This Girl Can Swim
We are extremely excited to be launching our new THIS GIRL CAN Swim Session at Tonbridge Pool on Thursday 2nd February 2017 from 8-10pm.
Behind the incredibly inspiring This Girl Can campaign, our supportive, friendly, female swimming sessions are designed for EVERY women.
Swimming is a fantastic low impact exercise that strengthens and tones major muscle groups within a woman's body. When you swim, you are benefiting the body and the mind and what's more, our poolside activator will be on hand to ensure you have fun in the water!
Swimming can really help to develop the deep stabilising muscles in your core and lower back that women can often miss. If you need to take it easy on the joints, swimming allows you to participate in physical activity without the feeling of wear and tear on your body- you can swim at the right intensity for you and still increase your endurance capacity and overall fitness.
There are so many health benefits to swimming. A study in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology found that swimmers had better tidal volume (the air that moves in and out of the lungs) and more effcient use of oxygen. This is great for your lungs and results in lower resting heat rate and lower blood pressure.
Swimming leaves you with a positive feeling and positive feelings help to decrease stress. Our new swim session fosters community spirit and is a great opportunity to meet new friends.
We hope you can join us #thisgirlcan
Non Member: £5.20
Concession Member: £2.80
Concession Non Member: £3.60
Hello January! & Hello New Year Resolutions!
You can probably guess that one of the most popular resolutions is to get active, fitter and generally more healthier. The majority of people know that physical activity is good for them, but how does it really benefit? Physical activity really is a miracle cure that keeps our minds, our hearts and our bodies healthy.
Research shows that people who do regular activity have a lower risk of many chronic diseases and some cancers; improved self-esteem, more energy and sleep quality and reduced risk of depression.
Just a small change can give you a sense of achievement, boost your self-esteem and improve your mood. Some activity is much better than nothing and choosing something you enjoy and can gradually build into your everyday life. This could be walking to the shops instead of driving, joining a health walk, washing the car, dancing to the radio or perhaps introducing walking meetings at work! If you are interested, the BFH have some fantastic ideas and resources for encouraging physical activity, health and wellbeing in the workplace- British Heart Foundation
We are commited to improving healthy living opportunities for our residents through affordbable and accessible programmes. Tmactive now offer a variety of community activities, including walking football and a ladies running group; open to all resident of Tonbridge & Malling. More information on our programmes can be found here.
Happy New Year!
Christmas & Fitness
December is almost here, but what does that mean for our health & fitness?!
Ok. Let's be honest, health and fitness is not really found at the top of our Christmas list! But it can certainly be achieved and here are three tips to help you see the New Year in good shape.
1. Keep your fitness routine going
Even if it is shorter than your usual workout, something is much better than nothing. In fact, research shows that a couple of weeks of reduced training can result in hardly any fitness loss. Focus on quality over quantity and make each session count. A bit of commitment is all that is needed and although your workouts may be shorter, they will still provide all the health benefits and this is a great way to keep your fitness regime going. It also means you do not have to work super-duper hard in January to get back to where you were!
2. Buddy up
A fitness buddy is a brilliant way to get a good workout and there is no doubt that a buddy can make physical activity much more fun! You can motivate and encourage each other and this will boost your commitment to keeping physically active during the festive season! Group exercise is also a fantastic way to help keep you on track, stay motivated, build confidence and meet new like minded people.
3. Watch those calorie add on's
With a little planning you can still enjoy yourself. Let's take Christmas cake for example. A slice is approx. 215- 230 calories and that is fine, it is Christmas. However when smothered in double cream this add's on even more calories! Healthier alternatives, such as yogurt will help to make those delicious pud add on's less calorific.
Take the Move challenge!
Physical activity is a great way to boost your health, feel more energised and improve your mood.
Too many men are dying too young and too many men don't talk about related health issues. Move for Movember champions men's health by raising awareness and encouraging men (and women) to partake in a 30 day physical fitness challenge..... starting with you!
What is the Move challenge?
"It's whatever you make it. Run a race. Learn to rock climb. Work out in costume. Try something new, beat your own personal best, and raise funds for men's health".
Physical activity includes all forms of activity, from walking to cycling, climbing, gardening, swimming or a competitive sport and YES it can be enjoyable! It gives you a chance to unwind and take part in activities that make you happy. Physical activity is also a fantastic way to engage with your surroundings, enjoy the outdoors and connect with others in a social environment.
