…. and RELAX!

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We have just returned from a fabulous few days away at Croyde in our beloved and trusty camper van Louis.

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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, sitting and looking at the view of the beach which is just a 10-15 minute walk away.

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? I am keen to make sure it does as this will boost my mental well-being which will subsequently have a positive effect on my physical health.

The actions that I am planning to implement are:

  • Reduced mobile phone and PC usage (no more endless scrolling through social media). Checking in at the beginning and end of the day and timing my work admin so I focus on the task in hand
  • Have a daily nature fix. I love listening to the birds singing as well as seeing trees and flowers springing into life
  • Slow down! Finish one job before starting another and setting time aside each day for a meditation – I have managed a four-day streak so far!

These few days away have also given me inspiration for a new personal training programme “Natural Fitness” which I will be launching by the end of June.

https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blogs/woodland-trust/2016/11/how-exercising-in-nature-can-reduce-stress/

If you are keen to learn more about these sessions, please get in touch to register your interest.

I will be reporting back next week to let you know of my progress.

Emma

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Self care IS health care….

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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.

Adrenaline keeps up alert and focused.

Cortisol increases fat and sugar in the blood stream in preparation for activity, if there is no activity this is re-deposited as fat.

The cortisol levels remain high and the body thinks it needs refueling after the fight or flight scenario, therefore your appetite increases!!

And where is this all deposited?

Around your middle…

It’s time to lose the stress

“Changes that I’ve noticed since the course:  I have become more mindful.  Best example being my driving!  I have slowed down, stopped being heavy footed.  Not only has this helped me to feel calmer and less stressed, but also I’m saving money on fuel as I am driving more economically!  I have started reading again, having stopped after I returned to work after my surgery last year.  Am trying to introduce more proper “me time”. Thank you so much Emma for pointing me in the right direction after I have been lost trying to find my way out of the maze of bad habits and poor choices.”

How can you relax? I have posted my thoughts below but you may well be able to think of more:

  1. Colouring
  2. Meditation (https://www.headspace.com/ and https://www.calm.com/ are a great place to start for this)
  3. Listening to music
  4. Going out for a walk in nature
  5. Massage

These don’t need to be time-consuming, a few minutes per day can produce great results!

Remember:

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

Have a great week and keep me posted on your self-care efforts.

Emma

Pelvic Floor for Life…..

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Thursday’s are a manic day for me, starting at 6:30am with a running client and ending at 9:30pm with a personal training client, thankfully there is a small break in the middle of the day to pick the children up from school and cook tea!

Despite often feeling tired by 7:30pm, teaching Holistic Core Restore® Every Woman at Southcote is a highlight of my day.

The studio lights are dimmed and the scent of calming spray fills the room – we are good to go!

Ladies attend these courses for a variety of reasons and some with quite complex issues, it is good to know, therefore that I have a strong support network behind me including the programme creator and an acclaimed Women’s Health Physio who are able to offer sound advice – sometimes at the drop of a hat!

Upon signing up for the course everyone is thoroughly screened and will be referred on to a fellow women’s health professional if the need arises. The weekly classes progress to ensure that goals are met, weekly communication in-between sessions, to keep you on track and access to homework – for life!

The course which I feared would be the most challenging to teach did in fact turn out to be one of my favourites. It ranged from a 27-year-old pregnant lady to an octogenarian, with post natal and menopausal filling the gap in the middle. It worked! Everyone was there to learn and strengthen their core/pelvic floor, the goal was achieved – it is never too late!!

So whether it is for running, pregnancy or healing a diastasis this course is the place for you.

Enjoy the remainder of your weekend.

