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Monday, 29 September 2014


Yoga has a raft of body and mind benefits, so get started today with expert tips from yoga teacher Sue Fuller
Yoga is a fantastic tool. It can help to boost energy levels, improve flexibility, reduce stress, strengthen and tone the body, enhance sleep, eliminate minor aches and pains and promote general feelings of health and vitality.
If you are new to yoga or thinking of beginning a regular yoga practice here are a few useful tips.
  • Wear loose comfortable clothing that does not restrict your movement.
  • A non-slip yoga mat is essential for practice, this enables you to get the most out of the postures without experiencing slipping of the hands or feet.
  • Always practice yoga with any empty stomach. Yoga postures fold and twist the torso. It’s really uncomfortable and difficult to perform these postures if you have just eaten.
  • Start at the beginning and practice basic postures to establish correct alignment
  • Before performing any yoga postures take a moment to breathe slowly through your nose, during this time notice how your body feels. As you slow your breathing down your mind should follow and become a little quieter. This enables you to focus on your alignment and physical sensations as you move your body into different postures
  • Pain is always a warning sign. If you feel pain or discomfort, relax the posture immediately
  • Always seek medical advice before commencing any new physical activity.

Yoga and the Breath

Yoga has a strong focus on the breath. It helps when beginning yoga to remind ourselves that oxygen is our main source of fuel so it is important that we maintain a constant and steady supply this can be maximised by breathing correctly. Oxygen will help our bodies function more efficiently. As a beginner you might notice that some practitioners make a sound when they breathe do not be distracted as this is part of the practice and extremely beneficial (be warned that some practitioners do make more noise than others). Just close your eyes, focus on your breath and your alignment and you won’t notice the other people practicing yoga alongside you.

3 things to remember:

1 Good alignment will minimise strain to the body.
2 The benefits to be gained from each posture become greater with practice.
3 Yoga is a journey! For this to become successful your mind needs to be engaged in the activity.


Saturday, 27 September 2014

Yoga for Weight Loss - Beginners

Be careful to only stretch as far as feels comfortable. Doing these exercises later in the day when your body is more flexible will help. Do not attempt these moves immediately after eating. Wait at least 2 hours before or after eating.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

My Story To Date

Here I am, now 44 years old. Before I got to 40, I could pretty much eat whatever I liked and never put a pound on. I always exercised but never obsessively.

For all of my life my weight was always under 9 stone. Even when I was pregnant with my daughter, my weight never went over 10 stone and soon after, I was back down to 8stone 10lb and more toned than ever.

Life went on as normal and the day I hit 40 years old, my weight was still 8stone 12lb.

My exercise routine consisted of mainly walking most days and I had also been teaching Yoga for the past few years, so was quite complacent that I was weight gain immune!

Due to other commitments, I eventually gave up teaching Yoga. I still continued with walking most days and also began using some light weights at home whenever I could.

Well, to cut a long story short, as they say, my weight has fluctuated between 10stone 6lb (yes I know, I was shocked too as this was a lot for me personally) and 9stone 3lb. I don't expect or intend to now weigh less than 9 stone as I quite like having a bit more shape to me and we all have our ideal weight we feel comfortable with. My goal is about feeling good, healthy and toned.

What has changed?

I realised a while ago that the calories I use to consume and stay super slim are no longer good for me now I am getting older. Also I found that stress is a definite no go as you age, so making sure I relax each day has made a difference (I knew my Yoga skills would come in handy).

Since I've always exercised, I couldn't understand why my daily walks weren't making a difference to my weight loss. Then I discovered that, unless I was walking correctly (yes there is a right way to do it for weight loss), then it would take longer to work (if at all).

Once I got my head around it all and started putting it into practice, I noticed what a difference it all made. I began losing the weight safely and permanently and toning up more, which for me was really important as everything seemed to be heading south fast!

Whilst I was waiting for things to begin taking shape, I learnt a few simple tricks that the celebrities use to instantly shed pounds and look great in your outfits. I always knew there was a secret to looking good no matter what your weight or age.

