BirdSol Advent Fitness, Nutrition and Well-being Tips

BirdSol are giving a fitness, nutrition or well-being tip every advent day this Christmas!

  • Day 1: Try this exercise for your obliques (side stomach muscles)

    Start lying down on your side with a straight line between your heels and head. Then lift up to either Level 1, 2 or 3 and hold

    IMG_2040 IMG_2042Side plank leg lift

  • Day 2: Switch some of your frying to Coconut Oil

    Coconut oil has a relatively high smoke point and because it is high in saturated fats it is more stable. Virgin coconut oil retains most of the healthy saturated medium chain fatty acids and therefore is the general better choice unless you are frying at high temperatures like deep frying, where refined coconut oil is what you need.

    Another benefit of coconut oil is it contains a high proportion of a fatty acid linked to fungal and bacterial protection!


  • Day 3: practice this 1 minute meditation

    IMG_4018If you are feeling anxious, nervous or overwhelmed or are having issues focussing, try this 1 minute meditation to help calm your mind. Practiced regularly it can help improve your concentration.…/a-quick-meditation-to-hel…/

  • Day 4: swap to a no added refined sugar cereal such as shredded wheat or homemade muesli.

    Double check your ingredients of your daily cereal, you may be surprised. For example,
    a perceived healthy cereal such as Bran Flakes has almost 1.5 spoons of sugar per serving! 

    Homemade muesli:
    Ratio of:
    – 2.5 cups of oats
    – 2.5 cups of extras

    E.g 1/2 seeds, 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 cup of chopped nuts, 1/2 cup of dried cranberries, 1/2 cup desiccated coconut

    Store in an airtight container. Serve with milk of choice / yoghurt and fresh fruit.

  • Day 5: Try this stretch for your neck


    If you are suffering from neck pain, shoulder pain, foggy head or headaches it may be from spasming overstretched or tight neck muscles. Your head position during driving, working at a computer and texting/working on a tablet can all contribute to this. This stretch can help relieve issues, but it needs to be combined with a change in behaviour!

    Place your right arm behind your back, look over your left shoulder and, without moving your shoulders, dip your chin towards your chest. Use your left arm to very gently increase the stretch by placing your hand over the crown of your head.

    For more tips on dealing with ‘text head’ click here…/have-you-got-text-head-6-…/

  • Day 6: switch to a no added salt, sugar or oil peanut butter

    Peanut butter is a fantastic source of protein and healthy fats. However, have you ever checked the label? There is over 1/2 spoon of sugar per 30g serving of sunpat! Just by switching to Meridian Peanut butter you can half that, and it’s all natural. They also don’t add palm oil like some peanut butters!

  • Day 7: Try switching some alcoholic drinks on a night out for non-alcoholic

    inevitable-office-christmas-partyYou can get a triple whammy benefit from this – cutting down the number of calories, relieving pressure on your liver and other organs, and keeping you hydrated for a lighter hangover the next day! You can even do this on the sly if you are afraid of being berated!

    For example you could try just having just a mixer on your round e.g. lemonade instead of vodka and lemonade (40 calories instead of 97 (0r 134 for a double) or ordering a Becks Blue or other non-alcoholic beer in a glass (22 calories instead of 113). Getting yourself a shot of water is always another good trick to cutting down on those units (0 calories instead of 37)

    Read more on avoiding overindulgence this Christmas…/not-want-figgy-pudding-ye…/

  • Day 8: accept that you can′t control everything.

    img_4793In yoga this relates to santosha, meaning contentment. Accepting who you are and what life throws at you, without being affected by it.

    Once you accept what you can’t control, and decisions you have made, you can feel a releases of the tension you hold within. This tension leads to suffering and over time can cause impacts such as weakened immune system.

    Learn to accept the truth and understand the real source of your fears, anxieties and anger and you will be far more content and strong and able to focus on what is really important.

    Santosha forms one of the niyamas (life observations) which are one of the limbs of the eight fold path of yoga.

  • Day 9: Switch your spread to hummus in your sandwiches


    Hummus is a great source of protein, healthy fats and fibre. It can help curb your hunger, control blood sugarlower cholesterol and is great source of fibre. It also contains garlic which a daily dose can increase immunity to colds and reduce blood pressure.

    It is a fab alternative to spread, mayo and even cream cheese in your sandwich, wrap or bagel and can be used as a dip for carrot, celery and cucumber. I also have a dollop with meal such as cooked breakfast, sweet potato wedges and even in soup or a curry!

    For more alternative protein sources read…/fancy-meat-free-day-7-foo…/

  • Day 10: Another exercise for the core - this time focussing on the deep stomach muscles and hips.

    There are three levels here to choose from – 3/4 plank (1), full plank (2) and plank leg lift (3). Make sure your hand are directly under your shoulder with fingers point forward. Create a straight line between your knees and shoulders (level 1) or heels and shoulders (level 2 and 3). Keep your head in line and don’t over round your back or conversely let your chest drop causing your shoulder blades to come together. Hold of 20 secs or if doing level three alternate between lifting your left and right leg straight for 20 secs. Build up the time to 1-2 minutes and then try the harder level.

    As well as working the deep transverse abdominis and abductor and adductor muscles around the hips this exercise also works the shoulders and upper back muscles, gluts and leg muscles, particularly the hamstrings in level 3. Use with a range of core exercise to increase core strength, protecting your back and improving your posture.

    See more on your core here…/…/01/looking-6-pack/

    3/4 plank Plank IMG_2070

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