Your body is precious. It is our vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care.
My first ever ‘Real Job”, was working for the then fairly then famous, late Marti Caine, a 70’s Northern comedienne.
Now my title was “Gym Instructor“, however that was only half of the story.
It was rather a revelation that our exclusive club , named “ Sherbet Plus “ demonstrated to me how the ladies were not only attending our pink gym for the leotards , leg warmers and workouts, but more of them for the conversation, chip butties, coffee and cigarettes we all shared after the workout, whilst watching the latest edition of Coronation Street.
Of course at the tender age of 17, I embraced every aspect without question, not seeing the real value of coming to our Health Club.
I only came to the realization 25 years later that these women wanted to be fit and healthy but also to belong to a group, eat chips and have a good old gossip.
It wasn’t a gym, it was a soiree.
We were a tribe.
Now I happily joined in, we whipped our clients around the gym as fast as we could, all by their request so that the main event could take place at 7.30pm…in the coffee lounge.
At that time I was effortlessly fit, needed little sleep or real food, our coffee lounge antics often preceded by crazy all nighters, but that’s for a different story…
Flash forward to now and I continue to pay the price, my digestion, my joints and my alcohol intolerance seem like they should belong to a different person.
How do we heal our bodies, the ‘only eat cornflakes’ for a day plan does not seem to work anymore? Fast food, delicious wine, chocolate and late nights are no longer my friend, even though I do try to keep in touch ! They have now gone off to be with my 2 teenage sons.
Whilst the accumulation of bad habits can be difficult to undo, we can all form new healthier ones, with the occasional late night and date with Mr Merlot and Mr Pino Gris, just for old times sake.
Here are my top tips on feeding your body for a happier, longer life.
De Stress your life.
I know we live in a fast paced, ever changing world, where we are bombarded every day with new ideas, new information and a feeling of the grass may be greener??
This, in my opinion accounts for so much unhappiness and unneeded amounts of stress, with many of us chasing the golden ticket, leaving us exhausted and disappointed, and so stressed.
Stop thinking you have to be more than you are, if you are happy with most of what you have achieved then, sit back and be proud, help others do the same and stop more often to breathe, yes I said breathe.
It seems many of us have forgotten how to breathe properly, giving way to a shallower less helpful breath.
This type of breathing, which is from the chest upwards reduces the supply of oxygen to the brain, causes tension, anxiety and can increase heart rate, and give us high blood pressure, not to mention digestive disorders and much more serious conditions.
To feed your body and brain with fresh oxygen-rich air, slow deep breathing is recommended. Try breathing in to the count of 5, hold your breath for the count of 5 then release slowly to the count of five.
This is a simple de stressing breath technique I use when my students are struggling to take full breaths.
So many of us think the way to lose weight is to diet.
I promise you the best way to have a healthy weight is simple in theory, eat the right foods for your body and do a form of exercise you love, learn how to relax and be happy.
As if we didn’t know that, I hear you say?
Take the time to find out what foods suit your body, how do you feel after eating?
Our bodies talk to us in so many ways, just start to listen.
Sugar, “Bad” carbs and “Bad” fat, there’s not much goodness if any in there.
This section deserves a page all by itself, but for now, take a note pad and keep a food and mood diary, log what you eat, when you eat and why?
In general, I find sticking to an 90% good food eating plan with 10% reserved for my dark/dangerous naughty side.
Move your body.
No time for exercise? Hate jogging? Too unfit,? Or simply, I can’t be bothered, will keep your waistband exploding and promote aging.
We all have the same amount of time each day, it’s your choice what you do with it.
Any movement of your body is better than none.
Start with a little walk.Ten minutes outside if possible.
Build up to 20 mins every day.
Dance, stretch, ride a bike, walk your dog , maintain the garden, clean the windows, the list is endless, the point is, just find something you enjoy and do it.
Sleep like a log.
“To sleep soundly and quietly; not tossing and turning. Dating back to 1883 from the classic Treasure Island “I slept like a log of wood.”
Getting a good nights sleep is vital to our total wellbeing, and although the length of your sleep needs may vary, we all need a solid uninterrupted amount sleep of every single night.
How you feel throughout most of your day hinges on the success of your nights sleep.
If you are not sleeping well, then look at the above mentioned first, your daily habits are usually to blame.
Are you staying hydrated? As with everything I have mentioned, such a simple thing to do, yet often left forgotten or neglected.
As water makes up between 50% and 70% of an adult’s total body weight, regular top-ups are needed to balance the loss of water from the body in the form of urine and sweat.
If we did not replace the water lost the body would not be able to survive. Dehydration will set in, firstly, with headaches, tiredness and loss of concentration to follow.The British Dietetic Association advises that we should consume 2.5 liters a day to remain healthy.
Enough said, drink up, no excuses.
7 Have fun with your tribe.
Taking your life and self a little less seriously will not only help you feel happier, it will keep you from going down ‘ Vice’ Alley, from reaching for the quick fixes that will only leave you feeling just as bad, my ladies joined the gym to be fitter but ultimately to belong and be happy.
Find people who are interested in you and your ideas, who will share from their hearts and fan the flames of desires.
Eat for fuel not to block a negative emotion.
Find your tribe.
Each and every one of us is unique and I love hearing good health ideas, what are your ideas?
Whoever said ‘youth’ is wasted on the young’ was very wise indeed.