Shock Absorber Fly Bra

There’s no doubt about it that Shock Absorber are well-known for their sports bra expertise. In fact, according to research, ‘wearing a Shock Absorber sports bra is proven to reduce breast movement by up to 78%.’ That’s pretty impressive, especially when breasts can move up to 14cm when unsupported by a bra! Wow.

So, we’ve figured that it’s important to wear a sports bra if we don’t want to damage breast ligaments (or have sagging boobs!) and it looks like a Shock Absorber bra might be a pretty good choice. Luckily for us, they’ve just released a brand new bra with Cross Control technology- phenomenal support, yet super light comfort. Introducing the Ultimate Fly Bra… 


With parkour expert and free runner, Katie McDonnel as an ambassador, you know that Shock Absorber bras are trusted by even the most active of women. Katie joined myself and a whole bunch of fitness industry experts for the launch event of the new Fly Bra. We were put through our paces at London’s boutique gym 1Rebel for a high impact, parkour inspired workout (i.e. a LOT of burpees, squat jumps and other bodyweight exercises) before finishing with 1Rebel’s well known smoothies and a protein-packed breakfast spread. 

Obviously Katie breezed through the workout, sporting her very own Shock Absorber bra. A picture speaks a thousand words and by the end of the workout Katie still managed to look photoshoot- ready for her cool down stretches, so need I say more? 


The Ultimate Fly Bra is Shock Absorber’s lightest bra yet. It holds a second skin sensation whilst still providing unmatched support even during intense, high impact exercise. Unfortunately the bra doesn’t cater for A cup ladies, which is a bit of a shame! But does cover sizes 32-38 B-F. You can pick yours up for £45 from a variety of retailers including Bravissimo, Debenhams, Wiggle and Next. 

Bra’nalysis with Brooks and Runners Need

Did you know that a sports bra should never see in a birthday? Sad, I know! But that’s how often you should be changing your sports bra. I have to say, this is news to my ears. As a fitness blogger and instructor, I live in sportswear, so you can only imagine my collection of bras (I have a full drawer dedicated just to them and it’s not the easiest to get shut)! I have ones dating from one week old to, well, three, maybe four years back… Eeeek. The ladies at Brooks would be going mad to hear this. In fact, it was them who opened my eyes to the importance of sports bras- from finding the perfect fit to how regularly we should be replacing them!

Along with a load of runner babes, I headed to Runners Need Holborn last week, where the lovely Brooks team were waiting to kit us out with our new Brooks bras- after a thorough fit session of course!

After trying only two bras, I knew that I had found the one. It fit perfectly around my chest- hugging my body with no gaps, yet not too tight- and the cups fit just right. Typically I’d gone for the black one (it’s just so easy to wear!!) and once we were all fitted, we sat down for a talk on just why being fitted is so important.

So, here’s my best interpretation without absolutely mind boggling you… Breasts have no muscle, instead they consist of ligaments. This means that we can’t exercise to perk up our breasts; we simply have to look after them! When we move, so does our chest and in more than one direction! Brooks describe the movement pattern as a figure eight- so up, down and side to side. By purchasing the correct fitting sports bra, we prevent/reduce movement, hence preventing the ligaments from weakening.

They also told us that women who wear an ill-fitting sports bra, have on average a running stride length that is 4cm shorter than those who have a sports bra that fits perfectly. That’s a whopping 10 minute difference in marathon time! Wow.

After a lot of shocked faces and a look into more of the Brooks styles, we took to the streets of London to put our new bras to the test. Stopping for a group picture mid run of course!!

runners need.jpg

We were greeted back at the shop with prosecco and had time to mingle, while everyone discussed how great the bras were! All in all it was a very productive evening- we learnt a lot, networked and worked out! What more could you want… Now, I think it’s time that I have a little clear out! Thanks Brooks and to our amazing hosts at Runners Need! xx

 

Let’s Talk Body Positivity

I haven’t written anything personal in a while yet I think it’s about time that I do so, especially seeing as I’ve got a certain issue on my mind; body positivity.

Social media is great. It helps us connect with people that we may never have had a chance to encounter otherwise. It builds friendships, has helped many to find love, provides hours of fun and can be a great motivational tool (if you’re following the right feeds). On the other hand, there are a few issues generated from social networks that are pretty unhealthy to say the least. It can cause feuds, end relationships, feed our shopping obsessions, leaving your bank balance feeling pretty sorry for itself, and can turn even the most sane of us into obsessive stalkers. It’s OK, we’ve all been there.

The thing is, actions that would be frowned upon in real life become acceptable in our online world. We can see everything and if we can’t, we’ll find a way to do so. Crazy, I know.

‘What does this have anything to do with body positivity?’ I hear you say. Well, let me explain. Everything that we see and become obsessed with online, sparks how we feel in person. When we feel inadequate on social media, we also feel it in real life. Yes, it can bring the highs, but it can bring us crashing down just as quickly. 

