Beginners Running Tips

I recently started running again and have set myself the challenge of running a half marathon by October 2018. It’s something I have always thought about doing and something I admire other people for doing and being able to do so I thought, why don’t I give it a go?

I used to run five miles-ish a day so I wouldn’t say I am brand new to running but it has been a couple of years since my running days. I have had a little think about what tips I would give to new runners and have thought up quite a few so I thought it would maybe be beneficial to all of you who want to start running but don’t really know where to begin.

First of all, set your goals in minutes not miles. When you first start running set your challenges in running minutes not the miles, they come later. I found that interval training was really useful in building my stamina back up to where it used to me. I just set it up on my Fitbit but if you don’t have a Fitbit why not use music? Run during the verses and walk for the chorus or better yet download an interval training app? I recommend Interval Timer on the App store which is completely free and brilliant!

With interval training in mind, remember that you don’t have to run straight away. Start by walking and then jogging and then running. Work your way up to the running pace instead of jumping straight in the deep end.

Drink plenty of water to make the running feel a lot easier. Water helps to keep your energy levels high so drinking when out running or before and after is a must. I know that I hate taking a water bottle with me out a run because I like to run without music so listening to the water sploshing around in my bottle makes me need a wee. I drink before and after.

Keep your posture and your hands relaxed throughout your run and really pay attention to it because it’s easy to forget and let it slip. By unclenching your hands, it makes it a lot easier for you to move your arms and almost propel yourself forward.

Don’t run when you’re hungry. Your body needs fuel to keep going so you will find it a lot more tough to rack up the miles if you are hungry. Eat a banana half an hour to an hour before your run and you will get that little burst of energy you need to keep going.

Mix up your workouts. Don’t chose running and just stick to running, you need a mix of other exercises. Being a good running is all about overall fitness. Work on your core of your rest days to help with posture for example.

Remember to stretch before and after your workouts to avoid injury. Being more flexible will also help with your next workout so never, ever skip it!

Find your running rhythm and then relax into it. Once you find this rhythm you will find your run so much easier. This is why I run without music because I like to hear my feet hitting the ground to help me find this rhythm. I find it really difficult when listening to different songs of different beats because my rhythm constantly changes.

Find the right shoes. This is literally the only investment you need to make when running. There are no additional charges and you don’t even have to invest that much to get good ones. I get all my trainers from my local Nike Outlet which has expensive and brilliant trainers for next to nothing.

When running remember that your legs aren’t about to give out, it’s all in your head. You head will give up one hundred times over before your body does. Push your limits and you will rack up the miles you have always dreamed of.

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How To Stay Motivated When You Want To Skip That Workout

We all have lapses in motivation at times. This is when you really have to want what you’re working towards because it’s what you chose to do when you’re not motivated that effects the end result.

I have pulled together a bunch of things you can do when you aren’t feeling motivated or focused that will help make you go to the gym and work your butt off.

Remember why you started. This is an incredibly useful tool. I find visualising what I want my body to look like keeps me going when I can’t be bothered workout out. I don’t want to continue looking in the mirror and seeing average and the only way you don’t look average is by pushing your limits and coming outside your comfort zone. Remember if you do the same thing you always do then nothing will change.

Keep in mind that you are doing new things that you have never done before and stepping outside of your comfort zone so give yourself some credit. It’s not easy to get up and workout every day. It’s exhausting but you have never done it before and you’re doing just fine!

Reward yourself for trying these new things and pushing your boundaries. I reward myself by putting pennies aside when I hit a new goal weight so that when I am the size I want to be I will have money in the bank to buy the clothes I have always wanted to wear. You don’t want to work your ass off to get to the dress size you have always dreamed off and then find you have no money to pay for clothes that actually fit you.

Only focus on today and what you can do today to reach your goal. I have found that taking one day at a time is super useful especially when it comes to food. If I maybe ate way too much the day before that doesn’t matter because only today matters in my eyes. Don’t beat yourself up over yesterday.

