Over the last few months I’ve been adding Alive! Soft Jell Vitamins to my daily routine. I started with immune support in January and managed to escape the colds that were doing the rounds in my office. I then tried the energy booster and noticed a difference in how I felt in the mornings. Recently I’ve been trying the Calcium Soft Jells which are specially formulated with Vitamin D to help our bodies absorb the calcium. The team at Alive! are calling this a “magic pairing” and it got me thinking about what my magic pairing is when it comes to my health and happiness.
I didn’t have to think for very long as there are two go-to things that I always make an effort to do regularly, no matter where I am in my journey and no matter how high or low my motivation is. They are my health and fitness magic pairing.
*This post was sponsored by Alive! Vitamins. Please see my disclaimer for more info.
1. Strength Training
It was when I stepped away from countless hours on the treadmill and cross-trainer and started using free weights for the first time that I really started to enjoy the gym. Don’t get me wrong, it was difficult at first. I didn’t know which weight to use and I felt intimidated going around the corner into the “men’s” area of the gym just so I could pick up a dumbbell heavier than 5kg. I soon realised that the men weren’t actually all that intimidating and that I was a lot stronger than I thought. As my confidence grew, so did my strength and at each gym session I was increasing the weights I was lifting. I absolutely loved the feeling of getting stronger. I still do. Before, I was a cardio bunny, but now I can’t live without strength training playing a big part in my health and fitness routine.
The beauty of strength training is that it doesn’t just mean “pumping iron”; it is any form of exercise that incorporates resistance. It can use just your bodyweight, it can be the legs, bums and tums class at your local gym, it can be climbing, it can even be yoga (try to do a crow pose and tell me that doesn’t require strength!). Strength training helps me to focus, it makes me feel empowered, it helps to strengthen my bones, it builds muscle and ultimately, it makes me happy.
I know it seems silly to say that water is one of my health and fitness essentials when water is essential for all of us to survive, but water is something I’m constantly making an effort to drink enough of. I notice the effects on my health instantly when I don’t drink enough water. My energy levels and concentration nose-dive, my skin breaks out and my body just feels sluggish. I love starting my day with a cup of warm water and lemon and I always keep a refillable water bottle on my desk at work. Some days I get so busy that I forget to top up my water bottle as much as I should and I notice the effects right away. I’m happiest when I’m drinking plenty of water and it even helps to curb my hunger as I sometimes confuse thirst with hunger when I’m not drinking enough.
Luckily I’m one of those people that enjoys the taste of plain water but if you don’t, try adding ice, or drinking sparkling water instead, or infusing your water with fruits and herbs. I love lemon and mint, strawberry and basil or watermelon, cucumber and mint. You can use a water infuser bottle, or just pop your choice of fruits and herbs into a glass.
A recent study by Alive! revealed that a huge 63% of the British women surveyed aged between 25 and 55 do not actively take steps to look after their long term health. That is shocking to me! I’m trying to take simple steps now that will help to keep me healthy in years to come. I know that by improving my strength, mobility, posture and always staying hydrated will help me now and in the future. Having two yummy strawberry flavoured soft jells made from natural fruit that will support my bones is also a step in the right direction for my long-term health. The new Calcium Soft Jells are available from Holland & Barrett both in-store and online and direct from feelalive.co.uk.