Fitbit Fans

Two Christmas ago (2015) we both asked for Fitbits, previously we had been tracking our daily step count on the Health app which comes free with the IPhone 6. The health app wasn’t a great way of tracking as it meant you had to have your phone on your 24/7 and it wasn’t able to track any exercise. Before our Fitbits we were using the Nike Running App to track our runs which is another great app.

Fitbit 2

We have office jobs so for 8 hours of the day we are mostly sat down, when we started to use the Health app we realised how little steps one would do if not completing any additional exercise during the day. It’s no wonder people start piling on the pounds as soon as they start an office job, we all know how busy our lives become and exercise can sometimes take a back seat.

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It is so true that motivation is what gets you started but habit is what keeps you going. Living a healthy and balanced life has become part of our everyday routine. We love going to the gym and working out and nourishing out body with wholesome foods. Although we also know that moderation is key, don’t deprive yourself of yummy treats every once in a while. We are avid bakers and we certainly like to enjoy the goodies we bake!

Fitbit offers a two year warranty which is brilliant, we have each spoken to different customer service reps for different reasons and they have all offered great customer service. You only have to look at Fitbit on twitter to see that everyone else agrees.

The Fitbit app is also really good, you can sync your Fitbit daily and it will update your activity. You can also sync the Fitbit to other apps such as my fitness pal. See below what we think about our fitbits and the qualities they have!

fitbit 1

HR Charge
The HR Charge is currently £70 on Amazon
Sizes: Small, large and extra large
Colours: there are a range of colours (Black, Blue, Purple)
The HR Charge tracks steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, active minutes, heart rate, hourly activity and stationary time.

You can also monitor your sleep on the HR Chardge and the Alta (See below). We have only tracked our sleep a couple of times but it tells you the amount of times you woke up in the night and how many times you were restless. It’s a good feature if you don’t think you get much sleep at night.

Battery Life- the battery life is great on the HR charge it last ups to 5 days.

Alta
The Fitbit Alta is currently £80 on Amazon
Sizes: Small, large and extra large
Colours: there are a range of colours (blue, purple, black and there are a coupld of special editions) and you can even change the straps on the Fitbit Alta.
All day activity tracker, which you can tap to the screen to display.
Long battery life- lasts up to 5 days

Go and order a Fitbit, you won’t regret it! 🙂

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.

BLOGMAS Day 10- 5K Reindeer Run

On Sunday 3rd December I (Annie) took part in an annual 5K Reindeer run, the run took place in Coate water Country Park in Swindon. It was a freezing cold but beautiful morning so layers were essential. The run was very picturesque as it started by the woods which we continued to run through. I had never been to Coate Water Country Park before but I will definitely be returning.

There was a £5.00 entry cost and all proceedings went to the Great Western Hospitals breast cancer appeal with brighter futures.  It was great see so many people show up on the day and run the race. There were some great outfits including reindeer onesies, Santa dresses and there was even one man a tutu and vest (he must have frozen).

When we arrived at Coate Water Country Park we queued to get our running number and tracker which we had to wear around our ankle throughout the race. They also handed out some free antlers which made everyone look incredibly festive.

The race started at 10am at the Coate Water Country Park and you finished at the Great Western hospital 3 miles later. When you finished you received a medal and they supplied coffee and mince pies which went down a treat.

I cannot wait to take part next year and I want will be trying to beat my time of 24.46 seconds.

I had a look at the race score board and out of 570 people I came 20th which I am pretty chuffed about seeing as we had been out the night before getting merry at a Christmas party!

 

 

BLOGMAS Day 7- Fitness Wishlist

We couldn’t do Blogmas and not have a Christmas fitness wish list feature on our blog!  There are so many amazing fitness gifts out there that any fitness fanatic would love. You can never have too much active wear and if someone tries to tell you otherwise they are wrong.

Tote Bag- everyone needs a gym slogan tote bag in their life and we love this Kelly Connor design from Etsy. The slogan reads ‘When I work out at the gin I like to rum’, the bag costs £14.75 and is a great size for all your gym kit.

Running socks Marks and Spencer’s sell some of the best running socks we can find. They are thick so stop any blisters appearing when running. The socks we have chosen are £6.00 for a pack of two in the colour Aqua Mix which you can find here.

Women’s Health Subscription every girl loves reading a magazine and we especially enjoy reading women’s health. You can get 11 issues for just £26.99 which we think is an absolute bargain. Women’s health magazine gives you tips and advice to help keep you motivated every month. Who wouldn’t want a monthly fitness fix delivered straight to your door?

Water Bottle- We love anything personalised so when we saw these water bottles we were immediately in love! The water bottle is monochrome and can be purchased from not on the high street for £17.50.

Fitbit- We absolutely love our Fitbits and if you haven’t already got one it needs to be on your fitness wish list. They are amazing and have a great customer service team if you ever have a problem with your fitbit. We have the Fitbit HR Charge and the FitBit Alta.

