Why Should I Run? Kicking off 2020 the right way!

Different exercises all boast various different health benefits, but running remains one of the most effective ways of enhancing your health and fitness. With the new year looming in, why not consider running to achieve fitness goals?

Running is one of the most popular ways to stay fit, but with so many different exercise that you can take part of, you may be wondering “Why should I run?“.

Here at Altered Images in Bromsgrove, our gym offers a wide range of activities and exercises that can help you get fit. Our gym facilities enable runners to be able to train for their own personal goals – whilst benefiting from the on-going professional support from our highly experienced fitness instructors.

So, why should I run?

Running offers a wide scope of physical and mental benefits including:

  • Helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis later in life
  • Tones the buttocks and thighs quicker than almost any other exercise
  • Feel-good endorphins are released which help counter stress, make you happier and improve your mood
  • Helps you sleep better
  • Helps keep your bodily functions regular!
  • Helps improve immune cells to fight infection
  • Can improve your mental alertness
  • Can boost your sex life!
  • Gives you more energy
  • Gives you great fitness and endurance
  • Burns lots of calories
  • It’s inexpensive
  • Speeds up the metabolism
  • There are lots of choices – different distances from short sprints to marathons and different training techniques from multi terrain, interval training, multi-speed training, endurance runs, hill efforts to name a few.

Health and fitness advice in Bromsgrove

If you’ve got questions like “why should I run?” that need answering, speak to one of our health and fitness experts today. Head to our website for more information about our gym facilities, or call? 01527 874395 to speak to a member of our helpful and friendly team. At Altered Images Gym in Bromsgrove, we are proud to go the extra mile to help you reach your fitness goals.

If you enjoyed reading this article you may also like to read our previous post on What wine can I drink?

Everything you need to know about Aquafit Classes in Bromsgrove

When it comes to keeping fit, it’s important that you find something that you enjoy – and something that works for you. Our Aquafit classes in Bromsgrove are one of the many ways that you can keep fit here at Altered Images Gym.

A brief history on water exercise

Water exercise originated at least 2000 years ago?and way back in the 18th century, spa therapy?was considered both fashionable and beneficial. ?’Taking the cure’ (as it was known) was well documented and research today confirms that immersion in mineral or salt water continues to be beneficial.

Early in the last century ‘rest’ was considered the best option following injury or damage to the body. This has changed over the years and therapists recommend the benefits of exercising the whole body to promote healing in a specific area using hydrotherapy.? It has also been found that water has a calming effect on the mind as well as being a stimulating influence!

Back in the 80’s – the ‘Jane Fonda Era’ – was the time when fitness instructors working in hot climates, first opted to take their classes into water. Physiologists also suggested swimming as an option for deconditioned people, and for non-swimmers water exercises were found to be more suitable.

What can I expect from a water aerobics class?

Our water exercise classes are led by a fully experienced and professional instructor who will guide you through a fun 45-minute workout. You’ll take part in a short warm-up before engaging in cardiovascular exercises such as twists, kicks, stretches and dances. You’ll also target your core muscles too, through specific balancing exercises.

How can Aquafit classes in Bromsgrove help me?

Our Bromsgrove Aquafit classes can be extremely challenging and use the properties of water such as inertia, leverage, resistance, drag and buoyancy alongside uplifting music. There are many different benefits to water exercise, such as stress relief, weight control and sociability. Aqua classes are beneficial for those who are unable to work in a gravitational environment – land-based classes. Those who struggle with land-based classes will find that the reduced impact on the body when immersed in water makes exercising so much easier, and also more enjoyable. If you’re looking for a workout that pushes your body and strengthens your muscles, Aquafit could be the class for you.

Am I able to take part in water exercises?

A water workout is possibly one of the only exercise that is suitable for the majority of people. It is also ideal for those with arthritis, back rehabilitation, post surgery, and seniors as the exercises can be done at your own pace. With this in mind, you’ll find people of all abilities and fitness levels taking part in Aquafit classes so you may also be keeping fit with elite swimming squads, triathletes, football teams and regular gym-goers.

Using water exercises to rehabilitate

Physiotherapists have long since used water to rehabilitate athletes and coaches regularly immerse their team players in water for recovery sessions. Water exercise has been proven to maintain CV fitness, improve muscular endurance and increase flexibility.

Join Altered Images gym today

To find out more about our Aquafit classes in Bromsgrove then head to our website today. Alternatively, call?01527 874395 to speak to a member of our helpful and friendly team.

If you enjoyed reading this article you may also like to read our previous post on Getting Started.

Drinking wine whilst losing weight | Everything you need to know

Michel-ChapoutierWhen I talk to people about their weekly Food Diary (such a simple, yet immensely powerful tool we use for Weight Loss Success) we inevitably get onto the delicate subject of alcohol.

