Recent Posts

30-day Social Anxiety Action Plan

30-day Social Anxiety Action Plan

My social anxiety story Let me confess something. Social anxiety is something I have struggled with my entire life. From a young age I always felt anxious in social situations. I didn’t know social anxiety was a thing, I thought I was just weird, so […]

Confession: Why I quit blogging (and why I’ve returned)

Confession: Why I quit blogging (and why I’ve returned)

You may have noticed I’ve been AWOL. In fact this is the first blog I’ve posted on Hannah Gets Hench for a really long time. Have you missed me? In this post I’m going to explain why. And more importantly, why I’ve returned. (Don’t worry […]

4 delicious protein smoothies to keep you hydrated this summer

4 delicious protein smoothies to keep you hydrated this summer

Staying hydrated can be a challenge at the best of times, let alone in summer.

It’s no secret that drinking water is the key to staying hydrated, but sometimes it’s difficult to keep it interesting.

I’ve teamed up with Peak Body to put together four protein smoothies you can cooperate into your daily routine. They’ll satisfy your taste buds and keep you hydrated this summer.

Orange Creamsicle

This one’s for the sweet lovers out there – enjoy this delicious smoothie on a hot day.

Ingredients

2 scoops vanilla protein

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/2 cup water

3 ounces frozen orange juice concentrate

1/2 frozen banana

1 tsp honey

3-5 ice cubes

1 teaspoon orange zest (optional)

Preparation

In a blender, mix until smooth.

Mango and Blueberry

Mangoes and Blueberries are arguably delicious in their own rights, but many people including myself think these tasty fruits are best served together.  Not only delicious, these fruits are also nutritious, mangoes are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and antioxidants, while blueberries are full to the rim of phytonutrients, which help your body ward off diseases.

Ingredients

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

1/2 cup frozen mango

2 scoops vanilla diet protein powder

1 tablespoon chia seeds

Preparation

In a blender, mix all ingredients until smooth.

Kale Pineapple and Avocado

Get tropical this summer with a fruity cocktail of exotic fruits and nutritious vegetables. Although it doesn’t pack the same punch as your usual Pina Colada, this smoothie is sure to satisfy your cravings.

Ingredients

2/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

2 large hand-full of Kale

80g pineapple chunks

50g ripe avocado

1 scoop protein powder

3- 5 ice cubes

Preparation

In a blender, mix until smooth.

Peachy Green Smoothie

Start your day right with this tasty mix of peaches and kale.  Full to the rim of delicious vitamins and nutrition, this smoothie is a great way to keep energised throughout the day while keeping yourself hydrated in the heat.

 Ingredients

2 scoops vanilla protein

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 cup frozen peaches

1/2 cup frozen pineapple

1/2 banana

2 cups kale

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

Preparation

Add all ingredients to blender. Mix until smooth.

Italy travel blog: Rome, Florence and Pisa

Italy travel blog: Rome, Florence and Pisa

Italy has been on my ‘must-see’ destination list for such a long time; after all it’s the home of pizza, pasta and gelato! Earlier this month I finally got to visit and it completely surpassed my expectations.

The Northern Blog Awards 2017

The Northern Blog Awards 2017

It seems like the NBAs was only last weekend, but I’ve realised it was a few weekends ago now and I still haven’t written about it! Hosted by We Blog North, the artist formerly known as We Blog MCR, it was a night of glitz, […]

Autumn Makeup Masterclass with Space NK

Autumn Makeup Masterclass with Space NK

Autumn is my favourite season, hands down. The temperature drops and allows you to bring out the knitwear, you can chain drink brews without turning into a sweat monster, and best of all, the Halloween stuff comes out!

In addition to the above, I’m a big fan of Autumnal colours. As I have warm toned skin, brown hair and hazel eyes, brown, red, green and gold are my go to colours. Last week I was invited to a special makeup master class at the Space NK store in Manchester to learn about the new Autumn/Winter products and how to incorporate the AW catwalk trends into your look.

The makeup look

The techniques in the Masterclass were demonstrated on a lovely model named Holly and Jutheanne was the MUA, along with Grace Revington talking through the products used. I have included a links to the products they used to make it easy for anyone to find them (this is not a sponsored post though.)

