Can you believe it’s that time of year again?! Me neither... Today is National Fitness Day (#fitnessday), the day when everyone is encouraged to get up and moving. It is also a chance to highlight the role physical activity plays across the UK, helping raise awareness of its importance in helping us lead healthier and more active lifestyles.
National Fitness Day was founded in 2011 and since then it has campaigned to highlight the benefits of regular exercise, which include a healthier heart, increased well-being, and a better quality of life.
One of the main reasons I like to exercise is because of how good I feel during and afterwards; and, as many people know, exercise is one of the most effective ways of improving and stabilising a person’s mental health. It can help overcome depression and its associated symptoms, like anxiety, it can help people cope with stress more effectively, it can help reduce the risk of developing dementia and it enhances self-esteem and self-efficacy. And it’s one of life’s few freebies too. Except, of course, if you come to my classes, where all of these benefits are yours for as little as £6 per session!
Sometimes, I get so caught up in the details of everything on my ‘to do’ list that a sort of paralysis descends over me: nothing gets done because I’m thinking about everything that needs to be done. For me, this gets boring and frustrating.
So now I’m trying this out: the less I think about doing something and the faster I just get on with it, the fewer problems I seem to encounter. What a surprise! Yes, good planning is always helpful, but time spent fretting and procrastinating is a major drain on energy.
One of my favourite childhood films was Mary Poppins, and I really loved the scene where the children’s bedrooms are tidied in record time: a snap of the fingers and things were put back in their place immediately. Now, as an adult, every time I have a good clear-out, I’m reminded of this and invariably start singing the accompanying song in my best screechy Julie Andrews impression!
While I was rearranging my home office this week, I was thinking about how freeing it feels to tidy up – and how it’s also important to apply this to our minds too. Having a ‘tidy’ mind means that ‘messy’ and destructive thoughts have no room to flourish, and we can gradually clear out cynicism, negativity and unkindness.
It's not often that I do this, but the current glut of courgettes in my veg patch has necessitated creativity! This week, I'm sharing a courgette cake recipe that, after some experimenting, I think works well. Instead of the usual poppy seeds, I use chia seeds.
175g caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
4 tablespoons milk
175g self-raising flour (can use spelt)
2 medium courgettes, grated
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons chia seeds
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Line a 22cm square brownie tin with greaseproof paper.
Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then add the eggs and milk bit by bit. Fold in the flour, courgettes, baking powder, seeds and lemon zest. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
Once the cake is ready, remove from the oven. Allow to cool completely, turn out, and then cut into rectangular fingers or squares.
Some people think cake consumption is directly correlated with well-being... but I couldn't possibly comment!
Hi, I'm Joanna from Clean Well-Being.
|Fitness and well-being provider||
Clean Well-being blog