Trainers - Week Beginning Monday 18th November 2019

  • There is a piece of kit that makes a huge difference to your posture, joints and enjoyment of exercise.
  • It is something that we all need to have to take part in class and all of us are wearing today.
  • Some of us however will be wearing a more appropriate version than others.
  • And what is this piece of kit? I hear you cry. Well it is trainers.
  • I have spoken about this topic before but I am aware that Christmas is coming and you may be thinking of asking for presents – new trainers would be good!
  • If you are thinking about buying a new set of trainers make sure you have the correct info so you buy the correct pair.
  • Please be aware that running trainers and aerobics trainers are very different. You should have one pair for aerobics and one pair for running.
  • A good pair of trainers will reduce impact on all your joints especially your knees; protect and support your ankles; and keep you upright.
  • The trainers you wear for the exercise we do in class should have the following:
  1. A continuous sole
  2. 0.5+inch sole with cushioning
  3. They should be a cross trainer NOT running trainers or dance shoes.
  • The trainers you should wear for running offer a different kind of support as your foot lands differently as you run compared to how you move doing aerobics:
  1. The sole will be reinforced in the arch part of your foot.
  2. The cushioning will be dependent on the type of running you do.
  • Trainers DO get worn out. A pair only lasts 500 miles or 1 year. If you are wearing a pair of trainers that are over a year old then they will be worn out whether you have worn them regularly or not. This is because the rubber – a natural product – in the trainers’ sole starts to degrade after a year whether they are worn or not.
  • Trainers should never go in the washing machine as the heat; movement of the drum and washing powder breaks down their natural materials.
  • In an ideal world trainers should have 24 hours to air and dry out before they are worn again. This will help to prevent any “nasties” breeding in them!
  • When you shop for trainers go in the afternoon when your feet are at their maximum size (they swell during the day).
  • Always try on both trainers.
  • Try out a few moves or run in them to check they feel ok.
  • If you have wide feet then try men’s trainers as they are a bit wider.
  • A good pair of trainers does not need to cost a lot of money so don’t shop with the idea that the more expensive they are the better they are.
  • A good pair of trainers ensures you are comfortable during exercise and therefore you can work harder and longer and less likely to get injured.

Polly & Nelly do Christmas – WEEK BEGINNING MONDAY 11th NOVEMBER 2019                  

Polly & Nelly represent ASPECTS of all of us.

One cold, (damp) day in November two friends met up to attend their weekly fitness class. They were very intelligent women as they had chosen the best of all the fitness clubs – Philippa Aldridge Fitness!

The only club with both nutritional advice & exercise – and, of course the nicest instructors!!

Polly was looking forward to getting on the scales. It had been a tough week, but she had done her best, and exercised 3 times.

Nelly said she’d been a saint, but her “time of the month” was due and she had probably gained a couple of pounds.

They both lost a pound.

Polly was delighted, another pound towards her goal! Nelly was VERY unhappy and grumbled loudly ‘only a pound!’ The lovely instructor just smiled. The friends had been coming to class for a while and she knew what to expect from them both. After all they were Polly and Nelly.....Positive Polly and Negative Nelly!

On this evening they both weighed exactly the same – 12 stone – and had the same goal 10st 7lbs.

As they sat down to wait for the UNMISSABLE talk, Polly was telling Nelly that there was only 4 weeks of classes left until the Christmas Party, and if they worked really hard, they could lose, at least another 7lbs by then. Nelly said that she wasn’t so sure and was telling another member her “time of the month” was due and she didn’t feel much like jumping around.

The next week Polly lost 2 pounds. She was very happy with that. Nelly lost a pound, tutted and rolled her eyes up to the ceiling.

The following week Polly lost 1 ½ lbs. Nelly stayed the same and explained that she had started to STOCK UP on Christmas fare and mince pies for the family but couldn’t resist delving in herself at the weekend.

The next week Polly lost 1 ½ lbs again. ‘Great!’ she said, ‘I can see that goal getting closer.’ Nelly explained to Polly that she had been on a weekend trip and had blown it this week. Polly said ’It was only the weekend; you could still have ‘been good’ all week.’ Nelly looked at Polly and frowned. Nelly gained 2 lbs.

