Rise & Shine in 2021! We are offering 7 days inclusive membership to our online classes for FREE! With no upfront payment required!
We want to help support your mental and physical health through the ongoing COVID restrictions, so if you like it, you can continue for just £8 per month! Normally £30 per month, a potential saving of £66 over 3 months! (Better You classes are exempt). Offer valid until 31/3/21.
Our AHS Wellbeing Online android app is now available!
Download the AHS Wellbeing App today to plan and schedule your Wellbeing Classes, Workshops, and Appointments! Using this mobile App you can view and manage your complete schedule, sign-up for classes, workshops, and appointments, purchase block bookings, memberships, and update your profile. Optimise your time, maximise convenience, and keep up-to-date with AHS Wellbeing activities through push-notifications.
You can access the android app by searching AHS Wellbeing on Google Play or clicking this link
The AHS Wellbeing Apple App is coming soon, look out for further details.
A Free Personalised 12-week Virtual Exercise on Prescription programme.
Our Better You virtual exercise referral programme is a series of bespoke online fitness classes and 1 to 1 consultations run over a 12-week period to help you to feel better, improve your health and increase your mental wellbeing. It is for those who have a medical condition that can be improved with regular exercise, or have been advised by a GP, Healthcare worker of other professional to be more active.
Better You is a free programme which is currently available to residents in Mid Sussex. All you have to do is request a referral from your GP, or contact Mid Sussex Wellbeing on 01444 477191. Whatever your age, ability or health challenges you face, you can take part in our online live classes or watch them on demand, all from the comfort of your own home via the website detailed above, or our mobile app.
For further information and to join the programme visit our Better You page or for more information download our leaflet.
Created by Sal Jefferies, a yoga teacher, contemporary psychotherapist (PG Dip) and leadership coach who has been working in mind-body wellbeing and performance for over 10 years.
The workshops will run as set of 3 on a rolling basis that can be joined at any stage as they cycle through a set of content that works in any order. The objective is to learn stress management techniques that are accessible and applicable to anyone and the focus will be the impact caused by the pandemic. This is aimed at the general public and the sessions will run for 60 minutes. Each workshop opens with a piece of training that repeats each session so that at any session someone joins the course, they get the fundamental parts covered.
Dates for the course are: 29th January, 19th February and 19th March 2021 at 9.30 am. Places limited so book now!
Habit Change Workshop
Also run by Sal Jefferies, mentioned above, the Habit Change workshop will be a 90 minute session, where Sal has harmonised the excellent work of Charles Duhigg and James Clear who are experts in this field. Their work combined with Sal’s psychological training and experience can make habit change stick using easy to understand techniques which are also easy to apply.
Sal teaches a simple model of how habit change works and uses exercises to help people create the psychological, emotional and practical conditions to make sustainable change.
The objective of this workshop is to show you that habits follow a pattern which can be used when making healthy life changes. It will also cover why willpower alone doesn’t work, how you ‘see yourself’ (which is very important) and how creating a compelling reason is vital to making changes last.
Check our Workshop timetable for more details, dates to be confirmed.
Weight Off Workshops
We are hosting a series of Weight Off Workshops on behalf of Mid Sussex Wellbeing starting on 24th January 2021. This virtual course aim to support people towards a sustainable lifestyle change by motivating them to make positive food choices, increase activity (participants will have access to up to 6 free online exercise classes) and consider practical ways to create and sustain healthy eating habits.
AHS Wellbeing are really excited to bring this new class to their online timetable.
Taking place every Wednesday at 10.30am until 11.30am, yoga teacher, courage coach and contemporary psychotherapist Sal Jefferies will guide you through a Movement Class, which is ideal for beginners or those returning to exercise.
Hello, my name is Sal and I teach one of the movement classes called vinyasa yoga,
This class is a movement-based class where we stretch and move and get the whole body working through a range of easy exercises which can be adapted so it’s perfect or beginners.
If you’ve not done exercise for a while or you’re working through weight issues or pain issues then this class will be very helpful. My class is really about helping you bring awareness to your body and helping you move with more ease and comfort. A lot of the exercises really help get rid of physical tension and tightness which can reduce aches and pains. In the class, I teach so you can go to your own pace and hold back if you need to meaning you can enjoy the class and feel safe. Many of my students say they’ve gained a lot of confidence doing these classes as they move better, feel better and this has significant effect on your mood, stress levels and helps you feel good for the rest of day.
My approach to teaching is light-hearted and encouraging and I like to make you feel welcome and safe so you can get the benefits of this practice and leave feeling calm and confident. I whole-heartedly encourage you to come to a class and see for yourself and I welcome any questions in advance so please get in touch.