Skincare

To kick start they prepped for makeup. 111 skin care pro Dean Dawson talked about the importance of using a gentle exfoliator a few times a week to dissolve dead skin cells which can clog pores and make the skin look dull. He recommended the Lift Off Exfoliating Cleanser because it is really gentle on the skin and contains ingredients which improve cell turnover to make your skin look fresher.

The base

After prepping the skin, pro team artist Jutheanne used an illuminating primer by Laura Mercier on Holly’s skin. She chose this specifically as it would make the skin look as though it was illuminated from within but you could use a non-illuminating primer if you wanted to have a more matte base. My sister swears by the standard Laura Mercier primer and I have used hers in the past and been really impressed by the results.

For foundation, she used the new Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion which is a long-wear foundation that promises a matte but not cakey finish. Apparently, the best way to apply this is to use a damp sponge or beauty blender. I tried this foundation afterwards on my hand and I was in love. It had such a soft and lightweight texture, I can’t wait to try it on my face.

Next up, Jutheanne used a Nars creamy concealer, aka the holy grail of makeup, to lighten up any darkness under the eyes (not that Holly had any) and then used a light setting powder to keep everything in place.

The vavavoom

Finally, onto the eyes and lips!

After priming the eyes, Jutheanne used a beautiful taupe colour to add some definition without looking to dramatic. She also applied eyeliner to the tightline (the line just below your top lashes under your eyelid) and very close to the lash line and finished by using a Keyvn Aucoin mascara to add volume and length to the lashes. I had never heard of this brand but apparently it is one of the best for eye makeup.

Finally, it was time for a bold red lip. Jutheanne used a Nars lip pencil to outline the lips and create a shape and then filled it in with one of the new Nars power matte lip pigments. These colours are amazing and are all named after famous rock songs, how cool is that?! To finish the entire look, she spritzed some setting spray and voila, Holly was an Autumnal babe!

I had a lovely evening at Space NK and learnt so much about the brands they sell and the correct techniques to achieve the best results with the makeup. The pro team were amazing, as were the staff who worked in the Manchester store; I will definitely be going in and asking their expertise on makeup in the future.

My journey into Intuitive Eating

My journey into Intuitive Eating

When I first heard about Intuitive Eating I was a little sceptical, doesn’t it just mean eating whatever you want all the time? Why does this need to be a ‘movement’? Surely there are some health implications for this? After some serious sarcastic eye rolls […]

Tampopo Manchester review

Tampopo Manchester review

If you’re from Manchester you may have heard of Tampopo, a group of restaurants that celebrates Pan-Asian cuisine and the flavours of South East Asia. Interestingly, Tampopo is also the name of a 1985 ‘ramen western’ film about the joys of Japanese food, but for […]

Amino acids, BCAAs & supplement review

Amino acids, BCAAs & supplement review

Think that only bodybuilders need to take amino acids? Think again! Amino acid supplements are a simple way to benefit from amino acids which are usually found in food and drink.

optimum nutrition watermelon

 

Let’s get scientific (puts science goggle on…) There are currently 500 amino acids that are known and classified, but only 23 are involved in the process of building proteins. This group is known as the proteinogenic amino acids, which combine into peptide chains (polypeptides) to form the building blocks of a vast array of proteins.

Nine of the 23 proteinogenic group are known as “essential” because your body cannot create them from other compounds. This means you need to consume these amino acids – phenylalanine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, methionine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, and histidine through your diet.

BCAAs stands for Branched Chain Amino Acids; this refers to the three amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Because BCAAs are the only amino acids not regulated by the stomach and liver, it means they head straight to the bloodstream and muscle tissue. Some studies have found that they lower lactate levels, making recovery faster and increase the release of growth hormone during exercise.

Although these occur naturally in certain foods, such as meat and eggs, supplementing your intake with sports nutrition can make it easier to improve muscle protein synthesis and boost recovery. To clarify, you don’t HAVE to take amino acid supplements to get the benefits, you can find these naturally in food, however supplements are a good choice if you cannot get enough from your diet.

