Rossendale Wellbeing Weekend

Next weekend, Saturday 11 & Sunday 12 July the first Wellbeing Weekend is taking place in Rossendale, ‘virtually’. A weekend to promote and support well-being on every level… mind, body and soul! Showcasing some of the great services and classes delivered across the valley.

This was going to be a festival style event where people could attend lots of different classes, talks and taster sessions in person, face-to-face; but in these times it’s going with the times and all happening online… a weekend that offers something for everyone and being online now opens it up to people from further afield…

Kate’s going to be teaching a number of classes over the weekend… open to anyone/everyone to get involved and give them a go. No matter what your ability and experience level you can take part, as she always offers lots of modifications for exercises in classes, you work at your own pace and people have been getting all kinds of creative with their homemade equipment and weights…

Click this link to go to Rossendale Wellbeing Weekend’s Facebook page to find out more about other sessions taking place.

Classes Kate is running for FREE…   

Kettlebell & Core – Saturday 11 July @ 10am (45 mins)

Open to all

This is a class Kate has been delivering online for the last (lots) of weeks… a session that combines lots of kettlebell (or whatever weight you’ve got) moves, to give your full body an awesome workout! It gets HOT and sweaty as you swing those weights around… a great piece of kit to train with (Kate’s favourite!!) for total body conditioning, combining strength training with high intensity cardio.

Gentle Exercise – Saturday 11 July @ 1pm (45 mins)

Open to all

This is a class that Kate had just started delivering at Haslingden Community Link before lockdown kicked in and has been delivering online in these times, to keep up motivation and momentum. As the name suggests, it is a gentle exercise session, low impact and slow tempo, that combines a mix of standing and seated exercises to improve strength and balance. A class that is ideal for older adults and anyone that would benefit from a gentler exercise session. For this class we use light hand weights and an exercise band. If you don’t have these, a great homemade alternative, tins/bottles and a pair of tights (that you don’t mind potentially laddering… as they will be stretched!).

Pre & Post Natal Bootcamp – Sunday 12 July @ 10am (45 mins)

Women only session

Kate specialises in pre and postnatal exercise and usually delivers classes in the community; supporting women to stay strong through pregnancy and beyond… running them as separate sessions for pregnancy and postnatal recovery. However, in these current times she’s combined classes and has been delivering them online. This class is suitable for anyone that’s pregnant (and not suffering from any contraindications that would mean exercise is not advised) and anyone that’s had their baby and been signed off and given the OK to start back exercising (which is usually between 6-12 weeks post). For this class you’ll need a couple of weights, dumbbells or homemade equivalent; tins, bottles… and an exercise mat or towel for floor/core exercises. Lots of modifications will be given throughout, for pregnancy and postnatal stages. You work at your own pace… zero pressure! A class that will include strength, core/pelvic floor and cardio.

No matter when you had your baby you are classed as postnatal… so please do feel free to get involved… you’ll get a good workout, that’s for sure! If you’re not pregnant or had a baby, feel free to join the fun too… this is a workout anyone can do.

All of the above classes will be held on Zoom, so that there’s a level of face to face interaction and Kate can see / demonstrate / support with technique. She’ll be recording all sessions too, so they will be available for you to do in your own time for a few days post event too. You’ll need to get in touch with Kate for the links and passwords to take part.

Get involved…  

For more info and links for classes get in touch:

Email: hello@brooks-fitness.co.uk

Message on Facebook: Facebook/BrooksFitnessPT

Alternatively complete the contact form below and Kate will be in touch:

NOTE: prior to taking part in any of the exercise sessions please have a read of our health questionnaire (PAR-Q) – Brooks Fitness Online PAR-Q

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Kate’s 2.6 for Tommy’s

Tommy's pic 300 pixThousands of people up and down the country have been taking on the #TwoPointSixChallenge, organised by the London Marathon to help charities through these tough times. A challenge that anyone and everyone can get involved with, and come up with a challenge to do on your own or as a family / collective (following government guidelines that is…), based around the numbers 26 or 2.6, and complete it on or from 26 April. There have already been thousands of challenges completed, some of epic scales and some small… all equally awesome in their own right.

