Back care for Mums

Back care for busy mums

back care for mums

 

With Back Care Awareness Week this week, the main focus was to get Britain thinking about their posture, moving more and standing while working, I thought we should also focus on busy mums working from home.

So are you a busy mum, rushing about and you only realise at the end of the day that your back aches and shoulders are tense. Maybe you have aches and pains when you get up or after leaning over the iPad or iPhone for that quick organise of play dates/lifts, maybe you carry children, or are you are worried about your pelvic floor? This is all linked to posture and with the wrong spine position, lack of movement or the wrong moment it can affect your back and pelvic floor.

I am very aware of my tense shoulders and sore neck, upper and lower back after it has just “gone” once a year so I HAVE to do Pilates. My back mobility and strength and pelvic floor are top of my list and I’ve helped so many clients with a simple stretch or strengthen that can change their lives.

I have to keep assessing mine and my clients posture as things change and you should too, so when you are slouching on the sofa or leaning to see the iPhone screen as you quickly type think about how you are sitting. If you don’t sometimes ache you are lucky, but like most I’m afraid we start to ache in the shoulders, lower, upper back or in the hips, because of bad habits and maybe even a trapped nerve causing shooting pain down the leg or pins and needles in leg or arm at night? There could be other reasons for this, but don’t just accept it and live with it you can do something!

You may even go to the gym, Bootcamp, run or walk with friends, but aches still come and go and then when your back goes it’s agony. Especially when you have been sitting in the same position for a long time.

It’s not all doom and gloom as you can change your posture, strengthen your core and back or create that strong base. Our muscles have memories but we can recreate the memories to make the muscles support automatically.

Things I advise to help you

Checking your posture and spinal alignment in the mirror or send me a side and front picture. Look at your bad habits ie tense over the iPad, or stirring cooking – I remind myself to stop and pull my shoulders down.

Regular exercise and the right exercise ie Pilates, It gets your brain to switch on core pelvic floor first then move.

Repetition not just 1 day or 1 course of 5 weeks. The exercises Pilates uses are for LIFE!

Get your breathing right as breathing deeply can feel like a massage in the upper back as it can release your thorax/diaphragm.

Do more “core strength” for tummy and back. Yes Pilates can work your core and tummy muscles to help stabilise your back but if you only do sit ups or suddenly lift a heavy object if you haven’t engaged your core or pulled your shoulders down then this will do no good for you.

Balance the exercise or activity you do in the week (ie not only running or bending over a computer or kneeling playing with a small child) so not always working same muscles. So If you do exercise like Bootcamp or the gym, check your posture and ask the instructor to check for you and bad habits. Common sense can show you where you need to change and just some simple tweaks to how you sit, stand or carry can help you.

Prioritise your healthy mobile spine by moving as much as you can, roll, hip circle, curl your bottom under, stretch to the ceiling, side bend, lengthen yourself out. Pilates is an all over body exercise programme balancing out and toning the muscles, also stretching and mobilising the muscles that are over tight and pulling the body out of “neutral alignment”.

Check an exercise and make sure you are doing it correctly. You may be doing exercises like the plank but letting your back sink because your tummy isn’t strong enough and putting strain on your lower back and shoulders and making the back worse. The picture below is good form.

back care for mums

Good form for Plank

Ok, what does this mean and how do you fit it into your busy life?

How to check your posture – Are the shoulders and chin coming forward. Or maybe you have a very curved lower back that can put tension on certain parts of the back or you push the hips forward and lock the knees all you need is a posture analysis and being aware of this can help you think about correcting it.

So Try this standing posture exercise – pull your shoulders back, rib cage in and bottom tucked under. Imagine a piece of string has stretched you up towards the ceiling this is neutral alignment! Try and copy this pose when you can.

But what does this mean?Find out the right corrective exercise for your individual biomechanics. This diagram is of an overly curved spine caused by various issues including too much sitting, tight hip flexors, or after having children.

 

In a posture analysis a good teacher can check if one leg is longer than the other or one hip is tight, causing pain and affecting how you walk. A simple check of the hips or the right stretch of the hip flexor at the front of the thigh and stretch for your bottom might correct this problem.

