Alternatives to Meditation

The benefits of regular meditation are seriously not to be overlooked! It can help to combat stress, soothe anxieties and aid your mind in the process of dealing with emotions and past experiences – to name just a few great benefits. But it is true to say that traditional meditation isn’t everyone’s cup of tea…

If you find it hard to partake in meditation then there is no reason that you need to miss out on the benefits of this mood enhancing activity. Maybe you find it difficult to sit still for extended periods of time, or perhaps you struggle to create or find an environment that is conducive to this peaceful practice.

The key to enjoying the benefits of meditation, without necessarily engaging in a seated, eyes closed meditative practice, is to quieten your mind, focus on your breathing and simplify your thought process. This is something that you can do absolutely everywhere, and in any moment – you do not need to put time aside to spend a few moments doing these things.

Incorporating basic meditation concepts into your day is an easy way to enjoy the benefits without engaging in the actual practice. For example, when you are walking to work, take a few minutes to clear your mind, breathe deeply in and out, and bring your focus to concentrate solely on your breathing. As thoughts about your day try to invade this process, acknowledge them and then release them from your mind to bring your attention back to your breathing. Doing this each morning before you reach the office can help you to start your day with a relaxed and peaceful mindset.

Paying attention to your breathing throughout your day helps to settle the mind similarly to how meditation would. Breathing deeply from the very bottom of your lungs is the way to enjoy this – in through your nose and then out through your mouth. Try to keep your shoulders loose and do not let any tension build up in any part of your body while you are doing this. This is something that you can do regularly during your day for between two and ten minutes each time. You will soon notice that you are more prone to breathe in a deep way naturally, thereby better enabling your mind to tackle anxiety and keep stress at bay!

This month on my wellness for women community website we are talking about the best ways to avert anxiety! You can click here to join us now and start on your journey to a happier, healthier version of yourself!

Life Hacks for Optimum Health

If you are someone who finds it hard to keep their own health at the top of their priority list then you are certainly not alone. With busy schedules and limited time to get everything done, there is often simply not enough hours in the day to adequately meet our own needs when it comes to exercise, nutrition and self-care.

Finding simple and efficient ways to stay healthy can go a long way to making your days more manageable. Read on for my favourite three ways to do so! Embracing these concepts as a standard part of your life and your routine won’t take much effort or adjusting to, and could really help to boost your health! Which, in turn, can boost your happiness!

Get an App!

Using apps to track your health and fitness is an easy way to stay on top of your progress as well as your general health. This is a particularly good way to keep a food diary, or to record your activity in the gym. It is also simple and advisable to track your steps with a digital pedometer. This will help you to make sure that you get a decent amount of exercise during the day. 10,000 steps a day is a great goal!

Ditch the BPA!

Buying plastic disposable bottles for your water is not only bad for the environment, but can also be damaging to your health! BPA is found in hard plastics, such as those used for bottled water, and is also in some food packaging. When you are exposed to it regularly it can interact with the hormones in your body, causing disruption to their natural production and function. Get yourself a BPA-free bottle and keep refilling it during the day!

Walk, Run, Cycle!

Always driving from A to B is a surefire way to sabotage your own health. If it’s possible for you to walk everywhere during your day then do so! If the distance between the places you need to go are too great then get yourself a bike! There is such a wide variety of cycle gear available these days that you can keep yourself dry and comfortable regardless of the weather! You may think that you are not fit enough to cycle and to you I would say that this is not something to worry about! Start at your own pace and build up to cycling longer distances. You will more than likely be surprised at how quickly your fitness improves. 

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we keep moving through 2017!

How to Stay Healthy When Travelling

Eating healthily whilst travelling can sometimes be quite problematic. Whether you are just going for a weekend jaunt in Europe or you are planning something more extreme, such as backpacking through Asia, finding healthy options isn’t always as easy as you might think. Not having access to a kitchen is usually the biggest barrier to being able to prepare healthy food. Also, if you’re staying in a fancy hotel during your trip then the temptation to indulge in the restaurant, and also in the bar, can often be impossible to resist. However, if you have fitness goals and dietary aims then it is important to remember that they don’t always have to take a break just because you are!

The prominence of healthy fast food is growing rapidly in the UK and the US, but when you are in more remote parts of the world you are unlikely to come across this trend in such abundance. That is not to say that it is impossible though! A quick scout online of your target destination will reveal to you the best vegan / vegetarian / healthy places to dine – most probably accompanied by a collection of reviews from previous visitors. If you seek out a place this way then remember to leave a review of your experience for the next health conscious traveller to discover!

If you are undertaking a longer adventure on a budget then it might often seem necessary to live on instant noodles and cheap carb loaded snacks. This can be avoided by seeking out the local markets were you will usually be able to find low price fruit and vegetables to indulge on. This is a particularly good idea if you do not have access to a kitchen to prepare food. There is bound to be a great selection of local produce and you may even come across fruits and vegetables that you’ve not tasted before – make sure you always wash food properly before you eat it though!

Of course eating healthily is only half of the equation. It’s also important to remain active and make an effort to incorporate exercise into your travels. Exploring your destination on foot is a great way to do this and a day spent out walking and seeing the sights will soon amount to some serious calorie burning. It is easy to take compact exercise equipment, such as a skipping rope, with you to mix things up a bit! You can also use your own body to exercise for a short time each day, such as doing press-ups, squats, lunges and more! There’s really no limits to how you can use your own body as an exercise machine, so get creative!