Tag: 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

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!

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

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!

A new chapter – mobile massage!

I won’t beat about the bush. I’m taking my massage business “on the road”, I’m going mobile! The new chapter is mobile massage!

I’ve decided to do this after I was given notice on my room in South Kilworth. The beauty business from whom I rented a room are expanding. I wish them well and thank them for a great space over the last few years.

My Massage Experience

I have over 14 years experience as a Remedial Massage Therapist. Many loyal and long standing clients, who have regular massage to maintain good health and mobility. And others who come back when a problem emerges. Both are a brilliant testament to my treatments.

Read more about my treatment here and testimonials here.

I have clients covering about 8 different decades in age range. and varying health conditions. Golfers, gardeners, triathletes, marathon runners and everything in between. Take a look at My Massage Experience A to Z series on my blog #justforfun with some great information on massage techniques, muscles and conditions.

My Training

I undertook my training with the Northern Institute of Massage http://www.nim.uk/ and I belong to the professional body LCSP http://www.lcsp.uk.com/along with being a  member of CNHC http://www.cnhc.org.uk/ .

More information about these professional bodies can be found here.

My Info.!

I will still predominantly be working Mondays and Wednesdays, with the occasional Saturday, but I may be able to accommodate other days by arrangement.

The best way to contact me is by text on 07748852305, or email jenallenmassage@gmail.com, if you do ring please leave a message and I’ll return your call.

Special Offers

To see special offers, including my Super Saver Saturdays
Follow me on twitter @jenafitlife   https://twitter.com/JenAfitlife
and LIKE my Facebook page  https://www.facebook.com/jenallenmassagetherapy/

 

I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Jen x

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

Twitter @jenafitlife

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Runners, Cyclists, OCR, gym goer – whatever is your thing a regular massage is great for helping your training!  https://www.jenafitlife.com/running-how-to-get-going/

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/

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!

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!

4 Pillars for Good Health

I believe there are four pillars for good health. We all know that regular exercise will help us to have a healthier heart, reduce health risks and help our mobility (have a read of my Functional Fitness blog) but doing it is another matter. However there are three other things which are equally important, in my opinion, to good health and a happier life. They are what we eat, what we think and quality sleep.

Good Health Pillar 1 – Let’s start with what we eat.

Understanding the value of what we put into our bodies (nutritionally) might influence what we do eat. I’m not a Dietitian or Nutritionist but there is lots of advice and information “out there”, and it doesn’t have to be complicated, cool or the latest fad or super food.  Take a look at these websites     http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/healthy-eating/Pages/Healthyeating.aspx  and http://nicsnutrition.com/about-me/

You may be better placed spending your time looking in to this than paying out for something like Slimming World, Weight Watchers, Aloe C9 Cleanse, Joe Wicks (The Body Coach),  Lighter Life or the like.  These may help with support and motivation (see my thoughts on mindset below) but really developing your understanding of the basics of a good diet will give you lifelong sustainable skills not short term restrictive plans.

You have to look at what you are nourishing your body with as a long term life change; rebel against the modern society of quick fixes – they don’t exist and only send you into a spiral of despair when the results don’t come or are not sustained. Only YOU can lift yourself out of this cycle and YOU CAN. Take responsibility. Take control.

pillars of good health -food
Preparing coleslaw!

You need to develop a new and good relationship with food, it is not a crutch for your emotional state (if anything it fuels that cycle). Food is the fuel that makes our brilliant bodies work properly. It is the petrol for our car, and our car is the very top model, the very best, most exquisite, a fantastic feat of engineering – we should and will be very proud of it. But we need to look after it, putting the right fuel in will go a long way to getting it to run in Formula 1 condition.

Discovering what good food is and beginning to understand the detrimental effects foods can have on your body. Like those containing too much sugar or processed foods containing many additives (chemicals) to make them taste good or keep longer. You can then change the balance and variety of foods you consume, this will have amazing results on your well-being. Just give it a go! 

Good food is not an expensive or time consuming option. Aldi and other supermarkets sell fabulous products at great prices, and nutritious meals can be put together in minutes. Look here for inspiration; https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/15-minute-meal

 

pillars of good health - food
Eggs – a great food!

