Category: Fitness

Improve your Tennis Game

There has been a huge influx of people taking up tennis during the lockdown, as outside sports were one of the first things to be allowed as restrictions eased. Here are some tips to help improve your tennis game, no matter your level.

Be Alert

You cannot prepare soon enough for the ball to be in your court. Keeping your eyes on the ball, your feet moving and turning your hips and shoulders before the oncoming ball bounces on your side will give you the best preparation to hit the ball.

Identify your opponent’s weaknesses. Every match should have a warmup beforehand. Use this time to not only get yourself ready to play, but also to test your opponent by hitting forehands and backhands to determine what they’re best or worst at returning. You can then strategize which shots will be best to use throughout the game.

Pull back on your serve speed. The serve is the most important shot in tennis, and that often means people think they need to wallop the ball as hard as they possibly can. Professionals however will only hit the serve at 80% velocity and focus more on accuracy. Setting up the serve correctly is more important than speed.

Stick with one pattern of play. Stop trying to get creative on court. An amateur player will scatter several types of shot, but the best players only have one or two patterns of play through a match, they always try to hit their strongest shots, they find that one pattern that works, and they stick with it.

One bounce policy

A great tip used by professionals is to never let the ball bounce twice. Always run for the ball straight away with the intention to hit it after one bounce, even if you think you have no chance to reach it.

Don’t pause to recover

So many players will hit the ball and then relax watching watch the ball fly to their opponent. A great tip to improve your tennis game is to hit and recover, then get straight back into position. However, during changeover, it’s important to keep up hydration and nutrition, by sipping water and taking a bite of an energy bar.

 

 

 

 

 

6 Reasons Why Women Should Lift Weights

For many, the image of weightlifting conjures up images of male bodybuilders with muscles bulging at every angle. It can be daunting for women to start lifting weights, but it has huge benefits to your health and wellbeing. Here we list 6 reasons why women should lift weights. 

1. Lose Body Fat

Weight training builds muscle and as your muscle mass increases so does your metabolism. This means that the higher your metabolism, the more calories you will burn throughout the day. Studies have found that for each pound of muscle you gain, you burn 35 to 50 more calories per day. 

2. Gain Strength Without Bulking

Building muscle doesn’t mean bulk. This is one of the most common misconceptions that women have when it comes to weight lifting, women have 10-30times less testosterone than men so it is much harder (near impossible) to gain and bulk to the size of men, from strength training alone. Instead, women develop muscle definition, tone, and strength without size.

3. Decrease Risk of Osteoporosis

Weight training not only strengthens muscles, but it also strengthens your bones. Weight training increases bone density, which reduces the risk of fractures and broken bones. Research has also shown that weight training can increase spinal bone density to create a strong and healthy spine. For women, especially as they get older and oestrogen levels lower, there is an increased risk of osteoporosis, so weight training can help to prevent this.

4. Reduce Risk of Injury

Weight training can also increase the strength in your connective tissues and joints. By improving joints, ligaments, and tendons you can prevent injury and can even relieve pain from osteoarthritis. Strengthening muscles and connective tissue will make injury from daily tasks and routine exercise less likely, and can even improve performance in sport.

5. Improve Posture and Reduce Back Pain

Weight-training will strengthen your core, back, and shoulders, helping to improve bad posture so that you can stand taller, with shoulders back and spine straight. A stronger back and core will prevent lower back pain and will help you in the future as you age.

6. Enhance Mood and Reduce Stress

Exercise and weight-training release endorphins. Endorphins are neurotransmitters that prevent pain, improve mood, and fight depression. An increase in endorphins naturally reduces stress and anxiety. Endorphins also improving alertness and boost energy. Weight-training can improve your entire day or help you combat a bad one by drastically improving your mood. 

 

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The benefits of honest reviews for fitness products.

