6 reasons to get a workout buddy

Group workout at a gym - Taste Inc.

How many times have you tried starting a new fitness regime only to throw in the towel a week later? If you struggle to stay focused, then it’s time to get a workout buddy! Having someone to work out with can be the difference between staying at home for another Netflix-binge and hitting the gym on a regular basis. Here are the top six reasons you need a workout buddy in your life right now!

YOU’LL ENJOY WORKING OUT MORE

You like hanging out with your friends, right? So, you’ll probably like exercising with them too. It’s a no-brainer. A workout buddy will make exercising more fun. You’ll be able to chat to your friend whether you’re running on the treadmill or lifting weights. Working out solo is never as fun as having a friend with you who can make you laugh!

MOTIVATION AND SUPPORT

Working out with a friend makes a huge difference to your motivation. Having a good workout buddy who gives you added support can make you work harder, and help you achieve your goals faster. Sure, you could just get a personal trainer, but it’s not quite the same as weekly exercise with a close friend. It’s simple: you’ll work harder with other people around.

Group workout at a gym - Taste Inc.

COMMITMENT TO THE CAUSE

It’s easy to sack off workouts when you have no accountability. When you’ve got someone counting on you to meet them at the gym, you’re less likely to skip because you’ll be letting them down. When you have a workout buddy, it’s easier to drag yourself out of bed because you know someone is waiting for you!

EXPERIMENT AND TRY NEW THINGS

Nervous about trying a new exercise? Having someone to workout with gives you the opportunity to try something different. Whether they’re a beginner or a veteran, you could test out their fitness routine and let them help you.

IMPROVE YOUR FORM

To get results from working out, you need to use proper form. Your workout buddy could help you correct any obvious form mistakes. They’ll be able to keep any eye on how you’re approaching certain exercises. With a friend around in the gym, you could improve your squats, deadlifts, avoid injury and boost results!

COMPETITION

We all love a bit of competition, it’s human nature. Competing against your workout partner can improve performance. If your running, you’ll want to push yourself and last as long as your buddy. You’ll have that tiny bit of drive to do better than your friend. So, why not find a gym partner to make you push to new limits?

Burned out? 5 tips to stay motivated at work

Conference room at offices - Taste Inc.

We all know what burnout feels like. It’s a state of physical and emotional exhaustion where you’ve simply “had enough”. The key is to spot the signs and take action. To get out of your slump, all you have to do is make a few little changes to dig up that lost motivation. But how? Let’s find out!

INCENTIVISE YOURSELF

If you want to get revved up for work, set some personal incentives. For example, schedule something nice after work, like meeting a friend or playing your favourite sport. Also, try to challenge yourself and set deadlines for each task. Keep reminding yourself why you’re doing the work in the first place and stay positive!

Man sitting at desk, writing up notes - Taste Inc.

MIX IT UP

Have you ever considered it might be time to switch up your routine? A change to the structure of your days can give you a massive boost in motivation. Try to do your day-to-day tasks in a different order and explore how members of your team get work done. When you make a change to your workflow, you force your brain to pay attention to these new habits. Routines run dry after a while, so create new habits to spark your motivation.

CREATE A TO-DO LIST EVERY DAY

If you’re prone to falling behind at work, having a to-do list can help you stay on track. If you physically write down your goals for the day, you’ll be more motivated to complete them. A to-do list gets you organised and improves your focus. It only takes two minutes to write out a list of to-dos and there’s no better feeling than ticking off a completed task.

Conference room at offices - Taste Inc.

CELEBRATE SMALL WINS

You need to celebrate all the wins in your life! No matter how little the wins are, you should reward yourself for all the good things you’re doing at work. A feeling of progress and achievement in the is crucial. Waiting purely for long-term pays offs will drive you insane. So, try to focus on the amazing things you’re bringing to the table right now.

TAKE BREAKS

This is a big one. To avoid completing burning away all of your mental energy, you need to take regular breaks. As soon as you feel tired, step away from your desk to give your brain a rest. For most of us, we get one hour-long break at work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still take regular intervals throughout the day. Go for a quick walk, grab some snacks or make or call. Whatever you do, make sure you get moving!

7 smart reasons for doing yoga!

