Jump in the Pool: The Complete Swim Workout

Take a dip and get a complete bodywork out!

If walking or running doesn’t appeal to you, then why not take a dip in your local pool?

Swimming is the ideal exercise for those who have been inactive for a long period of time. The lack of impact means that your body will be able to cope with much more exercise initially, so that you can get a head start in getting back into shape. Not only is swimming much more friendly to your joints, the resistance of the water will mean that you burn calories much faster in the long term. In fact, research has suggested that 30 minutes of exercise in the water is worth 45 minutes of exercise on dry land.

We’ve put together a quick list of tips to give you the best start in your new swimming adventure:

Make sure you’re comfortable

It’s perfectly understandable to feel a little bit nervous about stepping into a new public swimming pool, especially if it’s been a while since you’ve taken a dip. Make sure you’re as comfortable as possible in the water before heading for your first length. Wear goggles if that makes you feel better and find a swimming costume that you feel confident in. Don’t be cowed by your insecurities – take the plunge!

Take your time in between lengths

Once you get in the water try not to get intimidated by the other more experienced swimmers in the water. Swim at your own pace and make sure to take breaks when you need them. Whilst swimming is an impact-free sport, it is still exhausting; the last thing you want to do it run out of juice in the middle of a length. By taking small breaks between lengths you can catch your breath and keep going for longer.

Go early in the morning

Most public swimming pools offer an early-bird swimming session for committed swimmers who don’t mind setting their alarm clocks at the crack of dawn. The pool is usually a lot quieter earlier in the morning and you can also benefit from cheaper rates too. Best of all, swimming early gives you the chance to get the exercise done and dusted, so you can get on with the rest of your day.

Not a fan of public pools?

If public schools are really not to your liking then you could consider installing a one piece swimming pool in your garden. Private swimming pools don’t need to cost you a fortune, in fact there are a number of companies that offer construction and installation rolled into one affordable package. The limiting factor for most will be the space, if you don’t have the luxury of a large back garden the you might find that the public pool is your only option.

Wait to swim after eating!

Always remember the important rule regarding eating and swimming: Don’t swim for an hour after you’ve eaten. Although this might sound like an old wive’s tale, it’s a good rule to follow for exercise in general. Your body needs energy to digest food, so you’ll be less capable until this has happened. Once the energy has been released (around an hour later) you’ll be able to exercise with all those freshly consumed calories.

Your First Run: Ready for a Challenge?

Do you feel like you’ve reached your peak with walking?

As we’ve already discussed, walking is the perfect way to start getting an active life, but if you’re hoping to lose some weight and get yourself into tip-top shape then you may want to consider taking up running. Although many see the difference between walking and running as a matter of pace, the increased effort causes your entire body more exertion, therefore burning more calories and further toning your muscles.

Take a look at our top tips for running success before you jump head first into your new regime:

Buy suitable running shoes

Unless you shelled out a lot of money on your first pair of trainers, chances are that you’ll need to buy some new ones before you head out onto the road. Running causes much more impact on your knees and ankles than walking, which is why it’s crucial to buy good quality running shoes. Purpose-built running shoes feature support and cushioning that will take the brunt of the impact and reduce your chance of injuring yourself.

Start slowly, then build pace/distance

Although it can be tempting to get as much distance done as soon as possible, you should ease yourself into your new hobby. Running too fast (or too far) too soon could result in an injury that sets you back for months. The best way to transition from walking to running is by training in intervals, this means running for a short amount of time and then walking as a rest; this plan explains this concept in more detail.

Listen to your body

Paying attention to how your body feel is paramount to running success. Whilst soreness and fatigue during exercise is to be expected to a certain extent, if you’re in a serious amount of pain you should stop and re-assess the situation. A sharp pain in your ankles or knees could suggest that your footwear isn’t quite up to snuff, but it might also point to a more significant issue. If you’re in pain then it’s important that you stop straight away, running through the injury could worsen it. See your GP or a sports therapist if you’re in doubt.

Get into a routine

Although starting a new running regime may feel a little daunting at first, you’ll find that it becomes easier the more that you do it. Unfortunately, the weather might not always be on your side but you can’t let this deter your from getting outside. A run in the rain can be quite invigorating, just make sure to wear a waterproof coat to protect from the worst of the elements. The important thing is to stick to your routine and try not to be deterred by any hiccups along the way.

Book your first race

Running in a race is a thrilling experience that can make for great motivation throughout your training period. It feels good to be working towards something and the added pressure of a deadline may make you more committed to your regime. Starting out with a 5k run is a good idea, these are usually very relaxes and will have runners of all abilities competing. Once you’ve built your confidence and your stamina, you can then think about tackling longer distances.