Optimum Nutrition AmiN.O Energy Review

For the last month, I have been using Optimum Nutrition’s Essential AmiN.O. Energy supplement in the flavour watermelon, it contains both amino acids and caffeine so it’s the perfect pre-workout drink. I like to mix 2 scoops with a large bottle of water in the mornings before I work out because I find that it gives me an edge that a cup of tea just doesn’t have.

Here are some things I liked about it:

  • The powder form mixes well and doesn’t feel gritty or thick like others
  • It’s a sweet watermelon taste, but doesn’t taste sickly or too ‘fake’
  • It contains vitamin C
  • I could feel the effects after about 30 minutes, it gives great burst of energy for workouts (cardio and lifting)
  • However, due to the high caffeine content I can’t drink it after 3pm or I struggle to sleep (I’m very sensitive to caffeine)

Overall, I’ve noticed a difference in my energy levels on the days that I’ve drank this. I can do longer length sessions in the gym and don’t feel as ‘worn out’ as I usually do the next day.  I use it as a pre-workout for my morning workouts because once I drank it at 4pm and I couldn’t sleep for that evening.

So there you have it, if you’re looking for a new pre-workout I’d definitely recommend Optimum Nutrition’s Essential AmiN.O. Energy supplement. There are loads more flavours I want to try like Blue Raspberry, Strawberry lime and peach cranberry. Some protein powders contain BCAAs so definitely lookout for those too, you can read my review of one here. 

Do you use pre-workouts, I’d love some recommendations in the comments if you do!

 

*Product was gifted to me, however all opinions are my own*

Is Boomtown fair festival worth the hype?

Is Boomtown fair festival worth the hype?

I’ve heard many things about Boomtown festival, some good some bad, but mainly that it was unlike any other festival. Last week I put this to the test and experienced the madness that was Boomtown Chapter 9: Behind the Mask Located in Winchester, which is basically […]

Give Blood & Save A Life

Give Blood & Save A Life

Photo by Denise Chan on Unsplash Donating blood might not be on the top of your to-do-list, it might even be on your most feared list, but it’s a selfless act that could actually save someone’s life! How often can you say you’ve saved a […]

IF YOU CAN’T LOVE YOURSELF, HOW’N HELL YOU GONNA LOVE SOMEONE ELSE?

IF YOU CAN’T LOVE YOURSELF, HOW’N HELL YOU GONNA LOVE SOMEONE ELSE?

Variety is the spice of life; the world would be so dull if everything was the same. Differences are beautiful and make us unique, so why don’t we celebrate our differences when it comes to our appearance?

Hannah sat on pavement

Photo credit: Alexander Ward 

I’m a firm believer of inner beauty and the fact that people’s goodness will shine through. I’ve met many a ‘beautiful’ person whose beauty quickly diminished after I’d realised they had a rotten personality. I don’t think there are any ugly people in this world, just ugly souls and actions.

You don’t need to change anything about yourself. We need to stop trying to mould ourselves into someone else or fit an unrealistic ideal. You might look at yourself and spot imperfections, but for every ‘flaw’ you chose to celebrate, you make someone who is insecure about the same thing feel better about themselves. If we all embraced our ‘flaws’ then there would be no such thing as a flaw, just lots of variety.

Companies insist on making us loathe ourselves and invent new flaws every day so we spend more money trying to ‘fix’ ourselves (lots of sarcastic speech marks in this post). It’s 2017 and people are getting designer vaginas for God’s sake! I know that people can do what they like, but it worries me that cosmetic surgery has almost become normalised. I fear for my younger sister growing up in such an image focused world.

Weird analogy: imagine if having one huge foot was the new ideal for women and every single woman got a foot job and eventually it was more uncommon to NOT have one large foot?  We’d all look the same and people would expect every woman to have one giant foot. Girls would grow up thinking it was just a normal part of growing up and they’d have a surgical ‘rite of passage’ to get the giant foot of their dreams. I know this is a silly example but it illustrates my point. We shouldn’t be uniform, we should all be different. Children aren’t born hating their bodies, they only start to believe this once they’ve been exposed to social pressures and the media.

I’m trying to reclaim my ‘flaws’. Every time I look in the mirror, instead of telling myself that I hate certain parts of my body, I focus on the things I love and think about how lucky I am to have a body that allows me to experience life. This extends to mental health too, I am trying to silence my inner critic, the one that tells me I am not good enough or I will fail at everything I try.

