We all know we need to exercise on a regular basis, but how do you know what type of fitness class is best for your body?
Benefits of regular exercise* include:
- reducing your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer by up to 50%
- lowering your risk of early death by up to 30%
- promoting mental health, self-esteem, sleep quality and energy
- reducing your risk of stress, depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and
- it has an immediate effect on your body
What type of exercise is best & how much do I need?
Ideally you will be active every day, aiming for 150 minutes of activity each week.
Daily activities such as walking, cycling or swimming will give you a really healthy base, but you will also benefit from adding in some activities which include added resistance and increase your heart rate further. This is where fitness classes can play an important role in supporting your health.
Resistance exercises help to build and maintain strong bones as well as strengthening the muscles which support those bones. It might involve resistance bands or weights (dumb-bells or kettlebells) but your own body-weight and gravity will also provide resistance (eg. when standing up from a squat or coming up from a push-up you are working with resistance).
Resistance work also plays a role in your cardio-vascular fitness which supports heart health. You don’t need to add high-impact to get your heart rate up – moving with a pair of moderate/heavy weight dumb-bells will give you a great cardio workout! This means that you don’t need to find separate strength and cardio sessions – you can get great results, with more time-efficiently, by choosing the right class for you.
How do my online classes support your health & fitness?
My sessions can loosely be split into three-tiers, each of which offers its own advantages.
Tier 1 = Total Body (Fridays @ 7am)
- no weights are required – this is a body-weight session
- it is a 45-minute class
- it is more manageable than tiers 2 & 3, but you’ll still get a bit sweaty, feel fitter and move your body
Tier 2 = Functional Fitness (Mondays @ 7.15pm)
- 1 x weight required (DB / KB / tin of beans will work)
- it is a 30-minute class
- your weight can be light/moderate but if you prefer to go heavier that’s fine too
- we will include lots of uni-lateral (one-sided) moves to replicate the way we move in everyday life
Tier 3 – Metabolic Bootcamp (Tuesdays & Thursdays @ 7am)
- you will need a pair of heavier DB – as a guide, pick a weight with which you are only just able to do 10 biceps curls, but see the notes below if your weights are lighter than this
- it is a 30-minute class
- it will include combined/complex exercises to push your body to the point where you need to take a quick breather before continuing
- this is a rest-based fitness class which means that you can rest whenever you need to!
- you’ll feel totally awesome when you’re done
Where does Fitness Pilates & Core Pilates fit in?
Fitness Pilates and Core Pilates are really good sessions to include in your regular weekly activities, but they won’t contribute to fitness in quite the same way as my other classes.
The focus of these classes is on posture, breathing, body awareness, core control, supporting and managing the spine, stretching and stability work all of which are hugely beneficial for health.
How to find the right balance & modify fitness classes to suit your body:
Fitness and resistance training is super-important for all of us, particularly as we get older. In a perfect world your week would include:
- daily activities which are gentle enough for you to do them over longer periods of time (eg. walking 20+ minutes, cycling or swimming)
- 2-3 sessions per week of activity which increases your heart rate to a moderate or vigorous level and adds some resistance exercises (fitness classes would fall into this category)
- 1-2 sessions per week of mindfulness and stretching activity (such as pilates, yoga, tai chi, etc)
My commitment is to offer you fitness classes which are safe and accessible for your body, regardless of your current fitness level or previous experience.
When designing the sessions, I aim to be mindful of joint health and pelvic floor health so everything is low-impact (no jumping) but don’t be fooled into thinking that means low-intensity!
My goal is to push you, but ultimately you are in charge of your body, working at a pace and intensity that suits you on any given day. If you need to modify any of my classes you can:
- work harder by using heavier weights, taking bigger movements and/or working at a faster pace
- ease off with lighter weights, smaller movements and/or a slower pace
Although the tiers are there for guidance, please feel free to jump in wherever feels good for you and know that I am here to support you with safe and effective exercise.