Monthly Archives: January 2018

  1. Gym Bag Essentials: What Should You Pack for Your Next Workout?

    Take a look in your gym bag ? what's in it right now? If you don't put very much thought into what goes into your bag before every workout, chances are the answer is "not much." Perhaps it contains the clothes from your last workout and maybe your headphones, but is the rest just a bunch of empty space? Your bag has tonnes of pockets and storage spaces for a reason, and it can be a valuable asset in your efforts to improve your fitness. Rather than merely being an item you use to carry your spare clothes around, start to think of it as your workout toolbox.

    Your gym bag should be your number one resource for anything you might need during your workout. Why is it to so important to pack your bag with the essentials? You'll find that it allows you to stay more focused on your workout. When you're in the middle of a series of tough reps, you should zero in on your form and your breathing. When you need to think about where to get a drink of water or to find a snack, though, you're not going to remain as focused on your fitness. To help get you started, check out this quick guide to all the things you can pack into your gym bag next time.

    Your gym clothesgym bag essentials kit

    Okay, this one is obvious, but it's still worth considering. Using your gym bag to bring your clothes is clearly its intended purpose, but how you do it can make a difference. Consider using a mesh drawstring bag to keep everything together inside the bag. This way, there's no need to shift clothes around and dig for lost items.

    Everything goes into the bag which keeps things separate. If you want, you can even include a large zip-style plastic bag for stashing sweaty clothes after your session is over. Now is a good opportunity to add a towel or two as well.

    Use one larger

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  2. Choosing a Wetsuit – What to Look For

    22nd January 2018. Swimming outdoors is a unique activity because it provides so many more challenges for the athlete. Indoor pools are highly controlled environments, with the conditions created to be just right for competitive swimming. Outside, the weather doesn't always cooperate, the water can be smooth or choppy, and the water temperature fluctuates considerably as well. If you have plans to start practising your swimming in a lake or the ocean ? especially if you intend to train for a triathlon ? it's critical that you properly prepare before taking a plunge. In water that's below between 25 to 27 degrees Celsius, donning a wetsuit can keep you warm while also providing you with important benefits. When you swim in cold water, it can feel difficult to go through the motions to move forward. The cold can make your muscles feel like they've already contracted as much as they can. With a wetsuit, a thin layer of water remains trapped between the garment and your body. Natural body heat warms this water and insulates you from the colder temperatures around you. Combined with the added buoyancy the rubber suit provides and it can make swimming outdoors easier overall. Many triathlons even encourage the wearing of a wetsuit. With that in mind, what should you think about when you start shopping for a wetsuit? We can break it down into a few categories to take a closer look.


    Choose a general style of wetsuit first


    As you begin shopping for a wetsuit, one of the most important facts to keep in mind is that not all wetsuits exist for the same purpose. Some are meant for deep diving, for example, and are not as flexible as they must provide more warmth. Others work best for surfers and paddle boarders, but still don't deliver the optimum amount of flexibility. Triathlon and swimming wetsuits are their own category, and they emphasise freedom of motion. When wearing one of these suits, you should feel as though you have

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  3. Parkrun: What Is It and Why Is It Worth Your Attention?

    If there is one thing that is true about runners, it's that they're intelligent about their exercise. For those who don't run, it's easy for the activity to seem gruelling, demanding, and the opposite of fun. Runners know it is a very difficult and challenging sport, and that there will always be times when their daily run tests their desire to push forward. As a result, runners are always on the lookout for new and fun ways to make their exercise engaging. When participating is a pleasure, it's much easier to stay active and involved. If you've been looking for something new to change up the way you approach your running, why not think about something like the parkrun phenomenon?

    From marathons to holiday races and even endurance challenges, there's no shortage of organised ways to take part in running. What if instead of a corporation staging marathons or formal local clubs putting on events, you could participate in something done entirely by volunteers? What if it was just like showing up for a fun morning jog with your friends, but with an added social element? That's what parkrun is all about ? and it's why it's become one of the fastest growing athletic movements around the world in recent years. For those who aren't acquainted with the concept, let's start off by taking a closer look at how parkrun works.

    The parkrun process explained

    The basics are simple: every weekend, in parks and green spaces around the world, runners get together to take part in a group 2km or (traditionally) a 5-kilometre run. The event is entirely free to every participant, and it's also open to anyone who wants to show up and participate. From the most veteran runner to rank amateurs and total beginners, parkrun is for anyone who wants to test themselves in a fun and welcoming environment. Though it starts out humbly, parkrun today embraces technology while also relying on their all-volunteer staff.