Popband Hair ties- It’s time to say goodbye to dented kinky! A Popband hair band would be the perfect hair band to use when working out. We like to run on during our lunch break so having a hair band that doesn’t leave a crease would be perfect. There is a large variety of colours and designs suitable for all occasions.

Pink Soda Leggings- This brand has so many amazing products on offer it was hard to choose just one pair of leggings! Pink Soda sell a collection of fitness and lifestyle essentials designed to make you look and feel good when working out. We love these Pink Soda Sport Grindle Panel Tights, they cost £28 pounds and are available in sizes 6-14.

Forever 21 Sports Bra’s- Forever 21 always has an amazing range and this season their sports bras are all beautiful. Forever 21 active wear is so affordable (£13) that we have picked a couple to go on our wish list. First up is this low impact bra there is a choice of two colours and we especially liked the back detail of this bra. Our second pick is a medium impact bra which has gorgeous black mesh detail on the back and front. The final sports bra we picked out of the collection was a high impact bra which will be perfect for running or HIIT training. We love the colour plum so we were immediately attracted to this bra we also liked the striped elasticised band.

Nike Running Jacket- would it really be a fitness wishlist without at least one Nike product in site? We know Nike is a little on the pricey side but it is Christmas so you should treat yourself after all! We have chosen this Nike Shield running jacket in the colour red. The jacket is light weight and water resistance which will be perfect in the wet cold months.

Some other ideas would include; running gloves, foam roller, yoga matt, Backpack, sweat towel, running gloves, protein powder, protein shaker, weight training gloves, hoodies & sweatshirts, long sleeved running tops, resistance band and maybe even some weights for when you train at home. 

What are your fitness must haves? We would love to hear about them!

Apple Cinnamon Protein Pancakes

It was a cold autumnal day and we were really craving pancakes. We had some frozen apples in the freezer so decided to make cinnamon apple pancakes! Try the recipe below and let us know what you think, we will be making them again for sure!

Serves 6 Pancakes
Ingredients
50g Oats Blended or oat flour
1 Scoop Vanilla Protein
1tsp Baking Powder
1tsp Ground Cinnamon
½ tsp Ground Ginger
50ml Milk (add a bit at a time as you may need more or less)

Topping
60g Bramley Apples (we used frozen apples from the garden)
1tsp Cinnamon
20ml Water
Maple Syrup/honey (optional)

Method
Blend your oats until they form a flour
Add the rest of the dry ingredients and blend.
Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until it forms a batter.
Heat your pan (medium/high heat) and melt some coconut oil.
Add a table spoon of mixture to your pan and flip once bubbles appear on the surface.
In a separate pan you will need to stew your Apples with the cinnamon and water until they are piping hot.
Stack the pancakes and add the topping.

GirlBOSS- Niomi Smart


We were browsing Eventbrite like we regularly do looking for interesting events to attend. If you don’t know what Eventbrite is it is a website where you can be the host of an event or purchase tickets for events (its great and we are so addicted it even featured in our September favourites). You use the search engine to type in the sort of events you want to attend and some are even free. When we came across the GirlBoss event with Niomi Smart we knew we had to attend.

We have been following Niomi across all her social media platforms for quite some time but if you don’t know who Niomi is she is a lifestyle Blogger and YouTuber. The tickets were just over £5 and the event was being held at the Hoxton in Shoreditch, a venue we had not been to before.

The event was due to start at 6:30PM and when we arrived (10 minutes late) everyone was already seated. We walked into the kitchen area to grab a drink and Niomi advised us on what drink we should choose. They had wine on offer but we opted for a delicious Sibberi water which was naturally flavoured with maple. We thought it was great that Niomi was there welcoming the guests as they arrived and it turns out she is even lovelier in real life.

Niomi is an incredibly genuine and inspiring girl and her attitude to life is truly infectious. We left the event feeling more motivated than ever. It’s all down to hard work, being consistent and being as authentic as possible in everything we post.

We will definitely be keeping an eye out for more GirlBoss events in the future and we think you should as well.

Coconut & Vanilla Protein Pancakes

Saturday morning we were up early and headed to the gym to work out our arms and chest. Commuting into London daily means we don’t have time to prepare and cook pancakes in the week so making pancakes at the weekend is a lovely treat.

These pancakes are so fluffy and delicious we cannot wait to make them again!

Serves 10 Pancakes
Ingredients for Pancakes
150g Oats or Oat flour (we just blended oats)
2 tsp Baking Powder
3 tbsp Desiccated Coconut
2 scoops of Vanilla Whey Protein
2 egg whites
50ml Almond milk (add gradually)

Toppings
Stewed frozen berries (we got ours from Tesco)
Peanut butter

Method
Blend your oats until they form a flour
Add the rest of the dry ingredients and blend.
Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until it forms a batter.
Heat your pan (medium/high heat) and melt some coconut oil.
Add a table spoon of mixture to your pan and flip once bubbles appear on the surface.
In a separate pan you will need to stew your frozen berries until they are piping hot.
Stack the pancakes and add the topping.

