5 Reasons why Everyone Needs an Emergency Fund

5 reasons why everyone needs an emergency fund. Money savings

If you find yourself struggling every time you encounter a financial hurdle in your life, then it might be time to start considering the benefits of an emergency fund. An emergency fund can help to make sure that you’re capable of paying your bills, and shelling out cash for any unexpected expenses when problems naturally arise.

Without an emergency fund, you could open yourself up to countless potential problems including debt and discomfort. Here, we’ll look at just some of the reasons why everyone could benefit from having an emergency safety blanket in place.

Life is Unpredictable

The first, and most important reason why everyone needs an emergency fund is that no matter how good you are at budgeting, the truth is that we can’t prepare for everything. When you first begin to budget, you may find that you’re leaving out some of the essential expenses that you need to plan for, and an emergency fund can make sure that you’re ready to tackle those problems when they come up.

Just remember, as unplanned expenses do begin to emerge, you can write them down and adjust your budget accordingly to ensure that you won’t forget about them in the future. That doesn’t mean that you won’t need an emergency fund anymore, but it should ensure that you tap into it less frequently.

An Income Only Goes So Far

If you’re living alone, then the chances are you only have one source of income to rely on. Unfortunately, since you can’t turn to someone else for help when something goes wrong, you’ll find that you need even more help to ensure that you can fight back against potential problems that could arise.

Ideally, if you’re the sole income provider in your family, you’ll need to work on having at least a year’s worth of funds saved up. You can then build a larger emergency fund later if necessary. Remember, if you’re just starting a family, you might need to increase your emergency fund to take children into account.

Owning a Home is a Huge Commitment

If you own your own home, you’ll find that your need for an emergency fund is even more significant, as it’s up to you to pay for all the upkeep expenses and repairs that are necessary to keep your home in a livable condition.

As a homeowner, your emergency fund will give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have something to turn to if things go wrong and you need a little extra help. Remember, home repairs can be very expensive, as is something like replacing a boiler. The more you can save back to protect your home, the more you can rest assured that you will always have a comfortable place to live – no matter what hurdles might come your way.

You Need to Prepare for Major Issues

This follows on from the “life is unpredictable” comment. Even if nothing ever goes wrong with your home, and you keep hold of the same job for a number of years, you could still face major issues if you’re facing a serious medical problem or dental concern. Health issues aren’t only expensive, they can also mean that you end up having to take days, weeks, or even months away from work.

Whether you’re the sole provider for income in your household or not, a long time away from work is sure to have a negative impact on your quality of life. An emergency fund can help to soften the blow when you should be focusing on getting better.

Emergency Funds Help You Reach Your Goals

Finally, if you’re focusing on reaching an important financial goal, like starting your own business, or owning a property, your emergency fund will help to prevent you from dipping into your other savings when things go wrong. This should mean that you’re less likely to move backward on your goals instead of forwards.

Although your progress might slow down a little as you’ll need to replace your emergency funds too, you’ll be able to keep your savings untouched, so you don’t have to worry about losing track.

Though personal loans are available when you’re struggling to make ends meet, and you don’t have an emergency fund in place to help you overcome life’s little challenges, it’s often much better to budget some money aside for a rainy-day fund in case things go wrong. Borrowing options do exist, but they’ll only take you so far and can be very expensive to pay back.

 

 

*Collaborative Post
Photo by Philip Veater on Unsplash

The Crown, Foundation and Singing! #LittleLoves

I haven’t made the Little Loves linky over at Coffee Work Sleep the past few weeks, which is annoying as I made a pact with myself to join in every week! Oh well, life gets in the way sometimes and I seem to be juggling a lot of balls right now so I’m trying to not give myself too hard a time.

So what’s been happening these past few weeks… Well my Twins’ school had a major gas issue which meant they had to close for a day and a half one week. Luckily for me my work place is local and flexible so I could leave early to pick up the boys, even though we were only given an hour’s notice! I do wonder about parents who work further away or don’t have such understanding bosses! The following day was also my day off so it worked out fine for us and I loved spending an unexpected day at home with my boys!

