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Monday, 10 August 2015

My Top Health & Well-Being Tips; Things I've Learnt! Lifestyle Changes!

Hello hello hello! So today I wanted to do a little kind of top health and well-being tips and tricks post. I have been mixing things up recently and trying to really take care of 'me'. That sounds selfish, but sometimes we all need a little 'me time'. You and your body are important, so important. Health and happiness, they really matter - they matter the most and the phrase 'your body is your temple' really does mean something. I've realised this recently. I've watched my body change, I feel stronger, happier and more confident since I've been taking care of it more and I am so happy I made these lifestyle changes. It's only in the past year that I've really really got into this mind-set. I've been eating much cleaner, I've been working out more effectively, I've cut things out, I've added things to my diet, I've made little changes here and there and I have never felt happier. I wanted to share some of these tips and tricks with you in the final months of Summer! 

Get In The Right Frame Of Mind - My main tip is to get in the right frame of mind to begin with. It sounds sad but it was going to yoga whilst I was in Canada and seeing the active, healthy Canadian way of life that inspired me. I guess it just takes one little thing to inspire you. I felt so amazing every time I left a yoga class or every time I ran up a mountain that I never wanted to stop.  I started to embrace the outdoors/physical activity and it really got me in the zone. I used to go to hot yoga and aspire to be like the lean, toned but healthy women I saw there. They were double my age but so much fitter and leaner. These women were strong, lean, healthy but they looked happy and energised. I was groggy, tired, emotional. To get myself in the right frame of mind I like to find inspiration, this is just something that works really well for me. I don't believe in comparing myself but I do follow a lot of inspirational, strong, healthy girls on Instagram such as Sjana Elise, Tash Oakley. I follow girls who get up every morning and treat their bodies well, girls who have stories, struggles but believe in 'strong not skinny' and they want their bodies to be fuelled and happy. I actually wrote a blog post (here) about how important breakfast is. You've got to fuel your body! This is what I've been doing, I've been telling myself that the better I treat my body, the better I'll look and feel both inside and outside. Once you can get yourself into this frame of mind, you're halfway there! 

Get The Right Kit - Spending a lot of money on a good gym/yoga/work out kit really isn't essential but, it does help me get in the right frame of mind if I have new gym kit. I've said this so many times but I like nice kit. New trainers spur me on. I was recently kindly made this gorgeous bag and jumper by LeaversHoodies.com - a company I actually used back in the day to get my leavers hoodie made when leaving high school! It's crazy because I have actually been wearing this jumper (the gorgeous grey one above) all the time. Whether it's over my gym kit, on an evening stroll with my Mum to keep myself comfy and warm or, just chilling around the house. The bag?! Oh the bag is amazing. It travelled to Manchester with me the other day as the perfect weekend away bag and I am forever stuffing it with all my fitness kit for the gym. I do love personalised things and LeaversHoodies don't just make leavers hoodies as you can see - they actually make amazing items that could be used at the gym, whilst travelling or more. Their sister company College Custom is really good for sporting stuff too and I actually got some of my sports kit from them at Uni too! Do make sure you check them out here and here, you won't regret it. I am so in love with my pieces and will certainly be ordering more.




Take The Stairs - I say it all the time, but take the stairs! This isn't just about the stairs though, get into the 'take the stairs mindset' and get off the bus one stop earlier, walk instead of driving, if there are stairs, run up them! I spoke to a girl once who told me every morning in London she times herself whilst running up the tube stairs. The perfect morning work out whilst everyone else is stood around! I always get the tube stairs whilst in London rather than standing and letting the escalator take me up - little things like this really can make a difference. No matter how fit I think I am, running up those tube stairs is always a killer!




Keep Track Of Your Goals And Achievements - This is a big one for me. I start off with a goal (e.g., I want to feel body confident in a bikini or I want to run a 5k) and then I train myself up. It helps spur me on for that final minute on the treadmill (Beyonce soundtracks also help!!!). I always open up the notes on my iPhone after doing a work out and type out exactly how fast and how far I ran. I read somewhere that you should try run further and faster each time, so that's what I try to achieve. You can read about what I do at the gym here but honestly, use yourself as competition! I quit athletics as a child because I hated how competitive it was, my heart used to pop out of my chest when the gun went off and I had to sprint but as I've got older, I prefer to compete with myself. It's all about mindset - you are so much stronger than you think you are. 


