Most Effective Exercises to Tone up Your Body

exercise better yoga

If you have been dieting for a while, you will know that as you lose weight, you need to start toning up so that you can achieve some longed-for definition. This is certainly me! I don;t need to lose weight, but I desperately want to tone up! But, if you’ve been combining dieting with exercising to lose weight, it can difficult to swap your regime to one that works on toning alone. Toning your body isn’t just about the way you exercise, it is also about how you treat your body and the way you eat. Here are some ideas to help you tone your body while still staying on track with your diet….

Think About What You’re Eating

When you’re looking to tone your body, what you’re doing is trying to tighten up the muscles and skin so that your arms and legs get more defined. The problem that some people have with this is that they still try to stick to their low-calorie diet while attempting to tone. Your body and muscles need calories to work so that they can work efficiently. By sticking to a low-calorie diet, you are not giving your muscles enough fuel. It will not only take longer to tone your body, but the results won’t be as good as you are expecting. That doesn’t mean that you should eat everything, you should stick to a diet that is high in nutrients and vitamins, just increase your calorie limit.

Start Eating Better Carbs

If you’re just starting your diet, or you’ve now finished dieting, you need to start swapping your carbs for better ones. Instead of eating potatoes, white bread, and pasta, you should eat food like fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. It is also a good idea to start eating nuts, seeds, and avocados as they contain healthy fats. These types of food will give you the energy you need without adding anything negative to your diet. It is important to eat regularly, up to five or six meals a day, to keep your energy levels up, especially if you are exercising a lot.

Keep Up Your Protein Intake

Although you may be limiting certain foods because of your diet, it is important to maintain a high level of protein. If you can keep eating foods such as dairy and animal proteins, then you can maintain your muscles during your diet. If you don’t, then as well as losing weight, you will also lose muscle mass, which you don’t want to do when you are trying to tone up. If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, then there are many other alternatives to dairy and meat that also contain good proteins.

Drink Water

Your muscles, just like the rest of your body, are made from mostly water – 70-80 percent in fact. It can never be emphasised enough how important it is to stay hydrated, not just in normal circumstances, but also when dieting and toning up. Water is vital for helping your body develop new muscle, while dehydration can cause the muscle to break down. Don’t forget to always take water with you when you are exercising and continue to drink during the day as well. You should also try to avoid drinks that are high in caffeine such as tea, coffee, and soft drinks. The caffeine will bind to the water in your body as it passes through, so you will lose more water drinking caffeine than drinking any other drink.

Interval Training

If your usual weekly routine involves lots of cardio, then you might get better results for your muscles if you switch to interval training. With this type of exercise, you do short bursts of intensive exercise followed by a longer interval of slower training. If you can do this for two to three times a week, you will see that your muscles will tone up as well as getting the cardio workout you need. Some exercises such as Pilates, already do this slowing down and speeding up which is ideal for toning.

Yoga

When it comes to strengthening your muscles without excessive weights, there is nothing better than yoga. The exercise itself is not that demanding in a cardio way, but it can be extremely effective at toning your body and making you stronger. It’s especially good for people that can’t, or don’t enjoy intensive workouts or long periods of cardio. Hatha yoga is particularly good. It’s also something that you can do at home with a DVD or by watching Youtube! As with any exercise, even yoga, you should build up to it gradually, especially if you haven’t exercised for a while. I would love to get into yoga. I might give it another go this year.

Mix Up Your Workouts

While exercise is great for your body, if you want to get more from your workouts, then try to mix up the way you exercise. By trying to work more than one muscle group at a time, you will cause your body to release more hormones and burn calories for longer, even after your workout. It means that instead of doing two different workouts a day, just do one mixed workout once a day. It also has the benefit of burning calories faster and toning your body quicker.

Take Time to Rest

Just as important as exercising and eating healthily, is taking time to rest in between your workouts. Stress can cause the body to store more fat and diminish muscle, so try to do something you love to help relax you. It is also vital that you rest in between workouts so that your body can repair itself. If you don’t, you will pick up injuries that will prevent you from exercising for longer. Rest also includes sleep. The more sleep you get, the better it will be for your body. You repair your body in your sleep so the more hours in bed you get, the better the results will be at the end.

By doing these few things, you can start to tone up your body in the right way and get the best results from your workouts.

