7 activities to inspire you this National Fitness Day!

Today is National Fitness Day, and we’re celebrating all the amazing things our body can do and all of the wonderful physical and mental health benefits of leading an active lifestyle!  

 Of course, everybody and every body is different and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to fitness; some people are strong while others are flexible, some like to exercise indoors while others like be outside and some like to exercise alone while others thrive as part of a team. The key to fitness is finding a way of moving that brings you joy – if it’s something you love it won’t feel like hard work!  

The BeeZee Bodies team are an active bunch, so we wanted to tell you about how we like to keep fit. Maybe you’ll even be inspired to take up something new….

Touch Rugby
Who are you and what do you do at BeeZee Bodies? 

 I’m Ellie and I’m a nutritionist for BeeZee Ladies in Brighton 

How do you like to keep active in your free time? 

I love to play touch rugby, which is a non-contact version of rugby. So it’s a lot less injury-prone and lots more running about! I got into it through a Facebook post I saw when I moved to Brighton as I was looking for something fun and active to get involved in.  It was advertised as a women only social group which sounded just up my street – a good run around, a bit of dirt, with a good workout but no uber-competitiveness. We usually start by introducing ourselves with a fun fact (we often have newbies each week). One week the fact was: are you a Killing Eve or Love Island fan? Apparently, very few people are both! Then we play a good hour of games, and sometimes training too.

What are the health benefits?

The health benefits are that it is a really good cardio workout – lots of running and sprinting. But really good for coordination and communication too – lots of quick throwing and tactics. 

Why do you love it?

I love it for the combination of social fun, exercise, and team spirit. It’s so great to belong to a group who want to hang out, support each other to improve and have fun. 

How do you feel afterwards?

Afterwards I usually feel re-energised, so much so that we all often do for a coffee or a drink afterwards too!  

What advice do you have for beginners? 

I would say go for it, and don’t be put off by groups that don’t suit you straight away. There are always people looking for the same thing out of a group sport that you are. In fact, if you’re based around Brighton and Hove (and identify as female!) I’d recommend taking a look at our group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/826006567743697/) we’d love to have you! 

Rink Hockey
Who are you and what do you do at BeeZee Bodies? 

 I’m Matt and I’m a Families nutritionist in Hertfordshire

How do you like to keep active in your free time? 

Rink hockey (aka roller hockey)

Tell us more about Rink Hockey:

Rink hockey is similar to ice hockey, but some obvious differences include it not being played on ice, but instead it’s played on a wooden floor like you would find in a sports hall. The skates we use are quad skates (not inline) and each team has 4 players on the rink and 1 goalkeeper (with 4 outfield substitute and 1 goalkeeper substitute). The sticks are made of wood and are super light, we also use a ball, not a puck, although it’s made of the same material. It’s quite a technical game, with a lot of possession and set moves to create opportunities for goals, but it’s also fast and exciting.

During a typical training session, we will do a warm up consisting of lots of skating, changing direction and sprinting. We will then go in to some drills of shooting, passing and 1 on 1 dribbling. The session will then finish with some games.

What are the health benefits of rink hockey?

Skating is pretty tough! It makes me sweat absolutely loads and gets my heart working! With all the starting, stopping, sprinting & turning it is quite physically demanding, so it improves your fitness a lot and increases the strength in your legs.

Why do you love rink hockey?

I have been playing for 23 years (I started when I was only 6 years old), so it has just always been part of my life. It’s an exciting, fast, fun game to play and has given me opportunities to play for England in European & World Championships. Playing has taught me discipline, how to work as a team and plenty of other skills. You also get to meet a lot of people and make friends all over the country. There’s also lots of opportunities to travel to other countries such as Spain, Portugal & Holland to play, which is great!

How do you feel afterwards?

Tired! But in a good way, because once you’ve done your training session or played your match you know that you’ve done a really good bit of exercise.

What advice can you offer someone thinking about taking up Rink Hockey?

It’s a really fun and exciting sport to play which involves different skills. I would say just go for it and get started. New players are always needed to help the sport grow. Boys and girls from 5 and above we welcome to come along. If you are in the Hertfordshire area, visit the Letchworth Rink Hockey Clubs website https://www.lrhc.co.uk/ to find out more information about getting started and take a look at this video introducing Rink Hockey.

