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Get moving and keep motivated

We are now a couple of weeks into the new year and lots of us will have started trying to trim back the excess Xmas pounds and perhaps cutting back on alcohol and on a healthy eating regime.

It’s now time to ramp it up and get moving, the NHS advises 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week for a healthy lifestyle.

This can include everyday activities such as walking, gardening or housework. Get moving and keep a record it all adds up.  Below is an example of roughly how many calorie’s you can burn doing various activities (Source: MyFitnessPal):

  • 60 minutes of circuit training = 570 calories
  • 30 minutes of running a 11.5 minute mile = 320 calories
  • 60 minutes of Pilates = 178 calories
  • 30 minutes of Gardening = 142 calories
  • 30 minutes of walking at 3mph dog walking pace = 118 calories
  • 60 minutes of Dancing = 320 calories
  • 30 minutes of light cleaning = 89 calories

Joining a gym gives great access to equipment and exercise classes, and remember you can also easily top it up at home. The challenge is to keep motivated here are a few tips on how to keep going:

  1. Put exercise or activity in your diary in manageable chunks like 5 x 30 minutes throughout the week or 2 x 60 minutes and 1 x 30 minutes (come on that is only 3 times a week)!
  2. Play some great music, ramp up the volume and get outdoors for a walk or a run, dance round the sitting room, or even do the cleaning.
  3. Set small realistic goals, and when you achieve them celebrate!  Reward yourself with a non food reward, such as a new outfit, haircut or that new pair of trainers you have had your eye on. You could even challenge yourself to run a 5k in 2017!

If you don’t fancy doing the housework, though this chap looks like he is having too much fun vacuuming! Take advantage of the membership deals at Valley Leisure centres with discounted membership offers from now until 31st March 2017! Check it out.shutterstock_519407452_man-vacuming-dancing

Fill up on healthy high fibre foods

At this time of year lots of us are looking at ways to improve our lifestyle and eat healthily.  Did you know that high fibre foods make you feel full for longer, and have the added benefit of helping to reduce cholesterol and keep your bowels healthy.

The NHS Choices recommends that you aim to eat 30 grams* of fibre per day. This can help to aid weight loss on a calorie controlled diet.

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Easy ways to add fibre to your diet:

  1. Go wholemeal or wholegrain for your breakfast cereal, pasta, rice and bread.
  2. Have 2 portions of veg at lunch and dinner.
  3. Add pulses, beans, lentils and peas to your meals.
  4. Choose healthy snacks such as fruit or vegetable sticks with a low fat houmous dip.
  5. Air popped plain popcorn is a good one, but don’t add the salt or sugar!

*Increase your fibre intake gradually and aim to drink 1.2 litres of water a day.

Is your New Year resolution to lose weight & get exercising in 2017?

In 2016 the number one new years resolution from the ITV news viewers poll was to ‘lose weight and do more exercise’.  I wonder how many people have managed to stick to this plan, as we know it takes determination and perseverance to get results and most new year resolutions fall by the way side within the first month or even week!

So how do you keep to your new years resolution to ‘lose weight and do more exercise’ – we have been looking for the best advice on how to make these life style changes and sustain them.

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NHS Choices Live Well losing weight programme provides you with a 12 week step by step guide to healthy weight loss and exercise. NHS 12 Week Weight Loss Plan . Down load an easy to follow pack each week to help you plan, set your goals and keep motivated.

The 12 top tips from the 12 week Weight Loss plan are listed below:

  1. Don’t skip breakfast
  2. Eat regular meals
  3. Eat plenty of fruit and veg
  4. Get more active
  5. Drink plenty of water
  6. Eat high-fibre foods
  7. Read food labels
  8. Use a smaller plate
  9. Don’t ban foods
  10. Don’t stock junk food
  11. Cut down on alcohol
  12. Plan your meals

Other new year resolutions that featured in the top five of the ITV poll were – cut down on alcohol, stop smoking.

NHS Choices has a great online resource with over 100 topics on healthy living and useful tools such as Couch to 5k running programme to guide you on your health and fitness journey.  There is also information on how to cut back on alcohol and stop smoking.

Get going and good luck, make 2017 the year you change your lifestyle!

Happy New Year from the Valley Leisure team.

Compliment your 12 week plan with an all inclusive membership at Andover Leisure Centre or Romsey Rapids Sports Complex.

6 Easy steps to burn a few extra pounds this Christmas?

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Christmas Day is now just a few days away, have you pushed the boat out in the festive season and eaten one too many mince pies or glugged back the Mulled wine??

Do not dismay, put some zest into your steps in last minute preparations for  Christmas to burn a few extra pounds – ‘excuse the pun’!

  1. Cleaning the house before your Christmas guests arrive:
    1.  Dusting for 30 minutes burns 80 calories
    2. Mopping floors for 15 minutes burns 70 calories
    3. Vacuuming for 30 minutes burns 120 calories
  2. Get some fresh air and set off on a brisk Christmas walk, a one hour walk after your Christmas lunch can burn 280 calories (walking at 3mph average pace). Take the family and make it a social occasion!
  3. Head off to your nearest Christmas ice rink and burn 165 calories for 30 minutes on the ice. Great for toning up your tummy muscles too!
  4. Even heading to the kitchen to prepare a Christmas feast can burn 70 calories in 30 minutes. Get peeling those roast potatoes!
  5. Turn up the Christmas music and get into the festive spirit dancing around the house, in just 30 minutes you can burn 195 calories, plus have a lot of fun!
  6. Last but not least all that present wrapping ahead of you can be more productive than your think, one hour of present wrapping can burn up to 120 calories.

So get cleaning, walking, ice skating and dancing to get your festive calories wrapped up!

