New fitness expo to show benefits of exercise on mental health

PUBLISHED: 12:15 10 January 2019

Lauren Clapp who is organising the fitness expo. Picture: Lauren Clapp

Lauren Clapp who is organising the fitness expo. Picture: Lauren Clapp

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Sidmouth’s first fitness and wellbeing expo will bring some of East Devon’s best health and exercise businesses to the area.

Devon Fitspo was created by Sidmouth personal trainer Lauren Clapp after visiting similar fitness events in London. Realising there was nothing like it locally, she was inspired to start her own and give East Devon companies the chance to showcase their work.

Lauren has felt strongly about being fit and healthy for as long as she can remember and despite suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, she even runs her own personal training business, LC Fitness.

She has also suffered from mental health issues such as anxiety and depression and is an advocate for using exercise to help. She said: “When I was about 15 I used to compete in athletics and train multiple times a week. I then developed an injury which meant I had to completely stop and couldn’t do any exercise for around a year while I was trying to get better. At this moment I then was diagnosed with depression.

“When you exercise it releases endorphins into the body which leave you feeling positive and happy. For me it is really important to focus not only on your physical health but on your mental health.”

Lauren is encouraging anyone who may be struggling with similar problems to come by and join a class. She said: “I am very open about my struggles with mental health issues and my health issues and I want to encourage people to seek help and talk to anyone who may be available. For me, and millions of others, physical activity is a fantastic way to help with mental health issues.”

The expo will have a range of exhibitors from personal trainers and dance groups to reflexologists and nutritionists. There will be short demonstrations which encourage participation.

As well as the expo, Lauren will be running the London Marathon in April to raise money for Action on Hearing Loss who support people with different levels of hearing loss. There will be a raffle at the expo to raise money for her run.

The Fitspo event is on Saturday (January 12) at Kennaway House and runs from 10am – 4pm. Entry is free and there is a free goodie bag for the first 50 entrants.

For more information visit www.devonfitspo.co.uk and or email devonfitspo@gmail.com if you have questions.

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