Isolation Fitness Tips from Vicki Anstey

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Hey everyone – how ya’ll doing out there?! I really hope you’re finding ways to stay sane and healthy during this time of social isolation and ‘lockdown’ – not something I ever thought I’d be writing about on this blog. Personally I am at home full-time currently, which is not ideal seeing as I was meant to be starting a new retail management job in March. That obviously had to be put on hold hence me being at home just now, but I realise that it could be a lot worse so I’m trying to make the most of my down time and enjoy it where I can. Like many people, I’ve been trying to fill some of my time with home workouts and getting fit and healthy as much as possible, so I am BEYOND excited to be able to bring you this post.

I have been sent some tips and tricks to share with you on fitness during these crazy times, and these tips come directly from the SAS Who Dares Wins and Barreworks bad ass Vicki Anstey. Vicki is the founder of the UK’s first barre workout studio Barreworks who offer the ballet style workouts from their studio in Richmond (usually, obvs not at the moment) and also offer online access to classes and videos via their website. I have done Barre workouts before and they are SO good for toning and building muscle, I’d highly recommend checking the Barreworks website out – I’ll link everything at the end of the post along with Instagram handles etc for you. You may also recognise Vicki Anstey from 2019’s series of Channel 4’s ‘SAS Who Dares Wins’, where she proved to viewers that women could be just as strong as men and made it all the way to the finals of the gruelling show. Businesswoman, fitness leader and Ted-talker? Yeah, I’m gonna listen to her advice, and here it is…

How to motivate yourself to workout at home
Set an alarm. Every two hours, get up and move around.Set yourself a 20 minute movement session 3 times a day, this will help break the day up and make limited resources (equipment) go further! Go up and down the stairs, use a box or ledge to perform step ups.

What types of workouts
HIIT, barre, pilates, yoga, animal flow, or if you have more budget, Peloton or The Mirror offer in-home high-tech fitness solutions. Or download a Tabata app or Sweat Deck to guide you and time your sequences.


What equipment
Sliders. A box for step ups, resistance bands, hand weights. You can even hire bigger pieces of equipment such as rowing machines or watt bikes. If you have a garden, try to get fresh air whilst your exercise. Knee ups, lateral bounds and jump lunges don’t require much space but will really get your heart-rate up.


Can you stay fit
Absolutely! Interval training can be a great way to maintain fitness – and you don’t need much space. Hill sprints, jump squats, burpees, skipping or fast push ups will have you sweating in no time.


Reducing anxiety over loss of fitness
It takes about seven to 14 days for your aerobic fitness to start declining. And what you lose initially is mostly the gains that you’ve made in the last several months of training. If you’ve been a life-long runner (for example) you will retain much of your aerobic fitness for several months. And there is plenty you can do to maintain strength with bodyweight exercises or using small equipment as outlined above.


How to move when you’re not doing steps
Necessity is the mother of invention, so they say, And if you are an avid outdoor fitness enthusiast or a gym addict who lives for their next 1 rep max, you are going to find this a testing time. But get creative, find inventive ways to get your heart rate up – work on smaller muscles groups if you cant get to the heavy weights. Change the stimulus – you can do A LOT with a resistance band, your own body weight or a skipping rope. Learn some new skills like double unders, handstands or see how long you can hold a wall sit. Work on your flexibility! Getting away from your usual environment and removing access to the gyms and equipment you may take for granted could open up a whole new world of potential!

 

Check Vicki and Barreworks out at…

 
 
I’d love to hear what you’re doing to keep fit at home, or if you aren’t doing anything and are using the time to chill I’d love to hear what you’re up to instead! We’re all doing what we can to get through this time and whatever that looks like for you, lots of love ❤
 

Just Hollie xox

 

Vive Wellness – Vitamins Delivered to Your Door

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When family-run vitamin company Vive Wellness reached out to me to ask if I’d like to try a month’s worth of personally selected supplements delivered to my door, it was a no brainer. I love to try a new health product and I always take vitamins and supplements of some sort, so I was keen to see how this company was different. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with Vive, so I thought you’d like to hear about them too as I think a lot of you reading this will really love the product. Also I must add, has there ever been a better time to get vitamins delivered to your very doorstep? I think not (stay indoors please people!).