*Collaborative Post

Getting Girls into STEM with Pretty Curious by EDF Energy

I’ve been seeing the STEM campaign by EDF Energy on social media for a while and was initially surprised to learn that of all the people working in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) related jobs, only a small percentage were women. Years ago I would’ve thought that to be the case but not in this day and age surely? Maybe boys have been naturally drawn to those subjects in the past because of the generations before them, and girls go to the more arty type subjects at school. I don’t know. But I do know that unless schools and us as parents are actively trying to change these perceptions and teaching girls about the diverse roles these subjects can lead to… nothing will change.

pretty curious EDF Energy

Step forward EDF Energy! They decided to create their Pretty Curious campaign which has been running for a few years now and has been incredibly successful. It was set up to raise awareness and give young girls the opportunity to learn about the industries they could work in. Just one in four people working in core STEM roles in the UK are women and EDF Energy is reliant on STEM skills not only to deliver a low-carbon energy future but also to create smarter energy solutions. That’s why they they want to recruit from the widest talent pool possible including a new generation of STEM advocates.

Having a 12 year old daughter myself, I do actively encourage her to explore STEM subjects, especially technology which I know she’s interested in already, and Maths because she’s quite good at it (she doesn’t particularly like it though!). She loves making things and getting stuck in so when we were asked if we’d like to take part in this campaign and receive a Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit, my daughter was very excited!

EDF Energy have partnered up with Star Wars: The Last Jedi recently as they believe having a major movie on board which features two inspirational female lead characters with strong STEM skills… Rose and Rey, can encourage girls to look at STEM in a new light.

pretty curious edf energy star wars

pretty curious edf energy star wars

When the Droid Inventor Kit arrived, it was all I could do to keep my twin boys away from it! They just assumed it was for them and I guess therein lies the problem. Because the toy was a mechanical, construction robot thing, my boys immediately thought it had come for them. I would go so far as to say they were even a little shocked when I told them no, it was for their sister! They looked at each other in disbelief!

Why is that? It’s that stereotypical gender role argument… that boys usually have all the building toys and girls would have the creative toys or dolls etc. To be fair, being an R2-D2 I personally would never have bought something like this for my daughter and it DOES look like a boys toy, so it’s taught me something too right there! It’s silly though because there’s no reason why girls shouldn’t build and construct things…. they’re just as capable and enjoy it just as much!

This is why I love this campaign.

So, I made sure the boys took a back seat this time… they could sit and watch! The kit was fantastic. Created by Little Bits, who make customisable, remote control toys, comes with everything they need to make the Droid, including batteries!

The first thing to do is download the App. This provides all the instructions as well as the tools to controls your Droid once complete, there are paper ones too but my daughter was straight into the App!

star ward droid pretty curious edf energy

star ward droid pretty curious edf energy

As you can see there are a fair few parts and circuits to navigate but the step by step instructions were easy to follow. My daughter thoroughly enjoyed working out what to do all by herself. I literally didn’t have to help her once and she absolutely relished this.

pretty curious

pretty curious edf energy

pretty curious

pretty curious edf energy

The App that accompanies the Droid becomes the controller too… a very important partner! It comes with more than 16 different missions for the Droid to undertake so no need for kids to become bored! Again, my daughter set all this up by herself. Being able to work out how to put something like this together without help was so important. It meant she didn’t have to ask anyone else to do it, which would’ve meant a disconnection between her and the Droid. She couldn’t wait to try out the circuits she’d connected and built, before it was even completed!

droid inventor kit pretty curious edf energy

Once the main control part of the Droid had been assembled, it was then time to add the body. These toys have been designed so that you can create your own inventions too and not just have the R2-D2. This encourages kids to think outside the box and customise their Droids in as many different ways as their imaginations allow! They can even ADD to the mix by buying different Little Bits kits.

All that needed to be added then was the outer shell and all the stickers. She had fun with that! The R2-D2 was complete… and doesn’t he look amazing?

pretty curious edf energy droid inventor kit

My daughter thought the whole process of building the Droid was great! She discovered she possessed the necessary skills to work out the logistics, the problem solving, the coordination, the design, and that she could do all this with no help!

Once she had played around with the Droid for a while, taking him all over the house, controlling him with the App, it was time for my twins to finally have a go!

pretty curious

They loved it… especially all the noises it makes! R2-D2 has a voice and he uses it!

