Norfolk experts' 7 tips for a healthy summer

Why not use the summer as an opportunity to try a new activity, such as stand-up paddleboarding?

Why not use the summer as an opportunity to try a new activity, such as stand-up paddleboarding? - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Feel Good Norfolk is a community of wellbeing practitioners who are passionate about connecting everyone to what feels good.

Sarah Groves of Feel Good Norfolk

Sarah Groves of Feel Good Norfolk - Credit: Contributed

Founder and director, Sarah Groves, tells us: “Summer can bring lots of opportunity for fun and feeling good, but it can also prove rather challenging.

"Here seven of our therapists explore what this might look like and offer some wisdom and guidance as to how we can better approach this time of year so that we can feel connected with ourselves physically, mentally, and emotionally, as well as connected with our loved ones and the world around us."

Nicola Rycroft, Three Treasures Clinic

Nicola Rycroft of Three Treasures Clinic

Nicola Rycroft of Three Treasures Clinic - Credit: Contributed

As a traditional acupuncturist, here are a few conditions that I see in summertime, and how I may approach them.

Although joint pains tend to be worse in the cold and damp, in summer we tend to be more active due to the warmer, longer days.

With this heightened activity, ailments can flare up.

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Gardening, golf and tennis can cause stiffness and arthritic pain in fingers and wrists.

I do a treatment that I like to call ‘hedgehog hands’ (you can imagine why!) which seems to be effective at keeping on top of stiffness and pain.

It is not a cure for arthritis, but it often helps patients to carry on doing the things they love.

When the stiffness returns, they benefit from ‘top up’ treatments, usually about every six weeks.

I am also currently treating a lot of knee pain in cyclists and runners.

There is a wonderful ‘eagle claw’ treatment, using four needles inserted around the patella, which are sometimes warmed with a burning herb to amplify the treatment.

As well as helping runners to cope with longer distances, it can also give relief to people who simply want to walk upstairs without pain.

The ‘Buddha’s triangle’ combination, using three small needles on the wrist, helps to treat at an emotional level.

It is reputed to calm the nervous system and I use it to help anxiety.

With the long summer evenings, we are now expected to socialise and do more, but this can lead to a feeling of overwhelm.

It is totally okay to take your time and adjust back to ‘normality’ slowly.

Marie Williams, Marie Williams Yoga 

Marie Williams of Marie Williams Yoga

Marie Williams of Marie Williams Yoga - Credit: Contributed

Like all things, our yoga practice requires us to adapt to the seasonal shifts and changes - including those that happen within us daily.

You might find it happens intuitively, or you might find yourself avoiding the mat on certain days when you’re feeling too hot, too exhausted, or just simply unenthused.

But where did we get the idea that our yoga practice had to look the same every day of the week, month, or year?

Once we start paying attention to what’s happening within, we start to develop a deeper intuitive awareness of what we need to meet ‘today’s’ energy.

So why not take a few minutes to sit, to breathe, and to ask yourself:

How am I ‘really’ feeling today?

What’s my energy like?

What do I need?

Can you meet what you need today with a breath practice, a restorative yoga pose, or a gentle flowing movement?

Here are some of my own personal favourites to release some heat or exhaustion:

Dirga Breath: Inhale in three parts through the nose (sip-stop-sip-stop-sip-stop), exhale a long smooth breath out through pursed lips for releasing some heat.

Legs up the wall: Sit side-on to a clear wall space and swing your legs up the wall. Alternatively, place the backs of the legs on a sofa or chair.

Cat/Cows with Lion’s Breath: On all fours inhale to round your back and curl inwards, exhale to press forwards releasing a big breath out from the back of the throat while sticking the tongue out!

Emma Stevens, movement teacher and founder of MovES 

Emma Stevens of MovES

Emma Stevens of MovES - Credit: Contributed

Here are my top 10 tips for 'MovEing' in the summer

1. Time your exercise earlier in the day/later in the evening where possible.

2. Schedule plenty of breaks when and if you feel you need it during your workout.

3. Hydration is key. Up the water intake to support the amount you are doing.

4. Slow it down. Reduce the intensity where appropriate; you can still feel the benefits of exercise when lowering the intensity.

5. Try to limit the amount of getting up and down and the moving into different positions you do in a workout. Where possible, try to cluster similar exercises together to maximise your time in one place.

6. Where possible find a cool place; whether that be a shady outdoor, cooler place indoors, or why not take it to the beach?

7. Vary what you do and how you do it. Instead of your normal routine or workout perhaps do an 'as many reps as possible' workout (for example, how many reps of a squat can you do in a minute?) or an 'every minute on the minute' (20 squats in a minute - you can take it slow to use the time or speed up and have a break). 

8. Every little helps. It is quite common to feel like it doesn't count if its a small amount, but five to 20 minutes can make all the difference.

9. Get friends or family involved. Holidays can make it hard to keep routine and consistency, so why not encourage some social element to moving? This can help to motivate you and build the fun in to the process.

10. Always wanted to give something new a try? This might be the chance. Outdoor Pilates or a Pilates Reformer class, SUP or surfing; living in Norfolk means the world is pretty much our oyster with so much on our doorstep!

