• Small ways to make time for movement when you feel like you have no time

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    Regular exercise often helps to reduce stress and improve cognitive function; however, it is not always possible to make time for a training session. Well, perhaps it's time to re-frame what true exercise looks like and make time for movement.

    Many people fall into the trap of only moving when they have enough time for a training session but the long and short term benefits of simple movement should not be underestimated.

    If you find that you do not have enough time to hit the gym or go for a morning run, why not try the following tips for turning typical daily moments into an opportunity for exercise.

    Go for a walk during meetings

    Walking is one of the best ways to keep moving throughout the day. So, next time you have a scheduled meeting, suggest making it a mobile meeting whereby you can go for a walk outside.

    Take the stairs

    The elevator may go up, but it does not make your heart rate climb. Taking the stairs can offer you an additional dose of daily exercise.

    Multi-task

    Catch-up on reading, emails and admin whilst walking, pedalling or using the elliptical machine.

    Socialise on the move

    Next time a friend suggests meeting for lunch, counter with an active invitation. A yoga class, long walk or leisurely bike ride can be a great opportunity to catch up on the latest gossip whilst moving.

    Move whilst you wait

    Whether you are waiting for your dinner to cook or your next meeting to start, there are plenty of short periods throughout the day which can be used for movement. Next time you have a few minutes to spare, repeatedly do 10 push ups followed by 10 squats. Keep track of how many rounds you can do throughout the day and prepare to be amazed.

    Supercharge your chore list

    Whether indoors or out, do not underestimate the effectiveness of housework as exercise. Just throw on some music, pick up the pace, and throw yourself wholeheartedly into the efforts of maintaining your home.

    Stretch at your desk

    Sitting for long periods at your desk can not only affect your health but it can have a direct impact on your work performance and engagement. Try a few simple stretches throughout the day to help ease the strain of prolonged stillness.

    Transform your commute into an opportunity to move

    Walking, running or cycling to work is a perfect way to incorporate movement into your day. But, if your journey is a little too far, why not just park farther away and walk or cycle the remainder of the journey.

    When you start looking for them, you will identify lots of opportunities to be more active. Remember that every little counts!

    About the author: Laura Smith is an accomplished athlete who has been a Sundried ambassador since 2017.

    Want more training advice at your fingertips? Connect with Sundried's Personal Trainers on our app, for top tips, free workout plans and more.

    Posted by Aimee Garnett
  • Sports and skincare - top tips on how to look after your skin as an athlete

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    As athletes our skin is exposed to the elements which can cause it to become reactive. But being an athlete does not mean that you have to sacrifice your skin! Here are a few top tips to keep your skin happy and healthy whilst you train.

    Never train with makeup on

    Keeping your face clean allows its pores to breathe properly as you exercise and sweat. With makeup, your pores stay blocked which can lead to acne and blackheads.

    Drink plenty of water

    Always carry a water bottle with you, as it is important to replenish the fluids you lose through sweat. Hydration is the key to excellent skin!

    Avoid touching your skin

    When you are hot from exercising, your skin pores open up for perspiration. This puts you at an increased risk of skin disease breakouts caused by bacteria on your hands.

    Keep your equipment bacteria free

    Workout apparatus harbours bacteria which can easily reach your skin and cause breakouts. Ensure that you disinfect your equipment before use to avoid transferring any dirt or grime onto your face.

    Take a shower as soon as you finish a workout session

    Sweat is the body’s natural method of cooling and detoxifying, but if left on the skin, bacteria forms and breakouts begin. If you are short on time and cannot shower immediately after your workout, change out of your wet gym clothes and wipe away the sweat as soon as possible. 

    Replace your towels

    Household towels are a breeding ground for germs and bacteria, so just imagine what your gym-bag towel looks like under a microscope. Keep your towels clean and avoid exposing your skin cells to unwanted toxins.

    Dry your skin gently

    Avoid harshly rubbing your skin after a shower. Instead, pat your face dry with a clean towel.

    Cleanse before and after exercise 

    If you let sweat sit on your skin, it can clog your pores and cause blemishes. Use a gentle cleanser to wash away the grime and sweat that’s accumulated on the skin’s surface. Oily skin can benefit from a cleanser formulated with glycolic acid, whilst dry skin thrives with an oil-based or nourishing cleanser formatted with ceramides. 

    Exfoliate your skin

    Exfoliation helps to remove the top layer of dead skin cells before they clog up your pores. 

