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What does an ideal week of exercise look like?

This is a question I get asked a lot, and obviously it varies from person to person, and you need to make it personal. It needs to work for you. You know that old question, what’s the best type of exercise? Well, it’s the one that you can maintain. Consistency is key.

Here’s what an ideal week looks like, taking out all the personal nuances of you and I – low intensity exercise, medium intensity exercise, and high intensity exercise:

  • Low is activities like walking. It’s while I’m standing here in front of the camera. It’s while I’m walking around. It’s your basic daily life movement, so you should be doing that on a relatively constant basis seven days a week.
  • Moderate activity three to five times a week. That could be a brisk walk, a light jog, something that just gets your heart a little bit higher, but it’s not high intensity.
  • High intensity exercise two to three times a week. That could just be for two minutes or 10 minutes a day, getting your heart rate up. Examples would be sprinting, spinning, lifting heavy weights, HIIT, a dance class, a Zumba class, anything like that. That’s all going to be really important, but the key is finding something that you can maintain, and it’s also finding something that you find really enjoyable, those two are inextricably linked.

I like to mix it up. I do my boxing sessions regularly.  Plus we’re in the process of making a little gym in the garden, and we’ve got one of these boxing figures that you can punch. We’ve got a pull-up bar. I’ve got a wallboard, which is a big board that you can bang up against the wall. I’ve got a kettlebell out there, but also I do look for bodywork exercises, so you don’t need any equipment. You just need a space about 4′ x 8′ in which to exercise, but ideally something a little bit bigger.

Also, think about doing some of your exercise, whether it’s the low, medium or high, outdoors. Get the benefit of being in the sun, or at least in the fresh air. Try going barefoot, earthing yourself onto the ground as well, which is what I do, so you’ve got that connection with the earth. Just think about how you can blend exercise with movement. Exercise would be a planned session, it doesn’t have to be very long. It can be 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30, or an hour if you like, but actually, shorter, sharper, focused sessions can often be more effective.

Exercise is contrasted with movement, which is just your daily life movement that I talked about at the start. Don’t mistake the two of them. Movement isn’t exercise and exercise isn’t movement. In other words, you couldn’t just exercise for an hour, and then sit down all day thinking you’ve ticked that box, because you haven’t. You’ve got to blend the two.

Think about ancestral movement, which you’ve heard me talk about before. A caveman didn’t sit still, run frenetically, and then come back and sit still. They were up and at ’em all day foraging, scurrying, chasing, hunting, sharpening tools, washing, and so on. That’s the type of movement that we want to emulate as modern day humans.

Leanne Spencer

This article first appeared in the January 2019 issue of SE22 magazine.

Dulwich Picture Gallery – What’s on in January

Exhibitions & Displays

Ribera: Art of Violence
Until 27 January 2019

Ribera: Art of Violence is the first UK show of work by the Spanish Baroque painter, draughtsman and printmaker, Jusepe de Ribera (1591–1652), displaying his most sensational, shocking and masterfully composed works.

Every Sunday throughout 
Ribera: Art of Violence
These intimate performances, choreographed by the critically acclaimed dancer Dane Hurst, give form to the emotional tensions, psychological resonances and physical impulses in Ribera’s work. Enjoy this event as part of your Sunday visit to Ribera: Art of Violence and expect to be challenged, entertained and enlightened.


Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)
14 January, Bar opens at 7pm, Screening at 7.30pm

£9; £7 Friends & concessions

Winner of two Oscars, including best actress for Katherine Hepburn, this comedy-drama tells the story of an interracial marriage and the two families who come together as a result. A rare positive depiction of an interracial couple from the time, it provides a vital commentary on societal racism in the 1960s. Ticket includes a glass of wine, snacks and film notes. 


Aquinas Piano Trio
23 January, 7.30pm

£22 adults; £20 Friends; £10 under 18s

Described by Gramophone as an ensemble “spot-on in interpretative instinct”, the Aquinas Piano Trio – Ruth Rogers (violin), Katherine Jenkinson (cello) and Marin Cousin (pinao) – has established itself over the last five years as one of Britain’s most sought-after chamber groups. They will play piano trios by Haydn, Mendelssohn and Schumann. Adult/Friend tickets include a glass of wine.


