Exercise, fitness and sport: words that fill your heart with joy or dread? For me, it’s my go-to habit whatever else is going on in my life. If I’m feel fab, it adds the icing onto the cake. On a busy day, it gives me the headspace I need to attack my t0-do list with renewed enthusiasm. When I’m feeling like the sofa is calling to me, I remember how great I feel after I’ve exercised and I get out there and do it. As the NHS website says, “If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented.”
Exercise is the backbone to good health and the best thing is that you can safeguard your health and fitness with a nutritious diet and active lifestyle. Simply walking instead of driving counts as exercise to feel fab. Recent research has shown that just 10 days off exercise reduces your memory. Yes, that’s all the time it takes to reduce blood flow to the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory – and dementia. The good news is that regular activity boosts the hippocampus and can counteract any age-related shrinkage.
So, whether you want to embrace your fitness for the first time in years, or you’re already a health-conscious hero, find the exercise activity that works for you and get started! The pocket rocket that is Nicole Pistak of Bootcamp Tring has kindly agreed to share her insight on how to make exercise fun:
“After almost 23 years in the fitness industry, it still astounds me that so many people mistakenly assume that exercise and fitness are to be endured rather than enjoyed. The truth is that exercise can always be fun; it’s just a matter of discovering the activities that set your soul on fire!
In my family, I am the loud, in-your-face, let’s-get-this-done personality. I love physical challenges, camaraderie and the satisfaction that comes from working up a good old sweat. I’m that vocal person who cheers everyone on, hoots in delight when we achieve our collective goal and runs around giving high-fives at the end of a session. Bootcamp, Spinning, Zumba and MudRuns tick all the right boxes for me.
The frenetic energy in those environments feeds my soul and definitely pushes me to be my best physical self. I come away feeling great and thinking ‘Yessss! Another beasting done!
My family and fitness
My husband, on the other hand, dislikes anything that is loud, interactive or even remotely alludes to teamwork. He is happiest going on hours-long solo bike rides through the countryside or plugging into his iPod while pumping iron at the gym. I’ve given up trying to be his cycling buddy or workout partner because he literally makes a point of not acknowledging my presence! These days, when I ask how his workouts went, his standard answer is ‘fantastic, I didn’t speak to a soul’.
My two sons are die-hard basketball fanatics and would play all day, every day if given the chance. Basketball demands a high degree of speed, agility, strength and endurance; almost every physical pursuit they undertake (weight training, running, rowing) is done with an eye to improve their basketball fitness because, let’s face it, nobody wants to be the guy sitting on the sidelines during a big game.
How to find the right fitness activity for you
My family couldn’t be more different in our approaches to fitness but the common underlying thread is that we have all found activities that excite us. Take a moment and think about the things you love: are you quite sociable and enjoy being amongst people? Activities with a strong social element like Nordic walking, running clubs and Bootcamp would likely appeal to you. Prefer something a bit more dance-related? Zumba, Jazzercise, Ceroc, Ballroom or Hip-Hop classes would be straight up your street. Fancy something quieter? Pilates, yoga or stretch classes would fit the bill.
You’ve heard the saying Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life? Well the same applies to fitness: Find the activity that you love and you’ll never exercise a day in your life.”
If you’d like to try Bootcamp with Nicole and her fab team, and are local to Tring, check out her special offer of £10 for two weeks of unlimited sessions.
Pop along to Tring Cricket Club on Monday 9.30am (30 minutes), Tuesday/Thursday/Friday at 9.30am (1 hour), Wednesday 6am (1 hour at Tring Squash Club in the winter) and 9.30am (30 mins) or Sunday 10am (1 hour) and have a go yourself.
I highly recommend it!