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Angie Blackwell & Infiniti Wellbeing

Infiniti, as the word implies, means space and time without limits. When this word is taken in the context of our health and wellbeing it holds great meaning.

Fitness has different meaning to different people. Some see fitness as something that they did at school in the PE class and upon leaving school have no further participation in any sort of exercise or fitness.

Alternatively we have the person, who is so interested in exercise and fitness, that they make this their career and become a professional sports people and naturally train many hours on a daily basis.

These are two extremes, and then in some shape or form, everyone else seems to fall somewhere in the middle.

The person who dabbles at losing weight, however doesn’t put any real effort into the proceedings and is so disappointed when they don’t see results overnight!

They then throw in the towel and give up before they even really get started! And in contrast, the person who becomes obsessed with exercise and diet to the detriment of their health. They often lean towards becoming obsessive with their fitness and often train to exhaustion.

Do you recognize anyone in these categories?

These examples show how varied our approach and attitude is to fitness and wellbeing. However, I think I can speak for everyone, in saying I think we would all like to move through life being as healthy and fit as we can be.

Some people look ahead to the bigger picture, and see the inclusion of a healthy lifestyle as a must, if they want to hopefully reap the benefits of an enjoyable, active and healthy lifestyle in years to come.

However, some people fail before they even get started! I often hear 'But I couldn’t do exercise as I’m not fit enough'

Well here is some news …

Everyone can improve their health by including some activity or pastime into their life and greatly benefit their life and wellbeing.

Exercise can be enjoyable, exhilarating, empowering and can give our confidence a much needed boost. Not everyone exercises throughout their life but chooses to only participate in exercise when preparing for an event or holiday. I agree, we have all decided at one point in our life to start or alternately increase our fitness and lose weight for a specific event, such a wedding or summer holiday. Often this effort is seen as a short term effort, allowing the person to feel good about themselves for a short time in their lives. The effort that is put in is thought of as being a chore and a short term solution. Which is reversed soon after the event when their normal regime resumes.

What if, we could all find a specific activity or regime, which would allow us to feel good about ourselves all the time! This would give us much needed confidence and more importantly control of our lives!Do you have control of what goes on in your life?

Often people are generally happy with their life but would like to improve a specific part of it. For example, the person who would like to become fitter, so they may run for the bus in the morning without running out of breath! Would the addition of some power walking increasing to short bursts of running, on a regular basis improve their fitness? Yes it would!

Then let us look at the person who would like to continue their hobby of working in their garden, but unfortunately they continually pick up injuries which prevent them participating. What if they could include massage therapy to help release the tight, tense muscles incurred whilst gardening? Would this allow them to return to their favourite hobby? Yes it would!

Some small changes can result in great benefits and can improve our lifestyle.

Throughout our lives, we have all known times when everything is going well. We feel healthy, fit and happy. We often take this state for granted. Our lives appear effortless and easy to maintain, then one day something triggers a feeling either mentally or physically which makes us question our health and wellbeing and everything changes.

Take for example when change is caused by an injury, this can prevent us from exercising or participating in activities that we enjoy and make us happy. Injuries can occur when stretching after the particular regime or sport has been avoided. Or alternatively the person has ignored tight muscles, which could have easily been avoided by regular massage sessions. If the injury becomes problematic and is slow to heal, this can have a real impact on the person’s life. They can easily be affected not only with the physical aspect of the injury but they can also be affected mentally, due the boredom and frustration of not being able to exercise.

Many athletes and sports people find this when recovering from injury, it can be hard for them to relax and unwind, if they haven’t trained or had their daily exercise 'Fix'. The endorphins released during exercise leave the participant feeling good, hence the statement 'I felt on a high after my training session'

This feeling is impacted when the athlete must rest the offending injury and cease participating in their given sport. The athlete can often feel quite low and can even become depressed. They are forced to find other pastimes which involve less activity and the boredom of these routines often results in overeating, exercising less and this new routine often impacts on their weight. This adds a new dimension to their situation and very quickly impacts on their sense of wellbeing.

As you can see, every individual is different and have diverse views regarding wellbeing. The examples above, showing this very well. However, regardless of if the person WANTS to participate but can’t as they are carrying injuries etc or alternatively DOESN’T WANT to participate in exercise because they haven’t found the correct activity. The one thing they are failing to access are the options available to them in this ever changing World of opportunity.

Here are a few statements that I hear on a regular basis are:

  • I’m too tired to exercise
  • I’m too busy to find time to exercise
  • I’m too old to exercise
  • I can’t do ANY exercise
  • I get hot doing exercise!
  • I have an injury so can’t participate in ANY other activities

Have you said any of these in the past?

I’m sure we can all think to a time, however briefly, when we enjoyed and got a buzz from some sort of activity. When we enjoyed an activity and felt good?  Can you remember a time now?

When we do something we enjoy, we always find time to include it in to our busy schedules. We enjoy looking forward to the activity and also the participation in activity. Have you noticed the buzz words “We enjoy it and it makes us happy!” This can give us confidence and we gain a great sense of Wellbeing.
This brings us on nicely to the definition of Wellbeing, it means being in a contented state which makes us feel happy, healthy and also prosperous!

Here’s a question?

Have you ever participated in any activity for any length of time that you haven’t enjoyed?

