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exercise

Let's face it, most of us would benefit from a little extra time outdoors, but busy schedules and work commitments don't make it easy.

According to the Mayo Clinic, healthy adults should should aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day and while it can be hard to set aside half an hour of your time, there are little ways you can increase your activity throughout the day – and you won't even know you're doing it. 

1. Stop meeting for lunch

For many of us, lunch dates are our go-to way to catch up with friends with haven't seen in a while.

We're not saying you should completely cut it out of you routine, I mean who doesn't love a good moan while enjoying a flat white and tuna melt? 

But the next time your mate asks you to meet up, why not suggest something outdoorsy and active like going for a hike, walking your dogs or you could even try your hand at rollerblading? (can you imagine the lols?)

2. Cycle to work

OK, so not everyone will be in a position to do this one, but if you do live close enough to your place of work, why not give it a try?

You'll save money, gain fitness and probably shed a few pound while you're at it.

Bikes can be pretty costly investments, but have a look around online – you'll be surprised at what you can get second hand. 

3. Park farther away

If driving is a must for your daily commute, make a conscious decision to park farther away.

The extra few steps may not seem like much, but they all add up.

 

4. Get out of the office

Even if it's end of the month or a 'sad desk lunch' kind of day, make the effort to step away from your station for a while.

You don't need us to tell you just how bad sitting at a desk all day can be for your health, and getting out into the fresh air, even just for a few moments, can be hugely beneficial for both your mind and body. 

5. Laugh more

Studies have shown that laughing for just a few minutes per day can burn up to an extra 40 calories – that's about 12 grapes for reference.

So, binge-watching that hilarious Netflix series may not be so bad for you after all. 

 

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Do you ever pressure yourself into working out after a rubbish day? It’s one of those days where nothing goes right for you, but you still drag yourself out for a run even though all you want to do is curl up on the sofa and watch Parks and Recreation for the evening.

And that’s exactly what you should do.

A new study has found that exercising when you’re in a bad mood is actually dangerous.

The Heart Association revealed that working out when you’re in bad can increase your chances of heart attack.

The researchers analysed 12,561 patients who had suffered heart attacks. The results of their research showed them that one out seven patients were upset or worked out just before they had a heart attack.

They also found that people were three times more likely to suffer a heart attack if they were feeling sad or exercised strenuously an hour before.

So sweating out your anger and frustration isn’t the best move at all. We all know that regular exercise is key to being happy and healthy, but skipping a workout every so often isn’t the end of the world.

If you’re feeling a little grumpy or cranky then take it easy and stay home instead.

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If you're the type of person who is eager to keep fit, but bored silly on the treadmill or jaded by lengths in the pool, then it's time to inject a little more fun into your fitness routine!

It's very easy to become tired of the same regime and if you're determined to maintain a regular programme, then you need to combat boredom before it wreaks havoc on your goals.

If you're looking to have a little fun while blasting some serious lbs, then it sounds like you need to pop along to your local Zumba class!

Zumba is an energetic dance/ fitness programme which focuses on music, fun and cardiovascular exercises.

Here are just five reasons why Zumba may be right up your street!

1. Weightloss

If you find that endless running on the treadmill has done little to affect the change you want, then it's time to turn your attention to a higher octane exercise.

The average person burns between 600 and 1,000 calories while busting moves in these energetic classes- not too shabby!

2.Teamwork

If you find your standard gym routine or daily jog a lonely endeavour then you will certainly benefit from participating in a Zumba class.

By working in unison with a group of equally enthusiastic people, you'll find yourself spurred on by their energy and vigour.

3. Upbeat atmosphere

The atmosphere created in these classes cannot be rivalled.

By focussing on the beat and rhythm provided by the music, you will soon forget your working out and find yourself more interested in nailing those moves.

4. Improves mood

If you're looking to combine exercise with stress relief, then look no further!

Studies have shown that high energy cardiovascular exercises like dancing releases the highest amount of endorphins!

5. Boosts metabolism

If you want to burn calories as quickly as possible, it's vital you find a way to boost your metabolism and Zumba is incredible for this!