My daughter was also encouraged to watch a virtual reality video about three women who work for EDF Energy in three very different roles… a structural engineer who helped design The Shard, a Research Engineer for off shore windfarms and a Coder who also founded crowdfunding website Mode for Me! She was amazed by these jobs and realistically she may never have known about these roles had it not been for us taking part in this campaign. I’m sure they inspired her to consider her career options more carefully now she has seen what she could do! You can see the video yourself here.

IMG_3610

I would absolutely tell anyone with a daughter to head over to the EDF Energy website as there’s so much information on there about the Pretty Curious programme. The events they organise too are challenging girls creatively to experience those career possibilities available by pursuing STEM subjects at school.

Also on the website you’ll find……

Future Me avatar and quiz

Create a sharable and personalised avatar in a STEM-related career to picture yourself in a potential future role ranging from a biologist to an electrical engineer. If you’re not sure what the future could hold, take their easy personality quiz to see what career may be best suited to your interests.

Parents quiz

Be the first to take the new parents quiz and see what STEM-related career would best suit your child. Identify their strengths, plus discover information and guidance on pursuing a career in that particular role once you receive your results.

We have fully appreciated collaborating with EDF Energy on their brilliant #PrettyCurious campaign – I feel as though we have benefited a great deal from it and learned so much. I really hope you find it educational too.

Cocktail Masterclasses to combat Dry January!

cocktail masterclass k west hotel

With so many people taking part in Dry January and trying to detox the Christmas over indulgence, The Studio Bar at the K West Hotel & Spa in London’s Shepherd’s Bush has decided to start the year 2018 with a healthy dose of boozy debauchery instead!

What a great antidote to all the ‘New Year New Me’ resolutions! Move over green smoothies, let’s just start as we mean to go on!

The K West Hotel & Spa’s West London Celebrity hangout is inviting guests and visitors to take part in a 1.5 hour masterclass, led by the expert mixologists of Studio Bar. You can learn how to mix two of the most popular cocktails around… the Cosmopolitan and the Mojito!

How do you fancy playing bartender, getting to grips with the mixing and shaking and even pouring like a pro? Taste tests will also be required….. well, it would be rude not ti! By the end of the cocktail masterclass, guests will have stirred up a storm and be ready to impress with savvy mixology knowledge!

If you fancy giving this a go, and it DOES sounds like an incredibly fun event to have with your mates, The Cocktail Masterclass can be booked between 4pm and 7pm from Monday to Sunday. The classes take place in the understated surroundings of Studio Bar, which transforms from a laidback lounge in the day into a buzzing bar after nightfall, with top DJs playing sets from 10pm until 2am on Friday and Saturday nights.

Priced at £30 per person, the masterclass can be booked for groups of between 4 and 8 people. The package includes the 1.5 hour session and appetizing bar nibbles.

studio bar k west hotel

K West Hotel & Spa’s fun and vibrant ambience is fused with ultimate relaxation in a prime location. Situated in Shepherds Bush, the hotel is on the doorstep of Westfield shopping centre, the largest urban retail destination in Europe with over 240 outlets.  Fashionable areas such as Notting Hill, Portobello Road and Kensington are also just a short walk away.

 

Harry Potter, House Music and Family Time #littleloves

I’ve decided to join in with the #LittleLoves linky hosted over at Coffee Work Sleep Repeat as I’m hoping it will encourage me to write more about my life and things that I’m loving right now. Also to make me to reflect on the week I’ve had and what I should be thankful for too. I haven’t written many posts like this for a long time and I think my blog needs a bit more of the personal touch again!

It’s the first week of January and it’s been quite busy. Had a lovely New Year’s with the kids at my Dad’s then drove home just in time to get the kids back to school yesterday (Thursday). It was sooooo difficult getting up while it was still dark. The kids have had some very late nights over the Christmas break so I really need to get them back into their routine asap. Luckily it’s only a two day week – result!

Read

jodi picoult the pact

I’ve just finished this book which I enjoyed very much, The Pact by Jodi Picoult. I thought it was a good read and it kept me guessing until the end… about a suicide pact made by two young teenage lovers which goes wrong. Or does it? My sister in law gave it to me, along with quite a few more which I’m slowly getting through. I’ve only just started reading books again this past year. I’ve always thought I didn’t have enough time…. well, being a busy working mum of 4 with a blog it’s hardly surprising! I still find it difficult to spare the time, I have this mental battle with myself that if I have time to read then I have time to be getting on with more important tasks that need doing! Which is stupid because we all need a bit of ‘me’ time and we all need to relax at some point…. but it’s that mum guilt thing I guess!

