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.

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.

3 hours walking a week may cut female stroke risk…

Now if you have been a reader of this blog for a while you know I am a huge advocate for just getting outside and going for a walk. It’s free, it gets you lots of fresh air and it can be sociable. So I am delighted that there is new research just published in Stroke magazine that shows that 3 hours walking a week reduces female stroke risk.  Now to be completely honest there were faults in the study but the conclusion drawn was the following

Conclusions—Recreational PA of moderate intensity was inversely associated with stroke incidence in women, whereas PA showed no effect on CVD risk in men. Increasing time dedicated to activities such as walking would be expected to help to reduce the stroke burden in women. ”

If you are looking for a way to start or even improve your fitness with walking may I suggest you follow the 6K Daily Steps Challenge set up by Over Fifty Fitness. A way to ensure you stay motivated is to rope in friends. Why should a catch up only be done over a cup of coffee and piece of cake instead find a lovely walk (maybe with a coffee shop or pub at the end!) and go, make it a weekly appointment in your diary.

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.

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.

This thinking is worthy of the Daily Mail, not a think tank.

This is a bit of a rant rather than a helpful post, but then sometimes I find it’s helpful to get things off my chest.

A new report has been published by Westminster City council and written in conjunction with think-tank Local Government Information Unit (LGiU), which states that:

“Linking welfare measures to behaviours that promote public health. Relocalisation of council tax
benefit and housing benefit combined with new technologies provide an opportunity for councils to
embed financial incentives for behaviours that promote public health. The increasing use of smart
cards for access to leisure facilities, for instance, provides councils with a significant amount of data
on usage patterns. Where an exercise package is prescribed to a resident, housing and council tax
benefit payments could be varied to reward or incentivise residents.”

According to one of Westminsters councillors this report is forward and radical thinking.  Some of the ideas in this report make sense, but they are overshadowed by the utter stupidity of this one paragraph which shows very little grasp of the complexities that can lead to being obese.

So my thoughts.

  • Would someone show me ONE former obese person who is now slim that can attribute  all their weight loss to exercise.
  • They are going to monitor use  of the leisure centre using smart cards. The same leisure centres that are packed with machines dispensing chocolate, crisps, soda pop and sports drinks (sports drinks ARE NOT HEALTHY). This smacks of Big Brother. Also apparently it’s ok to be rich and fat, just not poor. (I’m looking at you Eric Pickles).
  • What about obese people who might also be parents or carers? The government want to penalise children for their parents weight? !?!
  • If the obese person does happen to be a carer what are they suppose to do with the children or person they care for whilst they are at the gym? Many might have creches – but these cost money.
  • Where is the money for the gym membership going to come from? My local leisure centre costs £37 a month for off-peak membership.

Currently if you are obese you can ask your GP to put you on a  GP referral scheme however it is limited to a 10-12 week  course of gym membership (and support) after which membership MAY be subsidised but will not be free. Many of those on benefits can’t afford the luxury, and gym membership is a luxury even if our health is not.

Education is what is needed in how to cook healthy food cheaply, these courses should be available to everyone no matter what their BMI (every heard of skinny fat?) or bank account. How to exercise by using the local park and cheap equipment. The government could  look into ways that fruit and vegetables  can be subsidised so even those who do not have easy access to a huge supermarket can afford them. In Scotland the Scottish Food and Drink Federation (SFDF) and the Scottish Government  are working with local food businesses to  reduce levels of sugar, fat and salt in their everyday products.

What is not needed is the humilation and pushing into further poverty of people whose crime isn’t really to be fat but to be unemployed and poor.

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.

Four behaviours than can help you age successfully

A report recently published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) shows that practising the following healthy behaviours in midlife (42–63 years of age)  makes it significantly more likely people will stay healthy as they age.

  • not smoking
  • moderate alcohol consumption (1–14 units/wk for women; 1–21 units/wk for men)
  • exercise  (≥ 2.5 h/wk moderate physical activity or ≥ 1 h/wk vigorous physical activity)
  • eating fruits and vegetables daily

The more healthy behaviours that you engage in then the greater the benefits you will reap as you age.

Successful aging was defined as maintaining the ability to function well with good mobility, cognitive skills, respiratory function, mental health and no chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, stroke or disability at age 60 years or older.

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

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