How to take fitness inspiration from Nike’s story

You can learn a lot of fitness lessons from Nike's story
Nike's story is a great inspiration for many fitness regimes
Photo by Aman Jakhar from Pexels

Way back in 1964, Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight had an idea. One that changed that would develop and change the world of sport and fitness as we know it.

A simple plan that would dominate for decades to come. That idea soon turned into a company Blue Ribbon Sports.

Blue Ribbon Sports became the brand Nike. I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of them.

The memoirs of Knight, detail the foundation of Nike as it’s known today (and are well worth a read) but also taught many lessons which can be applied in health and fitness today.

Take a risk once in a while

Adidas and Puma were the dominant sports brands of their day, but that didn’t stop Knight and Nike taking a risk. They had a good idea, but there was no guarantee that they were going to be successful. 

Your health is something you have to constantly keep to on top of. Simply put your health comes first, so if you don’t stay on top of it otherwise, you may soon notice changes. Eating right and stay fit are key to ensuring you are healthy in the long term. Take a leaf from Nike’s book and try something new to keep you fighting fit. There are so many activities you can try, many for free, or at a small cost. 

Perseverance in face of difficulty

Nike hasn’t always been the global giant it is today. They only set up Nike in today’s format after they cut ties with the company whose trainers they sold across America. Many times Knight suffered difficulty, but that didn’t let it but him back in his overall vision. 

Whilst you might be trying to set up a multibillion-dollar company, keeping on top of a healthy regime and staying fit can be set with many challenges. You may find weeks where you are not performing to your highest capabilities, an injury could set you back or even a bad week could lead you to eat unhealthily. 

Most people have setbacks, you are human after all.  Learning to deal with setbacks and applying the lessons into your daily life that will help you hit your goals.

Innovate to make your fitness fun

Nike’s original and best-selling product was their signature running shoes. They are still used and loved by millions across the world today, but they soon realised in order to be a truly global sporting brand they would need to branch out. 

If you get set in your routine, it isn’t necessarily a positive thing. It doesn’t have to be negative either but it can make you feel comfortable. That’s a dangerous precedent to set especially if you are trying to hit targets or you’ve set yourself goals. 

Try to mix up your workout to get the best results and add some variety now and again. There are many gyms with interactive gym workouts which offer virtual courses as you run or cycle, whilst there are many great fitness videos online you can try.  Innovate and you may well be rewarded. 

Don’t be put off by the work of others

Adidas and Puma were global giants, but that never once stopped Nike being intimidated by their work. It made them strive for greatness and continue to create the best products for their loyal customers. 

It can be off-putting to walk into a gym. It often seems that there are people with better bodies than you, working harder than you at certain exercises, even those people looking in the mirror whilst you can see yourself in the background.

Everyone works at different paces, lift different amounts of weights or loses weight at different rates. Go at your own pace and try to enjoy the work you are doing, and try not to compare yourself to others. At the end of the day, no one will care if the guy or girl before you lift 10kg more. 

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10 of the best fitness blogs that you simply have to follow

10 of the best must follow fitness blogs in 2018
Image credit: Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

Your health and fitness are among the most important areas, so you surely want the best advice and tips to get in shape or lose weight. There are so many blogs available, which can make it hard to work out the best places to visit to get the advice which will help you the most.

As fitness becomes increasingly popular the range of brands and blogs offering you advice which isn’t always helpful is rising.  I have decided to do all the hard work for you and rounded up 10 of the best fitness blogs which will help you focus on meeting your fitness goals, and motivate you to enjoy your workouts.

1. Nerd Fitness

This is simply a must follow blog if you are struggling to lose weight, get motivated or simply fed up with daily advice from fitness brands that don’t resonate with you.

Whether you’re a fan of Marvel or DC, Doctor Who or Spider-Man, this is a fantastic site for fans of comic book culture.

2. Fit Bottomed Girls

This blog is fantastic if you are struggling to get motivated or have trouble balancing your exercise and diet.

Instead of focusing on exercise tips and health kicks, it offers you advice on how to implement a healthier lifestyle which will have you feeling more confident in yourself.