Sure, this is all easier said than done. Everyone has days where they want to change themselves, I have days where I see a horrible photo of myself and think ‘Fuck it! I’m getting a loan to pay for veneers.” but that’s all part of being human and it’s ok.

As my saviour and all time hero, Ru Paul said,
‘HONEY, IF YOU CAN’T LOVE YOURSELF, HOW’N HELL YOU GONNA LOVE SOMEONE ELSE?’

 

Please vote for me in the Northern Blog Awards. I’m up for the Health and Fitness Lifestyle category and you can vote here. Thanks lovelies x

6 Reasons I Love Festivals

6 Reasons I Love Festivals

I love festivals. I went to my first one, Leeds Fest, back in 07 when I was 15 and decided that this was the life for me. I worked hard all year to save up enough money to go every summer. Since then, my festival […]

A weekend in Paris: Day two & three

A weekend in Paris: Day two & three

As I’m sitting here typing away on this rainy day, it seems like visiting Paris last month was a distant dream.  Or at least the last blog I wrote about it was…. I mentioned in my last blog that we got a two-day ticket for […]

Gym workout for when you don’t have much time

Gym workout for when you don’t have much time

As I haven’t done a fitness post in a while, I thought I’d share my gym tips for when you don’t have loads of time to spend in the gym.

Adulting is tough. Most of us have to work full time, balance busy social lives and we all have to keep on top of boring stuff like cleaning, cooking and generally being a responsible human. I long for the days when I was a student and I could easily spend the best part of a morning exercising in the gym, taking advantage of the empty equipment and trying out new things without fear of being judged. Nowadays, I’m lucky if I can squeeze three gym sessions in a week, but that’s all part of growing up I guess and hopefully I’ll find the right balance one day.

But as they say, any activity is better than no activity, so don’t feel guilty for only being able to do 20 minutes, or even 5, because it will be doing some good in the long run for your physical and mental well-being. Some studies have found that short bursts of activity throughout the day are actually more beneficial than long sessions, but more on that in another post.

Gym routine when you don’t have time

So here’s what I do when I have an hour, 45 mins or even 20 mins free to exercise. Just to point out I walk to and from the gym so I tend to use this as my warm-up/cool-down when I don’t have time to foam roll and stretch.

1 hour

An hour sounds like a long time but by the time you’ve got changed, filled your water up, set up your weights and waited for people to clear the machines you need your time is limited!

I like to start the session with some interval cardio as it helps my muscles to warm up and works you relatively hard, but not so much that you can’t do anything after (as after HIIT I want to curl up on the floor).  Intervals are great because you can hit high intensities without getting as exhausted as you would if you did the whole session at that intensity.

My cardio of choice is usually the cross-trainer, I’ll do 20 minutes of alternating intervals (3 minutes high level, 1 minute lower level) and I aim to get my heart rate up to around 165/170 bpm. I know most people recommend doing the highest level for 1 minute, but when you’re doing a short session like 20 minutes I prefer to do the longest intervals at a higher level to ensure my heart rate gets high. After this I’ll jump off (clean my machine, of course) and head to the weights area. I choose to do either legs or arms, usually legs if I’m honest because I enjoy doing it more, and start on my routine.

Legs

Activation:
2 x 10 Bodyweight squats with a resistance band
2 x Clams with resistance band

3 x 12 bodyweight lunges (sometimes holding a dumbbell but my balance needs work at the moment so I am generally doing without weight)
3 x 12 step ups with a heavy dumbbell in each hand
3 x 12 glute bridges with a heavy sandbag over me
3 x 10 leg press (machine) at a heavy weight

If I have enough time I will use the foam roller and stretch before leaving, although as I said I walk home from the gym so that helps to relax my muscles and I can do some stretching in the shower once I’m home.

45 minutes

I like to kick start a 45-min session with a 10-15-minute incline walk on the treadmill. I start the incline on a 4 and gradually build up to 10 (or sometimes more if I can) and walk at a fast pace. This gets my heart rate up loads, often as much as the cross-trainer does! I’m aiming for about 160/165 bpm on this.

