• Sundried Summer Workout

    Shea Vegan Personal Trainer Sundried Summer Workout

    Summer is well and truly here, which means it’s the perfect time to exercise outdoors! Outdoor workouts are great because you can bathe in the glorious sunshine and reap the extra health benefits of the vitamin D exposure from the rays - just make sure you wear plenty of sun cream!

    The Sundried Summer Workout can be done anywhere outdoors and doesn’t require any equipment so you can do it whenever the mood strikes. Maybe in your garden, while the kids play, or maybe in the park in an open space. Always remember to warm up properly before a workout and stay hydrated by always having a water bottle with you.

    Round 1

    The first round is a small circuit comprising of 5 exercises. Aim to complete each exercise for 60 seconds with no rest. If you are a beginner or you have an underlying injury, take it at your own pace and rest whenever you need. If you want more information on how to do an exercise, click or tap the name of the exercise.

    1. High Knees
    2. Press Ups
    3. Inch Worm
    4. Plank Shoulder Taps
    5. Burpees

    Lunge Bench Outdoor Workout Body Weight Sundried

    Round 2

    The second round is based on a Tabata style of HIIT training. HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training and is a great way to burn fat and get fit. Tabata consists of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest, and you can repeat that as many times as you like with as many different exercises as you like. In this workout, you'll be completing 8 rounds (1 round = 20 seconds work and 10 seconds rest) to last 4 minutes with all different exercises. Go straight from one round to the next until you are finished.

    1. Jumping Jacks
    2. Side Steps
    3. Shuttle Runs
    4. Curtsy Lunges
    5. Mountain Climbers
    6. Lunges
    7. Donkey Kicks
    8. Squats

    Press Up Garden Home Workout Sundried

    Round 3

    Your final round is based more on body-weight strength training. You don't need equipment to have a good workout! Complete 3 sets of 10 reps on each of the following exercises with 30-60 seconds of rest in between each one. This is a full body workout which will target every muscle group. Take the exercises slow and perform each repetition with care, focussing on the muscle under tension.

    1. Squats
    2. Lunge to kick through
    3. Press Ups
    4. Back extensions
    5. Crunches
    6. Glute bridges

    Well done for completing the Sundried Summer Workout! 

    On completion of this workout, you should really be feeling the effects. If not, you can either work harder or make the exercises tougher. Remember, exercise is supposed to make you feel good about yourself, and you should fuel your body with nutritious food afterwards. If you find a particular workout boring, don't make yourself suffer by doing it. Find something you love, and you will find that staying fit has never been so easy.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • How To Exercise When You Have Kids

    How to exercise when you have kids at home working mom

    Having little ones at home can leave you feeling like you don't have a spare second in the day. How can you fit in exercise when you have no time? We give you all the tips you need along with with a home workout for you to try.

    How can I find time to workout with kids?

    Finding time to exercise as a parent can feel almost impossible, but it doesn't have to be. Try some of our ideas and see if you can fit exercise into your busy day.

    1. Get a training buddy

    One of the best ways to stay motivated is to partner up. Whether it's a work colleague, your husband/wife, a friend, or a family member, working out together can make things more fun and interesting. Not only this, but if you have someone to be accountable to and someone who you will let down if you skip your session, you'll be more motivated to get that training session done!

    2. Utilise playtime

    When it's your child's playtime, get involved and burn some calories too. If you have an energetic toddler, run around with them by playing adrenaline-fuelled games that involve running or chasing. If your children are a little older, find games where you can both get active, especially in the garden if it's summer time as there are lots of benefits to training outdoors.

    3. Try dancing

    Dancing is something that burns a lot of calories, will get you up and active, and can be very fun. If your children are very energetic, put on some music and dance away. This will not only help them burn off that extra energy and get you moving, it can be a great bonding experience. 

    4. Swap your car for walking or cycling

    By combining your errands with exercise, you can make the time to get active without compromising any of your daily activities. Try walking or cycling to the shops instead of driving, or walking to the local park or playground. It may be easier than you think to get around without your car.

