Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Stay safe on winter workouts

If you can keep your motivation up over the colder months, you'll be 2016 race ready far faster than those that favour fair-weather workouts. But winter brings a whole new set of challenges if you're heading outdoors to exercise. Keep on top of plummeting temperatures, wet and windy weather and shorter daylight hours with these top tips:

Light the way

fitness, workout, health, running
Be safe - be seen!

Have you ever been driving along and suddenly realised there is cyclist or runner on the road? I often wonder why people that ride or run in the evenings, nights or early mornings don't make more of an effort to be seen. The obvious solution is to put some lights on your bike or body - front and back! Flashing lights help with distance perception so that drivers can tell how far away you are from them - and how fast you're moving. The Nathan LightBender is a great weather-resistant armband with multi-settings for blinking or steady stream lights. But a decent head torch will light up your way so you don't trip and fall or run into a low-hanging branch (which I have done - awkward). And if you ever need to dress up as minion, you're half way there...

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

The Body Shop comes home

beauty, cosmetics, Body Shop
Playing with the products
If there's one smell guaranteed to send me back to my misspent youth then it has to be the Dewberry scent from The Body Shop! By the mid-80's The Body Shop and it's founder Dame Anita Roddick were household names and the watchword for everything ethical and cruelty-free, refilling bottles and putting fair trade onto the agenda and the high street.

I remember my trips with my mum to the Canterbury store, to stock up on White Musk goodies and lip balm in precious glass pots. A few years later there was certain rooms in the uni halls of residence that smelt just like those shops. So in a fit of nostalgia I recently opted to test out a few of the products on unsuspecting friends that had come over for a birthday drink.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Space hopper giveaway!

space hopper, fitness, health
Bring some boing
into your life

While we might have sneaked an extra hour in bed when the clocks went back, there's not many of us that look forward to the start of winter. But the shorter days and colder temperatures didn't put off Confused.com, which last month distributed hundreds of space hoppers throughout London to brighten up people's day. This included instigating a 'bounce mob' of commuters and children in Pottersfield Park, who all enjoyed their communal 'boing'. Still more more space hoppers were handed to disgruntled commuters during the two-day DLR strike - offering them a fun, alternative way to travel to work (or at least just to bring a smile to their faces!!).

Live near me? Fancy a bounce?

But better still, there's a few kid-sized space hoppers left over for me to bring the #JumpOnIt campaign to Twyford (and Charvil and Wargrave!). I have two of the Confused.com space hoppers featured in the video to giveaway to my local readers. 

To win one, just head over to my blog's Facebook page and leave a comment under the #JumpOnIt post. This time next week I'll pick two readers in a random lucky dip and you can get your boing on! 

Since the hoppers are currently in my house, I can only open up this comp to people in Twyford, Charvil and Wargrave.

Watch the video here...

Friday, 13 November 2015

Eating for a healthy smile

healthy living, diet tips, fitness
Order up plenty of fresh veggies
if you want healthy teeth and gums
At this time of year, it's all too easy to give up your healthy eating habits and start on the mince pies that bit early. But it's not just your waistline you need to worry about if you miss essential nutrients and minerals in your diet - you could be damaging your teeth. Here's how to have the picture perfect smile ready for when Santa asks if you've been a good girl...

Eat your Vitamins (A, B and C)

Since Vitamin A helps immune function and cell growth, it's an essential nutrient for healthy teeth and gums, fighting off infections and aiding recovery. In fact it's the reason you'll have a healthy amount of saliva. It also contains beta-carotene, an antioxidant. Vitamin A is also critical for all the main organs, your eyesight and reproductive health, so not one to miss if you value your health!

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Is being healthy in my genes?

health fitness
The myInnerGo kit - all ready for my DNA
As any TV crime show aficionado will tell you (AKA me), DNA can be taken by using a 'buccal' swab rolled around the inside of your mouth. And so it was with gratuitous excitement that I followed the instructions on my MyInnerGo kit to provide the company with a sample of my DNA for genetic analysis. I then popped my swab into a test tube for safe keeping and into the pre-paid envelope provided so that it could be posted off to the lab. What exactly would I discover about my health and weight control potential? I was fascinated!

If this all sounds a bit futuristic, that's because it is. Personalised medicine and genetics are an emerging practice that uses an individual's genetic profile as a guide to potential health and fitness. While lots of the lifestyle choices we take go on to decide our actual health, much of what we are - and what we can be - is pre-determined. Just consider that 40 to 70 per cent of body weight is affected by genes, and that genes also account for half of the variations in physical performance between individuals. Why waste time following a regime that just doesn't suit you - when with a little bit of self-knowledge you can find out what your strengths really are?

[Spoiler alert - there's a discount code at the end of the post!]

Monday, 19 October 2015

I moustache you a question...

All hail Movember! It won't be long before we start seeing social media posts from our male friends and colleagues as they grow a moustache (with varying degrees of success) all in the name of male cancer awareness (and other health issues that face the male of the species). In fact, it's likely that one in eight UK men will be effected by prostate cancer at some point in their lives - which definitely puts your loved ones in the firing line. 

My family have been effected - and benefitted enormously from up-to-date research and treatment options. And last year a friend and I ran the Muddy Mo 10k - dressed as Frenchmen with stick on tashes (since you ask).This November, as well as the run events and the facial hair growing, the Movember Foundation is also spearheading the MOVE 30/30 challenge - which challenges people to move for 30 minutes for 30 days (moving more can help prevent cancer and speed up recovery).

One of the supporters of the event, Discount Supplements, an online health and supplements supplier, has also produced a handy infographic which highlights the six ways men can 'escape' cancer - simply by being aware and checking themselves. Take a look at the chart - and encourage your menfolk to do the same. It outlines exactly what to look for - and can help save lives. It's often a concerned woman that forces a reluctant guy to see the GP about worrying symptoms - maybe you are that woman?

Discount Supplements will donate £10 to Movember for each blogger that posts a website link.

Monday, 12 October 2015

What's your excuse?

It's all too easy to think we don't have the time, energy or money to stay fit and well. And as the weather gets cooler and the sunshine dwindles it's not uncommon to loose all the motivation you had just a few months ago when the beach beckoned and it was BBQ and salad season. If you've lost your way lately, perhaps you recognise some of these classic excuses?

Excuse #1
I'm too stressed to eat properly or exercise

Hard times call for decent food and a healthy outlet. A workout will help you focus on something other than your problems and release some feel-good chemicals in your brain. The right food will provide the long-term energy you need too. And there's nothing more stressful than seeing all your previous hard work go to waste because you've let a situation beyond your control steer you off course.