One, Two, Three & Stretch…

Most people think that static-stretching is a pre-workout activity. That it’s there to lessen soreness and prevent injury. But this is in fact wrong- it does neither. In fact, this kind of stretching before exercise can actually decrease performance, making legs stiffen or become heavy mid-workout. Instead, try a 5 minute jog or motion stretches (think high knees or butt-kicks) to start! Repeat at the end of your session to cool down and then it’s time for the static stretches! Strength and conditioning specialist Matt Mosman, recommends around 10 minutes of stretching at the end of your session.

As stretching should always be carried out when warm, it’s also really great to stretch when you get out of the shower on a morning. I know what you’re all thinking; who has time for that?! But it only takes a few minutes and can make a huge difference to your day! It can lead to fewer aches and pains, as well as releasing mental tension (mentally preparing you to take on that big meeting you were dreading) and can even improve posture! So start your day the right way…and stretch! xx

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Image by Oliver Cargill x

Alexander Wang x H&M

“I live in gym clothes… When you go out on the street, it’s the uniform now,” were the recent words of Alexander Wang. I couldn’t agree more.

A man who shares the same enthusiasm towards activewear as myself collaborating with one of the high street’s favourite retailers (H&M), now that’s something to be excited about! We saw a glimpse of what’s soon to launch for both men and women across certain H&M stores in the Wang x H&M catwalk last week and I for one, was not let down. This is one seriously hot collaboration- sports inspired fashion at it’s best!

Launching on November 6th (perfect pay day timing) the range will be available in selected stores and online. Be quick because this won’t be hanging around for long. I predict lots of eBay Wang H&M searches will be stacked up that week! Prices vary from £24.99 crops and £29.99 shorts all the way through to more pricey, but completely worth it and still really affordable, £179.99 jackets and we see similar prices for the men too. With black as a key colour- always a winner- there’s going to be sports chic everywhere this winter.

I am absolutely in love with this collection and can’t wait to see plenty of men and women rocking this contemporary sports vibe! For the women, my best piece has to be the strappy crop and for the men, the ‘Choose Your Player’ tee (can I choose the guy wearing it please?) and black hooded jacket are my faves. The men’s range is amazing and even includes some super sleek boxing gloves!! You guys have to take some time to check it out…

Missed the show? Have a cheeky view below of what these two huge fashion names have created. I’ll be counting down the days until the 6th. See you in the queue! xx

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Vinti Andrews, Part One…

You all know how much I love sports fashion, so I was thrilled to be asked to shoot the new Vinti Andrews SS15 collection with one of my fave photographers, Oliver Cargill. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the label, Vinti Andrews is the master of wearable sports luxe. A growing name that won’t be disappearing any time soon.

Vinti Tan and Paul Andrews are the designers behind the name. Previously collaborating with Nike to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Air Max, they created life size English pit bull terrier dogs made entirely of Nike trainers along with a number of colourful bags, jackets and shorts. The duo effortlessly transform sport into pure premium fashion, twisting the boundaries of the contemporary scene- something that I’m really passionate about.

I was lucky enough to meet designer Paul Andrews, who I have to say is the kindest, most genuine man I’ve met in a long time- making me like the collection even more!

Source: koikoikoi.com
Source: koikoikoi.com

With sports luxe slowly moving from trend to lifestyle, Vinti Andrews has got it just right. Both of their men’s and women’s collections are super strong. You’ll see a variety of fabric, textures and techniques, resulting in unique, statement pieces with outstanding attention to detail. Although you may not be working out in their clothes, you’ll almost definitely be feeling great!

As always, it was a pleasure to shoot with Mr Cargill. We created two looks on our night time London shoot. Here’s the first one, wearing this dreamy candy-coloured tracksuit… (I thought that I might be a little chilly, but the double mesh lining was actually nice and warm)!

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Check out more from Vinti Andrews, including the menswear range right here.

P.S. Watch out for my post about the second look dropping sometime soon! xx

 

Top Tips for Glowing Skin!

“Everybody looks better with a tan,” is something that I’ve heard a million times, however it’s definitely not something that I agree with. Fake tan definitely beats sunbeds, but dodgey orange fake tan- that seems to be pretty goddamn popular these days- quite frankly doesn’t beat anything. Over tanning makes you wrinkly (watch ITV’s Benidorm and you’ll see what I mean) and in absolute honesty, some of the world’s most naturally beautiful people are super pale.

The point that I’m trying to make is that ‘everybody looks better with a tan’ isn’t true. Want to know what the truth is? The truth is that everybody looks better with great skin, which is something that vitamins from the sun will provide. That holiday glow isn’t all about the tan, it’s the fact that your skin looks great! And it isn’t just the sun that helps. Relaxation. Catching up on sleep. Drinking plenty of water. These are all characteristics of the summer and beach holiday season that work wonders for your skin!

