5 TIPS TO RUNNING IN THE HEAT

IMG_0308[1]Who does not love summer? It is just so beautiful, all the glorious sunshine and vitamin D which has a huge positive impact on our moods.

However, summer is also the season when most people feel extra conscious about their bodies. We all want to keep fit and look good. The downside to all the sunshine however is that most of us feel really unmotivated to keep our exercise regime in such hot whether.

i recently did my first half marathon and have further signed up for four more which will all take place in the warm months. Physical activity at temperatures of more than 30 degrees strains your body and cardiovascular system. Your heart rate increases and your blood vessels dilate.

Here are five tips i have been using to help me stay cool during my runs outside.

1.   When running in heat, your heart rate is elevated. It is therefore a good idea to start slowly. The fitter you get, the better your body will cope with the heart, preventing your heart rate from sky rocketing.

 

2.  Choosing the right time of day for your runs is very important. I usually try to do my runs very early before it gets really hot. I usually go for my runs around 5am in summer. I understand this might be too early for some. You just need to try and find a time which suits you best. Try and avoid running in the midday heat.

 

3.  When running in the heat, your body sweats more. Sweating leads to loose of fluids and minerals. Even a small change in loose of fluids can lead to major performance losses. Keeping hydrated is very important. I have seen a few people carrying water bottles with them. I find it really uncomfortable to carry things in my hands when running so i invested in a hydration rucksack, so i can take a sip from time to time. It was a bit uncomfortable to start with but i have now got used to it. There are a few companies that sell the hydration rucksacks.  Choose whatever you are most comfortable with.

 

4.  The right work out clothes can also help keep you cool in the heat. Go for loose fit and moisture wicking materials to prevent heat from building up under your clothes. You might also want to choose light colours which not only reflect the sunlight but also do not store heat. I also always run with a cap which helps protect my head and keeps my face in the shade. You might also want to invest in sunglasses with UV filter.

 

5.  What you eat pre- and post- running has an affect on your run and recovery in the heat. Wholesome foods rich in minerals and vitamins should be a regular part of your diet especially during the warm whether, as your body loses more minerals than usual due to sweating. Foods such as bananas, dried apricots and whole grain products are ideal for replacing lost minerals.

 

These are the few tips which seem to be working for me this summer. What have you been doing to stay cool on your runs in the heat? Please feel free to share in the comments below

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5 BENEFITS OF RUNNING FOR JUST 30MINS

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Greetings, i hope everyone reading this is well.Happy new Month (a bit late but better late than never right). So i have three weeks to my second brown belt grading for Wu Shu Kwan(29 weeks to black belt) and about 5 weeks to my first Half Marathon.

So unless you are a celebrity and have hundreds of assistants to do certain jobs for you or maybe an elite athlete, in which case training is actually your job then im sure you understand how hard it can be to find time to fit your training/ exercise in. Most of us have jobs,university, families, friends and just normal day to day chores that we need to get done that it can seem impossible to fit me time let alone any exercise at all.

The good news is that just half an hour does a lot of good for you, so get your gear on and lets go running.

 

  1. RUNNING MAKES YOU HAPPY

30 minutes of running will release endorphin, the happy hormones. More often, a quick blast will be much more beneficial than a very long run in terms of recovery and avoiding tiredness. it will make you feel alive and revitalised. A quick run is a great way to de-stress.

 

2.  YOU WILL LOSE WEIGHT

Running for at least 30 minutes will guarantee a minimum of between 200-500 calories.It will also kick-start your metabolism and help you burn fat. Not only will you burn fat, but your body continues to burn fat after your run which can last up to 48 hours. A 30 minute run whatever your pace, ability or speed will help your weight loss goals.I prefer to run first thing in the morning meaning i make a conscious effort to eat more healthy during the day so as not to undo all my hard work. Does anyone else think like this?

 

3. YOU WILL RECOVER QUICKLY

30 minutes of running does not overstretch and overuse the muscles, making you less likely to get injuries. If you recover properly with stretching and the right food, you will be able to feel more refreshed in a shorter time and be ready for a longer run next time.

 

4. RESTFUL SLEEP

A minimum of 30 minutes running might even help with restful sleep. It’s not ideal to run just before your bed time, its more ideal to run in the morning or a few hours before a night’s sleep. Running has been found to reduce anxiety and may also help with depression in a healthy way.

