Wednesday, 5 September 2018

New (school) year resolutions!

Time to set your goals
Photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash
Resolutions in January are so old school! Make the start of this academic year the time you set and achieve new goals in health and fitness. 

With the kids back at (or maybe even just starting) school, September is a great time to have a think about what healthy habits you'd like to put in place as we head into those shorter days and towards Christmas (there I said it!). Yes the shorts are packed away and the hotel pool is just a distant memory, but instead of tucking into comfort food and spending your spare time on the sofa, use Autumn to re-assess what you'd like to do to really end 2018 on a high.

Take in the whole picture


The fitness industry is forever telling us what the new trend is - and that means everything from rave classes to yoga with goats! But one new approach that's based on more than a soundbite is looking at both your physical and mental well being at the same time.

This applies to the new UNITY program from personal trainer Julia Buckley. It combines calorie-torching cardio and lean muscle building with elements of yoga, mindfulness and meditation. Julia promises that as well as transforming your body, her program will allow you to make meaningful changes for life and take care of what’s going on in your head. When you sign up you'll receive loads of downloadable materials and personal coaching via Facebook. For more info head over here for the FAQ.  


Beat the blues


Remember to eat well in winter
Photo by Jo Sonn on Unsplash
It's easy to feel a bit deflated once the summer is on the wane, once the kids are back to school, there's loads to fit in again, but energy levels start to flag as we see less sunlight and temperatures start to dip. It's just as important to stick to healthy eating even if swimsuit season is over - so make sure you're getting enough essential vitamins and minerals in your diet. Several of the supermarkets now have meal planning pages to help you organise your food shop. I like the ones here from Good Housekeeping as there's plenty of variety. 

You could also consider taking a supplement specifically designed to help with energy levels and the immunity system. The Swiss Dr.Dünner brand uses herbal ingredients to create liquids, capsules and creams to help your digestive health, the immune system, your muscles and joints and nerves and brain function. 

Another great way to maintain your health is getting a decent night's sleep. Easy right? Not so much. The Sleep Council recently found 30 per cent of people sleep poorly most nights. But getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental and physical health, quality of life and safety.

I've written about Seasonal Affective Disorder before - and have plenty of tips to aid sleep on my blog here. I love my Lumie lights - and using one really helps my younger daughter switch off and then rise and shine in the morning. Heaven knows, getting the house ready for school can be stressful enough without a grumpy child! 

And what can you do to ensure you get enough shut eye? The most recent advice to hit the headlines is the US army method that is guaranteed to help you go to sleep in 120 seconds. It comes from the book 'Relax and Win: Championship Performance' - why not give it a try and let me know how you get on? 

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Try the ESquared fitness app with 15% off!

health, workout, lifting
Make your workout work for you
I recently gave up my gym membership. Not because I wasn't using it - but because I began to find the process of booking classes and attending - frustrating (waiting lists, crowded car parks, territorial gym users...). Because I'd been there so many years I also felt I'd fallen into a workout rut, so I was turning up, but not giving it my all. The move gave me an opportunity to take a good look around at the gym and workout options now available - and things have really changed since I took up that membership out more than five years ago!

There are tons more exciting classes and places to go than ever before - and whole lot more flexibility available now too. If you're in need of a workout shake up - or have found your daily routine changed, the popular way to get your exercise fix is now pay-as-you-go. And ESquared is a new app that works as a one-stop-shop for gyms and studio classes all across London. Is it for you?

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Stay safe in the snow!

snow, safety, family health, health advice
School's out for winter...!
The school is shut and your work train is cancelled - so there's big cheers all around as friends and family declare a 'snow day'. But as well as being lots of fun, dipping temperates, snow and ice can present challenges too - and be dangerous to the elderly, those that are pregnant and newborn to school age children. Follow our tops tips to enjoy the snow without falling foul of the wintery weather.

A warm home

One of the most important things to remember when it's cold outside is to keep your house at the right temperature - the NHS advises that to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), babies should sleep in rooms heated to between 16℃ and 20℃. Ahead of the winter it's always worth bleeding radiators and checking your insulation is still up to scratch. But on a day-to-day basis you can make the most of the heat you have by closing curtains at dusk - and open them in sunshine. If you've had the oven on - leave the door open when you're finished. Draught excluders by the door and rugs on colder wooden floors also help, and if you have a chimney that's not in use, use a device to block up the gap.


Monday, 5 February 2018

Three simple ways to eat healthy

diet, weight loss, healthy eating
Britain has a love affair with processed and unhealthy foods...
It's official, the UK has the unhealthiest diet in Europe. Last week news that us Brits eat five times more processed food than those living in Portugal, and four times more than those in France, Greece and Italy, hit the headlines. 

In fact, the researchers from the University of São Paulo, revealed that half of the average person’s diet in the UK is made up of food that has been altered someway in its preparation - from breakfast cereals to ready meals. And that puts us at more risk of obesity, heart disease and strokes. 

Not surprisingly, food and health experts have since dubbed the UK a 'public health disaster zone'.

The problem with processed food is that during manufacture many of the nutrients are lost - and are instead replaced with artificial substances, sugar, salt and fat. When food lacks nutrition we tend to eat more - and many of the added substances can also be addictive, again tricking our minds to overeat and never feel satisfied. The UK government currently relies on the food industry to regulate itself - with mixed results - which also means shopping for healthier choices is made harder. So with convenience food so readily available, how can we really change our diets - and improve our long-term health? 

Here are three ways to overhaul your eating habits - and improve your health - for good...

Monday, 4 December 2017

Pre- and post-party pampering

party, pamper, christmas
Christmas comes but once a year-
so make sure you're ready to enjoy it!
You can't beat the season of goodwill for some ace party invites - but rich food, late nights and one too many festive tipples can leave you feeling far from jolly.

If you'd like to redress the balance, here's some great ways to prep (and recover) from all that festive fun...




Saturday, 11 November 2017

Christmas kit and caboodle!

dance wear, workout, kit, catsuit
Choose your perfect workout
wear this Christmas

Now the pumpkins are in the compost bin, it's officially okay to discuss Christmas shopping. And the great thing about people that like to stay healthy and work out is that they're super easy to buy presents for! 


Here are some great gifting ideas for the fitness fiends on your list (which might well be you too!).

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

The best and worst children’s menus

The Soil Association wants high street
restaurants to improve the service and food they offer to children 
The Soil Association’s Out to Lunch campaign is back. Working with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, it has launched it's latest League Table, ranking 25 of the most popular chains to reveal the best and worst children’s menus at UK restaurant chains. And published today (11 October), on World Obesity Day, the league table has uncovered continuing widespread poor practice with a number of chains failing to serve fresh food or healthy choices.

On the upside, the research (carried out by secret diner families) shows that children’s food on the high street has undergone notable improvement since the Soil Association launched the campaign in 2013. There are now 13 chains serving a portion of veg or salad with every meal (up from 6 chains in 2013) and 12 chains that include organic ingredients on the menu (up from 4 chains in 2013). 

Rob Percival from the Soil Association believes many restaurants are now prioritising child health and investing in healthier and more creative meal options, but says there is still a national scandal, with some chains 'dishing up super-sized calorific junk, undermining national efforts to tackle childhood obesity.'

The good, the bad - and the ugly!