My top tips to help you sleep

Sleep Tips

In my post about the 4 pillars of good health  you’ll find that sleep was one of the pillars. In a follow up post I talked more about why sleep is important to good health. I hope you now see why it is important to take sleep seriously! I also promised a post on sleep tips to get a good quality night’s sleep, here it is.

sleep tops
Do you count sheep to get to sleep?

Tip 1. Exercise

It is important to get balance in our lives and taking some exercise is an important part of that. Exercise is important for our heart health, bone strength (Osteoporosis -What do you know about it?) and reducing the risk of things like depression and late onset diabetes.  Exercise stimulates our stress hormone cortisol and stimulates the brain, it stimulates our “fight or flight” defence  (Stress Awareness). Although exercising late in the day may not be conducive to a good night’s sleep, exercise is!  If at all possible take your exercise earlier in the day.

Tip 2. Reduce blue wavelengths!

The screens on our electronic devices emit blue wavelengths which disrupt our circadian rhythms, that is they trick our body clock see this https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/block-blue-light-to-sleep-better for a comprehensive explanation. Try using the Night Shift setting on your phone (Settings >Display&Brightness>Night Shift); set regular on/off or manually enable. Give yourself a curfew on these devices as part of your bedtime routine (see below)

Tip 3. To nap or not to nap……

Avoid napping, if you need a nap to get through your day, again do it early or limit the time you nap. Set an alarm!

Tip 4. Your Bedroom

Check out your bedroom. Block out any disturbing noise and light. Ensure it is not too hot or stuffy. Make it a room for sleeping in, remove the TV and separate activities that cause you excitement, stress or anxiety so that in this place you can relax, chill and sleep!

sleep tips
Bedroom fit for purpose – Sleep

Tip 5. A bedtime routine

Develop a bedtime routine. Start with that curfew away from blue light and bright light.  Take time to slow down  – a bath or reading. Invest time in getting ready for sleep. Going to sleep and waking up at the same time everyday will regulate your body clock and enable a good nights sleep.

Tip 6. Trips to the loo

To avoid trips to the loo in the night limit your fluids in the evening. Seems simple!

Tip 7. Menopausal issues

If hot flushes are an issue for you, along with seeking medical advice and considering HRT  (more info. here Menopause post), it may help to wear bed socks. This can help to lower the core body temperature and aid sleep. For more advice on Sleep and the Menopause click here https://www.webmd.boots.com/menopause/guide/sleep-problems-menopause

Do I follow these sleep tips?

Mostly I guess, here’s my round up
Tip 1. I prefer to exercise in the morning
Tip 2. I try to have a curfew…. and I have changed the setting on my phone.
Tip 3. I don’t nap
Tip 4. No TV or other exciting things in my bedroom. A little light pollution from a street light but I hide under the duvet anyway
Tip 5. I do have a routine which culminates with reading in bed….it works for me, always has done, as a child my Dad often had to remove the book from my face and switch the light off!
Tip 6. No ……I have a peppermint tea or two in the evening and invariably have to get up in the night. However I do go straight back to sleep
Tip 7. I don’t recall any problems but I do like to wear socks in bed in the winter….but then my house is pretty chilly!

Do you have any other sleep tips?

Thanks for reading.

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

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Do you plan to have a healthy later life?

I am not a medical expert, this post is my thoughts and beliefs on a happy, healthy later life, and not expert opinion or advice. I have included links to professional bodies which may help you.

“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending” Carl Bard

How are you approaching old age?

I believe it is important and indeed our responsibility to look after our bodies and stay healthy.  I appreciate that for some genetics may play a part in your health and mobility, you can still affect your health outcomes to some extent. Our mental health will impact our physical health and I appreciate this can be a huge hurdle for some. The MIND website has some great information and support for mental health problems.

It is not too late if you are in midlife or even old age, don’t accept illness or dis-ease, choose a fit, happy and healthy later life. The choice is yours. I believe your mind plays an enormous part here.  It is important to learn to love yourself (read my blog on self esteem), be proud and you’ll find this makes it easier to look after yourself.

Functional Fitness for a healthy later life

Healthy later life – Start today!

