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About Helen

Having worked in IT in London for 15 years I was made redundant in 2009. I had trained as a gym instructor whilst working and decided I would rather spend the rest of my career doing something I loved than look for another job in IT. I furthered my qualifications with a Certificate in Advanced Personal Training from the highly regarded Premier Training. Many personal trainers are generalists covering all areas of fitness but I took the decision to specialise in the over-50s and therefore went on to do a CYQ Award in Functional Training for the Independent Older Adult Level 3. My focus is on overall health rather than fitness. I believe that making small changes can have a long term positive effect on health and well-being.

Helen

1 Jul

Step Back: The Hidden Benefits of Walking Backwards

Is there a difference between walking forwards and walking backwards? Forward walking and walking backwards differ significantly in their gait patterns. In forward walking, the typical motion involves the leg swinging through the air, the heel landing first, followed by …

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Helen

1 Jun

Simple Exercises to Boost Hand and Wrist Strength

Simple Exercises to Boost Hand and Wrist Strength as You Age As we age, everyday activities like opening jars can become surprisingly challenging. The gradual loss of muscle strength and bone density can impact our hands and wrists, making once-easy …

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Helen

1 May

Navigating Total Knee Replacement: Is it safe to kneel?

One of the most frequent messages I hear from my clients is: “I’ve had a total knee replacement and now can’t kneel.” The ability to kneel is key to be able to get up from the floor if you fall. …

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Helen

1 Apr

Balancing Act: The Surprising Health Benefits of Standing on One Leg

The seemingly simple act of standing on one leg has emerged as a powerful indicator of overall well-being. Recent research suggests that practising standing on one leg can contribute to fitness and, potentially, a longer lifespan. The ability to stand …

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Helen

1 Mar

Strength Training Benefits: A Guide for Managing Health Conditions

Strength training isn’t only for the fit and healthy, it can provide lots of benefits for those managing long term health conditions as well. If you’ve received a diagnosis of conditions such as low back pain, Parkinson’s, heart disease, or …

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Helen

6 Feb

Why you should come for a walk

🤷‍♀️

Are you feeling rather drowned and overwhelmed by all the health and wellbeing information that January threw at us? Would you just like to know the number 1⃣ thing you can do to improve your health? With the added bonus …

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Helen

1 Feb

Bolstering Bone Health: A Roadmap to Strong Bones

Photo showing strong bones

What is Osteoporosis? Picture of a Skeleton Living tissue constantly breaks down and replaces bone. Osteoporosis occurs when creating new bone lags behind old bone loss . It impacts men and women of all races, with higher risk for postmenopausal …

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Helen

1 Jan

🌟 Ditch Resolutions! Embrace What You Can Achieve in 2024 🌟

🚶

If you have followed me for a while you will know that I am not a big fan of New Year Resolutions. Mostly because resolutions just add extra stress to your life and quickly fall by the wayside so they …

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Helen

12 Dec

Standing Up and Feeling Dizzy? Here’s What You Need to Know

🥴

Do you feel dizzy when you stand up? Feeling dizzy when you stand up could be due to postural hypotension – a drop in blood pressure that often happens when you go from sitting or lying to standing. But don’t …

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Helen

1 Dec

Staying Merry and Bright

⭐

Staying Merry and Bright Health, Falls Prevention, and Balance Tips During Christmas Here are some things you can do to ensure you stay happy, healthy and steady over the Christmas season.  Incorporate Gentle Exercises: Amidst the hustle and bustle of …

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Helen

14 Nov

FREE Winter Wellness Walk 

FREE Winter Wellness Walk in Chichester It’s easy to restrict activity during winter when it’s cold and dreary but it’s important to have some outdoor time and hopefully doing it with other people to chat with will make it more …

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Helen

9 Jan

Free Falls Prevention Workshop

Next Free Falls Prevention Workshop Come along to the next free Falls Prevention Workshop on the 15th September Bassil Shippam Centre, Chichester 10-12pm.  Free Parking The workshop is suitable for anyone who has fallen or is worrying about falling. We …

