Easter Exercise: Gym Members' Bulletin #13

two kittens sitting on the sofa

This week’s news:

Welcome to this week’s bulletin shared with our lockdown community. Our weekly bulletin helps to keep our people connected during lockdown and shielding.

  • Happy Easter! You will not see any Easter puns in this bulletin. We promise! With the sun shining (for now at least) and the Easter bank holiday drawing of a cartoon easter eggahead of us we hope that this puts a new spring in our step and brings a little ‘boost’ to mental wellbeing.  A chance to breathe fresh air in the springtime can be very beneficial to our sense of health, and with current lockdown restrictions lifting there are more possibilities for many of us to venture outdoors. We don’t need to go far to enjoy being outside and even a journey to the end of the road and back can provide a change in scenery and lift the spirits. Do let us know what walks you have done recently and how it benefited you. We hear positive feedback from gym members that it’s inspiring to read about different walks in the bulletin. This week’s My Walk comes from Tony.

two kittens curled up together, asleep

  • In our new Furry Friends feature, Christine introduces adorable kittens Arnie and Maisie. They are seriously cute! Small Triumphs and Enjoyed on Film & TV This Week continues in this edition, with more little celebratory moments and recommendations for good stuff to watch over the weekend.  

  • Our new exercise to try at home this week is a seated chest stretch. This simple stretch can be done on its own or as a partner to the seated upper back stretch that we offered in last week’s edition (bulletin #12), and it helps to reduce stiffness in the upper body.

If you spend your day sitting down you may find that your muscles in your front (your chest and hip flexors) tighten and this can cause discomfort and pain at times. Good posture includes sitting tall and creating length through the spine but we’re all familiar with the opposite - ‘rounded back and slouching shoulders’ especially when we spend long hours in a seated position. Instructor Tony describes this awesome stretch to create space and relaxation in those tight muscles of the chest. Try it at home and see if it feels good - and then consider going back to the upper back stretch to do that too. 

Try this at home: Chest Stretchinstructor seated with hands behind the chair, stretching his chest muscles

This week we take a look at stretching the muscles of the chest. This will also help to teach good posture, opening up your chest and allowing you to breathe better.

Chest Stretch

  • Sit up straight and look forward

  • Sit halfway in to your chair and place your hands behind your back while holding your hands

  • Keeping a straight back, move your arms away from your back until you feel a comfortable stretch in your chest and front shoulders

  • If you can’t quite place your arms behind your back, place your arms by your side and pull your arms and shoulders back as far as feels comfortable

  • Hold for 5 to 10 seconds.

  • Repeat up to 3 times. 

Small Triumphs: little moments to embrace life!drawn trophy with stars coming our of the cup

Achieved 20 repetitions in all exercises. Janet

Khalid and John both enjoying watching India v England Cricket

Achieved 20 repetitions in all exercises William

A good luck message! Good luck to Binta as she starts back at work for the first time since 5th January. Tony & Virtual Cuppa attendees

two kittens sitting on a sofa restingFurry Friends:

Meet brother and sister Arnie and Maisie.  They are my friends Amy and Michael’s kittens.  They live in Brampton, Cambridgeshire and they have kept me amused during lockdown.  I am unable to have a pet because I live in a small sixth floor flat but this is the next best thing seeing the kittens grow up.  I love seeing their photos and appearances on zoom.  They lift my mood with their funny antics. Christine

Enjoyed on Film & TV This Week:

Have you watched something recently that you really enjoyed? Share a good watch with others and find ideas for what to settle down to view tonight.

The ITV crime drama Unforgotten has recently finished series four but it is available to watch on catch up or the TV Hub. 

The series is set in the present day and consists of six episodes.  Each series deals with a new case, with seemingly unconnected characters.  However, it is gradually revealed that the characters do have a connection with the murdered victim. The body of the victim may have been recently discovered but the crime may have been committed decades before.

It stars the excellent acting duo of Nicola Walker as DCI Cassie Stuart and Sanjeev Bhaskar as DI Sunil Khan and their team of colleagues.  It is gripping and you get completely involved with the emotional ramifications of the story.  You can still enjoy the story despite not seeing the past three series.  I highly recommend it if like me you enjoy crime drama’s. Christine

My Walk:

view of woodland path in Hampstead Heath"Each weekday morning before work, I take my youngest daughter to school. If the time allows and the weather permits, we like to walk through Hampstead Heath. 

With its narrow winding paths and tall trees, it’s easy to believe you are strolling through the countryside (it’s also very easy to get lost if you are not familiar with your surroundings!).

The Heath is home to lots of interesting mammals including moles, hedgehogs and muntjac deer as well as 180 species of birds, various bats, snakes and hedgehogs. It is the perfect antidote to inner city life! 

two smiling people portrait, taken on Hampstead HeathIf you are feeling sporty there are 3 outdoor swimming ponds, a lido, tennis courts, an athletics track, cricket pitch and a bowls club.  If we’re feeling energetic, we like to walk (or climb) to the top of Kite Hill, which has wonderful wide-reaching views over the rest of London. On a clear day I’m sure you can even see the gym! 

Once I’m back home, it’s time to turn on the camera and log into Zoom, ready for the day's exercise sessions!" Tony

We hope you enjoyed the bulletin!

We are looking for a skilled person to help us format the bulletin in a way that is most accessible and readable for everybody when they read it online and via an email list. If you know anyone who can help, please get in touch

You may have noticed that we resisted the ‘Easter pun’ urge - there's not even one! It's because we just don’t think they’re very bunny. 

Stay safe and have a great Easter bank holiday weekend.  The AB team