What’s In Our Gym Bag 

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We really enjoy watching ‘What’s in my bag’ YouTube videos so decided to write a ‘what’s in my gym bag’ blog post. Whether you are popping to the gym or heading to work we always like to carry some essentials with us as you never know when you might need them! Some of the items below we wouldn’t carry to the gym if we didn’t have any plans pre or post workout, instead we would go home and get ready for the day.

At the moment the gym bag Annie is currently using is a black Adidas rucksack and Rachel has a limited edition Cath Kidston Mickey Mouse bag. These rucksacks literally come everywhere with us, they are the perfect size and comfortable to wear.

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Sweat Towel- One of the Boutique gyms we go to actually provides sweat towels which is great as you don’t have to pack your own, if your gym doesn’t provide sweat towels we would suggest bringing your own! There is something worse than using the blue paper towels some gyms provide.

Headphones- When working out alone whether this is running or the gym headphones are essential! Whether you use them to catch up on Youtube when on the treadmill or listen to music when lifting weights. When we work out together we don’t wear headphones as we have each other to talk to.

Water Bottle- It is so important to stay hydrated at the gym. Your ability to perform well will decline if you are dehydrated. Drinking water is essential if you want to get most out of your workout and feel good while you’re doing it. If you don’t drink enough water when working out you may experience dizziness, tiredness and muscle cramps.

Drying Towel- We tend to go to the gym before work and during our lunch break so it’s important we remember to pack a drying towel.

Spare Clothes- Spare clothes are essential if you go to the gym before work or if you have plans post workout.

Wash bag & Make up- Remember to pack make up remover and face wash so you can wash your face pre workout, there is nothing worse than sweating off your make up you have been wearing all day. Other items we like to pack in our wash bag are: Deodorant, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Shampoo, Conditioner, Shower gel, Moisturiser and our makeup bag.

Protein Shaker- We like to carry a protein shaker in our bag so we can refuel. This isn’t something we carry in our bag all the time. We would have a protein shake after the gym if we have a while to wait for our next meal e.g. on the way to work pre breakfast.

Our running goals

We have been running regularly for over a year, we have got to the point where we can happily run 7.5 miles but have not pushed ourselves to run either further. This year we have decided to challenge and push ourselves to go even further and we have decided to double the distance to 15 miles. If we managed to get to 7.5 miles in one year then what is to say we cannot get to 15 miles this year.

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We absolutely love running. It’s a great time to reflect or to just completely switch off from the world. We love running together; we make so many decisions when running about our blog, jobs, weekend plans and our future aspirations.

We have decided to set ourselves this challenge because we think it’s important to have goals that we can work towards together in 2017. We loving setting ourselves fitness goals to ensure we challenge and push ourselves so we can see continuous progress in our fitness levels.

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We will be running together once a week and as the evenings get lighter we will be making our runs longer. During the winter months we run 5 miles during the week on the road. In the summer however, we like to run in the woods deep into the Hertfordshire countryside watching the sun set. We will also be running on our own maybe at the weekend trying to push ourselves to run further each time we run.

We will also be running shorter runs of 5K as we know it is important to vary your running lengths in order to see progress and to give your body a break.  We both like to run in our lunch breaks as it is the perfect amount of time for a quick 5K.

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We hope to also enter a couple of runs this year to keep us motivated and to have something to work towards. We wanted to take part in the 10 mile London parks run last year so maybe that will be on the cards this year.

We will be documenting our running progress over the next year so watch out for more running posts!

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Are you lacking fitness motivation?

Scrolling through Instagram is sometimes enough to motivate us to get to the gym. Our Instagram feed is full of fitness fanatics who never seem to lack motivation. This isn’t true though, people only show what they want to show on Instagram so it is important to remember these people do run out of energy and can also lack motivation!

Everyone has those months were they are feeling less motivated. Most of the time motivation and consistency is never a problem for us, we look forward to going to the gym in the morning, but we do notice it takes us a little bit longer to get out of bed during those cold winter months.

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We love the lifestyle we lead and we never desire another routine or lifestyle. When we have a bad day at work working out really helps us regain a positive attitude. It’s our place where we can switch off from the rest of the world and just focus on our work out. 99% of the time we will leave and have a completely different view on the problems we were facing beforehand.
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Below are a few tips to help keep you dedicated and motivated to your fitness regime:

Don’t stress- It’s really important you don’t stress yourself out if you cannot fit a work out in, stress can cause de motivation. Sometimes other things get in the way that you have to prioritise and that’s just life. You aren’t going to throw away all your gains just because you missed a class. On the flip side of you do miss a class don’t let this demotivate you, get back up and go again tomorrow.

