Tag Archives: fitness

Your six step party season pre-tox plan

30 Nov

December is creeping ever closer, which means party season is nearly upon us. Cue late nights, boozy shenanigans and that seasonal ‘fitness amnesia’ that seems to strike without fail year on year.

But not this time; this time, I’m here to help you fight the cause of festive fatigue, rather than treating the symptoms after a month of overindulgence. Simply follow this six-step plan to stay feeling festively fresh, no matter what Christmas throws at you.

 

  1. Set realistic goals

Let’s be honest; you’re probably going to be rushed off your feet this holiday season, and setting yourself unrealistic goals that are doomed to fail won’t help you feel any less stressed. Instead of biting off more than you can chew, be realistic about what you can achieve. Instead of focusing on losing weight, set goals based on your health, and focus on quality rather than quantity when it comes to fitness. In this way you leave time and flexibility to properly enjoy the holiday season without feeling guilty. Consider how many times a week you will be able to fit in exercise sessions, and add them to your diary now.

 

  1. Focus on fitness

According to Total Fitness, gym attendance drops by around 30 per cent in the lead up to Christmas – so if you’re guilty of taking your eye off the ball, you’re not alone.

Offset these fewer trips to the gym by focusing on higher-intensity workouts when you do go. Not only will you reduce the time you spend in the gym during this busy period, but you’ll also cut down on body fat before you start eating more food and kick-start your metabolism.

 

  1. Stay hydrated

As anyone who has experienced the torment of a Christmas party morning-after hangover will tell you, drinking alcohol leads to dehydration, which in turn causes tiredness, headaches and nausea. Not the best motivator to start your day!

Staying hydrated is as simple as making sure you spend the day occasionally sipping on some H2O, or upping your game by adding some electrolytes to the mix.

For this, I’m loving nuun – light and refreshing sugar-free hydration tabs which you simply drop into a bottle of water to get a great taste AND stock up on the essential electrolytes you lose during everyday activity. One nuun tube has enough tabs to make twelve 16oz (500ml) hydration drinks. It’s sturdy, waterproof and easily fits into a gym bag, bike jersey, handbag, or pocket, and you can buy it online! Sorted.

 

  1. Eat mindfully

In the run up to the Christmas period, pre-toxing your diet can be vital to continued health and fitness. It can be tempting to skip meals, making room for all the extra calories you might be taking on when eating party food and drinking alcohol. Bad idea – skipping meals interrupts your blood sugar levels, meaning you’ll feel lethargic and sluggish, and then end up eating more later to compensate for your hunger.

The easiest and most effective way to eat mindfully and healthily during this period is to eat regularly, choosing balanced meals and grazing on regular, healthy snacks. Include plenty of vegetables, raw salads, wholegrains and immune-boosting goodies such as nuts and berries. Add in some probiotics to help boost your gut function.

If you’ve got the time to cook some soup, it’s a great option for a speedy lunch or as a quick meal to fill you up before going to a buffet.

Remember, be realistic; commit to looking after your health, not obsessing your about your jeans size.

 

  1. Cut down on caffeine and alcohol

Don’t panic; I’m not suggesting you avoid alcohol and caffeine altogether (where’s the fun in that?!). What I am suggesting is that you limit your daily intake.

Ingesting too much caffeine or alcohol can be counter-productive to a pre-tox, because it increases anxiety and disrupts sleep patterns, leading to a vicious cycle of restless sleep, where you then end up relying on caffeine to help with daytime fatigue, and then going out and drinking more alcohol at the plethora of office parties and Christmas socials happening in the coming month.

Set yourself the rule of no caffeine after 3pm every day. Caffeine may help keep you alert, but studies show that it puts a strain on your liver – an organ which is going to be working overtime anyway this holiday season…

 

  1. Get enough sleep

Long days at work, long evenings spent present shopping and long nights festively socialising are pretty much unavoidable around Christmas.

But making sure you get enough shut eye is crucial to your fitness and wellbeing – sleep loss is associated with weightgain, bad emotional regulation, weakened immunity and, of course, the inability to party endlessly in style. So do yourself a favour and make sure you’re getting at least 7 good hours of sleep a night.

Not sure if you’re getting the full amount of sleep you need? There are some really nifty sleep-monitoring apps out there – for example, Sleep Cycle (£0.69) is an app (Android and iOS) that also watches your sleep habits from your nightstand in order to help wake you up at the best possible time of the morning within a set period, so you won’t be late for work!

Fit and fun – the link between happiness and exercise

26 Sep

The information in this infographic is fascinating (N.B. Click on it if you want to view a larger version):

Info graphic about the link between fitness and happiness

Do you set ‘Goldilocks goals’?

This article from Runner’s World on What time do people run? is absolutely fascinating. I tend to run in the evenings during the week, unless I’ve planned to go to Run Camp, which I usually attend in the mornings. However, at the weekend, I prefer to run first thing to free up my time for the rest of the day. I prefer to run when it’s cool. When do you run and why?

Save

Running on Clean

13 May

Woohoo! Nicola at Running on Clean has nominated me for the Liebster Award. Thank you, Nicola! Please check out her blog where she posts about health and fitness. Nicola is a fellow Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador and member of #TeamStellar!

