Tag Archive | "fitness"

5 things NOT to do at the gym

Whether you’re new to the gym or have been going for years, there are some errors that even experienced gym-goers make time and time again. Not only can this lead to boredom or lack of results, you could be increasing your risk of injury.

If you’ve reached a plateau in your training or you’re not getting where you want to be fast enough, there’s a good chance you’re making at least one of these mistakes. It’s time to get it right, with the help of celebrity trainer and founder of 5 Star Bootcamp, Danni Levy. With her advice, you can reboot your workouts to get the results you want – pronto!

1. Don’t spend hours on one cardio machine

‘Cardio is central to fat loss, but if you spend more than 50 per cent of your workout time on it, think again,’ says Levy. To really improve your shape, weight train. Your body will drain its glycogen stores doing weights, so if you do 20 minutes of cardio afterwards your body will switch to burning fat. 

2. Don’t hide at the back of a class

‘While group exercise is a great way to have fun and get fit, many of us join classes without being given any guidance on technique,’ says Levy. ‘When classes are large, instructors can’t be expected to notice every single movement of every single person, so if you’re unsure, don’t be afraid to get yourself noticed! Bad form will not only cancel out the effects of all your hard work, but lead to poor posture, lack of enjoyment and possible injury. Instructors are there to do just that: instruct. So don’t be embarrassed to ask!’ 

3. Don’t just use fixed machines

We’ve all been there; you join the gym, an instructor shows you round the fixed resistance machines and you receive your new exercise programme – all on machines! ‘Although fixed machines do serve a purpose, especially for beginners, you’ll get more from your time and effort if you do a dumbbell or body weight circuit,’ says Levy. ‘Many machines isolate one muscle, which means you burn fewer calories and work fewer muscles. Plus, if you’re not using a machine, you’ll work your core, which helps to build a more functional body.’ 

4. Don’t ignore your weaknesses

‘We all have exercises we enjoy more than others, and that’s normally because we’re better at them,’ explains Levy. ‘Take a step back and admit your weaknesses, then set about making them your strengths. If you have slim arms, but your thighs could do with some trimming down, sign up to a Spin class and include more squats and lunges in your programme. Perhaps you carry weight around your midriff? Chop into your waist with dynamic medicine ball movements and cable woodchops. Work on your weak areas and it won’t be long before you become the whole package.’ 

5. Don’t abandon your goals

‘Working out with a partner or group of friends can be great fun, but if you’re training alongside someone with totally different goals, this can be detrimental to your own progress,’ says Levy. ‘If your fitness levels are unevenly matched, or you enjoy different things, be honest with yourself and your training partner and go your separate ways after the warm-up. You can always enjoy a sauna or coffee together afterwards, or get together every week for a weigh-in and progress review,’ adds Levy. ‘You can still reap the benefits of joining the gym together, you just need to keep your goals in mind.’ 

Link – 

5 things NOT to do at the gym

Posted in Bodybuilding, Diets, Exercises, Fitness Equipment, Nutrition, Sports nutrition, Warm up, Weight lossComments (0)

Give back and get fit

Have you ever considered doing something positive for others but reasoned that, what with work, family, friends and the gym, you just couldn’t cram a little altruism into your life? If so, it’s time to reconsider, because social initiatives that cleverly combine volunteering opportunities with exercise are coming to a city near you. Hail the expansion of GoodGym, a not-for-profit organisation that encourages participants to merge their fitness routines with social care, by connecting people with physical tasks that benefit their community. 

Think running in a pack to work on a community project, doing one-off missions to help vulnerable people or committing to visiting an isolated older person. GoodGym is the brainchild of Ivo Gormley, a keen runner with a yearning to make it simple for people to engage with socially productive exercise. ‘I was frustrated with the idea of gyms – all these people working furiously on these machines that don’t do anything. It seemed like a massive waste of energy. I wanted to find a way to make it easy for people to do exercise that is actually useful.’ 

What started as a gentle weekly trot to drop in on a housebound family friend (Ivo used to combine weekly runs with a visit to an elderly friend) has dramatically expanded and now covers six areas of the UK, including four London boroughs plus Bristol and Liverpool. Within a few years, GoodGym hopes to operate in every major city in the UK before expanding globally.

How it works

The idea is simple; you register for your local group at goodgym.org then either opt to run as part of a group or on your own. If you run as part of a group, it gives you the chance to work alongside others to do something beneficial for your local area, such as tidying up a communal garden or painting a children’s centre. If you prefer to volunteer alone, then you can choose to be sent on a ‘mission’ to do a one-off job for a vulnerable person, such as changing light bulbs or delivering something. Or if you want to make a regular commitment, you can volunteer to be paired with an older person who becomes your ‘running coach’ during weekly visits.