Now I’m no marathon runner… you’ll never see me on the start line (although I did enter the ballot one year whilst under the influence of copious amounts of gin… luckily, I didn’t get in 😉). I’m more of a 10km girl (that’s a marathon to me). I’ve been racking my brains as to what I could do… and for who!? And my idea is… to host a live workout on my main business Facebook page @BrooksFitnessPT, this coming Friday 1 May for the charity Tommy’s. A workout consisting of 26 exercises/moves in 26 minutes, that’s suitable for pre and post-natal women (that being an area I specialise in), and anyone else that wants to get involved; women, men, kids and pets… everyone has been getting-in on online classes I’ve been instructing over the last few weeks 😊 and ask that people taking part donate £2.60 or whatever they feel they can… as every penny counts and makes such a difference, even more so now.

Now the toughest part of this challenge for me, will be keeping it to 26 minutes! Everyone who knows me and comes to my classes, knows how much I talk… and with the exercises there will be lots of multiple moves included to get the 26 in. All exercises suitable for all levels, as I’ll give modifications and options to progress/regress throughout (without talking too much).

Tommy's blossom 300 pix

Why I chose Tommy’s? Tommy’s is a charity that funds research into miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth; with 1 in 4 women losing a baby during pregnancy or birth. I am one of those women who have had a miscarriage, my mum had still born twins when I was 12, my twin sisters, Faith and Sian, and many many of my close friends, women that come to my classes and that I PT have experienced losses too; miscarriage, multiple miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies and still birth. Sadly, it is so common, and this is something that Tommy’s are working to change; their target being to halve the number of babies that die during pregnancy or birth by 2030.

I wrote and shared a #blog about my miscarriage a while ago – please do feel free to have a read.

Losing a baby at any stage after a positive pregnancy test is utterly shattering, there isn’t a word big enough in the English language to cover it. The work Tommy’s do and the various support channels, networks and groups they have are vital; a lifeline, give hope. They have been a big support to me as part of my healing journey. They are now in desperate need of our support to continue their great work. Do get involved in this challenge if you can; feel good with a workout and an endorphin hit and do good! 😊

The details…  

26 exercises in 26 minutes.

Day / Date: Friday 1 May

Time: 3pm – clock-off early or set up some scheduled emails (we’ve all done that 😉), so you can get involved. The live ‘should’ be available on our page after the session too, so you can do it in your own time… I say should… there have been a few technical issues with these lives, so fingers crossed it all goes to plan.

Kit you need: dumbbells, kettlebells, tins, bottles… things you can use from around the house. In classes I’ve had people using bottles of booze, fabric conditioner, weed killer… we’ve had the lot! Get creative… as well as a mat or towel to use for floor work.

Donation: £2.60 or whatever you feel you can, every penny counts. I’ve set-up a JustGiving page for the challenge, here’s the link: bit.ly/KatesJustGivingForTommys

Where: your home, your garden… wherever you’ve got a bit of space and internet. This session will be a Facebook live from our main Facebook page: Brooks Fitness.

Who: anyone and everyone can get involved in this workout – pregnant women (as long as you’re not suffering from any contraindications that would mean exercise is not advised), postnatal women (as long as you have been signed-off and given the OK to exercise, which usually happens between 6-12 weeks), all other women, men, kids, pets… I’ll give lots of modifications, you work within your abilities. All about common sense in these times… don’t overdo do it and risk injury if you’re not experienced. Equally, if you are experienced and want to increase intensity use heavier weights, work at a faster pace… Have a read of our PAR-Q (health questionnaire) before taking part and if you’ve any questions, queries or concerns get in touch with me to discuss:

Email: hello@brooks-fitness.co.uk or send me a message on social media.

I hope you can join me on Friday.

