• How To Freshen Up After Cycling To Work

    cycling to work bike commute

    Cycling to work is a fantastic habit and should be encouraged wherever possible. Cycling to work is great for your health, it's great for the environment, it allows you to incorporate more exercise into your busy day, and will save you on commuting costs! Unfortunately, if your commute is uphill or a good few miles away, chances are you'll get to work a sweaty mess and feeling rotten all day. Follow these tips to freshen up after cycling to work and for all your cycling to work essentials.

    How to clean up at work after a commute

    Some people are lucky enough to have a shower at work. If this is the case for you, this is probably your best option. Of course, you'll need to make sure you have enough time to get ready and that you have everything you need like a towel and change of clothes. However, if you plan on cycling to work and have no shower, there are plenty of other options.

    Whether you are cycling 3 miles to work or cycling 30 miles to work, you might end up getting sweaty. The best thing you can do to instantly feel better is to change your clothes when you get to work. Change out of your cycling to work clothes into something dry and clean. Freshen up with baby wipes and a fresh spritz of deodorant to control any odour.

    Thankfully nowadays there are active tops you can wear which will prevent any sweat patches forming and even prevent odour. The Sundried Olperer t-shirt is made from highly functional recycled fabrics which block odour and prevent sweat marks so that you will still feel super fresh when you get to work. 

    Cycling to work essentials

    Cycling to work clothes 

    Wearing a separate set of clothes for your commute is paramount for being comfortable throughout the rest of the day. There's nothing worse than sitting in sweaty clothes as you cool down and then start to feel cold! Make sure you have an outfit with sweat-wicking technical tops and flexible trousers or leggings so that you can be comfortable on the ride and then change into your smart work clothes when you get to the office.

    Deodorant

    It goes without saying that an extra dose of deodorant when you get to the office will go a long way. 

    Baby wipes

    These will be your best friend if you don't have a shower at work. You can wipe your face and underarms with baby wipes or any type of sanitary wipe in order to freshen up and remove any sweat. Taking a towel will then also allow you to wipe away any moisture and make you feel more comfortable. Scented wipes may also be even better, depending on your preference.

    Bike rack with panniers

    But how do you transport your lunch and work clothes on the bike? Taking a saddlebag or two is the best way, and if you roll your work clothes in the right way, they won't get wrinkled. You could also put a dryer sheet in with your work clothes so that they don't smell stale when you get them out to put on.

    cycling to work bike commuting

    Top tips to make your commute (and work day) more bearable

    Save the sweat for the way home

    When cycling to work, you are not on a mission to improve your VO2 max and get a new power PR. Take it easy and really take your time. If you go slow enough and keep your heart rate low, you may not even break a sweat. If you do want to use this as time to add exercise into your day, push hard on the way home when you know you can shower as soon as you get in.

    Give yourself plenty of time

    As above, you need to be able to take it slow, so allowing yourself plenty of time is important. You will also need time once you arrive to freshen yourself up. If you are rushing, you will just end up more flustered and sweaty.

    Respect the weather

    If it is raining or very hot, you know you will be more of a mess when you arrive. A crisp, dry spring or autumn day is the perfect time to commute by bike, not the height of summer. If it gets particularly hot in your city, just bear this in mind and plan accordingly.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • What Is A Healthy Lifestyle?

    How to live a healthy lifestyle work stress exercise workout

    We often read about living a healthy lifestyle and there are countless 'lifestyle bloggers' making a fortune from advocating this way of life. But what actually is a healthy lifestyle? And how can you live a healthy lifestyle?

    Why is having a healthy lifestyle important?

    A healthy lifestyle is all about the choices you make regarding your daily habits. Do you slump on the sofa and eat an entire packet of biscuits when you get home from work or do you go for a run and eat a healthy dinner? These daily choices determine whether you're healthy or not, and can affect nearly every aspect of your life. Not only will you feel better mentally, living a healthy lifestyle will lower your risk of developing chronic illnesses and diseases meaning you are physically healthier too.

    The benefits of living a healthy lifestyle

    • Reduced risk of developing chronic illnesses and diseases
    • Improved mood and brain function
    • Improved work performance and concentration
    • Better self-confidence and happiness
    • Improved appearance due to better quality skin and hair
    • Improved relationships
    • Reduced frequency of minor illnesses such as common cold
    • Improved immune system

    How can I live a healthy lifestyle work running happy

    How can I change to a healthy lifestyle?

