Running your first 5K

Is quarantine starting to inspire you to take that leap and get involved in all these 5K challenges that are floating about on social media lately? Being shut in the house can make people do some crazy things, and it seems more and more people are getting the running bug.

If you’re thinking of heading out and trying your first 5K, it’s important to remember a few things. First time running is difficult; you may be out of shape, or simply out of the loop, so its important to ensure you don’t injure yourself or scare yourself off from running ever again by doing things wrong.

Here’s how to ensure you smash your first 5K:

Pre Run

Even the best runners in the world don’t just get up and go. You need to put in a little work before you start out running to warm up the body, get the blood pumping and loosen up those muscles. If you don’t, you aren’t likely to get far and boy, you’re going to be sore in the morning. Dynamic stetches such as lunges, heel flicks are best at helping to prevent injuries by improving flexibility and mobility in joints.

The (dreaded) first run

If you haven’t exercised in a long time, or at all, ever, then its important to start things slowly. Nobody is going to expect you to be able to go from couch to 5K in one go. Start of with a run/walk plan to help build your aerobic fitness and get your body used to moving again. Our sedentary lives have made our bodies softer and it takes time to get them used to the physical aspect of exercise again.

Don’t overdo it by trying to exercise everyday either. Aim for three times a week to start with to give your body time to relax in between sessions.

Don’t focus on time as you start out, just focus on distance. As long as you are completing a 5K with a combination of running, walking and jogging you are on the right path.

The Health Benefits of Curry Powder

As a staple of Indian cuisine, curry powder is a mixture of spices like turmeric, coriander seeds, dried chillies, curry leaves, cardamom, nutmeg and peppercorns. In fact, it originates from the Indian Subcontinent and is used in a wide range of traditional dishes in order to give them an authentic and recognisable taste. With this said, curry powder also comes with hidden health benefits too. Read on to find out more information…

Reduces Inflammation

Turmeric is a key spice that can be found in the most basic curry powder concoction and is widely known for its inflammation banishing qualities. In fact, it has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries! By using turmeric friendly curry powders, diners can obtain effective relief from the inflammation cause by a wide range of condition like arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome and migraines.

Aids Digestion

There are a wide range of different bacterium in the gut that are necessary in order to complete the digestive process. With this said, difficulty digesting certain components in the diet can lead to problems like gas, bloating and stomach pain. Luckily, black pepper, turmeric and cumin are three spices used in curry powder that can aid digestion and reduce the onset of such symptoms.

Protects the Heart

Cardamom and sweet basil can be found in some varieties of curry powder and are known to benefit the heart considerably. In fact, they are known as vasodilators which means that they naturally lower a person’s blood pressure, reducing the likelihood of plaque in the arteries (atherosclerosis), heart attack and stroke.

It is safe to say that curry isn’t just a delicious traditional meal, it also comes with a secret stash of health benefits too! Royal Nawaab are an authentic Indian and Pakistani restaurant based in Manchester and London that specialise in crafting of a wide range of dishes, including curries that are made using a traditional curry powder blend. To find out more information, get in contact with a member of the Royal Nawaab team today!

3 Ways to Incorporate Turmeric into a Diet

Although the internet is inundated with a variety of bogus ‘health trends’ that boast unrealistic results, it is true that turmeric is an incredibly beneficial spice that should be implemented into one’s diet in one way or another. After all, it contains an active compound known as curcumin that has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and dementia. Read on as the team here at The Healthy Living and Fitness go over three different ways that turmeric can be added to the diet…

Drinks

Whilst the consumption of turmeric tea has been spoilt by internet advertisements that promise buyers unrealistic results, there are actually a wide range of benefits that can be obtained from making fresh tea from grated turmeric root. With this said, it should be mixed with additional ingredients like honey, milk and a citrus in order to improve the flavour and provide additional benefits.

Seasoning

Known for its pungent and bitter flavour, turmeric is a popular spice used in Indian cuisine in order to add an aromatic and distinctive tang to a wide range of dishes. As a result, turmeric can be implemented in the diet in order to season soups, meat and vegetables; however, it is important that it is used sparingly as just a small pinch manages to pack a lot of flavour and can overwhelm a dish with ease.

Curry

Turmeric may be known for its characteristic aroma; however, its bright orange colour means that it also functions as an effective colouring agent too. After all, there are a wide range of traditional Indian and Pakistani curries that utilise the spice in order to create bright and bold dishes that are bursting with flavour. As a result, curry is a popular dish that can be enjoyed in order to incorporate turmeric in the diet.

