SOLE Insole Review

We were lucky to be sent the Active Footbeds from SOLE Insoles to trial and test (we were sent them a couple of months back) and ever since we have been testing them out. We wanted to make sure we really believed in the product before posting a review about them.

Last month I visited the country of La Palma, and I knew I would want to go running. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough room in my suitcase to fit both my walking trainers and my running trainers so I decided to pack my walking trainers as they are super comfy and try out my new SOLE insoles.

I absolutely loved them, they made my runs super comfortable and gave me the extra support I needed with my walking trainers. I was worried that it was going to feel weird running with insoles in my trainers but it was the complete opposite it felt amazing.

So what are SOLE insoles we hear you asking? Good question! SOLE have created custom food beds and footwear that are innovative and adaptable products providing you with cushioning and support. They adapt to your body giving you the support you need (amazing huh).

People live with pain every single day and it can restrict every day activities (not always ideal)! Imagine if you didn’t have to live with that pain every single day that would be amazing right? Well that is exactly what SOLE set out to achieve.

SOLE insoles support your feet no matter what you activity levels are you will benefit from the personalised support and cushioning. Not only did I use the my SOLE insoles for running I also used them when we were hiking up the mountains in La Palma as they gave my feet the extra supported they needed. I am incredibly lucky and do not get any pain when I run or walk but that doesn’t mean my feet don’t need all the love and comfort they can get.

SOLE’s award-winning footbeds are the most effective over-the-counter orthotic insoles on the market and we cannot rave about them enough. Since returning from holiday we have been using our SOLE insoles all the time. I have a few other holidays booked in the next few weeks and you guessed it my insoles will be coming with me!

SOLE products are renowned for being long lasting and their customers are very satisfied with the products. SOLE footbeds have a 9- day guarantee, if you don’t love your insoles for any reason all you have to do is contact the customer service team for a full refund.

Lifestyle Choices Which Can Impact Your Fitness

Everyone cares about their body, and if they don’t then they should! How our body is functioning on inside is far more important that what it looks like on the outside! Of course you can work hard at the gym to help improve your overall health, but there might actually be some parts of your lifestyle that are impacting your bodily health and fitness.

SLEEP
Sleep is one of the most important parts for not only your physical health but your mental health as well. Not having enough sleep night after night isn’t a healthy way to live and there is only so much coffee that is gonna help! Digestion, growth, and even weight loss are just a handful of the areas which a lack of sleep can damage. Try putting your phone down before you go to bed to help you get little bit more sleep.

STRESS
No one wants to be stressed and there are some things in life that can cause a little bit of stress, maybe it’s your job or your finances. You might not think it at the time but the cause of stress is something you can have control of! Recognise what is making life hard and make changes where possible!

HYDRATION
Everyone knows how important it is to stay hydrated! Try and drink water throughout the day and only having fizzy drinks and fruit juices in between.

DIET
Your diet is also another important factor to ensuring you live a healthy lifestyle. There are so many tried and tested diets out there which yes some have proven to be successful, but we believe in eating a well balanced diet instead of going on a diet. If you are regularly going to the gym make sure you fuel yourself with the correct type of foods to ensure you have a fabulous workout!

There are a lot of substances which are becoming a normal part of human life, nowadays. Coffee, nicotine, and loads of other chemicals are used to make life feel just a little bit better, and this often isn’t too big of a problem (we love coffee). If you know anyone that has unfortunately moved onto harder substances they remember you can always speak to professions like people at https://www.rehabclinic.org.uk/

It can be very easy to set yourself back when you’re trying to improve your fitness. This part of life can be hard- remember not to deprive yourself of things you like because this will only result in bad habits resurfacing, enjoy things in moderation.

Tips for Getting Fit When You’re Not in the Mood

Everyone knows that exercise is healthy, and that staying physically active and in-shape is a lot better than the alternative of sitting around on the sofa all day and snacking on junk food (although this is great fun as well)!

