As we try to find the perfect work/life balance, it’s easy for us to neglect our health in one way or another. We tend to only notice that we’re not spending enough time on our health when we get ill, by which point it’s too late. Through the colder months when colds and bugs of all sorts are making their rounds, it’s even more important to ensure we’re eating healthily, and exercising regularly.
As with everything in life, moderation is key. It’s obviously important to eat healthily, but at the same time we don’t want to deny ourselves the occasional indulgence. My rule of thumb is that Monday to Friday I eat balanced meals and exercise regularly. Come the weekend, I allow myself the opportunity to relax a bit with my work outs and diet, which I find makes it more manageable.
When it comes to eating – fad diets are a big no-no. There’s no point in changing your lifestyle for a brief period of time. You may see quick results, but this just gives you a false sense of achievement if it isn’t maintained. Tackle your eating head on. Are there habits you’ve allowed yourself to slip into, that you could easily change? Just like anything, our health is a job that needs to be added to our daily routine. With that in mind, it’s key to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients needed naturally through the foods you consume. Having been a vegetarian my whole life, and competing and training regularly, it has forced me to understand more about nutrition and about the benefits of all the different food groups. Are you achieving all the required food groups in a week? A great tip for ensuring you are, are these wall charts: One of which even allows you to track your week with reusable stickers: https://www.lizcookcharts.co.uk
In today’s working world, it’s easy to find ourselves grabbing a ready-made lunch, instead of something we’ve made at home. While the occasional lunch out is okay, it’s important to make sure that for the majority of the week, your lunch is coming out of your own cupboards. Not only will your wallet be happier, but it ensures that you know exactly what’s going into your body. Even if it’s just a homemade sandwich, or a bowl of soup, it’s always better when it’s homemade. With the internet at our fingertips, you can find a recipe for anything in your cupboards! And with food remember, what you eat bares an enormous amount on how you feel. The saying ‘you are what you eat’ is not far from the truth. You may not see it short term, but there are long term health issues that can be avoided with your food intake (both physical and psychological). For those of us who want those flat stomachs and toned bodies, another useful mantra is ‘a six pack is made in the kitchen.’
When considering exercise: little and often is the key. It’s far better to do 30 minutes of exercise every day, than doing one session of two hours in a week. The exercise I always recommend, which is practical in any space – is squats, squats and more squats! They are such a fantastic all-round work out and develop a lot of the core muscles needed for other stenuous exercises. (Plus you can do them anywhere!) Even if it means scheduling a daily reminder into your calendar, don’t forget to include your health at work! Remember to keep your bodies moving. Every 20 minutes we should be getting up and moving around. Ensuring your water stays topped up is a great excuse for getting up from your desk. After all, our best work is produced when we remember that a healthy body = healthy mind. Take the time, every day to check in and see what’s going on with your body and remember to switch off from distractions and give yourself time to just be in the moment. Even if this is just taking a few minutes to do some deep breathing.
It’s vital to remember that life is all about the balance. With work must also come time to relax away from work. Whether it’s spending time with your family, getting cosy with your favourite book or cooking your favourite meal. Always take the time to switch off and enjoy life. This balance is so key for our bodies and our mind.
Sam, has been teaching martial arts for over 12 years and runs his own full time centre in Brighton. For Sam, the important thing is that his centre creates a sense of community, a place where people can feel supported and have some fun getting fit. Operating his full time centre for over 7 years, Nam Yang is a place where everyone is included and felt welcomed. Sam competes regularly in kickboxing and other combat sports so diet is very important to him, especially as a vegetarian. He is also trained in effective nerve release therapy (Tui Kan), which has always provided very positive results to his patients. Sam is responsible for keeping the Magenta team ship shape with a weekly dose of fitness which is a great balance between cardio, stretching and meditation. He’s even been doing some personal training work with a member of the Magenta team too!