Beauty, Fashion, Travel, Fitness, Wellness and Lifestyle Blog | Emtalks

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Top Exercises For Your Well-being & Skin Loving Superfoods

sweaty Betty power leggings

Leggings / top

Hey guys, a fitness/wellbeing post today, yup, fitness and well-being, one of my favourite topics. I’ve always been a big believer in doing intense exercise to get results. You hear a lot about the power of HIIT and the power of intense things such as spin classes but what about yoga? What about relaxing our bodies from the intense stress caused by HIIT? Something that’s always stuck with me is a personal trainer friend telling me how much stress HIIT puts on our hearts and bodies, she said I shouldn’t do it *too much* which is why I now try to treat my body in other ways; with yoga, sleep, nourishment, long walks and long baths. I’m so happy to hear that more wellbeing-related activities are getting attention over the last few years, people are really starting to understand just how important it is to look after their wellbeing, they have the power to make your body look and feel great so it's a win win all round. I guess I want to talk about my experience with well-being related activities and tell you how they changed my body and my mind. I also want to talk you through some of my top skin loving superfoods, which combined with well-being activities and me time = total zen. Let's do this.

I did a blog post only a few weeks ago about working out for my mind and talked about how important it is, to work out for your mind. I used to work out to hit goals and try and make my body look different, yeah this isn’t a bad thing but nowadays, I work out as a way to relieve stress, tension and as a reward for my body and mind. I want to keep my body fit and keep my mind clear. 

I first started doing yoga, Pilates and barre when I lived in Canada. I became obsessed. I just slipped into the routine of well-being activities so easily because they had the best yoga class in Montreal just a ten-minute walk from my apartment, it was a dream come true. In Canada, they also take well-being very seriously and do a lot of outdoorsy activities so you're always getting hit in the face by rejuvenating fresh air. Trust me, it works. I always had assumptions that yoga wouldn’t be good and it wouldn’t be intense enough but trust me, it’s intense. My body aches in such a positive way and it really does clear my mind. I feel like yoga is so incredible in Canada and I went to hot classes every single day for almost a year. It was my release and my zen. I did couple it with intense exercise too because I love doing my treadmill HIIT but the yoga and Pilates just cleared my mind which is so important. I can honestly say, I was the least stressed I’ve ever been when I took time out for yoga all the time. I watched my body go from super un-flexible to flexible and toned but mainly, my mind felt incredible. 

Favourite types of well-being exercises: 

Hot yoga - For me, I do prefer hot yoga because being a fan of intense exercise, I find it feels like I’m doing a little bit more. I love the sweat you get from hot yoga. I’m yet to find the perfect hot yoga teacher or hot yoga class in the UK though. If you’ve tried yoga before and didn’t like it, give it another go. I’ve done hundreds of yoga classes and a good teacher can make all the difference. I really think it’s important to find the ‘one’ when it comes to teachers. A good teacher can make or break your yoga experience in my experience. 

Barre - I miss doing barre so much. I’ve started doing barre videos at home on YouTube, it’s not really the same because I don’t push myself as much as I do when I go to a class. I don’t really have any classes too close to me and they don’t yet do them at my gym (come on David Lloyd, I’m waiting for you to start doing barre classes!) Barrecore is an amazing class, I just wish it was a little bit closer to me as I no longer live in the city centre, I have to get there and it takes 40 minutes and then get home which takes another 40 minutes so it's almost 3 hours out of my day to do a class by the time I'm finished. I can’t explain how much it stretches and shakes my body, it feels incredible. Read more with my Barrecore review

Pilates - Pilates for me was always a bit more strenuous than yoga as it has the yoga elements but is a little more ‘intense’. The Pilates classes at David Lloyd are so good, I’m pleased to say even my Mum has taken them up and constantly says what they have done for her body in terms of flexibility and wellbeing too for her mind. 

Walking - Never underestimate how great walking is for you. Whether it's power walking or a steady walk around a local lake, try it. Walking has the power to instantly clear my mind and make me feel so much better.

I think focusing on wellbeing from within is the reason I enjoy these kinds of exercises at least once a week now. Not only do they help you feel toned and strengthened, they’re good for the mind too. My ‘release’ is going to the gym, I’ll do my spin class 2-3x a week coupled with weights and HIIT and then my off day is for my mind, using yoga or Pilates. It honestly relaxes me so much. My other two releases are countryside walks, the air instantly makes me feel incredible and then bath time. I rarely get the time to have proper baths but when I do, I feel epic. 

Pamper products to make you feel great from within: Inspired by  Aveeno®, I’m gonna talk you through a few pamper products that make me feel great from within too. I’ve learnt about Aveeno® a lot over the last year and I am so obsessed with their ethics and the idea behind the brand. They’re committed to the science of ingredients and believe in enhancing overall wellbeing by putting nutrition, a healthy lifestyle and me-time together, which is what my mantra is all about. Below are some of my top products from Aveeno®, one of my favourite brands if you haven’t already checked it out. 

Aveeno® Daily Moisturising Body Yogurt (RRP £6.50) - This has been a long time favourite, it’s enriched with naturally active oatmeal and nutrient-rich  yogurt concentrate so you can imagine how dreamily soft it makes my skin. It makes my skin feel so nourished and the creamy yogurt texture is a dream to apply. It’s meant to improve the condition of dry skin from the first use and I can vouch for that, it truly does make my Autumn skin feel so soothed. You can get this in vanilla and oat or apricot and honey scents and I love both. It’s really affordable for such an epic product. Don't forget the Aveeno® After-Shower Mist too, perfect when you're in a rush. There's also the Aveeno® Daily Moisturising Creamy Oil which my skin just drinks up, it's perfect for Winter. 

Aveeno® Daily Moisturising Yogurt Body Wash (RRP: £7.82) - I absolutely adore this product and call it the lazy girls way to getting moisturised skin. It’s the perfect gym bag wash as it instantly softens the skin, without feeling the need to even moisturise after. The Daily Moisturising Yogurt Body Wash is as creamy as it sounds and gentle cleanses. It’s enriched with naturally active oatmeal and yogurt concentrate and really does revitalise my skin. I jump out of the shower and my skin just feels divine and moisturised. Perfect when you don’t have the time to fully moisturise but want a bit of me time in your 5-minute shower. 

aveeno products

Top skin loving superfoods: Wellbeing doesn’t stop at me time and exercise. You can put skin loving and body loving ingredients into your food easily. 

Here are some of the best: 

Almonds - Rich in fibre and eating them can help lower cholesterol, they’re also energy rich so help reduce hunger. They help the skin and hair as they maintain energy production and are a good source of biotin (known for hair growth!). 

Honey - I did a blog post about the benefits of honey a while ago. It is anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory, it can help reduce skin inflammation, stimulate tissue regeneration and more. It also contains iron which is great for a number of reasons. 

Apricots - They’re a great source of fibre and contain vitamin A, an essential for good vision. They’re also packed with vitamins and antioxidants. 

So there we have it, my mantra? Eat better not less, move more. I believe in me time, adding nutritional things to your favourite dishes without faffing around and making it too complicated and moving more, but moving by doing something that makes you feel great, e.g. one spin class followed by yoga the next day to ease the mind.

You might also like: 

Do you agree with any of my favourite exercises? What do you do to clear your mind? Do you work out for your mind? 

 Lots of love, Em x

*This blog post is sponsored by Aveeno® but as always, it's 100% my honest opinion.

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