Month: June 2018

5 Benefits of climbing and why you should start today

If don’t yet know, for the next Olympic games, climbing is officially a sport. That’s right, climbers will be joining other Olympic sporting contestants in the 2020 Tokyo games. For those who are already climbers this is, of course, excellent news – and you should be raising your chalky hands in celebration. For those, though, who don’t yet know the delights and benefits of climbing, we at WriteUp are going to list for you the benefits of climbing and reasons why you should start today. Trust us, by the end of it you’ll never look at rocks the same way again.

climbing1. You’ll get fit

Climbers are generally super fit, but then this is no surprise as the sport perfectly blends strength and cardio exercises. During a typical climbing workout, you’ll use your arms, legs, grip, as well as your core – yes, that’s right, your core – climbing greatly relies on a strong core to give you that all-important balance. Even better, you’ll be using all of these muscles at the same time, its no wonder then all climbers are super toned.

2. Mood booster

The benefits of climbing don’t just stop there though. Like other high adrenaline sports, it requires a different mindset than just heading out for a simple jog. With climbing, you also have to face your fears. Namely, your fear of falling and of heights. This sport teaches you how to cope with, if not conquer, your fears. Which in turn, is an excellent mood booster. At the top of that wall, you’ll be feeling great and on top of the world (well, on top of the wall, but you get our point)

3. Reduce your stress

Like with any exercise, climbing helps to reduce your stress. You’ll become so focused on the wall, and conquering your particular route, that it’ll distract you from your day-to-day stresses. What’s more, it will also teach you the art of problem solving, which in itself is a great strategy to have! In the end, climbing teaches you many things, however, its biggest educational point is perhaps that in life, quite often, the only way is up.

climbing

4. You’ll tan

Need we say more? If you get good enough, the desire to test your new-found skillset in the ‘real world’ will become so overpowering you simply won’t be able to resist. So, to the great outdoors you will head, venturing either close or far from home (there are great bouldering and climbing spots all over the world). Unsurprisingly, spending a lot of time outside will mean that you’ll gain a beautiful tan to highlight your newly-toned climbing figure.

5. Age is just a number

The great thing, and yet another addition to our benefits of climbing, is you can start really young and just, well; keep going. Retirement can wait when you’re a climber, if you enjoy it enough, and your health permits it, you can keep on hanging in there. Quite literally.

It’s a great way to get healthy, not to mention meet new, interesting people to climb with. A sport which has witnessed a huge surge in popularity, thanks in part to climbing stars such as Alex Honnold and Hazel Findlay (both are well worth a Google). Thing is, there really is no reason for you to not put on some climbing shoes, chalk your hands up and tackle that climb. And like we said in the beginning, boulders will never look the same again.

Top tips to help you tone up

Huzzah, it is officially summertime! If, like us, you took ecstatically to the eat, drink and hibernate part of the winter season, then you may be looking for ways to battle the winter weight. Here at Write Up, we hear you, and have outlined some simple exercises you can use to tone up your temple.

tone up

Stomach

Many people dream of athletic abs, and if you’re one of them, there’s a few things you can do to keep the middle of your body buff.

The tried and tested way to tone up that tummy is sit-ups.

Grab the mightiest of your mats, and lie on the floor faced up, with your knees bent and your head on the mat. Then, carefully crunch by tightening your abs and lifting your head and shoulders off the mat, and keeping your feet firmly on the ground. Hold it for as long as humanly possible (usually one to three seconds) before return to your resting position.

You hear of folks reaching the hundreds, but you really only need to get to ten or twenty for your daily tone up.

If sit-ups aren’t you thing, or you’re looking to lift your lower abs, then choose a leg-lift.

Lie on your mat, and cross your hands behind your head. Tighten your abs and squeeze your buttocks. Then lift those legs together, keeping your tension tight for around three seconds. Repeat ten times, then rest. Repeat five times and soon you’ll have a core that’s incredible.

What an excuse to eat more ice-cream!

Legs

Do you aspire for perfect pins like Tina Turner or Angelina Jolie?

It’s true that when you wear high-heels or heavy boots that you tense different weight-bearing muscles in your legs. If you wear your shoes for a long time, eventually your leg muscles will compensate. But short of statement shoes, how do you pose your pins to achieve an incredible shape?

A split-squat will tone up your bum and your quads. Grab your choice chair, and stand with your back to it. Pop your hands on your hips, and bend your left leg behind you until the top of your foot is on the chair. Then squeeze into a squat, bending your right leg 90 degrees over your ankle.

Repeat fifteen times, then swap. And, bam.

If you’re looking for a plain and simple position, then try and love the lunge. Once again, it’s great for your bum and thighs, and you can lunge just about anywhere!

Stand in a split stance, with your right leg forward and your left leg back. Then bend your knees till both of your legs are at right angles. Keep your weight on your heels, then push back up to the starting position. You’re aiming for fifteen to twenty with each leg; stretching out your tendons and giving your legs a new lust for life.

