Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Xercise4Less is continuing to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October. According to Breast Cancer Care (2019), over 55,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the UK. Exercise has proven to be beneficial for those who are undertaking cancer treatments. It’s important, though, to ensure that this is done safely without putting too much pressure on the body. Regular exercise can reduce anxiety and depression, strengthen muscles and reduce the risk of other health issues.
To support this cause, Xercise4Less is presenting another blog focusing on women’s empowerment and the importance of exercise with our member Libby Frost from Xercise4Less Leeds Kirkstall. This blog does not focus on anyone who has previously suffered from cancer, however, as we believe that exercise is essential for those who are going through cancer treatments, we would like to share our support.
Low-Intensity workout to help you keep active and motivated
Ladies, it's your time to SHINE! So get those trainers out, that sports gear on and come and join all the amazing other women that are killing it in the gym every day! Even just doing low-intensity exercises in the gym can be so uplifting and help keep you active and motivated. So who ready to feel EMPOWERED?
Low-intensity workouts are beneficial in so many ways to your mental and physical health. Examples of low-intensity workouts include:
- Low-intensity full-body circuits
Here are some low-intensity workouts that ANY women can try to get that blood pumping, heart racing, and those endorphins flowing. We know that the gym can be intimidating but these exercises are quick and simple which means that any woman can feel not only comfortable but MOTIVATED and EMPOWERED to hit the gym.
Yoga can be a great low-intensity exercise. It has been scientifically proven to aid stress reduction whilst helping you maintain that fit and active lifestyle. Xercise4Less offers amazing yoga classes that are a fun way to clear your mind and get active at the same time!
Here are some low-intensity cardio exercises all using the treadmill with a total workout time of just 25 minutes:
- 10-15% incline Speed 3.0-5.0 & Then walk for 10 minutes
Repeat the next 4 exercises 3 times, with each time followed by 1 minute of steady-state, no incline walk.
- 7.0 incline Speed 1.5-2.0
1. Forward Squat walk: 1 minute
2. Backward Squat walk: 1 minute
3. Lunge Walk: 1 minute
4. Side Squat Walk: 30 seconds each side
10 Low-intensity Exercises
These exercises can be used in combinations of 4-6 exercises and repeated 2-3 times to create that perfect circuits for you to stay active and motivated.
1. Side dips x 10 (place knee on the floor for a lower intensity movement)
2. Tricep dips x 10
3. Hover kickbacks x 10 (each leg)
4. Clamshell with resistance band x 10 (each leg)
5. Side squat x 20
6. Standing cross body crunches x 10 (each side)
7. Curtsy with arm raises x 10 (up the intensity by holding dumbbells)
8. Arm circles x 20
9. Alternating t-shaped arm extension x 10
10. Single-leg hip thrusts x 10 (each leg)
Physical and Mental Benefits of Fitness
What makes physical exercise so good for your mental and physical health?
Stress and anxiety reduction
Any physical exercise, including low-intensity exercise, has been scientifically proven to reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress. Not only does physical exercise release hormones such as endorphins that naturally give you an uplifting feeling but having a gym routine has also been proven to improve mental health.
Improve body composition & functioning
Physical exercise helps to increase strength and muscle whilst reducing body fat. This creates better physical health for the body overall. Increasing body strength can also make daily tasks much easier. Additionally, physical activity improves immune system functioning helping ward off those unwanted colds and viruses.
Better quality of sleep
A good workout helps to regulate your body’s built-in alarm clock, the circadian rhythm that controls how awake or tired your body feels. Physical exercises help to maintain a good sleep routine which helps improve mental health overall.
Improves cognitive function
Studies have shown that physical exercises contribute to the growth of the hippocampus which is the part of the brain associated with memory and learning. Additionally, as physical exercise improves mental health it also contributes to overall benefits in the memory performance.
Okay, ladies. So it is without a doubt in this world of constant social media and unachievable body images that our self-esteem and confidence are bound to be knocked all the time. BUT, physical exercise can be an amazing way of building body confidence and learning to love your body. Getting together with like-minded women to do low-intensity workouts in the gym can benefit your mental health. Working out with other women may boost your mood and keeps you motivated.
SO WOMEN... Who doesn’t want to feel empowered with the help of one another?
Let’s do this together!
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