    Use a mist to sooth your skin

    Use a soothing face mist after cleansing to help refresh and hydrate your skin. 

    Keep your skin moisturised

    Serums and oil-free moisturisers will keep skin hydrated without clogging pores.

    Protect your skin against UV rays

    Protect your skin from premature aging and uneven skin tones by choosing a water resistant, broad spectrum UVA/UVB blocking moisturiser with an SPF of 50. 

    An effective routine is essential to help keep your skin looking its best as, ultimately, preventing skin problems is easier- and less costly- than trying to fix them in the future

    About the author: Laura Smith is an elite level athlete who has been a Sundried ambassador since 2017.

    Want more training advice at your fingertips? Connect with Sundried's Personal Trainers on our app, for top tips, free workout plans and more.

    Posted by Aimee Garnett
  • Training Tips: Knowing whether to take a break from your training or push on

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    Too much of anything is never a good thing, even when it comes to exercise. In the same respect that committing to a training regimen is admirable, so is knowing when your body needs a break because, inevitably, it will. However, acknowledging the signs can be difficult, especially when training seems to be going so well and you start to feel physically and mentally stronger.

    This blog aims to pinpoint a few tell-tale signs that your body needs a break so that you can decipher when it might be time to slow down.

    1. Training starts to feel obligatory

    Exercise should not feel like a chore. If it does, it is time to take a breather and re-structure your routine with the types of physical activities that you actually enjoy.

    Sometimes all you need to make your workout feel easier is the right kit. Shop Sundried's Gym Activewear today for gym wear that will support you and enhance your performance.

    2. Physical and mental fatigue

    Sometimes when we have a lot of motivation, we can push ourselves past a breaking point and get injured. There is a key difference between being tired and being lazy. Key signs of physical fatigue include poor sleep, an inability to concentrate, and difficulty in performing day-to-day tasks.

    3. An unusual heart rate

    Both an unusually low and high heart rate can be indicative of exercise burnout. If you are struggling to elevate your heart rate during training or are seeing it skyrocket with minimal effort, it is time to take a break.

    4. Movement patterns and form begin to suffer

    Form is an essential component of any training in order to improve performance and prevent injury. When your body is exhausted from overworking itself, your physical form will suffer. Aching joints, extreme muscle soreness, and impeded flexibility are all signs of an overworked body.

    5. Altered mood which impedes on day-to-day life

    Overdoing it can make you feel extremely down and result in a negative outlook on life in general. A lack of interest in food or social life is a sign that you may be exercising too much and need to take some time off until your mood improves.

    6.Workouts begin to take priority 

    It is not necessarily a bad thing if training is a priority. However, if the thought of taking a day off leaves you with feelings on angst then it has taken an unhealthy role in your life, and you need to take a break ASAP. 

    It can be difficult to strike the balance between working hard and working too hard but hopefully those pointers will be able to help. The bottom line is that rest and recovery should not be feared and should regularly feature in any training regimen. You will be amazed by what a well-rested mind and body can actually achieve.

    About the author: Laura Smith is an elite level athlete who has been a Sundried ambassador since 2017.

    Want more training advice at your fingertips? Connect with Sundried's Personal Trainers on our app, for top tips, free workout plans and more.

    Posted by Aimee Garnett
  • Guide to using microgoals in your training

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    Have you ever started a long run and thought, ‘I am never going to get through this!’ Or finished the first effort of a turbo session and wondered, ‘how can I do this over and over again?’ 

    Ultimately, it can be really difficult to motivate oneself when the finish seems so distant and the effort to get there is so great. The good news, however, is that there is a way to ‘trick’ your mind into thinking that the end is near.

    Micro-goal setting is something that I have been unknowingly implementing into my training for many years. The act of breaking up a workout into more manageable chunks really helps to alleviate the daunting prospect of having to work hard for a prolonged period of time. 

    Below, I have detailed some examples of micro-goal setting that you can try out for yourself. You will be amazed by just how long you can keep your body moving when your mind has mini targets to hit.

    Micro goals for a long run

    Next time you are heading out for a 90 minute run, why not think about it as six 15 minute chunks that feel infinitely more doable. Or perhaps you might find that three 30 minute chunks is more approachable. The way you break down a run will depend on your personal preferences and the way your mind works.

