Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Why Sports Clothing Doesn't Need to be Purely Sensible and Serious

Selecting the right sports clothing is an important business - you need something practical that will adequately support you in your chosen activity and your performance, but that doesn't mean your outfits have to be dull or boring.

Sports clothing can be fun, fabulous and functional and there's an increasing number of ranges available that tick all of these boxes, both online and on the high street, for example JD Sports. So, what should you be looking for? The type of clothing or items you choose will of course depend on your chosen activity, but breathable fabrics and adequate chest support should be at the top of the checklist for ladies. This means a well-fitted sports bra for any cardio or impact exercise, synthetic fabric tops, shorts or running leggings that draw moisture away from the skin and running or training socks.

The type of training shoe you need will also be determined by the activity you choose - for example, you will need decidedly different shoes for tennis, skateboarding or running and it's important to buy the right kind of shoe for the job. Failure to get support in the right places could end up in injury and even long-term problems, so it's best not to skimp on shoes! If running or jogging is your activity of choice, buying the right kind of shoe becomes even more of a priority; this type of training shoe should be matched to your running style or 'gait'. You can have your gait measured in specialist running shops with no obligation to buy then order online if this suits your budget better.

Finally, if you want to include some of your own style sense in your exercise outfit, why not take some inspiration from the celebs? Former glamour model and avid jogger Katie Price lets her love of pink impact intensely on her workout gear selection and wore a nearly all pink outfit when she took part in the Brighton Half Marathon earlier this year (see here). Model turned professional bodybuilder Jodie Marsh seem to have a similar attitude to her training gear and has published a number of pics of herself recently in pink shorts, cropped pink t-shirts and pink sports bras - once again highlighting that sportswear can be pretty as well as practical!

Healthy Snack Ideas

Guest post written by Tanya Harris of www.MyFood.co.uk.

Summary: Is unhealthy snacking keeping you from losing weight? Stock your fridge with these delicious bites to help keep you on track.

The Rules

Following a diet is hard enough for anybody, no matter what the aim. Most of us find it impossible not to eat after 6 p.m., have a big breakfast early or drink at least two liters of water a day. However, these requirements are extremely vital for your success in losing weight. If you are still in the beginning, you might slip off track every now and then. Here are a few suggestions for off-schedule snacks, which, most importantly, are healthy and allowed anytime.

An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Not only are apples healthy, but they are also considered a great substitute of all kinds of sweets, cakes, chocolates and everything rich of calories that you might want to resign to between meals. Their natural sweetness satisfies your desire for desserts and also contributes to the positive effect you want for your body. Moreover, its contents make you feel fresh and healthy. Apples lower the risks of getting livers, lungs and breast cancer, as well as Alzheimer and cholesterol issues. Another benefit is that apples can offer an energy boost stronger than coffee.


Another popular snack among children, teenagers and happy-go-skinny people is chips. More health-conscious people replace it with wholesome nuts such as almonds, walnuts, Brazil and Cedar nuts. Although they are almost all a calorie-bomb, they are extremely nutritious and help the prevention of heart disease, development of brain and bone functions, and are rich in minerals and vitamins. It is essential to remember to always consume nuts in a raw state, not roasted, nor salted. Then, they will be a great contribution to your diet which betters the metabolism and helps you lose the unwanted weigh.


And a protein priority should not be ignored – yogurt and all kinds of dairy products should also be included in a balanced diet as they are a great source of proteins. In order to vary the taste and try something new, you can combine it with fresh nuts and fruits, which, as we mentioned, are no less healthy. As a result you will have a fabulously tasty snack of less than 150 calories that almost makes you forget about your desire for chocolate or cakes. Eating yogurt is a perfect way of giving the organism calcium and vitamins which are incredibly vital.

Friday, 18 May 2012

3 Reasons to Go to a Weight Loss Boot Camp

Weight loss is never easy. You’ve most likely been through plenty of New Year’s resolutions that went something along the lines of , “I’m going to exercise more”, or “I’m going to cut out fatty foods in my diet”. How long do these last? One week? Maybe two? If you’re constantly struggling with weight loss, including exercising and eating healthy, here are three great reasons to go to a weight loss boot camp.

