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!

 

Christmas Day Breakfast 

We actually cannot believe that Christmas has come around so quickly, how are we already thinking about what we are going to eat for breakfast on Christmas morning, its mad. We did however think it would be the perfect opportunity to share with you a little recipe that will help start your Christmas morning, nothing fancy just keeping v simple, v quick and most importantly vv tasty.

Christmas breakfast has always been quite a big deal in our households, we always start our Christmas with a super yummy breakfast and a glass or two of champagne. Christmas Day always revolves around food and every meal has got that extra bit of magic added to it usually in the form of champagne in our houses. We have therefore decided to jazz up our breakfast up this year to make it that little bit more special and went for waffles topped with cream cheese and smoked salmon YASSS! If you wanted to you could even shape the waffles into snowflakes or Christmas trees!

recipe below makes 5 waffle so double or tripple the recipe if you have more mouths to feed.

Ingredients
125g Plain Flour
½ tsp Caster Sugar
½ tsp Baking Powder
¾ tsp Mustard Powder
¼ tsp Smoked Paprika
½ tsp ground pepper
210ml Milk
65g Unsalted butter
2 Medium eggs

Method
Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, mustard powder, paprika, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
Mix until all ingredients are combined
In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, butter and eggs.
Make a well in the dry mix, and pour the wet mix into it gradually, whisking until fully combined
Leave the batter on the side for 5 minutes
Switch the Waffle Maker on and lightly oil, close the lid and allow the waffle machine to heat up
Once the waffle maker is hot enough pour the mixture into the centre of each waffle
Close the lid and leave to cook for 4 minutes, without opening the lid
Open the lid of the machine carefully and remove the waffle
Repeat with the remaining batter and keep the rest of them warm in the oven on a wire rack to ensure they do not become soggy

Gingerbread Man Recipe

It is really Christmas if you haven’t tucked into some delicious homemade gingerbread men? We think not! Ever since we were little it has been a tradition to make them and every year they taste just as good.

We use the same recipe year in year out as it has never let us down, they are rich and spicy and just so dam tasty. Everyone we know has tried them and they always ask for the recipe, so we thought we would publish it on our blog.

We are going away for the weekend to Bath with some of our school friends so these will definitely be coming along for the ride (if they make it that far).

Recipe
275g Flour (plain or you can use spelt flour)
1tsp Baking Powder
1tsp Cinnamon
2tsp Ginger
100g Coconut Sugar
75g Unsalted Butter
1 large egg
50g Maple Syrup
50ml Milk

Method

  1. Line a baking tray with grease proof paper
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and Ginger into a large mixing bowl
    Add the Coconut Sugar and stir until combined
  3. Chop the butter into small segments and add to the dry ingredients. Use your fingers to rub the ingredients together, continue to do so until the ingredients look like bread crumbs
  4. In a measuring just whisk an egg and add the maple syrup and milk
  5. Make a well in the dry ingredients and poor the egg mixture in
    Stir until all the ingredients come together and form a dough
  6. Wrap the ingredients in cling film and leave in the fridge to cool for 30 minutes
    While the dough is in the oven preheat the oven to 160oc
  7. Flour a kitchen worktop and roll out the Dough to about a 1/4 inch thick. cut out gingerbread men (we did trees as well this time) with a cutter
  8. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Allow to fully cool before eating and decorating if you wish to do so

How to Train to Run Your First 5K

‘How can you run so far? I wish I could run as far as you two but I just can’t’

We hear this so often and everytime our answer is ‘we never used to be able to run either but everyone can run, so if we can do it you can as well’. The first race we ever did was a 5K colour run, Rach was on placement year and trained really hard for it. Annie on the other hand was still at University and thought the typical 5km isn’t that far I don’t need to train but boy was I wrong. It was that run though that made Annie want to train properly and actually get into running (after the embarrassment of having to walk some of the way).

5km is honestly the hardest milestone to get to and we tell everyone this time and time again. Start short and just extend your run bit by bit each time and before you know it you will be able to run 5km, it will take time depending on how frequently you run so don’t get disheartened when you first start running and have to walk after 5 minutes.

We have set out some top tips below that we would have found helpful when we first started running

Listen to music- make sure you have a good playlist when you running, something that is going to inspire you to keep going. When you first start running you might want to create a playlist that has a variety of different styles of songs so you can see what you do like or what you don’t like when running. We like to have a mixture between old classics (got to love a bit of spice girls), chart music & a couple of dance songs thrown in the mix.

Download a good podcast-we have recently started to get into podcasts when we run. We find it passes time really quickly as you are concentrating more about what the person is saying on the podcast rather than thinking ‘how much further have I got to go’ after each stride. We have been listening to lots of blogging podcasts and our favourites at the moment is ‘What She Said’ by Lucy She…. And ‘Made Online’ by… this way it means we actually gain knowledge about blogging whilst we are doing something that is good for us- win win.

