Perfecting your Posture

Written by: Helen

 

“Sit up straight” may sound like something grown-ups used as a nagging tool when you were a teenager, but in fact it was very good advice (so if you’re reading this and you are still a teenager, take heed).  The definition of posture is the ‘position someone holds their body in when standing or sitting.’  Therefore good posture means you hold your body in a good position.  But good for what? Does it really matter?  Actually you may be surprised at the things posture can impact.

 

Importance of Good Posture

There are various benefits we can feel when we pay attention to our posture and try to correct any bad habbits.  Here are a few of the benefits:

Allows for better and deeper breathing- Lungs have room to expand

Improves digestion– allows organs to properly align including the stomach

Better on your muscles and joints- reduces stress on ligaments and helps to keep our joints correctly aligned.  It can reduce the risk of injury.

Reduces stress on spine

Makes us feel happier and more confident- This may initially seem a little far fetched.  However when people feel sad they are more likely to slouch and when people feel happy they are more likely to stand straight.  Good posture is an outward display of confidence and someone who is in control.  This can help to change our frame of mind so that we feel confident and in control.

Makes you appear taller and slimmer

 

What Does Good Posture Look Like?

Good posture is when you are in a position (whether you are standing or sitting) that doesn’t place strain on your joints and ligaments.

When sitting you should sit up straight and push your bottom to the back of the chair.  When standing some tips are to pull in your stomach and straighten your spine (you should never aim for a completely straight spine as our spines have natural curves); keep your shoulders back.

The thing is that we are all individuals so ‘good’posture may vary slightly for each of us.  Ultimately the aim is to make ourselves a little straighter and taller whilst protecting the three natural curves in our spine.

If you want to find out more about what your posture should look like then this article details it here

Ways to Improve Posture

1) Start to notice bad habbits

We can’t start to correct ourselves until we recognise where we might be going wrong.  Most of the time when we stand or sit we don’t even notice our position.  If you work in an office start to pay attention to how you sit in your chair.  When you are walking do you walk tall or do you slouch?

2) Look for warning pains

Back pain can be a sign of bad posture.  There can, of course, be other causes but if you start to notice that you suffer with back ache then checking your posture and making any adjustments is a good place to start.

3) Take a break

It can be hard to maintain good posture if we are trying to sit or stand in the same position for a long period.  Take a break and move around, change positions or do something different.

4) Make gradual changes

If your posture is bad you could improve it gradually.  This may make it feel more comfortable and also make it a little easier.  Start by pushing your bottom back in your seat or straightening your back or pushing your shoulders down.

5) Find a way that works for you

Perhaps you work well with imagery.  In this case imagine you are being pulled upwards by a piece of string.  Perhaps you need reminding throughout the day so you could set a reminder on your phone to check your posture at regular intervals.  Make sure your chair and desk are set up correctly ie. you have a footrest if needed, your chair is at the right height for the desk etc.

What is your posture like? Thanks for reading 🙂

10 Healthy Food & Fitness Events in 2017

Written by: Helen

Last year I listed some food and fitness events taking place around the UK and I’m going to do the same this year.  There are great things happening so if you’re looking for inspiration to help keep you eating and feeling well this year then attending one of these could really help.  You can get motivated by trying new products and foods, taking part in classes and workshops and speaking to experts.

 

1) SFN Expo 2017

14-15th October, Glasgow

This is all about fitness.  So if you like to exercise this is worth a visit.  It has various brands, athletes and coaches attending and you can watch bodybuilding and Strongman championships.  You can find out more here.

 

2) Be:Fit London

28th-30th April

The UK’s only health and fitness festival for women.  The website says it is a ‘three day celebration of health & fitness with back to back classes, talks from industry leaders, live cooking demonstrations, workshops and more, all included in the price of your ticket- plus a shopping village filled with a hand picked selection of the best brands in health, fitness & nutrition. We will also be launching a Be:FIT London yoga studio, functional training studio, cycling studio and the Be:FIT braid bar, all brand new for 2017.’ Find out more here.

 

3) FitCon

21st-23rd April, London

Held over three days at Olympia, London you can meet top brands and athletes, as well as fellow fitness enthusiasts.  Find out more on their website here.

