GymBug

I've caught it. Fortunately, it's not treatable.

Archive for the tag “water”

Edinburgh Marathon Festival 2015

Hi there!

I’ve already mentioned in a post a while that I was running the Edinburgh Marathon Festival 10K with my family, but I thought I’d tell you a little more about it!

There are 6 different events taking place on Saturday May 30th and Sunday May 31st. On Saturday the 10K, 5K and Junior Races take place. On the Sunday it’s the Marathon, Half-Marathon and Marathon Hairy Haggis Team Relay runs. There really is a distance for everyone!
Prices vary and can be found on their website. The price includes the run itself with all associated entertainment, a technical wicking finisher’s T-shirt, medal, accurate chip timing, training plan, online results and a race recovery pack! There is also stalls in the finisher’s area with companies marketing their products as well as delicious food and drink to be purchased! The course also has numerous water and energy stations, providing hydration and energy gels (the energy gels are for those running the Half Marathon or Marathon).

EMF 2015

The whole event is in support primarily of MacMillan Cancer Support, who you can choose to run and fundraise for when you sign up. You can of course choose to run for your own charity! It’s a great way to raise some money and get fit! My family are fundraising as a group for MacMillan because cancer has hit our family quite hard and we all know the value of support for the sufferers and their loved ones. I know it’s a big ask, but if you can spare anything please donate on our JustGiving page.

MacMillan are a brilliant chairty seeking to provide help and support. I can’t describe them any better than they have on their website;
“No one should face cancer alone. So when you need someone to turn to, we’re here. Right from the moment you’re diagnosed, through your treatment and beyond, we’re a constant source of support, giving you the energy and inspiration to help you take back control of your life.”

                                                                      Enough said.

As someone who has watched loved ones go through diagnosis, treatment and (unfortunately not everytime) recovery, I know how important a solid support system is and how valued it is by everyone involved. MacMillan deserve funding and are a key source of care for those suffering cancer and their loved ones.

So if you’re looking for some fantastic motivation, go for the Edinburgh Marathon Festival 2015! Get your running shoes and get going!

Gym Bug

Advertisements

Sleep Experiment Trial 2

Hi there!

Continuing on discussing the Sleep Experiment, I attempted option number 3 on my list; no screens 30 minutes prior to going to sleep. This was slightly unusual for me, unfortunately I will typically be on my laptop until the very end and then listen to music. I literally follow this pattern;

Bed Time Screen Joke

Just replace the phone with my iPod…

It’s not a briliiant way to wind down, according to some friends of mine. However, I do find music relaxing, but last nights experiment trial proved to me that maybe it’s not the most efficient way of getting to sleep.

Last night I turned my laptop off, got ready for bed, brushed my teeth etc. then read my book; Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance by Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. Which is a book about how Mr. Gerstner turned mega-business IBM aroud after near collapse. It’s a business book I’m reading to try and spread my literary horions beyond Game of Thrones, Harry Potter and the Hunger Games. I quite like it, I’m finding it pretty motivating because I’m abl to understand the more business-oritented language and understand the concepts and why he made certain decisions.

Anyway, back to the matter at hand; did it help me sleep? Whilst it still took me 20-30 minutes to get to sleep, it was quicker than Trial 1 and my quality of sleep wa significantly better. I still get up once or twice to go to the bathroom because I consume a fair bit of water throughout the day and at night (the air can get really dry in my room here in Madrid) but overall I felt a lot better when I woke up to go to the gym!

Therefor, I’m going to rate this option at 7/10!

Tonight I am going to give option 5 a go; using a specific breathing routine.

On another note, I have signed up for the Edinburgh 10k on Saturday 30th May with my family! I reckon anyone who is free should give it a go, or there’s a 5k option, Marathon and Half Marathon. Younger enthusiastists can also get involved and run shorter distances! Check out Edinburgh Marathon Festival for more information! It’s all in support of MacMillan Cancer! I’ll do a more detailed post about this great event after my Sleep Experiment is complete!

