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Boot Camp – What Was I Thinking?

When we signed up for a boot camp weekend, did we have 'The X Factor' in mind - celebrities, make up, sparkles and champagne?

Maybe, but the setting of Aylestone Park when it was minus 1 degrees and muddy couldn’t have been further from our dream of a good time!

First Things First...

Still, we were there and if not raring to go -or at least prepared to have a go! That is, until two ‘fitties’ appeared in Lycra and sinews!  There were five of us altogether along with Rob our boot camp commander. I was easily the oldest and least fit.

First things first. Rob called it a warm up and warm up we did - surprisingly quickly! Next, we were off on a 15 to 1 circuit. My comfort zone is whiteboards and lists, so I was lulled into a false sense of security when the whiteboard came out with the list of 15 to 1 different types of exercises. All appeared to be reasonably easy like the ‘get ups’. All you have to do, is get up (again and again and again). With the two fitties off like greased lightning and Emma and Sam not far behind them, I embarked on the challenge. Rob was brilliant, when he saw me struggle, he adapted the exercise. When I skipped bits he turned a blind eye and when I came to a shuddering stop he helped me finish with dignity.

Suddenly, it was mid morning break! Sitting in the car, getting our breath back and refuelling, Emma and I could barely speak. We did manage to convince ourselves we were having a good time though despite being covered in mud.

Boot Camp - What Was I Thinking? First Things First...
Boot Camp - What Was I Thinking? Running - No Thanks...

Running - No Thanks!

I won’t go into huge detail about the individual exercises we did but I will say that at the beginning, when we had a quick chat with Rob about what why we’d signed up and what we wanted to get out of the weekend, I had mentioned in passing that I didn’t do running! Incredibly - and down to his coaching and encouragement, I found myself not only running on the Sunday morning but enjoying it. Not only did I run on the flat, but uphill as well! (I don’t think I mentioned that Aylestone Park is on the side of Aylestone Hill.)

By the time we’d finished the two days, Emma and I were not only proud of ourselves but proud of each other too and vaguely talked about doing it again! Oh and I learnt that Tabata is not something to eat but the fastest, most effective exercise routine I’ve ever encountered. I wouldn’t mind giving it another go some time! Yep, definitely a different way to spend a weekend in January!

Outdoor Gym

The last thing I would have guessed would be a magnet for us on holiday was the gym on the beach. But, standing on a piece of equipment under a blue sky, exercising and gazing at the sea seemed briefly like a little bit of paradise!

Even when not on holiday, it is easy to go to a local outdoor gym. There are hundreds of local council-funded outdoor gyms that are free-to-use all year round as councils hope it will encourage a healthier community. Some are in beautiful settings too. Many of our Treasure Trails go past them.

Boot Camp - What Was I Thinking? Outdoor Gym

Have you tried an outdoor gym? Let us know in the comments below, on Twitter or Facebook.

15th March 2019

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Walking Backwards

Walking is a popular and beneficial way to exercise but did you know that walking backwards has even more benefits? Of course if you walked backwards whilst completing a Treasure trail you might miss some of the clues, but on the other hand you would definitely see more than you were looking for!

Why would you want to walk backwards?

  1.  Walking backwards increases the heart rate when compared to walking forwards at the same speed.
  2. More calories are burnt when walking backwards rather than forwards because we have to make a great effort and the increased metabolism could result in weight loss if you keep it up (oh and you have to eat less too).
  3. Doing something different like this prevents boredom (not that doing a Treasure Trail is boring, but just walking could be!)
  4. Because you don’t have eyes in the back of your head and need to be constantly looking out for obstacles and dangers all five senses are heighted,
  5. And our reflexes are sharpened too!
  6. It promotes blood circulation and prevents lumbago
  7. And can even help prevent the development of a hunchback!
  8. When you get older balance and coordination becomes even more important and walking backwards can improve the functions of our cerebellum. The cerebellum is an area of the brain that controls motor movement coordination, balance, and equilibrium and muscle tone.  (I always learn something when I write a new post).
  9. The muscles of the front and back of the shin and ankle are strengthened because the movement is unfamiliar,
  10. And the knee joint and the patella joint in particular benefit from backward walking with a reduction of repetitive strain injuries.
  11. Walking backwards protects your brain against mechanical thinking – the rut that it gets into when repeating the same old patterns, like walking forwards!

Apparently, 100 steps backwards are equivalent to 1,000 steps forwards!

Walking Backwards
Walking backwards is easy – right?

Who walks backwards?

Lots of groups walk backwards without even thinking about it. For example, golfers walk backwards as they eye up a putt; nurses and hospital porters walk backwards while wheeling a patient; equestrians walk backwards while tending to their horse; tennis players run backwards to get that lob; plumbers can’t turn around when they’ve crawled into a tight space so end up shuffling backwards! And in lots of sports – football, basketball, rugby, lacrosse, net ball – the players are moving backwards, usually without looking!

When you stop and think about it, we all use backward walking every day!

Our Challenge to You

Send us a fun video of you walking backwards and holding a clearly visible Trail booklet and we’ll send you two free Trails of your choice! Send the video to us before 1st June and be prepared for us to share them on our social media sites.

26th February 2014

Posted In: Did You Know

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