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Helen

9 Jan

Free Falls Prevention Workshop

Next Free Falls Prevention Workshop Come along to the next free Falls Prevention Workshop on the 20th January Bassil Shippam Centre, Chichester 10-12pm.  Free Parking The workshop is suitable for anyone who has fallen or is worrying about falling. We …

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Helen

16 Nov

Walking Stick Checkup Week

Picture of ferrules with worn treads that need replacing

Yes this is a thing, yes it is also a great idea started by a physiotherapist Paul Mills Falls Prevention Walking Stick MOT Week  Do you, a family member, a friend or a neighbour use a walking stick? If so …

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Helen

16 Nov

Walking Stick Checkup Week

Picture of ferrules with worn treads that need replacing

Yes this is a thing, yes it is also a great idea started by a physiotherapist Paul Mills Falls Prevention Walking Stick MOT Week  Do you, a family member, a friend or a neighbour use a walking stick? If so …

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Helen

1 Nov

What is Balance?

Balance is the body’s process of staying upright, sounds very simple when I say it that way doesn’t it!  There are three main components which feed into this process and they work together. eyes (see), muscles, skin, joints (feel) inner ear …

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Helen

1 Nov

What is Balance?

Balance is the body’s process of staying upright, sounds very simple when I say it that way doesn’t it!  There are three main components which feed into this process and they work together. eyes (see), muscles, skin, joints (feel) inner ear …

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Helen

29 Sep

Leg Strength and Stairs

Have you downsized from a house to a bungalow and seen a decrease in leg strength? There is actually a (semi!) official term for this “Bungalow Legs” .  It’s often the small things that add up and once we take …

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Helen

29 Sep

Leg Strength and Stairs

Have you downsized from a house to a bungalow and seen a decrease in leg strength? There is actually a (semi!) official term for this “Bungalow Legs” .  It’s often the small things that add up and once we take …

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Helen

23 Sep

Tips to help someone who has fallen

It is not possible to make the risk of falling zero so making a plan for when you do fall, or suggesting to someone that they make a plan for when they fall is a good idea. You need to …

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Helen

23 Sep

Tips to help someone who has fallen

It is not possible to make the risk of falling zero so making a plan for when you do fall, or suggesting to someone that they make a plan for when they fall is a good idea. You need to …

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Helen

22 Sep

Tips to help prevent falls

It can be scary observing a loved one or a friend being less steady on their feet, or not as confident as they once were. However rather than ignoring the issue, or just thinking it’s a consequence of aging, it’s …

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Helen

22 Sep

Tips to help prevent falls

It can be scary observing a loved one or a friend being less steady on their feet, or not as confident as they once were. However rather than ignoring the issue, or just thinking it’s a consequence of aging, it’s …

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Helen

21 Sep

Are you getting the right nutrients in your diet?

This is an exercise blog but strong bones are important to ensure you do not cause a fracture if you fall. Make sure you are getting enough of the following nutrients (through a healthy diet is best but always consult …

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Helen

21 Sep

Are you getting the right nutrients in your diet?

This is an exercise blog but strong bones are important to ensure you do not cause a fracture if you fall. Make sure you are getting enough of the following nutrients (through a healthy diet is best but always consult …

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Helen

20 Sep

Modifiable risk factors for falling

There are some risk factors for falling that we can just not do anything about such as age, gender, chronic health problems and heart disease amongst others. However there are some which could be addressed. Risk Factors for Falling Incontinence …

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Helen

20 Sep

Modifiable risk factors for falling

There are some risk factors for falling that we can just not do anything about such as age, gender, chronic health problems and heart disease amongst others. However there are some which could be addressed. Risk Factors for Falling Incontinence …

