Blog

Sports massage to resume on 12th of April

It’s been confirmed today that I will be able to reopen on Monday the 12th of April, only a week away!

Currently, all the previous covid-19 procedures are still in place – please take the time to reread them here https://fitforlonger.co.uk/covid-19-information/. Some of the procedures and forms may be tweaked slightly in the coming days as it takes a couple of days for my governing body to clarify and update guidelines from the government after an announcement – any updated procedures will be put on to my website and booking forms.

To book either:

Email: info@fitforlonger.co.uk

Call or text: 07932 652653

Book directly online: https://bodycareclients.clinicsense.com/

See you all soon!

Michelle

Payment update

Just over 2 weeks until I can hopefully return on the 12th of April! Next week is when gyms and close contact services should find out if they can definitely return on this date so fingers crossed!

Just a quick update before you book: my business bank details have changed so please amend any direct debits or payment details you may have saved to pay for bookings. New details are:

AC name: Michelle Ward

AC number: 26611696

Sort code: 608371

To book:

Call: 07932 652653

Email: info@fitforlonger.co.uk

Book direct: https://fitforlonger.co.uk/packages/

Michelle

Website update

Just a quick note to say that my website is currently in the process of being tweaked slightly. If you would like to book a functional fitness session please contact me direct either by email or phone rather than use a booking button as the services are being deleted or changed so I may not receive the booking request.

Sports massage sessions are unaffected and can still be booked online in the usual way. Also – I have changed my hours slightly and will now be available for massage bookings on Fridays as well as Monday, Wednesday and Saturdays when I return on the 12th of April.

See you all soon!

Michelle

Reopening of close contact services.

The announcement from Boris Johnson today on the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions means we now have a timeline of when we can hope to see a return to some normality.

Close contact services may resuming on the 12th of April which means you can finally book your sports massage, hurrah!

Being cautiously optimistic I have opened my diary for those who would like to book in advance.

Bookings can be done direct on my website https://fitforlonger.co.uk/packages/, by email at info@fitforlonger.co.uk or by calling on 07932 652653.

It’s only seven weeks away guys, we can do it, be strong!

See you again soon!

Michelle

End of year review

The end of the year is here and many people including myself often have a little reflection on the past twelve months. This year, more than any other, has been strange to say the least, with many changes – both good and bad, with plenty of ups and downs!

Obviously COVID-19 has had a huge impact on people this year, physically, emotionally and financially. For me personally being totally self employed means I have had a huge financial hit, with the majority of my work stopping in March when we first went into lockdown. Two of my regular corporate contracts came to an abrupt end at lockdown and sadly have not restarted due to ongoing financial difficulties. My chair based exercise classes in dementia care homes has also ceased due to social distancing, and staff shortages and the challenges of engaging with this population remotely has meant that these online sessions are currently few and far between. I’m hoping that with the rollout of a vaccine some normality can resume and I can get back to seeing some of the lovely residents and amazing staff who really enjoy and benefit from the exercise sessions.

Emotionally it’s been a huge rollercoaster! I think many of us, including myself, have at some point struggled to cope with boredom, loneliness, worry and uncertainty of the future. I know that during lockdown many people found a new love for exercise, not only as a way of staying fit, but to also have a routine during the long days and weeks of lockdown. Not only do you get the physical benefits of regular exercise, it is also a great way to improve mental well being and lift our mood. When I worked for the NHS I ran a gym in a secure mental health unit and have seen first hand the positive effects regular exercise can have on mental well being. It’s also great that you don’t need to sweat in the gym for hours to experience the benefits – as little as a 10 minute brisk walk outside has been shown to help reduce anxiety so its well worth getting out of the house for a short break.