Art Sundays

20 & 27 January, 2-4pm
£3 per child; adults free

Sunday is art day! Join us every week to take part in our drop-in family workshops. Each week there’ll be something special for you to take and take home.
Suggested age: 4-12yrs

Early Years

Art Adventurers
16 January, 10-11am

£12 per adult and child

Are you and your little one ready for an adventure? Each month join our Early Years mascot, Jerome the Lion, as he takes you on a journey through the Gallery. Dance, sing and play your way around our paintings, before enjoying a messy art-making session. Themes change monthly to keep little ones engaged.
Suggested age: 2-4yrs

Mini Masterpieces
17 January, 10-11am & 11.30am-12.30pm

£12 per adult and child

Discover all of the different people, places and animals in the Gallery’s paintings in these interactive workshops. Each session begins with a journey through the Gallery, followed by an art-making activity. Our themes change monthly to keep your little creatives engaged. This month’s theme is nature.
Suggested age: 6-24 months

Adult Courses & Workshops

Forensic Detail
26 January, 10am–3pm

£60; £55 Friends & concessions

Spend a day exploring the human form from a biological and artistic perspective with London Fine Art Studios. Ribera specialist Pohlschmidt will guide you through the workings and anatomy of the human body, which will then inform a life drawing session. A visit to Ribera: Art of Violence will be included.

Lectures & Talks

Art of Violence in Renaissance Florence
18 January, 12.30-1.30pm

£12 adults; £10 Friends & concessions

Join Scott Nethersole to explore the relationship between art and violence in 15th-century Florence, exposing the underbelly of a period more often celebrated for enlightened and progressive ideas. 

The Last Word: Stefan Mullings, Oven Rescue South East London

Hi my name is Stefan Mullings, I own and run Oven Rescue South East London. It is a domestic and commercial specialist oven cleaning service that covers all types of ovens (gas/elec). We also clean all models of extractor hoods, oven and stove hobs, microwaves and barbeques.

How long have you lived in the area?

I’ve lived here all my life.

What has changed most during that time?

I would have to say the food outlets, now there are so many varieties of shops, cafés, bars, restaurants, a little something for everyone even if you’re a bit fussy like myself, its great!

What do you most value about the area you live in?

The different choices of things to do, you can always try something whether you want to try a cuisine you’ve never had before or go on an art trail walk. There’s just so much going on!

What’s the one thing you couldn’t do without?

Sugar, I have a really bad sweet tooth that I’m trying to clamp down on. Belgian waffle and ice cream from Oddono’s Gelati is my ultimate nemesis at the moment.

Do you know your neighbours?

Yes I do know them, all a friendly bunch, no one is ever too busy to stop for a chat and we all look out for each other, which is important.

Do you belong to any groups?

Not officially, but I do attend the Cooking With Scissors (CwS) networking meet up which is on the last Wednesday of the month at The Palmerston, which I love going to and feel very much of a part of.

What is your favourite place to eat?

Rocca is one of my favourites; always welcoming and I’m never disappointed with the service or quality of food.

Coffee or tea? Where?

I do love a cup of tea accompanied by a slice of cake at Romeo Jones.

The best meal I’ve ever had…

When I travelled to Phuket in Thailand, I had a 7 course meal and each dish was absolutely delicious, I had never tasted anything like it before, really authentic. Although I couldn’t move anywhere for a while from being so full, it was worth every single bite.

Cafe, pub or bar?

Pub, usually because I can have some food as well, can’t go wrong with pub grub!

What’s your favourite place to go for a drink?

The Rosendale, happy cheerful atmosphere, I often see a lot of familiar faces which happen to be mainly clients which is nice.

Where’s your favourite place to walk?

Taking a nice calming stroll by the lake in Belair Park never goes a miss, it’s very peaceful and serene. I often circle around and end up at the Dulwich Picture Gallery.

The book I’m reading at the moment…

I’ve not too long ago started reading a self-help book called “The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck” by blogger and author Mark Manson, it’s rapidly turning into one of my favs.

My perfect holiday…

Taking all my friends and family away with me for a week or two to somewhere hot and picturesque. Soaking up the sunshine, creating unforgettable memories, eating the best foods and enjoying the best wines, ending with a huge party on the beach with the locals, all expenses paid for of course, courtesy of The National Lottery.