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Helen

18 Sep

Falls Awareness Week 19th-25th September

19th-24th September is Falls Awareness Week, a nationwide effort to raise awareness on falls prevention and reducing falls risk. I thought I would start out with my favourite things you can do to decrease your risk of falling. Falls Prevention …

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Helen

18 Sep

Falls Awareness Week 19th-25th September

19th-24th September is Falls Awareness Week, a nationwide effort to raise awareness on falls prevention and reducing falls risk. I thought I would start out with my favourite things you can do to decrease your risk of falling. Falls Prevention …

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Helen

15 Aug

Quick tips for Wellbeing & Exercise

🙂

Exercise has been shown to not only be good for our physical body but also our mental health.  It boosts our mood, concentration, and alertness – however it can be a catch 22 situation in that exercise can help your …

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Helen

15 Aug

Quick tips for Wellbeing & Exercise

🙂

Exercise has been shown to not only be good for our physical body but also our mental health.  It boosts our mood, concentration, and alertness – however it can be a catch 22 situation in that exercise can help your …

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Helen

29 Oct

World Stroke Day

?

Today is World Stroke Day, strokes are the third most common cause of death and the commonest cause of disability in the UK but you can help prevent them. Strokes can happen to anyone but you have the power to …

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Helen

15 Sep

Summary – Physical Activity Guidelines 2019

I hope you have found the last five blog posts informative. The infographic is a great way to get out a lot of information in an easily read format but sometimes it’s nice to have a little more detail, and …

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Helen

15 Sep

Summary – Physical Activity Guidelines 2019

I hope you have found the last five blog posts informative. The infographic is a great way to get out a lot of information in an easily read format but sometimes it’s nice to have a little more detail, and …

Continue Reading
Helen

14 Sep

Sit Less (Minimise Sedentary time) – Physical Activity Guidelines 2019

Inforgraphic showing that you should sit less and minimise sedentary time.

“Older adults should break up prolonged periods of being sedentary with light activity when physically possible, or at least with standing ” The message is to sit less as prolonged sedentary behaviour is associated with many poor health and functional …

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Helen

14 Sep

Sit Less (Minimise Sedentary time) – Physical Activity Guidelines 2019

Inforgraphic showing that you should sit less and minimise sedentary time.

“Older adults should break up prolonged periods of being sedentary with light activity when physically possible, or at least with standing ” The message is to sit less as prolonged sedentary behaviour is associated with many poor health and functional …

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Helen

12 Sep

Improve Balance – Physical Activity Guidelines 2019

Improve Balance part of the Physical Activity Guidelines 2019

In Chichester feeling unsteady will ring true with many people with it’s uneven pavements. Unfortunately not a lot can be done about the pavements but we can improve our balance. Along with building our strength the Improve Balance section has …

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Helen

12 Sep

Improve Balance – Physical Activity Guidelines 2019

Improve Balance part of the Physical Activity Guidelines 2019

In Chichester feeling unsteady will ring true with many people with it’s uneven pavements. Unfortunately not a lot can be done about the pavements but we can improve our balance. Along with building our strength the Improve Balance section has …

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Helen

11 Sep

Build Strength – Physical Activity Guidelines 2019

Build Strength Chief Medical Officer Physical Activity Guidelines 2019

What is getting a lot of press at the moment is the Build Strength part of the guidelines. It’s always been there but it is now given greater emphasis as the evidence it helps maintain physical function, reduce the risk …

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Helen

11 Sep

Build Strength – Physical Activity Guidelines 2019

Build Strength Chief Medical Officer Physical Activity Guidelines 2019

What is getting a lot of press at the moment is the Build Strength part of the guidelines. It’s always been there but it is now given greater emphasis as the evidence it helps maintain physical function, reduce the risk …

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Helen

10 Sep

Be Active – Physical activity Guidelines

Be Active Physical Activity Guidelines Infographic 2019

Be Active – Guidance for the Physical activity Guidelines for Older Adults 2019 “Each week older adults should aim to accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity, building up gradually from current levels. Those who are already …

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Helen

8 Sep

Physical Activity Guidelines – Part 1

Describes the new physical activity guidelines for older adults

The new Physical Activity Guidelines were released yesterday and I thought I would take a short break from the falls prevention topic I was on to discuss them. Especially as I found out the other day my Mum doesn’t even …

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Helen

5 Sep

Falls prevention tips in the home

balance exercise showing a man standing sideways with one foot in front of the other helps to improve balance. Falls Prevention in the home.

