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!
It was the last Medau class of term and we wafted our way into the summer break with large chiffon shawls (1mx1m).
We are a small and very friendly group in a hall that is big enough for us to move with the apparatus without the chance of meeting someone coming the other way. You can work at your own level and each class is a separate unit of movements that may never be repeated again - in that particular order to that particular piece of music. The class has come to appreciate the aesthetics of the movements and the timing of the music, today one lady said 'I can imagine this being done in a large space by lots of people!'
Some people think you have to be fit to join an exercise class but this Medau class is for anyone and anybody - co-ordination is not required and you can wear whatever you are comfortable in.
There is a full page advert in the local Potters Bar Eye so if you want to add some vibrancy to your week, exercise to music that you know without the heavy bass beat and enjoy moving to music - then give this class a try.
Wishing my Potters Bar friends a very happy summer and I am already looking forwards to seeing you all on Wednesday 12th September.
Today was the last Highlands EXTEND class of the term.
While we will all miss our weekly class, the natter and exercise it is important to have a rest - to do something different so we can return with new enthusiasm, rested bones and new stories to share.
But today there was an added concern. The extreme heat has kept many ladies away and while we all enjoy the sunshine it is simply too hot to exercise the way we want to so the summer break could be seen as a blessing in disguise.
With fond farewells we said good bye, wishing each other sunny days and cooler evenings and looking forward to seeing each other again on Tuesday 11th September.
The Monday EXTEND class remembered a dear class member this afternoon as we raised funds in her memory for the local Parkinson's Society group. It was a packed hall with several people from her FLexercise class who wanted to remember their friend.
Sometimes people try to find a class for a specific condition to ease specific issues but as class members will tell you, the most important thing is to move every joint, in every which way and encourage whole body movement so you feel stretched and worked without feeling exhausted. It does not just keep the doctor happy, but it keeps your joints (big and small) happy as well!
Over the years, as an EXTEND teacher and Course Director, I have arranged talks for teachers (CPD days) on numerous subjects from exercising after a cancer diagnosis to stroke, joint replacements and breathing issues. Without exception, every speaker has praised us as teachers as we adapt the class to those in front of us so that no one feels as if they are a special circumstance. The music is really important as it brings everyone together. There have been many times when we all wish we could bottle the atmosphere as everyone is singing and smiling but it is impossible to write a lesson plan to create a positive, vibrant and friendly atmosphere as it something that happens because the music, exercises and the people come together as friends enjoying a social class.
So, while many will say that their EXTEND class is good for their aching joints, their balance and mobility, they all agree that it does wonders for their social life.
This was the last Monday class of term, but if you want to exercise your bodies, brains and singing voices, then pop Monday 17th September in your diaries!
Wishing you a sunny and happy summer break and if you want to try a class then just email me on
We all agree it is far too hot for anything too strenuous but we adapt our classes so we all remain cool. But, while some people seek the shade it is important to get outside as the sunlight for your daily dose of free Vitamin D.
So, how can you get vitamin D from sunlight without increasing the risk of skin cancer? Have a read here and see how you can get your vitamin D for free.
Also, don't forget to make sure you drink plenty in the hot weather and make sure you are ready to cope with the heat.
We were delighted to welcome Alex from Hertfordshire County Sports Partnership during their This Girl Can campaign as part of their Year of Physical Activity. The Hertfordshire Year of Physical Activity, also known as ‘HertsYOPA18’, it is a year to focus on getting Herts moving. The year will run from 1st January – 31st December 2018 and there are four broad objectives:
1. Increase Physical Activity levels
2. Shift stubborn Inactivity levels
3. Celebrate what’s already happening
4. Encourage new programmes & events
June is very aptly This Girls Can and as Medau is recognised by the This Girl Can Campaign it seemed an ideal opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of Medau and how we help increase physical activity levels without going to the gym or jogging round the park!
I had planned a hoop class, starting with some very simple movements which once mastered were put together to different pieces of music so everyone felt stretched, worked and enjoyed a personal sense of performance and satisfaction. At the end everyone agreed that they had worked but their brains, laughing and smiling muscles as their bodies.
Alex commented on how friendly the class was. This is true of all Medau classes (and my EXTEND classes) as we do not just face the front and copy the teacher, we work with partners and we come together to work as a whole group so everyone feels included.
If you are reading this and have not yet tried a class but think you might fancy giving it a go, then don’t be shy, pop along as the first class is always free.
'Build your CV' is a constant cry from parents, you NEED a million dollar personal statement!
