Exercising On Holiday

I’ve just returned from 3 weeks away in Canada and America. It can be difficult to keep up with your exercise regime whilst you’re away with your days being busy sightseeing etc. Or you might not want to exercise whilst you’re away.

As you’re probably aware if you’ve read this post I signed up to Beachbody recently, which is a bit like a Netflix for fitness. I started the Transform:20 programme which is a 20 minute workout 6 times a week before going away. The great thing about Beachbody is that it’s on demand, meaning I could access it whilst I was away.

I didn’t do every single workout I could have done whilst away but I did just shy of two weeks worth. I lost a few days to flying and then travelling whilst we were away but I think I did well. Here’s how I did it:

Make Time:

I did pretty much every workout as soon as I got up whilst my husband was showering this way I was wasting time but still making sure I got it done.

Being Strict:

Of course there were times when I just wanted to be lazy. I said to myself “But I’m on holiday, I’m meant to be relaxing” but as the old saying goes, you never regret a workout, and I certainly didn’t.

Scoping Out The Gym:

Before we went away I wasn’t sure what kind of space I’d have to workout in so we made sure every hotel we went to had a gym. In the end, I didn’t need to as we had booked suites in all of the hotels and I had plenty of space to workout in. However, if I hadn’t of had space I could have used the gyms and the same applies if I hadn’t of had Beachbody.

Be Accountable:

I’m currently being accountable with a friend of mine. We both post our workouts online and tag each other in them. On days where we post late, we check in with each other and see how the other is getting on. It’s really helped keep me motivated not just whilst on holiday, but since we started on 1st September.

Do you exercise whilst you’re on holiday?

How do you keep motivated to workout whilst you’re away?

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I did a Canadian parkrun!

I’ve just returned from a lovely holiday to Canada and America. Whilst there, naturally, I had a couple of parkruns lined up and the first was Nose Hill parkrun in Calgary.

In the weeks leading up to the holiday the weather in all three destinations we were visiting was supposed to be pretty similar to the UK with temperatures between 12 and 20c. A couple of days before we left, Calgary started predicting snow so I took some long running items just in case. That turned out to be good decision. I emailed ahead to ask if they still put the event on in the snow, assuming that they probably would because it snows a lot in Canada. They told me they only cancel when it is too cold for the volunteers…-20c!!

We arrived at a snowy Nose Hill park and could already see the volunteers out setting up the course. We went and talked to the team and other runners. It turns out the Event Director is an ex pat and belonged to a very local running club! She’s also run my local parkrun. What a small world!! On this particular day there were actually more tourists than locals running!

It was a two lap course with the 2nd lap having a slightly different route to send you through the finish funnel. We set off and I felt quite sure footed. The snow was thick but still fluffy, however on lap 2, as everyone else had run round and the snow continued to fall heavily it became far slippier. There was a downhill section that I actually walked down for fear of falling over by slipping. I didn’t want to break a limb with over 2 weeks of holiday left!

The course was certainly undulating but never too steep or for too long thankfully, except for the very end where you go up a long, very steep hill. I was dead by the top of it, thankfully the finish funnel was just around the corner from it!

We had another chat with everyone at the end before heading off to warm up! I felt so lucky to get to experience parkrun in another country. I’m amazed that what started off as a group of friends running together is now a worldwide phenomenon that you can join in with pretty much where ever you are!

Something to note as well, -9 obviously suits me as I ran the whole thing with a hat and gloves and didn’t overheat at all! Perfect!

Calgary parkrun

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World Mental Health Day

Today is World Mental Health Day. I am so lucky that I don’t suffer too terribly with my own Mental Health, however, I have close friends who really do.

I have days where I might feel a bit down or fed up but on the whole I’m naturally quite a bubbly happy person. I feel like because I’m naturally quite bubbly, I find it quite easy to see when I’m feeling down and that then in turn makes it easier for me to put a stop to it.

Being outside really helps me. If I’m feeling a bit low then going for a walk or run helps me feel better. It gives me a chance to think things through but also provides a good level of distraction too. I always recommend to my friends who struggle to try getting out and just see if it helps, because it helps me so much.

Music also really helps me. Listening to one of my favourite songs and having a little bop around the living room can really lift my spirits. Music means a lot to me and I find songs remind me of people and memories so having songs that link to happy memories also really helps.

How do you control your mental health?

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Halfway Point of Beachbody’s Transform:20

Beachbody Logo

I’m now at the halfway point of the Transform:20 program on Beachbody on Demand so I thought I’d do a little update of how I’m finding it.

