MEMBERSHIPS at gyms across Inverclyde are soaring as people get into shape after the festive feast.

Facilities across the district are filling up with people keen to shed some pounds.

Inverclyde Leisure (IL) bosses expect their gyms to become even busier nearer the end of the month when people get paid.

In the meantime they are giving folk a helping hand with their ‘Fit to Burst? - Burst into Fitness’ promotion throughout January.

Gourock gym, given a £120,000 makeover last year, is on course to break the 800 memberships mark for the first time and other facilities are just as busy.

Andrew Hetherington, IL operations manager of fitness gyms and sports facilities, said: “We’ve used ‘fit to burst’ because that’s the way we are all feeling after Christmas and New Year.

“To reduce barriers because it’s an expensive time of year it’s £9.99 for the first month instead of £37 to give people that boost to come back in January.

“It’s only been going a few days but so far the response has been fantastic.

“Over this month and between now and March, Gourock should see membership gain.

“Lauren O’Donnell and her team have created a really nice atmosphere in here.”

The Gourock gym only reopened in 2012 as part of a major £1.8m revamp of the historic 108-year-old outdoor pool.

But it was given another overhaul in May last year with the installation of top-of-the-range equipment, a new layout and fresh decor.

Manager Lauren said: “It’s been brilliant here since the gym reopened and the feedback has been great.

“This is one of the busiest times of the year.”

Regular Ron Osborne, 62, from Gourock, said: “I’ve actually kept going throughout the year but I do notice a difference at this time of year.”

IL also operates fitness centres at the Waterfront Leisure Centre, Greenock Sports Centre and Birkmyre Park in Kilmacolm, as well as low-cost facilities at Ravenscraig in Greenock and Boglestone in Port Glasgow.

Their experts have offered some words of wisdom to those looking to get into shape in 2017.

David McCorkindale, head of leisure and community facilities, said: “A diet alone is not sustainable, watching what you eat and exercising regularly is the key.

“It’s about achieving a balance.”