Gliding like a swan

Gliding like a swan

I came across this photo of our resident swan, don't know about you but I love watching them as they glide across the water, they are so incredibly majestic and beautiful to watch. Everything about them whispers serenity ... calm ... take time and I am reminded to stop and take in the view when I see them, I can't help but feel incredibly lucky to have these amazing creatures right here on our doorstep.

At the same time, this photo reminds me of how hard they work to make their glide look effortless, calm peaceful on top while their feet and legs work underneath. This a little like us right? Wearing a mask of calm while we live and function in organised chaos.

The biggest lesson for me is to take a breath and live in the moment, even if it is just for that moment.

This is no dress rehearsal, its life ... we are alive and living today, tomorrow a mystery and yesterday history ...

So be kind to yourself today and take the time to care for you.

Yes, that means slowing down and taking a moment to breathe, everything can wait for 10 minutes ...

To care and to be cared for is one of our basic human drivers, something we all need to do to feel valued and happy and satisfied with our lives. As women that need to nurture usually comes naturally and today that care starts here ... with you.

So consider this ... when was the last time you bought yourself some flowers or took a coffee break at a nice cafe with just you and a fabulous view, or refreshed your lingerie drawer ... for no one else but you?

If you haven't done anything like that for a little while, then grab your diary and choose a day this week, to take yourself out to buy flowers, lingerie and a nice coffee ... yes diarise the time now and don't cancel.

#youarewelcome #selflovefirst

 

The relationship we have with ourselves is one of the most meaningful relationships we can have, we know ourselves inside and out ... come from a place of kindness and compassion and just be ...

Find out how the ladies on the Ultimate Body Formula Program learn to be kinder to themselves every day and how this 'state of being' helps them achieve their goals.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE

 

Slow Down … Be Kind … and say ‘I Am Enough’!

Slow Down … Be Kind … and say ‘I Am Enough’!

Being kind to others comes as second nature to most of us right?

We easily encourage another person, compliment them, smile at them, let them know that they are doing a great job .... that they are loved and supported.

Why is it so much harder for us to be kind to ourselves?

After having a tough day we often listen to our inner critic to review what's gone wrong ... you should have ... why did you say that? ... didn't you realise that ... we feel anxious, berated and like we've failed, certainly not the way we treat others we care about.

Now consider how you would have treated a friend in this scenario. Differently? For most of us, the answer is yes. We would listen, empathise, encourage and make that person feel like we are on their side, in their corner and if asked we help them come up with a plan to move forward ... isn't this what friends do?

There is enough negativity in the world so my challenge every day is to change it! and that starts with the way I treat and think about myself and the way I talk to myself. Negative self-talk is so, well negative! I'm realising how important it is to love and treat myself the way I treat those I love and care about. In fact, being in a healthy relationship with myself is proving very important for my overall well-being. It is teaching me that kindness, love is the foundation for healing and personal growth. It provides emotional strength and resilience, allowing me to make mistakes, forgive myself, embrace my imperfections and motivate myself with kindness.

So if you are recognising negative self-talk in your behaviour, do not worry my friend, because you can learn and practise being kinder to you ...

 

Here are a few ideas you can put into practice today ...

Diarise time for you ...

Take some time to unplug from your phone, computer, social media, meetings and demands made on you by everyone in your world. Your system needs time to reboot and refocus. So allow yourself some time, could be 3 10 minute breaks where you make a cup of tea and drink it while you take in a view of a lovely painting, your garden, a bunch of flowers, listen to music, do some yoga, or guided meditation ... something other than work-related stuff that demands your energy and attention in every other waking moment.  Do something that calms your mind and brings you joy.

Listen & acknowledge how you are feeling ... then accept & appreciate yourself

Rather than deny how you are feeling, be honest and acknowledge where you are at, maybe feeling satisfied with life and totally chilled, maybe frustrated and stressed ... being kind to yourself means allowing yourself to feel whatever it is you are feeling at that moment. Instead of judging your emotions or trying to numb them, you give yourself permission to experience them, without judging yourself. This goes hand in hand with self-acceptance which means that you stop trying to change yourself into something you’re not and at the same time be open to discovering the real person you are. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, we all make silly mistakes and we all fail from time to time.