    5. Exercise before you start your day

    By getting up 30 minutes earlier than usual, you could fit in an entire workout and start your day right. There are lots of workouts you can do in under 30 minutes, like this 5-minute punchbag workout, 10-minute tabata workout, or this 20-minute home workout. Even a short workout is better than no workout at all, and it'll energise you for a productive day. If you don't want to get up earlier than you already do, try this lunchtime HIIT workout instead.

    How can a working mom lose weight

    How can a stay at home mum lose weight?

    There are lots of tips and tricks to losing weight if you are a stay-at-home parent. Follow these dos and don'ts to make sure you're staying healthy while at home with the little ones.

    1. Don't eat anything you wouldn't feed to your kids

    There are lots of things you wouldn't feed to your children because the salt or sugar content it too high, so why feed them to yourself? A good rule of thumb to follow is that if you wouldn't give it to your child because of the ingredients, you should avoid it yourself too. Stick to whole foods and try to avoid anything overly processed or pre-packaged.

    2. Don't snack mindlessly

    If you find yourself in a rare moment of calm when your child is playing happily alone or watching a television show, it can be tempting to mindlessly eat food that you don't really need. Avoid temptation by not having snacks in the house, and stick to eating at set times.

    3. Do make mealtime an occasion

    If mealtime is an occasion to look froward to when you eat together with your kids, you'll be less likely to have an unstructured day. Try to have at least one meal a day together as a family where you sit at a table and focus on what you're eating, rather than grabbing whatever is nearby because you're so rushed off your feet. This might mean deliberately making time for it in your day, but it will be worth it ultimately. 

    4. Don't eat through stress

    Being at home on your own with the kids all day can get pretty stressful. If tempers raise and tantrums ensue, make sure you're not reaching for food as comfort. Comfort eating is something that many of us do without realising and can be an almost impossible habit to break. As above, not having any temptation in the house will help with this and always count slowly to 10 before you eat a snack so that you're not eating it out of a stressed panic.

    5. Do make food fun and creative by getting the children involved

    Getting your kids to help in the kitchen is a fantastic way to bond and to help them develop vital skills for later in life. Let them get creative by coming up with new recipes and help them with the cooking. If you really want sweet treats, bake cookies or cupcakes together so that you really feel you've earned them and can have fun in the process. 

    how to work out with a kid at home

    Home workout routine for parents

    If you have kids at home or are pregnant, try this home workout routine by Sundried ambassador and personal trainer Carly Newson.

    Looking to get a great workout done at home? Make sure you have all the kit you need!

    Buy the Sundried Yoga Mat here

    Buy the Sundried Skipping Rope here

    Buy the Sundried Resistance Band here

    Buy the Sundried Gym Rings here

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Beginner Jump Rope Workout And Skipping Guide

    Beginner Jump Rope Workout Skipping Guide

    Looking for a quality skipping rope? Buy the Sundried Skipping Rope for £20 with free delivery.

    Skipping is a fantastic way to get fit and stay fit, even when you don't have access to a gym or even the outdoors. It's compact and can be done anywhere – indoors or outdoors. Skipping will raise your heart rate, improve your fitness, and tone your body. Read on to find out how to skip properly and try our beginner skipping workout to get started.

    Is Skipping A Good Form Of Exercise?

    Skipping is a fantastic workout and can burn up to 10 calories per minute if done at a high intensity! In order to get skilled at jumping rope, it's important to practice and to break it down into sections.

    Let’s start with the jumping. When most people start skipping for the first time they jump too high, just going for it and doing what feels natural without any knowledge on proper technique. But skipping too high is not efficient for a workout and will leave you unable to skip for longer than a few seconds.

    When skipping, the key is to not actually jump. Wait, what? That’s right! If you change your mindset about what your feet are doing, it becomes a lot easier. Instead of jumping, think about doing a calf raise. Practice doing it without the rope to start: raise your heels so that you are on the balls of your feet, and then lower yourself back down using your calf muscles. You’ll soon realise there’s a reason why boxers have such defined calves! You may need to increase the strength and stamina in these muscles before skipping feels easy. Take your time and enjoy the process.

