Exercise tips from triathlete Nikki Bartlett to kick start a healthy 2015!

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Triathlete Nikki Bartlett, recently crowned British and Scottish Middle Distance Female Champion, explains how it is possible to fit a little exercise into a hectic schedule:

I am currently training full time as a long distance triathlete, working around a part-time job to go for my dreams of becoming a professional athlete. I have written training programmes for working mums and dads in high end jobs, working 40-plus hour weeks, with busy lives and long commutes. I can assure you that it really is possible to fit in exercise and reap the benefits of leading a healthier lifestyle, without sacrificing time with friends and family. Here’s a training plan you could try:

Monday: Step into the week on a positive note, with a light 20 – 30 minute walk before work. Break this down into ten minutes of gentle and easy walking, followed by five minutes slightly faster so that your breathing becomes a little heavier and then 5 – 10 minutes of easy walking again.

Tuesday: Day off

Wednesday: 15 – 30 minute core and weights circuit. You don’t need to spend big money here: a few kettle bells and dumbbells, plus a fitness mat and Swiss ball will be more than enough to create a great circuit – you can get good deals from high street sports shops and supermarkets. I do mine in my hallway!

Thursday: Day off

Friday: 20-minute interval run or walk, changing pace with recovery in between. You can either do this as a run or a walk. Start with a five-minute easy run/walk, then do three lots of one-minute ‘pick up’ pace sessions: whether you’re walking or running, pick your pace up so that your breathing is a little heavier. Then between each lot of one minute, come back to an easy run or walk for one minute. Do the same again but 3 x 30-second, with 30-second recovery. Then either repeat, or do an easy 5 – 10 minute cool down.

Saturday: Fitness class: there are so many great fitness classes; they are enjoyable and sociable – and so can be a great way to start the weekend! My personal favourites are Boxercise, body pump, spinning and yoga – these are all great workouts, and you can push yourself to your own limits.

Sunday: Day off – or as an optional extra, head out on a leisurely local walk. Find a walking guide book for your area and discover walks that you never even knew existed! Take friends, family or next door neighbours, and explore the natural beauty of your surroundings. Or if you have children, head out for a steady walk or jog alongside them whilst they are on their bikes. Fit in physical exercise with family at the weekend if you can.



How to stay motivated through the week:

  • Have a goal: Exercise in order to improve your fitness levels for a specific event, whether that be a local charity walk, 5k run, or to be able to do 3 – 5 training sessions every week consistently.
  • Work out with friends to your favourite music!
  • Set out a realistic structure to suit you and your lifestyle; you may find that you can only fit in 3 x 15 minute sessions in a week, so do that instead of trying to fit in 4 – 5 x 30 minute sessions. Consistency is the key.


Monday, December 8th, 2014

Watch a sneak preview of the recent ‘Exploring the Science of Digestion’ event organised by core the national charity committed to fighting all diseases of the gut, liver and pancreas.


500 people came to the Kia Oval to hear from leading experts and to ask them what they really know about the gut microbiome and the conditions that affect the digestive system.

Core is the only national charity committed to fighting all diseases of the gut, liver and pancreas. Core supports research across all areas of gastroenterology and provides practical information to patients, their families and carers.

We will keep you updated on further slides of the day, including ‘Introducing the Microbiome’. Alternatively visit http://www.corecharity.org.uk/


It’s National Tree Week – get out and about and plant a tree!

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

National Tree Week takes place from 29 November to 7 December. Running since 1975 it is the UK’s largest event celebrating trees! It also gives us a great excuse to get out and about and be active!

Tree 1

During winter the temptation is to turn the heating on, cuddle up on the sofa and hibernate for a few months. Even if you haven’t done much exercise for a while – don’t put it off until spring.

Doing a bit of exercise ensures that you:

  • Release those endorphins – making you feel happier and less stressed.
  • Combat the effects of all the darkness during the winter months and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
  • Boost your immune system
  • Help aid your digestion and stop your gut feeling sluggish.

Love Your Gut expert and personal trainer Sophie Christy also provides us with advice on how to keep active without really noticing it.  She tells us all to remember our VEST!

