So with another weekend upon us during an extended period of lockdown, time for more of Annabel’s exercises to keep the blood circulating!  This time Annabel focusses on warming up.  Then we follow that with some financial information.

Warming Up

It would be fair to say, that at this unprecedented time, many of us are conducting more exercise than usual; so it’s really important to warm up prior to exercise and cool down afterwards.  Warming up slowly increases your heart rate and the blood flow to the muscles and raises your body temperature.  Warming up for 5 to 10 mins will also improve performance, as the range of motion at the joints is increased and prevent injuries.

Warming up exercises

Head and Shoulder Rolls

Stand with your hands on your hips.  With a straight back, roll your shoulders forward -upward – backward. (One shoulder roll).  For head roll, rotate your head fully but gently, in a clockwise direction and then repeat anticlockwise.  Or you can just turn your head side to side.  Repeat 15 times.

Upper Body Twist

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and bend your arms in front of you, hands in loose fists.  Turn your hips, body and torso to the right.  Pause for a couple of seconds and return to centre.  Turn to the left, twist, pause and return to centre.  Inhale on twisting and exhale on returning to centre.  Repeat 8 times on each side.

Hip Circles

Whilst standing extend your feet shoulder width apart and put your hands on your hips. Push your hips out a little and rotate them to the side, then push them out to the back and then rotate back to the centre.  (one rotation).  Start slow and slowly build up speed.  Do 5- 10 repetitions on one side and then on the other.

Arm Circles

Whilst standing, extend the arms out to the side and keep the shoulders down.  Rotate the arms clockwise, keeping them straight all the time.  Ensure the wrists are at the same level as arms.  After 10 circles, repeat anticlockwise.  Do smaller circles, and then increase speed and make larger circles.

Knee Lift

Whilst standing, lift one foot off the floor till the knee is at least at waist level.  Pause for a couple of seconds and then lower the foot.  Repeat with the other foot.  Do about 10 repetitions per leg.


Whilst standing, bend elbows at 90 degrees and fists curled up as if you were holding an egg.  Swing your arms gently, no higher than your chest.  Extend your heel and touch the ground with it, roll forwards onto your toes, and then push off the ground.  (Repeat for 1 minute).
Stretches (Hold for 30 secs)


Stand at arm’s length from a wall and place your right foot behind your left foot.  Slowly bend your left leg forward, keeping your right knee straight and your right heel on the floor.  Hold your back straight and your hips forward.  (Repeat on the other leg).


Lie on the floor near the outer corner of a wall or a door frame.  Raise your left leg and rest your left heel against the wall. Keep your left knee slightly bent, gently straighten your left leg until you feel a stretch along the back of your left thigh.  (Repeat on the other side).


Stand near a wall and grasp your ankle and gently pull your heel up and back until you feel a stretch in the front of your thigh.  Tighten your stomach muscles and keep your knees close together.  (Repeat on the other leg).

Hip Flexors

Kneel on your right knee and place your left foot in front of you, bending your knee and placing your left hand on your left leg for stability.  Place your right hand on your right hip to avoid bending at the waist. Keep your back straight and abdominal muscles tight.  Lean forward, putting more body weight onto your front leg.  You will feel a stretch in your right thigh.  (Repeat on the other side).

The iliotibial band (ITB)

(ITB is a band of tissue that runs along the outside of your hip, thigh and knee).

Stand near a wall and cross your left leg over your right leg at the ankle.  Extend your left arm overhead, reaching toward your right side. You’ll feel a stretch along your left hip. (Repeat on the other side).


Bring your left arm across your body and hold it with your right arm, either above or below the elbow.  (Change arms).


Bend your head forward and slightly to the right. With your right hand, gently pull your head downward. You’ll feel a stretch along the back left side of your neck.  Hold for about 30 seconds.  Repeat on the opposite side.

Upper Back

Stand in a relaxed position with your arms extended in front of you, parallel to the floor.  Pull your shoulder blades together behind you, bending your arms slightly at the elbows.


Lie on your back on the floor with the backs of your heels flat on the floor.  Gently pull one knee up to your chest until you feel a stretch in your lower back.  Bring the knee as close to your chest as comfortably possible.  Keep the opposite leg relaxed in a comfortable position, either with your knee bent or with your leg extended.  Hold for about 30 seconds.  (Repeat on the other side).

Benefits Of Warming Up

Warming up correctly and then stretching readies your muscles for the aerobic exercise, which helps minimise potential muscle tears and injury.  Warming up effectively increases the elasticity of muscles and tendons and prepares us for the exercise that follows.

Looking forward to the next Pit Stop – Cooling Down.



People struggling with payday loans, car finance and pawn shop borrowing will be granted a payment holiday under plans by the City watchdog.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said the measures would help borrowers who are experiencing money problems amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
The FCA wants motor finance firms to grant a three-month freeze.
It is also asking firms specialising in rent-to-own, buy-now-pay-later and pawn broking loans to delay repayments.
More newly-hired staff will get paid
‘I lost my job, now we’re on the bare minimum’
You can’t just stop paying rent, tenants told
Those people with a payday loan will be given a one-month reprieve under the FCA’s plan.
Last week, the watchdog announced a three-month freeze on loan and credit card repayments.
“We are very aware of the continued struggle people are facing as a result of the pandemic,” said the FCA’s interim chief executive, Christopher Woolard.
“These measures build on the interventions we announced last week and will provide much-needed relief to consumers during these difficult times.”
‘Temporary financial difficulties’
The FCA will consult with finance firms and expects to finalise proposals by 24 April, “with them coming into force shortly afterwards”.
Motor finance companies have been asked not to repossess cars or end loan agreements with customers who are “experiencing temporary financial difficulties due to coronavirus”.
The FCA also said companies should not alter contracts in an “unfair” way, such as using the temporary fall in car prices caused by the pandemic to change the so-called balloon payment expected at the end of an agreement.
Meanwhile, pawnbrokers have been advised not to sell items that struggling customers have borrowed against.
The FCA said: “If the firm has already informed the consumer they intend to sell the item, they should suspend the sale during the payment freeze.”




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