So now that winter has officially crept up on us and everybody’s feeling depressed that their summer glows are fading and that gaunt skin will be their latest accessory, I thought it would be nice to post about how you can keep your healthy summer skin throughout the cold few months that lie ahead.

Here are my simple tips on how to make your skin glow all year round!

Number One: Drink Water. This may seem a little obvious but the power of water is completely underestimated. It’s one of the best ways to naturally rehydrate your skin, keeping it feeling super fresh! Keep a bottle of water with you at all times to remind you to sip up and aim for six to eight glasses a day, or one and a half litres.

Number Two: Moisturise. Again, this one’s all about hydration. I recommend moisturising your full body twice a day and even more for your hands! Choose a light specialised cream for your face and always carry a hand cream. My ultimate fave is Nivea Hands, Face and Body Moistuiser. It’s so so light, doesn’t clog your pores and can be used all over your body! My dream cream!

Number Three: Eat Right. This one goes without saying. Get that 5 portions per day in your belly!!! Vitamin C is an antioxidant that’s needed for radiant skin and helps to heal blemishes. Eat blueberries, blackcurrants, kiwi, broccoli, strawberries and sweet potatoes to get your Vit C hit! Vitamin E is also great for supporting healthy skin growth. Avocado, hazelnuts and  almonds will do the trick.

Number Four: Wash your face! You might laugh at this one but a major cause of blemished skin can be blocked pores. Buy a special face cleanser rather than soap so that you don’t dry out your skin.

Number Five: Get your Zzz’s! Aim for 8 hours sleep per night. It will eliminate eye bags and make you and your skin feel one hell of a lot more alive.

Number Six: Don’t Crash Diet. Short in vitamins and constantly straining your skin. A massive no, no!

Okay, so those are my six tips for glowing skin. They’re all fairly easy to follow and really cost effective! But sometimes our skin just needs that one tiny extra helping hand- and sometimes our lives are just too busy to get that 8 hours kip!

I’ve recently been taking some magic little health capsules to make my skin look and feel flawless everyday. I can’t actually believe that I’m writing this because usually I’m so against vitamin and mineral capsules. However, my miracle sweets, as I like to call them, are made of nothing but fruit, vegetables and berries at their ripest, finest form! You won’t even find this goodness in your fresh market fruit and vegetables.

Not only does my skin look and feel great but I’m full of energy and even my hair and nails are reaping the benefits. I won’t sell them to you anymore than I already have, or I’ll become one of those annoying people that you wish had a pause button, but if you would like a little more information just drop me an email to tigeress.kirby@gmail.com.

Ditch that fake winter tan and get naturally beautiful skin all year long! xxx

Yummy Low Calorie Cocktails

The one thing that I find difficult about healthy living is giving up my all time favourite fruity pleasure… cocktails! For dieters and health conscious individuals, avoiding liquid calories can be the worst. But luckily there’s no need to give up the alcohol for good. I’ve found the best low-calorie cocktails that won’t have you feeling quite so guilty next time you head to the bar!

Skinny Mojito

Although mojitos may look super healthy, do not be fooled. They’re full of sugar, which means lots of empty calories- booo! However, it’s easier than you think that make this classic cocktail much healthier. Mint, lime and soda water are all naturally low cal and a shot of rum is around 100. Simply ask for half the amount of syrup (usually 2 tablespoons instead of 4) or for none at all and this will still be one deliciously refreshing drink!

www.houseandgarden.co.uk
Source: http://www.houseandgarden.co.uk

Sea Breeze

Sometimes cocktails are better for you than a standard spirit and mixer! Take the sea breeze for example, which combines 4oz. of grapefruit juice, 1 1/2 oz. of cranberry juice and 1oz. of vodka. Around 180 calories less than a standard vodka-cranberry!

Source: theferventshaker.wordpress.com
Source: theferventshaker.wordpress.com

Tranquil Tequila

Say adiós to the usual margarita with this 100 calorie replacement! Simply mix tequila with soda water and a squeeze of lime. 100 cals of pure delight!

Mudslide

I know what you’re thinking, ‘She’s joking. She’s secretly trying to make us all fat whilst keeping all of the real tips to herself. Knocking off the competition.’ Well, I kid you not. This delightfully tasty drink may look like it’s stacked with more calories than a slab of chocolate fudge cake, but in reality it’s only actually around 185 cals! Creamy coffee indulgence without the guilt!

Gin and Tonic

Not quite classed as a cocktail, but I had to sneak this one in. A go-to drink that holds only 103 calories. Mix 1 oz. gin with 3 oz. tonic for a low cal beverage that you’ll be sure to find anywhere.

