Monday, 6 May 2013

Getting Summer Ready!

Ramping up the workout

Recently I took a deep breath and decided that I needed to get fit, tone up and lose some serious inches. I have always found it easier to lose weight through diet rather than exercise as I normally eat pretty healthily, but tend to indulge in the colder months (who doesn't?). However, over the years as my activity levels have severely dropped from my school/ uni days I have noticed that diet alone could no longer control all those jiggly bits. The time had come to take this health malarkey seriously.

After trying out various fitness classes I decided it was time to really invest in myself and join a gym. Working long hours and often travelling at weekends, I couldn't always fit the classes I wanted to into my schedule. After looking at various gyms both near home and work I decided to join David Lloyd. Let me first say that this is not the cheapest option, but as a health club it comes with a whole host of benefits and I think the price is well worth it if you are looking to make a commitment to your health. My gym has free classes every day at a good range of times, full wet facilities (pool, sauna, steam room, jacuzzi), two gyms, several studios, a whole floor for spinning and a cafe. It's clean, open till late 7 days a week and in a great central location. Lucky that I only have good things to say as to guilt myself into going I paid the whole annual fee up front (gulp!).

If you are looking at joining DL then do have a look around. I think that if the gym is a place where you can feel comfortable and have fun then you are much more likely to go regularly, so the cost per visit (realistically) is what I based my decision on. I have been lucky enough to work with a couple of different trainers at DL to see how the PT sessions can help my fitness and have to say that their programmes are the best I have tried so far. After a full assessment you are given a personalised programme to help you reach your fitness goals and exercises to target the areas that you particularly want to improve. As I have grown up with a myriad of back problems it was great to be given a specific set of exercises that would not only improve my posture and strength but also work to relieve back pain. At the time I joined the membership fee included a couple of free PT sessions, which is a great way to get you motivated and make sure you are doing the most effective exercises for your needs. As I'm still in the early stages of getting fit I shall keep you guys updates on my progress!
 
Being food smart

Let me start this off by stating I love food. I am the least enthusiastic cook, but I love to eat and eat I do. I am never one to starve or deny myself the odd treat, but over time I did begin to slightly delude myself when it came to how much I was eating and its basic calorie content. Who knew that a chocolate muffin is 400kcal?!? I am not a fan of strict diets that limit you and I truly believe that eating healthy is the key, rather than cutting out food groups or sustaining yourself on liquids. Therefore, in order to get a much needed reality check I started using the myfitnesspal app and haven't looked back since. It's so easy to use and contains the majority of foods in its vast database already so you don't have to fiddle with wrappers or google everything you eat. It also lets you track your daily exercise, and there's nothing more satisfying than seeing you calorie allowance shoot up after a painstaking workout. I am still eating a fair amount (aiming for 1,200 net kcal per day), but keeping track of my food has really helped me monitor what I actually eat and curb the little snacks that used to happen as if 'by accident'. It's also encouraged me to up my exercise (especially calorie burning cardio) and plan my meals as I can look up foods prior to dining out with friends instead of agonising over menus.


Hair Removal

If the thought of shedding your opaque tights, which have become a second skin to me this winter, fills you with fear then you may want to consider a permanent solution. For the fastest and most long lasting results I would definitely recommend looking into laser hair removal. If you are not the kind of person who wants to spend hours on hair removal at home then booking a set of treatments in a specialised clinic is a great option. You are guaranteed professional results and with the increasing availability of the treatment the prices are now much more competitive. Sk:n clinics have a great offer on at the moment with discounts of 20% for 6 treatments and 25% for 8 treatments here.


Hitting the beach

I have always struggled when it comes to bikini shopping. I love all the cute high street styles, but so many of them are simply unflattering on the curvier girl (regardless of your size). Personally I prefer to feel supported and sculpted, especially when being active in the water, rather than hoping for the best that 3 shreds of fabric strung together with string can cover. Therefore, when I was contacted by Swimsuits for All I was excited to check out their site. Though pitched as a plus size retailer, their swimming costumes start from a (US) size 8, which they see as being equivalent to a UK10. They have a great selection of styles from the more modern bikinis, to modest tankinis and one pieces. As I have started to use the pool at the gym, I decided to go for something with a little more coverage (for a change lol) that would make a comfortable swim, yet still look fun and fashionable.
The shipping time was impressively fast and I'm really happy with the quality of this swimsuit. It is super comfortable, has a bra like support at the bust that is both comfortable and flattering, with a halter strap perfect for swimming. If you are looking for affordable swimsuits that flatter your curves I would highly recommend checking them out. They have kindly provided a discount that will save you $10 off your first order. Just input the coupon code 10FORYOU during the checkout process at swimsuitsforall.com 

How are you getting ready for Summer? I would love to know what you think of these lifestyle posts! xxx
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