What’s your story with exercise?

 

I really enjoyed the Supper Club last week. The theme was ‘Make exercise more than a New Year’s resolution.’ Our guest speaker was the lovely Esther Williamson who as a physio and researcher has a great deal of knowledge to share on the subject. As someone who is a regular exerciser, I still learnt plenty from the session.

As usual our lovely guests also had plenty to share on the subject and we had already learnt a lot from each other in the first few minutes.

It is also always so clear that we are all different with our individual needs and experiences.

We learnt how some people were already trying to make changes by simply moving more while putting the kettle on in the morning, whilst others had learnt they needed more restorative forms of exercise, having over-exercised in the past.

It was also clear that whilst some of us really enjoy exercise, for some it is undoubtably much more of a chore! Esther said that as a physio she is frequently asked ‘what is the best exercise I can do?’ I have always cheerfully said ‘the best exercise is the one you enjoy,’ whilst Esther’s perhaps more realistic version is ‘the one you will do!’

One lady said it has taken her a while to find the exercise she enjoys and feels it is important to try several different classes/ forms of exercise until you find ‘your thing’

However, if you, like some of our guests are still seeking ‘your thing’, please don’t despair. it really doesn’t have to be that hard!

The lady who has been moving about in her kitchen is on to something! Dr Chatterjee repeatedly encourages people to do a 5-minute kitchen stretch workout in the morning and does so himself while his coffee is brewing! He shares many case studies in his books of people getting huge benefit from short home workouts and has shown that if they are easy to fit in your daily routine, they very quickly became long term habits, with huge benefits to your health.

Esther concurs that if you only do one form of exercise, choose a strength workout every time. It is vital to keep our muscles, bones and joints strong as we get older. Those who fall into the over-exercising camp, will also get much better benefits from restorative strength exercises. If people are experiencing high levels of stress, then high intensity exercise will only make them even more exhausted and have very little benefit to their overall health. A strength workout combined with a relaxing walk in nature will probably have far greater benefit.

It is likely that we would all concur that walking is very beneficial to our health. However, when we are not under stress, it is also important to try and get our heart rates up, and for busy people a HIT workout has shown to be just as or more effective than spending hours on long training sessions. Esther is also keen that we become mindful of pushing ourselves a little bit each time to build our fitness levels.

One thing is for sure exercise has huge benefits for our health. It helps to improve our quality of life, manage stress, improve sleep, maintain a healthy weight and to help prevent a whole host of degenerative diseases.

So, as with most things in life, the moral of the story is to listen to your body and find something that suits your interests and your lifestyle.

It was such a lovely evening with plenty of laughter and sharing of stories which I think is the real highlight of the supper club for me. When we met to prepare the session, Esther had said she’d just like to facilitate a discussion, and this is exactly what she did perfectly.

She shared her own story and her initial challenges with exercise, having not been a fan of exercise herself. She was open and authentic which is why everyone responded so brilliantly to her and her story. I am hoping that people will feel more able to share their stories as the supper club continues as I really believe that we have so much to learn from each other’s stories and experiences.

I am excited that telling stories will be very much the theme of our Supper Club next month, as we are joined by the brilliant Sally Tissington on the theme on writing for wellbeing.  It is proving very popular already so please do book as soon as possible to guarantee your place! Harriet’s Healthy Supper Club

I would just like to give one last shout out to the brilliant people who run the exercise classes I really love just in case you might like to try them too. I would also like to suggest a few resources you can use at home and fit into your busy schedules…

For brilliant mix of boxing, HIT, and yoga, and so much more, please check out Su Menon’s wonderful Shaktifit classes

For yoga I can’t recommend Zoe’s classes enough

And for pure joy, please do try Ian Parker’s brilliant Fitsteps classes

But if you don’t have time in your busy schedules, and prefer to do a regular 5 minute workout at home please click on Dr Chatterjee’s 5 minute kitchen workout or 5 minutes Yoga with Adrienne…

Failing all of that, why not just put on a pair of trainers and try and get out in nature a bit more.

If you haven’t already, I really hope you find ‘your thing.’

 

 

 

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