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Category Archives: Fitness

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!’

Simple Way to Run Faster

# Get stronger

The more grounded and more dangerous you are, the more drive you’ll produce, and the quicker you’ll be. Quality preparing in the rec center, combined with some plyometric activities, are vital on the off chance that you need to get speedier. Try not to be reluctant to lift some heavier weights, in the scope of five to eight reps for each set, as this is the place you’ll see the most quality picks up at first.

# Become leaner

The heavier you are, the more difficult it is to move quickly, so decreasing your body fat is one of the quickest and easiest ways to improve your speed. What you eat will have the biggest impact here, so you need to be sure that you’re eating for your specific requirements. This will be different for us all, so recording what you eat and finding a way to track your body composition on a regular basis can be very useful to keep you on track.

# Improve your posture

Structural balance and good posture play a big part, not only in keeping you injury free, but also in helping you move and breathe more efficiently. And the more efficient you are in both of these areas, the faster you’ll be. Typical areas of weakness that need attention are the hip flexors, hamstrings, glutes and lower and mid-back, which can be improved through exercises such as lunges, deadlifts and rowing variations.

# Work on technique

The more proficient you become in certain movement patterns, the more efficient your body will be and the faster you’ll go. Want to get faster at running? Working on the technical aspects of running mechanics, such as stride length and arm drive, will make a huge difference to your efficiency, and in turn, your speed. To improve stride length for example, think about driving your leg back to push you forward.

# Do short sprints

Performing short sprint intervals and improving technique are the quickest ways to improve speed. It’s important to get a good base of overall conditioning and get yourself as strong and lean as possible at the outset, but once you have a good level of general fitness, you need to sprint if you want to go faster. Start with shorter distances of, say 10-30m, and make sure you get complete rest between sets.

Guide to Lean Strong Body

lean-strong-bodyMuscle mass, or lean mass, is critical in the event that you need to get solid, conditioned and sound. Bulk makes you fundamentally solid, keep your metabolic rate increase and will give you that looked for after incline, athletic look. Try not to stress, we’re not talking weight lifter extents, but rather sufficiently only, in the right places, to permit you to look great and go quicker for more. Here’s the way to have more grounded muscles.

# Increase the frequency

If you want to increase your muscle mass, you have to hit the gym regularly. Three sets of 10 reps once a week just won’t cut it, especially if you’re not a fitness newbie. Instead, pick up those weights three, maybe four, times a week, depending on your individual requirements and responsiveness to training. Make sure you build in enough recovery time though.

# Get your nutrition right

How you fuel your body and the nutrients that you give it to repair are vital when it comes to building muscle. The key is to eat enough calories to allow the body to recover and muscles to repair, but not too many, or your body fat will increase. Calorie requirements will vary, but a good starting point might be 20 per cent above your basal metabolic rate (BMR), which can be calculated loosely by adding a zero to your weight in pounds. So, if you weigh 120lbs, your BMR is roughly 1,200 and your calorie intake should be around 1,440.

# Increase the volume

Simply lifting heavy weights is not the key to building muscle. It’s the total volume, or tension, that you expose your muscles to that’s actually the key. You should do more reps and more sets if you want to build muscle, while using weights that challenge you. Try combining some lower reps of heavy weights with more reps using lighter weights, such as two sets of four to six reps, followed by three sets of 12-15 reps.

# Go easy on the cardio

Cardiovascular training has a place in every programme, but if you do too much, it can actually be detrimental to your muscle tone and gym performance, especially if your nutrition and other recovery approaches aren’t perfect. Try sticking to two short, intense, interval sessions each week, and if you also do regular walks, that should be enough cardio for you.

# Maximize recovery

Perhaps more important than what you do in the gym is what you do outside the gym, after your workout. Nutrition, sleep, hydration and relaxation all play a big part in helping you get the most from your workouts. Sleep is the big one and improving it will make a significant difference. Aim for seven to nine hours per night.

Inexpensive way to Get Fit

What cost ought to a lady put on her wellness? Thirty pounds for every month? Four hundred pounds a year? Really, information from Money Dashboard reports that the normal Brit spends around £550 a year on rec center participations and practice classes. Without a doubt, that doesn’t seem like a great deal yet that is before you’ve considered the developing number of individuals who are forking out on extravagance workout studios, planner wellness mold and elite sustenance administrations. With boutique exercise centers charging £30 per class or more, and top of the line mold clothing costing up to many pounds per thing, the cost can soon mount up. Indeed, recounted prove demonstrates that a few ladies are burning through a large number of pounds on their wellbeing and wellness every year. Be that as it may, is it justified, despite all the trouble?

