Lies Lies Lies – Top five fitness myths debunked!

You only need to go to YouTube and type in gym fails to see that a lot of us don’t know what we’re doing when it comes to working out! This isn’t a crime – there’s so many theories about the best routines, diet supplements, and workout gear to confuse us all! However, there are some theories that have become so widely accepted that they are thrown around like they’re hard facts. Well, don’t be fooled any longer – here’s our list of fitness myths and their rightful debunks.

MYTH:

Running beats walking.

DEBUNK:

This will probably have a few people gasping as they read, but hold on, this debunk isn’t as simple as a walk in the park! Running and walking target the same muscle groups which does mean that they have similar health benefits when you compare overall energy burn. However, because of the different intensities, it takes more than twice the amount of time to expend the same amount of energy walking as you would running, so running still wins if you’re short on time.

Running and walking target the same muscle groups, it's just a question of intensity!
Running and walking target the same muscle groups, it’s just a question of intensity!

MYTH:

No pain, no gain.

DEBUNK:

This is the chant in almost everyone’s head when they’re exercising for fitness levels, unless you’re a real gym-head that feels the need to say it out loud in the mirror (there’s one in every gym, isn’t there?) Whilst a little bit of discomfort shows that you’re really trying hard with your exercise routine, any located sharp pains are a sign to stop and rest. If they continue once you’ve restarted, you should contact your doctor in case you’re injured or there’s something else wrong.

MYTH:

Lifting heavy weights bulks you up.

DEBUNK:

Sorry guys, but most of you love to get the big weights out and macho it up at the gym, so this one is for the ladies. Lots of women chose lighter dumbbells in the fear that heavy weights will make them bulk up. However, they can actually slim you down! According to a study published in Medicine & Sport in Sports & Exercise, women who lift challenging weights for eight reps burn nearly twice as many calories as women who do 15 reps with lighter dumbbells.

MYTH:

Running on a treadmill is just as good as running outside.

DEBUNK:

Too windy? Too wet? Too cold? Paid your gym membership? Whatever excuse you use to run on a treadmill instead of outside needs to stop. Running outside on uneven terrain against the wind and the rain engages more of your muscles, which requires more energy and ends up burning about 10% more calories than running the same distance on a treadmill. Plus, it’s more interesting to take in the scenery outside than it is to look at yourself panting and sweating in the mirror!

Taking your workout outside can come with a whole host of benefits!
Taking your workout outside can come with a whole host of benefits!

MYTH:

You can target where you burn fat.

DEBUNK:

Losing some weight around the wobbly bits is one of the main reasons that people work out! Often people use specific routines to burn fat off of those areas so they’ll wobble a little bit less! However, a new study in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning has found that it’s not as easy as that. Their research, in which 12 people completed a 12-week exercise program focusing on one leg, found that 11 of the 12 lost the same amount of body fat in each leg, and burned even more from above the waist.

MYTH:

You should have a rest day in your workout routine.

DEBUNK:

People even have a day named after this famous myth, and it’s probably one that lots of us would like to believe! However, rest day is actually not the best way to rehabilitate your body ready for the next trip to the gym. According to Barbara Bushman, Ph.D., a professor of kinesiology at Missouri State University, resting is actually vital to your workout routine, and should not be treated as an alternative to your exercising. By resting in between exercises your body won’t go under unhealthy strain and should be fighting fit to work out every day!

Rest is key! But rest as you go for max results. Resting between exercises is the best route to go!
Rest is key! But rest as you go for max results.

The next time you’re heading out for a run, or you’re on the way to the gym, remember our list of fitness myths. It’s always good to check in with fitness tips and workout fads, but it’s important to realise that there’s a lot of false information out there. To avoid becoming a YouTube sensation on a gym fails video or exercising in the wrong way because of something you’ve read, make sure to fact check. Our blog will also have some helpful fitness articles to guide you along the way!

Techness: Top 5 fitness apps!

Women browsing her phone - Taste Inc. approve the top fitness apps here on our blog - Taste Inc.

From frying an egg to calculating your mortgage, anything that you can think of comes with an app in this technological age! Whilst some of them might seem to be a bit on the overkill side of things, fitness apps are a great way of making sure that you keep on top of your fitness routine. So, whether you’ve tried them before and they didn’t work, or you’re ready to try something new, we’re sure that our list of five fitness apps will get you off the sofa and into a workout routine that you’ll love!

There's endless fitness apps, some of which can be the key to a lasting, effective healthy lifestyle.
There’s apps for everything and anything these days! The right ones can make all the difference however, especially when it comes to fitness!