EMF 2015

Gym Bug

Image 1 Source; https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRAx327COgNEeoWA5zlWtTaaIvqBdXDG_A5-xP1H3ZQ5WHNEZ96bl8HF5Pr 

Image 2 Source; http://www.deletebloodcancer.org.uk/en/content/edinburgh-marathon-2015

Energy drinks; recipe for a sugar crash

Hi there!

I found an article recently about energy drinks and how they can contain up to 20 teaspoons of sugar PER CAN! This is insane, especially since our new recommended daily amount of sugar has been reduced to 6 teaspoons according to the WHO. This is insane and what’s even more concerning is that people, especially children, are drinking these regularly! I did a post on child obesity and this links directly with that. Studies have linked energy drink consumption with issues such as obesity, caffeine overdoses, risky behaviour and addiction.

Thee energy drinks are also targetted at those who participate in sports as a way to get that ‘much needed energy boost’ to improve performance. I can’t sit here and say I’ve never drank them and I never will again. I had half a red bull a few weeks ago (I had been drinking a little, so my ability to comprehend it’s awful-ness was hindered somewhat) but I most certainly drink far less. I probably average about 1 every 6-8 months. Prior to my half a can of red bull a few weeks ago, I think the last one I had was in the summer of 2014.

Anyway, energy drinks are getting an increasingly bad reputation. When I say energy drinks I’m referring to brands such as Red Bull, Monster, Rockstar, Bullet and so on. They typically come is huge cans as well. They are also becoming increasingly mixed with artificial fruit juices to make them more appealing. Not only does this amp up the calories but it makes the sugar content sky rocket. For example, Rockstar Tropical Punch contains 260 calories and 31g of sugar! That’s 20 teaspoons of sugar (Note; 1 teaspoon of sugar= 4grams) These energy drinks truly are something to avoid consuming regularly!

Energy Drinks

There are other drinks out there, such as Powerade or Lucozade, that are marketed as ‘sports drinks’ and something athletes should consume to help them. However, you should really only consume these ‘sports drink’ (I’m using the term lightly) when you’re participating in long, intense exercise. Typical standard is to skip the ‘sports drink’ if you’re running anything less than 30 minutes. Consumption of them before, during or after anything longer than this can be beneficial as it provides your body with carbohydrates, which is necessary to endure and recover. I typically opt for water however, whatever the distance or I’ll choose energy tablets, which you dissolve into water, for example I drank High5 Zero Pink Grapefruit before I ran Tough Mudder in 2014. I did notice I didn’t cramp during the race, which I did in 2013. High5 is an electrolyte based ‘sports drink’ and I personally prefer them a lot more to traditional ‘sports drink’ or energy drinks. But again, I only consume them for hard, intense, long exercise (or if I’m hungover, they work wonders).

An increasingly popular alternative is to make your own! Here’s a recipe I found on Everyday Roots.

Make Your Own Electrolyte Drink

Gym Bug

Image 1 Source; http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/var/plain_site/storage/images/publications/food-beverage-nutrition/foodnavigator-usa.com/markets/bad-press-affecting-energy-drink-category-mintel/8678378-1-eng-GB/Bad-press-affecting-energy-drink-category-Mintel.jpg

Image 2 Source; http://everydayroots.com/homemade-energy-drink

Getting Motivated

Hi there!

Hope everyone is enjoying the New Year! Since it’s a New Year you may be looking to change up your training, do something different, explore a new way of fitness? Well, I have a few challenges you may be interested in trying out to get that extra kick you need to make 2015 a great and healthy year!

I’ve already written about Spartan Race and Tough Mudder and I recommend checking those posts out! (of course I do) but there’s also plenty more motivational challenges to take up!

If getting super filthy and electrocuted is not your thing there are plenty others to take a look at. If you’re a Rock ‘n’ Roll fan (or just keen to run) then ‘Rock and Roll Edinburgh Half Marathon & 10K’ could be right up your alley! They have events all over the world! I’m going to enter the Madrid 10km in April. Check it out!

