I just need a moment

My blog posts have been a bit sparse lately. Maybe no one’s noticed but for me it’s become fairly obvious.

I love my blog and will continue to write it as long as it makes me happy. If no one reads it, that’s OK. I like documenting things and having memories of times to look back on. But lately I haven’t wanted to write.

My lack of running means a lack of content I suppose. And while I could write about what I’m getting up to, it isn’t really what I want to write about. My blog is about running. My life used to contain so much running, but recently my injury sagas just seem so never-ending that continually moaning and whining is just rubbish to read.

Oh hey Anna is injured again. Oh wow Anna is still injured. Oh look Anna is still moaning and whining. Get a grip.

When friends ask how my running is or how the injury is they do that thing where they look a bit sad, give me a pity smile and say something vague like, “oh dear, hopefully it’ll get better soon”. And what they’re really saying is, “let’s talk about something else because frankly this is boring”. I know it’s boring.

I know my friends don’t want to hear about my injury or lack of running. I know this. I try to skim over it with some optimism that I don’t really feel so the conversation can moved on to something else and so no one has to deal with injured Anna.

But I feel so down. I feel so completely and utterly down.

It’s been almost eight weeks that I haven’t run. Now I know there will be people out there who have far worse situations with their injuries but that is ZERO consolation to me. I’m very sorry for your injury but this is my blog so it’s only fair I can moan here. I need to because right now I feel like screaming.

Every morning I wake up and I test my knee. I see how it feels walking to the bathroom, walking down the stairs, throughout the day at work, walking Alfie. I wake up in the middle of the night and before rolling over to go back to sleep I’ll bend it, move it – what does it feel like?

It’s exhausting how consuming this is and I know I sound crazy. Running is so much a part of my life though. Obsessed? Maybe. But before this injury it was something I’d do 4-5 week, I’d see friends at parkrun, I’d have races planned in the calendar, runches to break up the work day, exciting food spots to finish long runs planned, long conversations about a negative split that I’m proud of.

Don’t tell me this isn’t going to last forever. Don’t tell me next year I’ll look back and laugh. I’m sat here living this right now. Don’t tell me start swimming or cycling. It’s not the same.

Let me scream into the void about my frustrations. This post isn’t about asking for help or advice. I don’t need someone to try and give me a solution. I just need to vent. I want to sit and cry. Cry for the lifestyle that I used to be enveloped in. Cry for the world I’m not allowed to be part of right now. Cry at the unfairness that some people can run without issue and some people cannot.

Let me do that without making me feel like it’s not worth crying about. Because for me, it is.

Fun Ways to Get Healthier in 2020

Today I have a collaborative post with the new year in mind for healthy living. I hope you enjoy!

The new year is all about making goals and resolutions that put us on the path we want to be on in life, and helping us to be the best person we can be. But many of us rush into making ourselves promises that just won’t last, they’re things that leave us feeling restricted and like we’re going without and over time it makes us miserable causing us to give up.

Image Source: Pexels.com

Why not do things differently next year, focus on health but do it in a fun way. Make changes that will add to and improve your life, rather than leaving you feeling like you’re restricting or missing your favourite things. To be able to keep up changes long term, they need to be enjoyable to be achievable and it genuinely is possible to do this. Here are some ideas for things you need to put on your resolution list for 2020, to go about things differently this time.

Learn to cook

Our diet is of course a huge part of a healthy lifestyle, the foods we consume on a daily basis will be either helping or hurting our bodies. If you currently live off junk like takeaways and convenience food because you think that you can’t cook, something needs to change.

When you prepare your own meals, you have full control of exactly what goes into them. Unlike processed and premade foods, they won’t be packed with hidden salt, sugar or oil. Instead, you can flavour your food with things like tasty herbs and spices which give everything a kick while still being good to your body. Learning to cook can be incredibly satisfying, if you’re a total beginner you could join a local cooking class, or just find some easy recipes online and follow along to them.

As your knowledge and confidence grows, you’ll be able to start tackling more complex dishes. Being able to create flavourful meals from healthy ingredients isn’t just good for your health but for your wallet too. How much do you currently spend buying lunches at work, ordering takeaways or eating out in restaurants? It’s not to say you need to give up these things all together, but use them as a treat, rather than a way to live. You’ll enjoy the occasional indulgence much more, and the rest of the time have the satisfaction of knowing you made your own food, exactly the way you like it.