 

 

4) International Yoga Day

18th June, London

In the beautiful grounds of Alexandra Palace you can join some leading instructors for hours of free yoga and meditation.  It’s on from 8am-6pm and there will be classes for all abilities.  Find out more here.

 

5) Natural & Organic Products Europe

2nd-3rd April, London

This event at Excel London has natural healthcare products, organic foods and even eco-household products and more.  Visit their website here.

 

 

6) Eat Clean Fair

2nd April, Gloucestershire

This is a big gluten free and healthy living fair in Thornbury.  It has all sorts including food and drink, beauty, sports, wellbeing and you can speak to experts.  There are more details here.

 

7) Soul Circus

18th-20th August, Gloucester

This is a yoga and wellness festival.  If you like yoga or if you’ve been wanting to give yoga a try, this looks fab.  You can be at a sunrise yoga class in beautiful surroundings.  To find out everything that’s on you can visit their website here.

 

8) MindBodySpirit Wellbeing Festival

28th April-1st May, London

This is at Olympia London and there is lots going on.  There are workshops, exhibitors, yoga and a wellbeing spa.  You can check out the specifics on the website here.

 

9) Vegfest

20th-21st May, Bristol

The event is at Amphitheatre and Waterfront Square on Bristol Harbourside.  It is about all things vegan and there will be lots of stalls with vegan food, information etc as well as music in the evening.  The website is here.

 

10) Sport & Fitness Show

16th-17th September, Brighton Seafront

This event will have exhibitors, free fitness classes, triathlon entries and other activities.  The website says it is something the whole family can enjoy.  Find out more here.

 

Let me know if you’re planning on attending any of these.  Perhaps I’ll see you there! Thanks for reading 🙂 

How I’ll Stick to my 2017 Resolutions

Written by: Helen

I’m a fan of New Year’s resolutions.  I always make them.  Granted they may have fallen by the wayside come March, but I, like many people, enjoy starting the year with writing down goals; a plan for how I would like the year to turnout.

Inevitably some resolutions I can stick to and others I can’t.  Resolutions I make that are connected to diet and exercise I tend to find the hardest to stick to.  And judging by the way gyms everywhere are full in January and then empty again in February I don’t think I’m alone in this.  For me, this is because after the usual Christmas and New Year gluttony, I’m ready to launch myself with gusto into healthy eating and a stricter exercise regime.  However, after a few months I’ve either fallen off the wagon entirely or I’m perhaps still eating reasonably healthy and doing some exercise, but not with the same kind of fervour that I promised myself at the start of the year.

So this year I’ve come up with an ingenious way to stick to my diet and exercise resolutions….I’m not making any.  Okay, so it’s not that ingenious but it’s also not a complete cop-out.  I had a baby in August so I do have some baby weight I’d like to shift and I’d also like to get back into a decent exercise routine and start running again.

However, writing down goals that I won’t be able to stick to for a whole year can leave feelings of failure.  So this year I’ve made no mention of diet or exercise.  I know the things I need to do.  I need to switch the unhealthy snacks (particularly the ones that I munch on whilst breastfeeding) for healthy ones; I need to go for a run once the baby is in bed.  But I’m going to do these things in my own time and without putting pressure on myself.  I’m going to ease myself back into exercise gradually and maybe, down the line, I’ll set myself some goals.

There will be times when I’ll stay in the warm instead of going for a run.  There will be times when I’ll put down the apple and pick up a chocolate bar.  But, overall, I’ll hopefully end the year a bit healthier and fitter than when 2017 started.  I’m just going to get there gently.

This doesn’t mean I’m not making New Year’s resolutions.  As I said at the start I loooove making them.  I’m just avoiding any that mention diet and exercise.  This year my resolutions look more like a bucket list of things I’d like to do and see this year.  I’d like to go on the Harry Potter Studio Tour (has anyone else been on this? Is it completelely magical??), I also want to see Stonehenge and I’d like to do more charity work.

So, in between nighttime feeds and dirty nappies, 2017 is about being kind to myself and setting achievable goals.  Have you made New Year’s resolutions?  How do you stick with yours?  Thanks for reading.  Don’t forget to subscribe and I’ll send healthy posts to your inbox.