In each of the three set-ups, everyone wins – both the doer and the receiver. But it’s the pairing of a mobile younger person and older coach that is particularly mutually beneficial, as Ivo explains.‘For the older people, having a visitor is a massive deal. One hundred per cent of the older people we visit regularly consider their runner a friend and most of the older people really feel they are making a contribution to their runner’s fitness, too.’ Runner Harriet, 40, agrees, ‘Aside from being great motivation to leave the house when it’s wet or cold, visiting my coach, Michael, gives me a break in my run, which works well for my half-marathon training as I speed the 2.5 miles there, then warm down on the way home.’

Whichever volunteering option you choose, knowing you’re genuinely making a difference is key. ‘For some members, GoodGym has been their way into regular exercise when they haven’t really seen the point before because knowing that you’re needed and you’re not just doing it for you is a great motivator,’ explains Ivo. ‘It’s about feeling useful and being a part of where you live.’ 

Volunteering with benefits

It also helps that it’s a great way to stay fit. Although detractors might argue that running relatively short distances (group runs vary from 3 to 10K) won’t make a difference to your fitness levels or running ability, Ivo begs to differ. ‘We have the most brilliant personal trainers co-ordinating each local GoodGym, so you’ll get fantastic support from some extremely well-qualified people, as well as from other runners if you opt to run in a group.’ Some GoodGym members have run their first marathons and half-marathons since signing up.

And it won’t just be your running that improves. Tasks assigned to group runners have included shifting two tonnes of earth in 45 minutes, removing weeds from parkland and moving 170 heavy archive boxes down several flights of stairs: feats that involve power, endurance and agility. As GoodGym member Sally points out, ‘Since joining GoodGym, my overall fitness, muscle tone and strength have improved, as has my appreciation of how much people can achieve when they work together.’

But surely the inconsistency of each week’s run and allotted task means that you might not train as effectively as you would in the gym? ‘That’s where the local co-ordinators come into their own,’ says Ivo. ‘On the way back from every task, they take the group through a variety of exercises that ensure everyone has had a good workout,’ says Ivo. So expect fartlek or progressive running on your route home. ‘I’m confident GoodGym will help you achieve your goals through doing good, plus you’ll meet great people and see things in your area.’ Being active in your community has taken on a whole new meaning!

5 ways to help others and get fit 

Volunteer with CSV 

Get stronger while learning new skills by giving up your time for a conservation or environmental project in the UK. Options include helping to preserve parks and open spaces, building adventure playgrounds and restoring heritage buildings. To find out more about volunteering opportunities and how you can make a difference, visit csv.org.uk.  

Head outdoors anddo good with British Military Fitness

Join a BMF outdoor class and, as well as getting your body in shape, you can get involved in events to raise funds for local charities or enhance the open spaces in which you train. Find out more at britmilfit.com.

Run for a sum

Boost your cardio fitness, not to mention speed and stamina, by running a sponsored race. From Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life to Great Ormond Street Hospital’s Race for the Kids there’s a running challenge out there to suit you. Training will get you fitter, while the money you raise will go to help your chosen cause. To find an event visit runforcharity.com.

Get gardening

For an outdoor challenge with a difference, sign up to your local Green Gym. Participants meet outdoors and do a short warm-up before getting stuck into practical tasks such as weeding, planting and building walls – work that improves strength, stamina and confidence. Find out more at tcv.org.uk/greengym

Travel abroad

Want to go abroad to do your bit and get fit? Choose from sponsored treks in the Himalayas, cycling challenges in India, a walking holiday in Italy’s Amalfi Coast, or even a trip to Costa Rica to work on community projects. For trips that will open your mind and test your endurance, strength and cardio fitness, check out responsibletravel.com

Originally posted here:

Give back and get fit

Posted in Diets, Exercises, Fitness Equipment, Health Issues, Nutrition, Sports nutrition, Warm up, Weight lossComments (0)

5 things NOT to do at the gym

Whether you’re new to the gym or have been going for years, there are some errors that even experienced gym-goers make time and time again. Not only can this lead to boredom or lack of results, you could be increasing your risk of injury.

If you’ve reached a plateau in your training or you’re not getting where you want to be fast enough, there’s a good chance you’re making at least one of these mistakes. It’s time to get it right, with the help of celebrity trainer and founder of 5 Star Bootcamp, Danni Levy. With her advice, you can reboot your workouts to get the results you want – pronto!

1. Don’t spend hours on one cardio machine

‘Cardio is central to fat loss, but if you spend more than 50 per cent of your workout time on it, think again,’ says Levy. To really improve your shape, weight train. Your body will drain its glycogen stores doing weights, so if you do 20 minutes of cardio afterwards your body will switch to burning fat. 

2. Don’t hide at the back of a class

‘While group exercise is a great way to have fun and get fit, many of us join classes without being given any guidance on technique,’ says Levy. ‘When classes are large, instructors can’t be expected to notice every single movement of every single person, so if you’re unsure, don’t be afraid to get yourself noticed! Bad form will not only cancel out the effects of all your hard work, but lead to poor posture, lack of enjoyment and possible injury. Instructors are there to do just that: instruct. So don’t be embarrassed to ask!’ 

