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Showing posts from tagged with: exercise

Why summer bod blues need to be banished!

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08.04.16

We can all get extremely caught up in the pressure to conform to trying to sculpt what is perceived as the ‘perfect summer body.Generally the media portrays summer bodies as women that are generally beautifully toned, tanned and without the lumps and bumps we spend hours deliberating over, however it is not the way, even with regular exercise combined with a healthy diet, everybody’s bodies look on the same regime. Things are slowly changing, though not fast enough; generally people are becoming more personally accepting of their different body types which is brilliant, however what it’s doing as a result of this is taking away the importance of eating a healthful and nutrient - dense diet in the process. To eat healthily isn’t only to create the most glowing version of yourself, but to have the right foods on the inside to allow you to be the absolute best version of yourself is what counts the most as it will encourage you to flourish in every area of your life. Here are a few foolproof ways of letting your very own ‘summer body’ flourish the way it should do minus the pressure to succumb to the ideals we’re all too used to.. DON’T SWEAT IT You don’t have to be a personal trainer to know that exercise is extremely vital for your overall health and wellbeing, not only for your body but for your mind. However by not following the workout ‘of the year’ or subscribing to the latest set of work out videos doesn’t automatically mean you won’t feel amazing. The most important factor to consider when aiming to organise your work out regime is to only look into doing things you enjoy or you will result in giving up before you’ve even begun. If you dread running or can’t stand yoga, the answer is simple, don’t do it. There are a wealth of different options out there to explore when it comes to exercise, from boxing combined with pilates, a variety of HITT workouts, fluorescent spinning classes or local boot camps.. the only advice to really consider, is not to worry which path to exercising you take, but just to simply get moving in whichever way makes you happy.   londonpigeon BE INTUITIVE There are countless diet plans and ‘rules’ out there to follow but many disclaim that ultimately what you eat has to work for you. Some people may thrive off a diet filled with lots of good fats including avocado and nuts, and others’ bodies may completely disagree with it, equally a certain amount of carbohydrate in a person’s diet may need to be different depending on whether or not their body can take it and thrive off it. Ultimately, the best diet that works for you will be the one that allows you to want to wake up each morning and reach your fullest potential whilst enjoying the food that you’re eating. Food shouldn’t just be fuel, though at the same time it should provide your body (most of the time) with the potential to be the best version of yourself and ultimately feel amazing. DRESS TO FLATTER So much of the time, the latest fashion trend be it in swim wear, work out gear or day-to-day clothes is advertised as the only way to stay fashion-forward however it’s not always the best way for everyone. Going back to the idea that no diet or work out regime is best for everyone, neither is the same outfit. Half of trick to feeling great (other than exercise and diet) is ensuring that you dress to flatter your body shape. Yes we can all work towards achieving the optimum healthy weight and therefore size for our shape but fundamentally all of our body shapes are different, and what may flatter one persons’ body type might not quite look the same on someone else. It’s important to consider this when buying clothes/swim wear/work out attire, as ultimately what you see is, in the moment, almost as important in the way you feel as if you look you best you will feel you best, so embrace the opportunity each morning to wake up and dress in a way that will enhance the way you feel. Finally, don't forget that you can indulge in healthy snacks - chocolate whey hey ice cream (high protein, no added sugar) makes the perfect summer snack along with our Giving Tree crisps!   IMG_3621    

Top Fitness Gadgets for Spring!

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03.03.16

Spring is around the corner.. it's nearly time to get yourself exercising outside, enjoying the fresh air and using the top of the range gadgets to help you along the way! We couldn't resist sneaking in a few novelty ones too..

1. Withings Smart Body Scale
If you want to get fitter, it's worth knowing the state of play before you start - and during your programme. The Withings Smart Body Scale will give you that. It's able to accurately track your weight, body fat and various other stats, and sync them to your phone so you can easily monitor progress over time. They're pricey - but they might make the difference.
2. FINIS SwiMP3 Waterproof Headphones
The FINIS SwiMP3 headphones (£93) are a stunning bit of kit which transmit music through your cheekbones via induction. It's one of the only pair of headphones you can wear in the pool, and if you're spending a lot of time underwater and need a boost on your 50th lap, it might make the difference. (£93)
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3. Nike Fuelband SE
The Nike Fuelband is one of the most attractive and intuitive fitness trackers on the market - and the new SE edition is the best one yet, adding Bluetooth LE for constant syncing with your iPhone, 'Session' markers and limited sleep tracking.
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4. The Smelly Alarm Clock: SensorWake

Alarm clocks are like spiders: everyone acknowledges they do a valuable job, but that doesn’t stop most from despising them. The SensorWake aims to lessen that hatred by waking you up not with a piercing shriek but with a smell, like chocolate or coffee or freshly baked bread, depending on which capsule you pop in it. Unless you sleep through the smell, in which case the shrieking kicks in as a back up. Available in June, around £77 sensorwake.com

 5. The Massaging Jacket: AiraWear

The AiraWear jacket grandly promises a massage on the move, a marvel achieved through its built-in inflation points. Controlled via an app, the AiraWear looks like a regular jacket until parts of it start inflating, and runs for three hours on a single charge. As well as offering a massage, it can also be used to support your back and gradually break the slouching habit developed at your desk. around £176, airawear.com

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Half-term fun with Giving Tree

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16.02.16

The kids are on half-term and you need to keep them entertained.. what better way than with some Giving Tree heart healthy and fun-filled half term tips!

Childhood is a crucial time for teaching your children about eating healthily, exercising regularly and instilling in them the healthy lifestyle habits that will see them through to a long, happy and healthy adulthood.

Teaching your children how to follow a heart healthy eating and exercise regime is particularly important nowadays, especially in light of new research showing that over two thirds of obese children show early signs of heart disease.

