Tag: Running

Running – how to get going

I’d done a bit of running in my day, mainly in the early ‘90s when my daughters were small, as a means to regain my fitness. More recently swimming had become my “go to” cardio. You can read more about all that here .  I then bought a dog and began taking him on two good walks a day.

Low cost health -walk
10 minutes brisk walking daily – low cost health!

Running with my daughter

At this time my eldest daughter had returned from University carrying much more weight than she’d gone with and she decided to take up running to rectify this. A good first step is to set a goal.

Armed with her Couch 2 5k app she began to accompany me on the dog walks and I soon found I was learning to run again too!  (Team up with a friend) These apps are brilliant for advice and motivation along with the progressive increase in time, distance and pace. Don’t worry about the time it takes you to run any distance but keep increasing the distance, the rest will follow. These days’ things like parkrun offer a regular, free, timed run for you to measure your improvement should you wish to and joining a running club might be a great way for you to improve.

You can start to run with nothing more than a pair of trainers, and, at least initially, I wouldn’t be concerned about their price tag or quality. This refinement can come as mileage and continued enthusiasm kick in!


Be sure to warm up, take rest days, stretch and mix in some strength training. This rounded approach will improve your running and help to keep you injury free. A regular massage is a great way to lessen muscle tension and improve range of motion [http://www.runnersworld.com/injury-prevention-recovery/the-pros-and-cons-of-massages-for-runners]

My daughter progressed and has completed 5 half marathons and raised over £2,500 for the Alzheimer’s Society  after she got a ballot place and ran the 2014 London Marathon on her 25th birthday. Oh and having done all the training with her for her first half marathon I did it too in 2 hours 4 minutes – not bad for a 50 something with dodgy knees!

Fitness challenges running
Half Marathon 2hrs 4mins

Here are my 5 tips to get your running career started;

  1. Set a goal
  2. Use C25k – lots of apps available here is the link to the NHS one
  3. Team up with a friend/join a club
  4. Listen to your body – warm up, rest, stretch, do some strength training (particularly glut work)
  5. Have fun!

Thanks for reading


Jen x

Read my 4 Pillars of Good Health Blog here

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This post first appeared on the lovely Elle Linton website; http://www.keepitsimpelle.com/


Photo Credit: www.lolography.com

Osteoporosis – What do you know about it?

Osteoporosis is the condition whereby you are more likely to break bones, from falls or bumps, as the bones have weakened. Bones lose strength as the bone cell renewal is outweighed by the cell loss.

To explain that further, bones are living tissue and like all cells repair and renew continually to maintain healthy bone tissue.  Until we are in our 30s the repair and renew is in balance. Then as we get older the balance shifts …..less renewal. There is a point at which this bone mass decline results in osteoporosis. Your Doctor can make an assessment and has diagnostic tools for the condition.

In the UK Osteoporosis affects 3m people. 1 in 3 women have broken a bone due to osteoporosis in her lifetime (wrists, hips, spine most common).  For females besides ageing the “thinning” of bones is also impacted by genes, body weight, smoking, drinking and the menopause.

In the menopause with the oestrogen levels dropping, this leads to greater bone mass reduction making bones less strong. During the first 5 years of the menopause a woman will lose 10% of her bone mass and so increase their risk of developing osteoporosis. Read my experience of the menopause here.

What helps?

 A balanced diet!  Calcium is important for maintaining strong bones.  Sources of calcium are

  • Milk, cheese and yoghurt
  • Calcium-enriched milks such as soya, rice or oats
  • Fish that are eaten with the bones in, like tinned sardines.
  • Leafy green vegetables – cabbage, broccoli, watercress, kale
  • Beans and chick peas
  • Some nuts and seeds

Vitamin D (sunshine) is important for bone health as it helps to absorb calcium (see above).  Our bodies create vitamin D from direct sunlight on our skin. In the spring and summer if you go outside for at least 20 minutes, three times a week, every week  most people will get enough vitamin D from the sun. You can’t get adequate vitamin D from the occasional sunshine holiday!

Foods rich in Vitamin D such as fatty fish, like tuna, mackerel and salmon, cheese, egg yolks, red meat, liver and foods fortified with Vitamin D (some cereals and dairy products) will also help boost the correct levels of Vitamin D.

pillars of good health - food
Eggs – a great food!


Stay mobile! Regular exercise is important for all adults. Weight bearing exercise and resistance exercises are great for bone health, improving bone intensity, bone strength and preventing osteoporosis. As we get older it is important to maintain balance and strength,
keep functionally fit!

Weight bearing exercises;

  • Walking
  • Running, dancing, skipping
  • Tennis
  • Golf
  • Yoga
  • Aerobics

And resistance exercises;

  • Press ups, bodyweight moves
  • Weight lifting
  • Gym weights
  • Resistance bands

If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis you must take advice from your Doctor before undertaking a new exercise regime. I belong to a great online gym which offers these sorts of training, take a look here

Walking boots
My trusted walking boots


Also quit smoking and reduce you alcohol intake! For more information and advice check here 

And finally consider Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) – Many studies have shown that HRT can help improve bone density and reduce the risk of fractures. The best resource to read more on this is here.