If you want to find a lifestyle balance that takes back control of your wellbeing, there are 5 key areas to consider. Each will have a profound effect on your daily life and are a great starting point for unlocking your potential to be the best you can be.
The 5 lifestyle keys are:
Research has shown that what we eat affects both our physical and mental health and is associated with our sense of Wellbeing. Keeping a food diary for a week can help you see if you are eating well and help you identify any changes you may need to make to improve your health and wellbeing.
Being active and taking regular exercise promotes overall health and wellbeing as well as reducing stress. You also become stronger, fitter and less prone to injury. If you’re not currently exercising regularly, try starting with 10 minutes of gentle activity such as walking, dancing to your favourite tune or just try to spend less time sitting and more time moving, you’ll soon feel the benefits!
We all sleep, but how well do you sleep? Sleeping improves mental and emotional wellbeing. It also allows your body to rest and repair, recover from illness, boosts your immune system and gives you energy. Try to get into a regular sleep routine and make sure you’re sleeping in a restful environment.
We go through each day following our usual habits, often on auto pilot, not noticing what we do! Start to take notice, are these habits useful or are they preventing you achieving what you hope for? If you feel you need to change your habits, check out last weeks blog when we looked at how habits are formed and how we can learn new habits.
How is your inner dialogue? Does that voice in your head make you feel strong, capable and in control? Or is it full of self doubt, criticism and negative thoughts. Your inner dialogue can either support or sabotage the changes in the lifestyle you wish for. Notice the thoughts that affect your actions and start to recognise if they help or hinder you.
We will cover these in more detail over the coming weeks and provide some useful strategies to help you find a lifestyle balance that helps you take back control of your wellbeing, so don’t forget to check in next week!
Hands up if you’ve ever tried to make positive changes to your lifestyle, such as losing weight, getting more active or stopping smoking and soon found yourself slipping back into your old ways again!
Why is that?
During our lifetime, our experiences have helped up develop patterns in our behaviour, often referred to as habits. These habits maybe positive and help keep us safe and well, such as the habit of brushing your teeth, checking for traffic before crossing the road or eating when you’re hungry.
We can also develop unhealthy habits we may want to change, but these habits are often hardwired in our brain and finding the willpower to change isn’t easy. Understanding how these habits form can help you understand how to break down barriers and stop these habits getting in the way.
Habits are formed by a cue, a routine and a reward, this is called a habit loop. For example;
The Cue: you feel thirsty
The Behaviour: you drink some water
The Reward: you feel relief from quenching your thirst.
Repeating the same behaviour, over and over, trains your brain to recognise this as ‘normal’ and it becomes a habit. If you want to change a habit you have to rewire the circuit, by changing the behaviour and repeating it over and over, at least 21 times, until it becomes a new habit.
Start by observing any patterns in the behaviour you want to change. Can you identify what the cue is? Can you find ways to change the behaviour that follows the cue? Or find a new reward that makes you want to repeat the new behaviour again and again?
The Cue: You are feeling bored
The Behaviour: You decide to eat some chocolate
The Reward: The release of dopamine, serotonin and endorphins help you feel happier but only in the short-term, as later you may feel guilt.
Rewire this to:
The Cue: You are feeling bored
The Behaviour: You decide to go for a brisk walk outdoors
The Reward: The release of dopamine,serotonin and endorphins helps you feel happier, this time in the long-term, as this has also helped you feel in control.
Everyone will have their own habits and the desire to change a habit is personal to each individual, here is how you can get results:
Once you’ve decided what you want to change and why (see last weeks blog), write down what barriers may get in your way. Consider:
Your habits,beliefs and barriers that you’ve come across before.
What environmental factors may affect you i.e. work, day to day life and social obligations.
Family commitments and expectations.
From your list, pick one or two things you think you can tackle.
The media constantly tells us why we should do more exercise, so why is it so hard for some of us to be more active?
Our past experience will have shaped the beliefs we hold about ourselves and these beliefs help shape our behaviour. If you are one of those people who have always participated in sport, chances are you’ll have no trouble keeping active for life. However, if you hated sport at school, have a condition that affects your movement or simply do not like exercise, becoming active will undoubtedly be more of a challenge. If you believe you don’t like exercise, but want to change this, here are some guidelines to help you start to make that change. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day! Take one step at a time and start by considering the following;
What is your current situation?
First, think about what you do right now. What is your normal routine? How do you feel? What is important to you? Are you happy with the way you live your life? Spend some time thinking this through and write down your thoughts.
What do you want to achieve?
Look ahead to the next 12 months, what changes would you like to see? Why are they important to you? If you do not know what you want to achieve, maybe think about what you don’t want to happen. For example; as you age you may not want to lose your independence or you may want to prevent developing a condition such as diabetes, back pain or heart disease. Visualise how you want to be in 12 months time and write this down.
