Jennifer Hanway

Enliven Your Lightest, Brightest You

Jennifer Hanway is a Holistic Nutritionist, Bio Signature Modulation Practitioner and Certified Personal Trainer, originally from London but now living in Newton Centre and working in Back Bay, Boston.

Filtering by Category: Healthy Lifestyle

Live Well: Navigating Holiday Parties


I love the holiday period, and all the food, fun, and connection it brings - but the constant late nights, alcohol and eating off track can make me feel less than my usual lightest brightest self. I’m heading out to London for a week to celebrate with my friends and family there, so my social commitments feel like double this year (I’m not complaining)!

Below are the wellness strategies I’ll be using so I can show up for the holidays as my best, energized, vital and glowing self…

1) Stay consistent! Now is the time to really make sure you are sticking to the PRIME principles - eating your servings of 7-9 veggies a day, working out and staying hydrated. In the word for my very smart husband ‘control the controllables’, be this what you can eat for breakfast, getting your workout in, or how you manage your stress levels.

2) A holiday party has a set time frame - don’t let it creep out into the entire day! If anything double down on your healthy habits the day of the party so you show up feeling energized and able to get the most out of the occasion.

3) The day of the party have a protein, fat and fibre based breakfast (I’m on smoothie lockdown at this time of year), aim to get a workout in to increase insulin sensitivity and get you glowing, and get super hydrated too.

4) I always eat a mini meal before I leave to keep my blood sugar and energy levels stable, and so I am empowered (not hungry) to make smart drink and food choices. A mini smoothie, apple and nut butter or hummus and veggies are great options.

5) If my outfit of choice feels a little too snug around the middle I take a charcoal supplement to help rid me of any gas or bloating - my faves are these super affordable capsules from Bulletproof (they are also my go-to if I feel I might have accidentally been ‘glutened’):

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XYLNB4S/?ref=idea_lv_dp

6) Choose your drinks wisely: low sugar options include prosecco, champagne and organic red wine (which can also contains health boosting antioxidants), and if harder options are your thing then clear spirits such as vodka and gin have less toxins and are less likely to cause a hangover. Pair with seltzer water rather than sugary sodas or chemically laden diet drinks.

7) To avoid dehydration, too many empty calories, and feeling terrible the next day always order a glass of water with your alcoholic drink. The added benefit is that if you have your alcoholic drink in one hand and your water in the other it's impossible to reach for the high calorie, low nutrient canapés that might be on offer.

8) The next day start with a large glass of alkalizing, digestion boosting, adrenal supporting warm water, Himalayan salt and lime juice. Leave the coffee until later in the day to give your liver time to process the alcohol and toxins from before. Workout, eat light, and dry and jump in an infrared sauna if you can - leaving you light and bright and party ready again!

Do you have any top tips for surviving holiday parties? Share the love and share them below…




Friday Five: Healthy (!) Holiday Drinking

Cheers to the weekend!

Whilst healthy living might not be the first thing on your mind as we hit 5.30 this evening and head into the Memorial Day weekend, there are ways to let your hair down and enjoy time with friends and family, without derailing your wellness goals and feeling terrible the next day!

One question I get asked from my clients all the time is 'can I still have alcohol?' and this week's #FridayFive is all about how you can enjoy a glass or two, whilst staying on track with your goals:

1) Choose Quality, Not Quantity: if you only follow one of these tips, then make sure it is this one. So many of the negative effects of drinking come from the additives and toxins in our alcohol (in the US wine producers can use up to 76 additives without disclosing on the bottle), but this can be avoided by choosing higher end organic products. Purchase your wine from an independent retailer (rather than a liquor store) and tell the staff that you are looking for an organic wine. Often European wines are made using organic processes (or as close to organic as possible ) but do not hold an organic certificate. If purchasing online Dry Farm Wines and Fit Vine Wines are two great options.

2) Go Low (Sugar): alcohol is one of the least nutrient dense substances out there, and spikes blood sugar and insulin levels whilst containing barely any nutrients (yes, some red wines contain polyphenols & antioxidants, but the bad still outweighs the good), so choose low sugar options such as champagne or prosecco, red wine, or diluted clear spirits (such as gin and tonic, or vodka and soda).