Going forward, I’d like to read a few motivational/mumboss books… maybe I’ll find some inspiration from the #littleloves community :)

Heard

This week I found a box of my old, tatty, CD’s from when I used to go raving! It’s been great playing some of my old House Music really loud again. Tunes that I’d forgotten about, by some of my favourite DJ’s of the time (early to mid 90’s). I was a serious clubber and did the whole Ibiza thing back in it’s hey day… seems like another world away now… but it’s been lovely this week having the music take me back to an incredibly fun, carefree time of my life and I’ve been reminiscing lots!

WATCHED

harry potter movies films

Watched so much rubbish over Christmas…. can’t beat a bit of Crimbo telly! What I did end up watching though and didn’t really plan to because I have the whole set of films on DVD and also have them all recorded on my Tivo Box…. and that is Harry Potter! The whole 8 movies were on every day from Christmas to New Years Eve and although I didn’t catch the first two, we watched the rest. Teen watched a couple too (on the few nights he was in!) He grew up with Harry Potter, we went to see most of the films together at the cinema him and I so they have a special place in my heart.

Wore

loungewear asos

loungewear asos

Being as I’ve been one lazy mumma during the Christmas break and the first half of this week and lived in my comfies or pj’s (not a pretty picture!) so I’m thinking I might invest in some snazzy ‘loungewear’ – quite liking the above sets from ASOS but in all seriousness…. what even is loungewear? They just look like glorified pyjamas to me! Can you wear them out or are they just for indoors? I do like them though!

Made

I don’t make things, ever! I’m not at all crafty so I will never be showing anything here that I’ve actually made! But this week I’ve been making the effort to be more organised and plan. I’ve already made a start with my blog by adding the post planner but I’m looking for the perfect diary/planner to write in every day. I quite like the Happiness Planner but haven’t made my mind up yet. If you have any suggestions let me know…

And lastly…

Having family time and being with loved ones over the Christmas break has been wonderful. We really needed the time out, away from everything. Even though I was gutted to be coming home and back to reality, work and school, I feel the holidays have done me the world of good!

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat

WIN a Family Sized Annual Pass for Thorpe Park

thorpe park annual pass 2018

Even though Thorpe Park isn’t opening for the season for another couple of months, (boo), we are already thinking about Annual Passes for this year!

The Thorpe Park Resort Annual Pass is brilliant value for money…. you can literally pay for a day then go back for a year! As many times as you like! How good is that?

We love Thorpe Park, as you know if you read my blog regularly, and always make the most out of own annual passes. Especially having a teenager in the household… he’s old enough to go on his own now with friends, which he does quite often, as well as going with us and his younger siblings. Even though it’s aimed at the older child and adults with it’s huge array of big thrill rides, there’s still lots on offer for children of any age at Thorpe Park.

storm surge thorpe park

thorpe park family kids

Stealth, rollercoasters, thorpe park

Getting your hands on a Thorpe Park Annual Pass not only gets you through the doors as many times as you want, it has lots of other benefits too, including:

  • Invites to Exclusive Events
  • 20% Off Food and Beverages
  • 20% Off Retail
  • Up to 20% Off THORPE SHARK Hotel Stays
  • Discounts to bring friends throughout the year

But please note: Special Events (e.g. FRIGHT NIGHTS) will incur an extra charge.

For your chance to WIN a family sized annual pass to Thorpe Park which includes up to 5 passes, enter my fantastic competition now! Simply fill in the widget below…..

Good luck!

Mummy Endeavours – Win a Family Annual Pass for Thorpe Park

New Years Resolutions and How to Stick to Them

how to stick to new years resolutions
First of all, Happy New Year!

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful Christmas and celebrated the new year in which ever way which suits you at this moment in time!

Mine was spent indoors with a packet of biscuits and a cup of tea!

It’s a far cry from years gone by! New Years Eve used to be THE biggest night out for me and my mates when we were younger! Always searching for the best parties and club nights to go to. Everyone you knew would be out and it was would be bloody amazing! Some of my best times out have been on NYE!

I don’t think I’ve been out now for over 12 years on NYE but you know what? That’s just the way I like it! Simply being with my family, all warm and cosy watching the telly is good enough for me these days! This year, like previous years, I was at my Dad’s with my three youngest, my brother, his kids and just chilled.

And so…. 2018 begins. Have you made any new years resolutions? I actually CANNOT believe how fast the past year has flown. I’m sure we say that every year but 2017 seemed particularly fast!