Last week I was so ill with the flu. I was off work all week apart from Friday and spent it mostly in bed shivering or on the sofa. I felt very sorry for myself indeed. Back at work fully this week and it’s been nice to get properly dressed up and to feel human again!

Here’s my list of Little Loves this week…..

Read

I am always reading but normally it’s in bits on my phone and in a hurry! I’m constantly clicking through links on Twitter to read articles of interest… at the moment it’s usually business related content. I enjoy reading anything about start ups, entrepreneurs and marketing.

Another Twitter account I love right now is Blinkist. I could happily click through on every link they have on their account and their website magazine is good too! Blinkist is an App that summarises all the best nonfiction books, in a quick and easy to read format. Absolutely perfect for those that never have any time…. like most of us! I don’t have the App myself, I’m more than happy with reading the snippets it provides on Twitter!

I’m also a sucker for the celebrity gossipy news stories on SnapChat… spend way more time than I really should reading those!

blinkist

Watched

Being ill does have one perk… being able to watch loads of telly! I started, at long last, watching The Crown on Netflix! Yes I know I’m incredibly late to the party on this. I did start watching a while ago but the first one or two episodes I found difficult to get into. I wanted to give it another chance and I’m so glad I did! I’m way in now on episode seven and loving it!

the crown

Heard

I heard my boys practicing their lines for their school assembly and then heard them say them when I watched it ! They had a couple of lines each and it fills my heart with pure joy to see them saying their lines with confidence… a little quiet yes but up until last year they would hide in sharing assemblies they hated it so much, and they would NEVER have said a single word because of their shyness. I’m so proud of them.

Wore

Not much to report here! Wearing the same old stuff… could do with a shopping spree but I don’t really want to buy more Winter clothes and it’s too cold for Spring clothes just yet. Will wait another month then treat myself I think!

I’ve been wearing my new Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation recently. I’m not a massive fan of foundation and tend to just wear concealer but sometimes when I feel particularly pasty and my skin isn’t great, especially in the Winter, this foundation is amazing! It IS thick so you only need a small amount, which I apply with a brush, but it boasts the best coverage on the market and I would absolutely agree. I love it. It’s on the pricey side but in store they colour match it to your skin and it lasts ages. Think I might go for the lighter version next time to try!

estee lauder double wear

Made

I absolutely love singing, I was trained as a child and can often be heard singing very loud at home! I believe this to be totally normal but when my kids friends are round I sometimes forget myself and burst into song! The look on their faces is priceless… it’s like they think I’m completely bonkers! Either that  or I sound truly terrible haha! Anyway, now the kids are older I’ve decided to brush up on my (limited) skills and I’ve joined a singing class… just for fun. I’m naturally a shy person so this week when the first lesson was due, I wanted to pull out. I was nervous and didn’t want to go. But I made myself, and I’m so pleased I did. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

And lastly….

Half term at last woohoo! Been counting down the days since the kids went back to school after Christmas! Really looking forward to spending a week with my babies, staying cosy at home some days and having fun adventures on the rest!

Hope you have a great week!

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat

Win Tickets to The Baby Show

the baby show 2018

This March get ready to enjoy a fantastic shopping experience at the UK’s leading pregnancy and parenting event of the year.

The Baby Show, with MadeForMums, will be taking place from Friday 2nd until Sunday 4th March at the ExCeL London.

Find everything you need for bump, baby and you – with amazing offers, for three days only! The Show features over 200 exhibitors offering an unrivalled choice of top baby brands and products – including the UK’s widest range of buggies, pushchairs and car seats – all under one roof. There will also be innovative product launches and boutique, not-on-the-high-street brands.

Take advantage of one-to-one specialist advice, hundreds of discounts, plus the opportunity to try before you buy. It really is a must-attend event for those shopping for their new arrival – especially for first time parents! For those shopping for one of their biggest baby purchases – the trusty buggy, there’ll be some harder to find brands like Mutsy and Dubatti. Don’t forget to give them a test drive on the popular MadeForMums Buggy Testing Track so you can see what they feel like on different surfaces!

