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.

MRI results…

I had my MRI results for my knee on Thursday.

I was so worried and nervous. I didn’t really know what to hope for. If it turned out I needed an operation then at least I had a firm answer and could take strong actions to sort it. Yes it would take time (to schedule and then recover) and would be painful and scary, but at least it would (potentially) fix the issue. But to hope for that wasn’t making me feel any easier. I don’t want to have an operation. But equally I want my knee to feel better and so far nothing else has helped.

Anyway I sat in front of the surgeon and he showed me the MRI scans of my knee and told me that I had a “structurally perfect knee”. In fact, he was very impressed with how good my knee looked for someone who has run 20 marathons and so many miles. Instead of relief I just felt frustrated. It was like I was being told that the discomfort and pain was all in my head. I sat there literally feeling my knee aching while he said my knee looked perfect. What the hell.

He could sense my disappointment and reassured me that while having an operation was probably (relatively speaking) an easy option to curing the pain it wasn’t the ideal option. He said I should be grateful I don’t have to have an op and that usually this point of action ends up in needing another op later on down the road. And as a young (why thank you) female, taking a piece out of my knee wasn’t something he’d want to do even if I did need an operation.

But what now then? Well he said there was nothing else he could do for me and recommended a highly rated knee-focused physio. She sounded good and I rang her up and got an appointment for the next day.

She checked my knee and leg out and told me that, as we could now definitely rule out it being a tear or anything to do with the meniscus/cartilage, it was likely to be a misalignment of my kneecap. This was probably down to my calf and quad being tight. The calf wasn’t something I had considered, but it made a lot of sense. The trainers I’d changed to had made my Achilles and lower calves super tight, but I didn’t really suspect it an issue. But apparently this is pulling my knee from the bottom, and then my quad is pulling from the top.

The pain is due to my kneecap (or a specific part of my kneecap at least) being irritated. So she advised stretching (shock), foam rolling (shock), better trainers (happy days) and Ibuprofen gel specifically in the crevice of my knee where it’s causing issues. She gave me some stretches and massaged my leg and off I went.

This does all make sense to me, and of course I’m relieved I don’t have a tear, but part of me wonders if this is really it? Stretch more and foam roll? Are you kidding me? Asides from my calf, I have been stretching and foam rolling my legs weekly. Urgh. I just feel either incredibly stupid that it’s this simple or a bit cheated that it’s this simple.

At least I’ve been given the go-ahead to strength train my legs, albeit gently. So I’ve been doing TRX single leg squats and body weight squats, slowly and with good form. Maybe it’s a case of getting the strength back up to get the muscles firing appropriately?

I feel a bit at a loss if I’m honest. Sure I can try new trainers and do the whole “Ibuprofen reduce inflammation” thing but it feels a bit of a catch-all diagnosis, you know?

Anyway, I could moan and whine for too long about this. I need to gather my thoughts and see how things progress. On to something else…

I was recently sent a pack of TRR Nutrition supplements to try. It’s an advanced collagen supplement containing 10,000mg of hydrolysed marine collagen. Designed and created by a host of scientists and nutritionists (including Glenn Kearney, nutritionist to tennis superstar Andy Murray) with the aim to support joints, bone health and immune system. Collagen is a protein which helps form connective tissue in the body. We do naturally produce it but the production slows down, so adding it to your diet is a good way to pump it back up. The benefits are that is can reduce wrinkles (wahey!), support strong bones and keep your joints strong and flexible too.

So anyway I tried the supplements… I mean, I guess it was probably the best time for me to be taking it with all my knee issues. Of course I can’t say for certain but my knee has certainly improved from the terrible shape it was in after the marathon, though equally time and healing go hand in hand.

The supplement comes in a little bottle – it’s like a shot of health basically. Not only does it contain collagen but it contains turmeric (good for inflammation), glucosamine, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and copper.

I’ll warn you though, it doesn’t taste great. I would advise taking it like a shot: quickly just swallowing it down. The cherry flavour is far better than the citrus, but it still has quite the turmeric flavour.

I am very keen to continue taking this as the research on collagen seems strong and it’s something in my comeback to running (is that ever going to happen…?) will probably help. I really like the ethos behind the company and if I can be 1% of the athlete that Andy Murray is then I’m on to a winner!

By the way, they currently have a 50% off sale right now!

Have you ever taken collagen?

Have you ever had an MRI?

**Full Disclaimer: I was sent the TRR supplements for free in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own honest ones.**

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.

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?