Whilst working out over the years we’ve noticed there are people that don’t stretch before or after working out. This is one of the worst things you can do when exercising as it can result in muscle tear and injury.
Stretching should be an essential part of your every day workout. Below we have listed reasons why you should always take the time to stretch.
1. Stretching before exercise allows your muscles to loosen and prepares your body to take on the impact of exercise you have chosen to do.
2. Your muscles are less likely to become injured by sudden movement when undergoing an activity. Whilst stretching you reduce the risk of injury.
3. After working out, stretching your muscles helps loosen the tightness effect that can lead to post-workout aches and pains.
4. Stretching actually improves your posture. When you stretch the shoulders, lower back and chest it helps keep your back in alignment which will improve your posture.
5. Tense muscles can cut off circulation which can result in a lack of oxygen and essential nutrients. Stretching allows your muscles to relax and increases blood supply to your muscles and joints.
6. Stretching reduces and manages stress. Well-stretched muscles hold less tension and can help you feel less stressed.
7. Regular stretching routines can help prevent future back pain by strengthening your back muscles and reducing the risk of muscle strain.
8. Stretching not only increases flexibility, but can also calm the mind. When stretching focus on mindfulness and meditation exercises which is done during yoga and pilates.
Exercise is great for your health and fitness and is also a good way to clear the mind. If you make new year resolutions and one goal of yours is to keep fit and healthy, then to stick to it is to not be in the gym from January 1st and give up by March. The best thing is to wean yourself into working out slowly and mix up your workouts so you don’t get bored. It’s always great to push yourself. So if you start by going to the gym once a week, the next week try twice a week, then three times a week and see how you get on.
Below are a few of our favourite gym workouts. We hope you enjoy and Happy New Year!
If you want to have fun whilst working out and change up your routine then boxing is the one for you. Boxing requires strength, endurance and power. Boxing isn’t just for the hard-core athletes, it’s a great way to strengthen and tone the entire body.
Running outside or on a running machine is a good way to strengthen and tone your legs and glutes. If running is too much for you then begin walking, jogging and gradually start to run.
Seated Cable Row Machine
The Seated Cable Row develops the muscles of the back and the forearms. It is an excellent all-around exercise for developing mainly the middle back while offering useful arm work as well.
Air Walker Machine
The Air Walker Machine provides a total body, calorie-burning workout that is low-impact and is a great aerobic exercise. The machine is an alternative to walking or jogging. This form of low-impact aerobic exercise can burn a surprising amount of calories.
Who would have thought that a skipping rope had so much benefits. Skipping is simple, easy and a whole lot of fun, plus you get to burn a lot of calories while doing so. It’s one of the best ways to shed fat as well as improving your heart rate and building stamina.
There’s nothing quite like stretching your spine on an exercise ball after a strenuous work out. The benefits of using an exercise ball is to improve back and spine health, core stability, posture and muscle balance. Training with an exercise ball, whether during Pilates, yoga or simple stretching is an excellent way to work your abdominal, back and lower-back muscles.
We hope you all had a lovely Christmas filled with peace and joy.
As the weather’s pretty chilly outside It’s a time where you can experiment with different outfits and darker colours. From over the knee boots to ankle boots, from leather aviator jackets to long coats. You can be cosy yet stylish in your winter warmers. That is why this season, jumper dresses are a must. Simple and easy to wear, jumper dresses are the perfect staple for your winter wardrobe. They come in various styles, from short, to midi, to long, to over sized or fitted, long sleeved, short sleeved or off the shoulder, the list is endless. We are fans of a short jumper dress with long sleeves but this winter we have fallen in love with the longer jumper dress.
Zara jumper dress (here) – Zara coat – Zara ankle boots
Zara jumper dress (here) – ASOS Coat – Vintage boots
We hope you enjoyed one of our favourite winter wardrobe essentials.. the jumper dress, which is a winter must have. As always feel free to share your best winter wardrobe essentials.
Good weather, idyllic beaches and beautiful sunsets are just a few of the reasons to spend the New Year in vibrant Cuba.