None of us is perfect ...

(except for my dad - he always sings this Mac Davis Song to me when I see him - Oh lord it's hard to be humble when you're perfect in every way, can't wait to look in the mirror because I get better looking each day ... love him - lol)

By accepting yourself just the way you are, you make space for new experiences, new hopes and dreams, and you make room to become who you really are.
Take care of your body first ...

This is a little like the safety announcement on an aeroplane when we are told to put the oxygen mask on ourselves first before helping anyone else ... getting good nourishing food in, enough sleep and being active daily without compromise is the best way to be kind to yourself before anyone else ... the reason is simple, without you functioning at 100% you can't help others effectively. We think we can and we try our best but this is one thing that will come back and bite you. This is one thing we need to do ... it is about raising the level of necessity and prioritising yourself.

Give thanks for your achievements, no matter how small ...

It is much easier to tell someone else how amazing they are and congratulate them on their achievements than it is to do just that to ourselves. It feels conceited and like we shouldn't need to do so, because well, they are our achievements ... the value in doing this for ourselves is in the insight and awareness it brings for continual forward motion, growth and development. So the next time you achieve something small, stop and acknowledge it and say something to yourself like ... good effort! or well done, or awesome job is done!

Make friends with your biggest critic ...

You know that judgmental voice we adopt when we berate ourselves for our actions, it sounds like a continual stream of criticism - negative self-talk - tends to push us into a state where we will do anything to silence it, we push it away, we ignore it, we end up punishing ourselves and bury our heads in the sand, when all we really need to do is listen from a distance, in a non-judgemental way and acknowledge that the voice is simply trying to protect us, to ensure we are prepared should we be faced with a repeat performance. So rather than feeling fearful, open ears and eyes, listen and see with curiosity. When you hear that self-talk and it begins to drag you down with negative thoughts, try to engage with that voice and begin a dialogue. What is driving this? What is it trying to tell you? Then be compassionate with yourself and accept your feelings. As soon as you realise that your critical voice is ultimately trying to help you and when you try to understand its underlying fears and needs, it will lose its power. Because in the end, the most effective way to approach yourself is from a place of kindness and compassion.

Tell yourself “I am enough” every day !!

Choose to believe you are enough ... put a positive perspective on just like you would a pair of glasses. These glasses bring in to focus the good stuff. Then tell yourself that you are enough at regular intervals throughout the day. Try this, on waking to say: I am enough! 3 times and boldly. Then 1/2 way through your day, ask yourself Am I enough? and check in with your mindset, follow this up with a bold I am enough statement. Then before you go to bed say - I have lived today to the full because I am enough! (even if you know there is room for improvement) Be consistent with this practise and give it a go for 7 days. Set an alarm on your phone that buzzes at specific intervals in your day to remind you to do this ...

 

The relationship we have with ourselves is one of the most meaningful relationships we can have, we know ourselves inside and out ...

Choose to come from a place of kindness and compassion and just be ...

Find out how the ladies on the Ultimate Body Formula Program learn to be kinder to themselves every day and how this state of being helps them achieve their goals.

Are you clear about your reality ?

Are you clear about your reality ?

It takes accepting where you are to move forward ...

Ever find yourself avoiding looking at yourself in the mirror?

I know what I look like, I would say.

The truth is that I had no idea, I hadn't taken a proper look at myself for years.

and ... it was only when I saw myself in photos or caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror that I was reminded how much I hated that feeling

... deflated, mediocre, brought down to reality.

Let's face it if our friends aren't honest if our partners won't say anything if we avoid trying to fit into clothes we know are too small then what chance do we have of actually getting to grips with where we are and how far away we are from the picture we have in our heads of how things are supposed to be?

 

This is why it takes a brave soul to take a hard look at their reality and while you may not like what you see,  accepting it as the place you are right now ... is the first step to learning to love yourself and seeing  yourself through eyes that are kinder, honest and will most certainly be the catalyst that moves you forward ...

Forget about being a bikini model.

