Introducing Stephen, one of our Active Together Champions!
To stay fit and healthy during lockdown, I have done a daily walk of at least 10,000 steps but some days (whether the weather is good or bad), I have done a lot further than this. In addition to walking, I have done some exercise routines which have helped to maintain my health, fitness and flexibility. Included in this, I would also practice my karate style. During the lockdown, I recorded a video each Saturday for my karate students to take part in and keep active. Each session was just over an hour long, which consisted of a warm up and then any of the following: basic techniques (single movements), combinations (multiple moves put together), Kata, self-defence, pad work, set pair work, and sparring techniques. Each session I have done needs very little space to do. Normally, I would be at my karate club every Saturday where I would be teaching my incredible students, so I decided I would keep at it and record a lesson for them to have a go at. The comments that I have suggests the students are getting a lot out of what I have been doing, and hence it gives them something to look forward to in the week. For me, I personally love being active. I would normally have been playing football, practicing/teaching karate, or playing chess but all these areas were closed down due to COVID-19. I would say that being active keeps me focus. I naturally enjoy keeping fit as it helps me forget about bad things for a while and concentrate on something else. It also helps maintain my body's overall ability to fight any infection because my health is better starting point. Mentally, I always better after a good session of health plus I know it help me maintain my health and fitness. If I have a good session, I always feel a warming glow that feels good to me. In fact, all things that I enjoy most in life come from being active, whether through my karate, football, or any other activity. The first thing was working out how I could do some active fitness, then figuring out what I could do in a smaller space, as I certainly could not play football or practice my karate in the same way. Modifying my karate was the first thing I did by practicing in the garden and working out how I could record what I was doing for others to reap the benefit.
My advice if you're thinking of getting more active:
The benefits that have received from being active are clear, it improves your mental health, reduces anxiety and stress, and helps maintain physical fitness for the day to day essentials from working to everyday home maintenance. Whether I am champion or not; it does not really matter to me as I know that staying fit will help me in the long run. I am happy to help others achieve whether they are old or young, it does not matter. I think people should go for it and not worry about what others think, just do what you can, you do not need to compete with anyone but yourself. A little of exercise is better than no exercise at all.
If you liked Stephen's story and want to find out more about being active, visit Active Together