I’m sticking with a fitness theme for the minute, mainly as a way to inspire you to keep your fitness motivation going in the hope my last post gave you a few pointers to get started, and also to give myself a gentle prod along as I’ve not made it to the gym this week.

It’s been one of those where work deadlines and family have taken precedence over pouring myself into my lycra, although I did sneak a few lengths in at a kids swimming party to quash some of the exercise guilt that was setting in.

My aim for this year is to keep working on my ab’s and general overall toning.  Daily planks and weekly gym trips as well as runs, have really paid off but it’s not like you can stop once you’ve reached your goal, there’s nothing more disheartening to see your hard work slipping away. There’s ALWAYS room for improvement and it helps if you’ve got an end goal in sight.

Mine, along with many others I imagine, is a holiday. Somewhere hot where I can wear a bikini (or swimsuit if there are any water slides involved!) which, although months away no doubt, it’s still an end goal and knowing I can walk along a beach without worrying about having to suck in my stomach is my motivation!

Track your changes

Taking stage photos really helps, you don’t have to show anyone (put them in a hidden folder if you have an iPhone and you’re worried about anyone seeing them) it’ll really help you track your progress. Just make sure they’re taken in the same spot and pose. It’s amazing how different you look in various poses, just check out this post from Finish health blogger if you don’t believe me. I’m still to crack the perfect Insta pose if I’m honest, so I try to stick to the same room and background. Just remember not to try look as though your modelling swimwear but do hold a steady pose rather than a slump, you’re only cheating yourself, this is for your own motivation only, no one else.

how to keep the up the motivation to get fit Keep A Bench Mark

If your goal is to solely improve your fitness rather than toning up, then a fitness tracker with heart rate monitor is your friend. I use to judge how fit I was by how quickly I got out of breath speed walking up 2 very steep hills on the way to pick my kids up from school. Although useful, and boy did I notice it after school holidays, I soon realised it wasn’t a consistent way to gauge my improvement.

Now I’m doing a lot more exercise, I try to stick to the same treadmill or runtime then using my Fitbit and a NikeRun app, I’m able to push my pace up and see how my heart rate changes. Just remember illnesses will affect it so don’t be downhearted if you dip.

You can try upping your pace even if you’re walking to see your fitness improve gradually. I love seeing my weekly progress report on my Fitbit app and seeing how far I’ve come.

Find A Motivation Friend

And lastly, why not buddy up. Any challenge is more fun when you have someone to motivate you, a little healthy competition goes a long way. I’d stick to just the one though, no one likes being bottom of the group and it’s a shore fire wat to feeling downhearted and dipping out.

If it’ just the 2 of you, and you’ve have a bad week, you’re 2nd. Not last!

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The Fitness & Health Benefits of 4 Popular Extreme Sports

Extreme sports, such as skateboarding and paintball, provide an alternative to conventional or everyday activities. As well as being the perfect fix for adrenaline junkies, they are a brilliant way to stay in shape. They also happen to be 2 of the most favourite activities my teenage boys love, ironically, I don’t think they’d even consider them to be a sport.

Both adventure activities and extreme sports  have gone from strength to strength since the late-1990s in regards to exposure and popularity. During that same time, healthy living and fitness have become two of the most popular trends on a worldwide scale. Whether you’re a fitness freak looking for a more exciting way to burn some calories, or an extreme sports enthusiast in need of some exercise, here are four alternative activities that can seriously benefit your own health.

Skateboarding

Skateboarding has been around since the 1950’s going through many different changes, trends and levels of popularity. Some people skate on a daily basis, performing various tricks in both street and vert-style skating. Others use it as a mode of transport and nothing more. Either way, the effort and movement involved is a great workout for your body. My eldest is renowned for waking our quiet little village each morning skateboarding to catch his school bus. And when anyone dared grumble to me about it, I defended him explaining it was simply the best way to kick-start his day with a burst of activity

It requires a lot of pushing power from your legs to gather speed, as well as flexibility and stretching while doing tricks — both of which will burn off calories with ease. To become proficient and consistently land tricks, you need to practice a lot, meaning that skateboarding will become a daily workout that’s a lot more fun than the gym. 

health & fitness benefits of extreme sports

BMX/Mountain Biking

 

Most people have ridden a bike at some point in their life and many still do on a daily basis, as a hobby or primary form of transport. Two adaptations of cycling that definitely fit into the extreme sports category are BMX and mountain biking. Both up the ante in regards to excitement and provide the ultimate pedal-powered workout.

