Back in July last year I got really poorly with a chest infection, a cold and stress! I just couldn't seem to get better and it was a busy time with seeing my daughter off to university. I had to stop exercising for a while but I have really struggled to get back into it. Now this happens to us all from time to time but what with needing to support my mum and dad a bit more as well as an already busy schedule, I have had to accept I can't do it all. But the stress has overwhelmed me at times and I now have a recurrence of hip bursitis that my osteopath told me is probably made worse by - stress! I knew I needed to take some time out for the all important 'me time'.
And as if by magic, Laura popped into my inbox. Invited me along to try out some Pilates in her Zen Den and have a chat and asked if I would like to review her Pilates and Wellbeing business on my blog.
Now I don't believe we should keep taking on so much and sometimes it is exercise that has to 'give' in our busy schedules, I read an article recently that explained if you are trying to get a bit healthier, eat better and lose some fat, we shouldn't go in all guns blazing with a full on diet plan and exercise regime. All that happens is that it is too much and we end up failing - but we haven't failed at all - we just can't sustain so many new habits all at once. Small, sustainable changes are what we need. If exercise is your thing that is fine, but it's not my thing so I need encouragement and accountability to keep it up.
Chatting with Laura over a cup of tea in her beautiful, relaxing garden space she has called her Zen Den was like a breath of fresh air and did me so much good.
But before I tell you about that, let me tell you a bit more about Laura and her aims for her new business. Laura was living and working in Australia where she met her now husband and found a love for exercise and being outdoors. They eventually relocated back to the UK and have renovated their stunning cottage in the Buckinghamshire countryside. But corporate life was taking its toll and the long working hours meant no down time to enjoy their home. Laura decided to re-train to teach Pilates and established her business - Zenergy Active - which offers a range of flexible and friendly Pilates classes - focusing on relaxing your mind and revitalising your body. Zenergy Active is a fusion of gentle relaxation Zen Pilates and the higher impact Energy Pilates.
But she then went one step further and built her own relaxation space in her pretty garden. Laura's Zen Den is an indoor/outdoor space where her clients can relax, chat over a cup of tea, do some Pilates, and enjoy time out. It is a stunning space - heated by a wood burning stove and left completely natural with a feel of being outside in the fresh air but still being cosy and protected from the elements. Hot chocolate, soft blankets and relaxation all guaranteed!
As I chatted with Laura it quickly became apparent that we had a very similar outlook to wellbeing and health. We agree that education around health and lifestyle is imperative, that first we should be tackling the stress in our lives and improving our sleep. That we don't need to do a full on aerobic or weights based exercise class - that there is another way, sometimes just taking some time out to relax is exactly what you need.
I explained to Laura where I am now, that I have realised that for now I simply can't fit exercise into my schedule and the stress of trying to is having too much of a negative effect and creating more - yes you guessed it, more stress. And stress and lack of sleep can have a huge detrimental effect on our wellbeing. They are the No. 1 issues to tackle if you want to lose some weight - healthy eating and exercise come further down the list in terms of priority.
Although I don't love exercise I do miss it when I am not working our regularly - I love the effect is has on my body, my shape, my strength and the positives for my mind and mental health. But it needs to be the right exercise and it needs to fit my lifestyle.
I think it is important to remember too that we need different things at different times of our life and right now I need some relaxation time. Something less intense. I need to be able to fit some exercise in without too much effort in terms of changing my schedule. Walking is a good option - it clears my head and gets me out in the fresh air, but I am a fair weather walker, rain doesn't inspire me - frizzy hair isn't my preferred look.
Do take a closer look at what Laura offers - she has classes near Wooburn Green and Cookham, she has her Zen Den sessions* and offers one to one too. She is able to offer a full wellbeing review and discuss habit changes to help you make small tweaks to your lifestyle to achieve your goals. Laura also offers corporate classes where she can come to your place of work and train a small group at lunchtime/after work.
Laura says 'I'd love to reach people who feel in need of a reset, who want to work with their minds and bodies to rebalance and haven't found the right exercise for them. There is an alternative to smashing it out in the gym, Pilates is gentle but effective, and enjoyable too!'
Class info and full details of what Laura offers can be found on her website at www.zenergyactive.co.uk.
* Zen Den sessions are weather dependent and location could be changed when it is particularly cold.
Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post, I met Laura and chatted over a cup of tea and she showed me some Pilates as part of a free introductory session.
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Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog to inspire you. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about style, beauty, health and fitness with a focus on the over 50's. I am based in Marlow but work across London and the South East.
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Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my fifties. I share style tips, health and fitness inspiration, I talk about my holidays and days out and I tell you about my beauty regime and my lifestyle. I hope you might pick up a tip or two and get some inspiration!
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