3) Food First: keep blood sugar levels stable by eating a #PFFFormula (Protein, Fat Fibre) meal or snack before you go out. This will help prevent blood sugar spikes and help your body metabolize acetaldehyde (one of the toxic byproducts of drinking that causes a hangover) more quickly.

4) Work Out The Next Day: when there is alcohol in your system the body will prioritize burning this first over your fat stores, as it sees it as a toxin that it needs to get rid of. So, if improving your body composition (lean muscle mass to body fat ratio) is one of your goals, drinking will hinder your progress. To speed up the process schedule a workout for the next day - and even try working out fasted. Drink a ton of water, and hit the sauna afterwards to maximize detoxification.

5) Spritz! If rose is your thing (#roseallday) then lower the sugar content by mixing with club soda and citrus fruits - just be considerate of the number of glasses you are having as this can make it very easy to drink!

 

My 28 Day Gut Healing Program is now available to start at any time!

https://www.jenniferhanway.com/28-day-gut-healing-plan/

 

The Nitty Gritty of Goals

So here it is, January 1st, 2016. I love a clean sheet, a fresh start, and a opportunity to learn and grow, develop and improve. Some of my resolutions (developed from my 'Core Desired Feelings' ) are to have more energy, reduce my inflammation, cultivate a yoga practice, and forgive myself and others more. If you have read my previous post on 'Setting Goals with Soul' you will know I'm a huge fan of goal setting and wanting to improve your health and happiness, so I've detailed below the process I use with both myself and my clients for goal achieving.

1) Work Backwards

Where do you want to be with your wellbeing on December 1st, 2016? Rocking a little black dress, hosting a healthy dinner party, celebrating the marathon you ran, or relaxing on a yoga retreat in Guatemala? Identifying some BHAG's (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) should make you feel a little nervous and a little excited at the same time - think good butterflies!

Setting these goals gives us a destination for the journey, and once we have a destination we can start plotting out the journey...

2) Chunk the Journey

Let's start to make this journey more manageable. If you are holding an extra 30 pounds, rocking that little black dress may seem a little far fetched. If you've never run a 5km, but completing a marathon is your goal, you may feel like giving up before you even lace your sneakers. But by setting mini goals and mini milestones it makes the process seem less daunting, and maybe even fun!

I like to use each quarter of the year as my mini milestone, so I look at what I need to achieve by the end of March, end of June, and the end of September, to get to where I want to be by the end of December.

Chunking the journey also gives us reason to celebrate our successes along the way, which is going to keep your more motivated and more compliant than waiting 12 months to give yourself a pat on the back!

3) How to Get There

This is the nitty gritty of goal achieving, and my favorite part of the process (I LOVE to plan and organize)! When I work through this process with my clients I help them break down their wellbeing into four components:

  • Nutrition
  • Fitness
  • Healthy Lifestyle
  • Self Care

From here we look at another process called 'habit layering'. Habit layering is a wonderful tool as it provides a managable structure to create healthy habits. When we try and change everything all at once it becomes too overwhelming, and we are more likely to throw in the towel. Healthy habit layering is the process of introducing one new habit a week from the catergories above and implementing 'Action Steps'. For me the most important part of this process are the Action Steps as they are the concrete strategies to achieve the goals.

For example, if a client's goal is to lose 30 pounds by the end of the year, her first week of habit layering may look like this:

Component

What Action Step
Nutrition Increase intake of Fruit and Vegetables Sign up for local farm box delivery
Fitness Find a Personal Trainer Research gyms in local area and book at least one trial session
Lifestyle Meet people who are interested in healthy living Find a healthy living Meetup group nearby
Self Care

Increase hours of sleep Set regular bed time of 10.30pm

Creating these tables every week, on a month by month and quarterly basis quickly adds up to so many healthy habits that it cant fail to create change! It designs a wonderfully simple roadmap to follow to guide you through the journey to wellness to the place and person you wish to find at the end of the year.

I love working through this process for both myself and my clients, and I'm excited to be facilitating this both online through my Pop Expert Sessions, and through my 'Real World Wellness' workshops for those of you in Boston.

