How to practice active mindfulness

How to practice active mindfulness

by Guest Contributor

28 September, 2017

By Paul Joseph, Director and co-founder
Health and Fitness Travel
healthandfitnesstravel.com

When we think of mindfulness and the process of becoming self-aware of our emotions, thoughts, feelings and senses, most of us envision a method of passive meditation.

Although this may ring true when practiced by its founding Buddhists, the reality is, we do not need to be physically still and shut away from the world to find our inner-calmness. In today’s fast-paced society, where finding a spare hour (or six) is nigh on impossible, this is most certainly a good thing! Active mindfulness is concerned with maintaining an introspective state of consciousness whilst engaging in everyday activities. Still a bit confused? In the following guide, Health and Fitness Travel, the wellness holiday specialists, turn the spotlight on mindfulness, complete with key tips on how to practice and apply it to your life.

Silence is golden

In the age of communications, the power of silence is wholly underestimated, underused and often even feared. Dedicating time for solitude, even if it’s just five minutes on the train with your eyes shut and earplugs in, can be immensely beneficial to your mental health. It encourages self-reflection, and nourishes and heals the mind. Research has also shown silence to relieve stress and amplify sensitivity to sensations, sounds, emotions and thoughts; an essential principle of mindfulness.

Challenge core beliefs

Often our barriers to success, whether personal or business related, are due to a (sometimes unconscious) stubbornness to challenge our beliefs. Using a ‘thought diary’ identifies destructive thoughts by allowing you to be mindful and aware of how you would feel if these were, in fact, not your beliefs. This technique is especially helpful in challenging how we perceive ourselves, others and the world around us.

Mind(ful) of what you eat

No, this does not mean starving yourself! Take a delicious fresh orange. Eat it slowly and deliberately, paying attention to the sweet citrus taste. Notice how the segment bursts with flavour and spreads over your taste buds, and how your jaw moves as it masticates. Mindful eating not only helps us enjoy what we are consuming optimally, but also recognises our emotional and non-hunger related triggers which inevitably cause us to overeat and feel guilty.

Mindfulness meditation

To take time away from the world and reflect in peace is truly the pinnacle of mindfulness exercises. While meditation is beneficial for our well-being, the magic of this deep relaxation practice lies in how it encourages awareness of our present. Try to maintain a narrow focus to start with i.e. the air as it moves into and out of your lungs, then begin to acknowledge thoughts, feelings, senses, form and emotions. If your mind wanders return to a focus on your breath.

Be accepting

Working on acceptance helps with patience and trust that life will unfold as it’s meant to. It also supports an innate tolerance of life’s rollercoaster, allowing us to remain at peace despite emotional turbulence. Practice by naming emotions: ‘anger’, ‘elation’, ‘sadness’, feeling them and letting them pass without judgement. Understanding that our emotions are fleeting, helps limit the anxiety and worry that tends to pull us out of our present.

Listen to be heard

We have all been in that situation where, no matter what you say, you are just not being understood. Next time you feel this way, take a step back, don’t just focus on the words being said. Pay attention to the tone, examine facial expressions and body language, and no matter what, remain present in the conversation. Mindful listening exists on the premise that listening is the key to real communication.

Be mindful when exercising

Combining the tranquillity of mindfulness with the increased cognitive and physical activity of exercise seems counterproductive, yet they are inextricably linked by the associations of health and wellbeing. Pay attention to the positioning and feel of your body and its individual muscles, notice the environment, your posture and breath with each movement and physical advances will follow suit. Being mindful during exercise will aid proprioception and help you find your form.

Remember, mindfulness is a journey and if you fall off track, simply take a breath, re-centre yourself and the rest will follow. However, if you feel in need of some added motivation why not learn to practice active mindfulness in a beautiful location at one of our healthy holidays.


→ For advice, guidance and booking visit www.healthandfitnesstravel.com or call 0203 397 8891

About Paul Joseph:

Wellness Travel Specialist and Entrepreneur, Paul Joseph, is the co-founder of Health and Fitness Travel, a global leader in wellness holidays worldwide. Always ahead of the curve in pioneering new health programmes that revive the soul, boost fitness or address serious health issues, the worldwide wellness tourism industry has now become a multi-billion sector, growing faster than travel in general. Paul has a wealth of PR, Marketing, Sales and Management experience in the health and tourism industry, consulting leading hotels on their wellness strategy and contributing regularly to broadcast and media interviews.


