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Posted by on in Tips


The physical benefits of exercise are well known: increased fitness levels and bone density; reduction in likelihood of strokes and heart attacks; increased muscle tone and stability (to name a few). But how does exercise impact on your mood?

In a nutshell, exercise, can and does boost you mood. In addition, this wondrous activity can also have a positive impact on stress, self-esteem as well has helping to combat anxiety and depression1.

Exercise is frankly a good habit to get into. It doesn’t mean you have to run marathons (although of course you can), exercise can be as simple as a spot of gardening or walking the dog. According to Mind, as your body adapts to increased activity levels you get a natural energy boost, which can make you feel less tired2.

And if you’re struggling for motivation, just remember how good you feel after you’ve exercised and go for it!








Posted by on in Tips


Firstly let’s get acquainted with what DOMS are. DOMS stands for delayed onset muscle soreness which is the muscle pain you feel usually 24 – 48hrs after exercise.

A lot of different things can cause DOMS, but it’s usually as a result of movements that cause a muscle to contract whilst being lengthened e.g. sprinting downhill, dumbbell chest flys and bicep curls.

DOMS aren’t exclusive the those new to exercise, according to the NHS is can occur when you ‘start a new exercise programme, change your exercise routine, or increase the duration or intensity of your regular workout’.

Why do they occur so long after exercise?
DOMS occur thanks to the exercise causing tiny tears in the muscle. This then causes a mix of chemical reactions which go on to irritate nerve endings and result in the delayed muscle soreness.

5 tips for preventing and dealing with DOMS
- Do a warm-up – limbering up and foam rolling will help activate the muscles you are going to use
- Take paracetamol rather than ibuprofen and anti-inflammatories can reduce the muscle’s ability to adapt
- Prevent or reduce the length of DOMS by having a post-exercise ice bath
- Keep active – turning your legs over on a bike or doing alternative exercises can help, some studies have shown that and continuing to exercise won’t increase DOMS
- Once your DOMS have healed continue with the exercise that initially caused them, the more you do it, the less likely your DOMS will return at least not to the same degree).

If you experience the soreness for longer than 10 days you should seek medical advice. If you have severe swelling or bruising or immediate pain rather than delayed pain you should also seek advice.

Sources:  NHS, Huffington Post

Posted by on in Tips


HIIT exercise is a trend that has been sweeping the nation for a while now. But what exactly is it? HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. It is centered around short bursts of exercise that are split with a shorter period of rest allowing you to give 90-100% effort in short bursts.

- For all levels – want to push yourself go for 40 seconds exercise with 20 seconds rest. New to HIIT? Go for 20 seconds exercise with 10 seconds rest and build up to 30 seconds exercise with 15 seconds rest.
- Fits around your schedule – if you only have 15 minutes to spare, just do 15 minutes
- You don’t need any equipment – of course you can do HIIT on an exercise bike or rower, but if you haven’t got access to these, just you and a small area will do.
- Feel the burn - HIIT is said to burn fat for hours after you’ve completed the exercise due to an increase in metabolic rate

Top tip – download a HIIT timer app on your phone and set up your intervals

Duane from our gym team at West Park has devised this workout for you. Let us know how you get on!

- Sprints – 2 x 20 secs work, 10 secs rest
- Burpees – 2 x 20 secs work, 10 secs rest
- Skipping – 2 x 20 secs work, 10 secs rest
- Battle Rope – 2 x 20 secs work, 10 secs rest


Posted by on in Tips


Let’s face it, we’ve all been there, we’ve overhauled to our lives to achieve goals quickly. With big goals comes the pressure of commitment, and inevitably we end up deviating from our plan and giving up. Pressure isn’t mentally or physically beneficial in the long run.

A lot of people wish to change their diet to be healthier and increase the amount they exercise. And whilst there is nothing wrong with throwing yourself into things; the key is to make changes that are sustainable which allow you to continue getting enjoyment and benefit for life. Once you settle into your new lifestyle, it’ll become the norm.

Top tips for making sustainable lifestyle changes
- Don’t put too much pressure on yourself
If the word ‘diet’ crops up, chances are it comes stacked with pressure. There is nothing negative about the word goal so why not make small month-by-month goals that are realistic and achievable? If you deviate from your plan, don’t dwell on it; tomorrow is a new day.

- Get support
Support can be a great motivator and help focus you. Whether it’s a friend you train with, or the family you eat with, get everyone on board with your lifestyle change; they’ll help you keep on track.

Members of the health club can also get support from our team with programmes, expertise and motivator sessions, why not give them a try?

- Don’t miss out
Some diets can be really restrictive meaning meals with friends and events are out the question and you’re too exhausted to exercise. Not only is this not sustainable, you’ll lose a lot of enjoyment. Your lifestyle change can simply be making better choices with regard to food and drink or taking the stairs and not the lift. A lifestyle change isn’t a punishment, it’s just a new way of living.

- Try something new
You can make your lifestyle change fun by trying new foods and activities. Whilst your motivation is at its highest, find new activities, join a new class or group and investigate new foods, flavours and recipes.

- Do online food shopping
One of the ways to combat ‘accidentally’ buying a box of 6 cakes and a bag of chocolate buttons is to remove yourself from temptation. Why not switch to doing your food shop online? You’ll be out of harm’s way and the likelihood of a bag of crisps jumping into your trolley and ruining your new lifestyle is slim.

Planning what you’re eating on a week-by-week basis is key to success; you can prep, defrost and have all the ingredients at your fingertips and ready to go.

- Congratulate yourself
This is the important one. Congratulate yourself for starting it, congratulate yourself for all the small improvements you make, learn what works for you and keep going. A lifestyle change is a long term, sustainable plan so make sure it’s enjoyable, you want this to become a way of life.