Health-Inspired Xmas Gifts

By Rachel Grunwell

AD – This content is kindly sponsored by FitbitNZ. Rachel is a Fitbit ambassador and proud spokesperson.

Make your Xmas gift count this year by giving something that inspires good health and an inner or outer glow! Here are some of my top picks of things I LOVE and back…

  1. Fitbit Sense watch. This really is the ultimate Christmas Prezzie (for yourself or someone you love). This watch can help you to transform your health. It will help you to be sleep fit (monitor your sleep score!), be heart rate fit (this device can detect your resting heart rate score with incredible technology) , be brain fit (the watch can guide you through mindfulness exercises to help you manage your stress levels) and be body fit (monitor your exercise and nutrition too through the watch)! I’ve worn a Fitbit watch for about eight years now and LOVE this brand. This latest watch is Fitbit’s most advanced health smartwatch. I wear it everywhere including running (it measures steps done, kms run, distance run, run pace and keeps check on my heart rate levels). It’s so easy to use that it really is the ultimate run watch. I wear it to de-stress (the mindfulness exercise for two minutes is my fave and can calm my nervous system so quickly). I wear it to bed to check my sleep score, which has been so interesting. And I wear it whether I’m in a dress and heels or wearing lycra to teach yoga. I wear my Fitbit Sense more than jewellery! This really is the ultimate Xmas prezzie. This gift also keeps giving – it will be worn for years to come.
  2. An entry into the Rotorua Marathon event on May 8, 2021. This will inspire action on a fitness goal to get fitter and healthier – and as a ripple effect, exercise uplifts your happiness levels. This is NZ’s most iconic run event which has a fun run, 10km run through stunning and unique sulphur flats, a half marathon forest off-road run and a road marathon where you lap Lake Rotorua. Take the family for the weekend too and explore Rotorua. There’s adventure on your doorstep, great places to eat, a City full of beautiful Maori culture and lots of lakes and forest walks to explore.

3. A health inspired book. How about Luke Hines’ book Barbecue this! which has 80 quick, vibrant and flavour-packed dishes for weeknights, or for times of entertaining. Or a great book for managing anxiety that hell help you feel calmer via teaching calming breathing techniques is Dot, by Kieran E. Scott. Or of course, I’m biased in also recommending my own full colour book Balance: Food, Health + Happiness which boasts 30 global experts on how to be healthier and happier + 30 nourishing recipes. The book has tips around nutrition, neuroscience, psychology, emotional intelligence, de-cluttering, fitness, losing weight, feeling happier and more. My fave expert in the book is Shaun Achor, a happiness researcher from Texas. You can order it through this website HERE.

Balance Book by Rachel Grunwell Page 56
Here’s a recipe page from the book Balance: Food, Health + Happiness

4. Natural beauty products that support your outer health. My top picks right now are Linden Leaves Miraculous Facial Oil (a light formula that’s NZ-made for more youthful, nourished skin), Nellie’s Tier’s face mist (to refresh and hydrate with the incredible perfume of a blend of floral waters), or Weleda’s Birch oil (to put on my body post exercise for muscle recovery. The fresh smell of this, feel of it and it’s purpose is pretty rad).

5. Sponsor a charity. My top pick is the Cambodia Charitable Trust which helps kids access education, and more, in Cambodia. I bought a bag of rice for $60 which will help feed a family for a month. The lawyer who started this trust lives in Tauranga and she features in my book Balance. She helps thousands of kids in Cambodia now and her work is extraordinary. Help her to make more of a difference in the world by helping this trust with whatever amount that you want. Whatever you gift will be super appreciated.

6. A voucher for a retreat. Indulge your loved one (or yourself!) in a blissful weekend getaway at Rotorua’s Mindful Moments retreat. The dates are now up on the Polynesian Spa’s website for 2021. This getaway boasts a beauty treatment at the spa, a premium good bag, lunch on both days, spa dips in the 28 pools on site at the spa, yoga, mindfulness, meditation sessions, a forest walk, a wellness workshop and more. This is such an affordable retreat as far as retreats go in NZ. A journalist dubbed it one of NZ’s most affordable and top micro retreats in NZ. I co-host this retreat and love connecting with the incredible men and women who attend. This sells out fast as only 14 guests are taken at a time per retreat! I promise you will leave this retreat feeling more calm, happy and rejuvenated.

