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  • Working from home wellness strategies

    lady assisting workoutThere are some significant benefits to working from home but there are also bad habits that people may have but not be aware of. Anna Langridge from 1FitLife opens our eyes to ways of achieving wellness and balance in a home office.

    When working from home we need to look at wellness fundamentals, such as eating a nutritious diet and getting regular exercise to avoid musculoskeletal issues. However, it is also important to address the psychological and social challenges of remote working, such as loneliness, managing stress, maintaining motivation and blurred lines between a person’s job and home life. In this article, we explore how to maintain optimal wellness while working from home.

    To achieve a healthy balance and feel energised and motivated when working from home, review what you’re currently doing and what small changes you can implement.

    Hydration. Have a large glass of water on your desk and take regular sips. Hydration is key for concentration and mood swings. Keep the number of caffeinated beverages below 3 per day.

    Healthy Eating. Eat light and healthy meals as this will keep your energy levels high. Avoid overloading on carbohydrates and have your meals planned the night before so you aren’t tempted to snack and graze throughout the day! Remember that you’re sat down most of the day so won’t be burning as many calories as you would if you were moving around.

    Workstation. Review your office workstation for good posture. New Forest Physiotherapy Clinic have information on their website on how to set up a workstation to achieve good posture.

    Keep work separate. Try and have your workstation in a room where you can close the door on it at the end of the day. This will help you fully switch off, avoid further stress and keep the temptation to log back on to your computer at bay.

    Time out. Take regular breaks away from the workstation and get some fresh air. You’ll be much more productive. If you’re not a video call consider taking a phone call whilst moving around the room to realign your posture and reset your mind.

    Social. It would be very easy not to see another person for a long period of time if you work from home and live on your own. Make arrangements with friends throughout the week so that you have plenty of social interaction.

    Exercise. Pilates is a great form of exercise to achieve great posture and correct poor alignment. Mandy Henderson is a Dorset based Pilates Instructor who specialises in postural correction. “For me, Posture is Key to a balanced body which enables us to move in the most efficient way, with good alignment and therefore less wear and tear on our joints. I support people through detailed observation and feedback. I am constantly researching and discovering new ways to break down an exercise so that my clients reach the ‘light bulb’ moment”. Mandy offers workshops and free YouTube tutorials on how to improve posture.

    Routine. Design your routine and be disciplined about following it. Set your alarm for the same time each day, get some fresh air, exercise, shower every morning and make yourself feel good, tidy your home, making sure your workstation is organised and well designed so you don’t feel distracted by it.

    Practising wellness. Practice mindfulness and do regular stretches to help alleviate stress and tension. Sitting for long periods of time whilst on a computer can have a huge impact on your posture and alignment. Practice different stretches whilst sitting at your desk or standing every 20 minutes or so to relieve any tightness. Mindful sessions during your breaks are also a great way to deal with stress and offload any worries. The Mentor 360 app has plenty of options for you to try.

    Work/life balance. Make sure you maintain a work-life balance as it’s easy for your home life to be impacted by your work being in your home environment.

    For further information and support on wellbeing when working from home visit:
    Mandy Henderson – postureiskey.com
    New Forest Physiotherapy Clinic – http://www.newforestphysio.co.uk/how-to-improve-your-posture-at-work/
    Mentor 360 – https://www.mentor360.com/the-hub/ to become more self-aware and learn new habits.

    The perfect fit

    lady and man exercisingYou’re never too old for exercise & laughter!

    In this feature, Anna Langridge from 1FitLife explains why exercise is so important for the health of the over 60’s and the best types of exercise to do.

