Free York circuit sessions offer men a boost to mental health

Social Circuits 8pm Tuesdays at Complete Life Fitness in Poppleton

Free circuit sessions are being held to offer men a place in York where they can do exercise, talk and have a laugh.

Stephen Morrison, a pharmacist-turned-personal trainer, knows from experience how exercise can help improve people’s mental health, and runs Social Circuits in the hope that others will also benefit from it.


The group meets every Tuesday at 8pm in the car park by Complete Life Fitness, in Nether Poppleton. Members do timed circuit exercises – aimed at all levels of fitness, with four breaks in between where they can chat.

News of the group has spread by word of mouth and it has gradually grown in size, with some admitting they joined initially out of loneliness, rather than any desire to get fit. The social side is as important as the exercise, says Steve, adding that friendships had since been forged within the group.

A personal mission

Social Circuits which has received City of York Council funding to continue in 2020 came about as Steve wanted to use his own experience to help others. He said:

  • I had been dealing with depression and anxiety from a young age and nine years ago I contacted York Mind at a time I didn’t think things were going to improve.

    With their help and exercise, I changed my life and nine years on I felt it was important to help other people who are in a similar situation. That’s where Social Circuits began.

    I provided two courses of free exercise sessions for clients of York Mind who then saw the value in what it could achieve and funded another course.

    Yorkey Dads and York Menfullness saw what this could achieve and now we want to spread the word on a bigger scale. We exercise, we chat, we laugh, and we make new friends each week.

Dads who are struggling

Jack Woodhams, who runs both groups, said: “What has taken us all by surprise is the openness of dads who are struggling. We have 800 dads on the Facebook group. When one person opens up, we are just hit with positivity from other guys, people telling them they are not alone.”

Jack has been attending Social Circuits and recommending it to others: “Steve knows the power of exercise, how endorphins can help with mental health, and on top of that you have got an extra bonus of friendship.”

Steve’s Complete Life Fitness provides one-to-one exercise sessions for weight loss, fitness, strength and well being. The team also specialise in areas such as cancer and exercise rehabilitation, and pre and postnatal exercise.

For more information contact Steve on 07921 919441 or visit the website.

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