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National Parks Week

Posted on 25th July 2018 by

This week is National Parks Week – an annual National Park family festival championing all that is unique and special about National Parks. This year’s festival takes National Parks Week place Sunday 22 to Sunday 29 July and celebrates the countless opportunities to get outside and discover the length and breadth of the UK’s 15 National Parks.

How lucky are we to have one of these treasures right on our doorstep with The New Forest!

And what great timing, being the summer holidays and having such glorious summer weather!

Getting out in the great outdoors is so good for us in so many ways! 

  • Time to disconnect from technology and connect with nature. The kids may moan and groan about being dragged away from ‘Fortnite’ initially, but it’s often worth the extra effort and persuasion! Get back to basics – climb a tree, find sticks, feel that sunshine on your face!
  • Walking, climbing, exploring – all fantastic ways to get some physical activity into the day. Getting out in the fresh air will help you feel more energised, wake up those muscles & joints and get your heart and lungs pumping if you get your stride on!
  • Bringing families together – time to chat and a low cost holiday activity, why not organise a family walk & picnic (find a nice shady spot!). A spot of rounders or cricket always goes down well too.

Don’t forget, in this unprecedented stretch of hot weather we’ve been having to follow the recommended advice about staying safe in this heat.

  • Drink plenty of water as sugary, alcoholic and caffeinated drinks can make you more dehydrated
  • Try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm
  • Take care and follow local safety advice, if you are going into the water to cool down
  • Walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat, if you have to go out in the heat
  • Avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day
  • Wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes
  • Make sure you take water with you, if you are travelling

Read More

Taking time to be mindful

Active 10 – 10 Steps to An Active You

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Taking time to be mindful

Posted on 27th June 2018 by

We often seem to live our lives at a million miles per hour and sometimes let our days fly by, almost unconscious of what we are doing or have done. Mindfulness has become ever increasingly popular, with our awareness of the importance of our mental health and wellbeing on the rise. 

So, what is mindfulness and how can you incorporate it into your busy schedule?

Mindfulness can be defined in different ways. Ultimately, it’s the ability to focus on the present moment whilst accepting ones’s feeling, thoughts and how your body feels. Alternatively defined as;

“Bringing one’s complete attention to the present experience on a moment-to-moment basis’’

(Marlatt & Kristeller, 1999).

Mindfulness and meditation can have many positive affects on the body including:

  • Higher brain functioning with boosts to the working memory
  • Lowered blood pressure 
  • Lowered anxiety levels
  • Increased attention and focus
  • Reduction in stress

So how can we put this into practice to get all the great benefits mentioned above?

Here’s a few practical ideas:

  • At breakfast: stop watching the clock, smell your food, take note of the colour, the texture the taste. 
  • Brushing your teeth:  the taste of the toothpaste, the sensation of the brush on your teeth, the texture under your feet as you stand there. 
  • Walking: put your phone or device away. What can you hear? What can you smell? How does the sunshine feel on your skin?
  • Meditation: use an app to get you started with mindfulness, we recommend Headspace or Calm, which have guided meditation and can only take ten minutes of your day. 
  • Pilates: take some time out and join a pilates class, connecting your mind and body. Yoga is also great for this.
  • Go for a walk in nature: Walking its great for taking some time out and being mindful.It helps you connect with the season and stimulates all your senses.

Take time to be mindful

by Francesca Wicker, Sports Therapist