Committed to the Tauranga community, Bay Venues is supporting the transition to a “new normal” by looking at a range of well being topics over the next six weeks with well-being expert Rachel Matheson.
Week 1: Staying connected in the new "normal"
Week 2: Healthy relationships & positive interactions
Week 3: Finding fitness that works for you
Week 4: Importance of quality family time
Week 5: Be kind – especially to yourself
Week 6: Mindful eating and good nutrition
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Often it is only when we can’t do something, or we go without something that we truly understand its value. COVID 19 lockdown taught us this. We often undervalue our relationships with friends, the time we spend with them, and how good we feel when we do carve out time in our busy schedule to connect with people who matter to us.
Research shows that people who have more social interaction and support tend to have better mental health, cardiovascular health, immunological functioning, and cognitive performance leading to greater life satisfaction and longevity.
One of the explanations is that social relationships help calm our stress response. Chronically high levels of the stress hormone ‘cortisol’ wreak havoc with our physical and emotional health, experiencing safe and supportive relationships has the opposite effect.
Life is short, and now that the country is in Level 1, make the most of it by surrounding yourself with people who make you feel good. We need to consciously identify who these people are and make time to connect with them. At the same time, you can consciously step away from those people who might pull you down, make you feel bad about yourself or encourage you to undertake activities that don’t support your psychical and emotional needs.
It is important to recognise and embrace relationships that are healthy and positive. Emotions are contagious. The term for it is emotional contagion; where one person’s emotions or behaviours are mimicked by another person, either consciously or subconsciously.
According to a US based research report, upbeat emotions such as enthusiasm and joy, as well as negative ones such as sadness, fear and anger are easily passed from one person to another, often without either party realising it.
Being mindful and aware of our emotions in the present moment, enables us to see emotional contagion occurring. Here are some questions you could ask yourself:
Find the people who share your values, who you can have a laugh with, who fill your bucket and who have the same interests as you. The emotional high and sense of connection we get from being in the physical presence of others and sharing positive experiences together is inspiring and nourishing.
Social sports leagues and club sports are a great way to stay connected while at the same time keeping active and having fun. Set the everyday pressures and expectations aside – join up with your friends, family, colleagues or join as an individual and let BayActive put the team around you.
BayActive offers a board range of social fitness options from the every-popular football and netball leagues to the more unconventional sports such as turbo touch, dodge ball, and volleyball. To see what leagues are available to join in June visit www.bayactive.co.nz.
Shane Gillum, Programme Manager, BayActive
Queen Elizabeth Youth Centre
Table Tennis | Badminton | Wheelchair Rugby, Basketball & Boccia | Roller Derby
Arataki Community Centre
Tauranga Judo Club
Papamoa Sport & Rec Centre
Bay Karate | Kiaido Ryu Martial Arts | Papamoa Taekwondo | Indoor Bowls
Indoor Bowls | Rollerskating | Tai Chi | Salsa | Table Tennis | Taekwondo | Irish Dancing
Arataki Community Centre
Arataki Art Group | Papamoa Patches | Mt Creative Fibre | Simply Creative | Sunday Music Sessions | Astrovision | Spanish Classes
Papamoa Community Centre
Papamoa Art Group | Creative Art Class | Helen O’Grady Drama
Papamoa Sport & Rec Centre
Garry’s Art Class | Inklings Art Class | Papamoa Palms Friendship Club | Papamoa Garden Circle | The Creative Place | Papamoa Country Music Group | Mainly Music
U3A Ukulele Practise | STEPS Performing Arts | Inklings Art Class | School of Historical Arts | Matua Garden Club | Tauranga Bird Club | Old Timers Music Makers
For more information on the activities and clubs taking place across Bay Venues’ look at the “Regular Activities” taking place at each community venue or call 0800 BAY VENUES.
Exercising regularly over an extended period has a profound impact on our mindset, boosting our mood and improving sleep, as well as benefiting our general health, increasing physical fitness and supporting weight management. But whatever your motivation, it is critical that you select the activity that is right for you, so you look forward to exercising and can stick with it!