    Exercise is important no matter what age you are, although for the over 60s it’s essential as it helps maintain your overall wellness whilst reducing the chance of a number of important health conditions creeping up on you. Simple daily tasks can become challenging without exercise like reaching down to put your shoes on, walking upstairs, getting up in the morning and being able to freely move about during the day ahead. Those who do a balance form of exercise eg yoga or pilates tend to fall less and this can help you avoid serious injury.
    Over 60’s should make sure they do a range of fitness to ensure they are covering balance, mobility, strength and cardio. Some forms of exercise can also improve muscle strength and bone density, which are especially important for women since they lose bone density at a faster rate after menopause than men which can result in osteoporosis amongst other conditions. Cardiovascular exercise can help reduce the risk of chronic illnesses and disease.
    When choosing what exercise to do, make sure that it’s something you enjoy or you’ll end up stopping. Exercise should become part of your social life and it’s a great way of meeting other people. The social aspect of exercise also helps motivation and commitment.
    Going to a gym for some people can be challenging and daunting. You have to get used to new, complex equipment, navigate your way around new premises, meet new people and come outside your comfort zone. Many gyms have classes specially designed for new exercisers/members and they can be a great starting point to help you gain confidence and build your base fitness with like-minded people. There are however many places offering suitable exercise no matter what environment suits you as an individual.

    Community-based fitness i.e. local churches or community halls are very popular with the over 60’s as they offer exercise classes specifically created to ensure the attendees are kept safe and the exercises are appropriate for their needs. They also tend to have a strong community feel, a good social fun element making it easy to settle into a weekly routine. I’ve personally met some of my best friends from taking these classes, and at times found myself and the group crying with laughter in the middle of a session.. Such fun times.

    Variety is the key though and within your community there will be numerous options available, from senior gym sessions, water-based workouts e.g. Aqua aerobics, keep fit community classes, dance classes e.g. ballroom, Latin and Zumba Gold, swimming sessions and outdoor walking groups. Even mindful classes like yoga, Pilates and Tai-Chi.

    If you have underlying health conditions, don’t worry there will still be many options out there for you, however, make sure you get medical advice from your GP before starting a new fitness program. Options range from digital workouts to be followed at home, to joining in on your local community-based classes. Just let your local instructor know you may require a little additional support before the class starts.

    That said, you might just want to start at home. So find a workout online, clear some space and off you go. Try 5mins to start with and build from there.

    Here are some recommendations of where to start your search for home workouts::

    Chair One Fitness on YouTube provides a free fun fitness option available to anyone no matter their age or ability. This includes seniors, mobility aid users, amputees, plus size and those with dementia and developmental disabilities. Their workouts are also super fun and bring a smile to your face.!

    The MS society has ‘Active Together’ videos on YouTube and these are a great way to get yourself moving in the morning. It’s recommended to do some form of exercise daily for this age group and the benefits can be significant from a physical and psychological perspective.

    The Brian Grant Foundation offers a variety of Parkinson’s exercise videos across different genres.

    Versus Arthritis and the NHS also have several different workouts available for those with arthritis. Daily exercises each morning can help with movement and mobility.

    The Royal Osteoporosis Society offer a range of workouts for this condition.

    The British Heart Foundation provide videos on how to do cardiac rehab at home. These exercise videos are only for people who have already had a cardiac rehab assessment.

    So take time to spice up your activity and overall health and wellness and don’t forget to find that moment to laugh or giggle. It’s got to be fun right? Exercise can bring a new sense of fulfillment, additional social circles, renewed energy and those essential fitness endorphins which make you smile every day!


    Fit For Life

    girl with exercise ballIt’s time to start talking fitness and nutrition as one and stop talking about them as separate entities. Anna Langridge from 1FitLife provides an insight into how these two markets should further merge.

    According to NHS Digital, Health for England, three-quarters of us aged 45-74 are overweight or obese in England*. A frightening statistic especially with all the support out there from both the fitness and weight loss sectors encouraging us to change. 

    Exercise alone is unlikely to help you lose weight, your eating habits also need to be addressed to achieve a healthy weight loss and overall health. Many find success through weight loss companies, although the costs can start escalating if you are also paying for a gym at the same time.

    Personally, I think there are so many mixed messages and noise out there on how to lose weight, get fit and healthy, and people have now just switched off to it all. They are confused and demoralised. 

    What I find frustrating is when the media talks about weight loss it tends to be about food, while if the media mentions fitness it tends to be about intense workouts and gyms. But we all know it’s a combination of both that holds the recipe for success.   

    Weight loss programmes do focus their communications around the overall health benefits of losing weight and rightly so. Although more often than not, if you ask someone why they want to lose weight it’s because they want to feel more confident, wear a smaller clothes size and not feel held back by their weight. Being overweight can significantly affect a person’s self-esteem. The main way to achieve a weight loss goal is through a combination of healthy eating and exercise.

