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  • Writer's pictureJames

Training With A Friend Can Really #ClearYourHead

Updated: Aug 31, 2020

The Scottish Governent's #ClearYourHead campaign was launched back in April as part of a national effort in Scotland to help people manage their mental health during the Coronavirus pandemic. The main focus of the campaign was focused on the things you could do to look after yourself and feel better during lockdown, amidst the challenges we all faced at that time.

Even though Scotland is opening up again step-by-step, recent local lockdowns in Scotland and England have clearly shown we should all still be taking time to look after ourselves, even if you just "do one thing", as the campaign is still actively promoting on social media.

I've been working with a pair of best friends recently, Diane and Leanne, who have just signed up for their second batch of six Personal Training sessions. These ladies have been working really, really hard for the past six weeks and we've recorded data that clearly shows their physical improvements. But what about the rest of their wellbeing? How is engaging in Personal Training affecting them mentally, emotionally, or socially?

For Leanne, and like so many of us who were working from home and/or home schooling, the Coronavirus pandemic significantly increased her stress levels. During lockdown she hadn't been able to create space in her life for exercise, or even just take some time for herself. So how did starting Personal Training with a friend help?

"Going through this 6-week training programme has helped to give me structure, rediscover a love of exercise and get some much needed fresh air! The training has really helped me to clear my head and relieve stress after a tough day.

"Having a friend beside me at each session has really motivated me to push myself further than I would have done on my own and we've achieved really good results together. Compared to a few months ago, I feel really fit and healthy now. I'm in a good place again."

It's clear to me that Leanne was in desperate need of getting active again, to help her look after herself, create a more accountable routine and generally feel calmer and more content in life. It has been so fulfilling for me as a trainer to see her getting quicker, fitter and stronger each week and she you can actually see her stress levels reduce as a session progresses.

As a key worker during the pandemic, Diane was really feeling the pressure during lockdown, all the while trying to home school her children and keep her house and husband in good order too! She really tried her best to keep active with my online classes on Facebook, but getting back outside to get fit and have fun with a friend has really helped her to better process her emotions and connect with nature after all that time indoors.

"During the past 6 weeks I've really made great progress towards my fitness goals. On top of that, mentally and emotionally I am feeling so much stronger again.

"It's been great training with a friend too. It's really helped my confidence levels and encouraged me to try new activities. I'm more comfortable now moving out of my comfort zone when it comes to exercising around other people. We've also had a great laugh with some 'friendly' competition developing between us in sessions. I can see from the fitness tests we've recorded each week that we've both achieved better results because of that."

I've absolutely loved working with both of these ladies in our private sessions, and even though they'd been to plenty of my public classes before the pandemic, it's been great getting to know them on a more personal level and seeing them flourish when they work out together.

With at least six more sessions to come, Diane and Leanne are also joining me at my weekly #BodyHIIT class and the free sprint sessions I offer three mornings a week at Glenboig Park. Together we're absolutely smashing the UK Government's recommended 150 minutes of exercise and ticking off the 5 major tips being offered as part of the 'Clear Your Head' campaign.

At every session they come to these ladies are getting active, supporting each other, looking after themselves, creating a routine and feeling calmer.

Despite living through the worst pandemic of our lives, it's so important that we find time to clear our heads and look after ourselves. Getting outside to get fit, have fun and exercise with a friend is just one example of how you can #DoOneThing each day to look after yourself and feel better.

If you're finding life difficult, or aren't comfortable going out to do things on your own, I would absolutely love to welcome you to one of my sessions, offer some 1-1 or group Personal Training, or even just recommend a free and fun activity for you to try out with a friend. I always offer a free first session on Saturday mornings at #GlenboigBootcamp and there are loads of new friends to make there if you don't have anyone to come with!

Like the campaign says, it's absolutely OK to not feel yourself during the Coronavirus pandemic and there are loads of different ways that you can 'Clear Your Head' and feel better. If you would like any more information about the 'Clear Your Head' campaign please check out the main campaign website, here, or search for the #clearyourhead hashtag on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Thank you to @weeslice who brilliantly brought this campaign to my and all her Instagram followers attention last week #weeslicemademedoit

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