Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Hot Pod Yoga Nottingham

Last week I got up bright (after a bullet proof coffee) and early and made my way to West Bridgford for the 7am class of Hot Pod Yoga. It's something i'd be dyyying to try since I made the ode to my body this year to stretch regularly and since starting work with Sweaty Betty Notts I really had no excuse experience the phenomenon and put faces to the names of yogi experts Sarah Harrison @HotPodYogaNotts (Owner) and Sarah Bailey @SarahEBailey (Teacher).  






We (yes, I persuaded the BF to also attend, he thanked me for it after) were greeted with smiles and hello's and headed into the inflatable pod to acclimatise to the 37 degree heat. The lighting was dim and the subtle aroma was calming. 

The style of yoga Hot Pod teach is Vinyasa. All about synchronising a dynamic series of postures with your breathing. The heat warms the muscles and aids flexibility whilst making it a super intense and effective workout. I found the class was brilliantly tailored from beginner level to experienced to cater for the diversity within the group. I worked hard to keep up and concentrate on maintaining strength and alignment but found the experience incredibly relaxing and refreshing. When I left I felt drowsy and utterly relaxed. 



I suspect this is precisely why Yoga becomes so addictive to so many people. I had completely underestimated the core strength and stamina needed for an hour of practice in 37 degrees. There has been a shift in my mind and a new respect in understanding gym weights strength and yoga strength are wildly different. I previously saw yoga as a means of increasing flexibility and specifically in the heat - being a great recovery session from something of higher intensity. I've seen from Hot Pod how in reality it's much more fast paced and offers something more superior than just "a good workout" - it gives a genuine feeling of calm, clarity and purpose. 

I'll definitely be back for more! 

B xx 
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Monday, 27 April 2015

Workout Of The Week: Making The Treadmill Work For You

Blue skies, quiet roads, a light breeze and an I'll-just-run-in-a-vest temperature. 

Idyllic. 



Top: H+M // Level Leggings: Sweaty Betty // Trainers: Asics Kayano


Unfortunately I don't live in California, I live in the UK and these conditions are few and far between, especially few and far between it seems on the days I have the time and motivation for a run. I choose road over treadmill any day of the week, sometimes even in drizzly rain but some days I'm thankful for a plan B treadmill session. 

I'm not a plodder, I grew up sprinting and it took til the age of 20 for me to manage more than 1 lap of the track, but in the last 18 months I've become fonder of the challenge of longer runs and how amazingly fit you feel when 6 milers begin to feel effortless.  That said, this is why my treadmill workouts are NEVER longer than 25 minutes. If you must run indoors, make it as short as possible? Yes?  



Hardcore run intervals that burn fat the quickest and literally eat up the calories are the possibly only way I manage to tackle treadmill-itus. Effort can be increased by speed or incline, not just staying on the machine for longer, so here we have the ultimate change-it-up-if-you-want-to treadmill blast. 

Warm Up: 2 Minutes 8kph light jog. 

2 Minutes: Hard Effort 12kph+  Incline 3
2 Minutes: Recovery 7kph+ Power Walk / Slow Jog Incline 1
2 Minutes: Hard Effort 12kph+  Incline 3
2 Minutes: Recovery 7kph+ Power Walk / Slow Jog Incline 1
2 Minutes: Hard Effort 13kph+  Incline 3
2 Minutes: Recovery kph+ Power Walk / Slow Jog Incline 3
2 Minutes: Hard Effort 13kph+  Incline 3
2 Minutes: Recovery 9kph+ Power Walk / Slow Jog Incline 1
2 Minutes: Hard Effort 13kph+  Incline 3

20 Mins DONE.

Warm Down: 2 Mins 6kph Walk Incline 1


The more you do this workout, the easier it will feel. Progress comes so quickly if you are really challenging yourself, so make sure you mix up the speed and ratio so the last 2 minutes are a real effort. If you are a beginner, 1 minute intervals are great place to start! Listen to your body.
- Ending feeling invigorated not completely exhausted is what you want. 


Happy HIIT,

B xx 



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Saturday, 25 April 2015

Style Diary: My Weekend Uniform

When it comes to weekends; top of my priority list is without fail a lie in followed by a killer workout and mega brunch. I don't manage this routine every week, but I look forward to a Saturday when I can dedicate my AM to such an agenda. 

