Keeping Fit Doesn’t Have To Include The Gym

Only a few days left before Christmas – so exciting!

I have a post for you today about keeping fit without having to use the gym. While I do love using the gym, it’s not essential. You can do so much at home or out and about as part of your normal day. Hope you enjoy the article…

When you are busy and on the go all the time, keeping fit isn’t always the easiest thing to do. It can feel as though everything is taking over, and you are letting your health and fitness get left behind, but this doesn’t have to be the case. A lot of people think that the secret to this is getting to the gym, but we are here to tell you that this doesn’t have to happen and you can stay fit from the comfort of your own home. Keep reading this article to find out how.

Watch What You’re Eating

The first thing that you have got to do if you want to keep fit is watch what you are eating. This is going to make up a huge portion of your health overall. Have you ever heard of the expression ‘you are what you eat’? While this may not literally be true, it will have a big impact on the way that you feel. For example, if you are constantly eating takeout, greasy food and processed fats, your body is going to show this in the form of oily skin, spot breakouts, and so much more. If you make the simple swaps and start adding fruit as well as vegetables to your meals, you are going to notice a big difference.

Try and make sure that a third of your meal is fruit or veg, and you will see a huge improvement. It’s not all about being active and moving around, though that is important! Take care of yourself by watching your diet, and you will achieve things that you didn’t think were possible.

Take Up Yoga

The next thing that we are going to suggest is that you take up yoga. Yoga is excellent for your fitness as it allows you to do things that you never thought possible with your body. Not only this though, but yoga is also excellent for your mind and will make you feel incredible when you are doing it. All you need to do is make sure that you get the right equipment such as yoga bolsters, to make it easier for you, and you are ready to go.

If you do this a couple of times per week, you will be getting the exercise that you need without going to the gym, and you will find yourself feeling a lot better than you have been in ages. Yoga is amazing for keeping to your fitness goals, try it and see for yourself.

Walk A Little More

Or, you could try walking a little more. This could be walking with music in your ears just for fun, or walking somewhere that you would usually drive if it is within a reasonable distance of course. Walking is great for keeping you fit and healthy, and doesn’t require you to do anything intense, which is always a bonus if this type of exercise is not for you!

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see how keeping fit doesn’t have to include the gym. Good luck, we hope you see the results that you are looking for.

Do you go to the gym?

Do you try and watch what you eat during Christmas? While I do like to keep somewhat healthy, I’m a big believer in enjoying this time of year. Don’t go mad and eat 17 mince pies every day, but equally don’t restrict yourself to the point of missing out and not enjoying the happy times.

Do you exercise over Christmas? I generally stay with my usual routine around Christmas as I enjoy it, and on Christmas Day I try and go to the Christmas parkrun as it’s just so festive and fun.

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!

What I’m loving lately – October/November

Blimey October has come and gone quickly and November is roaring by. I mean in some respect for me October felt like the longest month because of going to Chicago and Toronto but in other ways it’s flown by.

So onto some cool stuff I’ve been trying and loving lately.

I was recently sent a Vietnamese cooking set from Sous Chef.

Beautiful packaging!

It’s part of their Christmas gift sets that they have at the moment. I love cooking so I was really excited about this.

And let me tell you, they fully deliver on the ingredients and items in the package! The items included are:

  • The Food Of Vietnam cookbook
  • Potato Flour
  • Chaokoh Coconut Milk
  • Vietnamese Rice Paper
  • Vietnamese Shrimp Paste
  • Rice Vermicelli Noodles
  • Vietnamese Fish Sauce
  • Hanoi Rice Vinegar
  • Tamarind Pulp
  • Sous Chef Drawstring Bag

The cookbook is massive (seriously huge!) and contains so many recipes from Luke Nguyen, a renowned Vietnamese chef in Australia. The ingredients are exactly what you need to create an authentic meal and are of fantastic quality.

My dad loves cooking and loves Asian food so this is something I would have certainly considered buying him for Christmas. As it was, I got to do lots of cooking with him using this set. We’ve always enjoyed cooking together since before I went to university when he taught me how to cook and so we LOVED this.

It’s a great idea because a lot of the time when you want to cook a different cuisine you need to source and buy so many of the ingredients. And sometimes that can be tricky if the ingredients aren’t the usual ones we’d find in our supermarkets, whereas with this you have them all ready to go and a host of recipes that need them.

We loved the Crisp silken tofu crusted in lemongrass (mmm so lemony) and the Quy Nhon fish cakes so far!

I’ve also been trying some cool protein powder from REGENATIVE from Whey Forward Health Industries. It’s aimed at protecting cells and tissues from oxidative damage and the general poundings that running and endurance sports can cause.

When you exercise your body produces an increased amount of free radicals, and antioxidants can help clear this up and prevent oxidative stress to your body (causing inflammation, damages muscles and potentially lead to injury). Due to its “bioavailable” form of amino acids within the protein, it also helps with building muscles. And it’s Informed-Sport Certified, which means it has been rigorously batch-tested for banned substances. So no worries about doping, eh! 😉

You can buy it as a monthly delivery pack which gives you:

  • 28 individual sachets (Dark Chocolate & Himalayan Salt flavour or unflavoured)
  • A cool bamboo storage case
  • REGENATIVE® Starter Guide 
  • REGENATIVE Rechargeable Vortex Mixer

I quite liked having the unflavoured versions as I’m a big fan of plain porridge anyway. You can also add it to soups and things like that as well without compromising the taste. I love protein powder and always put it in my porridge in the morning just to help keep me fuller for longer and get an easy amount of protein early doors.

So many sachets!

I also LOVE the Vortex Mixer. Mixing protein powder can be a nightmare but this is incredible. So easy and works fantastically!

It charges via USB

Actually, I have recently given it to Kyle as he’s been wanting to up his protein and found trying to mix protein powder with water to drink using a shaker is dreadful as it’s still so lumpy. But with this it mixes in SECONDS and zero lumps. He keeps telling people about it in the office so I think he’s happy haha!

Also, I’m a bit late to the party but I’m loving my Goodr sunglasses that I bought before Chicago.

I mean I haven’t technically had that much of a chance to wear them for running due to my injuries (though I did wear them during the marathon), I love them. They fit perfectly.

It’s nice as well as Kyle got them in a different colour and as they’re one size only we can swap with each other if we fancy a different colour.

And I can’t not mention something sweet and tasty… We’ve recently just finished our office bake off competition. So no more weekly bakes in the office, which is devastating! But we had some truly amazing bakes which made a Monday morning far more enjoyable 😉

These were the overall winner: chocolate lava cakes. Heated up in the microwave for 15 seconds and eaten with a spoon, divine! When that chocolate lava seeps out it’s honestly heavenly.

Do you wear sunglasses to run in?

Do you like Asian cuisine?

Do you think you get enough protein from your diet?

**Full disclaimer: I was sent the Vietnamese food bundle and the protein shake bundle for free in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own honest ones.**