• Sundried Summer Workout

    Shea Vegan Personal Trainer Sundried Summer Workout

    Summer is finally 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. Getting active in the sun can be social too; get your friends or family to join you so that you can all get fit together! No more hours spent staring at a blank wall in the gym, it’s time to get out there and learn to enjoy moving again!

    This outdoor workout can be done anywhere 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 with your friends. 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 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. Between rushing to and from school and picking the little ones up from activities and trying to squeeze in daily errands too, it's no wonder that the average mother only gets 17 minutes of 'me time' each day. So how can you fit in exercise when you have no time? We give you all the tips you need along with with a working mom workout routine for you to try.

    How can I find time to workout with kids?

    Finding time to exercise as a working 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! 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 your children to school. 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

    Working mom workout routine

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

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • How To Get Faster At Swimming

    how to get faster at swimming

    Once you’re comfortable in the water and swimming further and easier than before, the next challenge is to get quicker! Either because you want to beat your friends, set personal bests, finish further up the results, or potentially even qualify for age group teams.

    There are three keys to getting faster at swimming:

    • Reducing frontal resistance to the water
    • Pulling/kicking with purpose 
    • Not rushing your stroke

    Reducing your resistance to the water

    This will mean that you can move faster and further with the same level of effort and this is a real foundation to strong and fast swimming. If you are able to focus on good posture in the water – i.e. looking down, lengthening your spine and engaging your core, then you’ll be in a really good place.

    A simple trick to focus this is to streamline when you push off the wall every time. This is not cheating – a comment that I get from many athletes! This is a skill that will help you travel faster and with better form, improving the quality of your swims. Imagine it like a squat jump. When you push off the wall, if possible, squeeze your ears between your biceps with your hands together above your head. If shoulder mobility doesn’t allow this, just keep your arms in front of you but still aiming to tuck your chin down toward your chest.

    All this will help lengthen your spine and keep your head in the right position – it’s your reset point every length. Finally, when you push off, you will automatically engage your core – meaning that your first few strokes will be among your best ever. Your challenge is then to try and maintain that as far down each length as you can! 

    Pulling and kicking with purpose

    With resistance reduced, you can look to engage with the water more rather than moving your arms and legs just for the sake of moving them. Kick drills can teach you to kick smoothly rather than panic splashing your legs around. You can kick streamlined (see above), on your front or on your back, or do side kick to work on body roll – in any case, make sure that your legs are pushing against the water.

    With your arms, you can do sculling drills to get used to feeling pressure of the water against your hands and forearms – and transferring this into doing your full stroke. Swimming with fists can have the same effect. Whatever drills you end up doing, mix them into doing full stroke so that you can feel where the drill is trying to work on in your stroke. Focus on each kick or pull having some purpose rather than trying to just do things for the sake of doing them!

    Not rushing your stroke

    Finally, with regards to swimming faster I like to think of the phrase "less haste, more speed". If you look at the top athletes in most sports – Jonny Wilkinson or Dan Carter in rugby, Messi or Ronaldo in football, rowers Heather Stanning and Helen Glover, swimmer Katie Ledecky etc – they never look like they are rushing, even though they are doing things at incredibly high speed.

    Some of this comes down to the fact that they are very well practised. On top of this though, they know that they have all the time that they need to undertake the skills that they are doing. There is no rush. In the case of Glover & Stanning, or Katie Ledecky, their stroke rates are incredibly high – but they don’t look like they are rushing things. Again, think about connecting with the water and pushing – rather than just trying to throw your arms and legs around aimlessly to go quicker. Effort does not necessarily equal speed!

    About the author: John Wood is a triathlete, triathlon coach, and Sundried ambassador.

    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
  • Leg Workout Routine

    Wedding Workout

    Leg day gets mixed reviews: some love it, some hate, some skip it altogether. But whether you're a fan or not, the legs are the biggest muscle group in the body, so it's important to train them. Especially if you are a runner, cyclist, or footballer, you'll need strong legs to excel in your sport. Follow Sundried's leg workout routine with advanced exercises to get the most out of your training.

    Warm up:

    Jog on the spot

    3 minutes, this is a light jog to start elevating your heart rate.

    Pelvis and hip openers

    This workout requires a lot from your hips and pelvis, so it’s important you warm up effectively. To wake up your hips and pelvis, we start by bending one leg to bring your knee up in front of your chest and then circle your knee out away from your body, opening up your hip flexors. Repeat this 10 times on each leg.

    Deep squats

    Start with your feet wider than shoulder width and point your toes out. Squat down as low as you can and hold for a few seconds. Feel the stretch in your inner thighs and hip flexors. Do 4 or 5 to warm up your joints.

    Lunge with torso rotations

    The final warm up exercise is a lunge with torso rotations. With each lunge forward, twist your body towards the outside of your hips. Complete 10 per side.

    The Workout

    Squat jump with floor touch

    Start by standing with your feet together and jump both legs into a squat simultaneously, as you do, touch a hand to the floor before jumping back to the start position. Complete 20.

    Jumping lunges

    Jump into a lunge sinking down until your front thigh is parallel to the floor. Explode up and switch legs so you land in a lunge on the alternate side. Do 10 reps on each side.

    Front kicks

    Facing forward, lift your knee up and extend the lower leg to snap into a front kick with your toes facing up, leading with the heel. Alternate between legs each time. Complete 20 reps, 10 kicks per leg.

    Donkey kicks

    Try this one standing up for an extra balance challenge and calorie burn. Bend your supporting leg to provide a bit of extra stability and then lift the other leg off the ground. Kick backwards, leading with your heel. You should feel this one in your glutes. Complete 10 reps on each leg.

    Travelling squats

    These are essentially side steps with squats included. Sink into a squat, rise back up, then step to the side and repeat. 10 each way.

    Dumbbell swings

    Grab one dumbbell and hold it in both hands, the heavier the better. Sink into a squat and swing the dumbbell through your legs and then up to in front of your face with your arms extended. As the dumbbell reaches in front of your face you should thrust your hips forwards, before returning to your squat position as the dumbbell passes through your legs.

    Cool down yoga

    Once you've completed the workout it's time for the cool down. Yoga poses can be a great way of relieving tired muscles and the following stretches will help prevent stiffness post-workout, although you should expect to ache when you’ve worked that hard!

    Recline hero pose

    The recline hero pose provides a deep stretch to the thighs, hip flexors and ankles and is an easy move to master. Start by kneeling on the floor with your legs pressed together and feet very slightly wider than your hips. Keeping the tops of your feet flat on the floor with your toes facing towards you, exhale and sit back in between your feet, without changing their position. From here you can then place your hands on the floor behind you and lean your weight backwards. Gradually lean back and shift your weight from your hands, down to your elbows and then lay back as far as you can. Continue to the next pose by supporting yourself back up onto your elbows and then hands.

    Wide angle seated forward bend

    In a seated position, open your legs as widely as possible, keeping your toes pointing towards the ceiling. Exhale and bring your torso forward, folding in half with your chest as close to the floor as possible. Hold for as long as is comfortable.

    Thread the needle

    Lay on your back, with your knees bent and feet on the ground. Cross one foot over the other leg so it rests on the thigh. Lift the other leg off the ground and feed your hand through the gap in your legs to pull your back leg up towards your face.

    Whilst these stretches will aid recovery, it’s inevitable your legs are going to ache. Make sure you nourish yourself and hydrate properly to aid recovery.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren