Tag: walking

Man of my dreams? When it all goes wrong….

This time last year my life had been thrown upside down. When the man of my dreams decided it was over – no negotiating! I now feel I can share a little more.

Heartbroken

Over 10 years ago I lost the love of my life and was heartbroken, after 5 years alone I thought I’d found the man of my dreams.  He loved the countryside, was caring, loving, respectful and honest about the big things but not about broccoli!

I let this man dictate the pace of our relationship and (perhaps) I made a mistake. But we had fun and adventures; some fabulous achievements walking the Coast to Coast, the Cotswold Way, doing a Wolf Run, renovating and extending a house, rearing chickens……

Only to find 5 years on he doesn’t like broccoli and won’t compromise. I think I’d been incredibly supportive, amenable, compliant and giving but at the 11th hour felt it wasn’t reciprocated. We had an opportunity to move nearer to my family and business, this turned out to be “out of the question” and “there is no way I’m moving in that direction” and that brought us to breaking point.

functional fitness
Bringing the 20kg chick food in

Read what happened next here and here 

Disappointed

This time I was not heartbroken (I had no tears left after the last time) but I was disappointed and sad. We had begun to build an idyllic home and life together, which is not always easy to come by in your 50s with all that life has already given you, and we were comfortable together.

man of my dreams
The home we lovingly restored and extended

The situation was hard and a little bizarre when there was no building up of little niggles to a big fallout. It appeared to come from nowhere. With hindsight I guess it was the right thing to move out and on. As I now reflect on it I’m angry, mainly with myself. My lack of strength to be in control of my own destiny when we were in the early days of the relationship. As I said in my Celebrating 2017 blog I don’t function well in relationships!

Family

My family are very important to me – my Dad was 90 last year and won’t be around forever, although I am expecting a good 5 – 10 years more! My daughters are in their mid twenties and perhaps will have families of their own one day.  I’m in no hurry to be a Grandma tho’, and when they do I’m sure it will be fantastic to be near them. In the meantime it’s brilliant to pop over for a cuppa rather than having to plan an expedition to see them.

Family allotment time!

Life goes on and the next chapter is underway. I’m not looking for the “man of my dreams” or the “love of my life” but enjoying life to the full. Stay tuned further musings of this 50 something fitness lover.

Thanks for reading.

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

Twitter @jenafitlife

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You may be interested to read what helped me last year with these life changes – What got me through Jan and Feb 2017

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

Instagram @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

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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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

 

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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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

Instagram @jenafitlife

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

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!

You may like to read my blog on My 4 Pillars of Good Health https://www.jenafitlife.com/4-pillars-good-health/

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

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