However old you are – THINK “It doesn’t matter about yesterday” – whether you ate a pack of doughnuts or sat around all day – everyday is a new day and a time to make a change or do something differently. Take a walk, consider what you are eating, and take 5 minutes to contemplate the day/year or anything really.

Choose a good balance in your diet, lifestyle and activity and your body will reward you with less illness and dis-ease. The NHS Choices website may help.

The Menopause

Women will experience hormonal changes during the menopause which can sometimes have very debilitating effects and a knock on to your overall health and self esteem. I believe it is important to recognise the signs and take expert advice to help reduce any associated risks such as heart disease or osteoporosis  – this post has lots of good ideas for a healthy later life. Take a look at this great website from The Menopause Doctor a GP and Menopause Expert  www.menopausedoctor.co.uk.

 

My Dad is 90 next month

healthy later life
Soon to be 90!

His garden is full of fruit and veg that make their way either to his table, his freezer or a jam or chutney. His freezer also boasts cuts of meat and game; he buys half a lamb from the butcher and is gifted pheasants. The only quick or “ready” food in the freezer  is oven chips and ice cream. He cooks his meals from scratch and bakes cakes or tarts regularly. As well as tending his garden he will try to take a daily walk, weather and knee permitting. He is certainly an inspiration or is that an aspiration!

Food for thought

I hope this post has given you something to think about, perhaps even inspired to choose to start to make a new ending. I hope so.

Checkout my 4 Pillars of Health blog post here https://www.jenafitlife.com/4-pillars-good-health/

and my Functional Fitness blog here https://www.jenafitlife.com/?s=functional+fitness

 

Thanks for reading.

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

Twitter @jenafitlife

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How is your self esteem? Please accept yourself!

Whilst pondering today’s post which was going to be an account of “My October”  – mostly the usual round of work, coffee catch ups, walking and more change – and probably not terribly exciting reading! I was struck by an emerging theme; how motivating myself and being comfortable in my own skin has enabled me to have the life I have. This has not always been easy, it is not an easy lesson to learn and for some people it comes naturally.

The importance of putting some effort in to reap ongoing, long term rewards and friendships can be daunting and full of anxiety – Do they want to be my friend? Have they got time for me? Have they got more than enough friends? Will it work? Am I doing the right thing? It’s too risky! I’m scared! You know what….. you have to have confidence in yourself, your abilities, your life and your experiences. #youareenough #selfesteem

I don’t know if it’s a confidence thing or laziness but I can be the queen of procrastination. I can put off tasks and suddenly find days have turned into weeks and weeks into months. Does this happen to you?

This can have an adverse impact on your self esteem. When you find you’ve not been anywhere or done anything, it can be debilitating and will feed your lack of self worth. You have to take some responsibility, take some action, fight your demons and be positive. So much of how our lives pan out is dealing with those demons and finding the mindset to accept ourselves for who we are.

I have found an inner strength to love myself and love my life. I’m not saying my life is perfect but it is mine and I am happy. I don’t have a lot of friends but I do make sure I see them regularly. I make the contact (eventually) to make an arrangement and I do the things I want to do, it is in my control. My self esteem is good.

I see a lot of chat and support on this on social media: it’s not all people showing off their fabulous lives! There are a lot of youngsters sharing their vulnerabilities and helping others to open up and accept themselves, value themselves and be deserving of happiness. Take a look at the fabulous Sophie Gray on Instagram . This sort of thing wasn’t available to me as I was growing up, if you’re struggling with these sort of issues please make use of the wealth of help and support available to you.

SELF ESTEEM                                  SELF ESTEEM

This blog is my personal thoughts on self esteem and not expert opinion or advice. For help on self esteem please visit MIND – How to improve your self esteem..

Thanks for reading.

 

Jen x

You may like to check out my blog on loneliness , or the Offa’s Dyke Path last stage walk I did in October.

And one of big October challenges taking My Massage business mobile!

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Loneliness; Am I alone or a loner?

This blog is my personal thoughts on loneliness and not expert opinion or advice. For help on Mental Health issues please visit MIND.

Some days when there is nothing in the diary: no massaging or other work or social events.  I like to keep it that way and challenge myself to be busy, happy, entertained and to spend no money! The latter I list because I know other people who would “go shopping” either online or to the local outlets to fill the gap. Personally this is a short lived pleasure followed by buyer’s remorse; also I don’t have the money to make regular shopping a joy!