3. Don’t just use fixed machines

We’ve all been there; you join the gym, an instructor shows you round the fixed resistance machines and you receive your new exercise programme – all on machines! ‘Although fixed machines do serve a purpose, especially for beginners, you’ll get more from your time and effort if you do a dumbbell or body weight circuit,’ says Levy. ‘Many machines isolate one muscle, which means you burn fewer calories and work fewer muscles. Plus, if you’re not using a machine, you’ll work your core, which helps to build a more functional body.’ 

4. Don’t ignore your weaknesses

‘We all have exercises we enjoy more than others, and that’s normally because we’re better at them,’ explains Levy. ‘Take a step back and admit your weaknesses, then set about making them your strengths. If you have slim arms, but your thighs could do with some trimming down, sign up to a Spin class and include more squats and lunges in your programme. Perhaps you carry weight around your midriff? Chop into your waist with dynamic medicine ball movements and cable woodchops. Work on your weak areas and it won’t be long before you become the whole package.’ 

5. Don’t abandon your goals

‘Working out with a partner or group of friends can be great fun, but if you’re training alongside someone with totally different goals, this can be detrimental to your own progress,’ says Levy. ‘If your fitness levels are unevenly matched, or you enjoy different things, be honest with yourself and your training partner and go your separate ways after the warm-up. You can always enjoy a sauna or coffee together afterwards, or get together every week for a weigh-in and progress review,’ adds Levy. ‘You can still reap the benefits of joining the gym together, you just need to keep your goals in mind.’ 

Original article: 

5 things NOT to do at the gym

Posted in Bodybuilding, Diets, Exercises, Fitness Equipment, Health Issues, Nutrition, Sports nutrition, Warm up, Weight lossComments (0)

Protein shakes for women

Protein shakes are often associated with bulging, muscly men who’ve just left the gym after a session of god knows what.

But actually, women need protein too, and if you’re an especially active one, chances are you need a fair amount of the stuff.

You might find it tough to get enough protein through food if you exercise a lot, or your busy lifestyle might not allow you to prepare as many of your meals as you’d like. This is where protein shakes come in. You can chug one back immediately after a tough session to get the protein to your muscles quickly, and you can carry it in your bag until you need it. It’s like they were made for us.

There are a lot of options on the market these days, so make sure you opt for a high-quality one that tastes good, too. You want to look forward to your post-exercise treat, after all. Here are our picks of the best protein shakes.

Protein World Slender Blend (£32)

Featuring a unique blend of whey protein and fat-fighting nutrients such as raspberry ketones and green tea, this weight loss-based protein drink comes in four yummy flavours. It’s also vegetarian and gluten-free.

Maxitone Definity Protein Plus (24.99)

Not only is this shake packed with protein making it perfect for a post-workout meal, but it also boasts 21 vitamins and minerals, ensuring you’re getting the nutrients you need on a daily basis.

PhD Woman Support & Recovery (£21.59)

It’s not just the fact that this shake can be used before and after exercise, or that it’s full of vitamins and minerals perfect for women that makes us love it. It’s the to-die-for Chocolate Cookie flavour that we just love.

Solgar Whey To Go (£15.31)

With no artificial sweeteners and extracted using a low heat and no chemicals, this is definitely the health-conscious woman’s choice. The hydrolysed form that the whey takes also makes it super-absorbant.

Nature’s Plus Ultra Energy (£23.86)

For those who need to steer clear of dairy, this blend of pea, rice and soy protein is perfect. It also boasts a low GI and can double up as your daily multivitamin.

Want more advice on sports nutrition? Subscribe to Women’s Fitness. We’ll give you 3 issues for £1.

See the original post:  

Protein shakes for women

Posted in Diets, Exercises, Fitness Equipment, Nutrition, Sports nutrition, Weight lossComments (0)

Give back and get fit

Have you ever considered doing something positive for others but reasoned that, what with work, family, friends and the gym, you just couldn’t cram a little altruism into your life? If so, it’s time to reconsider, because social initiatives that cleverly combine volunteering opportunities with exercise are coming to a city near you. Hail the expansion of GoodGym, a not-for-profit organisation that encourages participants to merge their fitness routines with social care, by connecting people with physical tasks that benefit their community. 

Think running in a pack to work on a community project, doing one-off missions to help vulnerable people or committing to visiting an isolated older person. GoodGym is the brainchild of Ivo Gormley, a keen runner with a yearning to make it simple for people to engage with socially productive exercise. ‘I was frustrated with the idea of gyms – all these people working furiously on these machines that don’t do anything. It seemed like a massive waste of energy. I wanted to find a way to make it easy for people to do exercise that is actually useful.’ 

What started as a gentle weekly trot to drop in on a housebound family friend (Ivo used to combine weekly runs with a visit to an elderly friend) has dramatically expanded and now covers six areas of the UK, including four London boroughs plus Bristol and Liverpool. Within a few years, GoodGym hopes to operate in every major city in the UK before expanding globally.