5 top tips

1. Get your posture assessed to make sure the moves are right for your body

2. Corrective exercises – Do daily simple strengthening moves like shoulder bridge, superman and the plank

3. Do daily stretches for hip flexors, hamstrings and chest.

4. Stop slouching

5. Be aware of your posture and self correct bad habits

Try this move at home – good for support or strengthen the back

Superman

back care for mums

So the conclusion is to stretch, stretch, stretch and keep moving, I also believe massage, salt baths to relax muscles, using foam rollers to stretch and massage too.

What can you do now

Send me a photo to look at your posture and suggest tips.

Come for a free trail next Thursday.

Back care workshop starting after half term in November, Monday 1.30pm and Thursday’s 10.30.

Or Come for a one to one bespoke exercises.

Let me help you relieve your back pain.

For more info on any of the above please drop me a line – hannah@farnhampilates.com

Hannah

Back Care Awareness Week 2015

Back Care Awareness Week 2015

This week is back care awareness week 2015. I will be looking and asking you to participate in back care awareness to raise awareness of the problems back pain can cause as well as prevention and treatments. A main message from the organiser BackCare is to stand and not sit at work. Charity “getBritainstanding.org” encourage active working.

There is recent research below on the advantages of standing at work. It does suggest there are advantages of standing but there are a few cons that I will look at as well. I will examine the advantages of standing or being more active at work to help prevention of problems, and then treatments such as exercises to do to mobilise stretch muscles and strengthen your back. I will also look at other treatments available to help prevent or relieve pain.

This week I want you to be aware of your posture as you work, How long you sit for in the day, posture of your shoulders and lower back. Draw a picture and send it to me.

What is the distance away and height of your computer? If you carry things at work how do you lift them? Think about engageing your core muscles before you lift (message me if you want more on that). Use the stairs at work not the lift. Are you a carer? Do you lift properly?

Key Findings

1) A School in Bradford West Yorkshire took part in a seven week long study with students standing rather than sitting in July 2015 to prevent sedentary behaviour. They compared to a school in Australia and discovered it increased their step count and in class activity levels increasing blood circulation, heart rate and calorie expenditure and additionally showed improvements in behaviour, engagement and academic performance.  You can read more about this project here.

2) A 2015 study published in the Oxford Journal of Public Health shows that sit-to-stand desks in classrooms appear to be an effective way of reducing sedentary behaviour (prolonged sitting) in a diverse sample of children.

3) At their 2013 annual meeting, the American Medical Association adopted policy recognizing potential risks of prolonged sitting and encouraging employers, employees and others to make available alternatives to sitting, such as sit-stand desks.

4) A 2011 study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that when workers are equipped with sit-stand workstations, prolonged sitting is reduced and mood states improve.

5) A 2009 University of Queensland study found that even when adults meet physical activity guidelines, sitting for prolonged periods can compromise metabolic health.

Disadvantages

If you stand there are certain postures that will make your lower back pain worse – So if you have a lordotic lower back curve (Ie, postnatal, an excessive pelvis tilt and lower back curve. Don’t lean on one leg, have a moveable chair, keep mobile, still be aware of your shoulders.

So if you are worried about your back at work why not try this stretch?

If you are concerned about your posture come and see me for a posture analysis and I will give you exercises and stretches to help prevent back pain.

 

Why you need a spa break!

spa break hampshire

Join us at Champneys Forest Mere for a wonderfully relaxing weekend.

Do you know how important it is to take time out for yourself to help you relax, switch off and come back to daily routine feeling a new person. Do you have time to stop and think about YOU??

Why you need time out!

Every May and October we organise a Spa retreat at Champneys Forest Mere in the lovely Hampshire countryside. Women can join us for one day or the whole weekend. On our spa day we take time to do exercise, connect with yourself, relax and have a few laughs! It doesn’t matter how fit you are as there is a choice of classes and activites and full use of the spa. Why you need time out –

Simply put – You time is essential to spend time on yourself! Why?

Improve self-awareness
Increase emotional intelligence
Strengthen relationships
Assess your happiness levels
Evaluate who you are and your behaviour to yourself and others
Help you hear your inner voice
Positive impact on friends and family

Do you get ‘You Time’? Do you get enough? We work on mindfulness and helping you enjoy the NOW !

You will come back –

With work/life balance

With renewed energy and feeling creativity

Boosted confidence

With perspective as you’ve had time to examine thoughts and behavior

Grateful for your loved ones and what you have

Some time of self-evaluation

Lower stress levels

A stronger person for doing something for yourself for a change

Happier and able to handle what life throws at you

This will create a positive impact on friends and family

A women is like a teabag. You can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

Our next Spa Weekend starts 16th October to 18th October and here is the fantastic programme.

