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Our Introduction into Mountain Biking: Reasons You’ll Love It!

Last month we dipped our toes in the water with a bit of mountain biking, and oh boy was it fun! It’s always something I thought would be an amazing thrill but I wasn’t sure if I’d be too much of a baby and not enjoy it. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Honestly, it was a little bit scary… but so it was also so much fun.

We first thought about giving it a whirl earlier in the year when we visited Lanhydrock in Cornwall but we didn’t have the time when we were last there. Then, whilst we were in Switzerland earlier this year we noticed lots of people getting trains or cable cars to the top of mountains and biking there way down, which looked absolutely bonkers but also really exciting (especially when you’re slowly meandering along with a big bag!).

We bite the bullet, headed back to Lanhydrock and hired a couple of bikes. We were instantly throw into the deep end practicing jumps and tricky terrain in the ‘skills area’, then we went and worked up a sweat on the green, blue and red trails. By the end of it we were covered in mud and our cheeks hurt from laughing so much! It’s 100% something we’ll be doing again, and here’s just some of the reasons why:

Our Introduction into Mountain Biking: Reasons You'll Love It! | UK Lifestyle BlogKnockdown jacket in dark teal c/o West Beach*

Mental health benefits

Numerous studies show that cycling is good for your mental health. Getting out in the countryside takes you away from the stresses and strains of everyday life. If you choose a green route such as the Lodge trail, you’ll have 15 – 20 minutes to just think and sort through some of the things that are playing on your mind. Riding through nice scenery has a relaxing effect, which lasts for days after. I can totally vouch for this!

Adventure holidays galore!

Once you get your cycling legs sorted, you will be able to cycle long distances without aching. I remember this from when I used to ride regularly and when I used to run for 13 miles without stopping. People asked “how do you keep going?” well, you just do. Your legs go numb and your body drives you forward, it’s incredible.

You can go on crazy fun adventure holidays, which (believe me!) you won’t enjoy unless you’re fit enough for it. If you want to get to know a country, cycling is a great way to do it. I once met somebody that traveled across the world with his bike, inspirational! He told me all about these great cycling holidays that take you off the beaten track and let you see a side of a country that you would not normally see on a traditional holiday.

See more of your local area

It’s not just about going abroad! Going out on your bike on a regular basis gives you the option to get to know your local area better. There’s so many beautiful places in Cornwall that I haven’t explored, and jumping on a bike seems like a great way to do it! Don’t get me wrong, I love trotting through small villages and towns, but in all honesty, I’m more of a nature lover 🍃🐶 You’re far more likely to find me out on the cliffs or in the forest, than you are in a coffee shop or wandering busy shops.

**Psst** You don’t even need to go abroad to make a little trip out of it! We stayed in a cute little Airbnb just a short drive from our home and cooked up a well-deserved Waitrose steak, yum! 

Our Introduction into Mountain Biking: Reasons You'll Love It! | UK Lifestyle Blog

Winning a life (no, seriously!)

When you start cycling, the chances are that you will begin to set yourself goals. It starts small – you see how long it takes you to cycle your favourite route, then next thing you know you are shaving minutes then seconds off your time. Setting small goals and achieving them is a good habit to get into. In time, this habit spills over into other parts of your life helping you to be more productive. I read about this ALL the time in business books!

Your joints will thank you

I’ve become a little more health conscious these days. I still order Dominos and I don’t lift weights, but I’m certainly better than I used to be. I’m tee-total and I try and use the outdoors as my gym as much as I can by going surfing, hiking or anything else that tickles my fancy. There’s a million reasons why this is important to me, but one of them being *bare I say it* I’m beginning to feel old.

My body doesn’t feel as strong or as nimble as it used to be. Things hurt when I push my body in a way they never used to. Cycling improves your circulation as well as your respiratory health. This is great for your joints because it helps your body to carry the toxins out of your body instead of settling in your joints and causing stiffness and other problems. When I heard this, I was all over the prospect of cycling like a bad rash. Yes, please! 🙏

Catch more Zzz’s

The kind of exercise you get when you cycle helps you to unwind. This makes it easier for you to fall asleep and get a good night of sleep. Often cyclists sleep better than other people do. What more can I say!?

If you want to get started and begin, it is easy to do. There’s heaps of places you can hire a bike from, and if you decide you love it there’s lots of places to order cycles online that won’t break the bank. Just make sure that you go equipped with spares should you run into any problems – see BikeParts.

2019-07-03T10:30:55+00:00 December 16, 2018|Health|

The Beginner’s Guide To Joining The Gym

The new year will soon be upon us, and you may be considering joining a gym. That’s wonderful news, no matter your reason for joining, be it for burning off the Christmas fat, or to begin a healthier lifestyle. However, there are a few things we think you should know first. The gym can be intimidating for newbies, so to ensure you don’t quit early through fear or insecurity, here are some tips to help you.

Before you head off to the gym ensure you have everything you need. From towels to sweatbands, you need to load up your gym bag with the essentials. Our ultimate checklist has everything you need, so bookmark the page, and take note of everything we mention. You don’t want to be caught out, after all.

The Beginner's Guide To Joining The Gym | UK Lifestyle Blog

Build up your energy first!

You might also want to build up your energy levels before you venture out too. This will ensure you don’t crash and burn when involved in exercise. Drink plenty of water, consider Muscle Rage Limitless, a popular workout drink, and eat something nutritious. Be sure to void anything high in sugar, as you will find yourself flagging after only a short period at the gym.