Your body will quickly adjust to Zumba's method of burning calories meaning you will notice results sooner than you might think!

It may take a couple of classes before you feel completely comfortable, but before you know it you'll be a Zumba convert so give it a shot!

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It's easy to feel motivated about the idea of exercise, but when it comes to bringing this idea to life, most of us end up at the same conclusion – 'I just don't have the time.'

But, before you convince yourself that a healthy workout out regime is out of your reach, think again.

We're all busy people, and while it can be tempting to put it off for another day, making time for exercise is vital for increasing energy levels.

Here's our top tips to help you stay on track while working full-time.

1. Prioritise exercise

Even if you're working a 40+ hour week, chances are you've got a couple hours to spare each day – use them wisely.

Choose 3-4 days a week when you will commit to making exercise your number one priority. 

You'll be shocked how easy it is to make time when exercise is at the top of your to-do list. 

2. Schedule your workouts

Plan your sweat sessions like you would plan a doctor's appointment.

Put aside some time throughout the week and schedule it in you computer/ phone/ diary as a repeat event.

You're much more likely to commit to a workout if you've planned it well in advance. 

3. Recruit a workout buddy

Find a friend, colleague or family member who shares a similar fitness goal and encourage each other to find the time to make it happen.

Exercise does not have to be a solitary activity and you'll probably find it's much more enjoyable when you've got someone to share those highs and lows with.

4. Keep your gym shoes handy

Whether its the boot of the car, or your locker at work, having your gym gear at the ready can make all the difference it comes to keeping fit.

Not only will you be ready to go should a burst of energy come over you after work, but the daily visual reminder will encourage you to stay on track.

5. Switch up your screen time

For those evenings when you do want to take it easy in front of the television, make the most of the time you have.

Why not make use of those quick ad breaks and do some squats, lunges or pushups?

Sure, it's only three minutes here and there, but it all adds up.

 

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Days are darker and colder, the weather is taking a turn and working form home is taking its toll. So many people I’ve been talking to have hit a bit a of a slump at this time of year. It’s hard to feel motivated, whether that’s with your work, your Christmas shopping or your exercise routine.

In fact, especially your exercise routine.

By the time we switch off the computer in the evening after hours of Zoom meeting, spreadsheets and online coordination, the absolute last thing we want to do is pull on our gym gear and head out into the dark cold night to the gym. But how are we supposed to get our exercise in? Lunch times are sacred, and the in the evenings we’re already knackered.

But what if you could work out from your desk? Tiny little exercises that keep the blood moving and tide you over until your weekend gym fix? Handy, right?

These are some of the best recommended desk exercises that you can do to keep you active throughout your workday!

Neck release

We are all guilty of being hunched over our laptops during the day, not noticing how bad our posture is until it’s too late. Tension in our necks affect the areas all around it. Our jaws, shoulder and backs end up taking the brunt of the stress that our necks experience. Luckily, there’s a stretch for that!

Start by rolling your shoulder slowly backwards for a count of five and then repeating the motion, rolling them forward.

Next, sitting on your chair, move your arms behind you to grip the part of the chair that supports your back. Slowly, lean forward, keeping your elbows straight and lifting your chest high. Take deep breaths to really feel the stretch in your back and release in your shoulders.

Slowly roll your head from side to side, letting you chin touch your chest, allowing the tension to ease from the sides and back of the neck.

Seated leg raises

Sitting securely on your chair – make sure it’s not a swivel! – Grip the base of seat cushion with one hand on either side. Pressing the sides of your feet together, slowly raise your legs up straight out in front of you. Hold them there for a second and then release them back down to the floor. Repeat for some great ab-toning!

Arm resistance

Hold your arms out to your sides straight from your shoulders, making sure they’re level. Slowly begin to trace small circles in the air, barely bigger than your fingertips, using the whole arm. Gradually, make the circle bigger and bigger, until it’s nearly as big as your whole body. Slowly, begin to reduce it make down to the fingertip size circle, and feel the burn in your arms!

