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Well-Being Days FGGA: Feeling good on the outside

Wednesday 25 November 2020
From your home

From 23 to 26 November, FGGA will again organise the online 'FGGA Feeling Good Well-Being Days'. With nice articles, useful tips and (online) activities. Especially for students, but also very interesting for employees.

For example, read what the benefits of walking are and get the best walking routes in The Hague and Leiden. How can you ensure that you sleep well? Workout videos that you can easily do at home ... and more. Everything to make you feel a little bit better.

Every day has a different theme. Today: Feeling good on the outside.  

Carmen, alumnus MSc Crisis and Security Management, gives tips and insights to make exercising easier and more fun. Carmen also makes it clear that sport is not just about the physical aspect. The mental aspect is just as important.

Hi there!

My name is Carmen (25) and I work as a reservist at the Royal Netherlands Military Constabulary (KMar). From the moment I joined the KMar (May 2020), working from home had become the norm. In principle, I can also do my work completely from home. I notice that I am more inclined to skip my (coffee) breaks and continue working until the working day is over. It's a great shame and in the long run bad for your physical condition. That's why I think it's very important to get enough exercise, something that also gives me a lot of energy. My weekly activity during this lockdown is a walk, an (individual) punching bag training or a workout of the day. But when the gyms were closed, I could also enjoy myself with the necessary workout videos on YouTube and various sports apps. Fancy a HIIT, Tabata or Full body workout? Try a Sydney Cummings workout (20 - 40 min). If you prefer a yoga class, I definitely recommend Yoga with Adrienne or a quick morning flow from Bad Yogi. For running I use the running app Strava. For each run you can give your fellow runners a like (kudo) to motivate each other. If I feel like a quick workout, I use the app from Adidas Training by Runtastic. Here you can compose your own workout for free, in which you can choose the maximum number of minutes. You can also follow many free programmes. 

Now you may think, great story, but how do I get myself off the couch to participate in that online abdominal quarter? Start by setting a goal, if only to break the routine. It's important to start small, such as a walk or workout once a week. If you like this, you can always do more. It's often that you have to get yourself mentally over the edge to start. Because in addition to the physical aspect, the mental part is just as important when doing sport. For example, for my job as a reservist I follow the General Military Exercise (AMO) in which I recently had to practice in the field. These days were incredibly hard, both physically and mentally. In the end I had to push myself over a mental point during this exercise. Of course you don't directly have to follow the AMO to break through mental barriers. You can also try this during your personal sports goals. If you really want to, you can do it!

It is becoming increasingly difficult to get a good time lock at the gym. Outdoor sports are also becoming more difficult due to the cold weather. That's why Public Administration student Arthur demonstrates some exercises you can do at home, without too much space needed.

Exercise at home

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Running is becoming more and more popular, especially in corona time. This is logical, because there were no group lessons in the gym for weeks and your football competition hasn't been running for months. Still, we have to move in order to stay in shape a bit. How do you do that? Just' start running, increases the chance of injuries. Lonneke Derriks, former elite athlete and interim head of the University Sports Centre, explains how you can best tackle this. 

The beginning

Don't just put your shoes on and go. You need a build-up schedule. You can find good schedules on the internet', says Lonneke, who was an athlete herself at a high level of 800 metres. You have to start really quietly. Your body needs time to recover. Maybe the schedules seem too simple or below your level, keep to it'.

Listen to your body

Once you have started, Lonneke's most important advice is: listen to your body. It's better to do a little less and take longer to reach your goal than to do too much too fast and overburden yourself with it. That's what causes the most injuries. With underburdening you don't move forward quickly, but with overburdening you don't move forward at all'. If you get a pain, don't continue but take a rest, Lonneke advises. You can make things worse if you keep walking. It doesn't matter that you are then lagging behind in your build-up. Training too hard is easier than good training. Especially for fanatical students, this can be a pitfall'. 

Set a goal

Now that the former elite athlete no longer competes, it is quite difficult for her to find the right incentives. I'm running without a goal anyway. I was supposed to run the half marathon in Leiden, but it has now been postponed by corona. I am now focussing on spring, I hope there will be another match. Whatever goal you want to pursue, at least make sure you have a goal. You need an incentive to keep it going. That can be: feeling fitter, getting stronger, losing a few kilos. Or that you want to run twice a week with a roommate. That is also a goal. My goal now is to be ready in the spring for when the half marathon in Leiden will be on the programme again. 

Good footwear

Old tennis shoes, kicked off trainers. As a lockdown runner you might be inclined to just put something on when you start. Good shoes are definitely worth investing in. When you run, you constantly make the same movement. It's repetition to repetition. That's why the strain on your muscles and joints is so great. Good footwear can partly compensate for this. Another piece of advice is to make your body stronger by doing strength training as well. Your body can then better absorb the same walking movement and protect you better against injuries'.

Esther from the USC Leiden shows you how to do a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).


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  • The Real Happy Pill  – Anders Hansen

Is there a foolproof way to reduce stress and anxiety while you boost your memory? Raise your IQ even as you slow down the aging process? Become more creative and train your ability to focus at the same time? The answer is simple: Exercise! Modern neuroscience and research has shown, more than ever, that physical exercise has extraordinary effects on our cognition. The book marries the modern science with practical how-to’s, creating a readable and informative self-help book for the layman, with diagrams, anecdotes, and tips that teach readers how to exercise to develop their brains and protect themselves from health issues.

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