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.
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.
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.
How did you first discover your love for yoga?
In 2000, I was diagnosed with M.E. a chronic and debilitating illness. It took many years for me to recover fully. It was an illness that left me house bound and often bed ridden.
In addition to nutritional changes (ones I still adopt to this day) Yoga played a huge part in my recovery. I found a local class and attended when I felt well enough. This weekly class gave me an insight into the importance of mindfulness and movement and what a powerful combination that can be when practised appropriately. As my health improved I became more curious about this ancient practise. I embarked on a 3 year Teacher Training Course with The British Wheel of Yoga. My passion for Yoga was ignited the moment I sat on my mat all those years ago, despite my ill health.
What sets yoga apart from other fitness disciplines?
The word “Yoga” means to unite. During a yoga class and by having a regular practise of Yoga we aim to unite both mind and body. This is achieved through posture work (asana), breathing exercises/awareness (pranayama), meditation (dharana) and relaxation techniques (yoga nidra). Yoga in essence is the ability to quieten the mind by working on all of the above principles. Unlike many other fitness disciplines, when practising Yoga, being competitive with either yourself or others is strongly discouraged.
How has yoga improved your life?
Yoga not only improved my life, I will always credit the practise for giving me my life back. Yoga allowed me to have a life. I learnt the meaning of listening to my body. I discovered tools we can use to quieten the mind. I started to understand how important the act of breathing is for our mental and physical well being. I cannot underestimate how important this practise has been in my life and continues to be. The philosophy of mindfulness that I learnt through this practise underpins everything I do both on and off the mat daily.
How often do you practise yoga?
I have a daily morning practise which includes mobility work, breathing and meditation.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of trying yoga for the first time?
You do not have to be flexible to practise Yoga. You just have to come on to your mat and breathe. Find a teacher you feel comfortable with and choose a practise that makes you feel good. If you don’t enjoy your first class, explore others. Find a teacher who offers you an experience you feel comfortable with. There are many different styles of Yoga. Some offer more breath work. Others will be more physical. Find a class, a style and a level that you enjoy.
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 have an identical Twin Sister.
Do you follow a specific diet plan?
Yes. I don’t eat meat. I haven’t done so for over 20 years. I rarely eat fish. I am mainly plant based. I drink milk alternatives such as almond, oat and soya. I do enjoy a homemade cake post long cycle ride or run though, but tend to avoid sugar as much as possible. I also avoid processed food. Preferring to eat seasonally and healthily. I adopted this method of eating in order to support my recovery. For me personally, it works. I don’t advocate this specific dietry plan but I do encourage everyone to find foods that make them feel well. Foods that nourish them. And in that discovery, become more mindful of where the food comes from.
How do you keep your knowledge up to date?
I am a member of the British Wheel of Yoga. They are the UK governing body of Yoga in the UK and who I trained with. They offer fantastic training days, extra modular courses and In Service Training Days. Pre covid I have enjoyed Yoga Retreats in the UK and abroad with well known and respected Teachers in the industry. I hope that these will one day resume. Until then, it’s making the most of on line learning, reading resources and being part of the Yoga community via The British Wheel.
Why work with Sundried?
I am firm believer that how we treat the planet is equally as important as how we treat one another. At Sundried I have found a brand who shares this belief. Not only are their products built to last, they are created ethically and sustainably including a range of active wear made from 100% recycled plastic. I am also supporting a company that wants to give back to the community. This is demonstrated in the support to Water For Kids and Surfers Against Sewage. They are a brand that offers so much more than high quality, great looking clothing. And I am thrilled to be part of the team.
Favourite fitness quote?
Progress not Perfection.
To hear more from our ambassadors and get free tips on workout plans and more, connect with the Sundried Personal Trainers on our app.
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.
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.
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:
- Come concludiamo la giornata con una mente lucida?
- 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!
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.
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