Need A New Fitness Goal?

Fitness and weight training

Having fitness goals is important for staying motivated. Without these goals, it’s easy to look at exercise as a chore. Even if you love exercise, you may get frustrated without a goal to work towards. Here are just a few goals to consider that could help to challenge you.

Get slim

The most common fitness goal is to lose weight. Most people set this as a vague objective, which is why they don’t stay motivated. You need to have a clear end goal in sight when slimming down. This could be a target weight or a clothing size that you want to fit into. On top of having an end goal, you should set yourself micro-goals from month to month. Your end goal may seem too far away and unachievable – micro-goals can give you that sense of ongoing achievement you need to spur you on. It’s worth keeping a record of your progress so that you can see how far you’ve come. There are apps that can do this if you want to lose weight solo. Alternatively, you might be able to join a group in order to help you lose weight.

Go the distance

Another goal could be to improve the distance you’re able to run. If you jog a lot or use the treadmill at the gym, such a goal can help you to give running a purpose which could help to motivate you to get off the sofa on a day where you’re feeling lazy. By slowly adding on kilometres, you can eventually build up to 10k runs and maybe even half-marathons and marathons. Long-distance running can be done almost anywhere – you don’t have to pay for a gym membership. It can also help with the dual goal of losing weight. Running apps can help to record your progress and set new goals for you.

Build your strength

Another goal to help spur you on could be to improve your strength. Just like being able to run a certain distance, being able to lift a certain weight can give you a more tangible idea of how your body is improving. Strength-training can help you to bulk up, but it can also help those wanting to slim down. Weight machines at gyms can give you a clear idea of just how much you’re lifting, although you don’t have to join a gym. You might be able to buy home weights or rely on exercises like push-ups and sit-ups.

Fitness and take up a new sport

Try a new sport

Taking up a new sport could give you something new to learn and master, whilst keeping you fit at the same time. This could be anything from swimming to tennis to kickboxing – whatever takes your interest. Certain sports may have grades and qualifications that you can help aspire to. Others may teach techniques which help you to develop muscles and keep off fat in the process. Not all sports can be self-taught and some may require you to take up lessons with a coach.

Consider a career in fitness

If you’re already dedicated to staying fit, but feel you need a new goal to give you direction, you could consider making fitness a career and passing on your knowledge to others. Certain careers such as personal training are ideal for taking your training to the next level. To become a trainer, you’ll need to be licensed, which involves taking a course. There are lots of sites out there that describe what goes on in this course if you want the course difficulty explained. After getting your qualification, you can then start to build up clients. On top of trying to achieve your own fitness goals, you’ll be helping others to reach theirs.

Train for a competition

Training for a competition might also help motivate you to stay fit. This could be a run or a bodybuilding competition or weight lifting competition or a sports competition. Not only do competitions pressure you to do better than others, they also give you a set deadline to train towards that can stop you procrastinating. You don’t have to compete with professionals – there are many competitions out there for amateurs such as local competitions and friendly club competitions.

Getting Prepared for Spring

Spring Clean

Now, as we begin to see the end in sight with regard to winter almost being over, it’s a great time to start thinking about having a good old fashioned spring clean in preparation for much lighter times.

This article offers a four-step process to creating a more harmonious home environment for you and your family, but before we get started, it’s equally important to focus on taking care of the garden too, as this is where a lot of items on our to-do list carry over year after year.  As an example, we’re forever meaning to fix the broken fence and with so many different types of fence panels available, it’s the sort of job that could be an easy fix; we just never get around to doing them as other higher priorities push to the front of the queue.

For this reason, it’s a good idea to create a list of niggling issues such as fixing the dripping tap or broken fence panels, and work your way through it, this Spring.  The surprising sense of achievement that comes with this cannot be overestimated.  So, presuming you’re now armed with a list of tasks that require your attention let’s look at the more general four step process to a good old fashioned spring clean.

  1. DECLUTTER

There’s a popular saying that states a “tidy house tidy mind”, which is equally true in reverse; in that a cluttered house can contribute to a cluttered mind.  In fact, there have been a number of sociological and psychological studies that link the two.  If you are always searching through clutter to find your car keys, or frantically searching through drawers prior to going on holiday in a desperate attempt to find your passport – then you could certainly benefit from this advice.

This all important step of decluttering naturally leads onto the next phase of ‘getting organised’… as decluttering your home is a natural precursor to getting organised; for how can you get organised when there is clutter everywhere?