World renowned author, Paulo Coelho, writes that, ‘Two things prevent us from happiness; living in the past and observing others.’ Let’s focus on the latter. Yes, we are able to observe people in person, yet a deeper insight into lives from across the world is so easily accessible via social media that we can’t help but to look at it. With observation comes analysis and the dangerous act of comparison. 

‘OMG, that bikini is amazing.’ *Clicks onto bikini page* ‘Ohhh that girl looks great in it…’ *Clicks onto girl’s feed* ‘Look how stunning she is!’ *Studies a few images* ‘How does she get her waist to be so tiny?!’ *10 images later* ‘Why aren’t my boobs that big… No, her butt cannot be real! Seriously, look how toned her legs are. If only I looked like this…’ *Now studying every single one of her friends* ‘All of these girls are gorgeous. I’m so ugly, hate my belly, wish my bum was bigger, oh and I’m getting a boob job.’ *Scrolled way back to 2015 on several Instagram accounts, now knows bikini girls life story and has eaten three packets of crisps while acquiring all of this really useful information*. You get the idea.

The thing is, it’s so easy for us to doubt our own image (amongst other things but let’s stick to image for the sake of this post) that we suddenly have insecurities that we weren’t quite so concerned about before and do you know what the worst part is? Social media isn’t real. The forced poses, 100’s of snaps before we get the right shot, filters and if we’re taking it to another level, bought followers and editing apps. You wouldn’t believe how many girls edit their pictures to make their boobs and bums bigger and waists smaller and it looks so believable. All of this for the gram, perhaps to hide their own insecurities and to portray a life that’s a little bit shinier than it actually is- making anybody admiring it feel a little less sparkly.

So I ask one thing. Carry on with social media and spend your time on their as you please, but do remember to take everything with a pinch of salt and most of all, don’t forget to focus on your own body more than anybody else’s. The most powerful thing- even more powerful than social media- is your own sense of self worth. Feeling more confident in our skin can have a number of benefits on our attitude, drive and success. Embrace your body with all of it’s beauty and flaws. Love it, rock it, live in it and try tell me that doesn’t feel great.

ASICS Gel-Quantum 360 Trainers

Finding the perfect trainer for you can sometimes be a bit of a mission, especially if you’re looking for something that combines performance with fashion. Well, ASICS have created a trainer that may just do the job. Welcome the ASICS Gel-Quantum 360

First, let’s talk appearance. Combining a knitted upper with a gel sole, there’s plenty going on, yet somehow the trainer manages to stay easy on the eye. It’s effortlessly cool. The kind of trainer that you’d notice for all the right reasons. For me, the gel sole reminds me of that childhood attire (think 90’s jelly shoes or light up trainers worn with popper track pants) however, teamed with the knitted fabric and the Quantum 360’s sleek design, it’s been modernised to fit straight into any sports luxe wardrobe. Sporty Spice, eat your heart out.

Available in two colourways- all white/snow or peach and black– I have to say that my favourite is the white (so easy to throw on and just look at that glitter sole). I’m a bit of a minimalist and tend to stick around mono/nude colour palettes, with maybe a hint of colour if I dare, but that’s not to say that I don’t like the peach. Great for those who prefer a splash of colour- or to go all out! I team my peach pair with an all black outfit.

asiscs 360
Source: jdsports.co.uk

asics 360 pink
Source: jdsports.co.uk

OK, so we’ve done enough lusting over the design. Let’s conclude with one word- dreamy. Now for the tech…

The main aspect, hence the name, is that they include 360 degrees of the ASICS iconic Gel cushioning, designed to optimise protection from shock and the impact of running. Then there’s the FluidFit upper- streamlined, adaptable with movement and breathable. They’re also super light, supportive and comfortable. Wearable for both shorter and longer runs.

I do wear my sportswear pretty much everywhere, but I find these trainers so versatile and easy to wear from the gym to the shops/brunch/wherever-my-day-may-take-me! RRP £160, available online at JD Sports.

Speedo Swim Generation

This week, Speedo launched a brand new movement in the hope to reduce drowning worldwide. It’s called Swim Generation and could seriously save lives.

Did you know that over 1,000 people loose their lives to drowning every single day?! It’s the third leading cause of death worldwide!

speedo

The initiative aims to help contribute to the reduction of drowning through increasing awareness and by providing people with the correct skills and knowledge to prevent drowning from occurring. They’ll be donating kit, time, funds and expertise to allow these lifesaving projects to have a real impact. It’s a global initiative and for some people, could be the difference between life and death.

