World’s happiest exercise class launches to help tackle SAD

- Pioneering new gym class from David Lloyd Clubs will act as a mood-enhancing antidote to the end of summer -


  • David Lloyd Clubs introduces Vitamin Me: a unique mood-enhancing workout session to tackle seasonal affective disorder
  • The Vitamin Me class involves light therapy, endorphin-releasing HIIT exercises and the scents and sounds of summer
  • The winter blues-banishing session arrives as 41% of Brits admit the clocks going back puts them in a bad mood
  • Launch video can be viewed at


Britain will officially wave goodbye to summertime this weekend. However, the journey into winter is not always a welcoming one, as the shorter days and darker nights can lead to a sense of sadness and depression, otherwise known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).


For those suffering from the winter blues and lamenting the lack of summer sun (and its abundant stores of Vitamin D) a new workout class from David Lloyd Clubs may be just the happiness elixir they need. Indeed, ‘Vitamin Me’, as the class is called, is the first mood-enhancing workout class designed to specifically tackle SAD.


Through a combination of light lamp therapy, HIIT exercises that release good-mood endorphins and the familiar sights, sounds and smells of summer, the 30-minute class is a multi-sensory experience designed to make guests feel like they are still in the hazy days of summer.


On arrival at the Vitamin Me classes, guests are greeted not with mats or dumbbells, but with sun loungers, the scent of sun cream, the sounds of waves lapping through their headphones and a pit of sand to dip their feet in to.


Some gentle stretches open the class, and then once comfy on their sun loungers, guests switch on their light therapy lamp for 15 minutes of artificial day light, proven to improve mood and energy levels. The class ends with a high intensity 10-minute cardio session designed to release endorphins that trigger a feel-good feeling in the body and mind.


The development of the Vitamin Me class comes as research reveals that 41% of people say the clocks going back changes their mood for the worse. Women are more likely to be affected than men, and 45-54 year olds are those who feel the effects of the ‘winter blues’ the most.


When it comes to what Brits miss about summer, the research reveals that a third of us pine for the light mornings and 27% for the warm weather. Trips to the seaside and alfresco dining are our favourite summer past times that we miss when the winter months arrive, according to the poll of 2,000 people by David Lloyd Clubs.  

For those suffering with the winter blues, the clocks going back and shorter days leave them feeling lethargic, finding it difficult to concentrate and with an increased appetite.


Light therapy has long been used as a way to boost moods and energy levels for those suffering with Seasonal Affective Disorder and it is successful in 85% of cases [1]. But despite its positive effects, the research carried out by David Lloyd Clubs reveals that 82% of Brits have never used a SAD lamp and don’t know the benefits of light therapy.


Psychologist Elaine Slater explains: ‘One in five people in the UK experience mildly debilitating symptoms of SAD or winter blues. It’s a complex condition that recurs each year, most likely triggered by a lack of natural daylight in winter. It affects levels of the hormones melatonin and serotonin in the part of the brain controlling mood, sleep and appetite; our circadian rhythms. Long periods of gloomy skies and longer darker evenings can trigger low mood, sleep problems, overeating and anxiety.


‘During shorter winter days it can be difficult to spend time outside in natural light, especially when people are busy with work. According to the Seasonal Affective Disorder Association, light therapy has been shown to be effective in up to 85 per cent of SAD cases. Light therapy compensates for the shortage of natural sunlight and is one of the most popular and effective treatments for SAD.


‘Light therapy helps to improve mood and feel more energised, and the 20 minutes of light therapy during the Vitamin Me class is the ideal time for people to sit in the light of a SAD lamp. If you can’t make it along to a David Lloyd class, then use any opportunity to be exposed to natural light when possible, in particular during your lunch hour at work.’


Linden Henson from David Lloyd Club Hampton says: ‘We are always looking for innovative classes to introduce to our clubs that really benefit our members. When we discovered that 41% of people suffered due to the change in weather and daylight hours, we wanted to introduce a class that helped combat those feelings and so the Vitamin Me class was developed.’


Vitamin Me classes are to be held at David Lloyd Hampton over the weekend of Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th October. The classes are open to both members and non-members. Those wishing to register can do so at, with spaces available on a first-come, first-served basis.


Depending on the success of the trial, David Lloyd Clubs will look into rolling out the class across the UK during the winter months.  




About David Lloyd Leisure Group

Including The Academy Harrogate and Malaspina, the David Lloyd Leisure Group has 111 clubs -  98 clubs in the UK and a further 13 clubs across Europe, comprising its two brands David Lloyd Clubs and Harbour Clubs (of which there are three -  Chelsea, Notting Hill and Kensington). 


On 1 June 2017 it acquired 14 UK health and racquets clubs from Virgin Active as well as opened its third Harbour Club at Kensington following a £5.5m investment and redevelopment programme. It also announced it had exchanged contracts to buy The Park Club in Chiswick, London and The Academy Club in Harrogate.


It has approximately 570,000 members and employs around 8100 people.  This includes an expert health and fitness team of over 2000 while it contracts the services of more than 680 tennis professionals. 


Across all clubs, David Lloyd Leisure has over 180 swimming pools (of which half are indoor) and offers over 13,000 exercise classes per week.


Every week over 25,000 children learn to swim at David Lloyd Leisure, 16000 children learn to play in the Tennis All Stars Coaching Programme.


David Lloyd Club’s racquets facilities are unparalleled with over 1000 tennis courts as well as over 400 badminton and squash courts.


Additional facilities include health and beauty spas, club lounges with free internet access, crèches, nurseries and specialist sports shops.




Interested in joining?