Mindfulness Walking

The Art of Mindfulness Walking

What is Mindfulness Walking?

Mindfulness is the practice of bringing your attention into the present moment where mindfulness walking is the practice of becoming aware of your surroundings and how your body and mind feel whilst moving. There are many benefits to this by focusing on the present moment you can increase self awareness and develop skills to manage your stress and maybe see a different perspective on any stressful situations in your life. Autumn is a great time to be outdoors, by engaging in the local environment and appreciating nature, mindfulness walking helps you to connect to your senses, releasing stress and anxiety and promoting health and wellbeing. Find out more about our mindfulness walking sessions by visiting http://www.fitness-excel.com

The Importance of Physical Education in Schools

Yoga classes outside on the open air. Kids Yoga

Current physical activity trends show that 30 years ago physical activity was accepted and was a normal part of the lives of young people, as they engaged more in physical activity they were benefiting from the many health benefits. Recent studies now show that young people’s low level of activity is not sufficient to benefit cardiovascular fitness.

Factors which have contributed to changes are the social and technological influences, where indoor sedentary activities such as computer games has become the preferred activity rather than participating in leisure and sport and travelling by bus rather than walking to school. The decline in physical activity at a young age can influence participation as a teenager and into adulthood. Encouraging children to adopt active lifestyles would appear to be of great importance.

Addtional pressures at school such as a tight schedule, limited resources or squeezed budgets with subjects such as Maths and English taking priority over physical education is another issue of concern. At SAG Tutoring we have over 15 years experience and knowledge of training the teachers in exercise for children and health related activities, using a selection of imaginative actvities which incorporate gymnastics and sport with links to the physical education curriculum which will engage and enthuse children. Experienced and specialist teachers are sometimes needed in schools to ignite new ideas and inspiration into the PE curriculum encouraging participation and opportunities for all ages and abilities.

Breathing Efficiently

Breathing is easy, it’s natural, you just do it don’t you? But wait a minute, a new book by James Nestor entitled “Breath” points out that it’s not quite so simple!

It turns out that there is more to breathing than just letting it happen and the consequences can be damaging. We all know that if someone gets into a panic, they can start what’s called, hyperventilating, where they breathe deeply and rapidly- with the result that they can feel faint.  And sometimes just thinking about a scary or highly stressful incident can induce the same reaction.

In both cases we breathe through our mouths and that we calm down by slowing the breathing down it will reduce the stressful sensations we go back to breathing through our noses-or do we?

Quite often, if the stress is low level and near continuous, we end up mouth breathing more than is healthy. But what’s wrong with breathing through the mouth you ask? Well according to James Nestor, breathing experts point out that nose breathing is the optimum way to breathe, except when undergoing physical exertion.

Why? Because amongst other benefits the nose is our own in-built air filtration and air conditioning system. Catching all the dust, dirt and germs floating around in the atmosphere. Which would otherwise be drawn deeply into the lungs when we breathe with our mouths. Also the air coming in via the nose is warmed and humidified, whereas it isn’t when coming in via the mouth.

Benefits such as these and many others are explained in his book, which whilst fascinating and is highly recommending reading, it doesn’t give any details of practices you can do to alleviate the situation. It appears that nearly all the techniques Nestor mentions are similar to a Yoga teachers handbook of Pranayama together with some of the physical exercises/practices utilised are also taught in a Pilates class. In view of this check out our short and entertaining theory and practical workshop on breathing efficiently for interested people to come and learn more about how the body breathes, how you can improve your breathing via some simple exercises from Yoga and Pilates and understanding what benefits you can gain.

References:

Nestor, J (2021) Breath, The New Science of a Lost Art.

Redondela-Pontevedra

Buen Camino

Day 3 – Another 6.30am start as it is going to be a tough day walking in the heat. Passing through and leaving Redondela behind, there is a much to see to include the estuary of Vigo and its islands. I merge with a long convoy of walkers in good spirit who greet each other with ‘Buen Camino’. Continuing along the way there are quaint villages, cobbled streets, crossing the medieval bridge of Ponte Sampaio, a varied, hilly route, with numerous places to stop for rest where you can get a 3 course pilgrim lunch at most restaurants for 10 euros. Eventually arriving in the historic centre of Pontevedra, for a well deserved back massage with the local physiotherapist.

