Time for you….

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Today try a walking meditation in a park or garden. Walk extra slowly, synchronizing your breathing with your steps, so with each step you take a breath in or out. This connects you with your body.

Are you constantly spinning your way through the week ?

Are you trying to juggle work, family, home and struggling to keep all balls in the air?!

Our bodies are still wired to prehistoric times, but our stressors have changed dramatically over thousands of years. Previously we would have encountered a deadly animal whilst walking out in the wild searching for food. The natural response here was fight or flight, do we stay and fight or do we run the hell out of there??!! Whatever decision is made a substance is released to stimulate the adrenals to release adrenaline and cortisol. This provides the body with everything it needs to react quickly.

Once the threat is gone, our adrenals stop pumping hormones and everything should return to normal.

Previously – YES!

In our lives today – NO!

Today we are not a spear-wielding attacker of a sabre tooth tiger, we are fighting deadlines, traffic and children! This means we are often functioning on a low-level chronic stress, so are in a constant state of over-production of adrenaline and cortisol.

It’s time Stop, Relax and Rejuvenate, which is why we are so keen for as many people to join us as possible at Westhenhanger Castle for our one day retreat on Sunday 19th November.

This one day retreat will allow you some time to STOP,  giving you the opportunity to try some new experiences from one of our many workshops and meditations or maybe even treating yourself to a beautiful treatment.

For this day YOU are the priority, enjoy some free time, take a walk within the grounds or sit back and chill out next to a roaring fire in the impressive castle itself, then enjoy your high tea which is included in the price.

This retreat is a digital detox which means no mobiles phones or devices, drop them off at the door and collect when you leave. There will be a contact number at the castle if needs be, however allow yourself to hand anything to do with everyday life at the door and totally immerse into your retreat and connection to yourself on this day.

The retreat is for ladies only and run by ladies, no dress code (apart from something that is comfortable and allows for movement in a gentle exercise class) just bring your amazing selves.

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe

Have a great week.

Emma

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5 ladies at a castle…

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Whenever we return from a camping trip, whether it be four nights or fourteen nights, I always feel that I am starting back again from a place of calm – and it feels great!

I realise that camping is not the holiday choice for everyone but I absolutely love it. Having no access to wi-fi and no television means that we all completely switch off and can just get back to basics; talking, spending time together, as well as just simply sitting and looking at the views.

I immediately notice my mood improve as I’m not trying to do 2-3 things at once and I easily settle into the pace of life that camping dictates.

Can this be replicated into normal daily life on returning home?

Yes, which is why I have teamed up with Donna and Claire of DC Training Solutions to create and now subsequently launch a one-day retreat at the beautiful Westenhanger Castle.

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This one day retreat will allow you some time to STOP from your crazy life, allowing you to try some new experiences from one of our many workshops, meditations or treat yourself to a beautiful treatment. Just allow yourself some free time, take a walk within the grounds or just enjoy the impressive castle itself in one of the magnificent historical rooms with a roaring fire, while sitting back listening to some relaxing music which will be piped throughout the castle and grounds. Then enjoy your high tea which is included in the price.

The perfect way to spend a chilly November day before the madness of Christmas starts……

We look forward to seeing you there.

 

Feeling great!

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Last week was a practise run but this week I have fully immersed myself in Julie’s 5 Day Body Reset Detox, my will power generally isn’t great but the recipes are very tasty and the fact that it is only 5 days enables me to stay focused. Archie enjoyed the Vegetarian chilli so much he wants to take it in his packed lunch tomorrow!

Alongside this I have resumed a regular pattern with my running again and as you would expect, my times have started to get a little bit quicker, in turn I am definitely noticing an improvement in my fitness.

When your mind is ready, it doesn’t take long to establish a regular routine whether that be for healthy eating, exercise or both and once you start to notice the results of your new way of life that encourages you more to continue on this journey.

I must admit the fact that the children have gone back to school makes things a little easier as there is a solid pattern to life again. My recommendation to you would be to start today on whatever area of your life needs improvement, don’t wait until Monday or the first day of the month! Start on what is a wet and windy day, here in Kent, then you have 5/6 weeks before the next school holiday!

Good luck and please share your goals with me.

Emma

Re-assess and Re-boot!

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September is a great time to make some positive changes in your life whether that be health, professional aspirations or personal goals.

My children are now back at school so there is routine back in our lives again, which I know is boring but I think it keeps us all on track, that’s not to say that I’m not already looking forward to a mini break at the end of October, and maybe a cheeky night away in September!

