Stay Inside, Stay Fit and Keep Exercising!

I am writing this on our last day (hopefully our last day, if our flight leaves this evening) after four and a half years of living in Jersey.  It’s not how I had envisaged and planned our final few days here.  Instead of: some last workout filming on the beach, or the beautiful terrace of our rented apartment, evening socials with good friends, not to mention improving my golf with lessons swapped with exercise sessions with the best island pro, Alex Mollin, playing golf with the Tee Birds, and a final hop across to St Malo for the weekend, we are rapidly packing, rushing to the airport on what will probably one of the final flights off the island for a while (as long as it isn’t cancelled)!  But, we will be back to collect our cars (all ferries cancelled so they’ve been abandoned at friend’s houses, thank you Kate and Martin. Oh my goodness – as typing that the packers have just come in to take my desk!!) and to say a proper goodbye in due course; but for now we are leaving this beautiful island behind and heading home.

There are many great things to have come out of our short time in Jersey. The one I am most proud of, is the setting up of Strengthen and Stretch.  Born out of leaving my beloved exercise class members when we moved here, and rather reluctantly agreeing to video myself doing exercise sessions and sending them the links to follow at home.  I am pleased to say that Strengthen and Stretch is flourishing and I am very proud of all my exercisers. In fact that they have all now agreed to me putting the sessions online for free during these strange, corona virus hit times; meaning more people can access the workouts at home.  The money they have already paid me for these weeks will go to a virus related charity.

Before I started rambling the main aim of this blog was to reiterate why we must all try to exercise even though we are isolated at home.  Exercise is not only vital to maintain strength and flexibility but it really, really does make you feel better mentally too.  I receive messages every week from members who say, “I really didn’t feel like doing that workout, but now I’m feeling so good!”

So, in these tough times, whether you do a workout at home and build it into your daily routine or go for a long walk, run or cycle, let’s all keep moving.  Your body and your mind will thank you for it.

When walking, go for at least half an hour and quicken your pace from time to time to get yourself warm enough to take a layer off.  Our evolutionary past involved lots of walking and it remains one of the best ways to keep fit.  It helps to maintain both bone and muscle mass which is important in keeping us fit and healthy.

When exercising try to use a whole range of muscles; a reason why a Strengthen and Stretch workout is so good for you.  Work muscles you don’t usually use or think about.

Push yourself beyond your normal comfort zone.  Don’t just settle for what you always do.  Do a few more reps, use weights and use your own body weight too.  At least twice a week try to exercise a little harder or longer than your norm.

I strongly believe that the most important thing is to make whatever exercise you do a habit.  Make it part of your daily and weekly routine.  Whilst we are all facing more time at home, why not start or end each day with a bit of exercise, a workout, some stretches, a run, walk, whatever you choose.  Add it to your, to do list, whether mentally or on paper and feel good when you tick it off. 

Exercise is so good for our general wellbeing, improving our overall ability to recover from and fight off disease.  So now is the perfect time to fit some form of it into your day!  If it helps or sounds like something you’d like to try have a look at my workouts online and join in at home for free.  No hard sell to become a paid up member once this is all over, just something I can do now to help out in these strange times.  So, stay inside, stay well and keep moving!  Hopefully by the time I post this blog, I will be back in Hampshire and looking forward to continuing the online workouts as well as resuming my small group sessions in my Studio – fingers crossed!

And…when this is all over, why not visit Jersey.  A beautiful island with the most stunning beaches and coastline.  A relaxed and charming place to be, where eating out is very much part of the culture with the most wonderful restaurants and cafes.

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