People debate about the right kind of diet, and the best form of exercise to take, but in reality any form is exercise is good exercise and you should do what you enjoy and not just because it is a new ‘trend’.

Your exercise of choice may involve daily trips to the gym to weight train, or long walks in the countryside maybe even somewhere abroad in the mountains like walking in Andorra.

So, what should you do when you’re just not in the mood for exercising at all? Firstly think about whether or not you have worked out a lot and maybe you just need a rest day! Or maybe the weather is lush outside and you want to spend your time outside having a couple of drinks after work! All of this is okay and you don’t have to be 100% on it the entire time. If this is something that is happening more frequently though then take a read of our tips below to help you get back on track!

Increase your energy levels
If you hate the idea of exercise and you just can’t motivate yourself to train because you are too tired. This may be due to your energy levels make sure you are getting enough sleep and furling your body with the right type of food! This should help you feel more energised and want to exercise, oh and doing the below will allow you to get the most out of a workout.

While everyone has an off day here or there (we are only human), your basic relationship with exercise should be positive. You should want to move your body! .

Begin small and work your way up as you feel ready for it
Sometimes, we feel completely unmotivated to train, because we go too hard and reach out limits and then basically cannot walk for a couple of days LOL we have all been there. Go at your own pace and even adapt certain exercises for your ability.

Exercise will soon become part of your routine and a habit, start with exercises you are comfortable with and then begin to introduce new moves and exercises into your workout.

Focus on workouts that leave you feeling satisfied by the end, not ruined
It’s become fashionable these days to train until our souls want to escape our bodies! We love feeling satisfied with our workout by the end of it but it is also important not too push yourself to the absolute limit where you end up feeling worse than when you started.

When you push yourself too hard in training, you cause your body more stress than is good for it, and you condition yourself to see exercise as a nightmare.

Staying Healthy And Fit During Your Summer Travels

More and more of us are getting ready for our summer holidays wooohooo! From short-haul to Europe (Annie is off to Spain and Rhodes), to longer haul (Rachel is off to Canada)! Regardless of where you are going you have probably already thought about packing It’s definitely something you either love or hate!

Does anyone else find that whenever they stop and finally rest they get ill? We always do and it totally sucks! Although in summer there are fewer bugs around to catch, you can still get ill in summer, especially in a new country where you’re trying new foods or have a body clock that is all over the place. So here are some of the best ways that you can stay well on your travels this summer.

Hydrate

This is going to be one of the most important points for your summer travels. Temperatures are hotting up, and you’ll be losing a lot of water through sweat when you’re away.

If you decide to go on a boat trip or spend time by the sea you are likely to not feel as hot, as the breeze will cool you. But you will still be losing water. So you need to be drinking at least two liters of water a day, if not more. It can be tricky in some countries to do so, as you can’t drink the tap water. So stock up at local supermarkets with some bottled water. A cost-efficient way of doing it is taking your own reusable water bottle, and then fill it up each day from a large bottle of water bought from a store. Plus, places like hotel gyms have bottled water that you can decant and fill up your own bottle with.

Avoid Jet Lag

If you have jet lag, then it means that you can be sleeping at unusual hours, not getting enough sleep, or just generally feeling unwell. While this is more common when flying long-haul, it can happen any time. One of the best pieces of advice to avoid jet lag is to try to get on the new country’s time, as soon as you get on the plane. If you’re going to be landing somewhere and it will be daytime, then you need to sleep as much as you can on the plane, so that you can stay awake when you get there.

Exercise

Some holidays are going to be pretty active ones (think hiking trips or city breaks). So you’re less likely to need to exercise formally on those kinds of trip. But going off to the beach for two weeks means that you may decide to keep active by going for a run or visiting the hotel gym. We sometimes like to research gyms in the local area as well. It’s not that you have to exercise when on holiday and don’t think you do we just like to it helps us keep sane and also means we can enjoy one of two more cocktails than normal.