The regular routine has given me focus so I have signed up for a 5-Day Body Reset Detox. I’m looking forward to the positive benefits I will receive from doing this: increased energy, disappearance of cravings and clearer thinking  to name a few.

Exercise wise I have come back from holiday with the motivation to get on my bike more, so will be using for my commute as much as possible. I have started training back at the gym again and beyond that I have bigger goals but I am keeping these close to my chest for the time being, you will have to watch this space to see what 2018 holds!

Now it’s your turn, take a walk over that bridge and see what can be achieved when you get to the other side!!

I’d love to hear your goals, so please do share them with me.

Emma

Trailwalker Strong!

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As I sat waiting for the train on Friday to begin my journey to Petersfield and join the rest of Team G & T (Girls and Trails), I wondered if I really knew what I had let myself in for. 100k walk across the South Downs, it wasn’t a decision I took lightly!!

I knew we had done enough training and walked enough miles, most of which was on the North Downs; none of us will ever look at Bluebell Hill with fond memories again, my mantra “tough times don’t last, tough people do” was used many times on THAT walk!

It’s been a “journey”, as a foursome we have laughed, talked a load of rubbish (what else is there to do when you are out for 8 hours+), ridiculed each other but also learnt a great deal.

  • what knickers are best to wear (I will be forever grateful for discovering Runderwear) or whether it is better to go commando
  • what snacks will travel well in a small rucksack and what will end up as a load of crumbs which are no good to anyone. Protein balls, frittata and jelly babies were my winners.
  • to Vaseline your feet or to tape them
  • to use poles or not

The weather was kind to us on our training walks, although we did have a couple of hot ones but coped well and hydrated throughout. Leading up to the event I was constantly checking the weather and lets just say it didn’t look promising, my usual trick of trying lots of weather apps wasn’t working either  – they were all saying one thing – rain, and lots of it!

We headed down to register on Friday evening and as you would expect with an event with military presence it was highly organised and we got a good feed to prepare us for the next morning!

“Each year, the entirety of the three Squadrons that form the Queen’s Gurkha Signals deploy days before participants arrive to begin setting up each of the checkpoints along the route. In recent years, this has grown to include all elements of the Brigade of Gurkhas; The Royal Gurkha Rifles, Queen’s Gurkha Engineers, Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment and the Gurkha Staff and Personnel Support each play an important role in the delivery of the exercise. The chefs of the Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment set about cooking traditional cuisine for over 3000 participants, whilst the Gurkha Staff and Personnel Support assist with race registration and tracking.

Over the years of charitable partnership, the exercise has raised significant funds for Oxfam GB and the GWT, making a real difference to the lives of families and people around the world. Most recently, money raised from the Gurkha 200 edition of Ex TRAILWALKER was instrumental in reconstruction and relief in the wake of the tragic earthquakes in Nepal.”

Source: http://www.oxfam.org.uk/trailwalker/history

The job now was to get back for an early night and hopefully enjoy a good night’s sleep, but with an alarm call at 5am this wasn’t going to be easy! The next morning came around all to quickly but the sky was bright and it looked like we might at least be starting in dry weather conditions. A hearty breakfast, filling our water bottles and last-minute trips to the toilet were all that was left to do before heading to the start line for 7am. All a bit emotional being cheered on our way and hearing the bagpipes, but this was it, no turning back we were on our feet for at least the next 24 hours!!

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We made the first checkpoint (CP) in a reasonable time which motivated us onto the next one, quite a few hills, but talking to lots of people along the way it was all quite good going for most of the morning. We were met by our support crew of Max and Simon through the early stages and they looked after us well; providing us with plenty of food, drink and encouragement. This was much-needed particularly when we got to CP4 and CP5 when the rain had well and truly set in. They showed great resourcefulness by rigging up some tarpaulin to the boot of the car and then these were held in place by some football poles, they even allowed another team of walkers to use this shelter and attempt to dry off, this was posted on Facebook yesterday:

“Is this you? At CP4 you and your son kindly let our team sit under your tarpaulin that you had hitched up at the back of your car so they had somewhere dry to change. Thank you so much. Only sorry we forgot to ask your name.”

“Thank you so much Simon and Max, it made a huge difference for us. We managed it in 29hr and 37mins”

“Ditto you guys were amazing and then max even found us at the next check point and asked if we wanted to take shelter again but we needed to get a jiffy on. Soooooo appreciative.”

