We aim to give you a better understanding of how movement and even small exercises can help you make big changes for creating a better lifestyle. The Christmas period is often the hardest challenge because there are so many temptations, a lack of time and other family and work commitments.
We all know exercise is good for you, but really, do you know how good?
People who exercise regularly tend to do so because it gives them an enormous sense of well-being. They feel more energetic throughout the day, sleep better at night, have sharper memories, and feel more relaxed and positive about themselves and their lives. And it’s a powerful medicine for many common mental health challenges. Exercise can also prevent health problems, build strength, boost your energy, and can help reduce stress. It can also help you maintain a healthy body weight and curb your appetite!
How did it all start?
In the beginning of human history ‘Man’ was a ‘hunter/gatherer’, meaning that in order to eat, he had to either hunt for meat or gather for berries. Both options meant being active. All the way through history, even as close as post war, humans have had a far more active lifestyle than in the present day.
Affects of inactivity
With the onset of internet shopping, remote controls for the TV, the increasing use of cars and the advances in technology have provided many benefits to society, however new technology has also led to a substantial reduction in the amount of incidental physical activity. This, in turn, is leading to an increase in susceptibility to health problems that haven’t been seen in such abundance before, that are directly related to the lack of exercise and the comparatively poor diet that many of us eat.
" If you don't like something , change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude."
Hippocrates said, 2000 years ago, “All parts of the body, which have a function, if used in moderation and exercised to which each is accustomed, become thereby healthy and well developed and age slowly. But if left idle become liable to disease, defective and age quickly”.
I haven’t exercised for years, so why should start now?
Because it’s never too late! Dozens of studies and research has been carried out showing that individuals who exercise, irrespective of how old they are, enjoy a much better quality of life.
Get some feel good hormone!
On completion of an exercise session the brain releases a hormone called Endorphin, commonly referred to as the “feel good hormone”. It is this hormone that gives us the post exercise “buzz”.
Endorphins are a type of neurotransmitter, or chemical messenger. They help relieve pain and stress. Endorphins are only one of many neurotransmitters released when you exercise. Physical activity also stimulates the release of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These brain chemicals play an important part in regulating your mood. Feeling good helps us to cope with everyday life situations much better.
Exercise with a friend
Exercising in groups is even better because no matter how you feel when you arrive for your class you will feel better when you leave, and not just because of the release of the endorphins. Exercising in groups provides camaraderie, support and lots of fun!
To live life healthily, it is essential to exercise for mental and physical development. Exercise is important for the overall growth of a person. It is essential to maintain a balance between work, rest, and activities. So, make sure you exercise daily.
So, what small change can you make today, to make a big difference in your life when it comes to more movement and exercise? No, running to the fridge doesn’t count!
Dark, colder evenings are here and you might be put off continuing with your regular exercise due to safety concerns. We all know the importance of regular exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle so we’ve put together a few handy tips to help you stay safe while exercising when it’s dark.
Exercise with a friend
If you enjoy walking, running or cycling but are put off because of the darker evenings, why not grab a buddy or 2 to join you? You’ll help motivate each other while also making each other feel safer. Find out if there are any local groups you can join such as rambling, cycling or running.
Wear Bright Clothing
Make sure you dress to be seen when walking or exercising outside in the dark. Use a head torch and stick to well-lit roads and areas you know.
Dress for the Weather
Don't be put off if it's a bit chilly outside- there are some great benefits to exercising in the cold weather. If you’re exercising outside you need to make sure you have the right clothing for the temperature as well , wear layers that can be removed or added when needed.
Run or walk against the flow of traffic
Be aware of any oncoming dangers and always run or walk towards oncoming traffic, especially in areas where there is no footpath.
Take Your Mobile Phone
If you are exercising outside in the dark be sure to let someone know where you are going and take your phone. There are a number of apps you can download to your smartphone that will share your location with a friend.
Join a Class
Exercise classes are a great way to exercise when it’s dark outside. Depending on the class you could be inside or outside but you’ll always have the safety of being in a group.
If you fancy trying a fitness class to stay active in the darker months, Smart Fitt has a number of classes aimed at all abilities and ages- from Bootcamp to Move-It-Or-Lose-It, there's bound to be something to suit your needs.
Smart Fitt also offer one-to-one fitness coaching sessions - contact Amanda to find out more.
During February Smart Fitt is running a promotion called “Bring a Buddy” and get 2 for the price of 1. So if you’re struggling to stick to your New Year fitness goals or you just need some extra motivation, this is a fantastic opportunity to help you keep on track.
Exercising can be much more effective when you do it with friends and if you’re wondering how it can help you here are 8 Great Reasons to Train with a Friend:
With all this in mind now is a great time to start exercising with a friend so why not take advantage of Smart-Fitt’s February offer and get 2 for the price of 1 on a range of our classes. All the classes are mixed gender, great fun, led by a mature qualified experienced instructor and with daytime and evening options available.
All you need to do is print off the vouchers or show them on your phone and say where you saw this, either on the website or social media.
Classes available for the February offer are:
Not Just Aerobics A ‘feel good’ choreographed aerobic exercise class set to great music.
Where/ when? The Centre, @Elsea Park, Bourne.
Total Body Blast An extreme HIIT class - the fastest way to get fit and burn calories!
Where/when? Morton Village Hall, Morton.
Tuesday 9:15am - 10:15am
Prime Time Fitness Active Exercise classes for older adults.
Where/when? The Centre Elsea park, Bourne.
Prime Time Fitness Gold Exercise classes for people who find regular exercise too strenuous or difficult due to mobility issues often associated with older age.
Where/when? Essendine Village Hall, Stamford.
Bootcamp Classes are indoor and outdoor to cover a range of exercises. Great for team building, group work HIIT and above all great fun!
Where/when? Lawrence Park Community Hall, Thurlby.
Tuesday 7:00pm - 7:45pm
All sessions are £5 per session or pay up front £20 for 5 sessions.