Monday, 5 August 2013

Top Tips To Get Fit - Part 2

The following blog entry is the second part of 'Top Tips To Get Fit'. The first part offered five key tips to help achieve our fitness goals. This post will offer another five tips to help us further.

Make it Fun

A major key to getting the most from exercise is to make it fun. If we enjoy our training than we are far more likely to do it, and this will lead to us getting good results. Many people find team sports a great way of getting exercise as they get a lot of enjoyment from it.

Anything is better than Nothing!

Any exercise is better than nothing. A ten minute walk with our dog means we are beating the guy who is spread across the couch! Everyone needs to start somewhere, so it is important that we do not worry when we are not doing 5 mile runs right away.

Sneak extra exercise

Try things like taking the stairs instead of the lift/elevator, or getting off the bus an extra stop early in order to get extra exercise in!

Make friends with other fitness people

If we get to make friends with like-minded people, who have similar fitness aspirations, this can really help to keep us motivated.

Eat Correctly

This is possibly the most important piece of advice out there. We cannot out exercise a bad diet, so we must ensure that our eating is right. 

Monday, 29 July 2013

Top Tips To Get Fit - Part 1

The following blog entry will look into some top tips for us to incorporate into our lives in order to get fit. This is to the first part of two, so be sure to come back again for more great tips.

Make keeping fit a part of your routine

If we make fitness and exercise an intrinsic part of our lives it will be far easier for us to stick to our regimes and far less likely for us to miss sessions. In keeping it as an 'optional extra', we are likely to fall short in our fitness quest.

Set Goals

Setting goals is a fantastic tip for keeping fit. With goals to aim for we are more likely to stick to our regimes and also have something to measure our progress by. It is important that the goals we set stretch and challenge us, but are also achievable. If we set unrealistic targets we are likely to fall flat!

Be Flexible

This is very important. It is important not to be too regimented, as our lives require us to flexible. If we miss a session, it is important not to worry about it, just put more into the next session.

Do Not Overdo It

Over training is a common mistake that people make. All sorts of problems can come from this. Injuries, fatigue and ill feeling towards training can all stem from over doing it. In turn, each of these factors can contribute to us not wanting to train.

Do Not Expect An Overnight Change

This is another key thing. Often people expect to see major results after three sessions! This is simply not reality. Patience is the key, and if we stick to our diet and exercise plans, results will come.

These are five key tips that should be used when looking to get fit. Make sure to check back next week for part two of 'Top Tips To Get Fit'. 

Monday, 17 June 2013

The Importance of a Strong Core

This article will discuss what the core is, why it is important to build a strong core and also look at some key exercises to help to develop a strong core.

What is our core?

I would suggest, from personal experience, that many people believe our core to be the abdominal muscles. And this is partly true. However, there is much more to the core than just our abs. The muscles in the lower back, pelvis and hips also make up our core. 

Why is it important to build a strong core?

Our core is so vital to most of our movement that it is important to develop a strong core for a number of reasons. 

  • A strong core can help with our balance and stability.
  • A strong core can help to reduce our chances of injury. Developing our core leads to a greater range of motion for us and thus makes us far less likely to get injured. 
  • We need a strong core to help us with daily tasks. Bending, reaching and twisting are all aided with a strong, healthy core and these are things that we do every single day. 
  • Developing our core is a major thing with sports. Athletes of all levels should look to build their core as it can lead to an improved performance. We can swing better, run faster and kick further.

Some key exercises to develop our core

There are many exercises that can be used to develop and strengthen our core muscles. At a beginners level there are simple exercises that will start building our core. As we progress we can change these exercises, making them harder to improve our core even further. 

Sit-ups and crunches, planks (bridges), push-ups, squats and leg raises are some of the basic exercises that we can do to develop and strengthen our core muscles. Once we master these, we can advance upon them. For example, we can start adding side planks, one armed push-ups and pistol squats into our routines. 


It is clear that the core is vital to our everyday lives, but it can also help us steer clear of injury and enhance our sports performance. There are many exercises we can do to strengthen the core, including crunches and planks. 

Monday, 10 June 2013

Push Up/Squat/Core Circuit for Beginners

Today we will look at a small circuit that will tone and strengthen our core, as well as our arms and legs. This circuit is designed for beginners but can be adjusted to suit your own needs. As we get better at this circuit, we can increase the reps for each exercise.

There are only three exercises in this circuit, but the key to getting the most from it is to not stop exercising. This circuit is excellent when combined with half an hour of pure cardio (think 30mins of jogging).