Best of luck!

Alternatives to Getting Liposuction Treatment

Britons spent £31m on ‘body-forming’ procedures last year – was this money wasted?

We live in an age of mass media, where we are constantly reminded of how beautiful we could be. In a world where we are consistently presented with images and videos that challenge our conception of what a ‘good’ body is, more and more British people are feeling pressured into undertaking serious surgical procedures in order to make their bodies conform with what they perceive to be the societal norm.

Television and film have long been hailed as the purporters of false body images, but now we’ve reached a point in civilisation where people themselves have become the sharers and producers of damaging media.

Every day thousands of photos are shared by people wishing to show off their toned, or slim physiques – whilst there’s nothing particularly wrong with this, often the images fail to mention how much effort and dieting has contributing in producing these bodies. 21st Century people are increasingly looking for quick-fixes and the same approach is now being taken to how we change our bodies.

Any cosmetic surgery involves a risk to the patient and should be considered a last resort. Make sure you try these ideas out before you get tempted to pay for a tummy tuck:

Commit to an exercise regime

If you’re unhappy with your body then your first step should be finding an exercise regime that helps you target and change those parts of your body that you’re least happy with. Whilst walking, running and spending time on a cross-trainer can prove beneficial to the entire body, you might find that getting a personalised exercise regime from a personal trainer will help you gets results faster.

Adapt your diet

A poor diet is often at the core of many weight issues, but don’t be tempted to simply cut down what you eat. The content of your diet is far more important that the quantity of your diet. The NHS website has some fantastic resources on how to build a healthy diet, common sense and planning are often required to make the necessary change.

Learn to love your body

Our bodies aren’t built to be perfect and (unfortunately) we are not all destined to be supermodels. In order to love your body you should have realistic goals for your appearance and consider that you might have to live with your imperfections forever, these imperfections are also likely to increase the older you get.

Wear figure flattering clothes

If you’re engaging in regular exercise and adapting your diet appropriately, then you can always think about wearing clothes that are more likely to flatter your figure. Darker colours tend to make the wearer seem slimmer and the deployment of certain patterns, such as stripes and bands can often have a similar effect.

Don’t look for a quick fix

Patience is key when seeking to change your body image. Change is not something that simply occurs over night, especially when you are making radical changes to your activity and diet. In order to see results you should remain positive and committed to your goal.

Eating The Right Food For You

Get the right fuel in your body!

If you’re making a positive change to your life by taking part in a more active lifestyle then you can double down by simultaneously making a change to your diet.

The quantity and quality of your diet has a wide-reaching effect on your short-term and long-term health, impacting everything from your day to day energy levels to your concentration, not to mention your weight! We’re all guilty of indulging now and again in our favourite foods, but when these indulgences become baked into our daily diet our health can suffer as a consequence. If you’ve made the decision to live a more active lifestyle then you’ll be able feel the positive benefits sooner if you also make some positive adjustments to your diet.

These guidelines should point you in the right direction, but it’s important to consult your GP before making any drastic changes to your lifestyle, to ensure that you’re doing what’s best for your own body:

Assess your current diet

It’s a good idea to get a clear look at what food you eat on a daily basis before you make any changes to your lifestyle. Spend a fortnight recording a food diary, including estimations of your calorie intake for each meal and snack. It’s crucial to be as honest as possible with yourself so that you can get as clear a picture of your food intake as possible.

What are you aims?

Knowing your goals is a key part of any lifestyle change, it gives you something to aim for and can help you stay on tract in the long run. If you’re looking to lose weight and burn fat, then your diet should reflect that ambition by cutting out foods highs in fats or sugars. Of course, this is often easier said than done – if you’re hoping to make a long-term change then you’ll need to have a solid meal plan sorted out.

Get prepared ahead of schedule

The best way to make an effective, long-term change to your diet is be being prepared and having a plan. Plan all your meals out a week ahead of schedule and get your shopping sorted accordingly, don’t allow yourself to fall into bad habits simply because you don’t have the right food in your fridge. At times it may be really tempting to reach for a trusted takeaway, so you need to be prepared for that eventuality.

Keep an eye on your portion control

It’s possible to avoid eating unhealthy foods and find that you’re still putting on weight, this issue can usually be pinned down to portion control. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to portion control, as how much you’ll need to eat will depend on the amount of activity that you’re managing to fit into your daily schedule. Use an online tool to make rough estimates of how many calories you’ll need to consume to maintain, gain or lose weight – depending on what your goal is.

