Last year was a hard one for me health wise, and now having started a new year, I want to improve my health and fitness. I live with constant pain thanks to illness, and going through menopause has changed how I look and feel. So in part 2 of my winter wellness edit, I am sharing some things that I am using to help with my journey of trying to improve my health and self care.
Firstly, apologies this post is a couple weeks overdue, blame my health and the time of year *facepalm*, but I really hope you enjoy it!
I am exercising to tone up, improve posture, strength and mental fitness, along with improving my overall health. I am using a Bodyblade, along with my Pilates Reformer, of which I will probably feature here or on my Instagram stories, as we go through the next few months. I also want to walk more, but have currently been struggling with fatigue and chronic pain, so along with the time of year/weather, it holds me back. I am also re-visiting my GP regarding my menopausal symptoms, as the Bio HRT I have been on for 4 months has not helped. So I am trying all different things this year, in the hope I can start living life more in my fifties, whilst dealing with chronic illness and hormonal changes. I’m a determined little mare, and won’t let things beat me!
By the way, do you love the gorgeous pink trainers in the above image? They have some fab technology, superb support and comfort, and I will be sharing in a post soon.
Image from Pexels
Vitamins in your cup of caffeine… who knew? Well, the people at Vitamin Coffee make 3 different varieties of one of the worlds favourite hot drinks, each brewed with a little bit of healthy in mind. Every full flavoured cup of coffee contains a dose of 14 essential vitamins and minerals, so whats not to love when starting your day?
Complete : a well rounded multivitamin used as the base for all our blends
Defence : has a higher amount of vitamin C & D to support the immune system
Energy : has added caffeine and vitamin B complex
I enjoyed this sachet during the period through Christmas and new year, brewing a pot of this delicious coffee mid-morning. I used the Defence blend, a tasty coffee full of flavour, although mild not bitter. The smell when opening the resealable pack was divine, and although I am more of a tea drinker, I do like a nice cup of coffee most days. Supplying the recommended daily dose of vitamins per cup, you only need one of these a day, and the sachets contain a 14 supply.
I found the this Vitamin Coffee had a really good flavour, I brewed using 2 tablespoons in a cafetière. After a couple of days, I noticed I did not have my usual early afternoon slump, and felt more energised through the remainder of the day. Yes, I realise some coffees provide a real caffeine hit, but you usually hit a slump later after the buzz. I didn’t get that feeling drinking this, so I have to put it down to the fact it helped being nutrient packed. Now I have stopped having this once a day, i notice a real difference in my fatigue, so I feel it was helpful.
A little more pricey than some coffees, especially for a fortnight supply. Although, it is a good quality blend with lovely flavour, and being brewed with nutrients providing a boost, it’s certainly worth trying for a healthier coffee pick-me-up, once a day.
Liquid Health – Skin , Hair & Nails
Now I do like liquid collagen shots and these are in super handy little bottles. Liquid Health have several different supplement shots available, depending on your need, and I have been using Skin, Hair & Nails for about a month now.
These shots from are packed with a high amount (7,000mg), of marine collagen, delivering almost 50% more per shot than its nearest equivalent. These 50ml shots are pretty tasty (well I think so), and mine go straight down the hatch first thing every morning, along with my natural joint supplements and a cuppa. These also contain Reservatrol from grape seeds, Hyaluronic acid, Glucosamine, Silicon, Selenium and Vitamins, helping to improve skin, hair and nails from the inside .
I still have a couple of months to really notice a difference, although my nails seem to be growing quicker already. I will give you an update a little further on, but if these sound right for you, they retail at £29.99 for a box of 10 from Liquid Health. Remember supplements are best taken for about 3 months to see any benefits. With such a high amount of collagen, plus other nutrients for skin, hair and nail health, I am looking forward to seeing some results.
Remember the oxygen bar craze in Japan years ago, to help people combat the effects of pollution? Well oxygen is now available for anyone to use, in the form of portable canisters to help when exercising. Oxygen provides many health benefits to the body, along with beauty benefits, and also helps a speedier muscle recovery whilst enhancing exercise performance.
The idea is to take 3 inhalations of pure oxygen before and after a workout, adding oxygen to the blood, it helps prevent lactic acid production and clear any already present. Lactic acid causes muscle cramps and tight knotty tissue, and this is something that occurs so easily with Fibromyalgia. So for me, I am using it to help combat some of the muscle issues, along with fatigue, that I get when exercising.
Placing the mask over the nose and chin, the holes are then in line with mouth. Oxygen is released by pressing the trigger, allowing you to take a deep inhalation through the mouth and into the lungs. I find I am more energised when using the pure oxygen, and this assists me in performing a good workout. Wether I exercise with my Pilates Reformer, Bodyblade, or performing fat burning aerobics, the oxygen helps prevent me from feeling too fatigued later on. Having Fibromyalgia, anything that helps muscle recovery and lessens fatigue, is a bonus for me!
