Friday, 13 January 2017

Get fit for free!

workout, healthy, stability ball,
Join the Julia Buckley
online gym for free (yes FREE!).
At this time of year everyone wants to start healthy habits but not everyone has the cash to splash on a gym membership or personal trainer. Particularly right after the expense of Christmas! And if you've failed to keep up with a fitness plan in the past you might also be reticent to start paying to work out if you think you might renegade later. (but you won't this time - will you? Because you've read this!).

Thankfully not all exercise plans come with a price tag. And if you can get a taste for the good life for free - why not take it? What have you got to lose?

Here are some top training ideas that won't cost you a penny:

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Healthy homes are heated homes!

snow, winter health, energy savings
The kids are already planning for snow...
but are you ready?
Okay, we've all heard the hype - the temperature is about to drop and it could snow (and some places are already suffering!). But along with the panic of how you'll get to work in icy conditions and your kids' excitement that the schools may shut, it's important to keep your home at a healthy temperature.

A study by Public Health England found that indoor temperatures below 18 degrees can have an impact on health, and independent expert the Energy Saving Trust is reminding people not to take risks and ensure that their homes are able to cope with the conditions. This comes after a study shows 42 per cent of householders across the country avoid putting the heating on during cold spells due to concerns about high bills. Brrrrrr!

So how can you protect your family's health AND avoid a large bill? Here's what our experts have to say:

Does winter make you SAD?

SAD, winter, depression, health
Wake up the right way this winter
I have to admit I've really struggled with the short days and dark mornings this winter. I juggle herding the kids to and from school, taking two dog walks, a trip to the gym and working (please note my priorities there!) in what has seemed like ever-decreasing daylight! And when the alarm goes off at 7am, I'd really like to hit snooze; for about two hours! And yet, do you see me heading to bed at 10pm, ummm no.

Of course, I'm not alone in hating getting up when the sun has yet to rise! As many as a quarter of us experience the winter blues and seven per cent within that group suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It's thought that the dawn light level in winter is too weak to signal the pineal gland to stop producing the sleep hormone melatonin; which leads to over-sleeping and grogginess in the mornings. And the modern trend of spending most of our day indoors means we also have insufficient light exposure, which can make us feel tired and down.

But hibernating isn't an option - and in most cases - neither is just taking these few months easy. So what can you do to improve your mood and energy levels?

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

How to foolproof your NY resolutions

Let nutritionist Zoe Martin
help you reach your goals in 2017.
Yikes! Figures show that over 500 thousand of those who make New Year resolutions will have broken them by the 2nd of January! And even if you have stood firm for the first few days of the month, motivation often wanes by the last Friday in January, with just eight percent of people actually succeeding with their resolution by the end of the year. Since about half of NY promises relate to health and exercise, it's important that we learn just where we are all going wrong if we want to have a happy and healthy 2017!

Baby steps

Zoe Martin is a nutritionist at Discount Supplements. She believes success is all about goal setting - breaking down that ultimate aim into smaller steps - which will get you over that hurdle of one big challenge seeming so overwhelming that you give up all too easily. For example, if you want to lose three stone in 2017, Zoe suggests setting yourself a target weight to lose over the course of each month, and aiming to reach smaller targets in between (such as going to the gym twice a week or not eating takeaways). With this method you're allowing yourself small - and motivating - wins that will help you make progress in the long term. Which is exactly what you need!

Zoe has some other top tips to help you too:

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Play the game!

There's only a few days left of 'normality' before the school holidays start and Christmas and New Year celebrations kick in big time - and you may be wondering how to keep on track with your workouts. Well, you have several options - including joining an online gym (for free at the moment!) and getting your family involved in fitness. can play Bingo. Yes, that's right Christmas Bingo - with added oomph. Only you won't be needing a pen...

Friday, 2 December 2016

Create a Christmas decathlon!

decathlon, family fun, sport, health, fitness
How quickly can you get your wetsuit on?
Yay! It's December and we're officially allowed to be excited about Christmas! But as a parent, there's a lot to be done - from choosing and wrapping presents and writing and sending cards to being all ready for the school plays, carol services and parties.

This might mean you're skipping workouts at the same time as hitting the mince pies.

But rather than let everything take a seasonal slide, why not seek inspiration from the recent 'Decathlon Decathlon' event at Surrey Quays, and set yourself up a few little physical challenges at home? Best of all you can get the kids to join in (and tire them out...) when the school holidays hit.

One of the perks of being in the Julia Buckley #Fitnessrockstars Collective, is that I get to work with some great brands like Decathlon. In fact lots of the gym equipment Julia uses in her workouts can be bought at the sports store, so it's a natural fit if you've decided you prefer - or need - to work out at home on your own timescale (essential for busy parents, because, well, kids!).

So how about some ideas then?

Monday, 28 November 2016

Summer bodies are made in winter!

workout, fitness, Brazil, beach body
Bring a little bit of Brazil into your life
The heatwave of summer 2016 sure seems a long time ago - and at this time of year it's hard not to retreat under a layer of winter woolies and hit the Christmas cheer that bit too hard. But summer bodies are made in winter and you can rekindle a bit of the carnival that was the 2016 Rio Olympics by signing up to the new Brazilian fitness classes brought to you by Corpão Fitness.

A sassy fusion of barre, burn and flow classes designed to tone and create curves (in all the right places), Corpão roughly translates to 'amazing body' in Brazilian Portuguese, and shuns extreme dieting, running or excessive lifting. Instead the focus is on fun - working out to  infectious Brazilian music using a combo of HIIT, strength and conditioning moves. 

Thursday, 24 November 2016

This could float your boat

float therapy, flotation therapy, wellness, health
Step right in...
this is what bliss actually looks like!
Ever feel like things are weighing you down? Stress, insomnia, injury or pain due to everything from recurring headaches to fibromyalgia? Well the answer could be surprisingly simple - flotation therapy. What's that I hear you ask? Well, just as it sounds, floatation therapy uses a session spent floating in warm salt water in a specially-designed tank to put you in a relaxed state.

This rather luxurious treatment typically lasts about an hour, during which time the body is able to enter into a deeply relaxed state. The beneficial effects are attributed to the temperature of the water, the floating posture, the difference in water pressure and blood pressure, maximised blood flow, the release of endorphins and the removal of toxins such as lactic acid and draining of the lymphatic system. Think of it as a very much upgraded deep, deep bath...bliss.

But what's it actually like to float?