Fancy giving it a go? Find out more here!
"The Movember Foundation is a global charity that is committed to men living happier, healthier, longer lives. Since 2003, millions have joined the men's health movement, raising £402 million and funding over 1,000 projects focusing on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health and physical inactivity"- The Movember Foundation
Physical Activity and Mental Health
We often talk about our mind and body as if they are completely separate, but did you know, physical activity has proven to keep our minds, our hearts and our bodies healthy? The mind cannot function unless the body is working how it should be and likewise, the state of our mind affects how our body functions. For example, if you are feeling depressed or anxious physical activity may be the last thing you want to do, but in fact, it can make you feel worse. Research shows that exercise seems to have an effect on certain chemicals in the brain, like dopamine and serotonin. These brain cells use these chemicals to communicate with each other, so they affect your mood and thinking. Physical activity also seems to reduce the harmful changes in the brain caused by stress.
Being active does not necessarily mean working out in a gym. It is about moving more each day and fitting activity into our everyday lives. Perhaps walking more, taking the stairs rather than the lift, gardening or having a boogie to the radio at home. Just a small change to how often you move can boost your morale and self-confidence, give you a sense of achievement and help you to feel better. Most people tend to feel good when they exercise and research has shown if you keep active you are less likely to be depressed, anxious or tense, you are more likely to concentrate and focus better; cope with craving and withdrawal symptoms, sleep better and are less likely to have problems with memory and dementia.
The most important thing is to build physical activity into your life gradually and enjoy it! Try new things and schedule activity into your daily routine. We all start somewhere and doing something is much better than doing nothing.
On Saturday 24th September I took part in Swim Serpentine to raise money for West Kent Mind. I was pretty nervous before the swim, but I absolutely loved it and wanted to do it again! It was a beautful day at Hyde Park and the event can most definitely be described as a water wonderland. I have now found a new love for open water swimming and yes, you may think I am mad enjoying diving into dark, murky, cold water, but the feeling of freedom and fresh air really was exhilirating. There are also direct health benefits too. You find yourself swimming for longer, improving your stamina and adding muscle tone. All in all, I would definitely recommend it.
If you are interested, Leybourne Lakes has a fantastic Watersports Centre and regular swim camps. You can find out more at Leybourne Lakes Watersports Centre.
If open water swimming doesn't take your fancy, Larkfield Leisure Centre and Tonbridge Swimming Pool offer a range of swimming sessions and lessons for adults, children and families. For most people, swimming is a safe and effective form of exercise. All you need is a swimming costume and if you would like, a pair of goggles is a good idea to help see where you're going under water. You'll find information on classes for different age groups and levels, timetables and prices on our website.
Swimming has the power to enhance your energy, make you feel better and keep your weight under control. Swimming regularly can increase your life expectancy and help to reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke. When you swim, you are benefiting the body and the mind and what's more, it is fun, a great form of fitness and a lifelong skill.
'Here Come the Girls' Beginners running group
Our 'Here Come the Girls' beginners running group meets each Tuesday at 9.30am outside the main entrance to Larkfield Leisure Centre.
The group is for complete beginners and is inclusive, supportive, friendly and FREE! As well as running we also spend time stretching, it's a fantastic way to get fit, socialise and have fun! Mum's with Strollers welcome! The sessions finished at 10.15am.
My name is Natalie (although I am known as Tillie to most people!) and I run the group. I joined tmactive as Health & Wellbeing Co-ordinator this year and for me, group exercise offers a variety of benefits including a fun and social environment, a safe and effectively designed workout. Beginner running requires no prior exercise knowledge or experience! It can really boost your confidence and self-esteem, help you sleep better and leave your feeling more energised, focused and happier.
You may be familiar with our tmactive150 campaign, designed to encourage and help local people achieve 150 minutes of activity per week. At tmactive we have been focusing on new initiatives and programmes to improve opportunities for our residents. Although by no means limited to older adults, a decline in physical activity is associated with aging. There does tend to be a strong emphasis and medically proven facts that those who do regular activity have:
- up to a 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
- up to a 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes
- up to a 50% lower risk of colon cancer
- up to a 20% lower risk of breast cancer
- a 30% lower risk of early death
- up to an 83% lower risk of osteoarthritis
- up to a 68% lower risk of hip fracture
- a 30% lower risk of falls (among older adults)
- up to a 30% lower risk of depression
- up to a 30% lower risk of dementia
Additionally, these health benefits can also help older adults maintain their independence both physically and socially and increase life expectancy.