Women in a yoga position on a yoga mat

Yoga – an ancient form of exercise that originated in ancient India. Yoga itself is an umbrella term for a spiritual blend of mental and physical activity. The benefits? It will leave you happier, more relaxed, and a lot more bendy. How? Read on.

1. IT’S CHEAP.

You don’t need any particular equipment to practice yoga, and you can find plenty of free yoga tutorials on YouTube. A yoga mat may however save you the stress of slippery floors whilst you’re trying to relax.

2. YOU CAN DO IT ANYWHERE.

Indoors, outdoors – yoga can be done anywhere – all you really need is yourself, which makes it so easy to practice. Just you and your routine! Raining outside? Not a problem, roll out the mat in your living room. Sunny out? Get out there! Yoga is always an option, regardless of the time of the day, week, month or year.

3. IT’S SO GOOD FOR YOU.

It really is – it may not be known as the most strenuous and aerobic form of exercise, but the health benefits are undeniably incredible. Yoga lowers your blood pressure, has a low impact on your joints and helps lymphatic drainage (which boosts your immune system).

4. IT’S MINDFUL.

Research shows how meditation helps to improve your overall mental health, and yoga provides you with techniques to meditate and practice mindfulness through breathing exercises and detachment from stress and mental clutter. And when you’re this relaxed, stress just melts away.

5. IT MAKES YOU EXTRA BENDY.

All the stretching involved in yoga helps you drastically improve your overall flexibility, which is great for healthy joints… You’ll be like Mrs. Incredible in no time!

6. IT’S GREAT FOR POSTURE.

Yoga helps you work and strengthen your core muscles, which helps to protect your spine. Slouching after a long day at work? Get to know your inner yogi.

7. IT HELP YOU TONE UP.

It’s a full body workout – it may look like a lot of laying on the floor but it’s no joke! Yoga will leave you feeling and looking great. Your healthy glow from all the good energy you’ve been attracting with your mantras will leave you feeling happier, more confident and more fit! It’s a win-win situation, so why not give it a try?

Move over boring push-ups: Five different exercises to build into your routine!

Are you tired of doing push-ups? Well, the good news is there are plenty of alternative moves you can try. Using your own bodyweight to workout is a simple way to exercise and you don’t even have to leave your house. Here are some versatile moves to mix into your next workout!

Triceps dips

It’s easy to forget about working your triceps – the muscles that run on the back of your upper arms. These muscles need as much attention as any other part of your body. There are several different ways to perform triceps dips and they don’t require much equipment. All you have to do is position your hands shoulder-width apart on a chair or bench and slowly bend your body toward the floor. This can be done at home and you’ll also be able to find a suitable machine at the gym.

The plank

The forearm plank is a fantastic core exercise. However, holding a plank and staring at your phone timer gets boring pretty quick, so why not switch it up? You don’t need to do the standard forearm plank every time. There are different variations of the plank exercise. Challenge yourself to try something new! You don’t need to be a pro athlete to master a good old-fashioned plank.

Bear crawls

Get a total body workout with bear crawls! This is an underrated exercise and certainly one of the more unusual workouts. And yes, it involves crawling across the floor like an animal. You start in a plank position and while keeping your hips low, you move forward, backward and side-to-side.

Floor chest fly

You’ll need to grab a couple of dumbbells to do the floor chest fly. To perform it properly, you need pay attention to your form. Make sure you raise the dumbbells straight over your chest and avoid resting your elbows on the floor. When it becomes too easy, use more weight or try alternating hands.

Resistance-band chest press

Resistance-band chest press is an excellent exercise to add to your upper body workout! Attach a resistance band to a door frame and place a handle in each hand with your back to the door. Then, press the handles toward your chest. Using a resistance band makes the standard chest workout even harder. You may feel sore for a couple of days but you can make some serious gains. So, ditch the push-ups and give these exercises a go!

Doing the same exercise over and over gets boring. Your muscles will become accustomed to the same movement and you’ll eventually hit a plateau, where you won’t see any improvements. That’s why you need to constantly mix up your workout routine! So, be creative and pick up some new, different moves.

How much? The surprising amount of calories you can burn doing these everyday things

People walking through one of London's busiest shopping districts - Taste Inc.

