A Burton couple who both worked as firefighters have swapped putting out fires for dumbbells as they have opened their own CrossFit gym in the town.

Jamie Lund and his girlfriend, Steph Chambers, decided to open the Bond Street gym, called CrossFit Leanne, after Jamie previously worked at a friend's venue.

The couple, who live in Anslow, have already seen a lot of interest from health-conscious people wanting to get fitter in the new year.

The couple are hoping more emergency service workers will be able to come to their gym

CrossFit is is a high-intensity regime that aims to make people stronger, fitter, tougher, more toned and build muscle over the whole body. This is done through a wide range of different exercises.

Jamie, 28, said: "We've had a really good start to 2018. We opened late last year, so we already had a few people coming regularly, but we have seen a lot more come through the doors.

"New Year is always a great time for people to start going to the gym and make new committments. We hope that the people who have started to come will carry on throughout 2018 as we've been having a blast and it's great to see people's skills developing."

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Jamie said: "Me and Steph both worked as a firefighters at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, and we decided together we wanted to open a gym.

Jamie and Steph are loving having their own gym

"One of my friends in the fire service told me about CrossFit gyms and what they are all about. I went to work for him for a bit, but me and Steph decided we wanted to open our own.

"The name is CrossFit Leanne. It's nice because my middle name is Lee and Steph's is Anne, so we put them together for Leanne. It's really personal to us."

In a blog on their website, while reflecting on 2017, Steph, 26, wrote: "CrossFit has taught me to be positive and kind, and to always help people. Whether that's to achieve something they've never done before or just in a genuine moment of need.

"Rather than drag each other down, we strive to build each other up. It's the only place I've ever gone where, fitness wise, I have felt accepted and at home; where I can make mistakes and it's OK.

"Being strong, physically and mentally, is more important than being skinny and here the women encourage each other to do well, as do the men. This beautiful community makes me want to be a better version of myself and set an example."

Two former firefighters have launched a CrossFit gym in Burton
Two former firefighters have launched a CrossFit gym in Burton

What is CrossFit?

CrossFit is a specific regime that aims to make people stronger, fitter, tougher, more toned and build muscle over the whole body. This is done through a wide range of different exercises.

The high intensity regime was developed by Greg Glassman, who is now chief executive of the company. It is promoted worldwide as both a physical exercise scheme and a competitive fitness sport.

The work-outs include aspects of gymnastics, weightlifting, running, rowing and more, which are all believed to be key movements in life.

Worldwide, there are more than 13,000 members of CrossFit affiliated gyms, such as Jamie and Steph's gym.

A gym kettle bell
A gym kettle bell

Why is exercise good for us?

Going for a run or a long walk will leave you feeling energised and refreshed.

It can also mean the problems we had before we went out, are a little bit easier or less insurmountable, writes Chris Cherry in the Mirror.

The reason is that in those moments we have not only got a fresh perspective on problems, but we have also increased the oxygen circulating through our body, so we have more fuel for our brains.

When we put ourselves through a physical work out, we also release endorphins and oxytocin, a hormone which lowers our stress levels and increases our sense of well-being.

Recent scientific work has linked giving people nasal sprays of oxytocin with an increased ability to produce insights, ideas, and find creative solutions.

So, when we have increased levels of oxytocin we not only feel better about ourselves, we are quite literally able to find more choices.

For these reasons, exercise is often recommended for people struggling with anxiety and depression.