At Writeup all our reviews for fitness products are written by real-life fitness-loving humans, who share their honest opinion on all things within the industry. It’s becoming more apparent with large scale online stores, that although there may be thousands of glowing reviews, not all of them are genuine, which makes it difficult for you as consumers to know if a product is really worth your while in buying, and with so many amazing fitness products to choose from, how do you know which is best for you?

Real reviews allow you to gather a true idea about a company or a product before parting with your hard-earned money, and as many as 92% of customers read reviews before making an online purchase. We want to see the whole, unfiltered opinion of previous customers, and that means reading truthful (and sometimes negative) reviews along with the praise. 

No two customers are the same and we all value different qualities in products. What may be considered negative for one person might actually be positive for another, especially when it comes to things like protein bars and fitness foods. For example, if you are aren’t a vegan, it may make no difference to you if the 5 stars were given because the product does not contain animal products. Or if you are on a particularly low carb diet, that might be something you look for in a protein bar, whereas for others, the carb content isn’t an issue. By having a mix of reviews from a wide range of people, its a great way to see what someone with your goals and interests thinks of the product.

climbing thumbs up

Positive reviews can turn us from interested consumers into customers. A study found that 72% of people say that a positive review improves the trustworthiness of a business or a product. Based on this information, it’s clear why leaving reviews, and reading them, can be beneficial in helping you to make a decision on what fitness product suits you. 

Fitness brands also use us to see how they can improve. If we feature a brand on our page, the company will read the reviews to see any common occurring feedback that they may want to use for change in the future.

Fitness products are so important in helping us reach our goals, so it’s important that you find the right ones for you. If you would like to be part of our review team or have a product you would like to feature in our reviews, contact us. 

 

Why are rest days important?

Physical activity is essential for our health and for the achievement of our personal fitness goals. However, few people understand that being too active can actually damage your chances of developing your muscles, defining your body and smashing your fitness goals, which is why rest days are so important. 

Doctors, trainers and physiotherapists… they all agree on the importance of rest after exercise. It is a common mistake to think that doing sports every day, to the best of our abilities, is the best option out there to obtain quick results – this really is not the case.

The body needs a period of recovery after extended effort. If we do not respect it, all the benefits that sport brings are no longer present and training loses its main objective: to improve health and well-being.

It does not matter what your area of exercise is. Whether you practice an aerobic sport such as cycling, swimming or running, or if you lift weights in the gym, rest days are as important to your success as workouts.

Rest reduces the risk of injury 

Many of the common exercise injuries occur due to over-exerting yourself, and believe it or not – rest really is the most effective preventive measure in this case. Giving your body some time to relax and get used to the tension is especially important when you start a new training program, because during this crucial period, you still do not know what your limits are and how far you can truly push yourself. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t just have one or two days of rest between workouts, but also take short breaks during your exercises.

Too much exercise can interfere with your sleep 

sleep

Physical activity stimulates blood flow, which means that every cell in your body receives nutrients faster and works better. The downside of this is that it can upset you and interfere with your regular sleep schedules and patterns. Sleep is essential!! So you should always make a strong effort to get around 7-8 hours of daily rest.

Rest allows your muscles to grow 

This is an important fact that is often overlooked by workout-a-holics. Exercise not only works the muscles, but also damages them. Rest days are necessary for tissues to heal and grow. This is the reason why any professional bodybuilding program is based on the exercise of different muscle groups every day.

Relaxing helps you stay motivated 

Training regularly is good, but over time it may seem boring, allowing you to get distracted or it can just stress you out too much to continue. With that being said – there are always some new and exciting techniques that can help you rekindle your passion for exercise. More relaxation periods can help you eliminate stress, allowing you to have more motivation and do the exercises much more calmly, with greater concentration.

Resting is necessary to protect your immune system 

Too much exercise does a lot of damage to the muscles, tendons and ligaments. Your immune system is forced to go full steam ahead in order to cure all these micro-fractures. This causes your body to overheat and increases the risk of injury, because your natural protections from the body cannot keep up.