... all I wanted to do was fit into my clothes

... just wanted to climb the stairs without feeling breathless

... just to walk the dogs with energy and have some left afterwards

... just keep up with the demands of my day and avoid collapsing in a heap at the end of it

These are some of the simple things we forget about because we get numb to the pain of our reality.

It was only when I got honest about where I was and clear about where I wanted to be that I found the strength and determination to change my situation.

There is a way, there is a path that will get you to where you want to be, to the point where you love your life and feel totally comfortable in your skin.

The point where you live life to the full and love everything in it ... including yourself

All you have to do is find it ...

Find out how the ladies on my Ultimate Body Formula program have learned to love themselves again ...

The three-step formula helping women use their drive for success get the body they want, feel stronger and more confident with boundless energy

Why we love WINNING …

Why we love WINNING …

Mindset Series #6

Understanding the mindset of the WINNER

Ever considered why you love winning?

Think about the thrill of victory, the satisfaction of accomplishment, the gratification of loving relationships, or even the simple pleasure of savouring a delicious treat.

These are some of the experiences that make life worth living, and there is a brain chemical primarily responsible for creating those pleasurable feelings.

Question is how do we stimulate the release of this chemical ... and does a winning mindset rely on it?

There are several schools of thought that try classify us into categories of performance or habit or goals or personality types. Telling us about our strengths and weaknesses the things we are good at and the things that need improvement. Why do we love these tests so much? and do they really tell us anything about ourselves we don't already know? I love to learn and always try to improve my mind, body, attitude, life, not entirely sure why I have this inherent drive in me but I'm sure most people do. We all want more, we all want better don't we? ... I'm no different and as a result, I love testing myself and I love feeling like I'm winning.

The question is how many of us will actually do the work to get better, to get stronger to make the changes necessary to win? and what do we need to do to achieve those objectives? For the athlete, it's about practice, repetition, nutrition, incremental improvements over time, measured performance to the point of competition and beyond, one season after the next. The same is true for anything in life, the only difference is the extent of the measure, the level of monitoring and of course the drive to win. Now I'm not suggesting that we all need to be first at everything in life, this is about a mindset, your mindset that pushes you towards being your best. That in itself is winning, agree?

In my experience ... anything that gets measured (is focused on and will improve over time) gets done.

With this in mind, I started this year reviewing my performance for the past year and shared some of my thoughts in a blog post at the start of the year. I have planned out my year and have a really clear vision of what I want to achieve so I am super motivated to grow and improve and for the first time ever I will be measuring things that really matter to me. I have spent the last two years investing in my business by working with business coaches. Putting everything I have learned into practice has moved me forward much faster than I could ever have done on my own. I have no doubt that my investment in personal and business development will continue because that's something I feel passionate about and value in my own life. Finding the right coach at the right point in your journey is the key to your success, I can say that because for me it is true.

How am I going to make the leaps I plan to make? given my recent research into mindset ... the answer begins with a D!!

Think about the thrill of victory, the satisfaction of accomplishment, the gratification of loving relationships, or even the simple pleasure of savouring a delicious treat. These are some of the experiences that make life worth living, and dopamine is the brain chemical primarily responsible for creating those pleasurable feelings. Dopamine influences almost every aspect of life, from the ability to feel pleasure and happiness to motivation, energy, and even the power to control movement. Low dopamine levels severely diminish the physiological and cognitive responses that combine to make each day enjoyable, but there are many natural, healthy ways to boost dopamine levels and recapture the zest for life. - www.braintropic.com

So what is DOPAMINE exactly ...

In popular culture and media, dopamine is often seen as the main chemical of pleasure, but the current opinion in pharmacology is that dopamine instead confers motivational salience; in other words, dopamine signals the perceived motivational prominence (i.e., the desirability or aversiveness) of an outcome, which in turn propels the organism's behaviour toward or away from achieving that outcome. - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dopamine

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centres. Dopamine also helps regulate movement and emotional response, and it enables us not only to see rewards but to take action to move toward them. – Psychology Today

So we have some very interesting sounding outcomes to consider when talking about dopamine. From recapturing the zest for life to the chemical of pleasure we chase without even realising it, to regulating our emotional responses and our understanding of rewards to move towards them ... all very cool indeed!