1. Motivation

This is the top reason to go to a weight loss boot camp. When we make a resolution to lose weight, regardless of the time of year, we often break that resolution shortly after implementing it, simply because we have no motivation. We have no one standing next to us with a hand on our shoulder saying, “I’m here to help you.” We quickly drop off our good habits and go right back to our old ways. Boot camps don’t let that happen. They never let up on you, and they keep you charged and coming back for more each and every day, so your bad habits become old habits.

2. Eat Right, All the Time

Under a weight loss boot camp, your diet is strictly monitored. You're never allowed to sneak food in, and you never have access to the foods that may be bad for you. With weight loss boot camps you get plenty of food, but only that which will enhance the speed of your metabolism and give you energy to burn off more calories. Plus, you’ll learn great cooking tips and tricks to keep eating healthy even after you’ve completed the course.

3. Exercise…the Proper Way

At weight loss boot camps, you not only have intense exercise classes, but they train you to exercise properly. Previously, you’ve probably been the victim of poor exercise habits. While you may think you’re burning calories and getting fit, you’re actually doing physical harm to your body, which can seriously hurt you down the road. With weight loss boot camps, you get the proper instruction to have the maximum impact on your waist line, while learning to keep your body in top form while you work out. About the author: Jane is a writer for New You Boot Camp, a weight loss boot camp with locations all over Europe.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Rugby Star’s Tiling Challenge Goes Viral

Former international rugby player Lewis Moody M.B.E was called upon to test Elastoplast’s new Extra Tough plaster and it proved a huge success!

The ex-rugby captain and part-time DIY guru has become a viral hit after taking on a Vertical Tiling challenge.

The 33-year-old has turned into a huge sensation on YouTube after being videoed trying to tile a wall whilst being tied to a rope. The ‘Extreme DIY with Elastoplast Extra Tough’ clip involves the sportsman running back and forth with plaster and tiles in a nail-biting race against the stopwatch but the tongue in cheek video shows him falling all over the place as he is catapulted back by the spring.

Despite spilling plaster all over himself and being in a race against the horn, Moody shows just how super sticky, durable and waterproof the new plasters are no matter how extreme the DIY task is!

But why was the sportsman the perfect candidate? The English rugby union player from Berkshire recently announced his retirement from the game in March of this year. With so much spare time on his hands, he has starting to enjoy a spot of DIY as well as take part in extreme sports like wakeboarding. And as many people know, accidents can happen when participating in dangerous sports as well as trying to put up a shelf or fix a leaking tap around the home.

The video has already received over 100,000 views and if you fancy checking out the hilarious clip you can watch it by clicking on the video below or by clicking here. Next week Brits can watch how the Extreme Tough plaster copes against bandsaw skateboards!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

4 Things to Keep in Mind When Losing Weight

At its most basic, weight loss is a matter of simple mathematics. Adding activity and subtracting calories equals weight loss. The challenge lies in doing these two things in ways that you can keep up for the long run. Fad diets that eliminate entire food groups are not only unhealthy, they're unsustainable. Exercising for hours every day is for models and movie stars, it's not real life.

Lose fat by making friends with your body instead of trying to punish it into shape.

Have Fun Fearlessly

There are many exercises that you can do that are very fun and it's important to feel you can do them fearlessly. Try out swimming, either on the beach or in a recreation center. From swimming laps, aquatic therapy, to even diving are all great ways to exercise and lose weight. Another fun activity to do with some friends is dancing. You can't let your weight turn you away from the things you love most. It's as good for your soul as it is for your body.

Bring in a Healthier Diet

All too often, diets focus on what you have to take off your table. Anyone would feel deprived if every meal meant fewer flavors, less variety and less food. Instead, turn that thinking around and look for ways to add a
healthier diet with low-calorie foods that are packed with nutrition. When you add bulk in the form of extra lettuce and tomatoes on your sandwich or heaping helpings of spinach with your steak, you'll naturally have less room for the foods that offer more calories and fewer nutrients.

Move More

Dedicated exercise sessions boost your
metabolism and speed up weight loss, but they aren't the only form of exercise. Every time you do a little light housecleaning, walk to the store or play with your kids, you're burning calories. When you pick the stairs over the elevator or walk from a more distant parking spot, you're making it easier for your body to burn excess fat. You'll also have more fun when you're more active.