So, the challenge still goes on and I found that my whole eating habits, stress control and exercise routine would have to continue in this new way I had discovered, now that I had hit the 40 something mark.

What worked for me in my 20's and 30's certainly wasn't going to work now. Once you understand that, the changes and challenges can get easier ;)

If you would like to learn my knowledge and tricks I have uncovered, I will be happy to share them with you for free. It doesn't matter if you have got 5lb to lose or 5 stone.

Just simply pop your name and email address in the box to the right of these posts and you will get instant access.

I can't wait to share my guides with you, to help you transform the way you look and feel. Isn't that what we all want?

More personal updates coming soon.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Nutrition tips to ease the symptoms of PMS

Bloating, cramping, and fatigue experienced the week or so before your period are often due to fluctuating hormones. Diet can play an important role in alleviating these and other symptoms of PMS.
  • Avoid trans fats, refined sugar, and salt. Sugar worsens mood swings and salt worsens water retention and bloating.
  • Cut out caffeine and alcohol. Both are known to worsen PMS symptoms, so avoid them during this time in your cycle.
  • Limit red meat and egg yolks as they can cause inflammation. You may want to try sticking to vegetable proteins like soy and nuts, to see if it helps with your symptoms.
  • Try cutting out dairy. Many women find relief from symptoms when dairy foods are eliminated from their diet. For some, improvements occur when they switch to hormone-free, organic dairy products.
  • Add essential fatty acids to your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to help with cramps. See if eating more fish or taking fish oil or flaxseed oil supplements eases your PMS symptoms.
  • Consider vitamin supplements. For some women, taking a daily multivitamin or supplementing with magnesium, vitamin B6, and vitamin E may help relieve cramps.

Diets for Women


Sunday, 21 September 2014

Simple Ways To Eat Less Sugar

We wouldn’t eat sugar straight from the sugar bowl. But we tend not to think about the sugar lurking hiding in the other things we eat and drink.
The problem is that excess sugar can mean excess energy which in turn can lead to stored fat in the body and diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Eating too much sugar can also cause tooth decay, so be sure to clean your teeth twice a day and check your kids are doing the same.
Try to swap food and drink with added sugar for stuff that has no added sugar or is sugar free.

You’d be amazed at how much sugar is lurking in our food - even food that doesn’t taste sweet. It can do more harm than most people realise. Here are a few facts about sugar and where it’s hiding:
  • The average person in Britain consumes about 700g of sugar a week* - that’s 140 teaspoons!
  • 500ml of cola contains the equivalent of 17 cubes of sugar.
  • There are lots of different words used to describe sugar - sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, hydrolysed starch, invert sugar, corn syrup, honey – they are all different kinds of sugars. Watch out for them on the label.

* Source: National Diet & Nutrition Survey 2008/2009-2011/2012

Friday, 19 September 2014

Top Tips For Healthy Eating

Love your labels
Food labels can seem a bit boring, but they are the best way of checking what you're eating as they can tell you what's hidden inside the food. Once you know what how to use them, you'll soon be able to make healthier choices when you're shopping.

Be calorie smart

Counting calories doesn't have to mean you're on a diet! They are a really handy way of helping you choose balanced meals each day, and not eating more than your body needs.

Eatwell plate

The eatwell plate is a brilliant idea - it helps you eat a balanced diet by showing you how much of what type of food to eat at each meal. Simple!

Share packaged foods

Many foods and drinks are packaged for two adults sharing, so if you’re eating by yourself avoid temptation and save some for later. Don’t give a whole one to a child - let them share a bag of crisps, or save some.

Eat a little slower

It takes time for our brains to register we’re full, so try to eat more slowly. If you’re eating with friends or family try pacing yourself to the slowest eater.

Focus on your food

Eating distractedly, such as in front of the TV, means we eat more without noticing or even enjoying it. Swap the TV for the table.

Aim to feel satisfied, not stuffed

Try eating just one plate of food and don’t go back for seconds.

Super start your day

Don’t be tempted to skip breakfast, even if you’re trying to lose weight. If you have a healthy breakfast in the morning you’re less likely to want to snack before lunch.

