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Healthy Body Healthy Mind

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind; the importance of regular exercise

Written by Matthew Rigby                                                        Date: 2nd April 2023

Would you like to know how to keep a healthy body and a healthy mind? Exercise and physical activity are important for individuals for so many
reasons and can help with overall health. There is not only the individual benefit in terms doing something for
yourself, but also the social aspect of doing activities in a group or club.
There are many studies which have shown that doing physical activity can
improve mental health. It can boost your mood as you experience physiological changes.
Physical activity releases feel-good hormones that make you feel better in yourself and give you more energy.
As you exercise, endorphins are released in the brain, it helps to relax the muscles and relieve tension in the
Since the body and mind are so closely linked, when your body feels
better your mind will naturally begin to feel the benefits too.

Matthew Rigby is a Macclesfield based PT, offering a number of different opportunities to get fit and lose weight. From beginners courses and sessions to advanced level. He decided to change his own life in order to get fit and healthy and helps others to do the same!

Matthew Rigby PT

Physiological changes

When a person takes part in exercise, the cardiovascular, respiratory, energy and muscular systems all work together to supply energy to the working muscles and remove waste products.
When the muscles start to work, they need more oxygen so the respiratory
system responds by getting more oxygen into the lungs. The blood carries greater amounts of oxygen and the heart responds to pump more oxygenated blood around the body.
Taking part in regular exercise or training around three times per week for six
weeks will lead to adaptation of the body systems that are used or trained.
This has the effect of increasing performance in that type of exercise or sport and is often beneficial to general health and everyday life.
After 4-6 weeks people close to you will start noticing physical changes, and they’ll give you positive comments on how good you look or how you’ve changed. This in turn will lead to a boost in morale and self-esteem.
When you are comfortable, or begin to feel more comfortable with your body
you will become more confident. You can build your self-esteem and help
combat and deal with depression, anxiety and stress.
I have personally found the benefits of exercise which has essentially helped to
turn my life around for the better. I wasn’t happy with the way I looked, I
lacked confidence. I got out of breath chasing my two little boys (at the time)
around a small back garden. I was sad and depressed, I knew something had to change. I then made a conscious decision to make some lifestyle changes.
Over time I’ve worked on this and to achieve the goals and milestones I wanted. It also led to a significant career change. Because I have personally been through this experience myself I feel my experiences have helped me as a personal trainer over the last 7 years, by giving clients motivation, support, encouragement and empathy.
A group of runners at their run club

Building Foundations and Creating Positive Habits

The key is to make the right lifestyle choices. Take the time to invest in yourself. Find something you think you’ll enjoy and give it a go.
Plan your day so you can go for a walk or run. There are massive benefits to simply having a high daily step count, anything over 10,000 is good and going in the right direction.
If you are just starting out, it’s better to take small steps than throwing yourself straight in at the deep end.
Planning is really important, if you fail to plan a time to do a certain activity, then you’re more likely to fail in completing that activity on the day or during the week.
You have to recognise that something needs to change, once you’ve done this
it’s about shifting your mindset and creating sustainable habits, even if you just plan to something like a 30 minute walk three times per week, over a month or so. Then you can begin to progressively increase this and build in other physical activities.

Using Exercise Vehicle to Help Others and Improve Myself

I absolutely love my job, because of the good experiences I’ve had with
exercise I have a real passion to promote it to others.
Clients have come to me and I have helped them achieve their goals and things they didn’t think would be possible.
One client I have helped and trained from her couch (total non-runner) to a sub 4 hour Marathon runner in under 2 years.
Having the ability and knowledge to help people achieve their goals in a safe,
correct and effective manner gives me an immense feeling of satisfaction.

My Journey

My journey began mid 2012. I enlisted the help of a personal trainer who I saw at least once a week for 16 weeks. I slowly built up, I began to enjoy exercise.
As I had more sessions and workouts I became more confident about doing things on my own.
As I started to become fitter. I started to challenge myself more. I began to run
further for longer. I then entered races, that feeling of crossing the finish line
knowing you have given your best is amazing, it’s something that I have
become slightly addicted to.
In November 2012, I completed my first Tough Mudder event, I was absolutely buzzing!
At the time I had friends and family doubt if I was physically and mentally capable of finishing such an event. I ended up turning this into a positive, I used this as motivation to prove people wrong and put in the hard work to achieve my goals. I really enjoyed training for and actually doing the event.
In the last ten years I have completed 36 different Tough Mudder events.

Significant Accomplishments in Obstacle Course Racing

Mr PT in obstacle course racing
October 2019, Represented Team UK as an Age Group Athlete at the 2019
Obstacle Course Racing World Championships
Jan 2022, Mixed Pairs Runner Up with client Michelle, at Conquer Fitness Wild
Winter Challenge.
July 2021, 3rd Tough Mudder Yorkshire
August 2021, I was crowned Europe’s Toughest Mudder Age Group Champion
35-39 and finished 9th overall out of 484 participants.

Road Race Progression

In September 2012 I did my first 10km road race in 1hr 4 mins. 2019 I set a personal record of 42 mins and 3 seconds, knocking 22 minutes off my first
The #mrptrundamentalist Run Club
MR PT run club in macclesfield
I founded the #mrptrundamentalist run club in October 2018, with one group of six people training for a 10k race at the end of November that year.
Fast forward a couple of years and through Covid the run club is still going strong!
I have three groups running so far. I have runner that have just graduated from my 5th Couch to 5K course and some have moved into the next group.
My next Beginners 0-5K will start with a FREE TASTER session on the 27th May at 08:30 meeting at Yas Bean, followed
by a 7 week course on the 3rd June. Same time, same place every week.
Alphas (4-6k) and Inters (5-9k) groups run on a Tuesday night at 18:30 and 19:30 retrospectively meeting at 5S Fitness during term-time.
For more info on this please check out my website or contact me directly.

Closing note

I found using various training methods, mixing strength training with
HIIT/circuit style and cardiovascular workouts beneficial towards achieving my
My training has developed, leading with more function fitness based exercises, as I explore fitness racing events like Conquer Fitness, Hyrox and
Deka, in a bid to continue to get that finish-line feeling and continuing to improve as an athlete and coach.
I am a Strength and Conditioning, British Obstacle Sports and UK Athletics
coach based at 5S in Macclesfield, on Hurdsfield Road. If you are interested in a
complimentary taster session then please get in touch.

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