Fitness Friday – My Winter Cycling Gear

It’s that time of year again where all of us fitness freaks have to dig out their winter kit, or buy new winter kit because you’ve either lost weight since last winter, or your body shape has changed entirely over the year. Normally, I would just stick to the stuff that I had last year, but I’ve actually gained a bit of weight across the year, and normally I’m not committed enough to take my exercising outside in the winter months. This year, I’ve decided to man up and actually continue to do some exercise and thus ended up buying some winter cycling gear to help me on my merry fitness way (and hopefully, lose that weight I’ve gained this year!)

DHB Softshell Jacket – I bought this with money that I received for my birthday, however, they don’t do the colour that I bought it in any more. I opted for the burgundy one because I love burgundy normally and it goes so beautifully with my bike. This jacket is so warm, it’s unbelievable. It’s a windstopper which is exactly what I wanted, but it’s thermal as well and is insanely fleecy inside. I’m very happy with my purchase. We went out in 2 degree weather and I was still perfectly warm!

Boardman Thermal Tights – what I absolutely love about these thermal tights is the reflective detailing on them which is so important with the dark, wintery nights setting in. Again, the tights are so warm, an excellent fit and the padding in them is superb (my bum was not sore in any way shape or form after a 30 mile test ride). The only downside to the tights is that they’re regular tights, they’re not bib tights. However, having said that, the waist band goes up high enough that you won’t need to worry about flashing your builders bum at any riders behind you or any passing cars!

I am still missing some cosy winter riding gloves, thermal base layers and overshoes (and socks for that matter), so if anyone has any recommendations then let me know!

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Weekend Wanders – Muckmedden Fair City Enduro

Boyfriend was taking part in  the Muckmedden Fair City Enduro in Perth on the 21st October and I went along with him to take photos of the competitors and to support him. Missed opportunity as I should have take a banner to try and embarrass him, hindsight is a wonderful thing!

I ended up having a picnic at the Deuchny Wood jump park, where two of the enduro stages passed by each other. I got a few photos of the competitors doing one of the larger jumps at the jump park. 

One of the unique things about the Fair City Enduro is that because it is the last enduro race before Halloween, the competitors are encouraged to dress up in fancy dress on the day. There were riders dressed as the Cookie Monster, a banana and the Doppler Effect! 

And of course, I witnessed a couple of crashes and even managed to capture one of them! The racer was okay! 
A great day was had by all, I enjoyed my wander through the woods and managed to walk ten miles! We then enjoyed pizza at a restaurant  called Duo which was delicious! 

Healthy Habits

Hello and welcome to another week of healthy habits!

How are we all doing on our health and fitness journey? I’m somewhat back on the bandwagon, although not fully, and I am back to enjoying trying to eat healthily and to get a little more exercise in my daily life. I’ve been back to focusing on trying to get my steps up every day, and be more active in daily life rather than focusing on how many runs/how far I’ve ran in the past month or so, and I’ve been doing quite well. I’m back to having my walks on my breaks at work and boyfriend and I are trying to be more active on our days off again. I’ve also been out on my mountain bike for the first time in forever, when me and boyfriend headed out to Kielder for the day. It was great, and it firmly re-established my love of cycling – both on and off road!

This fortnight, I’m setting myself a few different goals to try and achieve.

  1. Go on the turbo at least three times (or a real bike if wanted) – I’ve really lost my cycling mojo of late and I was really loving it in the summer, so I want to get back to that. And if that means sitting on the turbo, doing some pedalling with an episode of the Gilmore Girls on, then so be it. Winter requires thinking outside of the box.
  2. Eat more fruit – I was loving this during the summer, I’d spend my lunch break strolling around in the sunshine and munching some berries and yoghurt but somewhere along the autumnal way, this has stopped happening and unhealthy snacks have found their way back into my lunch boxes.
  3. Cut down on caffeine – I’m already back to decaff tea bags, but as we all know, I’m a Diet Coke addict, and I really want to get control over this one once and for all. It’s when I’m having a bad day at work, I automatically buy myself a bottle to cheer myself up and it’s not doing me any good! I’ve bought myself a couple bottles of squash to keep in my locker at work, so hopefully that will keep me satisfied if I get bored of water.
  4. Start saving – I want to feel like I’ve earned my fitness upgrades, so I’m going to start putting £1 away every time I do some form of exercise and then I should have the motivation to keep going. I can still get myself a lovely new pair of trainers/biking shoes/new helmet but I’ve earned it with all my exercise and then I’ll be more motivated by using the new equipment. It’s a win win!

What are your health and fitness goals for the next couple of weeks? I think my next post will be outlining my longterm goals again because I’ve not revisited them in a while!