Keeping Track with a Food Diary

A study published in the American Journal for Preventive Medicine found that people who simply tracked what they ate lost twice as much as study participants who didn't keep a
food journal. Potentially doubling your weight loss couldn't be easier, especially with the number of calorie trackers available for your computer or smart phone.

Diet and exercise doesn't have to be a grim sentence of privation. Explore new culinary delights and enjoy the exercise you loved as a child, and you'll enjoy the journey of weight loss as much as you love your destination.

Brandon's an avid runner and fitness blogger that works with HydroWorx pools. HydroWorx is a world leader in aquatic therapy equipment, exercise pools, swim spas and portable underwater treadmills for sports and healthcare.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Sleep tips for losing weight

Did you know that getting enough sleep could actually help you lose weight? It may sound like a crazy concept, but there have been numerous recent studies that show a strong link between good sleeping habits and weight loss.

Whilst it may sound strange, there are a number of common sense reasons why sleeping well can help you lose weight. One of the most obvious is that our body craves more sugary foods when we are feeling tired and listless. Not only that, but being tired makes us lazy and therefore much more likely to reach for a packet of crisps for a quick pick me up, rather than taking the time to make a healthy and nutritious meal or snack.

The Importance Of Your Bed

One of the first steps to getting a decent night's sleep is to make sure you are sleeping in a decent bed. Nowadays, even our guest beds come with comfortable, supportive mattresses that will help you head off to dream land and wake up refreshed. Mattresses should be replaced every 10 years to ensure they are at their most comfortable. After all, it's difficult to get to sleep when you have bedsprings sticking out all over the place.

It's not just having a decent bed that can help you get that all important night's sleep to aid weight loss. There are a whole host of hormone factors too, which can stop your metabolism from working at its optimum. Lack of sleep not only raises the appetite, but it can also produce levels of a hormone called ghrelin to rise. This hormone stimulates the appetite and can leave sufferers wanting to eat far more than they actually need. Not getting enough sleep will also drive down levels of a hormone called leptin. This hormone is the one that helps you feel satisfied after you eat, so when the two factors are combined, it is little wonder that lack of sleep can result in weight gain.

Do You Have a Sleep Condition?

Another factor that affects restful sleep and has been linked to weight gain is a relatively undiagnosed condition called sleep apnea. This condition causes the airways to become blocked during the night, meaning the sufferer is constantly waking up every time they need to breathe. They will usually snore pretty loudly too, making a good night's sleep difficult for everyone else in the house.

Naturally, this disrupted sleep pattern leaves sufferers feeling exhausted and interferes with the hormone levels that control appetite. It is definitely a good idea to visit your GP if you think you are suffering from sleep apnea, as this condition can lead to diabetes or a heart condition.

The Right Routine

There are a few simple tips you can use to help you get enough sleep and boost your weight loss. Avoiding stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine or alcohol before you go to bed will help you get to sleep that much earlier. Having a good bedtime routine that starts about two hours before you go to bed can also help you wind down, relax and prepare your body for a good night's sleep. Try not to go to bed on an empty stomach, but don't eat a large meal before bedtime either. A simple snack like a bowl of cereal or a turkey sandwich (which is rich in the sleep inducing chemical, tryptophan) is one of the best things you can have. Finally, creating a cleansed and relaxing space to be in, away from the TV, will help you drop off in next to no time.

Important Things To Remember When Cycling

Cycling is a great way to stay fit. Done on a regular basis it can lower high blood pressure, improve your heart rate, strengthen your muscles, and protect your joints as the circular motion helps transport energy to your cartilages which reduces the risk of arthritis and other joint problems. The posture that is used when cycling improves your sense of balance while also strengthening your spine. A strong spine is less likely to suffer from pains or be afflicted by slipped discs.

As shown above cycling comes with many benefits, but there are also some bad points that you need to be aware of. Cycling, especially cycling in a city can be very dangerous. You are more at risk of injury on a bike than in a car, but there are some simple things you can do to reduce this risk.

The first is to make sure you can be seen. Even if you’re travelling when it’s dusk, you are still harder for cars to see than you think, so be sure to wear light-coloured clothing or a fluorescent jacket. For extra visibility consider wearing a reflective belt, or arm and ankle bands.

