Get More from Your Running Sessions with These Efficiency Boosting Tips

Running is one of the most basic yet effective ways to stay fit. However, a lot of people come back from their running session feeling absolutely exhausted, yet they don’t seem to be getting the results they had hoped for. This indicates that there are inefficiencies in the way you go about running. Read on to discover how you can train your body to be a more efficient machine.

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  • Improve your stride rate – One of the most effective ways to get more out of running is to focus on improving your stride rate. This is simply the number of steps you take in a minute. There are many different fitness tools and watches available today that will track this for you; so don’t feel like you need to count your steps when you are running. The aim is to have a stride rate of around 90 per foot or 180 in total per minute. If your stride rate is much less than this, it means you are wasting a lot of energy because you are creating oscillation. It also means that instead of rolling quickly over the ground, you are employing brake forces with every stride you take. So, how can you improve your stride rate? One of the best ways to do this is to listen to a music mix at 180 bpm.
  • Wear a weighted vest – The best way to up the ante with regards to your fitness training is to invest in a weighted vest. This will ensure that weight is distributed evenly on your torso, and it will mean that you get much more from your running sessions. To find the best weighted vest for running, spend plenty of time researching online and reading reviews that have been left by others. It is important to find a vest that fits comfortably yet is effective.
  • Enjoy it – It sounds silly, but you will actually get much more from your workout if you enjoy it. Sweating is supposed to make you feel good; it’s not supposed to make you feel downbeat and overly exhausted. Don’t push yourself too hard, and find different ways to give your running sessions a boost. This could be by listening to your favourite music, partnering up with a friend, or taking a scenic route.
  • Get strong – Another reason why you may be inefficient in your running technique is that you aren’t strong enough. This is not meant as an insult; it is actually a natural occurrence for runners. It is not uncommon for a runner to develop muscle imbalances that generate more work for the body when we ask it to run. Muscle weakness can easily occur if you do not address the imbalances directly. You need to incorporate exercises into your routine that will balance your body strength so you can more efficiently. This includes push-ups, clams, lunges, squats, planks, the bridge, and rowing with resistance tubes or weights.

If you embrace the four tips that have been mentioned above, you will get a lot more from your running routine, and you will feel much better for it too.

 

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Who Knew Sweating Could Feel So Good

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If you’re ready to take life into your own hands, then the best way to start is by getting active. Now that doesn’t include pigging out on the sofa to your favorite tv show; it means getting up, breaking out of your usual routine, and making a new one that will benefit your life in a positive way.

Here are the top forms of exercise that will work up a sweat, and work out your body.

 

Swimming

Swimming is a great form of exercise, especially if you suffer from any aches and pains, or even if you’re just on the larger side of the scale, because water takes all the pressure off your body and lets you focus on moving around freely. This is why a lot of physiotherapists tell you to swim. Not only that but it also uses every muscle in your body, so you don’t just burn calories, you also tone up too.
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Cycling

Cycling is popular go-to workout because you don’t necessarily have to go outside to do it. As long as you have an exercise bike, you can get fit in front of the tv if you wish to. Riding even as little as 30 minutes a day can make a huge improvement in your physical strength and stamina, and the more you sweat, the more fat you’re essentially melting away.

 

Circuit Training

Circuit Training or High Intensity Interval Training is the best cardio workout if you like to push yourself to limit. With high intensity workouts with very little rest time, make it a very a challenging session, but so rewarding once completed. It’s very fast paced, so you need to make sure you’re hydrated and have eaten something otherwise you just won’t have the energy you need to do this. So you will want to keep a bottle of water within reaching distance for when you have a short rest interval. -You will understand why.
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Boxing

Boxing is amazing is you want to focus on your core muscles while giving your whole body a good workout. It also improves your balance, mobility and even coordination, while engaging your core muscles the whole time, and these are all things that can be used in your day to day life.

If you’ve never boxed before, it’s a good idea to get someone to work with you, like a trainer or a friend that knows that they’re doing. That way you know that you’re doing everything as they should be done, ensuring you don’t cause an injury to yourself.

 

Whatever you decide on doing, give it a fair chance before you make up your mind whether you love it or not. Having said that, not everybody is the same, so just because your peers claim that running is the best thing for them, that doesn’t mean that it’ll be like that for you. So this is where trial and error become relevant. If you don’t enjoy one thing, don’t give up – just keep going until you find something that you really love.