How it works

The idea is simple; you register for your local group at goodgym.org then either opt to run as part of a group or on your own. If you run as part of a group, it gives you the chance to work alongside others to do something beneficial for your local area, such as tidying up a communal garden or painting a children’s centre. If you prefer to volunteer alone, then you can choose to be sent on a ‘mission’ to do a one-off job for a vulnerable person, such as changing light bulbs or delivering something. Or if you want to make a regular commitment, you can volunteer to be paired with an older person who becomes your ‘running coach’ during weekly visits.

In each of the three set-ups, everyone wins – both the doer and the receiver. But it’s the pairing of a mobile younger person and older coach that is particularly mutually beneficial, as Ivo explains.‘For the older people, having a visitor is a massive deal. One hundred per cent of the older people we visit regularly consider their runner a friend and most of the older people really feel they are making a contribution to their runner’s fitness, too.’ Runner Harriet, 40, agrees, ‘Aside from being great motivation to leave the house when it’s wet or cold, visiting my coach, Michael, gives me a break in my run, which works well for my half-marathon training as I speed the 2.5 miles there, then warm down on the way home.’

Whichever volunteering option you choose, knowing you’re genuinely making a difference is key. ‘For some members, GoodGym has been their way into regular exercise when they haven’t really seen the point before because knowing that you’re needed and you’re not just doing it for you is a great motivator,’ explains Ivo. ‘It’s about feeling useful and being a part of where you live.’ 

Volunteering with benefits

It also helps that it’s a great way to stay fit. Although detractors might argue that running relatively short distances (group runs vary from 3 to 10K) won’t make a difference to your fitness levels or running ability, Ivo begs to differ. ‘We have the most brilliant personal trainers co-ordinating each local GoodGym, so you’ll get fantastic support from some extremely well-qualified people, as well as from other runners if you opt to run in a group.’ Some GoodGym members have run their first marathons and half-marathons since signing up.

And it won’t just be your running that improves. Tasks assigned to group runners have included shifting two tonnes of earth in 45 minutes, removing weeds from parkland and moving 170 heavy archive boxes down several flights of stairs: feats that involve power, endurance and agility. As GoodGym member Sally points out, ‘Since joining GoodGym, my overall fitness, muscle tone and strength have improved, as has my appreciation of how much people can achieve when they work together.’

But surely the inconsistency of each week’s run and allotted task means that you might not train as effectively as you would in the gym? ‘That’s where the local co-ordinators come into their own,’ says Ivo. ‘On the way back from every task, they take the group through a variety of exercises that ensure everyone has had a good workout,’ says Ivo. So expect fartlek or progressive running on your route home. ‘I’m confident GoodGym will help you achieve your goals through doing good, plus you’ll meet great people and see things in your area.’ Being active in your community has taken on a whole new meaning!

5 ways to help others and get fit 

Volunteer with CSV 

Get stronger while learning new skills by giving up your time for a conservation or environmental project in the UK. Options include helping to preserve parks and open spaces, building adventure playgrounds and restoring heritage buildings. To find out more about volunteering opportunities and how you can make a difference, visit csv.org.uk.  

Head outdoors anddo good with British Military Fitness

Join a BMF outdoor class and, as well as getting your body in shape, you can get involved in events to raise funds for local charities or enhance the open spaces in which you train. Find out more at britmilfit.com.

Run for a sum

Boost your cardio fitness, not to mention speed and stamina, by running a sponsored race. From Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life to Great Ormond Street Hospital’s Race for the Kids there’s a running challenge out there to suit you. Training will get you fitter, while the money you raise will go to help your chosen cause. To find an event visit runforcharity.com.

Get gardening

For an outdoor challenge with a difference, sign up to your local Green Gym. Participants meet outdoors and do a short warm-up before getting stuck into practical tasks such as weeding, planting and building walls – work that improves strength, stamina and confidence. Find out more at tcv.org.uk/greengym

Travel abroad

Want to go abroad to do your bit and get fit? Choose from sponsored treks in the Himalayas, cycling challenges in India, a walking holiday in Italy’s Amalfi Coast, or even a trip to Costa Rica to work on community projects. For trips that will open your mind and test your endurance, strength and cardio fitness, check out responsibletravel.com

Source:  

Give back and get fit

Posted in Diets, Exercises, Fitness Equipment, Health Issues, Nutrition, Sports nutrition, Warm up, Weight lossComments (0)

Give back and get fit

Have you ever considered doing something positive for others but reasoned that, what with work, family, friends and the gym, you just couldn’t cram a little altruism into your life? If so, it’s time to reconsider, because social initiatives that cleverly combine volunteering opportunities with exercise are coming to a city near you. Hail the expansion of GoodGym, a not-for-profit organisation that encourages participants to merge their fitness routines with social care, by connecting people with physical tasks that benefit their community. 

Think running in a pack to work on a community project, doing one-off missions to help vulnerable people or committing to visiting an isolated older person. GoodGym is the brainchild of Ivo Gormley, a keen runner with a yearning to make it simple for people to engage with socially productive exercise. ‘I was frustrated with the idea of gyms – all these people working furiously on these machines that don’t do anything. It seemed like a massive waste of energy. I wanted to find a way to make it easy for people to do exercise that is actually useful.’ 