The final week Polly lost 1 lb she was now 11 stone 8lbs. Nelly said, ‘it’s not worth trying anymore before Xmas. I'll come back in January.’ She gained 1lb and weighed 12 stone 2lb.

Classes closed for 2 weeks over Christmas and Polly went away determined to follow her instructor’s advice for over the break, to have 2 days off – 25th & 26th December (keeping in mind how to be clever with your food without missing out) and to stick to the plan the rest of the time, (along with attending some of the extra exercise sessions). She managed to lose another 1lb before Xmas day – down to 11 stone 7lbs – fantastic!!!!

Polly didn’t see much of Nelly, what with parties, pantomimes....etc, so she didn’t know that Nelly had decided to forget all about dieting until 1st January 2017, and had gained another 2lbs before Christmas Day – up to 12 stone 4lb!

Polly might be positive but she’s no saint and her 2 day break turned into 3 and she gained 2 lbs – up to 11stone 9 lbs, but on 28th December, she got her head back into gear, went out with the kids on a power walk, and drank 2 litres of water.

Nelly told her she couldn’t join her because she wanted to sit on the sofa and watch a 25 year old film with a tin of Quality Street and a litre of Baileys!

The 3rd January came around and once again the friends were making their way back to class. Polly was quietly confident about the scales. She got right back on the plan on 28th December and hadn’t wavered since.

Nelly was saying how fed up of peanuts and chocolate she was and she’ll be glad when she’s finished it all off!!!

Polly managed to lose the 2lbs she gained and the first week back she weighed 11 stone 7lbs, so only a stone to her goal.

Between Christmas & New Year, Nelly, amazingly gained only 3lbs – but that took her up to 12 stone 7 lbs.

So....on that cold, damp day in November the friends weighed exactly the same but just 7 weeks later Nelly is ONE STONE heavier than Polly.

The moral of this story is...................................

Ten Slimming Commandments – Week beginning Monday 28th October 2019

Thou shalt not order sushi if thou doesn’t like fish

Only eat food you adore! If you don’t like broccoli and a plain piece of chicken – don’t eat it. Make an effort to prepare and cook tasty food.

Thou shalt barge to the front of your own queue

When you are losing weight you need to put yourself first. Nothing is more important than eating well and exercising because if you don’t have good health and feel good about yourself you can’t make the most of what life has to offer or be there for people who need you. Ask yourself every day – what do I need to do today to stay on track and make that your first priority.

Thou shalt eat slowly and stop when you are comfortably full (not stuffed!)

People who eat quickly are twice as likely to be overweight as those who don’t. Eat slowly; give yourself time to register that you’re full

Thou shalt ask yourself ‘what do I really need right now?’

Ask yourself this every time you eat apart from your regular meals and snack time. Are you thirsty? Are you tired? Are you bored? What do you really need?

Thou shalt never eat anything bigger than your head

Stop eating huge meals. You can eat healthily but if you eat supersized meals all the time you will not lose weight. Go for smaller plates. You can often feel pleasantly full on a lot less food!

Thou shalt repeat after me: Every little bit helps

You don’t become overweight in a day and you are not going to slim down in one either! It takes lots of little lifestyle decisions to help you slim – every bit of food you take, every move you make. Little by little all those extra bits of extra energy and saved calories will all add up.

Thou shalt remember what’s in it for you

It’s hard to get excited about losing weight to avoid heart disease but it’s more exciting to lose weight for that new dress or having more energy or confidence.

Thou shalt forgive and forget

Ok so you ate a packet of biscuits for breakfast! That doesn’t mean you are a failure and have to pig out for the rest of the day or week! Just say “I forgive myself” and get back on the wagon straight away.

Thou shalt remember that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail

Shop every week for your week’s worth of salad and vegetables on a Monday – if you don’t start the week off right you may be doomed to wander off track. Mark on the calendar all your exercise and never cancel them! Make them your priority.

Thou shalt learn to relax

Stress can make you fat. Rest and sleep are vital to help shift the pounds. Research shows that regular sleep deprivation puts your hormones that regulate your appetite and metabolism out of sync and can lead to food cravings and weight gain.