Lunges are also great for stretching out those tweaks and pains that we all get from daily life. They’re perfect to banish the cries of your muscles on your commute, just make sure you’re not taking up too much room on the tube.

Chest

If you’re all about an outline like Hulk Hogan, or dreaming of abs like Arnie, chest toning is your key to looking BUILT like a brick…well, you know the rest.

The thing about bossing it like a bodybuilder is you have to hit the weights hard. If you’re a weightlifting rookie, there are still a couple of exercises that will help you hit the first steps on the road to definition. When you’re intent on hitting the gym, head straight for the barbells.

Lie on the bench on your back, and shuffle yourself into position (the bar should be across your eyes). Then, you need to grab the barbell with your palms forward and thumbs around the bar. Move the bar into the perfect position. Then, inhale, and lower the bar and flare out your elbows. Exhale, and at your own pace, push the bar back up.

With the barbell it’s all about how heavy you can lift, and for how long – and you’ll need to increase your weight as your muscles adapt. Just remember that safety comes first, and you shouldn’t lift without a trusted spotter to hand.

If you’re more about interacting with your environment, then a simple way to build your bulk is push-ups.

To begin, lie on the floor, face down. Tighten your abs, keep your neck locked in line with your spine, and your elbows close to your side. Don’t forget to keep your back flat! When you feel the pressure, push yourself up with control. Your push-up, done right, will activate 61% of your chest muscles and tone up terrifically.

Once you’re ripped, you can work on your battle cry. We’re sad to tell you that ‘FREEEEDDDOOOOOMMMMM’ is already taken. Still, don’t worry, the only revolution you need to worry about is the one your body is going through.

Disclaimer – Although we always endeavour to deliver accurate and insightful information, if you are seeking specialised fitness advice, please speak to a relevant professional. All opinions within this blog are the writer’s, should you identify content that is incorrect, please get in contact.

2018 World Cup preview

It’s no longer a matter of years, months or weeks away. The 2018 World Cup kicks off in DAYS. The kits are out, the squads are in and excitement levels are rising. All eyes are now on Russia as they are about to host the World Cup for the first time in their history. To make sure you’re never short of a conversation topic down the pub, here’s everything you need to know heading into the tournament in the form of this World Cup preview.

World Cup preview

The host

The 2018 World Cup is being hosted by Russia, across twelve stadiums in eleven cities. Sixty-four matches will be played out throughout the course of the tournament. Culminating in the final on July 15th, in Moscow’s 81,000 capacity Luzhniki Stadium.

The eleven cities are: Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Sochi, Samara, Kazan, Rostov-on-Don, Volgograd, Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk, Yekaterinburg, and Kaliningrad. The opening match will also take place in the Luzhniki Stadium when Russia take on Saudi Arabia on June 14th.

England’s first game will take place in Volgograd on June 18th, when the Three Lions face Tunisia in Group G.

The teams

No World Cup preview would be complete without taking a look at the main contenders and new underdogs that will be competing in the summer. Many of the old headliners will be in Russia, with Germany and Brazil, as usual, amongst the favourites. No one is ruling out the likes of Spain, France or Argentina either. Perhaps most surprisingly though, giants of the game Italy and Holland failed to qualify for this year’s tournament.

Panama and Iceland (following their astounding Euro 2016 performance) are also making their first appearances at a World Cup. As ever, this World Cup will also be graced by some of the game’s greatest names. Mohamed Salah and Kylian Mbappe will both be looking to make an impact at their first finals, whilst Andres Iniesta will be looking to sign off his international career in style – perhaps with a repeat of his 2010 performance. Neymar will be looking to make amends for Brazil’s 2014 nightmare. This could also be the last time we see Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo appear at a World Cup.

This World Cup preview counts England amongst those with an outside chance, with Belgium and Portugal. Granted, it is a very outside chance.

The stories

World Cups have been the backdrop for many of the most shocking and remarkable moments in football down the years. Be it Zidane’s headbutt in 2006, Ronaldo’s seizure in 1998, Baggio’s high, wide and not-at-all-handsome penalty in 1994, or Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ antics in 1986. When it comes to drama and spectacle, the World Cup always delivers. This World Cup preview predicts that this summer in Russia will be no different.

You can also rest assured that at the centre of the biggest stories will be the biggest names. From an England perspective, this World Cup preview is almost bold enough to predict Dele Alli getting a silly red card that crushes our dreams.

That bring us to the end of this World Cup preview. All we can do now is wait for the greatest show on Earth to begin. Kick-off: Russia, Moscow, June 14th, 16:00 BST. Don’t miss it.