    Once you’ve practised a few times without the rope, try applying this technique with the rope. You should only come a few centimetres off the floor on each bounce. Keep your ankles loose and feel the balls of your feet flex. See if you can keep it up for 30 seconds without stopping.

    Your Arms

    After your feet, what you do with your arms is the most important part of skipping. Hold the handles near the rope-end as this is the most efficient and will allow the rope to swing better. Keep your wrists loose, and your elbows close to your hips. It is a very subtle movement; you do not want to be swinging your whole arm, just a slight movement of the wrist. It will be tempting to tense your arms and lock them by your sides, so try to relax from the shoulder.

    Your Posture

    This moves us onto your posture. Make sure you are standing tall, with your shoulders pulled back and down, and your core and glutes tight. The key to skipping is to relax! If you are skipping for the first time in a gym or a public place, it may be a little daunting, and you may worry about tripping in front of everyone. Let go and have fun and try not to take it too seriously, at least while you are starting out. The looser and more relaxed you are, the less likely you are to trip over and you are less likely to incur an injury.

    Is Skipping A Good Cardio Workout?

    Skipping is a surprisingly demanding cardio workout! If you are skipping for the first time as an adult, you will be shocked by how out of breath you get on your first try! Don’t let this deter you, take your time. If you are new to fitness altogether, then you may wish to just skip in 20-30 second bursts. If you are a seasoned gym-goer, then skipping for intervals of 60 seconds may be more for you. Try our skipping workout plan and see what works for you! Or create your own jump rope routine. Supplement your skipping with leg exercises and mobility drills so that you do not get injured, especially if you are not used to exercising. Skipping has the fantastic benefit of being great for weight loss and by adding skipping into your existing gym routine you can expect to burn up to 10 calories a minute.

    Where To Jump Rope

    Where you choose to do your skipping is important too. If you are skipping outdoors, try to avoid jumping on concrete as this can be harsh on the joints. Skipping on softer tarmac or grass will be better. If you are indoors, avoid carpet as this can make the rope more likely to bounce which can cause you to twist your ankle. Hardwood floors are the perfect surface on which to jump rope.

    How Long Should You Jump Rope For A Beginner?

    When I first got back into skipping as an adult, I was really put-off by the fact that I couldn’t do it well. I saw lots of people in the gym skipping with ease and doing neat tricks so it deflated me somewhat that I was finding it so hard. But don’t let this be the case! After only a few sessions my technique improved hugely and skipping started to feel a lot more natural. Take your time, enjoy it, and maybe even let us know how you get on by leaving a review of the Sundried skipping rope on our website!

    Beginner Skipping Workout

    Day 1

    Skip for as long as you can, rest for 60 seconds, repeat for 5 minutes.

    Day 2

    Skip for as long as you can, rest for 45 seconds, repeat for 7 minutes.

    Day 3

    Skip for 20 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, repeat for 5 minutes.

    Day 4

    Gym cross-training - leg, ab, and back exercises

    Day 5

    Skip for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, repeat for 5 minutes

    Day 6

    Skip for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, repeat for 10 minutes.

    Day 7

    Rest

    Read more about Skipping on the Sundried Skipping page.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Surprising Ways To Get Fit

    Unusual Methods of keeping in shape

    We often go for the traditional approach to exercise and stick to the tried and tested methods. We jog, run, cycle, weight train and so on, but have you ever thought of trying something new?

    Fitness crazes are something we are used to seeing come and go because people can’t help but invent new ways to do things. A lot of sports just modify themselves slightly and create a craze that sticks. Spinning, for example, has become a massive hit and a great way to keep fit.

    So what else is there as an alternative for those who want to shape it up?