 

5. DEFINE YOUR  MUSCLES

30 minutes of running (plus healthy eating) will help  tighten your stomach, strengthen your quads and change your body for the better overall. Just 30 minutes a day for 5 days can make a very big difference. Who does not want a tight stomach and strong quads? So put on those trainers and lets go :-).

 

Peace & Love

L

x

 

 

 

RUNNING SERIES-3. THE IMPORTANCE OF WARM UP: THE BASICS

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WHAT, WHY, WHEN AND HOW TO WARM-UP BEFORE YOUR RUN.

 

The importance of a warm-up prior to exercise cannot be over-stressed. it raises the temperature and prepares the muscles, nervous system, tendons, ligaments, joints and cardiovascular system for the exercise ahead.By warming up, you reduce the risk of injury through greater muscle elasticity and increasing the heart rate. it is not advisable to rush straight in to the run as this tends to shock the body and increases the risk of injury and muscle tears. your warm up should be carried out immediately before the run, starting slowly and gradually involving all the muscles.

 

  1. Walk the walk.

you should aim to walk slowly for  three to five minutes. this circulates the blood through all the muscles, warming them and providing greater flexibility for stretching and exercise. it is a good idea to accompany this with arm circles or shoulder rotations. this gets the cardiovascular system to get into gear effectively and prepares for the movement of the arms when running.

 

2.  RUN

Warm the muscles further by running slowly and gradually for three to five minutes before increasing speed. This is important as it circulates the blood and warms up the muscles in preparation for the strenuous run.

 

3. PREP STRETCHES

Stretching aids  the transfer of blood to specific muscles and a critic part of the warm up. A flexible muscle is a stronger and healthier muscle. Strong, healthy muscles respond better to exercise and are better able to resist injury. The muscle groups to stretch before running are hamstrings,calves, hip flexors, neck, shoulders, triceps and the quadriceps. These stretches only need to be held for five seconds as that’s all it takes to get blood flow into the muscles. Simply hold your stretches at the point of tension , where it feels tight but not painful.

So put on your running gear, try these stretches and enjoy the run. i have forty six days till my first half marathon. managed a comfortable 5 mile run this morning.

 

Happy running 🙂 .

 

 

RUNNING SERIES-1.REASONS TO START RUNNING

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WHY START RUNNING?

Running is one of the best butt-kicking, calorie-blasting workouts there is, not only does it help build strong bones, it strengthens muscles, improves cardiovascular fitness and helps maintain a healthy weight.

Here are a few reasons why you should start running;

  1. One of the reasons people pick up running is that its less expensive than most sports. All you need for running is a good kit and you are good to go.

2. from burning loads of calories to giving you extra fat burning energy, running makes          it easy for you to keep on top of your weight. The more calories you burn, the slimmer           you are. if you are short of time, try interval training which increases the energy                      demands of the heart and the ventilatory muscles in the lungs.

3. Eat more carbs. what could be better than having an excuse to eat more carbs? During         intense training such as preparing for a race, increasing your carb intake can help your        performance and boost your mood during long distance runs.

4.Running helps you live longer. it has been found that runners remain active longer                than their sedentary counterparts, even as weekly running times decrease with age,              their health benefits remain.

5. Runners buzz with metabolism-boosting energy. Once you get into running, you will          find you have got more energy as the body produces energy promoting     neurotransmitters.

6. Boost Memory-Exercise has been shown to help keep the mind sharp. Research has          found that running might also reduce symptoms of dementia and protects the brain              against Alzheimer’s, even for those with a family history of it.

7.Running helps you get a natural glow-did you know that working up a sweat can rid your  poles of the gunk and clogs which leads to breakouts? A sweaty session can boost natural  oils, keeping things fresh and healthy.

8. Core work-A strong core improves posture, strengthens limbs and helps make everyday activities a breeze. Running engages your midsection, strengthening those all-important muscles. A solid core can improve performance.

9.Running increases your energy boost- Running has been found to increase energy and decrease fatigue and also helps encourage higher quality sleep.

10.People who run for just an hour  a week can reduce their risk of heart disease by almost half compared to non-runners. Not only does running boost the brain’s serotonin levels, regular  exercise might actually remodel the brain, making it calmer and more stress resistant.Running regularly also helps improve stamina, making workouts more enjoyable and productive.

So invest in some trainers and clock up those miles. To help you improve your sport, map your routes, track your progress and happy running. 🙂

LYNN.