What Needs to Change?
Now, consider what you need to change. What are you doing right now that needs to change in order to be where you want to be in 12 months time? You may end up with several things you need to change. Just focus on changing one thing at a time. What can you can change this week? Keep it simple, realistic and believe you can achieve it, then give it a try! Believing really is achieving!
Lets face it, we are all feeling the impact of COVID-19! Stress and anxiety are common place in this day and age and a lot of us will suffer from this on a regular basis. Having some natural ways to manage and control it, can enable us to deal with these times and get the balance back in our lives without the need for medical intervention.
In this 1 hour session with Loren Leaver we will look at ways that have been proven to help decrease and limit stress and anxiety in life using natural and holistic methods which will also benefit other areas of your health and wellbeing. This session is aimed at all ages and genders and will help you with:
Healthy Habit Change
Body Language and Confidence
Overcoming fear-Self Conscious to Conscious self
Creating Healthy Boundaries for a stress free life
Sports Massage Therapist, Personal Trainer and Wellbeing Advisor
As a big football fan, fitness lover, and over recent years, a surfer, Loren’s decision to retrain came from helping a friend’s Saturday league football team out years back as match day first aid, where her interest in injury prevention, management and rehabilitation was born. Loren studied sports massage and rehabilitation therapy, which was then followed by studying personal training and nutrition predominantly for rehabilitation.
Specialising in women’s health, cardiac and injury rehabilitation, Loren continually sets herself new challenges and finds herself studying and looking at different courses, methods and techniques to improve her range of services to clients as both a sports massage therapist, trainer and wellbeing advisor.
If you are new to exercising or have other underlying health conditions, it’s difficult to know what you should be feeling and have the confidence to continue if you are unsure.
If you normally have painful joints e.g. Arthritis, you may think exercise will do harm. The opposite is true – Moving and Exercising the joints is essential to keep them healthy and has been proven to reduce pain and improve how well your joints work.
It is so important not to avoid activity because of painful joints, it will lead to increased stiffness and weaker muscles – this is known as the deconditioning cycle
Am I doing more harm than good?
It is totally normal to feel a bit uncomfortable or even sore after exercise – especially if it is something new or you haven’t done it for a while. But remember this does not mean you are doing harm. Any discomfort should settle and as you exercise more regularly, this discomfort will become less and less – a sign that your muscles are getting stronger and joints are working better.
Am I doing enough?
We are recommended to be doing 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise per week, but what does this mean?
Aerobic exercise is any activity that increases your breathing and heart rate (e.g. walking, swimming, dancing, gardening), and will improve your general stamina and fitness and have many positive effects on your health and wellbeing.
What is moderate?
You should be exercising at a level that increases your heart rate and breathing, you will feel warmer and you should still be able to talk – but not sing! If you like numbers, it should feel like around 5-6 on a scale of 0-10
150 minutes a week sounds like a lot!
If you haven’t been exercising much recently, this may seem like an unreachable goal. But don’t worry, even small increases in your activity levels can have positive effects on many aspects of your health and wellbeing. Create smaller, more achievable goals like aiming for a 10 minute chunk of moderate intensity exercise per day to begin with and slowly build up from there if you are able to.
Strength & Balance Exercise
Including exercise to improve muscle strength and balance is important to maintain independence, prevent falls and make everyday life a little easier. You can do this by using weights, resistance bands or your own body weight.
To see improvements in strength you need to work with a resistance that tires your muscles to a point where you can’t do any more of that exercise, and would need a short rest before repeating another set of the exercise.
Balance specific exercises should also feel like a real challenge. The aim is that you create a little ‘safe’ wobble in your body so that you are working all your proprioceptive nerve endings (that tell your body where it is in space), and your reflex reactions. This is challenging your nervous system and to see results balance exercises should be practiced every day.
These exercises should feel like a real challenge:
“If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you”
Here’s how to make it feel easier!
Hydrate – make sure you drink plenty, if you are even a little dehydrated exercise will feel harder
Eat well – A balanced, healthy diet will give your body what it needs to work most efficiently for you
Exercise with a buddy or group if able to – Increase your enjoyment of exercise and time may pass more quickly
Pace yourself – Don’t be tempted to increase your exercise by too much, even if you’re having a “good” day. You may feel wiped out and be put off trying again.
It shouldn’t feel like this:
If you experience chest pain, dizziness or you are very short of breath -stop immediately and seek medical advice
If you experience any unusual or sharp joint/muscle pain while exercising – first check you are doing it correctly. If it persists stop and contact your instructor for advice.
By Emma Rollings, AHS WellBalanced Clinical Lead & AHS Wellbeing Coach