Be Active

Can anyone do yoga

Can anyone do yoga – yes is the answer

Recently I was asked by a potential client what was necessary to maintain her current fitness and health levels as she progressed through her next decade.  I was reminded of how easy it is to fit exercise and activity into life pre children and how challenging it can become as our bodies seemingly deteriorate in the mirror

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But… having recently returned from a much deserved (even if I have to say this myself) joyous week of yoga, red wine and cheese in the South of France I can put out an alert that no matter your age or current levels of strength, endurance, flexibility or fitness generally it is wonderful to practise yoga.

There are so many different types from the more powerful and aerobic, to the more restful and meditative, everyone can find something to suit them. It really is worth searching out different classes and different instructors.  My yoga of choice in my 30s was Ashtanga – but having moved on in years and had children to occupy my time, it seemed difficult to absorb a class into the weekly routine.

Needing some breathing space this summer and having two weeks free when my children would be with their Dad,  I somewhat impulsively googled, and lo and behold found myself at La Roane with Janaki and Davey from Brighton – yoga instructors supremo.  What a pleasure.  Age range: 28 – 77.  Yoga experience – immeasurable.  Most flexble yoga bunny? 67… ankles behind the ears indeed!  From sea kayakers swimming in cold pools at 7am, walkers investigating caves, to 77 year old three times per week spinners, my yoga group was inspiring, exciting and enthusiastic about life and all it has to offer.

So when I speak to my client regarding what is necessary to maintain current fitness levels I will be remarking from a research perspective that yes… we have to do more and be more active to try and maintain our bodies, but the most important thing of all is to find the activity or exercise which you will love and enjoy, and which will continue to give you pleasure and fun, no matter what age you are.  And I have found my yoga mojo again… Hurrah.  Thank you Hannah for my fab photo, and thank you Cherry for being a flexible friend.

Be Active, Behaviour Change

My Harvard 10,000 steps

I’ve just returned from a week in Boston.  Amazing trip.  I stayed with friends and took a course at Harvard Medical School, the Blackburn Course in Obesity Medicine.  This is such an all-encompassing course  it makes you feel really up to date with the very latest in health research regarding weight management.  We were certainly made aware that weight management is a really new science, and for researchers there are more unknowns than knowns. In spite of the wealth of diet books  everywhere what works for you as an individual can be completely different to what works for the person at the next desk.  But whenever you make an attempt at trying to achieve anything with regard to healthy living,  remember this as progress in the right direction.  I, of course, am reminding myself of this as I am still working towards an average of 10,000 steps per day.  Interestingly although my course began at 8:00 am every day and did not finish till 5:30 pm, I managed to achieve my 10,000 steps daily.  I think when immersed with like-minded individuals a subtle pressure is exerted, which you rise to.

So the expectation attending a course such as this, is that the attendees, because we are all aware of the health risks associated with unhealthy lifestyles and being overweight is that we live the optimum healthy lifestyle.  So I did, last week anyway.   As I mentioned earlier, it’s all progress in the right direction.

Over the next few weeks my intention is to post some of my learnings from my course at Harvard, elucidating some of the very latest research.  And, as always, will be making practical suggestions regarding how to map and absorb these learnings into every day life.  Look forward to it.

My attempts at 10,000 steps… Progress in the right direction.

Be Active

10,000 steps – sometimes easier said than done

10000-Steps

If you’ve read my profile you’ll know how easy it is for something to get in the way of my leading a more active life than the one I have planned in my head.  So after achieving my 10,000 steps per day for a whole week just a short while back, my children were absented from school for 14 days(!) to enjoy a mid-term break and to allow the school to move premises.  This upset to what I would now like to call ‘my routine am walk’ led to a decline in the number of steps achieved to such an extent that I stopped wearing the pedometer altogether.  Midterms included a trip to Kent, a 5 day stay with a friend in Newcastle, heaps of kids, bottles of red wine, shared strawberry cheesecake, then lime cheesecake,  doritos and chocolate.  Thank goodness those boys are back to school because whoever was living in my head whilst I was away forgot all about the healthy lifestyle to which she aspires.  And having gotten out of the habit of wearing my pedometer I then forgot to clip it on first day back to school.  Never mind – it’s on now!  And we can only plan the future, not the past.

Planning

My planning for the future includes a commitment to my pedometer for 2 weeks this time.  I figure if I can achieve 10,000 daily steps for 1 week I can certainly achieve it for 2 – and I suspect you can also should you so wish. The school moving premises has in fact made this a whole lot easier.  I clocked 3,000 steps through my drop off, and another 3,000 with my pick up.  I am sitting at under 8,000 here at 4:30p.m. showing me the little movement that was achieved the rest of the day as I sat at my computer.  I figure if I add a detour after drop off in the am I can add another 1,000 steps in pretty easily.  Determined. Determined. Determined.  It’s just for 2 weeks, so we’ll see how I go.  Getting excited about it now.  Here I come with another star chart for myself.

Top tips for best pedometer usage

1. Wear your pedometer every day  – you know it makes sense.  You will capture a picture of how inactive/active you are day to day.

2. After your first week of clocking your steps calculate your average.  If not meeting your 10,000 steps quota for healthy living increase your current output by 1,000 steps per day for one week.

3. Draw out a chart and work yourself with time towards the 10,000 goal.  Don’t think about how long this will take – just think day by day, and week by week.  Then work yourself towards the big number.

4. Reward yourself at the end of each week with a non-food treat. Before you know it the summer will be here and you will be a walking machine – just like me in my head!

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