In part two of our Cuba travel guide we highlight some of our favourite places to visit, where to stay and enjoy some relaxation outside of the busy capital Havana.
One of our highlights on our Cuba trip was a tour of American novelist Ernest Hemingway’s villa. Located in San Francisco de Paula – 15km southeast of Havana – the author lived in his home for 20 years before returning to the US in the 1960s during the Fidel Castro revolution. He donated his house to the Cuban people and is now a museum which has remained relatively untouched.
Visitors are not allowed inside the house but there are plenty of open doors and windows to get a glimpse of the interior of the property. Hemingway’s home boasts a swimming pool, a fishing boat and a three-storey tower next to the main house. You’ll be blown away by the views in the heavily wooded grounds.
If you are looking to spend some time away from the Havana buzz, discover Jibacoa. A perfect place for nature lovers and diving enthusiasts, we stayed at Memories hotel which is located along the northern coast and is in the heart of the beautiful Cuban countryside.
It is an adult-only resort and offers guests plenty of fun activities to take part in. You’ve got mountains, a powder-white beach and an impressive coral reef. The hotel sits on Arroyo Bermejo Beach and sits in 17 acres of lush gardens and is an hours drive away from Havana.
When you’re not sunbathing you can spend your time scuba diving, snorkelling or playing volleyball. Also, if you want a work out we would definitely recommend mountain climbing in their lush forests. If that tires you out be sure to pamper yourself at their in-house spa.
Rum, fun and cigars
When you embark on your Cuban adventure it would not be a perfect trip without enjoying some of their famous rum and cigars. There are plenty of tours where you can visit cigar factories and see first hand how they’re made on the production floor.
With it being minus degree weather outside there is no better way than to spend a Friday evening relaxed in front of a log fire, eating great food and sipping on Sangria. We did exactly that and chose to do so at Duck And Rice which is a London pub located in the heart of Soho. As you enter into the dim lit pub you’re drawn to the vibrant atmosphere. We fell in love with the spiral staircase which leads you upstairs to the dining room which serves Chinese dishes. To our delight we had the best seats in the house! We were sat in front of a toasty log fire which made our dining experience nice and cosy.
We ordered small dishes to share starting with the sesame prawn toast, salt and pepper squid, crispy duck roll and roast duck with steamed jasmine rice & cucumber.
The food was mouthwatering and we could not wait to devour everything on our table. We are getting hungry now just looking at the pictures!
The sesame prawn on toast served with sweet chilli sauce was soft in texture and had just the right amount of crunch. The salt and pepper squid was full of different flavours as it was cooked in garlic, chilli peppers and onions so it had the right amount of spicy zing to it but was not overpowering.
The pastry of the crispy duck roll was crunchy and the duck was moist but very tasty and was served with a sweet plum sauce. The roast duck was succulent and melts in your mouth. The duck was cooked to perfection and the meat was very tender. Absolutely delicious!
Green Tea Matcha ice cream is now our favourite ice cream of all time!
We are so surprised that it is not so readily available but you have to try this desert. It tastes so creamy and is a sweet treat to end your meal.
All of the dishes that we ate we can not fault as everything tasted amazingly good. The great thing about this dining experience is you don’t have to go crazy and buy loads of dishes. Also there is a lot of variety so there is something for everyone to enjoy. Check out the website (here).
It is definitely worth checking out Duck and Rice for yourself. It is in a great location with neighbouring Leicester Square (if you are checking out some theatre shows) and other nearby restaurants such as Dishoom and The Ivy, you are in a prime location.
As the party season is in full effect we all want to look and feel our best. When the outfits are chosen your make up just completes your look. There is nothing quite like a rouge lip during the festivities. We are fans of the lighter matte rouge but do like a plum lip colour (depending on how we feel that day!). Below are our favourite lipsticks we have been using this season.
Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint
All we can say about this product is WOW! We are obsessed with Fenty Stunna lip paint.
Rihanna debuted her make up line Fenty in 2017 and we haven’t heard anything less than great reviews. We decided to give Fenty Stunna lip paint a try as we love adding a POP of colour to glam up our festive look.