Take note of your progress. I have a little bullet journal where I have goal weights written and every time I reach one I score it off. It may be slow progress but slow progress is better than no progress.  I have also found that having a Fitbit really helps with tracking progress and since I bought myself one I have lost a lot more weight. It’s almost a challenge when you have a Fitbit on and it’s motivational in itself.

When you’re at the gym sweating, and looking disgusting don’t look at anyone else. Don’t compare yourselves to the girls that look better than you. You should be challenging yourself and nobody else. The challenge should be to be better than you were yesterday.

Listen to your body. If you went full out at the gym yesterday and your sore today maybe take it easy or focus on a part of your body that doesn’t hurt. Don’t become completely focused on what the scales say instead of what your body says.

Remember that you’re doing this because you love your body, not because you hate it and believe that you can reach your goals. YOU CAN DO THIS! I know you can because I know that I can.

How To Appear Confident Even When You Aren’t

Being confident is nor something that comes naturally to me. It’s something I feel holds me back in life quite often and I would love to be full to the brim with confidence, however that is just something I will never be. There are certain situations where appearing confident is key and there are certain things you can do to come across confident.

Stand up straight with you chin and head held high. Keep your eyes up and try not to look at your feet. If your standing straight with your eyes looking straight ahead you will come across more in control and more powerful. There is a bigger chance of you being taken seriously if you aren’t straight at your feet throughout an entire conversation.

Now that you know to stand up straight and keep your eyes up when looking forward try and maintain eye contact. This is very important if you want to appear more in control, more calm and confident.

While maintaining eye contact remember to smile. This will ensure you come across friendly and approachable. For a little challenge try and smile at a stranger while walking past them. This will push you out your comfort zone. If you have a dog take it with you. I have found that dog walkers are very approachable and are more likely to smile back and start conversation.

Don’t fidget. if you fidget people will automatically think that your anxious and nervous. You will realise that you fidget a lot subconsciously now that you know not to. To help stop fidgeting either clasp your hands in front of you or talk with them. Showing your palms while you talk makes you look more open and trustworthy.

Have a good strong handshake. There is nothing worse that shaking someones hand with a weak handshake. You don’t want to be perceived as weak and timid so working on having a strong handshake screams confidence and creates a great first impression.

Last but certainly not least, be kind to yourself. All these little tips add up and doing one or two to begin with is completely fine. Just remember that for what you lack in confidence you make up somewhere else.

 

Meditation and Mindfullness

For a long time I used mediation only when I felt I needed it. After a stressful day I would take ten and just sit and focus on my breathing. This of course worked for a little while but I have found that meditation is more about the frequency rather than the length of time it is practiced for.

Over the last month or so I have been meditating once a day for between ten to fifteen minutes. I’ve found by meditating once a day that I gain new perspectives on situations that are stressful or cause me to become anxious, I can focus on the present and how I am feeling in that moment not just in life situations but also within myself and my body. Not only does it help me to lower my stress levels and let go of all the bad, negative emotions that I might otherwise hold onto it has also helped me to deal with stress and manage it even when I’m at work or going about my daily activities.

I focus mainly on my breathing whilst meditating. How it feels when I breath in and how my chest rises and lowers as I breath in and out. By focusing on my breathing you nearly automatically relax your neck, shoulders and upper body muscles as you draw in more oxygen to allow for better breathing. Focus on how the breath feels in your nostrils and the back of you throat and if your mind starts to wander, which is completely fine, just draw your focus back to your breathing and how your body feels whilst your either sitting in a chair with you feet flat on the ground and your hands in your lap or you can sit crossed legged like I do. I like to sit on my yoga mat with my legs crossed and a folded towel or pillow under my bum so that my hips are higher than my ankles.

If you can’t find yourself a quite spot to really focus on your breathing and how if feels and what it sounds like I have found that playing slow, relaxing music works well. I use quite a few different playlists on Spotify. It did take me a while to find ones that really worked for me but I listened to them whilst doing yoga and then saved them for a later date. You will find that there are playlists for different types of mediation and if you can’t find anything that works for you I recommend a sleep playlist. There will be a blog post going up soon focusing mainly on these playlists and how different sounds can make you feel and focus on different aspects of the world around you.

