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Tag: fitness

The Body Positivity Movement and Why I’m Not Sure I Like it

The Body Positivity Movement and Why I’m Not Sure I Like it

You’ve probably noticed over the past few months, that the internet has been taken over by the body positivity movement. It’s all about the girls and the guys, almost bearing all to let the world know that they’re happy with what they see in the mirror. Whether it’s big, small. round, plump, smooth or bumpy. They want everyone and their mother to know that’s who they are and if you don’t like it, well you can jolly well lump it. For the most part I think this is great. I am after all a mother of two girls, who isn’t quite as sleek as she once was. There’s something that unnerves me about this huge emphasis on body positivity though and I’m not sure I like it.

Body positivity and health –

I don’t mind telling you that I’ve always been conscious about the way I look. Being incredibly thin was a big thing for me for a very long time. Since having children my mindset has changed immeasurably and these days I am more body positive, even though I’m not the thinnest person in the room. I’ve made my peace with this and my confidence has soared since doing so, but just because I don’t strive to be stick thin doesn’t mean I don’t strive to be healthy. Therein lies the problem for me when we’re declaring ‘body positivity’ every five minutes. Those advocates for bearing all with a smile might be happy with what they see, but are they healthy?

As much as I think people should share their confidence with others, to encourage them to believe more in themselves. I can’t help but think that there is a fine line between being confident and happy, and allowing impressionable people to believe that overindulging too often because ‘life’s too short’ is OK. It appears that the tables have turned  so much, that we’ve stopped showing stick thin models and have replaced them with larger than life ones. There doesn’t seem to be a healthy middle ground, the average person. Frankly, this worries me.

Educating the next generation –

The hardest thing about writing this post has been trying not to offend anyone, because I honestly believe it’s what’s on the inside that counts. I don’t want people to think I’m ‘fat shaming’ anyone, or ‘skinny shaming’ them for that matter. I just want my girls to grow up in a world that doesn’t revolve around what people look like. I want them to see past all that and to appreciate people for who they are and what they have to offer. People are so much more than skin and bone, people are intricate creatures with a hell of a lot to give.

I think it’s so important to educate the next generation on how to be healthy, rather than how to achieve a certain look. It’s not about being skinny and it’s not about being big, it’s about being your healthy. Nurturing your body to the best of your ability, to keep it working well for you, for as long as possible!

 

 

 

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Reaching my Fitness Goals with Bidvine

Reaching my Fitness Goals with Bidvine

I’ve been a fitness enthusiast for years. Prior to having children I would spend hours in the gym, smashing my fitness goals by the week. Two years and two children later, finding time to spend in the gym is not as easy as it used to be. With a hectic combination of work and looking after the kids, by the time I get to the gym I have to fit in a quick session. Then it’s back to a few more hours in front of the laptop!

Of course the mother in me takes priority and so compromising on the gym just came naturally. It would however be nice to get back to full fitness, to feel like myself again and to make sure that I can carry on chasing around after our girls with ease! I’ve often thought about working with a fitness instructor to help me reach my goals, but finding one to work around family life isn’t easy. That was until I found Bidvine!

What do Bidvine offer?

Bidvine is an online platform designed to find the right service provider to suit individual needs. Whatever service you require, you can log onto Bidvine and answer a few questions surrounding your situation. Once you’ve made your requirements clear,  Bidvine matches you with local and trusted professionals. These professionals then get in contact almost immediately, making life simpler in just a few clicks. Perfect!

 

My Bidvine experience –

I couldn’t wait to get my fitness regime back on track, so I spent a little time on the Bidvine website anxious to find the right instructor for me. I found the whole process incredibly simple and was even more impressed to find an almost tailor-made service, to suit my every fitness need. Answering specific questions eliminated the service providers that weren’t right for me. So when instructors began to get in touch, I already knew that they could cater for my requirements.