Not a runner? No problem! What about doing a combination of cycling, climbing and canoeing in the Lake District? This one is a lot more expensive (£195 plus min. £2,000 sponsorship) but it looks incredible and all money raised goes to Action Medical Research (helping families cope with early babies, disabled children or caring for a child with a rare disease). You join a team of 3 other people to cycle 50 miles through the Lake District before climbing Mt Helvellyn and then finishing off with a canoe trip to Lake Thirlmere. Sounds tough!

If you’re more of a water baby then why not give the Great Swim a go? It proudly boasts the fact that it’s Europe’s biggest open water swim series in clean lakes, lochs and urban docks all over Britain. It’s the first year it has an official charity which is the phenomenal Macmillan Cancer Support, but you can raise money for any charity you wish. It’s throughout Britain between June and August.

For those of you that are up for a tough, gruelling triathlon that also raises money for blood cancer research then the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Blenheim Palace Triathlon is for you! (What a mouth full!) Again, it’s more expensive (but it’s a great cause) Registration costs from £82.50 and you need a min. sponsorship of £300. It takes place in Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire. You can race individually or as a team.

You should take a look at local runs too. Park Run is a brilliant organisation that free, weekly, timed 5km races around the world. The linked website is specifically for the UK but Google it to find out about any in your area! It’s a great way to meet runners and set yourself a weekly motivational goal!

This is literally a teeny, tiny teaspoonful of what’s out there in terms of charity sporting events, take a good look and pick your motivation! I’ve got Spartan Race in a few months and it’s constantly motivating me to keep pushing a little harder. With my injury my aerobic fitness is plummeting but with the knowledge that I have to endure a grueling 8 mile obstacle course I know I’ll be fighting fit again in no time!

So choose your challenge and get going!

Gym Bug

Christmas Temptations…

Hi there!

It’s almost time! The countdown is now on; advent calendar has been busted open. It is December 1st. So, Christmas sweets and treats may already be circulating your house or office or social circles. What to do!? Resist and sit grumpily as everyone else tucks into delicious Quality Streets, Celebrations or Christmas cake? Pass on that glass of Champagne? No! Don’t be silly. I have no intention of doing that this Christmas. I just plan on trying to make good choices. The question is how? Here are a few tips I’ll be keeping in mind;

  • Have water nearby at all times. Keep sipping it regularly, especially if sweets/treats are lying around. Have a couple, enjoy them, and savour them and then stop. Use the water to fill yourself up a bit more before eating them so you don’t go crazy and end up finishing the box in one sitting.
  • Keep exercising. Don’t let the cold stop you in your tracks. Even going for a walk every day is great. Just keep moving throughout the holidays.
  • Don’t stress. This is Christmas. A time to relax, be merry and spend time with loved ones. So enjoy it. Don’t worry about putting on some weight. Accept you might, but don’t go crazy and un-do everything you’ve done.
  • Everything in moderation. Golden rule. Live by it.
  • Dark chocolate is better than milk or white. So when the chocolate box is cracked open, try get in for the dark chocolate.
  • Red wine is actually beneficial in moderation, as is white.
  • Alternate between an alcoholic drink and water. Follow a ratio of 1:1. 1 alcoholic beverage, 1 glass of water. It will slow you down, keep you clear(er) and might stop a food binge later on or the morning after!
  • If you’re at a Christmas buffet, don’t stand at the table and try everything. Select what you really want, put it on your plate and go and sit down and enjoy it.
  • Savour your treats. Make them an event. Having some Christmas cake? Have it with a cup of tea and enjoy it. Watch a film, chat with family, and make it special.
  • The most important point; have a great Christmas and don’t worry. You can go hard in January to lose any weight you put on. You don’t want to come away from this special holiday with regrets because you stressed!

25 days! Yippee!

Gym Bug

Cravings

Hi there!

