Tag: health

Celebrating last year – what did you learn?

Celebrating 5 things I’ve learnt in 2017

As we are all looking forward to what 2018 will bring and how we might be able to shape it I decided to take a look at what I’d learnt in 2017. It isn’t earth shattering or revolutionary but it is worth celebrating.

I am very much about looking forward because that’s the way we’re going! But we should be celebrating what we’ve achieved and how we’ve grown; the latter may be from some perceived failure or overcoming a fear.

I’m happier on my own

2017 started with an unexpected BANG! I was thrown into a new start when my partner decided we should go our separate ways, you can read about that here –  The *hit hit the fan!. The practicalities of this took over and I quickly established my new home and life – Calmer Waters.
As the year has progressed I have come to realise that I’m much happier on my own. I don’t  function well in a partnership, I become dependent and a little too submissive, yes that’s pathetic and I don’t like this about myself.  On my own I’m more resilient, competent and definitely independent!

Abseiling solo!

I love to sing

I have belonged to low key choirs for a lot of my life. However monetary constraints followed by my last relationship meant I had not been part of a choir for over 10 years.
I was pleased to discover in my new home village a community choir, 30 strong, no audition, no cost and just a short stroll away. This ticked all my choir boxes – as I love to sing I’m not very good, and would never sing solo and don’t really like people hearing me sing along with the radio! However in a choir I can tune in with those more proficient. It is a great hobby, has helped me to get to know people in the village and made me feel part of my new community.

I am resourceful

When my relationship broke down I found myself with my part-time massage business that I’d been letting tick over as I was living an hour’s drive away.  This was the impetus to crank this business back up and to look for other sources of income;  Work Update – Do you do a variety of jobs?
This year I have been a poll clerk and an exams invigilator alongside my massage work and blogging.
I have grown my own tomatoes and picked many blackberries whilst walking the dog. I shop wisely and waste nothing. I want to use my blog to encourage people to take responsibility for their health and live well, this post has some great signposts for low cost health.

I love to walk

Fitness and good health are important to me. I have had a dog for over 10 years and he is an active cocker spaniel that needs two good walks a day. I do not resent this I love to walk. I love that I get out into the countryside on my doorstep twice a day and I enjoy seeing the seasons changing in front of me on a daily basis.

Dog walk
Regular dog walk fun!

This year we walked Offa’s Dyke Path, a national trail on the Wales/England border. It was glorious, hard work and rewarding. A fabulous way holiday – activity, good views and good food! Read my post about it here.

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

Friends and family are precious, and I count my clients amongst these

Finding myself single I relocated back to be near my Dad and my daughters and I am so happy to be able to easily pop in or meet up for a coffee or a walk. We were celebrating my Dad’s 90th Birthday in December and it’s great to be near to see him regularly and help him out….even if that means digging over his vegetable patch!

healthy later life
Dad & I

I’ve also made a concerted effort to regularly contact and meet up with friends, something I’d neglected. I seem to do more with these friends than I did with my ex’s! The daily routine of work and TV has been replaced by trips to the cinema, theatre, meals out and other adventures.
These posts are a couple of things I got up to – Peak District and North Devon and there’s more I’ve blogged about take a look!

Bargain weekend away Bistro
Blacksands Bistro 🙂

With my daughters in North Devon.

What are you celebrating about 2017?

Thanks for reading.

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

Twitter @jenafitlife

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Christmas Guilt Free – here is some advice!

Christmas doesn’t have to be a blow out. It is a time to celebrate with friends and family. Enjoy the festivities, the food and drink, the company and the catch ups. None of this is bad for you or something to feel guilty about, have Christmas guilt free.

Food Choices – Christmas guilt free

Be mindful of your food choices and portion size perhaps but do not feel any guilt. These special festive foods may only be around at this time of year but there are plenty of days over the festive time to partake of them. It’s not necessary to eat them all ‘now’ or in excessive.