Day of activities all optional

Arrival 9am

spa break Hampshire

Pilates classes will be on offer

Welcome to the resort and selection of refreshments including yoghurt; granola; mixed berry compote pots; mixed fruit platter; mini muffins; fruit juice and tea/coffee

10.00-11.00 Pilates class -optional

11.00-11.55 Stretching and mindfulness meditation -optional

Bikes can be organised

Use of spa facilities all day

Access to up to 20 different forest mere classes

Personal training also available (extra)

Three course hot and cold buffet lunch

5.00- 6.00 tea and cake

Depart 6pm or stay the night

But don’t take our word for it, here are some of the past participants comments …

“Thank you for a great day! I really enjoyed it and came back feeling very refreshed and wished I had stayed the night and enjoyed a few glasses of wine on the terrace overlooking the lake….amazing view.”
GK, Farnham

“The spa day organised by Hannah was really enjoyable – doing Pilates with a view over the lake was wonderful and the meditation session afterwards helped us all relax so that we could enjoy the rest of the day; lovely lunch, some exercise and a lot of sitting around in the sunshine and chatting. What more could we ask for?”
HH, Haslemere

“It was nice to have a day doing something different with a very nice group of ladies.”
JC, Farnham

Tempted? To make it even easier for you to indulge we are offering a very special discount for this week only.

Pay £50 deposit this week and get the Day spa for just £85 (full price £120) and night £159 (full price £267)

£30 extra single supplement, (extra £10 for Saturday night).

To book on contact hannah@farnhampilates.com. We look forward to meeting you.

 

 

September the new, new year

Farnham Pilates

September, as we know is the start of a new school year for most but it increasingly feels like a fresh start in all walks of life. There have been a number of events that Farnham Pilates have taken part in this month that all give a sense of restarting or taking stock of where our lives are at and where we want them to go.

At the beginning of the month we celebrated National Fitness Day. We teamed up with Bfit Belinda Andrews for a bootcamp and also organised a walk round my favourite thinking spot, Frensham Ponds. It was great to see many local women, some friends, some clients and some business associates just taking time out to do something healthy, chat and enjoy the fresh air. I was interviewed by Eagle Radio about this event and how we can incorporate fitness in our lives more.

The major event for me this month was speaking at the WIFE conference in Guildford last Saturday. It was a big deal for me to speak at such a big event of about 80 attendees, the last time I have done anything like this was at university when I froze. I chose the topic of metime/youtime, as I’m passionate about how understanding yourself and your needs have to come first to fully be able to help and support others, especially loved ones, who rely on you to be strong. I showed how using mindfulness can help give yourself space and a break. I also strongly believe that we have choices in life how we think, behave and act so we must be kind, forgive and support ourselves, and each contact with everyone around us is the legacy we leave not possessions. It is also vitally important for women, businesses and self employed to be able to stay focussed and positive to be successful. In researching for this talk I have connected with many other fabulous women to find out what they do for Youtime and they produced a series of video selfies to share what they do. Do take a look below for some inspiring ideas to help keep you on track. Also you are able to join the Free 10 day reset “me-time”daily email?

The WIFE conference was a big challenge for me but one that I am so glad I took, I was so nervous but talking about a subject I am passionate about made me want to do it again! I’ve had some amazing feedback from my talk and it makes me so happy that it may inspire some women to take more care of themselves so they can achieve more out of life.

Farnham Pilates

It was great to also listen to other amazing speakers like Anna Kennedy OBE (from The Peoples Strictly) how she set up an autistic school for her boys and it now is the largest school in UK. Clare Newsman a child physchologist talked about how to get the best out of our children by not praising. There were other diverse topics but networking with these amazing women who had done something or changed an act of parliament made me feel inspired. The one thing I took away from the conference was to keep going helping clients and striving for the best I can.

It seemed fitting that my talk was timed at the start on National Work Life week which runs all this week. What great timing for us all to take stock, as routines get back to normal and we enter the last quarter of the year. What have we achieved? What aspects of our life need rebalancing? How can we achieve this? It sometimes feels that to make any change we need to make a huge effort, but we can make really small changes that can start us on the road to a big change in attitude. Our Just Breathe email course that was launched this month helps by giving just one exercise a day to help us refocus and make more time for ourselves.