LinkedIn: five tips to start improving your profile

Is LinkedIn yet another thing on your “must do more of” list? As 2019 begins, what better time to get this underway.

In the first monthly article about digital skills, here are five ideas to help you create a LinkedIn profile you’re proud of.

That, in turn, may encourage you to start engaging more on LinkedIn.

Hardly revolutionary, but why not work on improving your profile little by little…

Dive in, give it a go!

1. Headshot: A high-resolution photo taken by a professional… why wouldn’t you? How to find a local photographer: you may want to ask on LinkedIn for a recommendation…Chances are you’ll already want to engage more on LinkedIn once that professional photo takes pride of place.

2. Headline field beneath your name: It’s the ideal place to summarise how you help your clients and solve problems; or your style of working with colleagues.Take a look at a few of your connections’ LinkedIn profiles to see how they put those 100+ characters to best use.

3. Edit public profile and LinkedIn URL: You may have a URL (the address of a web page) that includes numbers.It’s easy to clean this up, helping to “enhance your personal brand,” as LinkedIn puts it.See the top right corner of your profile.

4. Initiatives *and* teamwork: When you’re summarising* a previous role, it’s great to highlight what initiatives you took to “add value”.Teamwork is also worth giving its proper place. Collaboration always gets my vote, and I’m hardly alone in admiring that trait in others.(*Key word: less is more…)

5. Share *after* the edit: If you’re revamping your LinkedIn profile, e.g. the experience section showing your career history, chances are you don’t want your connections to know about every tiny change.So you may want to switch “Share profile changes” to no. It appears once you click on the edit icon (a blue slanting pencil). One swipe left, it’s done.

This article is by no means exhaustive but will help you take a few practical steps on LinkedIn.

The five steps will put you on the way to having a profile that you’re proud to stand behind, as a client of mine put it.

(We worked together to improve his profile, which didn’t reflect a busy few years at work. We then explored the best ways – that suited him, not someone else – to engage more on LinkedIn.)

Go on, dive in!

I’ll be very interested to hear about your experience.

What successes have you had on LinkedIn? What about your frustrations?

Please add a comment after this blog:

Photos: PublicDomainPictures & pixel2013 on Pixabay

Open spaces update from Jon Hartley, Dulwich Hill Ward Councillor

Open spaces provide a vital green lung to all of us living in London. With my colleague Maggie Browning, I represent Dulwich Hill, an area with much loved greenery. Residents often tell us how much they value our local open spaces; whether they use facilities within the ward such as Camberwell Old Cemetery or Dulwich Hill, or those just outside like Peckham Rye, One Tree Hill and Dulwich Park.

As your local councillors, Maggie and I work with local people who are interested in our local spaces, along with councillors in adjacent areas, other local authorities and Southwark council officers.

We’re keen to hear what you enjoy about our local open spaces. Whether to tell us about concerns or just to let us know how much fun your family is having in the amazing new Peckham Rye playground!

We’ve been working with residents and local groups on how to improve Dawson’s Hill. Meetings on the Hill with local people and Parks officers have helped clarify how we can best spend the money we have secured for improving a Park that is loved locally.

The challenge in our larger Parks is often the balance that needs to be struck between regular users and larger events. For the Council, there is increased need in this time of austerity to encourage extra funds to help cover the cost of maintaining the Parks.

A recent example of this challenge was the Gala festival. Following local concerns about the possible impact on Peckham Rye Park and noise in the surrounding area, we were able to ensure that many of the issues raised were taken on board by the event organisers. In the end there were few complaints during the event weekend and the Park is now (almost) back to normal.

Perhaps the trickiest of our local green areas recently has been Camberwell Old Cemetery, where the need to open long unused areas to new burials is a real source of local concern. We will keep working with residents to address issues about the works that are planned and how they are carried out.

There have been some vociferous campaigns against any changes, but Southwark Councillors take the view that we have to continue providing a place for people to be buried locally. This is actually a great example of our predecessors – representing the area over a century ago – making provisions that still serve people’s needs today.

We can only hope that the decisions we make will be as useful to the local community of the future.

Jon Hartley – Dulwich Hill Ward