I’m a self confessed gymbunny because I aim to go to the gym daily and I bloody love it. Even when I’m away from my home gym I hunt down the closest chain and pop in after a days work. So here a few things I’ve picked up after almost half a year of enjoying a healthier lifestyle.
1) Gymbunnies sweat – so you gotta wash everything more reguarly. This includes your hair! All that talk about stripping your hair of its natural oils go out the window. When you work out you sweat from every pore, even more so from your scalp because of all of that hair. So avoid the hairline pimples and give it a clean!
2) You need two yoga mats – the gym floors tend to be super hard being solid floorboards, so double up your yoga mat. It gets uncomfortable real quick if your rolling on your back in Pilates or holding poses that put a lot of pressure on your knees/arm joints, so a little extra padding goes a long way. You can concentrate more on the routine at hand than the pain going through your knees during a Sun Salutation.
3) Always have a hair tie handy – There’s nothing chic about sweaty hair for a gymbunny! I throw a few extras in my gym bag for the days I forget, but a large hair clip doesn’t quite do it when you’re jumping around. I normally use a huge clamp clip to avoid the kinks when I whack my hair back, but it doesnt hold your hair when you’re doing a stint of cardio or hanging onto the barre in body barre.
4) Keep the flip flops handy – the thought of walking around barefoot around the pool and shower areas grosses me out, so reduce your chances of getting a varruca and keep a pair of flip flops handy. I wear mine and leave them with my towel by the pool when I fancy a swim.
5) You probably need to take a step further back for lunges – I started off quite meek with my strides for my lunges and realised I wasn’t working the right muscles and just putting pressure on my knees. So now I always keep a check on my form and take a bigger stride. If they’re not at 90 deg when you bend down, you’re not doing it right!
6) If it hurts, stop – a work out should be challenging and tiring, not painful in the sense that you’re hurting. That means you could be doing something wrong or you need to take it easy. Tune in with how your body is before you start a workout, are your joints feeling okay today? If not take it easy, you don’t want to aggravate an injury.
7) It’s okay to miss a day – motivation is hard at first but you need to make it easier for yourself to love the gym in the first place, check out my last gym post for a pep talk here. If I’m not feeling it one day because a favourite class isn’t on that day and the thought of running brings tears to my eyes, I just say I’ll take that day off. Simple as! There’s always another class I can choose to go to the next day thankfully.
8) But don’t be a lazy gymbunny – take a rest when you need one, but don’t make excuses. If you’re down and out with the flu then recover before you smash it at the gym again!
9) Cheat your brain into running for longer – when I’ve missed the cardio classes for the week I’d have to bribe myself to have a quick run by watching a Youtube video. Distracting your attention from just starting at the gym wall when you run will make you focus less on how boring it is and make you more likely to run for a little bit longer.
10) Have fun – another way of gathering some motivation to hit the gym is to enjoy your workouts. Everyone has their own little fun bits in the day so make it yours!
I also tried to subtly get that Easter bunny in there, could you tell??
Let your inner gymbunny shine!
Do you have any great tips and advice for enjoying the gym more? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter @RinnibooUK
This was my first time pitching for funding that I found after we were approached by Debbie to host a wearables workshop for her students! I hope you pick up some great tips of confidence for speaking to a crowd and pitching.
CEO, Debbie Edwards of FDisrupters, a start-up in Liverpool approached Women of Wearables to deliver our wearable tech workshop. The goal was to inspire 11 young girls aged 14-18 in her 14 week pilot program of workshops on confidence, self belief and tech skills.
As with most challenges start-ups face, Debbie was waiting for funding to enable us to deliver our workshops.
Our Wearable Tech Assistant, Rachael Yeung from Liverpool used her initiative and discovered a funding avenue through Awesome Liverpool.
Awesome Liverpool is a chapter of the Awesome Foundation. It is an ever-growing worldwide community devoted to forwarding the interest of awesome globally. Established in 2009 in Boston, the Foundation distributes $1000 grants to projects and creators.
In the UK, it is £500 and the money comes from 10 local Trustees who each put in £50 in a kitty for allocation each month.
There are 87 chapters in 20 countries world wide and disappointingly, there is only 1 chapter in the UK. But that’s why I think it’s fittingly called Awesome Liverpool.
After we secretly submitted an online form answering a series of questions about the brief on delivering a wearable tech workshop for FDisrupters and ensured that it fit the criteria of:
1. Solves a problem
2. Has a budget
3. Keeping it local and most importantly,
4. Bringing joy
we were shortlisted in the top 3 after 70 applicants had submitted!