The second vital thing you can do to keep yourself safe when cycling is to wear the right equipment. A helmet is a must when cycling, as even a small fall can end in a serious head injury. Be sure to wear the helmet in the correct manner, otherwise it can’t protect you. The right manner is for the helmet to sit just above your eyebrows and not be hanging down your neck. When adjusting your helmet be sure that the straps are straight and that you can fit two fingers between the bottom strap and your chin. Shake your head around including up and down and side to side. If the helmet wobbles and moves, then it is not on tight enough, or you may need a better fitting helmet.

The third thing you can do to keep yourself safe is to cycle in a forward looking manner. Be aware of your surroundings and the dangers ahead, and always follow the Highway Code. If there is a red light ahead, stop in the middle of your lane. Don’t sneak forwards and stop to the right of the first car, as you will be in their blind spot and this could lead to an accident if they are turning right and you are going straight on, with neither of you knowing where the other is going. It is often forgotten by both motorists and cyclists that a bike is part of the traffic and must be treated, as well as behave as any other vehicle. For motorists this means overtaking bikes with plenty of space, and for cyclists it means to only overtake cars from the left.

Clear signals are vital for city cycling, and it’s best to avoid hesitant manoeuvres as these will confuse other vehicles. A confident and decisive cycling manner is needed. Also, be respectful to others on the road. If someone lets you enter a main road from a side road, then thank them for this. If you are cycling on a cycle path, which is adjacent to a pavement, be sure to warn pedestrians of your approach by using your bell. Always slow down when passing pedestrians as they may not be expecting you to pass them so quickly.

As long as you cycle in a sensible and forward thinking manner then you will gain all the great health benefits from cycling on a regular basis.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Bodybuilding - do's and don'ts

Many people turn to bodybuilding to get in shape and develop a better physique. Some people will even pursue it competitively. It may initially be difficult to understand what works and what does not work when beginning a bodybuilding programme.

Here are some things a bodybuilder should do to get the most effective results:

• Make sure to incorporate healthy food high in protein to nourish muscles as they grow. High calorie foods are also needed for optimal muscle growth.

• Always stretch and perform a warm-up prior to lifting heavy weights.

• Stay consistent with training. Any lapses could prove to be a determent to a training programme.

• Get a good night of sleep. Muscle growth occurs when they are at rest after training.

• Always make sure to use proper form when performing lifts.

• Change strength training methods periodically so that strength and muscle growth do not plateau.

Here are some things a bodybuilder should not do when training:

• Do not exercise on an empty stomach. The body needs the nutrition for energy to effectively compete a workout.

• Do not overtrain. Muscles need time to recover and grow, so exercises should be alternated on certain days to only heavily train certain muscle groups at a time.

• Do not lift excessively heavy weights. Every person has their strength limitations. It is good to increase weights to give muscles a good workout, but weights that are too heavy for a person’s strength level can put undue strain on the joints and result in injuries.

• Avoid the use of steroids. Even though using these performance-enhancers may be tempting for faster results, the overall outcome could be devastating to a person’s health.

• Do not bench press without a spotter.

• Avoid heavy cardio. Some cardio exercises are good, but performing high levels of cardio (like marathon training) can actually cause the body to break down muscle building protein to use as energy.

People can achieve the results they desire by simply following many of these key points when performing their bodybuilding workouts. Exercising wisely can allow the muscles to grow to an impressive size while improving physical strength and health.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

How to train for a Marathon

1. Think about Why You Are Running

Chances are you have watched at least one marathon, either in person or on television. Maybe you felt so inspired and happy from what you saw that you wish to try it for yourself. However, before you even start training, you should think about why you would be running. Would you be doing it to impress your neighbours and loved ones? Would you be doing it because you can? Your reasons should come from the right place.

2. Train Well Ahead Of When the Marathon Takes Place

You may not believe that it is necessary, but if you want to properly prepare for a marathon of any size you will need to start months ahead of time. It is not enough to do a few practice runs a week before the event; to truly be successful you will need to prepare your body long before the official time. When you do this, you will be less likely to feel tired or otherwise stressed, or at least feel it at a less intense rate. It is important to have a coach or training group to help you.

3. Make Special Sacrifices to Get In Shape

If you want to get in shape for your marathon, you need to be willing to make sacrifices. Running to the nearest pub for a round of drinks is not going to do you any favours. Eating a great amount of sugary foods is not going to help you, either. If you want to give your body the nutrients it needs in order to gain energy, take on a healthier diet. You may want to talk to your doctor about a diet that would work best for you.

