Cardio

Aerobic exercise is physical movement of low to high intensity, increasing oxygen intake and the energy output from your metabolism. Regular cardiorespiratory exercise, such as walking, swimming, pilates, dance and martial arts, can help regulate weight, decrease fatigue, and improve sports performance and body form. Regular exercise can also alleviate stress, with long walks in nature particularly good at quieting a busy mind.

Move to your rhythm and strengthen your heart.

IMPORTANT: These ideas do not constitute advice. Please consult your doctor if you’re concerned about your energy levels or physical health in any way. 

Routines

Ballet Workout

A straightforward introduction to movement through dance, offering a refreshing alternative to a regular exercise class. 
Demonstration by Jack Anderson.
Adult Dance Teacher


Mobility, Stretch & Strength

A sequence of mobility, strength and stretch exercises to generally help with stiffness and in building stamina and flexibility (recommended by a Personal Trainer).

Mobility

  • Stand about a ruler’s length away from a flat wall.
  • Lean back with your bum and upper body against the wall. 
  • Tuck your tail, flattening the curl of the lower back. 
  • Gently raise the arms in line with the body, upwards towards the wall and lower. 
  • Standing at the corner of a wall, keep the shoulders down and away from your ears. 
  • Tuck the elbows into the side of your body at a 90 degree angle. Imagine you are holding a plate in each hand. Rotate the arms out externally keeping the elbows tucked, using your hands and forearms only.
  • Squeeze the shoulder blades together and return to the starting position. 
  • This can also be done with weights or a band (advanced).
  • Take a 1/2 kneeling position (one leg forward). 
  • Rock forwards into the bent front leg and then rock back, straightening the leg and stretching the hamstring. 
  • Change legs.
  • From a kneeling position, bring the big toes to touch. 
  • Drive the hips backwards aiming to touch your heels with your bum.
  • Rock the hips forwards staying parallel to the floor. 
  • Hold each position for a count of eight.
  • From a kneeling table shape position, place one foot on the outside of the same hand. 
  • Twist the torso towards the bent knee lifting the same arm.
  • Reverse back into tabletop then change sides.
  • Alternatively, try the extension pictured (advanced).
  • From a kneeling table shape position, place one foot on the outside of the same hand. 
  • Twist the torso towards the bent knee lifting the same arm.
  • Reverse back into tabletop then change sides.
  • Alternatively, try the extension pictured (advanced).

Strength

  • From standing, keep your feet, hips and knees in alignment, with feet wider than hip width. 
  • Sit the bottom backwards and down as if you were squatting over a loo. Don’t just bend the knees like a ballerina : ) 
  • Squat down as far as you can and then come back to a standing position. 
  • You can have a band / ties pair of tights around your legs to make it more challenging. It should sit just above your knee joint but not on it. 
  • With your feet hip width apart, take a big step back with one leg. Keep your hands on your hips to ensure your pelvis is in alignment and nice and square. 
  • Lift the heel of the back foot, coming onto the ball of the foot. Bend both knees 90 degrees lowering the legs vertically towards the ground. 
  • Don’t actually touch the back knee to the ground, hover an inch from the floor then push up. 
  • Remember to drive forwards or lift the heel of the front foot, as you want to be moving up and down.
  • Lie on your back. 
  • Tuck your tail underneath, so your lower back is flush to the floor. Have your feet and knees hip width apart. 
  • Lift the feet off the floor bringing your legs to a 90 degree bend. Raise the arms to be in line with your chest (like an upside down table or dead bug).
  • Extend one leg towards the floor (don’t touch, just lower to about 2 inches from the floor).
  • Return the leg and do the same on the opposite side. 
  • If this is easy, extend the opposite arm over your head at the same time as lowering the leg.
  • Lie on your side with knees bent and a yoga band around your lower thighs. 
  • Make sure your hips and knees are stacked on top of each other. Rest your head on the floor in the crook of your arm. 
  • Open and close the top leg a small amount, concentrating on keeping the pelvis stable. 
  • From kneeling, stretch forward into a plank.
  • Keep your pelvic floor aligned, with your back straight.
  • Try to hold for 20-30 secs, building up to 2-3 minutes after a number of weeks.
  • Lying down, come onto your side with the bottom arm supporting you (the arm should be at a right angle to the body). 
  • Have your knees slightly bent and forwards, lift your hips off the ground, keeping the knees on the floor and pelvis stable and square. 
  • Hold for 10-15 secs each side.
  • Alternatively, lift your whole body from the floor (advanced).

Stretch

  • Bend forwards at the waist, with your back straight.
  • Bring your hands towards the floor as far as they will go (use a block to place your hands on for support, if needed).
  • Alternatively, place your hands on your elbows.
  • Soften your knees. 
  • Hold for as long as is comfortable. 
  • On all fours, tuck the tail and, vertebrae by vertebrae, protract the spine like a wave, tucking the chin in (Cat).
  • Reverse the movement, uncurling the tail and letting the belly and chest drop and the chin lift (Cow).
  • When you are in the Cat position, keep the rounded spin and bring your bottom towards the heels, hold and return to the starting position.
  • Lie on your back with feet flat on the floor, knees bent, feet hips width apart. 
  • Let the knees gently drop to one side and place the heel of the bottom leg on top of the knee of the top leg, encouraging the top knee towards the ground. 
  • Let the head drop the other way and hold for 1 minute.
  • Change sides.
  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Raise your hips as far as you can. 
  • You can interlace your fingers beneath the torso, rolling up onto your shoulders to gain maximum lift through the chest and hips.
  • Hold for a count of 10 before lowering and repeating.
  • From a kneeling table shape position, place one foot on the outside of the same hand. 
  • Twist the torso towards the bent knee lifting the same arm.
  • Reverse back into tabletop then change sides.
  • Alternatively, try the extension pictured (advanced).
  • From kneeling, fold into child’s pose, with your arms in the most comfortable position for you (e.g. out in front or to your sides).
  • Hold for as long as you wish, taking slow, easy breaths. 


Click here to further improve your flexibility and balance with yoga, seeing the difference in as little as 10 minutes a day.

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