Western food doesn’t utilise as many spices as other cuisines which is why many people find it difficult to implement spices like turmeric into their diet. Luckily, there are a wide range of South Asian dishes that consider it an essential ingredient and there is no time like the present to develop one’s palate. Royal Nawaab are an authentic Indian and Pakistani restaurant that serve traditional dishes that rely on spices like turmeric. To find out more information, get in contact with a member of the team today!

The Different Types of Athletic Trainers

Exercise is difficult to define because it can be undertaken in a variety of different ways. After all, some people prefer the convenience of a gym whilst others like to partake in a particular sport in order to make the whole experience more enjoyable. With this said, people tend to underestimate the dangers of taking part in a sport without the correct footwear, especially when there are different types for each and every activity. Read on as we go over the top three…

Walking

Although there is very little need to invest in specialist footwear for day-to-day walking, those who frequently partake in long neighbourhood walks should ensure that their trainers are up to the job. After all, fashion footwear is known to lack support and breathability which means that they can cause blisters and foot sores when worn for an extended period of time. Luckily, walking shoes are one of the most affordable varieties of athletic trainers on the market.

Running

The way that we run may be similar to walking, however the impact that is placed on the joints is considerably higher. As a result, it is essential that frequent and dedicated runners invest in a high-quality pair of running shoes that are designed with their foot shape, pronation type and running style in mind. After all, a lack of support during on-road running can lead to avoidable ankle sprains and the formation of blisters.

Off-Road

As the most difficult variation of running, off-road or terrain tracks are known for their steep inclines and declines as well as their sudden ability to change surface. This means that runners must invest in footwear with a grip in order to ensure that any lose gravel will not cause an injury. In addition to this, off-road trainers are often equipped with waterproof features as these runners are often accustomed to deep puddles and muddy patches and their shoes must be able to keep up.

Here at The Healthy Living and Fitness, we want our readers to, quite literally, hit the ground running when it comes to athletics and exercise. With this said, the correct footwear is essential as a lack of ankle support when navigating the terrain of an off-road track can lead to a serious injury. To find out more information, check out Laced’s range of online trainers or speak to a member of the team today!

The Health Benefits of Anthracite

Here at The Healthy Living and Fitness, we want our readers to recognise the importance of lung health and how bad habits like smoking can lead to serious problems later in life. With this said, the quality of our air continues to decline each year due to the industrial combustion of fuels like coal. In fact, the government recently announced its plan to ban the domestic use of traditional bituminous coal in 2022 in order to target growing concerns regarding climate change. Luckily, anthracite will remain available. Read on as we go over some of the health benefits of burning anthracite coal…

What is anthracite?

As the oldest variety of coal, anthracite is found deep within the earth and has a glossy black appearance. After all, the fossil fuel is created during a process known as coalification where dead vegetative matters from millions of years ago is subjected to intense heat and pressure over an extensive period of time. Anthracite is known for being hard and brittle because it has been under these conditions for 300-350 million years!

Naturally Smokeless

One of the most notable characteristics of anthracite is its high carbon content of around 98%. After all, the heat and pressure of coalification removes moisture from the fossil fuel and this explains why peat, the youngest form of coal, is incredibly moist in comparison to anthracite. As a result of this high-carbon content, anthracite produces little to no smoke when it is burned and is known as a ‘naturally smokeless’ fuel which makes it popular in Smoke Control Zones where bituminous coal is banned.

Low Volatile Materials

The high-carbon content of anthracite also means that is does not contain many volatile materials like sulphur. After all, the burning of bituminous coal is thought to contribute to global warming fears and the increase of acid rain because sulphur dioxide combines with the moisture in the air when it is released into the atmosphere. Luckily, anthracite is an eco-friendly and health conscious fuel for domestic applications. 

Although the future of domestic burning may be impacted by the governments plans to crack down on bituminous coal, anthracite is a popular alternative due to its naturally smokeless qualities and ability to improve our air-quality. To find out more information, get in contact with the best coal merchants on the market at Pearson Fuels today!

3 Misconceptions About Exercise

Here at The Healthy Living and Fitness, we know how difficult it can be to change habits that have become a part of an individual’s lifestyle. After all, statistics suggest that around 38% of adults want to lose weight. With this said, many people approach a diet the wrong way and presume that exercise is the miracle fix that they have been looking for. Read on as we go over three misconceptions that people tend to have about exercise…   

Is cardio better than lifting weights?

