After a class last week, a lady came up to me and said 'I feel so happy, I hope it lasts a really long time'.
We are being bombarded with the message that exercise is good for your mental health and there is no doubt that many exercise and fitness providers are jumping on that band waggon.
EXTEND was founded in 1976 and its mission has always been to promote:
"gentle exercise to music for older people and for anyone of any age with a disability. Our mission is to promote health, increase mobility and independence, improve strength, co-ordination and balance and to counteract loneliness and isolation."
By making the class client based, by using music the class likes, by combining functional and physio based exercise so that the body is worked through its full range of movement and by being in a group with like minded people.
It isn't contrived, it has not been created to 'tick boxes' but evolved from good practice, sound knowledge and years of experience. As one of the first providers of exercise for the older person, EXTEND is great for rehab, pre-hab as well as being a traditional keep fit class for anyone who wants to 'keep fit'.
Happiness can not be bottled, but somehow it is part of every class, so call or email me if you want to try a bit of EXTEND (or Medau) happiness for free!
Snow! More snow!
I have declared today a duvet day. I still got up at 7 (why?) and did the usual Saturday morning things but I then found a film and snuggled down on the sofa.
We are told that inactivity kills, and the “must work out every day” mindset over-rides one vital aspect of exercising effectively - giving our bodies (and minds) time to recover. We do not need to be active all day and every day - sometimes you need to sit and think, plan the week ahead or take a nap.
Did you know that it can take almost two weeks of non-activity before you start losing a noticeable amount of your progress or performance level? Don't feel guilty about a few hours enjoying your favourite film or reading a book, sewing or knitting as you have to rest to allow your body to catch up and strengthen and the muscles to recover.
Listen to your body. If it says, "my feet and legs are tired" then the planned walk and exercise class might not be such a good idea.
Exercising is a big time commitment and it is important to make time for other quality-of-life boosters such as catching up with family and friends, taking advantage of the nice weather or a sneaky duvet day!
Don’t think that taking a day or two off from exercise will set you back all that hard work you’ve put in, like 'work' you should find a healthy balance that works for you, your body and every aspect of your life.
Stephen Hawking, the physicist and author of A Brief History of Time has died at his home in Cambridge on 14 March 2018 and the world is celebrating his achievements and mourning his loss. In 2016 he said that "However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don't just give up" and that has been the motto of so many of our EXTEND class members and teachers.
With class participants with heart and respiratory conditions, knee and hip replacements, restricted movement of the shoulders, aches and pains as well as a multitude of other medical conditions, every day worries and anxieties we are often asked how we plan and deliver a class with so many things to consider. The answer is simple: we look into the eyes, find the smile and work to encourage full functional movement. This is achieved with a careful combination of exercise, music, social interaction and fun. We work hard to make the classes fun, because no one goes to a class if it boring and beyond their capabilities.
I remember a lady who was so poorly that all she could do was tap her fingers to the music. After a few minutes her pale fingers were pink and after humming a few songs the colour had returned to her cheeks. I recall a gentleman who was so determined to wear proper trousers rather than 'slip on and off' track suit bottoms that he practiced his hand exercises daily. Small movements with maximum impact!
It is not exercise for the sake of it, we don't do it because the doctor tells us to - we do it for those who don't just give up!
Ohhhh...it is so good to be back.
The Beast From The East and Storm Emma was a good excuse to catch up on all of the TV programmes I have been meaning to watch, but it doesn't match the sing-along joys of exercising to good music.
When you lead a busy life, a day in is a nice change, but being 'indoors' with just the TV and radio for company is 'every day' for some people. If you know someone who could do with getting out of the house, then bring them along, the first class is always free!
Happiness is exercising with friends!
Exercise With Tracy
EXTEND Exercise and Medau Movement teacher. Keeping the muscles working, the joints mobile and having fun!