Not only does it help us feel good but we can use this amazing chemical to boost our productivity which has to be the way forward for boosting our achievements and the cycle continues. Here are a few things you can do to boost your dopamine levels and feel amazing every day! 

Here are 7 things you can do to increase dopamine and boost productivity:

FINISH WHAT YOU BEGIN ...

Dopamine increases when we finish tasks, small or large, it doesn't really matter. Make a list of things you need to do and tick them off as you go, in fact, if you start your day with achieving one small task like making your bed, you will set yourself up for the day and want to continue on that brain-boosting path of getting stuff done.

GET ACTIVE ...

I know you know this. The benefits of physical exercise are vast, an endorphin rush after you have sweated and felt the workout is something that really helps to keep those of us who are regular exercisers doing just that, getting sweaty and working out! Stress relief, improved focus, better physical health and lasting energy that makes us more productive, this boosts our dopamine levels. Whether you are a gym goer or like to walk, run, cycle or dance, it doesn't matter, you will feel better for doing it.

BE CONSISTENT ...

This goes hand in hand with finishing what you begin, being consistent and marking these days off in a calendar to show how many days you have been successful is a great way to increase dopamine levels. Use a journal or list your objectives in your calendar, then mark off the days you do what you set out to do in your calendar and keep it consistent. Hit your goals and that feel good factor will last.

GET CREATIVE ...

Unleashing your creativity enables us to be focused or get into a flow where everything seems possible. Dopamine is the brain chemical that allows us to get into this state.  So find a creative outlet you enjoy and do it often.

GET YOUR GROOVE ON ...

Listen to music! It has an incredible effect on us, think about this, if you're feeling a bit flat or down and you put on your favourite music, before you know it you'll be dancing away and feeling a whole lot better about things. The reason for this is that listening to music has the same effect as eating our favourite foods so when you’re feeling blue, listen to music.

FEED YOUR MIND ...

I love listening to motivational speeches. If I am ever feeling a little lost or like I need to focus, especially good for me in the gym! Double dopamine boost for me ... thank you very much indeed. Here is one of my favourite speeches.

Best Motivational Speech Compilation EVER #14 - DISCIPLINE | 30-Minutes of the Best Motivation

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE ULTIMATE BODY FORMULA FOR WOMEN WHO WANT TO BE THE BEST THEY CAN BE ... SEE YOURSELF THROUGH THE EYES OF A WINNER

How to Fuel Your Brain With Energy

How to Fuel Your Brain With Energy

Mindset Training Series #5

This series is all about your mindset and how you can develop it, in this post, I thought I would touch on brain health and discuss a few practical tips to help fuel and care for your brain.

Ever walked into a room to do something specific and by the time you get there you've forgotten what you went there for ... or started a sentence and gone off on a tangent then wondered what point you were trying to make ... ever struggled with brain fog, forgetfulness, an inability to focus and concentrate, ever struggled with low mood and anxiety that you couldn't seem to shift, ever found yourself feeling tired all the time?

These may be signs of a decline in brain health and they affect individuals of all ages and they often begin long before any physical symptoms are evident.

 

We continually look after our health and wellbeing by eating well and staying active, so why not focus on the brain to ensure we do all we can to stay well and healthy. The beauty of the human body is in its ability to heal and regenerate, to get stronger fitter and to improve and while age is one of many factors that can contribute to a decline in cognitive ability, understanding that our lifestyle choices are the key factors in brain health is crucial. These lifestyle factors include not taking care of our nutrition and failing to eat a varied and nutritious diet, not getting enough sleep and exercise, failing to manage stress levels, smoking and drinking excessive alcohol and then exposure to environmental pollutants all play a part in the health of our bodies and can damage our brain cells.

Amazingly our brain is incredibly dynamic and has the potential and ability to change at any point in our lives, mental deterioration is not irreversible, the good news is that we have the power to enhance brain function and protect it from damage and counteract the effects of ageing. That's assuming we are willing to make changes to everyday decisions and fuel the brain.

According to The Brain Health Program, keeping the brain’s structure in good physical condition is key to improving mood, memory, cognition, focus and concentration.

