Winter is coming…

The long sunny days are beginning to get shorter and going for long runs outside seem to be getting shorter and harder as the weeks progress. Summer comes and goes, we all know that but your fitness shouldn’t be hindered as a result.

Winter is coming...

Instead, consider preparing yourself for the season ahead.

We are beginning to notice the autumnal change in the air and now is the best time to get yourself ready.

Sportswear – It might seem simple but if you enjoy exercising outside, invest in some thermal sportswear. This will allow you to continue to do what you do best outside, without feeling the chill.

What if it’s raining I hear you ask? Hats can be a great way to keep dry, along with a waterproof if you are sick of your hood falling down.

Gym – If however the weather is becoming too much to handle, begin making use of a gym membership. With the dark nights setting in, I would advise to go straight from work. A lot of the time we may have good intentions – even on the way home – however once you’re in your warm house and its become dark outside, you may be less likely to go. A tip of mine is to always have your gym bag in the back of your car. Who knows, you might even have an additional day in the gym during your working week!

Home – Okay, so leaving your cosy home may seem like a chore but remember, exercise can be done at home too. There are many apps to try, however I always find the Nike training app a brilliant start. Not only does the app give you various types of workouts – from yoga to HiiT – it can also create a 6 week fitness plan for you. This tool is also great if your plans have to change last minute.

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Nutrition – With the weather changing, so should your food. Although hearty meals might feel right at this time of year, try to eat more seasonal veg with your meals. This will give you the best nutrients possible throughout the day and they should be cheaper too.

Remember if you eat the same foods day in day out and complete the same fitness routine, not only will you become bored but your body will plateau. As a result of this you may find yourself demotivated, that might through you off track to reaching your goals.

Variety is the spice of life when it comes to fitness and nutrition. So take a look around you and respond to your environment, your body will thank you.

The Lying Game

The Lying Game begins with a text message, I need you. From this moment onwards the reader is propelled into Isa’s life and lies that entwine within. As the lies in The Lying Game  unfold, the truth about Isa’s friendships and relationships surface. With everyone playing the lying game, who should she trust?

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Best selling author Ruth Ware, also known for her novels In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10, has yet again met the high expectations of her readers. Although I prefer In a Dark. Dark Wood (and that’s not just because I’m a northerner), The Lying Game demonstrates an element of childlike games that we can all relate to, to some extent. It is when Ruth Ware stretches and twists these concepts, that makes her novels so appealing to the 20s + market.

If you have read any of Ruth Ware’s other novels then you will enjoy The Lying Game as her style is clearly cemented in every page. If you enjoy novels such as Gone Girl, then this could be the book for you. The Lying Game is not as intense but that shouldn’t be seen as a negative. 

I would suggest this novel to anyone who wants to read a thriller with elements of light heartedness. Not every thriller needs to be intense on every page and it’s for this reason that I would recommend The Lying Game as a good holiday read.

Staying safe in the sun

It’s that time of year again. Summer. Long days, warm weather and rays for days! Sometimes us Brits can get a little too excited when it comes to the summer. We either forget to be safe in the sun or just presume because it’s Britain, it won’t be as hot or skin damaging, as abroad! We then go in the shade thinking ooh I have a tan!  Only to realise that we’ve gone as pink as a lobster!

This year I’ve really tried to focus on being safe in the sun, whilst still having fun. Am I going to sunbathe and have Pina Coladas by the pool? Yes. Am I going to put up with heat/sun stroke in the process? No.

Here’s a few tips that I’ve found to be incredibly useful and that are so easy to do.

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Don’t over do it – It can be great sunbathing; soaking up the sunshine and getting all of that vitamin D. However that doesn’t mean you have to do it all day, everyday. Try coming out of the sun between 12-2pm. This is when the sun is at its hottest. Just remember, you can still get a tan if you spend 2 hours in the shade. I promise!

Stay hydrated – Depending on where you are this can seem rather tricky to do. If you’re in certain areas of Europe where the the tap water isn’t drinkable, then bottled water is really cheap- great! If you are going to America, you can often pay a lot more for bottled water, which can be hard if you still have problems drinking their tap water. If you can get hold of water however, I’d recommend you drink MORE THAN 8 GLASSES A DAY. This concept traditionally applies to your daily routine, however you will lose more fluid in hotter climates. Ideally, use the two hours you are out of the sun as a time to hydrate yourself!

Use Sensitive Sun Lotion – Some sun tan lotions, particularly sensitive ones, state that they protect against ‘sun induced allergies.’ Sun induced allergies could suggest prickly heat or rashes that occur due to the sun. Therefore this type of sun tan lotion will help protect against these issues. For more information about sun induced allergies please click here. A significant difference between this type of sun lotion in comparison to a regular sun tan lotion from my experience, is that my skin was kept cooler for longer, meaning that I did not get any reactions whilst in the sun.

