National Fitness Day September 27th

Wow, it’s been a while. Sorry for my silence, life has been very busy, summer holidays, training and then participating in a Strongwoman competition and work.  However something is coming up I wanted to blog about.

On the 27th September it is National Fitness Day.  This day is about getting active, just 30 minutes a day 5 days a week is all that is needed for health benefits but let’s  start with one day and one lot of 30 minutes.

On the last Friday of September of each year, everyone is encouraged to take part in Empower Half Hour at 1pm doing 30 minutes of fun activities and exercise. This could be walking, swimming, cycling, dancing.  Anything that gets YOU moving and a smile on your face.  However you don’t have to do it at 1pm, walk to work in the morning, take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator, go for a walk in your local park, go for a swim in your lunch break.  It doesn’t really matter what you do, it’s about making that first step into a routine that will see health benefits such as better sleep, increased mobility and mood improvement.

If you fancy doing something as a group then Surrey Sports Park in Guildford has a whole day of events you can try such as Zumba and Swimfit for free.  The Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford has a an empowering 30-minute workout including, stamina moves, stretches and Body combat! The class is free and open to all ages.

More information about National Fitness Day can be found at National Fitness Day, including activities happening around the country. They also have a twitter account @FitnessDayUK

What are you planning to do?

Before starting any new exercise program please check with your doctor and clear any exercise changes with them

I hope you have found this article informative. If you have any questions on this article, or any questions about exercise and the over-50s please post a comment. By subscribing to this blog you will be informed of any new articles. You will not receive any spam email.

Helen Witcomb is a personal trainer in the Farnham area, please go here Whole Life Fitness, Personal Training for the over 50s. for more information. This will open a new browser window.

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Otago Exercise Programme

The Otago exercise programme was developed to help prevent falls in the older adult. It was researched and developed by the Falls Prevention Research Group at the University of Otago Medical School.

The programme reduced the fall rate by 35 percent among program participants (with no gender bias) compared with those who did not take part.  Participants aged 80 years and older who had fallen in the previous year showed the greatest benefit.

The programme consists of strengthening and balance exercises combined with a walking plan. No expensive equipment is needed and it can be done at home.  The programme involves four home visits over the first two months, a home visit at 6 months and a telephone call every month between visits, concluding with a final home visit at 12 months.

More information about the trial, the programme and the exercises can be found here

Otago Exercise Programme to help prevent falls in older adults.

In the UK Later Life provide training to people who wish to teach this programme. Their leaflet can be found here.
http://www.laterlifetraining.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Otago-Home-Exercise-Programme.pdf

Some qualified Otago Leaders are registered on Later Lifes Falls Directory http://www.laterlifetraining.co.uk/falls-directory/ if you wish to try and get in contact with someone who provides the programme.

I hope you have found this article informative. If you have any questions on this article, or any questions about exercise and the over-50s please post a comment. By subscribing to this blog you will be informed of any new articles. You will not receive any spam email.

Helen Witcomb is a personal trainer in the Farnham area, please go here Whole Life Fitness, Personal Training for the over 50s. for more information. This will open a new browser window.

Are you standing up correctly?

Do you spend a lot of time hunched over a desk or slumped on the sofa watching TV or reading a book? Even  standing we tend to slouch rather than hold ourselves upright. Yet our posture is so important in preventing back pain and also preventing injury whilst exercising. Bad posture can even be a cause of headaches.

When we are actually standing correctly then the spine is aligned so that the centre of gravity passes down the ears, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles.  This position is called neutral spine.

Here are some quick tips to ensure you are standing  with a neutral spine. Think about your pelvis as a bucket filled with water. If you tip the bucket either forwards or backwards then water will pour out. This is bad.

Firstly let’s find the two positions where water will flow!

  1. Stand sideways in front of a mirror.
  2. Place your hands on top of your pelvis, just below your waist (If you bend to the side, the crease that forms is your natural waistline)
  3. Soften your knees and roll your pelvis forward and towards the floor (your bottom should be sticking out)
  4. Now slowly roll your pelvis backward dropping your tailbone to the floor
  5. These two are the extremes and what you are trying to find is the place in the middle where the bucket (your pelvis) is not tilting in either direction.

Practice finding this position and how it feels, it will probably feel odd at first. Do this several times a day so you get used to it.

Other things to remember

  • Your shoulders don’t belong by your ears! Relax and keep the shoulders back and down and chest up.
  • Look forwards.

The next blog post will discuss how you keep this position!