The brain is the most complex organ of the human body, with an adult brain comprising 60% of fat and weighing in at approximately 3lbs. It gathers and processes information from all our senses, and determines how we behave, what we say, and controls our complex thought processes. The brain consumes an incredible amount of energy in comparison with the rest of the body – around 25% of total energy expenditure. It, therefore, makes sense that the transfer of energy from the foods we eat to the neurons within the brain has a big impact, not only on its function but also on how we behave and feel.

Good mental health means being able to think, feel and react in appropriate ways in order to live your life as you wish. Mental health problems affect one in four people in any given year and can range in symptoms and severity. In 2001, an online health survey of 22,000 people identified the following statistics with regards to mental health issues:

  • 43 % of people have a poor memory or difficulty concentrating
  • 58 % suffer from mood swings
  • 50 % suffer from anxiety
  • 42 % suffer from depression
  • 76 % are often tired
  • 52 % feel apathetic and unmotivated
  • 47 % have difficulty sleeping

So a decline in brain health as we age is not inevitable – the brain is resilient and can thrive at any age when given the right conditions.

Here are 6 small changes you can make that can mean big differences in your cognitive abilities :

  1. Stay on top of your NUTRITION 
  2. Look after your DIGESTIVE system
  3. Manage your STRESS levels
  4. Getting a good nights SLEEP
  5. Regular EXERCISE
  6. Games & Music to TRAIN the brain

1. Stay on top of your NUTRITION

A diet that is low in sugar, moderate in starchy carbohydrates, with healthy fats and plenty of vegetables is best for brain health.  A low glycaemic load diet is recommended to prevent the development of insulin resistance and increase insulin sensitivity – insulin resistance within the brain can have a number of detrimental effects on cognitive function. Vegetables contain vitamins, minerals and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. they are also high in fibre, which is important for the gastrointestinal system. The brain is 60% fat, so adequate healthy dietary fats, including the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, are important. It is crucial that the right types of fats are consumed as bad fats contribute to inflammation within the body.

Healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in brain fuel foods like salmon, flaxseed and walnuts, coconut oil, offer a number of health benefits, such as improving cognitive performance and warding off mental and mood disorders. Also, dark fruits and vegetables like beetroot and blueberries are full of antioxidant properties which can help to fight off the effects of free radicals on the body.

A deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids in humans has also been linked to an increased risk of mental disorders such as attention-deficit disorder, dyslexia, dementia, depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. One study found that individuals who consumed more omega-3s had increased volume of the brain’s gray matter, especially in the hippocampus, the part of the brain associated with self-awareness, compassion and introspection.

Its never too late to start fuelling your brain with the right food, being mindful of what you are putting in and making the best choices is key to fueling your brain with energy.

 

TRY THIS TO BOOST YOUR NUTRITION

Yep messy, colourful, fun and seriously delicious!

When I was slicing up all the veggies I got excited about the gorgeous colours & textures going into this magical, jewelled salad bowl.

Give it a whirl, you can’t help but be happy when you put this together.

Makes 2-3 servings.

2. Look after your DIGESTIVE SYSTEM

The digestive system has many functions that are central to health including digestion, absorption, immunity, detoxification and elimination, however, many factors of our modern lifestyles affect its function and health.

There is an intrinsic link between digestive health and brain health. Poor digestive health can result in increased inflammation. This is interestingly enough one of the causes of many chronic health conditions, including the decline of cognitive ability, not to mention the impact this has on the production of serotonin, the feel-good hormone. So improving digestive health is key to overall health and takes just a few tweaks to your nutritional habits to do so.

The Body Reform Program principles can dramatically improve digestive function by applying the 5 STEPS we take together, these are to Remove - Alkalise - Balance - Support and Replenish. Over 28 days we work to speed up the digestive system through an elimination process where we remove foods that might trigger inflammation in the digestive system. We then introduce whole foods that are full of nutrition and increased fibre that may encourage the function of the digestive system. We also consume foods that are full of antioxidants to support the digestive process, introducing probiotics to provide good bacteria. At the same time, we look at any lifestyle factors such as stress, sleep and exercise, all of these can affect the health of the digestive system.

