We're a group of hard working, goal smashing, well warriors through and through, right?! But, do you ever just feel like you could quite literally sleep for a week and it still wouldn’t be enough? Do you sometimes feel that no matter what you do, it's not enough?
Hands up if you’ve ever felt personally victimised by your uterus. I’m talking period pain and premenstrual syndrome (pms) here, we’ve all seen, heard, experienced, witnessed or all the above the full effects of what our monthly gift can do to us awesome ladies but this week, as I sat in moaning, tearful, short tempered agony I wanted to find out if there are ways to help, improve or adapt to this and share them with you in case there is anyone else out there who turns into periodzilla every month.
"The contemporary designation of the body as 'meat machine' is merely the latest iteration of a long tradition of self loathing" - Marina Benjamin
I've noticed a thread or should I say, a new 'norm' laced through my Instagram feed recently.
More and more accounts seeing both men and women turn up the heat and drop the clothes. It's -1 outside baby so there's got to be more than meets the scantily clad eye on this new societal norm.
Are we forming a culture defying sexual oppression or are we simply shifting the paradigm of what is 'okay' to post online?
We all know and experience fear first hand, and for many, it’s a daily occurrence. In Chinese medicine, fear is located in the kidneys. Nervous pee anyone? 👀 The science here is probably more to do with the nerves that run up the spine or the muscles tensing, but sure, let’s start with a toilet reference, why not. 😬
Fear can have a detrimental effect not only on our emotional and mental wellbeing but also our physical wellbeing. It puts us on high alert and preps us for ‘battle’.
Fear is a feeling and byproduct of an emotion. So what’s the difference between a feeling and an emotion?
Hey Well Warrior,
If you follow my social media or have spent much time looking at my online space which houses my journey as a coach to date, you'll know I'm not one for following the norm - in fact, my inner rebel actually detests the very notion of adhering or conforming to society. It's like a flip in me switches and off I go in the opposite direction. Even at times when the opposite direction doesn't serve my best interests.
My very branding goes against what thousands of other coaches walking down a gorgeous sunlit beach with balloons in hand and sparkles a plenty, would gawk and horror at. It's intentionally dark, it's moody but it's designed to be real.
Hey Well Warrior,
We live in a material world.
No, I’m not about to break out the Madonna soundtrack on you, but human form is about as material as it gets.
In fact, in the fast paced and busy world in which we live, even to keep our minds and bodies in working order (read: not suffering overwhelm, burnout and illness), and to enable us to follow our passions and build those heart led businesses that we crave; we need awareness, creativity, movement, stress management, nourishing food, comfortable living and a negativity free environment.
What is it about the word rest that makes us AS women recoil in horror?
Having a holiday or a day off work is no problem at all; the more the merrier in fact! However, when, like now, I am being made to rest and recover it’s the last thing I want to do, I’m bored in minutes, restless (ironic wording) can’t get comfy, fidgety and pretty moody because I can’t do what I want to do. Does anybody else get that? I can lie on a beach for hours on end, I know that I am resting and I can feel all the benefits of it, but if it’s not my choice, yuck get me back to work and workouts! Us active peeps tend to feel this way, tend to rush into more exercise, more workouts or that ‘must workout everyday’ mindset, but, do you realise that not incorporating rest can not only stop you from seeing real results from your effort in the gym but also damage your health and your wellbeing? Plus, not allowing yourself to recover from an operation (telling myself this), an injury or an illness can actually set you back even further?
Fresh out of hospital from my operation and on a months-worth of forced rest, a month! No exercise, no swimming, no impact work, no overexertion (and no sex just fyi), it makes me feel itchy just thinking about how unfit and lazy I’m going to feel at the end of a month and I already have itchy feet to get my fitness routine back up and running. However, on meds that make me drowsy and dizzy with my hormones throwing in a few mood swings to keep things fun and interesting, feeling pretty sorry for myself, all the motivation in the world isn’t going to help me get back into it, but resting will. Seeing as I am quickly becoming best friends with my couch I thought it was an ideal time to look a little deeper into this thing called rest and recovery and see who else out there is guilty of not getting enough.
Being an avid fan of stretching post workout, fitting yoga classes into my weekly schedule and making sure I have complete days off the gym each week, I kind of thought that I already rest enough. Yet when I looked into the symptoms of lack of rest, it seems I do not. Apparently, having the occasional over tired emotional breakdown, a constantly aching body, regular injuries and if I’m honest with myself, a body that doesn’t perform how I know it can and has previously performed, are pretty massive signs that I do not allow my body and my mind to recover from the things I put it through. So, how can we be sure that we are giving our bodies what they need to tackle the physical challenges of life and our minds the mental challenges of life (man there are too many of those aren’t there?). I think we are probably all guilty of cramming too many ‘things to do’ into our daily lives, too much pressure on ourselves to get things done, go places, work longer hours, workout more and whatever else we convince ourselves is more important than resting, but if we actually look at the damage to our body, brain and health we would all probably make a little more time for it.
Stress is probably the biggest cause of not reaching your goals in the gym if you’re really giving it your all – we have looked into this before – but a huge thing for body and mind stress is lack of rest. Overtraining in the gym and not giving yourself rest days from working out will see you overstressed and becoming unhealthy, damaging your fitness goals, and even your relationships. Your body needs time to allow your workouts to take effect, if you don’t allow your body to recover and your head to settle then your stress hormones can wreak havoc through your body.
