Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Fitness: Exerceo EMS Review

Apologies for the lack of posts in the last few weeks! After 2.5 years of looking for our forever home we are finally moving this weekend! Very exciting, but it has also been very stressful with builders  (not) working and putting holes in the wrong wall, missing furniture deliveries, packing... and still working full time. I am forever grateful to be lucky enough to have a house in London, but just a little frazzled!

Keeping in mind how time starved our generation is with long working hours and never ceasing FOMO I thought it would be useful to speak about time saving ways of keeping fit. With so many moving parts and evenings filled with transporting boxes (kinda exercise right?), chasing builders and trips to Homebase I have found it really difficult to keep up with my usual fitness routine. Instead I have been squeezing in lunchtime EMS training sessions at
The studio near Liverpool Street. With the EMS machine ready to go.

EMS stands for ‘Electro Muscle Stimulation’. From a technical point of view, it’s a full body training exercise using impulse current. During traditional exercise, the brain sends signals to the muscles to bring about contractions. EMS mimics the action of the central nervous system, activating muscles in the same way, but using external impulses delivered via electrodes onto the skin directly above the muscles. The impulses reach deep muscle layers which are hard to activate through conventional training. Your muscles will not tell the difference, but work out much more effectively.
I had heard about EMS training before (think Slendertone), but never in combnation with actual exercise, so I was excited to be given the opportunity of experiencing it for myself! It's not nearly as complicated or technical as it sounds. Each session starts with you putting on the black t-shirt and leggings provided (fantastic if you are in a rush as you don't need to bring anything for the sessions!). You are then strapped into a vest and cycling shorts style suit with electrodes. When the suit is turned on you can feel the electric pulses contracting your muscles. This is not at all painful, but can feel a little strange and quite intense until you get used to it. The best way I can describe it is like a light internal vibrating or prickling sensation. The strength of the pulses is adjusted to your comfort/ tolerance for different muscles. Somehow my abs and legs were always at max, but my arms were barely on! During the session you work with some very basic exercises eg. squats, lunges, shoulder press for about 20 seconds at a time with a rest of 8 seconds. The weights are very light (2-6kg). Though, trust me, while it sounds super easy holding a plank while your body is pulsing can be quite the challenge, even for just 20 seconds!
Trying to take a photo of the activewear provided at each session, while being photo bombed by Head Trainer Nooroa (who is very camera shy).

The best thing about EMS at Exerceo for me was the time and convenience. No gym bag to drag around and knowing that a 25 minute session was enough to get my muscles really firing and challenge myself. It's amazing that I could work out, shower and eat lunch within the hour and be back at my desk!
The trainers are great in customising the workouts for you so it really depends on your goals, whether that's generally toning and losing fat or improving speed, strength, endurance, mobility, balance or posture. Mine was to strengthen and stabilise my back as I have multiple spine issues and using simple exercises and light weights I could really work deeply and effectively without overloading my back. EMS also works amazingly for rehabilitation as you only need very light resistance so you do not put strain on your joints or tendons. It's also great for those suffering from other problems such as osteoporosis or even for ladies who have recently given birth as the pulses target deep muscles that help to rebuild pelvic floor strength.
Even though I try to work out 4/5 times per week after each short Exerceo EMS training session I could definitely feel the DOMS the next day. After my first session concentrating on lower body my quads and hamstrings were more sore than they are after a 150kg leg press or 100kg deadlift, and I think the max weight used was 6kg! As much as I love my weight training for building lean muscle and strength the EMS method is truly effective for strengthening, endurance, core work and really rounding off your training. It's great for any fitness level or age so whether you are a beginner or a seasoned gym bunny it can be customised to your needs.
Have you heard of EMS training before? I would love to hear your thoughts! If you are interested do check out Exerceo. The first trial session is FREE so there's nothing to lose!

Monday, 28 September 2015

Review: YSL Black Opium Eau de Toilette

Last week I was working late in the office when I had an unexpected call from reception asking me to come downstairs to sign for a delivery. I was very happy to see that the mystery package was Yves Saint Laurent's beautiful new eau de toilette Black Opium. It certainly cheered me up!
YSL Beaute describes the new EDT as mysterious, but sensual. Vibrant, yet with a new femininity at its heart. It is designed to be distinctly different to the Black Opium eau de parfum.

