The Handbook
The Handbook

Spring is almost upon us and the layers are coming off and with them the realisation that the Christmas paunch, heard-earned over the festive period, has now turned into Easter paunch. But help is at hand, PUSH Mind and Body is a wellness camp based in New Forest that offers to arm you with the tools to live a better life.

Don’t worry, it is not some sort of hippy commune or cult, they just use simple steps to do the obvious, giving guests a kick start in the right direction with an intense week of working out and getting tuition on the things that we forget about, like where are headed in life and how we should look after ourselves.

The camp is split into two parts; you guessed it, mind and body. For the mind you get a 1-2-1 with Executive Coach, Ruth Groves, which is ideal for anyone looking for a little more clarity and support in setting achievable goals to improve either their professional or personal life. You are free to talk about anything you wish from boyfriend problems, to boss problems and everything in between. The sessions are confidential and there’s no shame in shedding a tear if you need to, or just have a general natter, either way I guarantee you will walk away feeling optimistic about the future.

Alongside the 1-2-1 you also get mindfulness sessions hosted by the Mindfulness Practitioner, Cecilia Hazlerigg, which is done as a group and focusses on living rather than just merely existing. It is similar to meditation where you pay attention to your breathing and thoughts but also your posture. I must admit I struggled with this, my newly birthed muscles were causing me to fidget non-stop, wanting to frolic in the fields as I was becoming accustomed to constantly moving. I found the next day easier and I imagine it would have become more achievable throughout the week. Others in the group had the opposite problem where they struggled not to nod off as they were so relaxed (and exhausted).

For the body section, there is the inevitable exercising which means being up bright and early for 7.15pm to begin the first class of the day. Two more classes follow (with food breaks in between) before lunch after which you go for a country hike in the neighbouring countryside, while the last class is relatively less strenuous with core work and stretching. I would liken the exercise to giving birth, whereby once the horrific and very painful events have ceased you forget about the discomfort and become so joyful with the results that you forget how traumatic it was to get there. The very patient and knowledgeable personal trainer, Tom Eastham, coped well with the incessant moaning (I was obviously one of the main offenders for this).

At PUSH they also arm you with what you should be putting in your body for the best results so you get a 1-2-1 with the nutritionist, Nicola Shubrook, who addresses any ailments you have to see if your diet can be tweaked to hopefully take care of some of the problems. Once again it’s confidential which means no one else gets to hear about your depraved eating habits. After the camp is over, Nic sends you the recipes from the freshly prepared meals you will have been eating all week as well as personalised nutrition sheets to help guide you with what to eat once you have returned home.

The whole team are mega friendly and eager to chat to you about their respective fields which include asking them random questions throughout the day without feeling like you are pestering them. Forget any ideas of an ex-army drill sergeant screaming at you for a week, no one is here to embarrass you; you are just encouraged to PUSH yourself to get the best results for you. The team arms you with tools on how to improve your diet without changing it radically and simple life goals to get you on the right path for a fabulous, happier new you.