Giving yourself permission to enjoy them will help you to partake of them in a more rational way – eat them when you want or wait for another time. Beat the binge, starve “diet culture”. Ok this won’t happen overnight but perhaps now is the time to consider addressing your attitude and motivation towards food, fitness and body image. Let’s come back to this next year, for now have fun and find happiness in your choices. Stop beating yourself up, this fuels the binge/diet cycle.

Drink Choices – Christmas guilt free

Christmas guilt free
A great alternative to mulled wine

You don’t have to turn to drink to have a good time. Raise a glass or two by all means, but drink plenty of water too. It’s amazing how great it is not to lose the precious holiday time to a hangover, to remember that conversation you had with a loved one or how that heated debate panned out. Too many times, in the past, I’ve struggled to remember what I said and hoped it wasn’t offensive or misplaced. This article in The Guardian looked at a range of alcohol-free drinks and some literature examining sobriety. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/nov/26/millennials-discover-mindful-drinking-non-alcoholic-festval

This website http://girlandtonic.co.uk/ may also give you some inspiration and help on cutting down or stopping drinking alcohol.

christmas no guilt
No alcohol red wine that tastes good

Activity Choices – Christmas guilt free

Finally, keep moving. Helping to tidy the wrapping paper, playing with the kids, carrying to and from the dinner table, washing up, so many little opportunities to keep active why not take them. I always prefer to take a walk after my Christmas dinner I’d rather aid the digestive process than immediately flop on the sofa ……I’ll do that later. Hey why not play some games too, charades or famous people or even a game of cards. All so much more fun and inclusive than the TV.

christmas no guilt
After a good walk!

Do you have any advice to have Christmas guilt free?

Have you read my recent blog on the festive season stress’ ? This may also help to make Christmas guilt free!

Thanks for reading and Happy Christmas!

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

Twitter @jenafitlife

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I did Dry January in 2017, read it here

My Dad – life at 90!

My Dad

I’ve always admired my Dad, his steady love of his family, his hard and unrelenting work and his stoical attitude. My Dad was a dairy farmer on a small tenanted farm, he loved his work, this life and community I believe.  I have learnt such a lot from my Dad, I’m sure his approach to life has really shaped who I am today.

My Dad
Dad in his 40s

This week my Dad reaches his 90th Birthday! He lives alone, my Mum died 9 years ago having had Alzheimer’s through which he steadfastly cared for her, often shielding my sisters and I from what this dreadful disease was doing to their life.  He is in good health, cooks a meal everyday from scratch and is still an inspiration to us all.

My Dad
Dad at 80 🙂

Dad’s garden

My Dad has a great garden, he even dug up a lawn to extend his vegetable plot! He grows lots of fruit and veg.: potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beetroot, cabbage, chard, purple sprouting broccoli, runner beans, french beans, courgettes/marrow, lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes (in his greenhouse), gooseberries, strawberries, blackcurrants, raspberries and rhubarb! This may not be an exhaustive list!

Dad then busies himself freezing or preserving (jam’s, chutney’s, pickles) his fresh produce, thus being self sufficient in this and having gifts for others.

In the last year he has asked us to help dig the garden at the start and end of the season, but he pretty much does everything else himself. He also has some beautiful fuchsia’s, that he and my Mum collected and cultivated. Along with some fabulous Bishop red dahlias.

healthy later life
Soon to be 90!

Recently my sister defrosted Dad’s chest freezer, its contents along with the aforesaid fruit and veg was meat (he buys half a lamb from a local farmer) and game birds (a neighbour beats at shoots and brings Dad game birds…in full feather). The only supermarket products were oven chips and ice cream.

Dad’s social life

When the weather is clement he’ll go for a daily walk and I often find his social life is better than mine! One week in the autumn he was out for coffee on three mornings, lunch with friends one day, a wedding anniversary party (60 years, Dad had been Best Man) and then I was cooking a family Sunday lunch. Pretty good eh? Dad cooks a full Sunday lunch for my younger sister and her husband most weeks!

Celebrating 90 year of age!