Healthy Habits – I’ve Become Lazy

Guys, I’ve been terrible lately when it comes to writing my healthy habits blog posts and as a result, I’ve also been terrible with my healthy habits. My health and fitness has been lagging, so much so that on Friday past, I went out for a run for the first time in seven weeks.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

Let’s ignore the past and focus on the future and that is what I have been doing since last Friday. I’ve been out and being active, even if that is just a walk after work, it’s still better than nothing and I’ve been trying to eat a lot healthier too. I’m not setting myself any goals this week other than to be active, I’m trying to get myself out of my slump for the next week and then I’ll start posting goals and progress monitoring again and hopefully we shall be back on track!

Health and fitness motivation always seems harder in the darker months!

Healthy Habits

Welcome back to my healthy habits series! Despite the fact that it’s been so long, I’ve been doing not too badly on the healthy front but I could certainly use a kick up the bum to get me going in a higher gear. 


Boyfriend and I have been loving being back out on the bikes whenever the weather permits and I’ve bought some new running gear to try to keep me motivated (although I’ve not been out for a run this week!) 

Because we are in the middle of moving house and my life is hectic at the moment, this weeks healthy habits are going to be focused onorganisation! I really struggle with being organised and it does lead me to have some unhealthy habits developing!

1. Make lunch the night before – I do different shifts at work so I can be away at 5.45am and I don’t want to make lunch at 5am! I need to start making my lunch the night before so I stop spending money on crappy, unhealthy lunches! 

2. Take my bottle everywhere – I’m so bad for not taking my water bottle on days out and the spending money on fizzy juice instead. It’s unhealthy and it’s not helping me save money! 

3. Write a shopping list – this is something boyfriend and I are getting better at, we are writing down things we need for the week ahead and we are getting better at meal planning too. Keep doing it, Nicole!

That’s all I’m setting myself this week, I feel like I need to get my healthy eating on track again before I need to focus more on my fitness. I don’t know how but the eating has lapsed but I’m centring my attention on that for the moment! 

Fitness Friday

Has everyone been out enjoying the sunshine and warmth that’s been sweeping over the UK? Myself and boyfriend have been making the most of it with bike rides at the weekends and after work. Sunburn has been a bit of an issue on my part (but more on that later on). 

I’ve been on a mission this year to do 500 miles on the bike and I’m not doing terrible well, but I’ve been trying to get out more often and I’m trying to increase my mileage on each ride as well. This weekend, boyfriend and I set out for a 40 mile road ride to the beach and for some ice cream. Normally what happens when we go for a cycle is that we blast round the route before dying at home, but for the past few cycles we’ve been taking it slower but going further and further. The increasing distance is well worth it for ice cream and views like these:

My summer fitness goal is definitely to do a 50 mile cycle on the road bike! 

Health and fitness goals for this next week:

1. USE SUNCREAM – Nicole, you’re a red head, you burn, stop going out without suncream on, it’s really bad for you. 

2. Drink more water – it’s getting hotter so my drinking challenge is more important than ever

3. Get out on the bike at least once – I’m loving my road bike again now that the weather is improving, so I’m definitely going to get boyfriend out on the bike again. 

That’s all I’m setting for myself for this week, I’ve been quite healthy overall so I’m not putting too much pressure on myself at the moment. How are you getting on with your fitness goals? 

Fitness Friday

Hello! Me again! 

How are we all doing this week? I’ve had a good and bad week, as I’ve done lots and lots of steps everyday but I’ve eaten out a few times. Onwards and upwards though, next week can only be better. 

 I have been making it a habit to do laps of the retail park that I work in on my second break to get myself some fresh air and to get my steps up every day. I’ve found that this also encourages me to stop snacking on my second break and I tend to drink one bottle (750ml) of water as I walk around for a half hour. I’m not sure if this really counts as upping my exercise but it’s certainly more than I would do otherwise! 

  
My eating habits have been terrible this week, as I’ve eaten out a few times. But we’re all allowed our bad weeks right? I’m going to make more of an effort for the week ahead and I definitely won’t be having any more dinners out for the rest of the month. 

My boyfriend and I like to get out and about on our days off and whilst I was incredibly lazy on Saturday,  we went out for a countryside stroll on Sunday. It was beautiful, both weather wise and scenery and we walked over four miles without realising it! 

  
3 goals for the week ahead: 

-go out for 2 runs and one bike ride

– 10,000 steps every day (except day of cycle as this is nearly impossible) 

– eat two bits of fruit and veg every day (more if achievable)

What are your fitness goals for the week? I’m so happy to being back to drinking my water goals! 

Fitness Friday 

Wait, Nicole, do you realise you’ve done two fitness Friday posts in a row!? What is happening to you!? 

Last weekend me and my other half went adventuring and I thought I would share a few snaps and thoughts about it as well as showing myself and you lovely lot that I do actually do exercise and try to keep healthy!