Don’t be afraid to try new things and get nice and sweaty! -That’s the best part!

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Big news in the Miss Pork Pie Household!

I am super excited to be able to share with you all the news that I have taken the leap and decided to become a full-time blogger! It’s been something that I’ve wanted to do for ages, but never thought I’d achieve, at least not for a while anyway.

It all came about because I have been really struggling to find childcare for Dinky over the summer holidays. There are plenty of people that could and would help me but I just couldn’t expect them to have him 5 days a week for the whole 6 week period. I really struggled to pull it together last summer holidays, and even on just the half term holidays I sometimes only just scraped it together.

So I went into work and asked if I could reduce my hours so that I’d be able to work in the afternoons when Dinky could go to my parent’s for a few hours. It seemed like the perfect plan. Unfortunately, my employers couldn’t offer me the hours I was after, so understandably I was told to keep my hours or resign. It really hit me hard, to be honest, I felt stupid because I’d assumed that everything would work out okay. Now though I was faced with a decision to either beg for childcare from my friends and family or to leave my job that I’d worked hard at for two years.

Dinky always comes first, that’s a given but if I can’t provide for him and support and earn money alongside Mr. Pie’s wage then what use is it being at home? So that’s where I decided to jump in feet first and become a full-time blogger. I’ve been blogging as a hobby for three years now and more recently than not my views have started rocketing, and I’ve been offered work from various brands. I’ve had to turn a few away because of working full time but I know that once I’m at it full time I can take on so much more.

I have also recently started taking on some freelance writing jobs for various people/companies, which I plan on continuing once I have finished my current job.

I am really looking forward to beginning this journey into becoming self-employed. I am going to be doing vlogs on mental health, beauty, and parenting. I also have many other ideas in the pipeline, but for now, I’d love to hear any ideas that could help me get going or even share your stories on how you became a full-time blogger.

 

Much love xx

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Lost Your Motivation? How To Get Your Exercise Plan Back On Track

After Christmas, it’s all too easy to find the energy and motivation to hit the gym and get in shape. Sadly, for most of us, after a few weeks, the novelty of the cross-trainer wears off, and by the time you reach spring, your motivation levels may have plunged to an all-time low. If you’re at risk of missing out on those targets and you’re finding it increasingly tough to stick to your exercise plan, this guide should prove useful.

Image via https://pixabay.com/en/run-workout-fitness-exercise-1290022/

Write a list

If you’re finding it hard to drag yourself to the gym or you’ve lost interest in your weekly spin class, write a list of all the reasons you wanted to start exercising in the first place. Think about why you want to be fitter or stronger or why you want to lose a few pounds. Are you desperate to feel more confident on the beach or are you tired of feeling stressed after a day at work? When you can’t be bothered to put your workout DVD on or you’re thinking of catching the train home instead of cycling as planned, read that list, and hopefully, it’ll give you the push you need.
Sign up for a challenge

Most of us work harder when there’s a goal in sight. If you really want to push yourself and be more disciplined, why not look into doing something that involves raising money for charity or taking part in a competition? You could investigate trek challenges, sign up for a charity bike ride or even set yourself a weight loss goal and ask people to sponsor you. You can go it alone or get friends, family or colleagues involved. If you’ve got other people depending on you, or you have a team around cheering you on and encouraging you, you’re more likely to put in the effort.

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Have fun

It’s no wonder you find it hard to get excited about working out if you do the same thing every time. If you’re bored of the gym, you’ve had your fill of yoga, or you can’t bear the thought of another jog around the park, try and introduce new exercises or activities into your workout plans. You don’t have to use a treadmill or an exercise bike to get fit. There are lots of sports out there you can try. Sign up for dance lessons or go swimming instead of cycling. Join the local rowing club or start playing netball or hockey once a week. Go trampolining or swap a gym session for a trip to the ice rink or the stables. As long as your blood is pumping and you’re working up a sweat, it doesn’t matter that you’re not in a gym lifting weights. If you vary your workouts, you’re less likely to lose interest, and you’ll have more fun.

Have you lost your motivation when it comes to working out? If you’re struggling, don’t worry! Take these tips on board, and hopefully, you’ll be back on track before you know it.

