Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Spring into the new season

Spring is a time of new beginnings, and now the clocks have changed, longer days and better weather are starting to make a big difference to our state of mind.

During the winter, getting up in the dark and leaving work in the dark can make us feel listless and lacking in motivation, and fit for nothing but curling up on the sofa with an outsized mug of tea and a DVD. Now that daffodils, crocuses and other flowers are beginning to colour the countryside, though, while trees start to bud and lamps begin to hop about the fields, most of us are starting to feel the effects of the new season.

It can be hard to get enough exercise in the winter, as short days, poor weather, mud and dismal landscapes are often enough to deter all but the most determined from getting outside. It's easy too, to wrap ourselves up in sweaters and scarves and indulge in some serious comfort eating, telling ourselves we'll soon get back into shape in spring. Well, spring officially started on March 20th, so it's definitely time to make a start!

Getting out and getting more exercise is good for us in all sorts of ways. Sunshine can boot levels of the mood-lifting chemical serotonin, so lack of sufficient sunlight over the winter can leave us feeling low and depressed. If you're a healthy adult aged between 18 and 64, the National Health Service recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise every week, which is also a great mood enhancer.

If you struggle with motivation, playing a team sport is a great way of adding a fun, social aspect to exercise, and it'll also help you develop other skills such as coordination and balance. At Play Simple Netball, a friendly and approachable organisation in the North West, we're recruiting for our summer leagues in April. 

This Easter, why not make a new start and come along to one of our taster sessions?

For more information, visit or call Jo on 07779 642041.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Love Your Body!

We all know we should put some time into our relationships with our spouses or partners to build a healthy, loving bond. How many of us, though, put as much effort as we should into our relationship with our health? According to Professor Steven Blair of the University of South Carolina, USA in an article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, physical inactivity is the biggest public health problem of the 21st century.

"There is now overwhelming evidence that regular physical activity has important and wide-ranging health benefits," he said.

Government guidelines suggest that that adults under 65 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity every week, but as only 14% of UK adults exercise regularly it seems that most of us are failing to reach that target.

A common reason for not keeping up with an exercise programme is poor motivation.

A good tip to help you keep committed is to choose a form of exercise you enjoy. Turn your chosen activity into a social event, and you'll soon be looking forward to it rather than dreading it. Get together with a group of friends, and go for long weekend walks or cycle ride, or take up a team game like netball. Netball's suitable for all ages and fitness levels, and most members enjoy the chance to improve their fitness in a fun, low pressure environment with new friends.

To find out more about Play Simple Netball, a friendly and approachable league organisation in the North West, visit or call 07779 642041.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Make 2015 the year that you get fit!

With research reported in the Daily Mail suggesting that the average person eats around 7,000 calories on Christmas Day alone, it's no wonder that January sees a sharp rise in gym memberships as we try to get ourselves back in shape.
A survey by international market research firm YouGov reveals that while only around a third of us (30%) make defined New Year's Resolutions, over half of that figure (51%) wanted to do more exercise and get fitter, while a similar percentage wanted to lose weight. With only 8% of us sticking to our resolutions, though, many of our good intentions peter out in the face of poor winter weather, dark nights and other commitments.
Writing recently in The Telegraph, fitness blogger and founder of the W10 Performance gym, Jean-Claude Vacassin, explored some of the ways we could try and keep to our fitness resolutions.
"In my opinion, most of us will remain far more engaged and motivated - and will ultimately get far better results - when we train in small groups. Personal training works for focused periods, but eventually, the relationship gets in the way of the training," he says.
If you want to get fit for 2015 and are worried about your motivation levels, then joining a netball league is ideal. It's suitable for all ages and fitness levels, and most members love the social aspects as much as the health benefits. It's a great way to bond with work colleagues, meet new people or simply get fitter, and once you start playing regularly you won't want to stop.

To find out more about Play Simple Netball, a friendly and approachable league organisation in the North West, visit or call 07779 642041.