3. MyFitnessPal Blog

One of my personal favourites, My FitnessPal’s blog offers a wide range of advice to help you drive towards your goals and achieve them.

The content covers an extensive range of topics from breakfasts to the best outdoor workouts. The videos also offer some great tips which aim to get you to in peak fitness condition.

4. The Fitnessista

Run by a busy mum, The Fitnessista is a fantastic blog for those of you who feel you haven’t got the time to fit in exercise or to cook healthy food during your day.

You’ll receive content on quick workouts, recipes and advice designed to help make your life simpler, healthier,  and allow you to spend more time with your family.

5. Born Fitness

Blog Fitness is the go-to blog if you have any questions regarding your fitness or your nutrition. The blog offers practical advice to help you make healthy decisions.

It covers a range of subjects from; vegetarian diets, to the amount of protein to eat to help you lose weight. Their range of experts will give you fantastic advice.

6. Runtastic

If you are a new runner, or simply looking to increase your cardio in a fun and effective way, Runtastic is the blog for you.

It offers a range of advice for novice runners to expert runners, as well as offering you practical fitness, nutritional and exercise advice.

7. Fit Bit 

Fit Bit has built a popular brand to help people meet their fitness goals and their blog is no different.

The blog provides you with a range of fantastic content on key health and fitness topics including; diet, exercise and daily practice health advice.

8. Spot Me Bro

If you are looking to improve your muscle tone or definition, bulk up or simply lose weight but don’t know where to start Spot Me Bro is the ideal blog for you.

The blog offers you a variety of workout advice which will help you to build muscle, as well as advice on the right foods to eat to keep strong and fit.

9. Travel Strong

If you are a regular traveller or frequent hotel visitor due to work but struggle to fit in your workout this is the perfect blog for you.

It offers you a variety of information on how to get inspired to workout whilst you aren’t at home. If you find it hard to get motivated whilst away this is the perfect blog for you.

10. Fitness on Toast

Fitness on Toast is a brilliant blog, founded a personal trainer (half English, half Swedish), which offers fantastic content on health, fitness and even travel.

If you are struggling to work out how to live a healthier lifestyle or simply want inspiration this is the ideal blog to help you strive to live healthier.

Why Bodycombat is the best workout

A trip to the gym isn’t the easiest, is it? Let’s be honest it’s a little like a visit to the dentist.

I can already hear you saying, what are you on about? The gym is so much better the dentist. Well, let me finish…

If you want to stay healthy, you need to visit the dentist to ensure your teeth are healthy. The principles for a trip to the gym are the same. You need to exercise to keep fit and stay healthy or lose weight. They have both have a variety of equipment, and many people hate them both. But, you should go. Once you’ve been you’ll feel better.

If a trip to the gym fills you with dread, fortunately, there are many great alternatives. Recently, I discovered a BodyCombat class, which didn’t involve any machines or staring at a dreaded clock. BodyCombat is the best workout if you want to keep fit without dreading going to the gym. See why it’s the ideal workout. 

A fun workout 

One of the most common issues I’ve found when trying to keep fit is staying motivated. After the third trip to the gym in a week, it can get a little boring. There’s only so many times you can get excited about sitting stationary on a bike.

BodyCombat is far from boring. A combination of mixed martial arts, it’s set to high intensity music which won’t give you the time to get bored. Routines are varied each week, and are rotated to stop them being boring. You’ll enjoy a fun workout, and one where you’ll be counting down the days until the next class.

A good way to burn calories 

Whether your class is thirty minutes or an hour, it’s an action packed time which involves a whole range of movement. You can burn up to 740 calories in a class. It’s a fantastic way to keep fit or lose weight, and a class where everyone is so focused on the moves no one will care if you do a move wrong!

You’ll be constantly on the go, practicing a variety of mixed martial arts moves. Don’t worry if you’ve never been to a class before. I was a beginner, and had no idea what to expect. It was difficult but you can go at your own pace.

A good way to release stress 

Inspired by a range of mixed martial arts, the basis behind the class is punching, defensive moves and kicks. Don’t worry you’ll only be punching and kicking the air. Unless you get too close to the person next to you that is!

