Tag: sleep

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

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My Menopause Experience – How is yours?

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

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

Sex Education

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

 

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

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

My Menopause Experience

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

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

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

Your Menopause Experience 

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading.

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

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

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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

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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

Bargain weekend away in North Devon

I’ve just had a bargain weekend away, spending less than £140 for 3 days and 2 nights in North Devon.  Ok, ok we were camping and we did borrow a big tent and we do have a car to transport us about BUT I have included our petrol costs.

Camping

My daughters (in their 20s and paying their own share), my dog (Rufus)  and I had the most fabulous break over Bank Holiday weekend in North Devon. We chose to camp for a couple of reasons;

  1. We needed to book for the Bank Holiday weekend but didn’t want to lose too much money if we chose not to go because…
  2. We wouldn’t go if the weather was going to be bad!

So we booked 2 nights at the Little Roadway Farm campsite near Woolacombe, all in this cost us £56.

The Journey

Our bargain weekend away began very early Saturday morning, to steer clear of the Friday traffic and to avoid putting up an unknown tent at the dead of night:). We traveled from Leicestershire to Woolacombe, with a quick coffee stop at the lovely M5 Gloucester services (a family business, a farmshop and no franchises) . We’d prepared some overnight oats (in jars) for the journey, these were a nutritious travel breakfast.

We arrived at the campsite at about 10.30 as the dew was disappearing and the sun came out.  The campsite, although fully booked, was not crowded we had a choice of location on the site, which was not huge but was green, pleasant and the facilities were good. We managed to put up the tent in not much more than 30 minutes.

Bargain weekend away tent
Our pitch!

Woolacombe

All unpacked, we headed off to walk the 1.5 miles to Woolacombe for a well earned drink and some lunch. Woolacombe beach has the Trip Advisor Award for Best UK Beach 2015 and 2016 , it is a large beach, very well equipped and it was busy as the day was warming up.

Bargain weekend away walk to wool
The walk to Woolacombe

The beach may be good and dog friendly but the town itself was a bit too (tacky) seasidey 🙁 for us! Lots of buckets and spades, arcades, ice creams, crazy golf……..all the good stuff! The walk back across the fields was lovely. We chilled at the tent, basking in the glorious sunshine before changing and heading off to Ilfracombe for the evening.

Bargain weekend away Wool
The view over Woolacombe

Ilfracombe

We parked the car near the small harbour surrounded by cliffs and met Verity! the controversial Damien Hirst statue that stands at the entrance to the harbour overlooking the Bristol Channel over to South Wales. What do you think of Verity?

Bargain weekend away Verity
Verity by Damien Hirst

Before dinner we had a wander around the town and hit upon the Beer Festival, right up my street so a local ale overlooking the sea was enjoyed. We had booked into the Blacksands Bistro for dinner , a family run bistro serving homemade, locally sourced, honest food. We sat outside, so Rufus could stay with us. As it gets chilly in late August evening the chiminea was lit and blankets provided (we didn’t need the latter).

Bargain weekend away Bistro
Our table reservation at Blacksands Bistro

We ordered a cocktail whilst we perused the menu, which had some lovely choices and local produce.

Bargain weekend away Bistro
Blacksands Bistro Cocktails

I chose a trout and cous cous dish, the girls had a cured meat platter and a chicken dish, all very delicious.  Our food was fabulous; the dessert choice was limited (and expensive) so we opted for a locally made ice cream en route back to the car.

Bargain weekend away Bistro
Blacksands Bistro 🙂

Our first night’s sleep went well, I was a little chilly but not uncomfortable. We all had to get up in the night for a wee, not ideal! Rufus was a star and slept soundly. We were woken early by the cockerel and the cows on the nearby farm.

Croyde

Sunday morning – our plan for the day was to drive to Croyde for brunch, have a walk and then find a beach.  We sat outside at The Stores and feasted on avocado on toast with a side of bacon, slugged down with a good coffee.  We watched the world go by at this busy corner of this lovely village.

Bargain weekend away Croyde
Sitting outside The Stores Croyde – Sunday brunch

Later we then walked directly towards Croyde Bay, near a campsite that looked more like a festival site with tents tightly packed in. The sun was up and it was heating up, people were flocking to the beach, not dog friendly.