Whilst exercise is important to help improve your balance and strengthen your muscles here are some falls prevention tips in the home. Make sure that your lighting is good enough you can see. If you need to go to the …

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Helen

29 Aug

Worried about exercising and falling?

It is common for people to worry so much about falling that they restrict their movement, unfortunately this is a vicious circle as you are more likely to fall if you spend long periods of time seated and don’t do …

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Helen

29 Aug

Exercise and Falling

Worried about exercise and falling? It is common for people to worry so much about falling that they restrict their movement, unfortunately this is a vicious circle as you are more likely to fall if you spend long periods of …

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Helen

23 Feb

Can you exercise if you have osteoarthritis?

an infographic showing the benefits of exercising with osteoarthritis

  Osteoarthritis can be seen as a reason to avoid exercise. However a great infographic from the Institute of Bone and Joint Research shows that even if walking and doing some exercise may hurt the answer is not to avoid …

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Helen

13 Nov

Osteoarthritis in the knee and exercise.

Exercise can play a vital role in managing osteoarthritis. People are often fearful of exercising the affected joint in case it causes further pain and damage yet this review of studies done on exercise programmes states  “People with OA should be …

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Helen

4 Jul

Yoga and Lower Back Pain

In a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, Boston Medical Center researchers found that yoga classes specifically designed for chronic lower back pain (my italics!) helped patients feel better. In light of this those with non-specific Lower …

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Helen

19 Jun

Tips for exercising safely in the sun

Photo of sunny beach

Don’t use the sun as an excuse not to exercise but use these handy tips to ensure you stay healthy. 1)      Keep hydrated – make sure you have a water bottle with you and take sips during your session and …

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Helen

15 Jun

Just an hour a week….

Photo of a weight, towel and bottle of water

New research has shown that just an hour a week of resistance exercise can lower the risk of metabolic syndrome (cardiovascular risk factors such as overweight, high blood pressure and elevated blood sugar). You don’t have to leave your house …

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Helen

14 Jan

Do you feel to old to start exercising?

post exercise

According to the findings of a study from the University of Dundee, published in the journal Age and Ageing, the most powerful ‘deterrent’ among the over-65s is a lack of interest, and disbelief that exercise can enhance and/or lengthen life. …

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Helen

2 Mar

Chichester Pilates Class: Core Pilates Review

Core Pilates Firstly a mild correction, I was slightly misleading on Friday apparently it wasn’t a Fitness Pilates class it was Core Pilates. It was stated as Core Pilates on the timetable but there was no accompanying link to the …

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Helen

27 Feb

Out of my comfort zone: Fitness pilates

fitness-pilates

Trying new things: Out of my comfort zone I am an advocate of finding the exercise that works for you, it may be running, lifting, swimming, cycling, circuits, chair based. Whatever gets you moving is what works. If possible throw …

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Helen

5 Jan

Nurtrition: Keeping it simple – Change4Life

Eatwell plate, health, nutrition, paleo

Nutrition is a hot topic and people can, and do, spend hours arguing about the best way, the correct way, the healthiest way to eat and about how certain foods are evil and we should tax them (yes I’m looking …

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Helen

5 Jan

Keeping it simple – Change4Life

Eatwell plate, health, nutrition, paleo

Nutrition is a hot topic and people can, and do, spend hours arguing about the best way, the correct way, the healthiest way to eat and about how certain foods are evil and we should tax them (yes I’m looking …

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Helen

2 Jan

Choose a Mental Wellbeing resolution in 2015.

mental wellbing

Last year when I wrote about New Year Resolutions it was about choosing a change that you wanted to make and not what you thought you should be doing What do you Want to Change?  This year I am going …

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Helen

2 Jan

Choose a Mental Wellbeing resolution in 2015.

mental wellbing

Last year when I wrote about New Year Resolutions it was about choosing a change that you wanted to make and not what you thought you should be doing What do you Want to Change?  This year I am going …

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Helen

1 Apr

No pudding until you have eaten your fruit and veg.