Read the whole blog post on the Women of Wearables website here!
Hello 2017! Happy year year everyone and thank you for tuning in once again. So here’s my current obsession that I’ve been getting a little crazy about this month: Saving money by shopping savvy on your grocery shop!
Whilst everyone is getting on the ‘new year new me’ gym wagon. I’ve been there and got the tshirt, you can check out my fun gym post here. Instead I have been thinking of ways I can be more savvy with my savings and knuckle down on my finances by saving a few pennies on my grocery shop. If you’re anything like me and find yourself without a penny at the end of the month, saving a few pounds a month on your grocery shop will add up. These few top tips might help!
1. Brands brands brands!
I’m a self confessed brand snob and I will prefer a bag of Birds Eye petite pois over the supermarkets own. Which is fair enough because their grades are a lot higher (if you know how they’re picked, they are in fact, a lot fresher! Which means tastier!) So to counteract that I tend to buy them when they have a special offer on. Afterall peas are handy to have in the freezer for any burns and scalds that can happen in the house as well as on the plate!
Sometimes even the supermarkets own brands are super tasty! I’ve found Tesco cheese are the best!
2. It’s still fresh!
‘Best before’ and ‘sell by’ dates are general guidelines that the supermarket has to adhere to as a regulation of their stock. That doesn’t meant it’s necessarily inedible! Sure some stuff can go off a little faster due to faults in the packaging etc, but some things are still good for a few more days. My general rule is: if it smells funny, don’t chance it! (Especially when it comes to chicken!) And if it’s fruit or a fresh produce but the package has expanded, it’s probably gone foul and I’d avoid it.
3. Supermarket crazy reduction hours
Each supermarket will have a time when they have to put a final reduction price onto produce that they have to quickly get rid of before they have to officially remove them from their shelves. Asda even price everything at a measly 10p! I’ve managed to bag a steak and fries meal for two for less than £3 each with this crazy offer. That’s saving almost over £40 compared to eating out!
Here are some of my favourite supermarkets and their final reduction times:
Asda – 7pm Everything 10p!
Tesco – 8pm Final reductions up to 75%+ off
M&S – 9pm get in there fast!
Co-op – 7pm for the cheapest before it’s removed from the shelves!
4. Reduce food waste
I’ve touched on the subject in my post about being more sustainable here. It’s not only great for your purse but also better for the planet if you plan your meals properly and only buy what you need. You’ll literally be throwing money away if you bin food!
5. Ask for a doggie bag
When you’ve finished your meal at a restaurant and still have enough on your table for another meal, don’t be afraid to ask for it to be packed up so you can take it home with you! The chef with appreciate not having his hard work go to waste and you’ll have another great meal to enjoy again without you having to cook as much! Just pop it in the oven, heat it in a pan or shove it in the microwave.
Struggle with the grocery shop? Do not fear! You can get recipes and the exact amounts of food needed to make them from Hello Fresh. It seems like an ingenious idea for the days when you can’t decide what to eat, so I was thinking of trying it out. Have you tried it before? Let me know how you found it! Get 28.75% off your online purchases there with TopCashback anytime, and I know they give out some vouchers here and there with selected retailers.
What do you think of my top tips on saving money when doing your grocery shop? Do you have any great ones to add to the list? Let me know firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment in the box below!
Happy (belated) Birthday to me! Another year another whole 365 days older.
So this is the time of the year when I get a little nostalgic, a little emotional and do a whole lot of reflection and reminiscing. So to mark my mid-twenties birthday, here’s 5 things that I’ve learnt since last year.
Chose experience over materialistic things
Every time I go on a shopping spree there’s that one session of europhic adrenaline of a shopaholic, but there’s no great memory to look back and be nostalgic about. As hard as it is to resist shopping until dropping, I’d rather be somewhere else in the world making memories and experiencing a different culture!
You value your friends a lot more
Just because you don’t see them everyday it doesn’t mean they’re far, even if they’re in a different country! I take a few minutes out of my day and Skype people in different time zones for a chat. You don’t have to worry about conversation because there will be lots to catch up on!
Spend more time with family
It’s like how the saying goes ‘blood is thicker than water’. Living in the YOLO generation people forget to show how much they love their closest. So spend more time with your parents even if they drive you up the wall!