    Diet

    Probably the most obvious thing to address when changing to a healthy lifestyle is improving your diet. For a lot of people, the first thought is to make a complete overhaul and take extreme measures such as doing a detox or following an extreme diet. However, this is not a viable or sustainable way of changing to a healthy lifestyle. Consistency is key, so you need to make your changes for life and make sure you get into daily healthy habits that you can stick with long term. Take control of your diet by learning about macronutrients and how counting them can help you achieve your weight loss goals.

    Eating a snack or a treat every now and then is also part of living a healthy lifestyle, as a restricted diet is not healthy and not sustainable. Balance is important, so make sure you don't remove entire food groups from your diet.

    One way to improve your diet is by going vegan. This can be fairly extreme, so make sure you do your research first, and it certainly isn't suitable for everyone. Find a healthy diet that works best for you and your unique needs and you'll be well on your way to having a healthy lifestyle.

    • Eat plenty of protein
    • Limit unhealthy foods but still allow a treat from time to time
    • Limit processed foods
    • Cook from scratch wherever possible
    • Do not take extreme measures to lose weight

    Drinks

    When changing to a healthier diet, many people tend to neglect what they drink and focus only on what they eat. You could be drinking lots of sugar in your drinks if you enjoy branded soft drinks, and there are even worse health effects associated with drinking large volumes of alcohol. If your lifestyle currently consists of going out drinking with friends every weekend, or drinking regularly as part of your daily routine, this is not healthy. In order to change to a healthy lifestyle, you will need to reduce or even eliminate altogether the amount of alcohol you drink. There are many benefits of giving up alcohol or even just drinking less, such as better skin, reduced risk of cancer, and improved mood. Not to mention no more hangovers!

    • Limit sugar drinks
    • Limit energy drinks
    • Reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption
    • Drink more water

    Drink hydrate healthy lifestyle

    Sleep routine

    Third in the pecking order of living a healthy lifestyle after diet and drinks is sleep. If you have poor quality sleep or do not get enough each night, your health will deteriorate quickly and you will have a poor quality of life. The average healthy adult should aim for an absolute minimum of 6 hours each night, but 8-10 hours is optimum for healthy brain function and performance. 

    Not only is it important for your daily functions, sleep is important for recovery too. If you do a great workout at the gym or go for a long run or cycle, having a good night's sleep is vital for recovery so that your muscles can grow and your tissue and immune system can stay healthy. 

    Not getting enough sleep is not the only unhealthy habit you may have; the quality of your sleep is important too. If you sleep with a television or music on, this is not conducive to a good night's sleep and it will mean your hormones are negatively affected. If you are continuously awoken throughout the night by loud noises, a baby crying, or a snoring partner, you will definitely suffer from bad moods and lack of concentration the next day. You can track your sleep using a fitness tracker or wearable to analyse the quality of your sleep and see if you are constantly being disturbed throughout the night. Getting a good 10 hours of high quality sleep every night is key to living a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, you cannot 'catch up on sleep' at the weekend - you have to be consistent!

    • Try to get 8-10 hours sleep every night
    • Don't try to catch up on sleep at the weekend
    • Get into a consistent sleep routine by going to bed and waking up at the same time 7 days a week
    • Eliminate disruptions to your sleep by not sleeping with television or music on

    Work habits

    We spend a lot of our time at work, so your healthy lifestyle needs to translate into the office as well as at home. If you can, try to work out while at work, as working out at work can help prevent health issues such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. If you sit at a desk all day, try to get up and walk around every hour and if you have a manual job where you are on your feet all day, make sure you take rests.

    There is lots of advice out there on how to workout at work and it is easier than you think. By following healthy work habits, you will greatly improve your chances of benefiting from a healthy lifestyle.Try to avoid snacking and avoid the temptation of all the unhealthy food in your workplace! Bring a homemade lunch with you each day so that you can control your portions and know exactly what you're eating. 

    • Get up and stay active while at work
    • Avoid temptation by bringing your own food to work

    workout at work sleep routine healthy habits lifestyle

    External factors (family, friends, stress)

    After all is said and done, there will always be external factors that you cannot control and which can undo all your hard work. If your home life is hectic and stressful, there is not much chance that you will be able to live a fully healthy lifestyle. Try to address the things that are causing you to have bad habits, such as grabbing a ready meal because you don't have time to make a healthy dinner or not getting enough sleep because of stress.

    There are ways to manage depression which don't involve going to see a therapist, such as meditating, doing vigorous exercise, and finding a new hobby. All of these are very important for living a healthy lifestyle, and can make a huge difference to your well being. You can manage stress with exercise by going for a long run to clear your head or taking your frustrations out at the gym. 

    Posted by Alexandra Parren