Usually I choose to go nowhere and speak to no one. Well I may ring my Dad or have a chat with my daughters but I don’t have a phone book full of friends with whom I regularly chat to. I do like to engage on social media and may What’s App a couple of people……….oh the modern world!

So what do I do?

  • Write blogs
  • Exercise (I workout with a great online gym)
  • Try to reach my audience on social media
  • Read
  • Listen to podcasts
  • Listen to Radio 5
  • Yoga
  • Shower
  • Walk the dog …. I do talk to him (Benefits of walking here)
  • Try to be productive to make progress with my blog and extend my audience
  • I may plan and scheme; there is so much to learn about blogging and the ways to use social media to extend your reach. You can get lost in the rabbit warren that is the world wide web for hours, days…..
Low cost health -walk
10 minutes brisk walking daily – low cost health!

Happy in my own skin

I am not unhappy with this situation or my circumstances, quite the opposite although that’s not to say I don’t have down days.

I think this is because I am happy in my own skin and in my own company. I have accepted this is who I am, I love myself and I love my life. I am happier than when I’ve been in relationships. I’m not lonely; I may be a bit of a loner.

That said I do like to see social events planned ahead in my diary, not chock-a-block but something to look forward to …..a coffee or lunch date, a walk or theatre with family or friends or alone!

This blog was in draft when Julia Buckley published this post On Loneliness take a read, something will probably resonate with you. For me it was this ” For many of us, loving ourselves is about the biggest challenge anyone could suggest. But I think at least becoming aware that this is what we need, rather than looking for solutions outside of ourselves, can be an important turning point.”  I think this is so true and can help with many aspects of our lives and health.

Do you ever feel lonely? What do you do when you’re lonely?

Thanks for reading.

 

Jen x

You may like to check out my Great Month on a Budget blog 

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

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OFFA’S DYKE PATH PART 4 – Llanmynech to Prestatyn

Offa’s Dyke Path

I’m walking, in stages, Offa’s Dyke Path on the England / Wales Border. A 177 mile National Trail named after the Offa’s Dyke which is a great frontier earthwork built by Offa, King of Mercia from 757 to 796 A.D  http://offasdyke.org.uk/

The last five day stretch Llanmynech to Prestatyn was possibly the best most varied 5 days of walking on the trail culminating in a paddle! This last section included crossing the Clwydian Hill range, great ridge walking providing beautiful views from our dull heights over the surrounding sunlit valleys. Our first and last days were scheduled to be about 10 miles of walking as we traveled from home (the Midlands) and returned home on these days too.

Part 1, 2 and 3 of this walk can be found here http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/offas-dyke-path-part-1/   ,  http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/walkoffasdykepart2/ and https://www.jenafitlife.com/offas-dyke-path-part-3/

Offa's Dyke Path
Prestatyn….177 miles later!

Wednesday 11th October Llanmynech – Carreg-y-big (10 miles)

Rufus and I met our walking colleagues at a friends in Coventry. We traveled on together to Llanmynech to begin our walk at 11am. An initial climb through the leafy glades of Llanmynech Rocks and along past the golf course.. We stopped in Trefonen, a very friendly village with a lovely little shop selling a variety of good foods. A lovely lady commented on my legs! And the shop directed us to the local Church which was open with a loo available at our convenience 🙂
We continued on with great road walking climbing out of Morda valley and through woods.The Dyke once more evident and the wood offering a little shelter on this wet day, to emerge onto Racecourse Common.

Offa's Dyke Path
Racecourse Common – Almost at our first B&B

A mile or so on was our B & B for the night and a lift into Oswestry (The Townhouse) for a great steak, a chocolate pudding and a beer. The B&B was comfortable, the shower rubbish, the breakfast great and the host……….a tad Machiavellian and a crazy driver (85 mph on wet country lanes)….. we lived to tell the tale!!

