Healthy…

A breath of fresh air…

Hello everyone, apologies for leaving it longer than usual to blog. I have come to a decision to detox (I don’t mean nutritionally), reflect (not solely on my physical activity) and take a break (I don’t just mean a holiday). I am taking the summer and am going to stop [or pause at least] tracking, counting, measuring etc.

Don’t be mistaken, I still think goal setting drives motivation forward however, if we continuously set goals, we are ALWAYS looking forward and maybe lose sight of what is going on currently.

So…what have I done?

  • I have deactivated my Facebook account. It may not sound like much but if you think how many times you check your Facebook account on a daily basis and actually how useful, motivating or engaging the content is, then you may agree/disagree with this decision.
  • I have stopped using Myfitnesspal for four days so far! The reason? I pretty much eat the same things daily and my weight over the last few weeks has been consistent (give or take a couple of pounds). Therefore, I realised this daily tracking and scanning of my food didn’t have much purpose. So I have stopped.
  • I have deleted Instagram, LinkedIn, map my ride and google maps to free my phone so I can use this space to capture more useful things such as, a photo!
  • I have started yoga…yes, for those that know me, know I struggle with yoga because I’m not brilliant at sitting still and being at one with one’s breath malarkey. However, I do a 45 minute class (free!) online about 10pm. I’m still not brilliant at the lying still for 20 minutes so if I start to get restless [I’m not going to lie] I just stop the meditating!

I know what you’re thinking…I must be having some sort of late twenties mid-life crisis. I’m just starting to evaluate all the ‘stuff’ (we all gather, collect, take on so much stuff!) and think how purposeful it actually is to my life right now. I will return to Facebook as it does give me (and I’m sure you) a chance to connect with friends I have met travelling, long distance relatives and a good giggle at my family/friends photos! I am a massive fan of Myfitnesspal…IF you are someone who needs a little extra care with portion control or sensible food choices. For me…it’s turned into more of a mindless routine rather than a task for real purpose! I am still training daily…today was a jog (dying in the heat) yesterday was yoga and Monday was an evening cycle.

Freeing myself from ‘the stuff’ is actually working very well. I will be back soon however, for now…I’m taking a little respite.

Happy summer!

Be Healthy #192 #193 #194

No. 192

  • Bodypump

No. 193

  • Hip flexor stretching

No. 194

  • Bootcamp (20 reps, 15, reps, 10 reps, 5 reps – jump lunges, burpees, clap press ups, scissor kicks, walking planks, crab walks, star jumps, tricep dips and much more!)

Keep working, keep sweating, just keep going!

Be Healthy #189 #190 #191

Mental health…it can be known as such a taboo subject. It’s something that people can hide, pretend and definitely not understand as easily as physical health. Why? Because every single person’s mind is different. Even more complicated, is that if there is something that needs ‘fixing’ or ‘supporting’ with regards to mental health, nobody can SEE what is happening and nobody can FEEL what is happening.

Yet, difficulties surrounding mental health is more common than we may think…

  • Mental health problems are one of the main causes of the overall disease burden worldwide.
  • Mental health and behavioural problems (e.g. depression, anxiety and drug use) are reported to be the primary drivers of disability worldwide, causing over 40 million years of disability in 20 to 29-year-olds.
  • Major depression is thought to be the second leading cause of disability worldwide and a major contributor to the burden of suicide and ischemic heart disease.
  • It is estimated that 1 in 4 people in England will experience a mental health problem in any given year.
  • Mixed anxiety & depression is the most common mental disorder in Britain, with 9% of people meeting criteria for diagnosis.
  • 4-10% of people in England will experience depression in their lifetime. (Mental Health Foundation, 2016).

Being mentally healthy doesn’t just mean that you don’t have a mental health problem. If you’re in good mental health, you can:

  • make the most of your potential
  • cope with life
  • play a full part in your family, workplace, community and among friends

For me…without mental health (mental strength in my eyes), I don’t have anything. It doesn’t matter how far I can run, how much weight I can shoulder press or how many seconds I can hold a plank for. Without my mental strength…I can do nothing.

No. #189

  • Fat burning workout with Karina Thompson (burpees, planks, lunges, press ups.

No. #190

  • Bodybalance followed by 30 minutes of Sh’bam

No. #191

  • 45 minute cycle

Happy Sunday.