Office obliques

Make sure you are seated securely in a non-swivel chair. Raise your arms and bend them at the elbow, bringing your hand s behind your head. Press your knees together and plant your feet firmly on the ground. Slowly bend your torso to one side, feeling the stretch along the opposite side of your obliques and then come to the centre again. Repeat the action on the other side of your body.

Wrist release

Get that blood flowing in your fingers again! Having your hands tensed over you keyboard and mouse all day leaves them stiff and tensed at the end of a long workday. But more worryingly, this repetitive movement and constant tension could lead to something far more serious; Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The NHS warns that the pressure on a nerve in your wrist causes tingling, numbness and pain in your hand and fingers. You can often treat it yourself, but it can take months to get better. (Source)

Here are some simple stretches and exercises that not only make you feel better but could aid in combatting Carpal Tunnel Syndrome if practised regularly!

Ball your hands into fists and roll them in circles. Then repeat this movement, circling the other way.

Now bring your palms together in prayer position, flat against each other in front of the chest, elbows bent at a right angle. Slowly move your joined palms first towards one side of the chest, then the other, keeping the angle of the arms the same. Feel that stretch?

Hold your arms out straight in front of you and flatten your palms to face downward. Using the muscles in your wrists, move your hands up and down, keeping them flat, as if giving a high five. Repeat this twenty times, feeling a stretch up your fore arms.

Cycle to work

Ensuring that your seated securely on a non-swivel chair, grip both sides of the underside of the seat of the chair with your hands. Raising your knees and lifting your feet from the ground, slowly extend one foot in a cycling motion, before bringing it back to rest beside the other foot. Repeat the movement with the other foot.

Time crunch

Ensuring that your seated securely on a non-swivel chair, grip both sides of the underside of the seat of the chair with your hands. Make sure you chair has a supportive back. Pressing your ankles and knees together, raise your legs, keeping the knees bent, and get them level with your abdomen. Hold for 3-5 seconds and release. Repeat 10-20 times.

No weights? No problem!

Fill up a water bottle or two to complete these arm toning exercises. With a bottle in each hand, raise your arms out straight in front of you and hold. Then draw them back into your shoulder, lift them straight above your head and hold. Bring them back down to your shoulder and repeat.

Triceps tone

Making sure your chair neither swivels, nor has wheels and is securely fixed in place, straighten your back and lean backwards from a standing position to place your hands firmly on the sides of the seat. Bending your knees and firmly planting your feet shoulder width apart, gently lower your body, bending at the elbows and then raising yourself up again. The triceps dip is meant to tone the upper arms, so avoid sinking your shoulder with this exercise and try to keep them strong and straight throughout.

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Vogue Williams is back on her workout regime just four weeks after giving birth to her second child, Gigi Margaux Matthews.

The Irish television presenter posted a selfie wearing a stylish workout set, to her Instagram stories yesterday with the caption reading, “Back to workout gear! @varley.”

This was followed by several videos of Vogue in her gym doing a strength training workout. "Back training with D Dawg! @dalton_wong22,” she exclaimed.

Vogue made sure to put her followers’ minds at ease, letting them know that she had received the all clear from her doctor to start exercising again. “I got the go ahead from my women's health physio and doctor to do super light resistance band training,” she explained.

She also advised new mothers to take the same precautions, saying, "If you're thinking of going back to training after having a baby, always check your body is ready with your doc etc. I was hoping to start running soon but I think I'm another 3/4 weeks away from that."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by voguewilliams (@voguewilliams) on

Whatever Vogue’s doing, it must be working for her, as she’s seen showing off her flat stomach underneath the crop top and tight-fitted workout leggings which she’s wearing. When she’s not in workout gear though, Vogue can be seen showing off her perfect summer style on her Instagram, in an array of flattering and flowy summer dresses for any occasion.

It seems motherhood is once again treating her well though, as her two kids are now getting on swell. “The best big brother ever. We had a little jealousy at the start but now he just wants to hold her and kiss her!” she explains in the caption of a photo of Theodore cuddling his baby sister with a big toothy grin.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Commuters are being encouraged to add walking to their daily commute.

The National Transport Authority and Healthy Ireland are launching a new pilot campaign today to help commuters achieve a healthier lifestyle.

