A guide to our fitness style

A guide to your fitness style

We all know the physical benefits to exercise but there is so much more to fitness than just staying in shape.  Our emotional, psychological and even social well-being can be greatly impacted by a healthy view of keeping fit.

Uncovered aim to improve your mental, emotional and physical health and well-being, by exploring and explaining:

  • The mental and emotional (and other) benefits of physical activity (it really can improve our: mood, motivation, outlook on life, self- confidence, self-worth and more!)
  • What ‘being fit’ actually means?
  • Barriers that stop us enjoying these benefits, ways to overcome them and ways to increase and sustain motivation
  • Key principles to make our exercise experience safe, enjoyable and beneficial
  • The many different options available to us
  • Identifying sensible and achievable goals

Set the pace

Many give up because they try to cover too much ground too soon but on this journey it’s you that sets the pace that is right for you and we’re here to help you achieve this!

Some say ‘ignorance is bliss’, as not knowing about something prevents us worrying about it but regarding exercise, ignorance is a barrier that stops us fulfilling our potential to enhance mental, emotional, social and physical wholeness. I have seen a motto on RAF Parachute Instructor’s badges that says “Knowledge dispels fear” and this is so true for new courses of action (even for parachuting- to some extent!).

Ignorance is a prison and knowledge, combined with wisdom is the key to unlocking the cell!

The first steps: changing our beliefs and attitudes towards exercise

Whether conscious or subconscious, many of us have negative thoughts and beliefs that prevent us from starting and enjoying the experience of exercise.

It’s like lugging around a load of heavy, invisible chains that seriously restrict our freedom to enjoy increased wellbeing through exercise.

On our first stages to learn to walk with a lightness of step in heart and mind by letting go of these chains that so seriously restrict us!

Some of these beliefs, attitudes and negative experiences include:  Just the word ‘exercise’ can make us cringe!  But what’s in a word?  If we don’t like it, just change it!  How about ‘dancing’ (maybe at home when no one’s watching, with children or dancing with nature), or ‘playing’, or fun activities’, or ‘my way to socialise and enjoy/make friends’ etc.....

  • “Doesn’t it have to hurt to do any good? “.Rubbish! Forget the ‘no pain, no gain’ nonsense because it really shouldn’t be a strain (indeed, if it hurts, you may be doing yourself harm)
  •  “I’m too unfit to start”.  A good reason to start!  There are many options in which we can start just where we are (and it won’t hurt!)
  •  “I’m too embarrassed and self- conscious because I’ll look so out of place”.  There are many fun ways to exercise on our own but also fun, sociable and supportive options where we can be with people just like us
  • “It’s too expensive”.  So much can be done for free (and not just walking, although this is a good option for many).  Additionally, as we experience real health and wellbeing benefits, our perception of the value of exercise will change
  •  “I don’t have time”.  Most of us do, it’s just we don’t prioritise it effectively.  The above reasons (and others) also mean exercise is low on our list of things to do (or not even on it!) and yet most of us will make time for things we really want to do (perhaps TV programmes, reading, shopping for clothes or going for a drink etc)

A simple exercise for you to try:

Exercise 1: Squats

An excellent starter exercise that is simple to perform and needs no equipment.  It primarily works our quadriceps (the main muscles on the front of the thigh) and your gluteals (backside).  Additionally, by focusing on the position of our upper body, it will also work our abdominal and back muscles.

  1. Feet slightly wider than hip width apart, hands on hips
  2. Simultaneously bend your knees and push your hips backwards (as if sitting down). As you do this, your body should lean forward (as if taking a bow)
  3. At the lowest point your knee angle should be 100 ~ 110 degrees (or just 45 degrees initially if you have a knee problem)
  4. Take about 2-3 seconds to go down and 1-2 seconds to come up
  5. Keep your back straight throughout the exercise (it helps to keep your tummy tight)
  6. Look straight ahead and not to the floor
  7. Do let your knees go much further forward than the front of your toes (especially important if you have a knee problem)
  8. To make it a little harder, try raising your arms to the front or side as you come up. Another way to make it more challenging when we feel ready is to hold a light weight in each hand (e.g. dumbbell, or shopping bag with tins or bags of sugar etc.)
  9. If concerned about balance, place a chair behind you
  10. Do as many repetitions as necessary to reach a point of moderate fatigue (not exhaustion)


  • We can feel good that this exercise will help to tone our hips and backside
  • Helps improve basic functional activities, such as standing from sitting, lifting heavy objects (or babies/small children) and improving balance
  • Improves the performance of, and reduces injury risk for more dynamic activities, e.g. dancing, walking, jogging and many sports
  • Will help to improve our posture
  • By toning large muscle groups, it will (if we do it frequently) boost our metabolism
  • It will help to improve our shape and size
  • Will help to reduce fatigue
  • Carrying out any exercise makes time for ourselves away from the hustle and bustle of life; a little space in which to enjoy a sense of calm and control
  • And finally, by reminding ourselves of all these significant benefits when we do this exercise, it will help to improve our confidence and mood!
  • Carrying out any exercise makes time for ourselves; a little space to enjoy a sense of calm and control

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