Last week, Bobby was invited to speak on a breakfast panel held at Riverside, part of the recent redevelopment of Battersea Power Station. The theme was ‘Urban Living – The Importance of Health and Well-Being’, and the other speakers were food gurus Jasmine & Melissa Hemsley, former Olympian Tim Weeks and What-a-melon founder Ollie Bolton.
It was generally agreed that we are not designed to live the lives that we do; in the suburban sprawl, disconnected from each other (despite everyone being constantly on their phone), and from nature. The recent growth in the health and wellness sphere has also seen an increasing focus on mindfulness – defined as ‘the intention to be present in the here and now, fully engaged in whatever is happening’.
So what were the tips from the experts on living your best life?
Hemsley + Hemsley began their career focusing on helping people with their digestion and relationship with food, as well as teaching the importance of gut health. Incredibly, 90% of the body’s serotonin – a chemical that affects mood and social behaviour, sleep, memory, and digestion – is produced in the gut. Their holistic philosophy believes that what you eat, how you care for your body and the way you feel are intrinsically linked; eating well and exercising are natural ways of increasing the levels of serotonin on your body, low levels of which have been linked to depression.
Their other big focus is on mastication; chewing your food well before swallowing. Not only does it heighten the flavour but it increases your enjoyment of food, by forcing you to slow down and really notice the taste and texture of what you are eating and accessing all the nutrition within food.
Tim Weeks got down to the last 6 to compete for Team GB at the 2004 Athens Olympics when a bike accident ended his competitive career. He moved into performance coaching and optimises ‘well-being’ and maximising your life while ‘keeping it simple’ (George’s current favourite motto!).
He believes that the London Olympics in 2012 were a catalyst to the health and fitness wave sweeping the UK. His simple philosophy is that we have 168 hours in a week; the average person should spend just four of those exercising, which doesn’t sound like much! He believes in doing the basics well and, like the professional athletes he coaches, listening to your body and resting when you need to. Sometimes the most nourishing thing you can do for yourself is lie down on the grass, stare at the sky and meditate for a few moments.
Olly Bolton founded What-a-Melon water; as hydrating as coconut water and with additional anti-oxidants and muscle-loving amino acids, it’s the perfect summer drink! Like the others, Olly thinks we need to slow down and focus on the basics, and to not be afraid of taking time for yourself.
So how does this link with IGO? We’re all about natural highs; the euphoria of setting a goal and achieving it, pushing beyond your boundaries and experiencing new things, all whilst set among incredible natural landscapes and removed from the daily grind. As one N60° participant put it, ‘to live life so simply was a privilege. For a few hours each day life was about that day’s physical challenge… it is not often we get the chance to immerse ourselves so fully in an experience.’