Then on to the weights, as I mentioned legs last time I’ll focus on arms for this example. I don’t tend to do any activation techniques for arms as it’s more about strength than muscle growth but I make sure I stretch them properly and get them moving before I pick up a weight.

Arms

3 x 10 press ups
3 x 12 dumbbell bicep curls
3 x 15 Dumbbell military press
3 x 10 Overhead tricep extensions with dumbbell/ 3 x 10 tricep pull down with cable

20/30 minutes

On days when I’m pressed for time I will complete a HIIT session. This is such an effective workout but the downside is that I quickly transform into a sweaty, red madwoman; which is annoying because my face stays red for hours afterwards (not the best look when you need to go out.)

If I’m in the gym, I do HIIT on the treadmill. I put it on incline 4 and set the speed to 16 and then run for 20 seconds and jump off and rest for 40 seconds until I have completed 20 mins of this. This never gets easier, sometimes I put the speed lower or take a longer rest because I get exhausted and can’t do more, but it’s a work in progress.

I also like doing HIIT at home. This is a good time saver because you don’t have to worry about getting to and from the gym. I use an interval timer app on my phone and created a 25-minute workout ahead of time, including 30 seconds of activity followed by 30 seconds or rest. I do 4 exercises in each set, high knees running on the spot, press ups, squat jumps, and burpees, and then repeat these 6 times.

There you go, these are my quick  workouts. Hope you enjoyed this post and let me know your time saving gym tips if you have any x

A Weekend in Paris: Day One

A Weekend in Paris: Day One

Paris is one of those cities I’ve always wanted to visit but haven’t got around to – despite it being a stone’s throw away from the UK. Last week I finally got to see what all the fuss was about, as myself and my best […]

5 reasons I’m adding more cardio into my workouts

5 reasons I’m adding more cardio into my workouts

Forget City or United, cardio or weights truly divides people. I will be the first to admit that I turned my back on cardio for a while in favour of weight training, but recently I’m incorporating more cardio into my workouts and I want to […]

Is online counselling right for you?

Is online counselling right for you?

Counselling works wonders for the soul, but there are several factors, such as price, availability and waiting lists, which put people off seeing a face-to-face counsellor. This had led to a surge in online counselling services which connect people to counsellors through voice, video or instant messaging.

I’ve been using online counselling on and off since the end of 2016 but I’ve only recently been seeing a counsellor weekly. This kind of service appeals to me because its time efficient, I can schedule sessions during my lunch or after work. It also gave me access to help immediately rather than being stuck on a waiting list for years (not knocking the NHS, just the bastards who cut funding for mental health).

How do you choose an online counsellor?

Choosing an online counsellor is a bit like online dating; you can browse through hundreds of counsellors by age, gender, speciality, qualifications etc. This helps you get more of a feel for the counsellor you’d be happy speaking to. Obviously, you can’t tell that much about someone from their profile but I believe it’s better than being assigned someone randomly.

You can message any counsellors you’d like to speak to and introduce yourself and have a chat about what you’d like to achieve. After this you participate in a taster session to see whether you’d be a good fit and could work together. This is really important because you want to have a good relationship with your counsellor, after all you need to feel comfortable talking to them and feel like you can trust them.

First impressions

The first time I started online counselling I wasn’t really sure what to make of it and to be honest I wasn’t prepared. I found a lovely counsellor and had a few video sessions but I stopped because I had so much to talk about it felt overwhelming. Counselling is never easy and sometimes you need someone encouraging you to keep sharing and pushing through the sessions. I didn’t feel confident directing the sessions and instead of telling my counsellor this I disappeared.

When I returned months later I approached it in a new way and started working with a different counsellor. I was more direct about what I wanted to discuss and told her about all the issues I wanted to talk about from the off (I literally made a list). Since then, we have focused on a particular issue each session and approached it in a structured way which I find really helpful. Counselling is still hard and I’d be lying if I said I enjoyed it but it feels like it is helping overall. However, it’s still worth pointing out that you can stop counselling at any time you want.

