15/06/2020: Coronavirus (covid-19): update on sport facilities

The Edge

Check here for the latest updates on Sport and Physical Activity’s response to the coronavirus.

Important Coronavirus update – (15 June 2020)

We hope that you are keeping well and active at this time.

We wanted to reassure you of the careful planning and preparation to ensure that when the time comes, our community can return to our campus and outdoor facilities with peace of mind.

Whilst we are unable to confirm when we will reopen our facilities, we are very excited to begin reviewing options to welcome you back and return to keeping you fit and healthy.

During this time, our priority is to protect the safety, health and wellbeing of our staff and customers. Caution will be essential to ensure that the transition toward reopening goes smoothly and that the safety of our users is maintained in accordance with government guidelines.

Below we have outlined the steps we are taking to prepare for reopening:

  • We are planning a safe approach to reopening our facilities, which includes a phased approach.
  • We continue to incorporate advice and guidance from the relevant authorities in our planning including the NHS and Public Health England, industry associations, such as UKActive, and national governing bodies, such as UK Sport.
  • We are revising our cleaning regime to ensure we are following the latest guidance and advice. This will include undertaking additional cleaning between sessions.
  • We are looking at how social distancing guidelines can be implemented in our facilities, this includes looking at how we can create one-way routes where needed and how we manage access.
  • We will provide training for our colleagues on our new way of operating.
  • We will look at the scheduling of activities and the relocation of some of these activities to ensure social distancing guidelines can be adhered to.
  • We will continue to update you with new information regarding our plans to reopen and we look forward to welcoming you back when it is safe to do so.

As a reminder, for those with an Edge membership, all membership fees are frozen until a time when facilities are accessible again and annual memberships will be extended for the time that we have remained closed. We will continue to get in touch with you with any new updates regarding memberships.

We would like to offer our most heartfelt gratitude to all our customers for your continued support and understanding in such uncertain times and to thank our colleagues who are working hard to ensure our customers get the support that is needed throughout this period.

In an effort to support our members to stay active and healthy during the closure, we have created our Your Home, Your Move hub. We have been delighted at how many of our community have benefitted from our home workouts, health and wellbeing resources and diet and nutrition advice. Our team are continuing to support you with new content coming out each week, so keep an eye on our Your Home, Your Move hub. In addition to this we recently conducted our Balancing Life survey to find out how the lockdown has impacted your activity levels and wellbeing so that we can plan how best to support you in the future.

In the meantime, if we can be of any assistance please do get in touch with us. For general enquiries about our campus and outdoor facilities, please email sport@leeds.ac.uk. If you have a membership-related enquiry, please email edgemembershipservices@leeds.ac.uk.

Updates from the University of Leeds will continue to be published through coronavirus.leeds.ac.uk and our specific messages on sport.leeds.ac.uk.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the future.

With kind regards,

University of Leeds, Sport & Physical Activity Team

 

 

Important Coronavirus update – Facility closure (19 March 2020)

In line with advice regarding the Coronavirus (covid-19) from the relevant authorities, including the NHS and Public Health England, the University of Leeds has taken the difficult decision to fully close our Sport & Physical Activity facilities from 5 pm on Friday 20th March until further notice to protect the health and wellbeing of our customers and staff, which is our number one priority.

University of Leeds Sport & Physical Activity facilities include: The Edge, Cromer Terrace, Gryphon Sports Centre, Sports Park Weetwood, Bodington Playing Fields (including the Brownlee Centre), Boat House, and Selside Outdoor Centre.

We will continue to update all our customers, and we will re-open at the earliest possible opportunity. We want to thank everyone for their patience and understanding during this difficult period.

  • All Edge memberships fees/payments will be frozen until a time when facilities are accessible again.
  • You do not need to contact us to arrange freeze of payment, we will do this for you. Swim credits will carry over until re-opening. Block booking payments will not be taken during this time.

If in the meantime we can be of any assistance please do get in touch with us. For general enquiries, please email sport@leeds.ac.uk. If you have a membership-related enquiry please email edgemembershipservices@leeds.ac.uk.

Updates from the University of Leeds will continue to be published through coronavirus.leeds.ac.uk and our specific messages on sport.leeds.ac.uk.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the future.

With kind regards,
University of Leeds, Sport & Physical Activity Team

Vegetarian enchiladas with tomato sauce & double cheese

vegetarian enchiladas

Kate Petty, from the Health and Wellbeing team, shares a tasty vegetarian enchiladas recipe.

