Focus Magazines The local magazines for Abergavenny, Crickhowell, Brecon & Talgarth – Events, News and Advertising


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Can You Really Get In Shape While at Home?

April 29th, 2020

A healthy body isn’t just made in expensive gyms and gourmet kitchens. Whether you prefer to work in the comfort of your room or would rather not spend on a membership, it’s totally possible to get into shape while at home. Plus, with most of us indoors and self-isolating, it has never been more important to keep our health in check — no matter how tempting it is to sink into the couch for most of the day. Most of all, The New York Times notes that maintaining an exercise routine is an integral part of self-care and mental health during these trying times.

Don’t know where to start? We’ve got some tips for you below.

Determine Your Fitness Goals

Before you decide to break a sweat, it’s important to know what you want to get out of your workouts. Do you want to build more muscle strength? Or improve your flexibility? Knowing what you’re striving towards is a great source of motivation to keep you moving even in the comforts of your home. For instance, if you want to exercise to release tension and stress, then sports correspondent Kevin Mitchell claims that boxing is ideal, since it’s a healthy outlet to release anxiety. On the other hand, if you’re looking to calm down and get into the right headspace, then yoga can do the job for that. Once you’re set on what your fitness goals are, it’s best to build a weekly routine around it. This way, you’ll complete your exercises at a more consistent rate, thus helping you achieve your goals.

Always Warm Up and Stretch Before Exercising

The key to getting in shape is to perform a proper warm-up and stretch beforehand. As podiatrist Clare Johnson previously shared, warming up and stretching before engaging in physical activity helps prepare the body, while reducing the risk of injury. On top of this, the HuffPost points out that warming up your body makes your exercises more efficient because it helps activate the connection between your nerves and muscles. Meanwhile, stretching helps your muscles become more flexible to carry out any movement with more ease. All in all, these can do a world of good for your workouts, especially if you’ve been lounging on your sofa much longer than usual lately.

Rely on Strength Training

If you’re worried that your body isn’t up for the challenge, relying on strength and conditioning training will help make your muscles and joints stronger, while upping your endurance. If you’re someone who’s used to jogging outdoors or running marathons, it doesn’t mean your progress has to stop. NURVV coach James Poole emphasises that strength training is equally important, because it helps you build a bullet-proof base. Focusing on strength and body conditioning will not only provide your muscles and joints with the support they need, but it also improves your speed. What’s more is that these exercises — like squats, jumping jacks, and push-ups — can be done at home with no equipment needed. True enough, fitness writer Daniel Davies reveals that bodyweight exercises can definitely stimulate muscle growth. Just be sure they’re performed at their full range of motion.

Stick to a Healthy Diet

It goes without saying that munching on crisps or chocolate is always tempting after completing a tough workout. Despite this, it’s essential that your workouts are partnered with the right eating habits. From fruits and veggies, to whole grains and lean meats, sticking to a healthy diet goes hand-in-hand with getting in shape. On that note, try to figure out what kind of food will complement your fitness goals. Strength trainers will usually need to up their protein, while those who do a lot of cardio must refuel with enough carbohydrates. At the end of the day, eating right is one of the best ways to boost your overall health and ensure your effort doesn’t go to waste.

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Step Count

January 9th, 2020

The recommended daily step count for good health is 10,000, or five miles a day which sounds like a lot, but going about your daily life means you’ll naturally cover a fair few steps, meaning that in practice you won’t need to do too much more to hit the daily target. If you’re starting 2020 […]

Mynydd Du: Your Local Fell and Mountain Running Club

August 14th, 2014

Based around Abergavenny, the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons, Mynydd Du is a local fell and mountain running club for runners who love running, training and racing on the hills. The club was formed in 2004 with the intention of promoting the sport of mountain and fell running in South Wales by supporting club […]

Train for Health in 2014

January 31st, 2014

Many people seek out a personal trainer to help them lose weight or, more accurately, to lose fat. Often, they want to change their shape – some want to tone up without bulking up, while others want to bulk up and trim down. All of these things are possible. Personal training integrates a wide range […]

Have a Blast!

January 5th, 2013

Getting into shape after the excesses of Christmas doesn’t have to be depressing. In fact it can be a lot of fun. We recently caught up with Abergavenny’s very own Dance Blast to find out how… Dance Blast is Monmouthshire’s community dance organisation situated here in the heart of Abergavenny. Based at the beautiful Dance […]

On Your Bike!

July 22nd, 2012

You may have been inspired by the recent Abergavenny Festival of Cycling to take to the saddle and go for a bit of a bike ride yourself. And why not? Cycling is great for fitness and can be enjoyed as a family on a sunny summer’s day. Why not pack a picnic and make a […]

Abergavenny Gears Up for Four Days of Cycling Festivities in July

July 3rd, 2012

Riders on the Iron Mountain Sportif

Riders from across the UK will be descending into Abergavenny in July as the annual Festival of Cycling takes place for a sixth year. And again the big weekend will have a huge amount for people either on or off a bike to enjoy over the course of four days. Festival organiser Bill Owen has […]

Why I practise Yoga

May 14th, 2012

In our new Guest Column, we invite yoga practioner Jane Reynolds to talk about Yoga. I began to do yoga 30 years ago because I had a sit-down-office-job, I needed to move and I loathe all competitive sports.  I found a class in Queen Square in London, with a beautiful lady called Felicia, and off […]

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