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Fighting Fit: How To Use Regular Exercise As A Way To Banish Mental Health Problems

Mental health issues are increasingly common in today’s climate. The growing number of diagnosis can be attributed to many sources. These include a greater understanding of various conditions as well as the huge stress of modern life.  Many of those problems do require professional support and medication. But there’s no doubt that it’s possible to reduce the damage through daily activities. Physical exercise is easily one of the leading contributions.

So what are the best ways to use regular exercise to aid your mental health? Here’s all you need to know.

 

 

Increase Self-Confidence

First and foremost, regular exercise can be a great way to improve your self-confidence and general positivity. Whether it’s losing weight, toning up, or increasing physical performance doesn’t matter. Any upgrade to your personal fitness and image will send your positivity through the roof.

In addition to your personal improvements, you’ll often see positive changes to the way you are perceived by others. Those reactions are sure to have a big influence on your confidence too, which can help fight various sources of depression.

 

Gain An Extra Goal

Many mental health issues are worsened by the fact that you’re thinking about them too often. Therefore, finding a goal to keep your mind occupied should go a long way to keeping those emotional demons at bay. Exercise can be the perfect solution.

One option is to transform your body by getting fitter than ever. This instantly gives your life more structure and can actively fight various mental health issues. Meanwhile, signing up for an event and raising money for charity gives you that motivation to avoid those common pitfalls.

 

 

Reduce Stress

The release of endorphins throughout your exercise routines will always leave your mind in a positive position. This in itself should reduce the stress levels. However, you can take this one step further by using yoga and other activities. Use guides at www.piyoreviews.com/ to help you find a winning solution for a relaxed atmosphere. As a form of meditation, you couldn’t ask for anything better.

 Apart from anything else, regular exercise helps fight a series of physical health issues. Whether it’s avoiding diabetes, joint problems or any other problem isn’t important. The key factor is that the removal of those troubles will give you the best chance of staying relaxed and free from those emotional anxieties.   

 

Aid Sleep

If you don’t already know about the links between sleep and mental health, read up on those details at www.mentalhealth.org.uk/. Once you have made yourself aware of those rewards, you’ll be even more eager to get your 40 winks. Quite frankly, exercise is one of the best solutions.

Complete an evening workout to tire your body out, and follow this with a shower to prepare your body for rest. Firstly, this will enable you to get off to sleep with greater ease. Secondly, the results of a great night’s rest should bring huge rewards throughout those waking hours. It might not be the first benefits you think about when taking up increased exercise, but it might be one of the best.

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5 tricks you NEED to follow to successfully lose weight (and not go without your favourite foods!)

So to kick off #WeightlossWednesday I am going to share with you 5 tricks you should follow to successfully lose weight, and with the added bonus of still being able to enjoy your favourite foods!

Let’s face it we all know how to eat healthily. We all know that an apple will be better for your health than a bag of crisps, but the crisps taste better. So what if there was a way we could have best of both worlds? Well there is and I’m going to tell you how. I’ve basically taken the best and most useful bits out of every diet I’ve ever tried and popped a bit of common sense in there.

  • Drink plenty of water

This is one tip I will be pushing everyone to make sure they do. Quite often the symptoms of thirst trick the mind and body into thinking it’s hungry. So if you feel hungry, have a glass of water and wait 10 minutes. If you still feel hungry after that then it is hunger and you should eat.

Water is also the best way to keep your body hydrated, which in turn will make your skin glow, your nails longer and your hair stronger.

  • Listen to what your body wants.

When you are eating, really notice what your body is telling you. After you have established that your body is actually hungry, you need to retrain your brain and your body to realise when you’re full and need to stop eating. The best way to do this is put your cutlery down between each bite and chew slowly. Once the feeling of hunger has gone then stop eating. This may result in you eating little and often, but this is easier for your body to work off.

But remember – if you’re not sure if you’re hungry, water first, everything else comes later.

  • Everything in moderation

You’ve probably heard that a thousand times and probably hate it when someone gives you that advice but trust me, it’s the best way of losing weight and still being able to enjoy your favourite foods. Use the same principle as my last point, only eat your desired food until the feeling of hunger goes. Also remember that you should be putting nutrition into your body. Over time your body will begin to stop craving “goodies” and it will crave more of the nutrition.