I loved that all of the candidates I had to choose from were trusted professionals. Finding the right person is paramount and Bidvine make sure that the worry of hiring the wrong individual is taken away!

 

 

Whatever service you’re after, from cleaners to home tutors and everything else in between. There are professionals sat waiting to change your life for the better. I am super happy with the service provided by Bidvine and I’m so glad to be back working towards my fitness goals!

 

 

*This post was written in collaboration with bidvine.com

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BusyLizzy Family Club, Baby and Toddler Classes with a Difference – FREE CLASS

BusyLizzy Family Club, Baby and Toddler Classes with a Difference – FREE CLASS

What do you think of when you hear ‘baby group’ or ‘toddler class’? Does it send shivers down your spine as you picture the chaos of old school groups, where none of the toys are working and the tea is tepid at best? If so, then I have the answer to your prayers! This week I’ve teamed up with Busylizzy Family Club, to showcase their new and revolutionised baby and toddler groups for the under 4s.

 

What’s on offer?

Busylizzy split their classes into three different groups; baby classes, mini classes and active tots. Each group offers the correct level of activity for the age group. therefore bringing out the best in your little ones from the outset!

Baby classes – these classes are specifically designed to provide a calm and supportive atmosphere for you and your little one. You can choose from a range of music, baby sign, baby massage and yoga among others. With so many different activities to try out, there’s no chance of tedium setting in!

 

 

Mini classes – these classes are aimed at children in the early stages of toddlerdom. You and your littles can choose from a variety of classes including mini Monet art classes or mini explorers with obstacles and excitement galore as well as many more. All of these classes are designed to teach colour recognition, counting and coordination. All in a fun and multi-sensory environment!

 

 

Active tots – these classes have been created with the older toddler in mind. Busylizzy have an amazing range of classes including languages, music, drama, ballet and yoga to name a few. All of these classes give you the chance to join in with your little ones and it gives them the perfect opportunity to let their wonderful characters shine through!

 

Mummy Fitness

Postnatal fitness is a great way to regain your confidence in the months after giving birth. That’s why Busylizzy offer the bee’s knees in mummy fitness classes! Depending on the type of workout you’re after, you’re free to choose from aerobics, yoga, pilates and buggyfitness to name just a few. The best bit? You take your little one along with you! There’s no need to worry about childcare and it offers perfect bonding time for mum and baby.

 

How are Busylizzy different from the rest?

The beauty of becoming a Busylizzy member is that is offers an incredible amount of flexibility when it comes to choosing classes. Your schedule does not have to be set in stone, one week you might enjoy a little ballet and another hip hop might tickle your fancy. Busylizzy offers a unique approach to attending classes, allowing you and your family to pick and mix at your leisure!

As parents themselves, the guys over at Busylizzy also appreciate that life doesn’t always go according to plan where children are involved. For this reason they give you the option of cancelling and rescheduling your classes up to as little as two hours before it begins. This also means that paying for classes whilst you’re on holiday is a thing of the past!

As well as all of that, Busylizzy gives you the chance to meet and socialise with like minded parents. Having a baby can be a daunting time, but surrounding yourself with friends can make you feel much less alone!

 

Do you fancy trying out a Busylizzy class completely FREE of charge? Find out where your nearest class is HERE and claim your spot today!

 

 

*This post was written in collaboration with Busylizzy Family Club.

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How to Have a Great Workout at Home

How to Have a Great Workout at Home

Though getting in shape is a priority for many of us, finding the time to exercise on a regular basis can be difficult in today’s ultra-busy world. So, working out in your own home seems like an ideal solution as you don’t have to go through the effort and cost of joining a gym or health class. And just because you are working out at home, it doesn’t mean that you can’t vary up your exercises and achieve your fitness goals.

 

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Effective fitness programs tend to have five key stages: a warm up, an aerobic session, resistance exercises, flexibility moves and a cooldown. If you are incorporating these five stages into your home workout, you should find yourself on the fast-track to success. Here is some advice if you are looking to make working out from home a more regular thing.

