Sarah Cooper spills the tea on health, fitness, nutrition + mindfulness in lockdown
SARAH COOPER (website, instagram + youtube links below)
Hello beautiful people and welcome back to our STT blog...i've missed this!!
Last time I posted on here we were in the midst of COVID lockdown 2020...lol here we are again!! Although lockdown is quite frankly trash, I hope this blog brings a little bit of sunshine and some useful health, mindset and wellbeing tips for you to implement to your at home life.
What a perfect way to bring back this journal space chatting all the things we love the most alongside queen of pilates, food and health... SARAH COOPER!!!
Sarah is a Sydney based pilates instructor who you may have seen on PE Nation instagram IGTV, Style Runner IGTV and instructing classes at Lean Bean Fitness + Body Love pilates. Sarah is also MY ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE instagram foodie (everything yum + healthy) and nutrition student who was kind enough to answer some of mine (and your) BIG QUESTIONS under topics such as body image, mental health, nutrition, immunity, workouts, active wear (important stuff).
ENJOY THIS READ + LEARN LOTS!!
sending my love to everyone xx
-TIPS FOR GAINING A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP W FOOD + FITNESS?
Ah I think this is really up to every individual and everyone has their own experience. We also respond to things differently so I think the best thing you can do is work on tuning into your own thoughts and feelings and be able to recognise thought patterns and behaviours in yourself and notice any feelings that may come up. I think being a young girl in the digital age is so hard but you can also make choices such as unfollowing accounts that don’t make you feel good about yourself, practising gratitude and celebrating your unique body for what it can do each day. Only compare yourself to you- just because someone else’s diet and workouts work for them doesn’t mean it is right for you . Do what makes YOU feel good, happy, healthy and energised.
-GO TO HEALTHY RECIPE
Ooooh, usually my best is just throwing together a whole lot of good things like a rainbow bowl ! For example yesterday I roasted up some salmon, pumpkin, zucchini, fennel, carrot and capsicum then threw it in a bowl with avo, tahini and apple cider vinegar! So easy and delicious.
It can be so hard but I think it is coming back to the small things and what you can be grateful for instead of focusing on what you’ve lost. I also think we are so lucky here compared to so many other parts of the world where they are struggling a lot more than us.
-HAPPINESS @ HOME
To keep me sane I make sure to get movement in, get outside usually taking my dog to the park, journaling, going for ocean swims, setting aside time off from work to relax and focusing on the things I enjoy!
-HOW DOES FITNESS + NUTRITION IMPACT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
This is a hugeeee question and could write an essay on it! There are so many amazing impacts of both exercise and food on the body and mind. Exercise has been proven to boost mood, immunity, cardiovascular health, bone density and concentration and if you are getting outside it is also great for vitamin D levels in winter which are essential for mood.
Exercise can be a great way to relieve anxiety and stress, improve your mental clarity and also release endorphins and get a mood boost! As for food, there are so many amazing benefits, one of the main ones is eating wholefoods minimises inflammation in the body which is the root cause of all disease, including mental. Eating a range of amazing foods feeds our gut bugs which link to our brain through our gut – brain axis and enteric nervous system. The amazing gut brain connection means that by feeding a healthy gut with prebiotics, probiotics, omega fatty acids, amino acids, fibre etc our gut can help to synthesise important neurotransmitters for our brain by absorbing all that goodness out of our food to balance our stress response and release of things like serotonin and GABA (which assist in reducing things like stress and anxiety.)
-IMPORTANCE OF MOVEMENT WHILST STUDYING/SCHOOL
Again, exercise and movement is essential for clear mind ! It is so important to take breaks between studying as it is not realistic to sit at a desk all day- it makes us tired and living a sedentary lifestyle can also increase your risk of disease. Getting movement in will make you feel energised, more focused and switched on, boosts your mood and helps to modulate inflammation which can lead to extra brain fog and tiredness when trying to study. I also found it a great way to break up my chunks so I could use exercise as a break between subjects or tasks. It also helps you sleep better which in turn helps concentration and productivity as well !
-FAV BRAND OF ACTIVE WEAR
Oooh so hard to choose ! My favourites for tights would be lilybod and alo yoga. I also love PE nation they have the best puffers for winter !
-WINTER IMMUNITY TIPS
My best tips would be starting with all the basics so my top 3 are diet and ensuring you are getting a variety of wholefoods and limiting sugars, refined and processed foods. My next would be managing stress and sleep so whether that is meditating each morning, deep breathing before bed, going to counselling whatever works for you. My next one is sort of 2 in1 but exercising outside each day, even just a walk around the block. Both sunshine and exercise is essential for regulating your immune system.
-GO TO AT HOME WORKOUT
Depends on the day ! Lately I have been doing a huge mix. I am loving my HIIT pilates classes at the moment because I get a balance of that high intense sweat but also slow controlled mat work as well.
-WORKOUT PLAYLIST INSPO?!?!?!?
I go through two mindsets ! Sometimes I like house party remixes and other times I love old school sing your heart out songs !