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Technology the key to fitness at Haverhill leisure centre

New technology could be the key to improving people’s health in the area, according to a leisure centre boss.

Haverhill leisure centre could be in line for a high tech boost in the form of new smart equipment that personalises users’ experiences.

Speaking at a Best of Haverhill event on May 21, Abbeycroft Leisure chief executive, Warren Smyth, stated the need for the leisure centre to respond to changes in the market and hinted that embracing technology might be the way forward.

He said: “People use apps like Map my Run or Map my Ride, which measure their performance and give them real-time feedback.

“We won’t be developing our own app, we don’t want to compete, but we do want to look at ways of complementing that.”

Mr Smyth said that technology linking people’s smartphone devices with the gym equipment may be the solution, with big screens showing people’s progress in terms of calories burned, time spent and, with treadmills and exercise bikes, distance covered.

Mr Smyth also used the occasion to call for more NHS funding for the leisure centre, which, though it is a charity, is 93 per cent funded by money raised by the gym.

He said the NHS had already funded some Abbeycroft projects and that the benefits of regular exercise and fitness activities were proven to alleviate health problems later in life.

Mr Smyth said: “There are opportunities to access some of these funds.

“The CCG supported us with our Stand Tall youth project that aimed to improve mental health. They should look to using physical activity to tackle health.

“We’ve seen these things make a real difference to people’s lives.”

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