Month: March 2019

Fitness beginner: How to get started

We all have to start somewhere. If you’re a fitness beginner new to the field of exercise, fitness and working out, the starting line can be a very daunting place. With the likes of resistance bands, weights and sweaty towels before you, the path you choose will very much depend on your unique fitness goals. Do you want to build muscle? Become more flexible? Lose weight? Whatever your transformation plans, we’ve put together some basic tips to get you off to a promising start.

fitness beginner

Before diving into the realm of fitness, though, let us first congratulate you on your new-found commitment to a healthier you. Making a promise of a healthier version of yourself is always the hardest part. However, exercise is a wonder; you’ll become fitter, develop a more positive outlook, and feel better within yourself – not to mention working on those guns. It’s a win-win situation, really. And, as a fitness beginner, where better to start with than…

How often you go

A general rule of thumb, for those regular gym-goers out there, is 3-4 times a week. However, if you’re a fitness beginner, starting off gentler is the best way to go. It’s always healthier to slowly introduce yourself to this habit, rather than to cannonball in. You can gradually build up your tempo, how long you do it, what you do and how often you do it by seeing how your body responds. The point of this part is to form a habit, one which will not always be put off till tomorrow.

Change it up

As a fitness beginner, when you introduce new exercises into your regime, your body will begin to adapt to them. So, it’s best to change up what you do when you exercise – the best combination includes aerobic, flexibility (like yoga) and resistance training etc. Even still, within these broader sectors, as a fitness beginner make sure you change up the exercises you do within them. Try a variety of classes, not only will you learn what you like best but also what works you the hardest.

Always stretch

Stretching is just as important as exercising, it helps warm up your muscles and cool them down either side of a workout. Failure to do either can easily lead to injury, which could – worst scenario – set you back weeks on the progress you’ve made. So, warm up and cool down with stretches, they’re far too important to ignore. Dynamic stretches tend to be best before a workout, however, if you go to regular classes this will be easy as your instructor will lead you through the appropriate stretches for the class you’re doing.

Have a break if you need to

Remember you’re only at the start of your journey. So, you may not be able to do what other people appear to be doing without a sweat or second thought. Not only this but we are also all different, so if you are unable to keep up with something, take a break. Pushing yourself too much can only lead to injuries and will just leave you sore.

Find a trainer

Sure, this is perhaps one of the more expensive routes, but if you are looking for a routine, carved specifically to your fitness goals then having a one-off session is an expense that’s worth it. If you are feeling well and truly thrown in the deep end, and out of your depth, having a trainer who can advise, direct and guide you will build up your confidence.

Like any champion, you’ll learn so much on your fitness journey. While sure you may only be a fitness beginner, currently at the very beginning of the track, but if you put in the time and energy, there is no reason why you won’t bring home the gold. If you’re at the very beginning of your healthy voyage, be smart and book an appointment with your doctor for an assessment on your current fitness first.

Ready to go? Why not download Write Up – the app that lets you read, rate and review everything fitness related.

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.

4 Reasons to play in a football team

What’s better than the scent of freshly cut grass, the feel of new football boots, and the fluttery anticipation of the match? If you love the game, and enjoy keeping yourself in shape; it might be time to take your punt at the sport. But what are the reasons to play in a football team, besides your love for the sport? At Write Up we could list a hundred, but we don’t want to keep you away from your cheeky check of the scores. So, we’ve listed four of our favourites.

football team

1. Get fit

Granted, an obvious – but important – place to begin. When you play in a football team, you increase your fitness level. In fact, 90 minutes of physical activity will help you burn around 780 calories. This is the reason many footballers adhere to a strict diet! Thing is, this is just the match. As you train with your new football team, you’ll slowly burn muscle, increase the aerobic capacity of your lungs, and lower your BMI. People who are fitter will also experience a lower blood pressure, less stress, and less risk of heart disease. Pretty great, eh?

2. Be part of a team

Once you start to play in your new team, you’ll also become part of a squad, and experience the thrills associated this. You’ll find you meet people with the same mindset, interests and experiences as yourself. In fact, your life will change dramatically once you are part of a new crew. Research shows that success in sport releases Oxytocin and Dopamine; which also happen to be the chemicals related to attachment. So, you’ll bind to your new buddies in a very special way, one that’ll feel unique to any other attachment in your life.

