A Look Back at 2019
As we all look forward to spending time with family and friends celebrating Christmas and New Year it’s a perfect time to have a look back at 2019. We’ve had a fantastic time at Smart Fitt and it’s been great to help support all of you on your fitness journey. It was great to meet new people at the Bring a Buddy classes we had back in February and the taster class at the Seniors Holiday Club over the summer. As it’s the festive season we have had lots of fun in our classes, trying different routines and listening to Christmas music to really get us in the spirit!
Fun and Laughter at Move It or Lose It!
The Move It or Lose It classes are designed to improve muscle strength and balance which helps reduce the risk of falls. All of the classes can be carried out either seated or standing making them ideal for older people and those with limited mobility.
At our last Essendine Move It or Lose It class we played the ball and beanbag game. Everyone was partnered up and then the game started with a bouncy ball that the partners bounced to one another. Next the ball was put aside and they started overhand throws with the beanbag. Lastly, one of the partners had the bouncy ball while the other had the beanbag and they then had to throw both at the same time! Of course this meant they needed to talk to each other to decide how they would know when to throw! Everyone had a great time and it resulted in much laughter!
At Elsea Park we played a ball game where alternate people had a ball then moving from left to right each person bounced the ball in between themselves and the next person. That person then caught the ball and bounced the ball to their left. By the end all the balls were moving around the circle.
Christmas Total Body Class
At our HIIT circuit we had a Christmas themed class which consisted of ‘Pass the Present Back’ (passing a 3kg Cross-Fit ball), ‘Shopping Bag Carry Relay’ (10kg “shopping bags”) and ‘Driving the Sleigh’ (using a resistance band looped around their feet as reins and performing the Russian Twist). In the photo you can see two inspirational class members driving their sleighs, they have been coming to this class for nearly 3 years and don’t they look amazing?
The Total Body Blast class is made up of HIIT exercises and varies from week to week. Every class is designed specifically to suit the individuals depending on age, ability and mobility. HIIT is where a workout consists of short, intense bursts of exercise followed by short periods of rest. These classes are excellent for improving fitness, stamina and burning calories.
Keeping Fit Over Christmas
At Christmas it’s easy to over indulge so it’s good to be mindful about what we’re eating and drinking. The Independent asked a dietician for calorie guides for our favourite Christmas lunch and treats:
Add to that the odd glass of wine or festive tipple and the calories soon stack up.
To help keep healthy over the festive period while classes aren’t on be sure to stay active- go for a walk, do some light housework or some gentle exercises in your chair if you have limited mobility.
Enjoy your Christmas and New Year celebrations and stay active!
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.