Get hands-on with each product and meet product experts from top brands where you can ask questions on how a product works so you can really check that it’s right for you and your family’s lifestyle. The show will have an enormous amount of exclusive show discounts, competitions and freebies to ensure you have your baby essentials shopping list all ticked off in no time!

the baby show 2018 excel london

Again there will be a wonderful line up of speakers on The Baby Show Stage including experts from the world of breastfeeding, sleep and nutrition. Infant researcher and founder of the Your Baby Can Learn series, Dr Bob Titzer, author and baby food expert, Annabel Karmel, breastfeeding expert, Vanessa Christie and sleeps specialists, Lucy Shrimpton and Chireal Shallow, along with a number of other top experts will be sharing their parenting know-how to make each visitor’s journey into parenthood just that bit easier!

If you are looking for more personal and tailored advice, you can benefit from private 15 minute appointments with The Baby Show Experts at the One To One With The Experts Area – you just need to book your appointment on the day.

Once you’ve shopped until you’ve dropped, don’t worry about all the carrying as you can take advantage of the free Emma’s Diary Collect-By-Car service where you can drop off all your purchases and continue until you’ve got a car full!

The Show will be joining forces with the NCT again to raise awareness of the help they provide to new and expectant parents. The NCT has become a lifeline to hundreds of thousands of parents over the past 60 years. They will have practitioners on hand throughout the show to offer information and raise awareness of the fantastic courses on offer and visitors can try out short taster sessions at the show!

It really is a must-attend event for those shopping for their new arrival – especially for first time parents!

We’ve teamed up with The Baby Show to give away two pairs of tickets, to two lucky winners, worth £40 each pair!

The Baby Show at London ExCeL is open from Friday 2nd – Sunday 4th March from 9:30am until 5.30pm each day. Standard on the door tickets are £20 and children under 14 go free! For more information please visit www.thebabyshow.co.uk.

To enter please follow the instructions on the Gleam widget below…

Good luck!

Mummy Endeavours – Win 2 pairs of tickets to The Baby Show

I’m a Merlin Annual Pass Ambassador for 2018!

Finding out that I’d been chosen to be a Merlin Annual Pass Ambassador for 2018 will probably be THE best news I hear regarding my blog this year!

Merlin annual pass ambassador

Excited just wasn’t the word! Being an Ambassador for Merlin Entertainment means I’ll be able to take my family… my four wonderful children, to ANY of the Merlin attractions ALL year with our complimentary Premium Annual Passes… then come back here and share all our adventures with you!

What an amazing opportunity and SUCH an honour!

Right now there is a massive Sale on for The Merlin Annual Passes which ends on 12th February! Owning one gives you 52 weeks of family fun to enjoy from only £109 per person!

A  Merlin Annual Pass opens the door to 32 magical worlds across the UK, so wherever you live, you’re guaranteed to have the ultimate passport to fun!

Merlin Entertainments own some of the UK’s biggest and best attractions, including some of our favourites that I’ve written about before, like to fabulous Thorpe Park, who’ve I’ve been an Ambassador for for the last couple of years!  It boasts some of the best rollercoasters all in one place in my opinion and is brilliant for older kids and adults looking for those extreme thrills! It also has the best Halloween event in Fright Nights…. a must visit for me and Teen every year!

stealth thorpe park roller coasters

Blackpool Tower is another favourite after we visited in 2016! Definitely going to go back this year… from the amazing view from the top of the Tower, to Afternoon Tea in the famous Ballroom, it has so many venues within a venue! I want to include Sea Life this year when we go as we ran out of time last time!

blackpool tower

In Spring last year we visited Sea Life London and Shrek’s Adventure. Sea Life I hadn’t visited for years and we’d been invited to check out their new Jellyfish exhibition which was amazing! We hadn’t been to Shrek before as it’s a relatively new attraction so it was great to experience that! It’s completely interactive and lots of fun! If you’re a Shrek fan you’ll LOVE it…. be prepared to get involved! ;)

