Pilates At The Gurdwara
One Gurdwara is not letting language be a barrier to exercise.
Date: 24 November 2022 Author: Energise Me
Working at Energise Me, Emma has had the opportunity to try over 40 different types of activity. Here are a few of her favourites, and some of the things she’s learnt along the way.
Until last year, I’d never done any sort of weight training. A friend was a big kettlebell fan and convinced me (over a drink or two!) to give it a try. After years of yoga, it was a refreshing change to focus on strength. Also, it was really fun to train outdoors, come rain or shine.
I tried a couple of weightlifting classes, and my daughter even gave it a go too.
I surprised myself by really enjoying both – my lack of upper body strength wasn’t an issue at all. You can start with really low weights, and truly, no-one cares if you do. But also, a lot of your lifting power comes from your legs and core. You’re stronger than you think you are!
I’d definitely recommend a few classes to begin with, to learn the form, and to make sure you’re safe. But you can pick up kettlebells on the high street at a reasonable price, and swing away in your garden, or the local park.
How often, as an adult, do you play? If you’re anything like me a few years ago, I’d bet almost never. But since finding more of the joy in physical activity, I’ve rediscovered some of my favourite children’s games.
If you’ve not gone to do handstands in the park with your colleagues at lunchtime, you’re missing out. And nothing clears the Sunday-morning brain fog away quite like a game of Duck, Duck, Goose.
When you think about ways to be active, you might not think about computer games. But after a trip to a VR arcade with colleagues, I discovered Beat Saber. It’s like a cross between dance mats and Guitar Hero, played with light sabers (no, really). You can pick the tempo of the music, and really go for it. It’s a great cardio activity, and you can adapt the speed, the complexity, and even whether you play with one or two arms.
In my teens and twenties, there were so many activities I avoided because I thought I might be bad at them, or because I was scared, or just because I had no idea how to start. So, sea kayaking on holiday was a big leap for me – and I absolutely loved it!
It’s a brilliant upper-body workout, but the scenery is so beautiful, I hardly noticed I was exercising. I’ll admit, it feels a little daunting to get started, but with places like Decathlon now renting out kayaks and paddle boards, it’s more accessible than ever.
Until 2021, I would have called myself a non-swimmer. I used to joke that if you threw me in the deep end of a pool, I’d probably make it to the side, but if you chucked me off a boat, I’d definitely drown. So, it came as a bit of a shock to discover that I love open water swimming.
I was lucky enough last year to meet Sandy and Victoria from Swim the Wight CIC, who took me for my very first sea dip in Sandown, Isle of Wight. And almost immediately, I was hooked.
Since then, I’ve swum in rivers, lakes, oceans, ponds, meres, and a waterfall. I’ve practiced my stroke, and built up my distance in a pool. I’ve had some informal lessons from friends, and can now swim face-in, which I never thought I’d be able to do.
There are loads of articles about how invigorating cold water swimming is, and it turns out they’re true. I love watching the seasons change, and wildlife spotting along the river. Swimming can be energising, or calming, depending on what you need. And I’ve made some great friends along the way.
If you fancy trying it, the HOWS (Hampshire Open Water Swimmers) is a brilliant group, really supportive and welcoming.
I don’t know what activity I’ll get to try next – one of my newest colleagues is a Judo fan, so maybe some martial arts is on the agenda!