TRY THIS TO BOOST YOUR DIGESTIVE SYSTEM

This is our signature 28 Day Body REFORM program. Designed to help you boost your digestive system, we upgrade food choices, exercise at the right intensity and get results !!

The program runs for 28 days, we provide you with all the information and supplementation you need to effectively blitz your cells of toxic build up.

3. Manage your STRESS LEVELS

We are all familiar with the causes of stress in short – 21st-century living! We know that stress is a part of life and can't be completely avoided. In fact, it's often said that a little bit of stress is good for our well-being, and exercises our faculties. However, too much stress can cause serious damage to our physical and mental health.

When we are experiencing stress, or we have an infection, cortisol (a stress hormone) raises our blood pressure and blood sugar levels. These changes help us to survive short periods of stress but become harmful when they continue. Persistently elevated levels of cortisol can kill brain cells and negatively affect brain function, stress can also contribute to a host of other pathological conditions within the body.

It is important to focus on stress reduction activities that work for you to effectively manage stress. These could include yoga, meditation, mindfulness, massage, breathing techniques, gardening, reading, listening to music, or keeping a happiness and gratitude journal. When we learn to effectively manage our stress, we see an improvement in our sleep, energy, patience, resilience, focus and memory.

Stress is fundamentally a state of mind that is affected by our attitude. When we experience problems and start to believe we don't have what it takes to solve them, chronic stress can be the result.

Stress, if you let it, can build up and over time can pose major health risks. Here are a few ideas of simple things you can do to reduce the impact of stress on your life.

Have some fun! 

Having fun can provide a nice distraction from any problems you may have. Finding the things you enjoy the most and doing them often will help to relieve your stress.

Take care of your health!

Learning to pamper yourself with healthy meals and doing things you love will help you cope with stress. I love going to a spa and taking in the atmosphere and relaxing. This is about being kind to yourself and allowing yourself time to breathe and unwind. Having a workout in the gym or heading for a yoga class will help and the best part is that your body will release endorphins, that will increase your sense of well being.

Don't be afraid to ask for support.

When you are feeling stressed and like there is nothing you can do to change the situation you are in, ask for help and support from your friends and family. There are people around you who can help. My friends have a knack for picking me up when I'm feeling low plus they are great sounding boards and can provide insight where I just can't see a way out. If stress gets out of control and you feel like you can't control it on your own, then it may be time that you ask for help from a professional. 

4. Get enough SLEEP

Sleep is absolutely vital for optimal brain health and optimal function in life. While we sleep our cells detoxify and cleanse and recover from the day's activities, our brain cells are no exception. We produce a hormone called Melatonin which is responsible for restful sleep, however as we age we produce less, and therefore as we get older we often experience more trouble sleeping.

Experts tell us that we need 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, which for many of us is a dream and something that rarely happens even on holiday. So its very important to find the sleep strategy that works best for us.

Over the last 6 months, I have worked hard to develop a bedtime routine that I protect and practise with rare exception. This helps me get the maximum number of hours of quality sleep possible and in turn, allows me to perform and function to the best of my ability the following day.

Any interruption to this routine and I know all about it, but on the day's I get it right, I have the most productive and fulfilling day that is focused and full of energy.

Here are a few tips that may help you do the same:

Keep a regular sleep cycle...

Go to bed and wake up at the same time of the day every day, sounds boring and predictable, and that's exactly what your body needs. Consistency.

Naturally, regulate your sleep/wake cycle...

I use a Philips Wake Up Alarm or while I am away I use the Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock - both these alarms allow me to wake up to light rather than sound something that helps me wake up stress-free and it feels as natural as possible especially when it is still dark outside.

The sleep cycle alarm clock gives you a few options to wake with sound or light and monitors your sleep patterns so you can take remedial action if needed.

Keeping your sleep cycle consistent is the key to feeling rested and refreshed every day. If you are woken up every day by young children or pets, taking care of this will help you enormously.

Create a relaxing bedtime routine...

