Tag: Workout

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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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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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/

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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

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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

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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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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!

 

Do you wear make up to workout?

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

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

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

workout makeup
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer

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

workout makeup
Chanel Soleil De Tan Bronzer

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

workout makeup
Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight

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

workout makeup
L’Oréal Brow Mascara

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

workout makeup
Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara

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

 

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

 

XO,

 

Madie

__________________________________________

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

 

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

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

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