Whether you are starting out, recommencing exercise, or maybe just seeking something different to try, here are some tips to help you find the fitness that works for you:
1. Choose exercise that gives you joy
We are more likely to succeed in our fitness goals if we choose exercise that we enjoy, whether it’s running, walking, swimming, strength training or a team activity. Ensuring that ‘joy’ is present when
exercising will mean it doesn’t feel like a dreaded chore! It is a widely understood that people who experience joy (in any activity) have lower cholesterol, decreased stress levels, less chance of having a heart attack and live longer.
2. Consider more than one type of exercise
Varying your exercise and working different muscles on different days will help reduce your risk of injury or boredom. Try combining aerobic fitness exercises such as walking, running, cycling and aqua jogging with gym-type sessions for muscle and bone health, and yoga or stretching exercises for flexibility. They say variety is the spice of (a fit) life!
3. Choose exercise options that fit your lifestyle
Set yourself up to succeed. Make it easy for yourself to commit to exercise by utilising what is nearby to your home or work; like a pool, gym, or park. You are much more likely to fit exercise into your busy daily schedule with fewer excuses and hurdles.
4. Utilise everyday opportunities to get active
Incorporate incidental exercise into your day. Walk to the shop, use the stairs, get off the bus early, park further away from your destination or maybe walk around the field when watching Junior’s sports practice.
5. Join a group fitness class or community club activity
Some people prefer to exercise in classes or join sports teams and activities for social or motivational reasons. Clubfit Baywave offer a range of group fitness classes each week – everything from aqua aerobics to yoga to Les Mills Body Pump, depending on where you are at and what appeals. Visit www.clubfit.co.nz to view the timetable and for June join the club for only $1!
Don’t forget to check out your local community centre for less traditional activities. Arataki Community Centre offers Laughter Yoga which benefits both the body and soul!
“Laughter is so incredibly good for you. It gives you a rush of all the ‘feel good’ chemicals like, dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins, which are just waiting to be released”, says Trish Baars who runs the sessions. “Laughing costs nothing and is available to us 24/7 – we just need to learn to make the most of it.”
Other group exercise activities include:
Arataki Community Centre
Line Dancing, Adult Dance Classes, For the Love of Yoga, Yoga Moana, Pilates with Claudia, Zumba
Papamoa Community Centre
Pilates with Wendy, For the Love of Yoga, YMCA Smooth Movers, Jo’s Pilates Class, Papamoa Walkie Talkies
Papamoa Sport & Rec Centre
Yogalates, Get Fit, Bodywise Strength and Training, Zumba with Claire, Zumba Gold, 50’s Forward, For the Love of Yoga, Line Dancing
Dancefit with Ruth, Zumba, No Compromise Fitness, Salsa Classes, Body & Soul, Keep on Your Feet, YMCA Smooth Movers, Line Dancing
Mount Sports Centre
Marching, Pickleball, Walking Basketball, Badminton, Roller Derby, Inline Hockey
For more information on these clubs’ look at the “Regular Activities” taking place at each community venue.
6. Choose an exercise that accommodates health challenges
If you’ve been inactive for some time or have existing health problems or injuries, it is recommended that you see your doctor before starting or recommencing regular exercise. Talk to your doctor about your eligibility for the Sport BOP Green Prescription Programme and join the welcoming team at Clubfit. Their specifically tailored Home Grown Programmes, Mobilise and Full Function, are fantastic if you want to improve your strength for everyday living and are new or returning to exercise.
Prefer the water instead? Aqua aerobics provides a great cardio workout plus the use of water to support the body, reducing the risk of muscle or joint injury. For the full range of class locations and times available visit www.taurangapools.co.nz.
Most importantly, once you’ve found what fitness works for you, don’t push yourself too hard, too
fast. Progression in fitness occurs over weeks and months, not days. Whatever activity you decided
upon, remember to have fun and enjoy the experience!
The highlights for me were the family meals around the table, playing cards after dinner and the chance to exercise together, whether it was a run down the road, working out in the garage “gym” or doing Les Mills on demand in the living room.
But now, we are all realising how quickly everything seems to have returned to how it was before – and how hard it is to hold on to those things we valued and enjoyed through lockdown.