Mix and match

If you know you’ll be having a proper dinner later, keep an eye on the calories by having a lighter lunch.

Pack it in

Plan ahead and try to take a packed lunch to work or when you are out and about. It can work out cheaper.

Spot the difference

Swap a big dinner plate for a smaller one and you’ll have a smaller portion. It will also look as if you have more food on your plate too.

Max your pocket, not your drink!

Extra large whole milk lattes or cappuccinos may seem like value for money, but they also contain more calories. Try swapping for a regular size coffee made with lower fat milk – less calories (and it’ll save you money)

Upper Body Work Out Without Weights

             Watch this upper body workout you can easily do at home without the use of weights

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Could an Epsom salt bath help with weight loss?

Epsom salts have long been used to help cure everyday aches and pains, now it may have another use.
In one of the latest episodes of the Dr Oz Show it was revealed that an Epsom salt bath could help with your weight loss efforts.

How can an Epsom salt bath help with weight loss?

As Epsom salt contains both magnesium and sulphate it is believed that when you soak in the bath your body will absorb these ingredients, which will help your body to remove toxins.
Over the years toxins will build up in your body that can cause weight gain and prevent weight loss.
By ridding your body of these toxins you will notice a drop in your weight along with various health benefits.

Which celebrities have tried an Epsom salt bath?

It is believed that celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Victoria Beckham and Elle Macpherson have all experienced the health benefits of Epsom salts.
Gwyneth Paltrow had this to say about taking an Epsom salt bath:
“I love Epsom salts baths to detox, revive muscles and de-puff my skin.”

Other health benefits of an Epsom salt bath

An Epsom salt bath could help to relieve stress, which can also help with your weight loss efforts as stress can lead to comfort eating.
It can also help to prevent the blood from clotting and can lower your risk of stroke.
Other health benefits include:

Reduced bloating

As our skin is porous it will absorb the magnesium and sulphate through the skin, which will help reduce bloating.
No wonder so many models take an Epsom salt bath the night before a bikini or lingerie photo shoot.

Hangover cure

Hangovers are caused by the toxicity of alcohol breaking down within your body, however the sulphate found in an Epsom salt bath can flush out these toxins.

Healthy hair

When Epsom salt is added to your normal shampoo then it can be used to soak up excess oil from your hair.
Your hair will look healthier, fuller and damaged hair will be repaired.

Reduce appearance of bruises

By creating an Epsom salt compress you can reduce the appearance of bruises.
Just soak a flannel in a cup of cold water mixed with 2 tablespoons of Epsom salts and apply directly to your skin.


Epsom salts can be used to exfoliate and deep cleanse your skin.

Foot soak

Epsom salts have anti-inflammatory properties so soaking your tired feet in a large bowl of warm water mixed with half a cup of Epsom salts will help reduce those aches and pains.

Cure for jet-lag

An Epsom salt bath can relax your aching body and help your body to recover.

How to prepare an Epsom salt bath?

Dr Oz believes that you should soak in a bath containing 2 cups of Epsom salts at a maximum temperature of 97 degrees for 10 minutes will produce the best results.

Who should avoid Epsom salt baths?

If you are pregnant, have high blood pressure, kidney stones or kidney disease, diabetes or heart disease then an Epsom salt bath is not recommended.
You should also avoid having one of these baths if you have any allergies to sulphur.

Buying a large bag of Epsom salts is advisable because you will be using 2 cups at a time, a small bag will quickly get used up. Also buy your salts from a reputable supplier.

Could an Epsom salt bath help with weight loss?


Monday, 15 September 2014

5 Surprising Things Your Eyes Can Tell You About Your Health

There's the saying about how your (lovely!) eyes are the windows to your soul, right? But it turns out that those same lovely, lovely eyes may just also offer some insight (ha) as to what's up with your entire body too.
According to the experts at LensCrafters, your eyes can actually give you a peek (um, I really promise I'm not trying to pun here) into what's going on with the rest of you. Seriously, just look (see?) at what Dr. Mark Jacquot, clinical director for LensCrafters, has to say......