A short wine weightloss guide

Here at Altered Images, we like to consider ourselves as experts when it comes to creating weightloss guides. After looking into this topic in more depth over the last 3 or 4 years I now feel far more confident in passing on what I have learnt and also sharing my own experience of being able to enjoy a glass of wine regularly whilst still managing to lose body fat, shed pounds and ultimately control my weight effectively.

Understanding how wine is made has also helped, thanks in large part to Antony Davis of the Mentzendorff Wine House, who hosts regular, highly informative?wine tasting events at Altered Images.

The simple key is the Residual Sugar (RS) level of the wine which means that a wine you feel has a deep, rich flavour may have reached that “finish” by the use of added sugar, as opposed to the longer but natural preparation process to achieve a smoother finish and taste.

So, can you drink alcohol and still lose weight?

As some general advice, if you find a wine with an RS level of 10 or below, there is no reason why you can’t enjoy a glass of that wine every evening with your dinner and still stay on track with weight loss. ?I know this is absolutely true as I have followed this same system myself where I changed my breakfast routine, eliminated high-sugar content carbs (white rice, white pasta, white bread) in favour of lower- sugar content ones (lentils and pulses) yet still ?had a glass of Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc with dinner.

My first two grape varieties (Pinot Noir & Sauvignon Blanc) were used as more of a generalisation at the start of my understanding of sugar levels, however what I have learned subsequently is that when wine is made properly – and not rushed to the supermarket – it tends to be aged correctly; the inherent flavours are allowed to ‘finish’ so they taste smooth, full, fruity even ‘cheeky’ but all done naturally without the ‘air-brushing effect’ sugar often has on wine. This widens the number of grape varieties you can enjoy as long as you apply the sub 10 RS rule.

Low-sugar wines

Typically a number of non-supermarket wines (made more traditionally following the Lunar or Biodynamic approach to producing) tend to be a little more expensive. For instance varieties like Chapoutier’s entry level wines are in the region of ?8-?9 per bottle and have featured in our?most recent?wine tasting events?and these are low sugar and eminently drinkable!

What this demonstrates is perhaps not surprising. If you look at many French people, they don’t tend to be particularly overweight yet they still enjoy wine on a daily basis, so perhaps the key is what wine they are drinking, rather than the fact they are drinking wine at all?

My personal opinion is a resounding YES and I’m sure many of you will be pleased even relieved to hear that!

If you choose the right wine with a lower Residual Sugar content (ie under 10) you can enjoy your wine AND still remain healthy and lose weight.

PS – For anyone interested to learn more about Lunar Wine Production or Biodynamic Viticulture (to give it it’s proper name) and which wine producers use this method, ?Google and Wikipedia are a great source of information and you will see Chapoutier mentioned and indeed Chapoutier have a very good website with information about Bio wines.

Contact us today

If you’re looking for a weightloss guide, or you would like to find out more about health and fitness plans, head to our website today. Our Bromsgrove gym is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels – and our experienced fitness experts will create you a fitness plan that is perfectly tailored to your goals.? If you enjoyed reading this article you may also like to read our previous post on how running can be fun.

What are the best tips for running?

Running is one of the best ways to keep fit, and here at Altered Images Gym in Bromsgrove, we love to support our gym-goers and runners in reaching new goals and achievements. As a leading gym in Bromsgrove, we’re proud to have a wide range of classes and programmes that can be enjoyed by everyone – and we welcome people of all ages, abilities, and experiences.

10 top tips for running

It’s important to remember that almost anyone and everyone can start running. However, by getting advice and support from our fitness trainers in Bromsgrove, you can ensure running becomes a healthy and consistent part of your lifestyle.

1. Selecting the right trainers doesn’t need to cost a fortune but it is a good idea to go and have your gait read. This will determine what running style you have and therefore which trainers are best to avoid injury.

2. If you’re a beginner, the best way to start is to walk first before gradually building up to a run.

3. In order to see an improvement in fitness, you should try to commit to a run three times a week.

4. Always aim for endurance over speed – faster running puts a greater demand on the body.

5. Run with someone else or in a group; you’ll make friends and the time flies by when you run with others – you’re also more likely to stick at it! Joining a gym and running with fellow gym-goers is a great way to stay motivated and committed to reaching new goals and fitness levels.

6. Vary your distances and inclines to keep it interesting.

7. Music is a great motivator – so an iPod and earphones are definitely worth having.

8. Reward yourself when you reach certain targets as an incentive.

9. Have a focus or motivation, such as entering a race whether it’s 5k or a marathon. You’d be surprised at what you can achieve when you put your mind to it – not to mention a great collection of medals!

10. Be sure to warm up properly and stretch out at the end.

Fitness trainers in Bromsgrove

If you are looking to make running a serious part of your lifestyle, why not take advantage of our highly experienced Bromsgrove fitness trainers? Our personal trainers will conduct a full assessment in order to determine the best ways to increase your fitness levels and improve your running. You’ll undergo some simple health checks before we take note of your goals and challenges. Once we’ve got a good idea of what you are looking to achieve, we’ll design a bespoke fitness programme just for you. Our 5 Steps to Fitness Programme is perfect for those who are either re-joining or just starting the gym and would like professional support to guide them through their fitness journey.

Contact us today

If you would like to find out more about our fitness trainers in Bromsgrove, head to our website today. Alternatively, call 01527 874395 to speak to a member of our team.

If you have enjoyed reading this article you may also like to read our previous post on Aquafit classes.

Overcoming fitness fears | Gym tips for beginners


Just starting your fitness journey? Our gym tips for beginners can help you overcome any fitness fears or worries you might have if you are joining a gym for the first time.

Here at Altered Images in Bromsgrove, our team of experienced fitness experts will be there to help get you started. We?ll tackle any misconceptions you may have about the gym, and together create a fitness plan that is tailored around you and your goals. We?ll be with you every step of the way, making sure you?re doing everything you need to do to reach your targets and get exactly what you need from Altered Images.

Gym tips for beginners

We?ve put together some gym tips for beginners to help soothe any gym worries you may have before you join. With our team of fitness professionals and friendly mentors, you can be sure that you?ll feel comfortable and confident at the gym in no time with Altered Images.

Which gym clothes and trainers do I need to buy?

If you?re a beginner joining the gym, all you need is a pair of jogging bottoms, soft, flat shoes, a t-shirt and a sweater. Don?t get too worried about hi-tech trainers and breathable clothing, if there comes a time when that type of fitness-wear is necessary – we?ll let you know. Soft shoes will be fine to embark on a training programme, providing you?re not running or doing rapid direction changes (eg squash/racket ball).

What if I can?t use the gym equipment?

Statistics show that almost 90% of people use the Quick Start function on programmable equipment and to be honest, if you can programme a microwave, you can set up an exercise bike! When you join Altered Images in Bromsgrove, part of our 5 Steps to Fitness Programme, involves making sure you are familiar with all of the equipment that you?ll be using in your plan. Our team will teach you how to set up the equipment and put you at ease. We will show you as many times as you need until you?re confident enough to do it on your own.

I think I?m too old to go to the gym

Here at our gym in Bromsgrove, we proudly welcome people of all ages, shapes and sizes. No matter what fitness level and background you have, Altered Images is a gym for people just like you. We also host a series of different exercise classes too – these are a great way to meet and get motivated with like-minded people.

I can?t read the displays on the gym equipment

Our gym equipment has large coloured LED displays which are easy to read. We also provide large print programme cards in case you would rather exercise without your glasses. For our visually impaired gym members we have created easy-to-read printed workout cards with bright colours and larger fonts so exercising still remains a hassle-free experience. ?

Am I too unfit for the gym?

Worrying that you are fit enough to go to the gym is a popular misconception! Fitness is a relative concept, which means that wherever you start, you?ll always improve. within a week or two you will have progressed enough to increase your levels by 50-100% because the body almost always reacts positively to exercise. After training, your body will adjust to the workouts, and 3-5 days later you?ll be ready for more exercise. This is known as the Stimulus-Response concept; the stimulus is exercise and the response is your body getting fitter and stronger ? FACT!

Will my injury or health condition stop me from exercising?

Injuries fall into two categories: long-term (chronic) injuries which require management and short-term (acute) which require treatment then management.

Generally, exercise will be beneficial for injuries and conditions. For example, a long-term problem such as osteoarthritis in the knee joint will benefit from increased hamstring exercises – the exercises will help stabilise the knee.

Short-term problems often require treatment so we would refer you to our neighbouring Physio clinic right next door for assessment and treatment. You may be required to have an ultrasound, acupuncture or hydrotherapy. The highly experienced physios will prescribe a series of corrective exercises until a full recovery is made.

Once you have recovered, we?ll work together to create a bespoke exercise plan that will manage your condition and minimize the recurrence of the problem. You could also be referred to a personal trainer for specific training if needed. As a general rule exercise should form part of your long term health plan.

Join Altered Images gym today

To get some more gym tips for beginners or to sign up to Altered Images gym in Bromsgrove, then head to our website today. Or, call 01527 874395 to speak to a member of our helpful team to arrange a visit.

If you have found this blog helpful, you may wish to read our previous blog on Weight Lifting.