Small Lifestyle Changes that make a Big Difference

WalkIf you’re like most – you are sitting in an office 9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday… you sit during your commute to the office and then back home again, and by the time you get in you’re exhausted so you sit some more. How do we fit activity into our daily lives when the environment around us is promoting comfort and ease?

Small changes to this routine, will make a big difference to your health and wellness. Here are a few tips to get more activity into your day-to-day routine…

At your desk – Do sitting calf raises while you’re on the phone and get your blood flowing.

Lunch – Go for a short walk at lunch rather than sitting the entire time.

Shopping – Rather than fighting for a space at the front of the parking lot… park at the back and walk up.

Commuting – Take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator.

Watching TV – Get up and walk around during commercials.

Cooking – Put on some music and dance!

Finally, I strongly recommend using a pedometer to track your activity — especially for those that are just starting out. Whether you’re stuck in a non-active rut or if you’re simply looking to fit more activity into your lifestyle, than the first step is knowing what your activity is now, and then setting a goal to increase it. Setting a step count goal and tracking your activity will help motivate you to park further away, walk during lunch or dance more while you prepare dinner! It won’t be long before you notice having more energy.

Grateful and Excited

After suffering from shin splints last year, a few things were put into perspective… Going out for a quick 30-minute run was no longer an option. Instead, I’d have to pack up and walk to the gym to find some low-impact cardio. It became a chore being so restricted.

The shin splits lasted six months… I wasn’t able to run from March – November 2014. They’ve since settled down and I have been able to enjoy some beautiful runs around London again. I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated going for a run as much as I do now.

Tomorrow, I’ll be racing my first 10k in ages!! I’m not going to bring my Garmin and instead I’ll just run by feel. If I leave with a sub 50-minute finish time and no shin pain, I’ll be a very happy camper!

To avoid any injuries tomorrow I plan to:

  • Do a long easy warm-up
  • Roll out my calves tonight and after the race
  • Take Monday off to recover

Enjoy your training. Enjoy the freedom of it. And take care of your body!

Cycling in the Winter

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I haven’t been out on my bike much this winter… mainly due to frosty roads and a busy schedule.

In the winter months, it is key to leave yourself enough time to set off late in the morning (when it warms up and the frost clears away). I clearly got too comfortable with all the warm long days the UK Summer and Autumn have to offer… as a result, I didn’t give myself enough time in the day to fit both a bike ride in the morning and something social in the afternoon.

Clear your schedule – enjoy the sleep in – and plan something social for the evenings instead!

Yesterday, Dan and I got away for a nice ride and ended up at Gail’s Artisan Bakery in St. John’s Wood. We had a lovely croissant and espresso just before heading home — a perfect start to getting back in the habit of cycling on the weekends.

Role on next weekend!

Time to get back into the swing of things

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It’s January 3rd.. about that time to get back into the swing of things. The holidays are over, and a new working week approaches (the sad truth!).

Let’s get outside and start breaking all the bad habits we so happily took on board over the holidays.

Remember that feeling you get when you’re out on a run… the fresh air, the mind space… and then the feeling of accomplishment when your workout is finished… Something that over indulging in turkey, sweets and mulled wine doesn’t necessarily offer!

Now is the time. Join me and start the process of finding your healthy routine again.

Goal Setting

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I have a lot of exciting goals this year — I honestly can’t even wait to start working towards each and every one of them. I’m listing them here to make myself accountable and to remind myself why I set these goals in the first place. When I get in the thick of things, I’ll reference this post to keep myself focused and energized.

Here they are… 

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Explore new running routes

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When I was training for the 2013 Edinburgh Marathon, I made the mistake of doing the same running route over and over and over and over again. I didn’t notice how boring it was at the time, but thinking back it is absolutely mind melting. I found too much comfort in knowing what hill to expect next, when I was going to have a down-hill break, and how long it would take me to get home already! This type of comfort does not pay off in the long run — it can lead to injury, it can be a major mental barrier when you do venture out of that usual route, and eventually you’ll get bored of it — or you’ll get bored of running.

Try different running routes — no matter how far the distance — and keep it interesting.

Yesterday I planned to go for an easy run… being based in South Hampstead, I usually run to and around Regents Park… It is a convenient loop that starts and finishes at my doorstep. Instead of doing ‘the usual’ – yesterday I took the Overground to Richmond for my run. It was such a nice change running in an unknown area and enjoying the beautiful scenery.

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