4. Determination Is Not Enough

No matter how determined you may be it does not mean a lot if you do not put actual work into your goal. You can spend your days sitting at home and telling people that you are going to win, but you will also need to train to make it possible. This is not to say that you should feel discouraged or wish to give up before you have even really started. However, it is important that you put work into your preparation; you should back up your claims with actions. If you need help, consult those you trust. You should not work yourself until you are sick, but you should not be too lenient, either.

Monday, 6 February 2012

7 Triathlon Training Tips

Once you have decided that you want to participate in the triathlon it is time to start training. Since you are a beginner, there is some specialised training tips that you will want to keep in mind. It is important to take a look at and enact them so that you will be well prepared for this event.

(1) Do A “Test Drive”

Do a practice event at least one week before the event. This will help you learn how to pace yourself. It will also ensure you that you will actually be able to finish the event.

(2) Work on Your Swimming

Find a pool where you can train. The ideal pool will either have a swim coach or a masters swimming program. They will be able to help you get into shape for the triathlon.

(3) Practice Transitions

Make sure you practice your transitions, especially your bike leg transition. Do this by completing a bike workout and then going for a run before cooling down. This will also help you ensure that you can get your gear on and off quickly.

(4) Practice on Similar Terrain

It is important to practice on terrain that is similar to that which the event will occur upon. You don’t want this terrain to surprise you the day of the race. This is also why you really need to know the course. Make sure you know how to enter and exit transition areas, where the turn-around are and what rules you must follow.

(5) Don’t Over Train

Don’t over train, regardless of how strong an athlete you are. Spend most of your time working on your weakest event but make sure that you can finish the other events. After your first race you can begin working on speed.

(6) Check out Your Bike

Make sure that your bike has good tire pressure that the brakes aren’t rubbing, that the handlebars, profile bars and seat are all on tight and that the bike is shifting properly. Put the bike in the gear that you want to start off in so that it will always be ready whenever you grab it.

(7) Train in the Gear You’ll Use on Race Day

You don’t want to try anything new on race day. Use the same gear that you’ve been practicing on and the same clothing you’ve been wearing while training for the triathlon. While you may be tempted to try a new breakfast or new outfit, it can totally throw your entire game off.

Monday, 9 January 2012

How to get trim and slim for the summer

Whether it was a few extra pounds put on over the holidays or a New Year's resolution, there are a several steps to start taking now. Instead of turning to the latest fad diet that is likely to result in weight rebounds or health problems, consider the following ten diet and exercise tips to get trim and slim for the summer.

#10 Stubborn weight can be the result of accumulated environmental and dietary toxins. There are a number of detox products and programs to choose from. Do research, always read the ingredients, and experiment with a couple.

#9 Every healthy adult needs 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise a week. Since the key is regularity, choose a couple of exercise types that you really enjoy. Water aerobics, yoga, dancing and walking are only a few.

#8 If extra weight makes it difficult to exercise, it's okay to start with less. Anaerobic weight training can be used to build up lean muscle and increase the metabolism.

#7 Fatigue can be hard to overcome. Pre-workout supplements can help provide energy for the workout and speed up recovery times, by ensuring the body has what it needs to begin recovery immediately.

#6 An astonishing number of people suffer from vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Taking a multivitamin will help somewhat, but larger dosages may be needed to overcome deficiency. Ask your doctor about testing for common deficiencies.

#5 Every adult needs at least 6-8 8oz cups of water a day. Steer clear of the caffeinated beverages and those with sugar when hydrating. Pure water is best, as artificial ingredients may have unknown side effects.

#4 Though there are a lot of diet recommendations out there, epidemiological studies have shown that the best is eating a variety of foods high in dietary fiber.

#3 Start adding more herbs to the diet. Culinary herbs, especially fresh or used within one year of drying, are packed with valuable phytonutrients, many of which have not been studied.

#2 Living foods will maximize nutrient absorption, which cuts down on cravings. Homemade kefir and kombucha are easy and taste great when prepared properly. Yogurt is another option that is healthier when freshly made at home.

#1 Gardening offers a better diet and exercise in one activity. Look for weight-loss herbs and foods that provide quick snacks, like sugar snap peas. This is one of the best ways to get trim and slim for the summer.