When the family unit is stretched too thin, it is usually evident. Everyone is on edge, frazzled, disconnected, moody, and less charitable. Anxiety levels rise. We become so preoccupied in our lives, chasing our dreams, that we struggle to make time for our family.
A family (however you personally define it) is the most special social unit that one could ask for, hence it is important to spend time together. No matter how busy you are, your family needs you, the same way you need them.
Family time is essential to creating strong bonds, love, connections, and relationships among the family members. Spending quality time with family helps in coping with challenges, instills a feeling of security, embeds family values, fills kids with confidence, provides learning opportunities and much more.
Most parents do not realise that the operative word here is ‘quality’, as opposed to ‘time’. You can spend hours on end with your family, but how you spend this time is what matters. Here are some ideas that will help enhance your family unit, allowing you to hold onto those strong connections forged during lockdown:
If your family enjoys a little friendly competition, BayStation (baystation.co.nz) offers fun, adrenaline packed family activities all in one location – Paintball, Drift Trikes, Laser Tag and Blokart Sailing. There’s something for everyone and lots of laughter to be had!
Another option, that is perfect for a cold and wet weekend, is to book a court at Trustpower Arena to play netball, basketball, volleyball or badminton. The BayActive (bayactive.co.nz) team set up the space for your chosen activity and it’s yours alone for an hour on Sundays. For only $25 this is a great chance to play your favourite sport as a family – or get two families together and challenge each other to a game!
For younger children head to Baywave (baywave.co.nz) and enjoy the wave pool, hydro slide and the Aqua Play Station, which is free with entry. You’ll have hours of family fun and the kids will be tuckered out after all that time in the water. Friday Fun Nights are also very popular family activities that take place at Baywave from 6 - 8pm every Friday during term time.
If you have babies or toddlers, book into a swimming lesson at Baywave or Greerton Aquatics (bayswim.co.nz) for some special one-on-one bonding time. Bookings for term 3 are taking place now so visit the website or call 07 577 8550 for more information.
Self-care only happens when we are intentional about it. We need to plan for it and ensure we carve out time in our busy lives to ensure it happens. Just like we carve out time for socialising, working, celebrations and holidays.
It is not always easy to implement and maintain a good self-care regime; with everything and everyone screaming for our attention. Life trips us up, we feel overwhelmed, old habits creep back in and the discipline, motivation and willpower start to wane.
Welcome to the reality of implementing a long term, self-care plan! We need to be realistic and accept there will be times we drop the self-care ball. But be diligent about picking it up again and again – with the deep-seated knowledge that self-care is paramount to our mental and physical well-being.
One of the answers to making time for self-care is ensuring our boundaries are strong. So often we fall into the trap of saying ‘yes’ to every demand and request made of us. This means we often end up feeling taken advantage of, disrespected, angry and frustrated. Learning to say ‘no’ is important; it allows us the space to recharge and take care of our own needs.
Another factor that steals self-care time is ‘work-creep’. This is when our work-life balance is out of kilter; when work creeps into non-work time. This is common for those people who love their job, work from home, work flexi-time or feel pressure to make themselves available 24/7. You can also snatch back time by spending less time on your phone. We allegedly check our phones up to 76 times a day. Driven by the addictive nature of messages, social media platforms and the ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO).
We often wait until we are unwell to take our self-care seriously; implementing it as an emergency measure to rebuild when we hit rock bottom. We hide behind the belief that the niggles, pains and unease will just disappear of their own accord. Because we are “so busy” we don’t listen to them, acknowledge them or accept them. Instead we over-ride them and ignore them; often because we perceive this to be easier or we are too scared to face the reality of our situation.
We can make life so much easier for ourselves if we stop to listen and connect with our internal communication system. The mental, physical and emotional red flags or alarm bells trying to tell us to stop, slow down, listen and pay attention to ourselves.
So, once you have made the time to listen to your body, the key is to find the environment that enables you to block out the external distractions and noise. To find an activity that leads to feelings of calm, connection and happiness.
How to find your Zen?