Polynesian Spa Mindful Moments Event Image

Sponsored blog by Fitbit NZ

Declaration: Rachel proudly works with Fitbit, the Rotorua Marathon, Linden Leaves, the Polynesian Spa, and is the author of the book Balance which she promotes in this article too. She genuinely backs these as incredible Xmas gift ideas that have helped to transform her health and vitality.

Rachel Grunwell is a wellness coach, speaker, and her mission is to inspire Kiwis to live healthier and happier by aligning with partners that care about promoting good health.

Follow her on instagram for daily posts and more wellness Inso. Click HERE

Are you making this big fitness mistake?


Blog by Rachel Grunwell: Marathoner. Yoga teacher. Good magazine’s wellness columnist. Blogger. Follow Rachel via Inspired Health’s Facebook, Instagram & Twitter for inspo, recipes & giveaways.

If you are passionate about being fit, and excelling at your sport, then don’t make the BIG mistake of ignoring all that post-workout recovery stuff.

It’s important if you an elite athlete – or a “weekend-warrior” (and health-geek) like me.

Rest, recovery, getting enough sleep, and tapping into all those awesome recovery options will help the body repair and strengthen. Recovery is as important as all those running miles, or all those tough hours you’ve committed to at the gym.

Sadly, recovery is an area that many athletes and gym-goers often ignore. But they should be aware that overtraining can lead to injury.

Here are some of my top recovery tips:

  • * Get enough sleep (adults generally need at least seven hours nightly). If you feel tired then listen to your body and rest. If you turn up to a workout when you are exhausted then you are at risk of injury. It’s just not worth it.
  • * Hydrate and eat nutritionally-rich foods that fuel your body well. If you want recommendations for nutritionists then comment below and I’ll recommend some top peeps. J
  • * Wear compression gear. It supports your muscles and reduces movement (so there’s less soft tissue damage and soreness post your workout). I love the brand SKINS (which I am wearing in these blog pitures). I feel like Olivia Newton-John in the movie Grease trying to put them on (they’re supposed to be snug and tight by the way for the best support). But man, they feel like an amazing snug, second skin and I love wearing them when I run. I made the mistake of wearing a pair of yoga tights in a race once and spent the whole time hitching up my pants! So, it’s compression tights, or nothing now when I run. And the latter option isn’t pretty, so I’ll keep wearing compression tights, thanks…  If you want to check out the SKINS range then click HERE.
  • * Do yoga, Tai Chi, or just simply stretch your body gently and mindfully. This will help you to move well and perform better. It will also help you to walk less like a “cowboy poised ready for action” too. You know, when you walk funny because your muscles are so tight from a tough workout.



  • * Use a roller to iron your muscles out. This is a great self-massage tool. Even better, see a great masseuse weekly (if you can afford it).



  • * Do something to chill out daily. It will help your body to unwind and de-stress – and you’ll be a nicer person! Just saying..



  • Here’s a legs-up-the-wall yoga pose that’s utter bliss for recovery!SKINS 12
  • * If you feel stressed then do a five-minutes’ meditation (better still do meditation with your legs up the wall (my favourite yoga pose) and take in some slow deep belly breaths to calm down your nervous system. Count to four breaths as you inhale and feel the belly rise, and then count to six as you exhale slowly and feel the belly deflate. Keep repeating this for a few minutes and then I promise you will feel more Zen-like. Doing this at night before bed-time would be an awesome idea.
  • * Be positive. This helps your body function at its best. X X
  • ps: this post was sponsored by the awesome peeps at SKINS. I’ve worn their compression tights for a few marathons I’ve run.




Win a Fitbit! & 6 tips to nailing a fitness goal

fitbit win

Go in the draw to win a Fitbit alta watch worth $229. Check out the comp via our Facebook or Instagram pages.

