The holidays are over for most of us and even though we’re currently enjoying a mini-September heatwave the signs of Autumn are starting to appear. It may not seem like it right now, but colder weather will soon be upon us and with it the threat of colds and flu. After the past year we’re all fully aware of the need to keep healthy but there is only so much we can do to avoid colds and viruses. The good news is there are simple things we can do to help boost our immune systems, so we are better equipped to fight off any nasty bugs.
A study done last year at the height of the pandemic showed how obesity and inactivity can lower the immune system. One of the simplest things we can do to help support the immune system and give ourselves a fighting chance against respiratory illnesses is to make sure we stay active, whether that be walking every day or taking part in regular exercise classes. The study found we are much more likely to see an improvement in our immune response if we partake in regular moderate exercise rather than prolonged intense exercise (especially if you have been exposed to any type of cold virus). The key is to be consistent, so make it part of your daily routine and reap the benefits.
Motivation is key
If you find it difficult to motivate yourself you could try joining a fitness class with a friend- you’re more likely to stick to the routine if you have a friend who is relying on you to keep turning up. You could also plan to walk every day with a friend or group of friends- walking daily is a great way to get some exercise and the social aspect of walking with friends will help boost your mental well-being. Above all you need to make sure you are having fun, or you’ll find it hard to stick to, so pick an activity you enjoy or mix it up and do a few different things each week.
How long do you need to exercise for to see the benefits?
The study recommends about 30-60 minutes of brisk walking every day to help boost your immune system.
Other things you can do to boost your immune system:
As always, if you are new to exercise you should take it slowly to begin with, listen to your body and build up gradually.
Contact Amanda if you would like any advice or support with starting any of Smart Fitt’s fitness classes.
Summer is here (although someone needs to remind the weather!) and many of us are planning a holiday in the coming weeks. This often means our usual exercise routines are put on hold and it can be tempting to just let it all go and overindulge. If you do decide to ditch the healthy habits for a couple of weeks that is absolutely fine, it might be daunting picking it all up again but with a little determination and effort you’ll soon be back on track. A break is as good as a rest and if you need a break from exercise then you should definitely take one. Taking a holiday from exercise allows your body to fully recover, you can concentrate on getting some much needed sleep and avoid injuries caused by over-exercising.
On the other hand, if you’re an active person and love exercising then suddenly stopping exercise can have a negative effect, leaving your body feeling stiff and your mind racing. Thankfully, just because you can't attend your usual exercise class or gym doesn’t mean there aren't plenty of ways you can keep fit and active while still enjoying your holiday.
Here are a few options to help keep you in tip top condition:
However, if you decide to spend your time when you’re on holiday this summer, be sure to relax and savour the break. The past year has taken its toll on all of us and we all deserve some quality self-care- What are you are planning to do with the rest of your summer? Maybe just taking it easy and enjoying a rest? Let us know and post a pic on our Facebook page.
As we get older exercising and keeping fit can become more difficult- aches and pains, reduced mobility, illness etc all impact on our ability to stay active. But there are lots of things we can do to stay healthy and active and joining a Move It Or Lose It class is a great way to improve mobility and overall health.
Staying active as we age is also vital for maintaining independence and the social aspect of exercising at a class helps keep the mind healthy too! Making friends and sharing a joke over a cup of tea is just as important as performing the exercises themselves.
Exercise has all kinds of benefits, not just physically but also mentally. The endorphins and positive feelings we get during and after exercise can have an amazing effect on our emotional well being, unleashing our creativity and inspiration.
One of Amanda’s regular attendees has been so inspired by her Move It Or Lose It class that she wrote a fantastic poem about it!
“What has she got up her sleeve today?
Whatever it is - she’ll have her way
She smiles and is keen
But you know when you’ve been
To Essendine class on a Tuesday!
Is it tea time yet? No! Keep going
That bean bag keeps toing and froing
Muscles take a hit
Our joints ache a bit
But at least the blood is flowing!
We’ve mastered another move
Amanda’s not stuck in a groove
Coz, she’ll change it next week
More music she’ll seek
In the hope that we might improve!
Amanda, we think you’re great
No criticism if we’re a bit late
We do our best for you
The actions- we get through
Then it’s tea and back home through the gate”
By Francis Wing
Francis clearly enjoys her weekly class with Amanda and this has ignited her creativity as well as improving her fitness and mobility. Making new friends and being able to exercise while having fun is fantastic for keeping us motivated and Francis obviously looks forward to her weekly Move It Or Lose It class!
Amanda we think you’re great
The class at Essendine Village Hall near Stamford, Rutland is held on a Tuesday and consists of 45 minutes of gentle exercise followed by drinks and a chat.