About Health and Fitness Travel:

Health and Fitness Travel is a global luxury wellness travel company that originated in the UK in 2010 and is committed to providing healthy holidays that enhance and change lives. Created by Paul Joseph and Adam Heathcote as a result of their passion for health and fitness travel and offering bespoke holidays to improve people’s well-being to lead happier and healthier lives.

Health and Fitness Travel offers clients a tailor-made seamless service with the very best health and fitness holidays, handpicked by its expert team, together with exclusive and added value packages with the best deals. As leading specialists, Health and Fitness Travel has also created their own collection of trademark healthy holidays in various destinations which include Fusion Fitness™ BodyBreaks™ and Discover Recover™, offering clients the best value and holiday experience.


For more information visit: www.healthandfitnesstravel.com


How to stay fit and healthy while travelling for business

How to stay fit and healthy while travelling for business

by Guest Contributor

27 September, 2017

By Paul Joseph, Director and co-founder
Health and Fitness Travel
healthandfitnesstravel.com

It’s relatively easy to maintain your fitness whilst you’re in the comfort of your own surroundings, with the local gym just down the road and a schedule of weekly fitness classes. Yet, when travelling for business, the disruption of your daily routine can leave many neglecting their health and fitness whilst away.

With studies revealing the benefits of exercise for increased concentration and productivity, together with reduced stress levels and insomnia, maintaining your fitness can offer great perks when on a business trip or corporate wellness retreat. Here, Health and Fitness Travel, the wellness holiday specialists, share some helpful hints on how you can stay fit and healthy on a wellness holiday, so that you can perform at your peak whilst travelling for business.

Pack your active wear

It may seem obvious, but this is rule number one, so that you don’t use the fact that you don’t have your trainers or swimsuit as an excuse not to exercise.

Get your body and brain active

Make the most of high-tech gym facilities and on-hand personal trainers on our wellness retreats. Exercise will not only improve your fitness but it’ll also increase your energy levels and reduce stress, meaning that you’ll be able to concentrate more and perform better in meetings.

Swim for success

Swimming is full of health benefits and is a holiday staple when in a hot country, so make the most of this activity and fit in a few swift lengths in the pool or ocean before breakfast. Get your heart pumping and benefit from the relaxing effects of being in the water.

Add variety with fitness classes

Try something new to keep your body and your mind alert, with a wide range of complimentary fitness classes available. Experience everything from spinning and kickboxing to yoga and Tai Chi on one of our fitness holidays, for a physical and mental health boost.

Explore on a run or a walk

When free from business meetings, the easiest way to explore the surroundings and maintain your fitness, is to go for a jog or a walk around the area. Ask the concierge for the most picturesque route and discover the beautiful scenery whilst upping your heart rate.

Try an outdoor activity

If you have a free evening or afternoon, why not try out an outdoor activity to improve your fitness and unwind from stress. Play a game of tennis with work colleagues on an activity holiday or go for a bike ride, which will also benefit your mind with fresh air and give you time to think.

Eat healthily

Where better to embrace healthy eating than at a wellness retreat, where trained chefs can whip up both delicious and nutritious culinary delights. By fuelling your body and mind with the right nutrition, you’ll be able to perform to your best in important meetings.

Make day-to-day changes

These range from using the stairs rather than the elevator, to swapping a business meeting at the bar for a business meeting over a game of golf or tennis.


→ For advice, guidance and booking visit www.healthandfitnesstravel.com or call 0203 397 8891

About Paul Joseph:

Wellness Travel Specialist and Entrepreneur, Paul Joseph, is the co-founder of Health and Fitness Travel, a global leader in wellness holidays worldwide. Always ahead of the curve in pioneering new health programmes that revive the soul, boost fitness or address serious health issues, the worldwide wellness tourism industry has now become a multi-billion sector, growing faster than travel in general. Paul has a wealth of PR, Marketing, Sales and Management experience in the health and tourism industry, consulting leading hotels on their wellness strategy and contributing regularly to broadcast and media interviews.


