Some of these are from bitter experience, others garnered from those wiser than me. In no particular order

~ Always wear a well-fitting sports bra (these also need replacing during the year)

~ Double knot your trainers (nothing worse than having to stop and retie)

~ Carry a tissue or two (nose frequently ‘drips’)

~  Sunscreen and lip balm whatever the weather

~  Wear comfortable kit

~  Give it your all

~  Enjoy!

Don’t forget that by being outside walking, jogging or running you are lapping anyone sat inside!

Happy running

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Where has this year disappeared to? October is nearly through and it is now less than 9 weeks to Christmas Day.

Last year three friends put their heads together and came up with a fitness inspired Advent calendar and this year they are back with a fantastic product.

Each day leading up to Christmas, there will be a ‘treat’ for you but all with zero calories. One day a fun workout, the next a Yoga session along with hints, tips and healthy recipes.

Excited? I certainly am. The calendar will be launched next month and I shall report back with relevant details but in the meantime you can follow them on Twitter @ZeroCalAdvent

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We’ve all heard the ‘jokey’ terms – beer belly, muffin top, wine waist etc – but there is some truth in them. What you eat and drink does show up on your body. The additional, but empty and wasted, calories in alcohol will, over time, add inches to your middle and may show in your face too either as jowls or those minute red lines. Eat a diet rich in healthy fruit and vegetables and your skin and hair will show their appreciation as well as your figure being a little more svelte.

I believe in ‘mostly healthy, most of the time’ and do eat chocolate and croissants myself. But, and here’s the key, is small amounts and not as a daily occurrence. I did stop drinking wine (my only tipple) back in May initially as a personal challenge as I was drinking above the recommended units weekly but when that time had finished, I realised that drinking wine was a habit and one I hadn’t missed.  So I stopped. Did that make me a non-drinker? Was I teetotal? In my mind, neither. I had made a personal choice, one that was right for me at that particular time.

Last night, I fancied a small glass of chilled Pinot, so I poured myself one. Sat down on the sofa, took a sip and pulled a face. I didn’t like it! Glass passed to husband (usually drinks red but … ).

Later whilst watching tv, I thought I’d have another taste as previously I’d not long drunk a cup of peppermint tea and wondered if that had made the wine taste ‘off’.  Another sip, same reaction. I really didn’t like the taste. At all.

Back to sparkling water and teas for me.

So, am I really a non-drinker now? I suppose technically and literally, I am as I don’t drink at the moment. Is it a blip? Will my taste buds return and enable me to rediscover the enjoyment of a glass of wine?

What have been the benefits of not drinking? These are difficult to explain. Physically, my waist and belly are slimmer (but that may be down to the exercise programme I’m following). My skin is also clearer (but that may be hormonal). Mentally, I did initially feel a little smug at times refusing alcohol but nobody really cared once my family had got used to me not having a glass in hand. I was pleased that I’d managed to kick a habit but that wasn’t specifically because it was wine, I think I’d feel the same if it was cake or tea or whatever I’d set myself as a challenge.

So two last questions. Am I a teetotaler? No, as I don’t think I will always abstain and I don’t advocate total abstinence. Unless that is your personal decision.

Finally – will my daughters get my stash of champagne? That remains to be seen …………

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Your body and muscles are made up of 75% water. Your brain is 80% water and your blood 90%. No wonder it is known as the drink of life. Water is crucial for life. Without water there is no existence.

Are you drinking enough each day? The minimum amount of fluid you should drink daily in ounces is your body weight in pounds divided by two. So if you’re 133lbs (9½ stone/60kg) you should be drinking 67oz a day (1.9 litres). Most adults should aim to drink at least 1.5 litres per day (more whilst exercising).

Glass of waterThese colder mornings why not drink it hot? Or use some of your daily quota in green tea (widely believed to boost your metabolism to encourage fat loss so a win-win situation).

Let’s raise a glass to each other. Cheers!

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In some of my blogs I will be drip-feeding snippets about me so you can get an idea of who I am and where I’m coming from. This blog includes a confession.

I don’t like running.

There, I’ve said it, it is now in the open.

Since turning 50, my life has encompassed a healthy lifestyle and that included entering races because I felt I should. I’ve completed half marathons, a 10k and a couple of 10 milers but all had one common thread – I didn’t enjoy them. Earlier this year I decided that I wouldn’t run unless I wanted to or was out with a client who wished to. So imagine my surprise on looking out of my window this morning I actually thought “I don’t want to waste this glorious morning inside so I’ll go out for a 30 minute jog/walk”. So that’s exactly what I did.

It wasn’t a fast run. It wasn’t a pretty run. But it felt good to be out in the early morning September sun along the River Thames.

Photo 02-09-2013 08 11 59

I do, however, admit that these new trainers looked good (even if I didn’t)

Moral: exercise is good for you – that’s a fact. But it is so much more beneficial if it is something you enjoy.

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Photo 01-09-2013 15 01 15I love Sundays seeing them as the end of a week and therefore time to plan the next. Today is also the start of a new month, September, which also means a new school year for many.

As the sun was still shining, I took the opportunity to sit in the garden with my books and diary. Although I do use an electronic diary, nothing quite replaces my paper version in which entries are colour coded for ease.

Week planned in detail. Month planned in outline. Tea drunk. Time for rest.

Slightly out of character for me, photos were taken to record the fact that today I was actually wearing ‘proper’ clothes and not workout kit!

So, is your Sunday for work, rest or play? Do share ……..

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As with everything these days, we are bombarded with adverts for fitness clothing and footwear but to be perfectly honest, you don’t need to spend a lot of money getting kitted out for exercise. In fact, apart from a few essentials, I would say save your pennies to treat yourself once your body shape has adapted to exercise and good nutrition.

So what do you need? A pair of good trainers, suitable pants and a top (preferably not cotton) and for ladies, a supportive bra. I suggest you look for breathable fabrics or those that ‘wick’ sweat away from the body. Layers are a good idea too.

Marks and Spencer, Next, Tesco and Gap are amongst the high street stores with own brand fitness clothing. Marks and Spencer also carry a range of sports bras from crop tops to underwired.

Trainers are not always cheap although it is worth shopping around. If you want to buy from the internet (generally the cheapest option), try trainers on elsewhere before you order as returns policies differ considerably. Make sure there is room for your toes in the box and, generally, go up a size from your normal shoes (I actually go up one and a half sizes) and wear socks.

However, if you do want to splash the cash and look good whilst exercising, these are two of my favourite makes (both available in stores in Marlow).

Sweaty Betty

http://sweattybetty.com

Moving Comfort

http://movingcomfort.eu/gb

Whatever you wear, ensure each and every workout counts

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