From Couch Potato To 5k

It’s no secret that running as a form of exercise offers some amazing health benefits.  There are a few to be a little wary of as well, especially for women.  Things to consider include the right type of sports bras and footwear and if you’re closer to 40 than thirty, you also need to think about osteoporosis and how to deal with menstrual pain while practicing.  The most important thing to know about training for a 5k (just over 3 miles), is that you’ll need consistency and a solid, goal-driven plan to get you there.


One of the top things to know is that running is for (just about) everyone.  Unless you have a particular injury that might prevent you from taking up running regularly, just about anyone can start irrespective of your current level of skill. If you’re wanting to start running as a form of weigh-loss and you are a little on the overweight side, definitely check with your GP first to make sure that you’re not going to place undue stress on your body, but even if you’re a plus-size lady, you can still get started.

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The program was first devised by Josh Clarke of the site cool running. Now, the site may not be active anymore but the advice is still rock solid.  3, 30-minute workouts a week will get you there.  Now the plan contains more detail than we can fit into this post so for the complete version, click here.

But the plan focuses on building up your ability over time, but consistently and this means a 5-minute brisk walk, followed by 1-minute jogging or running and 1:30 minutes of walking ratio.  This increases solidly from workout to workout and before you know it, you’ll be running like a pro.


Both running and jogging are great forms of cardiovascular exercise, this is true but what other benefits are there to this type of workout?




  • As both running and jogging are weight-bearing exercises, they build bone strength over time.
  • Running strengthens muscles and increases muscle elasticity
  • Dramatically improved cardiovascular strength and efficiency
  • You’ll burn plenty of kilojoules and this means that,
  • You can maintain a healthy weight


One of the biggest mistakes that every new runner makes is thinking that there is a quick solution to get to that 5k and that’s part of the lesson here.  You’re going to learn discipline and goal setting and this is going to reinforce the reward system of your brain.  This doesn’t even include the fabulous bragging rights you’re going to enjoy at the office or with your friends.  Correction, especially with your friends.  Plus, you’re going to see awesome improvements in your overall fitness levels.


With solid and consistent training, taking the time to record your times’ distances and increases (based on your plan), you’ll quickly start achieving, and nothing and we do mean nothing motivates more than success, so celebrate the victories no matter how small they are.


Injuries also have a way of putting new runners off (or established runners for that matter) and this means that many give up before they’ve even properly started.  Knee pain is a common potential side-effect of injury so be aware of that and learn how to wrap your knee up with a KT tape for the runner’s knee.

4 Ways To Guarantee Your Fitness Is A Priority

You might already be fully aware of the benefits that the right level of fitness can bring to your life. You could be keen to ensure that you can ensure that you do a workout the right amount each day. But this is easier said than done, particularly when you have a whole range of other commitments. Here’s how to ensure that your fitness remains a firm priority. 

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Daily Life Tricks


You might want to start by thinking about how you can include fitness challenges in your everyday life. This could be as simple as cycling or indeed walking to work, assuming that it is within a reasonable distance. Alternatively, you can also think about how you can work out when you’re in the office. Again, this could be a simple change like modifying your work environment with a sit-stand desk or perhaps adding desk yoga to your daily schedule. 


A Career Change


Of course, you might want to go one step further than this with a career change. If you are committed to making fitness a key aspect of your daily life and current routine, then you can think about becoming a personal trainer, working out while making money. The benefits here are plentiful starting with more freedom in your career. It’s true to say that a lot of PTs also make bank. Of course, you do need to be careful here because there are a lot of decisions to make including the resources you use. You might need to consider something like PT Distinction VS Trainerize so this isn’t a decision that you should rush into. However, that doesn’t change the fact that the benefits could be tremendous. 


Starting The Day 


You might be wondering how you’re going to squeeze fitness into an already jam-packed schedule. To ensure that you don’t forget, it could be worth starting the day with a fitness routine. This will guarantee that you get it out of the way before the day begins. This also provides several benefits. Did you know that working out in the morning can build energy levels and kick start your metabolism at the same time? This is true.


Using The Tech 


Finally, you might want to think about taking advantage of the latest tech on the market. The newest tech available makes it easy to effectively track your fitness journey. It will ensure that you are never failing to keep up to date with your workout plans. Some fitness techs will even remind you to work out throughout the day. It’s a great way of guaranteeing that your fitness schedule doesn’t fall by the wayside due to other commitments. 


We hope this helps you understand some of the best ways that you can guarantee fitness is a key part of your life. This isn’t just going to benefit you right now. It’s also going to help you in the future. Research shows that exercise can keep you young and ensure that you are less likely to develop health issues that are commonly associated with age. 