The campaign is a first step in taking a more joined-up approach across Health and Transport, linking health and sustainable travel policy together for the benefit of the commuters. The pilot will be assessing what it is that will motivate commuters to introduce more physical activity into their daily routines.

By getting off a stop early or walking to a further stop while taking the bus, Luas, or train, commuters can add a ten-minute walk to their morning or evening routes. The short-term benefits are potentially reduced stress levels, a boost in energy, and improved concentration and mood.

Shane Ross TD, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport said: “I’m delighted to support this initiative. Small changes can make a big difference and making a small change in our daily commute can help us all to achieve a healthier lifestyle.”

Minister Simon Harris TD, added “The health benefits of walking are well-known and weaving a walk into your daily commute is the best way to make a habit of it and to make sure you’re fitting in your daily 30 minute recommendation. I encourage everyone to try to get on or off one stop earlier.

“I would like to acknowledge former Irish Heart Foundation CEO, Paddy Murphy and to thank him for initially bringing this idea to my attention. Paddy has long been an advocate for promoting healthier lives and initiated the well-known Sli na Slainte walks and we look forward to assessing the progression of this concept.”

Increasing physical activity can seem like a daunting task, especially in the colder months, but when you’re already out and on the way to work or college, it’s easier than you think to make small changes to established routines.

The pilot campaign will be found on transport advertising carried on bus, train and Luas routes throughout the greater Dublin area from November 3 to 16. The feedback from the pilot will inform further campaign activity.

More information can be found on Transport for Ireland’s website here.

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Gemma Atkinson’s latest post has reminded us of how powerful our bodies are.

The new mum shared three shots, one taken during her pregnancy, one taken six weeks after she gave birth and another taken 15 weeks postpartum.

The actress opened up about the importance of staying fit and healthy as a mum.

She wrote, “Dear body, Thank you! 5 months pregnant / 6wks PP / 15 wks PP. All different but all for a purpose. Growing my baby, feeding my baby, becoming strong and healthy again to be there for my baby. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Gemma Atkinson (@glouiseatkinson) on

“My training has even more purpose now I have Mia. I’m her role model! My health and mentally feeling good was always my priority with exercise,” Gemma shared.

“It was never to compete on stage or to chase a certain physique. It was just to be the best version of ME! By making good nutritious choices with my meals without depriving myself (hello once a week cheesecake & pizza) I’m slowly getting back into it,” she continued.

Gemma had to have an emergency C section so the mum has to be cautious when it comes to pushing herself too much. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Gemma Atkinson (@glouiseatkinson) on

“I started with just cardio around 8wks PP and last week I had my first session back in the gym. It was tough and I had to go back to basics but afterwards I felt amazing! It’s always worth it once those endorphins kick in,” Gemma shared.

Gemma said her mental health is already benefiting from exercise, “Despite being physically weaker in the gym after time away, I feel mentally stronger than I ever have going through what I did to bring Mia into this world. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Gemma Atkinson (@glouiseatkinson) on

“When things get tough, I remind myself that I’m a Mum. A badass Mum. A privilege sadly denied to many… I’m so lucky, that's what keeps me going,” she added.

Gemma’s body positive post has filled us with inspiration. Exercise has an incredible impact on your mental health so we’ll be making more time for it in the future.

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Have you ever been sitting at your desk at work, contemplating escaping out a nearby window just so you can achieve a bit of inner zen? Yeah, us too.

Luckily for the stressed population of Dublin, free yoga classes are now running every Monday in Merrion Square this summer to encourage wellness and mindfulness.

The classes are provided by Camile takeaway in partnership with Dublin City Sport & Wellbeing Partnership, and were a massive success last year.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Camile Thai (@camilethaiirl) on

The yoga sessions will be running every Monday evening until August 19, from 6:15pm to 7pm, with certified yoga instructor Veronica Vincenzi.

Everyone from complete beginnings to yoga masters are welcome to join, and 60 mats are provided but participants are encouraged to bring their own due to demand.

