of crisps in cafe afterwards
Candlelight yoga - yoga in a sauna (with candles)
Pilatus - light aircraft
Cardio theatre - TV set in front of exercise machines
Stairmaster - device advertised by Thora Hird
Finnish sauna - sauna
Calorie - 1000 calories
High technology - equipment has lights on it
Fat burning - exercise
BodyPUMP2 - lifting weights to music
Krav Maga - hitting people for fun
Crew - rowing boat with no water
Lifestyle assessment - give up fags and chips
Fitness programme - weight loss programme
Hydro therapy - anything that involves getting wet
Core training - balancing on plank
Security system - locker & key
Workout - exercise
The burn - angina
Roller training - roller skating
1Spinning is a registered trade mark (honest!)
2BodyPUMP is a registered trade mark