Farnham Pilates

So now as September reaches its end I am looking forward to celebrating another huge milestone. Farnham Pilates celebrates its’ 10th Birthday! We are delighted to have been delivering quality Pilates sessions for the last decade and we are also looking forward to continuing this in our new garden studio which has its’ grand opening this Friday, 25th September 10.30 – 1pm. We will be offering demonstrations of our new reformer equipment and we are also pleased to be teaming up again with some other local businesses – Aase Waterman who is offering massage, Georgina Watts who is offering Reiki sessions and Merel Keuning who is offering reflexology. The morning is in aid of MacMillan coffee so do join us to celebrate this huge milestone for Farnham Pilates.

I hope September has been a good month for you and that you are also able to refocus and see the road you want to take in this next chapter of our lives. Let me know if you need any support from any extra classes or our wellbeing workshops that will be run in November.

National Work Life week – how’s your balance?

National Work Life weekIt is National Work-Life Week starting on Monday 21st September with the aim of highlighting the importance of maintaining a healthy work/life balance. Having a lifestyle mix of work, family and health is an important challenge many of us face today with studies showing that those working 55 hours a week or more have a 35% increased risk of suffering a stroke than those who work 40 hours or less.

Maintaining work and a healthy lifestyle is one of the most challenging aspects my clients face and I even struggle at times especially on children’s holidays. Finding the right balance between family, work and looking after yourself can be very stressful and it’s often difficult to get the mix right. We can end up sacrificing our own wellbeing to work or spending time with the family but in the end if we aren’t looking after our health then everything suffers.

Regular exercise boosts energy levels make you feel more alert and happier. It can really make a huge amount of difference in how you perform at work and helps clear your mind and put everything else in perspective.

Here are five easy tips on how you can make improvements in your work-life balance.

• Work out or walk with your partner and friends.
• If you have young children taking it in turns in the evenings to run or go to classes helps encourage each other.
• Do try and get 10 minutes of exercise done first thing even before children are up, then it’s out the way and you will feel so proud of yourself!
• Exercise with the children encourage them to go exercise i.e a bike ride or log onto you-tube, or buy an online programme like the Yummy Tummy 6 week programme for mums.
• Take up Pilates classes. New classes started in September all around Farnham but the Farnham Pilates new studio has small group reformer classes and an open trial day 24th and 25th September.  For details of our classes click here

This weekend I am speaking at the WIFE conference in Guildford (Wome in Fitness Empowerment) all about youtime and how you can obtain a  better balance. If you would like to join us and see other inspirational speakers such as Anna Kennedy OBE who took part in The People’s Strictly the you can find out more here.

And for more info on National Work Life Week have a look at their website here

 

National Fitness Day – get involved!

National Fitness Day
It’s National Fitness Day this Wednesday 9th September and after being interviewed by BBC South Today last week I’m really keen to help local people can get involved in fitness activities, especially women.  I’m part of Women in Fitness Empowerment (WIFE) and women all over the UK are joining our “Walk the Talk” event as part of National Fitness Day.


I recently took part in a campaign with my 11 year old Amelia (see image by Emma.) The campaign #AWomansWord is about promoting a healthy relationship with women and their bodies and how they influence their daughters perceptions of their own bodies. The BBC filmed and interviewed several WIFE members about the campaign. We want women to feel happy and confident and to celebrate what their bodies can do – more healthy and happy inside rather than just image. There is so much pressure on women who feel they need to look a certain way, and with two recent surveys showing young girls are also feeling this pressure, we decided it was time for us to take action.


On National Fitness Day we are encouraging women to get walking with their mothers, sisters, daughters and friends. We want everyone discussing what body image means to them and make their #AWomensWord pledge. #AWomansWord seeks to promote greater awareness about negative and disempower the words we use to each other about image. A Womens Word encourages us to replace these words with those that empower us instead, it is a pledge and a promise we make as women for women.


I have organised a walk on 9th September at 10.30am at Frensham Ponds.  All are welcome and it is free and easy to join. We are also involved with a bootcamp in Tilford at 9.30am and running a FREE Pilates class at our new studio in Rowledge, Farnham at 12.30pm. Email me – hannah@farnhampilates.com to find out more.
We are just asking women to get walking and talking and/or pledge their support to connect with us using the hashtag #AWomensWord. The beauty of this is that even if you can’t walk or join in the other events, you can connect with others and follow our updates that day. We will be encouraging women every step of the way.