These vegetarian enchiladas make a delicious meal for both meat eaters and vegetarians alike. Filled with vegetables, kidney beans, meat free mince and topped with tomato sauce, double cheese and baked until golden, this Mexican classic won’t leave you going hungry!

Vegetarian enchiladas with tomato sauce & double cheese

Ingredients

Makes: 6-8 (depending how full you want your enchiladas!)

Enchilada filling:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 150g closed cup mushrooms
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 250g meat free mince (e.g. Quorn)
  • 400g kidney beans in chilli sauce
  • 400g tinned tomatoes
  • 198g tinned sweetcorn
  • 1 heaped tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 medium red chilli (optional depending on heat preference)
  • Extra chilli flakes (optional)
  • 6 flour tortilla wraps

Tomato sauce and cheese topping:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 spring onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 50g baby plum tomatoes
  • 200g passata and some of the leftover chilli sauce
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • Salt to taste
  • 130g cheddar cheese

Garnish:

  • 1 spring onion
  • 50g feta

Method

  • Pre-heat oven to 180°C fan and get a baking dish ready- a casserole dish is ideal
  • Dice the red onions and fry for a few minutes until starting to brown. Meanwhile, chop the mushrooms, peppers, garlic and chilli (if using). Add to the pan once the onions are soft and beginning to brown and fry for a further 5 minutes
  • Add the meat free mince and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  • Drain the kidney beans and sweetcorn and add to the pan. Allow some of the chilli sauce from the beans to be added to the pan and set the excess aside.
  • Add the cumin, paprika and sugar and salt and pepper to taste
  • Halve the lime and squeeze in the juice. Add a pinch of optional chilli flakes to increase the spice if you’d like
  • Allow to cook for a further 10 minutes on a low-medium heat, stirring occasionally
  • Heat a tsp of olive oil in a separate sauce pan. Once hot, add the spring onion, garlic and tomatoes
  • Once softened and browning, add the passata and simmer for 5 minutes. Add some of the remaining chilli sauce from the kidney beans to the pan
  • Brush the baking dish with a tsp of olive oil to prevent sticking
  • Lay out a wrap and add 3 spoonfuls of the filling in a line down the centre of the wrap, allowing an inch of space at both edges. Fold the bottom of the wrap up to centre and then fold the sides making sure the filling is covered. Place into the baking dish with the seam of the wrap face down to stop it opening. Repeat until all filling is used (around 6-8 wraps depending on how much filling you use in each one)
  • Top the wraps with the tomato sauce straight from the pan and grate the cheddar on top
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes in the oven until the cheese has nicely melted
  • Garnish with spring onion and the crumbled feta. Serve up and enjoy!

Storage instructions
Place in the fridge in a container and consume with 2-3 days.

 

Protein pancakes

easy protein pancakes

Kate Petty, from the Health and Wellbeing team, shares a simple protein pancake recipe.

Fancy treating yourself to pancakes but still want to hit your protein goals? These protein pancakes are the perfect way to kick start your day. They’re easy to make and can be topped with anything you have in the kitchen- from fresh fruit to peanut butter and honey.

Protein pancakes

Prep time: 5 mins Cooking time: 10 mins Quantity: serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 50g oats
  • 1 scoop of protein powder (we used vanilla)
  • 100ml of your choice of milk (dairy or plant based)
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • Coconut oil or butter to cook

To serve:

Some of our favourite toppings include: peanut butter, honey, greek yoghurt, fresh fruit and nuts.

Method:

  1. Put all of the ingredients together in a blender and blend until mixed
  2. Put a little coconut oil or butter into a frying pan and turn onto a high heat. When melted and the pan is hot, pour some of the pancake mixture into the pan (just smaller than your palm size) and turn the heat down to low/medium. Wait until you see bubbles forming on the pancake surface and then flip the pancake and cook the other side for a couple of minutes until browned
  3. Repeat step 2 until you have used all of the batter. Serve up and enjoy! 

Basic Exercises: Perfect your technique Part 2

Improving your form

Personal Trainer, Lucy, gives you some new tips on how to complete some more basic home exercises and ensure you are using the correct form.

 

1. Lunge

Lunges can help you achieve a stronger and more stable core while improving balance and posture.

  • Ensure that you have good posture and your core is tight.
  • Make sure when you lunge to have both knees at a 90 degree angle.
  • When returning to a standing position, make sure to press through the front heel.
  • Alternate left to right and avoid rocking forwards on your front leg.

 

2. Side plank

Side planks are one of the best exercises that you can do for obliques and abs but are often overlooked. They can also be a useful way of averting back pains.

