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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Just because depression isn’t visible, doesn’t mean it’s not there.

Depression is something that the majority of us will suffer with at some point in our lives. Whether we realize it or not. It comes in different ways for all of us. Some of us just think we’re feeling a little low. Some of us feel like life isn’t worth living anymore.

My experience.

When I first went in about my mental health, the Doctor wasn’t sure whether I was confusing depression with anxiety. Now I look back on it, maybe at the time I was, but I’ve definitely had an element of depression.

I battled for a very long time with my mental health, and I was stubborn enough to not accept the help and let the Doctor prescribe me medication. I was scared I’d be on it for life and become addicted.

A colleague of mine at the time managed to convince me to try it because I’d got to the point where I was nervous about even answering the phone. I was pushing everyone that cares about me away by not talking about my feelings because I felt like it’d just be a burden on them. They did everything I did, worked hard, looked after the children etc. So why couldn’t I do that?

My plan of action.

I finally took the plunge and went to the Doctor asking for medication. I was already on propranolol for my anxiety but that didn’t touch my mood. When I finally gave in I just sat there and sobbed, rambling onto the Doctor about everything that’s built up for me. I felt stupid. So many people in the world are going through so much worse than I am.

I did, however, feel better for just letting it out. The Doctor prescribed me a low dose of sertraline, as what I was feeling clearly wasn’t just my anxiety.

I went back after 2 weeks for a review of my mood. To be honest, in that short space of time I didn’t really see an improvement, apart from the fact that it had helped my anxiety issues slightly!

Within a month of that, I felt like a totally new person. I was no longer crying every day or breaking down over the smallest of things. My patience had improved when it comes to Dinky and his challenging behaviors. Most importantly, I was actually able to smile again.

How do I get a diagnosis for depression?

It’s not something that the Doctor will just diagnose straight away, especially if you’ve not had any past history of mental health. The Doctor will likely prescribe you some antidepressants and ask you come back after a few weeks to check your mood. The Doctor may even refer you to see a mental health worker if you really don’t want to take medication for your depression.

I’m not saying medication is the way forward to cure depression because it isn’t the case for some people. I’m just saying it helped me and still is. I hope to come off of my medication soon.

If you feel like you may be suffering from depression, please go and see your Doctor. It doesn’t mean you’re weak. In fact, it means the opposite. You’ve got the strength to go and tell someone that actually, you’re really not doing okay and need some help. There is nothing wrong with that. Just because depression isn’t visible, it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

Useful links

Here are some links to find out more about depression, take a mood test, and how you can get the best help for you.

Moodzone

NHS Choices

How To Cope With Anxiety

Please remember that you’re never alone in this. I believe that you can get through this.

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Miss Pork Pie’s Make Up – Collection Mulberry Burst Lipstick Review

I never used to be that interested in lipstick, but over the last few months, since I decided to buy MUA totally nude lipstick I haven’t stopped wearing it! I feel totally wrong going out without something on my lips, kind of like many of us feel if we leave the house without mascara!?

This time I decided to go for a bold colour, something that would stand out a bit more. I went for Mulberry Blast by Collection. As you can see, it’s going to make much more of a statement than my nude lippy!

Price wise I think it’s very reasonable, it cost me only £2.98 from Boots and it’s also currently in the 3 for 2 offer, the cheapest item being free. I didn’t go for that deal this time, but I certainly plan on going back to take advantage of it!

The lipstick claims to be long lasting, and I was quite dubious as I always somehow manage to wear through my lipstick all of the time. I was pleasantly surprised. It lasted about 2 hours before having to touch it up, and in that time I had eaten and drank too so I agree with the long lasting claims!

It’s a nicely textured lipstick, how you’d imagine it to be really, it glides on easily and feels nice when you rub your lips together. I did find that I had to apply it quite liberally though, as the colour didn’t hide my natural lip colour straight away.

Over all I am really happy that I bought this lipstick, and I have already gained so much use from it! For that kind of price you really can’t complain!

Has anyone else tried the Collection long lasting stay range? What did you think?

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10 Things That Make Me Happy

Thank you to Rachel over at Coffee, Cake, Kids for tagging me in this post thread to take part!

As we have all seen on the news lately there’s been awful terrorist attacks in Manchester and London and I think that we all need to appreciate how lucky we are to have been safe from these terrible events. My heart goes out to all of the families and friends of the victims of these attacks.

This is why when Rachel tagged me in this, I thought it was a great time to reflect on 10 things that make me happy. Even when life seems a bit shitty, and it feels like the whole world is on your shoulders, I think we should all take the time to think about things that we are grateful for. So here is my 10 things that make me happy!

1. Blogging

This one may seem incredibly obvious but over the last few months, blogging has become a big part of my life again. I have met some of the loveliest people through blogging and had so many great opportunities too. I’ve had the chance to review items that I would never even have thought about trying and some that I’ve loved for many years too. I’ve also managed to start monetizing my blog, and I am now writing full time. That’s something I didn’t think I’d be able to do for years.

