Make 2018 Your Year!

The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | Family & Lifestyle

At this time every year, we all set fitness and lifestyle goals, that we are keen to realize. The good intentions in January, can often slip away without the right mental attitude and dedication to what you are trying to achieve. If you have goals you are determined to meet this year, make sure you set an achievable yet challenging plan. Whether it is a home-based session before the school run, or a run through Greenwich Park, make sure you have all the components to make your regimen successful. In addition to exercise, swapping the mince pies for low-carb salads will be essential to kick start your year. Keeping it up past January however, is where the real skill is involved.

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Photo by Laurencia Soesanto on Unsplash

Setting Out Your Fitness Plan For Success
Often in January, we can be left feeling lethargic, unhealthy and flabby. If you fell prey to one to many Proseccos during party season, you should be feeling enough motivation to kick start your fitness goals and get that body back into gear. However, after the initial few weeks, motivation can begin to wane and our plans can begin to falter. When this occurs, there is nothing better than seeking the help of others. Sure, your fitness plan is personal to you and it is up to you to achieve those goals. In difficult times though, the inspiration of others can be imperative to getting the job done in as quick a time as possible. Perhaps that extra push, or motivation can come from a personal trainer in the new year?

Remember the story of The Tortoise and The Hare? Well this is also pertinent to your training goals. Do not let your ambition get the better of you. If you over train early in your new fitness regime, this can have a detrimental effect on your overall aims. There is nothing worse than pushing yourself over the limit and being left recovering on the sofa, when all you want to do is be burning off those stubborn calories. Create a realistic, yet challenging fitness plan and stick to it.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family & Lifestyle Blogger The Importance Of Nutrition
When your body is working harder in the gym or on the road, the temptation to over-compensate with food can be high. Although it is important to fuel your body with the correct foods, ensure you are eating the right foods at the right time. Initially after your workout, fill the body with healthy proteins to help build muscle and keep your energy up. The night before a big run, fill up on complex carbs like pasta, so your body has the right energy to keep your plan on track.

To make sure you achieve your fitness goals this year, set a realistic yet challenging plan, seek inspiration and advice when your motivation is low and fuel your body correctly. If you follow these vital steps, you will achieve your goals in next to no time.


A contribution post by freelance writer, Jane Sandwood

A guide to helping your child develop a skincare routine (guest post)

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | London Family and Lifestyle Blogger

Looking after children’s skin is very important. For my own kids, they don’t go a day without cleansing with water and a face cloth and moisturising with shea butter/coconut oil whip that I made. I know that when the kids get older I’d have to step up their routine.

A contribution post by Jane Sandwood

Children can grow up so fast. One minute, they’re running around and scattering Lego on the floor, and the next thing you know, they’re spending lots of time in front of the mirror, worrying about their skin and hair. Throughout the changes that they’ll go through in life, it’s important to be there for them every step of the way, especially when it comes to hygiene and skincare.

According to a survey, 81% of young girls said that having clear and healthy skin was very important to them. However, because of lack of skincare knowledge, 45% of girls ages 12 to 14 are choosing to wear too much makeup to cover up their bad skin. It is important to let children know that applying too many layers of makeup can lead to greater skin problems and having a skincare routine is essential to one’s overall health. It’s never too early to let your child know some healthy skin habits, so follow these tips to help your child develop a skincare routine.

Teach your child about her skin type
Most children have healthy skin, but by the time they turn 11, some will experience having acne, oily skin, or even dry skin. Assess your child’s skin and teach him or her about her skin type. If you’re not certain, you can find out by doing this simple test to determine his or her skin type. Have your child wash her face with a mild cleanser and lukewarm water. After two hours, observe how the skin looks. If her skin looks tight, dull, and feels itchy, then she has dry skin. Oily skin looks and feels greasy, has large pores, and is prone to breakouts. Knowing about skin type helps you and your child find the right skincare products before he or she starts doing a regular skincare routine.

Cleanse well
The first thing that you need to teach your child is to cleanse his skin well. Proper cleansing can help to clear up acne and prevent breakouts, especially if your child has very oily skin Encourage him to do this at least twice a day—once in the morning before going to school, and once in the evening before bedtime. Your child should cleanse all the way up to the hairline and behind the ears every single time. Choose a mild, pH balanced, milky cleanser with little to no scent. Gentle face washes, hypoallergenic products, and cleansers with few synthetic ingredients are ideal for young skin.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | London Family and Lifestyle Blogger
Source: Unsplash

Moisturise
Applying moisturiser is an essential part of any skincare routine as it keeps the skin supple. Moreover, it is beneficial in improving the skin’s texture, and whether your child has oily or dry skin, it is crucial to use the right type of moisturiser to ensure the skin’s health. A gel-type moisturiser may be more suitable for oily skin, while dry skin will benefit from a lotion or cream formula.

Sun protection
Protecting one’s skin from the harmful rays of the sun should be a priority. Sunscreen prevents sunburn, premature ageing, and skin cancer, so kids, especially those who participate in outdoor sports, should make it a habit to use sunscreen every day. Let your child bring a small tube of sunscreen to school as well so he or she can reapply as needed.

Having good skincare habits at a young age can help a child have healthy skin that will benefit him as he gets older. Try these tips to help your child develop a skincare routine. In case of serious skin problems, consult your dermatologist.

Tea or Coffee: Which is best to support a healthy lifestyle?

