Perth based kilted fitness instructors say making exercise fun improves mental health – The Scottish Sun

Posted: October 5, 2019 at 9:47 am

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A KILTED fitness duo reckon exercise is vital to improving mental health not just keeping us in shape physically.

Stephen Clarke and Rab Shields made a name for themselves by donning Scotlands traditional dress in cheeky fitness videos watched by millions on Facebook and YouTube.


The Perth-based personal training duo, known as The Kilted Coaches, are also backing The Scottish Suns Mind The Future campaign, which aims to tackle the nations spiralling childhood

mental health crisis with three key aims.

And they are adamant that working out can benefit the minds of kids and adults alike, with one of their clients even coming off anti-depressants after training with them.

Stephen, 36, says: One of the main problems with the fitness industry and the social media aspect of it is that people are put off because it looks unachievable.

It looks like you have to drink kale smoothes all the time, train seven days a week, lift heavy weights and run marathons.


But something as simple as walking more or gentle jogging can have positive effects on happiness and feelings of positivity and well-being.

He adds: We have found that the best way to reach people is to make them laugh and smile without any threatening messages.

If we can just make a video that makes someone smile and then their brain opens up to the possibility of making more positive change, thats good enough for us.

Our message is that anything is better than nothing. It doesnt matter where you are starting from as long as youre doing a couple of steps beyond what you normally do.

If we can inspire someone to say fitness isnt as scary as they thought it was, Id say weve done a pretty good job.

As Scotlands most-famous fitness duo, The Kilted Coaches film their videos shirtless and in the great outdoors.

While they know its an unsual method, they reckon its helped them reach millions of people they would have otherwise missed.

Do you or your child need help?

Scottish Association for Mental Health:SAMH has resources, including guides for parents and carers and for children and young people, at

Mental Health Foundation:Self-help publications can be found at, or on Twitter @mentalhealth and @MHFScot

Samaritans:Call: 116 123 its free from a landline or mobile, even if you dont have credit.Email: jo@samaritans.orgWrite to: Chris, Freepost RSRB-KKBY-CYJK, PO Box 9090, Stirling, FK8 2SA. In person: For nearest branch and opening hours, see

Rab, 35, says: We have been friends since we were 13 years old but came together in 2015 with the message of health and happiness rather than health and fitness. Our branding initially was

terrible, we were trying to be clever with marketing, didnt have the kilts on and were trying to be the fitness guys with a softer message than most.

If you want to be known globally theres no way getting away from our Scottish accent and one of our main messages is to be yourself.

Being the Scottish fitness guys, we put our kilts on and do things in and around Scotland so when they think of Scotland they think of us.

But they are also keen to promote opening up about mental health.

The duo have already made several videos describing their own battles.

Stephen admits: Ive suffered with anxiety in the past. Those videos were really well-received and I love the fact we can associate with it, we will do anything we can to help that.

For everyone who has been outspoken about their mental health, there are probably 1,000 others keeping it bottled up and not talking about it.

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Its about normalising it.

"We work with a friend of ours who is a doctor of psychology and, through conversations, we realised feeling anxious is a normal emotion, its nothing you should be ashamed of.

Even feeling depressed for a while is normal its only when it stays with you and is not dealt with that it can be a problem.

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Perth based kilted fitness instructors say making exercise fun improves mental health - The Scottish Sun

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October 5th, 2019 at 9:47 am

Posted in Health and Fitness