As well as COVID-19 another significant event this year was my 50th! The plans to have a lavish celebration in Vegas didn’t happen due to finances, but I did spend a few lovely weeks in Cornwall and had two, yes TWO, birthday cakes, so it wasn’t too bad. I did a lot of walking in Cornwall, and I came home feeling refreshed and also a bit achy after giving the old leg muscles a good workout! As someone who is now of a ‘certain’ age and who trains clients in functional fitness I appreciate on both a personal and professional level how important it is to keep active the older we get, and that for some the aging process means slowing down slightly or feeling those aches and pains a bit more – either during exercise or just in everyday life. This does not mean we have to stop doing the things we love, but maybe having to consider changing or adapting the way we exercise and train. I myself have an age related issue with my back which has meant that the Olympic weightlifting that I used to enjoy has been adapted so I can restart training (next year!).

It was also around my birthday in September that the opportunity of renting and running my own treatment room came up. After much debate and wondering if I was insane trying to build a new clinic in the middle of a pandemic, I took the plunge and opened up at BodyCare in South Benfleet in October, to be shut down exactly a month later for another lockdown in November, open for two weeks in December, and shut again. I’m not going to lie – it’s tough, but the process has been made much less painful by the great support from the BodyCare ladies Jo and Nicola, and the clients that I’ve had the pleasure to meet since I’ve opened. The great feedback I’ve received really gives me confidence that I’m doing a decent job and that I’ve made the right decision.

Speaking of feedback (see what I did there?), if I’ve seen you this year it would be much appreciated if you could leave me some feedback. Facebook decided to change their algorithms the other week which has wiped off all my previous reviews, so I’m currently review-less! I’ve also just set up on Google Business so if you aren’t on Facebook you have the option to review me there. Links are here: https://www.facebook.com/Fit4Longer, shorturl.at/fuAEJ

Thanks to everyone for all your support in what has been a tough year, we WILL get through this and come out stronger on the other side. I look forward to seeing you all in 2021!

Michelle
Fit for Longer

Christmas is coming!

Not long to go now before the big day! Whilst we are all fresh out of lockdown and desperately trying to organise Christmas over the next few weeks, don’t forget to make space in your diary for an end of year massage to help with some of the inevitable stress that this time of year brings!

Below is some information regarding my Christmas availability over the next few weeks:

I now only have two 1 hour Saturday slots left this year, so for those of you who prefer to see me at the weekend, get in quick before they go!

Christmas week – I will only be available on Monday the 21st and Tuesday the 22nd.

I may be available in the week between Christmas and New Year on Monday the 28th and Wednesday the 30th if the demand is there. If you do want a booking on those dates, please book sooner rather than later as I will be closing my diary on the 22nd of December for that week if no-one has booked.

Christmas prize draw:

Everyone who books in December will automatically be entered into a prize draw, with the winners announced on my last working day in December. The prizes are as follows:

1st prize: 1 60 minute sports massage.
2nd prize: 1 30 minute sports massage.
3rd prize: Arnica gel.

Gift vouchers:

Gift vouchers can be purchased as a Christmas gift for your loved ones and make a great gift! If you would like to purchase a gift voucher, please contact me direct either by phone or email.

I look forward to seeing many of you over the next few weeks, but if I don’t get to see you before Christmas have a lovely time and I’ll see you in the New Year!

Michelle

Get ready to book!

The first few weeks of lockdown seemed to go on forever but then suddenly, the end is in sight! I am happy to say that I will be available for bookings from Saturday the 5th of December.  

Ready to book? December is typically a busy month so get in quick!

Sports Massage: I am available Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays at Body Care Personal Fitness gym in South Benfleet for either sports or deep tissue massage. Prices are on my website underneath ‘packages’ and the availability pops up when you click on ‘book now’. You can either book online yourself or contact me direct to book.  I currently have some sports massage offers running:

New clients get 25% off their first 60-minute sports massage session.

If you have previously had a sports massage with me and refer a friend, you get £5 off your next sports massage if they mention your name when they book. You can refer as many friends or relatives as you like!

As massage is a close contact service, I have strict procedures that I must follow to enable me to work. These are determined by the government and my governing bodies – a quick outline is below.

