Body & Fitness

Lorna Jane Clarkson’s tips for a happy and healthy life

The fit and fantastic founder of Lorna Jane shares the eight ways to a happier you.

Deciding to make your health a priority doesn’t have to be about hard work or sacrificing the things you love. Instead it should be about choosing health-promoting rituals that make you feel amazing. And the best way to start is by implementing small changes, determining what you can’t live without, then being consistent.

We have to learn to pay attention to our bodies and create our own rules based on how we want to live our lives, while making peace with the realities of modern life. It’s about making good decisions about our health and wellbeing.

Here are Lorna Jane Clarkson’s eight steps to get you started…

1) Prioritise your health

One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to sit down and prioritise your health. Look at your life and be honest about what you are willing to do (and not do) in order to move closer to better health and wellbeing. By being honest, you’re more likely to stick to (and enjoy!) your plan rather than getting overwhelmed by unrealistic expectations.

2) Avoid Negativity

I look at positivity as a ‘super power’ and find that spending more time with people who lift me up helps to keep negativity at bay.

Being around people who are more positive causes a shift in energy; you start to believe in yourself and your plans a little more, and everything in your life becomes more positive.

You also start to see opportunities and are more resilient because you’re not drawn into negativity and self-doubt. Plus, being around positive energy is just more fun!

3) Stop Dieting

Ditch the idea that healthy eating should be about calorie counting, deprivation, quick- fix fads or boring food. Decide to stop focusing on all of the foods you can’t have and make the decision to eat for better health and vitality. I believe we should eat a well-balanced wholefood diet that fuels our bodies to be fit and healthy.

When we eat good food, we have more energy to work out, we feel more positive and have a mind and a body that’s more capable of achieving all of the things we want to do with our lives. It’s about nourishing that beautiful body of yours with foods that make you feel amazing and that works with your lifestyle.

4) Just put on your activewear and MOVE

Getting regular exercise is vital for our health, and I know from personal experience that if I put my activewear on in the morning – even when I have no workouts planned – I find myself more motivated to eat well and incorporate activity into my day!

Wearing exercise gear makes it so much easier to be active. Try it for yourself, pull on your workout clothes, wear a pedometer and track whether it works – I’m betting it does!

5) Learn to say ‘No’

Having the ability to say “no” and not feel guilty is something that takes a little time to master but trust me it’s something worth persevering with.

When people ask me, “How do I do it all?” my answer is always, “I don’t!” I choose what I do with my time so that I have the time to do the things that are important to me!

I know that if I did everything people asked of me or went with every opportunity that was presented to me then I honestly wouldn’t have time to work out or even think about creating delicious home-cooked meals for me and my family! I allocate my time mindfully and know that I have more balance in my life because I’ve learnt to say “no”.

6) Manage your stress

Unfortunately, for most of us, stress is a modern-day reality and although it’s almost impossible to eliminate it entirely from our lives, I do believe we can learn everyday coping strategies, such as practising yoga, daily meditation, taking time-out and increasing our intake of vitamin C. We can also choose to limit how much stress we allow into our life.

While we can’t eliminate stress completely, you might be surprised by how much control you actually have.

Your social media feed, what you read and watch, who you spend time with and how you choose to react in situations – are all things you have the ability to control. So why not take back some of the power and start reducing or removing some of the little things that add stress to your day.

7) Leave space

I make a point of not filling my days and leave gaps here and there to do some unexpected things just for me. This could be calling a friend between meetings, stepping outside and enjoying a little afternoon sun or just playing with my dog.

It also allows me the headspace to think clearly and be mindful rather than rushing from decision to decision. I find having a little ‘me time’ instead of running back-to-back appointments makes life feel a little more balanced, enjoyable and workdays become something to look forward to.

8) Protect your sleep

I think of sleep as a restorative time for my body because I know that getting enough of it is the best way to maximise the benefits of both my nutrition and my workouts. Getting a regular seven to nine hours improves my mood, lifts my concentration, helps me look and feel younger, and believe it or not, stay in shape!

To protect my sleep…

» I only have one coffee a day and always before noon.

» I aim for the same bedtime and wake-up time every day to create a routine.

» I drink lavender water and use lavender oil on my temples just before sleeping.

» I use soft lighting in my bedroom, and keep it cool in temperature and free from electronic devices.

Choosing to invest time and energy into your wellbeing will certainly make you healthier and – not surprisingly – so much happier as well!

For more health and fitness stories pick up a copy of the latest Good Health & Wellbeing magazine.

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