Meditation – WEEK BEG MONDAY 21ST OCT 2019

As some of you know, I have been working on a few qualifications over the past couple of years.

This year I qualified as a Holistic Mindset Coach, achieved my Reiki Level One and qualified as a Meditation Teacher with the British School of Meditation.

This talk is to explain a little more about meditation.

  • Meditation is a practical skill to help many aspects of wellbeing. It is simple to learn but not always easy to do.
  • Meditation can be practised in a variety of ways and is something that everyone can access.
  • Meditation provides an opportunity to find clarity, focus, peace and calm while being in the moment/present.
  • Meditation is a scientific process that unifies all aspects of the psyche. It can act as a mood regulator and a counterbalance for the fight or flight response.
  • Meditation is a way to get to know your true self and to love yourself. It is an opportunity for self-care.
  • Meditation is not an exclusive practice. It doesn’t have to be done a certain way by a certain type of person in a certain position. You don’t have to sit cross-legged and say “Om.”
  • Meditation doesn’t have to happen in a silent environment and it doesn’t have to take a certain amount of time.
  • Meditation does not have to be a spiritual and/or religious experience.
  • Meditation is not a method of stopping thoughts or going to sleep.
  • Meditation is not always easy or relaxing.

Meditation is a scientific evidence based inclusive practice that provides an opportunity to focus your mind in the present moment to seek clarity/perspective while improving your physiological, psychological and emotional wellbeing when done repeatedly over time.

There are many benefits to meditation that are supported by scientific research:

  1. Lowers blood pressure
  2. Lowers heart rate
  3. Releases tension in the body
  4. Reduces stress
  5. Reduces anxiety
  6. Improves and strengthens immune system
  7. Improves quality of sleep
  8. More energy
  9. Better memory
  10. Builds emotional resilience
  11. Helps to regulate emotions
  12. Improved concentration

I will be running a Beginners’ Mindfulness Meditation Course on Wednesday 6th November 2019 for 5 weeks.

At Preston Road Community Centre in Abingdon.

10:45am to 11:45am

PAF members - £45

Non-members - £55

There are only 12 spaces available (minimum 5 to run the course).

If you would like to book one of these places please text Philippa 07702 727971 or tell your instructor now.

Your place is only secure once your payment is made.

This is not a spiritual course. This is a secular science based course to improve your brain and mind health and fitness.

A further more detailed talk is attached below/to the newsletter for people to read at their leisure.

In the year 2017/18, 15.4 million working days were lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety (Labour Force Survey). In the year 2014/15 where 9.9 million working days were lost due the same conditions.

In 2014/15 work-related stress, anxiety and depression accounted for 43% of working days lost due to ill health but by 2017/18 this had increased to 57%.

The above statistics indicate an increase of stress, anxiety and depression in the workplace. The working days lost to these conditions have an impact on quality of life for those individuals, their families and their work colleagues; it doesn’t just affect the workplace.

Meditation has been shown to reduce stress and in turn lower the levels of cortisol and adrenaline in our bodies. Constant stress in our lives means that cortisol and adrenaline are continually released into our bodies and we are in a permanent state of “fight or flight”. Regular meditation has been shown to reduce the size of the amygdala; the smaller the amygdala the less stressed the human. The amygdala is responsible for sending the initial stress signal to the hypothalamus in situations of perceived danger; it initiates the “fight or flight” response.

Dr Herbert Benson discovered the relaxation response - the way the body dissipates and stops the “fight or flight” response to perceived stress/threats. Through his research he was able to show that meditation leads to the relaxation response; this in turn led to a decrease in heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure and muscle tension.

Meditation can help you to sleep better. A quarter of the population have sleep problems but meditating 2 hours before bedtime leads to an increase in melatonin (the sleep hormone) so you are more likely to get to sleep easily.

Heart disease is the number 1 cause of deaths in the UK. Meditation can improve heart health by reducing blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that using meditation to initiate the relaxation response can lead to hypertension sufferers not only reducing their blood pressure but the medication they take as well. The Loving Kindness meditation leads to a release in oxytocin and this widens blood vessels, allows the blood to flow more easily and so reduces blood pressure.