Make fitness part of your life but not your life- it’s so important you have the correct balance, that’s not to say that you should feel bad for turning down an event if you have your favourite fitness class that night. If you find yourself constantly doing this you could find yourself falling out of love with fitness.We like to work out in the morning so we can plan to see our friends and family during the evening.

Eat well- when we don’t eat a healthy balanced diet our body tells us off! We wake up feeling sluggish and lethargic with little or no energy. We know our bodies don’t agree with too much sugar and salt so it is important we personally eat this in moderation. Don’t restrict yourself though as you are likely to fall off the wagon, instead eat a balanced diet treating yourself every now and then.

Find a friend- working out with a friend can be so motivating! They are there to motivate you and maybe even get you there in the first place. If you have arranged to meet a friend in the morning you are less likely to stay in bed!

Pack your bag- we always pack our bag for the next day before going to bed! We also like to place our gym clothes by the bed so we just have to pull them on and go!

Set yourself a goal- we like to set ourselves regular goals so we have something to work towards. A few examples would be: run a certain distance, lift a certain weight, do a deadlift, do a pull up etc.

What are your top tips for keeping motivated, we would like to know!

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Trail Running- Rough ‘N’ Tumble

Trail running takes place on softer surfaces such as grass and mud in the beautiful countryside. We love putting on our trainers and getting outside, trail running gives you freedom to run, explore and often get lost whilst enjoying the beautiful scenery.

Running on softer surfaces is much better for your body especially your ankles, shins, knees and hips (all of which we rely on greatly).  During the summer months we prefer trail runs as opposed to road runs especially as we both live super close to the woods. As the evenings begin to get darker during the winter months unfortunately we have to say goodbye to our mid week trail runs and return to road runs.

On January 8th 2017 I took part in a 10 mile trail run called Rough ‘N’ Tumble in a little village in Wiltshire called Pewsey. The race started at 11:00am at the Milton Lilbourne Village hall, the locals were selling pre race tea and coffees and had baked lots of cakes.

I hadn’t done much research on the race so didn’t know what to expect which is probably a good thing, before we had even got to the first mile we had to climb up a vertical hill on our hands and knees.

The puddles were so deep there was definitely a Vicar of Dibley moment half way through but there was no time to stop we just had to continue with soaking wet feet (my worst nightmare!). Everyone was so friendly helping each other on the way round which it definitely made the run more enjoyable.

They had drinks stations at mile 4 & 8 where they were also handing out jelly babies. The Locals were all cheering us along which was a great support especially when you get to mile 8 and you have another hill ahead of you.

Once we had finished the race we stuck around to listen to the results before heading home and showering and tucking into the homemade pizza we had made the night before!

I would really recommend taking part in the Rough ‘N’ Tumble it’s not like your usual road race!

 

High Street Active Wear

Apart from looking half smart for work we practically live in gym gear, its super comfy so why not. We don’t tend to spend too much money on sports wear because, well, you don’t necessarily need to! There are plenty of high street stores that now offer a large range of active wear, so we decided to put it all to the test! Buying new gym gear is great motivation to get back to the gym, just the motivation to burn off those extra mince pies and beat the January blues!

New Look: New look have a great selection of active wear, and its even better when its in the sale! The leggings are very comfy and fit very well. The tops are cool and we are a bit of a sucker for these slogan tees. You still have to look stylish when working out right?!

Primark: We cannot resist popping into Primark, especially when there’s one on the highstreet right by work. Primarks gym gear is affordable, comfy and also bang on trend. We cannot resist a bargain and Primark certainly offers this!

Forever 21: Forever 21 offer a great range of gym gear, and when they have 10% student discount ever better. However we do find their sizes a bit dodgy and their leggings have been know to keep falling down – you don’t want to be constantly pulling up those leggings whilst on the tread mill not such a good look! We recomend you try the Forever 21 range  on before buying!

Topshop (Ivy Park – Beyonce): This range might be super stylish, but then does it take it a little too far? Who wants to wear a leotard to the gym, imagine that wedgie whilst on the squat rack. You have to draw the line somewhere between looking good but feeling comfortable. We also do not think the quality of the range is that great, you’re better off spending your money elsewhere!