Sealife london ocean invaders jellyfish

LegoLand is top of our hit list this year! It isn’t too far from us, yet we haven’t been anywhere near enough times. No reason really apart from maybe fact that my Twins haven’t been too keen on rides and theme parks until the last year or so. We visited last Summer for the first time with them and they loved it! I used to go all the time when Teen was younger and I couldn’t believe how much it’s grown in size since then! There’s so much to pack into a visit that we’re so happy we’ll be able to go lots this year!

legoland

That’s the beauty of the Annual Pass! Even if you don’t manage to get one in the sale, they are still so worth having! It means you can leisurely stroll around one of the attractions, taking your time and not rushing around trying to cram everything in, knowing you can always go back whenever you want with your Pass.

The Annual Pass gives you access to special benefits and discounts too and the Premium Pass even offers you discounted rates on the resort Hotels with their Holiday Club!

A couple of Merlin Attractions we haven’t got around to visiting before but always say we will, are Warwick CastleThe London Eye (can you believe that?!) and The London Dungeons. Definitely going to be visiting these this year and hopefully book some overnight stays too!

We stayed at Chessington World of Adventures a few years ago and the attention to details in the rooms is totally unreal! My children absolutely loved it! There’s a new addition at Chessington this year in the shape on Tiger Rock which opens on the 5th May… an exhilarating log flume ride, featuring a new innovative big cat enclosure with Europe’s first overhead trails!

tiger rock chessington new 2018

If you want to purchase your Merlin Annual Pass for 2018 in the sale, you’ve got until the 12th February to grab that bargain! Don’t miss out! But don’t worry if you miss it, they’re available to buy all year round at any of the Merlin attractions or online.

Visit the Merlin Annual Pass Website now!

*Disclosure I have been gifted Annual Passes this year to visit some Merlin attractions and share my experiences. I have not been paid to write this post. All words and opinions my own and honest.

An evening with La Soiree!

La Soiree theatre west end

I’d received a couple of emails about the show La Soiree… well the children’s version actually, La Petite Soiree, which by all accounts is a watered down version, and I thought it sounded great! I wondered if I could get a chance to take my kids to see it sometime before Christmas but with one thing or another, there just wasn’t time.

Then, on my return to work, a colleague mentioned the show in passing, telling us she’d booked to go and see it…. the adult version! She said she absolutely loved it and it had become a bit of a yearly ritual for her now, something she went to see with her husband and some friends! Kicking myself for not booking, a few days later I received an email to say the show was closing soon so I thought… Right… I MUST see the show before it closes for the season!

Which I did! The ADULT version. Last week I grabbed a friend and we headed out for an evening with La Soiree!

La Soiree is, in it’s own words, a ‘theatrical phenomenon’… I think I would go along with that to a degree! It’s definitely not the usual West End musical I normally prefer to go and see! It’s completely bonkers with lots of adult humour being thrown about, which I’ll go into a bit later! I would describe it as a cabaret night featuring a variety of acts such as circus skills, burlesque, singing and comedy!

la soiree aldwych theatre london west end

Aldwych Theatre is the venue for this crazy show. It’s the first time La Soiree has been in the West End and they are so incredibly excited about it! It’s origins come from the after hours club nights at the Edinburgh Fringe and they have taken it all over the world, even playing Glastonbury… before finally taking up residence in this beautiful theatre for the festive run!

On arrival, my friend and I were shown to our seats by one of the theatre Ushers who to my astonishment, I knew!  He attended the same dance school as my daughter and he was friends with my 19yr old son back when they were younger! How funny! He recognised me instantly and we had a lovely chat… he’s now an actor but works at the Aldwych Theatre in between jobs! Anyway, our allocated seats were ‘ringside’… keeping in with the circus theme! The stage itself is a circular platform in front of the actual theatre stage which now has tables and chairs on it. These are for the audience too. I had heard that there’s a fair amount of audience participation in the show, so I was guessing the people in the ringside seats (us) would be prime targets!

My little friend though, the Usher, had other ideas for us! He wanted to upgrade us to the ‘posh seats’ that were on the stage! Knowing the acts would be swapping between that stage and the circular stage I was slightly reluctant. We would DEFINITELY be in the firing line… but my friend was eager so up we went!