Find a job you enjoy
Find it anyway you can. Get out there and be proactive, experience things you never thought you would even try. Then maybe you might stumble on something you can make money from. I think people graduating now wants a job with flexible hours or to be their own boss, this will come from life experience and a drive to succeed. To be your own boss you need the initiative and risk taking that many successful entrepreneurs have. Leading role not you? Be an amazing supporter! I hate seeing miserable people in jobs they don’t like. Yes, get stuck into the daily grind to earn money to get away, but never get comfortable! If you aren’t doing something new everyday, you’re not learning. And if you’re not learning, you’re not living!
Learn to cook
It’s a living essential! Take some time to learn to cook the basic things in life; eggs, rice, pasta, potatoes! This impacts your health directly when you decide on fast food over a healthy homemade meal. You can even save some pennies when you’re able to be more savvy about what you eat. It’s also an attractive quality in all genders!
I had an amazing birthday this year with friends and family in different events and holidays away. If you haven’t seen my Milan trip recently check it out here. Follow me along on my birthday trip away to the Lakes with Kris below.
Thank you Philip for the exotic flowers! Don’t forget you can order them in time for Christmas here.
Happy Birthday, you! #LifeHacks
Disclaimer: The bouquet of flowers from Prestige Flowers was a sponsored review in the sense that the product itself was payment for a review. All opinions are unbiased and I have NOT and will never be paid to say untrue statements.
Hello! Long time no post, I’ve been busy inspiration searching and that involved travelling! In my usual ‘two-birds-with-one-stone’ fashion, it was also a birthday trip curtesy of ma madré (big thank you mum!) But Italy was also on her bucket list!! So let get stuck right into it!
So I like to squeeze in as much as I can when I go on holiday to a new destination, check out the Singapore in a weekend blog here. So when we went to stay in Milan for 6 nights we squeezed in day trips all around the north of Italy to experience lots of snippets from each place.
Always check the airline that you’re flying with for luggage restrictions. We flew with Easy Jet so they have a policy for one small hand luggage and an option to add one checked 20kg luggage bag. We originally were not going to even add a suitcase! But we ended up sharing one, thank god because we forgot to factor in shopping and souvenirs! I always pack heavier and bulkier things when the weather is cooler, so it helps to check the weather at the destination before you pack.
I tried to plan for a few outfit photos so I packed a heel boot… that I didn’t even wear! So I recommend just packing flats and comfortable shoes if you plan on doing a lot of walking like we did.
I also found that I could contact the hotel before hand and check what amenities they already had there so I could probably pack less i.e. shower gel, shampoo and conditioner, body lotion, cotton pads, slippers etc. So it would’ve been handy if I didn’t need to carry a bottle of body wash, but anything that I’m picky about I just took a travel size version.
We chose a hotel and flight package on lastminute.com but we booked at like 1am in the morning (never do that!) so we only had photographs of the hotel to go on. Thankfully it was the most beautiful hotel, Starhotel E.C.H.O. It’s super eco friendly with all the heating sourced etc. They even had sustainable tips on a card in each room to help. Even their restaurant locally sources their ingredients! You can check out their video explaining the E.C.H.O here.
Getting around Milan
I got the heads up that public transport will go on strike with little notice before hand, and with my luck they really did whilst we were there! But we still managed to suss out how to use the Metro which is the public underground train. It’s a lot less complicated than the London tube as you only need to know the two stops at either end of the three lines, and you could probably work it all out from there. We mostly used the green line which went through the main Centerale FS station which had an abundance of newsagents. All sold the majority of the tickets for bus, Metro and tram, along with all of the different ticket machines.
Most people spoke english being the big city centre that it is, and you could even chose the preferred language on the ticket machines once you located the right one! The most popular Metro lines tend to run from 6am – midnight, so outside of these times I would recommend taking a local taxi. Bare in mind a taxi can take around 10mins to arrive or you can find a taxi rank nearby any main station or just outside the famous Duomo cathedral.
I did find having a tube map helped, but I also love these apps whenever I travel anywhere:
City Mapper – although it’s not the best for Italy, you can see routes from A to B!
SpeakEasy Italian – Unfortunately I didn’t get to exercise my Italian much (or lack of) but it was handy if you ever need help as it does not need internet connection to work.
If you can arrange for internet roaming abroad with your network provider it will help if you get lost in this digital age.
On the first day we needed to know our surroundings so we booked in at our hotel recommended travel agent Zani Viaggi for the Grande Tour de Milano, which was a great morning trip to the most famous landmarks.
Day 2 was the public transport strike so we had to hop on a taxi to the meeting point to catch the coach. Being in the capital city of fashion you HAVE to go to a shopping outlet! Unfortunately, Serravalle shopping outlet seemed too similar to the Cheshire Oaks shopping outlet (they’re owned by the same company) that’s local to me back in the UK so I decided on FoxTown.