If you plan to make 2016 your healthiest, happiest year yet I have an amazing goal achieving package to give away!

Comment below to win a copy of my favorite book about goals and desire: Danielle LaPorte's 'The Desire Map', A Pop Expert One to One Healthy Goal Setting Session with me, and a ticket to my Real World Wellness: Goal Setting Workshop for those of you close to Boston.

To enter just comment below with one of your health and wellbeing goals for 2016. Not only will you be entered into the giveaway, I will also respond to all comments with an Action Step for you to take to help you reach your goal.

The winner will be picked at random and will be notified by email by 1/7/2016.

Wishing you all the healthiest, happiest 2016!

 

 

2016: Your Healthiest, Happiest Year Yet!

I love goals. I love fresh starts and new challenges. I love the beginning of a New Year! I’m seeing a lot of negativity on social media around New Year’s Resolutions, and it makes me sad. Of course I am of the opinion that healthy habits should be sustained year round, but what is the harm in wanting to improve your life and become a better version of you? In my opinion that should be celebrated, whether the catalyst for you is the start of a new day, new week or new year.

I’ve always been a big fan of goal setting, and when I moved to the US nearly 3 years ago it was a perfect fresh start for me to take my career to the next level. And I had time, plenty of time. It took six months from my arrival to being granted my Green Card, so I had plenty of time for goal setting and planning!

I wrote huge lists, and guided by Jack Canfield’s book ‘The Principles of Success’, gave my goals clarity, detail and a completion date. And then sat back and felt completely unmoved.

Don’t get me wrong, my goals were pretty awesome: write for a fitness magazines, work for the top studios in the area, build an online business, keep a client base in the UK, look great in a crop top, all exciting and certainly achievable. But it felt like a ‘to-do’ list, endless chores rather than a guide to building an exciting and valuable life.

Enter Danielle LaPorte. I had first heard of Danielle’s work via Brene Brown, via a goal setting workshop I had been a part of with the UK Lululemon team. I downloaded Danielle’s book ‘The Desire Map’ via Audible, and got to listening. And it changed everything.

‘The Desire Map’ turns goal setting on its head: it switches the focus from what you want to achieve to ‘how do you want to feel’, and it that though process is the game changer. 

As part of the process you are asked to define your ‘core desired feelings’, two of mine were ‘authentic’ and ‘of service’. Defining these helped me to pinpoint my goals with more depth of feeling, the goal of writing for magazines was really my wanting to reach a wider audience to help more people improve their health and wellbeing, working for the top boutique fitness studios in the area was my desire to continue to learn and hone my craft. And the crop top? That turned out to be my wanting to ‘live authentic’, to live and breathe my message, in other words, to ‘practice what I preach’.

Danielle LaPorte’s work is still part of my goal setting practice, whether setting goals for myself, or when working with my clients to help them define what health and wellness means for them. If rocking 2016 is on your agenda I highly recommend checking out Danielle's work to create what she calls 'Goals with Soul'! 

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If you would like to work with me on a one to one basis to set your healthy goals for 2016 I’d love for you to join me via Pop Expert for my : Real World Wellness Workshop: Setting Healthy Goals for 2016. 

This one to one workshop is perfect for anyone looking to improve their health and wellness in 2016, whether you are taking your first steps on the journey, or are looking for the next level in becoming your healthiest, happiest you.

During the 50 minute session we will cover the following:

  • Setting the goals you wish to achieve by 12/31/2016
  • How to break down those goals into segments of 3, 6 and 12 months
  • Detailed planning for the next 3 months on how to achieve those goals by using my four ingredients for the healthiest, happiest you: nutrition, training, healthy lifestyle and self care
  • How to ‘habit layer’ each week to make your goals manageable and enjoyable to achieve
  • Practical, real world advice to implement these habits
  • Accountability in the form of a private Facebook Group
  • Discounts on all of my Online Services throughout the year of 2016

To book the session please click on the link below, go to 'Book Now' and select the day and time that works for you. Once you have booked I will be in touch with more details about what you need for the session, and to get some information from you so I can be fully prepared to give you my best guidance.

https://www.popexpert.com/jennifer-hanway

But wait, there is more! I love goal setting so much that I have an amazing goal achieving package to give away! Consisting of a copy of the book that changed everything for me, Danielle LaPorte's 'The Desire Map' and a Pop Expert One to One Healthy Goal Setting Session with me! 

