Why Should You Exercise?

If you are not a person who really enjoys exercise then it can be hard to motivate yourself to do it.

Exercise has been shown to increase self-esteem. When we feel good about ourselves it encourages us to take care of our health and wellbeing and support us in our efforts to change. Try to make some form of exercise a priority and make time for it, because it is vital for your health and it will improve your mental outlook, mood and self-esteem.

Exercise is a fantastic stress buster and just a moderate increase in your level of exercise can leave you feeling calmer and in control. Whenever you feel stressed or anxious, take a long, brisk walk and see if you feel better afterwards. Exercise discharges the stress hormone such as cortisol, that accumulates due to chronic stress. Exercise increases the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain and stimulates the release of mood-lifting endorphins that relieve pain – a natural opium known as the runners high. These changes in the brain chemistry make us feel euphoric and exhilarated.

It has been shown in several studies that exercise can be as effective as antidepressants or traditional psychotherapy in elevating mood.

The more intensely you exercise, the more of these chemicals you produce, helping you to feel better and better.

If you haven’t exercised for a while then build up slowly, don’t try to do too much at once. If you are recovering from illness build up slowly and don’t over do it. I had Covid in April and im still not back at the fitness level I was before. I have to build it up slowly because if I do too much it will massively impact how I feel the next day and can result in me taking a step backwards.

Below is some of the amazing benefits of exercise:

Maintains weight loss over the long term

Increases resting metabolic rate

Improves strength and stamina

Improves muscle tone

Improves joint flexibility and suppleness

Strengthens back muscles and eases pain

Strengthens heart muscle

Improves lung function

Improves digestion

Helps reduce food cravings and regulates appetite

Slows down the body’s ageing process and helps you look better

Reduces stress and anxiety

Improves mental clarity

Elevates mood

Increases self-esteem and self confidence

Increases energy and reduces fatigue

Increases the production of endorphins, helping you to feel calm

Helps you sleep better

Reduces the risk of heart disease

Lowers blood pressure

Reduces the risk of mature onset diabetes

Improves your insulin/blood glucose mechanism

Reduces cholesterol to healthy levels

It feels good

My main exercises at the moment are yoga and walking.

Yesterday I had a little robin on my walk with me.

Due to the situation we are all in at the moment it is definitely worth trying to do some exercise to improve how you feel.

Go for a walk and enjoy your day.

Why Should You Eat Blueberries??

It is a simple question, but there are so many reasons why!!

Especially at the moment it is vitally important to look after your health as much as you can.

Blueberries are an amazing fruit for helping to protect cells from free radical damage and ageing, containing great youth-preserving antioxidants which boost immunity and help avert many conditions.

Consume blueberries three or four times a week for all immunity – boosting benefits.

They are great eaten as a snack or add to your breakfast cereal or simply do what I do which is add them to a plain bio yogurt. I also buy the frozen blueberries so they last longer.

The berries lovely blue colour comes from anthocyanins – potent antioxidants that fight cell damage, improve circulation and help protect against heart problems, stroke, cancer and gum disease.

Anthocyanins can also help improve eye health by protecting against retinal degeneration.

Blueberries are rich in tannins which have anti-inflammatory effect on the body’s tissues and are known to kill microbes and fight the bacteria that cause urinary tract infections.

They are also known to combat the bacteria that cause diarrhoea.

Blueberries can help improve brain function and have been known to help protect against dementia and preserve memory.

You can get so many health benefits from blueberries, boosting immunity is a fantastic one to have at the moment.

Enjoy your day and eat some blueberries.

Are You Struggling To Lose Weight?

The first step on the path to losing weight is to recognise that what works for someone else may not suit you. Becoming stressed out about sticking to a punishing diet because some celebrity endorses it is not going to get you anywhere, not at least because feeling ravenous, light-headed and grouchy seriously affects your ability to cope with the demands of a busy life. I know I get really grumpy if I am hungry and have not eaten enough.

Stressed out busy people tend to turn to food and drink as their main source of relaxation at the end of a frantic day. I think most people are guilty of this including myself. If you are trying to lose weight try to build a more life affirming activity into your evenings such as mediating, yoga, exercise, reading or phone a friend for a chat. The more you make your life well rounded the less you will want to take solace in food. The best thing you can do for your body and mind is to exercise. I find putting headphones on while exercising helps as you can totally switch off to anything else going on around you or doing yoga as you have to concentrate and switch off to other things because if you don’t you will lose your balance!!

Rather than becoming fixated on achieving a particular weight, the crucial thing is to stay positive by envisioning your body looking slimmer and healthier. How you feel in yourself is far more important than how much you weigh. Be realistic your body is likely to be an apple or a pear shape and although you can become a slimmer apple or pear you will probably never be able to switch. Record your dimensions this allows you to focus on your change in shape, which is what a lot of us care about. How your clothes feel are they becoming loser? I judge off my clothes a lot of the time.

Some people use diet pills and appetite suppressants to help lose weight, yes they can help you lose weight initially, but they are not a long term solution and they can be damaging to your health. People who lose weight very quickly, tend to put it back on and more once they stop the pills. Yo-yo dieting is certainly not good for you. One of the easiest and best ways I find to start with is to do a food diary, but you must be completely honest or you are just cheating yourself. Many people are shocked by how much they are actually eating. It means writing down every snack and every drink. It can be as simple as that for you to understand why you are not losing weight. People snack when they are bored, learn to recognise the different signs are you actually hungry?

Chew your food slowly and concentrate on its flavours and textures it will also increase your sense of satiety, unlike shovelling down a sandwich while you are on the phone at work, so choose something you will enjoy eating and take the time to savour it. Losing weight takes time there is no quick fix, it is a life change. Set your yourself small achievable goals. Don’t start wanting to lose 5 stone as it will feel like it is impossible break it down and choose rewards when you reach a goal, preferably not a huge meal. Aim to lose half a stone at first.

Remember the body recognises thirst and hunger as similar sensations. Before you grab something to eat have a drink of water and wait 20 minutes to see if you still feel hungry. This will also help you stop overeating.

Focus on what you want to achieve and don’t give up if you have a set back. If you have a bad day with food tomorrow is a new day.

You can achieve want you want!!

Karen x