This is me very happy after my first hair cut in months – June 2021
What a year so far. We had to adapt quickly. In my world it meant moving to Group Exercise Classes and Corporate Talks on-line. Building an outdoor gym to facilitate classes and Personal Training sessions. Writing articles, networking remotely and working hard to keep clients motivated. Challenges for many and a rollercoaster of emotions for some. June felt like the right time to take stock and reflect on how far we’ve come this year, and of course, as we look forward to a second half of the year full of optimism!
Let’s move again
I was so ready to welcome clients back after Christmas and engage with people – online of course, and that worked out really well!
I am delighted to say that clients were also very keen to come back to my exercise group classes and for individual training after Christmas. We did not waste any time getting back into the groove of moving our bodies, building strength and cardiovascular endurance.
I run high energy HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), Glutes and Abs, Stretching and Flexibility sessions together with specific training plans for individuals to support their health, sport and performance interests. My clients told me they were delighted to be back after leaning a little into the Christmas goodies in December. The zoom classes worked really well and some reported that it was a lot more convenient for them after a day’s work to pop into an online class rather than travel to a gym. Going forward I expect I will have a mix of both.
Movement boosts our energy, our mood and helps prevent disease. It supports our sleep and makes us smile and feel good about ourselves. Do we need any more reasons to start moving?
Looking serious as I prepared for a zoom presentation Feb 2021
I delivered talks to KPMG, The THB Group, The Insurance Institute of Ireland, The Gender Inclusion Network, The Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland, Professional Training UK Ltd and local groups in the community to mention a few over the last six months. What a pleasure it was to present to these groups. It’s such a great reflection on Senior Management and HR, that they’re listening to their employees and bringing in external support to help them in creating healthy habits at home through Nutrition, Movement, Sleep and Relaxation – it’s a real privilege to work with these organisations who prioritise the health of their people.
We had wonderful discussions and while I don’t have all the answers, I was able to make plenty of recommendations and guide people towards engaging in healthy practices to support them physically and mentally during this period.
Similar themes and questions kept popping up….
- Many struggled with sleep and wanted to know how to support a quality night’s sleep so that they might feel refreshed in the morning. We discussed strategies to invite sleep and enable your body to recover and heal during the night.
- Many were feeling the stress of their new working environment and change in social circumstances. We chatted about relaxation techniques and creating balance.
- Some struggled with working so close to the kitchen at home and having more sugary snacks than they would have had in the office. We talked about how we could break those habits and support blood sugar balance. There was a lot of talk about sugar!
- Movement was one area where I found people were struggling. Maybe they cycled into work before, they certainly moved more as they had to attend meetings at different locations and visited clients. It had all stopped and now they were rooted to their desk at home, looking at the screen for many hours. Joints and muscles were paining, weight was gaining and energy was dipping. We shared stories about how important it was to shift this pattern and how to make it happen.
Of course, there were many questions such as:
- How much coffee is too much?
- Is one take-away per week ok?
- Is breakfast necessary?
- Is fasting a good idea?
- Is it ok to work out late at night?
I thoroughly enjoyed these discussions and am so grateful to the companies who put their trust in me. It was so rewarding to receive positive feedback and hear of the impact to individual’s personal health. Most of all it began the conversation among work colleagues and families and it planted the seed for many to make some changes in their lives to create positive healthy behaviours.
My own studies developed as I completed a Certificate on stress management with the Institute of Health Science and read deeply into Exploring your Life’s Purpose. I delivered a talk on purpose to a number of groups. The discussions were uplifting. I received declarations by many afterwards who were determined to devote time to exploring their personal journey.
I worked with my own family to live a Lower Toxic Life on the food we eat, the products we have in our home and put on our bodies. I endeavoured to spread this word as much as I could. My work continues in this area.
I completed the RCSI course on ‘The Science of Health and Happiness’ which was expertly delivered and thought provoking.
I am grateful
I could not do any of this without my wonderful clients and my family and friends. I thank you for supporting me and encouraging me to continue to pursue my devotion to health. I also am lucky to have the constant support of my husband and 3 sons. My husband had to adapt to working from home, my eldest son has been in college (from home), another son doing his Leaving Cert and one more in primary school. They managed to put up with me and we all got through it together with smiles on our faces.
Keep smiling, laugh as often as you can, sleep well, nourish your body, move your body and be kind to yourself. I certainly intend to.
As I look forward to the summer…
This is me just this week in the Dublin Mountains – a little wind swept but so happy
I am excited about the summer. Are you? I am looking forward to working with clients over the next few weeks setting the tone and the frame of mind for health and wellness. Our bodies and lives are so precious. I get a constant kick out of supporting friends, family and clients as they focus and build on their health for longevity and happiness. Personally, I plan to swim more, climb more, explore more and learn more.
Second half of 2021
I am enrolled in two courses with the Institute of Health Sciences. ‘Fundamentals of plant-based nutrition’ and ‘Personalised sports nutrition’ . I am looking forward to getting my teeth into these and broadening my knowledge around nutrition. I am working with a mentor presently to support me with social media so with my new confidence boost I plan on being a lot more active on these platforms. Wish me luck!
I wish you all luck in your health journeys. Every small step you take towards improving your health will have an enormous impact physically and mentally.
Deliriously happy during a refreshing and revitalising swim last summer in West Cork
Ciara McKinlay, Fabtrition, June 2021 ( also published on LinkedIn)