I do set my timer for ten minutes but when it does go off I allow myself time to open my eyes slowly and in my own time. You want to allow yourself to stay relaxed and not be jolted out of your relaxed, mindful state so taking your time at this point is really important. The length of time you meditate for isn’t important because again, different people will feel differently. Sometimes you might not even set a timer, just go with how you are feeling and you will know when you want to stop and at that point you just slowly bring yourself back to present.

Keep in mind that this is only one of many forms of meditation which works jolly fine for me but you might have to find a different form that works better for you. I like to have my eyes closed which I have found stops my mind from wandering as much but you may find that having your eyes open actually works better for you. It’s all about trial and error and finding what works the best for you and what you need from it.

Are You Hungry or Bored?

Learning the difference between being hungry and bored is super important when your trying to cut out all the foods you really shouldn’t be eating. I like to nibble at snacks while I work and it really doesn’t help that I am sat right next to the biscuits, sweets and crisps. Since I started working full time I have struggled to tell the difference between being bored or stressed and being hungry.

The best way around this mystery is by constantly sipping on water. When I wake up in the morning I will have a pint of water before I do anything else. I have found this helps to settle my stomach and makes eating breakfast so much easier. Up until a month ago I never ate breakfast so I am still getting used to the fact I now eat in the morning. I plan on sharing a few of my favourite breakfast ideas in a blog post soon so keep your eyes peeled.

Once I have had my water in the morning I do half an hour of yoga and then get ready for work. At work everyone drinks so much coffee it might as well come straight out the tap. I try not to drink too much due to the caffeine and the fact I have to put sugar in my coffee to enjoy it. Throughout the day I will drink another three pints of water. One an hour before I eat my lunch to help speed up my metabolism and the rest whenever I get the chance.

After work Kelly and I go to the park for a run before we both go our separate ways home. Usually on my way home I will drink another small bottle of water or diluted juice to tide me over to dinner.

Since I started drinking so much water I have noticed a not only a massive difference in my appetite but there  has also been a massive difference in how well I sleep and how I feel when I wake up. I literally jump out of bed which is the complete opposite of what I am normally like. I used to physically cry with the thought of getting up and now I actually look forward to it. There has also been a huge difference in my skin and the number of breakouts I have had. When I first started I did get a good few spots however now that I am a couple of weeks in my skin has really cleared up and I actually look well rested for once.

I am putting all of this down to water which seems very hard to believe but I have literally changed nothing else in my life. So if your struggling to lose weight due to being bored not hungry and eating anyway, try drinking more water. It will make you realise that you really are just bored most of the time and therefore so much easier to make those life changes and reach those body goals.

5 Steps To Bossing That Morning Workout

They do say that the early bird catches the worm. While everyone else is asleep just think about how far ahead you could get! That’s been my number one push to get up early. I want to change my life and I am not going to do that by sleeping in till eight every day.

Setting That Bloody Alarm

Setting that alarm is the easy part, it’s actually getting up when your alarm goes off thats tough. I have found that wearing my activity tracker to bed and setting my alarm on the app for a smooth wake up is a lot better than a loud obnoxious alarm. Waking up to a soft vibration of your wrist is a much better wake up and one that doesn’t put me in a bad mood before I’ve even set foot out of bed.

Put Your Workout Gear Where You Can See It

Laying your workout gear out at night before bed is also a huge motivation. The fact that it’s all there ready to go as soon as you wake up means your more likely to wake up in that mindset. It also helps if you have nice workout gear that you enjoy wearing because then you’ll want to put it on. Put it somewhere you can see it in the morning to push you to get up.

Fresh Tunes

Have your playlist ready to go. Whatever music your into have your playlist set, mix it up just like you would your workouts to keep it fresh and exciting. Have music that matches the pace of your workout. I have found that having music with a strong beat makes running so much easier. Hitting the pavement on the beat helps to keep a steady rhythm, therefore you keep the same steady pace and in theory the same breathing pace.