You’ll also discover a very unique life lesson; that if we work together, we become more than a sum of our parts. Everyone in life has different talents, and this is why there are different roles on the pitch. As part of the reasons to play in a football team, you’ll learn to trust in the confidence of other team members; and the strength of people combined.

3. Increase your brainpower

If those two reasons to play in a football team don’t float your boat; then just you wait for the next one. Playing in a team will actually help to increase your brainpower. Cast your mind to your favourite players, and there’s no doubt one of their main characteristics will be a delicacy with the ball. Of course, there’s some credit to natural talent here; but this is a skill that comes from practice.

The fast pace of the game, with its need for on the spot, snapshot decisions will also increase the speed of the pathways in the brain. Think of it like a forest. How do you know where to walk? You walk the path that has been stomped down, trodden. Our brains are like this as well. The more you use a path of neurons, the easier they are to access. In fact, physical exercise is recommended by the Alzheimer’s society – and there is a wealth of evidence to suggest it helps slow the progress of the disease.

4. Build self-confidence

Last but not least, on our list of reasons to play in a team, is the jump in self-confidence.

In your new team, you’ll experience the dizzying heights of great victory; but you’ll also inevitably feel the harsh sting of defeat. It might seem like those professional footballers are effortless in their fame, but trust us, they’ve all got their own unique set of stories. In fact, pretty much everyone who has found some level of fame will have been told no at some point. What sets these people apart from everyone else is a resilience, and a will to succeed.

By joining a team, you’ll develop those skills, and transfer them into your life. Sounds peachy.

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 sport 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 Write Up 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.

climbing

1. It’s a great way to 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 climb workout, you 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 use 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. Like other high adrenaline sports, it requires a different mindset than when you head out for a simple jog. With climbing, you also have to face your fears. Namely, your fear of a fall, and of heights. But this sport teaches you how to cope with (if not conquer) your fears. It’s also an excellent boost for your mood. At the top of that wall, you’ll feel 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 the will to conquer your particular route, that it’ll distract you from your day-to-day stresses. What’s more, it will also teach you how to solve a problem, 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.

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 overpower so much you simply won’t be able to resist. So, to the great outdoors you will head, venture close or far from home (you can boulder and climb all over the world). Its not a surprise that when you spend lots of time outside you’ll gain a beautiful tan to highlight your newly-toned climbing figure.

rock climbing

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.

Want another way to keep fit? Why not try climbing? 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. 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.

7 Small changes to achieve a healthier lifestyle

In between our work and finding the time to have the fun we deserve, carving out some space to achieve a healthy lifestyle can be tricky. The truth is that there are plenty of small changes you can make that’ll have only a tiny impact on your day-to-day life. And these will help you achieve a healthier lifestyle.

To appreciate the power of these slight changes, we’ve made a list of a few. Which we hope will inspire you on your way to a healthier lifestyle!

healthier lifestyle

1. Sit down for your meals

Do you eat while taking a walk or whilst you drive? This may feel like an effective way to multitask, but simply, it isn’t. This is because your body doesn’t benefit from the food you consume as much as it should. This is the case, even if the food you eat is healthy. This way to consume is known as ‘mindless eating’. Studies show that sitting down, without anything to distract you, when you eat a meal makes you less likely to want to snack later.

2. Put good food in high places

Laziness is rarely our ally. But for a heathy lifestyle, it can be your best friend. When you sit on the sofa to watch TV with an open packet of sweets/crisps is by your hand, you’ll eat way more than if they were on the coffee table. When you must sit forward and lean for each handful, you’ll eat less. You can take this notion even further; store your more tempting, calorie-heavy treats on high shelves, out of sight.

3. Get your portions right

When you serve up your regular portion of food, do not finish the entire plate. Instead, leave a couple of mouthfuls. Put the uneaten food aside for 20 minutes, and try not to think about it. If 20 minutes have passed, and you’re still hungry, then finish your meal; safe in the knowledge you serve correct portion sizes. However, if 20 minutes have gone by and you forget about these leftovers, or feel full, next time then try to serve up less.