How Technology Can Keep You Active!

Take advantage of living in the modern age.

There was a time when getting access to fitness routines and meal plans was nigh on impossible without spending a tonne of money on books, videos or personal trainers. Thankfully, the internet age is a lot more forthcoming, but unless you know where to look you might still struggle to find the information that you need.

These tips and tricks should point you in the right direction and help add structure to your new active lifestyle:

Get a wearable health device

There’s no better way of keeping a beady eye on your day to day activity by buying a wearable health device. These handy little gadgets come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they don’t have to cost the world, especially if you’re just looking for something to track your steps and heart-rate. These devices give you a real insight into how you’re progressing and can be just the thing to keep you motivated to exercise more!

Download a fitness app

If you’d rather not part with any cash then you can download a fitness app to keep an eye on your steps, or even support a new running schedule. Strava is currently the most popular running app, offering good GPS tracking of your runs, as well as give you the option to engage in some friendly competition with others using the app. You can choose to keep all your activity private should you wish and simply use it as a way to track your activity and give you an estimate of how many calories you’ve burned.

Take part in your local parkrun

The parkrun initiative is a fantastic project that encourages people of all ages and abilities to get out for a run in their local park each weekend. Since its inception the concept has spread all over the world, but it’s still very popular here in the UK. Runs are held in 580 locations across the country and each race is absolutely free to enter. To join in you’ll need to head to the parkrun website and see where your nearest event is held.

Find a support group online

Sometimes what we really need to enact change in our lives is someone cheering us on. If you feel like you need a bit of extra motivation to keep you moving then there are plenty of online forums and groups that you can head to for support. Reddit is one of the most popular forums on the internet and includes a number of excellent ‘subreddits’ which offer inspirational advice and motivation to those who need it, the community is known for being both helpful and generous.

Social media is your friend!

Social media is full of great avenues for learning about exercise and it’s thanks to the efforts of passionate individuals around the world who upload content on a daily basis that we now have a veritable library of workout routines and exercise plans to choose from. Yoga instructors from America have been sharing their knowledge using YouTube, personal trainers from the UK have taken to Instagram managing marketing in Liverpool and uploading videos of their own routines. In short, there’s a whole world of exercise tips out there, you just need to look for it!

Getting Started: Take a Walk

Step outside for some fresh air!

Taking your first step towards leading an active lifestyle can be as simple as simply walking around the block.

Walking is something that we often take for granted, but it’s a privilege that can be taken away should you neglect your personal fitness and health. There has been a significant rise in the use of mobility scooters over the last two decades, and it’s not just older people who are having to rely on them. Increasing numbers of younger, middle-aged people are finding themselves too overweight and, instead of adapting their lifestyles, they are looking for mechanical assistance in order to get on with their day-to-day life.

Whilst there are certain cases where mobility scooters are absolutely essential for those who have significantly reduced mobility, too often now they are being resorted to by people who feel they are too overweight to ever return to good health. Often the only thing that these individuals need is the right education and motivation in order to get themselves back on their feet, and shedding weight.

If you’re struggling to get yourself out of the house, or think that you don’t have enough time to exercise then try taking a look at our simple tips to for getting started:

Incorporate a short walk into your routine

Walking is the low intensity exercise that you never thought could help you! Just walking one mile a day burns 100 calories, that might sound rather miserly, but considering that one mile is only 2,000 steps, it doesn’t take long to start burning some serious weight. The best way to get out and about is by incorporating this walk into your day-to-day life: walk to the shop instead of driving, or get into the habit of taking a morning stroll round the block.

Wear suitable clothing

Help yourself by wearing the right clothing before setting out on your walk. Make sure that you’re wearing good trainers that have decent support and check the weather forecast before you leave, so you don’t get caught out in the rain. Although you may warm up once you get going, it’s best to put on some warm clothing if it’s a bit nippy outside.

Take some music for motivation

Listening to your favourite music can be a great motivation, especially if you’re finding it difficult to take that first step outside the house. Upbeat, positive music has been proven to help all kinds of athlete’s performance, so there’s no reason why it can’t help you. If you’d rather have something to pass the time with then you can always take an audio-book with you.

Bring water with you and some food

Water should be an important part of your day, regardless of what activity you’re doing. Drinking plenty of water has been linked with weight loss, but it’s also vital to take some whilst you’re exercising. When you exercise you can become easily dehydrated, take a bottle of water and a banana or cereal bar, so that you can stay fuelled up whilst you’re on the move.