Exercise for Happiness

Exercise. It means something different to everyone. It evokes a different emotion within everyone. For some, it’s lovely. Others, dreadful. Believe it or not, exercise doesn’t have to be something painful and exhausting. I’ve finally got to a point where exercising feels good. It helps me to calm down and de-stress, and it makes my body feel awake. I’ve found that taking on exercise in a positive way has helped tremendously in improving my attitude towards it. Here are some things that have helped me and may help you too…

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01 / Its not punishment

Don’t use exercise as a way to punish yourself. By doing that, you’ll create negative attachments to the process. Instead, see it as an opportunity to improve yourself and your health.

02 / Don’t go too fast

Take it easy. You need to be realistic in order to avoid injury and burnout. Slowly ease yourself into it so that your mind and body can adapt. Its about creating a sustainable, healthy routine.

03 / Do What You Enjoy

I personally have a few exercises that I can’t stand. I don’t enjoy them at all, and I dread seeing them pop up in a circuit. Sure, sometimes they just need to be done, but other times I replace them with a similar one I do enjoy. If you’re not enjoying the exercise you’re engaging in, try something new. It’s easier to stay motivated if you’re having fun.

04 / Rest 

You need to rest your body and give your muscles time to recover. Don’t do too much, too quickly – don’t overdo it.

05 / Be realistic

You need to be realistic with your fitness goals. If you have a busy schedule, and you come home late at night a few days a week, don’t plan workouts on those days. It shouldn’t feel like a chore. Again, its about sustainability. Trying to do too much too fast will just leave you feeling unmotivated.

These are a few things that I try to keep in the back of my mind all the time. Exercise has become something I love, and I find it therapeutic. I hope that you find a form of exercise that makes you feel good!

Nabeela x

{Disclaimer: These are all tips that I have picked up, based on my own personal experience and journey into wellness.} 

Wellness Musings

I’ve been contemplating whether I should start writing about my ongoing wellness journey for a little while now, and I’ve decided for it – hence this post.

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I took a conscious decision to take charge of my fitness about a year ago. At the beginning of 2016, I was really ill, and it left me at the most unfit I’d been in years. I was frustrated with my body. It felt as if it didn’t belong to me. I felt weak, and very incapable.

After that, I wanted to regain my fitness, and most importantly, sustain it. I didn’t really know what I was capable of, and the thought of committing to an intensive workout plan intimidated me. However, I wanted to strengthen my body and push myself to see what I was able to do. My closest friend was doing BBG at the time and swears by it (I do too now). I started off with BBG, because its only three times and week, and I liked the fact that its structured so I didn’t have to decided what exercises to do. It told me what to do and how to do it. It was incredible. It made me so strong and I felt good. I got through most of the 12-week circuit, and then life happened, school took over and I slipped out of my rhythm again.

Over the past few months, I’ve been itching to get active and regain my wellness. I’ve been doing BBG and similar workouts – I don’t force myself. I do whatever I feel like doing. I once saw a quote – “If you fall in love with the process, the results will come.” I cannot reiterate how true that has been for me. I love exercising. It makes me feel strong, happy and energized. Its the perfect me-time carved out of my day dedicated to bettering myself. Its powerful!  Without trying to sound grandiose, this journey has changed my life. I feel stronger than ever before and its a liberating feeling knowing that your body is capable of more than it was a year ago.

I’m far from where I want to be. But as they say, wellness is a journey, not a destination. And there’s a lot more than just exercising – its about eating well too (the part I struggle with – I have quite the sweet tooth), and taking good care of your mental health – I value self-care immensely – it is so important! For me , its all about balance and overall wellness. I’m not looking for a hectic crash diet or an impossibly difficult daily circuit. I’m aiming to have a healthier lifestyle that is sustainable and that I can grow up with.

I hope that you’ll join me on a journey of improved wellness. It will make you feel good about yourself, and investing time in your health is one of the greatest ones you can make. Start small, and don’t forget – “be gentle with yourself – you’re doing the best you can.”

Nabeela x

Sunday Sipping / Crème de Levain

On Sunday, we were treated to a taste of Spring here in Cape Town, with the sun making an appearance and the iciness in the air taking a day off. My family decided to take advantage of this, and I found myself in the lovely little town of Stellenbosch. A Sunday isn’t a Sunday without a visit to a cute café for a little treat, so we visited the charming Crème de Levain, a lovely little café, bakery and creamery. The interior is simply gorgeous, and their waffles are incredible. If you’re in the Stellies area and need a place to refuel, make sure to check this little place out…

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Blueberry waffle – yum!