30-Day Ab Challenge

If you’ve been more ‘worn out’ than ‘work out’ recently, then a challenge is a good way to kickstart a new fitness routine! This app challenges you to take on a month-long routine designed to give you that chiselled six-pack. It will start your workout gently, with a mixture of sit-ups, crunches, planks, leg raises and twists, and then steadily build up over the month as you get fitter. If you’re looking for something that’s structured and target orientated, this Ab-app is the one for you!

Couch to 5K

Running is a great way to get fit: you can do it outside, it’s been proven to be more effective at slowing down ageing than lifting weights, and it’s 100% cheaper than a gym membership! That sounds pretty great to us, but if you need a bit more motivation then there’s the Couch to 5k app from the NHS. This app is made to help you go from a gentle to jog, to running 5 kilometres in nine weeks! Ready, get set, download, go!

Couch to 5k is a fab app for people looking to get into running!

Nike Training Club

You might not be surprised because of the endless adverts with celebrities cladded in their gear, looking much cooler than most people when they exercise, but Nike have one of the best free workout apps out there! Nike Training Club has over 185 workouts to get into, focused on different muscle groups, workout types and ability. Use the app with your headphones in three steps: set up your playlist, start the workout on the app and follow the instructions over your music!

Simply Yoga

When lots of us think of workouts we think of straining red faces lifting weights, panting red faces bobbing up and down as they run, and a lot of sweating! Well, why not take it a little easier with the Simply Yoga app? It’s a great way to do exercise stretches, which can help build your strength, balance your posture and help to reduce stress. You can choose from 20, 40, or 60-minute routines depending on what you can manage that day. Each pose is demonstrated by a trainer so you can make sure you’re getting it right!

We're all about yoga here at Taste Inc. - especially when zenning out with a group. Apps are a great starting point for beginner and novice yogis alike.
We’re all about yoga! Tone up, de-stress and zen out with a simple routine – only takes twnety minutes!

Sworkit

Want a fitness app that you know works? Well, there are over 25 million people using Sworkit worldwide so you it’s safe to say that it works for a few people! Simply choose what kind of exercise you want and how much time you have, and Sworkit will give you a workout to try! It’s great when it comes to body weight exercises because it means you can work out anywhere – in your living room, in your garden, or even a quickly in the office!

With all of life’s responsibilities, we know that it can be a struggle to keep on top of exercise – but these fitness apps are here to help you do just that! With the different exercises, time-limits and challenges on them, we’re sure there’s at least one that will suit your needs. Using a fitness app is one of the best ways of freshening up your workout routine, or starting the one that you’ve never had! So, what are you waiting for? Get downloading, and get going!

Top tips for getting the kids to school on time!

Morning alarm clock - Getting to the kids on school on time! - Taste Inc.

One of the most stressful parts of raising kids is getting them out the door and to school on time. The mornings can be chaos as a result, which leads to arguments and stress. The last thing any parent wants is to send their child to school in a bad mood. But a few tweaks to your morning routine can fix this. Here are four tips to get your sleepy child ready for school quicker in the morning.

Morning alarm clock - Getting to the kids on school on time! - Taste Inc.

Prepare the night before

To battle the morning lateness, make sure everything is ready the night before. Pack your children’s lunches and lay out their school uniform so they don’t have to search for anything in the morning. Taste Inc. chicken is an ideal snack to pack in your children’s lunch as it’s pre-cooked, buy our five pack and tear one off every evening.

Create a wake up routine

We all have a bedtime routine so make sure you have a proper wake-up routine also. This will get your kids up easier and they’ll become accustomed to the process. Your kids will resist less when they know what’s coming. For example, make sure your child has their breakfast as soon they get out of bed. Make a rule that they must have their shoes on five minutes before you leave. Also, get up before your kids so you have time to attend to yourself. Create solid morning habits for an easy morning.

Turn off screens in the morning

Letting your kids watch TV and play their games consoles in the morning is a bad move. Of course, not all kids are the same but for many, it’s a distraction from getting ready. It’s easy to lose focus when your morning succumbs to staring at screens. So, make sure your children aren’t swayed by their smartphones and other media in the morning.

Insist your child take responsibility

If your kids are older, have them take responsibility. Establish the rules. Explain to your child if they keep waking up late, you will take something away from them like their mobile phone or laptop. This will ensure they keep up good habits and learn the natural consequences.

6 tips to get active and stay active for 2019!

Mini dumbbells for home use, bringing the workout closer to home and stay active! - Taste Inc.

It’s a brand new year, so you know what that means!