    When I train people with a weight problem, they tend to not have the confidence to get started in a gym environment. Clients say they feel uncomfortable at the gym; they don’t know where to start, they might not know how to use the equipment and they worry about whether they’ll fit in. They’re concerned they won’t be able to do exercises correctly or keep up, that they’ll get too hot and sweaty, feel exposed or self-conscious, and that it’s going to hurt. These people tend to prefer someone to train them in the privacy of their own home but they are also demotivated and breaking their current habits is a significant hurdle. Remember though, any habit can be broken if the person is driven enough to make changes to their lifestyle.

    If people are overweight and very unfit, the thought of having to put on workout gear and set foot in a gym is unrealistic. Training at home allows people to feel safe. And, once they’ve gained some confidence, they’re more likely to be funnelled into mainstream ‘fitness’ at health clubs and leisure centres.

    So what options are there on the market?

    Slimming World launched its new Body Magic exercise videos in January 2022 to sit alongside their weight loss clinics. The workouts are aimed at all abilities so even if you struggle to walk for more than 15 minutes, there’s still something for you!

    Nuffield Health offers a medical weight Management Programme called ‘Simply Weight’ This is a 100-day online plan complemented by group sessions over a 14-week period. The specialists include consultant physicians, dieticians, nutritionists and fitness trainers. This 360, medical approach to weight loss, helps ensure your success.

    Weight loss retreats are also a great way to give people a headstart, but be mindful that this is just the start of the journey and to be successful, a long term plan needs to be implemented to avoid relapse.

    For those on a tighter budget or not time rich, online fitness and wellness content has found a way to muscle in between gyms and weight management programmes. Over the past 18 months, we have seen significant growth in the online fitness market. There is also plenty of free content out there.

    Remember, it’s never too late to make the change and to discover a healthier way of living!

    Find Your Wedding Glow

    Anna Langridge from 1FitLife helps you to find your wedding glow with some wellbeing strategies to set you on the right path.

    Weddings can be stressful, time-consuming and pressurised. However, it should be one of the happiest moments of your life, so here are some wellbeing tips to help you stay calm, on track and feeling your best.

    Decision making
    Remember that although friends and family tend to get involved in a couple’s wedding, it’s not their day, so make sure that you have a wedding that reflects you and your fiance’s personality and style. If it’s all getting too much, take some time out before making big decisions by going for a relaxing walk and clear your headspace so you have time to reflect on the decision you are both happy to proceed with.

    Feeling your best
    You and your fiance will want to feel your best and most confident on the day. Don’t start an extreme diet as you will be busy in the lead-up and will require energy for the increased workload. Instead, find an exercise and eating plan that will keep you energised and feeling great from the inside out.

    What type of training gets the best results?
    Plan a mixture of training sessions at least six months before your special day. The weekly schedule should include:
    Cardio sessions to tone the body and maintain a healthy circulatory system, which will also help improve your skin condition and help you look glowing.
    Strength training sessions to make you look leaner, stronger and to help improve your posture.
    Mind and body sessions to keep yourself calm, release tight muscles and improve your flexibility.

    What foods should I eat?
    Keep sugars to a minimum and focus on eating lean protein and oily fish.
    Fill up your plate with different coloured vegetables and keep carbohydrate intake fairly low if you want to control your weight.
    Fresh is best and remember that when you prepare your food from scratch you’ll know exactly what’s in it!

    Most importantly enjoy every second of the lead up to your special day and find your glow!

    Plans for weight loss

    Anna Langridge from 1FitLife helps you rethink your January weight loss goals, by choosing a plan that will help you stay on track throughout the year.healthy salmon and vegetables

    Most people will start the month of January feeling unhealthy, unfit and with some degree of weight gain. You try to lose weight quickly, make some good healthy choices but then you go back to work and the spiral of unhealthy habits starts again. To help you avoid these repetitive, behavioural characteristics we’ve provided an overview of some of the different types of diets available, to see if there is something out there that will help you maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle for a longer period of time. Remember, we’re all individuals and what works for one person may not work for another.

    A diet isn’t necessarily about weight loss, it’s actually the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats and when they eat them.