Don’t you just love the watch colour? This super slim watch also has great sleep insights, counts steps, monitors your heart rate, has long-life battery power and is a great motivator with fitness goals!

By Rachel Grunwell

  1. * Just turn up. Progression will happen through consistency. It’s like anything… do it more often and you’ll get better at it.
  2. * Enter an event. This can scare you into action!
  3. * Share you goal with friends. They can cheer you on and will hold you accountable.
  4. * Have a detailed plan on how you will achieve success ie write down where you will work out, when, how long, when you will have rest days etc… Motivation is great, but planning will give you a guide to follow.
  5. * Seek out expert support if you can afford it. Having a coach can help you to get optimum results, expand your knowledge base and they can advise you on how to train smart to avoid injury and burn-out etc. 
  6. * Think about smaller goals on the journey and celebrate each milestone.


Article supplied by Rachel Grunwell – wellness magazine columnist, yoga teacher, marathoner and director of lifestyle website Follow InspiredHealth on Facebook & Instagram.Rachel running on treadmill

Pictured: Rachel getting some run tests done at the AUT Millennium in Auckland.

Girl on an Adventure column 1


Girl on an Adventure column 1 – published in Good Magazine

By Rachel Grunwell

There’s a saying I love: Challenge yourself; Change yourself.

So in essence, by tackling scary adventures outside of your comfort zone, you can boost personal growth.

That’s my excuse for signing up for Le Race – an 100km bike ride from Christchurch to Akaroa on March 25, 2017. I was scared silly about the idea. So, of course I immediately signed myself up.I signed up a training buddy too, TV3 presenter Mike McRoberts. I figured if I trained with Mike then no one would notice how terrible I am at this sport. All eyes would be on him. Oh, and he’s also a great training buddy and top bloke, of course.

After signing up, he pointed out a small detail. “Er, neither of us have bikes Rach”. Small detail though, right?

Thankfully Mt Eden Cycles shop owner, Mark Taylor, (pictured above) came to the rescue with some loan wheels for us two crazy journalists who love scaring ourselves stupid (over things we know nothing about). Mark “fitted” me to a bike recently, which made me laugh. Here was I thinking you only get fitted for things like wedding dresses.

Rachel’s gear: Top and padded bike shorts, shoes courtesy of Specialized and a helmet courtesy of Mt Eden Cycles shop. 


It turns out road bikes come in nine sizes. I just told him to find me a midget-sized bike and I’d be right. But there was no getting away with that. He explains why it’s important to get the fit right. “Otherwise it could be a bit sketchy when you’re going fast down hills.” After that comment there was no further arguing from me. I prefer to keep the skin on my elbows and knees. So, he fit my midget frame to the bike frame, adjusted the seat and handlebars and then asked me to choose a colour preference in cycling helmet.

“Why bother,” I asked. “No one looks good with helmet hair anyway”. He agreed, but still asked me to please choose a colour.

“Challenge yourself; Change yourself”

I refrained from choosing the fluorescent pink helmet that caught my eye. I’m such a girlie girl, but I knew if I wore pink lycra too I’d likely resemble moving candy-floss. And remember, I want all eyes on Mike. Perhaps I could get him to choose the pink helmet…

Mark then kindly gave me some quick tips before unleashing me onto the street. He was probably worried about me crashing into someone’s parked Audi. I live in Mt Eden and so there’s a high chance of that. Perhaps I should move to another suburb?

He kindly taught me how to unclip my shoes so I can hopefully avoid “the zero mile an hour fall”. This is when riders usually stop at the lights, forget they are clipped in and then do a spectacular sideways crash – all in slow motion. So, he was kindly trying to save me from that hurt. To my body, but more importantly to the ego.

Wish me luck for my first ride. I hope you get to see a second column…

  • Column by Rachel Grunwell – Good Magazine’s wellness columnist, a keen marathoner, qualified yoga teacher and director of the InspiredHealth website.
  • Follow Rachel via Inspired Health on Facebook and Instagram.

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