With the incredible UK summer we’ve had this year coming to a close and the long bank holiday behind us, it’s almost September which means back to school or back to work for most of us after some relaxing time off. I’m definitely a summer girl - I love waking up when its light, spending long evenings outside without layers of clothes on and everyone seems happier when the sun is shining!
At MAIA well co., we’re not about extremes. We aim for balance with our approach to everything - food, drink, exercise - and believe everything should be enjoyed in moderation. So whilst we don’t advocate a ‘new you’ approach at the start of September, we know from our friends and clients that having some well deserved time off in the summer means that getting back into healthy habits in September can be a bit of a challenge. We want to encourage you with simple strategies and helpful tools that we hope will ease you back into your routine so we’ve put together our top tips to guide you in doing so and as always, do let us know how you get on - we always love to hear your feedback.
- Find a workout buddy. It’s hard enough waking up in the dark as we approach the colder winter months, but having a partner to get you out of bed and encourage you to go along to a fun class together is half the battle. So find someone - a friend, colleague, partner, family member - who has a similar goal or focus as you and use each other as a little bit of motivation along your journey.
- Get moving in the mornings. We are all unique and of course, what works for one person may not work for another. However, morning workouts can be highly effective for many reasons. Starting off the day with a bit of movement will not only help you feel energised for the day ahead, but it also encourages a healthy attitude towards food and drink for the day as well. Long days at the office can be tiring, especially when it starts to get dark, cold and all you want to do is get home to comfy clothes by the fire so getting it done in the morning means you can enjoy your evenings and rest. If you are definitely not a morning person, then we’d recommend doing more gentle forms of movement in the evenings such as Pilates or yoga and save the higher intensity ones for the mornings. As expert nutritionist Clarissa Lenherr says, "high intensity exercise raises our cortisol levels, the hormone that is released when the body is under stress, so if you’re struggling to get to sleep after a late evening workout, this might be just why".
- Tune in and listen to your body. This is one I know many people find challenging, as there is a mindset that the harder we push, the faster the results will be. However, sometimes this can be counterproductive. Sometimes we are energised and have the ability to challenge ourselves, other times our minds and bodies are exhausted and a deep stretch, some rest or a bit of gentle exercise such as walking, Pilates or yoga is just what you might need. Rather than putting unnecessary stress on your body, try and tune in and listen to what its telling you. A big sleep might be just what you need in order feel your best and most energised for the week ahead.
- Bring the workout to your office. We’re huge advocates of wellness in the workplace, as we know just how challenging it can be to get enough time for a workout during a busy working day, plus the commute of getting there and finding time for lunch. Why not suggesting to your boss to run a weekly class in one of your office meeting rooms? These can be 45 minutes long and allow enough time for lunch too without inhaling it at your desk in two minutes! At MAIA well co. we offer corporate Pilates classes, so please get in touch if you’re interested. More information and previous clients can be found here.
- Treat yourself. Whatever type of movement you choose to do, it’s important that you feel good doing it. Just like you look forward to dressing up for a night out in a new dress, owning some nice activewear can make you feel equally as amazing and look forward to your workout too! Our favourite activewear brand is Varley and their two piece sets are just gorgeous. Sweaty Betty also have some lovely pieces this season - we are in love with this floral set here.
- Me time. Grab yourself a diary and schedule in some time for yourself each week - our favourite are from Papier, they have the most beautiful prints and you can customise them too. Whether you use this time for meditation, walking, stretching, Pilates, classes or the gym, having time scheduled in for yourself means you will be more likely to commit to it. Treat it like you would treat a meeting - its a non-negotiable time you take for yourself. My clients often find that planning their exercise schedule on a Sunday for the week ahead means they are more likely to commit to it and always feel better for it, which is the most important of all.
- Last but not least: Nourish not Punish! No matter if its yoga, Pilates, running, HIIT, boxing, weights, dance, barre… or anything else that you enjoy, your body deserves to be thanked for allowing you to challenge it in whichever way you choose to. And just because you’re working on your health and wellbeing, this doesn’t mean you need to live off cabbage soup and dry rice cakes. Our bodies need the right fuel and our favourite way to do this in the winter months after some kind bodily morning movement is our creamy coconut soaked overnight oats, topped with soft cinnamon roasted rhubarb, Pip & Nut's runny almond butter and toasted caramelised walnuts. It’s super simple, you can batch make it for the week ahead AND prepare it the night before. See recipe below.
Finally: to ease you back into getting your body moving this September, we’re offering all our readers two for one on our private Pilates classes. For anyone struggling with getting back on track with the health and wellbeing and are looking for support, we are also offering free health consultations for our readers too. To enquire or find out more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be happy to help you on your journey to a happy, healthy mind and body.
CREAMY COCONUT OVERNIGHT OATS WITH RHUBARB AND TOASTED WALNUTS
1 cup whole rolled oats (Dutchy Organic are our favourite)
Half cup coconut milk
Half cup oat milk (we love Oatly)
Coconut shavings (optional)
Tbsp almond butter (Pip & Nut gets our vote)
Dash of water
- Before bed, pour the milks into your cup/bowl of oats, add the coconut shavings (optjonal) and mix together. Make sure that the milk is slightly over flowing the oats and feel free to add more milk to suit your taste.
- Batch cook the rhubarb. Cut fresh rhubarb into small chunks and simmer on a low heat in a pan with a dash of water and cinnamon (optional) until the rhubarb turns soft. If you like a bit of sweetness, add a touch of raw honey. Store in small batches in the freezer if you wish, which you can defrost the night before.
- Batch cook the walnuts. On a low heat, mix some coconut oil, half a teaspoon of raw honey and chopped walnuts so they’re coated in the mixture. Lightly toasted the walnuts until they are nice and golden. Store in a glass jar.
- In the morning, if you like your oats creamy and with a bit more liquid, you can add a dash of coconut or oat milk to the oat mixture. Add the rhubarb and a sprinkle of toasted walnuts. Drizzle some almond butter over the top (or you could of course do this just before you eat to keep it nice and fresh). Pack up in Tupperware and you have a delicious, easy, filling, nourishing and wholesome brekkie that will keep your tummy happy until lunchtime!