Exercise at Christmas

Exercise at Christmas

Christmas can be a fantastic and exciting time but also full of stresses. Many mums that do regular exercise find it hard as the classes and bootcamps tend to stop the same week as the kids break up from school. There are things you can do at home but it is hard to keep motivated with all the temptations around at this time of year. Also I find it hard as it gets colder to resist the warm, unhealthy drinks and biscuits!

Its also hard for mums to stick to a routine and getting a workout in when there are so many demands on our time leading up to Christmas. Decide what you’d like to fit in and try and follow these 10 simple steps –

1. Move more – don’t stay in one position for too long a time when you are cooking, cleaning or relaxing on the sofa – get everyone one up and moving or out, for example on a walk, treasure hunt, races or competitions.

2. Workout first thing – before anything else happens. “There are just too many activities and commitments that come up,” says Angela Bekkala, clinical exercise specialist, mum of twins and creator of Happy Fit Mama. I run early so “You’re finished before the kids wake up!”

3. Put it as an appointment in your calendar – Hopefully your partner is supportive. If you worry about spending time with them as they are not working, it’s a great way to spend quality time together. Or if they can help with childcare you do the same for them. I have had comments of people saying it’s selfish, but its not – its about your health and sanity. Get grandparents to help, you only need 30 mins to fast walk or run!

4. Plan in what you enjoy and want to do – aim for 3-4 activities a week – DVD, online workouts etc. On Periscope Rachel Homes does a 7am workout, or maybe run, walk to get fresh air, or arrange to meet or pick up a friend then you cant cancel.

Classes available locally to Farnham with children

Bootcamp Tilford with Belinda Andrews 14th and 16th December – 9.30 Tilford Green – back on wed 6th January.

Farnham Pilates – last classes 17th-18th Dec – 8.45 and 9.45am – wear Christmas hats bring a friend or children.

Sweaty Betty does classes inhouse too.

5) Don’t worry about what you wear –  I put the clothes out the night before and dress in the dark and don’t look in the mirror. Then I enjoy the shower or bath later and then do hair and make up and feel much better in myself.

6. Its not always possible to exercise without the kids – so include them or watch online and do it in front of them. I think its just as important for them to see me working out and that I find it important to look after myself.

Ditch the ‘either-or’ attitude. Children instinctively love to move. Resistance bands are great for playing with and balls make fun mini trampolines. Also as your children grow older, workouts can be bonding time. I’d like my oldest daughter to run or cycle with me, if its a one off they wont do it, but if its regular they will understand it’s important and will want to come with you, or simply bribe them for that Saturday night movie and popcorn. I ran a dash for colour for Phillis Tuckwell this September and my daughter and I had great fun throwing powder at each other! Other ideas could include taking the kids to the park and do step ups, tricep dips, running races and they love a circuit or obstacle course. It doesn’t need to be long, just a quick workout – 10-15mins raising your heart rate is better than nothing.

7. Do you get Back pain? – stop what you are doing, think about your posture. Have a look at our 5 days of short stretches and the relevant blogs. I am also running a 6 week programme for you to follow – details here.

8.Walk or cycle to friends for Christmas drinks or the family drive and you walk or run and meet them there. Make the most of any time you have and make time.

9. Analysis your time – Can you not go on Facebook/cooking/ cleaning for 10 mins. Swap activities or plan ahead and do bulk cooking. Get the kids to help and delegate. I find December is the best month as they have to be good and help otherwise Santa may not come! We do a points system for pocket money and points are taken off for not helping. They don’t get tea if they don’t help. I know older ones have homework but when they are hungry they will do anything to get the food quicker!

10. Don’t beat yourself up – if you don’t get time. Don’t set unrealistic expectations. Even 10 mins a day is great but even every other day is a good start!

 

Mindfulness for Mums at Christmas

Mindfulness for mums at christmasXmas time can be stressful for mums with so many demands from work, household, family, kids plays, concerts, costume organising, parties – shall I go on? The main thing that gets missed off is you and your exercise. It is important to schedule time out for you to do exercise, eat healthily and spend the Christmas holidays to reset, reboot and recoup your body!