Invest in some good running trainers-you won’t know how important these are until you actually have them.

Download a running app- make sure you download a running app to your phone so you know how far you have run and what pace you are running at. Not that the pace is important but you will find the more you run the faster you become so it can be interesting to look back at. We are using the Fitbit app as we both have Fitbits but prior to that we always used the Nike running app which we found really good and the distance was always accurate.

Map your route- we always like to have an idea of where we are running so we have something to aim for when we are running. We sometimes use the app map my run as you are able to choose the route you want to go and also know the distance before you leave the house. We would love it if you could give an app your address, let it know the distance you want to run and then allow the app to choose the route for you. If this app already exists then please do let us know because it would be so cool and your run would be different every time which also brings us on nicely to the next point.

Mix up your runs-When we first started out running and wanting to hit 5KM we used to run/part walk the same route every time as we wanted to see how much further we could run this time compared to our previous run. Running the same route over and over again can become borings so if you are feeling unmotivated to go out on a run try a new route because a change of scenery may be exactly what you need.

Running 5km is such a brilliant goal to have for any new runners, find a race you want to run and enter it that way you will have something to work towards (or run towards lol).

Good luck you can do it!

Mocha Protein Shake

protein 3

That protein kindly sent us some of their protein so we decided to make a delicious post work out shake because we love them. We used the ‘Chirpy Chirpy Choca Mocha with organic coffee’ protein.

That Protein is a plant based protein powder and for once the protein actually tastes great. They are dairy free, no added sugars, non GMO, no sweeteners and free from anything artificial.

We decided to add a couple of other ingredients to make our shake thick and creamy- the best way to have a shake. We have tried it with just water though when we have been in a rush leaving the gym and it still tastes great!

protein 1

Recipe
1 scoop of that protein mocha flavour
1 banana
8 frozen cherries(3 for decoration)
Handful of ice
Almond milk
Tea spoon cacao nibs (leave some for decoration)

Place all the ingredients in a blender and whizz it up until combined! Top tip always put your protein in last so it doesn’t get stuck to the sides (its a nightmare if it does and you will find yourself shaking the blender trying to get it to combine).

A super easy recipe to follow!

6 Tips for feeling confident in the gym

gym.jpg

It took us a while to feel confident in the gym, we didn’t really know what we were doing at first, who really does? Try and be consistent with your gym schedule, going to the gym once every two weeks probably isn’t going to help your confidence in the gym so try and go more frequently.

It’s so easy to feel self conscious in the gym even the fittest leanest people feel self conscious, you are your bodies own worst critique and whilst you are stood there looking in the mirror critiquing your body the person next to you is probably doing the exact same about their body and hasn’t even noticed you stood next to them.

Below are 6 top tips to help you wave goodbye to all the worry and fear you may have had about the gym, you got dis!

1). Wear something you feel comfortable in- Remember its not a fashion show and the last thing you want is to feel uncomfortable at the gym, so why not take yourself on a little active wear shopping spree, buying new gym gear can be a great motivation and can help make you feel sassy whilst at the gym. Some of our favourite shops to buy new and affordable active wear is Primark, H&M, Newlook and Missguided.

2). Ask for help or an induction- there is no problem in asking for help instead of struggling and not knowing what to do with a machine. Most men at the gym love being asked how to work a machine so don’t be afraid to ask. If you are new to the gym why not arrange an induction class or even a one off personal training session, this should help get you on track with what you want to do at the gym.

3). Work out with a friend- it can be less intimidating and you are likely to be less scared of embarrassed to try new machines and equipment in the gym if you are both trying it together. Why not have a joint personal training session as well so you can split the cost between you if you are both new to the gym and want to learn.

4). Make a plan- decide what you want to do before you go to the gym, we like to write notes on our phones so we have a rough plan on what we want to do when at the gym. You may have to be flexible with your plan though depending on what machines are available so have a couple of ideas in mind so you have something to fall back on.

5). Go off peak or at a quieter time- if you can, we know its not always possible with work commitments etc. but if you can try and go a slightly quieter times. Friday evenings in the gym are the dream!

6). Watch YouTube videos- we love watching workout videos on YouTube, they are a great way to learn new tips and techniques that you can put into practice when you are next at the gym. There are so many amazing fitness YouTubers out there! You can read all about our favourites here.

Other Posts you may enjoy reading:
Why you should take progress pictures 
How to simply change your routine to live a healthier life 
Mix up your workout 
Whats in our gym bag 
Are you lacking fitness motivation?