To stay healthy or to improve health, adults need to do two types of physical activity each week: aerobic and strength exercises. Moderate activity will raise your heart rate and make you breathe faster and feel warmer (NHS - Live it Well).
We have introduced Walking Football sessions at both The Angel Centre and Larkfield Leisure Centre and welcome both members and non-members to take part on a pay and play basis.
Walking Football is a fantastic form of exercise for men and women, especially those over 55. The game has many health and psychological benefits and is suitable for people who may have mobility problems. Walking football is also social and promotes long term enthusiasm for exercise.
We are very much looking forward to these new sessions!
For more information please visit our programmes page to find out more.
tmactive Challenge 2016
We are working with The Kent & Sussex Courier to transform the lives of four local people who have been inactive for at least two years. Each one applied to take part in the Challenge after reading about it in the paper and was selected using a number of criteria. Our aim is to provide them with the opportunity to transform their lives by giving them a free, three-month programme of guided exercise and nutrition. This blog outlines their journey through the three month period. We hope that it is inspiring to others who would also like to make changes to their health and wellbeing.
We Made It!
Saturday 23rd July was the official graduation of the tmactive Challenge 2016 and.... we made it!
In the past 12 weeks there has been laughter, sweat, tears, so much hard work, dedication and new friendships made.
In week 1, when I told our four Challengers that we were aiming to participate in the 5k parkrun, no one was convinced it could ever be possible. Today is a completely different story and one our Challengers should be incredibly proud of.
On behalf of myself and the team at tmactive, we are still buzzing from Saturday and extremely proud of Julie, Nikki, Darren and Nick's achievements.
We would also like to thank parkrun Tonbridge for their welcoming support and continuous encouragement around the course.
We hope this journey has inspired others to make a commitment to being healthier and more active. If you're reading this wondering if you can do the same, trust me, you can! But anyway, enough from me, I am sure you are much more interested in what our fantastic four have to say .....
"After the parkrun I felt very very emotional and teary.
Even though I didn't manage to run it all I am immensely proud of myself , as little as a month ago I couldn't manage to walk the 5k without stopping several times. I even managed a sprint finish #THISGIRLCAN.
The 12 week challenge has really opened my eyes to what I'm capable of achieving.
At my first PT session with Bradley I couldn't even manage 2 minutes on the rowing machine without literally collapsing now I can row for 2000 metres without stopping - this is a huge achievement for me :)
Another thing that I've found out is I'm really good at cycling and I love it! (however the treadmill is not my friend). I have proven to myself that I can exercise and that it can be fun.
Bradley has been a great PT, he has pushed me far beyond what I thought I am capable of every session. The challenge also brought me a new friend in Nikki.
I am so grateful that I was chosen to take part in this challenge this is just the start of my journey - watch this space!"
"Still can't believe I did it! The run was amazing - after a slight panic attack! The support from everyone was over whelming, and to reach the finish line, with Nick waiting for us after completing his run nearly 30mins before was really appreciated.
Got a nice suntan from doing the run, boy was it hot!
The Challenge has been all I hoped and soo much more besides- to feel fitter and enjoying life again, to making friends for life, to Brad's unfailing belief in my abilities.
I'm determined to keep up the keep fit lifestyle and may be back to do the fun run next month! Thank you from the bottom of my heart."
"Saturday was great and I'm glad I took part in the 5k run.
At first I was a tad out of breath after completing the run but as the day went on I had a great sense of achievement and felt really proud I had completed it in 41.17 seconds on my first attempt. The challenge has been really good, I've enjoyed it lots and James has been a real help in that time. He has never once asked me to do anything I was not comfortable with and always encouraged me in every PT session we have had together.
I owe a lot to James, as I definitely now have the drive and determination to carry on with what I have learned through him to push myself forward and continue to get healthy and fit."
"I just want to add how amazing I feel. I am absolutely delighted at running all the way for 5k after being a couch potato 12 weeks earlier.
My trousers looks ridiculously large all around my legs and backside and so am now in an older pair the size lower and the belt is a good 3-4 inches tighter than it was- so shape change as well. Weight I think I have lost near to 2 stone. My diet has changed too to remove a lot of carbohydrate and more protein and a lot more veg. Also, a big one for me, when I noticed the weight beginning to drop off, is to drink pints and pints of water- about a gallon a day. It means more trips (and therefore more exercise) to the loo but worth it if the weight is reducing. Apparently, or so Iv'e learned, if you drink a load of water it gets the kidneys working, which in turn makes the liver do what it should be doing (apparently stops you storing sugars as fat). So more water it is for me!