Watch What You Eat

This actually doesn’t have anything to do with calorie intake or anything like that, but more about how the foods are prepared and if they will be good for you. Even something like a salad, that has been washed in tap water, can make you sick. So you need to check things like that. It can also be a good idea to avoid certain things on street food carts, especially if you can’t check how it has been prepared. You want to reduce the chance of you getting sick from something you’ve eaten, and avoid getting anything like Delhi-Belly.

Sunscreen

It can be easy to forget about sunscreen and go wild by the pool in the hopes of getting a tan. And while the long-term effects of sun damage aren’t going to have an impact immediately, there are some side-effects that will. You can get sore, cracked, or broken skin, as well as something like sunstroke. That can leave you feeling nauseous, lethargic, high temperature, and in a lot of pain. So it really is simple; wear sunscreen, and keep applying it often.

Relax

Taking some time out when you’re on holiday can be just what you need to unwind and relax. And while you’re taking a break from some of the stressors of every day and your normal routine, holidays can still feel a little full on. So look for ways to help you to be more mindful. This could be meditation, writing in a journal, doing some exercise like yoga, or taking yourself off for a spa treatment. Time out gives you time to de-stress and to relax.

Have you got any tried and tested tips that help you to stay healthy on your travels this summer? It would be great to hear what you think.

Morning of the Marathon preparation & Timings

I absolutely loved my marathon experience that I decided it might be helpful to share our morning marathon routine. This routine worked well for us, but remember everyone is different so do what works for you on the morning of a marathon.

The Manchester Marathon started at 9:00AM, so we decided to work backwards when prepping our morning and timings. We were staying in Stockport which was about a 20 minute taxi ride away from the Old Trafford Cricket Club. Training runs work very differently to the schedule below, I usually roll out of bed, put on my running clothes, boil the kettle, pour myself a cup of coffee, drink said cup of coffee whilst scrolling Instagram, brush my teeth and GO.

5:45AM- Wakeup call for some this might be incredibly early but I am an early riser and my alarm usually goes off at 5:30AM on a week day so this time didn’t really affect me too much. If you aren’t an early riser or you don’t do well in the mornings then I would suggest doing this routine a couple of times before your marathon.

6:00AM- Breakfast & coffee, I wanted to makes sure I gave my body enough time to digest my breakfast before the race started, during my training I usually run fasted but I knew this wasn’t going to be possible for a 26.2 mile run. I needed to fuel but at the same time I didn’t want to risk getting a stitch as it was something my body wasn’t used to. I made sure I trailed and tested this before race day so I knew my body would adjust. For breakfast I opted for a big bowl of jumbo oats with blueberries and peanut butter which is my favourite breakfast so I was very happy.

I usually have a large cup of coffee prior to running on a usual training run and I never usually have to stop for the toilet.  I knew the excitement and nerves would get to me which we all know usually results in needing the toilet more frequently so I opted for strong but small coffees- espresso style. To be honest with you I am not sure how affective this was as I still needed the toilet twice before the race.

6:30AM- Shower time, I always like to have a shower on the morning of a race day as it makes me feel refreshed and ready to start the day. For my training runs I usually roll out of bed, throw on my running clothes and brush my teeth but that isn’t the case for race day. Then it was time to pin my running number to my vest eeek!

7:15AM: Taxi arrived, we decided to book the taxi for 7:15AM as we thought this would give us plenty of time to get to the start line especially, we knew there wouldn’t be any traffic that early on a Sunday morning. When we got into the taxi the driver asked us what time the race was starting and when our reply was 9:00AM he said ‘I’ll see what I can do about getting you there for then but there are lots of road closures’. As you can imagine my heart rate went through the ROOF, this is not the kind of stress I need on race day.

