5 WAYS TO KICKSTART A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE IN 2022

5 WAYS TO KICKSTART A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE IN 2022

Invest in yourself: Always make time for you, it may sound a bit cliche but not taking care of yourself won’t give you the ability to be your best self in everyday life. This is easier said then done, as the days can disappear before our eyes so quickly… I mean we are at the end of January already! Try and find ways to show yourself some love and keep your stress levels down, whether it’s getting your hair done, buying that new outfit or a piece of jewelry you’ve had your eye on. Retail therapy can be a good remedy to feel good. Lastly investing in your wellness, for example vitamins is a good way to get through those long winter days. We have a lot of vitamins and minerals in our foods, but if you are suffering with those January blues and needing that extra boost, invest in the vitamins you need to help give you energy.

Make time for sleep: Getting enough sleep is one of the most important health benefits ever! It reduces stress and improves your mood, leaving you refreshed and alert for the day ahead. Without enough sleep the brain cannot function properly. A healthy sleep also helps the body remain healthy. It’s not easy for us all to drift off to sleepy land straight away and to get in the recommended six to nine hours a night, but if you try getting into bed at a decent hour most nights, and making it a point to shut out all the distractions such as phones, you may see a difference. Enjoying a hot bath with your favorite bath salts is a great way to help sooth the muscles, unwind and clear the mind. We love spraying lavender mist on our pillows before sleep which helps get us to sleep quicker. If that’s not for you, you can never go wrong with a good book before bed.

(Photo credit: Susan Wilkinson)

Choosing healthier food options: We’re not fans of diets and tend to eat what we want and also enjoy, all in moderation of course! If you are watching what you eat then the best way to monitor this is by evaluating the time of day you have your meals. We find that when we make time for breakfast, lunch and dinner we snack less during the day. A substantial breakfast is not on the cards for us every day due to busy mornings. When on the go grab that banana or fruit pot so you don’t miss out. Try eating at fixed meal times daily, this will help control your hunger. Just have fun with your meals, we are foodies and like a variety of different cuisines. Experiment more in the kitchen and bring fresh tastes to your dining room table.

(Photo credit: Claudia Soares)

Exercise: Being able to fit the time in to even get to the gym a few times a week is a miracle. So when life gets hectic, being physically active throughout the day helps. You don’t need to hit the gym every day to burn calories, deciding to take the stairs over the lift, taking a half an hour brisk walk at lunchtime. And even try a ten minute quick Yoga and Pilates session first thing in the morning or just before bed at the end of the day. Sticking with this routine will keep your fitness levels on track.

Mind and soul: We all have our own way to de-stress, clearing the mind is also important for overall health. Learning to switch off from your day fully is a mindset, to achieve this, you can meditate, pursue a hobby, listen to music and watch a great tv series. Why not treat yourself to the cinema or theatre. Put yourself first, when you try to do that you will feel happier and be able to tackle whatever life throws at you.

Shelley & Michelle xx

5 WAYS TO TACKLE STRESS AND AXIETY DURING LOCKDOWN

The Coronavirus Pandemic has had an impact on all of our lives one way or another. Making our anxiety and stress levels reach that all time high. Some of us, feeling worried as we are not sure what tomorrow’s news may bring, bored by staring at the same walls day in and day out. You may live alone and feel lonely, which can then turn into frustration as all you want to do is see and hug your loved ones. For most of us, these feelings will pass and we have for you a few easy little steps you can do in the comfort of your home and to help point you in the right direction.

Meditation: Finding time for you is always beneficial and meditation is a way where you can do this. Meditation can be practiced at any time of the day, we’re not saying to spend hours meditating but, ten minutes a day will keep those cobwebs at bay. A good time to practice is first thing in the morning or just before bedtime. Even If you need a few minutes to yourself during the day, doing a short meditation on your lunch break will give you that time out you need. There are great meditation apps for mindfulness such as Calm and Headspace. YouTube is a great way to find short meditation videos too.

(Photo credit: Lesly Juarez)

Stay connected with friends and family: We have all been using Zoom more than ever this past year. Whether that being holding evening quizzes, meetings, celebrating birthdays and baby showers. We all need to feel connected, so keep in touch with friends and family and try reconnecting with old friends. Doing this more times than not should make you feel a little better as you can catch up and have a good laugh, which is so needed.

Physical health: Our physical fitness has a major impact on how we feel, so looking after our bodies the best way we can is important. It’s so easy to fall into unhealthy patterns in lockdown but you have to just have the mindset to keep your physical fitness going. Try to exercise regularly, this can be as easy as an online ten-minute Yoga and Pilates class, a high intensity half hour cardio session, hitting the pavement for a jog, a daily walk or bike ride helps with fitness and also clears your mind. Eating healthily and preparing a well-balanced, nutritious meal always makes you feel great. As well as drinking lots of water.

