• Sarah Goddard - Personal Trainer and Ambassador

    Tell us about your journey to fitness? Where did it all start?

    I swam competitively from the age of 7 to 17. I swam 7 times a week including circuit training twice a week within two of the sessions. It taught me a lot about discipline and commitment. I knew I would never make it as a professional swimmer but it didn’t stop me training with anything less than 100% effort.

    If you're interested in starting your own fitness journey, Sundried's Activewear is suitable for people of all abilities. 

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    What do you do for fitness?

    I train 4-5 times a week either in the gym or at home. I do a weight training program, split into the following sessions - chest and triceps, legs, back and shoulders, abs and a HIIT session. I also swim once a week when my son has his swimming lesson. 

    What is your proudest achievement?

    Definitely my two children! On the fitness side it has been the recovery post my second child to the fittest and strongest I have ever been at the age of 38. After my second child I had Diastasis recti (ab separation), severe lower back pain, core muscles I could not engage and muscles that felt like jelly. It was a long and painfully slow recovery process, but it had to be done correctly. I couldn't do any jumping exercises until over one year postpartum and I could barely lift any weights. 

    What are your goals?

    To continue to become fitter and stronger. To improve flexibility, to do pull ups and walking handstands. And most of all to keep enjoying my fitness journey.

    How to you overcome setbacks?

    The key to overcoming setbacks is to be kind to yourself and to be patient. Setbacks are tools for improvement. Take the negative and change it into at least two positives. Take the time to understand the reason behind the setback, is it mental or physical or something else. Take the time also to recover properly and trust the process, don’t try and take any shortcuts or the next setback will be even bigger.

    What advice would you give your younger self?

    • Find a sport or exercise you enjoy doing rather than what other people think you should do/is popular.
    • Consistency is key, motivation will come and go but if you stay consistent through these times you will always progress.
    • Results do not happen overnight, train hard and be patient.
    • Confidence is necessary, it is not conceited. You need to be confident in your own strength and abilities. This has been the biggest game changer for me 
    • Don’t compare yourself to anyone else, be the best that you can be, and remember that social media is a highlights reel.

    Who inspires you?

    My biggest inspirations have been my virtual trainers Kayla Itsines and Kelsey Wells. After I stopped swimming competitively I lost my way a little with fitness. For years I dipped inconsistently in and out of mainly cardio based training until I came across Kayla Itsines on Instagram. She changed the way I exercised and really helped me commit again to becoming fit and healthy. I used her training for years even before and after my children. I now mainly train with Kelsey Wells on the app Kayla created, as I fell in love with weight training and physically to start with I couldn't do the more HIIT style training after my second child. 

    Do you follow a specific nutrition plan?

    I have been gluten free since 2009, I don’t have the official celiac diagnosis due to the doctors not telling me to start eating gluten again before the test, but the likelihood is that I am celiac. Even after 11 years of gluten free eating, if I eat the smallest amount by mistake it makes me ill. I also avoid refined sugar as for me I found it really is highly addictive. I ended up with a very unhealthy relationship with it as I couldn't eat it in moderation. This doesn't mean I don't eat treats, I used to have a cake business and I love baking so my focus is baking healthier treats for the family. Other than that I eat mindfully, I actually love healthy food, but I don't deprive myself if I want something not so healthy. It's all about balance. 

    Why work with Sundried?

    I love what the brand stands for, they are passionate about the environment. Their Eco Charge collection is made of recycled coffee grounds and their Eco Core range is made from recycled plastic bottles. Not only is it committed to reducing waste and helping to save the environment the products are beautiful, comfortable, wear well, and are extremely affordable.

    To hear more from our ambassadors and get free tips on workout plans and more, connect with the Sundried Personal Trainers on our app.

    Posted by Aimee Garnett
  • Fact vs Fiction: 10 common health and fitness myths debunked

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    There is a colossal amount of information available to us about fitness, which is frequently contradictory. It is often hard to decipher fact from fiction which leaves us all in a state of confusion but, when in doubt, it is important to turn to science. 

    In a world of fad workout trends, sport science serves to discern fact from fiction with in-depth research and testing.