As you have read, rest days are important not only because they are necessary to allow muscles to grow, but this time of inactivity also allows you to stay alert and focused without slowing down progress which ultimately enables you to stay healthy and achieve your goals.

Benefits to starting cycling

Since Lockdown, sales of bicycles have gone up by 60% as with gyms being closed, people took to two wheels to get their daily exercise. The government have also launched a new scheme to get people moving, which means you will see lots of new cycle lanes popping up around the UK. Whether you have a bike sitting in the garage that you haven’t used for a while, or you want to learn how to ride a bike, here are some benefits to starting cycling. 

1.A nicer commute

Heading back to the office after such a long time off isn’t a pleasant thought, and being stuck in traffic every day is a sure way to start your day off on a bad note. A great way to get a burst of energy in the morning is to bike ride to work, it’s also an easy way to integrate exercise into your life. Short journeys also contribute massively to pollution levels and often involve a fair amount of being stuck in stationary traffic. Starting cycling to work you’ll save money on petrol or public transport, and you’ll be helping the environment.

2.Mental health

There are so many ways that exercise can boost your mood, from the release of endorphins to the improved confidence that comes from learning a new skill and starting a new routine. Cycling combines the benefits of physical exercise with being outdoors. Being in the fresh air, and being able to see new views and explore, combined with the endorphins released, is a feel-good combination not to be missed. Let’s not forget, there’s nothing more freeing than the childlike joy of whizzing down a hill on your bike.

3.Weight loss

If your goal is weight loss, starting cycling can be a great way to aid you on your journey to better health. We all know the key to losing weight is ‘calories in vs calories out’, so you need to burn more calories than you eat.  Cycling burns between 400 and 1000 calories an hour, depending on intensity and rider weight. So if you eat well and add cycling into your routine, you should see the pounds dropping off you. 

4.Build Muscle 

Bike gears are designed to change the resistance as you ride. The resistance element of cycling means that it doesn’t just burn fat, but it also builds muscle. Riding a bike works your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves. Muscle is leaner than fat, and people with a higher percentage of muscle burn more calories even when sedentary.

5.Low impact

If you are just starting cycling after an injury, or are at the beginning of your fitness journey, the great thing about cycling is it is as low impact as you want to make it. Starting off slowly on flat ground is a great way to get used to riding. As cycling is not weight-bearing (like running), there is much less hard impact on your joints which means less damage and less chance of injury. Of course, you can head to the hills for more of a challenge if you think your body is ready for a higher impact workout. 

If you have started a new sport, or have been attending a fitness class that you love. Why not leave them a review on our site.

 

 

 

Post Workout Routine

Making fitness progress doesn’t just stop once the exercise is over. What you do post-workout, can have huge effects on the success of the exercise, from muscle gain, weight loss, and reducing soreness. Here are some top tips to maximise the benefits of your exercise by doing a post-workout routine.

1. Cool down

While it might be tempting to just stop once the timer buzzes, we recommend always finishing your workout with some cooldown exercises. Slowly returning your heart rate to normal is better done gradually, it can also help with any dizziness you may experience. Finishing your workout with some light stretching while your muscles are still warm is important for preventing muscle soreness and improving flexibility.

2. Hydrate!

Rehydration is key. Sweating and exertion means you lose a lot water when you exercise, so restoring your fluid levels as soon as possible is essential. Whether you choose plain water or an electrolyte drink such as coconut water or low sugar energy drink, rehydrating should improve flexibility and prevent soreness. We suggest avoiding caffeine or high sugar drinks as these can actually cause dehydration.

3. Eat a snack

Burning off all those calories is sure to make you hungry. Within 45 minutes of finishing your workout, it’s suggested that you eat a healthy snack. Eating foods that contain carbs and protein such as eggs on toast, are ideal to restore energy and start the recovery process of your muscles. Again, it’s important to choose the right foods for maximum benefit.

4. Shower

It might seem obvious to shower after working up a sweat, but a great tip is to have your post-workout shower as cold as you can go. Some people will even brave an ice bath! Cool water prevents inflammation and encourages healing which will relieve any muscle soreness caused by strenuous exercise.