 

Avoid Boredom by Challenging Yourself

As we have already talked about, one of the great enemies of a successful workout from home is boredom. Of course, you won’t have the same variety of equipment or access to classes that you get at a gym, but that doesn’t mean that your workout has to be ineffective. There are a few core pieces of equipment which are very versatile and allow you to take part in a variety of exercises. So, consider investing in a yoga mat, exercise ball and set of dumbbells as a starting point. Make sure to always browse through the internet and fitness magazines to find new ideas of workouts you can do to always keep things interesting.

 

Choose a Space to Workout

Whatever kind of space you are using to take part in your workouts, you want it to be as free from distractions as possible. Even if you just section off a corner of the room, you should let your family know that you don’t want to be disturbed while you are exercising. Some portable speakers are a great way to block out the outside world while also pumping out motivational music. If you can find a space with a full-length mirror, this is a major plus point as you can better examine your form and technique, while also helping to prevent yourself from suffering from any injuries.

 

Schedule Your Workouts

 

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The best fitness regimes are based around a rigid schedule. If you try to set aside some time for yourself on a regular basis to exercise, you are more likely to stick to this than if you simply choose to do it at any time. If something comes up and you need to change your exercise plan, make sure to reschedule this time rather than simply letting it pass you by. The great thing about working out from home is that you don’t have to factor in any travelling time so all the minutes you do have spare can be spent effectively.

 

Consider a Workout DVD or Online Class

The great thing about a workout DVD or online class is that everything is planned out for you so you don’t have to go through the effort of building a fitness program yourself. With so many different options out there, you can determine what your goals are and which program is best suited to helping you achieve them. As well as this, the workouts last for a specified amount of time so you can fit them easily around your daily life.

 

Build Your Own Home Gym

If you have plenty of space and a decent budget, you could even consider creating your very own home gym. If you have a self-contained space like a basement or a garage, this would be ideal. We have already talked about the more affordable pieces of equipment you could stock it with (dumbbells, exercise ball etc) but there are also plenty of ‘big-ticket’ items that you could consider investing in. A popular choice is a rowing machine as it provides a great all-round workout. If you are thinking of buying one, there is a website here that lists reviews and you should check it out. Another option is a treadmill if you are a big running enthusiast. Ultimately, it all depends on your budget and the amount of space you have, but there is no reason that you can’t build a decent home gym with some more basic items.

 

Write About Your Workouts

 

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Keeping a workout journal is a great way to chart your progress as well as tracking the effectiveness of different exercise regimes. If you have set yourself particular goals with regards to weight loss or any other area of fitness, you can monitor how you are getting along in your journal. Even if you have a bad day, it is still a good idea to write about this as you may be able to determine a pattern which you can break in the future. Also, you can keep track of your diet to better find out what impact this is having on your workouts.

 

Build Working Out into Your Regular Routine

One of the most difficult parts of staying fit and healthy is building exercise into your regular routine. Many people exercise for short bursts of time before letting things slide and going back to their old ways. The key is to make exercise as integral a part of your life as sleeping or eating. A good time to workout every day is just after your wake up. Your motivation levels will tend to drop as the day goes on and you are more likely to lose your focus and slip back into your old habits.

 

Work Out with Someone Else

A workout buddy will significantly help to raise your level of motivation, so whether you choose your partner or a friend, strength in numbers is certainly a phrase that applies in this case. Ideally, your workout buddy will be someone who is a little bit above you in terms of ability so you will naturally be pushed to try that little bit harder.

 

*This is a collaborative post.

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Five Reasons You Should Exercise More

Five Reasons You Should Exercise More

I’ve always loved exercise, fitness and I are no stranger.  I’ve spent most of the past year working out at home, but with the Littlest turning one this month I’ve been feeling like it’s time to get back into keeping myself fit and healthy with a passion!

