We are lucky to work right next to Royal Bushy Park in Kingston-upon-Thames, Greater London. We caught up with Personal Trainer Sam Jempson, a Licensed Royal Park Fitness Instructor and she kindly answered our questions about how to fit in exercise into a demanding day at work.
Every trainer has to apply to the park and complete an application process including proof of qualifications and risk assessments and pay a licence fee. They take it very seriously as they need to protect the park and the wildlife and ensure it can be used and enjoyed by all of us, training or not.
Have you had any close encounters with deer or other wildlife in the park?
Dogs mostly, they either want a snack or a stroke or are a bit curious about what we are doing. We have to keep 50m away from deer. I have ended up in their way accidentally – I was warming up with a client between trees that seemed to be the favourite for deer to feed from. We moved away. One evening I took some little lights to put out on the grass, all it did was bring the deer over – I left my lights there until they left!
It is fffffreezing at this time of the year-surely you must get a lot of cancellations in the colder weather?!
Actually no, if you are committed to achieving your goal – whatever it may be – you stick with it. They usually end up taking off layers, they just may need to work a little harder to keep warm. The trainer, on the other hand, is usually freezing! I wear layers and take a hot drink like lemon and ginger tea, keeps me hydrated and warm.
Our video production team travel an awful lot. Have you got any tips about how to stay fit and healthy when working long hours and travelling is part of their schedule?
I used to have do alot of travel, I always check out the hotel and the surrounding area. It’s free to get outside for a run or maybe they have a pool. Failing that a hotel room workout is possible. Set a timer 30 second intervals for even 10 minutes will be a huge benefit. Think jumping jacks, mountain climbers, high knees, squats, lunges…I could go on, but you get the idea. Pick a few simple exercises and do them each for 30 seconds, rest between each or do 5 exercises back to back and then rest and repeat.
A special request from our hardworking Production Manager-Do you have any tips for incorporating healthy activity when she spends so many hours organising filming shoots from her desk!
Yes, walk to speak to colleagues, get off your chair (don’t use your hands – we often do without realising), engage your core and push through your heels to stand up – that is basically a squat. Learn how to engage your core while sitting and keep using it. Or raise onto your toes while seated and then lower back down – that’s a calf raise. And don’t forget to roll the shoulder back a few times to release tension. Or get together with colleagues and try the hotel room workout idea – it doesn’t have to be more than 10 minutes.
We can see from your website that you blog and Tweet to keep in touch with your clients-how else do you keep people motivated to keep fit over the long term?
I use my website and social media to highlight simple exercises that can be done with little time, equipment or motivation. Generally people find after they start the motivation to keep going comes along. Running for example, feels hard for the first 10 minutes but once you get past that you get into a rhythm and that makes it easier to say ok I will do another 10 minutes. With my classes and clients I like to mix up the sessions so they don’t get bored using different exercises, format and equipment. I also ask them about specific goals that we can work towards, especially short term because reaching that short term goal is motivating in itself and that helps them reach a long term goal.
Lastly-what benefits do you see for the workforce as a whole when people are fit and healthy?
More energy physically and mentally which makes you more productive. Feeling good about yourself makes you more confident and who doesn’t want confident employees representing their company? Working out can help you burn off the stresses of the day which will also make home life better too. I wish more workplaces encouraged some sort of fitness and the flexible hours to fit it in to the day – a 30 minute class of pilates or yoga, circuits or short interval training sessions could really benefit the employee and the employer, and of course, more activity means less long term health conditions which saves the NHS time and money and offers us all a longer healthier life.
Thank you Sam! Appreciate this advice. No doubt our readers will too!