Have a think, what’s really so special about that pre- bought sandwiches, pasta or salad you buy every day anyway? What’s stopping you from making something very similar but healthier and for less money yourself? There are tons of recipes on Pinterest and blogs to give you inspiration, enjoy the process of learning and trying different ingredients and techniques. It’s really not as difficult as you might think to create food that tastes great. If you’re looking to get healthier and improve your skills next year, definitely put cooking on your list.

Find an activity you genuinely enjoy

Exercise makes you feel great both physically and mentally, if working out feels like torture then it’s time to switch up your routine. Find something that’s genuinely fun and enjoyable, it doesn’t have to be working out in a packed gym after work.

Why not join a rambling or dog walking group and spend your evenings going on long, scenic walks? Maybe you could join a dance class, a trampolining group, a hot yoga session or even go rollerblading or ice skating with the kids? Anything that gets your heart rate up and has you moving around is a good thing, so it doesn’t always need to be structured exercise.

You could even kill two birds with one stone, and socialise or do something else at the same time. For example, you could call up your friends and family and organise a game of rounders or cricket at the park, you’ll be so busy having fun it won’t seem like exercise.

If you’re a lover of retail therapy, you could book a coach to a new city and spend the day walking around shopping- you’ll rack up way more steps than you might think plus carrying bags adds a bit of resistance! Do some research into how to get the absolute maximum from your workouts so that you can have fun, be time efficient and give your body a real workout at the same time.

Instead of telling yourself you’ll join the gym in January (and then give up in February) think of activities that you’re going to enjoy and want to stick with for the foreseeable future. Think outside the box, and find out if there are any more unusual activities that you could try out. It could be anything from pole fitness to circus skills!

Practice hygge at home

Health isn’t all about physical health. We have to consider our minds too, mental health is so important. Something that we should all be doing in today’s busy and chaotic world is spending time relaxing and unwinding on a regular basis. This isn’t just a luxury, it’s fundamental to good health.

And relaxation doesn’t always have to be expensive spas and professional massages, there’s plenty you can do in your own home, on a budget. A hot bath with some salts, oils or bubble bath can help to lower blood pressure, ease tense muscles and give you a quiet place to relax. Self massage on your hands, feet and limbs can also be effective, you can purchase massage ‘shawls’ from places like amazon which massage your back and neck without the help of another person.

Sometimes hygge at home just needs to involve playing some relaxing music, putting your feet up and sipping some tea. It could be reading a book or watching your favourite tv show on Netflix. Anything that lets your mind rest and gives you a break from work and commitments is good for you.

Don’t let it lead to burnout, anxiety, stress and depression. Not only are these things bad for your mental health, but for your physical health too. It’s been long established that there’s a strong link between the body and mind, if one is affected the other can be too. Which is why when we’re focusing on health and overall wellbeing, it’s mental health we need to take into consideration too.

Socialise more

As humans, we’re social creatures. It’s natural for us to spend time in groups, however modern society doesn’t always work like that. More of us live alone, work alone from home and generally spend time by ourselves more than ever. In a world where we’re more connected than ever thanks to the internet its seems strange that we could be in the midst of a loneliness epidemic, however it’s definitely the case.

Do what you can to spend time with the people you care about. You might want to put yourself out there to meet new people, join friendship and meetup apps or start a hobby where you’ll be in contact with like minded people. It’s the people in our lives that really make it worth living. They give you support and advice when needed, offer another perspective on our issues and worries and encourage us to try new things which we probably would never have done.

Overall wellness should focus on mind, body and spirit and ensure all of our physical and emotional needs are being met. By being proactive and finding ways to enjoy living a healthy lifestyle, you could be prolonging your life and be a much happier person.

How do you plan on getting healthy, or improving your health next year?

Do you enjoy massages? I often only get sports massages rather than relaxing ones!

Do you like to cook? For me it’s something I find very relaxing.

How Many Calories Does Running Burn Compared to Other Activities

I have such a backlog of blog posts right now which I’m trying to get finished, but for the moment I have this article from Amelia Higgins. I hope you enjoy!

Running is one of the best ways that anyone of any fitness level can burn calories. It doesn’t matter if you are running a marathon or taking part in a local parkrun event, there is no better way to improve your health and fitness levels.

