PEOPLE have been waging war on their festive flab in a bid to get in shape in 2011.

Swindon’s gyms are reporting increases in their memberships since the start of the New Year, bucking the national trend of people being put off due to the high prices.

A survey of more than 2,000 people, carried out for the World Cancer Research Fund, has shown a third of people of all ages think gyms are too expensive.

Staff at David Lloyd Leisure Centre, in Blunsdon, say they have seen an increase in people inquiring about new memberships and a lot of the classes have been fully booked.

Rich Malyon, the new member consultant at David Lloyd, said: “January is always the busiest time for anyone in the health industry, although it doesn’t really kick in until the end of the month, but we have had a lot of people inquiring about memberships.

“It is many people’s ambition in the New Year to go to the gym after over indulging during Christmas and it’s a way to beat the January blues, but a lot give up by March.”

“The gym is always a luxury and we have no control over the prices but you definitely get what you pay for with a range of classes and facilities.”

Debbie Shopland, an instructor in body balance at David Lloyd, said her class yesterday was full and she often sees new faces in January.

She said: “It was busy today and we do see a lot of new people at the start of the year, we had three new faces in today’s class.

“The challenge now is retaining them and keeping them committed.”

Fitness First, in West Swindon, have also reported an increase in the number of people trying to get rid of the extra weight put on over the festive period.

Health and fitness manager Adam Saye said: “We have noticed an increase in foot flow.

“With an influx of food and drink over Christmas I think people feel a bit of guilt so want to come to the gym as a New Year’s resolution.

“We’re not seeing people put off by the cost of the gym, we’ve got a good price and with all the facilities I consider us one of the best value for money gyms in Swindon.”

A Swindon Borough Council spokesman said: “Our leisure services have proved to be very popular with customers since the turn of the year.

“During the first four days of this month more than 2,500 people used our gyms and fitness classes at the Link Centre and Oasis alone, but we tend to see an increase in customers at this time of year.

“One of the reasons the council’s facilities are popular is because customers can pay for individual sessions, unlike in private gyms which usually charge a monthly fee.

“We are currently offering our New Year New Gear promotion, where new customers joining our Leisure Passport scheme in January and February will get a free joining pack worth £50.

“The Swindon Card also provides fantastic discounts for leisure users at all our leisure centres across the borough.”