The majority of cardio machines like treadmills and cross trainers provide gym-goers with a way to physically track the number of calories they are burning during each work-out. The problem with this approach is that it can lead people into a false sense of security regarding their eating habits because they believe that they can ‘burn off the calories’ later. In fact, many cardio fanatics also shun weight training because it doesn’t provide such a feature, however lifting weights actually creates an ‘after burn’ effect which means that more calories are burned long after the individual has finished their workout.

Why is static stretching before a work-out ineffective?

It is incredibly common to carry out a pre-workout stretch and there are thought to be many benefits obtained from such a routine. With this said, static stretches like holding the ankle to the buttocks or crossings one’s arm across their chest can be counter-productive because they do not warm the muscles up and prepare them for a work-out. As a result, it is advised to perform dynamic stretches like jumping jacks, high kicks and mountain climbers instead.

How long should it take to lose weight?

One of the most problematic misconceptions about exercise is that it will provide instant weight-loss results when the act of losing fat is heavily reliant on a person’s diet rather than their workout schedule. In fact, it is recommended to aim for a loss of just 1-2lb a week depending on the starting weight of the individual because losing weight too quickly is not only unhealthy, it is also unrealistic.

When it comes to weight loss, it is important that people approach their routine with an open but realistic mindset. After all, it is impossible to out-train a bad diet. With this said, the correct footwear and equipment is a necessity in order to prevent injuries and help people get the most out of their workout. To find our more information, check out Laced’s range of online trainers today!

5 Bodyweight Exercises for Beginners

The prospect of exercising can be daunting for beginners and the atmosphere of a gym is often just as intimidating as a neighbourhood run. Luckily, it is entirely possible to obtain an effective workout from a range of bodyweight exercises that can be carried out in the comfort of one’s own home! Read on as the team here at The Healthy Living and Fitness go over the top five…

Push Ups

Many people under-estimate how difficult a push-up can be. After all, it relies on strength in the upper arms and a tight core in order to ensure that the most effective results are obtained. Luckily, it is possible to simplify the exercise for beginners by carrying out a knee push-up which distributes the weight more evenly.

Lunges

The hip flexors play an important role in our posture and a lack of movement can cause them to tighten. Luckily, bodyweight exercises like lunges are the perfect beginners move in order to tone to the thighs and ensure that our muscles are balanced yet strong enough to take on the world.

Plank

As the most effective bodyweight exercise around, the plank uses almost every single muscle in the body in order to maintain balance. In fact, it can be carried out for 10 seconds or 10 minutes, depending on the ability of the individual, however beginners are advised to build up to longer planks slowly.

Squat

Many people carry out squats in order to build muscle, however this bodyweight exercise can also aid digestion, improve posture and increase the hormones that are released. In fact, squats are a balanced based exercise which means that those carrying it out regularly may find that their joins become more stable over time.

Jumping Jacks

Although jumping jacks are more of a cardio-based exercise than a strength-based exercise, they are the most effective way for beginners to get their heart pumping. After all, they are incredibly simple and increasing the number of reps will increase the difficulty almost instantly.

It is safe to say that slow and steady wins the race when it comes to exercise as beginners who push themselves too far often obtain serious injuries that may set back months work of progress. With this said, the right equipment can ensure that all athletes are protected and Laced’s range of online trainers can be utilised for both avid runners and stay-at-home workout fanatics alike. To find out more information, get in contact with a member of the Laced team today!

The Characteristics of Running Trainers

As one of the most popular forms of exercise, running is a sport that can be carried out by anybody regardless of age or gender. With this said, a lack of form and equipment can lead to avoidable injuries that may set back months of progress in an instant. Here at The Healthy Living and Fitness, we want our readers to practice safe running which is why we have decided to go over some of the characteristics that every pair of running trainers should have. Read on to find out more information…

Stability

The shoes that we wear on a daily basis should protect the foot and give it support, however running trainers have to be able to stabilise the ankle too. After all, every stride that is taken during a run places a lot of strain on the joints in the body and a poorly fitting or badly made running shoe with little to no support will lead to serious injuries. In order to check the stability of footwear for sports, runners should take the heel height, comfort and flexibility of a trainer into consideration.