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

There are many ways to help lead a healthy lifestyle and most people follow the ones that work best for them. The ways to do that include working on your diet, exercise and mental state, to become healthier and happier. The UK is well-known as a nation of tea drinkers – that’s black, breakfast type teas, rather than the fruity options preferred in other countries. And, while coffee is also a popular drink across the UK with around 70 million cups enjoyed every day, tea consumption is more than double with around 165 million cups consumed on a daily basis… but which is best for supporting a healthy lifestyle?

Tea?

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Photo by Drew Taylor on Unsplash

Tea has many benefits, including the fact that it is chock full of beneficial antioxidants. In most cases, tea usually contains more water than coffee (unless you’re among the few who take their coffee black). In particular, black tea is linked to improved health, from as far back as five thousand years. Green tea (including matcha) are also seen as a particularly healthy option and its ingredients are linked with weight loss and also as having an anti-depressant effect. Unlike green tea, matcha is made from whole tea leaves that has been grinded into a fine powder. Matcha can also be enjoyed with dairy, non-dairy, and nut milks.

Source: Pixabay

In addition, all types of teas that come in the bag form, are a doddle to make, so an easy option for a hot, refreshing beverage.

Coffee?

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Coffee, meanwhile, has in the past, been blamed for increasing stress, and bouts caffeine addiction. But, is it really as bad as some people say? Apparently not. Recent research shows that coffee consumption is a beneficial ingredient of a healthy lifestyle. That’s good news for the over 80% of households who buy coffee for the home, or the 80% who enjoy a café-made coffee! Specifically, a higher intake of coffee is associated with a lower risk of death. That’s a pretty important lifestyle issue! So, while taking the time to create a cup of coffee might take longer than your average refreshing cup of tea, it’s certainly worth the extra effort and equipment that’s needed.

And the Winner Is… Both!
Drinking either tea or coffee – or both – is a healthy option that will supply you with numerous benefits. Of course, try not to drink too much of either. After all, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

A diet that’s varied and full of different ingredients and flavours is the healthiest and most enjoyable kind of diet. It helps keep the food you eat and beverages you drink interesting and means you’re always finding new tastes and cooking styles to amaze your palate and assist you in your quest for a healthier lifestyle!

Photo by Alondra Olivas on Unsplash
Photo by Alondra Olivas on Unsplash

A contribution post by freelance writer, Jane Sandwood

How to build muscle without going to the gym…

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - The gym-free way to build muscle
Building muscle without going to the gym is possible.. you just need to know how!

I’m an avid fan for working out in the gym. I love the atmosphere and the free weights area is where you will usually find me… there and the functional fitness area of the gym. You’ll rarely find me on the cardio machines unless I’ve just stepped foot into the gym as I only do cardio at the start of my strength training to raise my heart rate and warm up my muscles. I’m not a cardio fan – give me the squat rack any day! 🙂

However the magical equation to building muscle is very (scientifically) simple… eat a balanced diet to feed your muscles and exercise using your body weight or weights (resistance or strength training) to build the muscle. Okay, there is a little more to this but these are your basic building blocks.

So without further ado, here are some tips by Jane Sandwood, a freelance writer at Totalshape.com on how you can build some muscle without stepping foot into the gym…

How to Maintain Fitness Goals Without a Gym

When you have fitness and health goals, going to the gym may be an integral aspect – or even the focus, of your routine. Gyms offer inspiration, motivation and come packed with various equipment that help you build and strengthen muscle. However, if you have a family, especially young kids, going to the gym regularly, or indeed at all, may not be a realistic option. To stay on track with your fitness journey and keep progressing towards your goals while being a busy parent, consider the following tips on how to build muscle and workout gym-free:

Utilise your own body weight

When you have kids, committing to daily or even weekly gym workouts can seem impossible, but muscle building and fitness never have to be sacrificed. There are plenty of in-home workouts that can be done without stepping outside that utilise your own bodyweight to offer an intense workout that builds and strengthens muscle. Yoga, often considered to be a relaxing and calming stretching routine, actually has many different poses that are considered strengthening exercises, working both your arm, leg and core muscles. Other options to include in your at-home workout routine include lunges, squats, push-ups, crunches, and planks. All of these use your own body’s weight to provide you with a challenging workout routine that will build and strengthen muscle.

The Greenwich Mummy Blogger - The gym-free way to build muscle
Photo by Dominik Wycislo on Unsplash

Invest in equipment

If going to the gym regularly or at all is not possible for you as a parent, consider investing in good quality equipment that will make your at-home workouts more challenging and productive. While exercises that utilise your own body weight are also effective, adding weights to lunges or squats, for example, will increase your strength and greatly speed up your muscle building goals. You can start off with some dumbbells of varying weights, a kettlebell, and some basic leg bands to add some diversity to your weight training. These options can all become staples of any good workout, so even if you choose to upgrade to fancier equipment in the future, you will always have a use for them.

The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | The gym-free way to build muscle
Turn your home into an effective mini gym with some functional equipment

Challenge yourself

Gyms offer inspiration and motivation. At home, you might need a little extra push to stay in the game and on track with your goals. Always make sure to challenge yourself and push yourself. When you find a workout routine that becomes much easier, don’t just settle. Instead, you should increase the weights, amount of repetitions, or both. Set goals for yourself based on your progress, and make sure to hold yourself accountable. This way, your at-home workouts will be just as productive, challenging, and results-oriented as any gym session!

For many parents, working out at home is the best way to ensure that they actually stay on track in terms of their fitness goals. While gyms of course come with many benefits, you can easily gym-ify your own home to make sure to build muscle, while remaining challenged. Incorporate the above steps to your workout routine and reap the benefits of at-home workouts!


A contribution post written exclusively for this blog by Jane Sandwood, a freelance writer at totalshape.com