Tag Archives: Exercise

Top Five Tips to Help you Stick to your Exercise Plan

Recreation centre, various classes set up by staff for marketing services, 20.10.15 and 23.10.15 Client, Kat Henderson, Rec Centre.It’s getting colder, which invariably makes it even harder to stick to your exercise plan, especially if you’re a morning exerciser! BRRR! So what can you do to stick to your best laid plans and maintain your new healthy habits?

Here are my top five tips for success:

  1. Schedule your workout in your Outlook calendar, mark it out of office, and don’t break it. Ever. Prioritise you. You are more likely to be performing your best for your team, if you have taken care of your own health and wellness needs first.
  2. Find a workout buddy to keep you accountable. They’re relying on you to turn up and vice-versa. You can have your daily (or 3x weekly) catch-up over a workout instead of coffee (or do both!) It really is much more fun!
  3. Choose activities that you look forward to and have fun doing, not ones ‘I have to get through’. (See my earlier blog on ‘what exercise is right for me’. )
  4. Choose locations for exercise that are convenient to your home or work, or on your way home. It’s more likely you’ll keep your fitness appointment, if you don’t have to go out of your way.
  5. Keep a packed workout bag (including healthy snacks and extra socks) in the car or office to minimise excuses.

Recreation centre, various classes set up by staff for marketing services, 20.10.15 and 23.10.15 Client, Kat Henderson, Rec Centre.

And finally, don’t sweat the small stuff! For general health and fitness, just making sure you move every day, and more intensely 3-4x per week is what matters. It doesn’t matter if you train in the morning, afternoon or evening. Just make sure you do!

Happy exercising!
UC RecCentre

Check out the Bargain Box 2017 Group Fitness Challenge – an excellent way to stay motivated through winter.
See our website for more details  

Five ways strength training helps your health & wellbeing

The benefits of strength training are huge for everyone, no matter your age, ability or gender. In fact, the older we get, the more important it is that we incorporate functional strength training into our weekly routine.


  1. It helps improve bone density and lean muscle, both of which we lose naturally as we age. This can help turn you into a lean mean fat fighting machine with stronger bones less susceptible to osteoporosis.
  2. It improves the strength of your connective tissues and muscles, which helps prevent injury.
  3. It can help you move with ease – improving your squat and core can help you sit/stand or even get out of your car more easily.
  4. It can help improve your balance (thereby preventing likelihood of falls).
  5. It can help reduce blood pressure and manage stress.

Does that mean you have to hit the weights room? Not necessarily! Any resistance work that overloads your muscles will provide the stimulus your body needs to grow stronger. For some, body weight exercises like push ups and lunges in the park would work, or even a strong yoga class could do the trick. For others, it might mean lifting weights in the gym.

Recreation centre, various classes set up by staff for marketing services, 20.10.15 Client, Kat Henderson, Rec Centre.

To choose the right kind of strength training, you can ask for some help from a qualified fitness instructor. For RecCentre members, the Fitness Consultants at the UC RecCentre are more than happy to chat with you anytime as well. Just catch them on shift if they’re looking lonely and ask away. Alternatively, you can book in for a free 15 minute consultation, where they’ll work through your questions and help you arrive at a decision that will set you on your best path. Happy exercising!

Five great reasons to try Group Exercise

Recreation Centre photo shoot, showing all aspects of the Rec Centre facilities, badminton, balance exercises with balls, weight pack exercises, floor exercises on the mezzanine, Rec Centre reception, group weights in the gym, steppers, walkers, spin, weight machines, free weights, straps, yoga, rowing machines, 15.8.14Hitting the pavement, cardio machines or weights room can be a fabulous way to reach your health and fitness goals, and suits many just fine. But there are some great reasons to join a group of like-minded individuals to get your regular exercise fix. Here are just five:

  1. The group fitness atmosphere is motivating and energising. The music, moves and teacher can drag you through your workout on the toughest days.
  2. There is no planning or thinking required! That’s the job of the instructor – they’ll plan the class, motivate you, and provide feedback and technique assistance on how well you’re doing. Just turn up and join in!
  3. You can schedule the class time into your calendar – committing to a time and place helps you create good habits.
  4. You can work at your own pace. Instructors teach multi-level classes, meaning people will be doing different adaptations of the same exercise all around you! You can choose to go heavier with your weights in pump (or not), to plank on your toes or knees or whether to turn up the dial in spin. As long as you are giving your best on the day, then you are winning.
  5. The social connections you can make with other exercisers and the instructors can really add sparkle to your day!

