Friday, 7 July 2017

A beginners guide to fitness

I get asked a lot of fitness related questions, how do I find motivation to get in the gym? What exercises are best for weight loss? I'm not a personal trainer, but I've learnt enough over the past few years to lose 7 stone in weight. So I thought I'd give a list of my top tips for starting your fitness journey.

1) Take pictures

Not because you're vain! Its one of the best ways to show your progress. I wish I'd taken some full body shots before I started, just so I could see the difference. Even if you don't show them to anybody, take pictures just for yourself, from front and side angles. In 6 months time you'll be surprised at the physical changes.

2) Join a gym

A lot of people will tell you a gym membership isn't needed to lose weight, which to a certain extent is true. However, if you're in an environment where people are all working on their fitness, and you have access to all that equipment, plus trainers to ask any questions you might have? Well, I think that's a whole lot better for people who are just starting out.

3) Get inspired

Inspiration breeds motivation. I get inspired by scrolling through healthy recipes on Pinterest/Instagram, and watching at least 30 minutes of fitness videos* on YouTube a day. The video watching part is the most important! Not only will it give you ideas of exercises to try and how to split your sessions, but it will inspire you to try new things and learn which machines/moves you love.

*some of my fave fitness youtubers to follow are Heidi Somers, Gracefituk, Zanna van dijk, Tally Rye, the lean machines, Carly Rowena, clean eating alice, and matt does fitness.

4) Plan your sessions

If you don't plan your sessions, trust me, you won't be productive. I usually plan my sessions a week in advance but if that's too much, at least plan a day beforehand. I open up the notes function on my phone and type something like the following:


10 mins running
10 mins rowing machine

(All  exercises - 3 sets of 10 reps)

Leg press
Glute kick backs

A 'rep' is how many times you do something, so if I was doing bicep curls, lifting my arm up and back down would be 1 rep. A 'set' is a group of reps, so 3 sets of 10 would be doing 10 repetitions of the exercise, 3 times.

5) Set a training schedule that works for you

You can get up early before work and get your session done straight away, or you could go after work, its up to you. Once you've figured out your time slots set yourself a target. I go 4 - 5 times a week. For beginners, 3 times a week for an hour each session is enough to make a difference.

4) Get used to working out alone

While its always great to have a gym buddy, you have to be prepared to go alone. Spend the first few weeks in the gym alone and just get comfortable with it. Even when your friend doesn't want to work out, don't let that stop you from going.

5) Learn one new skill every time you go to the gym

This continues to help me to this day. Keeping your sessions fresh and new will keep you interested and more likely to go. It will also get you educated about fitness. YouTube will help a lot with this. Start by trying a new machine every single session, if you're unsure of how they work, staff are always happy to show you, and they'll probably give you some valuable advice for free!

6) Challenge yourself

Every single time you step into the gym, you need to challenge yourself. I can't stress this point enough. Put on your kickass playlist, zone out the world and do your absolute best for as long as you can. This is the only way you're going to see progress. As soon as somethig starts to feel easy, increase your intensity. Go for longer, push harder.

I used to laugh at those people that said fitness makes you feel good, but it honestly does. Its so good for your physical and mental health. At first you might feel out of your depth, like 'oh wow I'm so unfit' but everyone starts out that way. Strength takes time to build.

If you don't have supportive people around you, I'm here to say that you can do this. You are capable, you are so fucking capable and you don't even realise it. Keep going. You will reach your goals.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Streat Life festival at Alexandra Palace

I'm all about festivals (I've been to 4 this year already) so when I heard about the street food and craft beer festival happening at Alexandra Palace, I was very excited. Food and booze? Two of my favorite things.

Once I saw the pulled pork stand we made a beeline for it. I didn't even look at the other food otherings which in hindsight I regret, would have loved to try the Buddha bowls. However, the pork bun I had was great, although it would have been better in a sauce. Mikes ribs 'fell off the bone' as he put it.

Up on a hill, we had spectacular views of London. It was a very windy but hot day, ideal weather conditions.

There was a DJ playing what can only be described as 'dance music' no words, just a beat. There was also a very entertaining old man who had some serious dance moves. I don't know who he is, but if you're reading this, hit me up so we can go to the club one time. Joking. (or am I?)

The inside was absolutely stunning. The whole of the ceiling was a window, which let in a mass amount of natural sunlight. There were also giant trees everywhere.

One of the least expensive things on the menu, this wine was great. If you go to this festival, and like me, you enjoy a drink or 5, be prepared to part with a lot of cash because the drinks are not cheap.

I'm not sure this guy was creating, but he was painting this for the entire duration of our stay.

Speaking of expensive drinks, I couldn't resist buying one of these tropical cocktails, (£12 each) which come inside a whole pineapple!? From memory, it contained something like, mango juice, vodka, Malibu and elder-flower.

Had to try these waffles, I got 'banoffee' which was fresh banana, white chocolate, toffee sauce and powdered sugar.

This was a great festival, I encourage you to go if you're a massive foodie because there's a lot of choice. There are healthy options, as well as the typical pizza and burgers you find at most food stalls. The views around London were amazing, my photos don't really do it justice. I forgot how much I love eating outdoors (easy to do in London, where it rains 90% of the time) this place was kind of like a giant, pricey picnic. Go to this festival for the atmosphere and the food.

A beginners guide to fitness

I get asked a lot of fitness related questions, how do I find motivation to get in the gym? What exercises are best for weight loss? I...