After re-joining my pre-baby gym, I spent a few days finding my feet with the equipment.  I then had a program drawn up by one of the trainers.  Having always trained by myself, this was a real eye-opener for me.  My trainer put me through my paces for around an hour, reintroducing me to the world I know and love!

Even though I have continued to exercise, doing it in the gym feels different.  The environment makes me work harder and the latest equipment makes working out much easier than you’d think.  So in light of my reignited passion for working out, here are five reasons why you should get more exercise:

Exercise boosts your energy levels.

When you first start exercising it can seem completely knackering.  Stick with it though, because once you start to become a little fitter your energy levels will increase.  You’ll eventually want to work out even more.   I for one always feel more lethargic if I haven’t been active enough during the day.  Even if it’s just a walk around the block, I guarantee it’ll make you feel alive!

Exercise reduces blood pressure.

This can only be a good thing, right?  In this day and age our lives can be so stressful.  Juggling work, children and everything else in between can see our blood pressure rising.  Taking a little time out to exercise can help to reduce stress and bring blood pressure back down to where it should be.

Exercise can improve your mood.

Depression and anxiety can be difficult to over come.  A lot of the time exercise will be the last thing you feel like doing.  However, if you can find it in yourself to push towards doing even a little, it often helps to lift your mood.  As an anxiety sufferer, I can vouch for the benefits that exercise has had on my mental health.  I find working out gives me the focus I need to distract myself from anxious thoughts and feelings.

Exercise can help you get better sleep.

This ties in well with the improvement of mood through exercise.  Not only are we wearing ourselves out a little more than usual, but our minds and bodies will feel more rested.  No more going to bed with an overactive brain, imagine the benefits you’ll reap from a good nights sleep!

Exercise can be fun!

Not all exercise is hard or boring.  There are so many different things you can do: classes, swimming, walking, running and many more.  You may have to try a few different activities to find what you like most, but wouldn’t it be great if you were exercising and having fun at the same time?

 

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Eyes, Ears, Mouth and Nose: How to Keep Them All Healthy

Eyes, Ears, Mouth and Nose: How to Keep Them All Healthy

We all know the old ‘Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’ song, and you’ve probably sung it to your kids hundreds of times.  Today we’re going to concentrate on the other features in the song; namely, the ones on your face. As these are all directly linked to your senses, we want to make sure these all stay as healthy as possible for as long as we can and the same goes for the kids. So, here are just a few ways that you can protect your facial features and keep your senses operating as well as they possibly can.

Eyes

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Having your eyes tested every couple of years should become part of your regular routine, so you can make sure that there are no issues that have arisen. When you head out in the bright sunlight, you should wear sunglasses that protect from the harmful UV rays.   Adding some green leafy vegetables and omega-3 rich fish to our diet can benefit our eyes too. In today’s world, we spend so much time staring at a screen so it can be helpful to limit screen time for both you and your kids. Try to rest your eyes at least every twenty minutes by staring 20 feet away from the screen for at least 20 seconds.

Ears

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Try to limit your exposure to loud noises whenever you can by using earplugs. If you or your kids are listening to music through headphones, try to follow the 60:60 rule; this means listening on 60% volume for no more than 60 minutes a day. Avoid using cotton buds as these can encourage bacteria into your ears and can cause harm to your ear drums. If you’ve been swimming and notice water has got into your ears, gently tip your head to one side and pull on your earlobe to encourage it out.

Mouth

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Good oral hygiene habits are important to get into as early as you can. It’s good to brush teeth twice a day thoroughly for at least two minutes and to avoid brushing them soon after eating food. Also, you should floss at least once a day so you can remove any debris that has gotten stuck in between your teeth, to prevent plaque from forming. Look out for any other issues around your mouth such as cold sores and fordyce spots, and remember that the sooner you treat your fordyce spot, the better. Try to cut down on high sugar foods and drinks which can cause tooth decay.