Stress: If you suffer from sustained emotional stress, you may be at risk for Central Serous Retinopathy—otherwise known as blisters inside the eye (blergh!). The LensCrafters experts say this is a condition that's been, historically, mostly observed in men—but it's lately become more common among women. It's a sign that stress may be taking its toll. If you have difficulty focusing up close or keeping your place when you read, see an optometrist, who can prescribe treatment—but be aware that the condition may have to do with your overall stressful lifestyle.
High Blood Pressure: When you're young, your blood pressure might not be as carefully monitored by your general practitioner as it would be with older patients—but an eye exam could actually catch the issue. If your optometrist catches swelling in your eye's blood vessels or optic nerve, it might indicate a blood pressure problem.
Computer Vision Syndrome: If you've logged enough time on the ol' laptop or any type of LED screen, you know this is a real thing. It causes dry, irritated eyes, and can actually increase the risk of your becoming nearsighted—but it can also result in exhaustion and irritation, which makes it harder to focus. LensCrafters says that there has been a steady uptick in patients as young as 20 years old who have extensive eye fatigue and report problems in focusing.
Diabetes: Leaky blood vessels in the eye might mean that you're diabetic or pre-diabetic. Because diabetes can eventually damage your vision, it's good to catch it early in order to manage the symptoms and preserve sight.
Possible Impending Health Crisis: During an eye exam, the optometrist gets an up-close look at your blood vessels and the optic nerve that leads to your brain. If there are swelling or shadows present, that could suggest a serious problem—like clots (that could lead to a stroke) or even a tumor. (In a handful of routine eye exams, LensCrafters doctors have sent patients directly to the ER after seeing these kinds of signs. Yikes.)
The takeaway here? Get an eye exam. Even if your last one was 20/20 perfecto, it's still important to get regular checkups, just as you would for all of the other parts of your body. As a little incentive: LensCrafters has updated its eye-exam process with new AccuExams; it uses digital technology to pinpoint any issues and even incorporate interactive animations and videos to clearly explain them, which makes the whole thing easy-breezy.

When did you last have an eye examination?


Friday, 12 September 2014

7 Ways to Make Water Taste Better

Not everybody has a taste for water, but we all need it to ensure that our bodies continue functioning properly. If you want to drink more water, but aren't crazy about the taste (or lack thereof), here are some tips that can make it more enjoyable:
1. Add fresh fruit. Citrus fruits, such as lemons, limes, and oranges, are classic water enhancers, but other fruit flavors might also tempt your taste buds. Try crushing fresh raspberries or watermelon into your water, or adding strawberry slices. Cucumber and fresh mint are refreshing flavors as well — especially in summer.
2. Use juice. Any fruit juice can be a good base flavor for water, but tart juices, like cranberry, pomegranate, grape, and apple, are especially delicious. Go for juices that are all natural, with no added sugars. And remember: Fruits and their juices don't just taste good — they contain vitamins and antioxidants that can benefit your health too.
3. Make it bubbly. Many people prefer sparkling to still water. If plain old water isn't inspiring to you, try a naturally effervescent mineral water — which will give you the added benefit of minerals. Or try bubbly seltzer, a carbonated water. You can add fresh fruit or natural juice flavors to your seltzer, as suggested above, or look for naturally flavored seltzers at your local market. If you become a seltzer devotee, you might want to consider getting a seltzer maker for your home.
4. Get creative with ice. Some say that ice water tastes better than water served at room temperature. If that's so, flavored ice cubes may make an even better drink. Use some of the flavoring suggestions above and start experimenting with fresh fruit, mint, or cucumber ice cubes. Simply chop your additive of choice, add it to your ice cube tray along with water, then freeze. You may also consider juice, tea, or coffee cubes. If you want to be more creative, use ice cube trays that come in fun shapes, like stars, circles, or even fish.
5. Drink tea. Herbal, fruit, green, white, and red teas are generally considered to be better for you than black teas (or coffee, for that matter) because they contain little to no caffeine. And there are countless flavors of these teas to choose from. Start with the selection at your local market or health food store. If you're interested in pursuing more exotic flavors and sophisticated teas, start researching the vast array of specialty teas that come from all parts of the globe.


Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Spinach helps you lose weight........ curbing cravings for sweet treats and junk food

  • Swedish researchers found green leaf membranes called thylakoids boost weight loss by 43%, curbing food cravings by 95%
  • Membranes gradually slowed digestion process giving intestinal hormone enough time to signal to the brain that the body is full
  •  Participants taking extract found it easier to stick to three meals a day and did not experience any cravings 

Spinach could be the latest weight-loss aid curbing food cravings by nearly 95 per cent, new research has found.
Scientists at Lund University in Sweden discovered a spinach extract containing green leaf membranes called thylakoids boost weight loss by almost 43 per cent. 
They based their findings on analysis of 38 overweight women. 
Food cravings are also known as hedonic hunger - the urges people have for unhealthy foods including sweet treats and fast food.

The study shows that taking thylakoids reinforces the body's production of satiety hormones and suppresses hedonic hunger, which leads to better appetite control, healthier eating habits and increased weight loss. 
Professor Charlotte Erlanson-Albertsson who took part in the study, said: 'Our analyses show that having a drink containing thylakoids before breakfast reduces cravings and keeps you feeling more satisfied all day.'
The study involved 38 overweight women and ran for three months. 

Every morning before breakfast the participants had a green drink. 
Half of the women were given 5 grams of spinach extract and the other half, the control group, were given a placebo. 
The participants did not know which group they belonged to – the only instructions they received were to eat a balanced diet including three meals a day and not to go on any other diet.
'In the study, the control group lost an average of 3.5 kg while the group that was given thylakoids lost 5 kg,' said Professor Erlanson-Albertsson.
'The thylakoid group also found that it was easier to stick to three meals a day – and they did not experience any cravings.'

The team of researchers said the green leaf membranes gradually slowed down the digestion process giving the intestinal hormone sufficient time to be release and signal to the brain the body is satisfied.
Professor Erlanson-Albertsson, added: 'It is about making use of the time it takes to digest our food. 
'There is nothing wrong with our digestive system, but it doesn’t work well with the modern ‘pre-chewed’ food. 
'The thylakoids extend digestion, producing a feeling of satiety. 
'This means that we are able to stick to the diet we are meant for without snacks and unnecessary foods like sweets, crisps and such.'

Scientists at Lund University in Sweden have found a spinach extract containing green leaf membranes called thylakoids curbed food cravings by 95 per cent and boost weight loss by 43 per cent
Scientists at Lund University in Sweden have found a spinach extract containing green leaf membranes called thylakoids curbed food cravings by 95 per cent and boost weight loss by 43 per cent


Monday, 8 September 2014

Drinking tea 'cuts risk of dying early by a quarter'

Antioxidant ingredients in the drink are good for the heart 

  • A study shows that drinking tea reduces the risk of dying from causes unrelated to the heart by a quarter 
  • The benefits of tea are largely due to the antioxidant ingredients
  • The study involved 131,401 people aged 18 to 95 
  • Experts also say it is better for you than coffee and tea drinkers are more physically active

Tea really is the best drink of the day – it can cut your risk of dying prematurely, say researchers.
A study shows that drinking tea reduces the risk of dying from causes unrelated to the heart by a quarter compared with those who don’t drink tea.
Experts say it is better for you than coffee, although habitual coffee drinkers tend to be more unhealthy and smokers.

The benefits of tea are largely due to the flavonoid content, antioxidant ingredients that are thought to be good for the heart.
Study leader Professor Nicolas Danchin said previous research showed ‘divergent’ effects of tea and coffee on heart health.
He added, however: ‘If you have to choose between tea or coffee it’s probably better to drink tea.’

The European Society for Cardiology in Barcelona said that a glass of wine a day works only if you exercise too
The European Society for Cardiology in Barcelona said that a glass of wine a day works only if you exercise too

The study involved 131,401 people aged 18 to 95 at low risk of cardiovascular diseases attending the Paris IPC Preventive Medicine Centre between January 2001 and December 2008.
There were 95 deaths from cardiovascular (CV) causes and 632 deaths from non-CV causes.

