The key components to achieve a balanced and healthy lifestyle….
When we started to talk about our aspirations to achieve a better quality of life through health & fitness, we started quite simply by asking ourselves a few questions.
‘How do we feel at the moment?’
‘How would we like to feel?’
‘What could we do to move closer to how we would like to feel?’
‘How motivated are you to make those changes?’
We recognized it is important to have tangible goals to work towards & then focus on how we could achieve them. We then came up with the following three areas that we wanted to focus on, that would enable us to work towards our health & fitness goals.
Firstly we overhauled our diet and built our healthy lifestyle from inwards.
From lots of reading, research and trial & error we have learnt that the gut can have huge implications for overall physical & mental health, much more on that to come throughout this blog.
Once we improved our knowledge of what a healthy diet looked like, we went about looking at our current eating habits & where we could improve.
As you will read throughout this blog we condone a fresh organic natural diet, consisting of fresh fruit & veg, meat & fish (Although Rach cannot bring herself to eat fish yet…) legumes, nuts & seeds & all that nature can offer.
After trialing & failing at most fad diets we realized that the key to a happy healthy diet doesn’t include dieting at all, there are no restrictions to food types, no restrictions on calories just a healthy appetite for all nature has to offer.
You will understand why as we go on this doesn’t include gluten, non-organic & any mass manufactured produce.
What we needed to achieve was learn the balance of this new healthy routine of freshly home cooked meals within the time constraints of demanding jobs & also allowing time for ourselves, each other & everything else we enjoy in life.
This is an ongoing work of improvement, we have learnt a lot of tips & tricks along the way & we will share these with you, I’m sure there are lots we are still to learn & that is the beauty of the process…
The art of being present, being in the moment. This is a key skill in coping with anxiety and stress. Focusing on how to be present will help you to calm your constant worries about what might or could happen.
Being present also has the gift of being able to enjoy the here and now rather than already worrying about tomorrow.
This can start with something as simple as breathing. We breathe naturally of course but we also take it for granted. When faced with anxiety or stress the first step is to take a deep breath, slowly. Feel your body expand as you breath in and then relax as you breath out.
Sounds simple but the breath is a great tool to help you stop and gather clarity.
Breathing is also a great stepping-stone into meditation.
Throughout the blog David and I will talk about the mindfulness techniques we have tried and tested, ones that we feel are helpful and some of the coping mechanisms we have put into use.
Yoga has been an amazing discovery for me; it works so well alongside mindfulness especially when focusing on the breath. Yoga promotes the act of connecting with oneself, encouraging you to be present and most of all discover ways of relaxation.
Exercise doesn’t have to mean a long slog at the gym, in fact just being active at some point gives both body and mind a boost. Just taking a short walk after a meal can aid digestion leading to a happier gut and less bloating.
A ten minute stroll around the block or park has not only helped mine and David’s digestion, it has also given us a few minutes to simply be in one another’s company, to catch up with each other and very importantly ensuring we are taking in some fresh air.
There are numerous apps available today that can help you do an exercise routine in the comfort of your own home and for as little as 7 minutes, but that little can do a lot. As we have said before we will talk about some of the exercises that we have tried and stuck too.
Set yourself realistic goals; keep it simple, no one is testing you. So for example, what three things could you do today that would make you feel good, and possibly go someway to make you feel like you have accomplished something.
But remember, you are in this process for yourself, don’t feel bad if something doesn’t make you feel great straight away, my first attempts at yoga were a little comedic to say the least and yes we have had to try and see the funny side on one or two occasions when opening the oven to a cloud of smoke! Its all a learning curve, the most important thing is making a start on your own personal journey.