If you want to burn calories but hate working out, we’ve got some news for you: There are a huge variety of everyday activities that will burn a serious amount of calories! If you’re finding it difficult to squeeze in regular gym sessions, take a look at the activities below for an idea of what you could burn:

SHOPPING

Shop till you drop! If you spend an hour pushing a cart down the supermarket aisle, you can burn a massive 243 calories. To make your strolls extra intense, add more heavy items to the cart, such as cans and beverages. Be sure to bag your own shopping! Walk all the way to the supermarket for even more of a challenge. If you’re brave enough, carry the shopping bags home! Too many bags? Make it a family trip – more people, more hands, more bags carried.

HOUSE CLEANING

Cleaning the house is everyone’s least favourite responsibility, but with a little bit of determination, you can amp up this activity. Why not go into it with the intention of having a workout? Bringing out that mop and bucket can burn around 330 calories. Put on some fast-paced music and move at a pace that actively works your core and other muscles. Turn your tedious house cleaning into a calorie burner!

GARDENING

Gardening is great for improving strength and endurance. The average gardening session can burn over 334 calories! Carrying leaves, raking and planting can help you on your weight loss journey. If you want to crank up your gardening exercise, add in more strenuous tasks, like trimming trees and shrubs. It’s important to be mindful of the muscles you’re using to avoid injury. Also, studies have shown being around trees and plants reduces stress!

PLAYING WITH THE KIDS

Burn hundreds of calories by playing games with your kids. If you want to squeeze in exercise, spend more time playing outside or take your children to the park for a game of football. You could even go for a short hike with your kids, which is an excellent way to get your dose of cardio. If the rain is keeping you indoors, play hide-and-seek or another fun game that gets you active.

As well as burning calories, these activities will burn your energy too! So be sure to replenish by drinking lots of water and grabbing healthy snacks, like Taste Inc. chicken. It’s important to consume protein-rich foods to make the most of your exercise. When you work out, you are effectively breaking your muscles down, so you need protein to build and repair muscles.

5 easy ways to stay in shape while on holiday

Seagulls flying over deckchairs - Taste Inc.

When you’re on holiday, it’s easy to get lost in the sights and sounds and forget all about staying in shape. In fact, working out is probably the last thing on your mind! But in order to beat the post-holiday bulge, you’re going to need to maintain your health and fitness. The key is to pick fun activities that require psychical exercise, as well as being cautious of what you eat. Take these five tips with you on your next holiday!

MAKE USE OF THE POOL

Most holiday destinations have a swimming pool, which means you can keep fit while enjoying yourself. Swimming is a great form of all-around exercise because it gives your entire body a great workout. If your hotel has a pool, you could go for a nice swim each morning for 30 minutes. Your swim sessions don’t have to be intense. After all, you are on holiday so take it easy, but make sure to get your heart pumping!

Seagulls flying over deckchairs - Taste Inc.

EAT MINDFULLY

It can be hard to avoid overindulging when you’re on holiday. Who can resist an ice cream on the beach? Not many of us. It’s very important, though, that you’re mindful of your eating habits. For many people, enjoying various delicious foods in local restaurants is the highlight of any holiday. To stay in shape, you need to stick to a healthy eating plan and resist eating fatty foods. Got rid of TasteInc snack part. Don’t want to wait too long out of the fridge. Just in case someone does it and gets ill and we said it would be okay!

GET WALKING

Walking is an underrated exercise! It’s something that can easily be done with the whole family. Whether you go for a brisk walk or a casual stroll around your sunny destination, you can burn calories and keep fit. Walking is a low impact form of exercise, meaning it’s perfect for a relaxing holiday. If you’re travelling to a city, you’ll be doing a fair bit of walking anyway, so make every step count!

Girl taking photos on holiday - Taste Inc.

CHOOSE YOUR DRINKS WISELY

Take it easy on the booze! You’re going to need to avoid drinking too much alcohol otherwise those calories will pile up in a hurry. Most of us love drinking our way through holidays, but it can lead to weight gain. The calories in alcohol are empty and diet-destroying. We understand holidays are all about chilling out and having fun, but just don’t overdo it. Instead of drinking beer, opt for a glass of Shandy. Be smart about your drink choices if you want to stay in shape.