Thursday 12th October Carreg-y-big – Llangollen (14.5 miles), including a detour to Chirk Castle

Our plans for walking this day were fluid or at least we changed them, thus facilitating a better Day 3!  The day started on the Dyke once more through farmland, woodland and into Shropshire. After a  long climb, we took a short diversion across fields to Chirk Castle, in search of a coffee, a seat and a snack! It should’ve been easy but sometimes the National Trust???? The cafe was within the Castle, for which payment was required. The grounds and shop were accessible but did not sell what we required and dogs were not allowed in the Castle!! We managed to circumvent this as one of our party is a NT member and was able to get to the cafe. I tagged along to make my purchase 🙂

Offa's Dyke Path
Chirk Castle

Even after this diversion we reached our B&B Plas Offa Farm Froncysyttle at about 2.30. We decided to continue on to Irish Bridge and along the Llangollen canal to Pontcysyllte Aqueduct – Thomas Telford’s brilliant piece of engineering completed in 1805, costing £47,000 and one life.

Offa's Dyke Path
About to cross the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
Offa's Dyke Path
Pontcysyllte Aqueduct over the River Dee

From here we continued through Trevor Hall Wood to Panorama Walk’s limestone crags and scree but easy walking on quiet roads. We then took the descent from the trail to reach the wild waters of the River Dee in the middle of Llangollen at 5ish. We took refuge in a pub; steak & kidney pie and good ale. We then had a lucky break as our B&B host was in town and was able to give us a lift back to our comfy bed and lovely showers. We were welcomed by her pet Macaw!

Offa's Dyke Path
Macaw at Plas Offa Farm Froncysyllte

Friday 13th October Llangollen- Clwyd Gate (13 miles)

Our lovely host gave us a lift back up to the path and scree above Llangollen. We were able to start the day at the right height pleased to have completed a longer day on Day 2.
We continued along the scree walk of Panorama Walk with great westward views and down to the ford at World’s End.

Offa's Dyke Path
The ford at World’s End

From here a climb up to the Grouse moors. With Rufus secured on the lead we made our way across the boardwalks and boggy moor, again a little rain was falling. We found shelter in the Llandegla Wood, a very uniformly planted conifer forest. Rufus was free to wander here.

Offa's Dyke Path
Off the lead and into Llandegla Forest

In the village of Llandegla a lovely village community shop provided a welcome coffee and sandwich stop. It was dog friendly and ran by the lovely people of the community, on our visit being ladies over 65!
The afternoon walk was across farmland to Clwyd Gate where we arrived at 4pm ready for our hosts to pick us up and take us to the lovely converted railway station Eyarth Station B&B. A superb room and a lovely bath preceded a fish & chip supper and a couple of beers at the local pub.

Saturday 14th October Clwyd Gate – Sodom (12 miles)

An undulating day of walking over the Clywdian Hills was ahead of us, it promised to be good weather too.  At this point and probably yesterday too the Dyke is nowhere in evidence!  The weather was dull with low cloud up on the hills, but the sun shone all day in the valleys we were looking down on. At least we were still able to get the great views.

Offa's Dyke Path
Jubliee Tower atop Moel Fammau, highest point of the Clwydian Hills

It was Saturday and it was very busy at Moel Famau with a charity event (100 Ascents) resulting in a lot of people making the climb up to Jubilee Tower. Here we were informed that Prestatyn was 20 miles north and Chepstow 157 miles south! As we walked onwards away from the charity climbers, we were rewarded with glimpses of the Irish Sea and the many wind turbines in sea off the Prestatyn beach.
We arrived in Bodfari at about 4pm, with about 1.5 miles to our B&B in Sodom. However the local hostelry and afternoon sunshine led us to the beer garden with pleasing views over the hills we had just crossed.  Our overnight accommodation was in a static caravan , Karen our host brought us toasted teacakes which went down very well with a lovely cup of tea.  Karen also booked a table at the Salsbury Arms Tremeirchion for our evening meal and provided our transport there and back. A brilliant steak burger and even better ale (£2.90 a pint) specifically brewed for the Inn. Oh I shouldn’t forget the great puddings too. A good nights sleep left me refreshed for our final days walk.

Sunday 15th October Sodom to Prestatyn (10 miles, although after a walk on the beach and along the prom we’d walked 12!)