80/20 Rule - I am going to be writing an updated post about my diet but for now, here's something I massively believe in and will stand by for the rest of my life. I don't believe in dieting, I am a girl who believes in balance. Treat yourself. If you want pizza, have pizza but just have it in moderation. If you deprive yourself, you're only going to want it more and binge out. I once tried to cut carbs out - worst decision I've ever made! You need carbs. If you cut something out, you'll only binge and put all the weight back on! I like wine and I like socialising so I try my hardest to be healthy 80% of the week and then usually have weekends off which means pizza, burgers or some yummy cocktails. If you do like the finer things in life, you can always go for the healthier options, e.g., gin and tonic or stay away from fizzy drinks as a mixer with your drink. It's just about making good choices, it doesn't mean you have to eat a salad for every meal or never drink cocktails, just make sensible choices. I do it so often that it is part of my life now. It's not abnormal for me to drink green tea over coffee every day! 


Cutting Things Out - I cut fizzy drinks and white bread out of my diet about two years ago and my body has never felt better. I still have them sometimes, I'd say maybe once a month but I just feel amazing without them. I couldn't ever be fully vegan because I love my eggs, cheese and meat but I do try to eat clean ,vegan foods 80% of the time nowadays (with some added chicken) purely because I enjoy how fresh and clean my body feels after indulging in a  big bowl of spinach for example. I also feel way more satisfied when I eat clean. I am living on these super healthy sweet potato brownies at the moment and seriously cannot get enough of them. I've even forced myself to love dark chocolate (this is coming from the worlds biggest chocolate lover). I have almost trained myself to not like unhealthy foods because when I do eat them now, I don't feel satisfied, I feel greasy and a bit stodgy afterwards!


Take Time Out - It took me a long long time to grasp this but finally, I have started taking time out. Working from home means I have crazy working hours, I can work until 5am and that isn't healthy. I've started getting up at 7, gymming until around 9ish if I can fit it in (if not, hey, who cares, don't fret!) and then getting on with my work (I'm not a morning person but getting up early means I am way more productive actually). I give myself a lunch break (something I never used to do) and when the clock strikes 5? It's time to socialise or just have some time away from my laptop. This has changed my mindset, I used to sit and slog away at my laptop all day and all night, resulting in headaches, upset and just major stress. That isn't good for anyone. I bought myself a new gym membership and try to take 15 minutes out to sit in the steam room after every session. I feel like I've found my 'happy booster' for me, my stress booster is the gym.


Try Something New - I honestly thought yoga did nothing and then I did my first reformer pilates class with Lottie Murphy and then started doing yoga in Canada 6 times per week - it felt amazing. As long as you do the right kind of yoga (I like to push myself so did hot power yoga) you will feel the effects. I used to leave all my stresses outside the door, do a class and then leave feeling like a new woman. Don't judge something before you'd tried it. I just wish I could find a good hot yoga class in Leeds as I am having serious withdrawal symptoms. I think it's so important to do something new, to scare yourself. I wrote a blog post about how important it is to face your fears recently actually, you can find that here.

 Make It A Way Of Life - I don't do 'fads'. This is my life now. I drink more water, I try to eat clean, I don't beat myself up and working out is part of my every day routine. If you make it part of your schedule you have to do it, this is a lifestyle choice - not a fad, not a diet - it really is a way of life! I eat clean and I feel good for it.


Don't Be Too Hard On Yourself - We are all guilty of this. Comparing ourselves, being hard on ourselves, beating ourselves up. Its not good for anyone, I am constantly reminding myself never ever to compare myself to others, as difficult as it is. We are all unique and individual and remember, you are someones reason to smile!






Don't Underestimate The Power Of Fresh Air - I can be in the worst mood ever and then step outside and I feel amazing. Fresh air really is an amazing stress buster/mood booster. Find your mood booster - is it the gym, is it a giggle, is it a cuddle?!
 
So there we have it, some of my top wellness and health tips that have just made me feel a lot better about myself in the past months. I'd love for you to share yours below in the comments! 

Outfit details; Shorts - Adidas / Trainers - Adidas / My amazing bag - LeaversHoodies.com / Jumper - LeaversHoodies.com / CollegeCustom

Do you have any health/well-being tips? Do you agree with any of my tips?

*A big thanks to CollegeCustom/LeaversHoodies for sending me these gorgeous pieces to wear for this post - as always it's 100% my honest opinion. 

Lots of love, Em x


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