7:30AM- Taxi dropped us off, the taxi managed to drop us off about half a mile away from the race start line which we were happy about, we could do with some fresh air anyway to help with our nerves and excitement. This is definitely a lesson learnt through next time we will definitely check with the taxi company about road closures next time.

8:00AM- we arrived at Old Trafford Cricket Ground and went straight to the bag drop, the Manchester Marathon organisers suggested dropping your bags off prior to 8:00AM but they were not as strict as most places. At most races we have been to the bag drop off and bag collection points are at two separate locations, however at the Manchester Marathon the bag drop area did not move so there were not really any time restrictions.

8:15-8:30AM- We made our way to the pens which was about a 15 minute walk away from the bag drop by this point we had already walked about 7000 steps and we hadn’t even started the run. We made our way straight to the loos for one last comfort break before the marathon started.

9:10AM- we crossed the start line and the race was underway!

 

STAXX Protein Bars Review

We had never heard of STAXX Bars before we were very kindly sent them to review as they have recently launched three new flavour- Peanut & Caramel, Cookies & Cream & Dark Chocolate Mint. STAXX previously only had the Chocolate Caramel flavour. We couldn’t wait to try all of the flavours when they arrived as they all sounded delicious.

You can currently purchase STAXX bars on the website or across many other independent and online retailers including Amazon and Muscle food.

We can honestly say that STAXX bars are the nicest protein bars we have EVER tried, and we have tired a lot. We LOVE the fact you cannot taste the protein in the bars which is something we have struggled to find.

When we eat a STAXX Bar it feels like you are eating a chocolate bar, it really hits the spot and doesn’t leave us craving more sugary foods. The sugar content is low with most of them having about 2g of sugar per bar which is also another bonus. They also contain 20g Protein and are also low in net carbs.

We love how chewy the STAXX Bars are as well, they all have a caramel consistency to them which you will also love if you like a chewy protein bar. All the bars have a chocolate rice crispy coating on the outside layer which is something we really enjoyed.

CHOCOLATE CARAMEL
This was the first flavour we tried and immediately fell in love with the brand and the bars they had on offer. Chocolate caramel was also the first STAXX Bar launched and the only one you can currently purchase on their website. I felt like I was eating a toffee crisp which was a massive throw back as I have not had a toffee crisp in SO long, those chocolate bars are so under rated!

PEANUT & CARAMEL
This one was quite similar to the chocolate caramel flavour just with peanuts. We love peanuts and anything nutty  so this bar was right up our street. We loved the caramel in the bar mostly because we are fast eaters and it slowed us down so we could saviour it for longer.

DARK CHOCOLATE MINT
Dark Chocolate Mint was definitely one of my favourites which I was really surprised about but that is just purely down to the fact I always forget how much I actually enjoy mint flavoured chocolate. It reminded me of a mint Aero but with a crispy outer layer.

COOKIES & CREAM
I left this flavour until last as I am not usually a fan of cookies and cream flavoured products but when I did eventually try it I actually really enjoyed it.  It wasn’t my favourite out of the four as it didn’t give me that WOW factor and the flavours were not as intense.

We enjoyed the bars so much we headed straight to the website and ordered a box. There is a taster box available where you can purchase a box of all the flavours for £8.99. We ordered 12 of the Chocolate Caramel Flavour because it was our favourite but we will be ordering some of the Dark Chocolate Mint ones as well.

We hope to see STAXX bars in supermarkets in 2018 because that would be amazing!

Another Space Review

Another Space have two studios in London located in Covent Garden and Bank. Both studios offer a choice of three classes which are HIIT, Yoga & Spin.

There is no need to get a membership and there isn’t a joining fee either, instead you can just purchase class as and when you feel like going. Another Space have a challenge where by you can complete 7 classes in just 7 days for £77. You can also purchase a pack of 6 for £105, 9 for £135 or 12 for £160. Each of the classes are valid for one calendar month from the date they are purchased.