Offa's Dyke Path
We’ve arrived in Prestatyn, in the October sunshine

Our last days walk began along the quiet lanes, the North Wales countryside was pleasant walking. The footbridge over the A55 reminded us that civilisation was not far away and getting closer. The wind turbines and the sea were getting ever closer but it was still a good days walk. The approach to the seaside town is on the gorse and bracken escarpment of the Bryn Prestatyn Hillside. Finally you have to walk from the back of the town, down the High Street, across the railway line to eventually arrive at the sea, and the end of trail/beginning of trail markers – I spotted 3 of them!

Offa's Dyke Path
A paddle in the Irish Sea at the end of walking Offa’s Dyke Path

Have you walked this route?

Thanks for reading.

 

Jen x

Twitter @jenafitlife

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Read my post on avoiding blisters! Which I managed to mess up on this walk 🙁

Birds spotted on the Llanmynech to Prestatyn stretch October 11th – October 15th 2017.
Only listing birds not seen elsewhere on the Offa’s Dyke Path

Black Headed Gull
Common Gull
Herring Gull
Oyster Catcher
Cormarant
Green Winged Macaw
Meadow Pippet
Bullfinch
Red Grouse
Jay

 

A new chapter – mobile massage!

I won’t beat about the bush. I’m taking my massage business “on the road”, I’m going mobile! The new chapter is mobile massage!

I’ve decided to do this after I was given notice on my room in South Kilworth. The beauty business from whom I rented a room are expanding. I wish them well and thank them for a great space over the last few years.

My Massage Experience

I have over 14 years experience as a Remedial Massage Therapist. Many loyal and long standing clients, who have regular massage to maintain good health and mobility. And others who come back when a problem emerges. Both are a brilliant testament to my treatments.

Read more about my treatment here and testimonials here.

I have clients covering about 8 different decades in age range. and varying health conditions. Golfers, gardeners, triathletes, marathon runners and everything in between. Take a look at My Massage Experience A to Z series on my blog #justforfun with some great information on massage techniques, muscles and conditions.

My Training

I undertook my training with the Northern Institute of Massage http://www.nim.uk/ and I belong to the professional body LCSP http://www.lcsp.uk.com/along with being a  member of CNHC http://www.cnhc.org.uk/ .

More information about these professional bodies can be found here.

My Info.!

I will still predominantly be working Mondays and Wednesdays, with the occasional Saturday, but I may be able to accommodate other days by arrangement.

The best way to contact me is by text on 07748852305, or email jenallenmassage@gmail.com, if you do ring please leave a message and I’ll return your call.

Special Offers

To see special offers, including my Super Saver Saturdays
Follow me on twitter @jenafitlife   https://twitter.com/JenAfitlife
and LIKE my Facebook page  https://www.facebook.com/jenallenmassagetherapy/

 

I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Jen x

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jenallenmassagetherapy/

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Runners, Cyclists, OCR, gym goer – whatever is your thing a regular massage is great for helping your training!  https://www.jenafitlife.com/running-how-to-get-going/

Running – how to get going

I’d done a bit of running in my day, mainly in the early ‘90s when my daughters were small, as a means to regain my fitness. More recently swimming had become my “go to” cardio. You can read more about all that here .  I then bought a dog and began taking him on two good walks a day.

Low cost health -walk
10 minutes brisk walking daily – low cost health!

Running with my daughter

At this time my eldest daughter had returned from University carrying much more weight than she’d gone with and she decided to take up running to rectify this. A good first step is to set a goal.

Armed with her Couch 2 5k app she began to accompany me on the dog walks and I soon found I was learning to run again too!  (Team up with a friend) These apps are brilliant for advice and motivation along with the progressive increase in time, distance and pace. Don’t worry about the time it takes you to run any distance but keep increasing the distance, the rest will follow. These days’ things like parkrun offer a regular, free, timed run for you to measure your improvement should you wish to and joining a running club might be a great way for you to improve.

You can start to run with nothing more than a pair of trainers, and, at least initially, I wouldn’t be concerned about their price tag or quality. This refinement can come as mileage and continued enthusiasm kick in!