HIT THE BIKE

Cycling is an excellent aerobic exercise and much more fun than sitting on a tour bus. Riding a bike around a city or holiday resort is exhilarating because you get to explore new terrain. Cycling can help you keep fit while having fun at the same time. When you’re on holiday, hire some bikes for the whole family and enjoy the great outdoors!

Balance: How to eat well on holiday

Balance: How to eat well on holiday

When you’re on holiday, it can be easy to fall into bad habits. The breakfast buffet is both a gift and curse. Yes, it’s convenient having all that lovely food, but we often end up eating far too much. So how do you enjoy your delicious holiday food without impacting your fitness and health? Here are our top tips on eating healthy on holiday!

Balance: How to eat well on holiday

Stock up on healthy snacks

When you have a few healthy snacks in your hotel room or apartment, you’re more likely to resist the temptation to buy fast food. Pack some Taste Inc. chicken for when you’re feeling a little hungry between meals. Remember to keep them chilled! You could also pick up some wholemeal high-fibre crackers.

Eat mindfully

Try to really savour and enjoy the taste of your food when you go on holiday! At home, we often wolf down our meals and don’t pay attention to the taste. Eat more mindfully, without distraction and chew your food slowly. According to research, people who eat while distracted are more prone to overeating because they’re less likely to know when they feel full.

Plan your days to avoid overeating

Why not think ahead about what you’re going to eat to avoid overindulging? If you’re planning a big lunch with your family, then aim for a small dinner in the evening. Or if you’re having a large meal for dinner, take it easy at lunch time. Have a look at the restaurants and go to the ones with healthiest options.

Try local exotic fruits

Trying new, delicious food is a highlight for many of us on holiday! You can be super healthy by trying exotic fruits you can’t get at home. For example, if you’re on holiday in South-East Asia, you may want to try Rambutan. It’s a tender fruit that is sweet and sour, similar to the grape. The best chance to find some of these unique fruits is at a local supermarket store.

On average, six out of 10 of us put on 5lb during a two-week break! Can you believe it? However, you can stay fit and healthy on holiday. You just need to keep an eye on what you eat and make sure you get a varied diet. But most importantly, always try to enjoy your food!

The weird and wonderful side effects of exercise

The weird and wonderful side effects of exercise 1

Pushing your body to its limits can get you super fit, but it also comes with some downsides. You may notice some strange side effects when you work out. Our bodies tend to go a little crazy when it endures intense physical activity. But most of these reactions are completely normal! We’re here to clear things up and highlight some of the most common exercise side effects.

Itchy skin

Working out can spark itchy skin. One of the most popular theories is that exercise causes the blood vessels to dilate and open up. Your nervous system may feel this expansion of blood vessels as an itchy irritation. If it interferes with your workouts, stop exercising and cool off.

The weird and wonderful side effects of exercise 1

Your face stays red for hours

Red in the face? That usually just means your body is hot. As you get fitter and more used to exercising, you may notice the redness subsides quicker. You should only be worried if you start developing hives and rashes, in which case you should see a doctor or dermatologist. Redness is totally normal so don’t freak out too much if you don’t see any improvement.

Shaky muscles

Shaking muscles can be caused by a variety of things. It can be a sign of dehydration. If you haven’t been drinking enough, you’ll struggle to lift heavy. Shaking muscles can also be a sign you need more fuel or that you’re using bad form. Whatever the case, it is normal and not usually serious. You can beat the shakes by making sure you’re fully energised and hydrated!

The weird and wonderful side effects of exercise 2

You can barely move two days later

Everyone experiences soreness after exercise. It’s just a result of hard work. Working out creates small tears in our muscles and it can take the body up to 72 hours to repair. That’s why you might feel fine after exercise, but after a couple of days, you get aches and sore muscles. Give your body time to recover and always stretch to prevent future soreness.

Even though you may experience some unusual bodily disfunctions, exercising regularly is still completely worth it! There are tons of mental benefits of exercising, such as stress relief. Working out is great for your body and mind, so be sure take full advantage of every exercise.

Superfood pairings for your inner superhero

Unlock the power of a healthy diet with superfood pairings! The ever-trendy “superfood” actually has no official definition, but one thing is for certain: they pack double the nutritional punch. Here are our top food pairs you should pump your meals with.