Stay active, stay safe, stay strong…

Kate x


Pregnant & Powerful – benefits of exercising through pregnancy

Damien Hirst - pregnancy blog (500 pix)

Damien Hirst – The Virgin Mother at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Creating a life and growing a human is a mind-blowing miracle! In a study at Duke University the ultimate limit of human endurance has been calculated by scientists, who found that pregnant women are close to the maximum – now that’s powerful!

Three full-on trimesters of major anatomical and physiological changes, over 40 weeks… organs shift and get squished, the uterus can expand up to 20 times it’s normal size, body posture changes, ligaments and joints move… and then throw all the hormonal changes into the mix! Women and wondrous.

Watch this animation showing how a woman’s body changes and organs shift during pregnancy

With all of the above going on and your body being pushed close to it’s maximum, it’s a lot, to put it lightly. Finding the energy and motivation to move more than you have to can be tough… but the benefits of staying active and strong through pregnancy are so vast, that if you can, you most certainly should.

Would you enter a marathon and do no training in preparation? There may be a crazy few that might… but most of us would have to put the time, energy and effort in to go the distance. Labour is that marathon… you need to be fit and strong, physically and mentally to go the duration!

Exercising whilst pregnant is A-OK, so long as you’re given the go-ahead from your GP and/or midwife, you’re not suffering from any *contraindications that would mean it wasn’t advised (listed below), and you feel up to it. It doesn’t have to be intense and over the top, but equally it doesn’t mean you have to go so easy. Every pregnancy and person are different, and all exercises can be adapted to accommodate and work with any pregnancy related aches, pains and associated physiological changes.

The benefits of exercise… some of the many:

  • Reduce swelling of limbs, nausea, fatigue (as tired as you feel endorphins will give you a major energy boost).
  • Reduce the risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension and gestational diabetes.
  • Prevent excessive weight gain – you’re going to gain weight, in areas that you carry/hold weight, as well as bump and boobs… weight-loss isn’t the focus, staying strong and active is.
  • Reduce risk of diastasis recti (abdominal separation) – I’m going to write a separate blog on this, but stats say that around 60% of women have this during or after pregnancy, my experience is that most have it, and it’s totally normal and to be expected. But exercising and maintaining muscle / core strength throughout pregnancy massively helps to minimise this.
  • Reduces back, pelvic and pregnancy related pains.
  • Facilitates and supports labour – that marathon! Also supports with speedier recovery.
  • Improves posture, maternal and mental well-being, self-esteem and sleep.
  • Supports placental and foetal growth.

This list could go on…

Considerations and adaptions to be made…

Here’s a handful of considerations to be made and things to be avoided when pregnant and exercising. There are lost of considerations and adaptions and again this list could go on… lots of factors that would influence this, such as the individual, how experienced they are, how regularly they exercised before being pregnant and so on… The best thing to do is to seek advice from someone qualified, join classes that are pregnancy specific. Some points to note…

  • Consider the risk element of exercise – high impact / contact and extreme sports pose a higher risk element of things that could go wrong, and so are advised to be avoided.
  • Exercising in a supine position (lying flat on your back) after the first trimester is a no-no. There’s lots of core exercises you can do on your sides and all-fours, engaging your core with all exercises is key, not just through pregnancy.
  • Avoid jumping and any heavy rotation / twisting exercises as you move on to the latter stages of trimesters 2 and 3.
  • Avoid overexertion – it’s not a time to be beasting yourself to oblivion, heart rate increases by 10-15% just being pregnant, when exercising you should be able to talk and go no higher than 6/7 out of 10 RPE.
  • Running is OK if that’s your thing, but it will get to a point where running puts too much pressure on your pelvic floor – this will be a different point in pregnancy for everyone.
  • Lifting heavy weights is OK too – but the heavier you go the more intra-abdominal force you exert and in turn more pressure you place on your pelvic floor. Consider any risk elements too with certain exercises.
  • Stay hydrated and make sure you fuel right – drink plenty throughout, eat before, after and even during if you need to.
  • Have adequate rest in-between sets and as you need to throughout an exercise session.