You can leave your hat on – No seriously, leave it on! It’s amazing how many times this idea can go amiss. Putting a hat or bandana over your face or the back of your head will help keep you cool. I know, It’s warm and it probably seems like it will do the opposite; I promise it won’t. Wearing a hat or even placing one on the back of your head whilst sunbathing, gives your head direct shade and will help in preventing that flaky scalp we all hate so much.

Aftersun v Moisturiser – The shower after you’ve been sunburnt can be particularly painful but remember to use aftersun once you have showered, not moisturiser! Although moisturiser will help keep your skin hydrated, it will not ease sunburn or treat the skin. Aftersun is specifically designed to ease the redness of sunburn and to cool the skin also. Apply as much as you need and don’t worry about keeping it in the fridge – that’s preference.

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Whether you are going abroad or staying at home, don’t let the sun fool you this summer. I hope this post has been useful and remember, stay safe in the sun!

The Bittersweet Feeling of a Holiday

It’s that time of year again; bags packed, taxi booked, holiday here I come. I love everything about travelling, the airports, the language, the culture and even the flying.

If there was one element I disliked however, it would have to be leaving my dog Millie behind. I hate what my suitcase does to her. As soon as I see it I get excited and think of fun times ahead. With Millie however, she knows what’s going on and knows what that means for her. Kennel time. I hate leaving her but she’s so picky with whose likes, she has no choice but to go in the kennels.

However before I leave her, I take a few fun photos with her before I go. It makes me feel like she’s coming on the holiday with me. Not only that but she also gives me something to look forward to when I get back.

So without further ado, here is a few photos I’ve taken over the years just before I left for the airport with my much loved dog. I can’t wait to see her when I get back!

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This post was inspired by Aura Frames.

Why being healthy isn’t working for you

Wanting to be healthy? That’s great but how do we really know if we are healthy?

First of all you need to identify what healthy means to you. This could be having a regular exercise regime, eating nourishing foods, not eating sugar or even all of the above. Once you’ve identified what healthy means to you, you can start to achieve it.

However…

What if being healthy is not a goal or a destination, only a process. Would you still want to be healthy? Perhaps you want to be healthy but really just want to lose a few pounds the ‘healthy’ way.

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The term ‘healthy’ can come in many shapes and sizes and for that reason it shouldn’t be seen as an end goal or target. If you are wanting to be healthy so that you can lose weight, then ultimately it’s not realistic. From my own experience eating healthily and exercising regularly doesn’t always mean you will lose weight. If you’re also munching on nutritious food that you dislike, it’s not likely that you will be able to stick to this style of eating – even if you do manage to lose some weight.

The best way I believe to look at the word healthy is to imagine the word no longer exists. Now try and explain what you are wanting or trying to achieve. By doing so, this emphasises your true goals and what you really want.

Sometimes it can be hard to know if and when you are ‘healthy’ – I still find it difficult myself. You might be going out and eating more sugary treats than you are used to. Does that make you unhealthy? Not necessarily. I always think that if you are making a conscious effort to exercise regularly and are eating nutritious meals the majority of the time then you are healthy.

With that being said- Don’t be too hard on yourself! Yes, we all get stressed, tired and run down, so don’t feel guilty if you didn’t make that gym session or you had a little more sugar than usual. Just remind yourself, if you weren’t stressed/tired/sick, you would be still making an effort to exercise and eat good food.

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So next time you want to give yourself a lifestyle target or goal to aim towards, don’t let it be healthy! Focus on what you want and you will have a stronger chance of reaching it.

Love your dog and love your health

Loving your dog may have more health benefits than you think. A dog is not only a pet, but a loving animal that can improve your health and can even help with occupational therapy. I absolutely love my Old English Sheepdog. She’s called Millie and can really tell when I’m feeling a little down. Not only that but she relaxes me after a hard day at work and can even tell when I’m under the weather.

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My Millie 😀

However, although I may favouritize my dog (because she’s mine!), all dogs have these great qualities and each owner should cherish them. I don’t know what I would do without my hugs from Millie after a hard day! Interestingly, a few other skills that dogs have include being able to detect lung and breast cancer by sniffing a patient’s breath. Not only this but dogs can also help their owners get their recommended amount of exercise on a regular basis and lower their owner’s blood pressure (just by stroking them!).