The Vive Wellness journey starts with a quiz, answering lots of questions about your current lifestyle and diet, and also questions about areas you’d like to see change. The quiz was a good length and I really felt they asked a lot of varied questions to get to the bottom of which vitamins were best for me – the questions varied from asking about my physical health, current diet, mental state and things such as any pre existing conditions or issues I may have. Once you’ve finished the quiz, you get a score out of 100% for how healthy you are in your lifestyle and also your diet – they also generate you a report which goes into detail about what you’re doing well at and details any issues or gaps it sees and suggests ways to be healthier. I’ll pop a screenshot of my results below – I’m fairly happy with 71% & 72%, however there is room for improvement in my health and wellbeing, and this is detailed in the reports for me. Continue reading

New Year, New Goals – Looking ahead to 2020

 

Happy New Year/Decade everybody! Doesn’t it feel special when not only do we creep into a new year but also a different decade? 2020 – how the heck did that happen? It doesn’t seem two minutes ago I was raising a glass of Lambrini with my Nan to see in the Millennium (I was 8 and felt trés chic with a glass of bubbles!) but when in fact that was 20 years ago, time really does fly when you’re having fun.

I always reflect like hell at the turn of the year and this one isn’t any different – if you haven’t read any of my previous posts you may not know I am a proud New Year’s Resolution maker, but this year I wanted to put together a list of goals rather than a single resolution. The idea being that I can look back in a year’s time and see if my plans worked, if they varied somewhat or if something drastically different happened. This past year has taught me that life throws surprises at you which you could never predict, so all we can do is set the best intentions but if you get a chance to do something which was never even on your radar, that’s equally as bloody brilliant (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you may want to read my last post on moving from Norfolk to Scotland). So without further dragging it out and blabbering on, here are my goals for the year of 2020.

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Finish my Creative Writing Level 3 course, and begin my Level 4 Proofreading qualification.

I don’t think I’ve spoken about my home studies on the blog before, but they do exist! You probably wouldn’t know that I’m a keen writer in a capacity outside of this blog and plan to launch my own freelance business in the New Year (alongside my 9-5 unfortunately until it can pay the bills!). I plan to offer SEO optimised blog posts for businesses without the capacity or skills to do it themselves, I’m putting together social media courses for beginners, I’m offering written website content, articles for print, press releases and social captions – basically if it can be written, I want to be able to offer it as a service. Hence where my home study courses come in; I’ve nearly finished my Creative Writing Diploma which has been a lot of fun as well as helping me develop my skills- it has meant writing fiction and poetry as well as non-fiction genres and I haven’t done that since school! When that is finished I plan to enrol straight away on the Proofreading course, meaning this too can then be offered on a freelance basis, expanding my services. Realistically I won’t finish both courses by the end of the year but if I can be nearly there, I’ll be chuffed. Home study isn’t for everyone but personally I love learning, and as a writer I think the more you do and the more you expose yourself to different mediums, the better you get. I don’t think I’ll ever stop wanting to add to my skill set, which is something I’m proud of.

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Recipes for the health conscious – Buy Whole Foods Online

It’s been a while since I’ve shared my own recipes for you all rather than reviewing other people’s food, so when Buy Whole Foods Online kindly sent me some ingredients to try I jumped at the chance to get the creative juices flowing! If you’re anything like me and spend hours browsing health food stores and love healthy, natural ingredients then you have to check out the Buy Whole Foods Online website – they have all kinds of ingredients in bulk, everything you could ask for – I literally have to stop myself buying everything on their site!!
I would just like to tell you a little about the company before sharing my recipes for their beetroot powder and juniper berries, as they have a lovely back story. BWFO was started in 2007 by two cousins who loved whole, healthy foods, and their first office was a garden shed! The two men worked from a shed developing the company for 4 years, before finally moving into larger premises in 2011. The business is now more as you would imagine a global enterprise to be, running from a large warehouse in Ramsgate and is growing all of the time! It’s such an inspiring story, I wish I had the patience and drive to do something like that but unfortunately for me if something isn’t an overnight success, I give up pretty quickly – something I’m working on.