Join your fellow zen-seekers at the Defence Force Memorial side of Merrion Square across from the National Gallery in Dublin, and you 100 percent won't regret it.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Camile Thai (@camilethaiirl) on

Free classes are also provided on Tuesdays in Bushy Park and Wednesdays in St Anne's Park, so anyone farther away to Merrion Square or with plans on Mondays can alternate days and location.

For more information about the classes, check out the deets on the Camile Thai Eventbrite page here.

yoga GIF

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Body-shaming is still massively prevalent in our society, without question.

Despite the cold, hard fact that it's 2019, people still feel the incessant need to pull others down for their appearance, and their weight.

Loey Lane is a well-known, GORGEOUS, experienced YouTuber who just so happens to be plus-sized. She speaks about it regularly, preaching the value of health above self-hatred and dieting.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

15-25. One is miserable in her own skin, chased the high of seeing a lower number on the scale every time she stepped on. She was overcome by her own demons. One is confident and in love with her own body. She told those demons to fuck off.  Turned off the comments because random people who have no idea who I am don’t know how to act lol. It has nothing to do with weight. It has everything to do with the fact that I hated myself for a long time because of the way I looked, and now everything I do is out of self love. I go to the gym because I love myself, not because I hate my body. I eat healthier because I want to feel good in my own skin. I take better care of myself now than I ever did eating 500 calories a day.

A post shared by(@loeybug) on

The vlogger has now released a shocking video of a diet pill company using footage of her as part of their horrendously shameful advertising campaign.

After returning from a sportswear photoshoot with iconic make-up guru James Charles, the model discovered a video selling diet pills which utilised images of her as their 'before' template, and she's understandably fuming.

CarbonFire 213 Complex makes it ridiculously difficult to find reviews of it online, but the video proclaims the product to be a certified miracle for anyone who wants to lose weight.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Nicole Hoye (@nicole_d_williams) on

Diet pills have entered the media for an assortment of reasons over the last few years, with activists and public figures such as Jameela Jamil slamming weight-loss products which do more harm than good.

The Kardashians are renowned for selling appetite suppressants and weight-loss consumer goods, much to the dismay of many body positivity figures and health experts alike.

There are an array of dangers associated with items such as these, which are essentially glorified laxatives.

The advertising campaigns in the media are arguably as harmful, telling women their weight creates everyday problems such as finding a husband, having failing health and being embarrassed to look in the mirror.

Loey Lane shows the video advert to her following, and it's one of the worst examples of body-shaming we've seen yet. It opens with a beautiful, pale-skinned blonde woman gazing at silk wedding gowns, after her friend asks her to be her maid-of-honour for a wedding.

"How I Fit Into My Wedding Dress" is the video's apparent title, despite the fact that it's NOT HER WEDDING. The problems aren't hard to spot throughout the disgraceful imagery.

gary payton wow GIF by NBA

 The blonde woman looks into the camera lens, and the words; "Believe me, I wasn't always this way. This was me before losing all that weight," flash across the screen.

Lo-and-behold, the woman is now Loey Lane, allegedly the same person as the blonde woman.

Alright then, at this stage we've lost count of the issues within the video, and it's only about ten seconds in.

As if the ad itself isn't traumatising enough to watch, actual graphics for OTHER diet pill companies and body-shaming articles pop up on the side of the screen. An assault is what that is.

"I'm going to share my secret so that it can be easy for you!" the advert claims. Thank God for that.

"A few months ago, one of my best friends from high school texted me. She was getting married and she wanted me to be her bridesmaid. I was SO excited, but there was just one thing… I was SO overweight," the video continues. Wow.

"I couldn't go to the wedding like this, I was so pretty in high school and I would be so embarrassed looking like this. I wanted to go to the wedding and look like I did when I was 18. You know- slim, pretty, looking great in some heels." *Sharpens pitchfork*

"I cut out all junk food. I worked out every single day. After four months, I was still embarrassed to look in the mirror…my personal trainer friend said if I wanted to lose weight fast, I had to supercharge my metabolism."

Classic *insert scientific words here to fumble the consumer's brain* tactics. 