    Myth 1: Long sessions at a lower intensity burn more body fat

    Our bodies are always working to turn both carbohydrates and fat into energy which our cells can utilise. This energy production is constant, and the dominant energy source changes depending on what we’re doing and what we have most recently eaten. 

    It is true that when working out at 55-70% of your maximum heart rate, your body will utilise more fat than carbohydrate for fuel. The more intensely you exercise, the more your body turns to carbohydrate stores for energy. However, as higher-intensity exercise puts more strain on the body, it requires more caloric energy. And so, if your goal is to solely lose weight, it isn’t necessarily more effective train at a lower intensity to stay in a so-called ‘fat-burning zone’

    When it comes to exercise, a mixture of intensities is important. Striking a balance in your fitness routine is the best way to make it both productive and sustainable.

    Myth 2: Lifting heavy weights makes you bulky

    Lifting weights was previously associated with body building, strongmen, and professional athletes. It bred the longstanding misnomer that performing a low number of repetitions with heavy weights will result in an increase in size. It is important to dispel this myth because strength training is a vital component of any fitness regimen and will not give you unwanted bulkiness, especially if you are a woman. Women’s hormones aren’t conducive to ‘bulking up’, thus women have a greater handicap in putting on excess muscle mass.

    Don’t deny yourself the benefits of resistance training because of the irrational fear of becoming accidentally bulky. Instead, reap the rewards of improved cardiac and respiratory health, increased joint and muscular strength, better posture, more energy, and a faster metabolism.

    Myth 3: You can target areas for weight loss 

    The belief that fat loss in a specific region could be targeted by building muscle around it has evolved from the idea that gaining muscle increases metabolism. Whilst working out can help to reduce your overall body fat, you cannot control where that fat comes from.

    Targeting areas during exercise can be effective to build muscle and shape specific areas but directed fat loss will not occur. This is because, as you exercise your body breaks down stored fat, from fat cells distributed across your entire body, into chemicals that can be utilised as energy. No targeting is required because our bloodstream acts as a carrier for these chemicals to get the energy where it needs to be.

    Myth 4: Your workout must be intense and hard 

    Believe it or not, moving between different intensities and types of exercise is better for your body and fitness levels.

    Not every gym session has to leave you struggling to walk the next day and may be a sign that you are training too hard. It is not a good idea to frequently exercise at a high intensity because it can limit recovery and lead to overtraining. Ideally you should avoid putting too much stress on your body and limit high intensity workouts to 2-3 times per week.

    Myth 5: The more you can train, the better

    You might be relieved to hear that rest is key in fitness. When you work out, you are breaking down muscle fibres so that they can rebuild stronger. To do this, you need to give your body time to recover by scheduling in 1-2 recovery days per week. 

    Recovery days could incorporate complete rest or something which doesn’t put stress on the body, like a walk or gentle stretching.

    If you're looking for some new activewear to make training feel a little easier, check out Sundried's Gym Activewear today for gym wear that will support you and enhance your performance.

    Myth 6: Exercise will result in weight loss

    We have all been conditioned to believe that exercise is the most important element for weight loss but, in truth, it only accounts for a small portion of our daily energy expenditure. This means that it is hard to create a significant calorie deficit through exercise alone.

    Food intake accounts for 100% of the energy that goes into your body whilst exercise can only burn off 10-20% of it. And so, for weight loss, the focus should be turned to dietary intake and regular daily movement.

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    Myth 7: Fasted cardio burns more fat

    The thought process behind fasted cardio is that the body will use fat stores to fuel the session as opposed to dietary carbohydrates in the absence of a pre-workout meal, therefore aiding in weight loss. However, studies have shown that body composition changes associated with aerobic exercise in conjunction with a hypo-caloric diet are similar regardless of whether an individual is fasted prior to training. 

    Ultimately, when it comes to weight loss, an individual’s overall diet is far more important than a single fasted session. The body needs fuel to perform optimally, so eating a small pre-workout meal before a cardio session will only help improve your performance and may even prevent overindulgence later in the day.