Benefits far outweigh any risks and exercising through a healthy pregnancy is advised by all health professionals. In a time when you have little control on your body physiologically, be empowered and take back some control through exercise and those incredible endorphins; for body, bump and mind.

If you have any questions about exercising through pregnancy get in touch and ask… and if you’d like to join my Mum-to-Be Bootcamp or find out more about prenatal PT check out the links below for more info.

Kate x

Call Kate on: 07875584383

Email: hello@brooks-fitness.co.uk

Alternatively fill out the contact form below and Kate will be in touch.

LikeStickersSparkle You can also follow on Facebook, check out our page and give it the thumbs up: Facebook.com/BrooksFitnessPT


*Contraindications meaning exercise would not be advised, include:

  • Haemodynamically significant heart disease
  • Restrictive lung disease
  • Incompetent cervix
  • Multiple gestation
  • Persistent bleeding
  • Placenta previa (after 26 weeks)
  • Premature labour
  • Ruptured membranes
  • Pregnancy induced hypertension
  • Pre-eclampsia

Grab life by the boobs!

October is breast cancer awareness month, an annual campaign supported by all major breast cancer charities to increase awareness of the disease. To highlight the importance of checking your breasts regularly, promoting early detection of changes and offering information and support for those affected by breast cancer.

Breast cancer stats & info

  • Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK.
  • 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer across the UK – there’s a good chance of recovery if it’s detected in its early stages.
  • A screening to check the breasts is called a mammogram – all women between the ages of 50-70 are invited for breast screening every 3 years.

Causes of breast cancer

The exact causes of breast cancer are not fully understood. However, there are certain factors known to increase the risk of breast cancer, these include:

  • Age – the risk increases as you get older;
  • a family history of breast cancer;
  • a previous diagnosis of breast cancer;
  • a previous benign breast lump;
  • being overweight or obese;
  • drinking alcohol.

Click this link to read more about the causes of breast cancer

Get clued up on the signs and symptoms…

  • A new lump or area of thickened tissue in either breast that was not there before;
  • a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts;
  • bloodstained discharge from either of your nipples;
  • a lump or swelling in either of your armpits;
  • dimpling on the skin of your breasts;
  • a rash on or around your nipple;
  • a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast.

Click this link to see further info on the NHS website

Give your sisters a squeeze

Get into the habit of checking your breasts regularly – be breast aware and get to know what’s normal for you; so that you’re more likely spot changes and quickly…

Check out the Coppafeel website for lots of information on how to check your breasts – you can sign-up for regular boob check reminders too!

Have a watch of this Coppafeel video on how to check your boobs

Preventing breast cancer

As the causes of breast cancer are not fully understood, it’s not possible to know if it can be prevented. If you’re at increased risk of developing the condition, some treatments are available to reduce the risk.

Studies have looked at the link between breast cancer and diet. Although there are no definite conclusions, there are benefits for women who: maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, have a low intake of saturated fat and reduce or stop drinking alcohol.

It’s been suggested that regular exercise can reduce your risk of breast cancer by as much as a third. Regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle can also improve the outlook for people affected by breast cancer.

How can exercise help after your diagnosis and as part of recovery?

  • Exercise can help recovery from negative side effects of cancer and cancer treatments.
  • Patients who exercise regularly after cancer treatments have a better quality of life, have a lower risk of side effects and have a lower risk of the cancer returning.
  • Exercise can help survivors regain their ability to perform activities of daily living.
  • Exercise can reduce stress and fatigue
  • Exercise is social and can help normalise life, helping to prevent isolation, build confidence and strength in mind and body.

Over the summer I have been studying to further my knowledge, qualifications and areas of expertise, and have successfully completed a Level 4 qualification in cancer rehabilitation through exercise referral. This means I am now able to offer specialist personal training to clients that have been diagnosed with cancer both prehab (before any treatment) and rehab (after treatment) providing they have been given the go ahead by their medical specialist.

It’s vital that after a diagnosis of cancer any exercise intervention is prescribed by a qualified professional and is tailored and individualised to meet the needs of each client; support, guidance and prescription of suitable exercises is paramount.

