As well as giving me the chance to goof around outdoors, the recent snow also gave me a chance to do some thinking about a whole range of things. It’s great fun to let your mind wander around like this sometimes. While it’s not exactly meditation, for me, I can find it even more restful than sleeping and certainly more enjoyable !
One of my recent daydreams had me wondering. You know we’re always racing from one thing to another, what would we do with more time ? If you’re anything like me, probably more running ! But isn’t it crazy that the less time something takes to do, the less likely we are to do it ?
So girl, its time to put down that mobile phone, abandon the Facebook status update and dare I say it step away from the cake………. (I know, I can’t believe I typed that either) Instead, why not try one or more than these quick routes to a better day and happiness ?
Breathe. That’s right, just breathe ! The best thing about these five minutes is that you can literally do it anywhere, office, home (there’s even one girl in the salon that does it in the ladies – she gets embarrassed) You don’t need to “do the pose”, sitting cross legged with your thumb on your fingers, just comfortable !
Close your left nostril with your left thumb and breathe only through your right nostril and let the energy flow through you. You’re looking to keep a regular rhythm with your breathing and keep your breaths in and out the same length. I also prefer to close my eyes closed personally, but beware, I’ve heard ladies snoring a couple minutes in when they do this ! Just settle into your rhythm and enjoy for five minutes. Heaven !
Find your balance.
This is my personal favourite 5 minute exercise. Ok, so you don’t have to stand on a mound, looking like the cross between a figure four and a belly dancer, but studies have shown that simply standing on one foot for 5 minutes can have a positive effect on your core strength and joint stability. I know what you’re thinking though – are you having a laugh ?
The simple answer is NO ladies !
Try standing on each foot for a couple of minutes to get a real benefit in your core – if nothing else, you’ll learn to wobble evenly !
Doodle (or colour in)
#YNotbU recently bought the Authentic image modelling agency and their Creative Director Amanda is an AMAAAAZING doodler, but even if you aren’t as talented as Amanda, there’s still a great mental benefit to doodling and colouring in.
Just listen to Amanda’s advice “Don’t let a perceived lack of talent stop you – get some pencils and a pad and just create your own masterpiece. Whatever you do will be an original so don’t forget to sign it !”
Doodling isn’t just a way to keep yourself occupied in a dull meeting either, studies have shown it can help improve your memory and ability to retain information, improve focus, reduce stress and help you think more creatively. Dedicate a few minutes a day to doodling and see where the blank page takes you…. I’d love to see what you create !
Getting back to an exercise theme though, I want to talk to you about probably the most important 5 minutes of your workout. The 5 minute warm up before and the 5 minute warm down afterwards. Follow this simple routine at the start and end of your workout and thank me later !
- Upper body and arm stretch: Clasp hands together, plans facing outwards, push arms up above the head. Hold for 30 seconds.
- Tricep stretch: Raise right arm, bend it backwards so right hand is in middle of back and use other hand to gently pull elbow towards left side until you feel a strict. Hold 30 seconds and repeat on other arm.
- Standing cat cow: Feet hip-width apart, legs slightly bent, lean forwards and place your hands on thighs just above knee. Round your back so head and shoulders are curved forwards. Then arch your back so your chest is open and shoulders back.
Shoulder shrugs: Shrug shoulders up and down 10 times.
- Upper trap stretch: Lean your head to one side so your ear is towards shoulder. Hold for 10-15 seconds. Repeat on other side.
- Calf stretch: Bending your left knee in a lunge shape, place your right leg straight out behind you, heel on the floor. Place hands on kitchen side and stretch into right calf for 30 secs. Repeat on left side.
- Hamstring stretch: Bend your left knee and place your right leg straight in front of you. Sit into the left leg tilting your bum towards the sky. Keep your right foot flat on the floor for 15 secs, then lift toes towards sky for 15 to increase stretch. Repeat on left leg.
- Glute stretch: You can hold the kitchen side for support if you need to here. From standing, bend you left leg slightly and lift you right leg up and place your right ankle just above left knee. Sit into it and try and for 30 seconds, Repeat on left.
- Quad stretch: Standing on your left leg, feet hip-width apart, take your right ankle in your right hand, keeping your knees together. Tilt your pelvis forwards to increase the stretch and don’t lock out your standing knee. Hold for 30 seconds, repeat on left side.
So let’s get going girls AND Don’t forge to tell me how you get on !