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Why Swimming Got Me Back To The Gym And Exercising Again!

Vitality+Awesomeness Swimming B&W 1

The days are long gone when the gym was my enemy. Thinking that you have to look fit to go to the gym is passed me. Yet I used to think that I had nothing to do in there for that simple reason. Too skinny, lack of fitness knowledge, inexperienced, uncoordinated, all these reasons really put me off going to the gym and potentially exercising. And aren’t you a bit reluctant to go to the change rooms? Do you find them impractical and not making you feel great about yourself? All that led me to exercise less, on and off and miss out on great and long term health benefits.

Once you realise why you need the gym and fitness in your life and what exercising brings to your health in general, you start thinking of ways you could make it work for you. Although I would love to be bigger with wide shoulders and great muscly legs, I probably won’t get to that. However, by exercising I get to feel much better physically and mentally. And I can still see great results in my overall body and mental health.

Finding your fitness go-to

Summer 2016 really helped me get back to exercising, starting with morning runs. However, I knew I had to exercise more. Both my parents had been professional swimmers when they were in their early twenties. Raised in the south of France, we would spend most of our summer days in the water at the beach. In winter, my mum would take us swimming in the evening, where we would try all the possible swimming styles.
When visiting my dad during school holidays, we would go swimming at least 3 times a week and he would always make a point of correcting our swimming techniques, whether we were swimming breaststroke or freestyle or giving butterfly a go.

What’s your style

In my early years I first got to love breaststroke as it looked easy and didn’t require to have my head under the water. Wanting to learn something else and push the boundaries a bit, my dad taught me the insides and tricks of freestyle. Freestyle does require some knowledge on how your legs should kick, how your hands and arms must go in the water and how you should breathe, which to me is the most important part of this exercise.

Don’t make excuses

So here I am, 33 years old, back in cold London and trying to keep active and healthy. The dilemma for me is that I have to wear contact lenses in order to swim properly, which distracted me from going for a while. As Daen is a PT and Nutritionist at Nuffield Health in Shoreditch, I saw a great opportunity to give that pool a try. There are many great gyms and health centres in London where you can go for a great swim. From Nuffield Health centres to Outdoor London Fields Lido or Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, offering you four different pools in south London, you really are spoilt for choice in London.

My swimming routine

Firstly I tryied to remember what I had been taught as a youngster. I love breaststroke, as it’s a great warm up! I tend to do about 4 laps of breaststroke before I move on to freestyle. Once I start freestyling, I try and swim as many laps of the 25 metre pool as I can. Backstroke is a great alternative, when I start slowing down or need to mix it up a bit. It works well for your back. It’s also a great option if you’re out of breath but don’t want to stop. After swimming frequently, you can really start seeing your endurance build, your muscle strength increase, and your cardiovascular fitness improve.

Swimming will impact on your fitness

The best thing about swimming is that I got to use the actual gym facilities and exercise again. Between fitness programs, circuits and trying other things like squats I feel like swimming reconnected me with exercising, yet gives me that healthy and full alternative workout! A swimming workout will help you clear your head and prepare for the day.

 

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Not Getting A Good Night Sleep? What To Do And Avoid!

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There are various possible reasons for not getting a good night sleep. From a bad pillow to noise outside your window and the list goes on.

Our founder & holistic nutritionist Daen tells you his top tips to get a good night sleep and what to avoid to get sweet dreams:

The obvious stuff first:

1. Get in to a sleep routine

Go to bed at the same time each night. Try and get into that routine to go to bed and get up at the same time in the morning too.

2. Your Surroundings matter

A dark, quiet and tidy bedroom will make a huge difference. It may seem obvious but preparing for a good night sleep is important. 

3. Consider putting your gadgets away

No screen time at least 1hr before bed. This includes TV, mobile phones, iPads/tablets and computers. Meditation helps a lot of people to calm dow so this could be something for you to look into.
Also, get some sunlight in the morning (without sunglasses) before 10:30am.

Nutrition & Fitness: The “I told you so”:

4. Coffee, there is a time limit I’m afraid

Avoid caffeine after midday if you can. A herbal tea, like camomile, may help you wind down after work rather than adding that extra caffeine to your body.

5. Fitness has an impact on your sleep

Regular exercise actually helps you in getting a good night sleep. However, it is recommended not to exercise later than 1hr before bedtime.

6. Your late heavy meal lets you down

The Spanish do it, yet it’s an easy and helpful one to avoid! a big, heavy meal too close to bedtime. Let’s just say that lasagna may not be your best option!

7. It’s getting serious now

Increase tryptophan-rich foods in your diet. Have a banana after dinner. Turkey is full of it and you can also find some in dairy (if you tolerate it) and walnuts.

 

Voila! I hope the above tips help and please get in touch if you have any questions. We would love to hear what has helped you and what you’re working on.

Daen x
Daen Heuston | Co-founder Vitality+Awesomeness and  Holistic Nutritionist & Wellbeing Personal Trainer at Nuffield Health Shoreditch, London.

 

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