 

BEST POSTWORKOUT SMOOTHIE…ever

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So i made this smoothie last week and since then it has become my go to and one of my favs.

the ingredients are:

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1-2 oz. dark chocolate (i used Green & Black 85% cocoa)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 1/2 tsbp peanut butter (i also use almond butter)
  • dash of vanilla extract.

 

Dark chocolate, peanut butter and bananas make this smoothie a favorite. It’s indulgent without being unhealthy. The creamy, satisfying chocolate banana smoothie is a great way to get your sweet fix and works well for a quick pre or post workout boost.

Dark chocolate is actually packed with nutrients that are beneficial to your health. The nutrients come directly from the cocoa. To get the best benefits of cacoa, stick to dark chocolate with at least 70% caca0. Good quality dark chocolate has a variety of powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants help to get rid of free radicals, thereby preventing cell damage and slowing signs of aging. Flavonids, a type of antioxidant, also aid in lowering blood pressure.Theobromine, responsible for the bitter taste in cacao, acts as a weak caffeine. Dark chocolate is also rich in manganese, fiber, iron and magnesium.

The other main ingredient in the smoothie, bananas, is a better known source of healthy nutrients. They are widely hailed as a good supply of potassium, which keeps energy levels up and electrolytes replenished. The high level of vitamin B6 in bananas alone has numerous advantages in helping your body to function. This mighty vitamin aids in proper brain development and produces serotonin and dopamine, which are necessary for nerve communication and can affect mood. Bananas also add to your daily fiber requirement. Panut butter, besides rounding out the flavour, also gives a small boost of protein to the smoothie. However, if you have a peanut allergy, common substitutions could include almond butter or even sunflower seed butter.

even with all the health benefits listed, the main advantage of this smoothie is that it is a healthy dessert option.So go ahead and indulge with this naturally sweet chocolate banana smoothie.

 

ENJOY 🙂

Peace & Love

2017 GOALS

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New year, new goals right… so many people talking about new year resolutions. i personally don’t really do resolutions. i just feel that as a human being you should try to improve yourself everyday. you should always strive to be better than you were yesterday.things like working on self improvement should be a daily thing and so should being more kind and helpful to others. for that reason, these are not part of my goals which im writing down.

however, even though i don’t really do resolutions, i have some goals i wish to accomplish this year. i so excited about this year. life is looking up. 2015 was a nightmare year, 2016 improved tremendously, so im hoping 2017 will even be better than 2016. upwards and forwards. you have to carry HOPE with you or you have nothing. i have read that writing your goals down somehow helps keep you accountable, so i will try it. will be good to come back and look at this in 2018 and see how far i have come. i am diving them into two: 1. FITNESS. 2.PERSONAL.

 

FITNESS

  1. The most important fitness goal this year is to stay healthy and injury free. i have had a few issues with my right knee since end of 2015. so this year stretching and warm up are going to be a part of my routine every time i go training. a few minutes extra to stretch and warm up will make all the difference. cool downs are also very important. so i will be making sure to do proper warm up and cool downs.

 

2. This year is all about that BLACK BELT. In case anybody isn’t aware, i practice Wu Shu Kwan which is Chinese kickboxing. i am currently a 2nd Maroon. my 1st brown belt grading is first week of March and the black belt is in November. All the training from now till then is so that im in the best shape of my life for the belt. will try doing weekly write ups of how training is going :-).

 

3. Im also working on being consistent with YOGA. another reason to hate winter. the yoga classes are in the evening. its so dark and cold out there. i am lazy to take a 20min bus ride to yoga class at 7pm when it looks so cold and dark out there. im hoping to keep at it though. i noticed that when i started going religiously, i posture and breathing improved tremendously, which in turn improved my running and self awareness. i even slept better. if you have never tried yoga, give it a go, you will not regret it.

 

4. This year im CHALLENGING myself to compete in 6 HALF-MARATHONS. I wanted to start doing half marathons last year but it didn’t happen. im hoping this is the year i start.i did my first 10k of the yaer in Brixton last Sunday. most painful race. the last time i went running was a few weeks ago, so i basically went to run a 10k with no training. stupid thing to do, but it actually reminded me of how much i enjoy running and with training i know my time will improve. so the first half marathon is 2nd April. will be starting the half marathon plan next week. im actually going to follow a plan this time around.

 

5. The last but not least fitness goal is to start STRENGTH TRAINING at the gym again. Again, i blame winter for my lack of motivation :-). went to the gym last Thursday after a long time. last time i went to the gym, i could deadlift 60kg, i couldn’t even do 40kg last Thursday, that how weak i have become. hoping to be putting in at least 3 days lifting a week.