As someone who suffers with social anxiety, the idea of speaking to a counsellor gives me pangs of anxiety. But I’ve found that speaking to an online counsellor over the phone encourages me to share more in a session than I probably would do face-to-face because I’m not worrying about the social interaction side of things like making eye contact. Don’t get me wrong, I do still feel anxious because I am speaking on the phone, but it’s not as bad as face-to-face and after ten minutes I feel quite at ease. I’m hoping these phone sessions will encourage me to be more comfortable speaking on the phone in general.

The downside to online counselling is that it’s not free. I pay £35 for my sessions which quickly adds up to a lot every month. I’ve had to be more careful with my money and sacrifice things in order to pay for my sessions but I’m lucky enough to be able to do that as I know some people don’t have the luxury to pay for private counselling. The service I use, Plus Guidance, are changing their prices soon so every counsellor will charge £50 instead of their rate so it might be a good idea to find a counsellor you like and then decide a fee with them and go direct.

If you are considering counselling, but are a bit worried, then I would highly recommend online counselling. It has given me access to help when I really needed it and I wish I had known about it when I was younger. Hopefully this post has helped if you are considering it, if you have any questions feel free to email me or tweet me.

Thanks for reading x

My tricks to get a natural looking fake tan

My tricks to get a natural looking fake tan

I feel like it’s been very serious on the blog recently, so today I wanted to talk about something light hearted – fake tan! You might be thinking, ‘Hannah fake tan is not related to fitness! What are you on about?!’ but have you ever […]

Blogosphere Blog Awards 2017: Fitness Blogger of the year

Blogosphere Blog Awards 2017: Fitness Blogger of the year

Good news everyone! I have been shortlisted in the Blogosphere Blog Awards 2017 and nominated in the Fitness Blogger of the Year category! The Blogosphere Blog Awards has 10 categories which cover a range of blog niche’s such as lifestyle, fashion, beauty and book bloggers […]

7 body positive reasons to love fitness

7 body positive reasons to love fitness

So after a lengthy twitter feud debate, it appears that some people don’t understand how you can be body positive, inclusive and accepting, AND be a fitness blogger.

Contrary to popular belief, being body positive and being passionate about fitness are not mutually exclusive. You can love exercising and at the same time not give a tiny rat’s ass about losing weight or fitting into a certain size. Yes, exercise often does lead to weight loss but that is not the sole purpose or reason that you should aim to get your body moving.

This post is going to be about all the amazing outcomes of fitness and physical activity that have nothing to do with your appearance!

1.Confidence

Joining a gym and pushing myself to run faster, lift heavier and embrace what my body is capable of is one of the most empowering things I have even done. Four years on, even on my most self-deprecating days, a good gym session or a long run can give me the boost of confidence that I need.

2. Endorphins

I may be quoting Elle Woods here, but when you exercise your body produces happy hormones and people that are happy just don’t kill their husbands! The hormones, also called endorphins, help to relieve stress and give you an uplifting sensation. I know some people experience these differently, or even feel down after exercise, but personally I feel euphoric after I finish exercising. I feel light, hopeful and…dare I say excited for life, which for a cantankerous sod like me, is a miracle!

3. Strength

Feeling strong is seriously underrated! The feeling or strutting into the weights room and picking up a heavier weight than I was using last week is awesome. So is being able to carry multiple bags of food shopping home from Aldi AND carrying an entire door through my sister’s house during a day of DIY (just some recent examples, I recommend starting with lighter objects than a door if you’re a newbie to strength).

4. Focus

Work stressful? Relationship fallen apart? Get your trainers on and focus on something else. During that period, there is nothing else to concentrate on apart from your body and what it can do. Working towards a goal such as a 10k distance, or a new strength PB is a wonderful way to challenging yourself and work towards something positive.

5. Functional Movement

Functional movement refers to the types of activities you do as part of daily life such as bending down, twisting, walking upstairs, carrying bags etc. By developing strength and cardiovascular fitness you can perform everyday tasks more efficiently, which makes your life that tiny bit easier

6. Sociable

I’ve made loads of new friends through exercise and I continue to nurture current friendships through it as well. Last weekend I did Parkrun with friends, I met my flatmate at a fitness bootcamp and a lot of people I talk to on social media I found through their passion for fitness.