  • Ensure that your elbow is underneath your shoulder.
  • Stretch out so that you are lying wide.
  • Squeeze up from your core.
  • Squeeze your glutes and keep your hips forward.
  • Arm can be raised high or resting on your hip.

 

3. Squats

Squats are ideal for building leg muscles (quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves) as well as burning calories.

  • Position feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Keep shoulders pulled back.
  • Squeeze and brace through the core.
  • Push hips back and bend through the knees.
  • Keep the weight on your heels and thighs parallel to the floor.

 

4. Glute Bridges

Glute bridges work not only the glutes but also the lower back, abs and hamstrings. They can also work as an alternative to squats for those with back pains as they place no pressure on the lower back.

  • Lie on your back with your feet close to your body.
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor throughout.
  • Squeeze up with the glutes and use your abs to brace.
  • Aim to make a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.

 

There are many other great workouts for you to try in our Hub.

 

5 ways to lockdown your wellbeing: help others

helping others

‘5 Ways to Lockdown your Wellbeing’

To help us improve wellbeing during home living and social distancing, our Exercise Referral Instructor, Fran Andralojc, is sharing her ‘5 ways to lockdown your wellbeing’ over the coming weeks. The fourth way ‘keep in touch’ was released last week.

Some of you may be aware of the 5 ways to wellbeing report, researched by the New Economics foundation and proven to improve an individual’s wellbeing when practised regularly. Fran has used similar concepts but with tweaks and changes adapted to our experiences during lockdown. For information on these, please follow the links: New Economics and Gov.uk.

Fran’s 5 ways to lockdown your wellbeing are:

  1. Boost positivity
  2. Eat well
  3. Stay active
  4. Keep in touch
  5. Help others

This week, we are sharing the fifth and final way to lockdown your wellbeing, helping others where possible.

Help Others

Helping others helps to stimulate the reward centers in our brains which boosts our overall wellbeing.

If you are able to help anyone in need, through volunteering, offering to get some bits from the shops, taking their dog for a walk, then do it. If you can’t get out the house, there are still plenty of ways you can help people and it may be something as simple as listening to a friend as they talk to you about their worries.

Here are some ideas of ways you can help others during this time:

  • If you’re in good health, volunteering to help do someone’s shopping for them
  • Creating something that will make people smile, such as a funny compilation video or a compilation of old photos of you and your friends and family
  • If you have a certain skill, why not create some online videos so you can share that skill with others and help them learn something new
  • You could do some baking for a neighbour and leave it outside their house for them to enjoy
  • Lots of online shops are still open, why not treat someone close to you by getting them something delivered to their house?

As someone who is staying at home full time, with a partner who is working long hours, I wanted to share a few things that people have done to help us over the past few weeks. It has made a huge difference to my wellbeing having that support, so just think how much of a boost it could be for you and someone you care about being able to offer that to someone else.

  • Our parents have been doing food shops for us and leaving the bags outside the house for us to bring in, so that when we haven’t managed to get an online food shop, we’ve still had food in the house
  • My partners parents brought round a table and chairs for our garden so we could sit outside and enjoy the sun. They walked round the back of the house, came through the gate and delivered it to the back garden, while we stayed inside to maintain social distancing
  • My sister delivered a bag of creative activities for me to do whilst at home, including knitting, a sugar flower kit, nail varnishes and some pamper items

As you can see from the examples above, it doesn’t always have to be a large gesture. The smallest of things can really mean a lot to someone and help improve their overall wellbeing.

This article concludes Fran’s 5 ways to lockdown your wellbeing series. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the different ways you can improve your mental and physical wellbeing during this time. Do let us know via our Facebook and Instagram what you’ve been up to and if you’ve tried any of Fran’s tips.

Fran is happy for you to email her directly if you have any questions on anything mentioned in her 5 ways to lockdown your wellbeing articles.

5 ways to lockdown your wellbeing: keep in touch

keeping in touch with others

‘5 Ways to Lockdown your Wellbeing’

To help us improve wellbeing during home living and social distancing, our Exercise Referral Instructor, Fran Andralojc, is sharing her ‘5 ways to lockdown your wellbeing’ over the coming weeks. The third way ‘stay active’ was released last week. This week, we are sharing the fourth way to lockdown your wellbeing, keeping in touch.

Some of you may be aware of the 5 ways to wellbeing report, researched by the New Economics foundation and proven to improve an individual’s wellbeing when practised regularly. Fran has used similar concepts but with tweaks and changes adapted to our experiences during lockdown. For information on these, please follow the links: New Economics and Gov.uk.