Running

Be sure to warm up, take rest days, stretch and mix in some strength training. This rounded approach will improve your running and help to keep you injury free. A regular massage is a great way to lessen muscle tension and improve range of motion [http://www.runnersworld.com/injury-prevention-recovery/the-pros-and-cons-of-massages-for-runners]

My daughter progressed and has completed 5 half marathons and raised over £2,500 for the Alzheimer’s Society  after she got a ballot place and ran the 2014 London Marathon on her 25th birthday. Oh and having done all the training with her for her first half marathon I did it too in 2 hours 4 minutes – not bad for a 50 something with dodgy knees!

Fitness challenges running
Half Marathon 2hrs 4mins

Here are my 5 tips to get your running career started;

  1. Set a goal
  2. Use C25k – lots of apps available here is the link to the NHS one
  3. Team up with a friend/join a club
  4. Listen to your body – warm up, rest, stretch, do some strength training (particularly glut work)
  5. Have fun!

Thanks for reading

 

Jen x

Read my 4 Pillars of Good Health Blog here

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jenallenmassagetherapy/

Twitter @jenafitlife

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This post first appeared on the lovely Elle Linton website; http://www.keepitsimpelle.com/

running

Photo Credit: www.lolography.com

Osteoporosis – What do you know about it?

Osteoporosis is the condition whereby you are more likely to break bones, from falls or bumps, as the bones have weakened. Bones lose strength as the bone cell renewal is outweighed by the cell loss.

To explain that further, bones are living tissue and like all cells repair and renew continually to maintain healthy bone tissue.  Until we are in our 30s the repair and renew is in balance. Then as we get older the balance shifts …..less renewal. There is a point at which this bone mass decline results in osteoporosis. Your Doctor can make an assessment and has diagnostic tools for the condition.

In the UK Osteoporosis affects 3m people. 1 in 3 women have broken a bone due to osteoporosis in her lifetime (wrists, hips, spine most common).  For females besides ageing the “thinning” of bones is also impacted by genes, body weight, smoking, drinking and the menopause.

In the menopause with the oestrogen levels dropping, this leads to greater bone mass reduction making bones less strong. During the first 5 years of the menopause a woman will lose 10% of her bone mass and so increase their risk of developing osteoporosis. Read my experience of the menopause here.

What helps?

 A balanced diet!  Calcium is important for maintaining strong bones.  Sources of calcium are

  • Milk, cheese and yoghurt
  • Calcium-enriched milks such as soya, rice or oats
  • Fish that are eaten with the bones in, like tinned sardines.
  • Leafy green vegetables – cabbage, broccoli, watercress, kale
  • Beans and chick peas
  • Some nuts and seeds

Vitamin D (sunshine) is important for bone health as it helps to absorb calcium (see above).  Our bodies create vitamin D from direct sunlight on our skin. In the spring and summer if you go outside for at least 20 minutes, three times a week, every week  most people will get enough vitamin D from the sun. You can’t get adequate vitamin D from the occasional sunshine holiday!

Foods rich in Vitamin D such as fatty fish, like tuna, mackerel and salmon, cheese, egg yolks, red meat, liver and foods fortified with Vitamin D (some cereals and dairy products) will also help boost the correct levels of Vitamin D.

pillars of good health - food
Eggs – a great food!

 

Stay mobile! Regular exercise is important for all adults. Weight bearing exercise and resistance exercises are great for bone health, improving bone intensity, bone strength and preventing osteoporosis. As we get older it is important to maintain balance and strength,
keep functionally fit!

Weight bearing exercises;

  • Walking
  • Running, dancing, skipping
  • Tennis
  • Golf
  • Yoga
  • Aerobics

And resistance exercises;

  • Press ups, bodyweight moves
  • Weight lifting
  • Gym weights
  • Resistance bands

If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis you must take advice from your Doctor before undertaking a new exercise regime. I belong to a great online gym which offers these sorts of training, take a look here

Walking boots
My trusted walking boots

 

Also quit smoking and reduce you alcohol intake! For more information and advice check here 

And finally consider Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) – Many studies have shown that HRT can help improve bone density and reduce the risk of fractures. The best resource to read more on this is here.

In conclusion

Diet, sleep, physical activity, relaxation (see my 4 Pillars of Health blog) are all so important for the best health outcomes…………….so let this be your badge of honour  ” BE less busy”.

Further reading

https://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/conditions/osteoporosis.aspx

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Osteoporosis/Pages/Introduction.aspx

Osteoporosis – what do you know about it?