Another good way of keeping things in moderation is to reward yourself for victories along your journey. For example you walked to work instead of taking the bus all week. Having one chocolate bar will not undo all of that hard work you have done to eat healthily, especially if you keep up your activity levels.

 

  • Exercise

Another thing that a lot of people don’t want to hear. People often picture exercise as countless hours in the gym on the treadmill. This is an option but exercise is any form of movement that gets your heart rate up.

As I previously mentioned, walking to work (if possible) will up your exercise massively and you will see those pounds drop off. If you’re stuck for exercising ideas I always browse Pinterest for ideas. Another site I have found inspiration from is http://www.mensfitness.com/training/workout-routines/8-at-home-workouts-to-lose-weight-and-build-muscle

  • Use your common sense.

You know that a glass of coke isn’t as good for you as water, you know a chippy dinner is worse than a grilled chicken salad. What I’m saying is use your common sense when making your meal decisions. It doesn’t mean that coke and chips are banned it just means that having them more often than not is a no go.

Here are some ideas for some healthier alternatives to junk food – https://spoonuniversity.com/lifestyle/healthy-alternatives-for-favorite-junk-foods

If you follow these simple tricks you will lose weight.

Remember to link up to #WeightlossWednesday every week to find out how everyone has done!

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I challenge YOU to better yourself.

Who’s up for a challenge?

I’ve been a yo-yo dieter for years now. I’ve tried everything from weight watchers to slim fast, slim pod, slimming world, crash diets, boot camp and even “magic” pills.
None of these worked for me because I felt like I couldn’t eat certain things. After a few days or weeks of eating like a rabbit I would give in and binge out on crap.

I’ve been feeling like I’m always going to be overweight, and for a while I’ve not really cared too much until recently when I saw some photos of myself at a family get together. I felt sick looking at how bad I’ve let myself down. I’m don’t just look big, I look unhealthy.

So the challenge…

I challenge anyone out there that wants to lose weight or improve their health to join me. I will be doing weekly posts to share my success and I’m inviting you to all leave your links so myself and everyone else can read your blogs. We can all encourage eachother.

Here are the 5 tricks you NEED to follow to successfully lose weight (and not go without your favourite foods!)
I run a Twitter account that I plan on sharing the best tips and tricks, and also motivation for all of us! Follow me over at www.twitter.com/missporkpie

I also run a Facebook group over at www.facebook.com/missporkpie – come along and join me in improving your health!

I am going to be using the hashtag #WeightlossWednesday – I hope you will all join me!

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How To Cope With Anxiety

I’m just going to put it bluntly, anxiety is shit. I have dealt with it daily for over 10 years. Most of the time it isn’t bad enough to rule over my day, but those days/nights where my anxiety is so intense that I can barely catch my breath are awful. I had my first one of those creep up on me after months of nothing last night. I got through it in an unusual way, so I’ve decided to compile a list of quick fixes and long term treatments you can do if you’re struggling with your anxiety!
Quick Fixes

  • Distraction

I always find that the first trick I turn to when I feel anxious is to distract myself, whether that be on my phone, a game, putting the TV on or simply going for a walk. Sometimes that is literally all you will need. A distraction long enough to make you forget about what you were anxious about in the first place. Often I’m not even sure why I feel anxious or what thought triggered my feelings, so I find doing something different will change my train of thought.

  • Shout it out

Sometimes I find that I mistake frustration for anxiety, or even that my frustration and stresses create the anxiety. If this is something you feel happens to you then my suggestion is to just let it out.

– Go and find a quiet place and shout out your frustration. 

– Maybe nominate a friend that you can call and just rant to (offer the same back to them for if they ever need it, of course)

– Crying always helps. Don’t be ashamed or too proud to cry. Of course if you feel like crying or you do cry very often, then what you’re feeling may not just be anxiety, so please visit your doctor (see long term treatment for more information)

Basically any way to let out some emotion will help. This is a tip I have picked up very recently and it works very quickly for me. It releases pent up stress that’s boiling inside and you will feel better and fast.

  • Talk it out with someone you trust

I know it may feel hard to talk about how you’re feeling, and it’s difficult to even know where to begin but talking it out with someone I trust helps me feel like I’m not so alone. Even if the person I have told doesn’t have anxiety themself, at least they understand why I’m acting a little strange or why I’m more fidgety than normal. Also, you will be pleasantly surprised how understanding most people are.

