South Birmingham Health Trainers

A first class programme delivered by Gateway Family Services CIC

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It seems I’m not the only one….

After sharing with you about my new challenge to get a bit fitter at work and spend a bit more time getting up from my desk.. (see blog post Having a Bright Idea). In todays’  Daily Telegraph they report that sitting at a desk for long periods of time can have health implications and results taken from research seems to support this.

For more inspiration, why not take a look at this video..

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Having a bright idea…


As the Health Trainers Administrator and I can spend up to 6 hours a day sitting at my desk.  So as you can imagine this not really a good long term health plan and if your like me then you’ll want to do something that will improve your own health, but also are not keen to do chair based exercises in front of your colleagues…

Well I have some good news for you…I found a way to be more active at work.   The British Heart Foundation are celebrating National Heart Month and improving your health at work is part of that.   You can choose from a range of virtual climbs, like the Millennuim Dome  climbing 21 flight of stairs or like me and my colleagues we have chosen to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

To acheive our goal we are climbing 2578 flights of stairs, which between 4 equals 33 flights of stairs per day over 4 weeks at work.
We’ve been going this for 7 days now and I can tell you with complete honesty, that this the best thing I have done for myself in ages, I am getting up from my desk more regularly, I have noticed that my general walking is much stronger and my stress and anxiety levels are much improved and overall I feel more energetic.

Also since we started two more colleagues decided to get involved and have began their own goal climbing Mount Snowdon.

I am confident that I can continue with the virtual climbs once this one has finished its an excellent way to improve my health and its free and the other good thing about these virtual climbs is that you could do them at home or when your out shopping why not use the stairs instead of the lift or escalator….

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Shenley Green patients walking to a healthier lifestyle

It’s that time of year again when lots of people, spurred on by new years resolutions, are thinking about how to get more exercise. One of the easiest ways to get some gentle exercise is by walking. So when the Ramblers Association set up a walking group for patients at the Shenley Green Surgery, our Health Trainer Keiran was keen to help.
It’s that time of year again when lots of people, spurred on by new years resolutions, are thinking about how to get more exercise. One of the easiest ways to get some gentle exercise is by walking. So when the Ramblers Association set up a walking group for patients at the Shenley Green Surgery, our Health Trainer Keiran was keen to help.

In this video, Keiran speaks to walker Mohini Howard, from the Ramblers Association, who explains a bit more about the group:

Keiran facilitated and supported the group. He promoted it, not only through his work at the Surgery, but via local community noticeboards. With his help, the Shenley Green group organised lots of walks to local parks and hidden beauty spots, including Bournville Yachting Pool, Frankley Reservoir and Woodgate Valley Country Park.

Keiran printed out maps from to share with walkers – and was on hand to chat about the benefits of exercise, healthy eating or about the journey ahead. The walking group grew from eight to 15 people.

Walking is one of the simplest ways to start exercising – it’s free and you can start off however slowly you like! However, many people find motivation difficult. Walking groups are a great way round this, providing incentive, support and even new friends. The Shenley Green Surgery walking group is becoming self sufficient, with several participants now taking the lead, planning walks and running the group themselves on a rota basis. Keiran says, “happily, the walkers testified that they enjoyed the company of others and wanted the group to continue”.

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Tips for a Healthy Christmas…

Christmas is here and you may be concerned about how you’ll enjoy your Christmas celebrations whilst maintaining the changes you’ve made all year.

Healthy Christmas Snacks

Healthy Christmas Lunch

Christmas on your own

1. Food & Nutrition

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Try to make healthier food choices this Christmas. It’s easy to get carried away with all the puddings, chocolates, shortbread and party food that are available in abundance. We’re not expecting you to resist completely, just remember everything in moderation.

2. Water

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Drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated. If you do drink alcohol, remember to alternate every alcoholic drink with a glass of water and don’t drink on an empty stomach. Have a healthy snack before you go to a party as it will help prevent you from snacking on unhealthy party food.

3. Exercise

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Staying active will help you feel better. Take yourself and the dog for a walk, a brisk and refreshing walk is not only good for stretching your legs but your body also burns off more calories in the cold trying to keep itself warm. It’s a great way to help work off those mince pies that are very hard to resist.

4. Relaxation

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As much as Christmas is a lovely time to catch up with your friends and family, don’t forget to take some time out for YOU. Try to relax even when your buying Christmas presents, plan your shopping in advance, write a list of all the presents you need to buy and avoid the crowds where you can.

5. Sleep

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Get plenty of rest and aim for 7-8 hours of sleep every night. It’s not going to make or break your life if you don’t go to EVERY party. How about having a night in? Create a relaxing spa experience at home, snuggle up on the couch with a good book, your loved ones, or DVD and get to bed early.

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Running for fitness and fun…

Have you ever considered joining a running club?

Joining a running club can benefit you in many ways. Running can help you lose weight and improve your fitness. Running with a club turns running into a sociable activity – you feel motivated by the collective energy of other runners and feeling included can help you make that commitment to running regularly.

So – what’s stopping you?


Many people feel apprehensive about joining a running club.

“I hated sports at school.”

“I’m a complete beginner.”

“I can run, but I might not be fast enough.”

“Will people be friendly?”

“I’m worried about being left behind.”

Barbara Partridge says  “I’m a member of Kings Heath Running Club, and I’m confident that people who turn up and run with us will be welcomed by runners who remember exactly what it was like when they joined. Many KHRC runners started with us as beginners, and can appreciate that you may be feeling nervous about running and/or meeting new people. We welcome people who want to begin running, and people with some running experience who want to enjoy the sociable aspect of club running.”

How do you find out more?

Look up our website,, for information on when and where we run. Join us on Facebook and ask any questions you need to.

You don’t need to commit to joining until you decide the club and running is for you.

Give us a go!

Kirsty Clifton talks about her experience at Kings Heath Running Club

I was a complete beginner in March last year, I started running around the block and slowly built up my distance.  I joined Kings Heath Running Club for advice and support for stretching and to get guidance for improving running.

Week by week I lfun-runost weight by following a healthy diet and by running twice weekly.  I have been running ever since and ran the Birmingham Half Marathon last year, and I’ve also ran 2 Race for Life races.

I sobbed when I crossed the finish line, I never imagined I’d ever run that distance, especially starting out at running less then a mile previously, its such a huge achievement.

I always run on a Tuesday night and have made some life long friends, its amazing to do something that makes you feel so good, and best of all its free.  Health wise I am stronger, fitter and thinner!! (losing 2 stone 4 pounds over the last year).  My advice to anyone thinking of running is to go for it!!”