Nose

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Eating foods that are high in zinc such as lamb, yoghurt and seafood can be good for your sense of smell.  Environmental allergies can also affect how good we smell. Also avoiding smoking can improve this sense, as the chemicals found in cigarettes can cause smell receptors to become damaged over time.

 

*This is a collaborative post.

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Make the Most of Summer in Your Family Garden

Make the Most of Summer in Your Family Garden

Sourced from Pexels

Summer is always a fantastic time to spend with your family. The weather might not be perfect all the time, but you can get outside more to enjoy the sunshine and warmer temperatures when it is. Being able to enjoy the outdoors is more important than ever if you have one or more children to entertain. They have a lot of energy to use up and they don’t always want to stay inside, especially when the sun is shining. It can be hard to juggle energetic children, but you can have a lot of fun during the Summer whether you stay home, go out or go on holiday. If you choose to stay at home, a great family garden is a great way to create summer fun.

Put Safety First in the Summer

Before you start thinking of fun ideas for a family garden, it’s a good idea to consider safety. Kids need to have the freedom to run around, but you want them to do it in a safe way if they can. During the summer, one of the things you might want to think about is the heat. With occasional heat waves in the UK, keeping cool can be a challenge. Even when it’s not that hot, the sun can cause sunburn. You might want to consider which areas of your garden get the most shade and if there aren’t any, how you can create more.

Think of Different Garden Zones

A family garden needs to be for both kids and adults. The children should be able to run around, but you should get to use your garden how you want as well. Maybe you like gardening, or perhaps you just want to sit down in a comfortable chair with a glass of wine. However you prefer to use your garden, you can consider it in terms of different zones. One area of the garden might be there for the kids to play or to dig up the earth as much as they want. Another area might be a child-free zone (without supervision), where you grow plants or vegetables. Think about all the ways you want to use your garden during both the Summer months and the cooler times of the year.

Sourced from Pixabay

Think Sociably

The garden is a super sociable place, especially when you have a family. If you want to make the most of the Summer months, spending time outside should be at the top of your list. One of the best things to do is to eat outside when you can. You don’t have to cook on the barbecue to bring your food outside. Of course you might not eat breakfast, lunch and dinner outside but getting out in the evening and on weekends is always fun.

Sitting down together to eat is obviously important, but you might just want to simply sit down together and talk. Creating an area to socialise, maybe on a patio or deck can give you somewhere to gather together. You need to select the right furniture for outdoor use and to create the right look for your garden. Rattan furniture is hugely popular and you can get product details online about the different styles available. Make sure you know whether you’re buying real rattan, which is made from a plant or synthetic rattan. Both can give a great look, but you might prefer to have the real thing.

When you’re thinking about your sociable garden, remember to think about the kids. While a dining table and chairs might make you happy, they might prefer something different. For example, comfortable sofas or even something fun like hammocks or bean bags could be great additions for the kids. Plus, being sociable isn’t all about sitting around. Consider having some games you can play on the lawn or an area where you can do some gardening together.

Get Fit in the Garden

Keeping the kids fit and healthy can be tough, but if you’re lucky enough to have a garden, it’s the perfect place to help the kids keep fit.  There are lots of ways you can think about the setup of your garden, so it’s a great place for your kids to play and release some energy. Lots of lawn space is a good start because it gives them room to run around. You might want to have some sports equipment, like a football goal or a tennis net you can easily set up or put away. Leaving the space open allows for lots of possibilities, from creating obstacle courses to simply playing tag.

Sourced from Flickr

Create Borders

A little privacy in the garden is good for everyone, whether you’re sitting out in the evening or running around during the day. You can make sure the neighbours can’t look in with a fence or maybe a more informal hedgerow. If you set up a border around the garden, it also helps to prevent stray balls and other toys flying into someone else’s garden. You can also use informal borders to create different zones in your garden. Maybe you want to create a more private area for grownups to sit and get some peace and quiet. Or you might want to section off a variety of plants. Some of your more delicate gardening projects might not survive when confronted with stampeding children, so placing a protective border around them might be a good idea.