To enter all you need to do is post just one of your health and wellbeing resolutions in the comments below. The winner will be picked at random and will be notified by email by 1/7/2016.

Wishing you all the healthiest, happiest 2016!

Training Tuesday: The Double Whammy

Happy Training Tuesday! I often get asked whether cardio or strength training is more important, and my answer is usually the very vague 'Both. Depends on your goals...'

The majority of people (including me) can benefit from more of both in their lives, so I've designed a workout that combines building strength (weight) training with cardio that will build muscle and burn fat, and is suitable for all.

The beauty of this workout is that in can be done with minimal equipment, and is a great go-to for when the gym is super crowded (I see you January)...

Dumbbell Complex 1

The key to making this workout more beneficial is to move quickly between each set of 8 reps to the next exercise (use the same dumbbells) for maximum fat burning effect.

Beginners: choose lighter weights and aim for 4-6 rounds in total. Take up to 2 minutes rest between rounds. 1 round consists of all 5 exercises (8 reps of each) and the bike sprint.

Intermediate / Advanced: choose heavier weights and aim for 6-8 rounds in total. Take up to 1 minute between rounds  (1 round consists of all 5 exercises (8 reps of each) and the bike sprint.

Thank you to my wonderful Private Training and Thrive client Laura for being my amazing model! 

1) Dumbbell Push Press x 8

2) Dumbbell Bent Over Row x 8

3) Dumbbell RDL x 8

4) Dumbbell Split Squats x 8 Each Leg

5) Push Ups x 8

(rest 30 seconds)

6) Stationary Bike Sprints (go hard) for 30 seconds

Rest and Repeat

Rest: Beginners = 90-120 seconds / Advanced = 45-60 seconds

Repeat: Beginners = 4 to 6 rounds / Advanced = 6 to 8 rounds

I would love to hear from you below if you tried this workout! Leave a comment below and I will always reply, or post a pic of you on Instagram or FB and tag me so I can see your hard work!

The information and materials provided in this blog are to support and assist people who are looking to improve their health and wellbeing I understand that all new dietary/supplements/ exercise programs should be undertaken after consultation with a medical doctor. Jennifer Hanway is not responsible for any injury or illness sustained whilst following the information in this blog.

Beat the Christmas Bloat!

Some people have what my Dad would call 'cast iron guts'! They can eat or drink anything they want, and have no nasty side effects. I am not one of those people. I am on the extreme end of the spectrum however; I have a severe gluten allergy that was undiagnosed until my early 30's (like a lot of the people in the health and wellness field I became frustrated when conventional medicine could not help me, and started to do my own research, but thats a story for another day), I'm intolerant to dairy (gluten and dairy sensitivities often go hand in hand), and I caught Typhoid whilst working at a fitness resort in Mexico in my late twenties.

Because of this I am very strict with my diet and avoid gluten, dairy and eggs like the plague. Even so, being out of routine, increased calorie intake and more alcohol and sugar than usual (my mother in law bakes amazing GF and DF treats for me) can result in 'stomach upset' (my polite English terminology), which in my case means bloating, gas, constipation and generally feeling miserable.

Below are my 3 tried and tested ways of helping my gut through the holiday period:

Friendly Bacteria

Probiotics are in common use now, and most people understand the benefits of incorporating them into their diets either in the foods they eat or as a supplement. I like to go two-fold on this when I know my digestive system is going to work a little harder than usual: I up my intake of probiotic rich fermented foods (goats milk kefir and sauerkraut are my favorites, you can buy both from Whole Foods), and every evening I take a good quality probiotic supplement from the Poliquin Group.

What is not as well know is that Probiotics need to feed on Prebiotic fiber to be active in the gut. I like to ensure my prebiotic fiber comes from my diet, great sources are fibrous veggies such as artichokes, leeks, dandelion greens and chicory. These are best eaten raw, but you can still get some of the benefits by lightly steaming them. Bananas (the greener the better) are also a great source of prebiotics.

