Category: Lifestyle

A beginner’s guide to the benefits of yoga

Hands to your heart in a prayer position, deep breath in – hold it – and out, now, let’s begin. Sure, you might not have done it yet, but you’ve most certainly heard of it.

The new year is perfect to reflect and set intentions for the coming year. And after the year we have had in 2020, we all could do with some mental restoration.

A popular fitness pastime, the main benefits of yoga revolve around flexibility, strength and mindfulness. There are many different kinds of practices, and we will go into this a little more in a bit. Each have slightly different aims, and while you may not enjoy every kind, there’s bound to be one which will make you commit to the yogi lifestyle. There are lots of yoga daily routines and challenges online that begin at the start of each year, which is why we, at Write Up, have put together this beginner’s yoga guide.

So, if you’re interested in joining in this flexible movement, we’re going to the very heart of these practices, in hopes of showing you why you should get involved, things a beginner should know and ultimately how the benefits of yoga can lead to a happier healthier lifestyle.


The different types

Yoga is not a one size fits all sport, as mentioned there are many different types of this meditative activity. Here are some of the more popular types that you can easily access online or in your local classes:


Hatha – This is the usual go-to beginner’s yoga. Hatha is a slower form of yoga where you hold each pose for a few breaths at a time, so each one can make you go into the pose deeper.


Vinyasa – Vinyasa classes are more focused on flow, unlike and the pace can be rather quick, so, it can feel more like an aerobic workout. However, there are still beginner’s yoga variations of Vinyasa, and if you struggle to clam your mind with the slower pace of Hatha, Vinyasa variation will be for you.


Ashtanga – Ashtanga uses the same series of poses for every class. If you are a beginner you may want to dip your toes into say a Vinyasa or Hatha class first before the order of Ashtanga.


Yin – Yin is a great little number for you to really focus on your breath, you’re in poses for 5 or so minutes as a time. This makes each stretch really deep, helping you to focus your thoughts whilst in this almost meditative state. It is a really great tool to use at bed time, so if you are looking to use yoga as a relaxation tool rather than an exercise, Yin will be perfect.


Bikram – You’ve probably heard about Bikram in its more common guise – hot yoga. A sequence of 26 poses, Bikram is not for the faint-hearted but focuses on the cleansing of your body.


Things to know

As a beginner, you’re at the start of your yoga journey. So, to prepare for the road ahead there are a few things you should know.


  1. Your breath is so important

Yoga isn’t about manipulating yourself into a pose and holding your breath so that you can stay in it. If this is happening, you’re not doing yoga. A great benefit of yoga is that it begins and ends around your breathing. If you find yourself in the above situation, remember to breathe in your pose and push your other thoughts to the side.


  1. Don’t compare yourself to others

This could almost be a rule for life, but is especially the case during your practice. Thing is, there will be more flexible, stronger people in the room. Especially if you’re new to yoga. You shouldn’t compare yourself to people who have been doing it for longer, or people who are just made different so can go all the way with a certain position when you can’t. Trust us, we’ve all been next to someone who can bend in ways we didn’t know were possible, who hold every pose to perfection, who remember their breath and so much more. While sure, aim to end up like that, just remember you are at the beginning of your journey – the road does gets bendier the longer you’re on it. Believe you me.


  1. Always make time for Savasana

After you’re first class you’ll realise there is a part towards the end where you lie on your back and let go (also known quite accurately as the corpse pose). Let your muscles relax, let your mind relax and just lie there and be. You will also notice that this is the time when a few individuals get up, roll their mats up and leave. However, you should always make time for the savasana. It is hands down one of the most important poses of yoga. As it allows you the opportunity to relax and reflect on the practice. Its an integral part of any class, so, make time for it.


Yoga poses

The benefits

You will also realise at the end of your very first class just how calming a practice can be. With the focus on your breath, the savasana, all in all you’ll leave feeling relaxed and very zen. But the benefits of yoga extend beyond this, and can be broken down into mental and physical.