 

PERSONAL 

  1. PROCRASTINATION is the enemy. i just need to find the motivation within myself and get things done.i procrastinate a lot.

 

2. I need to be MORE SOCIABLE :-). i am a happy loner. i really just love my own space very much, which i guess comes off as being anti-social. i could go for days without actually speaking to another human if i didn’t have work or University. as long as i have music, im good to go. but of course, human interaction is very important for growth.so, this year im going to try and put myself out there and be more sociable.

 

3. I NEED TO SAVE MONEY. Im not very good with saving money. i haven’t been doing too bad actually. i used to be really bad with spending money and buying unnecessary things. im trying to live a more minimalist lifestyle, which is helping me spend more carefully. if i don’t really need it then i don’t need to be buying it.

 

 

4. I have been thinking of starting a YOUTUBE channel for a while now. This is the year i start working on that goal. i have been looking at equipment, its all very expensive but if i continue with putting away some money every month then its all possible. im really excited about it. i want it to be an extension of my Instagram and blog. spreading the message about aspiring for a more natural lifestyle which is sustainable for the environment and all animals.

NATURAL COUGH REMEDIES

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Happy new year to all :-). Hope everyone had a wonderful start to the year. i have been fighting cold and flu for the last two weeks. every time it seems like its getting better, i get attacked gain. i really absolutely hate winter. with all the other seasons, i feel like they all have something to love. summer brings with it sunshine. Autumn is for cozy nights in drinking cinnamon latte, wearing cozy jumpers. Spring has to be my favourite of them all, those beautiful leaves just make me appreciate nature so much. And then there is winter…flu, coughing, all the bad bacteria and infections going around. i mean seriously, who could actually say they love winter?

it messes everything up. i honestly just wish i could hibernate in winter. For years i had always used honey and lemon to get ride of the coughing. Since transitioning into veganism, i no longer use honey. so here are are few fruits i have been eating more of to help me fight the winter blues. i eat them on their own or mix them to make juice. very very yummy.

GINGER

Ginger is one of the most popular natural cures for coughing. simply cut fresh ginger into small slices and crush them slightly.Drink this herbal solution three to four times a day for relief from sore throat, non stop coughing and even congestion. You can also add some lemon juice and honey to it if you wish.

PINEAPPLE

When taken on an empty stomach, the bromelain contained in fresh raw pineapple juice is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Bromelain works on a variety of fronts to encourage healing and discourage illness. it has antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. together, these components can sooth a cough by calming the airways and fighting infection. One study found that pineapples are actually more effective at quelling a cough than cough syrup- up to 5 times more effective.

LEMON

Water may help loosen mucus and soothe an irritated throat. Dry, hacking coughs may respond to honey in hot water, tea or lemon juice.

CARROTS

Aside from improving your vision and fighting against cancer, the amount of vitamin A, in carrots has shown to help strengthen the immune system. Carrots have also been shown to reduce symptoms of respiratory problems, specifically asthma.

The fact that they are a natural respiratory-aid and have been shown to strengthen the immune system makes them perfect for fighting a cold or any other sickness that affects the respiratory tract.

RECIPE no3: SPICY RED LENTIL & SWEET POTATO SOUP

This tasty soup is packed with nutritional benefits making it perfect  for post-run recovery.img_57491

INGREDIENTS:

  • 500g sweet potatoes.
  • 1 red onion.
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds.
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • olive oil.
  • 2 cloves of garlic.
  • 1/2 fresh red chilli.
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh coriander.
  • 80g red lentils
  • 750ml vegetable stock.
  • 300ml light coconut milk.
  • 1/2 lemon.

serves 3-4.

 

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees/gas 4.
  2. Rinse, peel and cut the sweet potatoes into 2cm pieces and cut the onion into thick wedges.
  3. Place the onions and sweet potatoes in a baking tray and sprinkle with cumin seeds,ground coriander and salt and pepper, before drizzling with olive oil and tossing.
  4. Bake in the oven for 40-45 mins, or until golden and tender.
  5. Peel and finely slice the garlic and chilli. Finely slice the coriander stalks and reserve the leaves.
  6. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a heavy based saucepan, over a medium heat, add the garlic, chilli and coriander stalks. Heat through for a min or until golden brown.
  7. Add the lentils to the pan and stir to coat in the spices and oil. Pour in the hot stock and coconut milk.
  8. Slowly bring to the boil, before turning down to a simmer and cooking the lentils for around 20 mins or until soft.
  9. When ready,remove the vegetables from the oven and carefully spoon into the pan.
  10. Add the coriander leaves and blitz the soup with a stick blender or food processor until smooth.
  11. Add a squeeze of lemon, and return to the heat before serving.