    To participate, it's as easy as signing up online.

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  4. The Essential Kit for Winter Mountain Biking

    Winter is the least favourite time of year for many cyclists except for those who prefer taking their pursuits to the extreme. Road cyclists bundle up in as many layers as possible, strapping in for long-haul rides in the cold to keep their endurance up for the spring. No one wants to come out of the winter feeling like an out of shape mess ? but when the weather gets so cold, and snow might even end up on the ground, it can be difficult to motivate yourself to get out the door. That's especially so for mountain bikers, who must deal with even more challenging terrain while staying exposed to the elements.

    So, if you prefer to go off-road even when it might be icy out, what should you keep in mind? What does the essential kit and gear list look like for the average mountain biker? The good news is that the rules here aren't much different than they would be for road cyclists. In other words, if you already have your winter wardrobe squared away from previous years, it's probably all you'll need this year, too. For those who are new to mountain biking and tackling the trails in the wintertime, though, here's what you need to know.


    Kit out your bike first

    Before you can start thinking about what needs to come out of your winter wardrobe, don't forget that your bicycle will need to be "dressed" for the occasion as well. Changes in winter conditions mean that to keep riding safely, you'll need to make some tweaks to your bike. While you should seek out a more in-depth look at exactly what's necessary to make these adjustments, there are a few broad categories you'll need to consider.

    First, of course, are your tyres. Winter weather and different ground states can cause all kinds of problems.You'll probably want to opt for thicker tyres at a lower pressure to maintain the grip you expect. You'll want to use a winter lubricant on your chain and gearset, and consider giving your bike a fresh coat of wax to protect the frame from

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  5. The Top Fitness Trends to Watch For in 2018

    With the new year already in full swing, tonnes of people will be looking at their waistlines, thinking about their muscle mass, and saying: "Maybe I should do something about this." While not all resolution-makers will make it through to the end of the year, many others will stick with their plans. Others may not get serious about their health until later in the year, but one thing is for sure: 2018 will bring about new fads, new popular trends, and more new ways for us to exercise than ever.

    In years past, we've seen the rise of scientific fitness, the explosion of dance-based classes, and the resurgence of more traditional exercises such as running and cycling. While not every trend is worth keeping around, they offer us a valuable way to try new things ? and that's very important when it comes to staying engaged with your exercise. Otherwise, it's too easy to succumb to boredom and fall out of your routine. Some trends have staying power, too, such as dance fitness; once people try them out, it doesn't take long before everyone wants to experience the benefits. So, with all that in mind, let's break down what we can all expect to see holding the interest in the fitness world this year.

    • Meditation and App-based Exercise
    • Group Training
    • Virtual Reality
    • Recovery
    • Boxing
    • Bodyweight Training
    • Wearable Tech


    Meditation and app-based exercise is on the rise

    Mental wellness continues to become a bigger part of fitness pursuits as more people realise the value behind "mindful movement." While 2017 saw meditation in general breaking into the mainstream, expect to see more fitness regimens incorporating some meditation into their game plans.

    More and more apps are popping up for smartphones that encourage people to follow through with their guided meditation efforts. Some pros

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  6. The Importance of Cross Training: Why Every Runner Should Add Swimming into Their Schedule

    The only way to get better at running is to run more. That seems like a simple enough rule, right? It makes sense, too ? just like with any other sport or activity, practice is the only thing that really makes a difference. Is that always the case? In fact, it's not always so black and white. Improving at one sport may require you to spend time practising in another pursuit. This concept, called cross-training, is very important. In fact, every runner should consider adding cross-training elements into their regimen. Otherwise, you're not only missing out on an opportunity to improve, but you're losing out on many other benefits as well. Swimming is among the best sports for runners to engage in for cross-training. In fact, it's worth just about every runner's time to take a hard look at swimming and perhaps even spend some time in the pool. When you start splitting your energy between these two pursuits, you will be able to see gains you might not have unlocked otherwise. So why is it so important for runners to consider adding swimming into their weekly routine? Let's break it down and take a closer look.

    It helps reduce the chance of injury

    While running is an excellent activity for fitness, it can also be hard on the body in some ways. Our bodies didn't evolve to be suited to running on hard surfaces like concrete and asphalt. The impacts of our footfalls can be hard on our joints and ligaments, and over time, especially vigorous exercise can contribute to sports injuries often developed by runners. For this reason, it's so important to take a break from time to time.

