Summer break is something we all look forward to - unless it rains!
This year I will be holding 3 summer EXTEND classes at the Bourne 1.30-2.30 on:
Everyone is welcome and if you are looking to 'kick start' your Christmas fitness regime then why not start a few weeks early?
Looking for something to get you moving over the summer break? My Wednesday class is running throughout August.
Everyone is looking for the 'thing that ticks their box' and trying something new is often difficult, but at Medau you will be greeted with smiles.
There really is something for everyone, and if you are new to exercise or put off by loud music that you can't sing to or complicated routines, then this might just be for you!
Be brave and give it a go...the first class is free!
Yes, it has been hot.
A big thank you to everyone who has ventured out in the hot weather, and I am delighted to see everyone has been bringing bottles of water with them.
Keeping hydrated is important and the first step to preventing dehydration when you exercise is to make sure you are well-hydrated before you start exercising. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking about a pint of fluid approximately two hours before exercise to help ensure adequate hydration and to allow time to excrete excess water. Avoid beverages containing alcohol and caffeine, as they have a diuretic effect.
The amount of fluid that you should drink depends on how much fluid you have lost and how quickly fluid empties from your stomach. If you drink more than can empty from your stomach, the excess fluid will just slosh around uncomfortably. The easy way to tell if you are dehydrated is to check the colour of your urine, it should be pale yellow. If it's darker than that, you need to drink a bit more.
Everyone agrees that more salt is lost through exercise- induced sweating than by just sitting in a hot environment. But water or cold drinks might not have enough salt in them which may result in you not having enough sodium in your blood, a condition known as Hyponatremia. This can cause nausea, lack of appetite, vomiting, and headaches and in serious cases it can cause seizures, a coma, or even death. Hyponatremia is not a disease. It is a problem caused by something else, such as medicines or exercising for a long time in hot weather. You can get hyponatremia if you lose a lot of fluids and then you drink a lot of water or other liquids that don't have much sodium. You can also get it if you have kidney, liver, heart, or other health problems.
When going out and about choose loose, light coloured clothes, be sensible and do not go out and exercise in the extreme heat or at the time of the day when the sun is at its hottest. When you have finished exercising in the hot weather be sure to spend the re-hydrating in a cool environment, just sit quietly with a drink so your body will return to its normal body temperature and allow the re-hydration of the blood and cells to occur.
What ever exercise or physical activity you do the advice seems to be to make sure you have a drink before hand and a drink afterwards. Drink so your thirst is quenched - did you know that a drink of water can be very satisfying, but after the thirst has been quenched, drinking more can be unpleasant.
It doesn't matter what is happening in the world, you can be sure of one (or several) things when you join an EXTEND or Medau class:
1) No matter what else happens in the class, there will always be great music.
2) You will be with lovely people enjoying themselves.
3) You will be challenged.
4) You will do something you have not done before.
5) You will feel the satisfaction of perfecting a movement.
6) You will feel happier than when you arrived!
So, what have you got to lose? EXTEND on Monday and Tuesday and Medau on Wednesday, there is something for everyone whatever your ability.
On the way to my EXTEND class this morning I was wondering how people were feeling after the terrible news of the Manchester bombing. Knowing the majority of the class have grand children (and some have great grand children) that they are aunts and have family friends with children, I knew I had to do and say something.
Living alone, as many of the class do, they need time to talk about the news and many need physical comfort. So, half way through the warm up, we held hands and drew ourselves into a close circle. I turned the music off and we put our hands on the shoulders or round those on either side of us and shared a large comforting hug. We shared a short moment of thought, a quiet coming together taking comfort from each other.
The class resumed with happy songs, big moments, hand eye co-ordination and singing!
EXTEND is not just about the exercise, it is about sharing the good and the sad, finding support from each other and leaving the class in a stronger and better frame of mind than when you arrived.
If I look back at my early posters I can see a theme...move more, enjoy the benefits of exercising with friends, exercise your grey cells and find the 'thing' that helps you to keep fit.
After some 17 years my words seem to be holding true as more and more research tells us that exercising with friends is good for your mental health, co-ordination is great for the grey cells and doing 'what you can plus a little bit extra' is a great way to increase your daily physical activity.
The British Gymnastics have launched a new chair based programme for people with dementia, Love to Move, but when I look at my classes I can see that I challenge my members with physical tongue twisters- arms going in one direction legs in the other, remembering routines, phrasing of movements, putting it to the music and interpreting the music. Smiling, laughing and interacting with others. It is impossible to put a smile, laughter or spontaneous singing into a class plan; these things happen when people get together and have fun!
Keeping physically, mentally and socially fit is about doing something you enjoy and this week I saw that in the smiles of 3 ladies who have found the 'thing' they are looking for at my EXTEND and Medau class.
So, as the rain spreads across North London and we huddle in front of our TV's with comfortable mug of tea, think how you can increase our daily activity...you can always pop along to a class and see if it is the thing that 'ticks your box'.
It is Mental Health Awareness Week and it has been shown that dance, movement, exercise, music and being with friends can lift your spirits.
The brain is a complicated thing and our thoughts and feelings are personal and private. It is difficult to share a problem and we all find different ways of coping. Some go for a walk, others take up running, some try Mindfulness and others prefer other types of mental distraction.
Whatever your worries you can be sure that at an exercise class there is always someone who has been there, experienced something similar, they can identify with your worries but most importantly they can help you smile. The music will help to retune your mind into ‘the moment’ and find the chink of happiness that is hiding behind your worries.
Exercise with Tracy and combine dance, music, singing and friendship - give a class a try and you might find it is the thing for you!