Not only do dogs add character to the family but they can also help you relax, ease anxiety, boost self-esteem and can help a child’s social development. If you are thinking about getting a dog but have been unsure about the extra responsibility, then think about  what else you are gaining by getting a dog. Not only is it character but a dog is a pet that can keep you healthy both inside and out. I love having my dog and I just wanted to write a post dedicated to my dog and how much she helps me, even when she doesn’t know. If anyone else has a dog then I’m pretty sure you’ll feel the same, I mean hey, who can’t love dogs! If you would like any additional information about the benefits of having a dog then please read the infographic below or you can visit www.puppyspot.com

Puppy Spot also have a space dedicated to puppies for sale. So if you’re wanting to include a new addition to your family then check out their puppies for sale.

 

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Keeping motivated with a busy schedule

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How many of you try and try again to keep up with going to the gym, eating healthy and doing well at work and never seem to find a balance?

Yeah, me too. It can at times feel really difficult to juggle all these things at once and as soon as one drops, the motivation gradually seems to disappear too. Sound about right?

To combat these feelings and to keep your motivation in top shape, here are a few tips that I’ve started to adopt that really make a difference.

Don’t compromise your health – now it can be easy to say don’t compromise your health but when you have a few deadlines or want to impress your boss, your health can sometimes take a back seat. Think of it like this, if you weren’t healthy what would you not be able to do anymore? You may not be able to perform your best, which means you won’t be able to impress that boss or even make your deadlines. In fact, if you aren’t healthy, you would be bed bound and that ain’t good! So next time you think that missing that afternoon run or yoga session is okay, think again. You may be doing more harm than good.

Fuel your body with the right stuff – This again is much easier said than done. However instead of thinking, ‘I’m going to stop eating sugar because it’s bad for me,’ try thinking about the nutrients that are in your food. If you eat right you will be fuelling your body to perform at its best. You will be eating a variety of nutrients that strengthen your immune system. Not only that but your skin will look clearer and radiant and your hair and nails will remain strong. I mean, who wouldn’t want that? So next time you reach for that biscuit, think about the nutritional value to it. You may even end up changing your mind!

Schedule in your gym time – A lot of the time we can seem so committed and yet when it comes to the day or night of your gym session, you put it off. Why? It could be because you don’t want to go, it may even be because you think you need to do more work (If so please revert back to my first point). However it has been proven that people who schedule their gym time in their diaries, tend to stick to it more than those who didn’t. So next time you want to show your commitment to the gym- pencil it in.

I hope these tips are useful for any of those busy workers. I am a strong believer in that keeping it simple is key to a happier and healthier life. So eat to nourish your body, make time for yourself and schedule in your gym time. You never know – it might be just what you need.

New Year, New You… Right?

It’s that time of year again, empty chocolate boxes are chucked away to make room for fruit and vegetables. Out with those clothes that don’t fit and in with new workout gear. This will be your year. Every New Year I can’t help but wonder how many people actually stick to this New Year resolution after January or who even keeps it up for the entire year? After seeing people lose weight and put it back on, I thought it might help to give some advice.

Before I start, it is important for me to remind you that these are my own views and are ways in which it has worked for me in the past. So here it goes:

Break down your goals – When I reflect on what’s helped me keep some of my New Year’s resolutions is to break my goal down into measurable pieces. For example, if you want to lose 2 stone before your summer holiday, break it up into small goals. So for example, by Easter you may want to have lost 1 stone or you may want to have gained your muscle mass by February half term. By doing this, you are more likely to stay on track as a goal is always in sight.

Write it down – Sometimes it can often help to write down your thoughts and progress about your goals and how far away you are from achieving them. The process itself can not only seem therapeutic to many but it can also make you feel like your goal is more concrete. If it is written in front of you in ink, your goal is out of your head and onto paper in the real world. This is something I’m trying to do more myself this year as I feel that it will keep me less stressed also. img_3137

Stop using the word diet and use nutrition – If you always refer to your eating habits as being some form of diet then you may feel more restricted. Also diet for me has connotations of failing because once you stop following one, your weight just creeps back up. If you think of food as nutrition however and what you want to fuel your body with then I find that it gives you a more positive outlook on your health. Do you want a nutritious body that has glowing skin? Then eat the right minerals and vitamins for your body.

I really hope these help with you all wanting to keep to your New Years resolutions and good luck!

How to stop your appetite increasing after exercise

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We’ve all heard that exercise is vital to keeping our bodies fit and healthy. The only problem however is how do we stop our increasing appetite taking over. Lets, start with what’s happening with our body.

Each time you exercise you are keeping your metabolism on its toes. If you exercise regularly then you may not feel a huge increase in your appetite. However people who have not done any exercise in a while, are much more likely to experience this and perhaps as a result, over indulge. So if you are normally used to going to work and relaxing, going to the gym a few times a week can really confuse your body. Unsure of what is happening, your metabolism speeds up and feels like it needs more energy. So you eat. However after the meal you normally eat, you may find yourself wanting more food. This is because you’ve probably given your body a shock when exercising. Some of you may find this happening after only going to the gym once. This could be purely because of the intensity of your workout. So, how do we stop this?