Physically, you start to notice your flexibility and strength improving; even better, your balance will improve as will your joint health. Mentally, the benefits of yoga include you adopting a sense of calmness; yoga introduces meditation into practices which helps you to improve your mindfulness. Yoga also helps improve your confidence (always a great thing) not to mention helps to reduce stress. Essentially, the more yoga you do, the greater a contribution it will give you to a healthier lifestyle.


The benefits of yoga have been around for a long time. And with the popularity of this meditational practice constantly increasing, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.


Now, we shall leave you to lie in savasana and reflect on how yoga can help you today.



Why you should go on a winter walk.

It might be more tempting to stay cozy indoors and difficult to find motivation, but there are huge benefits to wrapping up warm and heading out for a brisk winter walk.

1. You burn up more calories when it’s cold

You may have noticed that you tend to eat more in winter than in summer, this is so that you have enough calories to keep your body warm. Similarly, because your body is working overtime to keep warm, you burn up your calories much quicker.

2. Exercising when it’s cold gives your heart a more intense workout.

When it’s cold, the body seeks to maintain its internal temperature at a constant level of about 37°C, by increasing the flow of blood. The heart will, therefore, pump more quickly and become stronger when you take a cold winter walk.

3. It strengthens your immune system.

Being out often in the cold means your body will gradually get used to the weather and you will get ill less often because of the strengthening of your body against the attacks of winter germs.

4. It benefits your mood

During a time when people suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), exposure to fresh air and Vitamin D from the winter sun can help improve mental health.

Convinced yet?

Tips to start eating a vegan diet

Whatever your reason for starting a vegan diet, it can be a huge lifestyle change and it’s often difficult to know where to start. Here are some tried and tested tips to help this exciting process go smoothly.

Take your time

Keep your end goal in mind, but go at your own pace. Some people are able to go vegan overnight and if that’s the right approach for you, great. But don’t be disappointed if you feel you need more time. Making small changes such as trying veganism for only one day a week, going vegetarian first, or even swapping one animal product at a time such as cows milk for oat milk. There is no right or wrong way to transition, so do what works best for your lifestyle.

Cook what you know

A really good tip when starting to eat a vegan diet, is to start with foods that you already eat regularly. If you have some staple meals that you easily know how to cook, it’s often a good place to start by changing up the ingredients to make them vegan friendly. With things like curries or pasta dishes it can be as simple as removing the cheese or swapping meat with some of the readily available meat substitutes that you can pick up in the supermarket, this way you don’t feel too overwhelmed getting to grips with a new way of cooking.

Use available resources

From apps to help you find vegan restaurants, to documentaries and cookbooks, there are endless amounts of resources out there to help keep you on track with your journey.  It’s always easier going vegan with someone else, but if you are going it alone, there are tonnes of vegan groups to join online to discuss and share ideas.

Take Vitamin B- 12

Vitamin B-12 is the only vitamin you can’t reliably obtain from a fully plant-based diet.  Many vegan foods are fortified with B-12, but if you don’t want to keep track of that all the time, it’s recommended to take a daily supplement.

Choose Wholegrains

Swapping out processed grains like white pasta and white bread, for whole grains, such as brown rice and quinoa, adds iron and B vitamins to a vegan diet. The extra fiber from whole grains will help keep you fuller for longer too.

Choose vegan Protein

Even though many people think it’s difficult for vegans to eat enough protein without animal products, it typically isn’t an issue for someone eating a varied diet including sources of plant-based protein. Most people often centre their meals around meat as their source of protein, and going vegan you may be focussing on what you can’t eat anymore, but there are plenty of vegan options so you don’t miss out on this vital muscle-building nutrient.  From soya, tofu,  lentils, chickpeas and beans, nuts, and seeds, vegan sources of protein are really easily accessible and can be added to all meals.

If you have gone vegan and have any suggestions to help those who are just starting out, please let us know and we will add it to our blog.