Gym memberships are skyrocketing. The shops are out of dumbbells. There’s a nationwide shortage of leggings…

Many of us resolve to get fitter and lose weight around this time of year. It’s a good thing! It usually involves a commitment to exercising for a fleeting period before our collective motivation gradually fizzles out. You’re all dedicated at the start of your fitness regime but somewhere along the line, you throw in the towel. But it doesn’t have to be this way. With the right attitude, you can stay active for more than a few months (see: weeks) at a time!

Make getting fit fun

To keep you motivated, always do an activity that appeals to you! There’s no point focusing on exercises you don’t enjoy. You will begin to hate exercising and you may even feel stressed out. When you pick an activity you really like, you’re more likely to keep up with the exercise. It’s a no-brainer.

Mini dumbbells for home use, bringing the workout closer to home and stay active! - Taste Inc.

Get exercise equipment at home

Keep fit without leaving your home! You have a range of exercise equipment options, such as a stationary bike, fitness ball, and free weights. When you have the equipment right there in front of you, there is no excuse not to work out. You’ll be able to stay fit any time all year round.

Set specific goals

It’s good to have an end-game when you exercise. What are you training for? You should look to set realist goals to keep you on your toes. Also, work towards little challenges throughout the year. You don’t have to train for a marathon, but small goals will you give that extra motivation. Work towards a charity bike ride for a few months, then switch to trying to conquer your local swimming pool for a few months.

Family exercising together - Taste Inc.

Get the family involved

Make a plan to do family exercise on a regular basis. Whether it’s going for a walk or playing frisbee at the park, you’ll be able to balance keeping fit and spending time with your family. You’ll be more invested in psychical activity if there are more people involved!

Look for incidental ways to keep active everyday

There are plenty of ways to keep active without even realising it. For example, cycle or walk to the local shops, rather than driving. You could buy a pedometer to measure the number of steps you take each day. Also, why not get stuck into household chores? Put some music on and burn those calories as you mop the floor and clean the bathroom!

Get a workout buddy

Working out with a friend is a great way to keep you on track, especially during the tough winter months. It also helps make exercise more sociable and fun! If none of your friends want to join you, try finding a club or group in your local area.

Staying active for the long haul is a challenge, but you can definitely achieve this by following these tips. Your lifestyle, budget, and availability will have an impact on how much exercise you can do. So, make a plan and set a schedule for your workouts. Prepare ahead and get inspired! Happy 2019!

4 ways you can combine being a health-freak and a foodie!

If you’re a foodie, you eat at every opportunity. Food is your passion. You don’t eat to live, you live to eat! The only annoying part is having to pay for everything and it can be tough keeping the calories in check. Not to worry – you can still be a full-blown foodie and a health-conscious person. Here are our top tips for being a foodaholic and a health freak!

Growing your own herbs and vegetables

First of all, you don’t need a lush green garden to grow tasty herbs and vegetables. Growing your own veg from scratch means you can be sure of what you’re eating. When you plant your food, you’ll be able to skip on the pesticide and make them healthier. You can save money at the supermarket as you’ll have a fresh batch of herbs on hand in your kitchen. You can also enjoy the process of growing better-tasting herbs and veg, and channel your inner foodie!

Indulge in some healthy kitchen gadgets

When you have healthy kitchen gadgets, you can prep good meals and save time. Your options are limitless! For quick salads, get yourself a salad cutting bowl and for fresh veggie noodles, try your hand at a 5-blade vegetable slicer. These gadgets are handy tools for cooking the food you love and keeping healthy.

Healthy, vibrant food - Taste Inc.

Food + exercise = balance!

As a foodie, you need to find fun, creative ways to balance eating delicious food while staying fit. Why not go for a long walk with your family, partner or friend after you go out for a meal? You could cycle to your favourite deli and carry your shopping bags home if it’s a short distance.

Sharing (is caring)

Don’t be greedy and level the playing field! Whenever you’re eating out or attending food events, share your treats with friends. You could check out a Spanish tapas restaurant and indulge in a huge variety of savoury appetizers. It’s the perfect way for you to enjoy small portions and still feel full. There’s plenty of healthy options too!

There are so many of ways to combine being a foodie and a health-freak. You get the best of both worlds when you mix the two! Staying healthy while eating great food can be done if you think carefully about what is being put in your body. Make a healthy food plan and eat mindfully!

10 reasons to get the bike out of the garage and go for a cycle

Bike parked up with a skidmark trailing behind it - Taste Inc.

You know it’s there, it’s not going anywhere. No, we’re not talking about Monday mornings. We’re talking about the bike, the one sitting in your garage getting dusty. Let us give you some motivation to rescue it and get cycling.