Little did I know it was in Switzerland! It was a great experience having found a YSL and Versace outlet that had prices up to 70% off! But even then most items were still around £500+! I did manage to find a leather skirt I liked but they only had one faulty one left! I would like to go back to Switzerland for a romantic cliché ski holiday with a cheese fondue in front of a fire (and shopping!)
A visit to lake Como was planned for day 3 as all of the tickets for Florence was sold out for that morning, however both places are exceptionally beautiful! I took a good 70% of my 1000+ photos around the lake because it was just that picturesque! We did find the famous Seta (silk) shop in Como, but I only managed to check out half of the shop before we were rushed onto the boat to Bellagio! But that just means I will have to go back again to see the other half of the shop!
For the last full day in Italy we had pre-booked a Venice day trip because it was only available on the Sunday during the 6 days we went for, and it was the one place that I really wanted to visit! Venice is such a different city, which was made apparent when we had to get off the coach at a manmade island (built mostly for all of the tourists parking!) to then take a boat over to the district.
Unfortunately, most shops are closed on Sunday but all of the tourist places were open. This meant that it was HEAVING with tourists, and it didn’t help that there was a marathon going on at the same time! The trip was a great quick overview of Venice, as I would recommend a little educational show around by a local guide for the first time there. You learn a lot from locals, but I think the beauty of visiting Venice is getting lost in the labyrinth of streets and leisurely discovering new ‘calle’ (street/s)! As my mum experienced (she got confused with all of the guides having the same flags and got lost for a few minutes!) This is definitely on my list of places to revisit as the 6 hours we spent there was not nearly enough!
Eating Out and About
I love to try all of the local food wherever I go, but having been on mostly tourist trips to the usual tourist places we paid the inflated prices! I always like to wonder around for a few minutes to compare the prices, since most of the restaurants have the same popular Italian dishes. I tried to visit the recommended restaurants, but when you’re doing so much exploring you get tired and just want to eat anything that’s close by! I did thankfully try local risotto, fish & meats, traditional stone baked pizza and gelato! It’s true that the gelato tastes amazing in Italy because they make it fresh and the flavour is mind blowing!
Can you do north Italy in a week?
You definitely can if you are fit and able to zip from place to place to get a quick taste of each city/country (mum got tried very easily). I definitely recommend going for longer so you can really savour and enjoy each place. I like leaving something to do and explore in places I would like to revisit. I definitely learnt a lot on this trip, especially about the Duomo and Last Supper painting. I didn’t know the colour of the Duomo varies because it’s made of pink marble, and that the Last Supper was painted on a kitchen wall! Although, the staple food in Italy isn’t my favourite (pizza and pasta isn’t my first choice) as I prefer a lighter meals i.e. veggies and fruit. I absolutely LOVE the pastries and antipasti options there! Everything Italian always tastes better in Italy!
Okay so the gym themselves aren’t lying, they’re pretty transparent. You just need to do your research before hand and quiz them before you join! It helps to be in the know of all the deals they have done previously, as joining mid-month in a quiet period can work out a lot cheaper.
So I have joined Nuffield Health recently and I’m on a bit of a health kick. Turns out my metabolism still has it! Here’s a few things you find out after using it for the first time.
10 Fun facts
Your fanny will hurt after the first few times at spin class – Unfortunately, the seats don’t fit like a glove and rub in all sorts of places! But you get used to it after a few classes, just push through it!
Personal trainers aren’t actually that scary – they want you to be healthier and look to encourage you!
The huge tyre is heavier than it looks – it’s 60kg! I was almost moving something twice the weight of myself!
The old grannies that go to step class aren’t frail – not one bit! In fact, they’d probably kick your ass! So don’t tick them off!
You don’t need a protein shake – body builders will tell you that all that whey protein was a huge fad. You don’t need supplements as long as you’re getting the right amount of protein in your diet.
The gym equipment is pretty gross – everyones pretty lazy and can’t move after a full on workout. So the gym equipment probably has the sweat of everyone before you on it. Thankfully there’s readily available cleaning products handy to clean them. Yes, I did get a smelly mat that smelt like cheesy feet!
Big contracts don’t necessarily mean expensive – if you use the gym everyday it works out about £1-2 a day! Even then you get full use of all the facilities i.e. hello sauna and jacuzzi!
Classes are actually a lot of fun – starting out can be a little daunting being the new person, but as with everything practise makes perfect!
