It’s January, and I’m determined to get off on the right foot. Any excuse for vigorous refreshing of to-do lists, manic de-cluttering and forming of good new habits. Anyone with me?
I guess it’s safe to say that I was definitely looking forward to this month’s Wells Angels meeting. Wellness is a hot topic right now, and I can see why. Looking after yourself is super important. After all, if you don’t look out for number one, how will you boss all of the things you know you can achieve in 2017? They always say that you need to make sure you’re all topped up before you try to help out someone else, so come January 9th I was poised and ready to absorb as much good advice as I possibly could!
First, let me introduce the awesome ladies who came to impart their pearls of wisdom…
We had Katharine Clark of KC Fitness to tell us the importance of getting our bodies moving, Naomi and Sophie from Botanica in Rusthall covering all things stress and sleep, and Rebecca, founder of Rock My Bowl to get us inspired by the most important meal of the day.
Now, let’s get to those tips!
Katharine’s Tips To Make Exercise Work For You
Variety is your friend. It can be easy to get stuck in an exercise routine that you do all the time, but you may find that you start to miss some of the benefits. Switching it up a little will get your body responding and serve results. You don’t have to go crazy, just mix up your average swim by alternating fast paced and recovery lengths, for example.
Ditch the scales. They can often leave you disheartened when you don’t see the progress you want, but the numbers don’t mean anything. Muscle actually weighs more than fat, so you could be making great progress that isn’t reflected in the digits. Instead, think about how you feel, and how that changes and improves over time.
Be specific. It’s pretty easy to cop out when your exercise plan is to ‘work out this week’. You can put it off, because you’re not really committed to make it happen. However, if you plan to ‘run 3 miles on Thursday at 8am’ you’re way more likely to stick to it. It’s a date!
Get scheduling. Work out the exercise that suits you, and plan to do it at a convenient time. Hardly have any time to spare? Get some HIIT in while the kettle boils. Only available in the mornings? Set a reminder to keep you in check.
Make do. If you can’t afford specialised equipment, don’t worry. You can get a full body workout with a 5 litre water bottle that you can buy for £1.10 in Tesco. Start by filling it just a bit, and gradually add more water (more weight!) as you need more of a challenge.
Naomi’s Tips For Keeping Stress In Check
Activate your vagus nerve. An active vagus nerve helps to keep stress levels down. All you need to do is spend a few minutes each morning and night breathing properly. Breathe deeply, from your stomach, in for 7 seconds and out for 11.
Walk. Getting out in the fresh air, and moving yourself around work have wonders on your stress levels. Appreciate the things around you, the wildlife and the landscape.
Be in the moment. Take a step back from your worries and take the time to be present, in this moment. Express gratitude and be aware for the here and now.
Take supportive herbs. Ashwagandha is calming and helps to reduce stress-induced high blood pressure; Holy Basil improves energy and reduces fatigue; and Rhodiola Rosa reduces irritability and anxiety.
Sophie’s Tips For A Good Night’s Sleep
Eat intuitively. What you do during the day will influence how you sleep that night. Prepare yourself by fuelling your body with the right food. Embracing traditional eating styles with the right balance of carbohydrate, saturated fat, protein and salt, can help to benefit your sleep.
Turn off blue light. Step away from your phone at least an hour before bed, and switch off overhead lights. Warm, yellow light from lamps can help to prepare your body for sleep.
Stay warm enough. Your temperature can affect your sleep, so make sure you’re aware of what you need. Even just popping on a pair of socks can make the difference and send you off more easily.
Drink sweet tea. People who wake during the night are often experiencing physical symptoms. It’s likely that the liver doesn’t have enough glycogen stores to last through until morning. To combat this, drink a sweet tea with honey before bed. If you do wake up, immediately drinking a fruit juice should help to replenish stores and get you back to sleep.
Rebecca’s Tips For Great Breakfasts and Balance
You’ve got time. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day so, regardless of how busy you are, you’ve got to make the time. Scramble some eggs, whip up some porridge or blitz a smoothie and you’re good to go.
Do what makes you feel good. Don’t cut out all of the things that you love. Wine, chocolate, dinners out - just make sure that you do these things in moderation, and learn your limits.
Get prepped. Always have a store of good food in the house. Fresh or frozen fruit, coconut milk, grains, granola, seeds and nuts. That way you have plenty of healthy and fuelling bits to top your porridge or make up your smoothie.
Don’t challenge yourself. If you have a night of indulgence, don’t challenge your digestion the next day. Stick with healthy foods that you can digest easily to keep yourself feeling good.
So there we go. A whole collection of tips to help us feel good inside and out, and be the most awesome version of ourselves.