Be Healthy #185 #186 #187 #188

Happy thoughts…

Beauty

laugh

life is too short

dance

accept

happy thoughts

‘Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous, than absolutely boring’. (Marilyn Monroe)

No. 185

  • stretch

No. 186

  • TRX pike, jacknife, press up
  • BodyJam

No. 187

  • 30 minute jog

No. 188

  • 30 mins elliptical trainer
  • 10 mins rower

Smile, be happy.

Be Healthy #182 #183 #184

We did it! The triathlon is complete – all those early morning swims, weekend cycles and painfully slow runs down the beautiful scenery that is the A5 is over. My adrenaline has been kicking in all week and the part I thought I would struggle with the most (transition and rhythm between each discipline) I actually didn’t even notice.

Last night consisted of a very large plate of pasta and an alcohol free couple of weeks to keep hydration levels up. 6am wake-up call this morning (not mine or most people’s normal Sunday routine) followed by eggs on toast. Tri-suit on, check. Swim hat, goggles, wetsuit, cleats, helmet, bicycle pump, trainers, water, towel, power bars…check, check, check.

Registration was open from 7.30 – numbers 1069 and 1068. Be it this was our first ever triathlon, we didn’t actually manage to forget anything or get lost in the racking of our bikes or transitioning between each event.

So the swim was cut slightly shorter because the lake was full of weeds (due to the weather apparently), it was 8.30am and the swim had still not been confirmed that it was even going ahead. The lake was not pleasant! Apart from being kicked and elbowed about three times in the struggle to swim in some sort of regular rhythm-the weeds had taken over! At some points I felt like I wasn’t actually swimming but crawling through moss. Nonetheless, we completed it!

Wetsuit off, hat & goggles off, socks, cleats and helmet on. The Stowe triathlon is 3 laps of each route for every discipline so as me and my sister approached our first lap a thought of ‘oh my goodness, 45 miles, and hours later we will reconvene’ went through my head. I really enjoyed the cycle, there were a few inclines but mainly smooth roads which we could really get some speed up. Me and my sister learnt that maintaining a consistent level of energy thus having to force ourselves to eat or take gels on the bike is key to keeping energy levels up! Luckily we didn’t have to change any flat tyres…result!

Finally 12 mile run. Cleats and helmet off, trainers on. 3 laps of 4 miles, which compared to the cycle felt psychologically easier. I didn’t predict that the route would be so quiet, pretty much the whole way round. I thought to myself, either we are completing this triathlon A LOT slower than everyone else or because of the grounds and the lay out of the tri, people seem to spread out a bit more.

All in all, I absolutely loved it. I felt strong, prepared and determined. 3 feelings that go hand in hand with an endurance event. Well done Karina Thompson-we did it.

Now for the next challenge…whatever that may be!

Be Healthy #179 #180 #181 #182

Half way through the year! Let me reflect – it has without a doubt been the most difficult year of my life, probably not for the reasons people may predict. Although studying has been completely time-consuming and pretty stressful, I have begun to tackle things that have at times, over the years, caused me much distress! No need to dive into further detail however, I think a lot of us have parts of our lives that we think could work a little better (work-life balance) or things we may feel need to change (exercise routine) but the energy and the risk associated with change can cause us not to do it at all!

I am facing demons…finally!

I also want to reflect on the fact that me and my sister only have 3 DAYS TO GO!! 3 days until the first triathlon and I must admit, my adrenaline is increasing every day and I’m getting more and more excited about giving this triathlon the best go I can.

1900m swim, 45 mile cycle and 12 mile run. I know my body is capable, I know my mind is prepared (thank you to the good training sessions from last weekend) and I know that I [we] am raising money for people who live with cancer. Terminal cancer shouldn’t mean that someone’s life needs to end…the world keeps going and people with cancer should always have that opportunity to.

Carbohydrate loading is starting to begin, keeping hydrated and reducing the exercise are the main aims for this week.

No. 179

  • Back workout (upright rows, bent over rows, lateral pull downs, chin ups, single arm rows)

No. 180

  • 45 minutes of Sh’bam

No. 181

  • Short 20 minute jog followed by four abdominal exercises

No. 181

  • 300 calorie burn on elliptical trainer
  • 100 calorie on the rower
  • 100 calorie incline walking
  • 4 swissball exercises

Prepared. Ready. Excited.

Bring on the next 6 months.

Be Healthy #176 #177 #178

Variety, moderation, balance…key to happiness and health!

In every aspect of life. Work, food, exercise, socialising, relaxing, talking, listening.

No. 176

  • Abdominals

No. 177

  • 1 hour open water swim- therapeutic, fresh, liberating!

No. 178

52 mile cycle – sunshine, country roads, brilliant.