Merry Christmas to all from the Valley Leisure team.

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Suit up like Santa this Christmas!

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It’s that time of year again- and Santa’s all around the world are getting ready for another busy Christmas!

This is also the case in Andover and Romsey, where hundreds of Santa’s will take to the town centres and run together again, helping them prepare for the Christmas rush. The two fun runs are taking place on Sunday 11th December, and people of all ages and abilities are expected to get involved as usual. In previous years, there have even been dogs and miniature horses in attendance!

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Andover and Romsey aren’t the only places people have been getting their Santa suits on and having a run- and people all around the world will also be marking the start of Christmas in a similar way.

Liverpool hosts one of the world’s largest ‘fun runs’, with 8,500 Santa’s having taken to the streets in 2014 to break the world record at the time.

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The following year Madrid hosted an even bigger gathering, with an unbelievable 10,000 Santa’s descending upon the city centre!

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USA also loves getting in the festive spirit- and there are always fun runs across the states. Texas hosts a notably large one, as you can see here! They are expecting another 4,000 this year.

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Don’t worry if you can’t get to one of those though- we’ve got you covered!

The event in Andover starts and finishes at Andover Leisure Centre, and kicks off at 10am. Registration is from 8am and there’s a fun warm up at 9.45am. Times in Romsey are slightly different, with registration at 8am and the warm up at 8.45am- with the race starting at 9am.

Tickets, which cost £6 for an adult and £4 for a child, can be bought online on the Valley Leisure website at http://valleyleisure.co.uk/buyonline/product-category/activities/.

Everyone who pre-books is guaranteed a Santa suit. They can be collected from the Andover Leisure Centre or Romsey Rapids Sports Complex from now on.

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A simple way to help fight diabetes!

With world Diabetes Day earlier this week on the 14th November, we thought we would look into some easy ways to help reduce your risk of being affected by the condition.

Whilst it is a myth that sugar consumption itself directly fuels Diabetes, there are still strong intrinsic links between the two- with sugar heavily impacting obesity statistics, which in turn impacts Diabetes prevalence.

So, one simple way to help fight this problem is by swapping out sugar in everyday meals- often in places you wouldn’t even notice! Here are some that will barely affect your day to day life:

1. An obvious and easy way to start is by replacing your fizzy drink needs with diet or sugar free options. A regular 330ml can of coke tends to have 10.6g of sugar in it- that’s 39% of your daily recommended amount! Either diet or sugar free option reduces that down all the way to zero.

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2. Fancy something sweet to keep you going? Instead of a Chocolate bar with 20g of sugar in it, how about a slice of toast with some Nutella for half the sugar intake!

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3. In need of a hearty soup to keep you warm over the winter months? Replace some standard Heinz cream of tomato soup with a Low Calorie Mushroom soup from Campbell’s- which has only a fifth of the sugar content (2g).

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4. Breakfast Time! But instead of a sugary bowl of cereal, how about a healthy replacement such as Porridge or whole grain produce which can help to slowly release energy throughout the day- with little to no sugar involved in the process!

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5. Replace your added sugars in your morning tea & coffee’s with sugar replacements such as Splenda, Agave Nectar, Truvia or even Honey. These, depending on how much sugar you take with your brew, will help to reduce your daily intakes greatly- and these things build up quickly! Just imagine how many Tea’s or Coffee’s you have each month!

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Of course, replacing sugar where possible is just one way of helping to reduce your risk of obesity or Diabetes- with regular  exercise also being an essential part of this process.

Not sure where to start?

At Valley Leisure we will help you every step of the way once you become a member– with free dietary plans being presented alongside the regular gym routine plans on offer!

 

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Why Bodyweight Training Rules!

At Valley Leisure, we are always looking to find the latest trends in health and fitness which can help to maximise your workout. Increasingly in the industry, we have seen a swing towards gym users performing bodyweight exercises and functional training within our centres. This intrigued us to investigate further as to why this may be the case, and whether incorporating more of these exercises into a traditional Free Weights and machine based routine would provide added benefits.

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1. Cardio: Bodyweight training helps to combine a mixture of both weight based exercise and an element of cardiovascular exercise, without the participant necessarily noticing it as much as a long treadmill or rowing session. Exercises such as Burpees, Push Ups and Lunges are ideal for this reason.

2. Bone & Joint Strengthening: If you are finding yourself suffering from sore bones or joints as a result of the exercises you perform- or in life in general, bodyweight exercises offer a less strenuous alternative, as well as helping to strengthen these areas and prevent future issues from arising.

3. Balance: Incorporating a few of these exercises into a regular routine can also help to improve your balance, especially if you are more used to a free weight based routine which only has minimal links to strengthening overall balance.

4. Whole Body Strength: The benefits of bodyweight exercises on your entire body are also highly increased. These exercises tend towards activating many supporting muscles throughout the entire body, helping to increase whole body strength- rather than isolating benefits to particular muscle groups. These benefits are especially prominent to a person’s core, as it is used constantly in order to stabilise the body in these exercises.

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And so many more…

Bodyweight exercises have also been heavily linked to a number of further health benefits, including healthy hearts, reduced risk of diabetes and fighting depression.

So, what bodyweight exercises could you start using in your workout?

  • Push Ups (and variations of)
  • Sit Ups
  • Burpees
  • Pull Ups
  • Planks
  • Lunges
  • Wall Sits
  • Tricep Dips
  • Inverted Rows
  • Jump Squats
  • Box Jumps
  • Crunches
  • Muscle Ups (Advanced Users)
  • Hand Stand Push Ups (Advanced Users)

With all of this in mind, will you be considering incorporating some more of these simple bodyweight exercises into your workout?