Most gyms that offer group fitness will have a range of styles on offer to suit most people. There will usually be a selection of cardio, resistance training, or mind-body based options.

Recreation centre, various classes set up by staff for marketing services, 20.10.15 Client, Kat Henderson, Rec Centre.The RecCentre offers 50+ classes per week as part of their Group Fitness timetable once the students are back, and an additional 10+ Small Group Training courses. You can check out our term time schedule and see if any of our classes look enticing! Not a member?

You can obtain a two week pass simply by emailing kat.henderson@canterbury.ac.nz and letting me know you saw this offer on the blog.

Do you prefer the great outdoors? There are a number of outdoor classes operating around the city, at various prices. Do you prefer free? Check out the free, family friendly Saturday morning session run by PT in the Park www.facebook.com/PtInThePark/

Have a fun-filled day!

Take part in the 2017 Group Fitness Challenge – find out more here

What type of exercise is right for me?

So you’ve decided it’s time to get in shape and build a healthier lifestyle? Congratulations! That’s the first and most important step. There are numerous articles (including this one from the Mayo Clinic) on the benefits of exercise. You won’t regret your decision!

Sticking with a routine is the hard bit! I believe the most important factors in sticking to an exercise routine are to understand WHY you’re doing it, and then to choose activities that match your goals and personality.

Recreation centre, various classes set up by staff for marketing services, 20.10.15 Client, Kat Henderson, Rec Centre.

Why 1: Why do you want to exercise? Seems obvious, but often overlooked! Keep your reasons for exercising at the forefront. Choosing exercise that will help you reach your goals will keep you motivated to stick to your routine.

Why 2: Think about times when you were active (got your heart rate up and sweated a bit) and absolutely loved it so much that it didn’t feel like exercise. What were you doing? Were you outside or inside? Who were you with, or were you by yourself? What one word describes the activity? WHY did you enjoy it so much?

Why 3: Now think about times when you were active and absolutely hated it, and couldn’t wait for it to be over! What were you doing? Were you outside or inside? Who were you with, or were you by yourself? What one word describes the activity? WHY did you not enjoy this experience?

I think you can predict the next step. You’ve identified activities that you enjoyed for whatever reason, as well as ones that made you feel less than enthusiastic. Your next task is to look to recreate those positives in new ways, while avoiding the ones that made you cringe. You may need to try some new things, or re-try them, but look for options that might bring about the reason why you enjoy exercise. For example, you may have loved playing rugby or netball as a child for the camaraderie and skill challenge. Whilst the body might not cope with competitive sport any more, it could be okay with a new sport with less physical rigour, whilst delivering on social and skill aspects.

Remember – our preferences will change often. Our core values – not so much. Find activities that will meet your goals and fit your personality and you’ll be on the road to a healthier you in no time!

2x PushMe Personal Training sessions and a 1 month membership at the RecCentre valued at up to $159 comment on this post before 5pm on 9 February 2017, telling us about one of your why’s!

UC RecCentre

How might you be healthier this year?

Did you, like thousands of others, make yourself a promise to start the new year by improving your health, fitness or wellness? And have you now come back to the routine of work only to find the inspiration to start a new routine has already fizzled?

You are not alone! The good news is, there are ways to get on track and create new routines that will bring you good health. There are many paths, and here are just two we’ve found, which you can look at and decide if they might be the right path for you.

1. SMART Goals
A tried and tested method used in many disciplines is to set goals in business, health and more. Really dig down into your broad goal, and tighten it up. Make your goal Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Based. Just google SMART Goals and you’ll find plenty of reputable resources to get you started.

2. Questolutions
Instead of saying ‘i’m going to start a new fitness regime this year’, you can reframe it as a question ‘how might I get fitter this year?’ The idea here is that questions are more engaging, less intimidating and more shareable than statements. By posing a question, you can get creative (and your friends can too) on how you might solve your question! See more on Questolutions here

Common to both (and the many other methods out there), is that you need to ink it! Set aside some time, grab a piece of paper (or a journal) and write it all down. Whether you choose to go it alone, ask a friend to help (they can be very objective and helpful) or engage the services of a professional – it’s entirely up to you. There are plenty of online resources at your fingertips! What we do know, is that if you’re serious about changing things up and making positive steps towards a healthier lifestyle with better work/life balance, it certainly helps to have a plan!

Check out what the UC Rec Centre offers that can help support your fitness goals.

Here’s to a healthy and happy 2017!

UC RecCentre Team