What's the connection between the band Soul II Soul and this blog? The clue is in the lyrics to one of their songs: "Keep on moving, don't stop, no!" I saw them perform this at a festival last week and it got me thinking about how we all need to keep moving (perhaps not in the way they meant in the lyrics though...). So this week's blog is about generally being active. My friend Sue is such an inspiration as she is currently do a step challenge to do a million steps in three months! Whilst this might be out of reach for many people, just doing a bit more activity can really help. And it doesn't have to be high intensity stuff: it can be just wandering around or standing up rather than sitting down all the time. Here are some ideas:
1. Put on some music and dance around; throw shapes and enjoy yourself!
2. Stand up while you're on the phone. Do some bicep curls with a hole-punch (4-hole, not 2 - that's too easy!)
3. Take the stairs rather than the lift. And walk if you're on an escalator.
4. Go for a walk at lunchtime.
5. Attend an exercise class and become a regular.
6. Get a step counter and set yourself a daily or weekly challenge to achieve.
7. Walk or cycle short distances rather than jumping in the car.
8. Stretch every once in a while.
9. If you have to sit down for work, do some buttock clenches, shoulder rolls, pelvic floor lifts and seated stomach crunches. All can be done really subtly.
10. If you are old-school and still watch adverts on TV, move around during each break: run up and down the stairs, do some lunges, whatever gets you up and active!
What are your tips? I'd love to hear from you.
I've started to write this week's blog several times today and keep deleting it, as I'm aware it sounds very sanctimonious and dull. I'm realising that my view of health and well-being is quite different to many other people I know. I really do think about and plan for long-term health and well-being in a way that it seems not many other people do.... apart from a former Olympic rower I met recently, who was talking to a group of newly-qualified teachers: she asked how many people use the phrase "Life's too short!" to justify less healthy choices, and went on to say that life doesn't have to be short, it can be long and fruitful and enjoyable. Making a healthy choice does not necessarily mean it's boring (or you're boring), it just means that you are investing in yourself and that you see the benefits of a long-term plan. Silently, I rejoiced as she said this, as finally I had come across someone who has a similar outlook to mine (which is where the similarities ended, as her upper body strength far outclassed mine!). Taking stock of what you do for your long-term well-being is an investment, not a denial process; it's what you and your body deserve.
What does clean smell like? Is it pink peonies and unicorn tails, or does clean smell of, well, nothing? This question was put to me by my fabulous friend Katherine, who is on a mission to crack down on unnecessary and strong-smelling chemicals that many people use in their homes and on themselves. She believes that is something is really clean, it doesn't smell of anything and it certainly won't make your eyes water with the overpowering stench of bleach. Though I was never a huge fan of cleaning the house, Katherine has got me into cutting back on most cleaning products and instead I now use microfibre cloths by Norwex. I was a bit reluctant, but after she showed me the 'butter on a window' trick and gave me a face/body cloth so I don't need to use anything other than water on my face, I was sold! It's so easy and cheap in the long run. After having been on a few flights recently, where I was taking only hand luggage, it really cut down on the amount of fiddly little bottles that I took with me too. So if you're interested in something that helps the environment and stops an over-reliance on fake-smelling products and all their unnecessary packaging, have a look at Katherine's FB page. Clean is neutral and natural, not fake.
Last chance to jump on board with the MMM session this Saturday: a chance to breathe, move and meditate. More details and booking here.
Another lovely specimen in my garden!
I'd been planning to write something about the 'clean' side of Clean Well-Being for a while - so it was serendipitous that I came across two new things recently. Both focus on how you don't need harsh chemicals to feel and be clean. So if you have ever wondered about the validity of claims made by the massive cleaning industries, this short series of blogs is for you.
H by Maia is a local company to me in South Oxfordshire and was started by Maia a few years ago after she was inspired by her mum Helga (she's the H), who had a natural, clean remedy for everything. The message is about being pure and enjoying the simple things. And the H stands for a host of other principles that Maia lives and breathes: health, honesty, healing, happiness. The products are beautiful and smell divine.
So, as our skin absorbs as much as 60% of what we put into it, perhaps we could think about what we put onto ourselves as much as what we eat and drink. More to come next week from another innovative and interesting person.
Some of you will have heard already about the supremely exciting retreat I'm running in Ibiza in September! See the new page on my website for more details. There are also a few places left on the next mini retreat in Mapledurham on Saturday 16th July, 9.30am to 12 noon. Everyone is welcome! Book here.
I'm living it up in the Isle of Man on a work trip at the moment, so this week's shot is of the coast in Douglas.
It's a bit like eating your 5-a-day: everyone knows how many portions to eat and the accompanying health benefits, but actually eating five portions for fruit/veg every day might not happen that frequently. Someone I know often says, "But I had a banana yesterday!" - as if this is an entirely sensible reason for not eating well today.
Looking after yourself, nurturing your well-being, whatever you like to call it, is vital to our health, but how many of us actually do it consistently? As with many things to do with health, it's about balance, consistency and sometimes playing the long game. So how about gradually adding some more ideas into your life? If this is something that appeals, you could try devoting some time one day per week to doing more to look after yourself - hence the Well-Being Wednesdays. Every Wednesday, you could spend some time putting your well-being needs first. That doesn't necessarily mean languishing for hours in the bath, listening to whale music, trying to think healthy thoughts. Instead, it could mean that you have an early night (as you might function better the next day having had more sleep), that you spend time with good friends talking about your ambitions and goals, or go to an exercise class that is so absorbing that you forget entirely about your day; it could mean that you go for a walk and notice things that you usually ignore, read a book or article that challenges your way of thinking, or take up a new creative hobby that diverts you from everyday life. Whatever it is, do it because it helps you feel good - not because it's the latest trend or because you think you should do it.
If you're after something different and absorbing, you might be interested in coming to a 5-day retreat in Ibiza that I'm running in September. More information to come soon, but if you're intrigued, e-mail me for more details: Joanna@cleanwellbeing.com. Here's a photo of a beautiful Ibizan sunset to entice you!
Hi, I'm Joanna from Clean Well-Being.
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Clean Well-being ramblings