Never one to pass up a challenge, Smart Fitt’s Amanda Abbott is currently training for a fundraising walk in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support! Exercise challenges are not new to Amanda who completed a cycling challenge in 2018 and a swimathon last year.
The 13 mile hike will take place in the Wye valley on the 21st September, 2021. The team are aiming to raise £500 and any amount you can spare will make a huge difference!
You can sponsor them here:
Macmillan Cancer Support provides essential emotional, physical and financial support for anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer. Their work is vital in helping people cope with a cancer diagnosis.
Walking for Fitness and Wellbeing
Walking is a fantastic way to keep fit and healthy. Getting outdoors, especially in these difficult times, can instantly help lift your mood and while the gyms remain shut now could be the perfect time to introduce walking into your daily routine.
Some of the key benefits from walking:
One of the brilliant things about walking is it’s so easy to incorporate into your life. Even with the current restrictions you can still add a regular walk to your day. Meet up with a friend for a sociable walk in your local area and help dispel any negative feelings you might be having while also getting a good workout in.
If you are new to walking you should start off at a nice comfortable pace, take in the scenery and enjoy your surroundings! Never push yourself beyond what feels comfortable. You can build up the pace and distance over a number of weeks.
If you want to keep updated with Amanda’s challenge you can follow Smart Fitt on Facebook and help Smart Fitt raise their target amount by sharing the fundraising page.
The Seniors Holiday Club is hosted by Deeping St James Methodist Church specifically for their senior members of the congregation. Every summer the Holiday Club runs for two consecutive weeks and offers a full range of activities and events every day, including lunch. For the duration of the Holiday Club, the members are looked after and can spend time among friends while enjoying the many activities and entertainments available. This gives their carers and family members the opportunity to take some time off knowing their loved ones are safe and cared for.
Amanda at Smart Fitt was invited to provide a demo class for a 45 minute slot in the Holiday Club timetable. She chose to use routines that she had successfully used with her current Move it or Lose it classes along with music she felt would be known to the majority of the class.
The first song ‘Catch A Falling Star’ used moves that mimicked the words allowing the routine to be easily learnt and also encouraging the members to sing along while they exercised- this helps with breathing.
Amanda then moved on to Tuxedo Junction by Glen Miller and incorporated a version of a hand jive. Next up was “Seven Little Girls” which resulted in lots of laughter!
During a short break Amanda gave everyone a ‘hedgehog ball’ (soft ball with round ended knobbly bits on them), these balls stimulate the nerves in the hand and assist the grip. The class restarted the class using the balls to encourage manual dexterity and hand/eye coordination while listening to music by Tom Jones, Neil Sedaka and the Everly Brothers.
Amanda ended the class with a short meditation to help relax the mind and body along with some gentle stretching.
As the class finished Amanda was given a big round of applause and the members stopped to chat together.
When we get older it is a good idea to ensure you keep active and continue with gentle exercise. A group exercise class such as Move It Or Lose It is a great way of helping to stay mobile as well as keeping the mind active. There are many benefits of keeping active in older age. These include a decreased risk of dementia, depression, hip fractures, some cancers and type 2 diabetes.
This video shows one of my clients demonstrating really good form performing a wall squat. I’ve been working with him for 18 months now and he has barely missed a week! This is a great example of how regular, structured exercise can give amazing results.
Help Prevent Injuries
The wall squat is a fantastic exercise for developing strength in your legs, namely the glutes, quads and hamstrings. If you’re a runner they’re also ideal as they will help prevent injuries such as runners knee. Wall squats are great for increasing flexibility and strengthening weak muscles. Strengthening your legs by doing wall squats will make getting up out of a chair much quicker and you’ll find climbing the stairs much easier.
Before attempting wall squats it’s important to have a relatively strong core- this means abs, lower back, pelvic floor and the diaphragm- not just the abs!
Progressing the Exercise
Fun and motivating exercise routines
The beauty of the wall squat is that you can do them pretty much anywhere, so long as you’ve got a wall to lean up against. If you want your exercise routine to be a bit more fun and motivating why not come along to one of our Move It or Lose It classes. All the classes can be done either seated or standing and are fantastic for helping with everyday functionality as a lot of the moves are based on activities we carry out in our daily lives, such as knee raises which mimics climbing the stairs.
Move It or Lose It Classes
Move It or Lose It classes have been developed to help you improve your strength, flexibility, aerobic health and balance, all of which will help you keep your independence. The risk of falls increases as we age but regularly attending an exercise class and focussing on strength and stability can help prevent you from falling.