Finding 20 minutes a day has been pretty easy. I’ve been getting up at 5am, doing my workout and then getting ready for work. This way my workout is complete before the working day and I’m not having to come home after an 11 hour day at work to do it.

I’ve also enjoyed adding in some of the extra workouts that come with the program. There is a list of the standard workouts and then there are bonus workouts that I try to add in when I have more time e.g. Fridays when I don’t work and Sundays.

I feel like I’m getting stronger. I can now perform a pushup, whereas before I could barely even complete one. I still do them from my knees though as I’m not strong in a plank position to start. I think my wrist and shoulder strength has improved a little but it’s still difficult holding the plank position.

The workouts are getting progressively harder but I feel like my cardio level is good. I get out of breath but I feel as the workouts get harder, my cardio fitness is improving at the same time.

All in all I’m enjoying it and I’m definitely pleased I signed up to Beachbody.

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A 4 mile parkrun

On the Wednesday before parkrun, they sent out an email with a section from Vitality asking people to do an extra 20% at parkrun and use the hashtag #move20more. Rachel asked me if I was game and I told her I definitely was.

On Saturday morning I met up with both Maria and Rachel and we all ran together. To start with I was a bit grumpy because the temperature was so warm and it’s meant to be cooling off because we’re halfway through September! But as we ran along I soon got over it…although I did moan about being hot haha.

I managed to run the whole 5km again which really pleased me. There was very little breeze so I definitely felt like I struggled the more we progressed. Mile 3 was my slowest at 13:06 but I averaged a pace of 12:51 throughout.

Running Friends

As we passed through the finish funnel we took a token and then Rachel and I quickly said goodbye to Maria and ran on. We were going to do an extra 1km but as we ran I actually felt a bit stronger than I was expecting so we topped it up to 4 miles. I was really pleased, as it’s been a good while since I ran 4 miles. In fact, it was June that I last ran 4 miles! Wow! At the end, I actually didn’t feel like I’d run 4 miles. I expected to be fatigued, but seemed to have got a 2nd wind of energy after we passed through the finish funnel. Again, I wonder how much of this new found strength is down to the workouts I’ve been doing.

Rachel and I then walked back to the barcode scanners and had a chat with various friends. We then went and had a coffee at Leon’s on the seafront. Thankfully it was bug free today! We sat outside and the views over to the Isle of Wight were incredible. We’re so lucky to live here.

Did you take part in the #move20more?

 

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International Coffee Day

Today is International Coffee Day! So, I thought I’d dedicate a blog post to my favourite drink.

I love a good cup of coffee and going for a coffee with a friend is one of my favourite things to do.

Latte

Usually when I go out for a coffee I’ll order a latte. However, that’s not to say I don’t like other types! When I’m trying to be really good with eating well I’ll order an Americano, or if I fancy a bit more of a caffeine hit than a latte provides I’ll order a Flat White.

Flat White

I love to go for a coffee to see how places do coffee. Some simply use a machine but I love it when they use beans from a local company e.g. The Pump House in Gosport uses coffee from a Winchester company.

Post meal Latte

I never tire of coffee, it’s my go to drink, and as you can see I like to take pictures of it too.

Costa Coffee

My favourite High Street coffee chain is Costa coffee. I prefer their coffee and the general feel of them. However, in September, I do switch allegiance to Starbucks due to the mighty Pumpkin Spiced Latte.

Starbucks Caramel Frappucino

Lets not forget that coffee doesn’t just come served hot! I love an iced coffee and don’t just reserve these for the Summer. Starbucks definitely serve the best choice of iced coffees.

Starbucks Toffee Nut Latte

Do you like coffee?

What’s your favourite type of coffee?

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A Jolly Lovely Friday

Most of my blog posts are about my workouts or runs. My blog is almost a diary of them, however, I wanted to document a lovely day I had, just for the memories really.

I don’t work Fridays so I got up early and completed two of the Transform:20 workouts from the Beachbody subscription I have. If you’ve not heard of Beachbody, I did a post about it HERE

Afterwards I went and got ready because I was going out for breakfast with Nicky, a friend from work and her partner Kieran. It was Nicky’s Birthday the following day so I took along her present with me. She’s a big Panda bear fan so I bought her a soft and cosy blanket covered in Pandas!

We went for breakfast at The Tenth Hole, which is a tea room in Southsea. Despite weighing up the options for breakfast, we all decided to order the Billy’s Breakfast Burger.

