Live Life Better: A guide to embracing touch

On this week’s episode of Live Life Better, Melissa Hemsley explored all things touch.

Joining her in the studio were Alice Vincent, author of How to Grow Stuff, who has been gardening on her London balcony for the last few years, and Tony Riddle, The Natural Life-Stylist, who has spent 18 years developing a way of life based on the principles of a natural lifestyle. Melissa also spoke to Adrienne LDN, a fitness and wellness influencer, about why we should all be embracing touch.

But what did we learn about what we should be doing?

Sow some seeds – no matter what your outside space is

There are lots of benefits to exercising your green fingers and getting stuck in to some gardening. But don’t let your lack of garden stop you.

As Alice says: “Regardless of what space you’ve got, whether that’s a windowsill, a balcony or a garden, there are some things that you can sow now. And that’s chillis and tomatoes. Everything else you can wait but there are lots of people sowing things. And the one thing I would sow right now that I would say anybody can probably get something out of is peashoots.

“Peashoots are great because they fulfil a lot of things I think are good reasons to grow: they’re difficult or slightly tasteless when you get them in the supermarket, growing them is so much better, and they’re the kind of garnish you can put on anything.”

Melissa Hemsley in the studio with Alice Vincent and Tony Riddle

Take your shoes off

In western culture, it’s not common to remove your shoes in company but, according to Tony, there are some serious benefits of setting your feet free.

He explains: “There are like 200,000 exo-receptors in your feet – the same level as you have in your hands.

“I think with being barefoot, anything you put between you and the earth it stops you being grounded. But it also alters the mechanics of your foot and the way that your foot will behave. There’s 33 joints, 26 bones, and a hundred muscles, tendons and ligaments in your feet. If you wear any footwear that’s pointed or compromises that toe shape that means that every one of those tendons, bones and ligaments is off and that then affects how the ankle behaves, the knee behaves, the hip behaves, so that’s a very ancient biomechanical system.”

Melissa Hemsley in the studio with Adrienne LDN

Embrace touch in exercise

We might not be used to touching other people in our day-to-day lives but that can all change once we're in an exercising.

Adrienne says: “When it comes to physical touch when you go into a space like a yoga studio or an athletics track or a dance studio, it’s a much more tactile environment. When you’re helping someone to something you might support them, you might have your hand on their back or support the weight, or in stretches you might help by holding their leg.

“I think you get used to it but if anyone does have a resistance around it and they don’t like it then that’s cool as well. I think there’s other ways, just knowing someone’s there and someone’s around can be really encouraging as well. Both giving them a support physically and just being there and championing them.”

So embrace touch and support, whether it’s physical or metaphorical. And offer some to someone else this week.

You can listen or subscribe to Live Life Better on Apple PodcastsSpotify or wherever you get your podcasts from.

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