11 Fitness events to sign up for in 2018

There are 2018 fitness events to suit participants of all types out there in the UK. Whether you’re an avid athlete or just beginning to get out there, you’re sure to be able to find an event that you’ll want to throw yourself into. This list of 2018 fitness events covers some pretty hardcore territory. Remember, though, that many of these events offer versions of themselves aimed at participants with different experience and ability levels. Therefore, there really is no reason not to get involved with some feel-good fitness events this year.

2018 fitness events

1. London Marathon

One of the most prestigious marathons in the world, counting as one of the World Marathon Majors, the annual London Marathon is a spectacular site to behold. Thousands of participants, ranging from the most celebrated marathon runners in the world to those in fancy dress giving it up for a good cause gather at the start line. This is truly a race you’ll want to be a part of. For the rest of your life you’ll be able to state, with pride, that you ran the famous London Marathon. Be warned however, if your jog round the block is an uphill battle, this is Everest.

Sign up here.

2. Balance Festival

Ready for an absolute celebration of all things fitness, health and wellness? If so, then Balance Festival is your Glastonbury. The Balance Festival invites you to discover and learn from the insight of globally renowned fitness trainers, yogis and chefs. These experts are present to help develop your understanding of what it means, and is required, to live a holistic, healthy lifestyle.

Sign up here.

3. London to Paris 24 Hour Sportive

If you fancy a bike ride you’ll simply never forget then this is the 2018 fitness event for you. Over the course of a weekend you’ll pedal your way from London to Paris by being part of this event. This is a great, social sporting event as you’ll be part of a large group of likeminded cyclists all encouraging each other ever onwards. Cue: celebrations at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.

Sign up here.

2018 fitness events

4. London Landmarks Half Marathon

The truth is that the London Marathon, for whatever reason, is too much for some. However, that shouldn’t mean that others who want to push themselves through a fitness event in our historic capital should miss out. Not only that, but completion of this – or any – half marathon is still monumental achievement and no mean feat. So, drink in the sights of London whilst partaking in this 2018 fitness event.

Sign up here.

5. The Great North Run

There’s no need for this list to remain so London-centric, especially not when the most popular half marathon event in the UK, and in fact the world, is the Great North Run. So, why not be one of the 57,000 to tackle this Northern giant in Newcastle in 2018? Over one million people can now claim to have completed this run since its inception in 1981. Make this one your 2018 fitness events, and help us take that figure one stride closer to two million.

Sign up here.

6. The Mighty Deerstalker

From the UK’s biggest half marathon to its most popular night run now. Without further ado, Rat Race presents, The Mighty Deerstalker. Should you make this one of your 2018 fitness events you can safely lay claim to being mighty indeed. Through rivers, forests and mountainous terrain on the Scottish border, in the dark, The Mighty Deerstalker really is “probably the hardest off-road-Tweed-clad-pipe-lit-plus-four-and-headtorch-wearing run that exists”.

Sign up here.

7. Vertical Rush

The one thing that can make the view from the top of London’s iconic Tower 42 all the sweeter is the knowledge that you’ve really earned it. If you’ve just completed the Vertical Rush, that cannot be in doubt. One of the most metropolitan 2018 fitness events, this tower running challenge is sure to push you all the way. In this case, all the way being the ascent of 932 steps, across 42 floors.

Sign up here.

8. The Nuts Challenge

Winner of multiple 2017 Mudstacle Awards (including ‘Toughest Event’ and ‘Muddiest Event’), The Nuts Challenge isn’t for the faint hearted. Obstacles on the course include the aptly named ‘Kamikaze’, ‘Hell River’, ‘Good Morning Vietnam’, and ‘The Somme’. However, versions of the obstacle course for younger or less experienced participants are available and popular and just as muddy. So, however fit you are, you’d be nuts to not make this one of your 2018 fitness events.

Sign up here.

2018 fitness events

9. Three Peaks Trial

Some of the best 2018 fitness events were designed to be appreciated and tackled at a slightly slower pace. This hiking challenge is a prime example of this; allowing you to enjoy and savour the splendour of your surroundings whilst still putting your fitness to the test. This trial, held in South Wales will test both your endurance and navigation skills as you set out to conquer the heights of Bal Mawr, Pen Cerrig Calch and Sugar Loaf.

Sign up here.

10. Dock 2 Dock

Ever looked at the Thames, and thought ‘yeah, I fancy a dip in that’? Ok, so you probably haven’t, but that certainly doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Dock 2 Dock, one of the open water swimming 2018 fitness events, is returning for a third year! So, wetsuit up and get splashing around between the Royal Albert Dock and Royal Victoria Dock.

Sign up here.

11. FA People’s Cup

There are 2018 fitness events for team sports. The most popular of which is probably the FA People’s Cup. Ever dream of lifting the FA Cup as a child? Well, now could be your chance. With numerous entry categories, to suit all player types, this is the only 5-a-side tournament you’ll need to be a part of this year.

Sign up here.

Whatever you’re looking for from your 2018 fitness events, you’re sure to find a challenge that suits, and inspires, you.