(Photo credit: Greg Rosenke)

Make time for yourself: This can include anything, think of things that you really enjoy and that relaxes you. Listening and dancing around to your favourite music always helps, as well as releasing those feel good endorphins. Doing this for as long as you want whilst dancing around like no one is watching is the best thing ever! Reading books can make your mind wonder to a different place. A great book is a good feel factor and whilst doing this why not run a hot bath and enjoy your book whilst soaking your body at the same time. Pamper yourself. This can be facials, giving yourself a manicure and pedicure, masks and hair masks. Looking after you is the way forward. Lastly try out that new recipe you have seen. Cooking a great meal or even baking for yourself and for those you live with is a good way to get those culinary skills on point as well as having a full stomach too!

(Photo credit: Sam Loyd)

Organising your space: They say an organised space is an organised mind, the more clutter you can see around you, the more easily you’ll find yourself distracted. Start by getting rid of the things you don’t need. There is a variety of different online ecommerce websites where you can sell clothes, electrical goods and many more. You may fancy a little revamp, why not give a room in your home a whole new makeover. Doing this will make you feel as though you have got something done, whilst feeling great about yourself at the same time.

Shelley & Michelle xx

EIGHT REASONS TO STRETCH BEFORE AND AFTER EXERCISE

Whilst working out over the years we’ve noticed there are people that don’t stretch before or after working out. This is one of the worst things you can do when exercising as it can result in muscle tear and injury.

Stretching should be an essential part of your every day workout. Below we have listed reasons why you should always take the time to stretch.

1. Stretching before exercise allows your muscles to loosen and prepares your body to take on the impact of exercise you have chosen to do.

2. Your muscles are less likely to become injured by sudden movement when undergoing an activity. Whilst stretching you reduce the risk of injury.

3. After working out, stretching your muscles helps loosen the tightness effect that can lead to post-workout aches and pains.

4. Stretching actually improves your posture. When you stretch the shoulders, lower back and chest it helps keep your back in alignment which will improve your posture.

5. Tense muscles can cut off circulation which can result in a lack of oxygen and essential nutrients. Stretching allows your muscles to relax and increases blood supply to your muscles and joints.

6. Stretching reduces and manages stress. Well-stretched muscles hold less tension and can help you feel less stressed.

7. Regular stretching routines can help prevent future back pain by strengthening your back muscles and reducing the risk of muscle strain.

8. Stretching not only increases flexibility, but can also calm the mind. When stretching focus on mindfulness and meditation exercises which is done during yoga and pilates.

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Shelley & Michelle xx

OUR GO TO GYM WORKOUTS

Exercise is great for your health and fitness and is also a good way to clear the mind. If you make new year resolutions and one goal of yours is to keep fit and healthy, then to stick to it is to not be in the gym from January 1st and give up by March. The best thing is to wean yourself into working out slowly and mix up your workouts so you don’t get bored. It’s always great to push yourself. So if you start by going to the gym once a week, the next week try twice a week, then three times a week and see how you get on.

Below are a few of our favourite gym workouts. We hope you enjoy and Happy New Year!

Boxing

If you want to have fun whilst working out and change up your routine then boxing is the one for you. Boxing requires strength, endurance and power. Boxing isn’t just for the hard-core athletes, it’s a great way to strengthen and tone the entire body.

Running Machine

Running outside or on a running machine is a good way to strengthen and tone your legs and glutes. If running is too much for you then begin walking, jogging and gradually start to run.

Seated Cable Row Machine

The Seated Cable Row develops the muscles of the back and the forearms. It is an excellent all-around exercise for developing mainly the middle back while offering useful arm work as well.

Air Walker Machine

The Air Walker Machine provides a total body, calorie-burning workout that is low-impact and is a great aerobic exercise. The machine is an alternative to walking or jogging. This form of low-impact aerobic exercise can burn a surprising amount of calories.

Skipping

Who would have thought that a skipping rope had so much benefits. Skipping is simple, easy and a whole lot of fun, plus you get to burn a lot of calories while doing so. It’s one of the best ways to shed fat as well as improving your heart rate and building stamina.

Exercise Ball

There’s nothing quite like stretching your spine on an exercise ball after a strenuous work out. The benefits of using an exercise ball is to improve back and spine health, core stability, posture and muscle balance. Training with an exercise ball, whether during Pilates, yoga or simple stretching is an excellent way to work your abdominal, back and lower-back muscles.

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Shelley & Michelle xx