What started as a gentle weekly trot to drop in on a housebound family friend (Ivo used to combine weekly runs with a visit to an elderly friend) has dramatically expanded and now covers six areas of the UK, including four London boroughs plus Bristol and Liverpool. Within a few years, GoodGym hopes to operate in every major city in the UK before expanding globally.

How it works

The idea is simple; you register for your local group at goodgym.org then either opt to run as part of a group or on your own. If you run as part of a group, it gives you the chance to work alongside others to do something beneficial for your local area, such as tidying up a communal garden or painting a children’s centre. If you prefer to volunteer alone, then you can choose to be sent on a ‘mission’ to do a one-off job for a vulnerable person, such as changing light bulbs or delivering something. Or if you want to make a regular commitment, you can volunteer to be paired with an older person who becomes your ‘running coach’ during weekly visits.

In each of the three set-ups, everyone wins – both the doer and the receiver. But it’s the pairing of a mobile younger person and older coach that is particularly mutually beneficial, as Ivo explains.‘For the older people, having a visitor is a massive deal. One hundred per cent of the older people we visit regularly consider their runner a friend and most of the older people really feel they are making a contribution to their runner’s fitness, too.’ Runner Harriet, 40, agrees, ‘Aside from being great motivation to leave the house when it’s wet or cold, visiting my coach, Michael, gives me a break in my run, which works well for my half-marathon training as I speed the 2.5 miles there, then warm down on the way home.’

Whichever volunteering option you choose, knowing you’re genuinely making a difference is key. ‘For some members, GoodGym has been their way into regular exercise when they haven’t really seen the point before because knowing that you’re needed and you’re not just doing it for you is a great motivator,’ explains Ivo. ‘It’s about feeling useful and being a part of where you live.’ 

Volunteering with benefits

It also helps that it’s a great way to stay fit. Although detractors might argue that running relatively short distances (group runs vary from 3 to 10K) won’t make a difference to your fitness levels or running ability, Ivo begs to differ. ‘We have the most brilliant personal trainers co-ordinating each local GoodGym, so you’ll get fantastic support from some extremely well-qualified people, as well as from other runners if you opt to run in a group.’ Some GoodGym members have run their first marathons and half-marathons since signing up.

And it won’t just be your running that improves. Tasks assigned to group runners have included shifting two tonnes of earth in 45 minutes, removing weeds from parkland and moving 170 heavy archive boxes down several flights of stairs: feats that involve power, endurance and agility. As GoodGym member Sally points out, ‘Since joining GoodGym, my overall fitness, muscle tone and strength have improved, as has my appreciation of how much people can achieve when they work together.’

But surely the inconsistency of each week’s run and allotted task means that you might not train as effectively as you would in the gym? ‘That’s where the local co-ordinators come into their own,’ says Ivo. ‘On the way back from every task, they take the group through a variety of exercises that ensure everyone has had a good workout,’ says Ivo. So expect fartlek or progressive running on your route home. ‘I’m confident GoodGym will help you achieve your goals through doing good, plus you’ll meet great people and see things in your area.’ Being active in your community has taken on a whole new meaning!

5 ways to help others and get fit 

Volunteer with CSV 

Get stronger while learning new skills by giving up your time for a conservation or environmental project in the UK. Options include helping to preserve parks and open spaces, building adventure playgrounds and restoring heritage buildings. To find out more about volunteering opportunities and how you can make a difference, visit csv.org.uk.  

Head outdoors anddo good with British Military Fitness

Join a BMF outdoor class and, as well as getting your body in shape, you can get involved in events to raise funds for local charities or enhance the open spaces in which you train. Find out more at britmilfit.com.

Run for a sum

Boost your cardio fitness, not to mention speed and stamina, by running a sponsored race. From Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life to Great Ormond Street Hospital’s Race for the Kids there’s a running challenge out there to suit you. Training will get you fitter, while the money you raise will go to help your chosen cause. To find an event visit runforcharity.com.

Get gardening

For an outdoor challenge with a difference, sign up to your local Green Gym. Participants meet outdoors and do a short warm-up before getting stuck into practical tasks such as weeding, planting and building walls – work that improves strength, stamina and confidence. Find out more at tcv.org.uk/greengym

Travel abroad

Want to go abroad to do your bit and get fit? Choose from sponsored treks in the Himalayas, cycling challenges in India, a walking holiday in Italy’s Amalfi Coast, or even a trip to Costa Rica to work on community projects. For trips that will open your mind and test your endurance, strength and cardio fitness, check out responsibletravel.com

See more here:  

Give back and get fit

Posted in Bodybuilding, Diets, Exercises, Fitness Equipment, Health Issues, Nutrition, Sports nutrition, Warm up, Weight lossComments (0)

Protein shakes for women

Protein shakes are often associated with bulging, muscly men who’ve just left the gym after a session of god knows what.

