I’m not going to write a lie. The last 5 years haven’t been my most ideal exercise-wise. Not saying I haven’t had some good patches here and there. Although I must confess, that at times, I’ve either been ‘too busy’, ‘too stressed’, ‘too devastated’, or even…as in the last six months, ‘too injured’!
Those who know me well understand my passion for keeping my body strong, healthy and vibrant. It goes way back. I love to surf, hike, jump from high waterfalls. A little sensible risk taking is fun, and keeps you young! I enjoy horse-riding, climbing trees, practicing yoga. I used to dance a lot as a teen. Movement is empowering, and keeps you looking your most beautiful for sure! ♡
Unfortunately, even the best of us can make excuses on the worst of days.
Grief is a killer, it’s taken me two years to begin taking deeper breaths in a day, let alone force myself to exercise! Stress, life crippling anxiety for yourself or a loved one (more on this topic later), or even just being overly busy or passionate in your dreams can ruin your motivation to take the time to get physical. Then there’s injuries! Oh damn, I just started my yoga practice again, then slipped on someones wet driveway and busted my lower back!! (Truth)! After overwhelming devastation and loss I began surfing again, oh stuff! Ripped my knee…again. Nooo!
Ok. So I appreciate that some of you may be just stuck in a rut of not actually wanting to exercise.
So I wan’t to give you some of my top secrets for keeping your body as S U P E R G O R G E O U S L Y TONED as possible, even when your exercise is at a minimum. The great thing is these tips will also help you want to begin making the time for yourself to find movement, all in due time, as you won’t be adding more unnecessary clogging to the situation. Think of these Toned Tips as kind of a form of ‘cheats exercise‘. Yeah I thought you’d like that! 😉
Remember. I’m not 20, or even 30 anymore. These are tested and tried tips that have helped me to stay at my ‘without-exercise’ best until I could begin my usual more active routines again. Plus my job kind of does depend on me at least ‘looking’ fit!
Abi’s Top Toned Tips for Idle Hips:
- Eat clean! Absolute MUST. This means no fried food, sugar, alcohol, heavy cheeses (yellow), meat, processed foods. Natural foods are full of life-regenerating goodness, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that help protect your cells, collagen levels, balance your hormones and boost your metabolism. Do not overeat. Use all the fruits and vegetables you love liberally. Enjoy legumes, whole grains, raw nuts, and seeds. The simpler the combinations at a meal the better a slow metabolism will break them down. Use cold pressed olive oil, fresh herbs, celtic salt, and lemon juice to flavour simple meals.
- Cayenne pepper. This stuff makes increases circulation and promotes excellent metabolism. Put it on everything.
- Raw chocolate. Obviously this stuff is working for me, even when I’m standing still or busy with anything but moving my butt. Cacao is one of your top go-to metabolism, happy endorphin and mood enhancing foods. It’s my body-elixir and fountain of youth multivitamin in a mouthful.
- Cold water therapy! The new buzz on this recently has been ‘cryotherapy’, where an icy tub replaces your daily exercise routine and takes only 4 minutes! To be honest I haven’t tried the Cryo treatment yet, but I have made it my lifelong practice to expose my body to cold water DAILY. That’s right, even in Winter. I read somewhere that a one minute cold shower is equal to 2kms of walking…not sure how true that is but I do know by my own experience that cold water works to keep my immune system healthy, stimulate circulation, tone away cellulite, and activate vitality. Feeling chicken? Simply blast yourself with 30 seconds ice cold after a 3 minute hot shower. See, it’s so addictive! ♡
- Steam baths, saunas and hot tubs. Again hydrotherapy comes to the rescue. Relieving stress, dilating blood vessels to increase circulation, heat is your best friend! Always finish with an invigorating cold blast, and balance your temperature by popping on warm, dry clothes afterwards.
- Exfoliation. Aka salt glows, body scrubs! Use my basic recipe and add anything you wish such as spices, essential oils, freshly ground coffee, raw cacao, seaweed such as kelp or nori flakes. Divine. Again, this will improve circulation, plus remove dead skin cells activating the largest of your five organs of elimination – your skin.
- Speaking of organs of elimination, don’t forget your others: lungs, bowels, kidneys, liver. I make sure all of these are working, even on the worst or busiest of days I try to drink lots of water, eat high raw meals, drink herbal teas. Where I have fallen short over stressful times, is the breath. Exercise is certainly the best for reconnecting your body and breath. Taking a few moments to deep breathe, and being conscious of your breath helps too.
- Lastly…Sleep!! Never, go to bed after midnight. Always attempt to hit the sack by 10pm. Your hormones will go out of balance and you will be more prone to putting on weight if you don’t observe proper sleeping habits. Switch off all devices at least 1hr before you take your rest. Wake up early, try to stand in the sunshine to get the rays on your eyelids and face, this activates the pineal gland. Healthy hormones means a healthy body weight. ♡
To conclude. Recently I’ve recovered from a bad knee and lower back injury. I’m now enjoying my usual daily nature walks, and beginning yoga practice again. The surfing will come back in time…I can’t wait to get those toes on the nose!! The last six months, through the Winter, I’ve done a lot of natural Cryotherapy – immersing myself in the icy water of the Earth. I think this along with my ultra-clean lifestyle has not only helped my injuries to heal, but kept my body toned in the process. It’s also been the greatest stress reliever as I have escaped into nature. ♡♡♡
Love, Abigail xxx
Photography ~ Elsa Dillon and team.