JD Sports Ellesse: If you wear this brand you’ll start to look just like their model Luck Meck right?! Ha, we wish, better get on that Results With Lucy plan! However the range is pretty neat, and we cannot resist a bit of celebrity endorsement, plus this range brings back slight nostalgia of being a kid in the 90s again!

JD Sports Pink Soda: This range is mega fashionable but also very comfy. The cool logo and simple designs makes the range perfect for those who want to spend a little more on gym wear. However when there is a sale on you can nab yourself some bargains, shorts from £20 down to £6, now we are talking!

What is your go to active wear shop, we would love to know yours!?

BLOGMAS Day 16-How to keep active at Christmas

The festive period has started and we couldn’t be happier! Christmas is a time to celebrate with the people you love and whilst doing so you are probably going to be eating a few more calories than normal. If you are going to stuff your face with all the Turkey, Mince Pies, Chocolate and anything else you can get your hands on (we know we will be) then it might be a good idea to get up and get moving. The majority of people tend to gain a few additional pounds at Christmas due to excessive eating but this doesn’t have to be the case.

We would never suggest you sacrifice treats at Christmas but you should ask yourself before you open your mouth for another mince pie, do I really want it, or am I just eating it because it’s there?

Staying active during the festive period is so simple, you don’t have to go running every day or even step foot in the gym if you don’t want to, but doing small amount of exercise will help you maintain your weight.

Christmas shopping is a great way to keep active (unless you do it all online). You walk a lot further than you think when shopping and its fun as well so that is just an added bonus.

If you have a spare 15/20 minutes during the day (not Christmas day) why don’t you do a The Body Coach workout? These workouts are all available on Youtube and they really do make you sweat.

Christmas usually involves a lot of dancing which is also a great way to stay active. If you have several Christmas parties booked in then just be mindful of the drinks you are drinking, we like to have Vodka, soda and fresh lime.

Why don’t you suggest going for a walk with your family or friends, we don’t think you can beat a nice wintery walk. It’s the perfect time to wear your new bobble hat or coat you got for Christmas. Every year our families go on a walk on Christmas morning (even if it does end in the pub) and we absolutely love it!

Don’t stress yourself out too much though, after all Christmas is a time to relax and de stress.

BLOGMAS Day 13- Tips to consider before joining a gym

Why not join the gym today? Why wait until January when the gyms are so busy you won’t be able to find a machine to use. A busy gym can sometimes be stressful and de motivating, not being able to get on any of the machines will more than likely annoy you.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas the gym is usually pretty quiet and it’s the perfect opportunity to branch out and try new machines or classes you have never contemplate trying before. It is also a great time to burn off a few extra calories that you may be consuming during the festive period.

If you are thinking about joining a new gym you should do you research before joining the gym as it is likely you are going to be spending a lot of time there. We have been members of several gyms over the years and always take into consideration the below tips before joining.

We hope our top tips help you make the right decisions and go on join the gym today you won’t regret it!

Location- the location of your gym is probably one of the most important factors you should take into consideration. In the past we have been members of gyms that have been a fair few miles away from our house. We like to attend a gym that is close to our houses and also means we can attend before or after work without having to go home first. Why not join a gym that is on your way to and from work that way you have no excuse!

Opening hours- is the gym open when you are likely to use it most? Lots of gyms are now open for 24 hours but not all are so it is important you check their opening hours. You will need to decide what time of day you are likely to exercise to ensure the hours fit your schedule. If the opening times don’t fit your schedule it is likely you will be paying for something you can’t access.

Monthly Membership Fees- You will need to take into account how often you are going to attend the gym. We like to work out the amount of days we will train at the gym in a month and divide this by the membership fee that way we can see the cost per trip. It is also important to check if you have a rolling contract of if you are committing yourself to an entire year as a member.

Fitness Classes- There are several questions you should ask yourself regarding fitness classes; Does your gym have fitness classes included in your monthly membership? Are you likely to attend many of the classes? Will attending classes motivate you? What is the timetable like? You should also ask the gym staff if you need to turn up early to the class to reserve a spot.

Personal Training- Some gyms have a lot of personal trainer, if you gym is quite small you should take this into consideration as they can sometimes take up a lot of floor space. On the other hand if you want a personal trainer at the gym this might be a positive as you will have a selection to choose from.

Facilities available- we would suggest emailing the gym and asking them about their facilities do they have enough machines to go around? It is important you make sure they have a wide variety of machines in case you every want to branch out in the future. We like to go to the gym before work so it is important the changing rooms are clean and have working showers. Some of the boutique gyms also offer a towel service which is great.