But actually, women need protein too, and if you’re an especially active one, chances are you need a fair amount of the stuff.

You might find it tough to get enough protein through food if you exercise a lot, or your busy lifestyle might not allow you to prepare as many of your meals as you’d like. This is where protein shakes come in. You can chug one back immediately after a tough session to get the protein to your muscles quickly, and you can carry it in your bag until you need it. It’s like they were made for us.

There are a lot of options on the market these days, so make sure you opt for a high-quality one that tastes good, too. You want to look forward to your post-exercise treat, after all. Here are our picks of the best protein shakes.

Protein World Slender Blend (£32)

Featuring a unique blend of whey protein and fat-fighting nutrients such as raspberry ketones and green tea, this weight loss-based protein drink comes in four yummy flavours. It’s also vegetarian and gluten-free.

Maxitone Definity Protein Plus (24.99)

Not only is this shake packed with protein making it perfect for a post-workout meal, but it also boasts 21 vitamins and minerals, ensuring you’re getting the nutrients you need on a daily basis.

PhD Woman Support & Recovery (£21.59)

It’s not just the fact that this shake can be used before and after exercise, or that it’s full of vitamins and minerals perfect for women that makes us love it. It’s the to-die-for Chocolate Cookie flavour that we just love.

Solgar Whey To Go (£15.31)

With no artificial sweeteners and extracted using a low heat and no chemicals, this is definitely the health-conscious woman’s choice. The hydrolysed form that the whey takes also makes it super-absorbant.

Nature’s Plus Ultra Energy (£23.86)

For those who need to steer clear of dairy, this blend of pea, rice and soy protein is perfect. It also boasts a low GI and can double up as your daily multivitamin.

Want more advice on sports nutrition? Subscribe to Women’s Fitness. We’ll give you 3 issues for £1.

Link: 

Protein shakes for women

Posted in Bodybuilding, Diets, Fitness Equipment, Nutrition, Sports nutrition, Weight lossComments (0)

Give back and get fit

Have you ever considered doing something positive for others but reasoned that, what with work, family, friends and the gym, you just couldn’t cram a little altruism into your life? If so, it’s time to reconsider, because social initiatives that cleverly combine volunteering opportunities with exercise are coming to a city near you. Hail the expansion of GoodGym, a not-for-profit organisation that encourages participants to merge their fitness routines with social care, by connecting people with physical tasks that benefit their community. 

Think running in a pack to work on a community project, doing one-off missions to help vulnerable people or committing to visiting an isolated older person. GoodGym is the brainchild of Ivo Gormley, a keen runner with a yearning to make it simple for people to engage with socially productive exercise. ‘I was frustrated with the idea of gyms – all these people working furiously on these machines that don’t do anything. It seemed like a massive waste of energy. I wanted to find a way to make it easy for people to do exercise that is actually useful.’ 

What started as a gentle weekly trot to drop in on a housebound family friend (Ivo used to combine weekly runs with a visit to an elderly friend) has dramatically expanded and now covers six areas of the UK, including four London boroughs plus Bristol and Liverpool. Within a few years, GoodGym hopes to operate in every major city in the UK before expanding globally.

How it works

The idea is simple; you register for your local group at goodgym.org then either opt to run as part of a group or on your own. If you run as part of a group, it gives you the chance to work alongside others to do something beneficial for your local area, such as tidying up a communal garden or painting a children’s centre. If you prefer to volunteer alone, then you can choose to be sent on a ‘mission’ to do a one-off job for a vulnerable person, such as changing light bulbs or delivering something. Or if you want to make a regular commitment, you can volunteer to be paired with an older person who becomes your ‘running coach’ during weekly visits.

In each of the three set-ups, everyone wins – both the doer and the receiver. But it’s the pairing of a mobile younger person and older coach that is particularly mutually beneficial, as Ivo explains.‘For the older people, having a visitor is a massive deal. One hundred per cent of the older people we visit regularly consider their runner a friend and most of the older people really feel they are making a contribution to their runner’s fitness, too.’ Runner Harriet, 40, agrees, ‘Aside from being great motivation to leave the house when it’s wet or cold, visiting my coach, Michael, gives me a break in my run, which works well for my half-marathon training as I speed the 2.5 miles there, then warm down on the way home.’

Whichever volunteering option you choose, knowing you’re genuinely making a difference is key. ‘For some members, GoodGym has been their way into regular exercise when they haven’t really seen the point before because knowing that you’re needed and you’re not just doing it for you is a great motivator,’ explains Ivo. ‘It’s about feeling useful and being a part of where you live.’ 

Volunteering with benefits

It also helps that it’s a great way to stay fit. Although detractors might argue that running relatively short distances (group runs vary from 3 to 10K) won’t make a difference to your fitness levels or running ability, Ivo begs to differ. ‘We have the most brilliant personal trainers co-ordinating each local GoodGym, so you’ll get fantastic support from some extremely well-qualified people, as well as from other runners if you opt to run in a group.’ Some GoodGym members have run their first marathons and half-marathons since signing up.

