February is often referred to as the month of love, where we show how much we care for our significant others. But this Valentines why not show yourself some love by investing in your long term health and fitness?
We’ve put together some of our top 5 reasons you should concentrate on building a life-long relationship with looking after your body and appreciate the importance of exercise and a healthy lifestyle.
It’s never too late to make positive changes to your exercise routine- your body will thank you for it!
Protect your Future Mobility
As we age hormonal changes and the loss of muscle mass can lead to reduced mobility but one of the biggest reasons for mobility issues as we age is simply down to not staying active. Recent research found improvements in mobility and muscle mass in older adults who took part in an exercise programme and followed a personalised diet over 3 years.
It really is true that if you don’t use it you will lose it- just a daily walk and some simple strength exercises will make a huge difference. Or you could try a Move It Or Lose It class- great for everyone of all ages and ability with the emphasis and active ageing at its heart.
Have More Energy
If you struggle to do everyday tasks like shopping or a bit of housework then you might argue that you haven’t got the energy to do any exercise. But exercise actually increases your energy by building up muscle strength and improving your heart and lung health so you’re able to complete those everyday tasks much more easily.
Look After Your Mental Health
When we are experiencing feelings of sadness or low mood, getting outside for some fresh air and exercise can really help lift our spirits. Regular exercise such as walking, fitness classes or swimming all help. The NHS also recommends exercise for those who suffer from mild to moderate depression as it helps to clear your mind as well as giving you more energy. Do contact your doctor for more help and advice if you think you may be depressed.
Exercise can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease which in turn will help reduce your risk of dementia, plus older adults who do not exercise are much more likely to have memory problems (cognitive ability).
Get a good Night's Sleep
A good night's sleep is fundamental to our well being and exercise has been shown to help lessen sleep problems and ensure a full night's rest. Regular exercise will have the biggest positive impact on your sleep and while 30 minutes of moderate exercise is recommended for the best results, it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you enjoy it (as you’re more likely to stick at it).
Increase Your Social Circle
Whether you prefer exercising in a group like a fitness class or you prefer going for walks in the countryside with a friend, exercising is a great way to meet like minded people and form strong friendships. Exercising with friends helps ensure you stick with it and it’s a great way to build up a support network.
No matter what type of exercise you prefer to do, the most important thing is that you do it regularly and with a smile on your face. So grab your trainers, walking boots or swim suit and get out there and make some positive changes in your life.
Please contact Amanda for more information on the range of fitness classes available.
January is a bit of a tough month for many reasons. Post Christmas you might find yourself feeling a bit lonely, strapped for cash or just fed up with the dark mornings and evenings. It’s common to want to start the new year with a resolution to get fit and go on a diet but you might be just setting yourself up to fail if you set unrealistic goals which will only add to the negative feelings.
Exercise is actually a great way to help get you out of a negative slump as well as helping you get fit, even a quick walk to the shops could help banish those winter blues.
What are the Winter Blues?
We can all feel a bit low in the winter months- shorter days and colder weather can impact your mood and make you want to hibernate away.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that tends to come on in the winter and go in the summer. Symptoms include persistent low mood, irritability, wanting to sleep more and difficulty concentrating.
If you feel like your symptoms are getting worse and are struggling to cope then you need to see your GP for more help.
Exercise Outside for Maximum Benefits
Most of us feel uplifted when we get outside in the sunshine, so when the weather is fine go for a brisk walk to get the blood pumping. According to research, a daily walk of just 30 minutes will give the best results in lifting your mood- try to go at midday for maximum daylight benefits.
Immunity Boost To Fight Colds
As well as the physical symptoms you get, colds can also affect your mental health. One of the reasons we are more susceptible to colds and flu at this time of year is because of the lack of sunlight- the main source of vitamin D. So try to get outside when the sun is shining to help lift your mood and get a much needed vitamin boost. Whether low vitamin D is a cause of depression is not known and studies have given mixed results.
Regular exercise also has a positive effect on your immune system to help you fight off those colds. Walking, running, aerobics and strength training are thought to be the most beneficial for boosting your immune system.
Research has found that just 10 minutes of activity can really help with your mental alertness but when the weather is bad you might not feel like venturing out. There are lots of ways to exercise safely inside, from following exercise videos to doing the housework- it all counts. Or why not join an exercise class such as Move It Or Lose It or Total Body Blast and meet some new friends while getting fit. As we get older we can feel isolated and lonely which can add to the negative feelings so getting out to an exercise class can help you build friendships and keep you accountable so you are less likely to quit.
Make sure you add in some strength training to your weekly exercise routine- not only does it support bone density and muscle strength but it also has huge benefits for heart health by strengthening the heart and blood vessels. Dr Sarah Jarvis is a big advocate of protecting your bones as you get older and she recommends regular exercise including lifting small weights to help protect against falls in older age.
Spring is not too far away and we’ll soon be enjoying longer days and warmer weather. In the meantime, make sure you wrap up warm and get outside for a nice walk to clear your mind and soothe your soul. Why not join us at one of our classes for a bit of cardio and a natter afterwards?
Contact Amanda for more information on any of our classes or 1-1 sessions.
Getting Ready for Winter - How Exercising through Autumn can help you Stay Healthy
There’s been a noticeable change in the weather and the urge to hibernate might be tempting you to miss your exercise classes and stay inside instead. But stopping exercise as we face the colder months is the last thing we should be doing. In fact, exercising now while it’s still mild enough to get outside is a great way to prepare for the colder months and means you are more likely to keep up with exercise through winter.
Exercise to Boost Circulation
If you have poor circulation, the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the affected arteries is reduced. If you suffer from any symptoms of poor circulation such as chest pains or pain in your legs when walking you should talk to your doctor to discuss appropriate treatment.
Regular exercise is great for circulation and heart health - it increases blood flow and gets the heart pumping blood around your body faster and flushes out your arteries.
Exercise to Boost your Immune System
As we approach cold and flu season your immune system will welcome a helping hand to help fight off the bugs and viruses. Exercise is a great way to boost your immune system and indeed studies found that the response from your immune system is immediate after exercising for 45 minutes. The key here is to make sure you continue to exercise regularly.
Take your Workout Outside
The cooler temperatures mean you need to warm up well before you start and wear layers that can easily be removed. Try walking, running or cycling for some fresh air and a chance to enjoy your surroundings. If you like meeting up with friends and you’re already quite active then joining a bootcamp class could be just what you need to help keep you motivated through the winter months ahead.
If you find it difficult to get out, perhaps due to limited mobility, then there are some great ways to stay active inside your own home. Video tutorials are a great way to get your daily exercise without leaving the house.
Set Yourself a Challenge
A great way to help ensure you don’t give up after the first hurdle is to set yourself a challenge or target that will see you through the winter. There are often lots of events you can sign up to from walking challenges to swimathons and once you’ve committed to it you are much less likely to give in. You could ask a friend to join you in a challenge- maybe pledge to attend a regular weekly class together. If you have someone to make you accountable you will be more likely to stick to it.
Do Something you will Enjoy
There’s no point in promising to run every day if you hate running. Doing exercise you dislike will just make you resent all exercise and will make you more likely to give up. So find an activity you enjoy and you will get all the feel-good hormones as well as the improved fitness.
So, get ready for winter and get started with your exercise routine now.
What are your top tips for staying healthy and active over winter? Let us know in the comments.
Contact Amanda for more information on classes, one-to-one training sessions and nutrition advice.