So if you feel like you can talk to someone about it then do it, it will help!

  • Deep breathing

This trick is probably the oldest one in the book, but it’s a tried, tested and true way of alleviating anxiety symptoms. Simply sit up straight and breathe 8 seconds in through your nose and 5 seconds out through your mouth. Carry this on until you feel calm again.

  • Keep your feet on the ground.

I often find that when I’m feeling anxious my head spins and I almost feel like I’m not in my own body any more. Putting at least one foot on the ground helps your body regain balance and work out where you are. This technique is called “grounding” and is also used for people who are suffering with symptoms of vertigo.

  • Ride it out.

A few years ago a therapist told me something that I’ve always tried to remember when I’m feeling anxious. What goes up must come down. This means that your anxiety will only get so high and then it will slowly drop and go away. If you’re able to ride it out, then ride it out because I promise you, every time after that it will get easier.
Long term treatments

  • Change what you put in your body

    In every way possible, look after yourself! Eat as healthily as you can. Being overweight and eating the wrong food can often give you symptoms that mimic anxiety, which would in turn make you worse. Cut out alcohol (or cut down at least). Quit smoking, not just for your anxiety but for your general health too.

    • Exercise

    As I mentioned earlier, sometimes a walk can distract you from a panic attack. Not only that, exercise releases endorphins which make you feel happy. Also, of course exercising will keep you fit and healthy.

    • Talk to your GP

    For a very long time I’d avoid speaking to my GP about my anxiety because I was worried that they would just shove me onto medication and I didn’t want to take anything. After now working in a GP surgery and seeing and speaking to my colleagues about anxiety I have learnt that there are so many different ways of treating/dealing with it. You can:

    – Get your Doctor to refer you for CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy)

    – Your GP can also help advise and monitor your lifestyle, ask what help is available.

    – Your GP can also recommend self help websites.

    – Medication. I used to have this massive stigma in my mind about taking medication for my anxiety. I was convinced I didn’t need it and that they just cover up the problem rather than solving it and I didn’t want that. I do now fully support medication for anxiety because once I had heard and seen how it helps people, I knew I needed to try it. 

    It was hand on heart the best decision I have ever made regarding my health. The Doctor explained that it resets the chemical levels in your brain that cause you to feel the way you do. I’ve now been on medication for 6 months and I’m happier than I’ve been in years. My anxiety still creeps up on me, but nothing like it used to.

    There are many different types that the Doctor can prescribe you, so go and speak to your GP.

    Also, don’t forget to…

    I really hope that my tips can help someone. I know only too well how horrible it is crawling through the internet trying to find help. Do you have anything else that you do when you’re anxious? I’d love to know!

    Much love xxx

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    The Only Person You Should Try To Be Better Than, Is The Person You Were Yesterday

    It’s been quite a few months since I last posted anything on here, and after talking to the lovely Nikki over at keepingstrongandmovingforward.co.uk, I decided to sit and write a post again!

    I’m now working full time which is amazing, I only started the hours last week, and I’m absolutely exhausted, but looking forward to almost double my part time pay at the end of the month!

    I feel like things are slowly coming together at the moment. Back at the end of last year things were pretty dark for me. I felt really poorly a lot of the time, I drank way too much and I just lived to pay the bills. Since then as you may already know we have moved. Things didn’t change too much after that, I felt a little like things were the same but in a different location.

    Then, about a month ago I’d just had enough of feeling sorry for myself. I’ve barely touched a drop of drink (apart from a few Saturday nights when I want to relax) and I decided to set myself something to work towards.

    Here are a few things I’ve planned to do/already started:

    1. I don’t currently drive so I’m aiming to be driving by the end of the year (I realise how ambitious this is!).

    2. We have a cellar, and recently our favourite wine bar (which happened to have an amazing pool table) closed, so we’ve decided to convert our cellar into a home bar. We’ve kind-of started already. We’ve managed to clear out all of the crap that was in there (I will be doing a progress post in the future so I will post photos there) and all that is left in there now is some of Mr Pie’s family’s belongings, which will hopefully be cleared soon.