Amy Woods, Groove 

Amy Woods of Groove

Amy Woods of Groove - Credit: Contributed

"And those that were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche

I have always identified with this quote but this year it has become a reality on a whole new level.

This season, I have had the absolute pleasure of running some Grooves on the Beach.

With the sand between our toes, the expansive sky above us and the wind enveloping us and blowing away the cobwebs, getting my Groove on, on the beach with an amazing group of people has become an incredibly invigorating, grounding and healing ritual for me.

Groove is a fun, welcoming and playful group dance experience.

For the beach Grooves we use silent disco headphones so we aren't disturbing the natural world around us, and we can get a full sense of the music, which is a collection of different styles and genres.

Being able to share this powerful and empowering experience with others, and witness their joy and playfulness is one of the best things in my life!

We always finish with an (optional) swim in the sea and a period of stillness and coming home to our breath.

It's a powerful practice of letting go of what not caring what anyone thinks, feeling free and empowered in our own bodies, and feeling alive and energised.

Tammy Parnell, certified Rapid Transformational Therapy hypnotherapist and founder of Tara Hills Therapy 

Certified Rapid Transformational Therapy hypnotherapist Tammy Parnell, founder of Tara Hills Therapy

Certified Rapid Transformational Therapy hypnotherapist Tammy Parnell, founder of Tara Hills Therapy - Credit: Julia Holland

It's so important to take a break. Sometimes it feels impossible to take a holiday, if you’re self-employed, feeling overwhelmed, running a small business or an overworked professional.

I get it. When I was a lawyer we had to be forced to take breaks, there was just so much to do, and we were the only ones that could do that work.

If it's easier to work than to take a holiday, this might be a sign that you are entering workaholic territory.

Just like alcoholics, workaholics try to mask feelings that are uncomfortable.

It's less stressful and more controllable just to keep ploughing on at work rather than being forced to take time to examine your life, your relationships, and the bigger picture.

But this holds you back from really finding your true potential, growing as a person, and living your best life.

It will stifle your business too because the new perspectives you get from a break away from the desk might be just the tonic your business needs.

Andie McPherson, integrative psychotherapist and counsellor

Andie McPherson, integrative psychotherapist and counsellor

Andie McPherson, integrative psychotherapist and counsellor - Credit: David Pickens

Positive outcomes of counselling rely, amongst other things, on a commitment to the therapy process which can be difficult during the summer when there are often extra demands on our time.

On top of that, we counsellors also take holidays and so the therapeutic process can end up taking a bit of bashing over the summer.

So how do we maintain the momentum we’ve gained in therapy? 

Most importantly you should expect to have clear communication about how planned breaks on the part of the therapist will be managed and for plenty of notice to be given.

My aim is to ensure that clients don’t feel dropped, deprioritised, or abandoned and that any feelings of this nature are worked through in support of the client’s personal growth.

As a client, it’s helpful to be aware of what you agreed at the outset of therapy.

Many therapists will expect more frequent breaks through the summer and offer flexibility by finding alternative times, moving sessions online or offering short ‘check -in’ calls. 

Most importantly, notice how you are experiencing counselling during the summer and explore this with your counsellor.

Remember that regularly seeing a counsellor should provide a sense of being held and stabilised amongst the summer chaos.

Sophie Guin, The Yoga Tree and Acorn Café 

Sophie Guin of The Yoga Tree and Acorn Cafe

Sophie Guin of The Yoga Tree and Acorn Cafe - Credit: Contributed

Summer is my favourite time of year, the warm evenings spent in the hazy evening light, with the sound of bees buzzing around while I enjoy time with friends and family.

Here is an easy and quick recipe. It can be served cold, but I like to serve it where the salmon is still a little warm. Everything can be made ahead – just don’t add the dressing until you serve as it will wilt the salad.

Salmon Nicoise salad – serves 4

2 salmon steaks

6 baby potatoes

A handful green beans

4 eggs – boiled and quartered

Lettuce - torn into bite size pieces

Cucumber – chopped

Tomatoes – chopped (not too small)

Black olives



Olive oil – 3 tbsp.

White Wine Vinegar – 1 tbsp.

1 large garlic clove – chopped

Salt and Pepper – ¼ tsp. of each

Boil the potatoes and eggs together for 11 minutes, at 8 minutes add the beans and cook for the remaining 3. Save time by doing this the day before.

Drain everything and run just the eggs under cold water to cool them while the potatoes and green beans are left to cool and dry out in a bowl.

Cover and chill until needed.

Mix all the salad ingredients together in a small bowl or jug, if you need more simply double the recipe.

Get a large platter or bowl and lay out all your ingredients apart from the salmon and dressing. I tend to lay out the lettuce first and then build up the rest of the ingredients as I go.

Grab a large frying pan and heat up a good glug of oil.

Chop the salmon into bite size pieces, season with salt and pepper on both sides. When the oil is hot carefully place the salmon in and fry on both sides until it is golden –about 2-3 minutes at most.

Transfer onto a plate with some kitchen paper.

When you are ready, top the salad with the salmon and pour over the dressing. Gently mix, as not to break up the salmon.

Take a break with your loved ones, find a shady spot, and enjoy this nutritious and energising summertime dish together.

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