Bargain weekend away Croyde Bay
Croyde Bay – crowded beach

Our plan was to walk along the coastal path up to Baggy Point (National Trust), from here we could see Woolacombe beach, it was also very busy, although the end near Putsborough Sands appeared quieter. The walk was glorious with great views.

Bargain weekend away wool bay
From Baggy Point across Woolacombe Bay

We headed back down to Croyde and dropped into Blue Groove for a drink, a popular place but plenty of space at this time….everyone was on the beach!

Putsborough Sands

We decided to head for Putsborough Sands, only to find parking was £8.50!!! After a little deliberation we agreed that between us for a full afternoon on the beach it didn’t amount to much. We were right it was worth it, although it was busy and there were lots of dogs, which we didn’t mind!  We walked along the sands and found a relatively quiet spot. We’d changed into our swimming costumes in the public toilets (new and very clean) so we spread out our blanket and settled down to read, people (and dog) watch, play with Rufus and enjoy the sun.

Bargain weekend away Puts
Putsborough Sands

The sea was bracing but we all went for a swim, including Rufus., we soon got in and got used to it. More chilling and an ice cream, left us feeling exhilarated and chuffed with our day.

Back to Croyde

That evening, after a change of plan, we were short of eatery options – Bank Holiday Sunday and we hadn’t booked! We headed back to Croyde and ordered Pizza from the pop-up pizza guys from Stoned, wood fired pizza ovens and great pizzas. We ordered 3 different ones to share, bought some drinks from The Store (see our Brunch) and had a feast.

Bargain weekend away pop up pizza
Stoned pop up pizza at Croyde

Lynton and Lynmouth

After a more comfortable night, we awoke to more brilliant sunshine, great for tent packing! We began to get packed up and whilst the tent dried out we had bacon butties from the campsite store. They were excellent and a bargain. Tent dry and car packed we headed off for a morning and a cream tea “lunch” at Lynton and Lynmouth.  Lovely picturesque villages “where Exmoor meets the sea”.

Bargain weekend away the Lyns
Lynton and Lynmouth

A cream tea had been on our list of things to do on this break and we hadn’t yet achieved it, as we wanted to be heading home before 2pm we decided that it’d be our lunch. The Pavilion came highly recommended we weren’t disappointed.

Home again

We hit the road, beat all the holiday traffic and were home before 6pm. We did miss another unbelievable afternoon’s sunshine and beach opportunity but both the girls were back at work at 8am the next day.

Bargain weekend away homeward
Rufus on the journey home

A great time was had by all, a bargain weekend away and we talked of making it an annual mother and daughter trip. The weather really helped to make it, we ate at some highly recommended (Trip Advisor) places and stayed at a top notch location, all for less than £140 each. North Devon is beautiful well worth a visit and we’ll go back to explore more of it.

Thanks for reading.

Do you have any bargain break suggestions? Let me know in the comments!

 

Jen x

Twitter @jenafitlife

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For more information about me and my message click here

More family and outdoor swimming fun here

Another bargain break from earlier this year 4 days/3 nights in the Peak District for under £200!

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5 low cost ways to be healthier?

Would you like to be healthier? Do you think you can’t afford it?

Think again – you can start to improve your health with these 5 simple steps:

  1. Commit to Walking

    You don’t need to have a fancy device to count your steps or special clothes or footwear. Choose comfortable shoes and get outside!  Walk for 10 to 20 minutes a day to get you started. ‘*   Later on you could move onto more structured exercise. You may fancy having a go at running, try Couch To 5k (http://www.nhs.uk/LiveWell/c25k/Pages/couch-to-5k.aspx) or High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or weights. There is lots of FREE stuff online requiring little or no equipment. I started with Julia Buckley’s online gym and you can access lots of her stuff for free here

    ‘*  “Taking at least 1 brisk 10 minute walk a day has been shown to reduce the risk of early death by 15%” From Public Health England

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

     

  2. Drink more water

    It’s cheap, healthy and calorie free! If you don’t like plain water try fizzy or add some fruit, a slice of lemon or some no-added sugar squash. We should drink six to eight glasses of fluid a day. Water, lower fat milk and sugar-free drinks including tea and coffee all count.