The Circuit

10 push-ups

12 squats

20 abdominal crunches

12 push-ups

15 squats

25 abdominal crunches

15 push-ups

20 squats

30 abdominal crunches

Note: ensure proper form is executed with each exercise. 

Monday, 3 June 2013


Many people do not realise that the amount of salt they consume on a daily basis could be putting their heart at risk. With that in mind, this blog entry will look into salt, looking at how much is too much, where salt is found and tips on how to reduce our salt intake. 

How Much is Too Much Salt

It is recommended, by health experts, that adults consume less than 6g of salt a day. A level teaspoon of salt is about 6g.

Currently, in the United Kingdom, the average intake of salt on a daily basis is above the recommended maximum allowance. 

Where Is The Salt?

Some of the main culprits of containing high levels of salt are processed foods, canned soups, take away foods and ready meals.

When we are out shopping it is important to look out for foods like baked beans, pizzas, pork pies and some breakfast cereals.

Effects of Too Much Salt

Consuming too much salt can have a negative impact upon our health. Too much salt can increase the risk of us developing high blood pressure, and this can lead to coronary heart disease.

Tips To Avoid Consuming Too Much Salt

Here are some tips to reduce the amount of salt in our diet:

  • Remove the salt pot from the dinner table
  • Check food labels when shopping
  • Add herbs and spices as a salt replacement
  • Switch salty snacks for fruits and veg
  • Avoid generally salty foods such as bacon
  • Be aware of cooking sauces as some are high in salt content
Salt is so easily over-consumed without the right knowledge and understanding. If we remain aware of how much salt we are allowed (maximum 6g per day) and we learn how to control our intake we will be fine.

Leave a comment, I look forward to your feedback.

Monday, 27 May 2013

A Mini Workout

I am a firm believer that there is no excuse to not exercise. However, it is also a reality that we have busy lives and sometimes it is difficult to fit everything in. This page will show a 5 minute exercise, to be used when we are really struggling to fit in a workout. Everyone can spare five minutes! This routine requires nothing but our own body weight, and so can be done anywhere. No excuses. 

Five exercise - five minutes

1 minute of jumping jacks (star jumps)

1 minute of push-ups (press ups; for more info, click here)

1 minute of squats

1 minute plank (for more info, click here)

1 minute of lunges

That's it. 

Remember, this is not to replace regular exercise, this is merely for when we are really short of time. Use sparingly!

Leave me your thoughts. 

Monday, 20 May 2013

The Most Important Thing About Exercise

We all know that exercise is an important aspect of our lives. It helps fight disease, keep our brains ticking over and keeps our body in tip top shape. But what are the most important parts of exercise? This blog entry will look into just that, examining what are the most important things to consider when we are exercising.


Practicing correct form is such an important element to our training regimes. Whatever the exercise is, it is vital that we perform it correctly. Simply put, if we perform it right we are less likely to get injured and more likely to get something out of it. Proper form is a must for all exercise.

Continual growth

It is also crucial that we aim to progress constantly. If we can run for 5 miles, then we need to go for 6. If not, we are just training the body to do what it can already do. Continual growth will help us to see the best results. This means gradually increasing resistance and distance!

Mixing it up

By doing the same thing, over and over again, our bodies get used to it, and we are no longer able to grow. Therefore it is vital that we change the exercises we are doing regularly.

The Most Important Thing About Exercise

However, the one thing that trumps everything else mentioned is enjoying exercise. Once we enjoy the exercise we are doing, the rest will fall into place. When we enjoy exercising we will put 100% effort into it. It will become easier for us. We will be more likely to practice correct form. We will want to continually progress and grow. We will be able to mix things up a bit and keep ourselves interested. 

Monday, 13 May 2013

Easy Salad Dressings - Part 2

This is the second part of my blog posts on simple, yet affordable, salad dressings.

Note: These recipes were not created by me, but are adapted from Jamie’s Ministry of Food

Lemon Dressing


  • 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Lemon
  • Seas salt and black pepper

To create the dressing, we put the oil and the salt and pepper into a jar. We then squeeze in the lemon juice (all of it!) and mix together well. Easy!

Balsamic Dressing


  • 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt and black pepper

All we need to do is put all the ingredients into a jar and mix well. Simple, tasty and cheap. 

Each of the salad dressings in the two blog posts are simple and taste great. They are also far more affordable than what you buy in the shops.

Leave your comments and let me know what you think of each of the dressings!