Running in your lunch break


We find running outside far more enjoyable than running on a treadmill. We have been running in the evenings for about a year now and really enjoy it.  A few months ago we decided to go for a run on our lunch break, this is something we had discussed for a while but had never actually got round to going. It’s a great way to fit in some cardio in if you don’t have time to go to the gym that day.

We put some time in our diaries at the beginning of the day, once your run is scheduled in you know you have dedicated that time to run. We get a one hour lunch break so decided to give ourselves 5 minutes to get changed, 30 minutes to run and 25 minutes to cool down, shower and eat lunch.

You could even invite your co-workers along with you so it becomes a social activity which could even lead to a work running club. Running with friends makes time go so much quicker and you will have completed the 3 miles before you know it.

It is so important to get some fresh air at lunch time and you will more than likely return back to your desk in a better mood, less stressed and ready to focus.

We have found it is important to work out a running route before you start the run to ensure you don’t waste time figuring out which way to go. We used map my run, which is really great and easy to use. If the route doesn’t work well for you after trying it out then think of a different route for next time it can be trial and error to begin with. For example running near Waterloo and Westminster (Particularly Southbank and Westminster Bridge) can be tricky at lunch time as it can become very overcrowded.

If you are trying to improve your speed then we would suggest running the same route so you can track how quickly you are running. Of course running the same route may quickly become boring so you could try mapping out a few runs and keeping track of your fastest times on each of these run. This way you will be able to keep track on whether you are maintaining your pace, speeding up or slowing down If you aren’t trying to improve your speed then why not try lots of different routes and get to know the local area a bit better, running is a great way of getting to know your surroundings as you can get to places a lot quicker than walking.

Another tip would be to prepare your lunch for work that day. You don’t want to waste time queuing up for lunch after your run, so make it the night before or buy it on your way into work. If you know you are running at lunch time then make sure you have prepared or purchased food that is going to refuel your body.

Happy Running.

The Porridge Series- 3 (Peanut Butter & Jelly)

Peanut butter and Jelly is particular popular in America, in 2002 a survey showed the average American would have eaten 1,500 Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches before high school- swap the bread for porridge and we are there!

The Peanut Butter market has boomed in the last few years. There are so many healthy choices in the supermarket now days that pretty much only contain Peanuts which is great if you are a nut butter lover. Stay tuned as we are going to write a blog post all about Nut Butters!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Porridge 

Ingredients
50g Porridge Oats
250ml Almond Milk, Milk or Water
1 Pip and nut Sachet- we used the regular smooth peanut butter sachet.
Punnet of fresh Raspberries (you could also use frozen)

Method
Place your porridge oats in a bowl
Pour your liquid of choice on top of the oats
Place the oats in the microwave for 2-3 minutes (stir after one minute
Once your porridge is cooked remove the bowl from the microwave and set aside.
Put half the punnet of raspberries in a bowl and place int he microwave for 1 minute until the raspberries are stewed.
Pour the hot raspberries on top of the porridge.
Place the remaining raspberries on top to decorate
Drizzle the Peanut butter
Mix (one you have taken a photo of course) and enjoy


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Walking Workout

Walking its free and one of the easiest ways to get fit and become more active yet so many people HATE walking. As a society it has become too easy to get from A to B without using your legs. There are so many different types of transport these days it has resulted in us not having to walk.

Growing up our parents were all keen walkers, at the weekend we used to go on family walks which at the time we hated! We didn’t understand why our parents enjoyed walking and we certainly didn’t agree when they said ‘come on it will be fun’.

Now we go on walks all the time exploring new places whether this is in the beautiful countryside or exploring the streets of a bustling city. If we have the option of walking or using transport we will always choose walking.

A walking workout will help strengthen your heart and lungs whilst also toning your legs and bum (Bonus).  Walking is a great way to help maintain a healthy weight and strengthen your bones and muscles both of which are incredibly important.

Last year we each purchased a Fitbit so we could keep track of how many steps we were taking in a day, working in an office can reduce your daily step count dramatically so we wanted to make sure we met our daily target of 10,000 a day every day. The Apple Iphone also comes with a ‘Health’ app that will tell you how many steps you walked in a day.

Ways to make your walk more enjoyable

  1. arrange to meet your friend for a walk, this way you are less likely to cancel as you have made a commitment.
  2. Explore new places
  3. If you are walking on your own try listening to some music or a Podcast.
  4. Phone a friend and have a catch up (time will fly by)
  5. Pack some healthy snacks and water if you are going on a long walk.

Get outside and enjoy this beautiful world we live in.


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