I've also started to bring a bag of " target="_blank">Tiger Nuts with me when I travel - these little guys are not nuts, but tiny little tubers that are an amazing source of prebiotic fiber. You can also cook with Tiger Nut flour, and watch out for some Tiger Nut recipes on the blog in 2016!

Tiger Nuts
Tiger Nuts

Get Moving

Such a simple thing, but I find it makes a huge difference in my digestion and ahem, motility. I've learnt the hard way that I need to move my body everyday for all aspects of my health, and my favorite way to do this on holidays is to go for a walk, and practice some basic yoga poses that aid digestion.

Here is a 5 minute Yoga for Digestion video from ekhartyoga.com that is suitable for everyone:

[embed]http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lefh3wWcCHs[/embed]

Green for 'Go'

The fiber from green smoothies (not juices) is a great way to help everything move through the digestive system with a little more ease, and adding pineapple, lemon, parsley and ginger can help with gas and bloating. Below is my favorite 'stomach saving' green smoothie recipe:

1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple chunks 1 cup water or coconut water (or 1/2 and 1/2) 1/4 cup fresh parsley 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger 1 cup leafy green veggies such as kale, chard, spinach or dandelion greens Big squeeze lemon juice Blend together until smooth and enjoy!
1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple chunks 1 cup water or coconut water (or 1/2 and 1/2) 1/4 cup fresh parsley 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger 1 cup leafy green veggies such as kale, chard, spinach or dandelion greens Big squeeze lemon juice Blend together until smooth and enjoy!

I hope these suggestions help you as much as they help me. If you have any questions about this post please comment below, and if you have any 'stomach savers' you would like to share I'd love to hear them.

Quick and Easy Tips for a Healthy Road Trip!

Are you (like me) hitting the road today (or tomorrow) to visit family and friends for the holidays? I'm a big fan of road trips, but they can often derail our healthy habits. Here are some quick and easy ways to have a healthy road trip, to ensure you feel full of energy and ready to party when you arrive at your destination! Move It or Lose It

I'm really bad at sitting still for any amount of time (read longer than 5 minutes), so long car journeys are definitely a challenge for me. Before we hit the road I aim to get up just a little earlier so I can do a short at home yoga practice. I love the free content from Yoga Journal, and can complete my practice is around 30-45 minutes which is perfect. Taking a walk, going for a swim, having a dance party in your kitchen to Mariah (just me?), anything that gets the body moving and the blood pumping is a great antidote to sitting still for hours on end, and will stop you feeling stiff and achy on the journey.

The Most Important Meal of the Day

You've guessed it - protein, fats and veggies before you go (see my 7 Days of Breakfast post for suggestions)! Having a good breakfast is going to set you up for the day, stop you from having to eat breakfast at a gas station (no one deserves that), and keep you mentally focussed

Be Prepared

On the subject of gas station food, don't do it! Husband Hanway and I always take snacks on our road trips, and it makes for a much more pleasant journey! Protein shakes, jerky, nuts, fruit (see Healthy Holiday Travel for more ideas) are always on our list, and if its a longer journey consider packing a cooler with some homemade meals too.

Coffee is Life

And then there is gas station coffee. Bitter, tasteless, and served in chemical polystyrene cups. Don't do it. Brew your own at home and take in a thermos. Delicious, better for you and will save you money too.

Water Water Everywhere

Be sure to stay hydrated during the journey, there is nothing worse than arriving tired and cranky at a holiday party, and dehydration can be a big cause of this. Ensure you drink plenty of water during your journey, and your skin will thank you too.

Thats Entertainment

I'm a huge fan of podcasts and long car journeys can be a great time to catch up on my 'must listen' list. Audible is a great option too, so make sure you have downloaded some great content before you leave. Because there is only so many times you can play 'The Preacher's Cat', right?

Disconnect and Connect

Being able to access emails, the internet and social media 24/7 wherever we go is both a blessing and a curse, and I've been guilty myself on being 30 minutes into a road trip and connecting more with Instagram than my husband. Car journeys are a great opportunity to connect with your other passengers and shoot the breeze, just keep it light and fun and in the holiday spirit.

