If you’ve ever felt self-conscious surrounded by lean fitness fanatics flexing their toned muscles while you sweat your guts out in the gym - you’re not alone.
In fact, a company in Canada has gone to extreme measures to avoid this embarrassment by setting up a plus-size gym, which BANS slim people becoming members.
‘Body Exchange’ located in Vancouver has created what they call a “safe haven” for overweight people to exercise in a friendlier work-out environment, without the fear of being stared at or criticised by fit gym bunnies.
Skinny people need not apply for membership, as Body Exchange only accepts applications from people who have at least 50lbs to lose, or those who struggle with emotional eating or food addiction.
Founder and certified personal trainer Louise Green says she wants to eliminate the main source of intimidation (the super-fit skinnies) so that plus-sized people feel more at ease.
Green told The Province: “The presence of that person in our program will bring down morale,' she said. 'I used to walk into fitness classes where nobody would even say hi. This has got to be fun or it's not going to work.”
“Many of our clients have not had successful fitness pasts so I can see the anxiety before we get started and I can see the relief and happiness after we finish.”
But could you imagine the outcry if a gym was to ban fat people? Tell us what you think…
If you think this sounds crazy - take a look at how the world keeps fit...
China: Trendy Wall Climbing
Say goodbye to traditional rock climbing and hello to trendy interior walls in China, where people can work up a sweat climbing, but take in the nice surroundings while they're at it. The facility takes the outdoorsy feel out of rock climbing and replaces it with climbable mirrors, frames, deer heads and even flower vases.
UK: Dog Dancing
Perfect for dog lovers and canine coach potatoes, this new fitness trend whips you and your dog into shape through dodgy dancing. The trend started in Wiltshire in the UK (and they've since set up a <a href="http://www.swindondogdancing.co.uk" target="_hplink">Swindon Dog Dancing School</a> and is now gradually building up a fan base and even made it on TV on <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPGUN-WCYxk) " target="_hplink">Britain's Got Talent</a>.
USA: Karaoke Spin Class
This energetic exercise trend combines spinning classes with your best rendition of, 'I Will Survive'. This group class is an energetic mix of cycling and singing and the reasoning behind it is that it helps get the heart pumped to an optimal level, which helps burn fat. Plus it's a lot of fun...
India: Laughter Yoga
Laughter really is the best medicine in India, where hundreds of people gather round giggling and chuckling themselves fit. Although it sounds slightly odd, laughter is a great antidote for strengthening the body and mind, which is vital for healthy blood flow around the heart and maintaining a strong immune system. It also works the muscles in the face.
Spain: Naked Gym
Although this isn't something all Spanish fitness fans do, one gym decided to open its cliental up to nudist gym-goers in a bid to boost membership sign-ups. The Easy Gym is the first of its kind and has pioneered a peculiar practice of stripping while keeping fit.
New Zealand: Poi Dancing
Poi dancing originated in New Zealand and was known as the traditional Maori dance, but it has caught on around the world as an alternative form of exercise with an added boost of colour (or flames if you're daring enough). The exercise works arms and limbs with the spinning and throwing action.
New York: Coregasm
This subtle erotic workout practice concentrates on the core muscles that apparently help release sexual tension and focusing on the inner thigh and deep quad areas. It's said to be particularly popular with the ladies as it's a great pelvic muscle toner.
This wacky (but fun looking) exercise, which derived from New York, involves weapons (yes really) and combines ancient Japanese training techniques with martial arts. It's a cross between fencing (without a partner) and kickboxing (but with a sword) and tones up the arms and legs a treat.
California: Face Yoga
If the Lion Face, Baby Bird, Smiling Fish Face and Puppet Face mean nothing to you, that's because you haven't discovered 'face yoga'. Originating from Boston and swiftly taking off around the globe, face yoga encourages people to stretch the face into a range of funny face-poses and promises to give you a 'natural facelift' as a result. The key is to do it for an hour once a week, topped up with 10 minutes after you've moisturised before bed.
China: Male Pole Dancing
Recently it was reported that Chinese men were going crazy for pole dancing and it quickly caught on among fitness-conscious men around the world. The interest in twirling around a pole is completely different to the female agenda and instead, men are using it for its muscle strengthening abilities.