V = Vary your exercise.

E = Everyday routines can include exercise.

S = Step to it and check your exercise rates with a pedometer.

T = Thirty minutes, five times a week.

See her advice here: http://bit.ly/1C9otsf

Doing exercise doesn’t mean you have to pay out lots of money and join a gym – fine if that’s for you, however, if it isn’t – find something you enjoy doing like walking, playing football, exercising your neighbour’s dog or try your local outdoor gym – if there is one in a park near you – and simply get out there.  Start slowly and build it up. Don’t be put off by other peoples’ goals – set your own and have fun.

So, even if you don’t get to plant a tree this year, you can always take a walk in the woods or your local park and experience our wonderful winter landscape.

Note: If you haven’t exercised for some time you may want to talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.


National Tree Week: http://bit.ly/11sfd1A

NHS – Exercise: Getting Started: http://bit.ly/1c6lqT1

Be creative and healthy with your Halloween treats this year

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

As the nights grow darker, the shadows lengthen and thoughts turn to ghouls and other such scary creatures – be prepared to counteract the sugar attack!

Halloween 003


Try our top 3 ideas to calm the sugar crazed Halloween zombies in your house:

  1. Carve a Jack-o-Lantern – scare off those trick-or-treaters! 

Then don’t just throw out all the goodness from your pumpkin – it gets that fantastic orange colour from beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A in the body. In fact it is one of the highest sources of vitamin A which is crucial for healthy skin, mucus membranes, immunity and vision. Fruit is also a great source of vitamins C and E.

Use the flesh to create a spicy pumpkin curry – great to ward-off any autumnal chills, or make a scrumptious purée, sweeten it with dates and pour over porridge for a tasty breakfast treat.

  1. Create a Banana Ghost

Halloween 001

Peel your banana, cut it in the middle at an angle and put on a lolly stick – dip in yoghurt, add a couple of chocolate chips for eyes, freeze and they are good to go.

Bananas are a great source of fibre and contain vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium. Potassium plays an important role in helping to decrease the risk of high blood pressure and strokes.

  1. Conjure up a Fruity Pumpkin

Even quicker to create – peel your satsuma and arrange on a plate, add a bit of cucumber or grape for the stalk – it couldn’t be simpler!

Satsuma’s are high in vitamin C, which will help safeguard you from coughs and colds.

Halloween 002



How well do you know your body!? Get boob and bowel aware today!

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Here at LYG, we were moved by the inspirational CoppaFeel! campaign which was founded in 2009 by twin sisters Kristin and Maren Hallenga, after Kristin was diagnosed with breast cancer at just 23. In support of this invaluable campaign, we too want to encourage everyone to get to know their bodies better!

Regular checks and touching of our own bodies can help us to understand when and if changes do occur!

The CoppaFeel! website provides an excellent page: http://coppafeel.org/boob-check/ to help you (females and males) with your boob check. So get feeling today!

Join the CoppaFeel! twitter campaign @CoppaFeelPeople and #WhatNormalFeelsLike

There are so many areas where understanding how our bodies work can help us to understand if something is up and requires a visit to the doctors.

Our bowel habits are another example. While motions can vary with factors such as diet and stress, which play a significant role in consistency and regularity of our stools, we should all be aware of symptoms that could suggest the need for a visit to the doctor.

The symptoms of bowel (colorectal) cancer can be:

  • Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo
  • A change in bowel habit lasting for 3 weeks or more especially to looser or runny poo
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason
  • A pain or lump in your tummy

You might experience one, some, all of the above or no symptoms at all. Remember most symptoms will not be bowel cancer.


Just remember you’ll not be wasting anyone’s time by getting checked out. If it isn’t serious, you’ll put your mind at rest. If it’s bowel cancer, early detection can make all the difference. Over 90% who are diagnosed at the earliest stage are successfully treated. So a trip to your doctor could save your life.

Changes in our bodies may not suggest anything menacing is going on, but it is always worth a visit to the doctor as a precaution!




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