I just spent the weekend in sunny west Cork, swimming in the cold Atlantic water, being grateful to be able to exercise and cool down in such a wonderful way.
While I was walking along the beach, I saw two groups of families doing the stability ball programme. Well sort of!
Naturally, I offered some assistance — and soon everyone in the group was in sync as we started from the beginning of this programme. Some were definitely better than others, but most importantly, everyone was having great fun trying to complete each exercise without falling in the sand.
After 20 minutes’ practice, the group had the basic moves. So from scratch, we went right through until the final set was complete which took 20 minutes.
After they finished, instead of the run, I suggested they run straight into the sea, paddle around for three minutes and then get back out to begin the next round. There were four people who managed three sets followed by three swims. What a fantastic way to exercise on the beach, dumbbells were replaced by water bottles filled with sand. A great substitute.
So why not take up the challenge with a group of work colleagues, neighbours, a spouse or friends, and make a real effort to complete three sets of 15 reps of the stability ball programme in under 45 minutes.
As the weeks go on, simply add on each movement as you get fitter and have more control over your core muscles.
When performing each task, you will find everything gets a little easier. So give it a try with all the family — it’s simple, inexpensive and can be performed inside or out. Preferably outdoors with good fresh air.
Just give yourself 45 minutes three times a week and you’ll soon lose the pounds and inches.
For more info, telephone: 01 661 6195; email: info@henry fitnesscentre.com; or see
Lying triceps extension
Lie with your upper back on the ball and elbows pointed up at the roof, weights resting on your shoulders. Push the weights up towards the ceiling without letting your upper arms move.
Sit on the stability ball with your back straight and arms up over your head. Keep your elbows pointing to the front and lower the weight behind your head, keep your stomach engaged.
Sit on the ball with your back straight and feet on the floor. Tuck your elbows in by your sides and curl the weights up towards your shoulders. Slowly lower the weight down keeping tension on the muscle.
Resting your elbows on the ball, curl the weights up towards your shoulders and slowly lower.
Pictures posed by instructor Jen Feighery