February Goals

Erm, how is it February already?!?! 

Anywho, here are my goals for the month ahead…

Actually finish my book 

This was a goal for January but I have just been so busy with the new job and the commute I just didn’t get around to finishing it. I don’t have too much more to read so will make sure I  get this finished this month. 

Book a race

I have been toying with the idea of entering the Humber Bridge Half Marathon, so this month I am going to make a decision and book it. And if I decided not to do that one, I will pick a different event to enter – then I will actually have a target to train for. 

Step at work

I have been at my new job for just over a month now and I have massively lost my steps, as I am now driving to work and not walking! So I am going to make sure I get out at lunch and get some steps in. I might even bring my kit in and go for a quick run! 

Blog more

I really want to get into a good routine with my blog and start posting at least twice a week. The ideal plan would be to post on a Sunday and a Wednesday each week. So I am going to try my best to stick to this for the rest of the month. 

Drink more

In all honesty I think this goal is going to be on my monthly goals every week. There is never any harm to increasing water intake! 🙂 

What are your goals for this month? Let me know by either commenting on this post or tweeting me @RunningLife01

 

TomTom Spark Review

A few years ago I was given a Garmin watch and I absolutely loved it. Unfortunately I had a few issues with it and I found it really hard to upload my activities and it very rarely update itself. All of this lead to it dying, so for Christmas this year I asked for a new GPS watch. 

So now was the difficult part…choosing which one to go for. I wanted one that would track multiple sports, track daily steps and not cost the earth. After a little research I came across the TomTom Spark, and as far as I could tell, it ticked all the boxes. 

When I first opened the spark on Christmas day, I was a little worried – it seemed huge!! I have been wearing a skagen watch which is really skinny!! But after a little while I got used to it, it is definitely not a dainty thing but it is fine for everyday use. 

I haven’t fully been able to test the watch, but I have recorded my runs and walks, which one they are uploaded to the TomTom app show the route on a map and all the metrics that you would want to see with them. 

The next thing I want to test is setting targets for my run, either time, distance or heart rate zone. I will let you know how it goes…

What does running do to the body?

With a reported 2 million of us in the UK doing it on a regular basis, running is a popular and thrifty way to keep fit. All you need is a trusty pair of trainers and you’re set to start building up your fitness. But what actually happens to the body when we run, and how do you prevent injuries?

Step by step

As you set off… molecules called adenosine triphosphate (ATP) are unpacked and absorbed by your muscles to get you moving. ATP is distributed as glycogen from your blood, the body’s natural energy and a form of glucose, is broken down.

In the first few minutes… the body requires plenty of oxygen to use glucose efficiently, so your muscles release lactic acid which signifies to the brain that the body is under stress and in need of energy. The brain then increases your heart rate, pumps more blood towards your muscles, and boosts respiration.

Adjusting to the heat… this sudden increase in activity and the burning of calories causes your body temperature to increase. To avoid overheating, blood vessels dilate and move blood closer to the skin’s surface to cool it down. As this happens you should begin to sweat and you may notice that your skin appears red and flushed.

Testing your stamina… eventually, your energy supply will start to dwindle. When this happens, the level of lactic acid in the body starts to surpass that of ATP, resulting in muscle pain and cramps. Your legs will begin to ache and you may start to feel out of breath.

The cool down… once you come to a stop, your breathing and heart rate will normalise. The brain produces endorphins during exercise, so you should be left with a general feeling of positivity and accomplishment.

Get the most out of running

The physical processes of running can do wonders for your fat and muscle balance. With regular exercise, fat is reduced and lean muscle is developed in its place. Muscle increase combined with an improvement to your cardiovascular health makes for a stronger body, and this can result in a superior metabolism. A balanced diet goes hand-in-hand with any workout routine, and running is no exception. You’ll need to replenish burned calories with nutritious foods in order to sustain the development of muscle in line with a reduction of fat.

Avoiding and treating injury

There’s a risk of injury with any form of exercise. Running places stress on your bones and muscles, especially your knees, feet, and ankles. Patellofemoral pain syndrome (commonly known as ‘runner’s knee’), ankle sprain, and shin splints are just some examples of common running injuries.

You should always warm up before any form of exercise to prevent muscle strains and prepare your body for physical activity. Ensure that you are wearing appropriate shoes that are a good fit, provide adequate support to your ankles and cushion the impact of your feet against the ground. If you experience pain or injury from running, seek advice from an expert physician who will be able to provide suitable treatments and can refer you for physiotherapy if appropriate. 

The range of these treatments involves several approaches. These can include a series of regular localised exercises designed to strengthen and improve the movement of a specific area of the body. Hydrotherapy is an option, whereby exercises are undertaken in warm, shallow water. This relaxes muscles and joints, providing support and installing a layer of resistance that works to gradually build strength. Manual therapy and massages can also treat localised problems, relieving pain by improving blood circulation and relaxing muscles. Your physician will be able to explain the best solution for your body and needs.

About One Stop Doctors

Providing quality expert care with a state-of-the-art physiotherapy and movement rehabilitation clinic, One Stop Doctors offers personalised advice and treatments for all aspects of healthcare including running-related problems. The clinic also offers a range of health services including cutting-edge diagnostics, aesthetics, dentistry, and GP care. Click here to find out more and book an appointment.

Spicy Nuts

I love a good snack and if you know me, will often seen me nibbling away on some healthy treat. But I do find it hard to get a savoury healthy snack that i can make myself. Which is why I really love these spicy nuts from Fearne Cottons “Cook Happy Cook Healthy”. 

Spicy Nuts
Serves 4
Really tasty but a little spicy savoury snack.
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Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 400g nuts (You can use whichever you like the best - I used cashews, almonds and pecans)
  2. 1 tbsp coconut oil
  3. 3 tbsp coconut sugar
  4. 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  5. 1 tsp smoked paprika
  6. 1 tsp ground cumin
  7. 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 200 degrees
  2. Roast the nuts on a baking tray for around 5 minutes or until they turn a nice golden brown colour. Make sure you watch these as they can burn pretty quick.
  3. Meanwhile heat the oil in a pan and add the spices, sugar and salt until the sugar melts.
  4. Add the nuts to the spice mixture and mix until they are completely coated.
  5. Remove from the heat and leave to cool and serve.
Running Life http://www.running-life.com/
 

Yoganuary

Last January I did the 30 days of yoga challenge with Adrianne, and I absolutely loved it. To be honest asI think about it now, Im not sure why I don’t do yoga everyday all the time?!

Anywho, I don’t manage to do yoga everyday, but when I do do it – I love it. It makes me feel calm, relaxed and happy.

So when I came across the 31 yoga challenge from Cat Meffan I was really excited. I follow Cat on Instagram, she is crazy bendy and wears the most amazing leggings!

I am on day 11 now and I have found this a lot more challenging than I was expecting – So much so that on Friday I felt like I had done a weights workout the night before! At the end of this challenge I am hoping that I will continue to do either yoga or meditation every day. My aim someday is to be as as bendy as she is, but Im not sure that is actually possible! 😬

The challenge is all on YouTube and is a mixture of yoga flows, meditation guides and tips on working into the poses and positions better and really making it work for your body. 

Have you taken up any challenges for January?