    Myth 8: Exercising counteracts the effects of sitting at a desk all day

    If you are sitting at a computer screen or desk for most of the day, a 30-minute workout isn’t going to cut it. It is more important to take movement breaks every 30-60-minutes.

    It is time that we all start to become more innovative when it comes to movement in the workplace and schedule in calls on-the-go and standing meetings. 

    Myth 9: Body parts should always be trained separately

    The use of body part splits is frequently overused by lifters and can result in poorer results when done badly. What often happens is that people get too excited at the start of the week and train very hard, resulting in muscle soreness and a reduction in motivation the following day. Consequently, training the next muscle group will be at a much lower intensity, leading to a loading discrepancy between body parts.

    By hitting multiple body parts more often throughout the week, it is much easier to maintain an optimal muscle balance.

    Myth 10: A successful workout should be sweat inducing

    Sweat occurs when your core temperature rises to help cool the body via evaporation. Whilst your muscles will generate heat when you exercise, your internal temperature will largely depend on the temperature that you are working out in. For example, you will sweat less in an air-conditioned room compared to a heated studio. The humidity in the air also plays a role; you will feel like you are sweating more when it is humid because the sweat can’t evaporate from your skin.

    Don’t buy into the notion that sweating is a sign of a good workout. Instead, focus on other better indications of a successful training session like an improvement in fitness or enhanced technique.

    Final thoughts

    When it comes to fitness fads, it is important to exercise some caution. Especially if they seem gimmicky, sound too good to be true, offer ‘quick fixes’, or are trying to sell you something. 

    Take the time to do your own research and only invest your time and money into things which are backed by science. 

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

    Want more advice from our ambassadors? Connect with Sundried's Personal Trainers on our app, for top tips, free workout plans and more.

    Posted by Aimee Garnett
  • Product Recommendations: how to look the part whilst training

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    There is something to be said about the power of a flattering and stylish activewear outfit and its ability to elevate motivation levels. Looking good whilst working out has never been easier and with new styles being curated each season, there is bound to be something that takes your fancy.

    Jumpsuits & unitards

    Throwing it back to the 80’s, an all-in-one suit is the perfect way to add an element of luxe into your workout wardrobe.

    Matching sets

    A matching two-piece was possibly the most popular gym attire of 2020, and it is here to stay for 2021. My favourite combination is a pair of high waisted leggings and matching crop top which keeps things classy whilst showing a little bit of flesh. Check out Sundried’s Escape Sports Bra and Infinity leggings for the ultimate pairing.

    Flared leggings

    Another throwback, but this time to the 70’s, is the iconic flare. Whether you opt for a subtle bootcut or a ‘super-flare’ these stretchy leggings are highly flattering and do not compromise on functionality.

    Cut-out details

    Cut-out styles are less about showing off some skin and more focused on geometric lines derived from the runways. Think unusual, asymmetric, and crisscross which Sundried does perfectly in their Kona Swimsuit.

    Stand out-prints and materials

    Whether it is tie-dye, leather-look, patent, or animal print; adding a splash of colour or unusual fabric to your fitness look is the perfect way to dress to impress. For individuals looking for an element of luxury, why not try Sundried’s silky Eclipse Long Sleeve Top.

    Puffer Jackets and body warmers

    Padded outerwear is an essential item in anyone’s wardrobe, especially during the colder months. Keeping warm has never looked so good with Sundried’s Monte Viso Padded Jacket and Recycled Quilted Gilet

    Statement cycling socks

    There is no better way to jazz up a plain cycling outfit than with a pair of colourful socks. Sundried’s set of Weekly Cycle Socks give you plenty of options to choose from and ensure that your feet will be the envy of fellow riders.

    All black

    This trend is for those with pared-back tastes that appreciate the stylish simplicity of clean lines and a solid colour which Sundried’s Stealth Cycle Jersey and Stealth Bib Shorts demonstrate perfectly. Black is back and we love it!

    Remember that your fitness wardrobe is a chance to push boundaries and have fun with clothes, so make sure you do just that.

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

    Want more advice from our ambassadors? Connect with Sundried's Personal Trainers on our app, for top tips, free workout plans and more.

    Posted by Aimee Garnett
  • 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
  • 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
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