'Tell me something I didn't already know' is a constant cry of an EXTEND teacher.
Every now and then a new study that reveals that exercise is good for you - especially exercising to music and in a small friendly group.
A recent article in Multiple Sclerosis Today says that researchers reported that “Movements, whether structured (exercise) or unstructured (physical activity) were deemed meaningful and relevant for living life with MS. Also, it was the ability to integrate physical activity in everyday life activities that gave it prominence,” Click here for the full article
Why isn't this a big surprise?
Every EXTEND teacher has someone with an underlying medical condition - it could be MS, Parkinson's, cancer, stroke...but our classes are designed for those with underlying medical conditions, as well as the naturally ageing body (yes- it happens to everyone).
EXTEND teachers are trained to deliver classes that:
We welcome those who find other classes intimidating, too fast or inappropriate.
The weather is turning autumn is on the way- or so the weather man says.
With the colder weather we tend to stay indoors and do less - who wants to go walking in the rain?
But, you can, according to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists, work at home to help maintain your leg strength and balance.
Make sure you have the space, sturdy chair and see if 6 simple exercises do make your legs stronger.
BUT please make sure the area in which you are working is safe - take care with rugs, carpets, cats and dogs...slippers and telephone wires - in other words make sure the area is safe so you will not fall, trip or slip!
Remember, you do these exercises at your own risk.
Better still...why not come to a class where we do all of these exercises each week when you can do so much more than 6 exercises to songs you can sing to! Click HERE to go to the Exercise with Tracy Facebook page to see the video.
The Get Up and Go document has some useful information if anyone is worried about falls and trips
How fit are you? Can you sit and stand?
Leg - and thigh- strength is really important and something we work on in every class. Doing as many sit to stand as possible is great but this video does not take knee replacements, sore hips, back issues or breathing into account. I just tried it on 2 different chairs and got 2 different results! The thing to remember is that thigh strength is important and practicing sit to stand is a valuable exercise.
Why? Well, think about how often (and when) you stand and sit. For meals at home and out, coffee mornings, knitting circle, bridge club or book club? On the bus, in and out of the car, the bath and toilet, hair dressers, doctors surgery, dentist chair.
The video shows lots of people doing this in so many ways, but here is something I have used in class. Remember...if you hurt yourself it is not my fault...only try this if you are 100% sure you can do it, that your knees, hips, back, and breathing can cope without too much effort and you have a sturdy chair that will not slip as you sit and stand!
1) Find a clock with a second hand and make sure you can read it. Your phone has a stopwatch.
2) Push a sturdy chair against a wall (to prevent slippage as you sit and stand) - making sure you can see the clock and the chair is completely safe. Uneven floor? Rugs, carpets? Make sure the cat or dog can't get under your feet. This can be quite strenuous so make sure you have your puffer etc to hand just in case you feel a surge of energy and have an Olympic moment and try to break the world record!
3) Stand with the back of your knees touching the chair so your body knows it is there and sit down.
4) Stand up trying not to 'hover' with straight legs and good posture - do not be tempted to cheat and only go half way!
5) Lower yourself back to sitting, if you need to feel the chair with the tips of your fingers when lowering into sitting then do so, but try not to use your hands to push yourself up. Always end seated.
6) Do a few to get the feeling and then move away for a minute or so to let the muscles do something else for a few minutes.
7) When you feel ready, return to the chair and see how long it takes to do 10...or if you prefer how many you can do in 10 seconds.
If you manage 1 a second you should do 10 but if knee or hip replacements, breathing or heart issues make it difficult then don't worry just see how many you can do.
If your number is a bit low then practice by doing a few every day, walk up some stairs (and down again) to strengthen the muscles in your leg, but don't over do one muscle group, be sure to move in all ways every day.
If you think you need to strengthen the muscles and get a bit fitter and mobile but you do not fancy working wth weights or machines, then a general exercise, whole body movement to music class might tickle your fancy. If you are looking for a class but you are too busy enjoying the summer weather then don't worry, pop these dates in your diary and join us in September.
All classes, except the Monday EXTEND class, resume the second week of September:
No Medau class on Wednesday 19th September.
I hope to see you soon.
It is hot, how do I know? The parks are empty and when I stand in the garden I cannot hear the children playing.
While I miss the classes, the ladies, the singing and fun I am so happy we are on summer break as I know that my class members are only too happy to stay in the relative coolness of their homes rather than venture out to class. You know how it is, the air conditioning in the car only kicks in when you reach your destination. Your bottle of water is not as cold as you would like it and then you get home the house is warm and stuffy as the windows and garden door has been locked shut!
Then there is the matter of sleep deprivation. Just how do you get to sleep when every fibre of your body is telling you to go and stand in front of the open fridge? If you decide to keep the bedroom window open then the street light keeps you awake. Someone suggested putting your pillow in the freezer? Has anyone tried this?
So, what do I do? I put glasses of cold water in the fridge (glasses are easier than jugs) and I run cold water over my wrists and to prevent the ever so elegant condition known as 'cankles' and put my feet up and wait for the temperature to drop.
One thing is for sure, we will all enjoy the rain when it decides to fall!
Exercise With Tracy
EXTEND Exercise and Medau Movement teacher. Keeping the muscles working, the joints mobile and having fun!