Author: Leanne Spencer

The Importance of Putting Yourself First

I was listening to an interview with Vishen Lakhiani, the CEO of Mindvalley. They do seminars, a month-long retreat in various parts of Europe, and they have a university. Mindvalley is a large company and has grown from acorns, when Vishen had little money. In the interview, he spoke about how he always puts himself first. Before his business, before his career aspirations. He prioritises his exercise sessions, his meditation, his self-care above anything else. He doesn’t have meetings until he’s finished his meditation and he never skips a gym workout for work or business. I find that really interesting – I would call these non-negotiables, and for me, spin once a week, personal training twice a week, a daily meditation, are some of my non-negotiables, and I will not allow anything, no matter what’s going on in this business, to supersede those priorities. As a result, I’m energised, I’m fit, I’m looking good – because that is important in this industry, and more importantly to me is that I’m feeling amazing. And that’s because …

What is your health worth?

This question comes up a lot, because we put a value against everything that we do, and some of the values that we put against health are not as important as they should be, or we don’t take it as seriously as we should. It’s very easy to get caught up in the here and now, and think, “Well, I’m okay for now. I don’t need to think too much about the future. The way I’m living my life now is okay, I’m managing.” Or, maybe you’re just firefighting all the time – you haven’t got the energy to put into health. My belief is that we’re sacrificing or selling off our future for the convenience of today, and you can apply that to anything in life, but particularly health. Is the way you’re living now selling off your future? One of our key beliefs here at Bodyshot is that health span is more important than lifespan. What I mean by that is, it’s really important to live a long, healthy, energised, and vital life …

What does an ideal week of exercise look like?

This is a question I get asked a lot, and obviously it varies from person to person, and you need to make it personal. It needs to work for you. You know that old question, what’s the best type of exercise? Well, it’s the one that you can maintain. Consistency is key. Here’s what an ideal week looks like, taking out all the personal nuances of you and I – low intensity exercise, medium intensity exercise, and high intensity exercise: Low is activities like walking. It’s while I’m standing here in front of the camera. It’s while I’m walking around. It’s your basic daily life movement, so you should be doing that on a relatively constant basis seven days a week. Moderate activity three to five times a week. That could be a brisk walk, a light jog, something that just gets your heart a little bit higher, but it’s not high intensity. High intensity exercise two to three times a week. That could just be for two minutes or 10 minutes a day, getting your heart rate …

Is it good for me to take a nap or not?

I used to have a very dismissive attitude towards napping. I wouldn’t have it. I thought no, I don’t need to sleep. Sleep’s for the evening. But, I completely changed my mind. I equate sleep to going out for a long day and taking a spare battery to boost your mobile phone. Taking a nap is the same thing. If I’ve got a long day, a hard day, a creative day, or I’ve had a bad night’s sleep, no problem. I’ll just go and have a 20, 30-minute nap if I can. Recharge my batteries and then crack on again. Is taking a nap good for you?  Science confirms that yes, it is. But, there are some conditions. A nap is ideally taken between 12 and 2pm. Any later than that, and you might be cutting it a bit fine, chipping into your evening sleep. It’s very good to bolster a poor night’s sleep. But 20 to 30 minutes won’t take you deep into that sleep cycle of REM sleep. It’s been found to improve …

I feel tired all day and then can’t sleep at night

Do you find that you’re tired all day, you don’t have the energy to get through the day, and then you hit the pillow and you can’t sleep? This is hugely frustrating and very common. What can you do about it? Firstly, let’s talk a bit about the autonomic nervous system, which is a part of the body that controls a lot of our autonomic movements like breathing. There are two branches to the autonomic nervous system, the sympathetic, which is your classic fight, flight, freeze, and your parasympathetic, which is your classic rest and digest. What we want to do as we move towards bedtime is move from sympathetic dominance into parasympathetic dominance so we’re ready for sleep, and the body has had time to wind down. One of the ways that you can do that would be to control the amount of caffeine that you have during the day. Depending on your sensitivity, two cups maximum in the morning is as much caffeine as you should really be taking in. Controlling the amount …