    Coffee or tea consumption was assessed by a questionnaire and classified as: none, 1 to four cups per day, or more than four cups. The researchers found that coffee drinkers had a higher CV risk profile than non-drinkers, particularly for smoking, with 57 per cent of those drinking more than four cups per day being smokers.
    Non-coffee drinkers were more physically active, with 45 per cent having a good level of physical activity compared with 41 per cent of the heavy coffee drinkers.

    The Barcelona conference was told that the high caffeine content in energy drinks may cause heart problems
    The Barcelona conference was told that the high caffeine content in energy drinks may cause heart problems

    ‘This is highly significant in our large population,’ Prof Danchin said yesterday at the European Society for Cardiology meeting in Barcelona. Tea had a marked effect on blood pressure, with a significant reduction in the heavy tea drinkers, compared with non-drinkers.
    Professor Danchin said: ‘Overall we tend to have a higher [CV] risk profile for coffee drinkers and a lower risk profile for tea drinkers. We also found big gender differences.
    ‘Men tend to drink coffee much more than women, while women tend to drink more tea than men.’ There was a trend for tea drinking to lower cardiovascular deaths but the effect was not statistically significant after adjusting for age, gender and smoking.
    But tea lowered the risk of non-CV death, by a quarter for tea drinkers compared with no tea at all.
    The study did not define the type of tea, or whether milk was added. Participants were just asked how much tea they drank per day.
    Professor Danchin, of the Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou in Paris, said: ‘Tea drinking lowered the risk of non-CV death by 24 per cent and the trend towards lowering CV mortality was nearly [statistically] significant.’
    He added: ‘Interestingly, most of the effect of tea on non-CV mortality was found in current or ex-smokers, while tea had a neutral effect in non-smokers.’
    Coffee significantly increased non-CV mortality but the increased risk disappeared when the effect was adjusted for smoking. 


    Saturday, 6 September 2014

    Spending less time sitting down could be the key to living longer

  • Standing on your two feet could be the key to longer life, as scientists discover it can prevent a person's DNA from ageing. 
    A team of Swedish researchers found spending less time sitting down could be more important than exercise in extending a person's lifespan.  
    Their findings, published in the British Medical Journal, showed less time on the sofa is strongly linked to the lengthening of telomeres, which sit on the end of chromosomes in cells - DNA storage units in the body.

    Telomeres stop chromosomes from fraying, clumping together and ‘scrambling’ genetic code.
    Scientists liken their function to the plastic tips on the ends of shoelaces, and say that lifespan is linked to their length. 
    Professor Mai-Lis Hellenius, from Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, warned that standing up for longer might be more important than exercising.
    She said: ‘In many countries formal exercise may be increasing, but at the same time people spend more time sitting.
  • ‘There is growing concern that not only low physical activity but probably also sitting and sedentary behaviour is an important and new health hazard of our time.
    ‘We hypothesise that a reduction in sitting hours is of greater importance than an increase in exercise time for elderly risk individuals.’
    Researchers looked at 49 overweight sedentary adults in their late sixties and measured the length of the telomeres in their blood cells.
    Half of them had taken part in an exercise programme that lasted six months, while the other half had not. 

    Their level of physical activity was assessed using a diary and pedometer to measure how many footsteps they had taken each day.
    They worked out how long they had spent sitting down through a questionnaire.
    The study revealed that although people who did more exercise tended to be healthier, the most important factor for lengthening of telomeres was how much time they spent sitting down.
    Scientists found that the less time a person spent sitting, the longer their telomeres, and the greater their chance of living longer.

    Researchers from Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm found that spending less time sitting down could make you live longer by preventing your DNA from ageing

  • Thursday, 4 September 2014


    TV presenter Davina McCall is already a cycling convert and is an ambassador for a another cycling scheme, Sky Ride. Here she gives her tips on how to get on your bike...

    1. Give it a go
    There really is no need to dread getting back in the saddle if you haven't cycled for a few years and feel unfit. I learnt the basics when I was a child, but didn't get back on a bike properly again until recently (in my 40s!) and now I'm hooked! Why not get friends and family involved - it's better cycling with a buddy - so head down to the park with a picnic and it’ll feel more like fun than hard work!

