Heilsa! That’s Icelandic for health – but is also used as a greeting. Pretty nice, huh? It’s also meaningful, given that health and wellness is seamlessly interwoven into Icelandic culture. Given that it’s cold a lot of the time, and half the year it’s also dark for most of the day, it would be easy to slip into the habit of staying indoors a lot and eating comfort food – yet many people in Iceland choose to live active and outdoorsy lifestyles, and the food is made from fresh ingredients with no nasties added.
I spent three days in Iceland recently and found it simple to eat well and keep active – my main problem is that I could have easily stayed a lot longer, as there’s so much to do! It’s unfortunately a very expensive place though, which is worth bearing in mind before you book your trip. Read on to find out my top tips for a healthy, fit and happy stay in Reykjavik – number one may just surprise you…
“I didn’t realise you had a boyfriend!”, a work friend said to me the other day. “I’ve never seen him on your Instagram”.
With my Instagram being almost entirely fitness-focused, it’s no surprise my boyfriend doesn’t feature on there – despite being together for over 7 years, we don’t train together. Sure, he enjoys going to the gym and keeping active, but because of our personalities our joint training sessions can often lead to frustration.
Valentine’s Day seemed a good a day as any to address this. Do couples who train together stay together? What if you don’t? What if your other half doesn’t train at all?
Take a look at my back in the above photo. What do you see? Is it my chubby lats, forever evading a strict pull-up? Or is it my baby traps, slowly growing with hundreds of cleans? You’d be forgiven for not spotting my spine curving to the right and the protruding shoulder blade – after all, it was only a few weeks ago at an unrelated doctor’s appointment I became aware of my scoliosis.
I’ve always been a bad back sort of person – long before CrossFit, strength training and running, I was very horsey and spent a lot of time in my teens mucking out and falling off spectacularly. I even smashed up my shoulder when I was 11 and have a pin in it! I always thought it was normal for people to have a bad back, and had mainly ignored it, until CrossFit really brought the problem into focus – from my lack of mobility in simple things like squats to pulling my hamstrings on three separate occasions – and I decided it was time I got my back problems sorted once and for all.
I’d had physio and had been having regular sports massages, so I knew I had to try something different to make the change – I was recommended to try a chiropractor, so last week I visited Sam at Davies Chiropractic Care. View Post
What do you get for the lady who has everything, and wants nothing? That was the dilemma I faced in December with my mum’s birthday looming. Luckily Ryanair’s Black Friday flight sale came at just the right time and it was decided: as a surprise we’d go for a whistlestop overnight stay in Dublin.
The city is famous for being loud, brash city, with plenty of pubs serving up Guinness by the pintload – but my mum doesn’t drink and I’m very much still in my January health kick, so we set about finding a few more healthy things to do! Thankfully, like most big cities, health and fitness is a big trend in Dublin right now, so there was plenty to do – and we still managed to treat ourselves along the way…
Activity trackers and I haven’t always gotten along. I’ve had a Jawbone, which was terrible; a Vivofit, which was good but not hugely useful at the time; and a Nike Fuelband – that was more of a toy to compete with my friends than anything else. A year and a half ago, I said myself:
“I think activity bands are good for encouraging mainly sedentary people to hit movement targets”
Having always had active jobs (from a stable yard hand to retail assistant) I never dreamed I’d be one of those sedentary people – but now, seven months into my desk job, that’s exactly what I am. Sure, I train for around an hour and a half most days, but those hours being seated day after day can decrease metabolism and have also been linked with diabetes, cancer, and premature death. Eek.
I’m starting to feel the ill affects of being sat down, from slowly putting on weight to even tighter hip flexors than before. But what can I do about it? Do I just accept that now I have a desk job I should be sedentary?