About Health and Fitness Travel:

Health and Fitness Travel is a global luxury wellness travel company that originated in the UK in 2010 and is committed to providing healthy holidays that enhance and change lives. Created by Paul Joseph and Adam Heathcote as a result of their passion for health and fitness travel and offering bespoke holidays to improve people’s well-being to lead happier and healthier lives.

Health and Fitness Travel offers clients a tailor-made seamless service with the very best health and fitness holidays, handpicked by its expert team, together with exclusive and added value packages with the best deals. As leading specialists, Health and Fitness Travel has also created their own collection of trademark healthy holidays in various destinations which include Fusion Fitness™ BodyBreaks™ and Discover Recover™, offering clients the best value and holiday experience.


For more information visit: www.healthandfitnesstravel.com


Fruit at work boosts productivity, energy and wellbeing

Fruit at work boosts productivity, energy and wellbeing

by Cathy Hayward

8 August, 2017

Research reveals that fruit at work boosts productivity, energy and wellbeing

Providing fresh fruit at people’s desks increases employee’s productivity by more than 10 per cent, substantially boosts their energy levels and encourages them to adopt a healthier lifestyle. That‘s the conclusion of empirical research conducted by the UK’s original workplace fruit supplier, Fruitful Office.

Increase in productivity

Improved quality of life

Over three-quarters of the 320 people who took part in the research said the provision of free fruit made them feel more valued and more than 80 per cent thought having fresh fruit available at their desk had improved their quality of life at work.

Changed eating habits

Eating more fruit 70%
Eating fewer unhealthy snacks 45%
Choosing healthy options 13%

It also changed their eating habits. Seventy per cent said they were eating more fruit; 45 per cent were eating fewer “unhealthy” snacks and 13 per cent were choosing healthier options at lunch.

Almost 80 per cent of those that are the free fruit said they felt more healthy, with just under half reporting higher energy levels and just over a third claiming the fruit made them feel more alert.

Watch a video of the research in action

https://youtu.be/r8crJIFVTyw

The research

Fruitful Office teamed up with the Ethical Property Company to conduct a workplace trial in order to measure the impact fresh fruit has on the lives of office workers. Ethical Property owns 15 centres across the UK (a total of 161,000 sq ft) providing office, event and retail space to charities, social enterprises, voluntary and campaign groups. The trial took place at their largest centre, Development House, in the City of London, between 18 June and 17 July 2013.

The building provides office space over seven floors for more than 20 organisations with a particular focus on international development issues. In total some 320 people work in the building. Fruitful Office delivered 216 baskets during the trial, containing seven varieties of fruit, with the 1,584 bananas being the fruit of choice. The baskets were placed on desks, filing cabinets and window ledges to ensure they were always within easy reach.

The building’s residents were asked to complete a pre-trial and post-trial survey to monitor the change in attitude, perception and outlook on both their productivity and their working environment, together with questions about their eating habits. “We thought this would be a great idea. Tenants in our building can be incredibly busy and may not be able to take time to ensure they purchase a healthy lunch and snacks. Having fruit on site, and within easy reach, will really help with this,” says office manager, Edith Allan.

“Our staff and tenants thought it was a nice and healthy gesture on behalf of Ethical Property. It added to their understanding of our triple bottom line approach to business – we care about the social and environmental impact of our buildings as well as their financial performance. Having a healthy workplace is part of this,” added Janine Woodward, the organisation’s sales and development manager.

Comments from participants:

“I think that the benefits make it a fantastically worthwhile investment and it helps make a very stressful job more managable – thank you!”

“It was a great idea. I felt valued and flattered by having fresh fruits at my desk. what a treat. I am 24 weeks pregnant and felt it was just right office snack for me and the baby. Thank you!”

“Excellent idea, people at the office drink so much coffee and tea, it is great to include healthy fruits in the mix. Thanks!”

Commenting on the results, Fruitful Office director Vasco de Castro said: “It’s been great to work with Ethical Property on the workplace trial. The results shows that in today’s hectic working environment, when people don’t always manage to eat healthily, the availability of fresh fruit at the desk is really appreciated and can make a real difference to feelings of wellbeing and productivity.”