February is National Heart Month
What are you doing for National Heart Month?
February is National Heart Month when we should be focusing our attention on improving our physical health and mental well-being. Walking, swimming, cycling, jogging, dancing! and lots of other activities can help your heart. But did you also know that bathing is also good for your heart and can reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes?
Good night's sleep
Bathing is not just relaxing, but according to studies in Finland (they love a good sauna!) and Japan, it could also be good for your heart. So ending your day in the hot tub might have more benefits than just relaxation - it could be good for our hearts. I don't know about you but even just having half an hour in our warm, bubbly hot tub before I go to bed always makes me feel better and sleep better. Apparently, in Japan bathing is a key part of the culture and there is evidence that people who take hot baths more often had much lower risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease or stroke. That's good news all round.
But as well as jumping in the hot tub* as often as possible, what else could we be doing to improve our heart health? And not just in National Heart Month, but everyday.
Mention 'motivation' and I always think of Mr Motivator. How many of you remember Derek Evans the man in Lycra bounding around on TV screens in the 1990's? He's still going strong now so there must be some method in his motivational madness.
Getting fit for me has always been a bit of an issue because I do struggle to stay motivated. But having done some research for National Heart Month I am going to give it another go. So in addition to having more frequent hot tub bathing sessions (work and deliveries permitting), I'm going to try and squeeze in a few extra fitness activities.
A new study, published in the journal Heart, found that a daily hot bath is associated with a 28% lower risk of heart disease, and a 26% lower risk of stroke -- likely because taking a bath is also associated with lowering your blood pressure. CNN Health
Always easier said than done, but maybe a few small changes will start to make a big difference.
Healthy eating - I can't see the point in starving yourself or depriving yourself of the occasional treat in order to lose weight. It might work for a couple of weeks, but not long term. Plus if you are doing more exercise then you need to eat healthily to keep your body working properly. So no more dieting - just lots of good wholesome, nutritional food.
Exercise that's fun - it is going to have to be something that I enjoy doing if I'm going to stay motivated and keep doing regular exercise. I love going for long walks with Tilly the dog but the weather has just been so bad recently that we haven't been out so much. Now that we are moving slowly into Spring and it's getting warmer, I need to work in some long walks around our hot tub delivery timetable. I might even dust off my old bike and try and persuade Tim to join me on some short cycle routes, just to see if I enjoy it as much as I used to. It won't be long before I can ride out on William my horse, which is good exercise for him and me and my favourite activity.
More happy hot tubbing - how could I not include this? It's good for my heart, my second most favourite activity after horse-riding and one that I can definitely find time to increase.
Disconnect to reconnect - it doesn't sound difficult to do or that it would have a big impact on my health. But I think you'd be surprised how much time I spend responding to emails, phone calls, promoting the business and making sure we are on top of orders and deliveries. It's a huge part of my life, 7 days a week, and does occasionally cause some stress - late deliveries from the supplier, for example. I know I can't disconnect completely because we have to maintain our excellent customer service record. However, I am going to make a huge effort to switch off my laptop and mobile earlier each evening and just chill out. Have some quality time with Tim, my family, friends and my animals.
Get out more - one thing that I definitely need to do, when the weather is good, is to do some exercise outdoors, either in the garden or going for a walk in the woods. Being outside, breathing in clean, fresh air can have a massive impact on your mental and physical wellbeing. Reconnecting with nature and doing a bit of gardening will certainly help me feel better.
One of my long terms goals is to enrol on a fitness bootcamp to get fitter and more energetic. I've seen a great one in France that seems to tick all the boxes for me and that's Le Manoir Bootcamp in Normandy .
Even a one day camp might just be the motivational kick up the backside that I need. So maybe next time we have a delivery in that area I'll check in for the day. It certainly looks like a full and varied day of activities!
Come and join us
Not at Le Manoir, but at our next open day. I'm going to be starting my subtle lifestyle changes very soon. Because the garden needs a good makeover for our hot tub event on Sunday 27th February at Hot Tubs HQ. It starts at 11am and goes on all day. It's a great opportunity to see our Burford Deluxe in action, to find out more about hot tub health benefits and make the most of our Exclusive event day offers. For more information, please get in touch. Happy Hot Tubbing!
* Before using a hot tub, we recommend that you always seek medical advice if you have a heart or other medical condition.