October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and for our #ThinkPink campaign we teamed up with Yi-Hwa Hanna, Editor-in-Chief of Women’s Health ME magazine to highlight the importance of this month for supporting the cause and why fitness is such a key part of maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
It is estimated that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, which is why early detection and a raised awareness of the disease and its symptoms are imperative in fighting the battle against breast cancer, and not just in October, but all year round.
Our ambassador is an inspirational woman with an incredibly busy lifestyle – managing a successful career, a mind-boggling fitness regime, and a healthy social life. Yi-Hwa is an example of many women who juggle many different things day to day; whether it’s a growing career or a growing family – there is a huge responsibility involved and this can take its toll on the body, both mentally and physically. And that’s why it’s so important to find time for yourself – to keep active and to always challenge your body to be the best that it can be, as Yi-Hwa says, “We should strive to be the best that we can be by our own standards, rather than someone else’s.”
Fitness is a personal challenge; it’s about what your body can do and how exercise makes you feel. Fitness is about progression – you may start off slow, but the more you push yourself to reach that next level, the more progress you will make and the fitter you will become over time. It’s about setting your own goals, rather than trying to match up to everyone else’s. It’s always good to be competitive – that’s what drives us, what motivates us to win, but it’s also important to know your limits.
We followed Yi-Hwa through a typical day of fitness, which for her, incorporates a mixture of yoga, swimming, training and boxing. The fact that each sport focuses on a different set of muscles and a varied set of skills is what makes her exercise routine so effective. Taking a holistic approach to fitness, and to life for that matter creates the variety you need to keep things both interesting and effective, which of course increases motivation because you will see the results that you’re looking for. Nobody wants to do the same routine over and over, day in day out, so by mixing things up a little, you maintain that all important focus. We all know how our minds wander after about 30 minutes of sustained concentration on one thing, well our bodies are the same. This repetition can become tiresome and ineffective because our muscles will fatigue, so by moving the attention to another part of the body, and brain, your new focus will awaken a fresh set of muscles ready to take the heat.
Here are a few tips on the types of exercises to incorporate into your routine and the gear you will need to get you started.
The benefits of yoga are endless and there are so many variations of yoga that will allow you to really push the body for a more cardiovascular approach, or take a meditative stance and use this as a time for cool down and reflection. When combined with a hectic lifestyle and heavy fitness routine, yoga can have a really restorative effect on the body. It’s also a good way to reflect on the day you have had – what was good about it and what was not so good, which helps in setting you up for the day ahead.
Like every sport, you get what you put in with swimming. It can take on a form of active meditation if you want to use it as a ‘rest day’ option, or take it to a hard cardio level with sprints in the pool. Swimming is an endurance sport and is highly effective at improving breathing and form in the water, which is incredibly useful when applied to other sports, both in and out of the water.
HIIT, core, cardio – this woman does it all, and the key is to keep it varied. Have your training routine for the hour mapped out and have all your equipment ready, so you go through the routine systematically and efficiently. Having someone to train with is always a good idea whether it’s your PT or workout buddy – it’s all about the motivation and focusing on the goal.
Location: Warehouse Gym, Al Quoz.
Ever had one of those weeks where you just feel like punching something? Well maybe boxing is the way to go then; it’s a great sport for letting off steam, and it also requires a huge amount of skill and precision, which is why this sport is so rewarding – there is always room for improvement. Agility, spatial awareness, strength, power – it’s all involved, not to mention the cardio element, so that pre-training schedule is pretty essential.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a reminder to focus on your health and to maintain awareness and support for those in need. Follow the Sun & Sand Sports blog for more tips on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, how to keep fit, active, and kitted out in all the right sports gear.