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Healthy Havering: Hornchurch ladies-only gym perfect place to workout without fear of judgement

PUBLISHED: 12:00 06 September 2018 | UPDATED: 09:34 28 September 2018

The Girls Allowed Gym in Hornchurch owned by Laila Jacobi. Laila on the right with Keely Monk.

The Girls Allowed Gym in Hornchurch owned by Laila Jacobi. Laila on the right with Keely Monk.

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Walking into a gym can be nerve-racking.

The Girls Allowed Gym in Hornchurch owned by Laila Jacobi.The Girls Allowed Gym in Hornchurch owned by Laila Jacobi.

And it’s particularly daunting when you’re surrounded by those who look like they go at least five times a week and are on some kind of strict green liquid diet.

But that’s where Girls Allowed Gyms comes into play.

Based in Blenheim Court, Northolt Way, Hornchurch, this is the ideal place for women who dread the thought of working out with the feeling of being judged weighing on their shoulders.

“It can be scary going to a gym if you’re not used to it, that’s why a lot of women love coming to an all-ladies gym, where they can feel comfortable and supported”, says owner Laila Jacobi.

The Girls Allowed Gym in Hornchurch owned by Laila Jacobi.The Girls Allowed Gym in Hornchurch owned by Laila Jacobi.

“The classes here are reasonably small with about 12 people per class so everyone knows each other by their first name.

“It’s not like the big gyms where you’re just another gym-goer, you get to know people and make friends and support one another while you’re here.”

Before becoming a freelance fitness instructor, the 42-year-old from Hornchurch was an air hostess travelling around the world but after having her children, she decided to pursue her passion for living a healthy lifestyle.

She said: “It was no longer practical me being an air hostess since having my children so knew I had to do something different that fitted more around them.

The Girls Allowed Gym in Hornchurch owned by Laila Jacobi.The Girls Allowed Gym in Hornchurch owned by Laila Jacobi.

“I’ve always loved health and fitness and liked the thought of helping others achieve their fitness goals so thought that would be the next best thing for me to do.

“When I was 18, I trained at an all-ladies gym in Grays and loved it there.

“Everyone was really friendly and supportive and just encouraged each other to try and reach their full potential.

“It’s funny that I started exercising in a ladies-only gym and now I’ve come full circle and own one!”

The Girls Allowed Gym in Hornchurch owned by Laila Jacobi.The Girls Allowed Gym in Hornchurch owned by Laila Jacobi.

Having trained to become a personal trainer as well as a fitness instructor so she was qualified to teach group classes as well as hold one-to-one sessions, Laila took over Girls Allowed Gym a few years ago after it went up for sale.

Putting her own stamp on the business, she glamorised all of the gym equipment by making everything pink to the gym-goers’ delight.

After that, Laila then went on to set up a small shop selling gym clothes, a hair salon and another studio just a few doors down from the original gym.

“I wanted to open up another studio but the council wouldn’t allow it at first since I already had the main gym very close by so said that I would make it partly retail as well just so I could get that extra bit of space.

“To be honest, I’m really glad we were pushed to open the salon and shop as well because I think it does really work.

“You can get gym clothes, do a work out and then get your hair done afterwards all in one place - you can walk out of the gym looking better than when you walked in!”

From a gym complete with cardio vascular machines, weights and vibration plates, to spinning, boxercise, street dance and legs, bums and tums classes, there is plenty of different exercises to get your teeth stuck into at Girls Allowed Gyms and Studio to help you live a healthier lifestyle.

Laila said: “It’s not always just about losing weight, it’s about feeling better in yourself and becoming more confident and it’s easier to do that when you’re exercising somewhere that you’re comfortable.

“No one judges anyone here, women with of all different abilities come to the gym so it doesn’t matter where you are in your fitness journey.

“There’s a fantastic, friendly atmosphere.”

For any more information, visit girlsallowed-gyms.co.uk or visit the Girls Allowed Gyms Facebook page.

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