Foundations: Part 1 of 3 – Body…..the physical foundation

The bigwhenlittlewhen blog was conceived to bring awareness to my new book about achieving work/life balance so it feels only right to explore what balance looks like in practice. I believe there are three essential foundations that need to be satisfied – mind, body and spirit. I will explore each of these over the next 3 blogs and report back on my personal experience and application. It is not uncommon for the 3 foundations to interweave and overlap, and the more the better.

Blog Part 1: Body – the physical foundation

Blog Part 2: Mind – the mental foundation

Blog Part 3: Spirit – the spiritual (and emotional) foundation


Part 1: Body – the physical foundation

Looking after our body probably seems elementary to most of us, but it really underpins the whole system; from what we put into it, how we exercise it and challenge it, and how we rest it and care for it. A healthy body is more resilient against illness and stress and repairs itself quicker after general wear and tear.

Yesterday was a great example of when I get it right! My trip to the gym went like this:

  • Quick 3 minute stretch of the major muscle groups (essential warm up before any exercise)
  • 30 minutes cardio workout on treadmill and rowing machine with periods of rest (getting the heart pumping and eliminating calories)
  • 15 minutes on the weight machines working the legs, back, arms and torso (Did you know that more fat is burned this way than on cardio machines?)
  • 10 minute warm-down – stretching all the muscles while standing, sitting and lying down (again…essential to maximise the effort made during work-out)
  • 20 lengths of 25 metre pool, fast breast stroke alternated with a few lengths of front-crawl (you can’t beat the therapeutic effects of water)
  • 5 minutes in steam room, 5 minutes in sauna, 10 minutes in jacuzzi (essential to relax, restore, and refresh)

This was all followed by a delicious lunch of oven-baked salmon, jacket potato, and vegetable medley of carrots, courgettes and leeks.  A light evening meal of mussels and green salad with a dressing of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar ensured I went to sleep happy but not heavy.

(I cannot resist adding here that I gave up smoking 4 weeks ago – I have managed this purely by willpower and a few neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) techniques and I am feeling more alive and more vibrant for each day that I have succeeded. The benefits of this achievement are too many to list here…..but let us just say they are all immensely positive!)

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