Category: Fitness

Do you want to be happier in your own skin?

I am currently participating in the pilot for a new programme – Unity – from Julia Buckley. I confess I am a long term fan of Julia’s online gym. I have been a member for nearly 4 years having “discovered” her through her book The Fat Burn Revolution. With which I started to see some great results, and loved her ethos and approach to health and fitness.

online gym

4 years on, at 58 I’m probably and most importantly the healthiest, but also the slimmest and fittest, that I’ve ever been and you could be too! No matter where you are starting from Julia’s new programme Unity will help you get in the right mindset to impact your health. What could be more important than that?

Unity programme pilot

I am currently part of the pilot group for the Unity programme, which is aimed at you if, in Julia’s words;

  • “you simply want to find a happier way of “being” in life”
  • “you want to get more comfortable in your own skin”
  • “you struggle to stay consistent with healthy eating”
  • “you still haven’t got to a point where you’re happy with your fitness levels and/or the condition of your body”
  • “you to dip in and out of fitness” or
  • “ if you’re feeling like you want to reconnect with your body”

I jumped at the chance of trialling something that might help you, and be able to have some input into shaping it.

What does Unity include?

I believe a lot of people fail at their fitness and food goals, and thus their health due to their mindset or mental attitude. The Unity programme which incorporates workouts, a food log and mindset work sounded fabulous. I know Julia’s work work’s! so I was excited to join this pilot.

The Food Log

The food log is mostly about when we eat, why we choose to eat then, why we choose those foods and how we feel about this food: before, during and after eating it. It is not about weights and measures, macros or calories.
This log is sent to a qualified nutritionist weekly and feedback is provided. You can ask specific questions or request advice too.

The Mindfulness Work

Julia records online chats which are aimed to make you THINK about the programme as a lifestyle shift, a life change rather than a short term programme to be completed, achieved and moved on from. The chats encourage you to be mindful about your eating, your movement and probably most importantly how you use language both about yourself and others. How you describe yourself and your actions, making you think about how this may have a destructive affect on your intentions or goals. It is provoking, stimulating, challenging and rewarding. This work is, to me, the most important of the programme, hoping to address self sabotage and a failure mentality. It’s not easy, but the Unity community helps to discuss and expand this work.

The Workouts

And the workouts? Well there are six available, nothing is compulsory; all can be scaled to work for the beginner or the advanced level of fitness. They range from yoga type work, to weighted sessions, cardio and great full body-weight workouts. I believe Julia may change this a little in the released Unity programme, providing both beginner and advanced workouts.
I love the workouts and generally find time to fit them in, they are only about 30 minutes long. But you are not failing if you don’t do them.

The Facebook Group

A closed Facebook group enables Julia to deliver the chats and receive feedback. Unity programme members post their questions or concerns, their achievements and their plans, their learning and discoveries. The comradeship of this group is fantastic with members supporting one another, virtually high five – ing the wins and promoting discussions (see the Mindfulness work above).

So what do I think?

I am currently half way through this pilot programme and I think it has an enormous amount to offer. Particularly for those who find it difficult to achieve their health and fitness goals. It will make you look at things differently and it will (hopefully) be the key to the change you deserve.

It’s time to take some responsibility for your health and wellbeing and the tools within this programme are a sure-fire way to help you take the right steps. There is no quick fix, don’t even look for one or be conned by the hype around the latest fad. It’s time to make the changes slowly but surely.

Sign up to Julia’s email list to hear more about the full launch of the Unity programme in January.

And don’t just take my word for it read The Everyday Warrior’s blog post too here

Thanks for reading.

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

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Read my blog post about The Four Pillars of Good Health here

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Do you plan to have a healthy later life?

I am not a medical expert, this post is my thoughts and beliefs on a happy, healthy later life, and not expert opinion or advice. I have included links to professional bodies which may help you.

“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending” Carl Bard

How are you approaching old age?

I believe it is important and indeed our responsibility to look after our bodies and stay healthy.  I appreciate that for some genetics may play a part in your health and mobility, you can still affect your health outcomes to some extent. Our mental health will impact our physical health and I appreciate this can be a huge hurdle for some. The MIND website has some great information and support for mental health problems.

