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ianHere at the LC our members have the benefit of our World Class Fitness Team who are on hand to devise personalised fitness programmes and continued support whenever they need it. Ian is one of our World Class Fitness team, this is his story:

'I am 51 years of age and have been with py partner Joanne for 32 years. We have 3 lovely children, Rhian is 28, Mikey is 25 and Laura is 23. My passion is Tottenham Hotspur , I had dreams of being a footballer and trained with Swansea City youth . Following this I thought of joining the RAF but chose catering college instead where I passed all my exams in catering and worked in the industry for 35 years. I have always enjoyed fitness from football to weight training and pursued this passion when I attended Carmarthen University in 2014 to complete a 3 year course in personal training, I came out of university with a diploma in PT and started working in the fitness industry at the age of 50. I joined the LC in 2016 as part of the gym team and enjoy every minute working with great people and brilliant members.'

Some fun facts about Ian:

Nickname: Fraynie

Favourite Workout: Anything back and abs

Guilty Pleasure: Redbull and sunbeds

Most likely to say: 'Spurs!

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WG30148 YOL FB 1200px x 630px 3In 2017 Wales is celebrating its epic past, present and future. We’re bringing the past to life like never before, with attractions, events and activities at legendary locations across Wales. We’re also creating new Welsh legends, immersing visitors in our epic story, and making new legendary experiences. This is our Year of Legends.

Wales is an ancient landscape, with history and myth wherever you look. It’s a land of majestic mountains and mighty skies, fringed with an impressive coastline. But it’s also an epic land of thinking and high adventure. Everywhere you go, there are innovative ideas, in ancient places.

That’s why the world’s fastest zip wire now soars over an old slate quarry at Bethesda, and surfers ride perfect man-made waves down the Conwy Valley. It’s why forests are criss-crossed with mountain bike trails, and the Wales Coast Path runs the whole length of our coastline — the only path of its kind in the world.

Along the way, every cove and clifftop comes with legends of pirates and smugglers, wreckers and saints. We’ve got Roman harbours and Victorian piers, around 230 beaches, and 50 magical islands.

A fifth of the country is National Park. This epic landscape is scattered with standing stones and burial chambers, left there by our Prehistoric ancestors. Then there are our legendary castles: 641 of them, more per square mile than anywhere on Earth.

Our capital, Cardiff, is an exciting, young European city, with culture and creativity coursing through its vibrant streets, bars, museums, theatres and concert halls. It also boasts an energetic nightlife, great food and shopping, and a world-class sports arena: the Principality Stadium.

In June 2017 Cardiff hosted the world’s most watched annual sporting event, the UEFA Champions League Final. It’s just the latest in a series of global gatherings, like the Ryder Cup, NATO Summit and Rugby World Cup. Then there’s our regular crop of home-grown events, like the Hay Festival, Green Man, Festival No.6 and the National Eisteddfod.

You’ll see and hear the Welsh language wherever you go, a living link with the legendary King Arthur and our ancient Celtic ancestors. Above all, Wales is a great place to enjoy here and now. There’s great food and drink, unique places to stay, and a legendary welcome. This year we’re creating new legends. Want to come and find yours?

The LC is proud to be a part of the Year of Legends. Welcome to our Epic Land.

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wellbeing blogMany of us feel a bit stuck in a rut at the beginning of the year, and it can have a bad effect on our personal life, our productivity at work and our health and fitness.

The good news is you don't have to drastically remodel your life in order to shake things up and to get your mojo back.

One area you might want to concentrate on is work. Most of us spend around eight hours each day at work, so it makes sense to try to build healthy habits into these hours and to try to bring a little fun and a renewed sense of vigour into the office.

It isn't as difficult as you might think – particularly if your colleagues are open to a little friendly competition. And making a habit of exercising during the working day is something your boss should be receptive to – it has been shown to improve concentration, cut sickness days and create better team spirit in the workplace.

Here are some ideas to help you fit in some exercise during office hours and to help encourage a healthy attitude to fitness and wellbeing at work.