Monday, 6 May 2013

Easy Salad Dressings - Part 1

When buying foods from the supermarket it is very important to look at what ingredients are in them. Many foods contain things that should not be in them, preservatives and the like, as well as other ingredients that just add to the calories.  With that in mind, this blog entry will show two different recipes for easy and cheap, but healthier, salad dressings. Another two recipes will follow next week in the second part of my Easy Salad Dressings. 

Note: These recipes were not created by me, but are adapted from Jamie’s Ministry of Food

French Dressing

This is an easy French dressing recipe.

  • ¼ of a clove of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons of white or red wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Seas salt and black pepper

To create the dressing, we peel and finely chop the garlic. Then, we put the garlic, mustard, vinegar and oil into a jar with a pinch of salt and the black pepper. Simply mix this together for a tasty salad accompaniment.

Yoghurt Dressing

  • 6 tablespoons of natural yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons of white or red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper

As with the French dressing, all we need to do is put all the ingredients into a jar and mix well.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think of the dressings. 

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Walk-To-Burn-Calories – Diet Aid

A US study suggests that a menu that displays the amount of exercise required to burn off the calories contained in the food may help people to consume fewer calories.

A team at the Texan Christian University found that when the menu displayed the amount of exercise required, the diners ordered lower calories. The trials were conducted with a group of 18-30 year olds, who were split into three groups. Some were given menus with no calorie information, some with the amount of calories displayed, and the final group had both the calories and the amount of exercise needed to burn the calories off. The results showed that the group with extra information consumed around 100 calories less.

The test is now to be taken further, and onto a bigger scale in order to confirm the findings.

This could be a very interesting find if it proves to be useful. It may just help a good number of people to eat that little bit less and to get in better shape. A lot of people are unaware of how hard it is to actually burn off the calories we consume so this could be very useful. It is also important to remember though, that just eating fewer calories does not necessarily mean that we are eating healthily.

To read the full article, click here.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Five A Day

It is no secret, most people already know it, but getting more fruits and vegetables into our diets is key to a healthier lifestyle. This blog entry will look into why eating more fruits and vegetables is important,  and will offer some tips of how we can get more fruits and vegetables into our daily lives.

Why Five a Day is Important

There are a number of reasons as to why eating more fruits and vegetables is important.

Firstly, fruits and vegetables are generally low in fat and calories, and therefore we are able to be in more control of our weight when eating them as opposed to other foods that often contain high levels of fats and extra sugars and calories.

Secondly, eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables helps us to get plenty of vitamins and minerals that we need into our body. They are also a good source of other substances, such as anti-oxidants. All these nutrients are valuable to our health.

Finally, eating fruits and vegetables helps to reduce the risk of many diseases and some cancers.

Tips to getting Five a Day

Now that we know why it is so valuable to get five a  day into our diet, we can look at some simple ways of getting extra portions into our daily routine.

  • We can add a piece of fruit, or a glass of unsweetened fruit juice, to our regular breakfast. This will also help us feel fuller for longer.
  • Make sure that we have a piece of fruit available for a mid-morning snack
  • With each meal we can try adding an extra portion of vegetables to it
  • We can make each portion of fruit of vegetables slightly bigger than normal to get even more goodness in each meal
What Counts Towards Our Five a Day?

Knowing what actually counts towards one of our five a day can often be tricky. Here are some examples of what does count towards our Five a Day:
  • An apple
  • 2 broccoli florets
  • 3 heaped tablespoons of mixed vegetables
  • 1 glass of 100% unsweetened fruit juice
  • 1 medium banana
  • 3 heaped tablespoons of peas
  • 7 Strawberries
  • 2 medium plums
  • 1 medium pear
  • a handful of grapes
  • 3 heaped tablespoons of sweetcorn

Each type of fruit and vegetables contains different properties so it is important to make sure that we eat a wide variety of them. A good tip is to make our meals as colorful as possible!

Thanks for reading. Feel free to leave your feedback, I am interested in your views and will look to respond as soon as possible. 

Friday, 19 April 2013

Rock Hard Abs

There are so many exercises to help build rock solid abs. My favourite is the plank. This is one of the simplest, yet most effective exercises that there is for toning and building rock solid abs. For more information on the plank itself, check out this website, of mine, here.

Another important thing to remember, when wanting abs, is that we must reduce our body fat. Regularly doing sit ups will definitely tone the stomach muscles, but this does not mean our belly fat will disappear. Doing ab exercises merely works and builds the ab muscles, to see them we must torch the belly fat!

This can be achieved by cardio-vascular exercises, such as running, cycling and swimming. Even going for a half hour walk can help to burn the extra calories. Combine all this with a well balanced diet and we are well on our way to a nice 6-pack.