Source: www.bkmag.com
Source: http://www.bkmag.com

Light and Stormy

Not quite as fun (or dangerous) as a dark and stormy, but a nice healthier alternative! Using a short glass with ice, pour 1 shot of light rum and 2 shots of ginger ale. The perfect drink for you ginger ale fiends.

Here’s a great low-calorie mocktail for those of you who don’t drink alcohol. At 34 calories, yes 34, this one’s worth a try!

American Virgin

Combine 1 shot of peach juice with 1 shot of soda with a splash of orange juice and the same amount of lemonade. Add some ice and shake away. Peachy goodness at it’s best. (Thank Skinnygirl founder Bethenny Frankel for this one)!

www.versesfrommykitchen.com
Source: http://www.versesfrommykitchen.com

Now you’re all set for your next night out! However, it might be not be the best idea to drink them all at once… Happy Cocktailing! x

Budget Sportswear: Look Great for Less

There are several types of people who go to the gym. There’s the hunky men who spend more time in the mirror than actually working up a sweat, the treadmill selfie queens (please fall off mid photo, we beg!), the ones who coolly walk in wearing all the right gear, only to head straight to the sauna and then there’s the rest that quite frankly just want to have a damn good work out! I’d like to hope that I’m included in the latter.

However, at the end of the day, no matter what kind of gym-goer you are, it’s all about image whether we like it or not. You either go to make an impression to other people or you go to make yourself look and feel great. Gym-going has become so much of a trend that so has the clothing that we wear to work out. I for one, am happy about this. I love active wear both in and out of the gym, so thank god there’s becoming a little more variation on the market! But the prices, god the prices…

Activewear is expensive, way too expensive. So I’ve picked the best of budget sports gear that will have you looking ahhhmazing no matter how hard you train!

Forever 21 Heathered Keyhole Sports Bra £8

F21 £8 2 F21 £8

Forever 21 Foldover Woven Trackpants £13.50

Forever 21 Foldover Woven Trackpants Forever 21 Foldover Woven Trackpants £13.5

Forever 21 Seamless Capi Sports Bra £6

Forever 21 Seamless Capi Sports Bra £6 00129910-04

 

Forever 21 Space Dye Capris Leggings £12

Forever 21 Space Dye Capri Leggings Forever 21 Space Dye Capris Leggings

Adidas Clima Essentials Reversible Bra £22

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Adidas Neo Leggings £15

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H&M Sports bag £24.99

H&M Sportsbag £24.99

H&M Sports Bra Medium Support £14.99

hmprod (1) H&M Sports Bra Medium Support £14.99

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H&M Sports Shorts £12.99

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H&M Winter Running Tights £34.99

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P.S. There’s scientific evidence surrounding gym sass. According to researchers at Northwestern University, clothing influences us mentally as well as physically. Basically, the better you think that you look the harder you’ll work out. So, there’s a nice excuse to get your shop on and with prices this cheap who can resist?! xx

Nike AW14 Tech Pack Collection

Today’s culture demands sportswear to not only be functional but to also be aesthetically pleasing. The need for sports clothing to look attractive as well as serve it’s purpose has not only risen but has in fact, become a must. Gone are the days where an old tee and faded sweatpants would cut it for the gym. This is a new generation of sport consumers who want to look, as well as feel good when they work out!

Nike are always ahead of the game and have hit the nail on the head with their Tech Pack collection. Introduced in 2007, the collection allows athletes to step out in style without having to compromise on clothing functionality. Sported by well-known faces from across the world including Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, Kevin Prince Boateng, Perri Shakes Drayton and Jon Jones, the range is clearly fit for the best. Designed with special fabric to allow superior breathability and insulation as well as allowing maximum movement and looking rather professional, this is definitely worth investing in.

Additional items have been added to the Tech Pack for AW14, such as the Nike Tech Butterfly for women and the Nike Tech Windrunner IRD for men.

The gent’s windrunner has a simple design and in this case, less really is more. Guys, wanting to catch the eye of that cute girl that you see on your morning runs? Well I would definitely recommend that you add this to your winter wardrobe- black being my personal fave!

Nike sent me a surprise package containing the grey Butterfly to try out (yipeeee!) and I was more than impressed. This jacket is super duper lightweight, yet also really warm and it’s so so comfortable- the perfect encouragement for a winter morning run! It fits great and is surprisingly soft with thumb hole features that mean no irritating sleeve movement when playing sport or training. Available in multiple colours from black to purple haze, there’s one to suit everyone. Deep pockets let your hands keep warm during rest time and the interesting crossover back is clearly where it adopted it’s name!

In fact, I love my jacket so much that after wearing it in London I just had to take it with me to New York! The Tech Butterfly will be my sports staple throughout Autumn and deep into Winter this year. Take a peak at the travels of my jacket so far… I wonder where it will visit next! xx

Photographs by the cities’ finest; all London images by Oliver Cargill, all New York images by Dave Krugman.

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