They also have an intro offer where you can purchase 2 classes and one buddy pass for £30 which is valid for 2 weeks. They also have credit packages on offer where 1 credit is £20 or 5 credits is £95 (which lasts for 6 months).

The timetable at Another Space is really great as they have classes available from 6:15AM in the morning which is great if you want to get a sweat on before work. They also have lunch time classes if you can’t fit it into your schedule pre-or post-work. They then of course also have evenings classes where the latest class starts at 19:45PM.

We have been to the Covent Garden Another Space twice to try out their Spin class and absolutely loved it. The First spin class we tried was the Tuesday evening class at 19:30 with Olivia, it was incredible. Olivia brings so much energy into the class and we LOVE the fact she takes part in the entire class even if she has taught several classes already that day.

We then returned to the 19:30PM Class on a Monday with Alison and it was just as good, with it being a Monday the class was jam packed and everyone was sweating the weekend away. Alison sure did make us work hard the windows were steaming up and our legs were on fire.

The changing rooms are a good size and there is plenty of space to get changed. We love that they have lots of lockers as we do find some studios in London are lacking lockers or the lockers they do have people leave them locked for when they next return to the studio.

We liked the chalk board in the changing rooms as well so you could write down the locker you had chosen, it can’t just be us that always forgets the locker they have picked!

If you don’t want to go in the changing rooms pre-or post-class then there are also lockers outside the studios you can use, which we will definitely be doing next time if we are dashing off home.

Another Space sell Fresh Fitness Food shakes in their studio which are also delicious, we have in fact just visited for a shake in the past.

The new studio in Bank has recently opened and we would love to get down there and give one of their classes a try. We have tried Spin twice now so we would opt for a HIIT class at the new Bank studio.

The Avoidable Fitness Accidents You Somehow Didn’t Avoid

You probably see on our Insta stories of us at the gym most days, but that’s because there are 2 of us so it does look like we are there all the time. But in actually fact we aren’t and we do have rest days and understand the importance of these rest days.

Millennials and Generation Z, (which is us!) are much more health conscious than their parents and as a result it means we might be overdoing it a little. In fact most sports accidents could have been prevented but, as it is most people only understand their errors after the injury has happened.

Below are the top 7 freak and painful fitness accidents that we are here to prevent you from getting!

My gym bag is always packed and ready

First of all your body needs rest days. You might think that hard training every day can make you stronger and fitter, but ultimately if you’re in the habit of packing your gym bag every morning you might have developed an unhealthy obsession. Your muscles experience micro-tears as you train. It’s precisely those tears that will help to get you stronger and fitter, but you need to give yourself the time to heal. If you’re trying to maintain or improve your performance, a rest day will ensure that your hard work isn’t counterproductive. Ultimately, we’re talking here only a day or two break after a hard session because Going to the gym too often is unhealthy.

I don’t go to the gym, I cycle

If you’re not a gym addict, you might have chosen alternatives to stay fit, such as turning your commute to work into a fitness option. Cycling to work is extremely popular London especially since the introduction of the cycle scheme that now lets employers pay for a portion of the costs of a new bike. If you’ve got busy days, it’s the perfect workout as it doesn’t come in addition to your standard routine. The main risk you can be exposed to, assuming you’re a confident cyclist and won’t fall each time you need to let go of the handle to indicate where you’re going to turn, is traffic. London traffic is busy and can be dangerous (if you’ve been injured by a driver remember you should be making a claim after a cycling accident.

I’ve read lifting is good for toning

A lot of people are turning to lifting to tone their muscles and accelerate weight loss. It’s now common knowledge that weight lifting doesn’t have to make you bulky! We would recommend starting with a personal trainer so you are able to learn how to lift without putting your body under harmful pressures.

I’m a runner

We love running it’s one of our favourite forms of exercise but we also understand that it is a high impact exercise that can also weaken your joints. Ultimately, running can hurt when you’re new to it, and while it’s not an injury you need to give your body time to adapt to the impact and to take it easy.

