Today I’ve invited Becky Murrell to answer a few questions about the importance of keeping fit. She a Personal Trainer based in Brighton and Hove, as well as creating workout videos for her facebook and instagram community, and holding events in her local area.
Let’s get to the interview…
So, what does keeping fit actually mean?
To me, keeping fit means keeping active and improving your fitness. You don’t have to go to extreme measures to keep fit.
Fitness is personal to everyone and what works for one person might not necessarily work for another.
One of the hardest things to do is staying motivated and staying motivated is part of keeping fit. Whether that be going to yoga once a week or the gym every other day.
Do I have to be in a gym every day for an hour to achieve physical fitness and wellbeing?
Some of the most effective exercises involve using your body only and can be done in less than an hour. You most definitely don’t need a gym to do that in.
Exercise is so good for the body but it’s only good for the body if it benefits your goals. You don’t need to slave away every day to reap the benefits.
Exercise should be enjoyable and you’ll have great results if your form is correct and the exercise is performed correctly.
Remember quality over quantity.
That’s not to say training every day is bad, it’s always good to mix it up and do some cardio, strength, mobility to help keep your body mobile and strong.
How does keeping fit affect my mental health?
It’s in so many studies: when we exercise endorphins are released which makes us feel good. Par of my Personal Trainer Qualification, was studyingthe benefits of exercise on mental health.
As someone who personally has anxiety and previously had depression I can first hand say that exercise is the number one reason I am able to control that.
Exercise is so wonderful for so many reasons and one of those reasons is helping you feel in control. When I exercise I feel I am on control which is so important because anxiety and depression can make you feel helpless.
Do you have any tips for people that might find exercising a bit difficult to schedule into their daily lives?
Absolutely. The truth is when we enjoy something we find the time to do it. If you can’t find the time then you haven’t found the right exercise for you.
Don’t pick an exercise that others like – find something that meets your needs, that you enjoy.
Pick the right environment that you will feel comfortable in. Invest time in finding what makes you feel good.
We are all able to schedule stuff in if we really want to. Keep looking for that perfect exercise for you and you wont look back.
How does diet enter into this?
Diet is extremely important; however I believe balance is important! Life is for living and we should all have a treat.
If you have specific goals to look a certain way or enter a competition then diet is the most important thing because you can’t out-train a bad diet. But if you want to enjoy food and exercise without be strict then eating healthy most of the time and having a treat is absolutely something I recommend.
Any final thoughts on self-care?
Self care is so important to ensure you have a healthy and happy life. A lot of people think looking good is the main part of self care but actually there are more important things like our wellbeing, our mental health, looking after the inside of our body, having balance and being happy, getting enough sleep. All these things form part of self care.
The human body is amazing, you only get one. We should be doing all we can to keep it healthy happy and balanced.
Last week we talked about having time on our own so we could re-charge our energies to be able to function well in life, relationships and possibly also meditate and get creative.
This week, we are talking about the opposite side of the spectrum: spending time with others, i.e. friends and family.
So, why is this important, you ask?
Well, according to research, spending quality time with others leads to increased wellbeing, mental health, and will also allow us to live a stronger, healthier, longer, and most importantly, a happier life!
Peer relationships begin to be important – if not the most important – part of our lives during our teenage years. These early friendships, and also relationships with siblings of similar age, help with dealing with self-doubt, self-consciousness, fear and loneliness during those confusing years.
It is in these relationships where we start learning who we are, what we like, what we don’t like, and who we can trust with our feelings and struggles. Later on, these relationships might strengthen or be replaced by others, and change in the way we engage, including what activities we engage in with them.
Talking things through is something that friends and family can help with. We can be there for one another, and share the load, the stress, and look for a solution together, or just sit next to each other. Being understood by our loved ones relieves some of the pain and allows us to share the experience and not feel alone with our struggles.
When we engage with others, we might plan activities that we might not do if on our own. We might go for long walks or cycles, eat at a new restaurant and pick the healthier dishes.
Laughing with others increases endorphin levels and therefore increases happiness and reduces cortisol levels and therefore reduces stress. This in itself should make it more appealing to keep and develop relationships with others.
Creating memories is also a good reason, and it doesn’t have to be expensive or cost much at all!
So, schedule time for friends and family, create memories that will last a lifetime!
I hope you are enjoying the Looking after yourself Blog Series!
Tomorrow, I will be posting on how to look after yourself by spending time with family and friends.
Next week will be the last post of the series, so I thought I would start by thanking you for reading and following so far!
I hope you will stay with me for the next series on dealing with Mental Health Issues: “In Therapy: working through…” and tell your friends, family, and colleagues about it!
In this new series (Mondays), I want to talk about particular Mental Health issues and how to work through them in therapy and also giving some tips on what you can do on your own, some food for thought, and signposting to services that could be of help.
Do contact me if you have any particular topics you would like me to discuss – anxiety, depression, relationship issues, shame, loss, will be some of the topics but there are so many more!
As information is a bit low sometimes, or at the very least confusing! I am also going to post mid-week (possibly every week or every fortnight!) about Counselling and Psychotherapy modalities — how they work, why they work that way, and how they can help with the Mental Health issues discussed above.
If you want to collaborate with the series in any way – maybe with a guest post of your own in a related topic, or to make an appearance in one of the topics I’m posting about, drop me a line and I will be more than happy to have a conversation with you and come up with great content for everyone to read and get something out of!
Enjoy the rest of your day!