Image Credit: Pexels

The problem is that not enough people run (and they should). So in this article we decided to look at how running compares to four different activities in the number of calories burnt. Our base line for the comparison was Very Well Fit’s calculation for a 10-stone person running 3.1 miles. They calculated that a 10-stone person running 3.1 miles at a 10-minute mile pace would burn approximately 328 calories. With that number in mind here are 4 activities to compare running to.

Brisk walking

Why run when you can walk? At around 130 calories burned per hour, brisk walking doesn’t burn nearly as many calories as running, but it is easier on your feet and knees. Walking, not to mention, is also something we do everyday. In other words it’s a good way to burn calories without necessarily doing anything out of the ordinary. Up the intensity, and number of calories burned, by going on a brisk walk a few times a week.

Chess

You can actually burn calories even while doing something as mundane as playing board games, like chess. Even more surprisingly a game of chess can actually offer a good calorie burn, considering you are seated for the duration of the match. The reason being is that thinking uses up energy, and thus burns calories. Professor of medicine Marcus Raichle explains that mentally taxing tasks require more energy to be completed, and no board game requires more concentration than chess.

It’s no wonder then that elite level chess players are said to burn some 6,000 calories in a day when playing competitively. Those numbers can compare to the amount of calories burnt by those who run seriously. While you won’t burn nearly as many calories playing chess, it does show how physical exercise isn’t the only way to burn calories. So get your thinking cap on.

Poker

The calorie burn involved with playing cards is comparable to that of playing board games. Based on computations by CalorieLab, a woman weighing 11 stones will burn as much as 34 calories in an hour playing cards. Total calories burned goes up to 102 if you account for the 68 calories you burn from just being at rest.

But say you play something a little more intense, like poker. Players can get worked up really fast during the game. That is especially true when the stakes get higher, like in a tournament. The players featured on PPPoker’s Instagram feed show the full range of emotions playing a tournament has on a person — ranging from absolute concentration to pure elastic joy. Due to these ups and downs it might be fair to surmise that poker players burn more than 34 calories an hour.

While playing cards can’t come close to the benefits of going for a run it is reassuring to know that you are still burning some calories while having a night of fun.

Cooking

Now let’s move on to something most of us do on an everyday basis: cooking. Figures by Captain Calculator show that a 10-stone woman cooking with light effort will burn around 134 calories in an hour. This is likely the kind of cooking we do when we prepare our daily meals. If we are cooking for a party the calorie burn goes up to at least 234 calories per hour. It rises to 388 calories if we have to serve the food and walk about while doing so.

While this list shows that even activities where you don’t move much can still burn calories, running is still the best way to get fit. If you don’t run regularly we suggest starting small and working your way up. Who knows, in a few years you may even want to take on a challenge like the Dubai marathon.

I mean, I personally would choose a different marathon than Dubai 😉 but each to their own, eh!

Do you enjoy cooking? I really love it!

Do you play any board games or card games? It’s usually a Christmas thing for me. But I always think game nights should be more regualr!

Tips on How to Start Eating Healthy

I have a collaborative post for you today on some starter points for eating healthily. Enjoy!

Our health heavily depends on the food we eat. We have all heard that saying “You are what you eat”. That’s completely true and here’s why.

Healthy food, such as fruits, vegetables, eggs, and cereals, has a positive effect on our health. It’s because they contain nutrients that give us more energy, maintain the chemical balance in our, and improve the overall work of our organism. On the other hand, unhealthy food, such as conserved food, sugary drinks, and sweets, has the opposite effect.

Therefore, if you want to improve your health and rejuvenate your body, you have to change your eating habits and start eating food that’s rich in nutrients. Here are some of the main tips to help you start.

Copyright: Pixabay / author: RitaE / I License: CC0 Public Domain

1. Avoid Sugar

We are all aware of the fact that sugar isn’t healthy. In fact, it has many negative benefits for our bodies. If you regularly intake foods and drinks high in sugar, you will gain weight, increase the risk of obesity, and cause tooth decay.

Thus, avoid foods and drinks that contain sugar such as cakes, chocolates, soft drinks, sweets, etc. As a matter of fact, it would be best to replace them with their healthier versions. For example, instead of eating regular chocolate, you could eat vegan chocolate that’s made of tiny-chopped dried fruits and cacao.

2. Avoid Saturated Fat

It’s true that you need fat to stay healthy. However, you don’t need saturated fat because it increases the level of cholesterol in your blood. That might lead to developing heart disease.

