In 1946 the World Health Organisation advised us that, ‘…regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health…’ We cannot escape the nagging fact that we all need to move and stay active to maintain our health and wellbeing.
‘Movement is Life’ was the original ‘tag line’ (before tag lines were invented) for a pioneering women’s exercise organisation founded in the 1930’s. Although the name, The Women’s League of Health and Beauty may be outdated now, the ‘tag line’ is as true today as it was then and the organisation (under the name of FLexercise) is still going strong. This remains the mantra and motivation for my Strengthen & Stretch Weekly Workouts. There are thousands of fitness apps and exercise classes out there, but we need to find one that suits us and that is achievable and doable. We all know it’s healthier to exercise on a regular basis but how many of us actually keep going with classes and gym memberships that we enthusiastically sign up for at various times of the year? In January, those new year’s resolutions start so earnestly but wane by the end of March if not before; at Easter time as the warmer weather begins to arrive and the layers come off, there is another purge. But the truth is we should all be moving every day for our own fitness not just for how it makes us look but because ‘movement is life’ and the more we move the better we will feel. Our joints need to be mobilised and the muscles around them strengthened to enable us to move freely.
Physical fitness needs: cardiovascular, muscle strength, flexibility and muscle endurance, workouts; which in turn help to improve our emotional/mental wellbeing, as well as our medical fitness. This can sound a bit daunting if you are not ‘into’ exercise and many people tell me I’m lucky because I do love to have a dance; to go for a cycle or a walk, so it is arguably easier for me to fit it into my day. However, I have not met anyone, after many years of taking classes and one to one sessions, who feels worse after a workout, a walk or run, who wishes they hadn’t done it! Also it needs to be noted that I never look forward to a run or a hard cycle! Every time I go for a run I always have the makings of a ‘reluctant runner’s blog’ ringing in my head for the first 10 minutes at least! But once settled into a pace it’s actually great for enjoying the outdoors and having some time when all you can think about is breathing and moving one leg in front of the other or pushing those pedals round to get up a steep hill, the everyday stresses and strains are pushed to the back of your mind! Perfect!
We all need to keep our bodies active and moving; like a machine if you leave it for a period of time without using it, it will need a service to get it going again. Our bodies are the same. Without regular movement we will cease up and moving becomes harder. So why not get some physical activity planned into your week? Set aside some time (if you had an important meeting you’d fit it in!) and goals – realistic ones, and go for it!
Now, with this in mind, I’m off to do a Strengthen and Stretch Workout for half an hour, followed by an invigorating 3o minute run or walk; before relaxing with supper on the sofa in front of the tv; my guilty pleasure when I’m home alone!!