6 Ways To Be Your Very Best Self This Year

If you keep thinking, wishing, and hoping that one day you’ll be the ideal version of yourself that  you’ve built up in your head, yet you’ve done nothing about it, now is the time to change. You don’t need to make these changes all at once – in fact, you shouldn’t, because this is unlikely to lead to lasting changes that you can implement time and time again. Taking things slowly is the best way to make real, lasting change. Read on for 6 ways to be your very best self this year:


  1. Start Journaling 

Journaling has so many benefits, and one of the great things about it is that there’s no right or wrong way to do it. You can bullet journal, free write, write about your dreams, write about what you’re grateful for, or even do mixed media journal entries. Do what you feel when you feel like it. The important thing is that you do it. It shouldn’t be pretty, and the last thing you need to do is think about reading it back. You’d be surprised at how much more calm and clarity this can give you. Some people even say that it helped them to improve their ideas. 


  1. Make Your Health A Priority 

Making your health a priority is one of the most important things you’ll do for yourself. Focusing on both mental and physical health can do this. You could join this Body Transformation program, a new you for 2020, or simply try out a new class. Walking more counts, too. Start small, such as eating more vegetables and getting more steps in. Gradually, you can improve your routine even more. 



  1. Wise Up To Your Excuses

Wise up to any excuses that you like to use and refuse to buy into them. Perhaps your excuse is that you’re always tired, or busy. The truth is, you’ll make time for what’s important to you. If it’s not a priority, it’s not a priority, but that’s your decision. 


  1. Act As If

Act like the person you want to be. Walk, dress, and think like them. Spend time with the people they would spend time with. This isn’t a sociopath way to act like somebody else, rather, a way to get into the mindset of the person you want to be and better yourself faster. 


  1. Read More

Make it your mission to read more this year. Automic Habits by James Clear is a great book if you want to work on various habits that you know you need to build. Self development books and fiction books both have their place. Carry a book with you wherever you go and read whenever you get a spare moment. 


  1. Consider Getting Help From A Pro 

Whether you’re thinking about getting a therapist or a life coach, getting help from a pro can help you to put things into perspective and wise up to your excuses. If you really want to make changes this year, one of the best things you can do is invest in yourself – and for many, that may mean finding somebody to help.

Designing A Training Plan That Works For You

Exercise can provide magical health benefits, but there is no one-size-fits-all formula for successful training. If you’re keen to get into exercise, or you’d like to try and get more from your current fitness regime, here are some tips to help you design a plan that works for you. 

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Tailor your regime to suit your requirements and needs

Everyone is different, and we all have different needs and objectives when it comes to training. Before you embark upon a new regime or routine, make sure you think about your current health status, the condition of your body and your fitness levels. 


If you have a history of injuries, you’re susceptible to back pain, or you have underlying health issues that could impact the types of activities you try, seek professional advice. You may benefit from seeing a physio to reduce the risk of repeat injuries, and working with an experienced trainer might be advantageous. If you train with an expert, or you take advice from your physiotherapist or doctor, this will ensure that your training plan is suitable and that you work out safely. Once you’ve figured out what kinds of activities and exercises you want to do, you can focus on working towards goals. These may include improving flexibility or speed, increasing endurance, losing weight or gaining muscle mass, for example. Many people are also increasing activity levels in a bid to boost mental health and well being. 


Have fun

This might sound unrealistic if your experiences of exercise include cross-country running at school, spending hours on a treadmill or doing endless sit-ups, but it is possible to enjoy exercise. You don’t have to live in the gym or run for miles to get fit. You can dance, climb, cycle, swim or even bounce your way to better health and fitness. Try a variety of activities, take a friend or partner with you and focus on exercises that you find fun. 


Work around your schedule

Many of us offer a lack of time as an excuse not to train more. The truth is that you don’t need hours of spare time every day to get in shape. If you’re short on time, there are plenty of activities you can try. One option that is becoming increasingly popular is HIIT, or high-intensity interval training. This fast-paced form of training combines intense exercise with short rest periods to burn calories and boost fitness levels fast. Even a 15-minute session will work up a serious sweat. Other ways to get fit if you don’t have a lot of time include walking, jogging or cycling to work, doing lunchtime exercise classes and working out at home. 

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We are all different, and we have different goals, capabilities and interests. Your training plan should be tailored to your individual needs and objectives so that you can train safely, maximize your chances of hitting targets and enjoy yourself along the way. Think carefully about your health and medical history, consider your lifestyle and the amount of time you have available and try out new activities to find exercises that are fun.