Fran’s 5 ways to lockdown your wellbeing are:

  1. Boost positivity
  2. Eat well
  3. Stay active
  4. Keep in touch
  5. Help others when possible

Keep in Touch

Staying connected is essential for our wellbeing. Feeling close to others is a fundamental human need and one we should be taking time out to do to stay on top of our wellbeing. It can really help to boost positivity when we’re not feeling great and can help to take our mind off our own lives and realise we are all in this together!

Thanks to social media and platforms such as Skype, we can regularly keep in touch with loved ones wherever we are in the world.

Here are some suggestions for how you can keep in touch with family and friends during this time.

  1. Have a weekly catch up meeting with colleagues, just to see their faces and bring back a bit of normality
  2. Have regular times and days that you speak to certain family and friends to keep in contact- e.g. every Wednesday evening
  3. If you’re at home with family or someone else, try and schedule in some game time or time where you can just chat, free from distractions
  4. Why not create a video quiz you can do with friends or family over the weekend? There are lots of platforms to support you in doing this, for example Teams, Zoom and Facebook Messenger.

If you’re looking for something a little more creative to do you could try one of the following:

  1. Set up a game on the app House Party such as Heads Up or Trivia
  2. Using any video platform, set up a ‘bake or cook along’ with a friend and you can cook a recipe together
  3. Come up with a daily theme such as ‘funny face of the day’ or ‘happy moments’ where you can help others to keep their spirits high by sharing silly and uplifting things on a regular basis
  4. Try learning a dance routine over video chat with your friends
  5. Set an art challenge every 1-2 weeks and each week choose a different friend or family member to judge the art. This will get the creative juices flowing!
  6. Play ‘Guess the sound’ – send your friends a recording of a sound and get them to guess what it is. You could create a tally chart so whoever has the most correct guesses wins a prize. E.g. food vouchers
  7. Start a book club- everyone can get involved in this, no matter where they are
  8. Reconnect with those around you- You don’t need to connect with people you already know, you can use this opportunity to make new friends and contacts in the community. How much do you chat to your neighbours? How about having a regular doorstep chat with them?

Fran’s final way to lockdown your wellbeing: ‘Help others’ will be released next week. Fran is happy for you to email her directly if you have any questions on anything mentioned in this article.

Healthy peanut butter, dark chocolate and banana cookies

healthy homemade cookies recipe

Kate Petty, from the Health and Wellbeing team, is back with another recipe. This time it’s homemade cookies!

Made with store cupboard staples, this recipe is a healthy alternative to your average cookie and is the perfect snack for any time of day. You can easily adapt the recipe to make it vegan by using vegan dark chocolate and replacing the honey with maple syrup.

Healthy peanut butter, dark chocolate and banana cookies

Prep time: 5 mins Cooking time: 20 mins Quantity: Makes 8

Ingredients:

  • 110g oats
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 30g dark chocolate, chopped up (higher the cocoa percentage, the better)
  • 20g chia seeds
  • 10g sunflower and pumpkin seeds
  • 10g honey
  • 60g peanut butter, melted(can use smooth or crunchy)
  • 50ml almond milk (you can use any plant based or dairy milk)
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degree fan and line a tray with baking parchment
  2. Put all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and combine
  3. Add the milk, banana, honey, peanut butter and stir
  4. Shape into 8 round cookies, place on the baking tray and gently flatten with your palm
  5. Place the cookies in the oven and bake for around 20 minutes until browned

Press up guide for beginners

beginner press up guide

Personal Trainer, Andy Donaldson, has created a press up guide for beginners.

Introduction

Press ups are easy-to-perform, suitable for all fitness levels and can be done anytime, anywhere without the need for any special kit or equipment.

Press ups are one of the four essential compound bodyweight exercises, with the other three being: squats, pull-ups and bridges. Mastering these movements  utilises the real power of your body, allowing you to be more agile. This type of bodyweight control is vital in sports, martial arts, lifting weights, or just general day-to-day living.

Ensuring the correct form is essential, so check out the guide below to perfect your press ups!

Why do press ups?

Press ups work the entire front of your upper body, with a focus on the pectorals (chest), triceps (back of the arms), your deltoids (shoulders), and your core (the muscles around the stomach area). They’ll give you a great workout, help burn calories and get your heart pumping!

How to complete a standard floor press up

As this is a beginner’s guide, we are starting with some modified press up movements to help you progress to performing a standard floor press-up.