If you have any questions or would like further information about this specialist exercise service I offer, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Ruth x


Useful information & links

Information throughout this blog has been taken from websites listed below. Follow the links for further information about breast cancer:

macmillan.org.uk

NHS

Coppafeel.org

If you notice any changes to you breasts or have any concerns, you MUST contact your GP and get it checked out ASAP… no hesitation or delay!

Call Ruth on: 07891092893

Email us: hello@brooks-fitness.co.uk

Alternatively fill out the contact form below and Ruth will be in touch.

You can also follow on Facebook, check out our page and give it the thumbs up: Facebook.com/BrooksFitnessPT


Pre & Post natal Bootcamp FAQ’s

I’ve been asked a fair few questions about my pre and post natal bootcamps over the last year… so I thought I’d write an FAQ blog to answer some of the most frequently asked questions…

If you have a question that I haven’t answered here, please don’t hesitate to get in touch to ask… there’s no such thing as a daft question! Ask away…

Prenatal – Mum-to-Be Bootcamp

Is it OK to exercise when pregnant?

A massive YES… so long as you don’t have any complications/contraindications (haemodynamically significant heart disease, restrictive lung disease, incompetent cervix, multiple gestation, persistent bleeding, placenta previa (after 26 weeks), premature labour, ruptured membranes, pregnancy induced hypertension or pre-eclampsia), and most importantly you feel up to it – then exercise is A-OK! More than OK… it’s so beneficial for you and baby. Staying strong and active through pregnancy can help reduce the associated aches and pains (hips/back), helps you to stay strong physically and mentally, gives you an energy boost (as tired as you feel, you will feel energised and empowered after a workout – endorphins are literally amazing!), you’ll be strong for labour (you need energy and strength for that marathon you’re going to endure), you’ll recover from labour quicker/better, generally speaking, (the fitter, stronger, more active you are, the quicker you recover from most things your body is put through). If I had a £1 for every time a mum said she wished she’d trained through pregnancy or will be doing for the next… I would be very wealthy! 😉

When can I start classes?

After your 12-week scan, as before you begin there is a form that must be completed by yourself and signed by your GP or midwife to give the OK to exercise. I’ll email over forms once you get in touch to say you’d like to take part.

Are all women at the same stage of pregnancy in classes?

No… not always, women are at different stages and that is OK, nice in lots of ways. So that you can share the journey, your experiences and support each other throughout. All exercises can be/are modified and adapted for your stage and ability.

I haven’t exercised in a while; will I be able to do it?

Yes… no question or doubts about it… all exercises are modifiable; I always offer variations and adaptions to make exercises easier or harder. Everyone works within their own comfort levels and abilities. I demonstrate all exercises and give technique pointers and tips throughout (a lot… you’ll hear me talk about posture and engaging core non-stop 😊).

Bootcamp sounds intense… are classes military style?

Not at all, there’s no crawling around army style or shouting of orders from me. No high-impact or fast paced, which isn’t suitable for pregnancy. These sessions focus on strength predominantly, using a variety of different equipment, weights and body weight; all of which can be adapted for all abilities, with different weights/exercises etc. We focus on building/maintaining strength through the posterior chain (muscles at the back of the body), core and pelvic floor. You get a good workout, that is completely appropriate for pregnancy.

What do I need to bring / wear to classes?

Comfortable and suitable exercise/gym wear and trainers – there are some great brands that do maternity gym wear, equally supermarket kit is blummin good… ask many people and they will tell you I am Tesco’s biggest fan at the minute 😊. Bring a towel and water bottle with you to class, to ensure you stay hydrated (I go on about drinking plenty of water a lot too!).

Postnatal – Mum & Baby / Mum & Toddler / Buggy Bootcamps

What age and post natal stage are classes suitable for?