La soiree aldwych theatre london

There was a great atmosphere in the auditorium. I got the feeling that La Soiree was one of those shows that people returned to again and again with friends or work colleagues! Certainly, looking around us at there seemed to be a corporate feel to some of the groups of friends watching. Maybe because it was midweek, people catching the show after work!

The small group seated on the table next to us, who let’s just say were under the influence, were already up for whatever the night had in store for them! They’d been to see it a number of times and one of the women said she hoped we didn’t mind being dragged up by some of the acts because that definitely would happen! We had a giggle with them and nervously looked forward to the start of the show!

at the theatre la soiree london aldwych

Then the show began… first up was a male duo from India who were acrobats performing an ancient art of mallakhamb, which involved a large wooden pole and incredible strength and skill! They also wasted no time in dragging someone up to dance with them in between moves… that person was my friend haha! She loved it though dancing away centre stage!

la soiree

Next up was Montreal’s Cabaret Decandanse who performed a couple of songs throughout the show with puppets. Each one being slightly more risque than the last! The puppeteers were just as good as the puppets themselves… I couldn’t take my eyes of the male one!

la soiree aldwych

A comedy duo came on next and straight away I was nervous! They were all over the audience…. I knew there was going to be some joining in here! They too had a couple of stints in the show. Called Daredevil Chicken, their first act involved chewing bananas and spitting it out into each others mouths! Gross! Not for me that one! Later they had a member of audience up with the woman part of the duo. A young guy who she got dancing and generally looking a bit silly. He seemed to enjoy it though… I was cringing! Then the guy from the duo had his most private part flapping around later on… I mean, we were NOT expecting that but it WAS funny, my friend and I couldn’t stop laughing!

la soiree aldwych theatre

One fab act was The Incredible Hula Boy! Dancing and spinning hoops to yodeling music in a funny little Austrian costume…. he had the most unusual look about him, a cheeky boy face that we found mesmerising! Totally bizarre!

la soiree theatre london

There are many acts involved in an evening of La Soiree which are rotated on a nightly basis so we obviously only saw a handful of offerings on the night we went!

I enjoyed some of the more acrobatic acts, like this girl.. Katherine Arnold who spun around the auditorium in this hoop!

la soiree

And Leon and Klodi who danced a gorgeously sexy gymnastic routine.

la soiree leon and klodi

The Chilly Brothers were a fantastic human flying trapeze act which were highly impressive!

la soiree the chilly brothers

One act I can’t go without mentioning was Amy G, who played a few sets on the night too! One of the favourites, she’s a legend on the international cabaret scene. A comic powerhouse with a spectacular voice, she’s been likened to Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. She was great with the audience, including myself… yes I didn’t get away with it… she cornered me and sang to me in a provocative manor, as she did to quite a few others! It’s brilliant the way some people interact…. almost wanting the attention and she was happy to give it to them! Amy G has played in over 40 countries, 7 languages, and on La Soiree’s little red stage for over a decade. She belts out songs, roller skates and also gets quite kinky towards the end!

la soiree amy g west end theatre aldwych

A few more acts were involved on the night and the show seemed to run along at an almost dizzying speed! The mixture of acts of comedy, skill and sauciness made it a truly unique evening. We had a brilliant time watching La Soiree and I would recommend it to anyone! If you want to be more of a spectator it’s all good… you can sit anywhere in the auditorium as the acts only pick out people in close proximity to the stage. They also look for eye contact before choosing their ‘victims’ haha so they have an idea of who’s up for some fun! And believe me, there’s no shortage of willing participants!

Audiences have just over a week left to catch the show and it’s brand new family-friendly sister show, La Petite Soirée… which has all the fantastic acts but without the sauce! Both shows will be ending on 3 February 2018. For tickets, head over the La Soiree website for seating plans as prices do vary widely.

