Sunday Post – Friends, Free Love and Free Running

What a week it has been for the Pride movement and for love and positivity everywhere!

It’s been another full on and fun week for me here in Glasgow too. Working overtime 4 out of 5 days this week to get an event up and running at work has been hard going but also very rewarding. This week I also started to try out a new little fitness practice that I like to call “free running” -purely because making up names for things makes them sound more interesting in my eyes!

Not a new or complicated concept, in the spirit of my last post, I just get into my running gear, leave my music off and head out in a direction that I haven’t been before and am curious to find out about. I don’t map it or plan it. I don’t set out to achieve a particular distance. If I don’t like where I’m headed I go back and try a different route. I did this on Tuesday evening, I got a little bit lost at one point (of course) but it was an interesting way to explore the area I live in, and pay more attention to my surroundings on a beautiful June day.

Taking the time and distance pressure off can rekindle your appreciation of running, and probably a lot of sports now that I think of it. I came home and did a 30 Days of Yoga video as a stretch out too – I am currently doing a Yoga video almost everyday. It’s become a bit of an obsession of mine and I’m noticing an increased level of zen and a also bit of arm definition happening too which is nice!

I have to say though, the highlight of my week has been a visit from my friend Eimear who spent Friday and Saturday here with me.  I’ve known Eimear since our first year of University and we have been firm friends ever since. I find that as you get older, you just don’t get to spend as much time with the people that you care about as you would like to. Life, schedules, commitments all have a habit of getting in the way don’t they? I certainly feel like this having moved country, but I believe that everyone can relate, regardless of your situation. The great thing about good friends is that you can just pick straight up from where you left off no matter how long it’s been. It’s such a pleasure to talk about and truly appreciate each others little life triumphs while also laughing about the hilarious shared Uni experiences!

The thing that I find is that you can have a body or a job or a life that inspires envy, but without having positive people around you it would all be a bit pointless. So if you have good people, give them the appreciation they deserve. Good friends and positive people are good for your health!

Have a great Sunday 🙂

Tea with Friends :)
Tea with Friends 🙂
Me and Eimear
Eimear and I at dinner on Saturday
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Staying Healthy at Work: A Lazy Girls Guide

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Our jobs can be demanding at times, can’t they? I have been in a full time career for almost two years now (yikes!). Lately I have been really thinking about how I can maintain healthy habits in the workplace. I’ll always be honest in this blog, so I have to say that I have definitely given in to some really rubbish habits at work at times. Plates of chips and beans for lunch, coffee after coffee, Snickers bars as a snack, I could go on! When the pressure is on you reach for comfort don’t you? A lot of things can make us forget to stay healthy. Maybe you are new to full time work, or feel like you’re in a bit of a rut, or maybe your coursework is chaining you to the desk more than you like.

In this post, I want to share a list of things that help me to stay a little bit healthier in the workplace:

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1. Our friend caffeine

Let’s leave the catch up’s with this particular pal to mornings only, shall we? I mean, we love him, but repeated caffeine fixes throughout the day WILL mess with you! I have found that a high intake of caffeine in my day goes hand in hand with increased stress levels and terrible sleep. It creates a vicious circle, so break it! Have you tried out herbal teas containing Ginkgo Biloba? This is a natural energiser and one that I have been meaning to try. A piece of fruit after your lunch will give you a sugar boost to get through your food coma. If you hit a slump, hydrating yourself with water, squash or flavoured tea will give you a gentle boost that will get you through, without the caffeine hangover later.

2. Be Self Conscious:

Not as counter productive as it sounds I promise! Hunching over a laptop, poring over files or holding a phone to your ear for long periods of time will tense up your body and cause tension particularly in your neck and back. Be mindful of how you are sitting and why you are sitting like that. Think of it is going to effect your body. Are your shoulders relaxed? Are you sitting at the edge of your seat  because you can’t see your screen clearly? Can you adjust it so that you don’t have to do that? Are your legs crossed over and over because you were just in a stressful situation? Maybe you need to take a minute, get yourself a glass of water and have a breather before you get back to it. Sometimes I get so focused on the task at hand that I forget to think about myself. Don’t fall into that trap. Be conscious of yourself. Your body will thank you for it!

3. Snacking isn’t all bad:

Making food that I’m not going to eat straight away feels plain wrong to me which always puts me off making packed lunches! Don’t make it difficult on yourself, a lot of canteens have healthy options, but if you can, try to have some fruit and veg on hand for slumps and snacking. A guy I work with once brought a full bag of chopped carrots from Sainsbury’s to snack on, and do you know what? Between the two of us there were none left by the end of the day! I think it’s a great idea. My favourite part is that there was no preparation required! Pre chopped fruit and veg is tasty, clean and a good healthy snack.

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4. Try to Eat Something In the Morning:

I have spoken about the benefits of a healthy brekky in a previous post (which you can read here) so I won’t go into this again. But just to say that a handy cheat for those (like myself) who like a lie in in the morning is even to have a little smoothie in the fridge that you can pop into a bottle, or if you are me, a reusable coffee cup, to drink on the way in. It’s not ideal but at least you are getting something into your tummy before you get to your desk.

I hope that these tips are of some help to you and if you have any to share with me please let me know by leaving a comment.

Go For It: Yoga

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Bring some colour into your day with Yoga!…Oh…

Generally met with enthusiasm, trepidation or some light eye-rolling, yoga is one of those activities that we have all had our preconceptions about. Western culture has embraced not only the physical teachings of the discipline but also it’s spirituality and lifestyle over the last 30 years or so. Everyone has heard of yoga, and I bet that, like me, a lot of people associate it with beautiful bohemian ladies displaying their awesome flexibility on a beach somewhere. Yoga is also associated with privilage, because folks; it ain’t cheap!

