Smart Fitt has embarked on an amazing challenge this month. In a bid to raise as much money as possible for Alzheimer’s Research UK, Amanda and her family have pledged to ride 1000 miles between them starting from the beginning of November 2018 until the end of January 2019. As the winter months close in, the last thing most of us feel like doing is heading out on our bikes in the wind and rain but Amanda and her team will be braving all weathers to achieve their goal!
Alzheimers Research UK is the UK’s leading dementia research charity. Their research aims to: Bring about greater understanding of the diseases that cause dementia, earlier and more accurate diagnosis, using most up to date evidence to reduce risk, and ensure dementia is treated effectively. As it stands today there are no dementia survivors. Alzheimer’s Research UK aims to change this.
As well as helping to ensure Alzheimer’s Research UK can continue to carry out their vital work you will also be helping to motivate Amanda and her family to keep going with the challenge, especially when they are faced with the cold, dark winter days.
You can donate quickly and easily at Amanda’s fundraising page. You check on their progress and leave messages to keep them going!
Smart Fitt is inspired by the ongoing work and research carried out by Alzheimer’s Research UK and Amanda and her family feel passionate about supporting the charity by completing the Cycling Down Dementia Epic Challenge - 1000 miles. Whatever you can afford to give will help Alzheimers Research UK deliver their aims.
Amanda works closely with older people, offering specialist fitness classes for all abilities. She feels strongly about the positive effect regular exercise can have both physically and mentally.
A recent study has suggested that a third of cases of dementia could be prevented through changes in our lifestyle as we age. The Age Well trial found that participants who showed the biggest increase in mental and physical activity were those who had set targets and mentoring to assess their progress.
Help to spread the word about Alzheimer’s Research UK by sharing Amanda’s fundraising page with all your friends and family. The more people that know about Alzheimer’s Research UK’s vital research work the greater the chance of the charity being able to achieve their mission of bringing about a life-changing dementia treatment by 2025.
Be sure to follow the hashtag #TEAMARUK
As we get older it’s easy to become a bit complacent when it comes to exercise but this could be detrimental to both our physical and mental well being. There have been many recent studies showing just how we can help improve our cognitive health and heart health, possibly delaying or even preventing dementia and helping to prevent cardiovascular disease. In fact the results from a recent Swedish study actually suggested that a woman is 5 times less likely to get dementia if she continues to exercise and keep fit.
Improved cognitive function in the over 50's
Another recent study by British Journal of Sports Medicine concluded that “Physical exercise improved cognitive function in the over 50's, regardless of the cognitive status of participants. To improve cognitive function, this meta-analysis provides clinicians with evidence to recommend that patients obtain both aerobic and resistance exercise of at least moderate intensity on as many days of the week as feasible, in line with current exercise guidelines.”
Science Direct recently conducted a study specifically targeting women over 50, recommended that as well as aiming for 30 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise 3 days a week “women may benefit from participating in group-based fitness classes…” The social aspect of any fitness class is a great motivator and you are much more likely to continue to exercise in the long term.
What are the benefits of regular exercise?
To have any positive effect, exercise needs to be regular and raise your heart rate. It’s well known that exercise gives us a natural high as it releases dopamine (a chemical that may actually decline as we age) so we feel great after a workout. If you’re feeling stressed or anxious then a bit of exercise can be a great tonic.
If you go to an exercise class you have the added benefit of meeting up with like minded people, motivating each other to continue to work out and making new friends in the process.
It’s also believed that cardiovascular exercise can help improve the look and feel of your skin, who doesn’t want to feel and look a few years younger?!
Regular physical activity can also help reduce the risk of heart failure in post menopausal women. Women in this age group are at a higher risk of heart failure, possibly due to the decline of eostrogen, so it’s vital that we take make sure we’re doing all we can to keep our hearts healthy.
Look and feel amazing...
As a number of studies have shown, regular exercise can also help reduce the likelihood of developing dementia. As we age our cognitive health can decline but if we keep healthy and ensure we undertake moderate physical activity, including resistance training, as often as we can.
There are so many known benefits to continuing or maybe even starting to exercise as we age. As more studies are conducted we will probably learn of even more reasons we should be looking after our overall health by exercising. So, if you want to help yourself to look and feel amazing you just need to find your trainers and get moving!
On the 28th September 2018 Smart Fitt are hosting a coffee morning at The Centre at Elsea Park in Bourne, to help raise money and awareness for Macmillan Cancer Support. The morning will start with 30 minutes of gentle chair aerobics followed by coffee or tea and plenty of cakes!
Macmillan Cancer Support offer help, advice and vital information for cancer patients. Dealing with a cancer diagnosis is devastating for the patient and their families and friends, Macmillan Cancer Support can help make sure that the patient has access to all the support available to help them continue to live life as fully as they can.
The World's Biggest Coffee Morning is a huge fundraising event taking place across the country on the 28th September. Funds raised will help ensure Macmillan Cancer Support can continue to offer these vital resources to people living with cancer.
We hope you can join us for some light exercise and delicious cakes. The entry price is £5 per person, everyone is welcome and you don’t need to have attended any of our classes before. Please tell your family and friends and contact Amanda to book your chair!
We would also appreciate cake donations to help us raise as much money as possible.
Like the idea of gentle chair aerobics? Have you tried our Prime Time class?
Prime Time is an exercise class specifically designed for people who might find traditional exercise classes more difficult due to reduced mobility associated with older age. A class typically sees the participant perform a series of moves while remaining seated, helping to keep the joints supple and raise the heart rate. Classes are fun and engaging and a great way to meet like minded people. Watch our video to see what a class is like!