    Hula Hooping

    Hula hooping is a great way to get fit as it raises your heart rate, improves your cardiovascular performance, and will strengthen and tone your core, arms, legs, and back. If you'd like to know more about hula hooping, check out our ambassador Emma Barrett who does hula hooping full-time!

    Emma Barrett Hula Hooping Sundried Outdoors Graffiti

    Pole Fitness

    Pole fitness classes have gained a lot of popularity recently as a new way to get in shape. They are a fun and social way of getting fit as well as strong as it is very hard work! Pole fitness will improve your balance and coordination as well as your cardiovascular fitness and it's a great way to spend the evening with your friends. Pole fitness is suitable for both men and women. 

    Aerial Yoga

    If normal yoga isn't enough for you, then you may want to try aerial yoga. By supporting your body weight on an aerial sling, you will be able to achieve yoga poses and deep stretches in a more relaxed way. One of the primary features of using a yoga hammock is its ability to take pressure off the spine and joints as you practice stretches and positions with the support of the sling.

    Barre

    Ballet dancing is classically a great way to keep in shape but it takes a lot of discipline and a lifetime of practice. A ballet barre is a straight bar attached to the wall which ballerinas use to support them while they practice and hold demanding isometric movements. Isometric holds are exercises that you do while not moving (think of the plank.) A modern barre workout is one that has been adapted to suit modern gyms and uses weights and yoga poses to help you achieve a better posture and more toned physique.

    Ballet Barre Workout Class Isometric Holds

    Trampolining

    Trampolining is another gym-based workout that is gaining a lot of popularity. Using mini-trampettes, these classes are high intensity and fast-paced meaning you are bound to work up a sweat! This is a fairly specialised workout so your local commercial gym may not offer it, but if you go on the look out you will be able to find a gym nearby that offers this type of class. Check out this video of a trampolining class in action!

    Exercise is supposed to be enjoyable and it is worth exploring some alternatives whenever you can. The body gets used to the same type of training very quickly, so if you do the same thing at the gym every day you will stop noticing any changes in your fitness and physique. 

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Physical Fitness Testing and Assessment

    Fitness Testing Assessments Vo2 Max Bleep TestFitness testing and assessment is an important part of training. There are many different ways of testing your fitness and strength, with some better than others. The dreaded bleep test at school is a classic example of a fitness test and is still used in policing today. Nowadays, chances are your smart watch can track your fitness for you, with many of the newer Garmin watches providing VO2 max testing as well as lactate threshold testing. But you don't need an expensive watch to track your fitness! We've put together some of the best fitness assessments around, why not give one a try and see if you're where you want to be?

    VO2 Max

    The VO2 Max test is a very popular fitness test among runners and triathletes as it is a universal indication of cardiovascular fitness. VO2 max is a rating of your body’s ability to consume oxygen. This is affected by factors such as how adapted your muscles are to exercise and how much blood your heart can pump.

    VO2 Max Testing Assessment Treadmill Oxygen

    This is the classic scene that you have probably seen in films and TV shows many times.The most accurate VO2 max tests take place in laboratories, whereby participants are given an oxygen mask to wear while running on a treadmill with their effort getting progressively more intense. Oxygen intake is monitored and VO2 max is the point at which oxygen uptake stops increasing. The units of oxygen are then measured per kg of bodyweight and a VO2 max score is calculated.

    It is possible to do a VO2 Max test yourself outside of a laboratory. You can do this at the gym on a regular treadmill, all you will need is a stopwatch and a calculator. 

    How To Perform A VO2 Max Test

    • Warm up on the treadmill for 10 minutes by walking and jogging at a gentle speed.
    • The test begins at a speed of 8km/h (5mph) and an incline of 0%.
    • Start the stopwatch and begin jogging.
    • After 3 minutes, adjust the treadmill incline to 2.5%, and then keep increasing by 2.5% every 2 minutes thereafter.
    • When you are unable to continue, the test stops.
    • Make a note of your time.
    • Once you have your time, use the following equation to calculate your VO2 Max:

    VO2 Max = (Time x 1.444) + 14.99

    Time is calculated in minutes and fractions of minutes, so for example, 13 minutes and 15 seconds would be 13.25 minutes, 13 minutes and 30 seconds would be 13.5 minutes and so on.

