MAY Newsletter
Hey, hey, hey, it's May. A new month which feels nice because April was a collection of some of the most surreal weeks that we'll live through, and although we're still in the thick of it, we're adapting and coming to terms with our new normal and will never take a peruse around the aisles of a supermarket/chickpeas/loo roll/leaving the house for granted ever again. NO SIR. Sending love and well wishes to all of you as always, especially key workers and those raising children or looking after the vulnerable - you're awesome. Need some distracting? Well, let me be of service...


Lesson #30

At-Home Workouts & How To Find a Routine That You Actually Want To Do

We all have our strengths and struggles during this weird ol' time. My ability to wake up at 6:30am? Gone. Motivation to plough through my to-do list? Erm, it's lacking. Willingness to go from zero to a 100 on the temper tantrum scale though? Off the charts (Mark and I managed to get to Week 5 of lockdown before we had a blazing row about a label maker, of all things). One other thing that I have been pretty consistent with that is more conducive to my overall welling, are at-home workouts. I manage to fit them in most days of the week and most importantly, look forward to them, and credit them as being a huge part of what's keeping my mental health in check. Fancy an an endorphin hit? Here are my top tips for finding a routine of workouts that you'll actually want to do... 

Comb through the exercise archives. Is there a workout that you've done before that you didn't completely hate? Something that you'd be willing to give another go and not snooze your alarm for the 15th time for? It might be that your choice of sweat-inducing activity is not possible to do from home, so look for alternatives. Did you love spinning? Perhaps a HIIT workout might give you the same buzz? Enjoyed Reformer Pilates? Give a Barre workout a go from your bedroom. Liked doing something slow and stretchy? Yin Yoga might be the answer. 

Self-starter or not? It's the question that you have to ask yourself. Are you motivated enough to set yourself a time to do a workout video or agenda of any kind and then actually do it? Because I know that I am not. NO WAY. 5pm will become 6pm, 6pm will become dinnertime and before you know it I'm eating Mint Dimes (YES - WINNING), and watching Unorthodox in bed. If you're in the same boat then I've found two solutions. One - I join in on IG Lives like the ones on the Psycle, Blok, Third Space, 1 Rebel  and 3 Tribes - I love the Barre classes on Psycle with Maria and Rod the most. All are free and each studios posts their daily IG Live schedule at the beginning of the week or each day, and you can follow along with each workout, most of which require little to no equipment and cover a range of activities from Pilates to Barre, and HIIT to Yin. The second thing you can try are Zoom workouts with your friends. Lots of instructors are offering their services online, so you and your mates can all pitch in cost-wise and then do the workout together on a video conference - a good way of keeping touch and getting sweaty at the same time. I've been doing weekly yoga classes with Amy, with Lily and her family and it's been great fun. 

Make do with what you have. The 'I don't have the equipment' excuse just doesn't cut it when you're working out at home as there is always an alternative... 
- Don't have a yoga mat? Use a towel or a carpeted surface instead. 
- Don't have dumbbells? Use tin cans, wine bottles, larger toiletry bottles, water bottles filled up (you can add more water as you get stronger).  
- Don't have sliders? Just wear socks if you're working out on a slippery surface, or use pieces of cardboard, lids to Tupperware boxes if you're on a carpeted surface. 
- Don't have a yoga block? Use a large book, or a pillow where appropriate. 
- Don't have resistance bands? Make a loop out of the tie for your dressing gown, or use a towel if you're working your arms. 
- Don't have a bench? Use a chair for tricep work or your stairs for step-ups. 

It DOESN'T have to be intense. Just because you see people online posting sweat-dripping selfies, your workout doesn't have to be intense if you don't want it to, or you don't feel like it. Sometimes I have something planned and I am just not in the mood and THAT'S COOL. Then I skip it, tomorrow's another day and all that. LISTEN. TO. YOUR. BODY. For me, that's the hardest lesson to learn and one I'm still grappling with, but a Barre class just might not be what my body needs if I have a headache, or I'm gassy/miserable/grumpy. Sometimes it is, and sometimes I just need to eat a slice of cake in bed. 

(Please notice the lack of morning workouts because I am currently leaning in to the Night Owl side of things. It's a strange time). 

MONDAY - Early evening - a Rod or Maria Barre class from the Psycle IGTV, followed by a short walk. 

TUESDAY - Lunchtime - a yoga class on Zoom with Lily and he family, followed by a short walk after work. 

WEDNESDAY - Early evening - Rod does a 'DIRTY DOUBLE' on the Psycle IG Live on Wednesday nights and they are brilliant. 

THURSDAY - Morning - Maria does a 7:30am Barre IG Live class so I either set up the front room the night before so I don't miss it, or I go for a longer walk instead.

FRIDAY - Lunchtime - Rod does a 12:30pm Barre class on IG Live, so I'll either do that, or just opt for a longer walk instead. 

SATURDAY - Morning - Maria does an IG Live double dose of Barre in the mornings and it's brilliant. I try to make sure I don't miss this one. 

SUNDAY - Morning - Rod does an IG Live Barre class at 11am usually and I love my Sunday mornings reading in bed and then getting in some Barre.


A Point In The Right Direction

The current circumstances have led to a mash-up of two of my biggest interests; Bon Appétit and at-home video making, so COLOUR ME FASCINATED. 
I love Lindsey's outfit round-ups. Beautifully curated and laid-out, it's where I head to for some 'YOU CAN DO IT GIRL!' inspiration when I feel like wearing leggings for the fifth day in a row. 
'The Edit' Facebook Group  My online reading has been a little sparse this month as I've been trying to do the majority of my word consumption off-line, so I thought I'd pop in a little self-promo plug for my Facebook group which is just the nicest corner of the internet. If you need a question answered or are looking for something to read/do/scroll/watch/listen to - come join!

In case you missed it

The Ultimate Kitchen Kit List A definitive list of everything you need in your kitchen *AND* a print-out PDF incase you need a shopping list.
'90's & 00's Quiz A music, TV, entertainment and toy quiz that will be right up your street if you're a thirty-something.
My Favourite Books Need some book recommendations? Here's a list of my favourite books for every mood (and how I'm reading more than ever).
At-Home Lunch & Dinners The best recipes for lunch, dinner and dessert that will make ALL THE DARN TIME here in Chez Newton.


ARKET Oversized Linen Shirt* A perfect spring/summer piece for WFH in.
ARKET Seamless Yoga Bra* Very tempted to pick up one in every colour.
Topshop Considered Jeans*A nice option if you fancy denim with some stretch.
Colourful Standard Sweatshirt* I'm all for a jumper and leggings combo right now.
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