I’ve heard mums say its the kids holiday not theirs, as they have so much to do. That’s true when they are young as the focus is on them, and then teenagers just want to relax but set some goals and prioritise for you as well! Also you either love it or you just want it over. I love Christmas but that includes the food and drink and all the naughty things, but just stay relaxed and keep a positive mindset and tell yourself you will enjoy this lovely time. It’s also a reflective time and a chance to think about what is a priority to you and how to make it possible!

I am struggling fitting in the London Marathon training, as a non morning person it is a struggle to get up at 5.45am and run, but I’ve been doing it for 4 weeks now and trying not to think too much about leaving the warm bed and just getting it done. As I’ve been getting out 4 times a week my fitness has really improved! But I’m very aware as the holidays start and the weather gets colder it is hard to keep going or get started!!

My method to stay focussed – I’ve got reminders on my phone and it seems to be working, my husband is amazingly supportive and runs with me or gets me up!! I do find I’m multi tasking all the time and finding it hard to concentrate when I’m tired but I keep saying to myself in my head – “keep going” its like a little cheer and if I stay with a positive mindset it works wonders. This blog is more about our mindset and enjoying Christmas and staying fit healthy and happy. Comments about your struggles or ideas always welcome –

1. Be Present – enjoy the time with the kids, partner and family. Its so special when they are young, be in the here and now. Watch old movies with them (don’t check your phone), play games and enjoy the rows or banter (monopoly takes hours but we have bought a quick one!)

2. Gratitude – Encourage the kids to talk about what they are grateful for over Christmas ie food and presents compared to those with nothing or very little. At bed time we talk about what was the best thing they did and what they are looking forward to the next day.

3. Reflection – Reflect on what you and the kids need in life- take your life, and encourage the kids to, in their own hands. It is possible to say no to some things..

4. Expectations – Don’t have high expectations yourself ie of the perfect house/being tidy – it wont!

5. Be nice – Compliment the family before they can annoy you! If you have a critical relative just smile and nod – think happy thoughts (beach, sand!)

6. Take some time for you – Give yourself permission to think about you what you want to schedule in, i.e. 10 mins bath, chill out before the next family or social event. To totally relax and recharge, why not try our mindfulness video.  This is just £4.99 and you can put it on whenever you feel stressed to help you recharge and reset. Click here to find out more.

7. Balance – Even out the days events. If you are too busy or stressed the body goes into survival mode and store fat! Get fresh air, go to the beach, chase each other!

8. Meditate – when washing up to just clear your mind.

9. New years resolutions – if you don’t do something to make you happy / help you / please you NOW then when will you?

10. Food – have a day off unhealthy food, think 80 / 20 rule. Healthy veg soup with left overs?

11. – Sleep – Get 7 hours plus to reduce stress.

A good way to get set for this season would be to come to our Pilates and Wellbeing day on Thursday 10th December 12-5pm at our Pilates Garden Studio in Rowledge. All are welcome, bring friends and children. There will be the chance to try the reformers, a Heated Pilates session, 20 mins massage with Aase Waterman, Reflexology, and Reiki. Click here to find more details.

Or, to have a tool you can rely on to help you reset and rebalance whenever you need to, why not download our mindfulness video. It will take you through 10 minutes of exercises that will help you keep balanced over the busy festive season with breathing and relaxation exercises, which can be done when you need to. It is just £4.99 and you can click here to find out more or pay via the paypal link below to have the video sent straight to your inbox.

Have a lovely festive season with your loved ones but don’t be afraid to take time for you too.

Put your name in the box and follow the buy now link to make secure payment of £4.99 via paypal to get the Mindfulness video link straight to your inbox. Any questions please email hannah@farnhampilates.com

Me-time relax breathe

 

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.

 

 

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

 

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!