Fitness splurging comes in many forms, from wearing luxury kit on a run, to splashing out on expensive gym memberships and paying extra for specialist training that promises results. It’s not about vanity – it’s about confidence, comfort and focus. If you look good, you feel good and that helps you muster the enthusiasm to attack a workout. But do you need to flash lots of cash to keep fit? No, of course not – and there are plenty of things that we at H&F think you shouldn’t spend money on. With the growing number of free apps and workout sites, not to mention attractive apparel that won’t empty your pockets, keeping fit doesn’t have to leave you bankrupt. The key is to work out which products are worth your pounds. And that’s where we come in…

# Log on, slim down

Turns out there’s more to online videos than yelling goats and Prancercise (Google it). In fact, the internet is a wealth of fitness knowledge. Among some of our favourite freebie workouts are the Tone It Up girls ( and Yoga With Adriene ( And you can even get free A-list workouts on the net – visit Icelandic trainer Svava Sigbertsdottir’s Viking Method YouTube channel to find out how Nicole Scherzinger works out. And you thought the web was for socialising!

# In store classes

Specialist classes don’t have to cost a penny. In fact, some are free of charge. Earlier this year, Sweaty Betty launched a ‘Get Fit 4 Free’ campaign that gave fitbies access to in-store classes, recipes and online videos. And all Sweaty Betty boutiques across the country offer free classes to members all year long. London-bound? Lululemon Covent Garden and King’s Road stores offer complimentary yoga and running club every week.

# Race your dog

Turn your furry friend into a fitness pal. Personal trainer, Alison Beadle (, tells clients to race their dog because it’s a great form of fat-burning interval work – walk fast, jog and then sprint! ‘It’s interval training with a difference,’ says Beadle. ‘One of my clients has beaten her dog once but only by cheating and throwing the ball in the opposite direction!’ It’s harder than you think.

# Look for Discount

Gym memberships can be expensive – but not if you’re smart! Most gyms offer a cheaper membership if you’re prepared to go to the club during off-peak hours – usually between 10am and 4pm, and not including weekends. Ask gyms if they do discounts for students or single mums, or register at to get up to 60 per cent off gym costs.

# Competitive commuting

Make your commute count by racing against the clock with Beadle’s commuting circuit. ‘Speed walk along the corridors, power walk up escalators and see if you can do it faster each time,’ explains Beadle. ‘If you need a little competition to motivate you, challenge a friend to walk it faster than you.’

# Lunge

Lunge like no-one’s looking. The simple move is one of the best exercises for your legs and bum – and you can do them anywhere. ‘Walking lunges can be done around your own home all day, every day,’ says Donohue. ‘There is nothing you can find in a gym that beats walking lunges for the entire lower half.’

# Hit the green gym

Got access to a park? Then you have all the kit you need to get fit – benches, a running circuit and maybe even an outdoor gym. ‘Keeping fit and healthy doesn’t need to be expensive,’ agrees Muir. ‘The great outdoors is free – go for a walk, bike ride or jog. Too cold? That’s no excuse, as you can even run up and down your stairs to get fit.’

Exercise for 20s

Fitness coach Jean-Claude uncovers how to practice ideal for your age bunch, beginning with your 20s.

Practicing in your twenties is an extraordinary chance to set an establishment for later life. Propensities that you ingrain into your every day routine at an opportune time will be less demanding to keep up later down the line. Your twenties are a period when you’re free of excessively numerous duties so you can practice with more power, all the more oftentimes knowing you have room schedule-wise and will recoup all the more immediately between workouts. This will assemble an extraordinary base of development and a powerful auxiliary stage that will demonstrate significant, both all through the rec center, sometime down the road.

# Time to play

With time for more training sessions each week, this is a great period for trying as many different activities as you can, to help you find what you enjoy most and, perhaps more importantly, determine what works best for you. In older adults, lack of time, lack of results and boredom are the three biggest barriers to exercise, all of which you can combat by experimenting in your twenties and finding out what combination of workouts works best for you.