  1. GET ORGANISED

Most people need some form of order in their life in order to feel calm, centred, grounded and balanced.  This sense of emotional stability is closely linked to the feeling of stability and order you feel within your home life.  Now that you’ve decluttered your home, you need to get organised, which sounds like a drag but the time investment will pay off as it will make your life a lot easier in the long run.

  1. GET RID OF UNWANTED ITEMS

Whether it’s removing the internal clutter from your house or removing garden waste it can take a amount of time and effort if you do it yourself.  However, there is a surprising amount of money to be made for people willing to clear other people’s junk; and although junk removal prices vary hugely based on the area in which you live, there’s a strong chance it will be quite high; a better option might be to hire a skip, or a a van for the day, that can be used to cart rubbish to the tip.

  1. CLEANSE

The act of cleaning your home isn’t a purely physical experience; it has clear practical benefits but there are significant emotional benefits to cleaning too.  It can be cathartic to go through your home and clean every corner of it, whether that is pulling cobwebs down from the ceiling, hoovering each room, or deep cleaning the mildew that has grown around the bathtub.  The process of cleaning your physical home gives you an opportunity to cleanse the energy and emotion stored within your home, and can be a very soothing experience.

In summary, write a list of all the outstanding items that need to be taken care of… then, declutter, get organised, get rid of unwanted items and cleanse your home.

Not So Fast: You May Be Able To Take a Family Trip This Year After All

Now, after the expenses of Christmas and everything else has been factored in, the bank balance might not be looking as healthy as you’d like. And for some of you, the idea of taking the whole family away for a break might seem like a lost cause. But hold steady a second, because that might not be the case. As we’ll see below, people have more opportunities to travel with their loved ones than they usually realise. Take a read, and it might be time to start getting excited!

Family stood on pier

Pick the Right Time

Travelling is not always equal. Depending on when you go, you can spend another 25% or more, just to have the same experience as someone who did the exact same thing the week before, only for less money. While you might have to work within the rules of the schooling system, it’s a good idea to check your destinations peak and low times. For example, there will be destinations that are favoured for their winter sun, but which fall out of favour during the summer. Additionally, you can consider visiting destinations when their weather isn’t perfect if the weather isn’t overly important to you.

Figure Out Your Finances

Your finances can sometimes be deceptive. You might look at the bank balance and think that things look grim, only to discover that actually, all the bills have been paid and your salary is due to go in next week. Even if your finances aren’t as strong as you’d like, that doesn’t automatically mean that you can’t go away. Look at no credit check personal loans, and you’ll be able to pay off the balance of your trip over a longer, more manageable period. There’s nearly always a solution to financial matters if we look hard enough.

Monitor The Deals

We are in the era of tourism. Everyone’s zipping across the globe! And as such, there are many, many companies vying for customer’s attention. They’re in a race to the bottom, offering lower and lower prices, which can only be good news for you! While you might not be able to afford a luxury trip to New York, there will be plenty of trips to places within Europe that will be affordable. The key is to stay patient and wait for the absolute best deals to show themselves. When they do, pounce!

Look at Alternative Options

We have the idea in our collective minds that it’s only a holiday if you’re boarding a plan and lying on a beach somewhere, but this isn’t the case. A holiday is whatever you want it to be! If money really is too tight this year, look at taking a camping trip or other type of staycation. You’ll be all together, exploring somewhere new, out of the routine of the everyday – and isn’t that what a holiday is all about? There are plenty of beautiful places in the UK that you and the family would have plenty of fun spending some time in. Happy travels!

Keeping The Outside Of The Home Healthy

Maintain outside of your house

Now that the winter is starting to wave its goodbyes and spring is right around the corner, many of of are starting to think about doing some projects on the house. The spring is the most popular time to carry out decorating and renovation work in the home because it is much lighter all day and it is warm enough to do it.

A lot of you may have already started to plan what colour you want the living room walls and which tile will suit the bathroom best, but have any of you thought about looking after the exterior of your home too? The outside of the home is crucial to the structural integrity of your home, and it is also the first thing people will see as they pass your home. Why not get some Roofers in to check your roof and make sure that it is healthy? And find someone to check your gutters and brickwork too. Looking after the outside of your home is just as important as inside, and here are some things you could do.

Pressure wash everywhere

The most useful tool you can buy for the front of your home is a pressure washer. It is. It only useful when you want to get bird poop off your car, but it can be a great tools for cleaning your driveway. Use your pressure washer to clean the driveway and lift any dirt, algae and sludge which has built up over the winter season. You can also use it to clean siding on your home, as well as the patio out back. Don’t use this on wood though because it will damage it.

