Take it Easy!
After a busy, busy month which included, among other things, my sister’s wedding at home (exactly one calendar month ago today my Gawd!), three weeks off work for a trip of a lifetime (and another fabulous wedding) in South Africa, then jumping straight back into work and yet another amazing wedding at the weekend, I find myself back at work today with the mother of all headcolds. Shocking, I know.
And there was I planning to turn my life around this week after my heretofore indulgent Summer: #BestLaidPlans…
Anyway, it’s forced me to re-evaluate my shenanigan-filled life and I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to self-prescribe a more relaxed lifestyle over the next few weeks in order to restore myself.
- Sleep. My love for wine (espesh of the South African variety now!) endures. However it wreaks such havoc with my sleep that I feel compelled to eliminate it entirely for a few weeks in order to catch up on my Zzzs. I discussed sleep hygiene in my post last week and I’m going to practice what I preach (for a change!) every night until it becomes second nature.
- Food. I love my food far too much to ever think about eliminating anything or following a particular regime, but I would like to moderate my portion control after 3 weeks of over-indulgence in the extreme. I’ve come to the conclusion that, provided I’m adequately rested and not drinking too much, I’m naturally quite an intuitive eater. I tend to crave what I haven’t had in a few days so it all balances out at the end of the week. When I’m drinking a lot I eat ridiculous amounts of rich food, so little or no booze should sort my post-holiday bloat out! I had chocolate several times a day when I was away, whether in the form of Lindt truffles, hot chocolate, a chocolate Nutrigrain bar (bringing 3 boxes of these to South Africa was a huge source of slagging!) or chocolate fondant desserts. I was also persistently slagged on my trip for my love of chips. In South Africa, I ate them twice some days (#MyBad), but I tend to only have a side serving of them once or twice per week when I’m at home and not on the tear! I’m not even going to think about what I’m eating for the next few weeks, apart from trying to incorporate some fruit into whatever I eat for breakfast, some salad into my choice of lunch and some veggies in the evening. I plan on reflecting on how this pans out for me at the end of each week and take it from there.
- Exercise. I’m no longer a member of a gym so am free and easy to do my own thing – not that I was going before I (eventually) cancelled my membership! My plan is to resume my running app once or twice per week (if this headcold ever ends!) and take the odd drop-in yoga or pilates class. I go for short walks several days per week as it is. I’m not going to pretend to myself that I’m going to do anything crazy in the exercise stakes. I think we should start an ‘intuitive exercise’ movement, pardon the pun. The #fitfam world has gone a little crazy on promoting extreme exercise as routine. Though high intensity interval training and its counterparts are effective for short-term fast fat loss and fitness boosts, do we really want to be engaging in a workout so intense that we feel crushed after it several times per week? I’ve posted on the benefits of low intensity steady state cardio which often ultimately supersede those conferred by more hardcore options. People tend to do better when they engage with a sport or class they enjoy rather than when they drag themselves to something they find torturous. And there are benefits to whatever your choice: walking/hiking through a scenic area for unwinding, yoga for flexibility and relaxation, running for de-stressing… Sure all forms of exercise de-stress! And remember you don’t need to reach for the moon to be healthy and fit. The National Guidelines on Physical Activity for Ireland recommend ‘at least 30 minutes a day of moderate activity on 5 days a week (or 150 minutes a week)’ for adults, e.g. brisk walking, medium-paced cycling and swimming of moderate intensity. This recommendation is echoed in the World Health Organisation Guidelines, the NHS/NICE (UK) Guidelines and the American Heart Association Guidelines. People mock the arbitrary recommendation of the 10,000 steps per day but every little really does help!
So, in a nutshell, my plan is to revert to basics: to sleep really well and eat and exercise intuitively and see how I fare… Have a great week! I’ll be taking it (really) easy!