Achieving your personal fitness goals in Harrogate and York

About you and your personal fitness goals

We all have our personal reasons for wanting to be fitter and healthier. Some of us want to be stronger, some bigger, and some smaller. Some of us want to run, or cycle, further and faster, or to take on a physical challenge that has so far eluded us - but keeps nagging away in the back of our minds. Perhaps it's to look good in (and out!) of our clothes or to feel comfortable on the beach, or at the pool. We might want to perform better at our sport, to ski without flaking out by lunch, to keep up with the children or the grandchildren, or simply to get up from the chair, or in and out of the car, without feeling too many twinges.

Whatever your motivation and current situation we can help.


There's nothing quite as daunting as taking up exercise for the first time - whatever our age. We inevitably ask ourselves the questions... "isn't everyone else in the gym already really fit"?, and..."won't I be totally embarrassed and intimated"? The answers are 'no', and 'no'. The truth is that most people who workout still need lots of guidance and support and too often this is missing in many gym environments. Breathing in the gym air doesn't produce results, neither does spending as much time in the cafe as the gym itself. Becoming a gym member is often seen as the hardest part of getting fit, and there's no doubt that walking across that threshold takes nerve for a lot of us. But the majority of people who join a gym leave that gym within 12 months. Their intentions were good but the support that is crucial during the first few months is often missing once the membership deal is in place.

Fortius will initially hold your hand to walk you through the first steps; we will then lead you until you become more confident and, finally, once you are more experienced and knowledgeable we will let go of your hands and continue to guide you.

Our approach is to be honest, empathetic, challenging and supportive. Everyone can benefit from improved health and fitness and everyone deserves the opportunity to experience what that improvement feels like.


It's human nature to start things that we don't always finish. Fitness is no different. We can all remember taking up an activity, a sport or a gym membership and then letting it lapse. Often our reasoning is based on getting older, busier or both. Or perhaps we've been on holiday which broke the routine, we've moved to a new town and haven't got back in the swing of things, or we've been recovering from an illness or injury. Perhaps we've had a baby and it's been really difficult to find the time and the motivation to start exercising again.

These are all understandable reasons for letting the habit of exercise fade away. The good news is that we can start to exercise again at any time and thankfully the benefits kick back in place pretty quickly if the habit is consistent and the methods are effective. We just need to understand what we are trying to achieve from the outset so that a structured programme can be created and a routine established. It's that simple. Our bodies are incredibly responsive and adapt to new challenges and stresses very quickly. We then improve. So why not give it another go? With the right advice and support returning to exercise can be easier than you might think.

Fat loss

Let’s be clear from the outset; when people say 'weight loss' they mean 'fat loss'.

There's a multi billion pound industry built around how we should reduce the fat % of our bodies. We are bombarded with photoshopped images of celebrities showing us what 'perfection' is and how we should aspire to it. At the same time eating in cafes and restaurants has never been more popular or accessible, convenience foods are within easy reach on the shelves, and takeaway food is firmly embedded within our cultural dietary habits.

Meanwhile the UK Government's advice regarding recommended food intake is both misleading and misdirected. Is it any wonder that we are confused and unsettled and that the majority of UK adults are now either overweight or obese? Is it a surprise that fad diets are so popular as people seek short term fixes to solve very real lifestyle issues? The overwhelming scientific evidence demonstrates that diets do not work yet more and more of them appear weekly in the media and they are eagerly adopted by people seeking the silver bullet solution. They never find it of course - because there isn't one. Most diets, if adopted strictly, will result in a temporary weight loss - but crucially, not fat loss. The body is very adept at hanging on to our fat stores when it feels under pressure through a dramatic reduction in calories. Diets don't work because long term lifestyle changes aren't created.

Those lifestyle changes involve a properly constructed bespoke exercise programme which targets fat loss (not weight loss!), coupled with some changes to what we eat, how we eat and how often we eat. That doesn't necessarily mean that we need to eat less, sometimes quite the opposite, but it does mean that what we eat has to be critically re-evaluated.

As a Registered Nutritionist, recognised by the College for Nutrition (, I am able to work closely with clients to assess current food habits and to recommend changes that will produce improvements that are real, long term, and sustainable. No more 'yo-yo' dieting. Exercise is only one (albeit very important) part of the plan which allows us to regulate our calorie equation. As important is the challenge of educating ourselves to consume foods that fuel us rather than fool us.

Please don't be intimidated or concerned about your lack of success to date, as working closely together we can produce real and sustainable results.

Remember a six pack is made in the kitchen not in the gym.

'Time poor'

One of the overriding feelings I had whilst working in senior corporate positions was that I never seemed to have enough time. I understood the concept of time management, I attempted to create an effective 'work/home' life balance, but there always seemed to be too much left to do at the end of each day, and not enough time to play catch up at the weekend.

I'm sure many people who have busy jobs, and those who balance the responsibilities of looking after children alongside other obligations, will recognise the feeling. The easiest thing to give up on in such circumstances is real care of ourselves, our wellbeing, our health. And yet that is a very counterproductive decision.

If we exercise properly, and eat well, our bodies respond by rewarding us with higher energy levels, improved sleep patterns and lower stress levels. We therefore become more effective to handle the other pressures that life throws at us.

At Fortius we understand that making time for exercise is often only possible early in the morning, late in the evening, or at the weekend. Wherever feasible the bespoke fitness service offered will accommodate your individual needs and commitments. If that means working out in your home, or in the gym, first thing in the morning we can make that happen. The same applies at the other end of the day. The important thing is to establish a pattern that becomes a regular routine; a diary commitment as important as any other. That's where we start. Whenever you're ready.

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