The Pros & Cons of Using a Personal Trainer

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A rather good-looking personal trainer recently pitched his services to me. Not only did he sell his fitness expertise but also how he offers nutritional and dietary advice, and would continually motivate me to look after my general well-being. It’s a complete package; everything I could possibly want to look and feel good!

As the old saying goes though, if something seems too good to be true, then it usually is. Therefore I’ve been doing some research into the pros and cons of using a personal trainer to evaluate if it’s a worthwhile commitment.

The positives include:

Discipline & motivation

You’re paying for a service, and for someone’s time. Unlike those lengthy gym memberships that are often left to gather dust, you cause someone other than yourself a massive inconvenience by not attending. Therefore the discipline to attend is there. Alongside discipline there is motivation; you don’t want to let him down and he won’t let you down as it’s his job to keep you motivated. Win, win!

Expertise

This one is simple – you’re doing it right. You can rest in the trainers knowledge that you’re only pushing your body as far as it’s safe to, and that you’re doing exercises in the safest and most effective way.

Faster results

All of the above equals to fast results. Well, faster than if you’re stumbling around a foreign gym on your own…

This all seems fine and dandy, but if this were the case then why isn’t everyone employing personal trainers?

The cost

This is the most obvious one. You find a good personal trainer for less than £20 per hour, and the best can charge up to £150 per hour! Compared to a £40 p.month gym membership, with unlimited use its easy to see why only a select few use personal trainers.

Rouge traders

Like with all trades there’s the risk that you could end up with a dodgy-dealer. The easy way to reduce this risk is to check that the trainer is affiliated with a recognized regulatory body, and has the necessary qualifications.

Becoming reliant on your trainer

This one isn’t quite so obvious, but when you see good results and are having motivation thrust upon you it’s easy to associate your continued success with your trainer. Normal practice is to spend a number of weeks with your trainer, get in shape, learn all the moves, then take responsibility upon yourself, with period reviews. If you become dependent on your trainer to motivate you, it’s all too easy to loose everything again after going solo. Keeping a trainer on board forever is a very expensive commitment.

So what about me? Truthfully I’m still unsure, but I have agreed to a free consultation and beginner’s session to see if it’s for me. Wish me luck!

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be hard!

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Now, as much as I hope you’re all sticking to those New Year’s diets and resolutions, we’re all bound to of let the odd one slip here and there, yes? Well, fear not! I’ve teamed up with fine dining chef and amateur jujitsu fighter Luke Downing to give you some super simple diet tips to keep you healthy and motivated!

Drink plenty of water. Yes, this is an age old rule of thumb, but it’s still just as important as it ever was, so don’t forget! Aim to consume 2-4 litres of water daily. It speeds up your metabolism, which in turn helps burn fat.

Don’t let them nutrients run away. Put quite simply: steam your veg! Steaming vegetables locks in the nutrients, which are otherwise lost when boiled. I find if you haven’t got a steamer handy, putting a wire sieve over a pan of water, and covering it with the pan lid works just as well. If that doesn’t work for you, eat them raw!

Be picky with protein. Choose healthy protein sources like fish and chicken, avoiding processed meats, like burgers and hotdogs. Processed meats are binded with fat and are difficult to digest. Given all of the news coverage on processed meat scandals, this one shouldn’t be too hard to stick to.

Give breakfast the attention it deserves. We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but do we know why exactly? Well, it’s because we’ve been fasting through the night and our metabolisms have stopped being worked. Eating a good wholesome breakfast, stacked with high fiber and wholegrain, gets your metabolism raring again. So avoid the temptation to dash out the door with a coffee and slice of toast in hand, and put a bit of care and thought into breakfast time.

Give coffee the boot. Following on from above, replace the morning coffee with warm water and lemon. Not only will it help boost your metabolism, but it will also make you more alert than the brown stuff!

Survive the winter months and stay in shape

It’s that time of year again where we let ourselves go a little, stock up our bodies with carbs and wrap up in layers of clothes, but that’s no means to say we can’t stay looking beautiful and healthy. After the Christmas period it can be hard to get back in to shape especially with sub zero temperatures and miserable weather. Yoga can be a brilliant way to stay in shape, as well as exercising the mind. Joining a yoga class has a number of benefits that can keep you healthy in the winter months:

Fitness: A number of studies have shown that practicing yoga can help with core strengthening, balance and posture. Nearly all yoga poses will help build core strength in the deep abdominal muscles. Yoga stretches not only your muscles, but also all of the soft tissues of your body. That includes ligaments, tendons, and the fascia sheath that surrounds your muscles. 

