We all know what to do if we cut our finger, get a mild headache or any other minor physical ailment and we know the importance of getting treatment before a problem potentially becomes more serious. How many of us are treating our mental health the same way though? Just like with our physical health, minor issues can arise at any time or we may simply feel ourselves sliding down the spectrum of optimum mental health. We often recognise physical symptoms of feeling a bit ‘under the weather’ such as sleep disturbances, changes in our appetite, aches and pains, a reduced immune system or generally feeling a bit run down and realise the importance of remedying these before they lead to further issues. It’s important that we also learn to recognise changes in our mental health and emotional wellbeing and have a plan in place to manage them in the same way.
Whilst weight loss is undoubtedly one of the most common health and fitness goals, it is sometimes wrongly viewed as the key determinant of progress when trying to improve our exercise and nutrition habits. One of the most common questions personal trainers gets asked by people who have recently embarked on a new plan is ‘why haven’t I lost much weight?’ There are many possible reasons for this, including the fact that we all lose weight at different rates, you may be building muscle and you could be getting weighed at different times of the day or week and/or using different scales. These are just a few explanations, but the majority (if not all) of the personal trainers I know would urge their clients to explore other ways of measuring progress rather than the often soul-destroying focus of chasing a certain number on the scales. Embarking on a new healthy living plan should leave you feeling energised, proud and encouraged. If the scale is having the opposite effect, consider giving it a break for a while and focusing on other ways of measuring progress such as those below…
The terms ‘mindfulness’ and ‘meditation’ are often used interchangeably and have become somewhat ‘buzz words’ in the last few years. They are becoming increasingly recognised for their benefits within the field of mental health and are very popular due to their simplicity and accessibility. Anyone can practice mindfulness and meditation with no special equipment, training or guidance required but it’s always good to arm yourself with a few pointers when trying out a new skill and so if you’re interested in giving them a go or finding out what they can do for you, read on…
Regardless of how active we are, most of us are aware that there are guidelines as to how much physical activity we SHOULD be doing to support our optimum health, wellbeing and healthy weight maintenance. What we may not be aware of, however, is that guidelines change at different ages and stages of life. As young people, we are often educated at school on how to keep healthy and are required to take part in regular PE lessons and exercise. As adults we may have become more interested in certain sports and have found what we enjoy or we may exercise to protect ourselves from certain health conditions and weight gain. What happens to our physical activity levels as we enter our later years though? Many people find that their bodies can’t quite do the things they used to, or at least not with such ease. It’s true that there are certain physical and cognitive changes linked with the ageing process and that exercise can help to manage these, so what SHOULD we be doing to support healthy, active ageing?
What is a vision board and why should I try one? A vision board (or dream/goals board) is a collection of images, words, ideas or other items that represent our desires for our life and our future. It can include examples of things we’d like to have, be or do and can help to inspire and motivate us to work towards these dreams and goals in our everyday life. Vision boards can support the practice of visualisation as explained in the previous blog for those who prefer to see physical images rather than simply imagine them.
Whilst this last year has been difficult for most of us, many small businesses have been the hardest hit by constant lockdown restrictions. Although there are many stories of struggles and strife, this story is of one local business that has managed to adapt to everything thrown at it and truly thrive amidst the chaos. ‘Thriving’ for this company doesn’t just mean financially, but serving it’s local community in ways that have been more needed than ever whilst people have been more isolated than ever. This company has not only adapted operating procedures to allow it to continue serving customers with great quality products and friendly smiles, but it has cemented itself as a truly valuable part of the local community around Rossendale. This business has spent the last year helping to support NHS staff and other key workers as well as those in isolation and unable to see loved ones. It has now extended this work to support the mental health of groups of people in the local area. This is a story of 2 of my very favourite things – coffee and hope. This is the story of Ninja Coffee Company.
Do you take care of yourself as well as you do your loved ones? Do you think self-care is self-indulgent and/or you don’t have time for it? The truth is, we actually all NEED self-care to be able to function in our everyday lives and to be everything we want to be for everyone else. If you repeatedly neglect your self-care, your body and mind will be negatively affected and they’ll make sure you know it too! Try some (or all!) of the mini challenges below, maybe one a day, to up your self care game. Your mind, body and soul will thank you for it!
Whether you use social media for business use, your personal life or a mixture of the two, it’s something that’s becoming more and more a part of our everyday life for many of us. Social media has huge benefits including keeping us connected with people we may otherwise lose touch with, sharing our happy moments with others and being part of theirs and seeking advice/ support / education from a wide range of sources. However, like anything good, it can also have it’s downsides, especially if used to excess. Whilst we will all have different experiences of social media and vary in how it affects our wellbeing, this blog shares a few ideas and tips to make sure that social media is a positive for you.
The idea of getting fitter or leading a more healthy lifestyle can often feel overwhelming and leave us not knowing where to start. The feeling that we have to make huge changes or set life-changing goals can be so intimidating that we end up doing nothing. It really is true that getting started is the hardest part of any task and so by starting with some simple, easily achievable mini-goals you can build momentum and confidence in yourself whilst getting started on your journey to a fitter, healthier, happier you. Try out some of the ideas below – you could try one a day for a month or choose a couple a week. Set a target that feels manageable for you and let’s get started.
Here in the UK this week we’ve been enjoying a rare period of beautiful, warm, sunny weather. Knowing we have to make the most out of it while it lasts, many of us have spent as much time as possible outside getting any hint of a tan we can or at least soaking up some vitamin D and fresh air. Hopefully we’ve been aware of the health implications of the sun for our skin and made sure to keep topped up on suncream, but have you considered other ways that the temperature affects your health needs? One of the main areas to cover here is hydration and this blog aims to answer all your questions about this crucial topic for health and wellbeing at all times, not just in the height of summer (however long that may last?!)