Guest Blog from Cheryl Smith Body Physical UK: Isn’t it Time to Love Yourself? Isn’t it Time to Move Yourself? 

It’s strange isn’t it. We all battle to create a balance; between the healthy and unhealthy, the active and inactive, the time for us vs the time for others. In simpler terms, it’s tricky to care for ourselves sometimes. The basic science is—that to improve our quality of life, our physical health, our mental wellbeing—we all need to move more.


The last 24 months has taught us a lot. About what we instinctively crave, what we require for a healthy state of mind and a well maintained body. We need fresh air, we need to socialise, we need to move.

Movement (I’m not even terming this as ‘exercise’ at this point) helps to incite positive chemical change in the brain, helps us to improve/

maintain our muscle tone, strength and condition, helps to alleviate joint pain, improves cardio-vascular function and endurance... but

what else?


Well, movement with other people provides us with the social interaction we’ve been missing for so long.

How nice was it to go for a local walk with friends and family, instead of walking around the block on your own? Absolute bliss.

How about when you could drive to Derbyshire and walk in the Peaks, with friends and family? Even better.

How about when online yoga classes turned into in-person yoga classes? How much more valued did you feel, when you attended a class

and could get actual praise and feedback on your performance?

It is important. Being a part of something bigger is important. Being the social creatures that we are, interaction is important.

The right exercise?

It is also important to know that your exercise choices are good for you and that they suit your body and your intentions.

If you decide to join a gym—is there going to be someone to check that what you’re doing is OK? That your technique is safe, that your workout is effective?

If you join a sports team, is someone going to coach you?

If you join a fitness class, is it going to be the right intensity for you?

It gets complicated to think about it all and this is where most people will get put off even starting. All I can say here, is that it is worth the

research. But it is also worth the trial and error. Researching for too long will put you off. If you’re inquisitive but not sure, could you just give it a go and see what you think?

Can you get a free class or a day pass to try before you buy?

Can you jump in on a referral from a friend, before you commit to a membership?

Can you pay as you go, until you’re sure you’re happy with the subscription?

“New Year, New You” Failure vs Success

January the 1st is not the ‘be all and end all’. If your resolutions don’t work out in the first week, it doesn't matter. It really doesn’t.

What matters is that you don’t give up.

January the 1st holds too much power, to make us feel like failures. It doesn’t matter whether your new routine starts on Jan 1st, Feb 11th or July 3rd. The power is in the starting, whenever that may be.

The results are in the adherence. Once you’ve found something that works for you, stick to it, for as long as it benefits you.

And what about 2022?

Whilst we don’t know what freedoms will exist for 2022, or for how long, we need to make time for ourselves while we can. To make sure that we stay fit, healthy and happy, for ourselves and for those who depend on us. Self-care is critical now, more than ever.

When you can exercise safely with friends, do it.

When you can get fresh air and even the slightest endorphin rush, do it.

When you can push yourself to try something that will help you to move better, do it.

Nourish your body, nourish yourself. And if you need any inspiration along the way, I’m happy to help.

5 Ways to Move Yourself at Home

I’ve loosely categorised these 5 movements into 3 focuses:

Cardio, Strength/Core and Power

Tips for Cardio exercises : Keep a steady rhythm throughout. Aim for 30—60 secs of medium-high intensity. If you are going to repeat more than once, aim for no more than 20-30sec rest in between.

Tips for Strength/Core exercises: Keep slow and controlled. Focus on fluidity and integrity of movement. Breathe naturally throughout.

Perhaps aim for 4-10 repetitions without a rest. Build up gradually.

Tips for Power exercises: Low reps, high impact. Focus on technique and explosive power. Aim for 20– 30ecs, with a 10-20 secs rest in

between sets. Anywhere between 2-8 sets is great, if done with control.


Exercise should also be done in a safe space and in a safe manner, suitable for your ability.

Always warm up throughout thoroughly before a workout and cool down/stretch afterwards.

If an exercise is too difficult, break it down or adapt it.

Focus on the technique before you increase duration, repetition or intensity.

Do what works for you—if it hurts, don’t do it. No Pain = No Trips to A&E

Technique Check

  • Walk-out to Plank—STRENGTH/CORE

Standing position. Preparation—raise arms and chest towards sky, soften knees and forward bend to release torso, over thighs.

Lead with top of head to walk out to plank.

Plank—hands shoulder-width apart, slight bend at elbow, pull up from centre of shoulder blades, draw belly towards spine, keep legs

strong and active. Keep tailbone tucked slightly underneath ,to avoid arching/dipping lower back.

Walk hands back to feet. Slowly roll up through spine, to standing position.

  • Squat with V-Arms—STRENGTH/CORE

Feet hip-shoulder width apart. Heels on floor.

Pull lower belly in and up towards spine and tuck tailbone under slightly, to engage core.

Sweep arms in V-shape (thumbs pointing outwards, towards corner of room. Soften tops of shoulders.

Bend knees to squat—only to the point you feel your core is still active. Keep butt muscles (glutes) engaged. Return to standing.

  • Half-Jacks/ Full-Jacks—CARDIO

Tap foot to side, or push-off for greater impact.

Jump both feet out at same time for higher intensity. Keep knees soft.

  • Lateral Push/Skate– POWER

Soften knees, as low as you can with core engaged (this will activate legs and glutes more!).

Start on one foot, find balance. Push off to side (aim for depth and distance), landing softly on opposite foot.

Regain balance before returning to starting side.

  • Side Plank combo—STRENGTH/CORE

Keep elbows close to ribcage, with one arm crossed in front of the other.

Draw belly in and up towards spine, to engage core. Press through forearms and draw belly in until you lift your torso and thighs away from mat. Extend through heels to active legs in plank position. Keep shoulders, hips and ankles in alignment.

Move feet, hips and hands (in that order) to rotate to side plank. Lift up from side body and keep tail bone tucked slightly under.

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A bit about Body Physical

Body Physical boasts 20 years of experience in designing health and fitness programmes for groups and individuals, of all abilities and experience.

Qualified and experienced in numerous group-exercise disciplines alongside Level 3 Gym/Fitness instructor, GP Referral specialist, Strength

and Conditioning, Hill and Moorland Leader, Kickboxing, Circus Arts, Dance and currently a student of Bahia Yoga Teacher Training.

Body Physical founder and instructor, Chez, has worked extensively with mixed-ability, elderly populations, rehabilitation and disability specific clients, with great success.

What do Chez’s clients say about her?

"I was fortunate to have Chez as a gym instructor and as a personal 1:1 body coach. Chez is extremely professional, competent and friendly. Her overarching strength is her knowledge and attention to detail; always making sure that you are doing the right thing the right way. Every class or training session delivered with her maximum input, you can’t help but enjoy her sessions. Chez is so encouraging, energetic, observant and very motivational. Her professionalism is thorough, from start to finish, she ensures you get a proper warm-up and cool-down. Top lady!" - Anne Dickinson

Body Physical Fitness classes are now being held at Sherwood Community Centre in Nottingham and via online platforms.

Classes can be booked at: Chez can be contacted directly, via email at: Other socials Facebook: Instagram: httpss:// Body Happy. Body Healthy. Body Physical.


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