For me this consists of a warm drink before bedtime, usually turmeric late - see the recipe. I have also set the screens on my computer and iPad to switch to night shift which gives the screens a softer glow so that if I do access them they do not affect my sleep pattern. I usually manage to avoid screens and fluorescent lighting for at least 30 minutes before bedtime as they emit blue light which suppresses melatonin production. I make my way to bed at the same time every night and aim to switch off my light by 10:30/45 latest to allow for 6.5/7 hours of sleep I need before I wake up to begin my day.

Eat well and get regular exercise...

These two go hand in hand for me, taking care of my nutrition and exercising regularly is the key to my health and sense of well being, both non-negotiables! Don't get me wrong I love a glass of whisky and a chocolatey treat every so often, its just not a daily occurrence for me.

 

5. Get regular EXERCISE

We are all aware of the many health benefits of physical activity, feeling and looking better is always a good thing for our sense of well being and of course it plays a role in optimising cognitive health.

Aerobic exercise protects the brain from damage and as mentioned previously a recent study has shown that it can help to produce brand new cells within the part of the brain responsible for memory and emotions, which commonly becomes damaged due to age and disease. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain and therefore the delivery of oxygen and nutrients, which are important for attention and mental focus. It also challenges us mentally as we push ourselves on all levels, not only testing our resilience it can create new motor pathways within the brain.

The Department of Health recommends 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity 5 times per week for adults which ideally should be a combination of cardio and strength training. The recommendation is for moderate activity so it could take the form of time in the gym exercising or participating in classes or could be something as simple as walking the dog or hopping off the train or bus a few stops earlier. No matter what it is it needs to be a moderate activity that is Implemented consistently and the benefits will be obvious.

6. Play GAMES and use MUSIC to train the brain

Call me paranoid but I really want to do everything I can to keep my mental acuity in optimal working order. 

Mental acuity is a measure of the sharpness of the human mind. The measure of mental acuity usually considers focus, memory, concentration and understanding, but does not measure intelligence. This is a way of talking about how well or poorly the brain is functioning, not about its ability to perform complex functions or the amount a person has learned in his or her lifetime.

ref: www.wisegeek.com/what-is-mental-acuity.htm

There are so many tools available to us to do just that so I thought I would share two that help me engage my mind learning new skills. In recent years there has been lots of discussion about mind training and how we need to train our brains as hard as we train our bodies, I love that idea. So I have found a great tool that lets me do just that, it's called https://www.lumosity.com - when you head over to the website you are offered an opportunity to complete a test that measures your mental ability in three areas. Give it a go! I found myself getting nervous completing the tests because I am so competitive and the thought of not being good at something is such a driver for me to improve, so this is a tool I use with daily reminders to keep everything ticking over. Plus it gives me a good opportunity to laugh at myself because I have a tendency to take life far too seriously at times. #winwin right!

The second tool I use is called brain.fm and is something I listen to when I need to carve out a couple of hours to work uninterrupted in the day. I set the timer, plug in my ears and go! It helps me create the space I need to be very efficient and focused for a block of time and gives me an ability to block out distractions like dogs barking, doorbell ringing, phone buzzing etc. I love it !!  I use it as an easy and pleasant way to stimulate my brain, I love to think of it as brain fuel.   

FUEL YOUR BRAIN WITH ENERGY ...

The big question is ask is what are you doing today to fuel your brain?

We know we need a combination of foods and activities and that by creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, we vastly improve our chance of retaining and sharpening our cognitive abilities. We also understand that by challenging and stretching the brain we allow new connections to be created and maintained, so activities which challenge all the senses will help maintain processing speed. All of these things are doable and the interesting thing here is that research on the human brain is ongoing so there will undoubtedly be new discoveries made continually. Hopefully, I've piqued your interest in this topic and that you are inspired to mindfully take care of your brain and now have a few ideas for fueling your brain.

Do this with consistency and you will definitely feel the benefits!

Recent Blog Posts ...

What it takes to workout every day …

What it takes to workout every day …

Mindset Training Series #4

How to Find the Drive and Determination to Work Out Every Day

Really, everyday Colette? I can hear your brain whizzing lol - how am I going to fit that into my day, I've already got a million things to do and already don't have enough time ... besides I want a life, I don't want to spend my entire life at the gym and if I did workout every day would I really achieve my dream body?