Gym wear is more important than it seems – it won’t just be aesthetically pleasing to motivate you more, but having sweat wicked away and the right sports bra makes a difference! Look good AND feel good whilst working out! How to chose your sports bra blog post coming next tuesday, follow us on social media to be notified
You will feel a lot better – you’re less tired and have more of a drive to do things. Teamed with a healthy diet, you’ll have energy for days!
But the gym is a fun way to stay healthy
So that’s a fun few facts for you after my first month in the gym, and my new shopping obsession is funky gear that’ll make my work outs a lot more chic! After trying out most of the classes so far I do enjoy the united feel, having peers not only motivate you but also challenge you in ways you least expect! I have always liked classes from my various dance classes from a young age, so when they started getting labelled ‘adult classes’. I bolted. No one clinging to their youth wants to admit they’re adults! So gym classes has filled that void for now. I haven’t quite gotten into solo training yet as it’s not quite my front, but I’m sure that will come in time after I pick up some routines!
Check out the heath benefits of regular exercise in my last health blog here.
The launch of the Human Sensor kicked off on the 23rd of July and it was a day packed full of speakers and a live performance at the end. Here’s what happened on the night for all of you that missed it!
Making the Invisible Visible
Finding 70 Oxford Road was an easy task as it used to be the old location for the Cornerhouse, which I found that people still mistake it for! Upon entering the venue, the place was still buzzing from the morning talks about Manchester Public Health and Air Pollution, it was still incredibly warm for the tail end of the heatwave but everyone was excited for the performance in the evening.
As we prepared the wearables and leaflets for the night, there was still a flurry of things to do. I accompanied Laura Parker the deputy director, to display the Human Sensor posters at Salder’s Yard for the location of the final show, and hurried back to get ready for the guests arrivals. We didn’t realise the location was quite a bit of a walk away but thankfully we managed to get back in time to add the finishing touches!
The night kicks off!
The clock ticked 7:30pm and the first guest arrived! As everyone started to filter in and settle, the presentations soon started. Alice Sharp the director of Invisible Dust began the evening explaining the concept of the not-for-profit company that aims to raise awareness for air pollution by partnering art with science, and then introduced the Human Sensor artist Kasia Molga. We then had a talk from the Kings College of London, Dr Ian Muwa about air pollution. Did you know air pollution is costing us billion of pounds, and it contributes to 40,000 deaths in the UK?! After the congratulating and thanking everyone that had been involved in the project: Kasia, the organisers and people behind the scenes, the fellows, the choreographer and the dancers, there was a short break before we were all ushered outside for the start of the performance!
Everyone stood outside in anticipation to see the wearables in action, and the buzz of talking stopped once the dancers started filing out one after the other. The dancers adorned in the LED lit wearable capes sparkled as they began their dance to the Sadler’s Yard, rotating and elegantly emphasising the breathing with their arm movements whilst they waited at every crossing. We followed them twisting and turning around a route through the city centre, bystanders were curious and also mind-blown at the bizzare looking wearables on dancers! Having worn the wearable cape before I know that it was quite restrictive, but the dancers were expertly moving around in them not putting a confident foot out of place!
When we reached Salder’s Yard the sun was fully set and the spotlights illuminated the venue with an almost romantic atmosphere. The final dance was a beautiful crescendo to the end of the night with a projected presentation in the background that had bite sized information and facts fading in and out. The whole performance gave me Goosebumps with the soundtrack being someone breathing that gradually sped up and became more laboured; it was almost like the breathing of something out of a horror movie! Teamed with the shocking air pollution facts on how it’s affecting the human body, it felt rather chilling but very powerful.
The launch night was a brilliant experience and although I did work for part of the night to help set up, it did not feel like work at all seeing the project blossom into something we are all proud of! I originally wanted to partake in this project to get experience working with more wearables, but I not only managed to wear it for the promotional video, I also learnt a lot more about air pollution and how it is a very real threat even here in Manchester. Knowing that I will part from this project with more skills and knowledge that I originally expected is a great feeling, but having met a brilliant group of fellows on the programme is priceless!
The Human Sensor is a project by Kasia Mulga and Invisible Dust to raise awareness of air pollution as part of the European City Of Science festival. Find out all of the information and photos of the events at the Human Sensor website www.humansensor.eu
Invisible Dust is continuing to work on raising awareness of air pollution with more artists and scientists in new projects coming soon. Keep up to date on their website here. The Human Sensor is coming to London! Keep your eyes peeled!
Find out more about the Human Sensor programme on the blog I wrote here.