    Switching to swimming laps rather than running miles can help take some of the pressure off your body, giving it time to bounce back. Because of the supportive nature of water, your joints don't feel nearly as much of an impact from swimming as they do from running. Combined with all the other benefits discussed below, this makes it a very attractive cross-training opportunity.

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  7. Don't Run Out of Fuel: Energising Your Body Pre and Post-Run

    11th January 2018.As an intensive cardio activity, running can burn tonnes of calories. For those trying to lose weight, that makes it an excellent exercise. For those who run for fun or as practice for competitions such as marathons, it sometimes means a struggle to stay on top of your daily energy needs. Running can take a lot out of you no matter your fitness level, though, and that's why eating correctly is so important. Without the right nutrition, you'll find yourself fatigued, weary all the time, and unable to perform at your peak ability when you run. No one enjoys that feeling of running out of steam far earlier into the day's run than you'd like. What's the solution? There is no one magic diet for runners to follow. Everyone's bodies are a little bit different, and nutritional needs can vary from person to person. However, we all feel the strain from burning off so much energy with every run. With that in mind, there are some strategies and certain types of foods that can help you stay on top of your needs. It's not just about what you eat after a hard day of running, either ? it's about what you eat beforehand as well. Where should you get started when fine-tuning your running diet?

    Find out where your baseline should be

    Understand the nutritional needs of your body as well as possible before you begin making changes to your diet. Generally speaking, if you only run a moderate amount, your calorie needs will be about in line with what you would eat normally. If you're running many miles every week, though, your needs will be much higher. In other words, unless you're hitting the pavement hard, you don't have a license to overindulge. Instead, it's all about taking in calories from good sources of healthy nutrients ? and in the right amounts. A good way to start is to determine your basal metabolic rate. That's how much energy you burn at rest, before exercise. Some online calculators

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  8. How to Choose the Right Saddle for Your Bicycle

    8th January 2018.When you first started to learn how to ride a bike, what was the most frustrating thing to deal with besides trying to balance? If you're like most people, the answer is something very basic: trying to sit comfortably! The bike saddle is not often a seat built strictly for comfort; its design incorporates a specific utility. That's not much of a problem when you only ride occasionally or strictly do so for fun. When you choose to start riding your bike for fitness or competition, though, the number of hours spent in the saddle climbs dramatically. That can often result in soreness, pain, and an unpleasant cycling experience. So how do you choose the right type of saddle, and how do you avoid problems once you've picked one? It's all about knowing what to look for and understanding how to match a saddle to the riding style you prefer. Mountain bikers will need a different saddle from road bikers, and those who compete heavily will need something else altogether. There are even differences between saddles made for men and those designed for women. Picking one might seem impossible, but if you keep a few important things in mind, you'll be on your way to a more comfortable ride in short order.

    Determine what you don't like about your current saddle

    If you're in the market for a new saddle, that probably means you're not satisfied with your current ride. Why not? The answer to how-to-choose-the-right-saddle-bike-shopthat question can have a substantial impact on every other decision you make in this process. Do you feel like you can't sit comfortably in any position, or do you find that you're frequently very sore after you ride? Perhaps the seat isn't wide enough ? or maybe it even feels

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  9. The Absolutely Essential Items for Any American Football Kit

    4th January 2017.Aside from its unique rules of play and the huge level of physicality involved, there is one thing that separates American football immediately from almost any other sport ? the visual element. It's hard to deny that the look of an American football player is an iconic one. From the smooth, rounded helmet and the imposing facemasks to the distinctive shape of their protective shoulder pads, the amount of protective gear makes every player look visually impressive. Whether you or a child you know is interested in playing this sport, pulling together the right kit is essential. Without the proper protection, you shouldn't even think about setting foot on the gridiron! What should you have on your shopping list when you head to the athletic store, though? At first glance, it's not always easy to tell just how many different components make up the American football kit. Once you start breaking it down, it quickly becomes apparent that there are many elements to every player's uniform. Almost all of them play some important role during the game. If you're thinking about trying out and you want to start gathering up your gear, here's what you'll need to play the game safely.

    The helmet and facemask, the most important items of all

    There's no getting around the fact that a player's head is the body part the most at risk during every game of American football. american-football-kit-helmetThat is why the helmet is one of the most essential elements of the kit. Combined with a facemask to keep hands away from the player's face, they form the most integral part of the uniform next to the shoulder pads. Facemasks can have a lot of variety, with different shapes and patterns available, but helmets follow a strict standard.

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