So this weekend we celebrate Dad’s 90th Birthday with over 50 family and friends. Please raise your glass and toast my Dad this weekend!

My Dad
Dad as a youngster!

Who inspires you?

Read my tips on having a healthy later life here, it’s not too late!

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

Instagram @jenafitlife

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Do you want to be happier in your own skin?

I am currently participating in the pilot for a new programme – Unity – from Julia Buckley. I confess I am a long term fan of Julia’s online gym. I have been a member for nearly 4 years having “discovered” her through her book The Fat Burn Revolution. With which I started to see some great results, and loved her ethos and approach to health and fitness.

online gym

4 years on, at 58 I’m probably and most importantly the healthiest, but also the slimmest and fittest, that I’ve ever been and you could be too! No matter where you are starting from Julia’s new programme Unity will help you get in the right mindset to impact your health. What could be more important than that?

Unity programme pilot

I am currently part of the pilot group for the Unity programme, which is aimed at you if, in Julia’s words;

  • “you simply want to find a happier way of “being” in life”
  • “you want to get more comfortable in your own skin”
  • “you struggle to stay consistent with healthy eating”
  • “you still haven’t got to a point where you’re happy with your fitness levels and/or the condition of your body”
  • “you to dip in and out of fitness” or
  • “ if you’re feeling like you want to reconnect with your body”

I jumped at the chance of trialling something that might help you, and be able to have some input into shaping it.

What does Unity include?

I believe a lot of people fail at their fitness and food goals, and thus their health due to their mindset or mental attitude. The Unity programme which incorporates workouts, a food log and mindset work sounded fabulous. I know Julia’s work work’s! so I was excited to join this pilot.

The Food Log

The food log is mostly about when we eat, why we choose to eat then, why we choose those foods and how we feel about this food: before, during and after eating it. It is not about weights and measures, macros or calories.
This log is sent to a qualified nutritionist weekly and feedback is provided. You can ask specific questions or request advice too.

The Mindfulness Work

Julia records online chats which are aimed to make you THINK about the programme as a lifestyle shift, a life change rather than a short term programme to be completed, achieved and moved on from. The chats encourage you to be mindful about your eating, your movement and probably most importantly how you use language both about yourself and others. How you describe yourself and your actions, making you think about how this may have a destructive affect on your intentions or goals. It is provoking, stimulating, challenging and rewarding. This work is, to me, the most important of the programme, hoping to address self sabotage and a failure mentality. It’s not easy, but the Unity community helps to discuss and expand this work.

The Workouts

And the workouts? Well there are six available, nothing is compulsory; all can be scaled to work for the beginner or the advanced level of fitness. They range from yoga type work, to weighted sessions, cardio and great full body-weight workouts. I believe Julia may change this a little in the released Unity programme, providing both beginner and advanced workouts.
I love the workouts and generally find time to fit them in, they are only about 30 minutes long. But you are not failing if you don’t do them.

The Facebook Group

A closed Facebook group enables Julia to deliver the chats and receive feedback. Unity programme members post their questions or concerns, their achievements and their plans, their learning and discoveries. The comradeship of this group is fantastic with members supporting one another, virtually high five – ing the wins and promoting discussions (see the Mindfulness work above).

So what do I think?

I am currently half way through this pilot programme and I think it has an enormous amount to offer. Particularly for those who find it difficult to achieve their health and fitness goals. It will make you look at things differently and it will (hopefully) be the key to the change you deserve.

It’s time to take some responsibility for your health and wellbeing and the tools within this programme are a sure-fire way to help you take the right steps. There is no quick fix, don’t even look for one or be conned by the hype around the latest fad. It’s time to make the changes slowly but surely.

Sign up to Julia’s email list to hear more about the full launch of the Unity programme in January.

And don’t just take my word for it read The Everyday Warrior’s blog post too here

Thanks for reading.

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

Twitter @jenafitlife

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Read my blog post about The Four Pillars of Good Health here

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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

Instagram @jenafitlife

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!

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

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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/

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

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/

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!

 

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

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