Clean the gutters

You should ideally be cleaning your gutters out every six months, so now that the winter is at its end you can take advantage and give them a bit of maintenance. Once you have checked for blockages and removed anything which is in the downpipes and gutter, you can clean it and check for any damage. It is important to keep your gutters healthy because if they aren’t, damp can get into your home.

The garden

Looking after a garden can be a challenge if you don’t know the first thing about plants, but often you can ask a family member to come over and help you learn which plants you can move and which ones will die if you prune them. Ask your Mum round at the weekend and let her teach you about the plants you have in your garden and how you can keep them looking in tip top shape. It is important to know what you have in the garden because certain plants will need different levels of care. To spruce up the front garden and make your home feel more inviting you could plant a hardy shrub such as a hydrangea and even put a hanging basket by the front door. Trim your lawn once a month during the summer and in the winter you can just leave it as it is.

It’s Spotless! Tips to Keep Your House Perfectly Clean

Tips to keep your house clean

Most of us want our homes to always be spic and span, but if we’re honest, the vast majority of us don’t want to spend half of our lives cleaning and polishing when we could be out having fun. Luckily, it is possible to have a spotless home with just a little effort on your part (and your family’s part) each day.

Don’t believe me? Check out these tips to keep your home perfectly clean:

Hire Some Help

If you can afford it, you might want to consider hiring some domestic household staff to do simple chores like cleaning, ironing and laundry for you. If you know that at least the basics will be covered, it’s much easier to pick up the slack, and you’ll probably find that your home has never looked better.

Take Your Shoes Off

If you don’t want to spend your days, cleaning, sweeping and vacuuming the floors on your beautiful home, make it a rule that everyone in your family must remove their shoes at the door. It’s up to you whether you apply this rule to guests or not, but even if it’s only your family who does this, you’ll notice a huge difference in the cleanliness of your carpets and floors, and cut your cleaning time significantly.

Invest in Electrostatic Cloths

Electrostatic cloths are a cleaning miracle, they will pick up and remove any and all dust from your walls, furniture and floors, in seconds, instead of simply moving it around to a new place where it will settle.Invest in them and a spotless home can be yours.

Make the Bed

Tips to keep your house clean

As soon as you get up in the morning, make the bed. It takes minutes (if that), and it makes the room look much more tidier than it otherwise would.

Keep a Squeegee by the Shower

If you keep a squeegee by the shower and instruct everyone to use it on the glass doors after showering, then it won’t end up streaked and grimy which means it will look spotless all the time.

Declutter

If you get rid of everything that is unnecessary, unused and unloved in your home by decluttering your decor, then you won’t have nearly as many things to dust, clean, polish and store, which means your home will immediately look a lot more spotless. You will, of course, also save time in the housework department too.

Soak Stuff

When you soak dirty items in a mixture of hot water, baking soda, then the dirt just comes off effortlessly for a much cleaner conclusion that is much less effort. If it isn’t something you can easily soak, such as a spillage in the fridge, steep a paper towel in hot water and baking soda and place it over the stain, leave for a few minutes and then wipe away. Totally effortless!

Open the Windows

Tips to keep your house clean windows

If you’re able to keep at least some of your windows, or even doors open for a few hours each day, then do it to let out dust and get rid of cooking smells and that horrible stale air smell.

Do you have any tips to keep the home spotlessly clean? Please share them.

Decor Elements Every Rustic-Inspired Room Needs

home decor

Rustic decor is very much in right now. You will notice that whenever you flick through all the latest interior design magazines – you’ll notice cute country kitchens and cottage-style living rooms. Adding lots of rustic-inspired design and decor elements will help to create a super comfy room, one in which you will feel exceptionally cosy in.

Ready to makeover a room and make it a lot more rustic? Here are some decor elements that you will need to include.

A Fireplace

Is there anything more cosy than a fireplace? I don’t think so! But fireplaces aren’t just great sources of warmth and comfort; they also make great focal points in a room. So, whenever you have guests over, their attention will be directed to the fireplace as soon as they step into the room.

Wooden Furniture

Oak furniture features in many rustic rooms as it is an easy way of bringing some natural touches into the design. Natural materials are key in any country inspired room, so lots of wooden furniture is a great addition. It’s a good idea to invest in some top-quality oak pieces as they will look great and last a very long time.

Natural Carpets And Rugs

Another way to keep your rustic rooms looking as natural as possible is to bring in some rugs and carpets that are made from natural materials. Even though the majority of carpets are still produced using synthetic materials, it is still possible to find some natural ones for very reasonable prices. The types of materials you want to look out for are sisal, seagrass, and jute.