It is not too late if you are in midlife or even old age, don’t accept illness or dis-ease, choose a fit, happy and healthy later life. The choice is yours. I believe your mind plays an enormous part here.  It is important to learn to love yourself (read my blog on self esteem), be proud and you’ll find this makes it easier to look after yourself.

Functional Fitness for a healthy later life

Healthy later life – Start today!

However old you are – THINK “It doesn’t matter about yesterday” – whether you ate a pack of doughnuts or sat around all day – everyday is a new day and a time to make a change or do something differently. Take a walk, consider what you are eating, and take 5 minutes to contemplate the day/year or anything really.

Choose a good balance in your diet, lifestyle and activity and your body will reward you with less illness and dis-ease. The NHS Choices website may help.

The Menopause

Women will experience hormonal changes during the menopause which can sometimes have very debilitating effects and a knock on to your overall health and self esteem. I believe it is important to recognise the signs and take expert advice to help reduce any associated risks such as heart disease or osteoporosis  – this post has lots of good ideas for a healthy later life. Take a look at this great website from The Menopause Doctor a GP and Menopause Expert  www.menopausedoctor.co.uk.

 

My Dad is 90 next month

healthy later life
Soon to be 90!

His garden is full of fruit and veg that make their way either to his table, his freezer or a jam or chutney. His freezer also boasts cuts of meat and game; he buys half a lamb from the butcher and is gifted pheasants. The only quick or “ready” food in the freezer  is oven chips and ice cream. He cooks his meals from scratch and bakes cakes or tarts regularly. As well as tending his garden he will try to take a daily walk, weather and knee permitting. He is certainly an inspiration or is that an aspiration!

Food for thought

I hope this post has given you something to think about, perhaps even inspired to choose to start to make a new ending. I hope so.

Checkout my 4 Pillars of Health blog post here https://www.jenafitlife.com/4-pillars-good-health/

and my Functional Fitness blog here https://www.jenafitlife.com/?s=functional+fitness

 

Thanks for reading.

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

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Running – how to get going

I’d done a bit of running in my day, mainly in the early ‘90s when my daughters were small, as a means to regain my fitness. More recently swimming had become my “go to” cardio. You can read more about all that here .  I then bought a dog and began taking him on two good walks a day.

Low cost health -walk
10 minutes brisk walking daily – low cost health!

Running with my daughter

At this time my eldest daughter had returned from University carrying much more weight than she’d gone with and she decided to take up running to rectify this. A good first step is to set a goal.

Armed with her Couch 2 5k app she began to accompany me on the dog walks and I soon found I was learning to run again too!  (Team up with a friend) These apps are brilliant for advice and motivation along with the progressive increase in time, distance and pace. Don’t worry about the time it takes you to run any distance but keep increasing the distance, the rest will follow. These days’ things like parkrun offer a regular, free, timed run for you to measure your improvement should you wish to and joining a running club might be a great way for you to improve.

You can start to run with nothing more than a pair of trainers, and, at least initially, I wouldn’t be concerned about their price tag or quality. This refinement can come as mileage and continued enthusiasm kick in!

Running

Be sure to warm up, take rest days, stretch and mix in some strength training. This rounded approach will improve your running and help to keep you injury free. A regular massage is a great way to lessen muscle tension and improve range of motion [http://www.runnersworld.com/injury-prevention-recovery/the-pros-and-cons-of-massages-for-runners]

My daughter progressed and has completed 5 half marathons and raised over £2,500 for the Alzheimer’s Society  after she got a ballot place and ran the 2014 London Marathon on her 25th birthday. Oh and having done all the training with her for her first half marathon I did it too in 2 hours 4 minutes – not bad for a 50 something with dodgy knees!

Fitness challenges running
Half Marathon 2hrs 4mins

Here are my 5 tips to get your running career started;

  1. Set a goal
  2. Use C25k – lots of apps available here is the link to the NHS one
  3. Team up with a friend/join a club
  4. Listen to your body – warm up, rest, stretch, do some strength training (particularly glut work)
  5. Have fun!

