Fitness & Lifestyle news & updates 11 March

A list of our Fitness Pilates/Yoga + resistance workouts and classes in Colinton and Craiglockhart, Edinburgh is on the Classes Where/When page so have a look and join us this week for improved fitness, strength and flexibility.

I heard recently that we’re encouraged to know our cholesterol and blood pressure numbers as well as they know our PIN numbers.

These numbers help to flag early warning signs of cardiovascular disease, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.  Poor heart health can lead to heart failure, kidney disease, arterial diseases and dementia.  According to one dietitian on diet and exercise to keep your heart healthy, she recommends: a heart-healthy diet is a balanced diet.   It’s generally accepted that the Mediterranean diet is an example of a heart-healthy diet but says that it’s not just the diet, it’s the lifestyle.  It’s a diet consisting of plant-based foods, whole grains, flavourful herbs and spices, fish and seafood a couple of times a week, poultry, eggs, cheese in moderation, while sweet treats and red meat are consumed in portion-controlled amounts.  It’s also about being active, managing your weight and stress levels, and having the odd siesta now and again!  For more info on heart health, visit the British Heart Foundation’s website at bhf.org.uk

A balanced healthy diet and lifestyle inc keeping ourselves hydrated, getting enough exercise and being active, rest and quality sleep are important but so is mental health too.

The Mental Health Foundation has identified 10 ways to promote good mental health and they are:

1) talk about your feelings

2) keep active

3) eat well

4) drink alcohol sensibly

5) keep in touch with others

6) ask for help

7) take breaks from what you’re doing

8) do something that you’re good at and you enjoy

9) accept who you are and be kind to yourself

10 care for other people.

Talking of exercise and keeping active, did you know that back extension exercises help to increase hip flexibility and aids thoracic spine mobility?  One of the exercises that we do in our classes to help with this is Shoulder Bridge

Lie with your back on a mat and knees bent, feet planted on floor at hip-width, and arms by your sides.  Starting in a neutral spine position, push your lower back to the floor and peel off each lower then mid vertebrae from the floor, one at a time pressing through your feet to bring hips off the mat.  Keep your feet and knees hip-distance apart and your head and shoulders firmly on the ground.  Once in Bridge position, squeeze your glutes, push your hips up to the ceiling and slowly return each upper/mid then lower vertebrae back down to the mat.  Ensure that you return the lumbar curve back to neutral and continue shoulder bridge a few times.  You might want to inhale through your nose while you lie with your back on the floor and as you lift each vertebrae off the mat/floor, brace in your abdominal muscles and exhale.  Similarly, ‘at the top’/in Bridge, inhale to prepare to return your spine down and as you actually return each vertebrae, again exhale while pulling in your abs.

Shoulder Bridge

As you know (if you regularly come to any/all of our classes), I like to include squats in our workouts because they build strength in the major muscle groups of our lower body which includes not just the quads, but glutes and hamstrings too.  Squats are a functional exercise because they mimic movements that we do everyday ie sitting down and getting up from a chair.  They’re also a weight bearing exercise which helps develop strong bones ie bone density in our lower body and spine too. 

One day last week, I decided to try out my resistance band which was attached to a fixed point and squatted down while holding on to the ends of the band and found it to be very effective.

Who doesn’t love a squat or 2….or 10 or …

Quotes that I like & hope you like them too:

‘All your dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them’ – Walt Disney

What others think of me is their choice.  What I think of myself is my choice.  Think nicely of yourself – unknown

‘Happiness is not something ready made.  It comes from your own actions’ – Dalai Lama

‘Life may not be the party that we’d hoped for but while we’re here, we should dance’

I look forward to seeing you this week for more fitness, fun, exercise/stretch options & variations while we’re working towards improving our flexibility, strength, posture and balance too.

Take care

SUSAN

Contact me by email: info@complementaryfitness.co.uk

www.complementaryfitness.co.uk

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