Incline wall press ups

Doing a standing press up against the wall is a good starting place if you’re new to press-ups or if you’re recovering from an injury or illness. By standing, you put less pressure on your joints.

incline wall press up  Incline wall press up 2

  1. Stand about an arm’s length away from the wall
  2. Place your palms on the wall as you lean forwards into a plank position with your arms shoulder height and width apart
  3. Make sure that your wrists and shoulders are in line with your elbows
  4. Lightly squeeze your thighs together and then squeeze your stomach and glutes
  5. Initiate the press up by bending your elbows and slowly moving your upper body towards the wall while keeping your feet flat on the ground. Make sure you inhale as you do this
  6. Stop just before your forehead touches the wall and pause for a second or two
  7. Exhale and use your arms to push your body back to your starting position

Incline waist height press ups

Incline waist press up  Incline waist press up 2

This variation is a little trickier than wall press ups. Find a surface that is about waist height and can take your weight. I’m using the kitchen work surface in this example. Repeat the steps as listed above.

Negative kneeling press ups

   

   

The negative kneeling press up can help you to make that final transition to a floor press up. Balancing on your knees instead of your feet is another good modification while you build your strength.

  1. Start in a plank position with your arms fully extended
  2. Inhale and lower your body to the floor
  3. Once your body is fully lowered, instead of pushing back up, place your knees down on the floor
  4. Keeping your knees on the floor, exhale and use your arms to push your body back to the starting position

How to do a standard floor press-up

   

Once you’ve completed a few different press-up progression exercises and you’re feeling ready to perform a standard floor press up, follow the steps below:

  1. Start in a plank position with your arms fully extended and palms flat on the floor
  2. Keep your core locked so a straight line is formed between your head, glutes and heels
  3. Lower your body until your chest is an inch from the ground and then explosively drive up by fully extending your arms back to the starting position. Repeat for as many reps as you wish

We hope you’re feeling more confident in performing press ups after reading this guide. Keep your eyes peeled for our follow up blog article on floor press up variations.

 

 

5 ways to lockdown your wellbeing: stay active

staying active at home

‘5 Ways to Lockdown your Wellbeing’

To help us improve wellbeing during home living and social distancing, our Exercise Referral Instructor, Fran Andralojc, is sharing her ‘5 ways to lockdown your wellbeing’ over the coming weeks. The second way ‘eat well’ was released last week.

Some of you may be aware of the 5 ways to wellbeing report, researched by the New Economics foundation and proven to improve an individual’s wellbeing when practised regularly. Fran has used similar concepts but with tweaks and changes adapted to our experiences during lockdown. For information on these, please follow the links: New Economics and Gov.uk.

Fran’s 5 ways to lockdown your wellbeing are:

  1. Boost positivity
  2. Eat well
  3. Stay active
  4. Keep in touch
  5. Help others when possible

This week, we are sharing the third way to lockdown your wellbeing, staying active.

Stay Active

Now more than ever it’s important for us to stay active. Making sure you continue to move will help to improve your mental and physical health.

  • Mentally, it will release endorphins, which are those feel-good hormones that are released when we exercise.
  • Physically, it will help to promote joint, bone and muscle health and reduce aches and pains. It will also improve your circulatory system, boost the health of your heart and lungs and it can prevent health issues developing or worsening such as heart disease, diabetes, depression and more.

Here are a few tips for incorporating exercise into your routine:

  • Try to do a mixture of stretching, strengthening and cardiovascular exercises each week to keep all areas of your body moving. Stretching is often overlooked by many but including stretching exercises in your exercise regimen is essential to maintaining good posture, balance and flexibility.
  • If you find that you’re struggling to fit exercise into your day, you could create a timetable so that you exercise on certain days of the week. For example, strengthening exercises on Monday, stretching on Wednesday and cardiovascular exercises on Friday.
  • Spend at least 30 minutes exercising. Add this time into your calendar like a meeting so that it’s in your diary. This means you won’t forget and it will make you more likely to do it!
  • If you don’t like exercising alone, how about creating a Microsoft Teams or Zoom meeting with a colleague, friend or family member and do some exercise together? This will help your motivation levels whilst ensuring you’re staying connected to others.

Take a look at our hub, Your Home, Your Move for workout inspiration. We have lots of content on there from HIIT and P90X cardio to yoga, Pilates and mobility and postural videos.

Fran’s next way to lockdown your wellbeing: ‘Keeping in touch’ will be released next week. Fran is happy for you to email her directly if you have any questions on anything mentioned in this article.