1. It’s easy.

You don’t need to be incredibly physically skilled to be able to ride a bike, unlike several other sports. So, if you have no hand-eye coordination, and haven’t done any sports before, cycling might be just right for you. Plus, you can choose the intensity of your cycle – perfect for all levels of fitness.

2. It’s good for your brain.

Like most exercise, cycling improves your brain power, by increasing the oxygen flow into your body. It also helps managing mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety.

3. It’s great for your body.

Going for regular bike rides can help you lower your body fat, as well as reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. By improving your overall fitness and building muscle, you will feel healthier and more energised. Cycling is also low impact and aids joint mobility. You will look and feel great, what’s not to love?

4. You will sleep better.

Reduced levels of fitness have been linked to sleep problems, and not getting enough Zs will not only leave you feeling cranky, but it will also reduce productivity and negatively impact your health.

5. Breakfast. Twice.

You need to be nourished before and after exercise, and cycling is no exception. This means that you get to eat before and after you cycle, for nourishment’s sake… The perfect excuse to have two breakfasts.

6. You help the environment and avoid traffic.

Bikes produce zero pollutants, they are a lot more environmentally friendlier than most vehicles and they occupy 20x less space than a single car.

7. Disease prevention/management.

Cycling, as a form of exercise helps keeping your immune cells active whilst reducing the risk of infection. This will mean your body is more capable of defending itself from disease and able to heal more effectively.

8. You will save money.

You don’t have to spend money on petrol every five minutes! Burn calories instead of cash.

9. You get a kick out of it.

After cycling, your brain will release endorphins, the feel-good hormone. We’ll have what their having please!

10. Help others.

The more into cycling you become, the further you’ll be able to cycle – longer and longer distances ride after ride. Some people use this improvement so that they can cycle a certain distance (or from a country to another) to raise money for a worthy cause. So, dust off that bike, get your lycra on and give cycling a go!

5 best recovery foods to eat after a run!

If you want to see performance gains, you need to focus on your post-workout recovery. After a long hard run, your body needs nutrients. FAST. So, before you put your feet up after exercising, you need to refuel your tired muscles with runner-friendly foods. Here are some ideal food choices for recovery after an arduous run!

Bananas

Bananas are a classic staple in post-run diets. They are loaded with potassium and rich in vitamin C as well as fibre. There are many banana recipes and various ways you can include a banana in your meals. You could also blend a banana into a smoothie with almond milk, peanut butter and other delicious fruits of your choice.

Egg - Taste Inc.

Eggs

Whether scrambled, boiled or fried, you can never go wrong with eggs! The yolks contain protein calcium, iron, zinc, phosphorous and all sorts of other nutrients. Runners need the protein from eggs to help build lean tissue and it also helps with recovery. You need to keep your muscles in good working condition so eggs are one of the best foods to eat after running.

Salmon

Salmon is packed with omega-3 fats, which promote lean body mass. It also has a high protein count – about 17 grams per three-ounce serving. Salmon is delicious and very versatile too. Repair those muscles with salmon after your run.

Salmon - Taste Inc.

Avocados

Avocados have a range of health benefits. It truly is one of the best fruits on the planet! This creamy green fruit contains healthy fats, which regulate metabolism. They’re also high in fibre and vitamins. Stock up on your avocados and make your own home guacamole for a great post-run meal!

Taste Inc. chicken

Taste Inc. chicken is a fantastic snack to eat after doing any form of exercise. It’s ready-made, protein-rich and low in fat. When you come home shattered from your run pair your Taste Inc. chicken breast fillets with some carbs, such as whole grain pasta for a complete post-run meal.

There you have it! Five quality foods to eat after a run. These foods are all very versatile, so can be used in a variety of recipes. There are many other recovery foods you can try. As long as you consume a lot of protein and fibre after a run, your body will recover quick and you’ll be in great shape for your next workout.

Injured? Four ways to stay fit whilst you’re on the mend

Women training and building up her core strength - Taste Inc.

You spend a lot of time working out and building your fitness. If you have an injury, it doesn’t mean all that work has to be put on hold. Whether you overdid it at the gym or you pulled a muscle while out running, injuries can happen any time. So how do you stay in shape when you’re recovering from an injury? Read on to find out.

Focus on your core

If you’ve sprained your ankle or are rehabbing another part of your lower body, get to work on your core! A strong core boosts your fitness and can prevent other injuries from re-occurring. It’s easy to work out your core if you have a foot injury. You’ll be able to do a range of core exercises, such as sit-ups and the plank. These exercises will maintain your fitness and keep you sharp for when you return to training.

Women training and building up her core strength - Taste Inc.