Notes of zingy blackcurrant, juicy pear, quirky mandarin peel, fragrant jasmine tea and orange blossom give this initially sweet feminine scent depth and complexity with flavours of green coffee bean, musk and white wood.
 The new diamond dust bottle gives homage to the original, but is a fun twist on a classic.

The Black Opium Eau de Toilette is a beautifully rich, yet sweet and wearable fragrance. There is definitely something very addictive about it!

YSL Black Opium EDT is available here for £39 for 30ml.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

OOTD: Misguided

A fun little outfit from last Saturday. This crop and midi pencil skirt were from Nicole for Misguided, but they still stock many similar versions!
 Similar set from Misguided here and here.

For the hair I used Babyliss Curl Secret. I took small sections to create the curls in alternate directions. I then let them set for about half an hour while I did my makeup. After the curls had thoroughly cooled I brushed through them with my hands and a smoothing brush to loosen them and give them a lot more volume and movement.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Review: Rhythm Cleanse

As many of you know I am a big fan of detoxing and giving your digestive system a break for a few days every couple of months. I have tried numerous juice and food detoxes over the years, so I was intrigued when I was contacted to review a cleanse that combined cold pressed juice with live bacterial cultures to give you all the benefits of juicing with a digestive boost. I have written many times about the importance of a healthy gut and taking probiotics, so I was interested to see how this cleanse would work!
I was sent a 3 day cleanse (3 times the above) and was excited to see that the Rhythm cleanse was completely different to any others I had previously tried. On a normal day I eat a lot! As I work out 4/5 days a week I have increased my metabolic rate over the years and I definitely need to fuel those hard earned muscles. During a typical detox I do usually struggle with hunger and tiredness, but I have found this one a lot easier. The Rhythm cleanse has a really generous volume and the variety of flavours and textures really helps you to feel full and stops you getting bored. The juices are 500ml and are quite thick, while the coconut milk's fat content makes it a really satisfying treat.
1. Start of the day

The day starts with the High Potency Kefir (Life shot 200) loading up with over 200 billion diverse natural multi-strain cultures trailblazing deep in your gut. After consuming this bottle first thing in the morning you are told not to eat or drink anything for 30 minutes.
2. Start of the day to - Lunch time

Drink 4 x 126g bottles of Rhythm Pure Coconut over this period keeping your nutrients intake simplistic and pure whilst the loading of the cultures takes place. I tried to drink them at timed intervals i.e. High Potency taken at 7.00am, Rhythm Pure Coconut 126g at 8.00am, 9.00am, 10.00am and 11.00am. Sip on the 500ml coconut water during this period for rehydration. If you want, add a dash of calamansi lime juice to bring up your Vitamin C.
3. Lunch

Choose either the Coconut & Beetroot 500ml or the Coconut & Greens 500ml. If you feel hungry, have 30% of a Virgin Coconut Milk pouch. This is very filling and contains all good medium chain fatty acids which are good fuel for the body. The saturated fats in the pouch are Virgin Coconut Oil.
4. In between Lunch & Dinner for re-hydration

Sip on 90% of the Pomegranate Juice 500 ml for a boost of antioxidants. Save the other 10% for later.

5. Dinner
Which ever Vegetable Kefir you have left.
6. Dessert

Combine the other 10% of Pomegranate Juice with the remainder of the Virgin Coconut Milk to create a deep fruity tangy pudding that's totally natural.

The Rhythm cleanse even has a tasty dessert! Now, that's my kind of cleanse!

Cleanse packages can be ordered online via www.rhythmcleanse.co.uk

The vegetable kefir drinks and range of Rhythm shots are available singly or in multi-packs in Wholefoods, Holland and Barrett and Planet Organic and many other health food stores.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Review: Look Fantastic 1st Birthday Beauty Box

Look Fantastic are currently running a special 1st Birthday promotion where you can receive a FREE September Beauty Box worth £55 when you spend £55 or more! Usually their boxes are between £11.25 and £15 depending on your chosen subscription.
I was sent one of their Birthday boxes to review and was impressed to see it was packed full of products!
The box I received contained:
I'm really looking forward to trying these out, especially the Phyto conditioner formulated for dry hair as my hair is in deep need of moisture!

Do you subscribe to any beauty boxes? What do you think of Look Fantastic's offering?
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