Below I have two amazing (if I do say so myself) recipes for you using ingredients from Buy Whole Foods Online – I would love to hear from you if you do recreate these yourself – send me some pictures or tag me @justhollieblog on both Instagram and Twitter!

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5 minutes that could save your life…

I’m gonna go straight in and say it; I had my first cervical cancer screening last week.
Smear, screening, sweep – whatever you call it, when was your last one?
(Boys, probably not the most relevant blog post for you but please send to sisters, girlfriends, colleagues!).

So rewinding a little here, having my first smear test was something I had been nervous about for a little while. I turned twenty five almost two years ago – I received the letter inviting me to attend my screening and honestly just point blank ignored it for at least a year. I started to feel guilty about not going when I saw the recent #smearforsmear campaign online backed by lots of different Instagram celebrities and influencers, so I plucked up the courage to book myself in alongside a recent routine contraceptive pill checkup. The other reason for me booking in was genuinely my other half nagging me to get it done and I cannot praise him enough for this. How many men do you know who would even broach the subject of cervical screening let alone actively ask you to go and have one! He’s a keeper what can I say!?

The date and time of my appointment rolled around and apprehensively I attended, sweating in the waiting room with a buzz of different questions rolling around in my head: What if it hurts? Was it weird to prune ‘down there’ for the occasion or is it courteous? What am I going to do if the nurse turns out to be a man, I don’t want a man doing it, how do I tell him? These and a host of other things ran through my consciousness but I stayed strong and walked into the room with the (female, phew) nurse when my name was called.

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Norridge Summer Wellness Event

What do you do on the eve of your 26th birthday? ‘Get on it’ to prove you’re still young enough to do so? Throw a party? Cry because you’re now closer to 30 than 20?

Whilst all of the above were tempting, I booked myself into a pop up yoga and wellness event and it couldn’t have been a better choice. I saw the Summer Wellness Event on Instagram via @norridge.popup and instantly knew I had to be a part of it.
I have been getting back into yoga for the past few months and whilst I am loving my sessions with ‘Yoga with Adrienne’ on YouTube in my living room, I do think a class every now and then is really motivating. The Summer Wellness Event was advertising yoga, meditation and energy work with raw, vegan cacao treats afterwards – you can see why I was instantly drawn to it!

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The event was ran by the Norridge girls, two lovely ladies who are still currently studying at university whilst running pop up events in the city. They have mainly held food events up until this one, with the last being a pop up cafe for the weekend in the city centre serving seasonal, delicious yet nourishing treats – and as the name would suggest, it included porridge! They wanted to expand their events by doing an evening of yoga and people coming together with good energy, finishing with scrummy food.
They really delivered, as myself and the 14 other people who attended the evening all absolutely loved it and left feeling centered and ready to take on the world with new intentions.

We began by doing around an hour of slow, mindful yoga with Cata Parrishwain who is the most calming and welcoming person you could hope to be leading a yoga class. We focused on doing what felt right for ourselves and our bodies rather than ‘perfecting’ the poses which is such a refreshing view on yoga. I have been to classes before where the instructor has literally came over and moved me into the positions because I wasn’t perceived to be doing it right but actually, you should be relaxing and enjoying the experience not bending about so much you put your back out!  Continue reading

Erpingham House

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Flower walls everywhere, a huge fake tree covered in fairy lights, dusky pink velvet chairs, neon signs and cocktails in watermelons. You want to go already right and I haven’t even told you what it is?!

Erpingham House is the gorgeous new plant based, mainly gluten free restaurant opened in Tombland, Norwich. Up until its opening I had been tracking the progress of this exciting new venture on Instagram for a few months, where owner Louis Blake kept teasing followers by sharing snaps of the interior or some mouthwatering vegan food, I couldn’t wait to get my first visit booked!
Finally after literally months of anticipation Erpingham House opened on the 27th May to the public and within minutes of the first bums beings on those snazzy pink seats they were all over social media and causing a real stir. Naturally I don’t like to miss out so I booked up pronto for the weekend after, 3rd June, as it was my birthday (26, better start adulting properly soon!).  Continue reading

Operation glowing summer skin

My skin isn’t the best.
I mean, it is supple, protects my body and I know it will age well, but all in all I’m a  big ole oil slick. I have always had an issue with spots and greasy skin since I was around 11-12 years old and at the ripe age of 25 I am still waiting to ‘grow out of it’.
As with most people my skin is sometimes better than others but I am really conscious lately as I plan my wedding (it’s next year) that I want it to look in tip top condition for the day and forever thereafter!

