Mindfulness with Mindfood #SmartThinking

After the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, it is tempting to simply want to curl up and hibernate until the next long weekend which takes place in September. However this mid-year point is also a great time to take stock of things; to assess how we are tracking along. This week is Health Week in the Britomart – one of the newest retail and office precincts in Auckland city. The Health Week at Britomart program consists of a number of different events which address different aspects of health: physical, dietry, psychological,  monetary or even a bit of pampering!

I stopped by a lunch time seminar hosted by MiNDFOOD magazine- the free sessions are a fantastic lunchtime escape from the office! Informative too as the panel of experts discussed how to deal with stress and achieve balance in our busy lives. Focusing on Mindfulness, the session explored topics like anxiety, sleep and mental health and how they relate to each of us in our busy lives.

mindfood smartthinking session britomart health week 1

Top row: Attendees took home this handy book mark from The Mental Health Foundation reminding us of the Five Ways to Wellbeing; simple strategies to empower individuals tohelp themselves feel better.

Bottom row: The panel in action from left to right:  The Life Coach, Kristin Liggins, Carol Ryan chief executive Raeburn House and Liz Binns physiotherapy lecturer at AUT

mindfood smartthinking panel britomart health week 2

The panel with Sarah Harvey, Senior Writer at MiNDFOOD who hosted the session.

Are you breathing properly?

Physiotherapist Liz Binns talked about the impact of stress and our mostly sedentary work-lives on our bodies. Oftentimes we get so busy that we don’t even breathe properly! Seriously, take note of your next breath. It should move out from your belly, causing your chest and shoulders to visibly rise and fall. If this doesn’t happen, it means that your breath is too shallow. Get the oxygen pumping! One way to do this is to take regular breaks from our desk to do exercises that also help stretch and strengthen our bodies.

Easy physical exercises to do in the office:

Liz shared that she had intentionally worn a skirt and heels so that she could demonstrate easy exercises to do in the office. Set a reminder in your calendar so that once an hour you do a few of these for at least 30 seconds:

  1. Sit in a wheelie chair? While seated place both feet on the ground and use your quads to pull the chair forwards and backwards repeatedly. Strengthening and good to stretch out those hip flexors which can get very tight from sitting all day.
  2. Next, repeat the motion but instead use your arm muscles to pull in and push yourself away from your desk.
  3. Tricep-dips: easier on a stable chair with arms but you could use your desk.
  4. Push-ups on the wall. While you are waiting at the printer, do a series of push-ups but somewhat discretely by placing your palms on the wall instead of the floor. The greater the angle you are at with the wall, the more difficult it will be to push up.
  5. Sit-to-stand: cross your arms and force yourself to stand up without using your arms.  Liz says this is an important exercise particularly as we get older so keep up your strength!
  6. Kick off your heels for toe raises. Good for strengthening your legs.

Wearing pants? Also try

  • Lunges. Bit tricky in a pencil skirt but again- wonderfully strengthening.
  • V-step or take every opportunity to walk around the office.

mindfood smartthinking panel britomart health week 3

MiNDFOOD are hosting another session this Friday. The Friday session will see MiNDFOOD’s health experts discuss the importance of gut health and the benefits of maintaining a balanced lifestyle.

For those who can’t make it, I’ll be sharing tips from a few other sessions I attend during the week. Has this got you thinking about an aspect of health you’d like to focus on?

See the full 2016 Britomart Health Week program here.

BusinessChic was a guest of Britomart.


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