Don’t run before you can walk. Before you do exercise, think about how long it’s been since you last did any exercise and/or the intensity. With this in mind try changing you exercise to suit your needs NOW, rather than comparing yourself to a potential fitter you. For example if you normally do an hour of exercise, try 45 minutes, If you do high interval training, try changing the intensity or lengthen your breaks. The point of this is so that when you get hungry, your metabolism is’t flying ahead making you eat the calories you’ve just lost. Also the amount of times you exercise can make a big impact. If you haven’t been exercising for the past few weeks, then try exercising once a week, then twice and then gradually increase your timing if desired. Otherwise there is a strong chance that you either won’t be able to maintain it, or you may end up feeling like you have a never-ending stomach. By gradually increasing the amount of workouts you do, you will be in control of how much your metabolism speeds up. So which exercises are great to do that don’t speed up your metabolism? Well all exercises do speed your metabolism up to some extent. However below are a few exercise that I’ve found to help and to not leave you feeling hungry.

Yoga/Pilates. Both of these exercises focus on lengthening the muscles and using your core to hold particular moves. This type of exercise is great if you want to increase the amount of exercise you do. Due to the exercise being a strengthening exercise, as opposed to a cardio based workout, your metabolism is not likely to increase as much.

Weights.  This can depend on how heavy your weights are, however this form of exercise may also help to stop your metabolism soaring. The best part about using weights in a workout is that you don’t need to be there for hours to feel the benefits. If you are just getting back into the gym, then even 5 minutes could do the trick.

Variety. Although this isn’t a workout as such, spreading out your workouts and having variety in them is a good way of controlling your metabolism. However be careful, if your intensity is high on each workout then you may be speeding up your metabolism drastically. So, the best way to use variety in your workouts when getting back into exercise, would be to change the intensity. So if you exercise with high intensity on a morning, then the next time you exercise opt for a low intensity. This will help you to still lose weight, but to not feel as if you are going hungry.

I hope these tips help and you now have a greater understanding of why those hunger pangs come a few days after exercise. Don’t worry it’s normal but it’s also manageable. Please feel free to comment with your thoughts below. Also feel free to share any other tips on the subject.

24 Hours at Fort Lauderdale

Right so you have 24 hours to try and see what Fort Lauderdale has to offer, sounds difficult right? Not anymore. Below is a few ways in how you can get around and see/do everything you want. So here we go!

Shopping – If you’re looking for well known brands and stores such as Macy’s, Victoria Secret and Apple, then the Galleria Mall is for you. It’s situated slightly inland, surrounded by docked yachts and is within walking distance from the nearest beach. The best way to get to this mall when I was there, was by taxi. It cost $12 from Galt Mile, just to give you an idea of the cost.

If it’s souvenirs you want then Ft.Lauderdale Beach Blvd is perfect. These strip of shops are full of souvenirs and are at different prices, so make sure to check a few of the shops before finally settling on something. Lauderdale by the Sea is also a great place for shopping. Primarily souvenirs, this hangout is great if you want to grab a quick souvenir and still want to be able to do your water sports too!

Beaches – The white sandy beaches here are great for water sports and topping up your
tan. The busiest parts of the beaches tend to be where expected, such as Ft.Lauderdale Beach Blvd, with a lot of locals preferring the beaches at Lauderdale by the Sea. If possible, I would recommend going to the beach at Lauderdale by the Sea and walk south from there towards Ft.Lauderdale. This tends to be where hotel guests use the beach so it’s a little quieter if that’s what you prefer.

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Nightlife – If clubbing and drinking is your type of a night out then look no further than downtown Ft.Lauderdale. Filled with bars along the beach, where happy hours start from 5pm and if that’s not enough, they even do 24 ounce cocktails, served in large margarita glasses for $20.

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If you prefer a meal out on a night, then I’d suggest Lauderdale by the Sea. If it’s a casual night then Mulligan’s is a must. They offer great value for money and the staff cannot do enough for you. If you’re looking for somewhere a little more formal, try Ocean 101. Proud of their seafood specialities, there is so much more to this place than their fish! Their food varies from sandwiches and burgers, to Italian and asian inspired dishes.

Travel – The best way to see Ft.Lauderdale would probably be by bus. It’s $2 a journey and is great to travel back and forth between Ft.Lauderdale and Lauderdale by the Sea. Taxi’s aren’t badly priced and can add a little luxury to your holiday.

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Everything mentioned is within distance from each other and all can be done within the same day. The best part about Fort Lauderdale is how friendly and helpful everyone is.  So much so that it’s almost impossible to get lost! With further links into Miami, water sports on your doorway, surrounded by thriving bars and shops, it’s no wonder that so many people visit here each summer!