Wow, into the 2nd month of the year already!
Most schools should be finishing up on Friday for a week but … just to let you know that all of our classes are still ON in the holidays so looking forward to seeing you if you can make it.
Here are a couple of hacks to keep you motivated to exercise and come to classes:
- Sometimes we think ‘oh I’m too tired’ or ‘its too cold/dark to go out and exercise’ but these are just thoughts and doesn’t mean we have to act on them. You’ll get warmer by exercising and it’ll give you more energy and make you feel better.
- You might like to pay for all your fitness classes at the beginning of the week – to make sure that you do turn up and don’t lose out or you could pay for the whole month and come to 2, 3 or 4 classes a week in that month.
Regularly coming to classes/exercising creates healthy habits which can have an impact on other areas of your life ie your diet. Making some small changes add up over time and if making great lifestyle choices, there are lots of opportunities to progress.
Remember too that it’s not about perfection but progress.
I just love avocados and can have them for every meal. Of course, I love making guacamole (mashed avo, lemon juice, tomato, garlic and some chilli) and have it on a slice of sourdough toast. I also add it anytime to a meal – even for dessert! I think I’ve mentioned before that I make an avo/chocolate mousse and it’s delish. Avocados are a good source of fibre, potassium, magnesium, B vitamins, vitamins E & K and folate. The monounsaturated fat in avocados help to protect our hearts by reducing levels of LDL cholesterol.
Are there any downsides to buying avocados though? I watched a documentary about avocados which said that each avocado requires 70L (18½ gallons) of water to produce compared to an average of 22L (just over 5 gallons) to grow an orange and that because of the high water needs by large-scale avocado operations, it’s caused environmental destruction and impoverished local farmers. Avocados have become so ‘trendy’ everywhere and we’ve been told that they’re so good for us, so convenient and versatile but when you think of all the profits the large-scale manufacturers are making and the draught it’s causing, it makes you think! Moderation in everything is key though and going for organic might be an option – what do you think?
I was reading a short article about ‘how to calculate your heart health’ which said that the 3 main factors in gauging heart health are: BMI (body mass index), cholesterol and blood pressure. You can go to your GP to find out, but if you know your cholesterol levels and blood pressure, you can go on to the BHF/NHS Choices online calculator at
However, when I clicked on the heart age calculator, I didn’t have my cholesterol numbers or my blood pressure (I’m usually low-normal) and although I don’t have any heart issues, family members have had/have, so that and knowing my numbers might have decreased my heart age from 69 – which is higher than my actual age (just in case you weren’t sure!)
I was also surprised that I wasn’t asked how much exercise I do or about my diet, hmm.
There was advice and downloadable booklets though on how to reduce your heart age through physical exercise and healthy recipes and anyone smokes, obviously advised to stop.
When we engage in relaxing activities eg gardening, light exercise or going for a walk, our body increases the secretion of serotonin, oxytocin and dopamine which are the chemicals that make us happier. They also regulate other functions in the brain and gut helping our metabolism, digestion and sleep.
According to research, when we improve our diet, we also improve our mental health. Research by ISNPR (International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research) looked at how what we eat can significantly affect our emotional wellbeing. A trial studied adults with depression and found that making their diets more healthy (ie a version of the Med diet) consisting of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, extra virgin olive oil and fish plus occasional puddings (eg natural yoghurt with walnuts and honey) made a dramatic difference to their mental health incl depression.
Our lives are so busy and we’re always on-the-go with loads to do and ‘get through’ every day. We’ve got deadlines and lots of demands on our time and when we do have some time off, a lot of us tend to sit on the sofa and be glued to the tv but depending on what we’re watching, it doesn’t mean that we’re relaxed and calm. Just watching the news can make us feel helpless or depressed. If we watch a violent film say late at night, it can increase the fight or flight responses in our body and we find it impossible to get to sleep. If you find that this is true for you, try limiting your exposure to social media, endlessly watching the news, turn off the tv later in the evening and maybe read a book or have a bath. Regularly practicing meditation helps and it’s about training the mind to be in a calm state, increase our awareness of self and our surroundings. Benefits are found to lessen our anxiety and stress levels. You can practice meditating by just sitting in your own home, in a quiet and calm space, sitting in a comfy chair with your feet on the floor. Make sure that you won’t be interrupted by anyone or the phone (turn on silent till you’re done). Even a few minutes of mindful breathing with your eyes closed is extremely relaxing. As I’ve said before, there are lots of books and apps to get you started – give it a try.
I love these quotes:
- ‘It will work if you forget all the reasons it won’t’
- ‘Worry is worshipping the problem’
take care and I look forward to seeing you and catching up with you this week