    3. Continue with improving my health. Without even trying I’ve managed to lose 8.5lb since the end of March. Which doesn’t sound like much, but the only thing I have changed it that I’ve been walking Dinky to school and then to work around the corner rather than taking the bus on the school run. I can tell the difference already, and the walking wasn’t with the intention of losing weight, it was due to anxiety preventing me from wanting to travel by bus. So I’d like to continue improving my health.

    4. Keep fighting the anxiety. I recently went to the Doctors regarding my anxiety. I was having night terrors, waking up shaking, sweaty, paralysed, the lot. I get anxiety every day but normally battle through it with hyperventilation and lots of chewing gum. After a long chat with the Doctor I decided to give medication a try, a low dose of beta blocker has made me feel 1000000% better. I think just knowing that I’ve got the medication there is making me feel at ease. In 2 weeks I’ve only had to use it 3 times which I don’t think is bad at all!

    5. Blog more. Even only halfway down this first post back after months of not writing anything I feel good. Definitely need to blog more.

    So five things that I really don’t think is unachieveable, infact I’ve already started 3 of them, and I finally feel like there’s something to work towards or look forward to. I’ve had the above picture saved in my phone for months, and everytime I’ve felt a bit down looking at it has helped, even if I did nothing straight away, I do feel like I am always trying to better myself, which is never a bad thing!

    Has anyone else been in a similar situation? What did you do to pull yourself out of the dark place?

    Much love xx
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    Ouchies & Lots of Tears

    Part 1.

    Zak had to go for his preschool jabs yesterday.

    He normally gets way over excited about going to the Doctors, so I prepared for tears, by buying some smarties for after, and being ready for a clingy child.

    We were waiting to go in and he was zooming around where I was sat, buzzing to see the Doctor. We were called in, to a different room than normal, and he was still in high spirits.

    The nurse then sat him down and explained that he was going to have some “magic medicine” to make him big and strong, but we had to give it to him a little differently, one in each arm rather than the usual magic medicine he is used to.

    -He then got nervous, oh crap.

    She gave him his first injection and he let out a huge wail and clung onto me. He started sobbing and holding tighter and tighter. He’s generally not the type to properly cry, he will cry when he strops but this was different, he was frightened and in pain, which then led to me crying. The second one was even worse, Zak crying louder, me fighting back the tears and also fighting to keep him still. At least it was over. Poor Zak just cried into me whilst the nurse explained any side effects he might experience, then, she offered him a chocolate button and POOF! It was like there was a different child on my lap! He shoved it in his mouth and then got down, it was like nothing had ever happened!

    Part 2.

    My turn to see the Doctor. I’ve been wanting this appointment for a long time now, but as I was sat there, I felt like all of my problems were so minor, and I couldn’t think of what I needed to say. After seeing Zak like that just before, I suddenly didn’t care about me.

    I was still teary when I was called into my appointment. I just went for it and explained that I have been suffering quite badly with my depression and anxiety recently. I also mentioned that I think one of the main factors is because I have such low self esteem, and that I’ve been trying to lose weight, but not really got very far. Throughout all of this I was struggling to hold back the tears, I’m not sure if it was because I was still upset from seeing Zak cry and then unloading like that set me off again, or if it would have happened even if Zak hadn’t have had any jabs. We talked for a while, she gave me loads of booklets on healthy eating, all of these I already knew, but maybe hearing it and having information from my Doctor will help. Either way, she has booked me in for next month to re-weigh, and if there is no improvement, she spoke about the possibility of using weight loss tablets.

    As for my anxiety and depression, I explained that I’d rather not medicate, as I don’t like the way I feel on them, and I feel like they are just covering up the problem, rather than solving it. So she has signed me up to a refresher course for cognitive behavioural therapy, which is what I had just after having Zak, and it really helped. The only downside is the waiting list, but I think it will be worth it.
    In the meantime I’ve got to try my best to sort out my weight, and self esteem issues. So, like I have been trying to do all year, I’m going to work on myself, not just eat healthily to lose weight and look good, but to change my lifestyle and feel good.

    So now, at least for now, I’m going to try and name something that I like about myself each day, and try to name something new as often as I can. Mr Pie is constantly telling me how beautiful I am, and for those few seconds I believe it, so I’m going to try and get to a point where I believe it all of the time (or at least most of the tim, we all have fat and ugly days right?!). Here’s my first quote I’ve read today, to lift myself up.

    Much love xx



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