  • Find some allies. If you have a colleague who bemoans the number of cakes and sweets that float around the office every time someone has a birthday, why not suggest the two of you set up a Wednesday Walking Club? Bring in your kit and go for a brisk 30 minute walk outside or on the treadmill at the gym.
  • Make a habit of tracking your daily steps using a fitness app. Encourage your colleagues to do the same and set up a leader board to inject a little healthy competition into the challenge, with the first to reach 1,000 steps getting a small prize.
  • If you have two or three social events throughout the year as a company make one of them activity based. This doesn't have to mean entering a marathon together but you could arrange a watersports day, a canoeing trip, take some dancing lessons, or spend an afternoon on the LC’s Boardrider.
  • Subtly change your language and your thinking when it comes to exercise. Instead of telling yourself: “I need to spend three lunch hours a week at the gym to tone up.” Tell yourself: “I’m going to master upper body exercises using the gym’s resistance machines.” Or “I’m going to master the spin class techniques this week.” By using positive language and by changing how you refer to your goals you are setting yourself up for success, psychologically.
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MINDFULLNESSIt is easy to be little dismissive of new health or fitness trends, and Mindfulness Is certainly having its day in the spotlight.

Celebrities are endorsing it, glossy magazines are writing features about it, and we all know someone who practises it.

A form of daily meditation that encourages people to stay ‘in the moment’ rather than letting their mind wander to their pre-programmed negative messages, ingrained fears, and worries about what’s around the corner, Mindfulness seems deeply rooted in common sense.

If nothing else, training our minds to focus upon the task in hand or our surroundings at any given moment must be good for our powers of concentration, our mood and our anxiety levels.

And it is fascinating to see that some cardiologists are now prescribing Mindfulness  to help treat mild coronary heart disease, alongside the more common prescriptions of a good diet and exercise.

Of course Yoga and other reflective and relaxing forms of exercise and meditation can help to keep the mind focused on how you are breathing, what your body is doing, and what is going on around you – as can some other repetitive exercise programmes like jogging or cycling.

But Mindfulness, when taught by an expert, takes things that much further – and can really help you feel refreshed and recharged. Our instructor Julie is at the helm of our new LC Mindfuness sessions every Monday at 6.30pm and every Wednesday from 9.30am and they are already drawing a crowd. Why not come along and check them out for yourself?

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Regulars to the LC Gold fitness classes are used to striking a pose in order to strengthen those muscles, but they have been striking poses for arts sake recently too.

Swansea artist Jane Jones, a long-standing member of Swansea Print Workshop, has been finding inspiration for a new artwork with some impromptu life drawing sessions at our regular fitness classes.

Jane is a regular at some of Mandy’s LC Gold sessions herself – LC Gold is a programme of fitness classes tailored to the over 50s. And as a printmaker she specialises in figurative and abstract works, using intaglio and block relief methods, often executed on a large scale.

One of her best known works, which featured in a number of local exhibitions, showed an arresting portrait of Dylan Thomas rendered in hot tar.

Jane, from West Cross, said: “I am always looking for interesting new projects and new sources of inspiration and I was pleased to be invited along to sketch some of the LC regulars exercising.

“These were quite challenging sketching sessions because many of the LC classes naturally involve fast movement, which can be tricky to capture successfully on paper.

“But it was fascinating to work with a fairly large group of people, rather than the tradition single sitter at a life drawing session.

“And of course these ‘sitters’ were making many different shapes and poses throughout the class – it certainly gave me some interesting material to work with and I look forward to showing the completed work to some of my LC Gold classmates.”

Chris Jones, our Health and Fitness Manager said: “We were delighted to invite Jane along to work in this unusual environment and I look forward to seeing the finished results.

“I know Jane is an LC Gold member herself and one of the things we hear time and again from our LC Gold members is how much they value the social side of the classes and the friendships they have made during their time with us, so it is great to see the LC Gold classes inspire activities other than health and fitness – as vital as health and fitness are.”

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