An intense but fun class is the ideal way to enjoy a workout, and release any stress you may be feeling. After all what better way to release stress than imaginary kicking and punching your problems away.

A good workout for beginners and experienced alike 

As a novice to this class I was apprehensive as to what it would entail. I had nothing to worry about. The instructors quickly run down what the class involves. If you do it on a screen, it’s easy to follow too.

It’s a fantastic class for beginners and offers you a good workout. The better and fitter you get, the more you’ll get to enjoy it. Even if you’re an experienced it can be good as workouts change so you’re always kept on your toes.

A selection of good music to inspire you

Working out can be difficult, which is why music is fantastic to help you inspire to work harder. BodyCombat involves a range of fantastic music to help inspire as you enjoy the class.

The music involves high tempo beats which will push you when you think you can’t go anymore. It’s often music you wouldn’t necessarily hear on your playlist, which keeps you on your toes as you don’t become used to it.

The ideal Christmas presents for the fitness lovers in your life

5 great Christmas for your fitness loving friends

 

5 ideal Christmas presents for fitness lovers in your live

 

The holidays are fast approaching, meaning the marketing machines of the major brands will soon be working to convince you to buy their products.

The world of fitness is no different, with Christmas an ideal time to get the best gifts for your fitness-loving friends and family.

As soon as the holidays have ended the gyms hit the peak period of new membership, and fitness related gifts the ideal gifts to show your loved ones how much they mean to you.

Here are five ideal Christmas presents to buy the fitness lover in your life (or to treat yourself with).

1. A personalised gym kit bag

Unless you’re so rich you can afford to buy new clothes for each workout, the likelihood is you’ll need to carry your workout clothes somewhere. Kit bags are usually used for a long time, making them show signs of wear and tear. 

A personalised gym kit bag is a fantastic way for your loved one or yourself to carry gym clothes, and help to identify whose bag it is. 

The ideal gift to help your friends or family to store their gym kit, whilst doubling as a general bag for all their belongings in daily life. 

2. Health foam roller

Warmups and cooldowns are the most important elements of any workout, so ensuring they are done properly is vital to a good workout. They help to get you people into shape and also prevent any unnecessary injuries. 

A foam roller is a fantastic way to help properly keep your body healthy, whilst offering fantastic massaging capabilities for any niggling injuries. In the colder weather bodies are more susceptible to niggling injuries. 

They offer the ideal Christmas present for your fitness-loving friends and family to help them to prepare and end their workouts. 

3. Yoga Mat

In an increasingly busy world stress and mental health are becoming even more relevant in today’s society. 

4. Boxing Gloves

Whether in a gym, at home or with a personal trainer, boxing is one of the best ways to stay or get into shape. If you have any built up stress from work or home, it’s also a good way to channel the frustration into punching the pads. 

Boxing gloves are available in a range of sizes and shapes, at different costs depending on size and brands. Overall, they are relatively cheap making them the ideal Christmas gift for the fitness lover in your life.

You can’t go wrong with these boxing gloves from Reebok, providing the best way for your loved one to enjoy some more quality boxing related workouts. 

5. Running Shoes

During the hectic Christmas and New Year period where you may visit family and friends, a lot of the festivities focus around food and drinks. Most of the food is unhealthy, and it can be very easy to put on weight over the festive period.  

One of the best ways to get back into shape, and keep fit and healthy in the New Year is to get into running. There are so many positive benefits from running, and it has many proven mental health benefits.  

One of the most popular methods of exercise, there are multiple different running shoes for all different types of runners. From Nike to Asics, and Brooks Running to Mizuno, you’ll be able to find your loved one or yourself the ideal running shoes.  

5 fitness lessons you can take from Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones offers 5 fun fitness lessons
Game of Thrones has a set of 5 surprising fitness lessons
Image credit: Wikipedia

What on earth has one of the most popular television series and bookselling series got to do with keeping fit I hear you ask? Quite a lot as it turns out. 

Unlike the best selling author and HBO, I won’t be making you wait for an entirety to find out the answer.

For those of you who don’t know about Game of Thrones, you are seriously missing out. Action, fantasy and thrilling content aside there are many lessons you can learn from and use in your fitness regime. 