7. Mental resilience

You that feeling when you’re running and you want to give up? But you keep putting one foot in front of the other until you’ve reached your destination. You hit the wall where you want to give up but you keep on going. These skills that you learn through fitness can be transferred into everyday life. Life is hard, it’s not fair and sometimes it just sucks, but you’ve got to keep going and putting one foot in front of the other. Fitness has given me the tools to get to grips with life’s challenges and come back stronger.

8. Fun

Find an exercise, or activity, that you love doing and you’ll have so much fun. Whether that’s running, rock climbing, hiking, swimming or dancing, do what you enjoy.

Did any of those amazing things include losing weight, fitting into a size 6 skirt or feeling confident on a beach? NO, because exercise is a celebration of what your body can do NOT a punishment for its differences! Also you can visit the beach any damn time and be happy. Got it? Ok thanks.

Finally, I want to write something about concern trolling. This is people jump in on debates under the pretence that they have genuine concerns for people’s health so that gives them a legitimate reason to shame fat people. You may think that you are being helpful by telling people that they need to lose weight, or by informing them that their lifestyle is unhealthy and dangerous, but you’re not helping at all. Fatphobic concern trolling is causing a lot more damage to society than fat people are. Mental health issues and eating disorders are real and being fatphobic contributes to these more than anything else. Plus, it makes you a shit person so just don’t do it people.

How to support someone who has anxiety

How to support someone who has anxiety

TW: anxiety, panic attacks. As it’s mental health awareness month, I wanted to write about a topic that I am very familiar with; my old buddy anxiety. I’ve suffered from generalised anxiety disorder for most of my teenage and adult life. I take medication to […]

What being body positive means to me

What being body positive means to me

The body positive movement aims to end the negative relationship we have with our appearance and accept ourselves for who we are naturally. It is inclusive of everyone, no matter how you look you deserve to be loved and to love yourself. Body positivity isn’t […]

Guess who loves running again?

Guess who loves running again?

My passion for running has ignited once again. It must be a combination of the lighter evenings, the slightly warmer temperatures and my resentment of crowded gyms, as people pile in to try and obtain a ‘summer body’ (FYI, your body is always ready for summer!) Despite spending the first four months of the year focusing strength training, recently all I want to do is hit the pavement and run!

There’s a problem, I haven’t been regularly running for at least four months. Unlike strength training, where I can maintain my ability level, I have to go back to square one when it comes to running. Although I know if I work hard enough I will get back to where I was, it will be a challenge.

As excepted, my first run back was really hard! I opted for the treadmill so I could monitor my speed and incline. I warmed up by going on the cross-trainer for 10 minutes, as I find it warms my muscles which makes it easier to run, before hopping onto the treadmill. Instead of flat out running (which I found difficult to do) I tried to run for the length of the song I was listening to and then stopping and walking for 30 seconds – a minute until I felt ready to run again.  This was a pretty good technique and I managed to do 20 minutes on the treadmill.

After the success of the treadmill I decided to test my ability outdoors, mainly because I didn’t have time to go to the gym before work and I wanted to run, so I completed a circuit outside. I find outdoor running a lot harder compared to the treadmill as you need to be in control of pacing yourself and you are subject to a variety of inclines and terrains. I did a short run outside that was around 3 miles and lasted 40 minutes. I did stop a few times and I wasn’t aiming to go fast, hence why my time was a bit slow.

I wanted to push myself on my next run. It was a beautiful day so I headed out and ran five miles. Surprisingly, it was very enjoyable and wasn’t as difficult as I found the previous run. Unfortunately, I got a chest infection later in the week so I decided to have break from running until I was better. Yesterday, I went running with my friend and we did five miles (outdoors) and although it was a challenging run as my chest wasn’t 100% better I enjoyed pushing myself and getting outdoors after work.

This post has been a bit rambly, I just wanted to write about fitness again and this is what I’m focusing on. Over the next eight weeks I will be sticking to the running programme I created for myself which incorporates strength training, plyometric exercises and cross training, as well dynamic as distances to run. I will keep you updated with how I get on!

Here are a few of my older running posts if you want to have a read:

Leeds Half Marathon
Half Marathon checklist
How to prepare for a half 
Salford 10k
Winter run 10k 
Safely tips for running
Sweatshop Running Club

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