Don’t Quit | Setting + Hitting Fitness Goals

hitting fitness goals

Goals are so important not just in fitness, but in life, too. They keep you moving, focused, and above all, you get a huge sense of achievement once you’ve finally smashed those goals you’ve been working hard to achieve!

Running was my main sport, and it’s easy to set running goals – I want to run my first 5K, I want to run X distance in Y amount of time, I want to run the Manchester Marathon this year. Now I’m not entering road races or even running as much, I’m finding I have to be more creative about my fitness goals, especially if I want to make them SMART – that’s specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.

You may remember that a few months ago I set myself two goals – a 100kg deadlift and a sub-45 minute 10K time, both to be achieved by the end of summer. Okay, I realise end of summer is a bit vague, but I sort of did that on purpose as I wasn’t sure how my life was going to pan out over the next few months. View Post

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Supplements Surprisingly Good for Hair, Skin & Nails

hair skin nails supplements

High maintenance is not a phrase I’d use to describe my beauty regime. My nails are bare, I wear as little make-up as possible – though eyebrows are a non-negotiable – and I let my hair air-dry. The last beauty technique is a risky one, as you never know how it’s going to turn out, especially after going to bed with a soggy head!

This isn’t because I think I’m naturally stunningly beautiful; it’s just because I’m lazy. If I’m not at work or in the gym I want to be doing pretty much nothing other than eating or laying still on the sofa, so my beauty regime maximises the time spent doing this.

I still want to look healthy, though I’m aware the natural look takes a lot of effort to look just that – natural. However, since I started working in sports nutrition and I’ve tried out more goodies, I’ve found some supplements provide surprising benefits other than sports performance.

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Getting Parents Active

getting parents active

The ‘obesity epidemic’ is often in the news here in the UK, with inactivity as a child often being cited as a contributing factor, which is clearly worrying for parents. What’s talked about less often is how children feel about their parents’ habits, whether that be smoking, drinking, or inactivity, and recent research has revealed just how much kids worry about their mums and dads lifestyles.

When I was a kid there was much less information around about health and wellbeing, so I didn’t realise that my parents’ inactive lifestyles were an issue. Kids have an abundance of information at their fingertips nowadays, reading websites and the news on smartphones, and two thirds of the children involved in the research nag their parents over concerns for their future health. I know just how difficult this can be – my lovely mum has never much enjoyed sport or activity though she has a number of health issues which exercise and a good diet help to improve the symptoms of. But can I convince her to live a healthier life..?!

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A Flaky Confession

flaky

My psoriasis first flared up when I was 17. I was just about to take my AS levels when big, red, scaly patches appeared on my body, but the worst area by far was my scalp. The stress of my exams meant I even started picking and pulling at it, and along with skin I’d pull hair out, too.

It took me a while to go to the doctors but it was quickly diagnosed as psoriasis, and I was given steroidal creams to help with the scaling of my skin. Since then my skin has never been that bad – sure, I’ve had smaller flare-ups, but nothing like I was when I was 17 – but my scalp has always been an issue. The worst part? Over ten years later, I still pick it.

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LIFE: Be:Fit London 2015

be fit london 2015

Be:Fit London is a yearly fitness festival which is focused on giving women everything they need for a healthy and happy lifestyle, be it workouts, food, or supplements. I missed out on a trip to Be:Fit last year due to work commitments so I was sure to book the day off this time, and I was so glad I did; early Saturday morning I made my way to London, worried that the train I’d booked home was quite late, but I arrived just after it opened at 10am and left as it was closing! There was certainly no need to worry about being stuck for things to do. I met so many awesome people, including blog friends Cantara from Gymbags & Gladrags and Natalie Johanna – plus found some new blogs to follow – and I got to try out too many different foods, workouts, and fitness gadgets than I could possibly write about, or even remember.

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LIFE: Get SMART About Goals

Setting tough but achievable goals is really important to me: it keeps me motivated to move forward and gives me a massive sense of achievement when they’re completed. However, after a goal has been hit – especially a big one, say, a marathon! – it can send you into a slump because you don’t know what to do next. Sometimes when sportspeople win the competition they’ve always dreamed of winning it can dishearten and confuse them, as when they’ve hit their greatest goal, what is there to accomplish then?

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LIFE: Rise & Rave

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Depending on which sources you pay attention to, either this Monday just gone or the one before it was Blue Monday, ie the gloomiest day of the year. Basically it’s the last Monday before January payday (it’s been six weeks since my last payday with Christmas in between, eek!) with the realisation that the cold, dark days aren’t going away any time soon.

Everyone feels low once in a while, and the lower you get, the more difficult it can be to get out of (Sidenote: if you feel numb, isolated, having difficulty eating or sleeping, losing concentration, and it’s more than a passing low mood, take a look at the Mind website and reach out to them for support). I had a touch of the post-Christmas blues and started to feel like everything I had to look forward to was really far away – like, will I ever not be a student?! – but as soon as the Reon Rise & Rave* was in my diary I was pumped for it. The thought of trying out something completely new and arriving at a rave at 6:30am excited and scared me in equal parts, but the promise of sunrise yoga, high-energy dancing and a nutritious breakfast sold the whole sober rave concept to me.

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Admittedly, without the complete dark of a club and the confidence-boosting alcohol that comes with it, it was difficult to get up onto the dancefloor. Clubbercise was absolutely rocking it though and it looked too fun not to join in, so Emma, Lizzy and I were among the first to get our groove on with our glowsticks. I’ve never done Clubbercise before and the class was great fun – it did strike me that I’m a pretty terrible dancer though, something I’d never realised before, potentially because you’re a lot less self-conscious when you’ve had a shandy or two. Being mindful of what I was doing made me enjoy it more though and aware of what I need to work on (um, other than ALL of my dance moves) so I’d love to go to Clubbercise again.

Just as we were grabbing our coats to head off to work the dancefloor was filling up with Clubbercisers, who had potentially taken advantage of the Reon caffeine strips that were being passed around. I’ll be giving mine to some of the guys at university who seem to take pleasure in staying up working the whole night before an essay is due in, so hopefully it will give them the energy to excel in their Masters!

It was a strange feeling, going into a tent in the dark then emerging, blinking into the light – that used to be every Saturday morning for me, though this time I was just high on Soulmatefood green juice and chia seed pudding. There was no hangover and I was able to go about my day with a spring in my step, smug in the knowledge that I’d had my fix of dance-related endorphins before most had even had their breakfast.

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