 

Post-workout routines often get overlooked, but in order to gain the most benefits from your exercise, you should utilize our tips and see if you notice a difference in your results.

 

Keeping fit during the lockdown.

Exercise is so important for the mind and body, especially during turbulent times. During this time while we have to stay home, we can’t stick to our normal routine, of classes and gyms.  Here are some ideas to get a daily dose of exercise during the lockdown.

1. Keep it simple

You don’t have to have a home gym stocked with equipment to get your workout done, utilise things you can find in the house. 

A soft towel can be used instead of a yoga mat, your sofa or a dining room chair for step-ups or tricep dips, water bottles or tinned foods can be used for weights. Fancy equipment isn’t needed.

Even more simple, use your body weight so you don’t need any equipment at all. Push-ups, sit-ups, squats, star jumps and high knees running in place, are all excellent ways to do strength and cardio and can be done really simply.

2. Use technology

From online pilates or HIIT classes, there are plenty of videos online that bring your gym classes to your living room. You can find free videos on youtube, sign up to an app, and even many subscription websites have lifted their fees for the next few months. There are plenty of options out there.

3. Create a routine

Set aside a specific time for fitness. Our lives have changed with working from home and not having our usual routine. It’s easy to get caught up with the comfort of sitting at home and watching TV all day, so setting aside a specific time for exercise will help bring some order to your life, and make sure you are having that time to focus on your mental and physical health away from all external stresses. 

4. Get Fresh Air

As we will all be aware, the government is allowing us to take one form our exercise outside of our homes. This is really important. Whether it be walking your dog, a quick jog around the block, or yoga in your own garden, it’s important to get outside. As we get into spring the sun is coming out and we need that all-important Vitamin D for our health. So go outside, feel the warmth on your skin and take a deep breath. 

10 Health And Fitness Tips For Busy People

10 Health And Fitness Tips For Busy People

We are all busy people with so much to juggle, with work, friends, and family, we can all admit to saying ‘I don’t have enough time in my day to exercise’. Whether this is true, or just an excuse, here are some tips to help you squeeze in some exercise even on your busiest day.

1. Take the stairs

 Fast stair-walking provides the same health benefits in 15 minutes as you’d get from walking or jogging slowly for twice that time on flat ground. So if you’re at work or at home why not run up and down the stairs when you use them, to give yourself a fitness boost. 

2. Buy a Fitness Tracker

Whether you splash out on an expensive fitness tracker, or just use the pedometer in your phone, they are great tools to keep you motivated. Whether you set a step goal, or a reminder to alert you when you haven’t moved for a certain amount of time, it can be great to keep you active at times when you might forget, like sitting at a desk or watching tv.

3. Learn some quick recipes 

After a hectic day at work, the last thing we can often be bothered to do is start cooking a meal. To make sure that on these days you don’t reach for unhealthy convenience foods learn some super quick recipes you can knock up in an instant or meal prep on the weekend.

4. Choose a healthy hotel

If you’re working away or going on a weekend trip, it’s so tempting to indulge in hotel food or room service. A study found that people who travel away frequently with work are 1.92 times more likely to be obese. If you travel away from home for work try to book hotels with gyms and healthy menu options.

5. Get a good sleep

Busy lives often mean getting to sleep late and rising early. Experts estimate we already burn, on average, 69 calories per hour while asleep, so it’s really important to make sure you get enough sleep to help keep your body and mind healthy. 

Whether you are a customer just starting out on your fitness journey, or an experienced gym owner, WriteUp is a hub for reviews on all things fitness. If you have experienced a gym, exercise class, or fitness food product and want to share it with others sign up here to leave a review.

Why you should listen to music when you work out.

Why you should listen to music when you work out.

We’ve all been there when you’re in the middle of a run and the perfect song comes on and gives you an extra spring in your step. But there are actual scientific reasons why you should listen to music when you work out. 

