• 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
  • May Ling Perry-Foo - Yoga Instructor and Ambassador

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    How did you first discover your love for yoga?

    Wanting to release tension from my back and shoulders, I was told yoga might be a good way to address that. So there I was at my first yoga class ever and after 90 minutes I felt amazing. As I continued to practice more regularly to primarily release physical tension, I got absolutely hooked to it because I noticed how my body became stronger and flexible, and I always felt so much better after class. As my practice developed, so did my love for yoga and the only regret I have is that I didn’t discover yoga sooner!

    What sets yoga apart from other fitness disciplines?

    There’s something for everyone! Yoga can be calming and relaxing, but it can also be sweaty and challenging... and all the aforementioned at the same time! While yoga can be done as a single way to keep fit, it’s also a great way to complement any other fitness regime, not only to build strength, but also focus.

    How has yoga improved your life?

    Yoga has mostly taught me confidence. Through yoga I discovered that I’ve got a level of strength within me, both physically and mentally, that I didn’t even know was there. Also, yoga was what kept me sane when I was working in my previous corporate career in market research and consulting, eventually making me realise my purpose in life was not to be working on research projects, but to be sharing the magic of yoga with everyone!

    How often do you practice yoga?

    Every day! 

    What advice would you give to someone thinking of trying yoga for the first time?

    Go for it! There’s so many styles of yoga, be open to try out various styles and classes to see which ones work for you.
    Go into a class without expectations, keep an open mind and focus on what you’re feeling, rather than how you look. Listen to your body and don’t feel the need you have to do every single pose.

    And most importantly: breathe!

    If you are interested in getting into Yoga, Sundried's kit is suitable for beginners as well as seasoned athletes. Shop our Gym and Yoga Collection today. 

    Tell us something unusual we may not know about you:

    I love horror movies, especially the cheesy slashers from the eighties. Probably not something you’d expect from a yoga teacher!

    Do you follow a specific diet plan?

    I start every morning with some warm lemon water, and throughout the day I keep myself hydrated with water and green tea. I try to include as much fruit and veg into my meals every day to complement the steaks and burgers I enjoy so much!

    How do you keep your knowledge up to date?

    I attend additional yoga teacher trainings and listen to podcasts. I keep a collection of reference books around anatomy and class sequencing, and also continuously read up on the science and history behind yoga. And lots of self-practice, trying out poses and transitions to experience them properly so I know how to guide my students accordingly.

    Why work with Sundried?

    My aim is to keep yoga accessible to anyone who’s interested. Sundried offers clothing that is affordable, yet still maintains high quality with consideration of the environment. This proves you don’t need to spend a fortune to be able to keep yourself supported, comfortable, and looking good while keeping yourself fit and staying kind to the planet.

    Favourite fitness quote

    “Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.”

    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
  • Sally O'Sullivan - Personal Trainer and Ambassador

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    After experiencing some inspirational fitness classes, Sally qualified as a personal trainer so she could help others have the same magical experience she did. She talks to Sundried about her journey.

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

    I trained as a dancer from the age of three until I went to university. In fact, it was very nearly my career, but I didn't want to be forced to retire at 30! I rediscovered fitness in my late 20's after experiencing some truly inspirational - I'd even say magical - classes in London. One or two instructors have been pivotal in my motivation by showing me just what a journey a fitness class can be - physically and mentally. The highs, the lows, the excitement, the emotion - all condensed into one hour. It's both a talent and a finely-honed skill, and I knew I wanted to be able to deliver that… one day! 

    If you are interested in starting your fitness journey, Sundried's kit is suitable for beginners as well as seasoned athletes. Check out our Active Life Collection today.

    What are your training goals now? 

    Firstly, I've rediscovered my love for running and have joined a challenge with an online (at the moment, due to lockdown) running club called Force Velocity Running. Through live, guided runs, we're remotely but collectively running the distance from Big Ben in London to Ushuaia in Ibiza. There's a bit of friendly competition as we're split into teams and it's a lovely, supportive and very motivating community to be part of. 

