The Andy Files – How to exercise more!

Andy and Iain a long time ago

I wrote this post a few months ago, but it seems like a good time to post it, seeing as it’s the New Year.

I recently shared my blog with my brother and he set me the challenge of how I can to help him with simple fitness and eating habits with the aim of losing one stone. If you have missed the previous 3 posts of The Andy Files you can find them here and here and here.

As I have previously mentioned, Andy works long hours, has a lengthy commute and has 2 children. Time is his big problem. He has since moved back to Dubai, but everything still stands.

In my previous post, I wrote about how to improve your diet. In this one, I’m writing about how you can exercise more.

I think there can be a million studies done, but the consensus will always be – to lose weight, you need to put a little less in and burn a few more calories through exercise. You can try and cheat and hack your way to do it, but to be successful your very likely going to have to do these two things.

Here are some ideas on how to exercise more with time constraints – Continue reading “The Andy Files – How to exercise more!”

Can I go back to the gym?

 Gym

I mentioned in my recent post about Yoga that I recently had a free 14-day pass to a David Lloyd gym.

I’ve taken every opportunity to use it as much as I can and do things I’ve not done before. I’ve done fancy spinning with an immersive screen, hot yoga, normal yoga and pilates.

This place is nice. It has 8 indoor tennis courts, outdoor courts, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, Pilates studio, Yoga studio, steam room, sauna, immersive spinning studio, café (with beer) and all the other gym stuff. It’s clean and generally pretty swanky. This obviously comes at a price. A fairly hefty monthly price. Continue reading “Can I go back to the gym?”

A Male Perspective on Yoga

Yoga MenOver the past 2 weeks, I’ve had a free 14-day pass to David Lloyd Gyms. Wanting to take as much advantage as possible, I’ve tried  as many new activities as possible. One of these was hot yoga! Following my session, I mentioned to friends that I’d been to yoga and there were a few raised eyebrows and jokes about “how I’d changed”. They were obviously joking because I am such a rough tough fella!

But there are some misconceptions about yoga –

  1. It’s for girls!
  2. It’s easy and not real exercise!

Continue reading “A Male Perspective on Yoga”

Get back into cycling – On yer bike!

Me, Geoff and Nesh on Bikes

A few weekends ago I headed out for my first “proper” road cycling ride with two friends of mine. One of them has been riding for a couple of years and the other for about a year. It is a fairly irregular trip out on a Saturday or Sunday morning for around 2-3 hours.

I’ve been cycling to work on and off for 6 years and have been saying I will upgrade my hybrid to a road bike one day. That day finally came a few weeks ago when I got a nice deal on a Cannondale CAAD8 road bike.

Cycling has boomed over the last few years. Continue reading “Get back into cycling – On yer bike!”

British Military Fitness (BMF) – What’s it like?

Bushy Park BMF

I regularly mention my British Military Fitness (BMF) sessions in my posts. I’ve been going to BMF for over 5 years now and keep going back for more.

As I have admitted in the About me post, I used to be 12kgs heavier, and 4 inches larger in the waist.  I ran intermittently, but this wasn’t doing anything to control my weight and get me fit. My flatmate and my best friend used to go regularly to the gym together, but I never really got on with the gym. I always found myself watching the clock, or doing just enough exercise to feel like I’d justified the visit. Continue reading “British Military Fitness (BMF) – What’s it like?”

The Streets of London – VLM 2017 Results

2008 London Marathon

The 2017 London Marathon ballot results were out last week.

I won’t build the tension. I didn’t get a place (the sixth time in a row). Actually, I don’t know anyone who got a place (in real life or online life). Maybe the people who are in, keep it quiet as there are so many peeved off people grumping about the ballot system.

The email arrived (I am yet to find my magazine) and I was not too crushed; I knew the chances of a place were slim. (1 in 16 I believe).

2017 VLM Email
My “You’re not in” email

I have also had the privilege of running the London Marathon twice (one back in 2008 via the NSPCC and then 2010 via the ballot), so I can’t be too down about it.  Continue reading “The Streets of London – VLM 2017 Results”

Ealing Half Marathon 2016 – Race Review

Ealing Half Start 2016

I ran the Ealing Half Marathon last Sunday (25/09/16). I have been building up to the race for 12 weeks. You can see my training plan here.

I had heard good things about the Ealing Half Marathon. It is the winner of the best half marathon at the Running Awards for the last 3 years.

So with all this training and preparation, I should have spent Saturday night on the sofa with my feet in the air casting my critical eye over the beautiful voices showcased on The X Factor.

Stuff that, I am off to a birthday party! A pretty chilled birthday party that very conveniently happen to be in Ealing and I had also been offered a bed for the night. So no faffing with trains in the morning! Continue reading “Ealing Half Marathon 2016 – Race Review”

How to enjoy running – Run with a smile!

Running can be hard. It can hurt. It can be raining. Motivation can wane and you feel like opening a massive bag of chocolate chip cookies and binge watching Netflix. (Aside – What did Netflix do to anyone? It’s getting a hard time at the moment for all the western world’s motivation and procrastination issues)

It can also be great. It can be “effortless”. The sun can be shining. You just can’t wait to go and do that run. If you are falling into the first group, here are a few ideas on how to get back enjoying your running. Continue reading “How to enjoy running – Run with a smile!”

Running preparation and recovery

In my post How to run faster, I started and finished the post with preparation and recovery. Injury and fatigue are the downfall of many a training plan and many runners seem to be injured, are returning from injury or are carrying an injury.

Below are some ways to help keep you on the road or trail.

Water

Glass of water

I have previously posted about the benefits of drinking water  and seem to bang on about it a lot. It has a huge impact on your performance. Make sure you are well hydrated. Drink water throughout the day to maintain your fluids. If you are dehydrated before a run, it is likely going to be difficult and suck! Continue reading “Running preparation and recovery”

Stretching Exercises – Feel the Stretch

Book about StretchingA few weeks ago I wrote a post about my 22 day challenge to work on my stretching.

As I mentioned in the post, a lot of my requirement is to stretch my hamstrings to ease my muscular back pain. Running, BMF and cycling all work in the opposite way of trying to shorten my hamstrings

There are many benefits to static stretching post work out. It improves circulation, reduces soreness and improves blood flow. All of which aids recovery and improves later performance. It can also help avoid injury that can be the death nail to a lot of training plans and PB hopes. It can also help calm the mind and provide a mental break by taking 10-15 minutes out of your day to focus. Continue reading “Stretching Exercises – Feel the Stretch”