Yes, you read right…but having a bath is not all I want to talk about this week.
What this article is really about is this: being on your own.
Now I realise that society tells us that being a hermit or isolated from others is a terrible, terrible thing. But I’m not talking about being on your own all the time. I am talking about taking the time to be on your own, to re-charge your energies and therefore be able to be with others feeling better about yourself and them!
For me, I need to disconnect from people to re-charge. Doing my counselling work is different though. It is more when I’m socialising that I feel drained by the end of it. So having my own space is important to me.
Others might re-charge by actually spending time with others, which will be the topic of next week’s post!
So do I feel lonely when I spend time on my own? Not at all! In fact I believe it is necessary for everyone to have time on their own once in a while.
Solitude is important to replenish yourself with what you need to be able to do life and to weather everything it has to give: problems, fun times, strong emotions, as well as it replenishes us in order to be able to give to others, to do our work well, to live well.
Here are some suggestions of how to be alone – without feeling lonely – and getting the most of that time:
Have a bath
I learned from a young lady with Autism that I used to support. When she had a bit of a difficult day, she would ask for a bath. Sometimes she would have 2-3 baths in the space of 7 hours, but it really relaxed her! At this point I hadn’t had a bath since playing with my sister when we were little, and saw no benefit – just a waste of time and water.
But having tried it since then, I am definitely a fan!
Get some Epsom Salts, Lavender Salts, some candles and your favourite music, and relax!
Try it and drop me a line below with the results!
It will also give you a chance to meditate and reflect on life, your plans, your relationships, or just a chance to zone out and enjoy time to yourself.
Get to know yourself better
Meditating will allow you time to think about the things that you have done in your life in the past, what you are doing now, and what you want to do in the near and distant future.
Getting to know yourself better will also allow you to change the way you are in relationships, to begin new ones or end the ones that are either toxic or not good for you in other ways, to set clearer boundaries that make you happier, and to find ways to care for yourself that match your personality and needs.
Reading / writing / journaling / drawing / colouring / singing / cross-stitching or crocheting
This is a bit of a varied list, but not all of us are good at all of these or would necessarily enjoy some of these as a relaxing activity!
I particularly would prefer to read or write, which is what I am doing right now! Be true to yourself and find what works best. Remember, it’s about relaxing and looking after yourself. You have enough “work” to do in other areas of your life, this is a gift from yourself to yourself, something easy and lovely for you to enjoy!
Have a nap
This is one of my favourite activities, anyone that knows me will vouch for this one!
Sleep is a great way to disconnect from everything around us and, I find that it helps to work through problems or to think through what to do next – for example what to write on my blog next comes up for me after a nice bit of sleep!
So you need sleep not only to get your body and your brain to rest, but also to process your emotions, and any issues, problems or situations that might be going on for you right now.
Cook a nice meal for yourself or cheat and get a take away!
Cooking can be a very relaxing activity for some of us. Others might just go for the take away menu and make a call, which is perfectly fine. I like doing that too!
There is something in preparing our own meal, there is something caring about it. Meditation can also be done during this time as you focus on chopping, frying, preparing.
Find something you enjoy, find its recipe and ingredients and enjoy!
Exercise / go for a walk
In a few weeks time, I will be talking about the importance of keeping fit, so will keep it short here.
A great space to meditate is amongst nature, amongst the fresh air. So you get two things for the price of one! And both are free!
So go for it, try one or two or all of these and let me know how it goes!
Until next time…
I am happy to present a guest post that Nikki Meadows from The Richness of a Simple Life has invited me to write for her community!
Emotional overwhelm is something that gets us at some point – or many points in life. When we are in it, it’s hard to know what to do to solve it, avoid it, and prevent further overwhelm.
This post talks about just that – what you can do in the middle of the emotional storm! Have a read and do leave your comments for me and Nikki either on her site or below this post!
This week, it is my utmost pleasure to introduce Tami Bauer, my best friend since we were 5 years old!
This woman is such a powerful example of what a massive change you can make when you finally take the steps to look after yourself, by finding a way – or in Tami’s case, a variety of ways – to do so.
As everything to do with emotions, scars from the past, things we have ignored or ‘swept under the carpet’, they catch up with us and demand our attention, one way or another.
I asked Tami about her own journey to successful self-care and how she keeps it up, with everything life throws at her.
In this video, Tami answers some questions that we all can learn from, and have probably asked ourselves. Maybe it has stayed at the asking stage for some of us.
Take some inspiration from Tami’s journey, and let me know how it goes! Taking the first step is the hardest but possibly the most rewarding in the end!
She goes through some of the things we have already spoken about in the past blog posts – setting boundaries, getting rid of toxic people or comments people make, being more assertive, being kind and compassionate to yourself, and others.
Below the video, I will leave the questions I asked Tami so you can follow the video or skip to the questions you want to know more about.
What led you to start your journey?
What was the first step you took to look after yourself?
Did the other aspects of your journey come after this?
Who has supported you throughout this process?
What do you do on those days that it’s difficult to keep up with the diet, the exercise routine, the positivity to carry on?
If you could speak to the Tami from 20-25 years ago (you must have been between 11-16 years old), what would you say to her now?
How about 15 years ago (aged 22)?
What advice would you give to people in a similar situation to you in regards diet/food related issues? in regards to exercise? and in regards to mental health/healing past hurts?
Thanks Tami for this in-depth and very personal account of what your journey has been like, and how you are better off for braving it all and powering through day to day!