2. Dinky’s Smile

As you may already know, Dinky has autism. Since about the age of two, we have noticed and have been trying to get an official diagnosis so that we can get him the best help possible to help him thrive in life. I know for a fact he finds every single day a struggle, he knows that he isn’t like some of the other children at his school. Every morning we really find it hard to get him to school happily, it’s very rare that he goes in without any sort of panic attack. So those times where I do get to see my boy’s amazing smile, I absolutely love it. It melts my heart to know that at that moment he’s not worrying about anything and that I made that smile happen.

3. Mr. Pie

This is going to be corny as hell but I honestly don’t know where I’d be without him. He has supported me through the worst anxiety of my life, through stresses of home and work and also he is still supporting me as I’m taking the leap and becoming a full-time writer. He makes me smile daily, he’s my best friend and my soul mate. He is an incredible step-father to Dinky and they both adore each other (even though I know they wind each other up sometimes too). I doubt Mr. Pie will read this but I love you!

4. Vodka

Come on, you had to know this one was coming? It’s not an essential part of my life, but when I’ve had a rough day there’s nothing I love more than kicking back with a nice cold vodka and lemonade (or two) (okay three).

5. Gaming

GEEK ALERT!! I have loved gaming pretty much my entire life, but for around 8 years (oh my, that’s a bit bad!) I have loved World of Warcraft. I have also met some of the best people I know on the game, including my best blogging buddy Zara from Mojo Blogs who was pregnant at the same time that I was, and they were born literally days apart! I’ve gone back and forth with the game, playing whenever I can. I’ll never be as into it as I used to be before I had Dinky, but I still enjoy logging on and letting it take me away for a few hours.

6. Movies

Mr. Pie is a massive film fanatic, and since we have been together he has shown me literally hundreds of films and still manages to name and describe films I’ve never even heard of. I love it when we watch a movie together, it’s our time to chill out together, get cozy and watch a good film. Plus, there’s nothing better than lying there with your loved one after a long day!

7. The plan that myself and Mr. Pie have for life

We’ve been together for almost four years now and we’re constantly getting comments about marriage and more children. As much as we’d love to jump straight in and have all of these, we’re trying to do things the right way for us. We want to buy ourselves a nice home, build up some money and then go ahead and get married and have children. I just love the fact that we can both shrug off the comments because we know what our aim is and we will get there.

8. Cooking

I’ll admit, some days I really can’t be bothered to make much of an effort in our meal plans, but I do actually really enjoy cooking. Whenever I see one of those recipe videos floating around Facebook I can’t help but watch it, and then modify it in my head. When it actually comes to cooking, I love being creative and even changing the recipes up as I go along, and one thing I love even more is seeing Mr. Pie’s face when he tries my food. Any compliment from him is a big one in my eyes considering he is a chef.

9. Our car

We haven’t had much luck with cars over the last three years, but I have loved each and every one of them. At the moment we have my Dad’s old Freelander and I absolutely adore it. It looks beefy, it drives incredibly and it’s also something that makes Dinky smile. Even though the car isn’t an absolute necessity for us, I certainly do miss having one when we don’t. Having that freedom there to just jump in the car and go somewhere is amazing, and of course, it makes life 10x easier with shopping and school runs!

10. My life

It took me ages to think about this final one because I wanted to make it a good one. I was sat there thinking about what I appreciate and I realized that I hadn’t even listed the most important one, the whole reason I started writing this post, I’m grateful and happy with my life. I may have 3458345 things to groan about certain things that are going on in my life, but in general, I have a great life, an amazing partner, an incredibly loving, intelligent and funny son, supportive family, food on the table and a roof over my head.

I nominate Katie Shacklock over at The Perfect Juggler to give us her top 10 things that make her happy!

 

 

 

 




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Why I am giving up Coca Cola and why I think you should too!

Anyone that has met me for more than ten minutes will know that I absolutely adore coke. For about 5 years I’ve had a 1-litre bottle a day at least and it’s never really affected my health. Or so I thought.

Recently I’ve got into the mindset that I need to sort my health out, and not with fad diets or magic pills that will make me lose 10 dress sizes in a week. We all know they’re bullshit. I’ve been looking into food that will benefit me and any ailments I do suffer with so that I can improve my health over time and actually stand a chance of sticking with it.

For two weeks I documented everything I consumed, including drinks and I was mortified when I looked back on it to see how much coca cola I actually consume. Below is a table from Coca Cola‘s website with the “nutrition” information for a 1-litre bottle of normal Coca Cola. So with me consuming at least 1-litre a day, that would mean I am consuming at 420 calories just from Coke alone! For me to lose weight at a healthy rate I’m recommended to consume between 1500 and 2000 calories per day – nearly a quarter of that is was coke! To check the calories you should be consuming to either lose, gain or maintain weight, you can check your BMI and get the best information here.