'But' mumbles the teenager struggling with school, homework, revision, sleep and chilling with friends...'I don't have the time!'
Across the country sports mad kids take Sports Leaders awards and Level 1 coaching certificates and then go back to their sports clubs and begin 'helping' the youngsters.
University students need to grow their CV's and while they have long summer holidays they may not know where to look for placements that are fun, rewarding as well as career building. A click in the right place could find them marshalling an arena event (free concert?).
A mum who now spends less time taxi-ing the kids about has time to herself. Saturday mornings used to be filled with kid friendly activities but now she can do what she likes...as long as it is free and the local Parkrun needs her timekeeping skills.
Retirement hits and dad has a vast amount of free time. Cycling used to be his thing but knees and other issues have stopped him from competing, but now he has time to train as an 'official' official.
For inspiration and signposts to volunteering opportunities click here and let the Sport and Recreation Alliance help you build your CV!
On Tuesday 5th June I attended the launch of the Sport and Recreation Alliances new central online tool to help local clubs and events connect with volunteers. The link is here.
Where would we be without volunteers?
The person doing the washing up on a Thursday afternoon after the Stroke Association meeting leaves the kitchen as spotless as they found it. Everything is in its proper place. If they didn't do this the cups would be left, the rubbish bin left over flowing so the next person would spend precious time clearing up. After a game at the local football club the players have a take away to celebrate their success (or drown their sorrows) - who empties the bin with their fish and chip wrappers and bags? Will the kitchen smell of kebabs and curry sauce be left to linger until someone opens a window and wipes down the surfaces with the kitchen cleaner and sponge left by the sink?
So, if you are feeling a bit lonely, get yourself dressed, put on clothes that make you feel good and confident and pop along to the local community club or church on coffee morning day and sit yourself down and introduce yourself to someone. Offer to do something you enjoy like knitting premature clothes for babies, weed the pavilion, water the hanging baskets, sort out the books or catalogue the photographs. You can be sure there are many jobs that need to be done and they might just be the very thing you enjoy and very soon your offer of time will make a difference. You will have a whole new set of friends, a purpose and something to look forward to other than the next episode of your favourite soap.
You never know...you might even help someone who is feeling the same loneliness that you felt.
Bone health is important and all forms of physical activity will help keep your bones fit for purpose and reduce the risk of falling.
At EXTEND I concentrate on leg strength, co ordination and balance and moving the joints to their fullest range of movement which includes stretching, reaching, big and small steps in all directions, knee and hip swings. Like my Medau class we use bean bags, clubs and hoops which add weight so making the muscles work just that bit harder. I try to make my class fun and friendly and while most of the exercises can be found on a physiotherapists exercise sheet the music and choreography makes it fun and enjoyable - more like a dance and less like rehab!
Medau class takes the apparatus work further. The hoops encourage a good stretch and full body movement, the club is a friendly weight and the balls are perfect for the shoulders and arms. Gymnastic ribbons tie us in knots and bean bags are great for hand eye co ordination. Chasing run away balls and rolling hoops the length of the hall gets the legs going and throwing a ball as high as you can gets the arms working.
Have you been inundated with emails asking you to review and accept privacy statements?
Is unsubscribing you new past time?
If it has been confusing for you then please spare a thought for the dance and movement instructors, sports coaches and volunteers who have been inundated with scare stories and emails from experts who want to sell us expensive GDPR compliance packages.
BUT, I have been lucky as EXTEND and Medau (and the EMD UK) are members of the Movement and Dance Division of the Sport and Recreation Alliance. The link to the M&D Members is here.
The Sport and Recreation Alliance provides 'advice, support and guidance to our members and the sector, who represent traditional governing bodies of games and sport, county sports partnerships, outdoor recreation, water pursuits, and movement and dance exercise.'
On March 19th 2018 Sport England commissioned the Sport and Recreation Alliance to lead a project to help the sector meet the legislative requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
They have worked tirelessly to create a pack of documents for its members.
If you belong to a sports club or organisation that is a member of the Sport and Recreation Alliance then you can access these documents to create your own GDPR package. Click here for the link to the member directory.
GDPR forms have been uploaded to various pages my web site. However, as people fill them out it becomes clear that they need to be tweaked - they need to be made a bit easier to read or people just need more room for their signature so before you print them out please refresh the page to make sure you have the most up to date version. Thank you.
Exercise With Tracy
EXTEND Exercise and Medau Movement teacher. Keeping the muscles working, the joints mobile and having fun!