Don’t go chasing waterfalls- let’s go walking waterfalls

Let me guess I got you singing TLC waterfalls in your head right now because it’s definitely in mine after reading the title.

Anyways, we’re not here to talk about R&B, though you all know it is my favourite genre of music- just thought It’d be rude not to give it a cheeky reference! (Head over to my music tab if you wanna talk all about those sweet rhythm and blues though).

What we are really here to talk about, is going on a walk to a waterfall! I say specifically waterfalls because I was watching Down to Earth on Netflix and Zac Efron (major eye candy and fantastic series) told a really interesting fact that got me researching. Zac said that ‘water in motion (waterfalls) produce negative ions, which is known to relieve stress, tension, fight depression and increase energy. In short, all these negative ions are creating very positive vibes.’ This is TRUE! These positive vibes increase our serotonin levels (the happy chemicals in our brain) which make us happier and invigorated. Aside from all these fancy scientific words, when we see something that we perceive as beautiful like nature and waterfalls, we tend to be generally happier due to the aesthetic qualities too. How great does a walk to a waterfall sound, right? We haven’t even discussed the physical benefits of taking a walk yet either!

In terms of the physical benefits of walking- you’ve probably heard them all before, it helps with blood circulation, strengthening your muscles, ease joint pain, lower blood pressure and weight loss. In fact, did you know you can burn from a range of 100-300 calories in 30 minutes, depending on your walking pace? A walk by the waterfall is what I would now I like to label as a WWW- a walking waterfall WINNER! (Yup, you heard this here first).

For me, besides all these amazing facts, just being physically present at a waterfall is so relaxing. I love just sitting by the side hearing the force of the water go by. The air feels so crisp and clean to breathe. I could literally sit by a waterfall for hours. Honestly, I think walking to a waterfall is possibly one of my favourite self care activities. It just ticks so many boxes all at once. Even if you’re a social person, you could easily gather your friends to go on a walk together to a waterfall. Or if you’re a foodie, make yourself a picnic and enjoy it by the pleasant surroundings. There’s a multiple of ways to tick a looooooot of self care boxes here!

If you’re looking for a great waterfall to go to, here is an amazing one that I just visited a few days ago in County Durham. This is a picture of Low Force Waterfall below I took myself. There is another bigger waterfall about a half an hour walk from it too called High Force, which has the most volume of water going through an unbroken drop in England. However, I actually ended on top of the waterfall instead at the bottom, so I couldn’t get a great photo.

Why I choose skipping over running or going for a walk

Who said skipping is just for children?

Skipping or jumping rope- whatever you choose to call it is the BEST mind declutterer.

skipping rope, jumping ropeThough going for a walk or run is still great, it’s so easy to think about things that happened yesterday or things that are going to happen in the future. Whereas skipping requires you to be present at all times so you can focus on jumping the rope at the same time. The moment you slip out the present you’re left with a sting from the slap of the rope. So if you’re feeling that you can’t focus clearly today or your mind keeps wandering, I definitely recommend go and grabbing a rope for ten minutes- you won’t regret it!

It’s so fantastic because you don’t need to go to a park or the gym or even leave your home. You can skip indoors or in your garden, it’s so convenient! Even skipping for ten minutes helps me to focus, so it’s very time efficient and very fun! Skipping has so many health benefits too. It’s amazing for those who want to lose weight, it tones the upper and lower body, it helps to improve heart rate and it great for practising coordination and balance. And with any fitness, it’s great for our mental health due to the endorphins released in our brain.

You can purchase skipping ropes almost everywhere for a couple of quid! Just make sure you get one that fits for you. To check if you have the right length put one foot on the skipping rope and see if it reaches your armpits. If it does then hurray you have the perfect skipping rope size for you!

If you haven’t skipped for a while don’t worry if you can’t skip for 30 seconds without a break. Give yourself some time practising and getting used to the rope and I promise you that it will come with time. You will absolutely love it and definitely see a change in your physical and mental health sooner than you know it.

 

The difference between bodyweight and body fat

Bodyweight and body fat are two totally different things!

With university finished for this academic year and COVID 19 is still restricting our movement, I thought it would be a good opportunity to get on the fitness bandwagon. I’ve spent my time researching and understanding fitness, in the hope to improve my overall fitness and to help you guys! Even if you’re not interested in losing body weight or body fat I’m a strong believer that fitness is amazing for self-care. This is because when we work-out we release lots of happy chemicals in our brain which helps with our overall mental wellbeing and physical health!

Now, let’s get to the point of this blog-

Many of us find ourselves saying ‘I need to lose weight’ at least once a year, whether that’s before a beach holiday or on new years day.  But is it weight you really want to lose, or is it fat?

From my understanding, losing bodyweight is more of a short term goal.  This is where you want to look slimmer overall and basically lose weight in general.  Using scales is often the preferred method when monitoring weight loss. In terms of food, this is where I would take a diet approach, which focuses on maintaining a calorie deficit (eating under your daily calorie intake). Just remember though, a diet is temporary and not a lifestyle change.  Losing weight for a long period of time is not healthy and thus should be used only in the short term. This is because when we’re dieting we tend to cut out the foods that we love to see results to our body and we’re not eating our standard calorie intake (2,000 for women and 2,500 for men).

If certain foods make you happy, I believe that you shouldn’t have to cut them out and that’s why I say diets are short term. Your happiness should be a priority.

Whereas losing fat, is focusing on retaining the lean muscle mass you have and just decreasing the percentage of fat in your body. This is what I would call a long term goal. When you lose body fat, you tend to see more definition of muscles and build a toned physique. The fitness process required for this is less restricted than the process to lose bodyweight but instead is more complex. Therefore, I will go over this in another blog.  However, losing body fat doesn’t necessarily mean the scales will go down. So try to avoid measuring yourself on the scale and instead take before and after pictures. But make sure you take these photos at the same time of day! For example, taking a before photo in the morning and then taking an after photo the week after on the night, will not give you an accurate representation of your body. This is because on the morning we’ve just woken up from not eating 8 hours so you will look slimmer. Whilst a photo on a night will be less slimming because of the food you have eaten on that day causing you to bloat. So top tip- try to take your progress pictures at the same hour of the day.

I hope this helps! It’s something that is commonly confused and definitely needs to be discussed more publicly. So next time you recall yourself saying I want to lose weight- ask yourself are you wanting a long term goal or a short term goal? Do you want to be toned or do you want to look slimmer overall?