If you hope to create family time this Summer, getting out into the garden is a great way to do it.  Rethinking your garden setup can help you enjoy it fully!

 

*This is a collaborative post.

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Why you Should get your Child into Sports

Why you Should get your Child into Sports

It’s a sad fact that a lot of us are spending most our time sitting in front of the television or on our gadgets. In fact kids are getting less exercise now than ever before, as they skip teams and sport groups in favour of playing indoors on tech devices instead.  We need to try to encourage them to take part in these sports.  Here’s why you should be signing them up today!

It ensures they have plenty of exercise.

Exercise is so important to ensure you stay in good health.  It gets the blood pumping around the body and helps your ticker to stay in good form. Without exercise, it can be hard to maintain a healthy weight, but despite how important exercise is as it says on http://home.bt.com/news/uk-news/77-of-children-not-getting-enough-exercise-11364006463662, our kids are not getting enough.  This means they are more likely to get unhealthy.  Talk to your children about potential sports they might like to try. It might be a group like a football or netball team. Whichever one they go for, it’s bound to get them exercising at least once a week.   Encouraging them to practice at home can ensure they get plenty of exercise too.

It can boost their behaviour.

A lot of parents struggle when it comes to their kid’s behaviour.   They can easily act out and have tantrums.  Often we  feel at the end of our tether when they don’t listen.  A lot of parents recommend sending children to join some form of sports group or team, as it can often teach them discipline when they are having to listen to the instructor.  Having something to work towards can also help turn bad behaviour around. You can even get them to take part in activities at home, making it feel like they are part of a real team by getting trophies from sites like www.trophiesplusmedals.co.uk to give to your child.   Offering a reward can spur them on, encouraging them to try hard when it comes to sports.

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It can help their teamwork and communication skills.

It’s always good to try to improve your child’s teamwork skills.   It can assist them when it’s time to work in groups at school, but it can be hard to do this at home especially if they are an only child.  They will have to work with other kids to try to achieve goals. Also, if they take part in matches, they will learn how to work in a team to win the game!   Sending them to a group can help to grow their communication skills too.  They will have to communicate with team members and the instructor to ensure they get the most out of the sport.

                Pixabay

As it says on http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/08/14/10-life-skills-sport-gives-your-kids_n_7324094.html, sports are also essential to build your child’s confidence!

 

*This is a collaborative post.

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How Much Time do you Spend Sitting Down?

How Much Time do you Spend Sitting Down?

Prior to having children I was the hairdresser in numerous different care homes.  Whilst working in these homes I noticed that a lot of the residents used Adjustable Beds and Riser Recliner Chairs.  This often got me thinking about how much time we spend sitting down.  Whether it’s in the office, travelling or in the evening when we’re relaxing it’s surprising how many hours of the day we spend sat down.

According to the nhs.uk website a significant number of adults spend more than nine hours per day sitting down.  It’s thought that too much sitting down can slow down our metabolisms, which in turn affects our bodies ability to regulate blood pressure, blood sugar and the breakdown of body fat.

With this in mind I’ve decided to be more mindful of the amount of time I spend sitting and when I notice that I’m spending too much time in my chair,  I’ll make a conscious effort to get back on my feet!  Here are a few simple ways to make sure we can all spend more time standing throughout the day:

  • Stand when using public transport.
  • Avoid using lifts, where possible tackle the stairs!
  • Don’t stay sat down at break time, get up and have a wander.
  • If you’re watching the box, get up during the ad breaks.
  • Find an enjoyable hobby that keeps you active at the same time eg. gardening, walking groups, DIY.

Some of these points seems really simple but just taking on a couple of them could reduce the amount of time we spend sitting drastically.  Not only will it help our bodies become more efficient but will make us feel better along the way too!

 

*This is a collaborative post.

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