My new years resolutions are pretty much the same as they always are. I wrote posts back in 2014 and 2016 on this and re-reading them they’re identical to what I’m thinking this time too… haha the usual suspects…. eating healthier, getting fit and generally being a bit more pro active with my ambitions! I suppose I made a good start with the getting fit this year… I joined a gym and did manage to go regularly up until the summer holidays where it all went a bit Pete Tong! I’m definitely eating better too but there’s much room for improvement there.

This year I have some big plans for a new little business I’m going to start up! More on that in a future post though!

Whether you’ve made specific resolutions/goals, the start of a new year is always the perfect time for reflection and to look forward. Most people have at least SOME things they’d like to achieve in the coming year. But how can we make sure we achieve our goals instead of letting them slip by the wayside?

Here’s a little list I’ve put together to help…..

1) They must be realistic

Even is the goal is big, be sure to break it down into smaller, more achievable stepping stones. That way, when you hit one, it will spur you on to the next and so on.

2)  Write out a plan

Writing your ‘stepping stones’ down on paper in a diary can give you the push you need. Again, don’t be unrealistic, give yourself time to get there. Not giving yourself enough time will only end in failure, which will knock your confidence and could result in you giving up.

3) Tell someone, or all your friends

Sometimes the only way to motivate ourselves is to make ourselves accountable. If you’ve told people what you want to achieve, it will make you more determined as you don’t want to look like you haven’t at least tried when they ask!

4) Make them short

Instead of making long term goals, make them short term instead. Kind of like Dry January. Giving up alcohol for a month sounds a lot more doable than giving up for a year!

5) Plan to keep your environment goal friendly

It’s no good planning to eat healthily if you’re still buying the same old tempting sweet treats to keep in the cupboards! Plan your meals for each day and don’t buy any extras! Or keep your running shoes by the door so you see them all the time if you plan to start running!

6) Focus on adding something more rather than taking away

Making resolutions where you add something to your life like joining a group/class or seeing certain people more is far easier than giving up things you enjoy, like alcohol or sugar!

7) Reward yourself

Allowing yourself a little treat after a certain amount of time is a good incentive. It could be buying yourself something new or doing something you love. Not allowing yourself to do these things until AFTER you have reached one of your milestones is a fantastic way to keep motivated!

Finally….

Believe in yourself

You can do it! Keep positive and believe you can achieve your goals. Rome wasn’t built in a day and certain resolutions like big lifestyle changes are incredibly difficult to maintain. Don’t give yourself a hard time if you fall off the track, get back on and try again!

Good luck!

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

All Aboard for Camp Bestival 2018

Camp Bestival 2018 first acts announces

The theme for next year’s Camp Bestival has been announced and it sounds totally brilliant!

Camp Bestival sets sail in 2018 so it’s going to be all about a life on the ocean waves! Everyone loves to dress up to the theme so this year I’ll be expecting to see lots of mermaids and pirates perhaps? Sailors and sea creatures? I bet there’ll be loads of pimped up trolleys in every shape and style of boat… can’t wait to see those!

The first line up has also been revealed for next year’s fantastic family festival, held at the beautiful Lulworth Castle, Dorset….. and it’s looking good!

camp bestival 2018 line up

 We absolutely love Camp Bestival… 2018 will be our 3rd year and it really is one of the highlights of the year! Taking place at the start of the summer holidays, it’s the perfect way to get away from school and work and let the kids run feral for a few days! THE best way to kick off a brilliant Summer!

My children talk about it all year!

Camp Bestival has won many awards and it’s easy to see why. It’s jam packed with amazing entertainment for kids and adults alike. From the stellar music acts through to the endless attractions for kids, some of which are truly magical, there’s literally SO much fun on offer we never get round to doing it all! But it’s not just the main events, it’s the little quirky touches that make this festival unmissable.

The Early Bird tickets for 2018 are on sale now with payment plans to suit all budgets. With an array of camping options from the ordinary… did you know that one step up from the basic camping option is the Camping Plus, which enables you to pre-book a camping plot? The showers and toilets are superior with this ticket too! There’s the Boutique Camping options, the Hotel Bell Tents and PodPads… these I would love to try next year!

We are already getting excited about it again and I would say if you’re thinking about going next year… DO IT! You’ll have the best time! Head over to check out the payment options now on the Camp Bestival website!

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