Here are 5 fitness lessons which you can take from the Game of Thrones. 

1. Dedication is key

Even if you’ve not yet seen Game of Thrones you’ll surely have heard of “The Mountain”. If you haven’t, seriously you need to google him.

An incredible specimen, he towers above most characters with his combination of pure muscle, and strength.

Whilst no one is expecting you to go and eat a whole load of protein or work on your different muscle groups for hours on end, there is a strong lesson that can be learned from him.

If you have a fitness goal or general life goal in your mind and you really want to hit it, focus all your energy and effort to meeting it and you’ll be rewarded.

2. Size doesn’t have to hold you back

Two of the most popular characters within the series, Arya Stark and Tyrion Lannister are also the shortest.

Tyrion is a dwarf, whilst Arya is below average height but that doesn’t hold them back. Throughout the series, they use their brains and smarts to get them out of many tight spots.

You may not be the tallest, skinniest or even the most muscular but that doesn’t have to stop you from reaching your fitness targets. As the famous saying goes

“No matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch”

 

3. Trust your instincts

A lot of the major episodes in Game of Thrones involve scenes characters who should have trusted their instincts more.

In some of the best episodes, such as The Red Wedding (without ruining it for you), if characters had believed in their gut instincts more they may not have been in certain situations.

In fitness, trusting your gut is important. When you are trying to keep fit, lose weight or add muscle, it can be tempting to workout on a consistent basis to help you reach your targets.

Your body is not a machine and we all have our good and bad days, so listen to your body and trust your instincts more. If it’s telling you to take a break or not to push yourself too hard it’s probably right.

4. You will have setbacks, it’s how you deal with them

One of the most consistent themes throughout the Game of Thrones is the major setbacks most of the characters have to deal with.

In the majority of cases, it’s usually the murder of the loved one (I’m painting a fantastic image of the series, I know).

Whilst getting into shape or keeping fit doesn’t involve murder (though it can feel like it at times), you may hit setbacks, which you’ll need to deal with.

When I suffered a slight strain, I forgot to heed this advice and ate unhealthily. We’re human after all, but this doesn’t mean we should let the setbacks such as injuries, bad workouts or harsh comments put you off.

5. Don’t let others opinions of you put you off your regime

Game of Thrones is, in reality, a fictional series with made-up characters, however, one aspect it offers is a real insight into a world where not everyone gets along.

The most commendable element for many characters including Bran, Sansa and Jon Snow is their ability to not be defined by others opinions of them.

If you are getting into a fitness routine, it can be difficult not to want to seek advice from family and friends but it isn’t always what you want to hear. It’s even worse if a stranger you don’t know judges you.

Instead of being worried by negative comments, focus on the positive changes and workouts you are doing and don’t let others define you.

Why you should skip fads and plan proper weight loss

Instead of taking part in fad diets, planned weight loss is more important
Keeping healthy should be more about planning weight loss and not fad diets
Image credit: Lisa Fotios from Pexels

Do you ever feel as if you could do with losing a few pounds so quickly pop onto Google (other search engines are available) to search for the best ways to lose weight?

If the answers yes, you’re not alone. I’ve tried the search and the range of answers available is staggering.

From health brands offering supplements, a range of diets such as 5:2 or Atkins or practices offering surgery it’s easy to become confused at which direction to take. The hard truth, in reality, they don’t work.

You may lose weight initially but over time if you aren’t careful you’ll put it back on. Instead of focusing on fads, you should avoid them and plan proper weight loss. Here are a few important tips to think about when trying to lose weight.

Focus on changing your lifestyle

Many major companies promise fantastic results from their products or fad diets, which in the long term aren’t very helpful.

Diets are a popular option for brands to sell their products but they simply don’t benefit you. If you want to lose weight and keep it off focusing on changing your lifestyle is important.

This will help you to control the foods you eat, exercise efficiently and effectively and allow you to live in a way that won’t let you put the weight back on. This requires discipline but the results longer term are much likely to be more positive.

It doesn’t mean you can’t ever unhealthy treats ever again, but just within reason.