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Nabeela x

Krakow / Kraków

I never thought I’d end up in Poland. Am I glad I did? You bet. The city of Kraków stole my heart. What a charming, unassuming place. Its not a place that is really hyped up about in magazines and on travel blogs – I’d consider it underrated in the least. It has a vibe like no other, holds so much historical importance and the architecture is so very beautiful. We did a walking tour of Kraków, explored in the little tourist shops and all in all had a ball. Its safe to saw that Kraków was one of my favourite places that we visited (although I did love them all)!

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One of the most picturesque streets in Krakow
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Wawel Cathedral

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Nabeela x

Prague / Praha

Prague is such a beautiful place with the loveliest buildings. It is home to the largest castle complex in all of Europe, Prague Castle. Some of the prettiest views can be seen from there! Although my time in Prague was brief, it was oh so lovely. What a charming place.

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Nabeela x

 

 

 

Sunday Sipping / The Silo

I recently popped into the beautiful new hotel and the V&A Waterfront, The Silo, for Sunday tea with family.  The juxtaposition of the  fresh, modern art and luxurious interiors within the old grain elevator walls make for an incredible space. Naturally, I fell in love. We went to the Willaston Bar, a lovely space with amazing views, good coffee and delicious cakes. If you’re looking for a cool new spot to do coffee dates, this is your place!

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Nabeela x

{The first photo was taken by Iman Cassiem. The rest were taken by me.}

 

 

Salzburg

Ah, Salzburg. I’ve watched the Sound of Music a few times too many when I was little (every week for a few months), so you can imagine my excitement to be in the very place it was made! The beautiful gardens with rolling lawns was a treat to visit (especially since a scene from The Sound of Music was shot there). As I’ve played the piano for most of my life, I thoroughly enjoyed the Mozart Geburtshaus, (Mozart’s birth house) which is now a wonderful museum. We only spent a few hours in Salzburg, but I enjoyed every second!

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Mozart Geburtshaus

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Nabeela x

 

Munich / München

Munich is incredible. Its such a beautiful city with the loveliest buildings. We explored by bike, as one does in Germany. Its incredible how many cyclists there are! As a lover of riding my bike, I had such a blast! Anyhow, here are my snaps! (I don’t have too many snaps as my phone wasn’t on me for most of the tour. Again, I tried to absorb things through my eyes and not only my lens).

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Marienplatz

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The Home of FC Bayern Munich

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Venice / Venezia

I’ve always dreamed of going to Venice. I’ve seen people riding gondolas in the canals in movies and photos, and never thought I’d be lucky enough to visit this beautiful place.

Venice is made up of 120 small islands, and there are around 400 bridges going over the canals! The buildings are exceptionally beautiful, and the little restaurants and cafes on the water have such a lovely charm. Venice is just as beautiful as the photos. Its one of those places where you have to control yourself or else you’ll just take photos of everything.

A water taxi or gondola is a must. You can’t go to Venice and not go on the water! We also explored quite a bit on foot, then crossed the Rialto Bridge and explored the other side. Its such a beautiful place. It definitely stole a chunk of my heart too! I dream of going back some day.

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A typical Venetian water taxi

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Rialto Bridge

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A stunning art installation

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Campanile di San Marco

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Doge’s Palace

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Nabeela x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Florence / Firenze

Florence has a sort of slow, laid-back atmosphere, that contrasts the business that is Rome. Florence is simply lovely. We only spent one day there, so I don’t have too many photos, but this lovely place left its mark on my heart. The little market square selling every delightful leather product you could think of and the warming atmosphere are incredible. The streets have such a calm, quiet feel in the evenings and its the kind of place that you can’t help but fall in love with…

The Duomo in Florence blew me away. The intricacy of the marble detailing is just mind-boggling, and as a person who dapples in the arts, I felt a deep appreciation of the craftsmanship and time that was required to create something quite so exquisite. None of the detail on the facade is painted – it is all inset in marble.

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The Florence Catherdral (Duomo di Firenze)

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The remarkable Statue of David, at the Galleria dell’Accademia

Throughout my trip, I tried to not let taking photos dictate my every move. I took quick snaps of things I saw that inspired me, but I wanted to see and embed my travels into my memory, rather than my memory card…

Nabeela x

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