Champagne and Chicken Wings

Because even for me the holidays are about fun and celebration. Husband Hanway and I usually spend Christmas in the company of our family which we love, but last year we instituted a new tradition of going to our favorite bar and ordering champagne and chicken wings (a combo you HAVE to try) before we descend on the family. This is wonderful in many ways (umm, hello champagne and chicken wings) as for us it signals the start of the holidays and give us time to connect with each other before the craziness begins!

Whatever your plans for the holidays I hope they are happy, healthy, and above all, fun! Stay tuned in January for a heap of new recipes, meal plan ideas, workouts, product reviews and amazing giveaways! to make 2016 your best year yet! 

Rest and Reset: The Importance of Less Stress, More Sleep

The holidays are a wonderful time, but they can often mean self care and sleep get a little neglected. With this in mind I wanted to draw attention to an old post that rings true especially at this time of the year...Isn't sleep a blessing?  Not only does sleep make you feel wonderful, it has some pretty amazing health benefits too: 

  • It helps to control weight and improves body composition (ration of body fat to lean muscle) in two ways. Sleep regulates the hormones that effect appetite, and when we don't get enough sleep our bodies produce more of the hormone ghrelin which in turn leads us to make poor food choices and consume more calories. Research studies have also shown that lack of sleep leads to less energy output, i.e. we are less likely to exercise (or even walk around the block) due to tiredness and lack of motivation.
  • It increases your ability to handle both mental and physical stress. Not only this but sleep lowers both blood pressure levels and the stress hormone cortisol.
  • It has a beneficial effect on our mood and our thinking. Not only does it make us feel happier and less worried (studies show a long term sleep deficit can lead to depression and anxiety) good sleep increases cognitive function, leading to better judgement, improved focus and less tendency to takes risks.
  • It enables cell repair throughout the body, important for both repairing muscles post workout (we are at our weakest state post workout due to the breaking down of muscle fibers, they will repair and get stronger whilst we sleep) and beautiful skin (repair at the cellular level results in less fine lines and wrinkles, and gives us a glowing, even complexion).
  • It decreases inflammation: chronic inflammation is the source of many diseases, including cancer, obesity, and heart disease. We all need some level of inflammation in the body to help heal and fight off infections, but when too much inflammation is present (this can be caused by a myriad of things, from stress to bad food choices and poor gut health) it can cause the immune system to malfunction, relating in auto immune conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and arthritis.

There are many simple ways to improve the quality of our sleep, below are five easy to implement health habits:

  • Introduce a caffeine curfew: for me this time is 3.30pm, for others it may be later or earlier, depending on your tolerance for caffeine. If you find your mind racing the minute you close your eyes start moving your caffeine curfew back by half an hour to see if it helps. One of my favorite alternatives is the caffeine free Turmeric tea from Numi Organics:

Numi Organic Turmeric Tea Amber Sun

  • Get outside in daylight: as the days become shorter we can find ourselves not seeing the daylight hours. By taking just a 10-15 minute walk outside at lunchtime you can normalize your circadian rhythm, letting your body know it is time to ‘wind down’ when the sun goes down.
  • Ensure adequate magnesium levels: due to our modern diets and extra environmental stresses the majority of us are magnesium deficient. Magnesium is needed in over 300 metabolic processes in the body, and is vital for ensuring a restful nights sleep .
  • Do not take the phone into the bedroom! Use an old fashioned alarm clock, or if you must use your phone turn the wifi off and switch to airplane mode for good measure. The electrical signals will have a negative impact on quality of sleep, even if you do not wake up. I love to use a daylight alarm clock for the most gentle, natural way to wake up:

Philips HF3500/60 Wake-Up Light

  • Consider supplements for sleep: they are many natural supplements available that can help aid sleep, my favorite is a product called RestoREM from the Poliquin Group. RestoREM contains the nutrients 5-HTP, Phenibut and melatonin and to improves serotonin levels, resulting in better sleep patterns to leave you feeling refreshed and energised when you wake up.

The Poliquin Store

Sweet dreams everyone!