The lip paint comes in a sleek and stylish bottle equipped with a wand to apply to your lips. The packaging itself sets the lip paint apart from other brands that are currently out there. The design and its ease of use make it a unique product. An added bonus, Fenty Beauty says that this product works for all skin tones.
The Stunna paint is an intense red but looks absolutely gorgeous when applied. You may suffer the shock factor at first (as we did) for the level of brightness you get from that first stroke as it is like actual paint. But once you have finished applying the lip paint it dries within seconds and gives you a stunning matte finish. We recommend having a few cotton buds at hand to tidy up the corners of your mouth.
What we love about this particular lip paint is the lightness of it. Some lipsticks can make your lips feel a bit heavy and drying. The Fenty Stunna lip paint does the opposite. You hardly feel there is anything on your lips. Also, we find with other products when eating and drinking you need to constantly reapply your lipstick. You don’t have this problem with Stunna Lip Paint. We both can agree that we only topped up once. The lip paint literally stays on your lips for 24 hours. A definite 5 star rating. Click here to purchase!
Maybelline 757 Naked Brown
This product is not only a great lipstick but smells so good too! The lipstick is one of those products you can carry in your handbag and whip out to glam your look when you are on the go. We use the Naked Brown as the colour works really well with our skin tone and is the perfect autumn/winter look.
The colour is a deep burgundy and of course has been an on trend colour for a few seasons. We must say a super dark lip never goes out of style.
If you fancy a darker colour to party in during this festive period this is the lipstick for you as its smooth finish will compliment your look. Click here to purchase.
Sleek True Colour Lipstick Russian Roulette 795
This has to be one of our all time favourites. It is a gorgeous matte red that is bright, light, easy to apply and carry around in your handbag. We are big fans of Sleek’s matte range as it pretty much lasts all day without having to constantly touch up.
So if you want that high impact look with a touch of a sophisticated red you should not go any further than Sleek’s Russian Roulette. Packed with Vitamin E, this lipstick keeps your lips hydrated and soft.
An added benefit is that it works well with a variety of skin tones. It is extremely well pigmented but you will need to add a few strokes to get that bright red in your face pout!
It is pretty inexpensive and lasts all day. So if you want to look chic this festive season give Sleek matte lipstick a try. Click here to purchase.
We hope you enjoyed our festive favourite party season lipsticks. So glam it up this Christmas and New Years with our top three picks that will be sure to have you red carpet ready when you are under the mistletoe!
If you are a fan of Asian food then P.F. Chang’s Asian Table is the place for you. We enjoyed a lovely early evening meal last weekend and we’re literally planning our next visit! The restaurant is so lively and vibrant. When you arrive you are greeted with the most delicious smelling food.
For starters we both had the Handmade Pork Dumplings which was drizzled with soy sauce and chilli mash. This dish is an absolute must have! The dumplings literally melts in your mouth and tastes amazing.
You are spoilt for choice with the variety of different dishes. One of the dishes you could choose from the Honey Chicken or Honey Shrimp. We went for the Honey Shrimp which is lightly battered in sweet and tangy honey sauce, with spring onions served on a bed of crispy rice. Alongside Wasabi Mash Potatoes infused with wasabi, lemongrass, spring onions and cream. We also ordered Sichuan Green Beans marinated in sambal chilli paste, ginger, garlic and pickled Chinese radishes.
The dessert menu looked so good! But to be honest we were so full there was just nowhere for it to go! Lol. We did have room for a couple of cocktails though.. and tried the ‘Azure’ filled with Tequila, Shiso, Elderflower, Grape and Lemon which was very tasty but our favourite cocktail we tried that night had to be the ‘Purple Colada’. OMG!! If you love a pina colada then this drink is most definitely the one to go for. Mixed with coconut rum, Amaretto, pineapple juice, lemon juice, blue tea and coconut cream.
P.F. Chang in Covent Garden is about a five minute walk away from Charing Cross station. The restaurant also offers a lunch time menu and if you have a special occasion coming up they offer celebratory cakes with personalised messages made fresh from their pastry lab.