Another benefit I have discovered, (although this is not a medical claim), is that inhaling a few blasts of the oxygen during a migraine, seems to help reduce that muzzy feeling I get with them. Helping to improve blood flow, it helps clear the head a little, whilst relaxing the body and reducing stress. There are medical studies out there to suggest, that inhaling pure oxygen can also help cluster headaches.
This brand of oxygen canisters provide several different aromas, of which I am using Normal and Peppermint. All are obtained using natural essential oils, combing oxygen boost healing and performance with aromatherapy benefits. There is also a Beauty Boost Oxygen (for skin benefits), with essential oil aromas of pink grapefruit and frankincense.
A handy travel sized Boost Oxygen canister of 40z, provides up to 50 inhalations, retailing at £10.50 each. These large 22oz canisters I am using, provide up to 150 inhalations each, and retail at £17.99. If you are a devoted gym bunny, love pilates or running, whatever form of exercise is your bag and you want to help to improve energy and muscle health, then this is definitely worth trying.
ION8 Drink Bottle
We all need to keep hydrated on the go and many of us love a drink bottle, especially when exercising. Although there are too many plastic bottles out there, many leaving nasty chemical tastes after a while, besides the throw away bottles of water that are detrimental to our planet. I am happy to be using a bottle from ION8, as it is completely BPA free, super portable and thankfully, does not leak.
BPA, or Bisphenol A, is a chemical used in certain plastic products, including many drink bottles. It is thought to have harmful effects on health, including the cardiovascular system, brain, blood pressure and hormones. A recent study of teenagers in Exeter, found over 85% of the teenagers tested, had BPA in their system.
We need to aim for BPA free bottles, so for work, cycling, or exercise, one of the ION8 range of drink bottles is ideal. The fab thing is they do not leak, which I have found to be an issue with many other portable drink bottles. More than often, you go to take a sip of water or juice from a carry bottle, and it ends up dribbling down your chin and clothes. Or worse, you end up with a bag full of liquid..but not with these.
There is a handy little clip that keeps prevents the lid being flipped open, great if you keep your drink bottle in a bag!
The bottles have a hygienic flip top cover for one handed use, with a safety catch over the button. No fiddly, dirty screw tops, so they are healthy as well as convenient. Each one also has a sturdy wrist strap, so great for on the go. With several different varieties of bottle sizes and shapes, including kid sized, Ion8 bottles also come in an array of fancy colours, and can hold either cold or hot liquid (but no carbonated drinks).
I find this handy to use when I exercise indoors and out, plus it is fuss free and mess free. Although I’ve had many different drinks in this bottle, and washed up regularly (no dishwashers though), there is no odour from it like other bottles I have used.
This Cycling bottle holds 650ml, although I have just ordered a Comfort bottle in pink, so this will be donated to Mr B, as he cycles 10 miles a day.
Easy to read measurements guide on the bottle
These give a smooth, rapid flow of liquid for speedy hydration. Drinking from them like you would a cup, the liquid always flows with a slight tilt, even when it is nearly empty. I use mine for more than exercise, and take it when I go out in the car, on walks and beside my bed for nighttime hydration. I love the fact this does not leak, its easy to grip and being BPA free, it is non-toxic and safe. The ION8 range can be purchased on AmazonUK, from around £7 – £15.
Soapnskin Lavender Bath Crystals
Post exercise or simply if I want to relax, I have also been enjoying these lavender bath crystals. Another lovely natural, British cruelty-free brand, Soapnskin provide an amazing artisan range of natural beauty products. I was kindly gifted these at Christmas by the brand, and must say I have really enjoyed the way they relax me, when using post exercise.
You can also check out this gorgeous Gift Set from their range, and find out what great causes they support too!
How gorgeous does this bottle of crystals look?!
SBC Gels – Arnica Gel
One of my all time go-to body products, Arnica is something I have not been without for years and continue to rely on as a self care must have. Some formulations have a high concentration that can only be applied a couple of times a day, but SBC’s water based gel can be applied as many times as needed.
I apply a few pumps over areas of tension, pain, swelling and heat. It can also be used with a wet flannel and applied as a hot or cold compress for different needs, plus it is amazing at speedy healing for bruising. I have several different products from SBC’s Arnica range along with others, and living with pain, it is something I could not be without.
You can find out more in my post here.
So, as I continue on my path of wellbeing, fitness and self care, I am finding help in these products I’m using, and I hope they have been of interest to you too. I am really hoping for some positive changes to my health this year, both in the way I look and feel, using exercise and self care products. I will be bringing update posts along my journey, sharing different things I am doing/using along the way, so I hope you will join me.
*includes pr samples and own products