5 Alternative Exercises To Kick Start Your Year




We all know how important it is to get into a good exercise regime. Unfortunately, we aren’t all huge fans of the gym! The good news is, there are plenty of alternative and fun exercise options out there to provide you with your get-active fix. To find your new sports calling, one of these options may well be on the cards. 


1 . Kung Fu


Kung fu is a type of martial art which uses blocks, kicks and hand strikes to defend yourself against your opponent. Some who practice kung fu may also incorporate throws into their practice. To master kung fu, the idea is to use the opponent’s strength against them or to utilize your own force to overpower them. There is often much beauty to the flow of a kung fu match. As well as a sport, there is a philosophical aspect to kung fu. Those who wish to learn more should look into kung fu shaolin.


  1. SUP


Stand-up paddle boarding is a sub genre of surfing, which has gained much popularity in recent years. As opposed to traditional surfing, the idea is to stand up and balance on the board, using a paddle to propel you through the water. SUP is much more difficult than it looks, plus it involves a full-body workout! Why not take a look online and see if there are any paddle boarding clubs to be found in your local area? 


  1. Barre Class


Looking for a new fitness trend to get stuck into? Barre Class may just be what you’re looking for. For those wondering exactly what Barre entails- it’s essentially a workout out which combines a mashup of dance, yoga, Pilates, and strength training. In class, you’ll find a ballet style barre to use to stretch and hold the appropriate poses. Expect plenty of reps and some static stretches; classes really target core muscles, so you’ll certainly be feeling the burn the next day! 


  1. Kickboxing


Kickboxing is a martial art style which combines moves from conventional boxing, karate, and Muay Thai. When practicing kickboxing, you’ll use your hands as well as feet (and not your knees or elbows). To give yourself a great workout, kickboxing arrives with many benefits. For instance, kickboxing generally incorporates interval training, involving switching between high intensity and low-intensity exercise. Interval training is excellent for burning calories fast. What’s more, kickboxing is a great form of cardiovascular fitness, which is beneficial to keep our heart and lungs healthy. 


  1. Aerial Hoop


Aerial hoop involves a large metal hoop that is suspended from the ceiling. The idea is to perform a range of poses which involve sitting, hanging, or standing in the hoop. Once you move pass beginner territory, you’ll learn to spin and work the poses together so that they flow more like a dance. Aerial hoop is an amazingly fun way to build up your flexibility and core strength. Those looking for a fun challenge would be well advised to give it a go! When it comes to finding the right exercise for you, it’s all about trial and error. 


3 Simple Steps To Improve Your Fitness Levels

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For all we know, you might be the very epitome of fitness. 


You might exercise daily, be that at home, at the gym, or anywhere in between.


But if you don’t exercise enough (or if you don’t exercise at all), then it’s time to get into the habit to improve your future health prospects. In this article, we have some simple suggestions to lift you off the sofa and into some kind of workout routine regularly.


Step #1: Educate yourself


You don’t even need to get off the sofa to do this one! Hoorah! However, you still need to put your fingers to work, as we are asking you to Google those health and fitness sites such as The Fabulous to learn more about the importance of fitness and to receive advice on how to exercise effectively. Check out the linked site, and commit to further research online for more advice. Through reading and watching fitness-based YouTube videos, you will increase in knowledge and have a greater understanding of what you need to do to improve your fitness levels.


Step #2: Consider what you might enjoy


There are all kinds of ways to exercise. You could take workout classes at the gym, jog around your local park, and even run up a mountain. Excellent ideas all, although you might want to wait until you are at peak fitness level for that last one! However, you need to have some degree of enjoyment in what you are doing, because if you don’t, you might lose motivation fairly quickly. Therefore, think about the physical activities that might hold some degree of fun for you, and find opportunities to take part in them. So, you might visit your leisure center to take part in sporting activities you used to enjoy as a kid. You might grab your best mate (not literally) and visit a dance class together. And you might try any one of these fun fitness ideas. After finding ‘your thing,’ you should then adhere to the next point and include it in your daily or weekly routine. 


Step #3: Incorporate exercise into your daily life


To improve your fitness levels, you need to exercise consistently. You might not feel all of the benefits if you don’t, and if you’re not careful, you might slip into lazier ways. So, consider how you can fit exercise into your life. For starters, you need to put a big red ring around your calendar for your chosen fun activity. You then need to consider how else you might exercise. So, you might purchase some gym equipment to use at home, as you can then work out daily at a time that suits you. You might use your legs to get to work instead of the car or bus. While at work, you might exercise a little during your breaks. And you might take part in some kind of physical activity in the evening, be that walking the dog or working out in front of the TV. Make such things a habit, and you will improve your fitness levels in no time!


Thanks for reading!