And it won’t just be your running that improves. Tasks assigned to group runners have included shifting two tonnes of earth in 45 minutes, removing weeds from parkland and moving 170 heavy archive boxes down several flights of stairs: feats that involve power, endurance and agility. As GoodGym member Sally points out, ‘Since joining GoodGym, my overall fitness, muscle tone and strength have improved, as has my appreciation of how much people can achieve when they work together.’

But surely the inconsistency of each week’s run and allotted task means that you might not train as effectively as you would in the gym? ‘That’s where the local co-ordinators come into their own,’ says Ivo. ‘On the way back from every task, they take the group through a variety of exercises that ensure everyone has had a good workout,’ says Ivo. So expect fartlek or progressive running on your route home. ‘I’m confident GoodGym will help you achieve your goals through doing good, plus you’ll meet great people and see things in your area.’ Being active in your community has taken on a whole new meaning!

5 ways to help others and get fit 

Volunteer with CSV 

Get stronger while learning new skills by giving up your time for a conservation or environmental project in the UK. Options include helping to preserve parks and open spaces, building adventure playgrounds and restoring heritage buildings. To find out more about volunteering opportunities and how you can make a difference, visit csv.org.uk.  

Head outdoors anddo good with British Military Fitness

Join a BMF outdoor class and, as well as getting your body in shape, you can get involved in events to raise funds for local charities or enhance the open spaces in which you train. Find out more at britmilfit.com.

Run for a sum

Boost your cardio fitness, not to mention speed and stamina, by running a sponsored race. From Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life to Great Ormond Street Hospital’s Race for the Kids there’s a running challenge out there to suit you. Training will get you fitter, while the money you raise will go to help your chosen cause. To find an event visit runforcharity.com.

Get gardening

For an outdoor challenge with a difference, sign up to your local Green Gym. Participants meet outdoors and do a short warm-up before getting stuck into practical tasks such as weeding, planting and building walls – work that improves strength, stamina and confidence. Find out more at tcv.org.uk/greengym

Travel abroad

Want to go abroad to do your bit and get fit? Choose from sponsored treks in the Himalayas, cycling challenges in India, a walking holiday in Italy’s Amalfi Coast, or even a trip to Costa Rica to work on community projects. For trips that will open your mind and test your endurance, strength and cardio fitness, check out responsibletravel.com

More: 

Give back and get fit

Posted in Bodybuilding, Diets, Exercises, Fitness Equipment, Nutrition, Sports nutrition, Warm up, Weight lossComments (0)

Protein shakes for women

Protein shakes are often associated with bulging, muscly men who’ve just left the gym after a session of god knows what.

But actually, women need protein too, and if you’re an especially active one, chances are you need a fair amount of the stuff.

You might find it tough to get enough protein through food if you exercise a lot, or your busy lifestyle might not allow you to prepare as many of your meals as you’d like. This is where protein shakes come in. You can chug one back immediately after a tough session to get the protein to your muscles quickly, and you can carry it in your bag until you need it. It’s like they were made for us.

There are a lot of options on the market these days, so make sure you opt for a high-quality one that tastes good, too. You want to look forward to your post-exercise treat, after all. Here are our picks of the best protein shakes.

Protein World Slender Blend (£32)

Featuring a unique blend of whey protein and fat-fighting nutrients such as raspberry ketones and green tea, this weight loss-based protein drink comes in four yummy flavours. It’s also vegetarian and gluten-free.

Maxitone Definity Protein Plus (24.99)

Not only is this shake packed with protein making it perfect for a post-workout meal, but it also boasts 21 vitamins and minerals, ensuring you’re getting the nutrients you need on a daily basis.

PhD Woman Support & Recovery (£21.59)

It’s not just the fact that this shake can be used before and after exercise, or that it’s full of vitamins and minerals perfect for women that makes us love it. It’s the to-die-for Chocolate Cookie flavour that we just love.

Solgar Whey To Go (£15.31)

With no artificial sweeteners and extracted using a low heat and no chemicals, this is definitely the health-conscious woman’s choice. The hydrolysed form that the whey takes also makes it super-absorbant.

Nature’s Plus Ultra Energy (£23.86)

For those who need to steer clear of dairy, this blend of pea, rice and soy protein is perfect. It also boasts a low GI and can double up as your daily multivitamin.

Want more advice on sports nutrition? Subscribe to Women’s Fitness. We’ll give you 3 issues for £1.

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Protein shakes for women

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Give back and get fit

Have you ever considered doing something positive for others but reasoned that, what with work, family, friends and the gym, you just couldn’t cram a little altruism into your life? If so, it’s time to reconsider, because social initiatives that cleverly combine volunteering opportunities with exercise are coming to a city near you. Hail the expansion of GoodGym, a not-for-profit organisation that encourages participants to merge their fitness routines with social care, by connecting people with physical tasks that benefit their community. 