  • Mum & Baby Bootcamp – for mums with babies aged 6 weeks+ (once you’ve been signed off and given the OK to exercise) to crawlers.
  • Mum & Toddler Bootcamp – for mums with crawlers and toddlers on the move.
  • Buggy Bootcamp – for mums/dads/grandparents/carers anyone with babies aged 6 weeks+ (once you’ve been signed off and given the OK to exercise). This is an  outdoor sessions with your wee-ones in buggies or baby carriers.

How soon after having baby can I exercise and join classes?  

When you have been signed off by your GP or midwife, this is usually around 6-12 weeks depending on whether you had a normal or C-section delivery, and if you had any complications. Most importantly however, it’s when you feel up to it… don’t put pressure on yourself or start too soon.

I’m so unfit; I’m going to wait until I get fitter or lose weight to join classes?

This is something I have heard a million times, and not just from new mums, but from so many people that want to start exercising or going to the gym. There truly is no need for this or to think this way. Every exercise can be modified for all abilities and fitness levels, equally there is zero pressure in class, not from me or anyone else in there. It’s a supportive and totally relaxed environment. Everyone there is focused on their own workout. All shapes, sizes, abilities, fitness and experience levels… all of my classes are an easy-going, informal, no pressure atmosphere. Take a minute and rest as and when you need to, work at your own pace, focus on you – always!

What shall I bring with me to class?

The kitchen sink… everything and anything you need for you and baby. Water bottle and towel for you; toys, drinks, snacks (to use as bribes for wee-ones 😉). I lay out mats for babies to lie / play on, but by all means you can bring play mats too. Some mums also bring Bumbo seats to sit babies up and others leave babies in prams and car seats. Bring whatever you feel you’ll need, always better to over prepare, fill the boot and then you’ve got all scenarios covered.

What happens if my wee-one cries / kicks-off 😉 in class?

It’s highly likely that this will happen, all mums experience a meltdown… either in the first session, few sessions or at some point – it’s completely fine, nothing to worry or stress about! I’m there to help too, when I’m not demonstrating exercises, I’m entertaining / cuddling babies and toddlers, so that you can get a workout. If you need to take five to comfort or feed baby, that’s fine too. We go with the flow and make it work… believe me when I say it is a relaxed and supportive atmosphere, all other mums muck-in too and share the snacks (best baby bribes).

Buggy Bootcamp specific FAQ’s

What happens if/when it rains?

If it is a bit drizzly, we will do the workout outside; it’s so nice being outside in the fresh air and greenery, amazing for well-being, mind and body. If it is torrential, we try to take the session inside / undercover if venue / space is available. If it was ever beyond torrential, Kate will cancel the session and give as much notice as possible.

Do I need a special type of pram/buggy?

No, any pram/buggy is fine to use. We don’t run with them and so any is fine to use. There are paths all around the park and we only go on the grass when it’s dry. Just bring a rain cover and layers/blankets for babies, so that they are snug whatever the weather.

What do I need to bring / wear to exercise outside?  

Wear comfortable exercise clothes, light/warm layers that you can add/remove as and when you need to, a waterproof in case it rains, sunglasses (because the weather changes at the drop of a hat), suitable/comfortable trainers for outdoor use.

What facilities are there at the park?

The facilities and setting are fab, which is why I went for and love this location!

I can’t stress enough how relaxed all of my classes are… I’m easy-going, friendly and try my best to make classes enjoyable and fun. There’s no pressure in any class, you work within your own abilities and we just go with the flow. All exercises are suitable for pre or post natal stage, and all exercises are modifiable for ability – you CAN do it and we always make it work. I encourage the social aspect too; classes are as much about meeting other pregnant women and new mums to share the journey and make friends as they are the exercise. We have a closed Bootcamp social Facebook group for organising nights and group trips out (minus babies and exercise gear).

If you have any questions that I haven’t answered here, please do get in touch and ask away…

Kate x

Call Kate on: 07875584383

Email: hello@brooks-fitness.co.uk

Alternatively fill out the contact form below and Kate will be in touch.

LikeStickersSparkle You can also follow on Facebook, check out our page and give it the thumbs up: Facebook.com/BrooksFitnessPT