Learning a new sport in lockdown

It’s always a good time to learn a new sport. With the easing of the rules but with gyms yet to open, here are a few government approved ideas if you fancy learning a new sport in lockdown.


Golf is the ultimate social distancing sport and with the gorgeous weather we’ve been having, it’s a perfect time to hit the green. The rules state that you can play golf with an individual outside of your family so long as you abide by the two-metre social distancing rule at all times. Most clubs are running by appointment-only, so call your local club to book a spot. There are also longer tee-off times between each game to make sure you don’t come into contact with other players.



By its very nature, tennis is an activity whereby close person to person contact can be avoided, with the UK Government saying tennis is a good example of an activity that can be undertaken in a way compliant with restrictions. However, if you are from different households, you still have to adhere to social distancing, so it may be worth sticking to singles rather than teams. Get your heart pumping with a game of tennis, we are missing out on Wimbledon season this year after all. 



Fishing is a rewarding sport that can be exciting and relaxing at the same time. With so many things going on in the world right now, sitting quietly by a lake is quite the luxury, and it is seen as an effective means by which to improve your mental and physical wellbeing. As fishing is a relatively solitary sport, it can be done safely whilst adhering to guidelines. However, cafes usually found at fisheries may still be closed, so you will need to take a packed lunch. 


Swimming in the sea is now allowed as daily exercise in England along with paddle boarding, surfing, windsurfing, rowing, kayaking, and canoeing. After being cooped up indoors for so long, a refreshing day out at the coast could be the perfect time to try your hand at a watersport. If you’re a novice make sure you have safety equipment and check the beach has lifeguards on patrol.



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.

Sticking To Your New Year Goals

Whether its Veganuary, Dry January, stopping smoking, couch to 5k or to lose 2 stone, after a season of indulgence, it’s now the time when everyone focusses on making positive changes to their life, but it can be hard to stick to your New Year goals. At WriteUp we aim to make your fitness journey that little bit easier, so here are some top tips so you don’t fall off the wagon. 

Start Small

The 1st of January isn’t a magical day where you can just turn off all bad habits and expect a revolutionary change, you’re just setting yourself up for a fall. Whatever your goals are, you must make them manageable for your lifestyle. If you want to start going to the gym, don’t aim to go 7 days a week, try once a week then gradually increase frequency. If you’re trying to eat healthier, allow yourself a treat or a healthier dessert option, so as not to deprive yourself.  Making the goals reachable with some flexibility means it isn’t a pass or fail, and you have more chance of succeeding in the long term.

Don’t beat yourself up

If you’re doing ‘Veganuary’, and you accidentally drink a cup of tea with cows milk at a cafe, don’t be too harsh on yourself, it isn’t a failure, just pick back up where you left off. Missed a week of the gym because you got a cold? it doesn’t mean you should give in altogether. Remember lifestyle changes will always have their ups and downs, where some weeks its easier than others, that’s totally normal. 

Share your goals

Whether it’s with family and friends or an online support group of people reaching for the same new year goal, putting your goals out into the public domain makes you more accountable and more likely to stick to it. Not only that, it makes it so much easier for example if you go to a friend’s house, they will know not to offer you alcohol on your Dry January. Having the support and encouragement of others is a great tactic to spur you on. 

Remind yourself of why you have made these new year goals

There is always a firm reason behind your decision to set a resolution. This can often get forgotten about in the midst of what feels like a complete life overhaul. Remind yourself at the beginning of each week why you need to make these changes. Thinking of the bigger picture will help give you motivation and reaffirm your energy to reach the new year goals. 

Why going to watch a live football match is something you should experience

The simple fact is that television coverage of football is better today than it’s ever been. Endless replays, analysis and all imaginable angles provide us with the most comprehensive broadcast of the big match that we could ask for. Yet, something is missing, and no, it’s not just us pining for the return of Hansen. You’ll soon realise that your stadium experience (when you watch a live football match) is completely different to watching it through a TV screen. Here, then, are just some of the reasons you should ditch the sofa and join those facing the elements with steaming tea in polystyrene cups singing their hearts out.

