Staying active during COVID-19

Due to the current pandemic, it seems like most of us are staying indoors more. Although, I can still work from home, with my gym closed, I’ve started being less active than usual which is really affecting the way I feel and look. Can you relate to that?

Getting active can be challenging sometimes – especially now when we need to remember about socially distancing ourselves. We all know that exercise provides many mental and physical health benefits so I’ve decided to put a few suggestions of what you can do to enjoy your time outdoors, connecting with mother nature and implementing a healthy routine. This approach worked for me and I hope that it will also help you.

  1. Find an outdoor exercise routine that works for you. It’s been proven that exercising outdoors lowers blood pressure and reduces stress. Studies have also shown that physical activity outdoors lowers a person’s blood pressure and heart rate. Whether you decide to go for a run, walk or a bike ride – it’s free of charge and offers you a variation to your regular workout sessions at the gym. Also, if the weather is nice then you can exercise in the sunshine topping up your vitamin D levels. The most important thing though, is to do something that you enjoy so that it’s not a one off activity and you stick to it.
  2. Invest in some quality outdoor wear. Looking good makes us all feel better, doesn’t it? As I spend more time exploring outdoors, I’ve decided to get some quality outdoor clothing from Maier Sports which I could use for trekking, hiking and discovering the countryside. Firstly, I got my new outdoor ‘Tangstad’ jacket – I absolutely love this durable and sporty 3-layer jacket with reliable weather protection (it’s both waterproof and breathable). It provides a few great design features such as grown-on hood which can be stowed in collar, underarm ventilation and spacious pockets. AEB95DFF-EB43-4CF2-89C9-BD0A51904193Secondly, I’ve chosen some ‘Ophit’ outdoor tights. These are fabulous – they look like your regular leggings but they are made from robust stretch fabric which is both water-repellent and environmentally friendly (PFC-free finish). They also have a concealed side pocket and soft and smooth comfortable waist. What I like the most, is that they are quick-drying thanks to dryprotec. Lastly, I completed the look by getting ‘Sinnes Tec’ trekking blouse. It’s super comfortable and made using 4-way stretch for complete freedom of movement. As most of Maier Sports products, this stylish blouse has a great design including underarm ventilation, quick-drying feature due to dryprotec in addition to turn-up sun protection collar. Simply amazing!
    Check out some photos I took wearing them – don’t they all look stylish?
  3. Try something new. Find something new that you enjoy doing. I moved to Essex a year ago and I am now close to beautiful countryside. It’s always great to discover new places and I love exploring local seaside, hills and tracks. I’ve started hiking with my husband during the weekends and during the weekdays I am fitting in some short 30-min running sessions discovering my neighborhood streets and nearby parks. Many outdoor areas include benches allowing anyone to use them for a variety of resistance-training or post-workout stretching exercises.
  4. Find time that works for you and stick to it. I need to be honest here – when I had to commute to my office in London daily, I had a set routine but since the lock-down started I became a bit lazy. Waking up at 5:45a.m. previously was the norm but now I tend to stay in bed much longer. Nevertheless, I try to wake up at 7a.m. three times a week and go for a run. When I arrive back home, I am normally already fully awake, my endorphins are at their highest level and I am ready to rock!
  5. Set realistic goals. Try doing a challenge for 2/ 4/ 8 weeks and don’t forget to set milestones where you review your progress. Perhaps invest in a training diary to monitor your progress or get a fitness tracker which can monitor your physical activity.
  6. Don’t give up and enjoy it! My parents always told me that the key to success is to never give up. I am quite active and I am trying to be healthy however like all of us I have my weak points. I am a massive foodie and if I wasn’t working out I would probably be massive now! You need to be realistic with your goals and at the same time enjoy your life. I never say ‘no’ to a sticky toffee pudding but at the same time I know my limits and I try not to have it too often. Having a ‘cheat day’ once a week when you indulge or have a treat is OK as long as you stay on track and limit it.

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Pauline

Vitality Westminster Run-a healthy start of my birthday celebrations

This year I decided to start my birthday slightly different than usual so I entered to run the 2016 Vitality Westminster Mile that took place on Sunday 29 May 2016.

Throughout the day, there were a series of races for runners of all ages and abilities. 2 weeks before the race I received my final instruction booklet that included some basic information about the race as well as the IPICO Sports Tag. I attached the timing tag to my shoe before my run in order to record an accurate time I managed to complete my race in.

The Start line

My race started at 10:20 a.m.  and I ran it as a part of the Vitality wave ‘Pink’ team. As it was my birthday I decided to wear something slightly more glamorous than my regular gym attire. The Vitality Westminster Mile course started on The Mall and headed towards Admiralty Arch before a right turn into Horse Guards Road following the perimeter of St James’s Park. The course then turned right again into Birdcage Walk. The second half of the race took me past Wellington Barracks before the final right turn into Spur Road and the Finish Line in front of Buckingham Palace.

The Finish line

The race Finish Line was on Spur Road, facing the magnificent Buckingham Palace. Once I crossed the finish Line, one of the marshals removed my timing tag from my shoe. I then received a goody bag containing my medal and some nutritional items before I returned to my fiancée.

Overall experience:

I decided that I want to lead a more active lifestyle back in April and this event was definitely a ‘healthy’ start of my birthday celebrations. I run a mile in 7:37 and I was second in my age group so not a bad result 😉 Following on from this experience I am now committed to run a 5k in a few months’ time. Who knows, maybe I will run a marathon one day!

Hope you enjoyed reading this post!

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