Happy fruit and veg

The news today is full of the study that showed that the current government recommendation of 5 portions of fruit and vegetables may not be sufficient and that we should be aiming for 7+ (preferably made up of 5 vegetable …

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Helen

19 Mar

Never stop moving.

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving” -Albert Einstein. So the government recommendations on exercise are as follows for the over 65s (taken from the NHS Choices page for Physical Activity guidelines for …

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Helen

6 Mar

A bit of fitspiration I found online…

Do what you love.

Do what you love. Additionally WHO have updated their physical activity/exercise fact sheet which can be found here The post A bit of fitspiration I found online… appeared first on Whole Life Fitness. +1282   

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Helen

4 Feb

Whole Life Fitness on Facebook

Hello, hope everyone is feeling happy and healthy today with at least 10 minutes of physical activity planned. Now the friendly reminder is over this is just a quick post to say that I have a facebook page which I …

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Helen

22 Jan

The health hazards of sitting

I’ve added this to my news feed but I like it so much I’m going to repost it here so you all get to see it.. The Health Hazards of Sitting A tip to remind you to move more. The …

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Helen

15 Jan

Do you spend too much time sitting down?

If so then here’s a great tip from one of the ladies who attends my Friday class. Set your alarm for every 30/45 minutes but, and this is the important bit, make sure you leave the alarm in another room …

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Helen

2 Jan

What do YOU want to change?

So it’s the New Year and I’m a personal trainer so I’m going to talk all about resolutions and eating healthy and moving more. Nope. You get that in my blog the rest of the year. I’m not against resolutions, …

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Helen

16 Dec

23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health?

This is a visual lecture by Dr Mike Evans called 23 1/2 hours. If you have a spare 9 minutes and 18 seconds please watch it. The post 23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can …

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Helen

5 Dec

Highest risk group for cardivascular disease was the metabolically unhealthy but normal weight participants

As you may know there is  new research out which has caused the following headlines… “Being fit is no help if you’re fat as well: Scientists say healthy obesity does not exist”   Daily Mail, December 3 2013 “‘Healthy and overweight’ …

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Helen

26 Nov

Get Going Together

Get Going Together is a health and wellbeing programme helping older people take part in physical activity. According to Age  UK (and me!) “Exercise brings physical and mental benefits and gives people the opportunity to socialise with others.”   It’s organised by Age …

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Helen

25 Nov

Winter warmer – Porridge

Right I know I’m probably late to the party with this suggestion but the other week someone told me a new way to cook porridge and it’s DELICIOUS. It tastes like it has been made with cream and not semi-skimmed …

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Helen

23 Nov

Exercise acts as a drug

“Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while physical activity saves it and preserves it” (Plato) Instead of writing a post I am just going to link to an article in the British Journal of Pharmacology, …

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Helen

20 Nov

10 tips to help you be healthy

I understand that not everyone has the desire to make big changes to their lives, that a glass of wine with supper is one of life’s small pleasures and you may not want to run a 5k. However here are …

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Helen

7 Oct

Do you know one of the best forms of exercise for your health is free?