Nutrition Facts
Not a significant source of calories from fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron.
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Serving Size: 12 fl oz (360 mL)
Servings Per Container about 3
Amount Per Serving
Calories 140
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Sodium 45mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 39g 13%
Sugars 39g
Protein 0g

After I got over the shock of how many calories I was consuming from Coke alone I decided to look into how else it was affecting my health. As we all know, Coke is an acidic drink, so not only does it raise the acidity in our stomachs but it raises the acidity in our whole bodies. In turn, this is one of the reasons we have breakouts or our already sore and dry skin doesn’t seem to go away. There’s another reason for me to quit right there. I’m constantly moaning and trying to look for the “cure” for my psoriasis when in fact, it’s what I do and don’t put into my body that makes it worse/better.

My teeth friggin hurt. This year I’ve had more trips to the dentist than I think I took in the whole of my childhood. I’ve never really noticed any problems with my teeth until now, but in the last year or so I’ve had a tooth removed, one tooth has broken and will need to be removed and also increased tooth sensitivity. I did some research on this and read that every time you take a sip, the effects of the sugar last for 20 minutes, so if you’re drinking it all day your teeth will be under constant attack. Admittedly this information was reflecting on all types of fizzy drinks, but the results are still awful. Here’s the full article here.

My weight has suffered a lot over the last 5 years. Now I’m not saying I eat perfectly because I’m far from that, but for example, if I was eating the recommended amount of calories for my weight, then I’d be consuming an extra 400 calories a day! I dread to think how much Coke has contributed to my weight gain over the years.

Another thing I worked out was how much money I have spent on Coke over the last 5 years. I would go for the 2 bottles for £3 deal, so 1-litre bottle a night would mean I’d have 7 bottles a week which would work out at £12. Times that by 52 would mean I’d spend £624 a year and times that by 5 would mean over the last 5 years I’ve spent at least a whopping £3120 on coke, and that’s not including drinks I’ve bought out. There’s me wondering why I can’t afford much. No, it’s not much per week if you really think about it but I could have done so much more with that money over time.

So to sum it up, coke is bad for your skin, your weight, your teeth and your bank balance. I’ve already forgotten what I liked about it!

 

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How To Cope With A Newly Discovered Food Intolerance

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A food intolerance can really put a dampener on your fun. The discomfort and bloating can have a significant effect on your quality of life, and some people find that they have to stop eating some of their favourite foods as a result. A food intolerance is generally caused by your body developing a difficulty when it comes to digesting certain types of food, and can even cause irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS. While it isn’t an allergy and isn’t fatal, it does take some special care to manage the symptoms.

 

Start to explore dietary alternatives

With a food intolerance, it’s recommended to try to remove that food from your diet almost completely, at least to start with. This means you might want to find some alternatives, especially if your intolerance is a prolific food type, such as lactose or gluten. Supermarkets and cafes are starting to really get on board with alternative foods these days, so there’s never been a better time to discover an intolerance (if there was ever a good time). You never know, paying more attention to your diet could even have some positive effects on your wellbeing. Explore your local supermarket “free from” shelves, and give your local hippy cafes a visit to find some of their smart alternative ideas. If you’re a keen cook, finding alternatives for your home cooking is a new way to experiment with undiscovered ingredients or world cuisines.

 

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Give your digestion a helping hand

Food intolerances can really take their toll on your digestive system, and you will probably experience some bloating and discomfort as a result, particularly if you’re also suffering from IBS. Using dietary supplements and probiotics can really give your digestion a boost and reduce some of the symptoms of flare-ups. The best probiotics for IBS can also work to help reduce symptoms of food intolerances, such as the gas, bloating, and pain, and just help to put your mind at ease. Even if you can’t cure it, treating the symptoms will give you some relief.

 

Don’t cut the food out altogether

It may come as a surprise, but once you’ve gone through the elimination process to discover once and for all which foodstuff is actually causing your problems, it is often recommended that you reintroduce that food to your diet, in tiny measurements. In some cases, this will enable your body to rebuild a tolerance to the food, so in time you’ll be able to go back to eating it in normal quantities again. This approach should only be undertaken very slowly and gently. Be sure to listen to your body, and not push it beyond comfortable limits – you could end up setting yourself back even further.
Dealing with a newly discovered food intolerance can be tricky, especially if it’s a foodstuff which is prolific, such as lactose or gluten. The symptoms such as discomfort and bloating which occur when you accidentally eat some can be alleviated by supplements and treatments, but avoidance is obviously the most successful means by which you can avoid flare-ups. Just remember, it’s not a death sentence, nor is it necessarily permanent.

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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.

Image credit https://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewcampbell1/15348704333

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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Miss Pork Pie’s Make Up – MUA totally nude lipstick review

I have always found it hard to find lipstick that actually looks good on me!

I have quite plump lips naturally and I’m very aware how much they stand out on their own, never mind with lippy on! I also have very red skin due to my psoriasis so I don’t really like wearing too much red, otherwise I end up looking like a tomato.

I managed to pick up a super sexy nude lippy last week from MUA. I went for the totally nude shade which really suits my skin colour.

Even better, it was £1.00! Who can argue at that?!

It’s fairly long lasting and glides on my lips so nicely. The coverage seems kind of thick at first but it’s such a velvety feeling on your lips that you get used to it!

I’ve worn in everyday since and felt more confident about wearing lipstick than I have ever felt.

Has anyone else got any make up bargains they’d like to share?

Much love xxx

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