Thanks for reading

 

Jen x

Read my 4 Pillars of Good Health Blog here

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jenallenmassagetherapy/

Twitter @jenafitlife

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This post first appeared on the lovely Elle Linton website; http://www.keepitsimpelle.com/

running

Photo Credit: www.lolography.com

My Menopause Experience – How is yours?

I spotted somewhere on social media that September was/is Menopause Month. As a 50-something blogger writing about Health I thought I should write something about the menopause.  But what? I’m not a medical practitioner or have any expertise in the menopause, apart from my personal experience.

I then realised that Menopause Month is an American thing, so thought well perhaps I won’t rush into a menopause blog. Then I thought again……..after some research I realised that the subject is a little taboo and there is little to no education available. We have sex education at school and here, at best, the menopause will be billed as the time our periods stop. And there is so much more to it than that! I decided a blog providing some resources and a brief chat about my experience may help someone out there!

Sex Education

Talking of sex education……… well we didn’t talk about it when I was growing up! Yes we did at school, in Biology and other classes but not at home. My Mum handed me a funny little pamphlet to read, when I was about 12, and that was it. I guess it had been acquired for my brother (9 years older than me) and / or my sister (5 years older than me). All very embarrassing and no open conversations were ever had.  How things have changed, I was determined that this wouldn’t be my daughters experience so we started when they were under 10 with Babette Cole’s lovely book “Hair in Funny Places”

 

Not surprisingly the menopause was also never discussed. I’m sure my Mum experienced it but I have no recollection. Sadly she had mobility issues all her life and was regularly in pain and discomfort. So dealing with the menopause or her families awareness of it probably blended into our daily experience of her “ups and downs”.  By the time I was heading for the menopause Mum was deep in Alzheimer’s and not able to hold any sort of meaningful conversation.

Both my sisters had procedures pre menopause so I guess experienced an induced menopause probably supported by HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy)…….I don’t know, I’ve never asked. Most of my friends are younger than me and at the time of my menopause were not experiencing any symptoms, they now talk of hot flushes and night sweats! Other symptoms can include tiredness, inability to concentrate, irregular periods, difficulty sleeping, loss of sex drive, mood swings…..http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Menopause/Pages/Symptoms.aspx

My Menopause Experience

My menopause passed, perhaps is passing, in a fairly uneventful way. Although initially, looking back, I think it was probably tied up with a deeply upsetting relationship break-up. The emotional rollercoaster and tears were attributed to that. My periods were being erratic, irregular and a routine coil check and subsequent ultrasound found I had fibroids.

The removal of the oestrogen coil dealt with both the fibroids and an end to any bleeding.  A time on some medication for the emotional state I was in from the breakup helped me deal with my state of mind.  I don’t recall having hot flushes but I guess I do sometimes get night sweats, but nothing to wake me up or really disrupt my sleep.

So I’ve been lucky! I’ve not experienced any weight gain although that’s because exercise is my lifeline. I love to do some sort of physical activity. At the time of my menopause I was swimming regularly and walking an active dog. In last 4 years I have been working out at home with Julia Buckley’s online gym. This includes some workouts with weights and body-weight exercises which help to improve bone strength. This is important as the drop in oestrogen during the menopause leads to a loss in bone mass and an increased risk of osteoperosis. Read my blog on osteoporosis here.

Your Menopause Experience 

Many people suffer greatly at the menopause and do not necessarily get the right advice or know where to go. HRT has had bad press, sensationalizing or perhaps exaggerating the risks. It appears that HRT provides more benefits than risks to the majority of women, this is explained really well on www.menopausedoctor.co.uk. HRT replaces the hormones and masks menopausal symptoms, it doesn’t delay the menopause

There are some fabulous resources out there. In researching this blog I came across a couple of great things I’d like to share with you. Have look and feel empowered to take some action;

A great website from The Menopause Doctor a GP and Menopause Expert  www.menopausedoctor.co.uk
I hope this website helps to empower you with necessary information to make informed decisions regarding any treatment you may take to help turn your menopause into a positive experience that does not negatively impact your life.”

A great podcast in which Liz Earle talks to Dr Louise Newson (aka The Menopause Doctor) and covers the symptoms of the menopause, why it’s important to have a healthy lifestyle and dispels some of the myths around HRT.

