What is it?
Keepingfit is supposed to helpyou feel energised, happy,strong and lean. Butsometimes the stress of tryingto fit your workouts in, or thevolume of exercise you’re doing,can leave you feeling burned out.Clean fitness means taking a moreholistic approach to exercise,embracing mind-body disciplines likeyoga and meditation, and connectingwith the great out doors.
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What are the benefits?
If you spendyour days squashed on public transportand then in a noisy office, a visit to thegym, with its whirring machines andblaring TV screens, may not provide theserenity you need. And if you don’tallow yourself adequate post-exercisere covery, with good nutrition, rest daysand cross training, you risk overtrainingsyndrome or adrenal burnout. ‘Yoga allows you to connect with yourself and nurture your body,’ says yoga teacher and life coach Sarah Oakley (yummy-yoga.co.uk). ‘Even if it’s not for you,there’s a lot to be said for learning its breathing and focusing techniques,it? Keeping posed to help nergised, happy,nd lean. Butmes the stress of tryingr workouts in, or thef exercise you’re doing, recovery, with good nutrition, rest days and cross training, you risk overtrainingsyndrome or adrenal burnout. ‘Yogaallows you to connect with yourself andnurture your body,’ says yoga teacherand life coach Sarah Oakley (yummy-yoga.co.uk). ‘Even if it’s not for you,there’s a lot to be said for learning itsbreathing and focusing techniques, which you can bring to anyworkout.’ Yogamoves canalso help todetox your cellularand circulatory systems,expelling carbon dioxide and lactic acidand boosting deep tissue flexibility.
Who does it
Gwyneth Paltrow,Jennifer Aniston and Geri Halliwell arefamous yogis. Kelly Brook and Katy Perrylove outdoor hikes.
How to do it
Visit bwy.org.uk to finda yoga teacher; your local Buddhistcentre may have information onmeditation. Or try t-m.org.uk fortranscendental meditation. If exercisetires rather than invigorates you, ask atrainer for a simpler programme. ‘Tryvarying your activities,’ says Oakley. ‘Ifyou run on road, take to the trails. Gymbunny? Get outdoors for some circuittraining. Swim laps? Jump into a lake.’Visit outdoorswimmingsociety.com andmind.org.uk/ecominds for inspiration.And leave your fitness devices at home.We predict ‘naked running’ – withoutyour phone, watch, GPS device or heart-rate monitor – will be the next bigfitness trend.
It’s a phenomenon Sophie Doyle, 34, anentrepreneur from Hertfordshire, recognises.‘I’d been trying for weeks to write up abusiness plan to show to backers,’ she says.‘It was only when my broadband went downthat I realised how much time I normallywaste surfing and flitting between my inbox,Facebook and Twitter. After weeks ofprocrastination, I got it finished in two days.Now I head for a wifi-free library, museumor café when I need to be productive. If Ineed to speak to someone, I use the phoneand request a meeting.’‘Real human interaction stops us being sedentary in front of screens and builds mrelationships, which are key to preventinganxiety and depression,’ says Cooper.
How to do it
‘Control technology, don’t letit control you,’ Cooper advises. Set times tocheck your email at work, agree regular,gadget-free time with your friends andfamily. And make it a rule that if you’re outfor dinner or catching up with your partner,the phone stays out of sight. ‘Stop “justchecking”,’ he says. ‘Especially if it’s yourwork emails when you’re home for theevening. This just extends the day and raisesyour stress – it can wait until the morning.’There are companies that offer retreatswhere you abandon all devices at the startof your stay (visit inspa-retreats.com anddestinationyoga.co.uk ). It’s a good rule toapply yourself on any holiday.There are even apps designed to help youregulate your tech time. Download Freedom(macfreedom.com) and set it to blockinternet access on your PC or Mac for up toeight hours, while Anti-Social (anti-social.cc)simply blocks social media access. AndDigital Detox (tirl.org/software/digitaldetox)is a smartphone app that will completelydisable your phone for a set period,determined by you.