The weather is finally getting warmer (yippeee) so I’m throwing it back to a shoot that I did in the midst of last summer with London based camera genius, Luc Coiffait.
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 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!
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…
Last week, I was invited to join team New Balance at their brand new Bicester Village store. Home to many premium and luxury brands, Bicester Village is the destination for anybody searching for quality products at great prices making it an ideal spot for New Balance to make home for their new outlet arrival. As well as being the brand’s most premium outlet store, it is also the first performance sports offering available at Bicester Village, so you can only imagine how excited I was to pay it a visit.
The boutique sized store fits perfectly with the usual New Balance style and has clearly been designed with much care and thought. It’s clean interior and bright lighting allows for the products to be show-cased to their full potential. There is also a clever use of storage, with hidden drawers holding masses of trainers- ready to try on and buy at the drop of a hat. No waiting around here!
There’s a clear divide between women’s and menswear with each having their own half of the store, so there’s no confusion as to where to head for what. The staff are also amazingly friendly and surprisingly well-knowledged, especially as the store only opened earlier this month.
It’s an intimate setting compared to their recent Oxford Street haven, but means that it only has room for the best products…
Stocked with the top picks of New Balance product, including premium ranges and limited edition pieces, anyone with a passion for great quality sportswear or athleisure will find themselves in NB paradise. The selection includes sought after ranges such as the ‘Explore the Sea’ pack, the New Balance x Horween Leather and the women’s J.Crew collaboration.
Trainer-wise, you will not be let down. There’s plenty to choose from across both lifestyle and performance for both men and women. Sneakerheads, beware! Although with outlet prices, there’s really no need to hold back.
My Top Picks
As part of the day, I was asked to pick out my favourite pieces… Not. A. Problem!
I have to say, I did spend most of my time running between the New Balance x J.Crew section and the changing rooms with a few cheeky stops by the trainers! Although my usual style is pretty monochrome (all black/no colour whatsoever/maybe some grey), the fit and style of the bright orange and blue set had me swooning and I just had to add it to my shopping bag! I also nabbed the most dreamy drop back vest top, a striped crop and two pairs of black trainers, of which one pair glows in the dark!!
I practically live in sportswear, so loved being able to try on all of the premium activewear pieces- the ideal additions to my athleisure wardrobe.
A huge thank you to New Balance for an amazing day. If you’re a New Balance fan (or even just looking for some quality sportswear that won’t break the bank) then I would definitely recommend a trip to their new store. Enjoy! x
Earlier this week, FitBit invited me along to their Heart Rate Hotel to test out their brand new fitness wristband- the Alta HR. One of the main features of the new device, is it’s ability to monitor your sleep. With Sleep Stages (analysing light, deep and REM sleep), Sleep Insights and developed alongside a panel of leading sleep experts from a variety of highly regarded universities, you really can get a true read on how well you’re sleeping, including problem areas and how to improve the quality of your sleep.
No only this, but the Alta HR is now the World’s slimmest wristband and anybody interested in fashion as well as fitness, will be pleased to know that it has interchangeable bands to help you match with any outfit. You can choose from the Classic Fitness Bands at £19.99, the Luxe Leather Bands at £39.99 and the Luxe Metal Bracelet at £69.99. My personal favourites are the black classic for exercise and the silver metal band for when I’m out and about.
As part of the trial, a selection of fitness experts and influencers headed to central London’s FitBit Heart Rate Hotel to endure a HIIT workout with London Fitness Guy (James Stirling) and then lower our heart rates with a sleep session from sleep expert, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan.
I’ll be posting tips from DR Nerina Ramlakhan right here so keep an eye out!
We sweated it out and elevated our heart rates before winding down in a sleep haven- fully-equipped with beds, relaxing music and even our own pair of slippers! Of course we wore our fitness trackers throughout the entire session so were able to see the changes in our heart rates from stage to stage. The experience was extremely interesting, especially as the importance of sleep seems to be brushed over in today’s fitness industry. I’ll definitely be putting my Alta HR to the test to see how I sleep and where I need to make changes!
If you want to find out more about the new FitBit Alta HR or purchase your own then click right here.
I recently posted about the Puma Do You styling event and after party (if you missed it click right here) and promised to update you guys with the images from the shoot. Well, the lovely ladies who invited me down were in touch today- super speedy I must say- with the final shots.
Here’s a little BTS!
And here’s me, styled by Nayaab Tania and shot by Loan Love.
Yesterday I headed to East London for an afternoon & evening of fun with Puma Women. In perfect timing with Internation Women’s Day, Puma decided to celebrate their Do You campaign, which aims to empower women everywhere. Just my thing!! The event started with a super cute styling session and was followed by a jam-packed after party.
The Do You Styling Session
Held in the iconic railway arches of London, Puma pulled out all the stops to provide myself and a whole load of other influencer/creative/kick-ass babes with the chance to style their very own shoot. With rails of the new SS17 Puma lifestyle range and in-demand stylist Nayaab Tania at hand, we definitely had all the right tools to create the perfect spring summer athleisure look.
There was a hair and makeup station, masses of clothes to choose from and London’s hottest female photographers Emma Breschi and Loan Love. What more could you want! Nayaab kitted me out with the cuttest oversized flare pants (with a slit up both legs of course) and obviously Puma trainers to complete the outfit, while Loan Love snapped away & even left me with this tiny Polaroid to take home- how sweet!
My second outfit was from the Puma X Fenty range by Rihanna and it was heavenly. A matching tracksuit with baggy pants and a cropped sweat; oversized, ridiculously comfy and in Khaki (one of my fave colours) it couldn’t have been more perfect. Unfortunately I don’t have any images just yet of this outfit but I’ll make sure to post them over on my Instagram (@kirbyanne) as soon as the professional shots are sent over!
Throughout the session we were kept fully hydrated- ish- with prosecco & a variety of juices at the Puma bar. Yum!
As predicted, the party did not disappoint. In the same location as the styling session there was a fully stocked free bar, music from the baddest female DJs (girl power at its finest), an in-demand photo booth and a room full of people bringing nothing but positive energy. We danced, socialised, drank and basically had a load of fun in true girl boss style. Even the boys came down to celebrate!
So here’s a huge thank you to Puma Women! Don’t forget to keep an eye out over on my Instagram (@kirbyanne) for the results from my photo shoot.
Lots of love to all of the amazing women out there- let’s show the world what we’re made of!!