Breakfast

Afterwards I had a slice of the Mint Aero cheesecake…but actually forgot to take a picture! Oops! I also took home a slice of Red Velvet Rocky Road for the Husband and I to have that evening. It was lovely just being in good company and having a natter about anything and everything.

After the dropped me off home I met up with Maria and we went and grabbed a coffee at Leon’s on the seafront. However, there was a plague of Cabbage Flea Beetles. They were everywhere jumping all over the table and us so we decided to move on and go for a walk. The bugs weren’t as bad walking along at least but they were definitely still a pain. We actually ended up walking about 4 miles as we chatted and caught up on life.

I got back home around 5pm, still full from breakfast and worn out! It was a really lovely day though with incredible company.

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BigMugOfTea Reads – Little Duck Pond Cafe Series

Bigmugoftea reads

Since reading The Cornish Cream Tea Bus I’ve now moved on to a new series of books called The Little Duck Pond Café. There are currently 7 books in the series with another due out in December. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the series.

The Little Duck Pond Cafe

The series starts with Spring at the Little Duck Pond Café where Ellie discovers and eventually becomes the owner of The Little Duck Pond Cafe. The series is based around the café in the village of Sunnybrook. Ellie meets new friends when she arrives in Sunnybrook and in turn, as the series progresses, her friends are the focus of each book. They’ve been a really light and easy read and I’ve whizzed through them. I didn’t even care that I was reading the Winter and Christmas books in Summer. The characters in the books are all really relatable and likeable, of course they all come with their turmoil which is always solved by the end of the book.

The series is definitely worth a read if you enjoy your books light and easy to follow. If you’re a member of Kindle Unlimited like I am, then these books are free.

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Completing Chapter 1 of Transform:20

I’m now 2 weeks into the Transform:20 workout program on Beachbody. If you’ve never heard of Beachbody, its kind of like a Netflix of workouts!

The Transform:20 program is 6 days a week for 6 weeks. It’s split in to 3 chapters: Commit, Climb, Conquer. I’ve just completed the first chapter Commit. It’s only 20 minutes a day and so far I’ve found this to be really manageable. Everyone has 20 minutes in their day to spare. The website says:

“After five minutes, you’ll be breathing hard. At 10 minutes, you’ll be sweating and your muscles will be burning. At 15 minutes, you’ll be watching the clock. And by minute 20, you’ll be done, exhausted, and proud of yourself”

This is very true. I’ve been amazed how knackered I am and how much sweat is pouring from me after just 20 minutes!

The program is step based. I have a Reebok step and I used it for the first couple of workouts but I’ve now come off of it as it was too hard with the step and I was worried about losing form and injuring myself. The steps they use on the workouts are ones designed for the workout and they’re much lower than mine is even on its lowest setting. However, even without the step I am still working hard and burning calories!

I’m burning around 200-250 calories in the 20 minute workouts. With the step it was around 300 calories but I just felt it was too risky so I’m happy with the decision I’ve made. I’m not willing to risk another injury.

Thankfully on the workouts you can have a split screen with someone doing modified versions of the exercises to make them a little easier. I have the split screen on during all my workouts and use the modifier if I need it. I’m surprised by how little I have been needing it though.

The workout is very leg based and my legs ached every day at first but I seem to be past that now. There are lots of burpee and plank style exercises too and these are the ones I struggle with the most. My shoulders, wrists and core are so weak, so as you can imagine, this makes these exercises difficult. However, after the two weeks I have seen a very slight improvement so hopefully this will continue as I progress through the rest of the program.

I’m pleased I’ve accomplished working out every day for 2 weeks and more importantly, I’m pleased that I’m still enjoying it. With each workout being a completely different workout it keeps it fresh.

So far, so good!

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Finally a parkRUN!

On Saturday 7th September I’d arranged to run at parkrun with Rachel. After meeting with Rachel the other day (In this post) We both signed up to Beachbody and agreed to do 100 days of Happiness with each other, documenting our progress on Instagram. Saturday was our first day to get together to have a bit of a chat about how it’s been.

We started off chatting to various people. Rachel and I know so many people at parkrun now. Once we set off we were chatting about the programmes we are following. I’m following the Transform: 20 program and Rachel is doing one called Liift 4.

Because we were chatting the time passed by really easily. I was finally able to run the whole thing again after my injury. It really helped having someone to talk to the whole way, my mind being focussed on something else and luckily the weather was cooler too.

I felt so accomplished by the end and wondered if my daily workouts that I’m following had anything to do with it too? I don’t know if a week is enough to make a difference but hopefully it will over time.

Do you cross train to compliment your running?

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