We had a great time at the Supper Club last week with the brilliant Ian Parker.
Ian gave a fab Fit Steps taster class, and after a healthy supper we talked about the importance of movement in our daily lives.
I introduced the evening by asking people to share what comes to mind when they think about exercise…. there was a mixed response. Many people shared the positive associations with exercise like ‘getting into nature,’ but there were also several negative associations… like ‘feeling guilty’, ‘boring’… So, then I asked, ‘How does exercise make you feel?’ There was a pause, and I asked, ‘Well do you feel after your Fit Steps taster class?’ Thankfully, this time ‘Happily.’ was the response.
I think we are all pretty aware of the benefits associated with doing more exercise… it helps to improve our cardiovascular health, maintain a healthy weight, improves our cognitive performance, and it reduces our risk of numerous diseases such as Type II diabetes, Stroke, Heart disease, and much more…
However, are these really the factors that motivate us to exercise? Probably not. Exercise is an important part of my routine, and I do several types of exercise. My regular exercise of choice is running, yoga, swimming, and fit steps. and I get different benefits from each.
Running has great benefits for my mental and brain health. It helps relax me, but it also keeps me focused and clear headed, and really helps me come up with creative ideas. I can imagine my husband smile now as my regular line when I walk through the door after a run is, ‘I’ve had an idea!’ Exercising outside has the added benefit of helping you connect with nature. So, if running is not your thing, walking can certainly give you the same benefits! When we attended our first ‘Happy Hub’ event in Birmingham, I clearly remember one talk where they said ‘If you are feeling troubled, go for a walk.’ ‘If that doesn’t make you feel better, go for another walk!’ Running or walking in nature is perhaps the easiest thing we can do to improve our health and if you take a friend with you, even better! It’s a win win.
The impact of exercise on mental health is well documented and is often reported to be more effective or as effective as anti-depressant medication. So, if you are struggling to find the motivation to exercise, then why not take a moment to remember how it makes you feel. How often have you thought ‘I can’t be bothered to go to that class after a long day at work? But, when you have dragged yourself out the house, feel so much better after you have?
When I exercise, I am not thinking about the benefits it will have on my long-term health, I just know it makes me feel great and I will really enjoy it.
That is the other key point. I choose exercise that makes me happy. Fit steps with Ian makes me really happy as he is so funny and makes me laugh out loud! Laughter is another brilliant thing for wellbeing all on its own, but that’s maybe for another blog!
Ian has worked in the fitness industry for a very long time and he wholeheartedly concurs that people will only engage regularly if it is something they enjoy!
Sometimes people associate exercise with slogging it out in the gym. I certainly don’t do that. I am not a fan of the gym at all.
Dr Chatterjee prefers to use the word movement rather than exercise, and getting people moving more rather than feeling guilty about ‘exercise’ in a structured sense is far more helpful. Breaking up sitting with light activity can have huge benefits on your health. It is more helpful to consider how to include movement into your daily routine. This could be walking or cycling you work every day. Making movement a part of your daily routine is so much easier to maintain.
I have heard repeatedly that scheduling in healthy behaviours is key to making them happen. So, find something you really enjoy, put it in your diary, and do it repeatedly. Make it a regular part of your routine.
Clearly, I love Fit Steps, but if Fit steps doesn’t float your boat, how about trying out a different class, or taking up a sport that you enjoy, joining a walking/ cycling/ running club, or just arranging to do these with a friend? Several people said that doing exercise with a friend helps keep them motivated and adds more enjoyment into the mix!
Ian runs several different classes and runs a Nordic Walking group on Friday mornings. Please click on the link to check out his website for more details. Nobody’s Perfect
Our next Supper club will be focusing more on self-care, and when we went to this months ‘Happy Hub’ in Birmingham, there was a big sign saying, ‘Health care is self-care.’ Making time to look after ourselves is critical to our health and wellbeing. I am therefore delighted to welcome Julie Newman Seunarayan to share her knowledge on the subject. She has a long career in the wellbeing industry, and she will share her holistic approach to wellbeing from a background in beauty, yoga, personal training and hypnotherapy. She describes herself as a lover of life and bringing skin to life! Please check out her Facebook page for more information. Beauty on Demand
As per usual we will aim to make the evening as interactive as possible to ensure you get as much out of the evening as possible. Julie is going to teach everyone an arm or facial massage so that you can experience the benefits first-hand how massage can help relieve stress, whilst treating the skin at the same time!! It’s going to be another great evening I’m sure! Please book your place as soon as possible to avoid disappointment!!