Tomatoes and avocado

The vitamins in tomatoes and avocado makes for a super combination. Pair these two together and reap the health benefits! Carotenoids (great for skin and eye health) give tomatoes its red colour and the healthy fat in avocado helps your body absorb the carotenoids, which converts into a form of Vitamin A. Make a salad using this winning combo for a way to uplift your diet.

Eggs and salad

Boost your immune system with this flavourful pairing. A salad topped with eggs with will give your body more nutrients, including lycopene. It’s an antioxidant which research has shown may reduce cancer risk and prevent hard disease. But remember to skip on the mayo! We know it can be tempting to smother your salad with mayo, but it’s not healthy at all. Eggs and salad are easy to throw together, and a sure-fire way to improve your health when eaten regularly.

Beef and broccoli

Beef isn’t essential for a healthy lifestyle, but your diet can still thrive when eating meats such as beef. Besides, it’s very high in iron and when you pair beef with Vitamin C foods like broccoli, the iron is absorbed into the body more easily. This pair work as a team to supercharge your diet! Low iron can cause fatigue and blood disorders, so it’s important to have enough of it. Load your plate with steak or lamb and broccoli for a super dish.

Yogurt and bananas

Whether you’re a fitness fanatic or just trying to eat healthier, yogurt and bananas are a must. They’ll give you a big hit of protein and carbs! They’re a good choice after exercise and a great all-around healthy food pairing. The calcium in yogurt can help jump-start muscle repair after you’ve worked out. If you want to be extra healthy, try eating your bananas with organic yogurt. You could even make your own at home!

Spinach and strawberries

This one sounds like an unlikely pairing, but it makes for a powerful, delicious combination.  There’s a hefty dose of Vitamin C found in strawberries and a strong blend of fibre, zinc and vitamins in spinach. These foods are a quality option together. The fibre in the spinach can lower your cholesterol and mange your weight, whilst the Vitamin C in strawberries will boost your immune system. Why not two kill birds with one stone? A weird but wonderful pairing – superhero approved.

4 tips to avoid injuries

Getting injured is a nightmare, but unfortunately, they happen to every gym fiend and athlete at some point. Whether it’s twisting your ankle, straining your knee or cracking your back, the pursuit of fitness comes with some casualties. Not all injuries are preventable, but there are many things you can do to avoid smaller injuries. For less pain and more gain, follow our top tips to stay injury-free:

Warm up

It doesn’t matter if you’re a weekend warrior or a full-time athlete, you need to warm up. Skipping the warm up is a schoolboy error! It’s the best-known way to prevent injury. Do you know why? Warming up your muscles makes them more flexible – simple! Working out cold muscles is a quick way to cause strain. It’ll ruin your workout before you even break a sweat. Always aim for a five to ten minute warm up period and you’ll be good to go.

 

Add variety to your workouts

Too much of a good thing can hit you where it hurts. Working out too hard can break down tissues and tear muscles fibres. In other words, it can lead to overuse injuries. According to London City Physiotherapy, these type of injures start as small, nagging pains and grow into bigger strains through repetitive use. If you enjoy running, make sure you don’t do it too much because it places a lot of stress on the knee joints. Switch up your workouts for maximum success!

Correct footwear

If there was ever a set of ‘laws’ for injury prevention, wearing proper footwear should be top of the list. It’s not rocket science, but many people overlook the importance of getting the right sports shoes. You need specialist footwear for whatever activity you do. Of course, they won’t cure injuries, but they’re designed to support the functions of the feet during injuries. If you lift weights, you need trainers that can deal with high intensity training. If you’re a runner, you should opt for lightweight trainers.

Perfect your form

There’s a science behind proper form, but most of us don’t want to get lost in the scientific jargon. We just want to know how to do it! Poor form can cause injuries. If you’ve ever tweaked a muscle, this could be a result of bad posture. Next time you go for a run, make sure you stand tall, keep your chest forward and land as softly as possible. If you squat, don’t let your knees drop forward. This is a classic mistake. Also, keep your back straight! Make sure you learn the proper form for each exercise.

Many injuries are plain bad luck, but you can make things easier for yourself if you do the basics above. Always take the time to prepare for exercise. But if you are hit by an injury, remember the ice pack!