Vigo-Redondela – Portuguese Camino

The coastal route

Vigo can be reached following the River Lagares which leads into Samil beach, there is much to see on this riverside walk. Vigo is a large town and perfect for an overnight stay. An early rise 7am to start walking to Redondela, it is dark and there are no arrows to follow, it can be difficult to get out of town. Eventually a group of us notice a faint yellow arrow, this leads the way into interesting streets and the old historic parts of Vigo and fishing areas of O Berbes, There is plenty to see in Vigo to include a Museum, the Church of Santiago and peaceful botanical gardens. There are many cafes offering great food and stamps for your passport on route. Many more walkers appear now and eventually after 5 hours, I reach the town of Redondela.

Portugal-Santiago Camino Baiona-Vigo

I started very early as this was a long day walking and wanted to avoid the heat of the day. Baiona is a pleasant, busy fishing town, with many Atlantic islands which can be reached by boat. On leaving Baiona the Camino continues across sandy beaches, over the River Groba passing beautiful Romanesque bridges. Here you can stop for a rest, where there are many cafes. A quiet, flat route with no other walkers in sight, it continues along the Foz do Rio Minor, surrounded by marshlands, an important ecological site which host many species of wildlife. The way displays interesting architecture and stone crosses, although peaceful, I am aware of the busy C-550 in the background. After 6 hours I approach the city of Vigo.

Psychology of Marathon Running

SOFTV3-201904271131160132989

Participants competing in long endurance events such as the Marathon has steadily risen over the years.  Data taken of both demographic and socio-economic groups from various studies has seen a rise in running becoming a popular sport.

The Marathon runner embarks on this challenge for many reasons and they must adapt their lifestyle and training far beyond the recreational exerciser to include high levels of demanding physiological and psychological adaptations to push beyond their current capabilities.  Furthermore, the rewards and positive benefits of this training will outweigh the negatives of marathon running.

The London Marathon is my third marathon, as a veteran runner I have improved with age, both on personal performance together with a faster post marathon recovery rate.  Training for a Marathon demands a consistent, disciplined, structured routine which will manifest into other areas of the runners life to include; personal goal achievement, better life management, psychological and emotional strategies for coping and better vitality and health.

London Marathon – Running Injuries

plank-fitness-muscular-exercising-163437

Injuries are inevitable when participating in endurance events and can occur as a result of a breakdown in tissue and muscles being overloaded. With just over one week to go until London Marathon 2019, my plantar fasciitis has flared up again.  This condition can causes inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thin layer of tough tissue supporting the arch of the foot.  Rest and ice are the best form of treatment together with a performance based Pilates exercise programme for the core, such as side plank, integrating foot muscle strengthening and flexibility in the lower limbs.

Functional Strength Training

pexels-photo-221247

Ageing is associated to physiological changes and declines in muscles and joints which could contribute to falls, frailty and disability, the term for this condition is known as ‘sarcopenia’.  Factors include a loss of muscle mass and strength.  Current research has shown that by engaging in regular strength training programmes 2-3 times per week, exercise can help combat muscle weakness, build muscle strength and improve bone density.

Benefits of Short Intensive Summer Courses

 

pexels-photo-616999

Short courses can take place in winter, summer or throughout the academic year, delivered as a professional or academic course. Maybe you are looking to add an ‘extra flair’ to your study or would like to pursue a practical course in an academic subject combined with practical subjects, which is flexible, less connected to the regular curriculum, but is a course of interest.

A short course can not only enhance your skills, knowledge, but it enables you to specialise further, study from a different perspective or look into a different field of study you may of thought of as a hobby or interest.

An Intensive course gives you freedom, if you are looking for a job or seeking better opportunities, a short course will not only enhance your CV but enrich your study experience.