Today’s post shall about something I’m sure we’ve all experienced. CRAVINGS. Horrible, potentially mood ruining thoughts in our mind that can cause us to scoff a whole chocolate bar within seconds. It can leave us feeling full, sick, frustrated, guilty or just downright sad. I’ve been there, sometimes it’s not even on bad food. Last night for example I was stuffing my face with oats and cornflakes, which aren’t super unhealthy. It was the fact I just didn’t control it that annoyed me so much, plus I felt sick. However, there are ways to combat cravings, because the actual craving itself is typically short-lived, so it can be overcome. Here’s a few tips I’ve come across either through talking to people, reading or my own learning.

  • Drink water. If you start craving an extra line of the chocolate bar or third helping at dinner take a big, long drink of water first. This will fill you up and hopefully keep your brain reminded that it is fully and does not want that food.
  • Walk away. If you’re near whatever you’re craving just walk away for a little bit and do something else. It can be anything, watch a film or video, listen to music, talk to someone, read a book, do some squats. Just distract yourself until you’re back in control.
  • Don’t tell yourself “I can’t have that” or “No”, you’ll want it even more. A great tip I’ve learned from the excellent documentary “Foodmatters” is to say to yourself “I can have it, but I don’t want it”. It sounds stupid, but it actually works. I recommend getting your hands on a copy of the film. It’s excellent.
  • Have a little bit. If you’re really craving it and it’s not passed, then cut a piece off, take a spoonful, whatever. Just portion it out, walk away from the main source and sit down and enjoy it. Then don’t go back until you’re sure you won’t have more.
  • Consider why you might be feeling the way you do. It sounds silly but seriously consider are you hungry, upset, angry, thirsty, stressed? Is there something else going on causing you to crave that entire cheesecake? (been there).
  • Don’t let yourself get too hungry. You’re then more likely to lose control later on when you do eat and give in or not properly control portions.
  • Be aware they might mean something else. The infographic below sums it up perfectly. I have pinned it on Pinterest also if you use it.

Cravings

My final point will be it’s okay if you’ve given in. Whilst it’s not great to give in every single time. The occasional slip will not ruin your long term goals. Best thing to do? Shake it off. Accept it happened and move on. This is something I’m terrible at however and most definitely need to work. Cravings are a nasty thing to deal with and can be so frustrating. But sometimes we have set-backs. It’s not the end of the world.

Rejoice! It’s Friday. Weekend has arrived! Have a good one.

Gym Bug

Water- Liquid Gold

Hi there!

So, water. It’s actually really important if you’re looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle. A lot of you are probably thinking “Yeah, duh, Miss State-the-obvious” but sometimes it needs said!
We lose water throughout the day through sweating, breathing and going to the bathroom and we need to make sure we consistently replenish our water levels throughout the day. This doesn’t mean downing a glass of water every hour, you also get hydration from foods and other non-water beverages.

Why is it important?

Hydration is essential for any form of physical activity. Poor hydrations causes muscle fatigue, reduces coordination, makes us light headed and can cause muscle cramps. Also, if you become dehyrated during sports or physical activity, you reduce your body’s ability to cool-down through sweating. Not to be extreme, but it can lead to heat stroke which has some very serious consequences.

Hydration is also essential for weight loss. Water (particularly the cold stuff) can help boost our metabolism. Also, it can help curb cravings, overeating and boredome eating. If you’re about to sit down for a meal, have a glass of water first, it will reduce your chances of tucking in for more than you nee by filling your stomach up a bit. Proper hydration also reduces bloating.

Dehydration is also a main cause of headaches and fatigue. Keeping hydrated is essential to allow your brain to function normally too and is important for concentration, cognition and general ability to function at a normal level. It also helps the heart pump blood more efficiently around your body and is general good for the function of all muscles.

