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Goal Setting

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Are you embarking on a fitness challenge for 2019? It would be worthwhile setting some goals and targets to achieve the goal.  The quality of your goal needs to be SMART (Specific, measurable, accurate, realistic, time-framed).  First, consider the fitness challenge you would like to do, run a marathon, a 10K race, climb a mountain as a few examples.  The goal needs to be realistic, to be set within a time frame otherwise it won’t be achieved.  However, if it is not challenging enough you could lack the motivation to do it.

Goal Intensity – refers to the effort required to set a goal and how that individual is committed to the goal.  Research has shown that by setting specific, difficult goals, this can lead to a higher performance, rather than a vague goal.  Further studies outline the importance of a challenging goal to that individual, resulting in a focused approach to achievement.

Functional Strength Training

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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.

Osteoporosis & Healthy Bones

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The condition of osteoporosis or (porous bones) affects at least one in two women over the age of 50 in the UK.  As women enter the menopause, the risk of osteoporosis increases.  A disease which leads to a deterioration in bones and their structure which could result in fractures.  Some of the common sites are hips, legs, arms and the vertebrae of the spine, which could result in a reduced quality of life. Exercise has been known to improve bone health and research studies show that a high, free resistance training of the upper body, together with higher impact activities of the lower body as being effective for improving bone mass.

Benefits of Short Intensive Summer Courses

 

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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.

Camino & Resilience

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The route continued to Palas De Rei. After leaving Portomarin, crossing the River Mino we continued uphill steadily through woodland, the rain continued and got heavier and heavier. Continuing through small hamlets, passing the Hospital de la Cruz. Arriving at Vendas de Naron to get a ‘pilgrim stamp’ the old Romanesque Chapel, then continuing along the paved path, arriving at Sierra de Ligonde which offered fantastic views over the valleys. Particular parts of the route were isolated and quiet, apart from a rather large dog. The fog was dense and we were soaked through.

Approaching A Calzada the weather was so bad, we took shelter under a tree. There were other walkers, one an Australian man, we had met further back in other towns.  After discussing the weather, our blisters, stories of one walker getting frostbite back in the Pyrenees, our conversation compared the weather to life and the Camino, there are good and bad times, but we must press forwards.

The Camino de Santiago builds resilience, both emotionally and physically, it enables us to develop a positive mind and can-do-attitude.  We can integrate resilience into our lives on a daily basis, by being more active, getting more sleep and eating well, forgiving ourselves and resolving conflict. These small steps can help us improve our mental health and to face everyday challenges.

Camino & Mindfulness

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Camino de Santiago is an excellent reason to take time out and integrate some walking mindfulness into your Camino.  Be aware of the sounds of nature, the wind, sun, rain and other people.  How can we become mindful of our experience of walking? Start with a natural relaxed walking rhythm, keep your attention in the soles of your feet, being aware of the alternating patterns of contact with your foot as it makes contact with the ground, then focus on sensations in your muscles and joints, expanding that awareness into your posture and breathing.

Classic Camino-Frances

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Considering walking the Camino-Frances.  Why not start in Sarria – known for its fabulous hospitality and local traditional food.  As you begin your walk, you will pass through stunning scenery, picturesque villages, hamlets and many beautiful landscapes, in rural Galicia.  The atmosphere is unique.  Once you arrive in Santiago, a UNESCO world heritage city, visit the cathedral, claim your certificate from the Pilgrim office. There is plenty of time to explore, reflect on your journey and relax in this stunning town.  visit http://www.fitness-excel.com/home to view our video of Sarria-Santiago.

Adventure Education

 

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Adventure education is a type of experiential education, it is based on theories that individuals learn through direct experience rather than classroom based activities. Having walked with my daughter on the Camino de Santiago, it was apparent to see the many rewards of learning outdoors.  The Camino also develops skills of resilience as participants have to walk day after day, some carrying 8kg backpacks in all types of weather.  Adventure education focuses on self-esteem development, problem solving and effective communication skills.  Furthermore, learning to undertake risk management skills, making decisions, planning a daily route of walking and navigating offers increased participation, interaction, a sense of achievement and learning which is relevant and meaningful.

Camino, Health & Well-being

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Having just completed the Camino de Santiago, 112 km last leg, embarking on a long walk can reap many benefits.  The Camino gives many qualities such as physical fitness and wellness, mental stamina, mindfulness, social health of interacting with like-minded pilgrims also on the same journey.  Equally important is being surrounded by nature and taking care of the environment.  The physical and social environment in which we live is very different from the one in which humans evolved, there have been dramatic changes in our diet, a decrease in our physical activity levels, increased stimulation from social media which has been associated with poor health.  Walking the Camino enables us to get back to the basics, regular physical activity, less processed food, travelling light and taken time out for reflection.