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

Instagram @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/

Twitter @jenafitlife

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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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Sign up to get notified of my new blog posts – pop your email address in the box at the top right of the page. I promise I won’t be sending spam or selling my email list!

‘* 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

This blog contains an affiliate link

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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The Online Gym You’ve Been Waiting For!

“Find fit, find strong, find happy……..find your best you”

Do you like to workout?  How do you keep fit? Would you like to be active into later life?

I’ve always been quite active and have done many different things over the years! In my younger days I played hockey and squash. I then had a phase of running and swimming, followed by classes like Zumba, Pilates and Body Pump.  But now my thing is walking my dog and an online gym!

Online Gym

Don’t be put off by my activity history,  members of the online gym community are at different levels of fitness and many are much younger than me! Most of the online gym members are in the 25 – 40 age range.

I joined this online gym over 3 years ago and I LOVE IT!  It is packed with fabulous, effective workouts which can be done in isolation or as part of a programme spanning anything from 5 days to 12 weeks.  It caters for all levels of fitness and ability, with excellent advice and support.

There is a 5 day starter Bootcamp and a Beginner Series through to specific specialist programmes to move towards your first pull up or to reveal a six pack!  with many professionally crafted workouts programmes in between.

What will I get?

Julia Buckley the Personal Trainer behind this great online gym is also the bestselling author of The Fat Burn Revolution which “shows you the healthy way to condition your body for optimum fat burning – even when you’re not exercising”

online gym

So not only do you get excellent workouts – all with video’s for you to workout alongside Julia – at a ridiculously bargain price (Premium membership £6.50/month or a FREE Basic membership), you get a great online community and support.  I’ve made some great friends here and we have met in “real life”, once including a member from Australia! It is available worldwide.

One of the best things about the online gym is working out at home. That means no gym phobia to contend with, no travel time and you can workout in your PJs or undies!! You can train anytime, anywhere; you don’t need masses of equipment; an exercise mat and perhaps some weights. You will probably want to add to your “kit” as you progress. I now have more weights, ankle weights and a gym ball.

online gym

I workout in my living space and my equipment is hidden away and housed in a cupboard. Regularly logging in to this easy to access online gym and pressing play on a workout video couldn’t be simpler and this quickly became a habit……no motivation required! I have shed fat and sculpted muscle, and I move better than ever before, my flexibility and strength will keep me active and mobile for living a fabulous life.

What is not to lose by giving this online gym a go?

Thanks for reading.

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

Twitter @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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Do you wear make up to workout?

To wear or not to wear makeup to the gym—that is the question. And, there is no right answer. However, I do have a suggestion to those who are in the “yes, I wear makeup to workout” category!

Over the years I have worked out in a lot of different types of makeup. Some were good and others were not so good (ie: full-coverage foundation…yikes). But, I think I have finally found the perfect combination of makeup that says, “look at me” while still saying “go away I’m working out.”

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer is my first must-have when it comes to working out! It is light-weight, light to medium coverage and it has SPF in it. This is perfect for those mornings when you don’t have the energy to put makeup on by still need a little something. I just slather this on my skin like any other moisturizer and move on to the next step!

workout makeup
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer

Chanel Soleil De Tan Bronzer is expensive but so worth the splurge! This stays-put all day (and all workout) long without losing its color or moving on the skin. I can sweat in this all day and it will stay long-lasting until I take it off. Seriously, splurge!

workout makeup
Chanel Soleil De Tan Bronzer

Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight is next up! Yes, you will already have that “is it sweat or highlight” glow to your skin while you are working out. But, who doesn’t want a little more glow in their lives? This is great to throw in the gym bag and dab on with your fingers as you’re heading to the treadmill. It gives you a healthy glow while still feeling super light-weight and subtle.

workout makeup
Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight

L’Oréal Brow Mascara is a favorite of mine for working out because this stuff doesn’t go anywhere unless it’s taken off with makeup remover (even then it’s challenging). This tinted brow gel just adds a little lift and color to the brows without having to spend upwards of five minutes making sure the brows are even. And, this stuff won’t budge even when you’re wiping sweat off your face or if you go for a swim after your workout. It’s seriously amazing!

