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  • Inclusive Workouts

    lady working out with weightsInclusive Workouts

    The advocacy for movement and physical activity has never been more important, with one in four people in the UK doing fewer than 30 minutes of physical activity a week. Is the fitness industry and its offer in need of a big evolution and new identity to help those most in need?

    Increasingly we are seeing a shift in the type of digital workouts our clients want to create; with a softer, gentler, more holistic approach. This, to me, is an encouraging and positive change. The UK Government’s guideline of 150 minutes of rigorous activity a week is so far away from some people’s real-life experiences that this goal is simply unachievable and can set people up to fail before they’ve started. The fitness sector should have the ability to ‘meet’ people where they ‘are’ and it’s essential to appreciate that all activity, however small, has value and that some activity is better than none.

    Online fitness resources should be made available and fully accessible to people who may have a health condition or have mobility issues, meaning they can take part in the exercises, even if they’re seated or a wheelchair user.

    Increasingly, we have found our clients are looking for online fitness workout videos to be shorter and easier for their users to digest and to dip in and out of, as well as being lower in intensity, accessible with subtitles, and allowing users to slowly build stamina and confidence. Additionally, the fitness instructors we put forward are now more varied; we’re considerate of age, disability, race, LBGQT+, regional accents and physical size. It’s essential to our clients’ and their customers that ‘real’ people are represented, that the end users see themselves in the fitness content. This has meant we focus more effort in the pre-production and development of the workouts to ensure the tone of voice is correct and takes into consideration this level of new inclusivity.

    There is no doubt that online fitness is ideal for the ‘new to exercise’ market and is now making strides where some gym operators and leisure centres are failing to connect. Many health clubs and gyms still assume their new customers already have an understanding of physical activity and are confident to walk through the doors; a strategy that can intimidate and stop this ‘hard to reach’ group on their fitness journey.

    Training at home enables people to feel safe, not self-conscious and have the autonomy to choose to try new things, progress and even to rest/stop when required, without judgment from others. This, in turn, allows an individual’s confidence to grow and hopefully encourages them to one day access more mainstream physical activity, like a gym or a health club.

    2022 Charity Challenges

    women running and smilingAnna Langridge from 1FitLife highlights how charity fitness events can help motivate and enable you to achieve your fitness goals.

    Taking part in a challenge for charity means you can support a cause that is close to your heart. Your connection to the charity could be for various reasons because a family member or friend has been affected by a disease or illness or maybe it’s a charity that you admire and they are short on funding so you can then raise money for them and know that you’re doing your bit to help.

    Anyone can take part in charity fitness events. Once you’ve declared on your social pages that you’ve signed up it’s very hard to pull out and that work wonders when it comes to improving your motivation! Fundraising is also so much easier by using a ‘Just Giving’ page which means that there’s no painful post-event money collecting from friends, colleagues and family as they donate upfront. Being involved in these kinds of events can also dramatically improve an individual’s attitude towards exercise long term. This is usually due to the time taken to train, the feeling of adrenalin during the event and a sense of achievement and pride on the completion. Mass participation events are positive, friendly environments and they inspire participants to keep up fitness commitments long after the event has passed.

    Charity events also tend to be perfect for more inexperienced participants, as mass participation events are much more inclusive rather than competitive. They encourage individuals to celebrate the achievement of taking part rather than the completion time itself. If you’re looking to take your first steps into fitness, these kinds of events are the ideal motivator.

    It doesn’t matter if you want to walk, swim, run, dance, cycle or jump as there is a challenge out there for everyone!

    Charity challenges are always so much more fun when you bring a friend or group of people together on the journey with you. It may be work colleagues, family members or friends, but these people will help motivate you and keep you going on the days when you just don’t feel like carrying on.

    So which charity challenge do I choose? There are so many different options out there and it’s important to select something achievable and fun if you’re starting your fitness journey. You may choose to do a month-long challenge rather than an event, e.g. walk 5k every day for a month, run 1 mile every day, or do 100 jumps a day with a skipping rope. Alternatively, choose a community event like Bournemouth Beach glow Up walk or the Dash in the Dark 5k in Southampton for the Air Ambulance. If you’d like to try lots of different activities look into The WAVE Festival on 23rd July which is held to raise funds for the young people of Hayling Island with lots of different sporting events and music on site.

    For those who already have a base fitness, the possibilities are endless and it comes down to what fitness disciplines you enjoy the most.

    Below are a few examples for inspiration during the rest of 2022:

    Children’s Air Ambulance Southwest Skydive, Devon – 12 June – 1 October.
    BHF Pier to Pier Swim – 9th July.
    Communifit Colour Run – 10th July Sherborne
    The Wave Festival, Havant – 23rd July.
    Bournemouth Beach glow Up walk – 13th August
    Communifit Sprint Triathlon – 14th August Sherborne
    Dorset Plane Pull – 29th August
    MacMillan Mighty Hike – 10th September, Lodmoor Country Park, Weymouth. Full or half marathon
    Communifit Sportive Cycle Ride – 11th September Starting at The Story Pig, Dorset.
    New Forest Marathon Event – 11th September
    Dash in the Dark, Southampton – 24th September.
    The Inflatable 5k Somerley House, Ringwood – 24th September
    Bournemouth Marathon Festival – 8th-9th October
    Great South run – 16th October. Portsmouth
    Garmin UK Trail Running Festival – 16th October
    Communist December Christmas Sweater 5k and 10k 2022 – 20th December

    If you’re feeling even more ambitious, then research other events around the country and abroad. The possibilities are endless and it’s a great way to make special memories. So sign up, set your goals and raise funds for those in need all at the same time!

    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!

    Enjoy.

    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!

     
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