1. The atmosphere

The nervous tension and anticipatory buzz of an approaching kick-off, as thousands in the stands scan team sheets and make bold predictions, is hard to find replicated anywhere other than on matchday. Vast crowds, united in their anguish or joy, amplifies these emotions, allowing each individual to feel them much more keenly. The sense of being one that comes with being part of a fanbase inside the stadium is both powerful and intoxicating. Chants, songs, booming drums and stamping feet create a din suitable only for greatest theatre of them all.

football stadium

2. To all be in it together

This continues on from the previous point; being a football fan is a tough gig. For the vast majority the highs are few and far between, and the lows crushing and regular.

Going to a live football match is a social experience. If you’re there with your pals you’re bonding and developing your relationships. If you’re there on your own, you’re surrounded by many like-minded people who feel, hope and want exactly the same result as you. You’re all in it together. In football stadiums complete strangers will hug, dance and cry together. The football world certainly has its problems and can undoubtedly be divisive and fan the flames of discord, equally though, we shouldn’t forget the game’s unparalleled ability to bring people together.

3. The full view of the pitch

Whilst watching a game on TV can make you feel closer to the action and give your perspective from otherwise impossible or unnatural angles, you are throughout at the mercy of the production team delivering the event to you. Going to a live football match, however, gives you a full overview of the entire pitch at all times. You lack the close-ups and slow motion, but remarkably you’re likely to get a much better understanding of the game unfolding before you from this vantage point.

To understand the ebb and flow of a match, to appreciate a team’s shape and tactical instructions, or observe how individual players operate when off the ball, it helps to be able to see everything at all times. If you want to understand the minutiae of how football is played, this is the view you need.

4. The matchday experience

For many, especially those who are only rarely able to attend a live football match, the matchday experience is about much more than just the game itself. There’s so much more that goes into making a matchday special. Everything from face painting, pre-game pub visits, flicking through the programme and a half-time pie all form the full experience. For a kid’s first game, all of this stuff is a big deal. Just don’t buy a half & half scarf, you’re better than that.

live football match

5. It really isn’t all on TV

For the football fan in passing it can appear as though the Premier League and Champion’s League are the be all and end all of the modern club game. Television can easily convince you of that. This simply isn’t the case. Up and down the country, each and every week, games are being played across countless leagues and competitions. The English football league, WSL, non-league and even reserve leagues offer great opportunities to watch live football. While these games are cheaper to attend, they still pack the same punch.

Great football isn’t confined to the top divisions anymore, you can see quality all down the pyramid. Not only that, but lower league football is packed with great stories, incredible characters and blood, and thunder performances. The top leagues have priced many fans out, but if you’re after passion, atmosphere and a reasonable admission fee there’s still plenty of opportunities to attend a live football match out there.

If you’ve never been to see a live football match before then that’s something you’ll want to change. It doesn’t matter if you’re not heading to watch a top European clash, which makes the experience of a live football match great is true of any level of football.


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.

How to choose the right personal trainer

When the going gets tough (rather than the tough get going, as Billy Ocean once stated) it’s a great idea for you to get a personal trainer. When you find a good one, they are is worth their weight in gold. If you find a bad one, well, a bad one will do more harm than good. If you’re after insight into the world of fitness, then a Personal Trainer (PT) is just the ticket. Within a gym environment, a PT can do many things. They can show you around the equipment. Give you advice into exercise routines designed specifically around your goals and ambitions. They can show you how to carry out certain exercises correctly and safely and give you confidence; not to mention set you up for a fit future. But, when it comes to it, how do you find the right one for you?

