Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Growing your own

Fresh from the veg patch
With the last few days of lovely sunshine the tomatoes I toiled over much earlier in the year are finally really ripening. And there's nothing better than plucking one for your lunch - and eating it while it is still warm from basking in the sun. And each time I eat something from my veg patch it reminds me just what a great feeling it is to grow your own. My efforts last Spring were minimal I'm afraid, but I have still had strawberries, summer squash, onions, tomatoes, chillies, spinach, blueberries, peas, apples and potatoes (plus some lovely wild blackberries that were growing in my hedge!) to enjoy. I have some plump pumpkins growing now too - ready for a hearty Autumnal soup methinks.

From garden to plate to tummy!!!
And I'm going to try and hold on to this feeling all through the winter and into early next year, so I can put a bit more effort into into planting come next March, because growing my own seems to be the healthy option. Not only does it force me to get out in all weathers - bending, stretching, wrestling, digging and - the worst of all gardening jobs - weeding, it also encourages me to eat more plant-based meals and turn my back on the over-packaged and chemically-enhanced products that often now grace the supermarket shelves.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Try out your rugby moves - and win!

Ball games are a great way to get your entire family active over the summer - and encourage physical exercise in people of all ages. As well as teaching skills such as dribbling, throwing, aiming and bouncing to your kids, ball games also depend on team work and social interaction. Regularly throwing a ball about on a pitch, a beach, a field, in the back garden or playground will help improve the motor skills, hand-to-eye co-ordination, posture and muscle and bone development of everyone that joins in. And as well as countless kiddie classes, there's plenty of opportunities for parents to take up and continue a ball sport as a regular workout too.

Next month sees the kick off of the Rugby World Cup 2015 - and there's never been a better time to pick up ball for some family fun. Allianz is celebrating its partnership with rugby union club Saracens (last year's winner of the Premiership title and a team that boasts seven England Internationals), with the #PassAroundTheWorld campaign. You can join in the fun - and win great prizes too! The question is - who will you pass to?

Monday, 3 August 2015

Top tips for buying a new sporty swimsuit

Swim yourself to health!

Photo credit: Winnond/
Whether you favour the pool, the sea or the river, if you've been bitten by the swimming bug, chances are you'll be in the market for a new suit. But if in the past you've been more interested in poolside posing than lengths and laps it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to buying a costume that will meet all your new needs - and last longer than a string bikini in a summer romance! Here's some essential advice if you're buying a swimsuit for fitness (as well as fun...).

Monday, 27 July 2015

Bendy, stretchy children for summer!

Stretch out the summer hols
Buy the book here

If you have kids, you'll have noticed how they can't sit still. And how they like to use the living room as an assault course. While keeping active is to be encouraged it can be a little disconcerting when you see your little ones springboard off the sofa. Bumped heads and worse are every parents' nightmare - and a trip to A&E pretty low down on the list of ways you want to spend your summer holidays. But if you want to keep them active without any injuries, what's the solution?

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Camping - the healthy holiday!

There's nothing more traditional than packing up your family car and heading off for a few nights under canvas during the school holidays. Kids and (some) adults alike love the idea of setting up a temporary camp off the beaten track - and sleeping under the stars. You can choose to go high-end with sturdy, ready-pitched accommodation featuring a decent loo and stove - or bite the bullet and pack your own tent and 'rough' it, cooking on a burner and using compost 'facilities'. And the good news is that whichever end of the scale you favour, camping is good for your health - and here's why...

Monday, 6 July 2015

Running with a buggy - the perfect combo!

One of the hardest times to look after yourself physically is when you have a baby in tow. Alongside sleep deprivation and weaning, dirty nappies and milestones it's difficult to prioritise your own needs - even though by the time your baby is nearing his or her first birthday you're probably keen to fit some me time into your life. And perhaps even hankering after a regular workout.

But if you don't want to put your child into a gym creche or other care provider while you take time out - or if that's just not feasible - you can be left with very few fitness options. Which is why running with your child is such a great idea. It's free for a start - and a great way to fit exercise around a changing timetable as your baby develops. You can go alone - or with friends - and both you and your offspring get a healthy dose of fresh air and togetherness.

So, how do you get started?

Monday, 29 June 2015

Steal this from your kids!

'And then Mummy said to me,
don't go anywhere near my bendy rollers...'
As a parent you'd be forgiven for thinking that you no longer have any possessions that are truly your own. Nothing is sacred, be it your Chanel nail varnish, your high heels or your expensive shampoo. But seems it cuts both ways - and one of the upsides of having littlies in your life is the access to a whole new world of toiletries and bathroom goodies. And many of them might just find a place in your gym bag...

Water babies - and their mums...

If you have a child that suffers from repeated ear infections but enjoys swimming, you have probably already discovered SwimSeal. These protective ear drops coat the outer ear canal and prevent trapped water from causing pain. You pop a few drops in each ear before exposure to water and a barrier is formed (added Tea Tree oil also acts as an anti fungal and antibacterial agent too). Since adults can use them too, it's perfect if you swim regularly and suffer from these types of problems (particularly if you've got a cold coming on - which is pretty much all the time if you have a young kiddo!!!).