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Fitlife Ice Bath Challenge

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FitLife Ice Bath Challenge Raises £600 for Macmillan Cancer Care

FitLife, the boutique gym in Haddenham, hosted a 5-minute Ice Bath Challenge on Sunday 31st July where 17 brrr-brave members took part, with their monthly membership fee donated to Macmillan Cancer Care.

FitLife UK founder Steven Gregory decided that in the month of July members (including himself, would take part in the Macmillan Cold Water Challenge, where members braved the ice and immersed themselves in cold water for at least 30 seconds every day in July, culminating in a 5-minute Ice Bath Challenge on a Summer Sunday morning at the FitLife gym.

Easy right? Not as easy as it sounds (or felt)!

At 9am on Sunday 31stAugust, the freezing bath was full and ready to welcome its first challenger.

There were squeaks and squeals as each person stepped into the icy water, but after a few seconds, every single member used breathwork, grit and determination to withstand 5 minutes on the clock — knowing that every minute was another donation closer to supporting people affected by Cancer.

By 10.30am, 17 incredible members completed the cold-water challenge and £600.00 was raised for Macmillan as a result.

So encouraged were the entrants that one member who hadn't planned to take part joined in at the last minute, showing that the FitLife values of Feeling Fit and Loving Life really do stand strong!

Cold water therapy has grown in popularity with a reported 3.3 million people taking cold showers around the world. The benefits have been made famous by Wim Hoff who you may have seen with his recent BBC series Freeze the fear. Wim says "Proper exposure to the cold starts a cascade of health benefits, including the build-up of brown adipose tissue and resultant fat loss, reduced inflammation that facilitates a fortified immune system, balanced hormone levels, improved sleep quality, and the production of endorphins--the feel-good chemicals in the brain that naturally elevate your mood."

Steve is no stranger to supporting good causes and encouraging members to step outside of their comfort zone. He, along with his wife and Co-Founder Jess set out to change the way their local community saw and experienced fitness when FitLife started back in 2016. Since then, hundreds of people have benefitted from this welcoming gym, where there is a huge emphasis on inclusivity, from the diverse age range of members, to those that have never trained before, becoming gym regulars.

Of late, those struggling with mental health issues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic have really benefited from the positive and welcoming atmosphere that is second nature to FitLife.

FitLife's community spirit has extended to several Ukrainian refugees for whom, Haddenham has become their new home and who have also made FitLife a part of their daily activity, with Steve having offered free membership to them so that they can heal from trauma through the benefits of exercise.

Steve said, "The Ice Bath Challenge is one of many local events we hold at FitLife to empower people to be the best they can be and feel the best they can feel. Members may walk in through the door not feeling their best-selves. But years as a gym-owner has taught me that having a safe and exciting place to train can bring so many benefits for our members, turning bad days into positive ones for all who walk through the door."

"This challenge is an extension of that ethos and demonstrates how great our members are. This was an opportunity to remind them and all of us of what we're capable of and how we can lift others. Macmillan is a cause close to my heart and it is a privilege to raise vital funds that will support people living with and lost by cancer."

Others can donate to the fundraiser by visiting the FitLife UK Instagram page or visiting the gym and making a donation in person or by card.Building on this success, Steve and Jess are now embarking on a project to expand what FitLife has to offer, this time for local residents in Summertown, Oxfordshire.

There are lots more photos to enjoy of the brave souls who took on the Ice Bath Challenge — see the Haddenham Flickr page

(NB: don't be put off if you get a complicated 'cookies' message — just scroll right down and 'accept all').

See: https://www.flickr.com/photos/188798322@N07/sets/72177720300968433/