workout makeup
L’Oréal Brow Mascara

Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara is essential because I am one of those people who cannot live without mascara. I feel like it is the number one thing that makes me look awake even when I am working out in the early hours of the morning. This waterproof mascara plays no games when it comes to sweat. It very minimally runs (which is a huge accomplishment when you have oily under eyes like I do) and even stays put in water unlike some advertised waterproof mascaras.

workout makeup
Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara

There you have it, folks! This is my go-to makeup look when I want to add a little glam to my sweat. It is casual enough to look natural but gives you that put-together vibe. So, try it out and let me know what you think!

 

What are some of your favorite sweat-proof makeup items?

 

XO,

 

Madie

__________________________________________

Hi, my name is Madie and I live in Chicago, IL, USA. I have been beauty blogging for about 2 years now and have loved every minute of it! I especially love guest blogging because I get to meet new incredible people and learn so much more about the blogging community. With that said, thank you so much to Jen for letting my post here today! I am honored to have worked with you 🙂

 

Thanks so much Madie for this fab guest blog post and for finding us some great products. I’m off to shop now!

Check out my guest blog post on Madie’s website here

And if you interested in some of my fitness challenges read this!

EAT. MOVE. THRIVE. Wellbeing Festival

EAT. MOVE.THRIVE. Wellbeing Festival BIRMINGHAM  September 2017

I heard about the Thrive Festival through The Doctors Kitchen (aka Dr Rupy Aujla) on Instagram (@doctors_kitchen)  – the power of social media!

As I live in South Leicestershire Birmingham is “on my doorstep” and with no other plans for Sunday 3rd September I booked an early bird ticket. Only £5 with a goodie bag thrown in! What was not to love.

The Thrive Festival promised to be;

“A one day food & wellness festival carefully curated with LOVE to celebrate the very best of wellbeing where you can meet & learn from some of the biggest and most respected names in the wellness industry. Bringing nutritious and delicious fun to the heart of Birmingham.”

The format was a great idea, with a modest entry price and then paying for any speaker sessions you wished to attend, also reasonably priced. An all-in ticket was available too.

Thrive Festival
Thrive Festival – some of the fun!

The speakers were;

“An exciting and inspirational speaker line up of some of the UK’s foremost influencers in the food, fitness and wellness scene”.

There were indeed a couple of people I really wanted to listen to The Doctors Kitchen GP Dr Rupi (see above) and Laura Thomas  – a Registered Nutritionist who I’d know of through her Don’t Salt My Game podcast , a great listen if you interested nutrition, food,  eating  and wellness.  Laura was speaking along with Plant Based Pixie, a plant-based veggie food and lifestyle blogger, scientist and nutritionist (MSc).  I booked on to these two sessions.

Other speakers  there including Dr Megan Rossi (gut health), Hollie Grant ( Functional Fitness “Strong not Skinny), Mary Lynch (sustainable food policy), Lauren Ames (Business Mentor) and Daniela Lawler (Children’s nutrition).  So lots on offer.

Fitness tasters & Wellbeing Markets

In addition to the speakers there was fitness taster sessions including HiiT, hooping, yoga flow, hot pod yoga, physiolates…. There was a great indoor market  with local and national wellness brands including handmade chocolate, clothing, cereals, seeds, cake and much, much more. The courtyard street food market was offering coffee, juice bars, matcha lattes and some great foods. A full list and links to contributors can be found here http://thrivefestival.co.uk/

My youngest daughter accompanied me and we arrived as the event opened, sadly it was a bit of cold, damp day but that didn’t spoil the event’s spirit. Although I could have done with an bigger sweatshirt!