About National Fitness Day…..


It is the biggest and most visible annual celebration of physical activity of the year used to celebrate the role that physical activity plays a cross the UK. We all know the benefits that regular exercise delivers, including a healthier heart and a better quality of life. Many of us find it a challenge to get fit but it doesn’t need to be. Research shows if you exercise in company you are more likely to stick at it. I’d be happy to explain further to you and also how people locally can find out more about ways to get fit and active.


The WIFE event “Walk the Talk” is registered with National Fitness Day here and you can find out more about National Fitness Day on their website.


Take a look today and get involved with this great initiative.


Hannah is a Pilates teacher running Farnham Pilates with 10 years experience and qualification level 3 CYQ, MA Marketing. 

Is your life balance not weighing up? Life balance for busy women

#Life balance by Hannah Epps
Life balance for busy women
Why do we need to worry about doing something for ourselves or something for us? Because as busy mums, sometimes we are so busy doing things for others, caring and organising and just being so busy we don’t get time to clean our teeth or do exercise or cook a healthy meal, do our hair or finish dressing! But it is essential to have time to ourselves or do something for your mental and physical wellbeing, so even unwinding and relaxing can reduce blood pressure and help you slow down otherwise we will make ourselves ill. Also, we might be out having fun or being with the family but forget to enjoy it. Or be so stressed, that drink with a friend becomes a drunken night, as it’s the only way to switch off our busy brains. Life is about moderation but if you are there for others ALL the time it can mean your needs are not being met.  It is not selfish to need more time for yourself, it is a way to improve yourself.

 

Calming down or being aware of the moment (called mindfulness) helps you reset your brain to get rid of anxious thoughts. So even having a moment to think or visualise your “happy”, favourite place in your mind, can help you calm your breathing so you don’t lose your temper, shout or answer snappily to your husband or child.For you to be happy, relaxed and capable of living a busy life without becoming ill you need to lower your cortisol that raises stress levels. Mums feel so guilty about taking time off due to money issues, or ethics from our parents that lead us to have a strong work ethic. Also as mums we know if we just get these things done then we can sit down and relax or finish other projects.
Life balance for busy women
How do you know if you are stressed ? Do you have any of these symptoms?
– Easily distracted
– Forgetting keys
– Late to appointments
– On edge or short with people
– Feeling overwhelmed, trouble breathing or hyperventilating
– Trouble with sleeping
– Worried
– Over sensitive to what people say, over analysing
– Gaining weight or over drinking
– Struggle with relaxing or switching off
– Loss of focus, trouble with concentrating and even trouble with making decision because mind too busy!

 

All these are signs that you need to STOP... Yes friend you need to take some time for yourself. Life isn’t a race, slow down and enjoy it. Simple indulges like a movie, spa day or long walk can be amazing for your wellbeing. At Farnham Pilates we work out hard in class then spend time stretching and enjoying the silence and relaxing. The key is to find something you enjoy doing so much and that you feel real benefits from, that you have to make time for it. We would love to help you find that balance at Farnham Pilates.  If any of the above resonates with you then you will be interested to know that we are running a 10 day body reset course.  This course is delivered by email every day will help you listen to your body and teach you ways to fit time into your busy life for you so that you are a stronger and healthier person.  To sign up click here.

When I realised I needed more #metime

I need more me time

When I realised I needed more #metime – by Hannah Epps

We are all so busy in our lives that we can be too busy to see the damage this is doing. Last week I mentioned to friends that I needed more me time as I was feeling overwhelmed with work, teaching and all the kids activities I had to plan for. People offered to help and it’s just giving me a little for time to step back and prioritise. I was at the stage where I was tearful and needed to take a walk and sit and work in my favourite place, Frensham Ponds! Sometimes asking for help is the hardest thing, but it is something we all need to do from time to time.

I asked friends, work colleagues and other fitness friends what do you do for me time? From responses it’s so interesting that many feel too guilty to take time off or don’t know how to do it with young kids at home. Even reading a book for 10 mins at nap time can help your brain re- set. As you may know as a busy mum of 2 and my husband building a studio I’m always late and I’m really working on that. My mum always used to do “one more thing before we got out of the house” – I promise I’m working on it.