If you’re trying to build muscle tone or muscle mass then you need to rest your body one to two days a week to allow your muscles the time to rebuild from your tough weights session, it can take a minimum of 48 hours to recover muscles that have worked hard with up to 96 hours of rest before that same muscle group can perform at full capacity again. Yeah, that much rest is what they can need. It’s not easy to find a balance between how much rest your muscles need to perform well but also maintain the gains you’re working for so leave at least 24-48 hours between same muscle group training. You can’t build muscle without resting, it’s the rest days and your sleeping time that boosts production of growth hormone and allows muscles to rebuild post workout.
For me at the moment it’s not about recovering after a workout, an operation is quite a major trauma on the body and lots of things need to recover after that. Wounds need to heal properly and to do that your skin and your blood cells need to work together, essential vitamins needed for skin repair will also increase during a deep sleep and help to heal the body and recover your blood cell count. If you’re resting and recovering from an operation or an injury or an illness then you know your recovery is important and your rest time may be longer than you’d like but doing too much too soon - which is pretty typical of us active peeps, could end up pushing you further away from your goals and in need of a whole lot more recuperation than you’d like. A fellow fitfam friend of mine has recently had a baby and was keen and eager to get back in the gym and lose the baby weight and get back to her usually active self. Having lost several kilos of baby and water weight in a day or so, she suddenly felt so light on her feet and jumped, literally, straight into power walking with the pram, jogging, heavy squat training etc. How do you think this ended? Yes, back at the doctors with a prolapse (down there) and a further 6 week ban on exercise! Additional rest time when looking after a newborn is not a stress you need added to that crazy time anyway. So, the lesson, always take the rest time your body needs, it will be worth it in the end.
What if you’re not recovering from an operation and the likes, how can you make sure you are still recovering right?
Post workout stretching has been my mantra ever since I was a teenager, it is literally awesome or you. If you don’t hang around for even a 10 minute stretch after a big gym session then you need to start scheduling it in now! You know those days when your legs hurt so much that stairs make you want to cry, or you have to place your hands on the wall to help you drop down onto the toilet seat, or when washing your hair is physically impossible because you can’t lift your arms higher? Not only should you invest in some lifesaving dry shampoo but you should stretch post workout and reduce those pain levels for the next day. Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) can last up to 72 hours post workout but if you stretch and elongate the muscle, allow the bloodstream to get into those hard working muscle sand remove the waste products and deliver the vital nutrients like potassium and protein that your muscles need to recover you can reduce the effects of DOMS and continue with your day to day life without walking like you have had an accident in your pants. It’s also pretty essential for your muscle tone goals too, ensuring that you decrease the build-up of waste product crystals in the muscles that can lead to pain and injury and reduced range of motion, keep yourself moving freely and seeing great results with short stretching sessions, holding each move for about 30seconds, focus on the muscles that you have predominantly worked during your session and you’ll soon discover a few favourites that make you feel great all over to throw into each session too.
The biggest thing, don’t convince yourself that you’re being lazy for taking a rest day, change your mind set to realising just how important these recovery times are, it’s part of the process, it’s the right thing to have in your workout schedule each week so you are doing the best thing for your fitness goals this way. Active people can be the hardest people to convince to take time off, the rest up but it’s usually those people who need it the most. Do yourself the favour, have the perfect workout schedule and put an active rest day, like swimming or walking into your week and then a full on rest day where you do not even think about exercise, you just know that it’s the best way to see your goals when you want to see them. Yes, sitting on the sofa for a little Netflix binge could get you that butt you dream of in your booty building sessions, sign me up!
Words by Frou Williams.
Let's talk mindset for a moment.
It's taken me years to know what makes me healthy, both physically, mentally, emotionally balanced, not running around like a loon on loonie pills (I.e A LOT), allowing the right amounts of stress in my life, removing the wrong types of energy be it from people or environments and generally being able to feel content in my skin.
For most of us we are lucky enough to have a choice. We can learn about which foods are the best foods for us, to find exercise that we enjoy and to surround ourselves with our 'peeps' or tribe. 🙅🏼
For me, being active, having 'me' time, being in and around nature, with fluffy friends 🐰🐶, traveling, not taking life too seriously and having fun, trying new things to keep me excited and inspired, being with positive, like-minded people who nurture a zest for life, the occasional gin & tonic, chocolate biscuit and time to just 'be' helps me to wake up each morning and say that today, right here and now I am in control and I love the way I am. 💕
Ah the old word 'balance' but what even does it mean? It's become so overused these days especially when it comes to wellbeing and fitness.
According to the Oxford Dictionary 'balance' is:
An even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.
A situation in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.
At no point in the definition does it say that you have to do 500 burpees a day, that abs are made in the kitchen or that counting every single piece of food is the only way to achieve hashtag balance.
Just a reminder that your version of #balance is very different to anyone else's and that's exactly the way it should be.
You do you, as the saying goes.
Would love to know how do you maintain your mindset and all the things that you do in order to make you feel like the best version of you.