The information and materials provided in this blog are to support and assist people who are looking to improve their health and wellbeing I understand that all new dietary/supplements/ exercise programs should be undertaken after consultation with a medical doctor. Jennifer Hanway is not responsible for any injury or illness sustained whilst following the information in this blog.

Stop Drop and Meditate: We No Time Because We Have So Much Time

This week's 'Stop, Drop and Meditate comes with a personal message. I'm finding that due to the 24 hour access to the internet, books, podcasts and other resources, I actually make less time to focus on a task. I can do it at any time, and so it tends to melt into the ether of my day with no structure and focus. For example, I can meditate at any time. Anywhere (well, within reason, I'm not sure my clients would be happy if I closed my eyes to focus on my breath whist spotting their back squat or in the middle of a nutrition consultation), in any manner I choose.

Except I struggle with this open ended time. It gives me too much choice, and too much time to make other things a priority (read: excuses). I see huge value in scheduled workouts, workshops, online tutorials and the such, as it makes the practice concrete. You can clear your schedule, put it in your diary. Make it a priority and give it the time and attention it deserves.

Which is why every Friday at 3.30pm I'm encouraging you to meditate along with Charity and I. If you can't make it 3.30pm, decide to check the blog at 6.30pm. Or 9.30pm. Or Saturday morning (you get the point). Just schedule it in your diary as you would a work meeting or group exercise class. Then just show up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1DVU3Y_ahs

For more information on Charity and Meditating Together check out her daily meditation affirmations, inspirations and education posts on:

Facebook: Meditating Together

Instagram: @meditatingtogether

Twitter: https://twitter.com/meditating2ther

Email: meditatingtogether@gmail.com

YouTube: Meditating Together

Periscope: @meditating2ther

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Stop, Drop and Meditate: Lengthen Your Lifespan Through Meditation

Both Charity and I were privileged to be in the presence of Deepak Chopra last Sunday as he presented a talk based on his new book, Super Genes ( a full book review will be on the blog in the next couple of weeks).It was two hours of wonderful insights into genetics and epigenetics, and I learnt so much about all components of wellness, not just training, nutrition and healthy lifestyle, but how community, environment and finances can effect your genes and your health.

I have a rudimentary understanding of how meditation can improve wellness,  but listening to Deepak speak in detail about the health benefits of meditation, specifically in relation to lengthening your lifespan made me even more determined to incorporate meditation into my daily wellbeing routine.

Every day stress and high cortisol levels can negatively effect the health of our chromosomes. Telomeres (watch out for that buzz word in ten years time) are the very end of our chromosomes, and the more stress we encounter, the more wear and tear on our chromosomes.

Telomeres have been compared with the plastic tips on shoelaces, because they keep chromosome ends from fraying and sticking to each other,

Every time a cell divides, the telomeres get shorter. When they get too short, the cell can no longer divide; it becomes inactive or "senescent" or it dies. This shortening process is associated with aging, cancer, and a higher risk of death.

However, there is something we can do to help halt and repair this process. An enzyme called telomerase maintains and heals the telomeres, which prolongs the life of our cells. An increase in telomerase slows down the unraveling of telomeres.

This is where meditation comes in. A study completed in 2010 showed people in an intensive meditation practice had greater telomerase activity  than those who did not meditate. The Chopra Foundation, along with some of the top medical schools in the country are currently studying how mindful awareness can help increase both out health and out longevity.

I'd love to help you remove the barriers to mediation (no time, have to be in a special place, cant stop thinking, I'm bad at meditating), and encourage you to take part in a short, easy, convenient meditation practice you can do pretty much anywhere.

Here is a video originally shared on Charity's You Tube channel (details below), to help guide you through an easily accessible breath focused meditation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsC02pxyyqw

 

For more information on Charity and Meditating Together check out her daily meditation affirmations, inspirations and education posts on:

Facebook: Meditating Together

Instagram: @meditatingtogether

Twitter: https://twitter.com/meditating2ther

Email: meditatingtogether@gmail.com

YouTube: Meditating Together

Periscope: @meditating2ther

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Contact: jenny@jenniferhanway.com