If you head into any gym right now, especially at the beginning of the year, the number of PT’s is almost overwhelming. A gym will figuratively be swarming in them; despite the numbers, there are a few pointers you can keep in mind to help narrow down the list, and at Write Up, we’ve lined them up for you.

personal trainer

1. Certification

One of the sure-fire ways to know that a personal trainer you’re about to consider is made of the right stuff, is to consider their qualifications. This depends on the training and subsequent certifications they possess. From this you’ll know if they are trained correctly to be able to teach you. Currently, to be qualified as a personal trainer in the UK, they’ll need the following things: First Aid Certificate, Personal Trainer Insurance, Level 2 Gym Instructor Qualification and Level 3 Personal Trainer Qualification. Although, many PTs have varying areas of expertise, some will also have additional skills in other areas/sports – like Boxing, for example – and all of this should be accounted for in your selection process.

2. Experience

Before choosing that PT for you, it’s a good idea to know their background and history – which ultimately makes up their experience. It’s in your best interest to know this before signing up to anything. Ask questions like their education and qualifications (like above), how long they’ve been a PT etc. If they have a presence online, try looking them up to see if they have any references – and whether these are positive. Slowly but surely, you’ll begin to see how they are as a Personal Trainer through your research and whether they’ll work for you.

3. Connection

It is extremely important, in addition to that the fact that your future PT is qualified, that you get along with them. You should feel that you can communicate and are well-suited. After all, you’re not going to learn off someone you don’t like. In order to get the most of your time and money, you should feel comfortable and – most importantly – motivated.

personal training session

4. Lifestyle

As aforementioned, some personal trainers are associated with a gym. Others are not and they’ll be able to meet you at your home, or in parks etc. Another important aspect for choosing the right PT for you is to choose one that works around your lifestyle. If you can’t make it to the gym after a hectic day in the office, then opt for one who can train you at your home, and vice versa. After all, if it doesn’t work within your lifestyle, its not the right fit.

5. Money

Personal trainers are not the cheapest way for you to get fit. And if money is a slight limitation for you then be honest up front while searching for one. There could be other options for you instead of the advertised ones with your prospective trainer. If they’re the right for you, while discussing it you’ll soon find a common plan that works for both for ultimate success.

All-in-all, a personal trainer can either be the best the decision you’ll make or a costly one. But by following the above points, you’ll find the right one for you. There’s, as they say, somebody out there for everyone.

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.

How to eat well around your healthy workout regime

Nutrition and the maintenance of a healthy, balanced diet are as crucial as exercise, and anything else, in keeping up a fit and healthy lifestyle. If you eat well before and after each workout it will have a big impact on how effective that healthy workout regime turns out to be. By eating right pre and post workout you go a long way to making your fitness regime as efficient as it can be. We at Write Up are here to share our favourite pre and post workout delights. Here, you won’t have to trade in taste to keep from compromising your healthy workout regime.

healthy workout regime



Carbohydrates equate to energy, making stockpiling carbs an absolute must prior to any intense physical endeavour. However, this process unfortunately isn’t as simple as loading up on as much hi-carb food as you can manage. There are two types of carbs out there: high GI carbs, and low GI. GI (glycaemic index) is a scale of 0-100 measuring to what extent the carbs in a food will raise blood glucose levels. Low GI foods (55 or less) are more slowly absorbed and digested. Eating low GI foods a few hours in advance of your workout will arm you with a reserve of slow burn energy that’ll carry you through your session.


Protein ingested before your workout will protect your muscles throughout there coming stresses and strains. Taking on these proteins will help prevent injury and cramps during your healthy workout regime. At this stage, however, you only want a small amount of protein, preferably as a light snack half an hour before your session begins.

Foods to eat

To get your fix of low GI carbs, consider the following:

Bananas, oats, rice, pasta, green vegetables and Greek yoghurt.

And, for your protein fix:

Chicken, nuts & seeds, omelette, protein shake.


Stay hydrated throughout

As crucial as any food intake, and important to maintain before, throughout, and after your workout regime, are your hydration levels. However, there’s no need to be convinced by isotonic sports drinks. There is simply no evidence that these drinks will keep you any more hydrated than simple, still water. A bottle of fresh water is sufficient to keep you hydrated whilst you’re working out.