Upper body workouts

Your upper body strength is important. It’s something you can focus on if your leg is out of action due to an injury. There are all sorts of upper body exercises you can do, such as chest, arms and triceps presses. You should do these exercises sitting down as you don’t want to put pressure on your legs. Luckily, dumbbells are very versatile tools and enable you to push your body even if you have a niggling problem.

Flexibility exercises

If your injury restricts you to gentle exercises like yoga, take advantage of the opportunity to increase your flexibility. You may have a lower back injury which has put you on the side lines, but you can still do mobility exercises and stretches. You could also do some bicep curls using light weights and high reps.

Women exercising, focusing on flexibility - Taste Inc.

Leg extensions

Hurt your shoulder? Performing leg extensions and curls are enough to keep you fit. Sitting at a machine to work out is not fun, but it can be an effective way to maintain strength in your hamstring muscles while you recover. Remember, start slowly with any exercise and don’t push through it. Stop right away if you feel any pain!

5 tips for coming back stronger after an injury

Getting struck down by an injury is always a major blow. What’s more annoying is when you come back in top form and you’re hit by the same injury all over again. For many people, it’s a never-ending cycle. But we get it – you love working out so you jump straight back into where you left off. Well, that’s the problem. Here are our tips to help you avoid getting a new injury.

Take it slow

Many people fear the longer they stay out of exercise, the tougher it will be to get back to full fitness. It is true you will make a dent in your fitness and lose strength, but you can still get your body back in shape. You just need to be mindful and not rush things. Take your time and gradually increase the amount of time you spend exercising and get plenty of rest.

Choose low-impact exercises

For the first few weeks, focus on low-impact exercises like swimming rather than high-impact versions. Low-impact exercises are friendlier on the joints and less intense, so you’ll be able to slowly build up your fitness. If you’re coming back from a torn muscle, for example, the last thing you want to be doing is a strenuous exercise that could send you back to the drawing board.

Eat healthily

The right food can speed up your recovering and get you back in shape. Make sure you get a high protein intake and enough carbohydrates to ensure you have lots of energy. You should avoid processed foods and drinking plenty of water is also a key part of coming back stronger after an injury.

Set new goals

You’ll be able to get back to your old workouts over time, but when you first come back, it’s best to start fresh. That means creating new goals and leaving old ones in the past. As you recover, you can use these goals to track your progress. Goals are a great way to keep you focused and motivated.

Stay positive

Always maintain a positive attitude! Research has shown that those with a positive mindset can recover from injuries more quickly. Manage your stress levels and cut out all negative thoughts. Most importantly, you need to focus on the little victories that are propelling you toward complete fitness.

Heating up: Best low-impact exercises that burn calories!

Swimmers pushing through laps at their local pool - Taste Inc.

Low-impact exercises raise your heart rate and burn calories without jarring your joints. Unlike jogging and sprinting, low-impact exercises are less intense and offer a more relaxing way to work out. Stuck on where to start? Here’s our lowdown of low-impact exercises that will help you torch calories and get fit!

Swimmers pushing through laps at their local pool - Taste Inc.

Swimming

Swimming is the number one low-impact exercise. As an activity that works the entire body, you can burn around 700 calories an hour. If you haven’t been swimming in ages, your first session won’t be easy. In fact, you’ll probably have few aches the next morning. Once you get into regular swimming, your fitness will improve and you may even notice a couple of pounds dropped!

Walking

Walking – the easiest exercise of all. It doesn’t cost you a penny and you can do it anytime, anywhere. You could start with easy, short walks and then increase the distance each week. Try changing speeds and walking through the woods and up hills for added resistance.

Women cycles through a suburban park along a path - Taste Inc.

Cycling

Get your bike out for a ride! Cycling is a joint-friendly exercise and you can burn tons of calories. If you’re starting out or haven’t cycled in a while, move at a pace that feels comfortable to you. Cycling is one of the best exercises you can do for your cardiovascular fitness.

Rowing

When it comes to rowing you have two choices: join a team or use a rowing machine at the gym. For most people, option two is the most convenient. In any case, rowing is a total-body workout that tones your core, legs, arms and improves your posture. Remember, you need to lean forward with your arms extended at the end of every move. Good technique is key!

Zumba

If you’re looking for a low-impact dance routine, Zumba is your friend. This fun dance workout burns calories and improves your fitness, and you may not notice how hard you’re actually working. If you’re nervous about joining a class, why not ask a friend? Just like any exercise, you need to be consistent with your workout to see weight loss results.

There’s no shortage of low-impact exercises! Without question, they are extremely effective when it comes to burning calories. And just like high-impact exercises, you can still push yourself and increase the intensity of your workouts. You’ll be able to avoid pain and strain, and still reap the benefits.