Saturated fat is found in sausages, cream, cakes, butter, and fatty cuts of meat, among others. So, you could eat food that contains unsaturated fats, such as oily fish, olive oil, and avocados instead.

3. Eat Food That’s High in Starchy Carbohydrates

Things like potatoes, rice, and cereals are high in starchy carbohydrates. You should include at least one with each meal. Optionally, you can choose whole grain food, such as brown rice and whole-wheat pasta. They are going to make you feel full for a longer time.

But, be careful when combining them with other items because it increases the calories. Hence, you should avoid eating white or black bread with butter or putting sauces on pasta. Let’s face it, that’s not healthy food anymore.

4. Eat a lot of Fruit and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are as healthy as food can be. Being rich in vitamins, they give your organism everything it needs for proper functioning. In fact, some of them prevent some diseases and health conditions or help when fighting one.

The best way to start eating lots of fruits and vegetables is by including them in your everyday meals. For example, you can chop a banana over your cereals for breakfast or eat a veggie salad with your main dish for lunch. Additionally, you can eat dried fruit or make juice which you can drink all day.

Copyright: Pixabay / author: JillWellington / I License: CC0 Public Domain

5. Drink a lot of Water

Water is the most important thing for our health. The main reason for this is the fact that around 70% of our body is water. Therefore, we need to maintain that percentage by a regular intake of water.

Although there are no official sources of how much water we should drink each day, nutritionists and doctors recommend around 2 or 3 liters per day. It’s because water improves your metabolism, refreshes your body, and detoxifies your organism. Therefore, you should make sure you drink at least 8 cups a day.

As a plus tip, we recommend you have 3 main meals and 2 snacks between. We also recommend reducing the amount of salt you use in preparing food. And, the last, but no less important is exercising. Being fit is equally important for your health as eating healthy.

What are your tips for healthy eating?

Do you eat a lot of sugar? I can’t say no to a cake! But I do believe you can fully incoporate sugary food into a healthy diet 🙂

Four Ways To Re-Find Your Exercise Mojo

Source

As the winter months are drawing in, the motivation to get outside is diminishing… but here’s an article to help give you some tips to stay motivated.

The only way that exercise works in the long-term, is when it’s taken as a sustainable lifestyle choice. The desire to get healthy and stay that way is a driver that can last a lifetime. However good your intentions, though, sometimes it’s inevitable that your motivation will decline over time. It’s very hard to come back sometimes when you get stuck into a rut where exercise seems more like a chore than a pleasure. So, when you’re hit by a motivation slump, how do you bounce back?

Mix It Up

Everyone has a sport or an active pursuit that suits them – and whether you’re dedicated to your Saturday zumba class or you love the challenge of distance running, once you find that thing you love, exercise feels great. However, it’s quite natural to occasionally hit a plateau when the activity that you love just starts to feel a little bit harder work. When that happens, sometimes the key is simply to try something different for a while until that spark comes back. Think of something you’ve always wanted to try – finding a teacher at the RAD ballet school, learning to white water raft or even just an online Pilates challenge. Once you get moving again, it may reignite your love of your original sport, or you’ll find something you like even better – the key is to keep your brain and body engaged.

Teach Someone Else

If you’ve gotten quite good at your favourite active pursuit, why not teach it to someone else? If you have a stressed-out friend who could benefit from what you know about yoga, or you know someone wanting to start Couch to 5k when you’ve just cleared a half-marathon, why not offer them a little time? Explaining what you love about a sport to someone and watching them enjoy and develop a little is a great way of reminding yourself what you loved about it in the first place.

Create Some Entertainment

Sometimes, re-interesting yourself in a workout is all a matter of making more entertainment. Whether it’s using a Spotify workout playlists or an app like RockMyRun, the right music selection can be extremely motivating and help you to squeeze out that last mile when you feel like giving up. If you’re using a treadmill or weights at the gym, download a few episodes of your favourite show on Netflix to watch as you do your workout. You could even try gamifying your workout –  with apps that have zombies chase you as you run – perfect for Halloween!

Sign Up To An Event

Reinvigorating what you do can be as simple as signing up to an event, such as a fun run  – you can then have a target to aim for and raise money for a charity at the same time, which is a great motivator. You could also consider looking into a fitness break if you’re after a change of scenery. Learn a new skill like surfing, golfing or yoga at a resort dedicated to the activity and reset your wellness clock.

Do you struggle with motivation?

Do you have any tips to keep the exercise mojo?

Do work out more in the summer or winter?