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4 Rules to Being Fit and Healthy in 2017

By Sara Southey, founder of fitness programme The Southey Way Sara Southey Sara Southey runs The Southey Way, a new business venture which helps to support men and women become fitter and stronger.

Sara Southey runs The Southey Way, a new business venture which helps to support men and women become fitter and stronger enabling them to take on life’s challenges with energy and confidence to live life to the full.  In this guest post, she shares her 4 Rule to being fit and healthy in the hope that it will help you on your journey of fitness, strength and confidence.

The last few months have been stressful for me.  Running 2 businesses, looking after hubby, 2 kids, 4 spaniels (one a puppy!) as well as trying to keep on top of my training.  I was very relieved to go away last week for a break with the girls.

Whilst I was away, I rested.  No work, minimal exercise and lots of sleep.  I gave myself permission to just relax and do what I wanted when I wanted.  This gave me time to reset and rethink how I was going to change things when I got home.  Obviously, the responsibilities were not going to change but I have been able to remind myself that I am human and as such need to remember at all times the priorities of why I do what I do and the balance that is required to do them. I am sharing these with you as they may help you make your own mind up about your fit & healthy balance and how to achieve it. So here are my 4 Post Holiday rules for me to be fit and healthy:


Rule 1:  Sleep

I am naturally a night owl so tend to wake up around 9pm and my nights have been getting later and later.  This would be fine if I was sleeping later but I am not.  Consequently, my body and mind are tired all the time. Getting enough sleep is SO important.  Without it our minds never rest and our bodies never get chance to recover and rebuild.  Routine is key so our bodies know what to expect and when. My Rule: I have to wake up at 7am pretty much every morning so I am setting myself the goal of being in my pit and ready to sleep by 11pm.  Giving me a good 7-8 hours of quality sleep on a regular basis.  

Rule 2: Eat

Generally I eat healthy clean food prepared from fresh ingredients.  But when I am busy I forget to eat.  Focussed on what I am doing I ignore the warning rumbles and quite often will realise at 3pm that I haven’t eaten since breakfast.  This can lead to bad food choices and instant fixes.  Not good! Food is fuel.  Without it our bodies and minds do not function as efficiently and productively as they could.  Eating well-balanced small meals interspersed with healthy snacks throughout the day (roughly every 2½ hours) and drinking plenty of water ensures the body has everything it needs for the demands of the day. My Rule:  Plan my meals and ensure all my food is readily available to eat when I need to eat it and set reminders on my phone to tell me when to eat it!  

Rule 3: Train

I train because I love it.  It is a stress reliever, a mind clearer and keeps my body strong and fit.  Sometimes work and family responsibilities take over and I miss my training sessions.  This generally doesn’t make me or anyone else around me happy!  I also tend to beat myself up a bit when I miss a session as I am part of teams that compete and feel I may not pull my weight or be good enough come competition time.  So this adds to my stress levels! Training is there to be enjoyed.  Our bodies and minds love the endorphins that are released and the increased blood flow that makes our brains and muscles more efficient, as well as the physical benefits that being fit and strong give. Most of us are not elite athletes.  The Mo Farah’s and Jessica Ennis’s of this world have to follow strict programmes for them to achieve their goals whether they are having a bad day or not.  We, as individuals, exercise for fun and health.  There is no reason to feel bad or guilty about missing one training session.  Knowing the real reason the session was missed is important.  Understand why, make any changes necessary and move on.  The next training session will be great because of it. My Rule: Plan a regular time slot for my training and put it in the diary.  Stick to that time as much as I would stick to business appointments and only rearrange when absolutely necessary.  If I miss a session, I will acknowledge why it happened and not beat myself up for missing it.  Remember I train to have fun and see what I can achieve. Onwards and upwards always!  

Rule 4: Rest

This one is separate from sleep.  This means time for you.  A time when you are quiet and calm.  A meditation of sorts. I am particularly bad at rest.  I am working, training or doing family things.  When I do stop it tends to be all or nothing and I bin out for the whole day!  It doesn’t help stress levels and quite often I achieve less because I am busy worrying about all the things I should be doing instead of resting.  So even when I do rest, I don’t switch off! Rest is particularly important for us as humans in this day and age.  We spend so much time racing around, trying to achieve as much as we can that we get burnt out and stressed and grumpy.  There is a huge mindfulness emphasis going on at the moment, which is trying to remind us that taking some time out to rest is calming for both body and mind.  Switching off for even 10 minutes in a day can reap huge rewards in the rest of our day.  Finding what suits you is key! It is as important to make time for yourself, as it is to make time for others. My Rule:  I am going to set aside 15 minutes each evening to some mobility/yoga work.  Again this will go in my diary and be treated as a strict appointment.  I plan to do it in the evening so my mind and body are calm and relaxed before sleep   This is a very personal post and one I wanted to share, not just so I am publicly committing to do these things but also in the hope that it starts you thinking how you can make life better for you and how you can fit it in to your lives to ensure it happens.  Let me know what you think and please comment any ideas or suggestions you have too! Stay Strong! Sara  

  [caption id="attachment_1739" align="alignleft" width="200"]Sara Southey Sara Southey[/caption]

Sara Southey runs The Southey Way, a new business venture which helps to support men and women become fitter and stronger enabling them to take on life’s challenges with energy and confidence to live life to the full.  

The Southey Way starts with an introductory 12-week support programme of tailored exercises delivered to individuals weekly. Signing up to The Southey Way also gives members special access to a closed online support group. Alongside the unique training programme members will benefit from Sara’s leadership and motivational skills to help them achieve their goals long-term. In addition to the network of support members can seek advice and information on topics such as diet plans, health, fitness activities and lifestyle choices, in fact, anything that helps them become stronger, energised and more confident. 

For more information please visit www.thesoutheyway.com