Good Health over Winter

 In Jenny's Blog

Simple ideas to stay well

Set SMART intentions this Winter

Join me for an Awareness Through Movement ® (ATM) class

As the temperature becomes cooler and it feels like Winter is here it might be timely to talk a little bit about health.

What can we do to fare better in this perhaps not so fair weather?

Moshe Feldenkrais proposed the idea that health be measured by the shock a person can take without his way of life being compromised. In an article from 1979 he discussed that the usual way of life becomes the criterion for health. Sleep, food, breathing, changes of weather, cold, heat, work, should all be capable of large variations-sudden shocks. The healthier the person, the more easily will he regain the conduct of his life after considerable shocks by changes in all necessities for life. (1) He discussed health in terms of our maturity, not only as the absence of disease. This idea relates to our resiliency and our ability to recover from illness and injury. He also believed that a healthy person was one who is able to realize their ‘avowed dreams’ (their plans and visions for the future) and their ‘unavowed dreams’ (the things we don’t dare to dream, dreams we have given up and our potential).(2) A healthy person is able to recover physically and emotionally, and continue to live according to their aims in life.

Simple ideas to consider for this winter:

  • Attend an Awareness Through Movement Class
  • Eat a healthy and well-balanced diet
  • Sleep well and follow sleep hygiene guidelines
  • Wash hands often and thoroughly
  • Rest if you are sick and seriously consider not going to work for your own sake and the sake of others (i.e. better not to share your germs 😊)
  • Plan your physical activity for the week in advance

Often shorter days and occasional inclement weather means that we are not able to maintain our usual physical activities. When this happens, it is often accompanied by a lull in motivation. It is easy to forgo physical activity time for the couch with uggs and rugs, especially if it is dark when you leave work after a long day.

In an ATM class you will hear the Teacher guiding you not to be goal oriented. This is because you will miss the learning moments and the really valuable time to improve coordination. Having said that it might sound counter-intuitive for me to mention goals now but…..



Using the idea of setting SMART goals might be useful for you to stay healthy and active through Winter.

S: Be specific about what physical activity you are going to do, including what, where, when, with who, e.g. Mon early morning jog along the coast path, Tues swim after work with swim group, Thurs Gym session set program from PT after work, Sat morning Touch Rugby.

M: Measurable: Set yourself a measurable target e.g. 3 walks per week of 30 mins each (M, W, F) and 2×30 min sessions of resistance training (Tues, Sat)

A: Achievable: Be realistic e.g. walking on 3 days per week for 30 mins, if you feel very confident that you can achieve this. Consider a confidence target between 1 to 10 with a rating of 7 or higher meaning you are likely to achieve your goal. If you set a goal that you are confident of achieving then the likely success will motivate you to continue. It wouldn’t be a good idea for me to decide to run 12kms every other day, because I have never run that far!

R:Relevant: Choose an activity that you are likely to look forward to performing, that is, you all ready know that you love it or that it won’t require lots of motivating to get you there, and that you will stick with it (at least for the winter.)

T: Timely: is it something that you can do now? If it is raining all day perhaps there is a Gym class e.g. Step, Body Balance, Circuit class, Dance class, etc. Leave a spare pair of trainers out that you won’t mind if they get drenched. Then you can go out exercising on rainy days knowing there is a spare pair of dry shoes to use on other days.

Another helpful idea is to take your “exercise gear” to work so that you can walk in your lunch break with colleagues, walk home or go straight to the Park/Gym/Class on your way home.

The final warming hint is that Winter is a good time to try a class with me since we are indoors in a warm and cosy venue. Come join me for a class and this special Winter offer. Book in 3 classes for the price of 1 i.e. $25 only.



(1) On Health by Moshé Feldenkrais 1979

(2) Cliff Smyth 2010

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