A wonderful afternoon celebrating 20 years of delivering EXTEND Exercise with my 2 EXTEND classes with a celebration class and lots of cake!
Thank you to Judy for presenting me with my Gold badge and special thanks to Ann, Alison and Marna for making the long journey to be with me - was quite disconcerting having so many physiotherapists in the class!
Big thanks to my mother in law for tea duty and Louise for cake cutting.
It is impossible to think that way back in 2006 I suggested EXTEND presented Gold Badges to teachers of 20 years for long service and I am very proud and feel very privileged to be a Gold Teacher.
An interesting article, we don't run lift weights or cycle, but we all know and feel the benefits of working to music.
We pick the music to suit the exercise, the tempo to get the body moving, songs to encourage breathing and everyone agrees that a 'good tune' makes it easier and gives us the 'umph' to go that bit further.
We potter and dig, we weed and plant....and then we sit back to admire our hard work.
EXTEND and Medau will not give you green fingers but the class will help with the bending of the knees and leg strength for digging as well as mobility in the shoulders and arms to stretch to deadhead the flowers and pull out the weeds.
While we take delight in the flowers, leaves and ever changing colours knowing we have added to the bio-diversity of the world in which we live we are also helping our own mental health. I am not just jumping on the band-waggon, we have known for many many years that going outside and being active is good for you and how many of us fall into the chair with happy muscles, a smile and sense of satisfaction and accomplishment after a good session in the garden?
Monty Don (Gardeners World) says "By becoming in tune with the seasons of growth and fall, preparation and harvest you make your mind and body happier and healthier. By having a direct stake and involvement with the process of plants growing, of having your hands in the soil and tending it carefully and with love, your world and everyone’s else’s world too, becomes a better place." So, just popping out to see what is growing or if anything needs some tender loving care or to weed, dig or sow seeds these few minutes are enough to reset the mind, reboot the brain and get some fresh air into the lungs.
An hour outside with rolled up sleeves and sun hat is good for us physically and mentally - not forgetting your bones as the NHS website explains that ' for short periods with...forearms, hands or lower legs uncovered and without sunscreen from late March or early April to the end of September, especially from 11am to 3pm is an investment in your bones
So, take some of your housework outside and like Danny Kaye in the Court Jester and get better doing nothing!
Stay off your feet for a few days- is that really sound medical advice? Under normal circumstances we wouldn't think so but a very sore foot has made walking painful. Hence, chair rest.
But, as I teach exercise to the older person I can still remain active - can't I?
Medical science tells us to get up and move, that 'people who were physically inactive and sat for more than eight hours a day, had a 107 percent higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. This is compared to those who did at least one hour of physical activity per day and sat for less than four hours per day.'
The trouble is, when you start measuring your active time vs sitting you can be made to feel guilty for sitting watching a TV programme so you find yourself pacing the room, marching on the spot and running unnecessarily up and down the stairs.
The NHS says that 'To reduce our risk of ill health from inactivity, we are advised to exercise regularly – at least 150 minutes a week – and reduce sitting time.' and the original EXTEND Anatomy, Physiology and Kinesiology Book explains that moving is essential for the proper functioning of the internal organs.
While we all want to live longer, healthier lives we mustn't injure ourselves in the process, so walking miles upon miles, doing extra sessions at the gym may not be the answer. These extra minutes can be found pottering about in the garden, doing the housework or going shopping, simple everyday opportunities to get up and get moving.
For the historians, the motto of the Women's League of Health and Beauty, from which EXTEND grew was ‘Movement is Life’. We seem to have come full circle!
Exercise With Tracy
EXTEND Exercise and Medau Movement teacher. Keeping the muscles working, the joints mobile and having fun!