Health: It is known that yoga also contributes to a number of health benefits.  Regular yoga activity can help reduce high blood pressure and help people suffering with heart disease. For people that suffer with arthritis or joint aches and pains, a natural alternative to medicinal solutions can be to do yoga for pain relief. People who regularly conduct yoga are likely to experience reduced pain, less swelling and increased mobility.

Mental Wellbeing: In today’s day and age, many women have to endure long days at work and also juggle bringing up children and a family. This can take a toll on some women, so yoga can be a good way to relieve any unnecessary stress. As well as stress, yoga also helps reduce feelings of anxiety and generally is a perfect way to wind down after a busy day.

Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, there are plenty of classes at your local gym and DVD’s available to suit all levels and availability.Image

 

 

5 Tips To Eating Healthy at Christmas

The Christmas period is fast upon, and it’s always a time when we let ourselves go and overindulge a little. The average person will eat around 6,000 calories on Christmas day! That’s 3 times the daily allowance for women! However, there are still ways we can enjoy the festive period and keep the pounds off. Here are 5 my top tips to have a healthy merry Christmas:

1. Try to keep sweet snacks and chocolates as an after-meal treat. If you’re having guests over, a good tip is to wait until they’ve arrived to stop the temptation to snack.

2. Serve Christmas dinner with lots of vegetables. The annual Christmas dinner doesn’t have to be a carb – heavy meal, lots of green vegetables like broccoli, peas or even courgettes will go down a treat with the whole family.

3. Don’t over do it on the buffet. Eat slowly and wisely. Savouring those buffet nibbles will help you to feel fuller and not over-eat, and staying clear of the pastries will help keep the pounds from piling up.

4. Drink sensibly. It’s perfectly fine to have a few drinks over Christmas, but try to think about whether you actually do need to drink or not. Drinking plenty of water will keep you hydrated and stop you from craving food when you’re not hungry. High salt content in Christmas foods can leave you wanting more when it can merely just be that you’re a little dehydrated.

5. Indulge in the right things. Why not take advantage of the glorious selection of winter berries available. Dried apricots and cranberries can also be a festive treat; a handful of those will stop you snacking and give you plenty of energy for the festive celebrations.

If you follow my simple tips, you’ll be sure to enjoy the festive season without the worry of putting on too much weight. 

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4 diet must-haves for healthy and glowing skin.

We all love make up and I rarely see women these days who don’t wear some makeup on a daily basis, but excessive layers of make up might make you look pretty for the time being but it is damaging your skin in the long term. Millions of women spend a lot of money on acne creams, face packs and other cosmetics to treat their skin but beauty is truly skin deep in this case because if your skin is not internally healthy it will never show on the surface. To treat your skin internally it’s very important to eat the right things and include certain food items in your diet.

Water – We all are aware of the fact that drinking plenty of water helps to keep your skin hydrated.. Drinking at least 10 glasses of tap water throughout the day not only hydrates the skin but also removes toxins from your body thus keeping you internally healthy.

Fish – The fatty acids that most fish contains is the key element for a healthy skin. Fish has Omega-3s, which keeps cell membranes of our skin healthy by keeping out harmful substances and allowing nutrients to enter cells. Omega-3s also reduces our body’s production of inflammatory agents, which usually causes acne and other skin problems.

Green Tea – Green Tea doesn’t just help burn fat but is also rich in antioxidants which help reduce cell inflammation (acne) and also protects cell membranes which might get blocked due to excessive use of makeup. It also reduces sunburn damage, which helps reduce the risks of getting skin cancer.

Vegetables – Most vegetables contain essential elements like vitamin A, C and K and all of these are extremely good for your skin. So vegetables like Carrots, Cucumber, Cabbage, Tomatoes and Spinach can show excellent results if consumed regularly. Most vegetables also contain a large proportion of water in them, which act as anti toxins and keeps the skin clear and healthy. 