    Secondly, I've been doing CrossFit for a couple of years now and although we can't be physically in our amazing box - TIO CrossFit right now, it's always there as a backbone to both my training and my life in general. Again, it's a community thing; I've made some of my best friends there, but of course we do also set goals! Both of my CrossFit goals for this year are strength-related - getting after a 1.5 x bodyweight squat and 1.25 x bodyweight clean and jerk!

    What sporting events have you taken part in and what have you got coming up? 

    Aside from the running challenge I’m currently doing, I plan to do the CrossFit Open again this year. It’ll be a little different as most people haven’t had access to their gyms as usual, so it’ll be interesting to see how that works out. Even the thought of those workouts makes me nervous. Good nervous though! 

    Tell us one unusual fact we wouldn’t know about you: 

    I once briefly met Simon Cowell and he told me I was 'gobby'. Still makes me laugh to this day, as that's a proper insight to the 'real' Sally that he saw immediately. Anyone who knows me knows that day-to-day, I'm polite and courteous, a good listener, and generally very British - in the best sense. But he saw through to my cheekiness in the blink of an eye. Was that talent or a lucky guess?! 

    What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out? 

    When you get knockbacks, take a big, deep breath, pick yourself up and just keep putting one foot in front of the other - literally and figuratively! It can be really hard when something you had your heart set on doesn't work out. But experience has taught me that every single time, the alternative door that opens is a much better route for you. Things do work out for the best, naturally, in the end. And you will be a more rounded, resilient, confident person for having gone through those pitfalls and come out the other side.

    Do you follow a specific nutrition plan? If so, what/when do you eat? 

    My first PT educated me well about nutrition and how to eat for my shape and size. I'm tiny but I have a huge appetite so it's just as well that I'm very active. In the past, I've followed super-clean, super-regimented plans and got very lean, but these days I'm more focused on fuelling correctly and being able to live a full life which includes alcohol and cookies!

    Now that I'm trainer myself, I also want to lead by example for what I think is healthy. My current nutrition is very balanced with roughly equal amounts of carbs, proteins and fats and I eat three meals and two snacks a day - the 'little and often' approach definitely works best for me. I do eat meat and fish. And cookies! 

    What do you do to keep your clients motivated? Do you have any top tips to keep motivated? 

    When it comes to classes, I find variety is the best way to keep things fresh and engaging, and that goes for me as a trainer too. If I'm bored coaching something, then you can bet my clients would be! I also don't believe in lazy programming and think clients can see though that. I could be wrong, of course, but I've stopped going to instructors myself in the past because it was the same old stuff and guess what? I got bored.

    Of course, there need to be some constant threads running through programming to ensure progression and that you're not just zigzagging aimlessly through movements with no direction. None of us would reach our goals if that was the case! But my top tip would be to find a trainer who can balance your progression with fun and variety and who can keep things interesting. 

    Talk us through your training regime. 

    Right now, I'm strength training five times a week, although each day has a different focus/body part. I'm also running 3-4 times a week as part of this challenge and I'm going to count sleeping as part of my training at the moment, since I seem to be getting record hours in. Lockdown does have its perks!

    When the world starts reopening, I'll be chomping at the bit to get back to my CrossFit box: TIO CrossFit in Barnes, London.

    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
  • 5 semplici passaggi per sviluppare la tua routine serale

    Abbiamo già copertocome puoi padroneggiare la perfetta routine mattutina. Questa settimana è incentrata sulla costruzione di una routine serale che favorisca un sonno ristoratore. Migliorando la qualità del sonno, ti assicuri che la tua mente e il tuo corpo siano completamente riposati e preparati per il giorno successivo. Questo non solo renderà il tuo allenamento più facile, ma scoprirai che raccoglierai molti più benefici che se fossi stanco o letargico.

