Exercises to improve your walking – The Squat

Walking is a great all-round exercise: it improves your cardiovascular system (stronger heart & lungs); it develops leg strength (quads - front thighs, hamstrings - rear thighs, glutes - bum muscles); and makes for a stronger core (stomach and back muscles).  It is also good for weight loss and can be as beneficial for treating mild depression as prescribed medication!  Added to those benefits, walking helps regulate blood glucose levels and can reduce blood pressure. It can also be done by most people - just start where you are.  You don't need to…continue reading →

Stay on these roads!!

Hello. My name is Sharon and I'm an A-ha fan!! There, I've said it.  Phew. I have many happy memories of the 80s music scene - as many of my Back Pain exercise class clients will tell you! But the A-ha song "Stay on These Roads" brought a smile to my face yesterday during my latest training hike for the 27-mile Peak District 6-Dales Challenge which I'm taking part in on Sat 24th June 2017. I left Rotherham at 10am to meet up with a walking group in north Sheffield (near Oughtibridge).  I…continue reading →

“You did well… for a southerner!!”

Yesterday I went on another training hike in preparation for my Peak District 6-Dales challenge on 24th June.  This time I was with my good friend Sarah, and we tackled Shire Hill in Glossop. The weather was cool (2c) and wet when I left Rotherham.  As I proceeded over Woodhead Pass (A628), the temperature went down to -1c and the rain turned to sleet and then snow.  Visibility in places was reduced to 50m thanks to low cloud and fog.  Arriving in Glossop it was still sleeting and some snow covered the ground.…continue reading →

Navigation issues and too much mud!!

Today was the first training hike for my Peak District 6-Dales (PD6D) Physical Challenge, which I'm doing on 24th June (see previous post for further details). All started well.  I'd printed off my route to the meeting point (no SatNav!) and set off up the M1 in plenty of time.  My destination was to be The New Inn pub at Walton, Wakefield.  Needless to say, the AA route finder let me down within the last couple of miles and I was left to my own instincts.  Eventually, after a  detour around Durkar, I…continue reading →

Peak District 6-Dales hike – Part 1

Thanks to my wonderful cousin Jill, I’ve now got my next Physical Challenge decided, booked and paid for!  I’m going to do the Peak District 6-Dales hike with Pure Challenge on Sat 24th June 2017.  I'll be fundraising too! More of that later. I wanted a challenge that would stretch me – this certainly ticks that box!!  It’s a timed 27-mile (43km) hike – that’s longer than a marathon - with 1000m ascent, on a variety of terrain.  Some people even run it… I’ll be walking it (and probably limping some of it!). …continue reading →

Day 6 – Just do it!

It’s been my first day back at work after two weeks off over Christmas and New Year… I feel tired… I’ve got a slight chesty cough… it’s cold outside… it’s windy… it’s spitting with rain… and I’d committed to do a brisk walk / run as part of my 100-Day Challenge.  So what did I do? There was a strong temptation to take the above excuses and curl up on the sofa in front of the fire with them and have a well-deserved rest!  I could certainly justify not going out... no one…continue reading →

Day 5 – Beware of the ‘All or Nothing’ thinking

If you’ve read my article on Catastrophic Thinking, then you’ll have a rough idea of where I’m going with this article. It’s so very tempting, when we start anything new, that we get excited and go overboard.  On a new diet we’ll zealously over-restrict; on a new training regime we’ll go to every possible class at the gym; on a New Year’s Resolution we’ll stick to it for maybe a day or two… ‘All or Nothing’ thinking (aka Catastrophic Thinking) is often a big factor in why New Year’s Resolutions rarely last past…continue reading →

The 100-Day Challenge – Day 1

Today is Day 1 of my '100-day Challenge'.  I thought I'd beat the rush of New Year (don't agree / like the idea of New Year's Resolutions anyway) and start to make some small, sustainable, barely-noticeable changes to continue to improve my life. Over the next 100 days I'll be writing about what I'm doing and how well it's going.  The Challenge will finish on Fri 7th April 2017. Each day I will: weigh myself and plot my weight on a graph; start a daily routine of 10 press ups, 5 sit ups,…continue reading →

Desperate, Determined, Delighted!

When I posted my recent ‘GoApe Tarzan Swing’ video, I received two very distinct types of response.  The first type went along the lines of: “Goodness (or words to that effect!) Sharon, why get so worked up and upset and take so long over such a small thing?!  Was that it - a small swing onto a cargo net? I thought you were going to do something HUGE!” People found it strange that I would want to make public a video of me at my vulnerable worst, appearing very ‘weak’. The other type…continue reading →

“I know walking’s good for me… but I hate it!”

"I know walking's good for me... but I hate it!" So ended the brief conversation some seven years ago with a friend of mine who was trying to persuade me to go on another embarrassing ‘short’ walk with the aim of ‘making me feel better and get fitter’. The subject of walking - among other topics - came up again this morning as I sat in the sunshine with my ‘Black with a Splash’ (strong coffee) listening to the Christian church service on Radio 4.  The speaker mentioned his recent walk along the…continue reading →