A BMX (short for Bicycle Motorcross if you’re wondering,  comes in two styles. Firstly, there’s racing, which requires intense bursts of pedalling (cardio) and arm strength to manoeuvre the bike around corners and over jumps. This sport has increased in popularity since it became an official Olympic sport. The second is stunt BMX: although the premise is the same, this style of riding requires more strength and balance to perform tricks, spins and flips.

 

Paintballing

Although paintball is very different in just about every way when compared to the sports mentioned above, there’s no denying that it’s one of the most unique and engaging adventure activities out there. As you explore expertly designed battlefields and dodge oncoming fire from enemies, it’s safe to say your body will be getting quite the workout.

Paintballing for kids and adults are both a possibility (separately or together), meaning it’s the ideal activity to get out of the house for a whole day of exercise with friends or family. Rapid movement to avoid the paintballs, climbing obstacles, crouching behind cover; it all adds up over the course of a day and creates the ultimate workout. But due to the adrenaline rush and distractions of battle, you’ll barely notice how much exercise you’re doing.

Paintball offers a unique take on what an adventure activity should be, using authentic combat as fuel for the fire. It doesn’t matter if it’s paintballing birthday parties, stag dos, or just a day trip with the family; the excitement and diversity involved make paintball the perfect activity for a variety of occasions.

 

Surfing

Much like other extreme sports, surfing is an activity that, over the years, has gained a massive following. The UK has an abundance of beach locations that provide the necessary swells and waves that a surfer’s dreams are made of. But aside from being a fantastic way to spend a few hours, surfing requires a fair amount of effort and determination.

Paddling is an essential part of surfing, therefore giving you an effective core and upper-body workout. Maintaining your balance against the resistance of waves will require strength, while swimming back to your board after taking a tumble is fantastic for cardio. The average person burns around 400 calories an hour while surfing, so even if you only have time to surf for a few hours, you’ll still be doing your body plenty of good.

Although many of these sports have been around for decades, it’s only been in the last ten years of so that they’ve been recognised and embraced for their fitness benefits. A skateboard or bike can be just as effective as a few hours in the gym — and a day spent paintballing? Well, it’s difficult to compare that to anything in the gym. All of the activities above are extremely good for you in a number ways. Whether you’re looking for a way to lose weight, build strength, or just get off the sofa for a few hours, extreme sports offer something to suit the needs of everyone.

health & fitness benefits of extreme sports

Disclaimer 

This is a collaborative post

 

 

 

  

 

 

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Getting Fit With An Archon Move Activity Tracker

So, phase 2 of my latest challenge is to get fit.

I’ve always been relatively active in a long walks, daily dog walks and, mmmmm, well, more walks kind of way. Yep, walks feature pretty much all of my activity, along with chasing round after my toddler which means I’m ready for an upgrade and I need something to spur me on to keep that upgrade going.

I’ve been pretty committed so far with daily plank and joining my local gym….. so far so good.

The catch is, when you work from home aside from the daily walk, my day can end up pretty sedatory, so an activity tracker absolutely, without a doubt, has a place in my life. I need that kick up the bum to remind me that I need to move more which is why for the last week I’ve been wearing an Archon Move Activity Tracker.


Each day I track my steps (my goal’s 10k a day)  measure how far I’ve walked, as well as see how many calories you have burned. The Archon Move Activity Tracker is a revolutionary way of keeping track of your movements, fitness and progress.

Aside from logging your activity it features a digital clock, heart rate monitor and an easy to use touch screen which is easy to read and navigate and the creme de la creme for a social media user like me are the notifications for messages and caller ID.