The truth is though, yoga is for everyone. You can be a blonde surfer in Cali or 50 year old accountant in Dundee, either way, if you have the go ahead from your doctor you can reap the benefits of yoga. Personally, I have practiced Hatha and Bikram over the years. I first came to Yoga when I was 21 and in the final year of my degree. I was feeling overwhelmed and wanted to do something to help me to relax and also improve my fitness. I found the physicality of Yoga to be challenging but soon began to notice the benefits including increased flexibility and higher energy levels. I also became increasingly more aware of my posture and this began to improve. But it was the relaxation and spirituality of yoga that has stuck with me. Concentrating the actions of your body rather than what happened in your day is something that you can get from any form of exercise; but Yoga also places the emphasis on your breath and on your relationship to the ground. It creates a direct bond between you as a person and the environment around you. The word Yoga is a translation from the Sanskrit to “Listen”. Listen to the world around you, listen to your body.

Yoga for me is like a favorite book, I can forget about is for a while and move on to other things, when I need it to go back to it’s teachings they’re right there. Only enriched by time and experience. Nothing can beat the attention of a trained yoga teacher in a class environment and I recommend it. However, if you are like me and want to come back to something that you already know, or would like a bit of a taster session, or just don’t fancy the classroom environment; our good friend the internet has provided some brilliant resources for Yoga training. Here are my favorites:

Morning Routine: The Yoga Solution with Tara Styles – this video is perfect for anyone who wants to wake up well in the morning but really doesn’t have time. I tried this out yesterday and today and found it energizing and relaxing too (if that is possible?!). It will be tough to pull myself out of bed, but I really am going to try to get this into my weekday morning routine a couple of times a week.

Yoga with Adrienne – I only became aware of Adrienne’s 30 days of Yoga through another blog, Style Sunrise (it’s awesome btw, link here) but it’s seems that I am rather late to the trend! How great is it that you can get a brilliant and completely free introduction to Yoga just by checking out these videos?

Jayne Becca Yoga – Jayne Becca provides both video content and a blog for Vinyasa Flow yoga. I found her on a random blog search and she is actually what is what got me thinking about getting back into yoga if truth be told. Well worth checking out.

I hope that you enjoyed this post and would love to hear your Yoga stories.

After all of this relaxation, I’m going to get out for a long run today; the 10 Mile Edinburgh Great Run is coming up next Sunday, not sure where that time went, but this week is going to involve some prep work! I’ll catch up with you soon and let you know how I’m getting on. I promise that I will also try to have less back to back Go For It Posts, the last couple of weeks have been quite demanding and I’m planning to get back to a better routine with writing and photographing too.

‘Till next time,

Jen

Go For It: Let’s Go Trampolining!

Sorry about the lack of pictures and the quality, we were just having too much fun to take more and it wasn't the kinda place to bring your new Nikon!
Sorry about the lack of pictures and the quality, we were just having too much fun to take more and it wasn’t the kinda place to bring your new Nikon!

Here in this part of the world we are lucky enough to get some time off over the Easter period. When I was living at home, this would always be a time when we would do something as a family, usually involving some kind of light exercise and the subsequent consumption of a LOT of really good food. I haven’t been back in Ireland for the Easter break in the last two years, however, the old habits stick, so food and fun were high on the list for this weekend. Which leads me to write this weeks Go For It post on Trampolining! A little while ago, my boyfriend told me about an indoor trampolining park called Airspace which had recently opened in East Kilbride, and could we please go because it sounded awesome.

Well, I didn’t need to be asked twice!

Having only ever done a little bit of trampoline work during PE at school and of course bouncing about on friends back garden trampolines in my childhood, I’m a total novice when it comes to this. But the idea of a massive floor with over a hundred trampolines sounded way too exciting to get put off by a little matter like that. We booked a slot and went to Airspace on Saturday morning. When we arrived we were welcomed at the door by a member of staff who told us a little bit about the venue and where to go to sign in etc. which was nice and helpful. By the time our slot came around we were itching to get on the trampolines. There was a safety briefing before going out where the presenter used video examples of do’s and don’ts on the trampolines which was good because it told us what we needed to know but didn’t take too long; and then we were let loose.

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There is trampoline dodgeball, basketball, airbag jumps, and then a space towards the back of the area with wall to wall trampolines (and I’m actually talking trampolines on the walls here). My favorites were the trampoline basketball where you can bounce as high as you can to get a slam dunk (I didn’t manage it, but it was still awesome and Chris and I got quite competitive) and the wall to wall trampoline area where I tried a few twists and bouncing from my bum to standing (again, with varying degrees of success).

Jumping around on trampolines for an hour is pure joy. The second we got on them we were smiling and laughing like a pair of children (although we were far less talented at trampolining than all of the children there, we discovered) and we didn’t stop until it was time to leave. Trampolining is high intensity exercise so it’s a fantastic workout, and the fun aspect of it makes you keep going for longer than a more boring or repetitive activity. It was tiring and I recommend taking a couple of breaks, but the hour slot is more than enough time to have a lot of fun and try all of the things that you want to try. I was a little bit stiff on Sunday so stretching afterwards is a must. If you want to give something new a try, get a group together and go trampolining, it is so much fun and will make you feel happy and silly and all of the good things. I’ll be back next month, hoping to get that slam dunk!

There are trampolining parks all over the world, but in my little corner Airspace is the closest, you can find out more about it here.

Have you tried something like this before? Let me know how you got on.

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Tired out after all of that bouncing!