Meditation can help you to look younger. As you relax it leads to a reduction in the number of worry lines on your face. Dr Herbert Benson showed that meditation slowed down the process of oxidative stress, had a positive impact on genes and in doing so slowed down the ageing process. Sara Lazar PhD has found that meditation may slow down the age-related breakdown of parts of the brain and so keeping our mind younger for longer too!

Concentration improves as a result of regular meditation. The ability to focus is at the heart of any meditation practice and so naturally has an impact in the meditator’s day to day life. Sara Lazar found that participants who meditated regular saw a significant improvement in concentration levels. Meditation also improves the areas of the brain related to attention, awareness and decision making.

Meditation has been shown to improve the immune system. A reduction in cortisol (as a result of regular meditation) leads to a stronger immune system. Two minutes of negativity leads to four hours of the immune system being suppressed. Regular meditation helps you to be more present, more relaxed, calmer, happier and less prone to periods of negativity. Bruce Barrett MD PhD found that the subjects in the meditation group had shorter illnesses than those in the exercise group or the observation group.

Meditation leads to feeling happier. It increases the activity in, the size of and the density of the left pre-frontal cortex. This is the area associated with positive emotions i.e. happiness! The Loving Kindness meditation has been shown to specifically increase the size of the left pre-frontal cortex.

The body protects its vital organs from cortisol by laying down fat around them in the abdomen. Cortisol leads to cravings for carbohydrates and fat as it prepares for the “fight or flight” that it believes will be necessary as a result of stress. High levels of cortisol lead to weight gain. By meditating regularly, it leads to a reduction in cortisol and as a result it may lead to weight loss. Diaphragmatic breathing (deep belly breathing) helps to disperse cortisol. Six breaths per minute is the ideal speed.

Meditation may also help with mood regulation so people are less likely to suffer from mood swings. The areas of the brain associated with emotion regulation increase in size as a result of regular meditation. Up until the 1980s it was thought that once formed the brain didn’t change. We now know, through scientific research, that the brain can change and grow and build new pathways. This ability is known as neuroplasticity.

The ability to focus in the moment and present can help people suffering from addictions (drugs, alcohol, gambling etc) to reduce their dependence and become free from them. Meditation has also been known to help people manage pain. Sara Lazar’s work with MBSR found participants reported a reduction in pain levels.

In conclusion, meditation has a wealth of benefits to the health and wellbeing of humankind. Increasing amounts of scientific research are being done to substantiate these benefits mentioned above and further benefits are sure to be found in the future. Meditation is a non-invasive remedy to many of the problems that humans try to cure with chemical, man made and potentially harmful substances. It is a skill for life that, in my opinion, everyone would benefit from knowing.

Breast Awareness – Week Beginning Monday 14th October 2019

  • This week’s talk is about being breast aware so it’s not just about breast cancer but also about wearing the correct sports bra.
  • October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and again we are wearing pink, doing some exercise and trying to raise money for the Breast Cancer Campaign.
  • Breast cancer affects men and women and many of you sitting here today have been affected by breast cancer in some way. Over 55,000 women and around 350 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. Breast cancer in men is rare but does occur. Many men do not realise that they too may suffer from breast cancer.
  • Remember to Touch. Look. Check. Go onto the internet and Google for up-to-date info.
  • When it comes to wearing the correct sports bra there are a few points to remember:
  1. 44% of women who exercise regularly do not wear a sports bra. Inadequate breast support will lead to excessive breast movement which is not only uncomfortable but leads to irreversible boob sagging. Your breasts do not contain muscle so once the Cooper’s ligaments are stretched there’s no way back!
  2. Sports bras have been proven to be more than twice as effective as a normal bra at minimising breast movement.
  3. Sports bras do not always fit in the same way as everyday bras; you are looking for a fit that is snug (no more than one finger under the band or into the cup) but not so tight you can’t breathe.
  4. Sports bras need replacing every 40 washes or every 4 months. Once the elasticity has been reduced or they have been stretched then they will not off the same support/protection.
  • Booby Doo are brilliant when it comes to supplying the correct sports bra.
  • MAKE A DONATION to the Oxford Breast Imaging Centre at the Churchill Hospital.

More Articles...