Hawke's Bay gym bunnies will be fighting fit for a good cause next month.

Snap Fitness is holding an 8 Week Challenge, starting September 1, around the country to raise money for the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand.

The organisation holds several 8 Week Challenges a year but this is the first time there has been a fundraising "Snap Cares" element to it.

Gym members will be able to download an app with workout plans and healthy recipes as well as being able to set up fundraising pages for the charity and see their progress.


Napier, Hastings and Royal Oak general manager Vaughan Wilson said there had been such successful transformation stories in terms of physical and mental wellbeing from 8 Week Challenges in the past that Snap Fitness decided to use this to raise money and awareness for the Mental Health Foundation.

"We know how awesome exercise is for mental illness, why not feel good and raise some money? This is something positive for the community.

"Exercise is good for your mental health."

Mental health is something that affects so many people in New Zealand directly or indirectly, he said.

"I personally have felt the effects and have lost a brother to this terrible illness."

At the time, five years ago, there was not enough support for his brother or family to help him get through it and while things have improved since then, more help is needed, he said.

"Unfortunately we are seeing demand increase massively year after year here in New Zealand and there really doesn't seem to be enough education, treatment and support happening to combat this epidemic.

"We've got a world class health care, if you can get it when you need it.

"Although more and more Kiwis are falling through the cracks as funding hasn't kept up with our growing and ageing population and increased mental health need. "

Nationally Snap Fitness members hope to raise as much money as possible and the goal for Napier and Hastings is more than $30,000.

"We see this as extremely achievable, with the support from our community," Mr Wilson said.

People don't have to have a long-term membership to Snap Fitness, they can just sign up for the duration of the eight weeks and see how they like it, he said.

There will be group classes throughout the challenge to get people working together and supporting each other.

A 24-hour treadmill-athon and some auctions will also be held during the programme.