You can  sync your data with the app (available for Android and iOS.) to get a really clear idea of how you’re doing and has been great for timing my planks at home and the gym as well measuring my heart rate which gives me a good idea of how my fitness is improving, that’s been a real game changer. Oh and it tracks sleep too as well as letting me know when I’m out of range with my phone so no more loosing it,  leaving it at home or even if it get stolen, you’; get an instant ‘disconnected message’

so many features and there’s no stopping me now on my 2017 fitness challenge!

 

Disclaimer

I have been gifted this fitness tracker to test out and share what I think. All words and photos are my own. 

 

 

 

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Review of the Mountain Buggy Terrain

For any new mum (and sometimes dad,) finding the right buggy is one of the most important and expensive purchase decisions they’ll make for their baby and I speak from experience as a reformed pramaholic. Get it right and you won’t be making a costly mistake as it should see you though the early buggy pushing years. Doing your homework, checking reviews, asking friends and shopping around is vital. My first pushchair, a new on the market travel system, was chosen purely on pattern and after seeing a friend’s. That was it. No research, it just looked nice and bright.

It lasted 4 months before I realised it wasn’t suitable for my needs and there began a long list of buggy purchases. That was 15 years ago, long before I had a computer let alone internet, the only way I could find ‘the one’ was through magazine reviews and buying and selling second-hand ones until I found one I liked. Not the best way you’ll agree.

I’m not blowing my own trumpet when I consider myself well equipped to share a review of my Mountain Buggy Terrain, I speak from experience! So what was I looking for in a buggy when I chose this particular one? Well my main criteria was a lightweight, sturdy, easy to push 3 wheeler. I was about to embark on a lifestyle change, one which required long walks, gentle runs and power walks as well as trips to the shops. I wanted one which didn’t take up the entire boot space, would last my son through baby and toddler years and had a basket which could be loaded up for picnics on the beach and in the country.

The Mountain Buggy Terrain reviewed, the perfect jogging and off road pushchair. read why we love it so much here

I needed to be able to steer it one-handed so I could walk the dog at the same time, a hand break so I wasn’t chasing it down the steep hills was vital and a buggy that didn’t shy away from the pebbles on the beach. I had a vision to take up running only with a toddler in tow, a pushchair which could glide across all terrains, not limiting my routes was paramount. I was about to embark on a 10 month fitness challenge  and needed the right tools to succeed.

So what pushchair delivered all the above? Yep, you guessed it, my Mountain Buggy Terrain. Every box above was ticked. There are little extras too which you don’t realise you’ll need, like the double bottle storage on each side of the handle, one for baby, one for me.

bottle stores

double bottle storage in the handle bars, always within easy reach.

_DSC2731

And the deep shopping basket with mesh zipped cover, stopping everything from bouncing out while you ride over bumpy ground. There are also 2 handy zipped pockets to the front, foot brake side which I’m using to store my mobile phone, a spare hat, nappy, and wipes so I’m never without on impromptu trips.

The Mountain Buggy Terrain reviewed, the perfect jogging and off road pushchair. read why we love it so much here

extra deep shopping basket with zip mesh cover

The Mountain Buggy Terrain reviewed, the perfect jogging and off road pushchair. read why we love it so much here

zipped pockets for essentials.

There’s also the full storm cover with front access ensuring rain doesn’t stop play and when it’s wet, I can get the toddler out with out wrestling it up over the hood while it stays none place to dry properly. This packs away neatly in it’s only little bag which I keep in the shopping basket. And when I say storm cover this is a great full cover. I’ve been out in some pretty meaty showers and it’s stayed in place, keeping my boy safe and warm.

The Mountain Buggy Terrain reviewed, the perfect jogging and off road pushchair. read why we love it so much here

retractable foot rest – extended

The Mountain Buggy Terrain reviewed, the perfect jogging and off road pushchair. read why we love it so much here

foot rest pushed back

One of my previous fave buggy’s was one which lay back quite low so my baby/toddler could nap comfortably, I thought this was a one-off feature, however, I was so pleased to see that this one rivalled and succeeded that feature by having an unlimited recline position, going down to flat and with a padded seat. The absolute plus is the extending leg rest. There’s no uncomfortable leg dangling naps. The Toddler even managed to get himself into a side sleep as the seat is quite wide.