I have felt guilty about not being in a “proper” job and I also feel guilty when people think I just “teach pilates”. However, running your own business for 10 years, doing your own admin, bookings and social media, your time is so limited that I often feel guilty about not spending enough time with the family. Out of this own guilt I do so many play dates, parties, dinner parties, kids sleepovers, fundraising, charity dos (The Strictly Experience I did for Phyllis Tuckwell raised £26,000) taking hours making and cooking dinner and cleaning for all the family and fitting in dog walks, I have realised I’m not doing as much exercise as I used to.

I need more me time

Challenge yourself to have an hour unplugged today!

I’m not getting enough ying and yang in my life.  I need more balance and when I got a bad back 3 months ago it forced me to stop and reassess what I needed to get that balance. I had to work out what the best thing was for me to do. Yoga was hard so I went back to basic Pilates. I missed running but did fast walks and just sat to think and breathe, spent time with the family with no iPhone! This helped me come home refreshed ready to face questions, busy house work, family arguments.

It got me thinking that I was probably not alone with not having enough time to myself. I was so worried about people not having time to breathe that I did research with friends, fitness colleagues, business owners and got great feedback about what busy working mums do –
Long walks (with or without the dog), yoga, pilates, meditation, or just mindfulness, 8 mile hikes, gratitude diaries, beauty/spa treatments, cycling, open water swimming, just having a shower or time in the garden– the results were quite different but all great personal activities that make a difference. You can see some of their lovely videos on what they do for me time here.

With my new studio nearly finished it has been a great space to “just breathe” and if stressed I have a “special happy place” I visualise to lower my heart rate – especially over the summer when the kids are rowing.

Write yourself your Perfect me time list- so you can plan 2-4 things weekly. Create your own space strategies – screen time off, write a gratitude diary and be aware of being happy and enjoying he moment rather than thinking and worrying #justbreathe! Try this, it will change your mood and if stressed, take a deep breathe and #justsmile.  And just stop and unplug everything for time in quiet silence! It’s essential to us to contemplate and assess!

This will enable you to be a stronger or better mum, wife, daughter.

I’m off on holiday next week for time with the family and hoping to totally unplug and recharge myself.  This video has really inspired me to do this. All work and no play certainly makes us dull in many ways.

 

Will you arrange Me time ? Look out for our next blog to see the dangers and symptoms of not taking time for ourselves or sign up for our FREE 10 day Body reset email course and get on track for a stronger, healthier and more fulfilled you!

Take a moment out and just breathe

Life balance for mums

When I’m not so busy, then I’ll take some time out to …”

We’ve all been there. So busy with the daily bustle of our busy lives that we don’t have time to even take a minute to breathe.

Kids. Family. Work. Home. Schedules. Pets. Health. STUFF.

We promise ourselves that once everything is done we’ll treat ourselves, or give our lifestyles an overhaul.

But time gets squeezed or something unexpected and urgent crops up that only we can deal with.  Or you are so busy that when you sit to relax or watch TV or check Facebook, you are too tired to move and time is wasted and suddenly our time is squeezed even more.

Or perhaps it’s a little deeper than scheduling. Maybe we already recognise that we prioritise the stuff because we don’t really believe that we’re worth the time out and attention. We love our kids, our families, our lifestyles so we have to make compromises or sacrifices. It’s a small price to pay. Isn’t it?

Well newsflash lady! It will never all be done! You will never not be busy! There will always be unexpected visitors, meetings or family management crises (AKA children,work or husbands).

And … (now we get to the really deep stuff) the world and its time are never going to slow down to accommodate your busyness. Oh how we wish that sometimes it would. Kids will grow and need you less. You will age (nooooo….) and oh how you will long for your health and your sanity.

Meditation does not mean a daily visit to bluebell meadows with chanting. Mindfulness does not mean giving up life’s pleasures to worship Buddha in thongs. And gratefulness isn’t something you only do at harvest festival or thanksgiving.

We get reminders in life. Funerals. Accidents. Health scares. Global tragedies. They remind us of our need to slow down and give thanks for our blessings.

Mindfulness is important as its awareness of what you are doing while you are doing it, enjoy the moment and don’t let thoughts and emotions hijack you – focus on one moment release the worries, concerns and regrets. As mothers we have so much guilt. Release thoughts – no guilt no judgement.

Is there a way we can fit the time in to do this ? Get that 5 minute break from life and business?