Leave the make-up at home

When you arrive at the gym, don’t worry about what you look like. You will be surrounded by hardened gym-bods (as well as loads of mirrors) and you might feel inferior in comparison. Especially if your body is out of shape, you may find yourself feeling more than a little envious. But fear not – they were like you once, though they will be too busy doing whatever it is they are doing to think about you anyway, so don’t assume people are staring at you.

The Beginner's Guide To Joining The Gym | UK Lifestyle Blog

Warm your body up pre-workout

Remember your warm up pre-workout before you try out any of the equipment. You need to prepare your body, so limbering up is key to avoiding strain and injury.  Start at your toes and work upward, and get the blood flowing through your body. And bearing in mind you will probably be using an exercise bike as part of your routine, you might consider these stretching tips as part of your pre-workout.

Stay hydrated

Remember to drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated. You will be losing a lot of water through sweat, so keep yourself topped up to keep yourself energised throughout the session. There will be a bathroom at the gym, so you can easily refill your flask or water bottle if you run out.

The Beginner's Guide To Joining The Gym | UK Lifestyle Blog

Take it easy, it’s not a race

Then take baby steps when considering what to do next. It’s the old adage; don’t run before you can walk. There will be a trainer on hand to guide you into what weights or equipment to use, so don’t be afraid to ask. And don’t go crazy like a child at a Jungle Gym either! You will only do yourself an injury. Follow this beginner’s guide to gym equipment, and you will serve yourself well.

Sweat. Rest. Repeat.

After your session, it’s time to recover. This is essential, as while you will welcome the rest anyway, your body needs this time to heal itself ready for your next session. Follow these workout recovery tips, and you will be bouncing back to the gym for your next session in no time.

We hope these tips were helpful to you, but if you’re a gym pro, please send us any further tidbits of advice for our gym newbies.

2018-11-14T19:51:44+00:00 November 14, 2018|Health|

Gym Bag Essentials: The Ultimate Checklist

When packing your bag to go the gym, there are some essential items you don’t want to forget. To avoid the potential for future mishaps, use the following guide as a checklist, and pack your bag in advance so you can always go prepared.

A gym bag

Okay, so this sounds obvious. How can you pack a bag if you don’t have one, to begin with? You don’t need anything too expensive; however, it needs to be big enough to pack your gym essentials. While you might not care about making a fashion statement, a carrier bag from your local supermarket just won’t make the grade.

A water bottle

Possibly the most essential (and life saving) piece of equipment you need. Going to the gym will exhaust you, and it is vital you keep yourself hydrated. There are many water bottles on the market, though you can always reuse a plastic bottle that you can refill when you need to. Not only can you drink plenty of water during exercise, but you can also give yourself an impromptu shower when you’re feeling hot and sweaty.

Gym Bag Essentials: The Ultimate Checklist | UK Lifestyle Blog

A sports bra

We advocated the use of a sports bra on this website, and with good reason. You need to be comfortable when exerting yourself, and you won’t sweat nearly as much when wearing one. Please note: for obvious reasons this item is for women only. Male readers will have to face difficult questions when caught with one of these in their gym bag!

Nutrition bars

An extensive workout will give you hunger pangs, so carry a few nutrition bars in your bag. Otherwise, you may  give in to temptation on your way home and buy something unhealthy that is going to undo all the hard work you put into your exercise routine.

Gym Bag Essentials: The Ultimate Checklist | UK Lifestyle Blog

Extra clothes

Whether you are going out straight after your gym session, or just heading home, a fresh pair of clothes will help you feel more comfortable. From a tank top to your socks, bring spare items that will do your body a favour after you have finished your workout.

Deodorant

Unless you plan on making very little effort during your workout, you are going to sweat! For your benefit, and for that of those around you, make sure you layer on deodorant before you get down to your exercise.

Gym Bag Essentials: The Ultimate Checklist | UK Lifestyle Blog

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Towels

An obvious option, but you should bring a couple of towels with you. One can be used to wipe your weary brow during exercise, and the other will be perfect after your shower. Many gyms allow you to rent a towel from them, but why should you pay money when you can just as easily bring your own.

Sweatband

A sweatband is a fashion accessory you don’t want to go without. Not only will a forehead sweatband keep the drops of sweat away from your eyes and body, but it will also keep your hair away from your eyes during those crucial moments of your workout. Buy a sweatband for your wrists as well, giving you the opportunity to wipe away any sweat without breaking your stride.

Gym Bag Essentials: The Ultimate Checklist | UK Lifestyle Blog

Music

Whether you use your smartphone or an iPod, make sure you create a music playlist to help you get your blood pumping during the session. Remember to bring a pair of headphones with you, as your music tastes may not belong to everybody in the gym; at least I find that’s the case with my 90’s tunes, haha. Why not treat yourself to some Beats headphones?

Fitness tracker

To help you see how many calories you have lost during your session, a tracking device is a must. Your smartphone probably has an app that will do the job, but serious aficionados should consider buying one of these fitness trackers, which are some of the best currently on the market.

Gym Bag Essentials: The Ultimate Checklist | UK Lifestyle Blog

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Training shoes

Invest in the right pair of shoes, and you will get the full benefit from your workout. You need to avoid blisters and cramping, so buy something that will give you the comfort you need. From using the running machine to lifting weights, you need something that will cushion your feet and leg joints.

Shower shoes

We can never have too many pairs of shoes, though we probably wouldn’t wear shower shoes anywhere else! No matter how clean the gym shower looks, there are hundreds of pairs of feet a day treading across the floor spreading bacteria. Your feet will thank you for the purchase.

Gym Bag Essentials: The Ultimate Checklist | UK Lifestyle Blog[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

2018-05-10T21:32:57+00:00 May 10, 2018|Health|
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