A practicing nutritionist offers an alternative approach  “to help you eat your way through a symptom-free menopause”

Thanks for reading.

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

This blog contains an affiliate link

Fitness, mobility, exercise – are one of my 4 Pillars of Health, read about the others here https://www.jenafitlife.com/4-pillars-good-health/

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The Online Gym You’ve Been Waiting For!

“Find fit, find strong, find happy……..find your best you”

Do you like to workout?  How do you keep fit? Would you like to be active into later life?

I’ve always been quite active and have done many different things over the years! In my younger days I played hockey and squash. I then had a phase of running and swimming, followed by classes like Zumba, Pilates and Body Pump.  But now my thing is walking my dog and an online gym!

Online Gym

Don’t be put off by my activity history,  members of the online gym community are at different levels of fitness and many are much younger than me! Most of the online gym members are in the 25 – 40 age range.

I joined this online gym over 3 years ago and I LOVE IT!  It is packed with fabulous, effective workouts which can be done in isolation or as part of a programme spanning anything from 5 days to 12 weeks.  It caters for all levels of fitness and ability, with excellent advice and support.

There is a 5 day starter Bootcamp and a Beginner Series through to specific specialist programmes to move towards your first pull up or to reveal a six pack!  with many professionally crafted workouts programmes in between.

What will I get?

Julia Buckley the Personal Trainer behind this great online gym is also the bestselling author of The Fat Burn Revolution which “shows you the healthy way to condition your body for optimum fat burning – even when you’re not exercising”

online gym

So not only do you get excellent workouts – all with video’s for you to workout alongside Julia – at a ridiculously bargain price (Premium membership £6.50/month or a FREE Basic membership), you get a great online community and support.  I’ve made some great friends here and we have met in “real life”, once including a member from Australia! It is available worldwide.

One of the best things about the online gym is working out at home. That means no gym phobia to contend with, no travel time and you can workout in your PJs or undies!! You can train anytime, anywhere; you don’t need masses of equipment; an exercise mat and perhaps some weights. You will probably want to add to your “kit” as you progress. I now have more weights, ankle weights and a gym ball.

online gym

I workout in my living space and my equipment is hidden away and housed in a cupboard. Regularly logging in to this easy to access online gym and pressing play on a workout video couldn’t be simpler and this quickly became a habit……no motivation required! I have shed fat and sculpted muscle, and I move better than ever before, my flexibility and strength will keep me active and mobile for living a fabulous life.

What is not to lose by giving this online gym a go?

Thanks for reading.

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

This blog contains an affiliate link

Fitness, mobility, exercise – are one of my 4 Pillars of Health, read about the others here https://www.jenafitlife.com/4-pillars-good-health/

Sign up to get notified of my new blog posts – pop your email address in the box at the top right of the page. I promise I won’t be sending spam or selling my email list!

 

Do you wear make up to workout?

To wear or not to wear makeup to the gym—that is the question. And, there is no right answer. However, I do have a suggestion to those who are in the “yes, I wear makeup to workout” category!

Over the years I have worked out in a lot of different types of makeup. Some were good and others were not so good (ie: full-coverage foundation…yikes). But, I think I have finally found the perfect combination of makeup that says, “look at me” while still saying “go away I’m working out.”

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer is my first must-have when it comes to working out! It is light-weight, light to medium coverage and it has SPF in it. This is perfect for those mornings when you don’t have the energy to put makeup on by still need a little something. I just slather this on my skin like any other moisturizer and move on to the next step!

workout makeup
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer

Chanel Soleil De Tan Bronzer is expensive but so worth the splurge! This stays-put all day (and all workout) long without losing its color or moving on the skin. I can sweat in this all day and it will stay long-lasting until I take it off. Seriously, splurge!

workout makeup
Chanel Soleil De Tan Bronzer

Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight is next up! Yes, you will already have that “is it sweat or highlight” glow to your skin while you are working out. But, who doesn’t want a little more glow in their lives? This is great to throw in the gym bag and dab on with your fingers as you’re heading to the treadmill. It gives you a healthy glow while still feeling super light-weight and subtle.