Big Brother, Oasis and Shiny Brogues #LittleLoves

So Week 3 of 2018 and I’m struggling with tiredness. I need to get to bed much earlier but even when I do I end up catching up with work or reading and then it’s always after midnight when I’m going to sleep! My alarm is set for 6.30am, giving me 6 hours if I’m lucky. Not enough sleep for me. I have snoozed for England this week! Today I pressed that snooze button for almost an hour, causing us all to rush around like crazy dudes trying to get ready and out of the house! My children are still asleep too by the way (lazy little so and so’s!) so I have to wake them and I hate doing that.

Anyway, hope you’ve all had a good week. Here is my list of Little Loves…..

Read

The forgetting time book books

I’ve started a new book…. The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin. I’m only a couple of chapters in but I’m already intrigued. It’s about a little boy who seems to remember his past life. It’s got some great reviews so hoping it will be a good one!

Watched

big brother tv show

It has to be Big Brother! I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea and I wouldn’t watch the Summer one with members of the public because it’s all got a bit silly now with most of them chasing fame! It’s also on for far too long… too much of a commitment to keep up, but I did use the love it in the early years when it was very much an experiment on human behaviour! The celebrity one is different as it’s only on for a few weeks and I can’t help but to be intrigued…. to discover the sides of the celebrities as we’ve never seen them before. Even the Z Listers, which most of them are, quite often turn out to be TV gold! Yes it’s all been done before but every housemate is different and it’s the element of surprise and unpredictability that fascinates me!

It’s been much better this year… a lot more civilised. The Year of the Woman has given us more intellectual conversations and has generally been more respectful. I pretty much like everyone in there, if there was any time I’d like to be in the Big Brother house it would be now, with those people! They all seem to be getting along reasonably well which is unusual. But of course, there’s still time for it all to unravel ;)

Can’t go without mentioning The Greatest Showman! Went to see it last weekend with my eldest two kids and OMG I loved it so much! Much better than I imagined. I’m a massive musical fan so it had to go a long way to impress me but it certainly did! And Hugh Jackman….. I love him!

Heard

I’ve been listening to Oasis again the past few weeks. I was a big fan back in the day and after watching that documentary that was on over Christmas… Supersonic… if you watched it, wasn’t it brilliant? Such an intimate look at the very start of their journey and a wonderful insight to the bands’ real personalities…. a real eye opener! The programme just made me want to listen to their albums again. I was there at Knebworth that Summer of 1996, a moment in Britpop history! Did you know that more than 2 and a half million people applied for tickets for the 2 Knebworth shows? Apparently they could’ve sold out at least 18 Knebworth shows instead of 2! Crazy! I feel very lucky to have been part of it… was one of the best days ever!

The sun was setting in the sky on this perfect, warm summer’s evening as they played my favourite song….

Wore

I’ve been wearing my Hotter shoes this week. I’ve had them over a year but the first time I wore them they gave me terrible blisters! I’d gone into London and my heels bled…. I was at an event in a hotel and they had to get me medical help! Hehe….. That’ll teach me to wear new shoes with bare feet! Understandably, it put me off wearing them, even though I did the old holding them over the steam of a boiling kettle to soften up the heels… I’ve still been scared of them! Well no more. Because I do actually love them….. Nice aren’t they? I’m liking them with black tights and a skirt and so far… no blisters!

IMG_3572

Made

I’m trying to make sure my twins are doing a bit more work at home. It’s not always easy as they just want to chill when they get home from school but I promised myself I would encourage them to read and do some fun maths. They still need to get their heads round the basics with maths and do struggle somewhat. We are back doing the Smartick Maths programme which I was lucky enough to review last year. They enjoyed it then and I felt as though they came on in leaps and bounds whilst on it so I’m super pleased to be using it again!

And Lastly

I had a lovely night out with a friend on Thursday as we headed to the theatre to see La Soiree! I will talk more about it next week and I’ll be writing up a review in the next day or two but WOW! It was the most bizarre show I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen loads! It was absolutely freezing on Thursday though and getting myself out on the train into London on a school night was a bit of a struggle, but so glad we went! We had a brilliant time! Made a mental note to do it more often!

Have a good week everyone…. looks like it’s going to be a cold one!

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat

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
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