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

Monday, 18 December 2017

Pre-Christmas Wellbeing Tips

If you’ve read any of my recent fitness blog posts you’ll know that over the last few months I’ve really been focusing on fitness from a wellbeing point of view. I’ve always adored working out, it truly is my passion but many of us work so hard in the gym and forget to exercise for our minds too. Something I’ve been taking a lot more time for this year is yoga. It's something I used to do every day when I lived in Canada. It’s something that does take time but makes you feel incredible. Recently, I just haven’t had much time and haven't been feeling well (I've actually had to take quite some time out of exercising) so I’ve been practicing at home when I can’t get to my gym. Today I want to talk to you about some important wellbeing practices you can do anywhere and an easy tool for yoga and stretching at home.

We see exercise as being all about burning calories, but many of us don’t stop to think about the importance of wellbeing too. I’ve done a whole blog post about mindfulness tips and working out for my mind but today, I want to talk about things I personally do for my wellbeing and particularly in the run up to Christmas where things are pretty stressful. After this crazy month, I thought I'd put together an easy list of things you can do pretty much anywhere, to ensure you're feeling great, body, mind and soul. 

Wellbeing practices you can do anywhere:

1. Drink more water - It seems incredibly simple and it's such an easy one but it helps. Drinking more water is meant to flush things out, as well as keeping you hydrated, being great for your skin and concentration. Do it. Drink it and see it as an instant boost. Do a little bit of research into the benefits of drinking water and I guarantee you'll be drinking loads of it. I am guilty of not drinking enough of it even though I know how good it is for me.

2. Fresh air -  For me, fresh air is like therapy, even if it’s just to run to the post office or step outside for ten minutes. Embrace it. Breathe it in and you’ll feel amazing. It clears my mind, gets my body moving and makes my brain feel revived. 
gym shark top

3. Work out - Similarly, working out feels like therapy too. I’ve been ill recently and haven't been able to workout so I’ve felt horrendous, it’s a double-edged sword because I want to workout as the endorphins I get from it are incredible but I feel horrendous when I don’t workout. However, if I work out when I’m ill I’ll only get worse and then go back to feeling rubbish to not being able to work out! Phew, I hope that makes sense. Find workouts that work for you, whether it’s at home or at a gym. For example, I love my gym (David Lloyd) but as I haven’t felt too well or had the time to get there, I’ve been doing barrecore classes via YouTube in my living room or trying to get out and stretch my legs are much as I can. 

4. Yoga at home - I recently got the HoMedics STRETCH mat, it’s a new way to bring the benefits of yoga into your day. STRETCH is for the yoga-phobes and the yoga-lovers, and can be customised to suit your flexibility. When I lived in Canada I did hot yoga every single day and fell in love with it. Since moving back to the UK I really do miss that so much. STRETCH helps to release tension and improve flexibility, for immediate benefits in the shoulders, hips and back and is really good if you’re someone who needs to stretch after doing intense exercise or if you just don't have the time in the gym. I do my spin class and then jump off the bike and get on with my day, I rarely think about stretching and that’s how you get injured. The best part about this is that you can do it in the comfort of your own home, whilst watching the television.  The mat mimics yoga-style stretches by inflating the precision controlled air chambers in sequence to encourage your lumbar to stretch, release, and relax and is honestly incredible. My brother has a chronic illness and he’s gone from someone who exercised every single day to not being able to at all. With this, he can slowly pace himself and feel like he’s done something good for his wellbeing too. The mat comes with four pre-programmed sequences to choose from:

stretch homedics

    • Twist - A short session that focuses on relieving tension in shoulders and hips
    • Flow - A progressive flow of stretches that gently mobilise the whole length of the spine, leaving you feeling refreshed and supple.
    • Energise - An uplifting program designed to help you refuel and boost your energy levels.
    • Stretch - An 'all-round' treatment to provide a refreshing antidote after staying seated for a long period of time.
My absolute favourite is the flow, as it makes me feel so stretched out after a long day. Energise is also great as it start my mornings off perfectly. This isn’t a substitute for exercise, I think it works hand in hand, you let the mat do the work and this helps to treat tension and allows your body to move without you needing to exert any effort. The more you relax, the greater the benefits of the mat should be. Treatments can be repeated as often as feels good for you, but as with anything new, always start gently and build up your regime as your body becomes accustomed. They recommend starting with a gentle ‘stretch’ treatment on level 1 and waiting at least 48 hours before the next treatment. Then slowly build up to daily or twice daily treatments, as desired.  I have been doing this every other day for a few weeks now and I feel much better after my gym classes.  It took me a bad injury to really appreciate how important stretching is and it took me doing yoga every day for a year and then moving away from those classes, to realise how much my mind needed them. HoMedics costs £2499.99 but is on a current promo deal of £199.99 grab it at,, Argos and Amazon, shop online here. I wish you could all come to my house and try mine first! 

5. Talk - Don’t forget about the mind too. We focus so heavily on our bodies but the thing that really changed when having a few months off the gym, wasn't actually my body but was my mind. Talk to someone... if you’re having a bad day, if you’re having bad thoughts or if you just need to get something off your chest. It’s so important to talk rather than lock things up inside. Locking things up inside is so bad, for me, even just going on a treadmill relieves that stress so actually, without the gym, I realised I needed to open up more as I couldn't run off all my stresses myself! A problem shared is a problem halved and may just help you/someone out. 

6. Me time - I say it a lot and it feels repetitive but it’s because it’s important. When did you last have me time? I had a bath last night and it was heavenly, it was the first time in a long time where I truly felt as if I’d switched off from work and put my wellbeing first.

7. Sleep - Another obvious one but nothing is better for your wellbeing than sleep. Use the stretch mat and then get yourself into bed. Getting into a good sleep routine is so important and something I struggled for so long with, it means you can wake up earlier and seize the day. Sleep is so important for so many things. So, if you miss a workout because you are too tired, good. Let your body sleep instead of pushing it hard and stressing it out. It will only have bad effects if you work out on zero energy. Get your sleeping and diet on point and then add working out into the mix.

So there we have it, I hope this helps you in the run up to the New Year, if you may be feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Do you often feel stressed or overwhelmed? What helps you? Do you have any tips?

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Lots of love, Em x

*This blog post is sponsored by Homedics but as always is my 100% honest opinion.

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