The Mountain Buggy Terrain reviewed, the perfect jogging and off road pushchair. read why we love it so much here

Easily adjustable four way seatbelt clasp, all sections are independent so no fussing to get it right

Another little feature which I discovered accidentally on a sunny day is the pull out sun visor which hides away under the hood. This along with the peep window means I can check on him as well walk. My previous buggy had a parent facing option which I was reluctant to compromise but Toddler and I can still chat away through the window when the hood is up.

The Mountain Buggy Terrain reviewed, the perfect jogging and off road pushchair. read why we love it so much here

viewing window in the hood

But what makes this a stand out pushchair, perfect for power walking/jogging/country walks are the extra-large off-road wheels which come with it. Any owner of a pushchair with air inflated tyres will tell you how annoying it is to get a puncture but aside from the fact that the offered wheels make it a breeze to push on the beach and country side, having spares is the bees knees. They are quick release so changing them isn’t a faff.

reviewing the Mountain Buggy Terrain the pushchair for all conditions!

So in a nutshell, what are my favourite features of the Mountain Buggy Terrain?

  1. super light and easy to push, it tuns on a sixpence (as quoted by the owner of my local village shop who was equally impressed!)
  2. sensible size shopping basket
  3. sturdy and a smooth, comfortable ride for my toddler.
  4. can be folded /unfolded quickly, once you’ve found out how (it’s under the leg rest!)
  5. free-standing when folded and packs down quite flat with the wheels off and the bumper bar pushed up

So is this ‘the one’, yes, I think it is, it suits our needs perfectly, is a real show stopper and has been gaining admiring comments from several other buggy pushers already.

Putting the Mountain Buggy Terrain to the test in all conditions

************* UPDATED ***************

I have now owned the Mountain Buggy Terrain for over 6 months so I thought I’d update my review. It’s still my favourite buggy of all time. Despite virtually every day use, it has yet to have a puncture and it still remains super light to push. I’ve dragged it over pebble and sand beaches (it’s easier if you go backwards) and it’s been on a couple of urban shopping trips.

My biggest compliment has to go to the shopping bag though, it’s often laden with wellies, dslr camera bags, hats and occasionally shopping!

If you’d like to see all the features in working process please check out my YouTube vlog

Disclaimer

I was sent this buggy for the purpose of this review. All words and opinions are entirely my own, I appreciate what an important and expensive decision pushchair buying is, so would only offer a truthful review to help any prospective buyers make up their own minds. 

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And we’re off!

Its been one whole week since my #miles4MAMA challenge began. I wasn’t sure how out of the ordinary 10, 000 steps a day or 25 miles a week, would be, I hoped I was already completing that just by walking  dog (I wish)  but it turns out I wasn’t. My usual route was just under the 4 miles mark so I’ve had to really up my game. It’s been great getting going though, and luckily the weather played ball so I managed to complete 26 miles for the whole week meaning I’m slightly above target, woohoo!

 

off

 

Toddler and I  trekked over the Jurassic Coast on several occasions, jogging where possible but I’ll be completely honest here, it was more of a power walk as I’m still nervous after suffering with SPD during my last pregnancy so I’m taking it slow, if there’s one thing I learnt while I was immobilized for a few weeks and on crutches, it’s to look after your body and know your limits. Our fitness kit is superb and thanks to my Mountain Buggy as well as our sling I’ve been really eager to get out and about.

We're off on the #miles4MAMA challenge

I’s also like to thank everyone who left their support in the comments last week, it’s so encouraging to know I’m not doing this lone ranger and I hope by spreading the MAMA Academy word we’re all raising awareness of this amazing charity. Please do join in, donate, or just share this post. By doing so you’ll be helping towards the Team MAMA’s Made to Measure and the #miles4MAMA challenge to save 1000 babies from still birth.

The MAMA academy, taking part in the #miles4mama challenge

Blogging To Jogging

 

Fitness 4 Mamas

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