Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Getting Business Community Fit for Work(ing out); as Newcastle and England Captain, Alan Shearer Had to Be Fit. but the Man Who Admits to 'Not Being a Gym Person' Knows How Hard It Is to Get the Motivation for a Work out. Now He's Challenging the Business Community to Do Just That, as LISA HUTCHINSON Discovers; 'Couch Potato' Shearer's Competitive Streak Is Back

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Getting Business Community Fit for Work(ing out); as Newcastle and England Captain, Alan Shearer Had to Be Fit. but the Man Who Admits to 'Not Being a Gym Person' Knows How Hard It Is to Get the Motivation for a Work out. Now He's Challenging the Business Community to Do Just That, as LISA HUTCHINSON Discovers; 'Couch Potato' Shearer's Competitive Streak Is Back

Article excerpt

Byline: LISA HUTCHINSON

THE business community is being put to the fitness test in a challenge that is getting the region in a spin. Supported by former Newcastle United striker Alan Shearer, the Speedflex Corporate Back to Fitness Challenge aims to get the region's workers into the gym.

North East company Speedflex Newcastle has kicked off a two week challenge to get the region's business community away from their laptop, tablet or PC for one hour - reminding them that the most important deadline in business is setting a change in their health and fitness regime.

It started on Monday and runs until Friday, September 27, and is getting bosses and their staff competing to lose calories.

Already dozens of firms have signed up and are getting competitive to lose weight and increase their fitness levels in a bid to win the challenge. Shearer, who has a business interest in Speedflex, uses the gym on Burdon Terrace, Jesmond, Newcastle, three times a week.

The Speedflex equipment is from America and is sweeping Britainthanks to North East entrepreneur Graham Wylie owning the European distribution rights.

And ex-footballer Shearer liked the equipment, which works on resistance and leaves no pain in the joints or muscles, so much that he also decided to invest. Graham, who also owns Close House Hotel and Golf Club at Heddon-on-the-Wall, Northumberland, said: "This is a great way to exercise so we thought of a way to get the business community involved.

"With all my business contacts I thought of the challenge which would get people from behind their desks and into the gym and using the equipment.

"I have never been a gym person and was a bit of couch potato. But with Speedflex I have lost my stomach and it only takes 45 minutes a session.

"Already big names in business have signed up and it is getting quite competitive. The team which loses the most calories wins.

"I have been to Las Vegas and put on 9lbs. But I've got back and lost the lot. This challenge is getting the business community to work out with Speedflex and we want as many companies as possible to join in."

Teams of a maximum of seven people from businesses around the region have been asked to give up just one hour in September, preferably with the big boss leading the team. Everyone taking part will wear a heart monitor throughout, and the team burning the most calories will win the Speedflex Cup.

All members will win a free six week programme. Shearer, who is a director of Speedflex Europe, said: "This is a great way to get fit. With the Speedflex equipment you can burn off over 1,000 calories in a 45 minute session.

"There are people of all shapes and sizes who have all abilities and this is a challenge to get the business community from out of the office and get them into shape. …

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