Thanks for reading.

 

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

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A Great Month on a Budget!

SEPTEMBER – What a great month!

I did lots of different things and spent very little! Buoyed up by my fab August Bank Holiday camping trip, which was full of great budget fun.  I was ready for a fun September!

It may have started ominously as on the 1st I headed over to my ex’s (see my link to blogs below *) to liberate my two lovely acers and a stone sink.

One of the acers re-potted – I hope they survive

My car was laden, I managed to re pot the tree’s and settle them in. The sink is very heavy, as luck would have it my Sister and Brother-in-law were visiting my Dad on the 2nd. I popped over for a coffee and managed to re home the sink at my Dad’s with their help.

The Stone Sink – rehomed!

Sunday 3rd My youngest daughter and I went to Birmingham to the first Eat.Move.Thrive. Wellbeing Festival (£22) , read all about that here

Thrive Festival
Eat. Move. Thrive.
Speakers venue

Friday morning ladies tennis coaching (£11) resumed on Friday 8th after the summer kid’s clubs were complete.

Tennis coaching venue

Saturday 9th I was excited to be able to go to the Leicester City v Chelsea football match, a freebie utilising my daughters’ bf season ticket whilst they were away. A great match, brilliant atmosphere but the wrong result Leicester losing 2-1.

Leicester City Football Club

Autumn TV has kicked in, as the night’s draw in it’s nice to find some good drama to view. I like to have something to tune into at around 9pm for an hour or so.  Some of my favourites are Victoria, Strike, Safe House, Liar, Doctor Foster, Rellik and Cold Feet.  Some of these have been infuriating, confusing and brilliant, not always in equal measure. What have you been watching?

Saturday 16th another free sporting event, this time a trip to Leicester Tigers rugby to see them play Gloucester. I was lucky to be asked by a longstanding massage client and friend to accompany him as his carer (his usual carer being away). He has fabulous seats; I could smell the grass and a couple of the Tigers tries were scored right in front of us. This time the result went the right way with Tigers winning 24 – 10.

Leicester Tigers score a try

Monday 18th thanks to Nectar points a “free” trip to the cinema. My friend and I went to see Victoria & Abdul. Ummm I’m probably quite glad I didn’t pay good money to see this, it was well acted but very light, easy watching. Dame Judy is always great to watch tho’.

Saturday 23rd I had another massage client turned good friend coming for dinner. It was lovely to cook for someone else and we had a good catch up and natter. I think I’ll do a blog post on the meal I cooked and the low cost of it! (less than £4 for 3 courses, excluding pantry items)

Thursday 28th was a meal out at a local pub, well actually the Thai restaurant attached to the pub! A good pint and a fantastic green curry (£15) in the great company of some of the ladies I used to worked alongside at the local CAB (Citizens Advice Bureau). It’s lovely to have caught up with them now I’m back in this area, and I’m now included on their regular meet ups.

Saturday 30th finishing the month off in style! A charity abseil 20 meters down my local church tower , this was scary but fun, the views from the Tower were great, the descent slow. Firstly I dislodged my shoe and had to dangle to get it back on before I could start to drop down and then I was a little to slender to glide down with ease! I’ve posted a video over on Instagram if you’d like to see it!  I raised over £100 towards the new roof required after the lead was stolen from the church roof.

Just before my abseil descent

On top of all this my daughters have decided to train for a 10k in November and I’ve elbowed my way in to join them! So training has started, 15 miles covered since 20th September, longest run 3 miles so far.

So a pretty social month – I’ve not included a few social dog walks, tea and coffee dates (£10) , Sunday morning tennis (£60 per annum)  and Wednesday nights choir (free).  This has all been achieved on a very tight budget too, less than £60 spent (excluding transport)!

And to top it off I won some undies courtesy of Suzi at Alternative Ageing and  Icon Undies

Icon undies

Do you have any suggestions for some great budget fun?

Thanks for reading.

 

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

Twitter @jenafitlife

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‘* Life update blogs here:
http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/the-hit-has-hit-the-fan/
http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/up-hit-creek-2017/
http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/calmer-waters-part-1/
http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/calmer-water-part-2/

 

My Menopause Experience – How is yours?