 

E N J O Y 🙂

8 SIMPLE TIPS TO STAYING FIT & HEALTHY

  1. WHAT’S YOUR GOAL?                                                                                                                            Goals are very important.You need to ask yourself what are you trying to achieve? People have different goals, which means the exercises you do will also be different. Unfortunately, you cannot outrun your fork. So, if you want to lose weight, you will have to eat less and move more.If you are trying to put on weight, you will also have to look at your calorie intake. Overeating when you are trying to lose weight is as bad as under eating when trying to put on weight. Your diet and fitness go hand in hand.
  2. MOTIVATION.                                                                                                                                            I think this is one of the most important steps to maintaining your exercise routine. What motivates you? I would like to have my black belt in wushukwan by November next year. Every time i go for wushukwan i always have that in mind. There are loads of ways of finding motivation. There are loads of pages on Instagram dedicated to the fit and beautiful. If that motivates you then fine.I however, find that the most effective motivation comes from wanting to improve SELF. You should not be comparing yourself to celebrities who have access to several Personal Trainers and nutrients. You should concentrate on self improvement. Your fit and healthy is different from someone else’s fit and healthy.
  3. INVEST IN KNOWLEDGE .                                                                                                                         Most people (myself included) have a love/hate relationship with social media.However, there is no denying the vast information accessible on social media. I watch a lot of Youtube videos to get workout ideas. Not being a member of a gym is no excuse to be lazy with your exercise routine. There are loads of workouts that you can do in the comfort of your own home. If you happen to be a member of a gym, use the PTs to your advantage. When i started doing deadlift, i was doing them wrong which gave me back problems. One day, i simply asked a PT at the gym to help me with correct form. Deadlifts are one of my favorite exercises now. Knowing proper technique/form also increases confidence. PTs can also help you figure out what machines you should be using in accordance to what body parts you are trying to work on.
  4. MAKE SMALL CHANGES.                                                                                                                          Start with something small.Do not overload your brain with big changes which might seem impossible at first. Do not just start with setting a goal of losing 20kg. Yes goals are important, but you need to start with something you will be able to stick to. An example would be to start drinking more water everyday. Water is life. Make a conscious effort have water with each meal you have. Another small change might be to add resistant training to your routine once or twice a week. Start with small weights until you are comfortable with form and increase it as you get stronger.
  5. DO SOMETHING YOU LOVE                                                                                                                     Find something you love and do more of it. You should try to make exercise as fun as you can, that way you are more likely to stick with it. I love running, i find it to be therapeutic. Running is not for everyone of course. Some people like dancing or cycling,so do more of that.
  6. LOVE THE PROCESS                                                                                                                                 Realise that this should be a lifestyle, a way of life. Even when you reach your goals, you need to continue having the hunger and determination to keep improving. You need to keep challenging yourself. Always make new goals once you reach the ones you had to stop boredom. Say your goal was to lose 10kg and you have reached that goal. Well done. What’s your next goal? How about maybe working on your flexibility. There is always something to work on. I would love to be able to do pull ups….so i am currently working on upper body strength.
  7. TRACK YOUR PROGRESS                                                                                                                        How do you track your progress? If you choose to use scales, just remember that muscle weighs more than fat. So do not be discouraged if the number on the scale isn’t what you wanted to see, especially if you start resistant training.Most people find that taking measurements works better than weighing themselves on a scale. You could also take photos, either to post on your social media accounts(some people find that this pushes them to work harder and stay accountable)or simply just to keep for yourself so you can look at them after a few months to check the progress you have made.
  8. CELEBRATE YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS                                                                                                     Give yourself a break.Celebrate every small victory. Ok so you wanted to lose 10kg but only lost 8kg, or maybe you wanted to be able to do 50 push ups in one go without stopping but you can only do 40…..so what…you are still better off than when you started. Do not quit just because you did not get the results you wanted. Apparently, it takes something like 12 weeks for people to notice the change physically….12 weeks is a long time.Keep at it. Progress is everything and consistency is key.