  • Your consultation form and a Covid-19 screening form are done online before your appointment. These MUST be done before I see you otherwise your appointment will be cancelled. If you need help filling your forms out online, please contact me.
  • All payments are done online either by PayPal or bank transfer to help stop transmission.
  • Any health conditions, injuries, illnesses, or those who are in the ‘vulnerable’ category will be triaged and assessed before the booking to determine if a massage session can take place.
  • A mask must be worn whilst having a treatment unless you are told it is ok to remove it.
  • Sessions are currently either 30 or 60 minutes.
  • If you experience any Covid-19 symptoms before your booking you MUST cancel. Your appointment can be rescheduled, or payments made will be refunded back to you.

Full Covid-19 – procedures, business policy and terms and conditions can be found here: https://fitforlonger.co.uk/covid-19-information – please read them fully before making a booking. There is a lot there, but it is extremely important that all procedures are understood and followed to protect all my clients and myself.

You can also purchase gift certificates for one of my massages which would make a great Christmas gift for a friend or loved one to get some self care now we are out of lockdown. Contact me direct if you’d like to buy one.

Online exercise sessions: I will still be offering online sessions when lockdown finishes which can be done from the comfort of your own home. If you would like to book online personal training or chair based exercise sessions please drop me a message at info@fitforlonger.co.uk for prices and details.

Don’t want to commit to personal training? You can sign up to my online member resources which are FREE for the first 2 weeks and then £4.99 per month – this gives you unlimited access to online exercise programmes.

I look forward to seeing you all soon!

Michelle

Staying healthy during lockdown.

Now we are well into the second lockdown, how are you feeling? If you are struggling with both your mental and physical health during lockdown then you are not alone.

While most of us have good intentions to keep active and eat well whilst spending more time indoors, during lockdown we can quickly become demotivated and stressed, which can lead to a reduction of activity levels and overeating.

With everything that is currently going on in the world, eating a bit more and moving less than usual may not be something you think you should be overly concerned about at this particular moment . However, it IS important to try and stay as healthy as possible for a number of reasons. Putting the increased impact of Covid-19 on certain health conditions to one side, why should we make an effort to move and watch what we eat?

Well, the extra weight we may put on can have a significant impact on our posture and joints. If you are working from home for extended hours, your poor posture is probably already taking a beating whilst sitting at your laptop for hours. Something I am certainly guilty of myself at times.

That extra weight can also potentially increase the risk of other more serious health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and stroke. Add that to moving less and our cardiovascular fitness starts to suffer. Feeling unfit and sluggish with those extra pounds can also affect our mood and mental well being. Once we are feeling mentally low it can be a hard circle to break in the long-term.

So what can we do to help counteract this during lockdown? Whilst the gyms are shut we can still get active at home using a small amount of space and no equipment. Think bodyweight exercises, or adapting items at home to use as light weights (not the other half, they won’t like that). Get out in the garden to exercise if you have one to give yourself more space (and the neighbours a good laugh). If you’re in a flat, using the communal stairs as an adapted ‘step’ to exercise on is a great way to get the heart rate up.

Got access to outside space? Couch to 5K is a good starting point if you want to start running. If like me you are hopeless at running, you can also go for a more gentle Low Intensity Steady State (LISS – more on this later!) session such as a brisk walk or gentle bike ride for an hour or more. It all counts. Exercising outside can improve our mental well being, so being outside can help lift your mood as well as getting you away from the desk for a break.

Remember, you do not have to do a 60 minute HIIT class to make some physical and mental health improvements if you are currently sedentary. Split exercise into smaller sessions such as three 10 minute sections throughout the day to get started with if a full 30 minutes is too tough, or you just have limited time to exercise.

Need help putting together a programme whilst on lockdown? I’m here to help and have a number of programmes to suit all levels of fitness and experience.

Stay fit and healthy!

Michelle

Fit for Longer