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Fitness & Wellbeing

The Well-Kept Secret to Mental Balance

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There is mounting evidence that a key to physical and mental balance may lie in the gut-brain connection. Here’s a simple explanation of why this ‘connection’ is incredibly important to your mental and general wellbeing and how to harness its power. For those of you interested in this line of thought, have a read of this.

How it works (in a nutshell):

  • The vagus nerve (VN) connects your brain to your stomach and intestines via the neck, face, throat, inner ear, heart, lungs and gut.
  • The VN transmits messages back and forth from your gut to your brain, triggering beneficial ‘rest and digest’ or negative ‘fight or flight’ responses. These will then either switch off or on: inflammation, digestion, nutrient absorption, blood circulation, and immunity among many other systems.

How to stimulate the VN and create the right ‘healing’ responses:

  • Ujjayi breathing (daily): This deep-breathing method (search videos online) is one of the quickest ways to change your stress response and positively impact your gut and mental health.
  • Relaxation techniques: From meditation to hugging, connecting with community and loved ones goes a long way to changing your stress response and creating a positive feedback loop with your brain.
  • Humming: The stimulation of the throat, lungs and inner ear helps to switch off the ‘fight or flight’ response. Repeat a mantra when doing yoga or meditating; sing/hum your favourite song – daily.

Never underestimate the power of bathroom singing!

Written by Nathalie

Fitness & Wellbeing

Seed Cycling for Hormonal Balance & Fertility

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Seed cycling is a gentle way to help reduce symptoms associated with high oestrogen and low progesterone levels such as PMT, ovarian cysts, clotting, endometriosis, breast sensitivity, irregular cycles and PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome).

It focuses on increasing levels of oestrogen in the first phase of your cycle where oestrogen is required and boosts levels of progesterone in phase two of your cycle.

The principles are as follows:

Phase 1: Day 1 of period to day 15 of cycle (ovulation):-  Eat daily: 1 tbsp of ground flax seeds + 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds– with additional fish/krill oil during this phase to provide additional omega 3.

Phase 2:  Day 15 (ovulation) to day 28:-  Oestrogen needs to be kept in balance in phase 2 by increasing levels of progesterone.  Eat daily: 1 tbsp ground sesame seeds + 1 tbsp ground (or whole) sunflower seeds.    Evening primrose oil is recommended in this phase (to reduce inflammation and increase progesterone).

Additional points:

  • Ideally buy whole seeds then grind just before consuming.
  • Don’t eat the ‘wrong’ seeds out of phase, ie no flax or pumpkin in phase 2.
  • Sprinkle on muesli/porridge, smoothies, salads, soups etc.
  • Do not heat or cook the seeds
  • A tablespoon of ground seeds is not the same as 1 tablespoon of whole seeds.
  • Consult your GP for potential interactions of fish/krill oil with your health condition and/or medication.

As with many ‘natural’ alternatives, it can take 3-4 cycles to get the results you want, so be patient!

Written by Nathalie

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Coping With Lockdown

Fitness Tip from Superher Fitness

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During these difficult times it can be very easy to neglect our health and fitness. I understand it is a tough period for many of us and the uncertainty of the future can be worrying. Which is why it is more important now to look after ourselves to cope and support each other. If we don’t take care of ourselves then how can we look after others.

When I work with people I look at your health to see if you are in a good state of mind as well as physical health. You need to be in a good place not just physically, but mentally and emotionally which is essential for long-term happiness. Exercise helps with this so find something that you enjoy that you can sustain within your life. Whether your job has been affected or other circumstances has, you can choose what steps you take next. So, my advice is to get a routine and incorporate good habits within your life. Help reduce stress and injuries by scheduling 15 minutes of stretching/meditating each day. Stay hydrated by drinking regularly throughout the day. Go to bed earlier to enable you to achieve better rest to start refreshed the next day. Pick a good recipe book with some healthy recipes that you enjoy. We have recipe books or I highly recommend the green roasting tin if you don’t like spending time cooking. Schedule in your exercise for the day that you think you can stick to. Before worrying about what exercises you should be doing, prioritise something you can manage and do not dread to get you started. Whether that is running for 10 minutes and walking for 10 minutes, set yourself achievable goals to get into a routine that works for you. Always start off with low expectations that you can achieve within your workouts so you get the feel good factor of achieving it. You need a foundation to build on and then you can think about progressing.

Gain a good support network, make good use of social media and technology by keeping in contact with friends and family and hold yourselves accountable with each other. Going on a journey to become healthier with someone or even telling them about it will help you get there. Exercise will help your health, you did not need me to tell you that. But…. we all need reminding that we need to look after ourselves. If you look after your health by incorporating good habits then the rest will follow. You do not often get fitter or look better by becoming unhealthier so don’t be too hard on yourself if you have a bad day or two. We can stand still and let this pandemic affect our health or we can take action and alter our routines to stay healthy and do what we can to bounce back. So before you complicate or overthink about your training, start with the basics. Look after yourselves and start scheduling better habits into your routine. Adapt and overcome.


“Inspiring a healthier and stronger community”

Liam Hunn

07825581958

www.superhero-fitness.co.uk

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Fitness & Wellbeing

Dance Fitness with Just Jay & STEPS

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Here’s the latest video from local dance fitness instructor, Just Jay Entertainment!

Keep your eye out for the next video 🙂

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