workout makeup
Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight

L’Oréal Brow Mascara is a favorite of mine for working out because this stuff doesn’t go anywhere unless it’s taken off with makeup remover (even then it’s challenging). This tinted brow gel just adds a little lift and color to the brows without having to spend upwards of five minutes making sure the brows are even. And, this stuff won’t budge even when you’re wiping sweat off your face or if you go for a swim after your workout. It’s seriously amazing!

workout makeup
L’Oréal Brow Mascara

Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara is essential because I am one of those people who cannot live without mascara. I feel like it is the number one thing that makes me look awake even when I am working out in the early hours of the morning. This waterproof mascara plays no games when it comes to sweat. It very minimally runs (which is a huge accomplishment when you have oily under eyes like I do) and even stays put in water unlike some advertised waterproof mascaras.

workout makeup
Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara

There you have it, folks! This is my go-to makeup look when I want to add a little glam to my sweat. It is casual enough to look natural but gives you that put-together vibe. So, try it out and let me know what you think!

 

What are some of your favorite sweat-proof makeup items?

 

XO,

 

Madie

__________________________________________

Hi, my name is Madie and I live in Chicago, IL, USA. I have been beauty blogging for about 2 years now and have loved every minute of it! I especially love guest blogging because I get to meet new incredible people and learn so much more about the blogging community. With that said, thank you so much to Jen for letting my post here today! I am honored to have worked with you 🙂

 

Thanks so much Madie for this fab guest blog post and for finding us some great products. I’m off to shop now!

Check out my guest blog post on Madie’s website here

And if you interested in some of my fitness challenges read this!

5 low cost ways to be healthier?

Would you like to be healthier? Do you think you can’t afford it?

Think again – you can start to improve your health with these 5 simple steps:

  1. Commit to Walking

    You don’t need to have a fancy device to count your steps or special clothes or footwear. Choose comfortable shoes and get outside!  Walk for 10 to 20 minutes a day to get you started. ‘*   Later on you could move onto more structured exercise. You may fancy having a go at running, try Couch To 5k (http://www.nhs.uk/LiveWell/c25k/Pages/couch-to-5k.aspx) or High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or weights. There is lots of FREE stuff online requiring little or no equipment. I started with Julia Buckley’s online gym and you can access lots of her stuff for free here

    ‘*  “Taking at least 1 brisk 10 minute walk a day has been shown to reduce the risk of early death by 15%” From Public Health England

    Low cost health -walk
    10 minutes brisk walking daily – low cost health!

     

  2. Drink more water

    It’s cheap, healthy and calorie free! If you don’t like plain water try fizzy or add some fruit, a slice of lemon or some no-added sugar squash. We should drink six to eight glasses of fluid a day. Water, lower fat milk and sugar-free drinks including tea and coffee all count.

  3. Eat a balanced diet

    It’s not about fancy foods or “superfoods” – like kale, avocado, quinoa ( not that these aren’t good). It’s about lowering the sugar, saturated fat and salt, cutting out processed foods. A balanced diet is eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions , find some good advice here; http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/Healthyeating.aspx
    Do you have an Aldi nearby? They sell great quality foods at fabulous prices and are well worth checking out. https://www.aldi.co.uk/store-finder
    I’m planning a “What I eat in a day” post soon, I eat well and I am on a tight budget.

  4. Get more sleep

    Yep sleep, and sleep should cost you nothing! Sleeping poorly increases the risk of having poor mental health along with increasing the risk of diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Read my recent post on Sleep – https://www.jenafitlife.com/sleep-pillar-of-good-health/ and set yourself up to get more and better quality sleep.

  5. What do you think? Mindset

    How you think, what you think about, how you motivate yourself, how to make something a habit ………all FREE, and all have an effect on your health. Getting control of your mind will enable you to better to control your cravings, urges and motivations, all of which no doubt impact on your health! Whether it is resisting the chocolate or ice cream or finding the excuse not to take that walk. Read my recent blog on Mindset – https://www.jenafitlife.com/mindset/

Will you take any or all of these steps? Do you already do this or more?

Thanks for reading.

 

Jen x

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

Sign up to get notified of my new blog posts – pop your email address in the box at the top right of the page. I promise I won’t be sending spam or selling my email list!