There are so many other stories like this, of complete strangers helping each other out, a real sense of community and absolutely restores your faith in the human race.

Rain continued and as night-time approached it looked like it might be a difficult evening ahead of us. Richard, Mark, Maisey and Max (who decided he quite like this support crew lark) took over from CP6 and that was the longest 10k I have EVER walked, it went on and on and on! Fireworks in the distance, pigs and a whole load of mud but eventually we got there and were greeted with hot chicken soup and the chance to change into some warm dry clothes before heading off again. More rain, more mud, a little bit of fog and bruised feet were the highlights of CP6 to CP7 but again we made it and all squeezed into the camper van for a rest and to try to muster up the enthusiasm to get back out in the elements for the remaining kilometres.

CP8 is where the party is (you can view this in the YouTube promotional video) and we could see the lights well into the distance so was a great motivator to get there quickly and also the chance to finally remove wet weather gear with the promise of a better day of weather ahead of us. I even managed a 10 minute nap here which was enough to take the edge off the tiredness, but this was the longest stretch between CP’s at 13.8km and boy did we feel every moment of that section. My new mantra “strong body, strong mind” was working overtime but with the help of a fabulous Oxfam volunteer we climbed the final hill and reached CP9 to be greeted with a bacon butty and a hot drink – very welcome!

 

We were nearly there, just 9.8km remaining before we reached the finish line at Brighton Racecourse, which was in view for what seemed like the whole of that distance, teasing us that the finish was in sight, but still a way to go…

We made it!

We started it as a team of four and completed it as a team of four in a time of 29 hours and 26 minutes!

We were #trailwalkerstrong!

For me, at the end of the event it was a case of never again but by that same evening I was already thinking about next year’s event – watch this space!

Thank you to Suzanne, Louise and Helen for being fabulous, special thanks also go to Simon, Max, Maisey, Mark and Richard for their support and for every single person who has sponsored us. It has been epic!!

If you’ve got a goal, get a great team behind you and just go for it! xx

When can I do sit-ups?

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This is a question that is frequently asked during my Buggy Fitness classes, another popular one is when can I start running?

With regards to sit-ups, NEVER is generally my answer, they are not functional and if you have a diastasis they will do more harm than good. There are so many other core exercises that replicate movements that we make during our normal daily living activities which will provide much better support.

Physically, as well as emotionally it is important to take it slowly and allow your body to heal; in the early days following the birth of your little bundle of joy the focus should be on keeping a check on your posture, walking often and filling your body with healthy, nutritious food. Once you have had your GP check (usually around 6-8 weeks) it is time to step your exercise up under the direction of a fully qualified pre/post natal exercise specialist. If you have had a c-section you will need to wait just a couple of weeks longer to start exercising again, this allows time for your scar to heal and recover from surgery. In both of these situations it is important to take your time and build up your fitness gradually, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to do too much too soon.

High impact activities should be avoided until at least 5-6 months (although this is highly individual and varies from person to person), the reason for this is due to the effects of relaxin still flowing around your body. Relaxin is a hormone that is released in early pregnancy to loosen your joints in preparation for labour a few months down the line, and it subsequently makes your joint quite unstable. If you begin running, attending HIT classes or jumping on the trampoline too soon you put yourself at risk of injury,  not to mention what it will do to your pelvic floor!!

Listen to your body; if your knees, back or pelvis are causing you pain or discomfort then it is wise to ease your exercise back a bit. There is plenty that you can do at a lower intensity that gets a sweat on, but is safe! If you are unsure, just ask. Please be careful and take your time!

Please share this with anyone you know who has recently had a baby.

Emma

 

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Love a Pukka tea.

So this is cards on the table, heart on the sleeve time!

When I started my business 10 years ago; my daughter was born just a few months earlier, I was living and breathing the same experiences as the ladies in my buggy classes.

I now find myself entering or maybe in the perimenopausal stage of my life and again I am noticing changes in my physical, mental and emotional health which many of clients are also experiencing.

My get up and go has well gone! In comparison to the general population probably not so, but definitely noticeable against how I used to feel, my diet is not as good as I would like it to be and subsequently I have put on weight which leaves me feeling disheartened lacking in confidence and low self-esteem.

I know what I should be doing, I am just not doing it!

I am going to turn this into a positive and follow The 21 Day Happy Hormone Challenge, and hope that you will join me on my journey.

Maybe people will lose confidence in my abilities and knowledge or maybe they will realise that I am only human and have the same struggles as everyone else. I’ll leave it for you to decide….

Emma