Yes, FREE!!! and who doesn’t love a bargain? So what’s this secret exercise? Walking.  It can help transform people’s health according to The “Walking Works” report by the Ramblers and Macmillan Cancer Support. “Walking works. It makes people happy, keeps everyone healthy …

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Helen

2 Oct

Exercise vs Drugs

A study (the Comparative effectiveness of exercise and drug interventions on mortality outcomes: metaepidemiological study) published recently in the British Medical Journal found that exercise could be as good as drugs for certain conditions. The conditions that were studied were secondary …

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Helen

18 Apr

Otago Exercise Programme to help prevent falls in older adults

The Otago exercise programme was developed to help prevent falls in the older adult. It was researched and developed by the Falls Prevention Research Group at the University of Otago Medical School. The programme reduced the fall rate by 35 …

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Helen

14 Mar

Adding weight to your workout part 3 – The back

Important muscles to exercise as we age are the upper back muscles to prevent that hunched over look where the chest muscles are too tight and the upper back muscles are weak. Exercises that don’t use any equipment to work …

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Helen

26 Feb

Adding weight to your workout. Part 2 – The Squat

I am going to nominate the squat as one of the most important exercises you can do whether its the wall slide, body weight squat or squat with added weight. To prove how important it is one of the most …

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Helen

20 Dec

A simple back exercise.

Very important muscles to exercise as we age are the upper back muscles to prevent that hunched over look where the chest muscles are too tight and the upper back muscles are weak.  Exercises that don’t use any equipment to work …

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Helen

20 Dec

Adding Weight to your Workout at home – Part 1

I was asked the following question after my (slightly ranty) post about celebrity trainers and weight training. “I’ve never thought about lifting weights. How does one get started, and how do you work into a cardiovascular work out?” Some people …

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Helen

22 Nov

Why women should lift heavy weights.

Last week I bought a womans magazine. Now I gave up buying woman magazines about a year ago and both my bank balance and my attitude towards my body has thanked me. However this issue had a free nail polish …

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Helen

8 Nov

Four behaviours than can help you age successfully

A report recently published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) shows that practising the following healthy behaviours in midlife (42–63 years of age) makes it significantly more likely people will stay healthy as they age. not smoking moderate alcohol …

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Helen

13 Sep

Why you should step outside.

There is more to health than eating right and exercising. To be truly healthy you should have feelings of wellbeing, positivity and happiness with your life. If you have read my blog you will know how often I exhort getting …

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Helen

17 Jul

Why you should make exercise a priority as you age.

A question has just been asked of me on Twitter: “How can I get my parents to ignore Homes Under The Hammer on tv screens at gym & focus on working out?” I tend to view exercise similarly to giving …

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Helen

2 Jul

Get active at your local gym for free on Tuesday 10 July!

“Age UK in conjunction with Bannatynes, David Lloyd Leisure Ltd, LA fitness and Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing Centre’s (including Greens Health and Fitness) present Age UK’s Gym Open Day on 10 July 2012. Go along to your local participating …

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Helen

14 Jun

So Aqua Aerobics, why?

So Aqua Aerobics, why? There are a multitude of benefits of exercising in water instead of on land. The stress and strain on the body is reduced because waters density means  that 90% of a body’s weight is supported (if …

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Helen

7 Jun

Exercise Referral Schemes

This post is going to talk me out of business but it was bought to my attention that not everyone is aware of what their GP can offer them in regards to support to increase physical activity. The GP Exercise Referral scheme …

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Helen

28 May

Muscle Monday – Grip Strength an indicator of life expectancy.

  Unlike the biceps or the chest muscles the wrist flexor isn’t seen as a very sexy muscle (not many photos of men flexing their wrists around)  but the wrist flexor (flexor carpui radialis) is very important as it allows …

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Helen

8 May

Do you have difficulties getting out of a chair?

The ability to stand up from a chair is a key skill to maintain independence and mobility. As you get older you lose strength in the hip and knee extensors which are the muscles that help straighten our legs. In this blog …

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Helen

1 May

The Importance Of Exercise As We Age

The World Health Organisation identifies 50 years of age as the point in middle age at which engaging in regular physical exercise can prevent or delay the onset of many of the physical, psychological and social hazards that are associated …

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