You may like to read my blog on My 4 Pillars of Good Health https://www.jenafitlife.com/4-pillars-good-health/

SIgn up for Julia Buckley’s online gym here http://azalejma.juliabfit.hop.clickbank.net

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Swimming in Henleaze Lake

A family weekend catch up, when I was introduced to an outdoor swim in Bristol!

My niece and nephew live in Paris, although my nephew is moving to Warsaw with his Polish fiancee to begin a new adventure. So we don’t get to see them very often.

A weekend in late July they were in Bristol, at their Mum and Dads (my sister and Brother in Law), having narrowly escaped the horrors of the floods in Coverack, Cornwall – they were there but The Old PO in the harbour escaped any damage. Anyway my elderly father (90 in December) took no persuading to join me on a trip down to Bristol to see his grandchildren and great grandchildren (my nieces two young daughters).

Family allotment time!

We had a great journey down on Friday morning, beating the busy holiday traffic and the rain! It did however pretty much rain all day once we’d arrived. It takes a lot more than that to dampen high spirited kids.  We chilled out, gossiped, played and managed to mooch in the garden.

Do you live near to your family?
Are you close?
Do you travel for family get together’s?

Saturday was a better day weather-wise. We had a family trip to my sister’s allotment, picked various varieties of beans and raspberries. All consumed with lunch later on 🙂

The Autumn raspberries are ready in July in Bristol!

Outdoor Swim

I’d been feeling a little ‘coldy’ but when my Brother in Law suggested a trip to Henleaze Swimming Club  for an outdoor swim (I’d taken my kit and was always saying I’d never been there)…….I couldn’t refuse.

outdoor swim
Henleaze Lake, Bristol – Tranquility 🙂

Henleaze Swimming Club, established in 1919, a former quarry providing 125 metres of deep spring water, a haven in the City. It was about 20c and felt OK to get in to. I got in quickly and swam for 20 – 30 minutes. At that point I was getting chilly, you had to keep moving or freeze!

outsoor swim Henleaze Lake
Straight in! Henleaze Lake, Bristol

They don’t have any fancy facilities – heated changing rooms, fancy showers but they do have a SAUNA! A great place to thaw out and heat up. After I was dressed I tried to type a text but I had uncontrollable shivers 🙁

It’s fabulous to swim outdoors, peaceful and exhilarating, I loved the experience. I used to swim 2 – 3 mornings a week before I moved to Warwickshire, now I’m back perhaps I should introduce swimming to my schedule. I loved it – and this lake swim reminded me of that but it also was nothing like an indoor, chlorinated, laned swimming circus……..

Do you like to swim?
Any wild/outdoor swim recommendations?

Thanks for reading.

 

Jen x

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

I love to have activity/fitness challenges read about some more here https://www.jenafitlife.com/fitness-challenges/

PS my cold disappeared after the outdoor swim 🙂

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Do you know what Functional Fitness is?

What is functional fitness?

Functional fitness means to me being able to handle real-life physically, be that digging the garden, changing the bed sheets or walking the dog or whatever your regular activities are.

Walking the dog!

As we get older it’s easy to get less mobile as joints stiffen up, aches & pains manifest themselves and moving gets more difficult. BUT it is for these reasons that it is really important to keep moving, to ensure you can get up off the floor or lift your grandchildren (or children) out of the highchair or car seat.

Whatever age you are, are you functionally fit?

Can you climb the stairs without gasping for breath? Can you get yourself in and out of a chair? Can you get into the bath? Or carry your shopping into the house? The list goes on ………

If the answer to any of these questions is NO, then its time to take some action. It’s not too late to address your functional fitness – start slowly; walk a little every day, join a class – Pilates is great. Get advice at your Doctors and have a look here at the NHS website for lots of health and fitness advice.

You may be attending a gym and able to lift weights or pull weights but does that translate to functional fitness? The gym machine workout isolates muscle groups, it doesn’t teach muscle groups to work together as they are required to do in real life activities. A good starting point might not be the gym machines but doing exercises in which you have to control and balance your own body weight.

Workout at home  – no-one can see you or judge you.