    2. Cycling essentials
    The kit is the best bit! All you really need is a T-shirt, shorts and trainers to get started, but my go-to cycle wear is usually a lightweight high vis T-shirt, padded shorts and my helmet – plus a high vis waterproof jacket for this British weather! It's personal preference and although you may feel a little 'all the gear, no idea', it's worth it and makes the journey way more comfy!

    3. Stretch
    The one thing you don't want to do when you head out on your bike is pull a muscle and prevent yourself from doing anything whatsoever for weeks to come. I've been injured before and it's miserable! Stretch properly before you set off; try just 5-10 minutes to make sure you're good to go. Cool down and stretch out afterwards too to help avoid aching for the next few days!

    4. Get the right bike & be comfortable with your position
    It sounds silly but it's so important - the right bike will be the one that feels great to cycle - not the one that looks the nicest! You want to be as comfortable as possible, especially if it's over long distances. Do this by making sure your bike is the right size for you and that your seat is raised/lowered to a comfortable height. Don’t just jump on and go - we're all different, make sure your bike is tailored to you; it’ll helps prevent injuries too. Get advice from an experienced cyclist friend, or get fitted at a cycling shop. Then you’re good to go!

    5. Give your bike some T.L.C
    We all feel guilty about that old rusty bike sat unloved and unusable in the shed. Don't let your bike go down the same rickety road. Keep your tyres pumped up, check your brakes and make sure your chain is well oiled. If you don't have the equipment at home, bike shops will do a basic service cheaply. Give your bike a bit of attention every now and then, and it will look after you in return!

    6. Know your highway code
    I'm a bit of a teacher’s pet and a big one for obeying the traffic laws. Avoid being that guy who jumps the red light or strays up onto the pavement. Not only is it illegal its bloody frustrating for the rest of us and gives us cyclists a bad name!

    7. Plan your route
    The very last thing you want to do is get lost and cycle miles further than you intended, particularly if you’re new to cycling! So although it sounds obvious - plan your route before you leave! If you know where you’re going you can avoid dangerous roads or areas of majorly heavy traffic – traffic jams are boring and weaving in-between cars could get a bit hairy! The more effort you put in to planning your ride, the more you’re likely to enjoy it. If you’re cycling to work or to a friend's it’ll also help you get there on time too!

    8. Hydrate and snack!
    It's always worth keeping a bottle of water with you however far you're cycling. It's really important to keep hydrated, particularly on hot days or on a long cycle. Take provisions with you, or meet friends at a park for a picnic halfway through your ride. Otherwise, make sure you've eaten well before heading out; you need enough energy for the ride you’re about to go on. I usually take a couple of cereal bars and a banana out with me – along with a sarnie for the longer rides!

    9. Start simple
    I get it, cycling can be a daunting, particularly on some of Britain's roads. Start simple; get confident with your bike and with your surroundings before pushing yourself too hard. I'm an ambassador for Sky Ride, a national campaign between Sky and British Cycling encouraging thousands of people of all ages and abilities to get on a bike and discover the benefits cycling can offer. The campaign's Big Bike Events are a great way to ride your bike safely on traffic-free streets in a major city or town. Best of all - it's free and the whole family can get involved!
    I'll be up at Sky Ride Liverpool on 7th September so come and join me if you’re in the area. If not, there're plenty of other Big Bike Events or why not try a Sky Ride Local - a guided ride which will give you a chance to explore the local area led by British Cycling trained ride leader. Find a ride near you at - it's a great starting point for you, your friends or your family.

    10. Feeling brave?
    Once you’ve been out a few time and got more confident on your bike then challenge yourself – it's fun! Develop a cycle plan and try to incorporate some great hills – they'll help improve your fitness levels and give you a buzz on the way down!

    Mad about the bike: Davina is a cycling convert


    Hatha Yoga for Relaxation and Stress

    Gentle 10 minutes of Yoga for all levels. Relax and release any stress.
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