Think running in a pack to work on a community project, doing one-off missions to help vulnerable people or committing to visiting an isolated older person. GoodGym is the brainchild of Ivo Gormley, a keen runner with a yearning to make it simple for people to engage with socially productive exercise. ‘I was frustrated with the idea of gyms – all these people working furiously on these machines that don’t do anything. It seemed like a massive waste of energy. I wanted to find a way to make it easy for people to do exercise that is actually useful.’ 

What started as a gentle weekly trot to drop in on a housebound family friend (Ivo used to combine weekly runs with a visit to an elderly friend) has dramatically expanded and now covers six areas of the UK, including four London boroughs plus Bristol and Liverpool. Within a few years, GoodGym hopes to operate in every major city in the UK before expanding globally.

How it works

The idea is simple; you register for your local group at goodgym.org then either opt to run as part of a group or on your own. If you run as part of a group, it gives you the chance to work alongside others to do something beneficial for your local area, such as tidying up a communal garden or painting a children’s centre. If you prefer to volunteer alone, then you can choose to be sent on a ‘mission’ to do a one-off job for a vulnerable person, such as changing light bulbs or delivering something. Or if you want to make a regular commitment, you can volunteer to be paired with an older person who becomes your ‘running coach’ during weekly visits.

In each of the three set-ups, everyone wins – both the doer and the receiver. But it’s the pairing of a mobile younger person and older coach that is particularly mutually beneficial, as Ivo explains.‘For the older people, having a visitor is a massive deal. One hundred per cent of the older people we visit regularly consider their runner a friend and most of the older people really feel they are making a contribution to their runner’s fitness, too.’ Runner Harriet, 40, agrees, ‘Aside from being great motivation to leave the house when it’s wet or cold, visiting my coach, Michael, gives me a break in my run, which works well for my half-marathon training as I speed the 2.5 miles there, then warm down on the way home.’

Whichever volunteering option you choose, knowing you’re genuinely making a difference is key. ‘For some members, GoodGym has been their way into regular exercise when they haven’t really seen the point before because knowing that you’re needed and you’re not just doing it for you is a great motivator,’ explains Ivo. ‘It’s about feeling useful and being a part of where you live.’ 

Volunteering with benefits

It also helps that it’s a great way to stay fit. Although detractors might argue that running relatively short distances (group runs vary from 3 to 10K) won’t make a difference to your fitness levels or running ability, Ivo begs to differ. ‘We have the most brilliant personal trainers co-ordinating each local GoodGym, so you’ll get fantastic support from some extremely well-qualified people, as well as from other runners if you opt to run in a group.’ Some GoodGym members have run their first marathons and half-marathons since signing up.

And it won’t just be your running that improves. Tasks assigned to group runners have included shifting two tonnes of earth in 45 minutes, removing weeds from parkland and moving 170 heavy archive boxes down several flights of stairs: feats that involve power, endurance and agility. As GoodGym member Sally points out, ‘Since joining GoodGym, my overall fitness, muscle tone and strength have improved, as has my appreciation of how much people can achieve when they work together.’

But surely the inconsistency of each week’s run and allotted task means that you might not train as effectively as you would in the gym? ‘That’s where the local co-ordinators come into their own,’ says Ivo. ‘On the way back from every task, they take the group through a variety of exercises that ensure everyone has had a good workout,’ says Ivo. So expect fartlek or progressive running on your route home. ‘I’m confident GoodGym will help you achieve your goals through doing good, plus you’ll meet great people and see things in your area.’ Being active in your community has taken on a whole new meaning!

5 ways to help others and get fit 

Volunteer with CSV 

Get stronger while learning new skills by giving up your time for a conservation or environmental project in the UK. Options include helping to preserve parks and open spaces, building adventure playgrounds and restoring heritage buildings. To find out more about volunteering opportunities and how you can make a difference, visit csv.org.uk.  

Head outdoors anddo good with British Military Fitness

Join a BMF outdoor class and, as well as getting your body in shape, you can get involved in events to raise funds for local charities or enhance the open spaces in which you train. Find out more at britmilfit.com.

Run for a sum

Boost your cardio fitness, not to mention speed and stamina, by running a sponsored race. From Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life to Great Ormond Street Hospital’s Race for the Kids there’s a running challenge out there to suit you. Training will get you fitter, while the money you raise will go to help your chosen cause. To find an event visit runforcharity.com.

Get gardening

For an outdoor challenge with a difference, sign up to your local Green Gym. Participants meet outdoors and do a short warm-up before getting stuck into practical tasks such as weeding, planting and building walls – work that improves strength, stamina and confidence. Find out more at tcv.org.uk/greengym

Travel abroad

Want to go abroad to do your bit and get fit? Choose from sponsored treks in the Himalayas, cycling challenges in India, a walking holiday in Italy’s Amalfi Coast, or even a trip to Costa Rica to work on community projects. For trips that will open your mind and test your endurance, strength and cardio fitness, check out responsibletravel.com

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Give back and get fit

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