I have just spent an awesome week in Newquay, South West England. This is one of my favourite places in the world to visit and I make sure I go as often as i can.
I spent my week surfing, walking, swimming, jumping off rocks into the ocean and generally relaxing as much as I could.
In this post I want to share with you four things that I did and experienced whilst I was there that I really think you can benefit from in your daily life, they will certainly be more of a prominent feature for me.
Here are 4 amazing health and fitness techniques i tried and loved in Newquay, Cornwall:
Turn Off Your Gadgets for a While
Before I went to Newquay I decided that I was gonna spend the week totally gadget free (electronic gadgets that is) to get in some quality time with friends and family.
I spend every day with a mobile phone in my pocket ready to answer calls, respond to text messages and emails or browse and contribute to my social networks. I also usually have a laptop right in front of me writing, researching or browsing the internet (kinda like I’m doing now actually) – does all of this sound familiar?
Being wrapped up in all of this ‘gadget faffing’ prevents us from relaxing fully because our minds are constantly occupied with mostly useless information.
I realised just how much I used my phone for pointless internet and social media browsing when it wasn’t kept in my pocket during my week in Newquay. I often found myself reaching to get it out to look at and experiencing a weird feeling when it wasn’t there (like I had lost something).
I soon realised how ridiculous it was and a couple of days into my holiday it felt good not worrying or thinking about my gadgets and the modern habits we have all acquired, and I began to relax a lot more.
I will definitely be making time in my week to spend a day without them, weekends will work best – even if it can only be one day like a Sunday I know it will be of benefit to me.
Perhaps you could try the same as what I did when you go away or even make time in your week to become gadget free and allow yourself the opportunity to fully relax your mind.
Blackout the Bedroom or Sleeping Area
Our bodies are physiologically designed to flourish in specific environments and this has not changed since the days of our prehistoric ancestors.
A great idea for us today is to imagine or try to replicate that we are sleeping in the darkness of a cave, the most suitably chosen place of sleep back in those times, which was of course pitch black.
I stayed in a cottage in the middle of nowhere, it was pretty cool considering. The best thing about it was the night time, it was completely pitch black. There were no street lights or any false light for that matter, just the light from the moon that I easily blacked out with my curtains.
So why can we benefit from sleeping in total darkness?
It’s all to do with Melatonin.
Melatonin is a hormone that helps us to regulate sleep. The amount we produce is determined by how dark or light it is. Darkness increases melatonin and light inhibits it.
We all want a good night’s sleep, right? I know most of us need it that’s for sure with kids and work and all that stuff.
Try to sleep in total darkness to boost your secretion of night time Melatonin. The best way to ensure the greatest results is to ensure it is dark enough that you cannot see your hand directly in front of your face. Invest in some black out curtains to totally block any light finding it’s way into your bedroom.
Another useful idea is to turn the lights down in your home a few hours before going to bed. This will imitate the natural effects of dusk and allows your body to wind down and prepare for night time – just like our ancestors and just like our bodies still crave.
Try a Little Barefoot Walking
I spent most of my time completely barefoot during my time in Newquay – walking on grass, sand and skipping over rocks.
There is just something about Cornwall that makes you want to walk around barefoot, it’s a place where you don’t look out of place doing it as it is more socially acceptable – but who cares what anyone else thinks? They don’t understand the benefits as to why you are doing it…
Let’s consider walking barefoot as getting some much needed ‘Vitamin G’ (vitamin ground).
A major benefit of walking barefoot includes the strengthening of the muscles in your feet.
Walking without shoes encourages your feet muscles to become active and engaged. Strengthening these muscles makes you less prone to strain, pain and injury.
Walking barefoot also allows you to clear your mind as it forces you to think about every step you take, ensuring you avoid any danger the ground may pose to your feet. This allows you to forget about everything and focus on the present time. It’s a great rest for the mind, something we very rarely allow ourselves to have these days.
Walking barefoot on grass has been suggested to relieve stress and depression – it certainly chills me out and I find it very relaxing.
It also feels kinda cool, a bit like a ninja!
Seriously, try it.