Category Archives: Health & Fitness

24May/11

Health and Fitness Tactic 5 – Home Workouts

So, what if you can’t get out of the house to do regular exercise?
 
Maybe you have small children, are on a tight budget, or just don’t like exercising with other people. Maybe you hate gyms or jogging, and feel all the travelling to and from health clubs is a waste of time.  Maybe it’s raining and you’d rather stay in.
 
A good friend of mine, Karen Plested from Karen Plested Personal Training, recommends setting up your own fitness routine in the comfort of your home  if you can’t – or don’t want to – get out to an organised one. She gave me a schedule to follow, which I am going to use when I miss my scheduled classes and when I’m ‘too busy’ to exercise (and maybe if it’s raining.)   She is happy for me to share this schedule with you, so please contact me on thea@fireworkscoaching.co.uk and I’ll email you a copy.
 
I’m also going to use the individual sets in my 5 minute exercises (see Tactic 4), and I’m hoping that the more I do them, the more I’ll be likely to do them.  I would like them to become a habit which I don’t even have to think about.
 
So, this is the end of my Health and Fitness Tactics.  I’ve no excuse now, not to be fit and healthy for the rest of my life. But since we all know it doesn’t work like that, I’m hoping that by having more tools and tactics at my fingertips keeping fit and healthy will become easier, more effective and become a regular part of my life.
 
I hope you have been inspired to use some of these tactics and tips. Please comment below and let me know what works for you.
23May/11

Health and Fitness Tactic 4 – It only takes 5 minutes

Exercises can be done anywhere…and at any time.

This week, and while I am on holiday (or am I deluding myself?) my new health and fitness tactic is 5 minute exercise slots.   I want to get into the habit of incorporating quick sets of sit-ups, press ups, lunges, squats etc to my daily routine. I could even market it to myself as a time saver. Don’t waste time waiting for the kettle to boil, get down on the floor and crunch.
Why do I have to wait until I’ve been for a run, or have completed my bootcamp session to do some stomach exercises? It’s not essential to do these toning and muscle strengthening exercises at the same time as cardiovascular work.  By doing 5 minutes a day, it soon adds up to more toned body, which is what we all want. After 3 weeks of my health and fitness drive I am quite proud of my newly defined stomach (I’m talking very softly defined. A six pack it ain’t), and just think; if I did sit ups everyday how much better would it look?
19May/11

Health and Fitness Tactic 3 – Being Mindful

“I’ll just have a small cake….”

As I mentioned on Tuesday, I recently spent 12 days doing the Reset Programme where I gave up wheat, alcohol, dairy, sugar and caffeine.  It was difficult, but I was prepared and organised and it wasn’t as hard as I’d thought it would be. But completely changing my diet – even for such a short time – made me realise how much I would normally eat.  I noticed all the times I would have eaten, when I would have snacked,  finished off the kids food, grazed when I wasn’t hungry and eaten food which wasn’t good for me or when I wasn’t hungry.  I concluded that a lot of my eating was habitual, it was lazy and not particularly mindful.

I love food, and I think about it a lot, so I do often enjoy and savour it while I’m eating.  But during the Reset programme I noticed a lot of times when I was eating fast and not savouring my meal. It was often mechanical (I need to eat this food) rather than a pleasure sensation. Now I’m not saying that our every meal should become an exercise in pleasure sensation through the worship of food, but I think a few changes could be made.  I found that if I ate smaller mouthfuls I could taste it more. I don’t really know why but maybe if I was concentrating enough to take smaller mouthfuls I was probably concentrating on savouring it too.  Whatever it was, I found I enjoyed my food more this way.

I also became more mindful about what I really wanted to eat. Usually there is some point in the day when I eat without thinking.  During Reset I was able to take a step back and think about whether I was really hungry or just worried I might be hungry soon – an anxiety that I’m afflicted with often.  And also I was able look at food that I would unthinkingly eat (like a cold bowl of pasta that my kids had left) and say to myself that actually, that’s not very nice and I don’t want to eat it.

Wow, don’t I sound like a saint!  I’m not of course, and I know myself enough to be pretty sure that when I come back from holiday in a few weeks these new ‘clean’ mindful habits will be consigned to the past. But at least I know that I can make changes in my eating habits, and I have faith that I can pick it all up again the next time I do Reset.

18Mar/11

How do you Recharge?

When you look at everything you do in a day, how much time do you spend doing activities that recharge you as opposed to activities that deplete you?

I’ve only realised in the last year or two that being near the sea really nourishes me.  It has a calming, almost meditative affect and always clears my head and lifts my spirits.  This year I am trying to make time to be near the sea, so today I re-arranged my diary and drove to the coast.

A misty day at Seaford

What do you do to nourish your soul and recharge your body?