"At this point I was desperate…time was running out." This isn't dismantling a bomb, you won't die if you attend your best friend's wedding at ANY weight.

oh my god omg GIF by TV One

"How could I show my face at the wedding looking like this?" Looking like.. a human woman? *Gasp* "I was even considering not showing up." Priorities aren't in order there, love.

"CarbonFire Complex claimed to boost metabolism using only the healthiest ingredients, they looked very professional." Yes, and Donald Trump looks very diplomatic.

"After only a few days, I dropped a dress size. Ten days later, I lost two dress sizes. I felt lighter on my feet." Because your digestive system has just wasted away, perhaps?

oh my god wtf GIF

"After another week, I was down three sizes. By the time the wedding came around, I lost seven dress sizes. I was getting a LOT more attention from guys, I almost felt bad for the bride, because I was getting so many compliments."

Male attention should be the motivational factor for every woman, after all. 

This all comes at the reasonable price of ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS, by the way. You can buy happiness, male sexual attention and confidence all at this lovely sale.

The blonde woman in the video revealed herself as Amanda John, and she also did not consent to be used for the branding.

So they effectively stole imagery from two women without their permission and used it to scam vulnerable, hard-working people online with low self-esteem because of ads exactly like this, shaming their weight. As if a weighing scales can tell you your worth.

We hope Loey Lane and Amanda John take legal action against CarbonFire Complex, Lord knows they deserve it.

A reminder, there is no such thing as a magic pill. Your worth encompasses your hopes, fears, intelligence, beliefs, morals, family values, friends, career and everything in between, not just your appearance alone.

You can't lose weight and discover joy at the end of the scales.

Take a look at Loey Lane's original video below for some fresh morning rage;

Feature image: @loeybug/Instagram

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The United Kingdom is currently facing a mental health crisis, one of which the country has never seen before. Two committees of MPs recently warned that the current support available on the NHS is inadequate and runs the risk of failing a generation who desperately need help.

The average Brit works 43.6 hours a week, with more than four million workers spending more than 48 hours a week in the workplace. British workers also face an average commute to work of 54 minutes, almost 20 minutes more than the EU average.

This means that Brits are struggling to find a work life balance, which some experts believe is fuelling the mental health crisis in the UK and increasing levels of obesity as workers have less time to live a healthy lifestyle.

Did you know? In France there is a law allowing workers the ‘right to disconnect. Employees in an organisation of more than 50 people are forbidden from sending or receiving work emails outside of their standard working hours.

Why is a work-life balance important?

If you are one of the workers that is dedicating nearly 60 hours a week to work, you are at serious risk of burn out. Living in a bubble of all work no play can lead to a disconnect with the world around you and cause you to ignore your mental and physical health.

Although there are no direct figures for work-related suicides in the UK, suicide rates have risen markedly among young people in recent years. Reports suggest that certain occupational groups such as doctors, nurses and farmers are deemed to be at high risk of work related suicide – due to job pressure and the isolated nature of their work.

That might be hardly surprising when you consider that in these professions 60+ hour weeks are the norm. So finding ways to unwind and relax in your spare time are vital to your physical and mental wellbeing.

But what are the best ways to relax outside of work?

1. Go to the gym

Finding the time to go to the gym is often difficult for those in busy occupations, but it can be done. The vast majority of gyms offer guided classes in the evenings and at weekends to appeal to those with a busy lifestyle.

The benefits of going to the gym are tremendous. Firstly, your physical health will improve dramatically as a result of increased physical exertion. Secondly, attending classes or regularly visiting the same gym can broaden your social circles, opening your horizons to future social activities.

Most importantly, exercise has been proven by scientists to improve mental wellbeing. The NHS recommends regular exercise as a way of combatting mild depression and warding of the sceptre of anxiety.

2. Practise mindfulness

Mindfulness is a mind-body based approach that helps people to process their thoughts rationally and reconnect with the world around them.

If this sounds like a new-age, hippy technique then simply think of it as unwinding. It’s incredibly easy to fall into the trap of becoming too involved with the day-to-day processes of going to work, eating, sleeping and avoiding your emotions. Mindfulness can take as little as 10 minutes a day and allows you to unwind, evaluate your emotional state and relax.