4. Deskercise

Find the time for some covert exercise at work. It is both fun, and good for your health. With a little imagination you can make your office your gym (well, sort of). Make those work hours more productive! Take the stairs with gusto, rather than the lift. Squat by the water cooler, or even just stand more. They’ll all have you headed for a healthier lifestyle.

healthier lifestyle

5. Drink more water

Drink enough water every day. It’s vital to a healthy lifestyle. Water is a necessity for our body to function properly. Yet, many people still struggle to drink the correct amount of water a day. The recommended 2 litres of water a day can be tricky. However, the benefits that come with being optimally hydrated are worth the extra effort. Something as simple as using a water bottle, with a design you love can also help you to drink more water.

6. Get more sleep

Much like with water, to get enough sleep is paramount to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Yet again, many people find that they fall short of the 7-8 hours per night that doctors recommend. For some, this much sleep a night is unfeasible. However, any extra minutes you can gain will only prove to be a good thing. If you maintain a regular sleep schedule, it will also help you to attain a healthy lifestyle.

7. Add your veg and eat it

You really cannot have too much fruit and veg. Make a habit of including at least one full portion of veg to every meal and eat it first. You are at your hungriest at the start of a meal, therefore better able to tolerate veg. This also will ensure that you don’t get too full for your greens later. By doing veg prep in bulk, and in advance, you can make this process less of a hassle in the week.

Achieving a healthier lifestyle needn’t be a life changing decision or committal. These small changes, when they accumulate with time, will pay dividends.

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.

5 Habits of a healthy diet

Healthy living and eating is all a matter of routine. These practises can be learned and acquired through repetition until they become second nature. Making these habits part of your everyday schedule will make maintaining a healthy diet so much easier as it’ll no longer be something you’ll have to consciously think to do, it’ll be automatic. A healthy diet will become your normal diet, so much so that you won’t have to think twice about. Habits take time to integrate and doing so requires patience as it isn’t always easy. Trust us though, it’s worth it and your body will thank you.

healthy diet

1. Be exciting

A healthy diet doesn’t have to equate to an uninspiring menu. Your meal palette can be an explosion of colours and flavours. Try new things and experiment with combinations and fusion dishes. Allow a sense of adventure to fuel your kitchen exploits. There’s only one rule: keep it healthy. You might even be amazed at the extraordinary tastes you can experience without ever breaking that rule. Only a little online research would be necessary to open your eyes to the whole world of gorgeous-and-good-for-you dishes out there.

2. Have a plan

Don’t leave it to the last minute to decide what to have for your meals. This encourages taking the easy option, which is often the least healthy and most boring. If time is a precious commodity, when you do cook make extra portions and store them to provide a quick fix in the future without compromising your healthy diet. Having a meal plan makes you feel secure in your diet and eases the pressure of having to improvise healthy meals without any time to prep.

3. Know your vitamins

Vitamins are good for you. But which vitamins are good for what? And which ones are you already getting enough of, or not? This guide to common and important vitamins and minerals is a great way of familiarising yourself with them. Understanding your vitamins and minerals is all part of effective food label reading. So then, a thorough grasp of what’s what with food labels is vital, as is regularly checking the labels of everything you eat.

4. Limit alcohol

Don’t worry, you can still have your fun. You don’t need to go tee total to enjoy a healthy diet. Drinking in moderation is important though. Adult men are recommended to not regularly exceed two drinks a day, and one for women. Aside from the more obvious and critical damages to your health that result from long term overconsumption of alcohol, there are also lots of more immediate dietary impacts that come with drinking. Lagers and ciders conceal much higher sugar levels than you may expect and can be fattening. Equally, the mixers with which spirits are often drunk are usually unhealthy carbonated beverages.

5. Be grain savvy

The more of the grains you consume that are whole grains the better. Whole grains, such as whole barley, wheat and oats retain far more of their natural nutrients and fibre than refined grains. Refined grains and processed wheat are often referred to on packaging as ‘white’ or ‘enriched’ flour. Look for products that state that they are 100% ‘whole grain’ or ‘whole wheat’. Also keep an eye out for the voluntary Whole Grain Stamp on certain products.

A healthy diet is a relative concept. You know your own body better than anyone and what a healthy diet means for you. Whatever that is, it’s all about making those things a habit and a consistent part of your life in order to benefit from the effects of it.

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.