    The Paleo Diet

    The objective of a paleo diet is to return to a way of eating that’s more in line with what early humans ate like the hunter-gatherer. The diet’s reasoning is that the human body is genetically mismatched to the modern diet. The Paleo diet is promoted as a good way of maintaining a healthy weight or aiding in weight loss.

    The Paleo Diet allows you to eat meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, healthy fats and oils. Foods to avoid include processed foods, sugar, soft drinks, grains, most dairy products, legumes, artificial sweeteners, vegetable oils, margarine and trans fats.

    The Macro Diet

    A macro diet focuses on the three primary macronutrients: proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Although it is popular among athletes and bodybuilders, it can be time-consuming and restrictive. You’ll need to calculate your daily calorie needs and determine your macros accordingly. It is a good idea to consult a dietitian for advice on appropriate macro ratios.


    A fasting diet doesn’t specify which foods you should eat but what time you should eat.

    Fasting is set up as a scheduled eating system. Common intermittent fasting methods involve daily 16-hour fasts or fasting for 24 hours, twice per week.

    Fasting from time to time is more natural than always eating 3–4 (or more) meals per day but this system does not suit everyone.

    Fasting is also often done for religious or spiritual reasons, including in Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism.


    A vegan or plant-based diet excludes all animal products, including meat, dairy, and eggs. Replacements for these foods take the form of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds. When people follow a Vegan diet correctly, it can be highly nutritious, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and aid weight loss. It does however take time to adjust to this type of eating and the required food preparation and can be limited when dining out.  

    The Calorie-Counting Diet

    The purpose of a calorie-counting diet is to stay within a target number of calories each day. Some people like the discipline of this type of diet but others may find it too difficult to manage.

    This type of diet can help you manage your weight and blood sugar levels. If you are overweight, lowering the number of calories you eat will help you lose weight. This can also help lower your risk of health problems like diabetes and high blood pressure. 

    Weight Loss Groups

    A group approach can help people to lose weight. It’s easier to stick with a weight loss plan when you have support, can share tips on diet and exercise and have an exercise buddy.

    With weight loss support groups, you can discuss your struggles with temptations and they can provide you tips on how members have gotten through similar situations. Weight loss programs also offer a structured group setting or mentorship allowing you to tackle problems as they occur.

    Whichever option you go for, try to approach your diet as a long term approach where you create new healthy habits rather than seeing it as a short term fix. If you have any medical conditions you should seek medical advice before starting a diet.


    Christmas Fun Fitness Events

    people running into the seaAnna Langridge from 1FitLife brings some festive fitness fun to December by encouraging us to get out and active whilst supporting some fantastic charities.

    There are many events running during the Christmas period but why not give something back at this time of year by signing up for a charity fitness event and sharing the challenge with family and friends.

    Here are a selection of fun events to get involved in:

    The Elf Dash is now in its 6th year and is their first Christmas since becoming University Hospitals Dorset NHS Charity.  Join Crackers the elf at Branksome Dene Beach from 11am on Saturday 4 December 2021 – run, walk, skip or dance your way along the promenade route followed by a visit to Santa in his grotto!

    The annual RNLI Reindeer Run is held at Moors Valley where you can choose from a 10k, 5k or 1k Santa Saunter and help raise vital funds for the RNLI.  The event will include prizes for first male and female in the 5k and 10k race.

    The Christmas Sweater in Sherborne includes a 5k and 10k run and this year they are raising funds for the Sherborne food bank.  The race will take place on Sunday 19th December.

    The popular White Christmas Dip in the simplest terms involves everyone charging into the sea on Christmas Day at 10:30am. The White Christmas Dip is an annual charity fancy dress Christmas morning dip held on the beach next to Boscombe Pier in Bournemouth organised by Tom Baker, John White and Macmillan Caring Locally.

    Julia’s House Seven Wonders of the World is a virtual challenge you can sign up to throughout the month of December.  The aim is exercise virtually and visit either one or all of the Seven Wonders of the World. Your progress is tracked along the virtual map and you can compete against your friends or colleagues with a live leaderboard whilst using your activity tracker.

    So why not stay fit, active and give back over the Christmas period.

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