Being active can help you gain ground with health and fitness

Health and Fitness: Make a move where your health is concerned


Health
TOUGH WORK: Loads of community members took on Newcastle's version of Heartbreak Hill in NewRun's events yesterday. Picture: Simone De Peak

TOUGH WORK: Loads of community members took on Newcastle's version of Heartbreak Hill in NewRun's events yesterday. Picture: Simone De Peak

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"Moving is improving" proved the motivation to keep going.

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“Moving is improving.”

The words were on the timing chip that went on your shoe if you took part in any of NewRun’s events yesterday.

I don’t run with music in my ears so it was those words looping around in my head throughout the 10-kilometre Herald Hill2Harbour.

It doesn’t matter what pace you are running or walking at, I think any event presents its challenges to all involved.

Whether you are at the front and gunning for glory, trying to improve your own personal best time or just hoping to finish, most people I would assume go through various mental battles.

“How was that headwind,” I heard so many saying at the end, along with, “That was tough”, and “How was that hill”, and “I didn’t think I was ever going to reach that turn point down Honeysuckle”.

It was hot and windy and I went through my own mental battles yesterday.

But I kept coming back to “moving is improving”, which spurred me on because really, it’s a pretty good way to spend a Sunday morning, immersed in your community and being active.

SUPPORT: This guy covered more ground than most runners to offer encouragement and motivation to NewRun competitors. Picture: Simone De Peak

SUPPORT: This guy covered more ground than most runners to offer encouragement and motivation to NewRun competitors. Picture: Simone De Peak

As I ran, I thought about the inspirational efforts of Newcastle’s Kurt Fearnley and Lauren Parker at the Commonwealth Games in the past week or so and the pain they, and all of our Aussie athletes, go through to represent our country.

That made me think, one hour out of my comfort zone is nothing really.

There were first-timers out there alongside people who have competed every year since it began over a decade ago.

It was great to see kids lining the course, screaming out encouragement and people who weren’t running supporting the event.

One guy out on the course offering encouragement must have covered more ground than the actual competitors as he, and his stereo, added motivation and a laugh throughout the event.

I spoke to a few people at the end who had done it for the first time and were pretty chuffed, while also a little buggered, to have crossed the finish line.

Another lady was doing her second half marathon after starting out a few years back with the 5km race then progressing to the 10km and now on to the 21.1km.

Looking at the big picture can be pretty overwhelming, such as thinking you might not ever be able to do a long run or walk.

But “moving is improving” really does ring true.

If you are able to move then there is the opportunity to improve your health and fitness if you stick with it.

I love listening to the talk at the end as well, where people ask, “What’s next?”

For me, and loads of other people from Newcastle, it is the Ultra Trail Australia in the Blue Mountains next month, then the Winery Running Festival up the Hunter Valley in July.

There are plenty of other events coming up that might be just the goal you are looking for, including the testing City2Surf 14km from Sydney central to Bondi in August.

You have just under four months to train for this one, so plenty of time to improve if you move.

Upcoming Fitness Events

World Tai Chi Qigong Day, Foreshore Park, April 28:  At 10am local time in cities around the world, community members are encouraged to breathe together and send a 'healing wave' around the globe. Regardless of age and fitness level, all are invited to get along and join in or just watch. Dogs and kids are also welcome.

Memory Walk & Jog, Speers Point, May 20: Raising funds to increase Dementia Australia support services, such as counselling, support groups, education to help family carers and professional training. The event comprises a 2km walk, 7.5 km walk and 7.5km run.

Autumn Workouts #Week 7

The Herald Hill2Harbour may have been held yesterday but hill work is always beneficial in your training program to improve strength, endurance and cardiovascular fitness.

There is a variety of workout options from hill intervals to combining a strength workout with some hill running or walking. Try this:

First part: 5 x [1 minute hard uphill walking or running followed by 1min down].

Next part: 3 x [10 squats with shoulder press, 10 push-ups, 10 diagonal lunges, 10 bent-over rows, run uphill 45 seconds]. 

Last part: 5 x [30sec uphill: 30sec down] 

Renee Valentine is a writer, qualified personal trainer and mother of three. r.valentine@fairfaxmedia.com.au.

The story Being active can help you gain ground with health and fitness first appeared on Newcastle Herald.

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