I spotted somewhere on social media that September was/is Menopause Month. As a 50-something blogger writing about Health I thought I should write something about the menopause.  But what? I’m not a medical practitioner or have any expertise in the menopause, apart from my personal experience.

I then realised that Menopause Month is an American thing, so thought well perhaps I won’t rush into a menopause blog. Then I thought again……..after some research I realised that the subject is a little taboo and there is little to no education available. We have sex education at school and here, at best, the menopause will be billed as the time our periods stop. And there is so much more to it than that! I decided a blog providing some resources and a brief chat about my experience may help someone out there!

Sex Education

Talking of sex education……… well we didn’t talk about it when I was growing up! Yes we did at school, in Biology and other classes but not at home. My Mum handed me a funny little pamphlet to read, when I was about 12, and that was it. I guess it had been acquired for my brother (9 years older than me) and / or my sister (5 years older than me). All very embarrassing and no open conversations were ever had.  How things have changed, I was determined that this wouldn’t be my daughters experience so we started when they were under 10 with Babette Cole’s lovely book “Hair in Funny Places”

 

Not surprisingly the menopause was also never discussed. I’m sure my Mum experienced it but I have no recollection. Sadly she had mobility issues all her life and was regularly in pain and discomfort. So dealing with the menopause or her families awareness of it probably blended into our daily experience of her “ups and downs”.  By the time I was heading for the menopause Mum was deep in Alzheimer’s and not able to hold any sort of meaningful conversation.

Both my sisters had procedures pre menopause so I guess experienced an induced menopause probably supported by HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy)…….I don’t know, I’ve never asked. Most of my friends are younger than me and at the time of my menopause were not experiencing any symptoms, they now talk of hot flushes and night sweats! Other symptoms can include tiredness, inability to concentrate, irregular periods, difficulty sleeping, loss of sex drive, mood swings…..http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Menopause/Pages/Symptoms.aspx

My Menopause Experience

My menopause passed, perhaps is passing, in a fairly uneventful way. Although initially, looking back, I think it was probably tied up with a deeply upsetting relationship break-up. The emotional rollercoaster and tears were attributed to that. My periods were being erratic, irregular and a routine coil check and subsequent ultrasound found I had fibroids.

The removal of the oestrogen coil dealt with both the fibroids and an end to any bleeding.  A time on some medication for the emotional state I was in from the breakup helped me deal with my state of mind.  I don’t recall having hot flushes but I guess I do sometimes get night sweats, but nothing to wake me up or really disrupt my sleep.

So I’ve been lucky! I’ve not experienced any weight gain although that’s because exercise is my lifeline. I love to do some sort of physical activity. At the time of my menopause I was swimming regularly and walking an active dog. In last 4 years I have been working out at home with Julia Buckley’s online gym. This includes some workouts with weights and body-weight exercises which help to improve bone strength. This is important as the drop in oestrogen during the menopause leads to a loss in bone mass and an increased risk of osteoperosis. Read my blog on osteoporosis here.

Your Menopause Experience 

Many people suffer greatly at the menopause and do not necessarily get the right advice or know where to go. HRT has had bad press, sensationalizing or perhaps exaggerating the risks. It appears that HRT provides more benefits than risks to the majority of women, this is explained really well on www.menopausedoctor.co.uk. HRT replaces the hormones and masks menopausal symptoms, it doesn’t delay the menopause

There are some fabulous resources out there. In researching this blog I came across a couple of great things I’d like to share with you. Have look and feel empowered to take some action;

A great website from The Menopause Doctor a GP and Menopause Expert  www.menopausedoctor.co.uk
I hope this website helps to empower you with necessary information to make informed decisions regarding any treatment you may take to help turn your menopause into a positive experience that does not negatively impact your life.”

A great podcast in which Liz Earle talks to Dr Louise Newson (aka The Menopause Doctor) and covers the symptoms of the menopause, why it’s important to have a healthy lifestyle and dispels some of the myths around HRT.

A practicing nutritionist offers an alternative approach  “to help you eat your way through a symptom-free menopause”

Thanks for reading.

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

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Fitness, mobility, exercise – are one of my 4 Pillars of Health, read about the others here https://www.jenafitlife.com/4-pillars-good-health/

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