    Micro goals for a turbo session

    Sitting on the turbo and repeatedly hitting the correct wattage for a specified period of time can be both physically and mentally challenging which is exacerbated when fatigue sets in. If your session entails nine 3 minute efforts, break the nine efforts up into three. Three lots of three 3 minute efforts certainly sounds more doable than nine 3 minute sets!

    Making sure you have the right kit can also play a huge part in getting you through a difficult session. Try Sundried's Cycle Kit today, suitable for all abilities.

    Micro goals for open water swimming

    Plunging into open water is possibly one of the most daunting scenarios a triathlete faces but micro-goal setting can make things seem much easier. When swimming, concentrate on getting to the subsequent buoy in the loop and once there, focus on arriving at the next. 

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     Micro goals for a race 

    You can use this same strategy in a race too. After logging all those training hours and miles, you should have a good idea of your goal race time; use this information to break things up. For example, if you plan to run 40 minutes for 10k, then split it into four 10-minute chunks. 

    It is amazing just how long you can ‘trick’ your mind into carrying on by focusing on the next mini goal. Remember to try out different approaches during training so that when it comes to race day, you know exactly what method works for you. 

    Connect with the Sundried Personal Trainers on our app for more advice, workout tips, training plans and more. 

    About the author: Laura Smith is a high level athlete and has been a Sundried ambassador since 2017.

    Posted by Aimee Garnett
  • 5 simple steps to develop your evening routine

    We have previously covered how you can master the perfect morning routine. This week is all about constructing an evening routine that is conducive to a restful night’s sleep. By improving your quality of sleep, you ensure that your mind and body are fully rested and prepared for the following day. This will not only make your training easier but you will find you reap many more benefits than if you were tired or lethargic. 

    The perfect evening routine should focus on two main goals:

    1. How do we wrap up the day with a clear mind?
    2. How can we set ourselves up for a deep, glorious, and restorative sleep?

    There is nothing worse than getting yourself cosy and ready for bed but not being able to switch off your thoughts about the things you did and didn’t do during the day. Follow these 5 simple steps towards perfecting an evening routine and this will never happen again!

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    1. List the positive impacts you left on the day

    This approach was first developed by Benjamin Franklin who would reflect on his day and ask himself, ‘what good did I do today?’ before going to sleep. Instead of stressing over how productive you were during the day, shift your focus into a more positive and fulfilled one.

    2. Take the time to wind down for the evening

    Research has found that our brains need about 2 hours to cool down before we can really get into a deep sleep. This means that about two hours before bed you should start winding down your brain. Classical music, meditating, journaling, stretching, and pampering routines are all great ways to relax before jumping into bed.

    Put away your phones and switch off the TV to make your evening more purposeful. It is worthwhile avoiding stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol close to bedtime and steering clear of rich meals, spicy dishes, citrus fruits, and carbonated drinks, all of which can trigger indigestion.

    3. Make tomorrows to-do list

    So often, we are completely overwhelmed by all the tasks we are facing over the next day. This anxiety can negatively affect those precious sleeping hours. By making a to-do list the night before, it helps to clear your brain so it can relax.

    4. Make your bedroom a sleep haven

    The Mayo Clinic has done a ton of amazing sleep research and found that we need to start thinking of our bedroom like a cave if we want to get a good amount of quality sleep. Consider using blackout curtains, eye masks, ear plugs, ‘white noise’ machines, humidifiers, and fans to keep things cool and quiet.

    5. Utilise Sleep Tools

    There are several apps out there which are specifically designed to help you sleep or monitor your sleep so improvements can be made.

    Sleep Cycle is a great app which will monitor your sleep cycles by movement. This can aid in learning about what evening ‘cool down’ gives you the best night’s sleep.

    HeadSpace is another app which takes you through various meditations and mindfulness exercises to help clear your mind and wind down before bed.

    Lastly, try to use lights without the blue spectrum. Research has found that the blue spectrum in lights and on our electronic devices actually keep us awake and can disrupt our sleep. Be kind to your eyes and use fixtures that have a more calming light or utilise your phone’s settings to disable the blue light during evening hours.

    Remember that an evening routine is just as important as a morning routine. Learn how to perfect both in your life and you will be on your way to a more productive, healthy, and successful day.

    About the author: Laura Smith is an athlete who has been a Sundried ambassador since 2017.

    Want more home workouts at your fingertips? Connect with Sundried's Personal Trainers on our app, for top tips, free workout plans and more.

    Posted by Aimee Garnett
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