  3. Eat a balanced diet

    It’s not about fancy foods or “superfoods” – like kale, avocado, quinoa ( not that these aren’t good). It’s about lowering the sugar, saturated fat and salt, cutting out processed foods. A balanced diet is eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions , find some good advice here; http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/Healthyeating.aspx
    Do you have an Aldi nearby? They sell great quality foods at fabulous prices and are well worth checking out. https://www.aldi.co.uk/store-finder
    I’m planning a “What I eat in a day” post soon, I eat well and I am on a tight budget.

  4. Get more sleep

    Yep sleep, and sleep should cost you nothing! Sleeping poorly increases the risk of having poor mental health along with increasing the risk of diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Read my recent post on Sleep – https://www.jenafitlife.com/sleep-pillar-of-good-health/ and set yourself up to get more and better quality sleep.

  5. What do you think? Mindset

    How you think, what you think about, how you motivate yourself, how to make something a habit ………all FREE, and all have an effect on your health. Getting control of your mind will enable you to better to control your cravings, urges and motivations, all of which no doubt impact on your health! Whether it is resisting the chocolate or ice cream or finding the excuse not to take that walk. Read my recent blog on Mindset – https://www.jenafitlife.com/mindset/

Will you take any or all of these steps? Do you already do this or more?

Thanks for reading.

 

Jen x

Twitter @jenafitlife

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SLEEP – PILLAR OF GOOD HEALTH

I consider sleep to be one of 4 Pillars of Health, along with nutrition, mindset and movement. Read my first post on this here.

You’d probably be surprised at how important sleep is to your health and wellbeing. We’ve probably all experienced a bad night’s sleep and how that makes you feel the following day. Read about my recent sleep problems here. However regular poor sleep has serious consequences to our health.

sleep
Let sleeping dogs lie!

Sleep is not a lifestyle choice

It is a necessity, the importance of which is probably underestimated by many.  “Regular poor sleep puts you at risk of serious medical conditions, including obesityheart disease and diabetes – and it shortens your life expectancy.”
Source – http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/tiredness-and-fatigue/Pages/lack-of-sleep-health-risks.aspx     This piece also lists 7 ways a good night’s sleep can boost your health, including increasing your sex drive and fertility!

Thus the value of a good night’s sleep cannot be overestimated.

Some people may boast of only needing 4 – 5 hours sleep and others may be on their knees with only this amount of sleep. Shift patterns, family, work commitments, stress, anxiety……. may all disrupt our sleep arrangements: regularly or from time to time. Poor diet and stimulants (drugs, drink, electronics – games, phones) will all affect the quality of your sleep. Getting the right ambiance and routines can make a huge difference to our sleep quality. It is important to find a way to get good quality sleep.

Poor sleep will, initially led to short temper, inability to focus and fatigue. Poor sleep will affect your mental health, make it difficult to concentrate and make decisions, so increasing your risk of accident and injury.  Continued lack of sleep increases your risk of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

This is an extract from the Mental Health Foundation Sleep Matters report (2011), well worth a read!

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/sleep-report ——

“Sleep is as important to our health as eating, drinking and breathing. It allows our bodies to repair themselves and our brains to consolidate our memories and process information.

Poor sleep is linked to physical problems such as a weakened immune system and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Sleep Matters provides sound, evidence-based advice on how to improve the quality of your sleep. This includes simple ways to improve your ‘˜sleep hygiene’™, such as adjusting the light, noise and temperature in the bedroom and changing your eating, drinking and exercise routines, advice which can also be found in Sleep Well, our handy pocket guide to better sleep”

This leads nicely onto how to address your quality of sleep.

Firstly there is no rule of how much sleep a person needs. It varies from person to person. It is important that people find out how much sleep they need, and then do it!

This is easy! Go to bed when you’re tired and allow your body to wake you up in the morning, switch off the alarm clock. This is one to do at the weekend, or on holiday. You may sleep over 10 hours at first, if you’ve got some catching up to do. This will decrease to find your normal level in time.

I will blog soon on how to get a good quality night’s sleep.

A comfortable place to sleep!

In summary

Sleeping poorly increases the risk of having poor mental health along with increasing the risk of diabetes, obesity and heart disease.   A healthy diet and exercise can help to improve our health outcomes as can our mindset and sleep.  You should take the consequences of poor sleep seriously. Sleep then is a really important Pillar to good health.

Do you get enough sleep?

Thanks for reading

 

Jen x

Why Is Sleep Important?  – https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sdd/why

Twitter @jenafitlife

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Good Health Pillars
I have written blogs previously on mindset and sleep, and often write about fitness and will be writing more about these pillars of health shortly, so 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!

4 Pillars for Good Health

I believe there are four pillars for good health. We all know that regular exercise will help us to have a healthier heart, reduce health risks and help our mobility (have a read of my Functional Fitness blog) but doing it is another matter. However there are three other things which are equally important, in my opinion, to good health and a happier life. They are what we eat, what we think and quality sleep.

Good Health Pillar 1 – Let’s start with what we eat.

Understanding the value of what we put into our bodies (nutritionally) might influence what we do eat. I’m not a Dietitian or Nutritionist but there is lots of advice and information “out there”, and it doesn’t have to be complicated, cool or the latest fad or super food.  Take a look at these websites     http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/healthy-eating/Pages/Healthyeating.aspx  and http://nicsnutrition.com/about-me/

You may be better placed spending your time looking in to this than paying out for something like Slimming World, Weight Watchers, Aloe C9 Cleanse, Joe Wicks (The Body Coach),  Lighter Life or the like.  These may help with support and motivation (see my thoughts on mindset below) but really developing your understanding of the basics of a good diet will give you lifelong sustainable skills not short term restrictive plans.

You have to look at what you are nourishing your body with as a long term life change; rebel against the modern society of quick fixes – they don’t exist and only send you into a spiral of despair when the results don’t come or are not sustained. Only YOU can lift yourself out of this cycle and YOU CAN. Take responsibility. Take control.

pillars of good health -food
Preparing coleslaw!

You need to develop a new and good relationship with food, it is not a crutch for your emotional state (if anything it fuels that cycle). Food is the fuel that makes our brilliant bodies work properly. It is the petrol for our car, and our car is the very top model, the very best, most exquisite, a fantastic feat of engineering – we should and will be very proud of it. But we need to look after it, putting the right fuel in will go a long way to getting it to run in Formula 1 condition.

Discovering what good food is and beginning to understand the detrimental effects foods can have on your body. Like those containing too much sugar or processed foods containing many additives (chemicals) to make them taste good or keep longer. You can then change the balance and variety of foods you consume, this will have amazing results on your well-being. Just give it a go! 

Good food is not an expensive or time consuming option. Aldi and other supermarkets sell fabulous products at great prices, and nutritious meals can be put together in minutes. Look here for inspiration; https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/15-minute-meal

 

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

Good Health Pillar 2 – Mindset

I know it is a “chicken & egg” situation, I believe having the right mindset is imperative to getting your head around eating well. You will find that as your body adjusts to this new fuel you will feel energised and motivated perhaps to tweak your foods even more or get out for a walk, swim or cycle. One will support the other and you will gradually feel happier, healthier and motivated to carry on this journey.

You need to be committed to make changes – whatever your motivation

  • health scares; breathlessness, racing heart, joint pains
  • aesthetic reason “nothing fits” , I’m not going to buy the next size up
  • social reasons; you want to join friends on that hiking/cycling/beach holiday
  • family reasons; I can’t play with the grandchildren or help my ageing parents

The reason will be personal to you, the solution will be personal to you and the resolution yours alone.

Good Health Pillars

I have written blogs previously on mindset and sleep, and often write about fitness and will be writing more about these pillars of health shortly, so 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!

Do you have any advice on food choices?

Thanks for reading.

 

Jen x

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

Read more about sleep and health here; http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/tiredness-and-fatigue/Pages/lack-of-sleep-health-risks.aspx

SIgn up for Julia Buckley’s online gym here http://azalejma.juliabfit.hop.clickbank.net

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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!

Update 22/8/17 further blogs posts

on sleep; https://www.jenafitlife.com/sleep-pillar-of-good-health/  and mindset; https://www.jenafitlife.com/mindset/