Anytime Fitness' day-long treadmill marathon aims to break down mental health barriers

Anytime Fitness is aiming to raise awareness of the benefits of an active lifestyle when they host a 24-hour treadmill marathon.

The Falcon-based business, which revolves around a strong community presence and motivating individuals, organised the event in the wake of several mental-health related tragedies in the community.

“We’ve been here for about four-and-a-half years now, and in that time we’ve grown a bit of an attachment locally,” Owner and franchisee Tania Parsons said.

“As most people know, there were a few young people in the community who were struggling last year, and that resulted in some really bad times for people.

“Parents, friends, family, a lot of them are clients here, and because we really push a social atmosphere you talk about it. We’re always trying to support our clients, especially in the idea of living a healthy and active lifestyle, so that’s really where the idea came about.”

The Anytime Fitness 24 Hour Treadmill Challenge will be undertaken nationwide – a national campaign rolled out in Anytime gyms, with the aim of advocating for suicide awareness.

Ms Parsons said the event fit in with Anytime’s mandate on suicide prevention.

“One thing we which has really become successful recently for us is our program for older people, which has really seen a huge increase in those people getting out of the house and doing something active.

“Just by the effect of being outside, doing physical exercise and socialising, it can make such a profound impact on your life.”

Anytime Fitness is hoping to raise $500,000 naitonwide to help combat suicide and mental health issues, especially in young people.

The Falcon franchise will begin the marathon at 4pm on Friday July 28, running until 4pm Saturday, with 15-minute windows available.

“We’ve currently got Dave Schumacher, Zak Kirkup and Andrea Bradley on board,” Ms Parsons said.

“We have had people say they don’t know if they can run for 15 minutes.

“But I want to get across the point you don’t have to run. You can walk, you can dance if you want to. It’s just for a good cause.”

Go to the Anytime Fitness Falcon event Facebook page for full details and to sign up.

If you or anyone you know is currently dealing with mental issues, you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, beyondblue on 1300 224 636 or Headspace on 1800 650 890.