Horse Riding
Who are you and what do you do at BeeZee Bodies?

  My name is Charlotte and I am nutritionist here at BeeZee Bodies. I work on the BeeZee Families programme in Hertfordshire.   

How do you like to keep active in your free time? 

In my free time I like to do a lots of different activities including cycling, tennis and golf, but my favourite by far is horse riding. I first started horse riding properly at the age of 14 when I got a job at my local livery yard every Sunday and the highlight of this was getting to ride.    

Riding a horse is quite different to other sporting activities as you have to work with another living being, so your session will be tailored to both yours and your horses abilities. There are lots of different types of activities you can do on a horse, but as a beginner you will first of all just be getting a feel for how to ride and getting used to the movement of the horse. 

What are the health benefits?  

  Horse riding improves your overall strength as it’s quite a full body workout. It’s also good for socialising with other people and building up a relationship with the horse.   

Why do you love it? 

I love horse riding because of the feeling of harmony and team work and trust. Horse riding is a constant conversation between the horse and the rider, and it takes a good relationship between both to create good partnership.  

How do you feel afterwards? 

Afterwards I feel like I have accomplished something for both myself and my horse, I also feel like I’ve had a good all round workout. 

What advice do you have for beginners?  

If you are a new to horses a great way to start is to find your local riding stables and book a lesson, they’ll usually let you borrow all the equipment you’ll need such as a hat and riding boots. Find a place to ride.

Once you become more confident a really good way of learning more about horses and also giving back to your community is to volunteer at your local RDA centre. You’ll learn new skills about how to look after a horse day-to-day and can also help those in need.

Dance
Who are you and what do you do at BeeZee Bodies?

I’m Rosie and I look after all the BeeZee Bodies social media and marketing.

How do you like to keep active in your free time?

I have always loved to dance since I was tiny. Ballet, tap, jazz, commercial, Charleston – I try to get to as many different styles of dance classes as possible. But I don’t often have the time, as I spend most evenings and weekends teaching Zumba/Dance Fit classes.

Tell us more about it?

In dance classes like commercial/hip hop etc, you will usually spend the entire class (or even a block of a few classes) working on one dance routine to one song. These routines tend to be quite technical and a lot to remember, so you break it down step by step and learn each little bit at a time. You’ll work on technique and perfecting each dance move before adding onto the next bit of the routine.

However in a dance fitness class (like Zumba), the routines are more simple and you just follow the instructor as you go along. In this type of class you will do lots of routines back-to-back without a rest! Don’t worry though we pop a few slow songs in the mix to take a breather! This style of class is just about having fun and getting moving – it doesn’t matter if you can’t do a certain move or you go the wrong way!

What are the health benefits?

It’s a fab cardio workout and will burn tons of calories – you can burn up to 700 calories in an hour of Zumba if you really go for it! You’ll improve balance, flexibility and even strength from hidden squats disguised as dance moves! You’ll also improve your coordination, memory, confidence and reduce stress and anxiety. There are loads of studies proving the mental health benefits of dance!

Why do you love it?

I love dancing because I feel totally free and at one with my body and the music! I have endless fun, and it makes me feel confident and empowered. I love teaching dance fitness because I LOVE to watch the women who come to my classes discover their sassiness and always leave with a big smile on their face! I also love how dance fitness classes make dance more accessible to everybody regardless of their fitness or dance ability.

How do you feel afterwards?

Sweaty, buzzing with joy, filled with confidence!

What advice do you have for beginners?

Zumba is a great place to start as it’s easy to follow and gives a taste of lots of different styles of dance like salsa, hip hop, even Bollywood – plus you’ll be having so much fun you won’t realise how hard you’re working out! My advice is:

  1. Find an instructor that works for you, as we all have very different styles – some are simpler, others are quite dancey – and music preferences!
  2. Stand somewhere in the middle – don’t hide at the sides or back as you’ll need to be able to see the instructor clearly.
  3. Give it more than one class, you’ll have more fun on your 2nd or 3rd session once you’ve started to grasp the routines and can really start to let go!
  4. Leave your inhibitions at the door – we’re all there to have fun and dance together, nobody is judging you!
Cricket
Who are you and what do you do at BeeZee Bodies? 

 I’m Alex & I’m a programme coordinator in Gloucestershire 

How do you like to keep active in your free time? 