So, if you find yourself at a loss for things to do whilst looking after your kids this holiday, take a look at these fun-filled ideas that will not only keep your children entertained, but also help them get into the habit of eating and living healthily.

OUR TOP TIPS FOR A HEART HEALTHY HALF TERM :)

1. Eat breakfast: It’s true what they say about breakfast being the most important meal of the day – even more so for growing kids! Make sure your children (even if they’re having a lazy at-home holiday) start the day with a nutritious, heart-healthy breakfast packed with protein and complex carbs (whole grain cereal, porridge oats, wholemeal soldiers and eggs and granola and  milk all make great breakfasts!) You can add our delicious Giving Tree fruit snacks onto nearly any breakfast recipe for added nutrients, crunch and  flavour!

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Steering clear of sugar-laden cereals and pastries first thing will avoid your children having a sugar slump (and craving more sugary foods) later in the day.

2. Indoor Olympics: Create your own DIY indoor Olympics during those inevitable rainy days stuck indoors during the holidays. Why not tie a piece of string across the room and let your kids bat a balloon over for a house-friendly alternative to volleyball? Use your imagination!

3. Let your kids play chef: Whether it’s chopping the carrots or peeling the potatoes, encouraging your kids to get involved in helping cook the family meals allows them to get hands on and familiar with the various healthy foods that make up each meal. Plus, they’ll more than likely be tempted to scoff the odd tasty carrot slice along the way!

Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 12.06.424. Allow the odd sweet treat: When teaching your children to make heart-healthy food choices, this doesn’t mean never allowing them the odd chocolate bar as a little treat every now and then. In fact, letting them enjoy the odd treat should help make them aware of the importance of a varied diet.

5. Walk the dog: Dog-walking is a great way to get your animal-loving kids enjoying outdoor activities. Don’t own a dog? Then borrow your neighbour’s pet pooch! We’re sure they’d secretly be only too glad of a day off from walking their dog. Not only is this great exercise for your child, it’s also a really good fun

6. Go supermarket shopping: Chances are you don’t tend to take your children to the shops during school time when you just want to quickly whizz round the aisles and pick up dinner. Taking your child shopping, however, is a great way to introduce to and to explore new foods for themselves.

Make sure you spend lots of time in the fresh produce section to see which of the brightly-coloured fruit and vegetables your child’s attention is drawn towards. Get them to choose a piece of fruit or vegetable to try at home – who knows, they may even quite like the taste of the mango that they picked up!

So, which of these fun, heart-healthy half term activities will you be trying out with your children first? And remember, you don’t have to wait until the holidays to do these with your children – these are perfect for any weekend spent with your kids!

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February is heart month, show it some love!

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02.02.16

There’s Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14, of course — but this is also Heart Month and on February 5th its the British Heart Foundation National Heart day, dedicated to raising awareness of heart health.

Heart and circulatory disease takes the lives of more than 400 people in the UK each day. So let’s get red everywhere and help raise money for the British Heart Foundation’s life saving research.

We can use this month to raise awareness about heart disease and how people can prevent it — both at home and in the community.

Some simple ways to ensure keeping your heart healthy come from the following;

- A healthy diet rich in heart healthy foods (oily fish, avocado, grains, legumes, tomatoes and berries)

Try making some fantastic heart healthy recipes using our Giving Tree snacks - our strawberry crisps make the perfect addition to yogurt, porridge, smoothies, juices and even a substitute to fresh strawberries in baking! With all the same nutrition as fresh and 1 of your 5 a day you can't go wrong.

- Limiting alcohol in the diet

- Exercising -  Physical activity can help reduce your risk of heart disease. It can also help you control your weight, reduce blood pressure and cholesterol and improve your mental health – helping you to look and feel great.

- Smoking increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, which includes coronary heart disease and stroke.

  • Smoking damages the lining of your arteries, leading to a build up of fatty material (atheroma) which narrows the artery. This can cause angina, a heart attack or a stroke.
  • The carbon monoxide in tobacco smoke reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood. This means your heart has to pump harder to supply the body with the oxygen it needs.
  • The nicotine in cigarettes stimulates your body to produce adrenaline, which makes your heart beat faster and raises your blood pressure, making your heart work harder.
Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 12.06.42 Why not try some great fundraising activities to promote Heart Health. Invite your friends, neighbours or whole community to do somethingred and join you for a breakfast, afternoon tea, pamper evening, quiz night or even an auction to raise those pennies!

To get the pounds piling in, you can ask people to give a donation on the door, or pay to enjoy food and drinks as they go along.

If your feeling slightly more adventurous.. Bring an exercise bike into work and keep it spinning for an hour, a morning or even a whole day. Colleagues chip in to sponsor those who are cycling and wearing red.   Shop_banner760x339 Turn PE at school into a fundraising event with a laps-round-the-playground ‘marathon’ or red baton relay. Children (and teachers) can bring in £1 to take part on the day.

Not feeling so energetic? No problem. Here are some easy other ways to make fundraising a team effort at work, school, college, your toddler’s playgroup, your workout class or wherever you’ll be on Friday 5 February:

Have a dress-down day, where everyone gives a donation to participate - while wearing something red of course.

Or, donate to dress up, perhaps with a prize for the best red outfit or fancy dress. Being a tomato, Red Queen, strawberry, Spiderman or lobster could be your winning ticket.

Organise a bake sale, showcasing everyone’s talents. Watch the money roll in!

Of course, Giving Tree snacks will be brought into the help of the special Red Day..

Here is a fantastic Strawberry Giving Tree and berry recipe to keep you going before all of the activities you're going to get involved in...

Ingredients.

 Method.

Blend all ingredients and immediately consume for a deliciously heart healthy smoothie :)

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