Plan Out Your Workouts

Know what workouts your doing before bed. If your going to the gym, swimming, running or doing a class, know what your going to set your goal as before bed. Having that motivation when you wake up of putting your gym clothes on and going straight where you planned means you have no chance to back out. Treat it as a meeting that you can’t miss or be late for.

Believe You Can Boss It

Have your mind set on the fact that you can do anything the day throws at you and that includes the hard sweaty workout you have planned first thing in the morning. I have found that going to bed motivated and having a good night sleep makes it so much easier to believe in yourself in the morning. So get the shut eye that you need and you will get the workout in that you deserve.

YouTube Videos For A Great Home Workout

With summer literally right around the corner and the weather starting to get better, I have realised that I am not exactly beach body ready. This year I have decided to change that and really push to get the body I have always wanted.

I try to go to the gym three times a week and the days I am not at the gym I’m completing loads of great workouts from Youtube. Youtube is literally full to bursting with fantastic, empowering and motivational workouts that anybody could do in the comfort of their own home.

I have complied a short list of the workouts that I have completed so far and absolutely loved. Yes they are incredibly hard but you honestly feel so good once your done. Almost makes rolling out of bed at 6:30am every morning worth it.

I shall continue doing the workouts in this list for the next four weeks and hopefully by the end of June I will have some noticeable differences in my body.

Burn 500 Calories in 45 Minutes With This Cardio and Sculpting Workout by PopSugar Fitness

I will admit that I was completely drawn in with the title and a little part of me thought that there was no way the workout could do exactly what it said on the tin. How wrong I was. This workout is a sweat feast. It’s full of explosive moves that take you from a warm up to a kick boxing segment to a sculpt.

If you want to work your whole body and burn a hell of a lot of calories then you really don’t have to look much further than this little beauty.

30 Minute Selena Gomez Workout for Flat Abs and Toned Legs by PopSugar

Your booty will be burning for days after this workout. It takes you through a range of ballet inspired moves and strange crunch workouts but by doing this it’s targeting key areas such as lower abs and your booty.

This is one of my favourites down to the fact you can feel the burn for days afterwards. You just know that you have gotten in a really good workout which makes everyday a good day.

I think we just need to keep in mind that even if you can’t do all the moves in the workout and have to do modified versions, your still doing a hell of a lot more moving than you would be if you had chosen to stay in bed for an hour longer. I feel great about myself as soon as I have finished my workout because I chose to start it and I chose to finish it.

 Plank Challenge by Rebecca Louise Fitness

If like me, you love a good plank but struggle to find the motivation to keep going or you just want to find different variations on a good classic move then Rebecca Louise will definitely be able to help.

This five minute workout takes you through the basic plank moves that focus on building your core. If your looking to gain those washboard abs and toned waist then this is a super move.

Lift Tone Booty Routine With Katrina

These two beautiful women are body goals. I find there charisma and chemistry fun to watch and at times I find myself smiling through the pain. Seeing there abs right in front of me whilst my tummy tires are rolling does make you hate yourself slightly but at the same time it’s the perfect motivation.

4 Minute Lower Body Burpee Gauntlet Challenge by Turbulence Challenge

4 minutes seems easy. It’s not with Turbulence Challenge. These simple moves target key problem areas and burn a huge amount of calories. Perfect for weight loss and toning. They have plenty of workouts that don’t require any gym equipment or weights and they are one of the few channels that I like that would cater to both men and women.

No Gym Full Body Workout by Jordan Yeoh Fitness

This workout is again short and sweet. Circuits at there best. Simple yet powerful moves that burn a hell of a lot of calories. You know they burn a hell of a lot of calories because the burn is real. Burpees are my worst enemy so when you finish that final circuit the relief if real but so it the sense of achievement. If you want to not only feel good but look good then this guy is defiantly a good idea.