Thrive Festival
Eat. Move. Thrive.
Urban Wellbeing & Food Festival

Plant Based Pixie and Laura Thomas

At 11.15 we listened to the Plant Based Pixie and Laura Thomas who questioned whether;  Has Wellness Made us Healthier?   The presentation analysed some of the wellness industry claims and debunked some of the myths. This slide showed why this matters:

Thrive Festival
Laura & Pixie’s message on debunking myths in the wellness industry

Here are some things I took away from this session, most of which I knew but you may not and they stand as a good reminder;

  1. Products claiming detox benefits – don’t fall for the marketing blurb/scams our kidneys and liver are designed to detox our bodies and do a perfectly good job! Read more here .
  2. Your body doesn’t know your foods! It doesn’t know if you’re eating a burger or bircher muesli, a doughnut or kale, What you body does know is the chemicals you have nourished it with and how it will process them, some foods being harder to process and having a more taxing effect on the body. Biochemistry!!.
  3. Gluten free – only people diagnosed medically as coelic really need to be gluten free. Gluten free foods are expensive, low in fibre and deficient in micronutrients and reduce the diversity of gut bacteria http://www.plantbased-pixie.com/dont-go-gluten-free-unless-coelic/ and  https://www.newscientist.com/article/2123995-that-faddish-gluten-free-diet-may-be-raising-your-diabetes-risk/
  4. How expert is your expert Nutritionist? This article explains  who are the professionals in the UK to give nutrition and dietetic advice. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/laura-thomas-phd/how-expert-is-your-expert_b_14270310.html
Thrive Festival
Thrive Festival – Laura Thomas and Plant Based Pixie

Following this session we had a browse around the Thrive Festival market sampling things like porridge, chocolate, brownies and kombucha. We then headed for the street food for a coffee and some peanut butter on toast with delicious toppings. We only wanted a snack as we had booked on to a yoga session at 13.15.

Yoga Flow

We joined a Yoga Flow session led by the lovely Sara from www.barefootbirmingham.com it was a great session. My daughter is a complete beginner and I am a regular Yoga with Adriene participant. We both found the session challenging and relaxing in equal measure. My daughter found the benefits of yoga lasting for several days!

The Doctors Kitchen

From the yoga session we were straight into The Doctors Kitchen session with Dr Rupi, a GP with a mission to bring positive food intervention to medicine, aiming to teach GPs more on nutrition, elevate their knowledge and enable their conversations with patients.

Dr Rupi advocates evidence based food and lifestyle medicine (whole foods), here are some of the things I noted;

  1. Nutrition – Mediterranean style diet with whole foods could be more effective than medication for some conditions. Read some of Rupi’s blogs here
  2. Inflammation- driving diabetes, depression, chronic illness looking at your lifestyle in terms of food, mindset, sleep and movement could help.
  3. DNA / genes -research shows that micro nutrient deficiencies (in some cases) will improve assisting the switching on and off of  how the genes manifest themselves.
  4. Lifestyle changes can help reverse chronic disease like type 2 diabetes.

Dr Rupi recommends high fibre, nutrient dense foods and to eat colourful with a plant focused diet. This is not an expensive option – be pragmatic. Shop wisely and use markets.

He also highlighted that sleep is important to good health, in the evening switch the blue light on your phone, have a digital detox 2 hours before you go to bed. Tune in with your circadian rhythm, it works best when you are sleeping well.

Sleep and food are the “winning formula” along with mindfulness and exercise. With the latter Dr Rupi says you need to challenge your body in different ways and there are many different portals to access a variety of exercise options.

The final point made by the Dr Rupi was that although the World is hyper-connected it is also disconnected (not eating around table) not to mention the effect of plastics on our planet and sourcing food more locally. The Doctors Kitchen concluded that science is complex,  but the solution is simple: back to basics!

End of the day

Thrive Festival
Eat. Move. Thrive.
Speakers venue

We ended our day at the Thrive Festival after this session. We had thoroughly enjoyed our day, would highly recommend the Festival and we will return next year!

Thanks for reading.

 

Jen x

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

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Have you read my blog about the 4 pillars I belief you need to consider to improve your health.

4 Pillars for Good Health