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Healthy Snacking – Top Tips

We’ve all been there, it’s Sunday afternoon, you’re relaxing after a weekend with the family and you sit down to watch  some T.V. Every channel’s inundated with afternoon cooking programmes and shows – there’s no escape! Although I do love to watch a bit of Jamie Oliver or River Cottage, recent news from The Daily Mail has revealed that Cookery programmes make us more likely to tuck into unhealthy snacks, according to scientists. So just when you think you’ve made it through the week without binging on those calorific meals, these programmes are more likely to make us eat sugary and fatty foods.

In a study, researchers found that viewers are more likely to munch on junk food if they are watching a cookery show than if they have tuned into a nature programme – better turn off Nigella, and watch more David Attenborough by the sounds of things.

So, in a bid to combat this, I am recommending the top 5 healthy snacks to binge on (if you have to)…

1. Blueberries – A handful of these will satisfy that sweet craving of yours. They’re full of anti-oxidants and help boost productivity.

2. Carrots and Hummus - About 10 baby carrots with 2 tablespoons of low fat hummus will more than fill you up.

3. Nuts and Seeds – Put down the biscuits and grab a handful of nuts instead. Nuts and seeds are Vitamin E power houses and provide long lasting, slow release energy.

4. Frozen lower fat yoghurt - You can find frozen yoghurt near the frozen dessert section in any supermarket.

4. Oatcakes with low fat cream cheese – Have a few oatcakes in on standby to stop you going for the biscuit tin.

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Healthy Mornings!

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We all are aware that we should always start our day with something healthy but a lot of us dont tend to practice that because we find it too complicated or taxing. I have some simple healthy morning rituals to kick start your day fresh:

1. Drink a pint of water first thing in the morning: If you dont like plain water squeeze some fresh lime juice into it and add a tea spoon of honey that will taste good and also help your skin at the same time. 

2. Make yourself a fuit blend: You can blend carrot, apple, tangerine together in a grinder the night before and just have it while reading your newspaper or getting ready (if you are in a rush). This will give you all the necessary vitamin intakes for the morning.

3. 10 minutes free hand exercise: After finishing your juice a 10 minute free style exercise of any form be it Yoga, Pilate or even aerobics is good because that will immediately wake you up and you will feel fresh the whole day. This is also very good for your body and will keep you from putting on the nasty extra flab. 

4. Take a nice lukewarm shower: Nothing makes one feel better than a nice shower with some aromatic bath gel followed by a moisturizer for your whole body to keep the skin from drying. 

5. CTM: Cleaning, Toning and Moisturizing your face every morning is a must for a healthy, glowing skin because you are washing away all the extra oil from your face. It will make you look so fresh that you might not even need any makeup or foundation. 

After this ritual every morning you will be set for a great day and not feel exhausted or dull throughout the day. I know it sounds like its a lot of effort but trust me once you make this a habit it will come as second nature to you! 

 

Health is the word!

This week, I’ve been focusing on boosting my health and fitness. I’ve always loved exercise classes such as aerobics and Zumba, however I never actually knew how good these classes can really be for women’s health. Pilates, along with kegel exercises not only keep you in shape but also work wonders for your pelvic floor muscles. I’ve found this great article about some simple and effective pelvic floor exercises – it’s worth a read for all the ladies!

http://www.ehow.co.uk/way_5419010_pilates-pelvic-floor-exercises.html

Sophie x

It’s Winter!!

Its again that time of the year when you have to put all those summery white dresses inside your closet and get all the cosy woolens out. Just because its too chilly to don a dress doesn’t mean you cant look hot for a party or a date. Here are 3 tips for those chilly winter weekends when you want to go out and party but not shiver to death:

1. The boy friend jacket can give your outfit a chic yet casual look and will keep you warm as well. You can wear it with a dress and tights or even a nice fitted pair of jeans and a lacy top underneath and dont forget those gorgeous high heel boots!

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2. Invest in a well fitted coat, they are always a winner during winters because it doesn’t just make you look stylish but also keeps you super warm. The biggest advantage is that it doesn’t matter what you are wearing underneath you will always be warm. Look for fun patterns or colors and also team it up with colorful scarves to add a spunk to your look.

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3. Leather is one of my favorite texture for the winter because it keeps you warm and its oh so stylish. You can team up a leather jacket, pant or boots with literally anything.

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Hope you enjoyed this post and send me your comments I always love to have a good chat about fashion!

xx