Let’s celebrate all international women across the globe. The history of this event dates back to the early 1900’s and has evolved and grown addressing key issues and themes over the years. It’s purpose is to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women across the world as well as addressing equality. The theme this year 2021 is ‘Choose Challenge’. The focus and aims of the day are to celebrate women’s success and achievements, raise awareness about women’s equality and fundraise for female charities.
What better way to celebrate this day by joining an International Running Race across the globe, with many female-focused charities to choose from, this is a great way to support and raise awareness in your local community, inspire and challenge yourself, but to encourage other women across the world to participate in running, highlight healthy living as well as ‘firing up’ enthusiasm to women to reach their individual fitness goals.
INTEGRATED PILATES & YOGA, CHILDRENS PERFORMANCE IN EDUCATION
Pilates and yoga are mind-body systems which both emphasise breathing, relaxation, posture, muscular strength and endurance and flexibility. There is much science behind the connection of the mind and body and the link between the release of specific chemicals released when undertaking movements and many have already reaped the many benefits of practising both disciplines regularly.
CHALLENGES CHILDREN FACE IN LEARNING
Many children can face challenges in their learning which can affect their mental, academic and physical well-being. Studies were conducted on elementary and middle school children in education and found that yoga had an effect on improved grades, better health through a reduction in obesity and health problems, the research suggests that mindfulness activities such as Pilates and yoga can also assist children in class lessons because they are calmer, find it easier to complete tasks improved concentration as well as having a healthy body image which leads to more confidence in themselves compared to those who have a negative body image, which could result in low self-esteem and become a distraction in the class. (Eggleson, Brandon, 2015). Furthermore (Peck & Kehle, 2005) revealed that younger children who took part in 30 minutes of yoga, twice a week for 3 weeks completed tasks on time compared to those who didn’t take part.
YOGA FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
Children with special needs may also benefit from undertaking Pilates or yoga as both mind-body systems focus the mind and attention on the movement, those in particular with conditions such as ASD (autism-spectrum disorder), as the skills learnt in these disciplines enable improved sensory information processing, motor control, communication and improved cognitive processing of information from perception, problem solving, reasoning, thinking and learning are factors linked with yoga participation which can help those lead a more healthy, balanced life. (Etheringer, 2010). Particular Pilates/yoga exercises which are similar in nature have been associated with an increase in attention and memory as there is an increased blood flow to the brain, (Schaeffer, 2002) claimed “yoga can prevent memory lapses by calming you and enhance concentration. It can also improve your powers of recall by increasing blood circulation to your brain”.
INCORPORATE PILATES & YOGA INTO LESSONS
Physical activities linked to Pilates and yoga can be part of your curriculum and can be blended into lessons for 5 and 10 minutes by incorporating a story during reading, writing combined with Pilates and Yoga poses and breathing techniques. Some simple exercises can include: Standing tall like a Tree, Seal stretch, Bridge and Tortoise. By introducing some exercises also promotes physical activity and encourages a healthy lifestyle.
Eggleston, B & Brandon, J.E (2015) available at: International Journal of Health & Wellness Society, Vol 5, Issue 3, p 1-7
Etheringer, J (2010) Yoga for children on the Autism Spectrum, International Journal of Yoga Therapy, Vol 20, No 1. Pp 131-139
Peck, H.L & Kehle, T.J (2005) Yoga as an intervention for children with attention problems. School Psychology Review, 34 (3) 415-424
Schaeffer, R (2002) Athletic Insight, The Online Journal of Sports Psychology, Vol 9, Issue 2, June 2007
Live on line fitness community classes are a superb way of connecting with like minded people who share a common interest in health and well-being. Live on line classes also offer a wider selection of classes. In studio classes you may rush to your class from work, however with live on line there is no need to travel, you will reduce air pollution and save money as live on line is cheaper. Moreover, small group live on line offers a tailored, personalised exercise class which can help with motivation.
Sometimes it is not possible to get to our regular class for exercise due to circumstances, however, on-line fitness provides a solution. As long as you have WiFi connection you can log on to your normal class and workout wherever you are. Also, workout for less, it is cheaper for you to book an on-line lesson compared to a studio session. In addition, having a variety of scheduled slots of exercise offer a more convenient approach to training. If you prefer to have an individual session this offers many advantages to time slots, costings and you not having to drive to gyms to meet your instructor, you will still get motivation and instruction, so give it a go.
There are numerous studies and research on the many physical benefits of exercise to include aerobic exercise, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility and balance, however, there is increasing evidence to list the psychological and cognitive benefits and its relation to physical exercise, some of these include; heightened mood state, less anxiety, stress and depression, improved self esteem and body image. Studies conducted in Finland on participants between the ages of 24-64 explored the association between physical exercise and psychological traits and demonstrated that participants who exercise at least 2-3 times a week experienced less anger, distrust, depression and report a stronger sense of social integration compared to those who lead sedentary lifestyles.
Why is the Camino de Santiago so popular? An incredible 347,578 pilgrim walkers undertook the Camino last year from over at least 50 different pilgrimage routes for various reasons. Is this the year you embark on a Camino for your personal health and well-being? You could be a gap student, undergoing change in your life, maybe your retired and want to spend more time looking after your health.
The busy-ness of our lives with the constant technology, demands and overload consumes our time and depletes our energy. The Camino allows space to reflect, slow down, re-energise, re-connect with others and gain a perspective on how we lead our lives. As we become more conscious through awareness and mindfulness walking each day, we become more in tune with our body, mind and spirit and can aim to facilitate change for a more well-balanced life.
This excellent seminar I attended enabled me to explore and gain more knowledge in the fields of ‘Guidance and Resilience’. Key speakers delivered lectures in the role of guidance in building resilience and promoting coping skills from an array of topics. Delegates from across Europe came together to discuss and share good practice as well as enhance their own professional development. What is Resilience? Resilience is the ability to bounce back, know how to cope with setbacks, how to manage yourself and your resources. What skills do we need to pick ourselves up? One of the skills for developing resilience is perseverance, this is defined as the continued effort to do or achieve something despite failures or difficulties.
Resilient people are able to control a situation and tackle problems, however this depends on your motivation and how much you are willing to do to overcome these obstacles. Some simple steps to start with are: to get control of your emotions, your reaction to the situation and find out what is causing the problem, learn to keep growing, stay strong and reward yourself for your achievements.
This stretch of the Camino leaves Caldas De Reis via the N-550 and continues into dense forests surrounding the Valga River, it is pleasant and shady blocking out the intense sun rays. The way is clearly sign posted with the blue and yellow signs showing how many km are left to walk to Santiago. As the route leads into villages, over bridges. After arriving in the town of Pontecesures, follow the bridge over the River Ulla, you can walk down the delightful promenade along the River Sat. In the centre of Padron is the church of Santiago, where you can see the Pedron, this is the stone where claims are made that the boat bought the remains of the Apostle St James, was moored. The group of walkers navigate through the town to our hostel for the night, where we enjoy excellent food to include tasty, traditional green peppers, accompanied by a very large youth club singing Camino songs.
On departing Pontevedra, I cross many rivers to include River Lerez over the O Burgo bridge. The way leads between the railway line and the River Grande, after much walking the route continues into the woods. It is extremely hot, but there are places to stop and rest. On approaching an idyllic village of Tibo, I join a large group of walkers, we make conversation as we stroll along and pass the Santa Maria church, arriving at Caldas, a spa town. From this point we follow the street Santa Marta, cross a bridge and arrive at a hot water spring town, there are more bridges to include the delightful medieval bridge over the River, bringing this part of the journey to a close.
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.