New workout clothes never fail to provide me with the boot out of bed I sometimes need and my new role with Sweaty Betty Notts #TeamSB is occupying and satisfying my love of fitness, fashion and retail amazingly. So here we have it, I thought i'd share some bootcamp style right now. 




I tend to play it safe with block colour leggings and bright vests, so this look has become a firm favourite. A double layered vest is uber flattering but perfect for getting sweaty. Complete with a back pocket, headphone port,  and racer back design it 100% ticks my boxes. 

Get yours here: Double Time Tank





These opaque black capri's are unquestionably a gym drawer staple.  They hold you in, hug your hips, sit high on your waist and stretch as you do. The zip pocket and perfect cut off length makes them a brilliant run, workout, dance or spin all rounder... 
Now can I wear this look every day please? 

Online here: Pump It Capris



What's your weekend style?

Don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin to stay up to date with my posts. 

B xx 
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Sunday, 19 April 2015

Food Review: The Cooking Cooks

Basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, parmesan... Have you guessed yet? 

PESTO! 




This week I discovered a new favourite brand to supply my treat days with all things Italian and yummy. Outside Kings Cross Station I stumbled across an incredibly tempting food market. The result of my mooch was an unexpected purchase of fresh spinach pasta & kale and broccoli pesto from the company The Cooking Cooks Italian Kitchen. 

After a few mouthwatering scoops of tasters and a good chat with the owner Alice I seemed fairly assured this innovative company were on my wavelength when it came to food and uber fabulous chinwagging about which pasta goes best with chicken or fish.

       Check them out here >> The Cooking Cooks

The choice of fresh pastas and pesto's they have on offer made my choosing fairly tricky. Also available in various sizes were (fully recyclable of course) Pesto pot flavours in Almond, Cherry Tomato and Basil or Rocket and Gorgonzola. 

Large shells, twirls and spaghetti shapes in beetroot, spinach, squid ink, onion seeds and my pick spinach, were laid out in the prettiest portioned parcels to accompany the pesto. Homemade, fresh and smelling so good they were wrapped in my paper bag before I could blink. 





I made my buys into an indulgent but green bowl of dinner with chicken, french beans, spinach leaves and cashews thrown in. It was nothing short of delicious. 

I'll definitely be keeping my eyes peeled for these Italian delights in other locations this year. 

B xx 
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Monday, 13 April 2015

Workout Of The Week: Stretch Yourself

So this year my resolution was to stretch more. 2015 the year I was going to be flexible. 

I seem great at cramming in as much high intensity and as many weights into session before realising the time and flying out the gym still a hot sweaty mess. Cool down? Never. Stretch? Rarely. If it didn't burn calories I wasn't interested. 
My body usually aches somewhere and my muscles were getting confused. I've been lifting weights in the gym since I was about 15 and am a naturally un-flexible being, so when it got to the point last year I couldn't touch my toes or sit cross legged some stretchy action needed to take place.  

I therefore decided scheduling in some kind of warm down needed to become part of my routine, no excuses. 










....*4 Months Later....* 

A weekly/fortnightly hour long stretching session in the form Pilates or Yoga is usually a fixture in my diary and I can now touch my toes, yay! 


















Much to my annoyance, consistency and patience is definitely key. 

Surprisingly, however i'm now even starting to enjoy the feeling from progressing with my flexibility and the mental break it gives my mind. Having a lie on the mats with a chilled tune and closing your eyes for 5 mins is a rather lovely way to end your workout, or in-fact your day.  

Taking those moments to cool your body down will make you less susceptible to injury and help your muscles recover quicker, meaning you may even be able to walk down stairs after leg day. 

Hallelujah. 

The world of Yoga and Flexi's has taught me to focus on what my body can do, rather than how my body looks. And that freshness is fabulous





Here are my ultimately most satisfying poses. Obviously it's best to stretch the muscles most specific to your workout. What are your faves? 