Carbs and protein…again

At this stage a significant intake of protein is vital. Not only will this aid with muscle rehabilitation and energy recovery, but also these proteins will help new muscle form and build – leaving you even buffer than before. Carbs also are crucial for a positive recovery. Whilst exercising your body will have burned off some of its glycogen reserves. This is especially true following endurance training, whereas proteins are of more value following weights and bodybuilding work. These carbs are necessary for replenishing your glycogen stocks.


Surely not? Weren’t you working out to get rid of this in the first place? Well, yes. Our bodies do actually need fat. We aren’t telling you to charge into the nearest McDonald’s to your gym though. Rather, a single glass of milk, or something with similar fat content, will aid with muscle growth post workout.


Your bodies’ ability to process protein efficiently and restore your glycogen stocks effectively is heightened in the more immediate aftermath of your workout. Therefore, it is recommended that you consume a healthy meal within 45 minutes after your workout.

Foods to eat

For your post workout protein punch:

Protein powder shake, eggs, salmon, chicken, tuna.

Your carbs kick:

Potatoes, sweet potatoes, quinoa, pasta, green vegetables, rice.

Finally, your friendly fats:

Milk, avocado, nuts, nut butters.

How you eat well is just as important as how you exercise when it comes to making your healthy workout regime worthwhile. And we at Write Up are here to help you live your healthiest life.

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 Family fitness activities that encourage bonding

Finding family fitness activities that engage and suit every member of your tribe can be tricky. This is especially true in this digital age when the ways for children to entertain themselves at home, without lifting a finger, are countless. Bonding as a family can be hard, especially with other distractions pulling you in all directions. And this is where family fitness activities that encourage bonding and cultivate a sense of togetherness can help. To this end, we at Write Up have put together a few tips for your family fun.

1. Play the kids at their own games

You might struggle convincing your little ones to throw themselves into a game of badminton or a round of golf. However, a game of tag or quick kick around with a football offers far greater odds of success. By engaging with your kids over games they likely play in the playground with their friends will bring you closer together. Anyway, who says tag isn’t a perfectly legit way of keeping fit? Certainly not us.

2. Get to work together

Perhaps you have a big DIY project, or a hefty garden maintenance operation to get stuck into. If so, rope the kids into and put them to work. Yes, it’s a family fitness activity because you’ll be working with them too. It’s also a good way of getting these big, physical jobs done. At the end of the day, with your lawn pristine and new shed erected, you’ll all feel a glow of pride at a job well done. An end-of-job reward being on the cards will keep the kids going when the going gets tough, but you’ll also find that you’re having a laugh and enjoying it too.

3. On your bike

It doesn’t matter how old you are or how fast you can go, bikes are fun. Whether you’re racing or taking a gentle group ride, you’re all bound to have the best of times. If your children aren’t currently able to ride a bike, you shouldn’t delay teaching them. It’s a great skill to have, and the learning process will encourage family bonding. Once all the family are confident and proficient bike riders, the world is your oyster as you pedal after adventures together.

4. Do it for a good cause

Of all the great family fitness activities you can take part in, none are perhaps worthier, or promote more of a sense of unity than those done for a charitable cause. Fun runs, bike rides or swimming galas – it really doesn’t matter what the activity is, as long as you do it together and for a good cause. If there is an issue or cause that is particularly close to your family’s heart, and you can support it via a physical endeavour then this represents a great opportunity to experience a bonding fitness activity. All whilst making a positive difference for a cause you believe in.

5. Go on a treasure hunt

This is one of the family fitness activities with an awful lot of fun and imagination thrown in. Feel free to use Easter eggs – or anything really – as your ‘treasure’. After all, the fun is in the hunt. Working in teams is what makes this one of the most enjoyable family fitness activities and will result in a bonding experience.

Whichever family fitness activities you choose to embark upon, you will not regret the experience that will result in you being fitter, healthier and closer as a family.