A GYM is encouraging people to stay fit by offering free classes.

DS Fitness Experience in Witham is running a campaign to increase fitness, which has been backed by Witham MP Priti Patel.

The initiative was launched by owner David Stead in response to recent statistics reported in the paper, which showed that 70 per cent of people in the Braintree District are either overweight or obese.

Ms Patel visited the gym in Newland Street to show support.

She said: “This is an excellent initiative to help get people active improving their health and well-being, it was great to recently visit DS Fitness and see the fantastic facilities available.

“I would encourage all of my constituents in the area to make the most of this great initiative and get involved with some of the classes on offer.”

DS Fitness Experience Owner, David Stead, said he just wanted to show people how they can improve their lives.

He said: “There is no commercial drive behind this, just a desire to help an area that is behind the game when it comes to the benefits of exercise.

“One of the main reasons for non-participation is finance, so at least we will take that excuse out of the equation.”

More information on this initiative can be found at http://dsfitnessexperience.com/index.html