I have been fairly successful with improving the amount of blemishes on my squishy little face so I thought you might like to hear about it! I’m not reinventing the wheel here, it’s pretty basic stuff but I think sometimes we need reminding of the basics as there is so much noise out there in the beauty world but sometimes we need to take a step back.

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Step 1) Water 

Told you it was simple steps didn’t I? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, mainly to myself mind you. I go through phases with water – sometimes I’ll get through the day on several cups of tea, a wing and a prayer and sometimes I’ll be the picture of #healthblogger and drink 3 litres. I have been a lot more consistent lately drinking 1-2 litres a day, starting from first thing in the morning and ending with a glass of water in bed and I genuinely feel better for it as well as looking more awake!
Do you ever get the clammy feeling where your skin feels a bit oily and you can feel a breakout coming on? That used to be me most days and I accepted it was my horrible skin but I actually think it’s just dehydration! Now, if I feel that my skin is lacklustre and I’m feeling sluggish, I chug a glass or two of water and it’s like I’m a flower which has been watered!
I challenge you all to up your water intake continually for a month and you’ll get used to feeling more hydrated and you will definitely notice in future when you need to drink more. Clever our bodies aren’t they? Continue reading

My YouTube subscription list

Happy Mondayyyy!!

How pleased are you that it’s Monday, raining and you haven’t woken up to a money tree at the bottom of the garden?!

Me either.

But what do I do when it’s cold outside and I need a little pick me up? YouTube!

I have been slowly getting into YouTube over the past year and I now have a hefty subscription list which I wanted to share with you guys and hopefully get some recommendations back. I was reluctant to ‘follow’ YouTubers to begin with as I really thought it was something teenagers did and that they were all vlogging themselves setting farts on fire or falling over but actually, I love it.

I wish I had the confidence and the big personality it takes to start a YouTube channel – I think for bloggers/Instagrammers it provides a whole other dimension to your following and you really get to know the people behind the social profiles.
I also like the chill out factor of being on YouTube; most videos/vlogs are about half an hour long and you can just get totally lost in someone else’s life for a while. It can be inspirational, educational or anything you want it to be. Want to learn about something? YouTube it. Want to find out about a country or somewhere in the world? YouTube. Workouts, recipes, how to properly tie a tie, how to change a tyre or anything else you could ever need – YouTube.

So here are my favourites! Continue reading

A January of the dry kind

It was December when I had the idea of joining the movement of people not drinking in January. It was early December and I had a whole month of merriment ahead of me. Smugly I signed up through ‘Just Giving’, creating a page telling everyone how I was not going to touch a drop of alcohol for the entirety of the first month of 2017.

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As I write this it’s the 11th of January. Now, I didn’t think I had a problem. I thought I would breeze through January and I turned my nose up when people told me I would never do it. A month without alcohol – surely only real alcoholics wouldn’t be able to do that. How bloody wrong was I; I’m not sure if its the social aspect of drinking with friends in a pub or the association of relaxing with a glass of rosé after a hard day of work that I miss or simply that I just really like the taste, but its hard going! I am genuinely surprised at how much I am missing having a cheeky beer whilst watching the football with Dan or being able to even put red wine in my Bolognese! It was Daniel’s birthday on the 6th of January and we went into the city for a couple of drinks and a meal at the Jamie’s Italian in Norwich. It certainly saved us money with me being designated driver, taxis don’t come cheap, but as we went to the brilliant ‘Belgian Monk’ (a pub which serves tens of different Belgian beers) I really was a sourpuss about the situation. I think it is like anything, the minute you ban yourself or you are told you can’t have something, you instantly want it. I would quite often volunteer myself to be the driver on a night out just for ease and to save a bit of cash and not think twice, it’s funny how the brain works it really is.  Continue reading