I use energy-boosting supplements to keep going

Energy supplements are popular at the gym, especially if you want to push yourself to be able to see results faster, we have all heard of pre workout (personally we just drink coffee) but often these are not that healthy and in fact most supplements don’t increase your energy.

I’ll lose the weight through boot camp training

If you think that you can spend a week on a boot camp to shape your body to perfection, you need to reconsider your choices. Boot camps, while being effective as they work on minimal calories intake and maximal efforts over a short time, can actually put your health at risk. Similarly, HIIT training, which offers an everyday alternative to the boot camp cure create similar pressure in the body. Intense workouts can lead muscle tissue to break down and release poisonous myoglobin into the bloodstream.

I prefer to train at home

Yoga and stretching apps are extremely popular because they offer the possibility to train at home. However, it’s important to remain realistic about stretching. If you overdo it, you incur the risk of tearing muscles and tendons. You may not manage your splits in a week, so take it easy!

I guess what we are trying to say Is be sensible with your training! We love training and we feel great afterwards but we know when to listen to our bodies and take a rest day! No one is perfect we have all over trained our bodies in the past but don’t wait until you get an injury for you to realise you need to take those rest days.

B&M January Shopping

B&M is one of the UK’s fastest growing variety retailers and we blooming love it, so when we were asked if we wanted to join in with their January campaign we immediately jumped at the opportunity. They believe in selling ‘Big Brands for Sensational Prices’ and think they do this really well.

We always notice more B&M stores in the north of the country but this might have something to do with the fact B&M’s first store opened in Blackpool. They now have over 560 stores across the country so you are bound to find a store near to you.

If you haven’t been to B&M before and you are anything like us then make sure you give yourself some time to browse the isles, we love it and could spend so much time and money in there. We scheduled in a day to go to B&M for the campaign and we basically wanted to purchase everything we came across.

We love fitness (as you well know) so we were especially excited when we saw B&M had an activewear range. We went for the grey and coral full length leggings which were such a bargain only costing us £6.99! They also had twin pack sports bras for £7.99 and double packs of leggings for £11.99. We also spotted they had protein shakers and water bottles on sale which we didn’t opt for this time but we will be back.

We have so many girly sleepovers with hot chocolate and chick flicks (or usually in our case getting blog work ticked off the do list) that we thought what better to accompany it than with new mugs, some marshmallows, popcorn and of course our favourite chocolate.

We actually couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw the price of the popcorn- 25p and the marshmallows- 39p what an absolute bargain!

We already have a date in the diary and we are so very excited already. It won’t be long until we are back in B&M we have a wish list that just keeps on growing.

The Perfect Winter Coat

Is it just us or every winter do you have that one new coat that you will always choose to wear over any other coats you own? That is exactly what we have been doing with our Lapasa coat, we absolutely love it, especially as we are now matching head to toe!

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Lapasa very kindly sent us both a windproof winter puffer coat in the colour burgundy (our favourite colour) and we haven’t taken it off since. Although it feels quite thin it is incredibly warm and the perfect coat to take if you are travelling somewhere as it is very light weight.

We have been working with Lapasa for a few months now (catch up on our previous blog post about the brand here), we absolutely love working with Lapasa the products are an amazing quality and we couldn’t recommend them enough as a brand.

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It is the perfect every day use coat, but would also be great for any outdoor winter sports. We have worn it on so many winter walks over the festive period and everyone always complements us on it.

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Lapasa have so many amazing products we couldn’t promote their leggings anymore than we already do. They are super soft and fit amazingly (they are super high waisted which we love). We have got them in a range of colours and literally live in our black ones.

The jacket is £35.95 which is such a good price for a coat especially as it is so versatile. You can also use our code ‘TWOBRITS’ at checkout to get 5% off all orders, we always order the products from the Amazon (the delivery time is amazing).

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