 

The thing is, that they can’t do it alone. They’re not asking for much. In fact there are some small changes that you can make, named by Speedo as ‘Small Ripples’…

Small ripples:

– Have a conversation – let people know about Swim Generation

– Pledge your support to Swim Generation across social media

– Share a story – let people know about the issue

– Make sure you tell friends and family how to stay safe

– Post and share water safety messages on social media

To bigger things that really ‘Make Waves’…

Making Waves:

– Donate to one of the Swim Generation community partners

– Learn lifesaving skills

– Volunteer your time

– Drowning prevention – ensure you have an action plan in place to help keep you and others safe

Or if you are even more committed, it could be you who ‘Turns The Tide’.

Turning The Tide

– Help raise funds for one of the Swim Generation community partners – complete sponsored swim

– Become a qualified life saver and/or lifeguard

– Be an advocate/activist for safer swimming

Find out more by clicking right here.

Speedo are definitely in my good books lately. First it was Make 1k Wet, encouraging people to get more active and increase fitness in other areas by hitting the water and now they’re saving lives through Swim Generation. Why not spread the word or get on board yourself. You never know, it could help to keep somebody alive.

 

How You Can Achieve An Effortless Night’s Sleep By Dr Nerina Ramlakhan

When it comes to health, exercise and diet seem to dominate our conversations but there’s one vital thing that isn’t spoken about enough… sleep! 

I attended the FitBit Heart Rate Hotel to experience a high intensity workout followed by a rather different sleep session (read all about it right here). With the latter run by leading sleep expert Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, I came away with some very interesting tips on how to improve your sleep. Here’s how! 

1. Eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up. Who knew?! Apparently this breaks the fast (obviously) but also helps to increase metabolism and melatonin levels, which helps us to have a better quality sleep. 

2. Keep hydrated! Drinking the recommended 2litres of water per day helps to reduce nocturnal restlessness. Pass the water, please! 

3. Cut back on caffeine. Seems quite obvious but did you know that caffeine isn’t just found in coffee? It’s in soft drinks, teas and even chocolate bars and ice creams! Dr Nerina recommends no caffeine after 3pm. 

4. Withdraw from technology at least one hour before bed. Now this one for me is a toughy- I’m scrolling through Instagram in bed never mind putting it down one hour before. Dr Nerina recommends swapping the iPhone for a book when it’s getting close to bedtime. 

5. Go to bed early- ideally before 10.30pm. Or at least be resting by this time. Rest qualifies as relaxing in bed or on the sofa, perhaps with a book. No energy should be sent out after this time. 

You can see more from Dr Nerina right here. She explained how she won’t see clients again until they try these top tips. So if you want to improve your sleep, you now know where to start! 

Speedo #Make1KWet with Nathalie Emmanuel 

Speedo have launched a brand new campaign in the hope to get more people into the water and improve their fitness via the fabulous sport of swimming. #Make1KWet aims to highlight the  benefits of the sport and it’s ability to improve performance in other activities such as running. 

To celebrate the launch, we headed to the beautiful Canary Riverside Plaza Hotel to pick up our goody bags and then strolled across to Canary Wharf Virgin Active, where we took to the water! 


Wearing the latest Speedo kit- a body positioning swimsuit (which I have to say is amazing!) and Biofuse anti fog goggles- we were looking like pros, but could we keep up the pace once in the water? 

Expert coach Annie Emmerson led the session whilst Olympic swimmer Florent Manaudou showed us exactly how it should be done with world-class demonstrations. Split into three different groups dependant upon ability, we were in the water for a good 45 minutes following instructions from Annie and putting our bodies to the test. 

As a keen runner and admittedly, a not-so-keen swimmer, the session made me realise that I have a long way to go if I want to master the sport of swimming. I learnt through isolation drills that, just like out of the water, my legs are much more powerful than my arms, which could be one downfall in my swimming game. My breathing technique also isn’t the best meaning that there’s plenty of room for improvement. 

Honestly, I have never had a desire to swim. From a young age I had to be bribed to go to my swimming classes with the promise of pick’&’mix afterwards. On holiday, I would rather sunbathe than take to the pool and the thought of trekking to a UK pool quite frankly sounded like the worst idea ever. However, I have to say that although I’m not going to be a swimming enthusiast any time soon (although never say never!), I do think that I am now more keen to make improvements and see if it really does have an affect in other areas. 

Once dried and fed we were introduced to Game of Thrones actress Nathalie Emmanuel, who is the face of the new Speedo #Make1KWet campaign. Nathalie explained her original swimming fears and her journey to overcome them with the Speedo team. She was sweet, funny and extremely honest- a very likeable character who has made me want to tackle my own swimming insecurities even more. 

Overall, I think that #Make1KWet is a brilliant idea- well done, Speedo. It’s refreshing to see a brand pushing people to take note of their health and fitness levels and encouraging more people to move away from their comfort zones. 

Now, with my new kit at hand all I need to do is find out the location of my nearest pool…