But how much do we need?
We all have heard the “8 Glasses a Day” rule. But that’s no longer applicable. My water needs might be very different from yours and it is possible to overhydrate. This occurs when you drink so much you’re constntly back and forth to the bathroom and you’re removing nutrients from your system that you need (e.g salt), so watch out. You need to consider things such as climate, exercise intensity and duration, what you’re wearing, sweat levels and so on to get a reasonable idea of what you should be consuming.
DO NOT RELY ON THIRST. This is key because if you’re thirsty, then you’re already dehydrated.
A way of measuring how much you need is to weigh yourself before and after exercise, to see how much “water weight” you’ve lost. However, if you’re like me, you avoid scales because they do not always give accurate readings of your health (muscle weighs more than fat, but seeing an increase in weight is never fun).

I keep a bottle of water on me at all times and sip it periodically throughout the day. I also consume a lot of fruit and veg and drink green tea. Typically, I find I remain pretty well hydrated throughout the day as a result. Although I now can’t go anywhere without my water bottle.

Symptoms of Dehydration
These are things to look out for that indicate you may be dehydrated and should get some water pronto;

  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Headaches
  • Tiredness
  • Dry mouth, lips, eyes
  • Passing small amounts of urine infrequently
  • Passing urine that is dark in colour (basically, the clearer the better)

Sever dehydration has some pretty serious symptoms (I won’t go into them, check out NHS for a list) so try keep any of these symptoms to a minimum in terms of frequency!

And there we have it! A little educational lesson on the importance of water and why it is liquid gold.

I understand that there is probably people out there who genuinly do not like water (we’ll not start the “it’s got no flavour” debate) so here’s some ways to get water into your life!

  • Fruit-infused water (just add some lemon, lime, oranges, strawberries, apples etc to your water overnight to give a fruity flavour!)
  • Tea (it’s literally flavoured hot water, best go caffeine free)
  • Fruits and vegetables with high water content (lettuce, cucumbers, apples, oranges)
  • Other beverages (thinking milk, limited amounts of fruit juice and things)

I don’t know this as some innate knowledge, the sources I used are listed below if you want to have some extra reading. I have also included a fun info-graphic to break up the monotony of text-only posts!

Got to love it!

Got to love it!

Have a great evening!

Gym Bug

P.S One month until Santa makes an appearance…

Sources;

http://www.livestrong.com/article/438279-the-importance-of-hydration/

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/PhysicalActivity/FitnessBasics/Staying-Hydrated—Staying-Healthy_UCM_441180_Article.jsp

 

Recovery Foods

Hi there!

Hard, intense workouts of the cardio or strength training variety should leave you feeling pretty drained and eventually hungry. If you’re like me, you’re not hungry immediately after a workout, but give it 20-30minutes and the hunger kicks in and it’s intense! It’s necessary to fuel your body up 1-2 hours after working out in order to help muscles repair and your body to maintain function. It’s best to get a good mix of protein, carbs and healthy fats.

After most of my workouts I’ll eat a bowl of porridge (I prefer exercising first thing in the morning) and on occassion I’ll have a salad packed with rommaine lettuce, white beans/lentils, cucumber and olives. I also have MyProtein Chocolate Smooth Whey Protein after strength training days. However, this isn’t foreveryone, so below I’ve listed some great recovery foods to have after the gym.

  • Chocolate milk (especially handy for people on the go) with a banana
  • Cottage cheese on rye bread (cottage cheese is good for protein)
  • Scrambled eggs (protein, protein, protein) pair it with some wholemeal bread or rye bread!
  • Peanut butter on wholemeal toast or rye bread
  • Coconut water and a banana (great for restoring electrolytes)
  • Avocado stuffed with cottage cheese and tomato
  • Avocado on wholemeal toast/rye bread
  • Spinach salad with chicken
  • Sliced apple with peanut butter and raisins
  • Tuna salad or sandwich
  • Smoothie with oats and greek yoghurt
  • Greek yoghurt, chopped banana, topped with some nuts

These are just a couple of great ideas that combine carbs, fats and proteins to help your body recover and make sure you’re ready to tackle the next workout! Remember to try keep carbs as wholegrains and DRINK PLENTY OF WATER. Rehydrating is vital and consistently drinking water through the day is an excellent habit to develop. Always try keep a water bottle to hand.

Hope you had a great weekend!

Gym Bug

Post Navigation