    Whilst many new smart watches provide VO2 max readings, these are only estimates, as they don’t take into account the measure of ventilation, oxygen and carbon dioxide concentration of the inhaled and exhaled air. While they may be a useful guess, don’t get caught up by the value you’ve been given.

    What Does Your VO2 Max Score Mean?

    Once you have your score, you'll want to know what it actually means. Use the table below to see how your score rates.

    Female

    Age Very Poor Poor Fair Good Excellent Superior
    13-19 <25 25 - 30 31 - 34 35 - 38 39 - 41 >41
    20-29 <24 24 - 28 29 - 32 33 - 36 37 - 41 >41
    30-39 <23 23 - 27 28 - 31 32 - 36 37 - 40 >40
    40-49 <21 21 - 24 25 - 28 29 - 32 33 - 36 >36
    50-59 <20 20 - 22 23 - 26 27 - 31 32 - 35 >35
    60+ <17 17 - 19 20 - 24 25 - 29 30 - 31 >31

     

    Male

    Age Very Poor Poor Fair Good Excellent Superior
    13-19 <35 35 - 37 38 - 44 45 - 50 51 - 55 >55
    20-29 <33 33 - 35 36 - 41 42 - 45 46 - 52 >52
    30-39 <31 31 - 34 35 - 40 41 - 44 45 - 49 >49
    40-49 <30 30 - 32 33 - 38 39 - 42 43 - 47 >48
    50-59 <26 26 - 30 31 - 35 36 - 40 41 - 45 >45
    60+ <20 20 - 25 26 - 31 32 - 35 36 - 44 >44

     

    As you can see, the higher the reading, the better.

    Top VO2 Max Scores

    These athletes achieved the highest VO2 Max scores in the world. How does yours compare?

    Athlete

    Gender

    Sport/Event

    VO2 max (ml/kg/min)

    Espen Harald Bjerke

    Male

    Cross Country Skiing

    96.0

    Bjorn Daehlie

    Male

    Cross Country Skiing

    96.0

    Greg LeMond

    Male

    Cycling

    92.5

    Matt Carpenter

    Male

    Marathon Runner

    92.0

    Tore Ruud Hofstad

    Male

    Cross Country Skiing

    92.0

    Harri Kirvesniem

    Male

    Cross Country Skiing

    91.0

    Miguel Indurain

    Male

    Cycling

    88.0

    Marius Bakken

    Male

    5K Runner

    87.4

    Dave Bedford

    Male

    10K Runner

    85.0

    John Ngugi

    Male

    Cross Country Runner

    85.0

    Greta Waitz

    Female

    Marathon runner

    73.5

    Ingrid Kristiansen

    Female

    Marathon Runner

    71.2

    Rosa Mota

    Female

    Marathon Runner

    67.2


    Sit and Reach

    The sit and reach test uses flexibility as a basis for judging your level of fitness. The test measures the flexibility of the lower back and hamstrings. Tightness in this area is associated with lumbar lordosis, forward pelvic tilt, and lower back pain.

    How To Perform A Sit and Reach Test

    • Warm up for 10 minutes by doing dynamic stretches.
    • You will need a box, a marker, and a ruler/tape measure.
    • Sit with your legs outstretched and your feet flat against the front of the box.
    • Place the marker (it can be anything, a rubber is probably best) on top of the box at the edge closest to you.
    • Keeping your legs dead straight, lean forwards and push the marker along the box as far as you can using your fingertips.
    • Once you have pushed the marker, measure how far it went.

    What Does Your Sit and Reach Score Mean?