In conclusion

Diet, sleep, physical activity, relaxation (see my 4 Pillars of Health blog) are all so important for the best health outcomes…………….so let this be your badge of honour  ” BE less busy”.

Further reading



Osteoporosis – what do you know about it?

Thanks for reading.


Jen x


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Be:Fit London 2017 My Experience

Be:Fit London 2017 My Experience

Last week my daughters and I traveled to London to Be:Fit Health and Fitness Festival at the Business Design Centre, Islington.  My eldest and I had been to a previous incarnation of this event 5 or 6 years ago, at Earls Court, and had really enjoyed it.  At that time she was getting into running, really interested in food and losing some weight. I’ve always loved to be fit and have achieved this in many ways over the years (previous blog post).


work research!

Be:Fit 2017 – work research!

Both my daughters and I are currently doing combinations of weight training, HiiT and cardio work. They regularly go to the local gym and I workout at home with Julia Buckleys online gymWe are all interested in real food, good nutrition and home cooking. With all this in mind here are my thoughts on Be:Fit.

In the last 5 or 6 years the fitness industry has exploded with the 20-something year olds social media phenomena, particularly You Tube and Instagram reaching so many people and colouring the market. This means this Festival was dominated by these “influencers” * and a predominantly young attendance.


Be:Fit Health & Fitness Festival for Women

This is no bad thing. I LOVE the message these ladies are sending out. They speak of empowerment, respect for your body, working out because you love yourself not as a punishment, eating to fuel your body and happiness.

We listened to Carly Rowena and really enjoyed her straightforward message. Carly acknowledged it is not  “one size fits all”,  you have to do what works for you and your body. Carly offered clear, sensible and sound advice with lots of options and alternative ideas for you to individually tailor. Similar messages were echoed throughout the day by the other social media fitness stars!

Be:Fit Influencers

#girlgains preparing for their Be:Fit slot

I think the Health and Fitness industry is currently lacking some basic nutrition and cooking advice. Many people are ill-informed in this area and the current trend seems to be over complicating our food and nutrition requirements. This leaves Joe Public in a confused state. The Festival trade stands did nothing to help address this. Perhaps there is a gap in the Market for some simplification or basic nutritional advice.

The Fitness Studio, Functional Studio and Yoga Studio provided an opportunity to get your workout fix during the day. However the queuing and lack of clear ticketing arrangements (unless you’d purchased a VIP entry) was frustrating.  Perhaps a deli counter ticketing mechanism would work for the Walk Up only events .We did manage to get into the #girlgains workout which was good fun.

Be:Fit Trade stands

Be:Fit Trade stands

One of the disappointing elements of the day was the trade stands, they were a bit “samey” . Too many “healthy” snacks, protein supplements, post workout drinks and not enough real food ( sorry Heck sausages https://www.heckfood.co.uk/)  but two food/recipe subscription services!  Not enough good offers to tempt you to purchase but lots of tiny tasters for you to try. The presentation was often dull, more variety and fun needed to be injected here.

KIND at BE:Fit

KIND bars did have a great offer on!

Also in relation to the stands, more variety was needed. Where were the purveyors of weights? Resistance bands? Gym Balls?  Also a more comprehensive range of active wear in terms of price range would be good.  Fitness wear is very expensive and much of the merchandise at the Festival  was prohibitive to the average girl (earning less that £20k pa). Particularly if they are on a weight loss journey and their body is changing shape continually! Not to mention  – not everyone wears fitness gear 24/7 and they need other clothes in their wardrobe! The clothing needed to cover more than the workout crowd, and the footwear more than runners.What about crossfit, cyclists, swimmers, tennis players, yoga ….?

Be:Fit purchase

My Be:Fit Festival purchase – no special deals from Reebok

Finally I think the Festival and the Fitness Industry should wake up to the growing interest in health and fitness from the over 40s and 50+, a huge market with possibly a greater disposable income.  Everyone needs to take responsibility for their health and fitness, and this sort of event is a fantastic showcase for empowering women and giving them the right tools.

In conclusion, this Festival was possibly marginally better than the one I went to a few years ago. I think the trade stands and the food/nutrition offerings were much better despite my misgivings. However on reflection some sort of hybrid of the two events would have nailed it!


*Check out
– Carly Rowena https://www.carlyrowena.com/about
– #girlgains –  aim to empower, inspire, educate and motivate women to be the best        versions of themselves.http://www.girlgains.co.uk/about
– The Food Medic – Dr Hazel Wallace https://thefoodmedic.co.uk/about/
– Clean Eating Alice https://en-gb.facebook.com/CleanEatingAlice/

Thanks for reading


Jen x

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