# Build a base

Perhaps the most important element of exercise in your twenties is creating a solid postural base. Your bone mass reaches its peak during this decade so strength training, through a combination of body weight and other types of resistance training, is key. Women in their twenties who don’t do resistance training in their twenties, lose muscle and gain fat in equal measures in their forties and fifties. This is a real concern given women’s increased risk of osteoporosis in later life. Resistance training is absolutely key.

# Peak performance

Building quality movement patterns (EXPLAIN), working on your flexibility and improving your cardiovascular fitness are also important in your twenties. While this might seem like a lot to have to focus on, the good news is your body is super-robust now and can handle just about anything you throw at it, as long as it’s progressive, and you don’t do too much too soon. Your ability to recover, post workout, is at a peak, as is your potential to improve all aspects of your fitness, so get in as much training as you can, train hard regularly and set yourself a solid foundation for later life.

# Tips for your 20s

— Develop a base of movement

Staying mobile and learning about how your body moves is essential if you want to stay injury free and keep exercising hard into later life. Make sure you include regular mobility work (HOW OFTEN), either through regular stretching or yoga, and take the time develop good movement patterns (EXPLAIN) before you follow more challenging strength-training programmes.

— Hit the weights

Aim to do some form of resistance training two or three times per week. This is often best done with full-body workouts, focusing on compound lifts such as squats, lunges, chins ups push-ups and rows. Remember that it’s got to challenge you. Cruising through three sets of fifteen with any easy weight won’t cut it you’ve got to ask more of yourself.

— Do regular cardio

Add some regular cardio days to your strength training workouts.Include all types of cardio training including sprints, HIIT training, circuit training and longer steady state forms such as running, cycling or swimming. Ideally alternating between strength training and cardio days, six days per week, with one total rest day.

Burn More Fat Tips

# Combine weights and cardio

Once you have a good postural base (no injuries or specific weaknesses) metabolic resistance training (think circuit training with higher reps and less rest between different moves) is
a hugely effective way to drop body fat. This combination of strength and cardio training works wonders if you want the best results in the shortest time. Just make sure you learn the correct technique before you speed things up – you need to keep your form as you move from one exercise to the next before you’ve fully recovered – otherwise you risk injury.

# Do what you’re not good at

When you get good at doing something, you become more efficient, so you burn fewer calories doing the same thing. Great news if you’re training for long- distance events, but not what we’re after for shifting a few pounds.
If you want rapid fat loss, pick activities you’re not good at and do them repeatedly. So go running if you don’t normally run, or do weight training instead of treadmill running, for example. Once you get good at them, switch to something else and do the same.

# Do upper and lower super sets

One of the best ways to burn fat is to do super-sets that alternate between your upper- and lower body. Think squats paired with chin-ups. This allows you to tax your musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems in a way that you couldn’t if you focused on just your upper or lower body. The muscles in your lower body can rest while you work the upper body and visa versa.

# Get the weight right

With higher-rep workouts, you still need to challenge your body within the given rep range. If a workout calls for 10 reps, for example, you should pick a weight you can do 10-12 reps with, not a weight you could do 25 reps with. This might seem obvious, but it’s a common mistake and big factor when it comes to results – or lack of them.

# Do more in less time

The best fat-loss workouts rev up your metabolic rate fastest. You need to stimulate as many muscles as possible, while also working your heart and lungs, in a way that’s even more intense than traditional cardio. Rather than counting reps, go for time. For example, try 40m of walking lunges, followed by five push-ups at the end, then sprint back to the start and repeat as many times as you can in 15 minutes.

# Moves for weight loss

— Dumbbell thrusters

Perhaps the perfect combination
of strength and cardio training.
Do a full squat to overhead press (hold dumbbells just in front of your shoulders and press them up, locking out your arms as you stand up).

— Burpee pull-ups

These work the heart and just about every muscle in the body.
Standing in front of a chin-up bar, do a burpee (from press-up position, jump your feet towards your hands, then jump up with arms up), pulling yourself up on the bar at the end (don’t worry if you can’t lift yourself all the way up). Lower and repeat.

— Hill sprints or sled pulling

Brutally hard on the cardio system, but much friendlier on the joints.
If you’re bored with hill sprints, try sled-pulling intervals. They mimic running action without the impact on your joints. If you pull far enough and have very short rest periods, this might be the most horrendous, but effective, exercise ever!