Ensure you have a calorie deficit

A healthy diet involves a good balance between fitness and eating right. If you are trying to lose weight it’s important to make sure you have taken your desired weight into account.

In order to lose one pound, you need a deficit of around 3500 calories per week. An average man requires 2500, while the average woman requires 2000. There are numerous apps which offer you a way to track your weight.

My favourite is definitely MyFitnessPal, as it does all the hard work for you. You’ll be able to type in your details and work out how many calories you can eat per day and input your food and exercise.

Exercise properly

Eating right is an important part of any diet, but in order to get into good shape, exercise is still important.

The best exercises involve high-intensity work in a short period, so even if you can’t afford to go to the gym, there are apps you can download from home.

Nike Training Club and Couch to 5k are two fantastic apps to get you motivated. Many gyms also offer great classes such as spinning and BodyBalance which are good ways to keep fit and lose weight.

Time can often be an issue, so try to arrange 3-4 hours in your week to squeeze in good sessions. Remember to eat proper food as well.

Drink water before you eat

Hunger often comes when you less expect it, and may even occur when you are simply bored, tired. I’ve fallen into the trap thinking I’m hungry before, so head straight to the fridge.

It’s tempting to combat boredom with food. Drinking water before you eat helps to make you fuller and has been shown to help it easier for you to lose weight.

Ensuring you drink enough water on a daily basis is vital to keep you healthy.

Why BodyBalance is a great class for beginners

BodyBalance is a great introduction class for beginners to fitness
BodyBalance offers a great class for beginners to fitness
Photo by Hillary Fox from Pexels

 

I’m off to BodyBalance, do you want to come?

A combination of yoga, pilates and Tai chi, having not been to the gym for a few days I jumped at the opportunity to try something new when my sister said she was going to her weekly class. 

My gym offers the traditional gym equipment, along with classes such as spinning, boxercise and many more. Having never done any real yoga, Tai chi or pilates I went along thinking it would be easy. 

I couldn’t have been more wrong. Here’s what I learned from my first experience and why it’s a great exercise for beginners.

It’s a good class for beginners  

As a total novice at BodyBalance, I didn’t have a clue what to expect. I hadn’t even read up about it so I was going in without a clue. Initially, I thought it would be easy but I was very wrong. 

Yes, it was hard but it is a fantastic workout for beginners and doesn’t involve high-intensity workouts with other sweaty people, which can be scary if you haven’t been to a class before. You can easily follow the exercises the instructors are doing, and even though you may not have a clue what the “Downward Dog” is you’ll be shown or can easily copy the exercises. 

It’s great for the mind 

After a stressful day, the last thing on your mind is going to the gym. You’ve already had a crap day so why on earth would you want to drive all the way to the gym? In actual fact, going to the gym is one of many ways to help you reset after a bad day. 

BodyBalance involves completing a range of exercises, which focus on your breathing and help you relax. If you are feeling stressed, anxious or simply annoyed at your boss a trip to BodyBalance will help you enjoy calming exercise that isn’t too strenuous. 

It’s great for improving flexibility 

I have to confess I am not the least bit flexible so a few of the exercises in BodyBalance were quite difficult to complete. I gave it my best shot and thankfully no one else cares if you lose balance as they are so focused on their own efforts. 

Despite my lack of flexibility, the exercises were difficult to fully execute but they are relatively easy for a beginner to try out. The instructors show you what you need to do so you’ll have a reference to follow. As with most exercises, the more you do the better you so don’t be put off if you can’t do an exercise after your first go. If you fall over, at least you’ll have a fun story to tell and you’ll have a mat to protect you! 

It’s great for strengthening your core 

The exercises in BodyBalance focus on three areas, the rather obvious balance (it’s the name after all), flexibility and strength. 

As someone who isn’t a fan of the weight rooms in gyms (they can be rather intimidating easy for beginners), muscle work isn’t something I am used to doing.  Thankfully BodyBalance offers a different way to help work on your gym, which doesn’t involve lifting up a selection of weights. 

A selection of the exercises will help you work on strengthening your core (abdominals and back) giving you even great stability.