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Monthly Archives: September 2016

Why Cycling?

cyclingHopping on a sparkling new steed and accelerating off into the nightfall is a transcendent feeling – you can’t beat it! Be that as it may, on the off chance that you haven’t saddled up for a couple of years, you might ponder where to begin or why to trouble. Try not to stress! We got up to speed with Gareth Turner from Cyclebeat ( to talk about the advantages of life on two haggles you can get back in the race.

# Slim cycle

Hopping on your bicycle is an incredible approach to rush calories and trim down. ‘Cycling is an extraordinary approach to get more fit and a splendid approach to blaze calories – you can smolder around 500 calories a hour cycling and now and again a great deal more,’ says Gareth. ‘Cycling can likewise have the additional advantage of expanding your digestion system – even after the ride is over.

And it’s a great option for working out on your commute. Think about it – you can get your workouts in on the way to and from work and cancel that gym membership altogether if you want! ‘And, because it is a non-weight bearing exercise, it’s a lot easier on the joints than something like running, so you can do it more often,’ says Gareth. Sounds good to us!

It’s also a great toner, working your lower body hard, which – thanks to this focus on the bigger muscles in your body (bum and legs!) also burns fat. ‘Cycling helps to tone your muscles and works your calves, thighs and bottom, while also giving your shoulders and arms a workout, too,’ says Gareth.

# Healthy heart

Cycling is not only bags of fun, and a great way to stay in shape, it’s good for your heart, too. ‘Cycling improves cardiovascular fitness,’ explains Gareth. ‘And the British Heart Foundation says that cycling regularly can help to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes by up to 50 per cent.’

# Mind matters

And getting on your bike could have benefits for the mind, too. ‘It’s not just the body that sees the benefits, as cycling is believed to reduce stress, anxiety and provide a sense of wellbeing,’ says Gareth. A cycle home after a long day is a great way to shake off your worries.

# Wheely wheely fun

Whizzing around on a bike gives you a great sense of freedom and there are so many types of cycling, and types of bikes, you can try. ‘Cycling can be very varied and fun – try mountain bike trails, exhilarating downhills, BMX and road biking with amazing views,’ says Gareth. Plus it’s one of the few workouts in which you can have a good gas with your mates, too! Have you every tried catching up over a quick swim or disco rave class?! ‘Cycling can be very social by riding in a group and also with the family – everyone can get involved,’ adds Gareth.

Guide to Avoid Fitness Mistakes

# Working out all day

Really long workouts require more energy, so can cause your body to break muscles down to convert into sugar. Keep sessions to an hour at most to prevent this.

# Avoiding carbs after training

We all know that protein is essential for muscle repair, but carbs are just as important. They help to restore glycogen, allowing you to keep up your training – essential if you want to see real results.

# Overtraining

Too much exercise and not enough rest can cause the stress hormone, cortisol, to shoot up, causing fat to deposit around your middle and muscles to waste away. Too much of anything, includingexercise, isn’t healthy!

# Exercising on an empty stomach

‘Fasted exercise will reduce the speed the muscles can work at,’ says sport and exercise nutrition expert James Collins ( ‘Lower blood sugar starves the brain and makes training feel more difficult.’

# Going long

Long runs can end up being more about endurance than fitness. Try interval training instead, switching between sprints and active recovery. This revs up your metabolism and reduces the impact on your joints.

# Sticking with high reps and light weights

The notion that high reps of light weights tone the body and low reps of heavy weights add bulk is simply not true. The only way to tone is to lose body fat, and lifting heavier weights will build muscle (not ‘bulk’), which metabolises fat.

# Staying in a rut

Seen results from a particular workout? Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s all you need. Your body will stop responding and need something new to wake it up again.

# Pigging out on junk food because ‘I’ll work it off in the gym tomorrow…’

You need to treat yourself every now and then, but junk food tends to be packed with, well, junk. The excess calories will be stored as fat and the high sugar and salt content will leave you craving more. Having a nutrient-packed snack will do far more for your energy and insides.

# Running scared from resistance training

It’s tempting to think that cardio exercise is for fat burning and resistance training is for muscle building. In fact, cardio is great for the heart and lungs, and resistance training ensures you burn more calories, even at rest. Mix it up, ladies!

# Being a slave to the digits

If your gaze is fixed on ‘calories burned’ on the treadmill display, look away! The figure includes what you burn even when resting and is dependent on your heart rate, body fat and level of fitness, so it’s a loose guide at best.

Boost Gym Confidence, Here Its Tips

We’ve all been there – prepared to crush the most recent TRX class or at long last get to grasps with the Smith machine just to lose our nerve when a gathering of super-fitbies hit the rec center floor. It’s a typical situation, with a review by Sport England demonstrating that 75 for every penny of ladies need to be more dynamic however dread being judged for their appearance or capacity. The point of the viral This Girl Can battle is to suppress those stresses and demonstrate it’s OK to shake or sweat while you work out. We at H&F couldn’t concur all the more, so – to guarantee you don’t withdraw to your “comfortable” workout zone – we requested that the specialists how beat certainty evil spirits.

# Conquer the chaos

People who plan feel in control – over 80 per cent of workers claim that being organised improves their performance. The same goes for gym goers, so ask an instructor for a workout plan and watch your gym confidence soar. ‘Before you walk in the door, make sure you know exactly which exercises and weights you’re going to use,’ agrees Scott Laidler, top trainer at ‘You’ll feel far more comfortable when you know exactly what you’re doing.’

# Beat the gym crowd

If you’re not ready to train with the rest of the gym crowd, consider hitting the weights room during off-peak times when the gym’s quieter. ‘I often train clients that are self-conscious very early in the morning or last-thing at night,’ reveals health coach, Joshua Silverman (@silvermanhealth). ‘This helps them to build confidence and start feeling more at ease in a gym environment.’ Off-peak memberships are cheaper, too!

# Keep it in perspective

Don’t be afraid to be a newbie. Remember that everyone started somewhere – yes, even Mrs Bodybuilder was a beginner once upon a time. ‘So many people have a perception that they will not be fit enough to go to the gym,’ adds Gillian Reeves, national group exercise manager at Virgin Active. ‘There’s really nothing to worry about, as there are lots of different people at the gym and no-one minds if you can’t touch your toes or run a mile!’

# Pump up your playlist

Music makes people feel powerful. Research in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science shows that heavy-bass tracks makes athletes feel empowered. ‘Pick a good playlist that will help you to focus on your workout without being distracted,’ says Silverman. ‘Make exercise your “meditation time” – an hour that is all about you. By doing this, you’ll lose your inhibitions and forget to worry about what anyone else is thinking.’

# Ditch the sweatpants

A good excuse to go shopping – buying new gym kit can do wonders for your confidence. ‘No end of people sidle into the gym wearing an unflattering old T-shirt to cover up their body,’ explains Silverman. ‘Believe me, investing in clothes that make you feel more comfortable and confident will make all the difference to how hard you work out.’ Just remember to keep comfort in mind – new clobber won’t boost your confidence if it’s too tight, bright or daring!

# Find a friend

Feeling really out of your comfort zone? Don’t go to the gym alone. ‘Sometimes, being alone can be quite intimidating, but training with a friend will give you confidence,’ says Tyrone Brennand, founder of Be The Fittest ( ‘Training with a buddy will also help you to push more, as people often train harder when they see their mate working their socks off!’