    La perfetta routine serale dovrebbe concentrarsi su due obiettivi principali:

    1. Come concludiamo la giornata con una mente lucida?
    2. Come possiamo prepararci per un sonno profondo, glorioso e ristoratore?

    Non c'è niente di peggio che mettersi comodo e pronto per andare a letto, ma non essere in grado di spegnere i pensieri sulle cose che hai fatto e non hai fatto durante il giorno. Segui questi 5 semplici passaggi per perfezionare una routine serale e questo non accadrà mai più!

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    1. Elenca gli impatti positivi che hai lasciato durante la giornata

    Questo approccio è stato sviluppato per la prima volta da Benjamin Franklin che rifletteva sulla sua giornata e si chiedeva "che cosa ho fatto di buono oggi?" Prima di andare a dormire. Invece di sottolineare quanto sei stato produttivo durante il giorno, sposta la tua attenzione su una più positiva e soddisfatta.

    2. Prenditi il ​​tempo per rilassarti la sera

    La ricerca ha scoperto che il nostro cervello ha bisogno di circa 2 ore per raffreddarsi prima di poter davvero entrare in un sonno profondo. Ciò significa che circa due ore prima di andare a letto dovresti iniziare a rilassare il cervello. La musica classica, la meditazione, l'inserimento nel diario, lo stretching e le routine di coccole sono tutti ottimi modi per rilassarsi prima di andare a letto.

    Metti via i telefoni e spegni la TV per rendere la serata più propositiva. Vale la pena evitare stimolanti come caffeina, nicotina e alcol prima di coricarsi ed evitare pasti ricchi, piatti piccanti, agrumi e bevande gassate, che possono scatenare l'indigestione.

    3. Crea l'elenco delle cose da fare per il domani

    Così spesso, siamo completamente sopraffatti da tutte le attività che dobbiamo affrontare il giorno successivo. Questa ansia può influire negativamente su quelle preziose ore di sonno. Fare una lista di cose da fare la sera prima, aiuta a liberare il cervello in modo che possa rilassarsi.

    4. Rendi la tua camera da letto un paradiso per dormire

    La Mayo Clinic ha fatto un sacco di incredibili ricerche sul sonno e ha scoperto che dobbiamo iniziare a pensare alla nostra camera da letto come a una grotta se vogliamo ottenere una buona quantità di sonno di qualità. Considera l'utilizzo di tende oscuranti, maschere per gli occhi, tappi per le orecchie, macchine "rumore bianco", umidificatori e ventole per mantenere l'ambiente fresco e silenzioso.

    5. Utilizzare gli strumenti per dormire

    Esistono diverse app progettate specificamente per aiutarti a dormire o monitorare il sonno in modo da poter apportare miglioramenti.

    Ciclo del sonnoè un'ottima app che monitorerà i tuoi cicli di sonno con il movimento. Questo può aiutarti a capire quale "rinfrescamento" serale ti offre la migliore notte di sonno.

    HeadSpaceè un'altra app che ti guida attraverso varie meditazioni ed esercizi di consapevolezza per aiutarti a liberare la mente e rilassarti prima di andare a letto.

    Infine, prova a utilizzare luci senza lo spettro blu. La ricerca ha scoperto che lo spettro blu nelle luci e sui nostri dispositivi elettronici ci tiene effettivamente svegli e può disturbare il nostro sonno. Sii gentile con i tuoi occhi e usa dispositivi che hanno una luce più rilassante o utilizza le impostazioni del tuo telefono per disabilitare la luce blu durante le ore serali.

    Ricorda che una routine serale è importante quanto una routine mattutina. Impara come perfezionare entrambi nella tua vita e sarai sulla buona strada per una giornata più produttiva, sana e di successo.

    Informazioni sull'autore: Laura Smith è un'atleta che è ambasciatrice di Sundried dal 2017.

    Vuoi più allenamenti a casa a portata di mano? Connesso conI personal trainer di Sundriedsulla nostra app, per i migliori consigli, programmi di allenamento gratuiti e altro ancora.

    Posted by Aimee Garnett