You’re never too old to play with your friends… Grab your bestie, your mum, your kids, your neighbour… it’s time to get moving!

This month we got in touch with Personal Trainer Niki Loe, who has given us the Loe Down on exercise for your well being as well as some great ideas of how to build fun and social movement into your days.

The “Blue Zones” are where the longest living populations of the world reside. The study of the Blue Zones allows us to learn lessons for living longer from the people who have already lived the longest.

Research supports that alimentation is a major influence for longevity, which means to have a complete sense of nourishment that extends beyond food and includes all aspects of a healthy lifestyle like regular movement, strong family connections, a sense of community and belonging, the practice of relaxation and a life filled with love and joy.

Blue Zones believe we must create our own environment. When we are surrounded by like-minded people who move often and eat well, then we are three times more likely to move often and eat well. Rather than attending the gym every single day, Blue Zones believe in natural movement that can be enjoyed every day. It has to be fun, preferably with a friend (or ten) and nothing makes it better than adding a little sunshine in to the mix for a hit of Vitamin D on the run (literally).

It is time to find your tribe! The idea is to surround yourself with a circle of healthy-minded, supportive people who share your lifestyle – perhaps the one you are already living, or the lifestyle you desire for yourself in the future. Healthy living is contagious. Creating healthful environments to support healthy decisions is a huge part of the blue zones lifestyle.

With 17 years of experience in the fitness industry, I absolutely believe that successful well being including physical fitness, strength and happiness requires a few special ingredients:

  • A support system – having someone you can count on and who will cheer you on no matter what. Even better if that person can count on you too.
  • Enjoyment: Conversation and laughter while exercising makes the time fly and brings your body to life in more ways than one….
  • Making a plan with friends or family to get moving together – and then sticking to it.
  • Building exercise relationships thereby transforming a workout in to a personal connection.
  • A sense of belonging: Feeling like you are a part of something. Walking groups, group fitness classes or even a commitment to a training buddy can provide this.

Top tips for movement that includes FUN and GOOD COMPANY:

  • Turn your next “coffee” date in to a walking date
  • Start the day by jumping on the bed with your kids
  • Develop a walking group with the neighbors or mums in your street
  • Get your best friends together in the lounge room and split the cost of a private at-home Pilates session
  • Plan a game of outdoor cricket or touch football at the local park – maybe with your best mates, maybe with the whole family – kids, grandparents and all
  • Join a sports team. Think of a sport you loved to play most as a little kid and then go sign up for a game! Or volunteer to coach a new group of kids play.
  • Book a dance class with your bestie and laugh out loud as you mess up all the steps
  • Surprise your hubby with a voucher for some dancing lessons (promise he’ll love it once he tries it!)

And did we mention…. Blue Zones populations also like to share a glass of wine in the early evening with their closest friends and family to unwind and share the accounts of the day. In the event of a special celebration, there might even be two glasses of wine, accompanied with good food and lots of laughter as loved ones join together and dance the night away…. In the event of Venerdi’s birthday month this August, we highly recommend planning to enjoy a special night like this soon!

Happy moving!

Niki Loe
Personal Trainer/Pilates Trainer/Nutrition Coach