Liebster Award

So, what is a Liebster Award? It is basically a form of recognition from fellow bloggers. Once you have been nominated you have to answer 10 questions from your original nominator and go on to nominate another 10 bloggers yourself.

Here are the rules:

1.) You must link back to the person who nominated you
2.) You must answer the 10 Liebster questions given to you by the nominee before you
3.) You must pick 10 bloggers to be nominated for the award (with a small following)
4.) You must create 10 questions for your nominees
5.) You must go to their blogs and notify the nominees

So, here are my answers to Nicola’s questions:

  1. How did you start your fitness journey?
    That’s a tough question to answer… I had dance lessons from when I was 5 until I was 21, but I was never especially fit and healthy. I was ‘up a year’ at school, so I was a year younger (and hence smaller) than all of my classmates, so I struggled to keep up with them when it came to sports, which made me feel disheartened. When I was 20, I took up gymnastics and absolutely loved it. I used to train several times a week, including for six hours on Sundays. When I was nearly 30, I took up karate, so that I could do a sport with my husband. I also took up running to increase my fitness levels and it’s gone from there.
  2. Why did you start your blog?
    I wanted to document my five-year challenge – I intend to complete an iron-distance triathlon before I’m 40. I thought that writing down my goals in a public way may make me feel more accountable.
  3. What activities/sports are you most passionate about and what do you gain from doing them?
    I love doing yoga as it’s very calming and gives me an opportunity to relax and de-stress. I also love running, although I’m finding the pressure of competition a bit much at the moment as I’m failing to reach my own targets.
  4. Who is your fitness inspiration?
    I’m a great admirer of Paula Radcliffe and Mo Farah. I also think Chrissie Wellington is an inspirational woman.
  5. Do you meal prep? If so, when and do you have any tips?
    I tend to do all of my meal prepping in the evening. I tend to cook in bulk (curries/chillies/pasta meals that serve six), so that I don’t have to cook every evening. I know that I each much more healthily when I plan ahead. When my evening meal is cooking, I make my lunch for the next day, which is always a salad (usually with 40g smoked cheese, but sometimes with humus or chickpeas). I also try to weigh out my porridge for the following day’s breakfast.
  6. What is your go-to breakfast recipe?
    It’s always 30g oats, but with various extras. One of my current favourites is ground almonds, dried apricots and some vanilla extract. I don’t drink milk, so I always make it with water. 2 minutes in the microwave and it’s done 🙂
  7. Finish the sentence. When I’m not running I’m…
    Swimming/cycling/working/sleeping/eating/blogging!
  8. Imagine this, you are on a self-directed race and get lost. You find yourself beside a lake with no one else around. What do you do?
    I rarely run with a phone, so I wouldn’t be able to call for help, so I guess it depends on how remote the location is. If I haven’t run far, I might retrace my footsteps to a place that I recognise, or if I’m feeling confident, I might run around the lake looking for signs of where I should go.
  9. List your top 2 short and long-term goals
    My top 2 short-term goals are to rest and heal my sprained wrist and shoulder and to follow the plan my coach has designed, so that I start regaining my fitness.
    My top 2 long-term goals are to complete Challenge Weymouth 70.3 and to finish an iron-distance triathlon.
  10. What do you enjoy most about blogging?
    I enjoy connecting with other people and also receiving feedback from others. I really appreciate that people are willing to spend their time reading what I’ve written. On a personal level, my blog reminds me that however slow it may seem, I am making progress towards my goal.

Here are my 10 questions:

  1. How would you summarise what your blog is about?
  2. Which of your blog posts has generated the most discussion and why?
  3. What tips would you give to anyone thinking about starting to blog?
  4. What challenges/races/events have you got lined up for 2014?
  5. What has been your greatest achievement in life?
  6. What skill do you hope to master over the next year?
  7. What is your favourite gadget and why?
  8. What’s the furthest from home you’ve travelled for a sporting event?
  9. Describe your philosophy for life in a six word sentence…
  10. What is the most important advice that you can give to readers?

…and even more importantly, here are my 10 nominated blogs:

  1.  Heather at The Tri Road
  2. Marc at Run, Hemingway, Run
  3. Danielle at Damn, Girl, That’s a lot of Fattitude!
  4. Leanne at Leanne Nalani
  5. Fat Guy 2 Tri Guy
  6. Erica at Chronicles of a SAHM
  7. Mike at Fat, Beared & Tattooed Cyclist
  8. Stephanie at My life sucks, I think I’ll become a triathlete
  9. 2 Cups ‘N Run
  10. Chris at Or Die Trying

I previously received the Liebster Award back in March – here are my answers from then: http://fatgirltoironman.co.uk/2014/03/01/liebster-award/

Aside

Month 1 Workout

20 Jun

This is a really detailed training plan, if you’re interested in toning up: Month 1 Workout.
I’d love to follow it, but I’d have to sacrifice something else from my schedule to be able to do this, and I imagine it would be precious sleep 😦

If you’re interested in getting your body bikini-ready, why not give it a go and let me know how you get on.


Sorry – I checked back in 2016 and this site is now longer available 😦