B xx 





Image Source: WorkOutLabs

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Friday, 10 April 2015

How To: Beat The Cravings

Cravings. Hmmm. Pesky little feelings that crop up and ruin our feel good vibes. I'm guilty of late night snacking and rummaging for sugar fixes but I think it's important for us all to understand that cravings sneak up due to a number of reasons, there's more to it than just "will power". Through learning what suits me, researching and reading, I've found there are a few real steps to take in preventing them in the first place and thought i'd share with you all.  








If the causes are understood, it's easier to tackle them! 

1) Curb The Carbs - Ensure your most carbohydrate filled meals are pre and or post workout. 

2) Get Your Beauty Sleep - The magic 8 hours. Wowzers that's a good one. Hunger is a feeling often confused with tiredness or thirst, so lets rule this out and make sure we are bright eyed and bushy tailed in the morning. 

3) You're Dehydrated. - How much water have you drunk today? 2 ltrs? Nope? Keep drinking then. 

4) You Need a Change Of Routine - I always notice when I'm abroad my eating habits change for the better. Is your current eating schedule fuelling your lifestyle best? Do you eat out of bordem or due to stress? 

5) Irregular Eating - Once you feel hunger, your body is in energy crash mode. You should eat little and often, meal, snack, meal snack etc every 2.5 - 3 hours. I've found the approximate schedule that works best for me is: 
7.45 Breakfast
10.30 Coffee and Snack
13.30pm Lunch
16.00 Snack
19.30 Dinner 
Our bodies are all different and our lives are all different but generally having a pattern your body can get used to is favourable for your kicking your metabolism and energy levels into gear and preventing energy crashes and cravings. 

6) Cupboard Frenemies - What do your have in the house that could lead to a dangerous "scoff the whole lot" weak moment? Have a think. The remove it. This is my favourite tip because it's the easiest. Don't put it in your trolley in the first place. If it's a treat, buy a 1 size portion and enjoy it but then have peace of mind it's gone until your next due an indulgence! 



If you are perfectly content, stimulated and happy, cravings do tend to crop up less frequently, so wish me luck on my forever battle with mind serenity vs mind chaos. 


B xx 

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Monday, 6 April 2015

Workout Of The Week: Ab Burner

Yes, it's Easter Monday and we've probably all eaten and drunk too much in the last 2 days. My abs are in hiding, so hoping today's #MotivationalMonday blast will tease them out again. 

I try to do this Ab routine at least twice a week at the end of a workout. You can easily add weight or more reps to make it harder as you progress so it's good whatever your current ability. I came across it on Pinterest, where Workout Labs have many great 10 min sessions and photos to demonstrate. It's super effective and super efficient as the rest period is ZERO. Perfect! 

All you need is a space on the floor and a bit of determination for this one. 









Image Source: WorkoutLabs     


30 Crunches
20 Alternate Heel Touches
20 Bicycle Crunches
20 Reverse Crunch
40 Russian Twist (Use weight if you can)
20 Leg Pull In Knee Up
20 Flutter Kicks
20 Leg Raise
10 Windscreen Wipers
60 Second Plank
30 EACH SIDE Side Plank
20 Plank Jacks

Try to have no rest and do the whole routine straight through! If you must have a break, take just 30 seconds between every 4th exercise. 



Good Luck, Happy Abs and Happy Bank Holiday.


B xx
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Thursday, 2 April 2015

Recipe: Zesty Cauli

This is potentially my new favourite way dress a vegetable. 

Cover it in lemon and chilli and whack it in the oven. 

Works with almost anything. If you're a lazy chef, wannabe chef, time poor chef, or money poor chef this is one you must try! 

This recipe works so well with cauliflower although I imagine it's pretty good with courgette or kale too. I love it as a side dish with fish or poultry but also as a cold leftover on a salad. 

It's positively Mediterranean and in my house, that's always a good thing. 




Ingredients:

1 Cauliflower
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Chilli 
1 Lemon
Salt and Pepper

Oven Dish
Foil

Method:

Chop your Cauli into florets 
Chop your chilli
Add to oven dish
Drizzle over your Olive Oil
Squeeze over juice and some zest of lemon
Season! 

Cover with foil and cook in the oven until soft. 
I would recommend on 200degs C for about 30 mins. 


Let me know what you make of it! If you have any fave veggie recipes, I'd love to know. 

B xx

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