So all in all I am absolutely on a high!"
The Final Countdown
It's the week of parkrun and we are super excited and extremely proud of our four Challenge participants. The past three months have been intensive, hard work and incredibly inspiring. Nikki, Julie, Darren and Nick have undoubtly shown that with a bit of encouragement, will power and the right advice, anything can be achieved if you put your mind to it. We cannot wait to join them Saturday for the 5k Tonbridge parkrun... Watch this space!
Fantastic Four take on Tonbridge parkrun
We're more than half way into the Challenge and as you can see, our four participants are doing amazingly well! We are also really excited to tell you that on Saturday 23rd July, Julie, Nikki, Darren and Nick will be taking part in the Tonbridge parkrun. parkrun is a free, 5km enjoyment run, whatever your pace. The event takes place at 9am on Saturday at Castle Road (behind the swimming pool) Tonbridge, TN9 1HR - So if you are free on July 23rd do come along and support our fantastic four! Here's an update on their recent progress:
"I am immensely proud of myself I did a trial walk of the 5K parkrun and I've never done a walk that far before. I've also beaten 2 of my personal bests today.
I would like to thank Brad for all the hard work that he puts in without him I wouldn't be achieving what I am. Nikki is giving me a bike and the two of us are going to cycle the 5K this week."
"I have noticed a difference in my shopping habits. Now my first port of call is the fruit and veg isle! Times still coming down on my rowing exercise. Also found I really enjoy boxing!
Today Brad took me out along the 5k course that we'll be doing for the parkrun. I was really surprised by how different it is running in the gym to actually doing it outside! At least have a time set now to improve on.
People I don't know from Church are still coming up to me to ask how the challenge is going as they'd read the article in the Courier!"
"I did a 12.5 mile ride around Bewl Water yesterday... Much fun although my backside doesn't think so lol..."
"I did the 5km Tonbridge parkrun course today with Brad and clocked 36 mins - had a few walk periods and my aim is to get to jog it all and get the time down even more. This time was 14 mins less than my previous and although a cooler day and softer grass/mud to run on I was very pleased with myself!"
Welcome to the tmactive Challenge!
We are now just over a month into the Challenge and our four participants are going from strength to strength with their training. We are incredibly proud of their achievements so far and their impressive commitment and desire to make a change for the better. Nikki, Julie, Darren and Nick are really keen to share their journey with us and help to encourage others to also make a healthier lifestyle change. Let's see how they are doing!
Julie is really enjoying her workouts and pushing herself outside of her comfort zone. Her programme has included boxing, kickboxing, badminton and she is really focused and keen to try new activities- "I'm doing great thank you and enjoying every minute (even the aching legs and arms)." Julie has also just started running, which she hasn't done since she was a child- go Julie!
Julie's trainer Bradley Watson - "Julie is really focused and willing to try anything and I have learnt through the training that she throws a really mean punch."
Nikki has really started to build her confidence and is continuously pushing herself. She is working hard and her fitness is improving with every session- "Another first... Brad had me boxing! And I managed to shave a few more seconds off my rowing PB. Roll on next week - I'm going outside the gym to do a run!"
Nikki's trainer Bradley Watson - "Nikki is really fun and quite cheeky and I have noticed a real confidence change since her time with me."
Nick truly puts everything into his training and pushes himself beyond his limits. Nick's programme has included HIIT training using battleropes, slam balls and functional training equipment and he is continuing to progress - "All going good. Brad is a great motivator and encouraged. Look forward to the gym sessions - a statement I never thought I would say!"
Nicks's trainer Bradley Watson - "My last PT session saw Nick run 2km's in 2 1km slots with his first km being 7min 52secs and his second km being 7min 25secs. Nick hasn't run since he was a child and this is a fantastic achievement for him."
Darren's training is going really well and he is always so positive. As well as his regular PT sessions, Darren is regularly going on long walks with his family and attending early morning gym sessions - "It's certainly hard work, but it's making me feel better in myself doing it."
Darren's trainer James Davis - I'm really pleased with Darren's commitment. He has been working really hard and due to me being on annual leave next week will have done three sessions this week. That being said he is also getting into the gym on his own and really putting in some effort."