Mental Health & Exercise – Taking the First Step

Mental Health and Exercise – taking the first step.

Regular exercise has been proven to improve your mental health, by reducing the effects of stress, anxiety and depression, boosting your mood and self-esteem and helping to prevent the development of mental health conditions.

Here are our tips for taking that first step towards improved wellbeing in 2021.

 

1. First things first

We know stepping into the gym for the first time can be daunting, more so for those suffering from anxiety or fear of the unknown.

If this sounds like you, book a tour before your first visit. We can show you around the centre and all of our facilities, including all the steps we have taken to become Covid-secure. Understanding everything from the booking and arrival process to changing areas and where our classes are held will help make your first visit go smoothly.

Our Fitness Instructors can also show you how to use our gym equipment and even create bespoke training programmes.

 

2. Small steps

Choose an exercise routine that works for you and your lifestyle. Allocating one or two sessions a week is a manageable and sustainable way to begin. Some people find working out in the morning gives them a great energy boost to start the day, while for others an evening session guarantees a great nights sleep!

 

3. Mix it up

Not sure what’s for you? Luckily we have a huge range of activities on offer. Whether that’s running, lifting weights, taking part in a Zumba or Body Conditioning class, a game of squash or trying your hand at badminton! Try a few different activities and see what you enjoy.

 

4. Take it slow

While working up a sweat is great, low intensity exercise has been proven to be the best exercise for getting those endorphins flowing and improving your mood. Try swimming, yoga or pilates to feel calmer and more content post workout!

 

5. Have fun!

A fitness routine you enjoy is key to staying motivated. For some that may be group exercise classes, for others it could be splashing in the pool with their kids at one of our family swim sessions -anything that increases your heart rate, makes you breathe faster and warms you up counts!

 

6. Track your progress

Keep a diary to track your progress or download an app like Moodfit, a great way to monitor your mood, stress levels, exercise and sleep patterns and get actionable insights to keep you on track!

National Walking Month – May 2021

Now that the mornings and evenings are getting lighter for longer, May is the perfect time to start making walking a regular fixture in your routine. This gentle and low-impact exercise is ideal for anyone, no matter what your ability or age. It is also one of the most accessible ways to work out and stay healthy, whether it be a wander around your local area or a brisk march on the treadmill in your gym (for the rainy days!).

Take a look at some of the benefits of walking below.

Give your ❤️ some love.

As your heart is responsible for supplying oxygen and blood around your body, we can all agree that it is vital to keep this organ in top-notch condition! Exercise allows the heart to be more effective in delivering what your body needs to function. Maintaining this over time can help to reduce the risk of stroke, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, and osteoporosis.

A natural boost.

Due to the increased oxygen flow and blood circulation around your body when walking, this can help to give you a bit of an energy boost when you’re feeling tired or slightly lethargic. It can also increase natural hormones that help to elevate energy levels. A brisk walk can be beneficial when feeling stressed or anxious, or if you need some ‘time-out’.

Head, shoulders, knees, and toes!

Walking is a good all-rounder when it comes to workouts – you engage many muscles in your body including your calves, glutes, and abdominals. For an extra element, add a steady swing forward and backward alternating between each arm.

 

Walking Quick Tips

1.       Take the stairs instead of a lift/escalator.

2.       Go on a lunch break stroll.

3.       Don’t take the short-cut!

4.       Walk your pet, or ask to walk someone else’s!

5.       When walking on a treadmill, increase the incline so that it mimics walking uphill. If you are not sure how to do this, ask a staff member in the gym.

 

If you’re feeling up for a challenge and want to #WalkThisMay, take a look at the Try20 challenge checklist on the Living Streets website here.

Or check out more tips on their website here.

Getting ready for indoor group exercise classes!

There’s less than two weeks to go until indoor Group Exercise Classes return!

We hope to restart classes from Monday 17th May, subject to final government confirmation.

So, whether you have been desperate to work up a serious sweat in Body Combat, looking forward to a good stretch in Yoga class, or if you have just missed our brilliant instructors, there’s not long to go now!

We’ll be in touch shortly with further information including when bookings will go live.

Staying on Track

Staying on Track

Now we are back, how are your 2021 fitness goals looking? Whether you are just starting out on your fitness journey or a regular gym-goer, it always helps to have a target. From gaining strength to losing weight, learning a new skill or improving your overall health, nothing feels as good as reaching the goals we set out to achieve.

We understand it can be difficult to keep motivated and we could all use a little help now and then. So, if you need a little support, here are our top tips for maintaining a regular exercise routine all year round.

 

  1. Plan something for every session

When goal setting, a lot of people just set one long term goal and aim for that. However, if after a month you haven’t achieved it you can start to get disheartened and might question your commitment. Setting small, incremental goals will get rid of this. For example if you ran on the treadmill for 15 minutes one session, plan to run for 16 the next time and add 1 minute each time after. Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to hitting your targets.

  1. Set a deadline

This can work well with planning something for every session, as you can work out what improvements you need to make each session to complete your ultimate goal. This can also keep motivation high because when you start getting nearer the time you set for your goal you know that you aren’t far off what you set out to achieve.

  1. Write down your goals

There have been various studies regarding this, and the overwhelming consensus is that by writing something down you are around 40% more likely to actually do it. When writing these down they can be short or long term goals. So, when setting yourself targets, write them down (and share with others) and you’ll be more likely to achieve them!

  1. Reward yourself

Don’t wait for the end goal to reward yourself! If you are starting something new and hit a milestone you never thought you would then give yourself a reward. It doesn’t have to be extravagant even a simple reward can keep you motivated to achieve the next milestone.

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

If you’re struggling to stick to your fitness goals, are unsure of how to do a specific exercise or would like to try something new at the gym but aren’t sure how, we can help. You can speak to a personal trainer at one of our centres, check out our social media channels or read our other blogs, such as our top stretches for flexibility.

Win a Year’s Membership

Refer a friend and you could win a years FREE membership!

Get one entry into our monthly draw for every successful referral you make! The more friends and family you refer, the better your chance of winning.

Ask in centre for more information and make your first referral now!