I believe we can but not always through the obvious ‘scheduling’ of time out. It’s in the small, everyday ways, just as you would do your everyday tasks. I need some time on my own and then I’m a better mum, wife and daughter!

Mindfulness is stopping to appreciate baby giggles or a hug from your child. Kissing your husband in front of the kids. Appreciating the seasons by jumping in puddles, building snowmen or picking strawberries. Making a (sugar free) cake to give to a friend. Sharing a cup of tea. Arriving five minutes before school pickup time and just breathing. Walking the dog in all weathers. Finding a class which suits you and agreeing with your family that at this time, every week, you will be OUT and remember it’s your time.

In my classes we don’t meditate but but we take time to listen to our bodies. Relaxation and mindfulness is part of the experience. Being kind to our bodies and self awareness or releasing pain, aches empowering you to make any changes – live your life with more balance without excuses or schedules. Being present and grateful for movement.

Please don’t wait until you aren’t busy. You are busy because you love life. Take a step back and you will appreciate your blessings so much more without any perceptible change to your busy schedule.

Because after all, do something just for you, you are absolutely worth it.

 #timeout #take5mins #pilateslifebalance #pilatesbalancebreathe #metime #withfarnhampilates

Get Involved

If you would like to get more involved with our #metime project at Farnham Pilates then you can tell us more about how you achieve some me time.  Just upload a short video to youtube telling us what you do for metime and we will share it on our playlist and social media.  You can see some already here – YouTube Playlist

Schools Out! Keep exercising while the kids are on holiday

Exercise with kids in the summer holidays
Schools Out for Summer! Whilst that may mean lots of fun with your kids it can also mean that your normal workout routine can take a hammering.  So can you keep up your exercise regime over the summer? Here are my thoughts in a short video on the importance of making some time for yourself, followed by some great tips to help you keep exercising over the holidays.

Short workouts first thing can be great to keep exercising, but always –
Stay cool
Stay moving
Stay motivated
Stay healthy
Do 10 mins every morning
Swim, run, cycle, enjoy the sun for 10 mins get vit d.

 

Here at Farnham Pilates we also have a 15 min exercise video that you can download and do anywhere which can also help give you a focus to the exercise time you have.

 

Keep Calm and Carry on Exercising!
It’s important to stay calm with the kids and regular exercise for you can help with this. Physical activity influences changes in the brain otherwise activated by anti depressants and sport enhances the brains ability to absorb serotonin, which helps keeps moods balanced!

 

Stay motivated
Exercising as a group can be a real motivating factor to keep going. Run as a group, check local running groups or get other mums to meet you when partner home or cycle – wear a technical top to keep sweat away from skin to stop you feeling clammy. Or agree to do a class with a bunch of other mums and stick to it.

 

Get up early before the kids and do – Try this 4 min workout which you could do with your kids and encourage them to be fit and healthy too!
2 mins jog on spot then burpee
2 mins Squat then jump lift left leg then squat and change legs
2 Jumps
2 Air squats
Rocket jump bend knees
Butterfly sit up knees out – use core
Lunge
Crunch side reach for obliques
This will use oxygen so after the 8 mins the body carry on blitzing fat long after the session

 

We also asked Joanne McGowan of Act One Adventures for her top tips to involve kids in exercise and here is what she said.

 

“Try setting up a mini olympics at home, in the garden or park.  You don’t need fancy equipment – Pool noodles make great javelins, tins of beans for weight lifting, running races etc.  If you’re feeling really silly have a closing or opening ceremony too.
We also embrace technology that our son loves and have regular Just Dance evenings on the X Box.  It is a great giggle, good exercise and great family time too.”

 

To get the most out of your workouts in the summer…
Drink drink drink (water) –  it’s easy to be dehydrated do keep topping up.  I know in the summer it’s easy to start early with a glass of Rose but commit to 2-3 nights off a week and on those nights eat or choose healthily  – salads/ all veg meals, no bread.
Post workout Epsom salt baths cleanse your muscles of toxins restore mineral levels and encourage relaxation – soak away aches and pains
Diet – Keep blood sugar levels balanced take magnesium add more spinach, avocados, nuts seeds and dark chocolate. If you are going to drink a good detoxifier is hot water and lemon in morning and parsley tea- helps flush out toxins.

 

So with a bit of planning and a fun outlook you can keep up your exercise over the summer and have fun with the family too.