Sport is my passion and Cricket is life! Whether it’s playing competitively, with friends, training or coaching young people and adults! 

Cricket is the perfect game for any ability, any size, any age and any gender. Whether you want to play on a competitive cricket league team on a Saturday afternoon (lasting 6/7 hours) or playing in a family fun 20/20 league on a Sunday afternoon. There’s so much fun to have and is perfect for making long lasting friends! There are also many indoor leagues in the winter which are played in teams of 5.    

What are the health benefits?  

Social interaction, speed, balance, agility & hand eye coordination. It’s a great cardio workout – fantastic for getting those active minutes in. 

Why do you love it?  

Cricket has allowed me to build great resilience from a young age and has allowed me to make lifelong friends. It taught me so much about leadership, sportsmanship, patience and being able to work within a team whilst under pressure. 

How do you feel afterwards? 

Buzzing, as I generally have spent the last 6 hours being stuck in an intense battle of sport whilst having a laugh with my closet friends.  

What advice do you have for beginners?  

You’ll be amazed by how many levels of cricket there are to suit everyone! I Still play with a gentleman who is over 70!!!! Also, it’s a very inclusive sport where woman can play in local men’s leagues! There is normally a beer to be had after the game too 😀

Pilates
Who are you and what do you do at BeeZee Bodies?

Hi my name’s Ruth and I am the dietetic lead at BeeZee Bodies, which means I oversee all the nutrition advice we provide to our clients, and support the staff in the delivery of this. 

How do you like to keep active in your free time?

I love swimming, walking, running and doing Pilates. Pilates is my new greatest love so much so that I have recently qualified as a Pilates teacher. I go weekly to a 1hr class at my local gym which is suitable for beginners right up to experienced clients. I just decided to give it a go one day as I was conscious that I had done a lot of running from a young age and my body needed a bit of TLC – plus I’m not getting any younger! 

What are the health benefits?

It mainly aims to strengthen your core so that you maintain a good posture which helps you to look after your back. It can help you to re-align your muscles from all the poor habits we have gained sitting a lot and using pcs and laptops so much. It also helps you focus your mind and can help de-stress from life. 

Why do you love it?  

I love it for it’s focus on inner strength and the fact that to the onlooker it seems like not a lot is going on -“anyone can do that!” but in fact it is all about re-training your muscles in a very precise and focused way. 

How do you feel afterwards? 

Great! Energised and exhausted all at the same time. Ready to get on with the rest of the day. 

What advice do you have for beginners? 

Give it a go! But don’t expect to get hot and sweaty and out of breath – it’s a controlled exercise class. You’ll soon realise how badly you’ve been treating your body and will want to put that right. 

ParkRun/Badminton
Who are you and what do you do at BeeZee Bodies? 

Alan –  I help with planning, strategy and operations 

How do you like to keep active in your free time?

I do a Saturday morning Park run closely followed by two hours of Badminton 

Park run is 5k around Hove Park – it’s at 9am so my Kids and I have a pact to push each other out the door and we all support each other to keep it up. 

After that warm up I go to badminton with my son who is getting coached and I play matches with the other teenage player who need the practice (and who have boundless energy). I love the competition and genuinely happy to make it through a game without collapsing. Winning is not my motivation – but you think just once would be nice! 

What are the health benefits?

My energy levels have really improved as its all great cardio and I am more focused at work. 

Why do you love it?

I have always loved a bit of friendly competition whether with myself trying to achieve a personal best in park run or with the Badminton crew. This is the best of both worlds ‘exercise and fun’ – that sounds cliched but I much prefer that than going to a gym. 

How do you feel afterwards? 

I love the exertion and that feeling of exhaustion you get when it’s all finished. Your muscles are like hot rubber and you know you done good. 

What advice do you have for beginners?

The hardest bit for me is getting out the door – so this is what I did – 

  • Keep it fun – if you don’t enjoy it, you won’t stick at it 
  • Grab a buddy for the difficult days – honestly I would try and get out of exercise if there was a cloud in the sky. My buddies are my 14 yr.old son and 16 yr. old daughter. I keep them going as much as they do me. 
  • Track yourself – it’s great to keep a track of what you have achieved – your efforts can been great motivation to keep going. 
  • Keep it regular – Routine is good – plan it for a manageable time and stick to it – make it a priority over everything else.   

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