White Walls

Most rustic-inspired rooms feature very minimal colours. Rather than going for bold shades like dark reds or bright purples, you should keep things as light as possible. If you need to add some colour, stick to pale pastels. Ideally, though, you should try and stick to white walls wherever possible.

Beamed Ceilings

If you are able to, you should open up the ceilings in all of your rustic rooms to expose their beams. This is very typical of rooms in country houses and period properties. It’s also a nice idea to strip away any paint from the beams to expose their original woodwork. In fact, you should try and add some expose woodwork to as much of your room as possible, not just the ceilings!

Found Objects

It’s also a nice idea to add some found objects as ornamental pieces. This will be an especially nice touch if your rustic room is inspired by the sea as there are lots of found pieces that you can pick up at the beach. For example, dried seaweed and driftwood are great decor touches to any room.

Different Textures

To ensure that your whole interior design is interesting, you should mix up the textures that you use. One cool idea is to juxtapose rough materials, like jute and driftwood features with some smooth surfaces and materials, like marble and silk.

Your rustic-inspired room certainly won’t disappoint!

Finding The Right Conservatory For Your Home

conservatory

If you are planning to add some space onto your home this year, you may have considered getting a conservatory. Before you can choose what kind of conservatory you want to get for you home, you will need to consider what the role of a conservatory is. How will you use your conservatory?

To Find a Conservatory fits your needs, you will need to think about what you want to put inside it and how it will be used. Many people use their conservatory space as a greenhouse for plants such as tomatoes and peppers, but other people might want to use it as a lounging area for during the summer months, meaning you’ll want a decent amount of space.

However, if you are going to use the space as a utility area for your washing machine and tumble dryer, then you might only need a small space to work with.

How Will You Use It?

A conservatory is an area which can become the hub of your home if you use it in the correct way. Many people love to use it as a play area for the kids or even put their dining table in there and use it to entertain guests.

There are even kitchen-diner conservatories which are available on the market, which more and more families and snapping up due to the natural light they can provide for family dining and cooking. And if it ever becomes too hot you can always open the French doors into the garden and enjoy that fresh air.

Conservatory Styles

There are two main categories when you are choosing the style of conservatory to buy: traditional and contemporary.

Traditional conservatory styles will usually have an Edwardian or a Victorian theme, and are often grand looking and suit period properties very well.

Contemporary conservatories are usually bespoke. This means that the design will largely depend on what your home looks like and the space you have available. The idea is to make the style fit your home and to complement the existing property.

Conservatory Prices

Just like an extension, getting a conservatory put onto the back of your home will cost you a pretty penny. However, if you are smart about your budget you can find a conservatory which suits what you need without putting you too much out of pocket.

If you are tight on the budget, you will likely have less options, but if you are able to go a little bit over the budget you have set, you have a few more options at your disposal. The price will depend on the size of the conservatory and also the style you want.

Conservatory Insulation

If you will be using your conservatory as an extra room in the house, you will need to make sure that you keep it insulated. It will need to be able to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter, and it can be helped largely by your heating system. To help keep your conservatory cooler in the summer, you can also install blinds to block out the sun when you aren’t using it.

Feel The Burn: Easy Ways You Could Burn More Calories

Have you ever thought about how many calories you burn on an average day? If you’re into fitness, you may wear a monitor that shows how many calories you burn when you work out, but you might be surprised at how your body expends energy when you’re resting, working or getting ready for the day ahead.

It’s easy to assume that you need to be on the go to work towards your daily calorie burn, but your body can use around 382 calories during a 7-hour sleep. If you sleep for longer, the figure will be even higher. As you’re getting ready in the morning, you can boost your burn by drying your hair (39 calories for 15 minutes), showering (62 calories per 15 minutes) and cleaning your teeth (2 calories per minute). If you walk to work, this will add another 149 calories for 30 minutes at a steady speed of 3.5 mph. Even driving for 30 minutes can help you burn more than 60 calories.

If you have a desk job, you may assume that you don’t burn many calories at work, but as you’ll see from the infographic, spending an hour at your desk can actually burn around 100 calories. More physical jobs, such as painting and papering and carpentry can burn more than 160 calories per half hour.

You can also increase your burn by doing a food shop and pushing a trolley for 30 minutes, which burns 130 calories, putting shopping away, which will add another 26 calories and mowing the lawn, which burns around 205 calories per half hour.

If you’re sporty, you can take massive leaps towards your daily target by doing an hour of cycling (1,220 calories), boxing (670 calories), skipping (900 calories) or swimming (520 calories). Even a light 15-minute yoga session before bed could burn around 75 calories.


Infographic design by calories you burn in a day