Good Health Pillar 2 – Mindset

I know it is a “chicken & egg” situation, I believe having the right mindset is imperative to getting your head around eating well. You will find that as your body adjusts to this new fuel you will feel energised and motivated perhaps to tweak your foods even more or get out for a walk, swim or cycle. One will support the other and you will gradually feel happier, healthier and motivated to carry on this journey.

You need to be committed to make changes – whatever your motivation

  • health scares; breathlessness, racing heart, joint pains
  • aesthetic reason “nothing fits” , I’m not going to buy the next size up
  • social reasons; you want to join friends on that hiking/cycling/beach holiday
  • family reasons; I can’t play with the grandchildren or help my ageing parents

The reason will be personal to you, the solution will be personal to you and the resolution yours alone.

Good Health Pillars

I have written blogs previously on mindset and sleep, and often write about fitness and will be writing more about these pillars of health shortly, so 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 have any advice on food choices?

Thanks for reading.

 

Jen x

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

Read more about sleep and health here; http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/tiredness-and-fatigue/Pages/lack-of-sleep-health-risks.aspx

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

This post contains an affiliate link.

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!

Update 22/8/17 further blogs posts

on sleep; https://www.jenafitlife.com/sleep-pillar-of-good-health/  and mindset; https://www.jenafitlife.com/mindset/

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

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National Walking Month – Do you walk regularly?

May is National Walking Month, here you can find out more about why walking is good for your health and how I get my walking in!

Dog walk
Regular dog walk fun!

Do you get in 10,000 steps a day? Should you? Is that the recommendation?

Walking is a great way to get fitter, lose weight and begin to take charge of your health. It is simple, needs no equipment and can be done anywhere.

Most people are able to walk, it is a low-impact exercise – easy and free! It is shown that walking can have very valuable health benefits:
– reduces your risk of heart disease
– reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes
– helps with weight loss
– exercise improves your mood
– improves your sleep
– it is energising
and getting outside will boost your vitamin D
(Source http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2015/09/11/daily-walk-benefits.aspx )

Interested in doing more walking? The advice is simple comfortable clothes and shoes and take some water if it’s hot or you’re out for a long time. Try to make walking part of your daily routines – the school run, walk to work or the shops, take the stairs, go for a stroll after dinner, in your lunch break or when you get home from work. For more advice and suggestions take a look here http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/getting-started-guides/Pages/getting-started-walking.aspx

So 10,000 steps? We are advised to do at least 150 minutes of moderately intense activity such as fast walking every week (as well as strength exercises on two days a week) . 10,000 steps equates to about 5 miles, and will generally include 30 minutes of moderately intense walking thus meeting the suggested healthy activity.

If you are interested in improving your health outcomes and grabbing some of these great health benefits, the NHS websites offer some good advice. Programmes like WalkActive offer scientifically effective walking techniques to ensure correct postural alignment. If you’d like to progress to running the Couch to 5k programme starts with a good walk!

I found getting a dog meant I easily walk my 10,000 steps and it certainly means I keep fit and healthy, although this option obviously comes with other obligations and responsibilities. I have explored some of these here http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/get-a-dog/ .

stick walk
Rufus always likes a stick on his walk!

I love to take walking holidays, with friends and my dog! We have together walked the Coast to Coast, a 192-mile unofficial and mostly unsignposted long-distance footpath in Northern England, from St Bee’s to Robin Hoods Bay. You can read a little about that here on the Good Dog Guide website https://www.thegooddogguide.com/blog/a-big-dog-walk/.

C2C Walk
On the Coast to Coast Walk

We have also walked the Cotswold Way, a 102-mile long-distance footpath, running along the Cotswold Edge escarpment of the Cotswold Hills. Currently we are walking Offa’s Dyke Path, following the English/Welsh border for 177 miles alongside the 8th Century Offa’s Dyke. We have walked from Chepstow to Kington and have the next stage planned for July! Read about this adventure here http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/walkoffasdykepart2/

OD Walk
Walking Offa’s Dyke

I’m not suggesting you need to start planning epic walking holidays, it is a great way to see our beautiful country, but adding more walks into your life is a fabulous way to get fitter and healthier. Why not give it a go!

Let me know about your walking experience.

 

Thanks for reading

 

Jen x

Twitter @jenafitlife

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