Did you know? Mindfulness has been proven to decrease depression by 63%, anxiety by 58% and perceived stress by 40%.

3. Play poker

Playing games with people – such as poker – requires social interaction on some level, and it’s a popular way to meet people and socialise with existing friends.

What makes poker so popular is the relative ease you can play the game. The strategy involved in poker can improve your mental agility and provide a distraction to take your mind firmly away from work.

But if you don’t fancy going to a casino, or you don’t live near one, don’t worry. Gamblers are increasingly going online to play their favourite games. Playing online is so much more convenient than having to find your local land-based casino – as you can play from the comfort of your own home, or if you’re on the move.

What’s more, online casino technology has evolved so much that the games feel as immersive and engaging as they would do in a real casino experience. One option out there for online gamblers is video poker. With its cool retro style and simple gameplay, video poker is an entertaining way to unwind – and it gives you a great opportunity to get your game up before playing against other competitors for real.

Check out this video poker game and you’ll put yourself in the frame for all these benefits, plus one more: winning a huge jackpot.

4. Ditch the phone

Mobile phones have revolutionised the world and given people almost everything they’ve ever wanted at the tips of their fingers. Yet overuse of mobile phones and tablets has been proven to negatively impact on people’s mental wellbeing and social lives.

Putting your phone down for an hour a day and interacting with those around you can have huge benefits to your life. You will develop more meaningful relationships with the people around you and avoid the social isolation that social media can cause.

Added to this, time spent away from social media can be beneficial to your mental outlook. Scrolling through Instagram and Facebook can be chastening as you are constantly confronted with images of people’s successes.

It’s easy to forget that you are only seeing a glimpse of someone’s life, the best bits, and unfairly judge yourself against other people. Take time away from social media and viewing other peoples amazing lives, and instead make memories of your own.

Did you know? Teens in the US using their phones for more than five hours a day were 70% more likely to have suicidal thoughts than those using their phones for one hour a day.

5. Join a social group

Regardless of who you are, you will have your own interests and hobbies, and it’s important to continue those hobbies, preferably with other people. If reading is your number one relaxation technique, then you can join a weekly book club and use your passion to expand your social circle.

Likewise, if you’re a sports fan there are a plethora of amateur sports clubs that you can join to expand your social circles, as well as improving your physical well-being.

Summary

A work life balance is important to your mental and physical well-being, and it’s too easy to neglect that fact in modern life. Taking steps to improve your mental wellbeing, physical health and social life are all important factors in having a healthy life.

Take the time to look at your life objectively. Imagine you were talking to a friend and giving them some advice, what would you say to them? Slow down, take a break, do more of the things you enjoy? Whatever it is you would say, apply that advice to yourself.

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We aren't even pregnant and we are pretty sure that Pippa Middleton is fitter than we are.

The 35-year-old has previously detailed the benefits of swimming and tennis whilst growing a human being inside her. 

If that wasn't enough, Pippa is now taking on ballet-inspired workouts to get that sweat on, almost nine months pregnant.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Pippa Middleton-Matthews (@pippamidleton) on

Pippa is reportedly due sometime this October and wrote in her Waitrose Weekend column about her new workout routine:

"I feel far from a ballerina, but I'm equally determined not to break into a penguin-style waddle and plod around with bad posture."

The 35-year-old explains how she hopes the inspired-ballet workout will keep her muscles tight and toned.- Honestly, she's incredible.

"I've continued to embrace barre-inspired workouts throughout pregnancy—a form of exercise taken from ballet which involves the small, isolated movements that develop flattering muscle tone—or so I hope."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Pippa Middleton-Matthews (@pippamidleton) on

Pippa officially announced she was expecting her first child with husband, James Matthews, in the Waitrose segment, back in June.

Taking up the ballet workouts could be inspired by her nephew, Prince George.

The five-year-old will reportedly start ballet classes this year in school.

Who knows, family ballet practice could be on the cards soon – and could you imagine HOW cute those pictures would be – a gal can dream.

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