“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!
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”
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.
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?
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.
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!
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:
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;
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 .
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!!.
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.
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;
Nutrition – Mediterranean style diet with whole foods could be more effective than medication for some conditions. Read some of Rupi’s blogs here
Inflammation- driving diabetes, depression, chronic illness looking at your lifestyle in terms of food, mindset, sleep and movement could help.
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.
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
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.
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Have you read my blog about the 4 pillars I belief you need to consider to improve your health.
Body image is all about how you see yourself, this can be very different to how others see you. It is about self esteem and insecurity not vanity.
In this fast moving, visual world where the High street, social media and magazines are full of the “body beautiful” it’s easy to be unhappy about our own body shape and be dismissive/disgruntled/disenchanted/discouraged……some sort of dis’, your choice, ….and have a negative body image. “Be more critical of what you see in the media, and less critical of yourself” from BBC Radio 1 *
Let’s not go into self destruct or overdrive. Remember we are no longer 25, we (may) have some fab kids that our amazing bodies bore and health, fitness and technology knowledge has come a long way in the last 20-30 years! If we knew then what we know now perhaps……… things would be no different 🙂
Anyway we need to learn to love our bodies: eat, drink and exercise to honour it not to be the “body beautiful” (leave that to the kids if they insist). Every body is beautiful, we have an incredible and complex set of systems that make us function and able to live! Let’s not abuse that but shift our mindset (read my thoughts here https://www.jenafitlife.com/mindset/) to help us make any changes and tackle our body image. *This piece has some great advice on how to rethink your body image viewpoint.
I do believe it’s important to fuel our bodies correctly and this outweighs any crazy exercise regime, so get this right and I’m not talking any crazy diets or regimes. I’m talking proper food, simple fresh food, cooking from scratch doesn’t have to be time consuming and batch cooking can ease time constraints. The only thing you need to do, if you want or need to lose weight, is to consume less calories than you use, known as a caloric deficit.
Later you may want and find you can take a walk or join a class. Baby steps again, but remember this is to look after that Formula 1 machine (your body internally) not to reach some aesthetic goal – this (may well) will happen as a side effect of eating properly. There is a saying 80% of Abs are made in the kitchen [even if you can’t see your abs they are there!]
Talking of abs if you feel you’ve got your eating right and you’d like to work on your body and there are many reasons for this;
– reduce health risks (e.g. heart disease, diabetes)
– maintain or increase mobility
– sleep better
– help your mental health
Then start slowly core exercises like Yoga or Pilates are great for improving posture and supporting a weak back. Joining an online gym to workout in your own space, reducing time commitment and any embarrassment of a public class. Starting the Couch to 5k,will get you out into the fresh air and will cost you nothing!
Wherever you are be PROUD of your body for what it has done for you in your life, and what it continues to do. Do things because you love your body (not because you don’t)