You can gain confidence, mobility and doing bodyweight exercises will help your functional fitness. Join an online gym, I have been working out at home with this great online gym for a few years now, it is second to none. There are many FREE workouts but for only £6.50 per month you can access 4 and 12 week training programmes, over 200.workouts and a supportive online community. Bargain!

Being fitter will result in so many health benefits, you may be surprised to hear that your mental health and sleep are very likely to improve. What’s not to love about doing some physical exercise on a daily basis?

Functional fitness is important for your independence and long term health. Regular strengthening exercises and using the right technique can make the world of difference and give you the freedom you deserve, so take action NOW.

functional fitness
Bringing the 20kg chick food in

 

Let me know; Are you Functionally Fit?

More information

MIND.org Fitness & Mental Health

mentalhealth.org Fitness & Mental Health

webmd.com working-out-for-real-life-functions

Thanks for reading.

Jen

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

Read my blog on Fitness Challenges here

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Fitness Challenges – What are your’s?

People are seeking ever increasing fitness challenges, what are your’s? 5k, Marathon? Triathlon? Heavier weights? Mud runs/ OCR?

It may be to lose weight, walk around the park, build a booty, improve your health outcomes, Whatever your fitness challenges are they are your personal challenges or goals.

Running

I’ve done a couple of half marathons…..with about 25 years between them! The first when the girls were under 5 and time was tight. The second whilst supporting my eldest daughter in her C25k, followed by her half marathon training and later she did the London Marathon…….the latter definitely not my bag, so time consuming….not to mention the pain. I supported her with this one by taking her drinks when she was doing a long run, running out to meet her and running the last couple of miles back with her and giving her massages!

The second half marathon was not really a planned goal, it was however a challenge!  As I said I was running with Alice as she trained for her first half marathon. After running 12 miles with her I questioned why I didn’t do my second half marathon. Unfortunately I couldn’t get into the one she was doing so we both booked onto one for about 3 weeks after. It was a glorious day and a lovely run which I managed in a very respectable 2 hours 4 mins, not bad for a 53 year old with dodgy knees. Shame I didn’t break the 2 hour mark tho’ cos I don’t plan to run another one!

Fitness challenges running
Half Marathon 2hrs 4mins

Wolf Run

A couple of years ago I did the Wolf Run, now that was great fun, very, very muddy and one to do with friends as you need to push and pull each other up and over obstacles. Woods…..Obstacles…..Lakes….Fields: a 10k run with tough natural and man-made obstacles, actually not a lot of running, lots of trying to stay on two feet in the mud, climbing, swimming and crawling! Definitely a fabulous fitness challenge!

fitness challenges wolf run
Wolf Run – just washed off crossing the river!

Walking

Walking is now my thing: Coast to Coast, ( in 3 sections), Cotswold Way and now Offa’s Dyke Path piecemeal. These walks are fitness challenges, completing good mileage to reach your overnight stop, on Offa’s Dyke we are carrying our luggage including 3 days worth of dog food! and climbing over 100 floors – the health app on my phone recorded 105 floors, over 30,000 steps and 19km covered on one day 🙂

 

Fitness Challenges walks
Offs’s Dyke Path – the end of Hatterrall Ridge

Online Gym

Generally my fitness challenges are almost daily, personal and in the front room …..my workout space! 

Julia Buckleys online gym programmes have a mix of HIIT, weights, weighted HIIT, flexibility work and cardio. Great for doing in your own time and space, no one watching, fabulous workouts and excellent programmes done for you!! Fantastic camaraderie and support on the website too.

fitness challenges online gym
Post workout – online gym
Training in my front room!

Your Fitness Challenge

Don’t be intimidated by the guys that want to do ultra runs/massive cycling mileage/ strong people events ( delete/ insert as appropriate) if you struggle to jog to the end of your road.   It is your fitness journey, your life, have fitness challenges that will change you. You’ll be rewarded by health benefits, oh and great satisfaction.

Let me know what your current fitness challenges are in the comments below.

Thanks for reading

 

Jen x

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Read about the further challenge from long walks here ….Blisters!    https://www.jenafitlife.com/2017/05/30/blisters-when-walking/

Further blogs on running:

Running – Most of us have done it

Running – How To Get Going

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