... hmm, I guess you're going to say that it boils down to how badly I want it ... right?

Yes, I know that working out is something that many of us feel we should do more of – whether that means jogging, lifting weights or training for some kind of sporting event.

The hope is that by training, we’ll be able to build more muscle and burn more fat, which in turn will give us the physique that we’re looking for. So we go about creating these elaborate training programs, filled with multiple workouts throughout the week.

We combine this with some kind of diet that involves eating a very small number of calories and we generally just force ourselves to live in discomfort for days and months to reach our goals. Except come day two, we are already wondering why we started, and will often already have considered abandoning that goal. Question is, Why?

Understanding Your Vision

Is it because we lack commitment? Focus? Never really wanted to do it in the first place? Got sold a vision of what we could look like ... perhaps, your answer is YES! to all of these. In my opinion, without the guidance and support of a good coach, it’s just too intense to stick to and we were too ambitious going it alone. I've been there and done that too, in prep for my competitions and in the evolution of my business, both scenarios have called for a coach, someone in my corner focusing on me and what a difference it made to my progress. A worthwhile investment, albeit uncomfortable. Meaningful progress takes an investment in time, effort and resources.

Being Honest About Your Reality

Think about this scenario, you’re already tired, worn out after a full on day. As a result, all you want to do is have a glass of wine and collapse on the couch ... this means that you’re inactive most evenings, but your new program calls for 5 hours of training, eek!  How do you intend to add 5 hours of training to your current routine? And then, add to that, the 30 minutes of travel, shower time and cool down after each session?

Then consider a calorie deficit, how does it feel? We all know this is what we need to achieve to actually shift any weight, this can mean less energy than you would normally have and when you are really not feeling it are you certain you will have the commitment and self-discipline to show up and work hard and eat well even though its the last thing you want to do.

How long will it take to feel like giving up?

Without the support of someone who has walked this path is actually very difficult. Staying the course takes determination and a very clear vision of where you want to be. A good coach will help you understand why you want to achieve your goals and use their skills and knowledge to build you an appropriate program that helps to nourish and support your body while you begin asking more of it, this is key to sticking to it and the key to actually achieving what you have set out to achieve.

Be Realistic

The first challenge we have is fitting everything in, and changes to your current routine will mean that things need to shift, the first thing that needs to change is your mindset. Finding a willingness to learn and push the boundaries is your first step. There’s only so much you can expect your body to accomplish in a given week and your energy (not just your time) is finite.

The advice I give my clients is to diarise their exercise sessions and not cancel. This is much more about making time rather than finding it. There are loads of ways around the issue and you will find a way to ensure you get it done, but it starts with a willingness to challenge the status quo and try something new.

For things to change, something has to change right?  ... so Instead of starting with five one hour workouts, consider three half-hour ones, you could always train from home if that is easier. It is about finding the thing that works for you and keeps you on track and gets the results you are after.

#believeyoucanandyouarehalfwaythere

Find The Connection

To focus on your vision is the key to taking steps towards it, allowing yourself to dream about how you would look and feel once you've achieved it is a great way to get clear about what you really want. It is very easy to miss that connection between our dream and the steps we have to take to get there. So to make sure that you’re pushing in the right direction, take the time to really focus on that dream and understand what it can deliver you. Really imagine what it will feel like to accomplish your goals and use that to drive you!

These are some of the things we focus on defining in my WOMAN IN MOTION eBook and the WINNERS MORNING MAKEOVER series that compliments it. Check it out here ...

WOMAN IN MOTION CHEAT SHEET

Download the cheat sheet and find out what three steps I took to change my life, to get my health and fitness back, to feel good about myself again.

WINNERS MORNING MAKEOVER SERIES

Find out more about the Winners Morning Makeover Series, where you will discover exactly what to do to literally make more time!

Standing on top of the world

“Do you know what, I need to just look after myself. I need to take care of me.”

When you start living like a healthy person and start eating like a healthy person, do you know what happens? All of those other things come into balance. I have developed programs, that help to support people in their fitness journey because we are all at different stages of our fitness journey. We’ve all got different challenges.

So I thought I would tell you a little bit more about what a typical journey looks like when somebody starts to work with me.