Take a moment to access a particular event that you DIDN’T like participating in. I’ll take a guess that you didn’t participate in it for long.

Wellbeing encompasses many things. It is the balance between fitness, (physical and mental) health and happiness. So I’m sure we can all agree, that all boxes can be ticked if we find an activity/sport or hobby which challenges us both physically and mentally, but more importantly that we ENJOY and makes us Happy!

Having said this statement, I think I can safely say that no one person participates in the same sport or activity at the same level throughout their life. As we mature from teenage years to adulthood, we often change the activities that we participated in at school and often try new sports until we find something we like and ultimately improves our lifestyle and wellbeing.

So never be demoralized when you fall out of love with your once favourite activity. This happens to many people and often without any reason. This is often the hardest thing to deal with. The person often feels guilty that they don’t feel motivated to participate and this feeling stops them sourcing a new activity.

Many other things can prevent us from continuing with an activity. It can be due to injury, illness or alternatively by financial or family restraints. Due to these events we must reinvent ourselves through life. This often entails challenging ourselves to learn new skills or alternatively by moving out of our comfort zone either physically or mentally so we can ultimately evolve. I feel a story coming on...

This very thing happened to me!

When I was at High school, I didn’t have an aptitude for the activities on offer and unfortunately wasn’t encouraged by any of the teachers to try new sports. This left me totally unmotivated by exercise and disillusioned by the teachers who were supposed to be there to motivate me. The only activity that I participated in was Horse riding. I had loved and enjoyed being around horses all my life (again the word Enjoyed!) So through my teenage years this was the only activity that I really enjoyed. Luckily for me, working with & riding horses is very manual. What I lost in not participating in other sporting activities was gained in my choice of Horse riding and more importantly I loved it, which made me keen to continue...

After leaving school, worked as a Groom with the Riding for the disabled at the Drum in Edinburgh. Any fitness benefits were gained by the manual nature of the work.

My lack of participation in sport continued until I was 21 years old. I was asked by a friend at work, to accompany her to a beginners Karate class! She implied that this would be a one off and she just needed a bit of moral support for the first night! That same night, I and the Karate Instructor both thought I might die! I naturally hadn’t trained in this way before and I was exhausted.

However, something changed in me and I continued to participate. This gave me a new lease of life! New friends, excitement, enjoyment and also I was becoming much fitter as a result. The friend I accompanied to karate on the very first night, lasted 3 months and I continued to train for a further 12 years and attained my Black belt! Not bad for someone who wasn’t any good at Sport according to the school system. The training for Karate was challenging throughout, the Karate Instructor who motivated me made these sessions strangely enjoyable!! I have a lot to thank him for as he changed my attitude to fitness and also changed my life. Thanks Dougie.

As I progressed in Karate, I started to run to increase my fitness, especially prior to karate gradings. However running was never a favourite of mine and was limited to when I needed to impress the Karate Instructor!! I participated in a number of Half Marathons but as I mentioned the running didn’t, excuse the pun, 'Float my boat!' So, I didn’t make this a regular occurrence mainly as I DIDN’T enjoy it.

Shortly after this, I changed my career and entered the Fitness Industry and within a month was teaching around 22 classes per week. These classes consisted of Combat, Pump and Spin & Attack. As much as I loved teaching these classes, this amount was taking its toll on my health and something had to give. I frequently picked up injuries and was experiencing a recurring hip injury.  This was later diagnosed as severe arthritis.

Shortly after this I needed a Hip replacement as my hip was going to collapse.

This news was devastating, as you can imagine, and had the possibility of ending my career and also my personal fitness goals. But I had no option and went ahead with surgery, not knowing what the affect would have on my career and fitness after surgery. Many people have joint replacements, however, not all of them are working in the fitness Industry!

Being fit prior to surgery, had huge benefits in regards of my recovery. I returned to teaching fitness classes 12 weeks after surgery. I continue to teach fitness classes and train PT clients and never at any point did having surgery have any impact on my massage career.

So, I am very lucky. I did have days at the beginning, when I felt frustrated that I couldn’t participate in some sports and activities, and even now new fitness regimes are released and I would like to participate. However, sometimes it just isn’t possible. So it’s onward and upward and there are plenty of other activities that I can experience and enjoy...

I am currently experimenting with new weight training regimes that don’t affect my hips. I’m also about to participate in a new Instructor training program called Fitsteps, this fitness program offers the participant the  opportunity to try their favourite dance moves from Strictly dancing, without the need of a partner!

I’m also very aware that circumstances may affect me in the future. However, I will adapt and/or change my lifestyle to once again accommodate these changes. This natural progression keeps things fresh and allow me to experience new challenges...

I think what I’m trying to say is, that circumstances can/will change throughout our lives, sometimes dramatically. Often things may impact our health and wellbeing. However, we all have the ability (if we so desire) to progress, adapt and reinvent ourselves!

At Infiniti wellbeing, we look at the whole picture and not only one aspect.

Our service offers you amongst other things, Fitness, Massage, Pilates and general health advice and will hopefully lead the way for you to benefit by improving your sense of wellbeing.

We can do worse than connect with Infiniti. Surely our goal in life is to seek infinite health and wellbeing, making our journey through life fulfilling.

As Buzz Lightyear once announced Infiniti and Beyond...

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