 

Music is a mood booster.

It has been proven that music, especially our favourite songs, have the power to make us feel good. Listening to music when you work out can dissociate you from the pain or effort of exercise, and instead, tune in to good feelings and happy memories meaning that you don’t give up so easily. 

 

It can enhance performance.

It is in our human nature to sync our movements up with a beat. You will probably have noticed this if you are running and your steps match the song.  By listening to a high tempo song (120 beats per minute or more), we will increase our output more than we would without music, to match the fast beat.

Reduces perceived exhaustion

Music promotes internal motivation that makes vigorous exercise seem easier and less arduous. By creating a positive association with music it makes the whole process of deciding to work out easier in the future, as we don’t have those negative associations holding us back. 

 

Optimises Oxygen usage

Music improves physiological efficiency by increasing blood flow and reducing the amount of oxygen intake required to perform at the same intensity without music. Meaning our body can work harder without paying the price.

So put your headphones on and get moving!

 

Whether you are a customer just starting out on your fitness journey, or an experienced gym owner, WriteUp is a hub for reviews on all things fitness. If you have experienced a gym, exercise class, or fitness food product and want to share it with others sign up here to leave a review.

6 Tips For Exercising Outside In Winter

It’s that time of year again. The temperature has dropped and the dark nights are here, but that doesn’t mean you should give up your outdoor exercises, no matter how tempting the sofa and a hot water bottle might be. Exercising outside is good for your body and mind no matter the time of year, and let’s not forget the benefits of fresh air and vitamin D.  Here we give you some tips to help you carry on your routine even in the cold.

1. Dress with dry layers.

Avoid clothes made from cotton which hold moisture. Choose synthetic fibers instead, such as polyester or nylon, as these are designed to dry quickly so you won’t get cold in the winter rain. You also need to wear layers to trap warm air next to your body and keep out the winter elements. First, put on a thin base layer made of synthetic fabrics to help keep sweat away from your skin. If it’s really cold outside, wear a middle layer, such as a fleece, for extra warmth, then, add an outer layer to protect you from the weather such as a lightweight nylon windbreaker. As soon as you start to feel like your body temperature is at about baseline, then start discarding layers so you don’t overheat.

 

2. Go Bright

Bright clothes are better for exercising outside in winter when the nights get darker earlier. Poor visibility from the lack of light and bad weather makes it tougher for others to see you. Wear brightly colored clothing whenever possible and consider adding reflective gear or lights to your outfit. Apart from helping others see you, wearable lights are great because they improve visibility for you, too, to help prevent missteps and falls as you can see where you are going.

 

3. Do a Warm-Up First

Warm-ups are needed no matter the season, but it’s especially important for exercising outside in winter. Dynamic warm-ups increase the blood flow and temperature in your muscles which helps to decrease the risk of injuries as you head out into the cold.

4. Check Your Traction

Exercising outside in winter can get slippery if any rain, snow, or ice has fallen. It’s important to try and stay on salted surfaces. Back roads and trails may not be as well maintained and may have hidden obstacles under the snow or leaves that could lead to ankle injuries. If you do plan to run on snowy, icy surfaces, attaching snow or ice spikes to your running shoes will help you maintain traction to reduce the risk of falls.

5.Breathe Right

Cold air is dryer and can often hurt to breathe in. The cold makes airway passages narrow, which makes inhalation more difficult. Breathing in through your nose can help warm and humidify the air, but that’s not always feasible when you’re really exerting yourself. Wrapping a bandanna or scarf around your mouth can help trap water vapor to keep the air moist as you continue to breathe.

6. Cool Down and  Warm-Up

Once you have stopped moving after a cold-weather workout, you’ll get chilled fast from the wet and cold air. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need to cool down. Whatever the weather, a cool-down is important to eliminate exercise by-products and reduce potential muscle soreness. Then it’s time to get out of your damp workout clothes, which can suck away warmth. A warm shower and dry, clean clothes help keep that chill away.