exercise, Uncategorised, yoga

30 Days of Yoga With Adriene

Recently, I completed 30 Days of Yoga with Adriene.

Was it easy? Sometimes.

Did I enjoy it? Yes.

Would I carry on? Yes.

Am I carrying on? Yes.

In my younger days, I always used to enjoy exercising (enjoy? Really? Is that the right word. Ok, no. Compelled is probably the right word. I wanted to be fit, and look healthy. I’m also very motivated to remain slim, but I like my food, so exercise helps).

However, as I got older and busier – family, work, you know the story – the exercise slipped by the wayside. But you know what, even though I don’t really love exercising, I don’t like the way I feel when I don’t do it either. I sit down a lot for my job, so I feel sluggish, slow, a bit limp. You know what I’m talking about?

Trying to maintain the running and weights workouts I’d previously done didn’t work for me, and to be honest, I found these forms of exercise were sapping my energy. And the gym is so boring (sorry, gym lovers). A few years ago, I developed a love for yoga, but I found as life became busier, I was talking myself out of attending the class on a regular basis. The only thing I was committing to was a walk about 4-5 times per week. It wasn’t enough.

And then lockdown happened.

Well, you all know the story. If you have a family, you basically become a slave to your kitchen. Cooking, cleaning, cooking, cleaning, cooking, cleaning. With a bit of work, home-schooling and hysteria thrown in for good measure.

I started off with good intentions, and went for some lovely walks in the glorious hills around where I live, but then it began to slip. Lockdown can get so…. samey… can’t it?

In the end, I decided I had to take action. I was sitting down much of the day, and I was feeling very stiff after so much time at the computer, which is exactly the opposite of what I tell my clients to do. I needed a kick up the pants. Or at the very least, a solution. A friend recommended I do a YouTube 30 day yoga course.

Ok, I thought, they are short sessions so they can definitely fit around my family and working life. No excuses!

I started off on the first day of 30 Days of Yoga, thinking it was a challenge I was going to be doing by myself, but by Day 3 my husband joined in, and by day 15, my younger daughter decided to have a go too. Some nights it was really hard to motivate ourselves, but one of us always wanted to do it, so we got the others into the swing of it, and helped each other through. You always feel the benefit of the session: more energised but also relaxed, if that makes sense.

One thing I noticed in particular was my flexibility, strength and stamina quickly improved (within a few days). My balance, however, is another matter. I definitely need more focus on that. Haha!

My husband said that the exercise was also making him want to look after himself in other ways too – like eating better and getting into a better bedtime routine. (Yay! He’s definitely harder to motivate to eat well than the other people in our house).

Some of the days we had to miss because we were away, but it didn’t matter because we simply caught up when we got back. Having a gap in the sessions didn’t mean we ended up giving up entirely. Because the sessions are short, it isn’t an onerous task, so it compels you to carry on.

I’d say, if you want to exercise, but you are struggling to motivate yourself, you should start off with the Yoga With Adriene series. The sessions are between 15-30 minutes, and you can work at your own level, so they aren’t off-putting. I’m not saying they are always easy, but she gives suggestions for different physical capabilities, so it’s up to you what you do really.

Go on, give it a go. Like me, it may just be the inspiration you need to carry on with a more regular exercise practise. I’m even thinking about going back to my yoga class.

If it’s something you fancy doing, you can find all the free yoga videos here: https://yogawithadriene.com

walking

Walk for Life!

It was fantastic to see that Tandle Hill was one of the shortlisted hotspots for the best autumn walks in Greater Manchester. Although we’ve made it to many of the places on the list, Tandle Hill is one of our family’s favourite places to head out on a crisp Sunday afternoon. If you haven’t been, make sure you do. The forests trails are beautiful, and perfect at this time of year for wearing your wellies or walking boots and kicking up the leaves.

Tandle Hill in Oldham is a great place for walking.

For other popular walking areas in the region, please check out the Manchester Evening News’ article here: https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/whats-on/family-kids-news/autumn-leaves-greater-manchester-parks-7923468

Many of us these days have little time for exercise because of busy working and family lives, but the benefits of walking are becoming increasingly well-known. It’s even being recommended now by GPs to aid patients with mental health issues.

Half an hour of daily walking has been shown to:

  1. Reduce risk of heart attack and other chronic disease.
  2. Increase serotonin (your feel-good neurotransmitter)
  3. Spark creativity
  4. Help reduce weight
  5. Improve digestion
  6. Strengthen bones
  7. Improve mobility
  8. Boost immunity
  9. Improve sleep
  10. Increase stamina
Walking to Studley Pike from Blackstone Edge May 2015

So, to improve your overall health and wellbeing, add in a half hour walk every day, whether it be in the countryside, a forest, or even if it’s simply between your train station and work.

There’s no doubt about it, it WILL do you the world of GOOD!

Scarborough to Whitby with friends January 2018

anxiety, blood pressure, Health and Wellbeing, stress, Wellness

Naturally Speaking

Yesterday I took my daughter for a chilly but beautiful walk in Tandle Hill Country Park in Oldham. It was just what we needed after being cooped up earlier in the day. We both felt brilliant. 

For those who love nature, it will be no surprise to learn that studies have found nature-based therapy dramatically improves mental wellbeing, so if you regularly feel under par, get yourself out there into nature more often. Many of us live in urban areas and rarely see a forest, mountain or waterfall, and it’s having detrimental effects on our health. Giving yourself a hefty dose of vitamin “green” has potent effects on:

  • how our cells function
  • our immunity
  • our brain and nervous system

It’s even been found that post-surgical patients have improved recovery if exposed to a natural scene from the window of their room.

As for forest walking, studies find it has beneficial effects on:

  • heart and lung health
  • blood pressure
  • immunity and inflammation
  • blood sugar balance
  • stress
  • cognitive function
  • balancing emotions

So even though it may be cold, drag yourself away from that screen.

Your body and mind will thank you for it. 

#foresttherapy#health#wellbeing#mentalwellbeing#nature#vitaming#nutritionaltherapy#nutritionaltherapypractitioner