  
Boyfriend and I headed out to walk around St Cuthbert’s cave and despite having done the walk before, we’d forgotten how beautiful the walk is! The cave in itself is stunning, it’s crazy to think that it’s entirely natural. All the holds it up is the hill surrounding it and a stone stump in the middle. 

 
Not only is the cave beautiful but the whole walk is lovely. Trudging through woodland and across the countryside with views of the sea in the distance. We wandered our way through the countryside chatting about nothing and everything, making plans for the future and reminiscing about the past and that is why I love walks so much. They’re a time to switch off and go back to good old communication, laughter and love. 

It’s one of my favourite places to go for a walk and it’s quite a walk too. It took Rory and I under two hours to walk it so it’s not terribly long but it certainly makes you feel like you’ve spent your day well! 
  
I’d highly recommend anyone who lives in the area or holidays in the area goes for a walk there. The cave is the perfect spot to stop for a picnic!

Fitness Friday 

So it’s the end of the month which means it’s time for a fitness update! 

I started the month off exceptionally well, with four runs in the first week and a half which I was very pleased about. I headed to Zumba with my sister and I had an absolute blast (I’d highly recommend giving it a go) and we’re booked to go to the class again next week!  

  
One thing I’ve been good at is getting out for walks at weekends and keeping active when I’m off! My boyfriend is very good at chumming me adventuring on the beach and coming out for walks and hikes with me whenever we are free together!

I’ve been back to eating quite healthily again (I say quite because I’ve had a few indulgences over the past few weeks) and I’m down to drinking one can of cola every second day. I’m hoping that in February I can improve a little more and start drinking a lot more water again because I’ve fallen behind on that part of my health goals. 

My goals for the upcoming month are: 

1. Drink at least one and a half litres of water a day – I carry my reusable Camelbak water bottle with me everywhere but I never seem to get through more than one bottle a day. So I’m upping my ante with this one this month with the aim of increasing it to two litres a day in March! 

2. Go to Zumba at least twice – I know this sounds stupid but it’s because I work shifts at work and they can range from a half past four finish to an eight o’clock finish. But I loved Zumba and o want to go to at least two of the classes this month (schedules at work allowing). 

3. Eat three meals a day – again, this sounds silly but it does make sense. Because I work at odd times, I eat at odd times of the day. If I’m on a late shift I’ll have breakfast at a normal time, have a snack before I start at 11.30, have lunch around 2, have a second lunch on my second break around about five and then I’ll have dinner when I go home! So I’m allowing myself breakfast at a normal time, lunch and dinner and I will be stopping the snack before work and replacing the second meal at work with a healthy snack! 

4. Bring homemade lunches – I’m being more frugal this year so I’m sticking to my lunches plan. I’ve become more lax towards the end of the month with bringing my own food and with buying a second lot of food for during my second break however that is stopping! 

5. Get out on the bike – I’ve been struggling to get back out on the bike on my own recently and it’s annoying me so I’m going to make the effort to get out on the bike at weekends and before work. It’s still a little too wet to be cycling into work but it’ll be getting lighter again as well! 

What are your fitness goals for this month? I’m approaching this year with a back to basics approach after the Christmas over indulgence! 

Fitness Friday – A Review

Well, so it’s my first post in 2016. How weird is this? Welcome to 2016 folks, here’s to a great year! 

What I thought I would do here is a little review of my fitness and set myself fitness goals for 2016. It’s so easy to get bogged down in the progress (losing weight) that you forget about the little things like actually being more active! 

My goals at the start of the year were to cycle 500 miles and the walk 3 million steps. Both of which I have done with flying colours, and both of which I am very, very proud of! I only reached 3 million steps in the middle of December but that’s what a challenge is for! I wanted to run 100 miles but I’ve failed miserably on that front, so we’ll set the same goal for 2016. 

  
I think the biggest thing I’ve taken away from 2015 is that fitness can be fun. Whilst going out running may well be a bit of a chore, I absolutely love it when I’m out. And I’m sure you all know how much I’ve fallen in love with road riding since my boyfriend gave me a road bike for my graduation. 

  
So here are my health and fitness goals for the upcoming year: 

1. Cycle 600 miles or more

2. Run 100 miles or more

3. Walk over 4 million steps (this will certainly be upping my walking game substantially!) 

4. Try a new form of exercise

5. Stop drinking Cola (I’m already trying to do this) 

6. Have at least ONE vegetarian day per week.

7. Exercise at least TWICE per week.

And continue to love getting fitter and healthier. As you guys know, it’s not about seeing the figure on the scale dropping for me, it’s about seeing myself progressing and continuing to push myself to get better and to be healthy. 

What are you guys planning to do this year in terms of health? We need to help each other out here, so let me know!