Personal trainer Jean-Claude Vacassin owns W10 Performance gym in West London. He has advised athletes, sports brands and film companies, as well as working in nutrition, functional medicine and rehabilitation. Visit

Leg Raises Work out

Leg raises are an incredible approach to focus on the stomach, reinforcing lower abs and hip reflexors, in addition to it doesn’t require any exercise center unit. Add these moves to one of your home workouts for a basic, viable approach to condition your tummy. Attempt 10 reps to begin with, and advance to all the more once you’ve culminated your frame.

Experiment with these diverse varieties of leg raises to test yourself, ensure you’re additionally hitting your fat-blazing workouts hard, as you have to light that fat to uncover your new conditioned tum!

# Side leg raises 

This exercise can be performed lying or standing

For standing

– Standing on one leg, raise the opposite leg to the side as far as you can

– Bring it back to the standing position and repeat this exercise for both legs

For lying

-Lie down on one side- with legs extended and stacked on top of one another

-Raise the top leg up as high as you can, lowering it back down to the first poistion.


# Lying down leg raises

-Lie on your back with your hands on the floor or under your bottom.

-Keeping a slight bend in the knees and feet together, start with both feet up towards the ceiling.

-Without allowing your lower back to overarch, slowly lower your legs towards the floor without bending the knees any more than they already are.

-When legs are almost on the floor, squeeze the abs and lift them back up to the start and repeat.

Hot tip: if these aren’t challenging enough for you, why not add some ankle weights?

# Leg raises with a ball 

Add a bit of weight to make your leg raises more challenging

-Start similar to the lying down leg raises

-With your feet on the floor, place an exercise or medicine ball between your feet, griping it firmly

-Begin to raise your legs up, then slowly lowering your legs down, the weight will cause you to use more control

-The weight will cause this exercise to me more challenging than the regular leg raises but effective works the abdominals.

# Hanging leg raises 

You can perform this exercise at the gym, in the park or at home if you have a door pull up bar

-Hanging from a bar with your arms- grip firmly wide or medium

-Begin to raise your knees/legs so that your body makes a 90 degrees angle

– Lower your legs down and repeat the exercise

This exercise can be difficult, some gyms provide a padded bench that can support your back and padded arm rests for your elbows.

Why Warm up before Exercise ?

The warm-up ought to be the main thing you do when venturing into the exercise center, getting prepared for a run or playing an impromptu game of ball at the nearby stop. By taking 10 to 15 minutes to just warm up before work out, you will have the capacity to perform better and decrease the probability of damage.

These blood-pumping techniques will help you have your best sweat yet.

Disregard Static Stretching

Recollect center school P.E. class. Keep in mind how the rec center instructor would make everybody finish a progression of extends before you could go play kickball?

While touching your toes and different sorts of static extends are awesome for expanding an individual’s scope of movement, it is not perfect for preparing the body for physical action and ought to be finished either as a chill off post-workout or amid the day as its own particular action.

Research shows that by incorporating a dynamic warm-up into your pre-workout routine, you are able to work out harder, feel better and reduce your likelihood of injury.

By warming up, we are telling our bodies, “Ok, it’s time to get moving,” which helps our muscles and cardiovascular system prepare for high levels of effort.

# How to Warm Up

You always want to start the warm-up slowly with a few in-place, dynamic movements (i.e. knee hugs) and gradually move towards a higher-effort movement at the end of the warm-up (i.e. high knees for 10 yards).

To ensure a successful warm-up, do these three things:

  1. Elevate Your Heart Rate: By starting out slow, you are giving your body the chance to gradually raise your heart rate over the 10 to 15-minute time period prior to exercise.
  2. Increase Blood Flow: During exercise, blood carries oxygen to the working muscles while also transferring byproducts away. With your warm-up, you are turning on some of these shuttle systems before you really stress them during the workout
  3. Use Similar Movements: The primary goal of the warm-up is to prep the body for the activity you are planning to do. Therefore, include movements that closelyresemble your workout for the day. This may include knee hugs, hip hugs and leg kicks if you are planning on doing squats in the workout.

As long as you meet those three goals during your warm-up, your body will be ready for the training session. Remember to start out slow and gradually pick up the pace until your heart rate has elevated slightly, your blood flow has increased and your limbs are loose.

Now you’re ready for an incredible workout.