Kate Staples: The Boot Camp - Use it or lose it
A former athlete and Gladiator and now all-round fitness guru, Esher resident Kate Staples shares her top tips with us for getting into shape
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine July 2009A former athlete and Gladiator and now all-round fitness guru, Esher resident Kate Staples shares her top tips with us for getting into shape
As I watched my training team heading out this morning at our Adventure Boot Camp in Cobham, I was struck again by the importance of a simple commitment to exercise in our day-to-day lives. There's obviously something of value to be gained or none of us would be out there leading the large groups of women participants that turn up every day, some of whom have been coming to our fitness camps for over two years. Of course, we can all find plenty of reasons to stay in bed. Everywhere we turn these days, we are inundated by the loom of gloom. The stock market is volatile, house prices drop daily and 'experts' debate bailout packages as our stress levels are going through the roof - a perfect storm to undermine our physical, emotional and mental health. So why are exercise benefits more important to our well-being than ever? You get the exercise 'high' - the exhilarated feeling people get after a vigorous run. It's not a myth and it's not just for runners. During exercise, your body produces 'feel-good' chemicals called endorphins, which foster a natural sense of well- being. It also decreases your cortisol, which is the hormone produced when your body reacts to stress. Cortisol is the culprit behind the many negative effects of stress - anxiety, weight gain, elevated blood pressure and much more. Exercise offers a healthy, natural outlet for your frustrations. What better way to release the tension than through a good, hard workout? Exercise is the perfect way to knock out worry, aggravation and frustration. Physical activity creates an opportunity to clear the mental cobwebs and the emotional baggage. Getting deep into your body during a workout will pull you away from the mental chatter, creating a calm state that will continue well after your workout is finished. Successful people exercise regularly. The renowned Dr Ken Cooper has studied the impact of regular exercise on top executives for over 25 years. His research shows that CEOs who exercise consistently are significantly more productive, resistant to the demands of leadership and more successful than their sedentary counterparts. It's easy to forego your exercise routine in favour of worrying or working longer hours, but doing so only worsens the effects of what you're already facing. I recently did a news interview and one of the questions was 'what is the difference training a 20-year-old compared to training a 40-year-old?'. The answer depends on how well the 40-year-old took care of themselves. Some 40-year-old athletes are in better shape now than the majority of current 20-year-olds. You've heard of the saying 'use it or lose it'. It's never more true than when it comes to your body. Just like the potty brigade that turn up at our camps at 5.45am, rain or shine, time after time, I absolutely know you have great feelings and experience differences in body and mind when you exercise compared to when you don't. It's just that simple. So why not go a bit potty, bundle up and head to the local park early one morning - who knows? It might just change your life...