It's safe to say that 2020 has been a tough, tough cookie, but at the end of the day despite all of the great hardships, my takeaway feeling is that of overwhelming gratitude for all of you. The fact that you're reading this means that you have in some way supported me and my journey this far. To say thank you, I'd like to share with you my health & wellness goals for the coming year.
I confess, there are certainly a good few habits that I'd like to shake off or at least shine a light onto as we approach the new year. I wanted to write them here to share with you, to reflect upon, to create accountability and because I feel this is a safe space.
GOAL 1: To Identify & Excavate Energy Leakages
During my ongoing Yoga training, Breathwork classes with Dr Scanlon and a basic psychology course I've recently completed, I've had the privilege of being exposed to mindfulness, meditation, philosophy and psychological theories. A common theme I've noticed that weaves through all of these new avenues is the effect stress has on our health. This year I aim to identify and bid adieu to energy leakages, stressors that take up valuable moments, headspace and energy but have no influence on the outcome of events. I aim to pursue this goal as an act of self-care to mitigate unproductive distress and by doing so, hold a mirror to unnecessary psychological and physical tension. I want to down-regulate my sympathetic (fight or flight) responses and welcome in more lush parasympathetic (rest & digest), because in these moments, when I remember to soften, I'm always just that tiny bit closer to the present moment.
I have always been a bit of a night owl, but I love the productivity of the mornings. I hate the feeling of 'chasing the day' after a late night and a sluggish morning and I feel awe for all those who flourish in the wee hours. My goal is to get to sleep earlier and wake up earlier. To achieve this goal I need to manage blue light (no screens 30mins before bed minimum) and be in bed at a descent time. Our exposure to light affects the production of the hormone melatonin which affects our body clock's sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm) by making us sleepy. I want to optimise the influx of essential, replenishing sleepy-time hormones that nourish our brains and body when we get good deep sleep. If any of you early birds have any tips, please send them my way!
To Focus On My Heart
I have a very strong and healthy heart, with a resting heart rate of 54bpm's but I can't say I have ever put heart health high on my agenda, certainly not as high as my core or my legs. Heart health (or lack thereof) is linked to stress, diet, lifestyle and pretty much everything we choose to do or abstain from. I want to improve my cardiovascular endurance by committing to at least 1 x 15min run per week (with the option to add more time) and to track my max heart rate during each run with my Fitbit with the hopes that the bpm's get better and better as I improve. Running has always felt like punishment to me purely because I would make the classic error of never running EVER and then attempting a 10km race and being annoyed when I was in pain the next day. Not this time though, I've gone full physio on myself and being honest and frugal, I feel I have a sustainable goal.
Start January Strong With Jon
I usually treat myself to a few personal training sessions each year and for the last 2 years my go-to trainer has been Jon Fildes. This January I've organised for Jon to teach us a simple but effective 45min bodyweight strength and conditioning class that's certain to leave us all cursing his name the next day. Every Thursday in January starting on the 7th, at 6pm Dublin time on Zoom, Jon Fildes, one of the top Fitness Coaches in Dublin will be leading a 45min bodyweight class for Freedom Physio subscribers that's suitable for all levels. This class will not be recorded, bookings are essential and I strongly encourage you to join all 4 classes for the month to set the tone for the year.
Watch Jon and I chat about January Goals on Instagram TV.