A Healthy Lifestyle
I’ve always been a firm believer in eating healthy. Wherever possible I like to make meals from scratch, with fresh produce, rather than ready made meals I know I can make better myself!
Of course healthy eating is just one factor of a healthy lifestyle. I’m by no means a fitness freak and I usually go in waves, but what I’ve realised lately is how good I feel after exercise.
For the past two months I’ve been making a conscious effort to regularly exercise. I signed up for a four week gym pass with my Tesco reward points – I don’t use the gym but I do use the pool, and now I’ve joined on a rolling contract. Since joining I’ve changed my habits; instead of working late, coming home, making dinner, having a wine and crashing out on the sofa I’m now leaving work on time, or as near to on time as I can, going for a swim and heading home.
That swim makes all the difference though, I can leave work tired and there’s nothing I want more than to doze off on the sofa but now I know the swim will make me feel better. I leave with more energy than I arrived; not only that but I sleep better and tend to wake up more easily and earlier than normal.
I also do pilates once a week at a local school in the evenings. It’s a mixed group and a great mid-week session, it forces me to switch off, relax and stretch out my entire body. Working in an office means I rarely leave my desk and I’m sure I suffer all the usual bad habits of hunching over my computer, not sitting straight and so on. What I love about pilates is I can take some of the exercises home to do when I ache and they’re easy to squeeze in to a 5 minute morning stretch.
One of the things that has really inspired me and made me feel positive since joining the gym is how it completely shattered my misconceptions of ‘gym goers’ . Now, whilst I may not venture into the gym…yet (!) I still use the changing rooms and see people coming and going. I expected it to be full of slim, beautiful women. I was very wrong. Women (and men) of all shapes, sizes and fitness levels were there but all wanting to feel better through exercise. One lady I saw who had been for a swim was struggling to walk out of the water but I admired her for coming, swimming and I assume enjoying herself.
From a woman’s perspective, on my initial visit to the changing room I have to say I was a little surprised at how open people were. By this I mean no one cared, and why should they? We’re all women after all and on further thought I began to realise what a positive thing this was, no one cared about what they looked like, whether they were fresh out the shower, in their underwear, hot and sweaty from a workout or otherwise.
By day I work for an organisation closely linked to sport so am always in tune with campaigns to get more women into sport and the changing room epitomised to me ‘This Girl Can’ – yes she bloody can! Healthy living is about feeling happy, healthy and good about yourself. So whether it’s an evening stroll after work, a leisurely cycle ride, a Saturday morning jog or a yoga class – do what you’re comfortable doing but whatever it is if you feel more energised and positive after it you’re doing something that’s good for you. It’s important for the mind and the body.
Eating healthily can of course aid all of this too, but a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean being a size 8, being at the gym every day and eating salads for all your meals… I for one definitely do not eat salads for every meal!
Lottie can help you out with great tips, recipes and fitness ideas to inspire a healthy lifestyle, and if you want to find out more about why a Mediterranean diet is so good for you have a read of my blog ‘The magic of a Mediterranean diet’ – you might be surprised!
Photo credits: Cooking and Carafes.