Practice mindfulness – being mindful is about focusing your attention in the present moment. By doing this, your mind moves away from rumination and worry so you can enjoy the calm of now. You can practice mindfulness by focusing on your breath or by engaging your sense of smell, touch, taste, hearing and sight.
Meditate – meditation is a practice used by many to reduce stress, anxiety and promote emotional well-being. Through habitual practice you can train your mind to focus and redirect what may be unhelpful thoughts.
Treat and indulge yourself – relax and unwind at the Mount Hot Pools. Wash away any stress and tension by soaking in the hot ocean water and follow this with a luxurious, therapeutic massage. Receive 20% off swim entry with your massage.
Take up Yoga, Pilates or Tai Chi – all these activities promote the connection between body and mind and are proven to be beneficial for our wellbeing. Try Body Balance, Yoga and Pilates classes at Clubfit which focuses on building strength while enhancing relaxation and meditation. There are also several classes at Bay Venues’ community facilities that might suit you better:
Arataki Community Centre
For the Love of Yoga | Pilates Classes | Yoga Moana
Papamoa Sport & Rec Centre
For the Love of Yoga (starting Term 3)
Papamoa Community Centre
For the Love of Yoga | Pilates with Wendy | Project Mum (Mums & Bubs Pilates)
Body & Soul | Tai Chi NZ | House of Harmony | Yoga with Verena | Keep On Your Feet (Strength & Balance)
For more information on the activities and clubs taking place across Bay Venues look at the ‘’Regular Activities” taking place at each community venue or call 0800 BAY VENUES.
You are what you consume ‒ this goes for what we read, what we listen to, who we share our time with and above all, what we eat. We all know that a balanced diet supports physical and mental health, enabling us to be active and happy. Feelings of well-being can be enhanced by ensuring our diet is full of essential fats, complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
At the same time, it can be challenging to maintain a healthy, balanced, nutritious diet. Time constraints, limited access to healthy options, a myriad of distractions and an active social life can contribute to over-indulgence and poor food choices.
Many of us are also guilty of rushing mealtimes, eating in front of TV, in the car or at our desk. We eat mindlessly, regardless of whether we are hungry or not. Often, we eat for reasons other than hunger ‒ to satisfy emotional needs, relieve stress, or cope with unpleasant emotions such as sadness, anxiety, loneliness or boredom.
Eating mindfully is the opposite of mindless, unhealthy eating. Mindful eating isn’t about being perfect, counting calories, always eating the right things or never allowing yourself to eat on-the-go again. Rather, it is about slowing down and being more in tune with your body. It is being aware of what you are eating and why, as well as appreciating your food.
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”
Jim Rohn (author and motivational speaker)
The benefits of mindful eating are plentiful. Studies show mindful eating helps with weight loss by changing the focus on eating behaviours and reducing stress. Shifting how you think about food can result in negative feelings being replaced by awareness, self-control and positive emotions.
Think of mindful eating like exercise: every little bit counts. The more you can do to slow down, focus on the process of eating and listening to your body; the greater satisfaction you’ll experience from your food and the greater control you’ll have over your diet and nutrition.
There are several mindful eating techniques. Here are a few:
Mindful eating is achieving an in-the-moment awareness of the food and drink you put into your body, observing how the food makes you feel and the signals your body sends.
Over time you’ll also become more in tune with your body and it’s nutritional needs. Any dietary changes will be made in order to feel your best and naturally you’ll introduce more wholesome, healthy food as a result. For some they might also reduce or eliminate gluten, meat and/or refined sugar to improve how they feel. Most importantly, it’s about slowing down and asking yourself, do I really want this? The pause will allow you to move beyond your food impulsions to focus on what your body really needs.
It’s not always possible to eat at home or pack nutritious snacks. There are times when you need a trust-ed café that has all your dietary requirements covered.
The Poolside Café at Baywave and the Arena Café at Trustpower Baypark have an impressive range of nutritious lunch options available. You’ll find a range of gluten free and vegetarian dishes, as well as Keto options at the Poolside Café.
And if you do have the time to slow down and eat more mindfully, don’t take away, find a spare table, relax and savour your meal.