Emma

I am grateful

I am grateful

Upon waking up there is so much to be grateful for:

  • The sun is shining (which is a real treat after the rain we have had this week) and as I am typing this I am looking out to the garden where the birds are also merrily starting their day
  • Food in the cupboard ready for me to make my nutritious juice for breakfast (broccoli, spinach, kale, mango, kiwi, asparagus and banana)
  • Watching my children play football.
  • The variety of clients that I am working with at the moment and the regular enquiries that I am receiving.
  • The realisation that where I am now, professionally, is where I want to be, although still with the desire to learn so that I am the very best I can be in my chosen field. I am looking forward to starting a massage course in September.
  • Sharing my life, both professionally and personally with amazing people who continue to be a great sharing and support network  – I just have to ask!!
  • A roof over my head!
  • 2 children that are happy and healthy; others aren’t so lucky which is why I am organising events like this ladies lunch in October.
  • My evening will end with some self-care; trying to reduce my phone/electric usage.

I’d love to hear what you are grateful for today…..

Have a great week.

Emma

The journey of 100k starts with lots of steps….

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And so the training continues…..

My plan this week was to run/walk further than I had in previous sessions, but also for this not to take the whole day. I wanted to enjoy some time with my family!

I woke at 6am and made myself a juice for breakfast (banana, kale, spinach, kiwi, mango, broccoli, black pepper and turmeric); I added turmeric for its anti-inflammatory properties. This was enough to provide me with the energy required but not too much so as to make me feel sick once exercising , I also packed a Trek bar in my bag, which I ate at regular intervals.

My intentions were to run for 15 minutes and then walk for 15 minutes, which I think I kept to for the first 90 minutes, but I wasn’t achieving the distances I hoped so then I decided to run for 30 minutes and walk for 15 minutes. The combination of walking and running worked really well for me as it stopped the repetition of the same muscles working as well as having something to “look forward” to and aim for.

I took on water regularly to ensure I didn’t get dehydrated.

Enjoy it, may not be exactly the right words to use, but I generally felt quite comfortable throughout. I was on my feet for a total of 3 hours and 31 minutes covering a distance of 14.5 miles, beating my previous distance by just half a mile, but hey, it’s still progress!

I had planned this session the previous week, I had taken action and subsequently achieved my goals!

What are your plans for the week ahead and can I help you get one step nearer to them?

Emma

These boots are made for walking…..

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Are you aware that May is National Walking Month?

Myself and three friends are taking part in the Oxfam Trailwalker in July, so my weekly walking mileage has increased dramatically in preparation for this. I have lived in Kent all my life but being on two feet has opened my eyes to a host of new sights, from the views that can be enjoyed at the top of the North Downs to the carpets of bluebells in a sheltered woodland.

I have also found that it is great thinking (alone) and talking (with friends) time. On Wednesday, myself and two friends parked at The Potting Shed and went on a 10k walk taking in the grounds of Leeds Castle. We rewarded our efforts with a couple of drinks and some lovely food – well it was my Birthday! It was during this walk that the idea was born for Buggy Bootcamp which I am really excited to be launching on 19th June.

With many more miles ahead of me before the event on 29th July I am sure there are lots more thoughts in my head which will be turned into actions, perhaps I should start a walking group?

Enjoy your Bank Holiday Monday.

Emma

Childhood Freedom!

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When I woke this morning, I remembered why I wanted to be a runner…..

Do you remember the feeling, as a child, when you just opened the front door and went out to play? Running was effortless and the freedom associated with it was completely taken for granted. I want to feel that free and exhilarated, so 5K is the SMART goal, but the soul craves a different kind of goal!

I love this, it was beautifully written by a former client of my 0-5k Emma’s Jogger’s group . It brought home to me how we all have our own reasons for exercising, and they don’t necessarily have to be as specific as losing weight or inches, achieving a time or distance.

Sometimes it isn’t immediately obvious what our goals are, but as we start a new fitness regime it reignites memories from our youth and a time where we had no worries, everything was fun and life was easy! Who wouldn’t want to go back to this time?

What type of activity is your soul craving, follow your heart this week and just go with it?

Exercise should be for enjoyment not a chore!