    Rating

    Males (cm)

    Females (cm)

    Excellent

    >70

    >60

    Very good

    61-70

    51-60

    Above average

    51-60

    41-50

    Average

    41-50

    31-40

    Below average

    31-40

    21-30

    Poor

    21-30

    11-20

    Very Poor

    <21

    <11

    The Vertical Jump Test

    The vertical jump is a measure of fitness through explosive power in the legs. The test is really simple to complete, to set up all you need is a wall and a tape measure. Start by getting the participant to stand next to the wall and stretch their closest hand up as far as they can and make a mark of this point. This is the standing height. The participant then leaps as high as they can in the air and touches the wall at the highest point of their jump. The distance from the start point to the highest point is then measure as your score. Take the test 3 times and take an average for the most accurate results.

    What Does Your Vertical Jump Score Mean?

    Rating

    Males (height in cm)

    Females (height in cm)

    Excellent

    >70

    >60

    Very good

    61-70

    51-60

    Above average

    51-60

    41-50

    Average

    41-50

    31-40

    Below average

    31-40

    21-30

    Poor

    21-30

    11-20

    Very poor

    <21

    <11

    Cooper Run Test

    The Cooper run test is one of the most popular fitness tests used to determine aerobic endurance. It is also used as part of military training, with different scores being required to make the different role entry requirements. The test lasts just 12 minutes and participants are required to run as far as they can for the entire duration. The test can also be used to measure VO2 max using several equations (in ml/kg/min) from the distance score (a formula for either kms or miles):

    VO2 max = (35.97 x miles) - 11.29

    VO2 max = (22.35 x kilometers) - 11.29

    What Does Your Cooper Run Score Mean?

    Age

    Very Good (metres)

    Good

    (metres)

    Average

    (metres)

    Bad

    (metres)

    Very Bad

    (metres)

    13-14

    Male: 2700m +

    Female:2000m+

    2400-2700


    1900-2000

    2200-2399


    1600-1899

    2100-2199


    1500-1599

    2100-


    1500-

    15-16

    Male: 2800+

    Female: 2100+

    2500-2800

    2000-2100

    2300-2499

    1600-1899

    2200-2289

    1500-1599

    2200

    1600

    17-20

    Male: 3000+

    Female: 2300+

    2700-3000

    2100-2300

    2500-2699

    1800-2099

    2300-2499

    1700-1799

    2300-

    1700-

    20-29

    Male: 2800 +

    Female: 2700+

    2400-2800

    2200-2700

    2200-2399

    1800-2199

    1600-2199

    1500-1799

    1600-

    1500-

    30-39

    Male: 2700+

    Female: 2500+

    2300-2700

    2000-2500

    1900-2299

    1700-1999

    1500-1899

    1400-1699

    1500-

    1400-

    40-49

    Male: 2500+

    Female: 2300+

    2100-2500

    1900-2300

    1700-2099

    1500-1899

    1400-1699

    1200-1499

    1400-

    1200-

    50+

    Male: 2400 +

    Female: 2200 +

    2000-2400

    1700-2200

    1600-1999

    1400-1699

    1300-1599

    1100-1399

    1300-

    1100

     

    The Bleep Test

    The bleep test is a classic and is often used in school lessons. The test involves 20m shuttle runs from two marked points. The aim is to reach the cone before you hear the bleep. As the test continues, the frequency of the bleeps increases, with the time between getting shorter and shorter. The test requires a recording of the bleep and the score is then measured depending on how many rounds you last.

    What Does Your Bleep Test Score Mean?

     

    men

    women

    excellent

    > 13

    > 12

    very good

    11 - 13

    10 - 12

    good

    9 - 11

    8 - 10

    average

    7 - 9

    6 - 8

    poor

    5 - 7

    4 - 6

    very poor

    < 5

    < 4

     

    Whichever test you decide to do, don’t just do it once and leave it at that. In six weeks time, hit it again, and see if your score has improved. Fitness tests are a great way of monitoring your progress and seeing if your training is actually working. Fitness tests make goals measurable and give you a benchmark to aim for. Do you have any other fitness tests that you enjoy doing to measure your fitness?

    Posted by Alexandra Parren