I hope you have found this article informative. If you have any questions on this article, or any questions about exercise and the over-50s please post a comment. By subscribing to this blog you will be informed of any new articles. You will not receive any spam email.

Helen Witcomb is a personal trainer in the Farnham area, please go here Whole Life Fitness, Personal Training for the over 50s. for more information. This will open a new browser window.

63-Year-Old Woman Powerlifter Takes Home Gold at First Competition

I LOVE this, more proof it’s never to late to change your health, to become a stronger you.

Full article here

Badass 63-Year-Old Woman Powerlifter Takes Home Gold at First Competition

Why it’s never too late to pick up a weight

I hope you have found this article informative. If you have any questions on this article, or any questions about exercise and the over-50s please post a comment. By subscribing to this blog you will be informed of any new articles. You will not receive any spam email.

For more information on Personal Training in the Farnham area, please go here Whole Life Fitness, Personal Training for the over 50s. This will open a new browser window.

Why women should lift heavy and celebrity trainers should shut up.

Last week I bought a magazine called Glamour. Now I gave up buying women magazines about a year ago and both my bank balance and my attitude towards my body has thanked me. However this issue had a free nail polish and I do love nail polish. Whilst flicking thru the magazine I came across this bit of advice:

“I prefer to keep the weights low” (the “celebrity” personal trainer advocates 3lbs) which apparently will “create more of a woman’s body – sensual and sexy, but strong”

The above were quotes not journalistic interpretation.

Well I call bullshit. To get strong you need to lift weights, and you need to lift heavy weights, constantly challenging your body so it will change.

Here is what heavy weights for woman can do

  • Actually make you strong.
  • Help keep your bones healthy and decrease the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Increase confidence.
  • Make your shoulders & arms look shapely in sleeveless tops.
  • Enable you to carry either your drunk mate or your sleeping child upstairs to bed (depending on which stage you are in life!)
  • Help you lose or maintain weight. You’ll keep burning calories AFTER you have finished your weight session.

And here is what doing heavy weights as a woman won’t do.

  • Make you bulky
  • Make you a man
  • Make you unsexy, unsensual, weak
  • Frighten men (well it might but that’s their problem not yours)

This goes for whether you are 20 or 80 years of age.

For an awesome post about 6 female Strength Training Myths Busted read Nia Shanks blog, who  can deadlift 330lbs and is neither big nor bulky.

Articles like these are dangerous, women read them and believe that all they need to do is follow the advice and they will be able to replicate their favourite celebrity body.  It is very rare that in such articles nutrition, lifestyle or genes are mentioned, which results in a skewed perspective rather then the full picture.

There are no downsides to doing heavy weights (as long as your form is correct!), how can anyone argue against exercise which actually makes you strong and helps prevent ageing?

Being strong and healthy IS sexy, there are no buts about it.

World COPD Day 2012

COPD is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and is a combination of chronic bronchitis and emphysema. People with COPD find it difficult to breath.  It is predicted to become third leading cause of death by 2030 and is not curable.

Both cardiovascular and weight-bearing exercises are to be encouraged for those with COPD with benefits such as

  • increased cardiovascular function
  • decrease in breathlessness
  • increased muscular strength
  • improved posture

The aim of the physical activity undertaken should be to improve the  COPD sufferers quality of life. It has been shown that those with COPD who do participate in regular physical activity have a lower risk of being admitted to hospital with associated problems.

For more information about COPD and exercise

British Lung Foundation

The COPD Foundation – Exercise for someone with COPD

NHS – COPD

World Chronic Pulmonary Disease Day – WHO media centre

Research into Exercise training in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Before starting any new exercise program please check with your doctor and clear any exercise changes with them. Moderate to severe COPD programmes should be done by a pulmonary rehabilitation team.

Walking for a longer, healthier life.

Did you know current research  by researchers at the U.S. National Cancer Institute has shown that participation in  regular exercise  after 40 may raise life expectancy by up to 7 years?

That regular exercise could be as something as simple as a brisk walk.

In addition to living longer regular exercise may also lower risk for memory problems.

I run a small group exercise class in Farnham Park every Friday morning for the over 50s. We combine a brisk walk with resistance exercises using dynabands or body weight.  This is a class for all levels of fitness – each exercise will have an adaptation for you.

So if you fancy living longer and being physically and mentally fit to enjoy those extra years why don’t you come along and join us. If you have any questions then please call Helen on 07785747669.

Before starting any new exercise program please check with your doctor and clear any exercise changes with them.

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