Weight

Contrary to belief, the weight of a trainer can influence a runners gait, speed and stability during a workout. After all, heavy shoes will place unnecessary strain on the ankle and lead to avoidable injuries which is why a lightweight trainer should always be a top priority, especially for beginners. With this said, cushioning, comfort and stability should not be neglected in favour of weight when it comes to a trainers design.

Breathability

Moisture is naturally created when a person runs and that is why a running shoe should always be breathable. After all, a lack of breathability can lead to the formation of blisters and may even increase the risk of bacterial or fungal infections. In addition to this, it also makes the running experience unpleasant and can put beginners off from the start. As a result, running footwear should also be designed with air flow and moisture wicking materials.

Since the foot will create an impact with the ground after each stride, it is important that a pair of running trainers can provide the comfort and support necessary to prevent a painful injury. In fact, footwear should also be replaced after a certain number of miles. To find out more information about running trainers, check out Laced’s range of online trainers or get in contact with a member of the team today!

A Simple Guide to Pronation

At a first glance, running seems like an incredibly simple sport. After all, there are only a few basic tools that are required in order to obtain the most effective results at the end of a work-out. With this said, footwear can make or break an individual’s running experience which is why it is vital that runners take their pronation into consideration. Read on as the team here at The Healthy Living and Fitness go over the three different types of pronation that people tend to have…

Neutral Pronation

As the most ideal type of pronation, neutral pronation occurs when the foot rolls inwards naturally by about 15%. This means that finding the most suitable footwear for running is often incredibly simple because the feet are well adjusted in order to absorb shock and ensure that the legs remain correctly aligned. As a result, runners with a natural pronation are less likely to suffer from injuries.

Over Pronation

On the other hand, an inwards and downwards rotation of more than 15% is known as overpronation. Many people who suffer from this type of pronation are said to have flat feet and must find footwear that is designed to support their foot shape in order to prevent pain and injury. After all, over pronation can lead to a condition known as iliotibial band syndrome which may cause pain on the outside of the knee.

Supination

A foot that rolls outwards by around 15% is under pronated. This condition, also known as supination, places a lot of un-necessary pressure on the toes and can lead to a variety of other issues like Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis and other shock-related problems like sprains and shin splints. As a result, runners with an over pronation should opt for a comfortable shoe that provides support and stability.

It is important that runners are able to understand the movement of the foot and how it determines the way that our feet absorb shock. After all, poorly fitted footwear can lead to avoidable injuries and a poor running experience that can cause beginners to throw in the towel before they’ve even started. To find out more information about running footwear and pronation, checkout Laced’s range of online trainers today!

Top Tips for Health-Conscious Coal Combustion

Although statistics suggest that domestic homeowners only account for around 4% of the total coal demand each year, the number of residential burners continues to increase steadily. With this said, coal combustion is a skill that is learnt over time which means that many homeowners can put their health at risk by failing to abide by basic safety practices. Read on as the team here at The Healthy Living and Fitness go over everything there is to know about health-conscious coal use…

Ventilation

Burning coal and other carbon-based fuels creates gases like carbon dioxide as a by-product which must be safely removed via the chimney. As a result, it is vital that property owners ensure that their ventilation is in tip top condition or installed by a professional as poor-quality ventilation will prevent carbon dioxide from being removed and puts the respiratory health of those inside a property at risk.

Carbon Monoxide

Another dangerous gas that coal can create when it is burned is carbon monoxide (CO). In fact, CO is incredibly toxic and can put lives at risk when it is inhaled for long periods of time because it displaces the oxygen in the blood with carbon, preventing vital organs like the brain and heart from receiving the oxygen they require. Carbon monoxide is created during the incomplete combustion of carbon-based fuels and property owners should ensure that they have a functioning CO detector in place as well as effective ventilation.

Anthracite

The oldest form of coal is known as anthracite and it is renowned for being naturally smokeless. After all, it has been subjected to the pressure and heat of coalification for over 350 million years which means that it has a very high carbon content and little to no volatile materials. As a result, many people choose to burn anthracite rather than bituminous coal because it is more eco-friendly, creating cleaner air quality and protecting the health of everybody equally.

Coal is a carbon-based fossil fuel which means that it should always be used safely. After all, incomplete combustion is a common occurrence and the carbon monoxide that it creates can put lives at risk without the correct precautions. To find out more information about burning coal safely, get in contact with the best coal merchants on the market and speak to a member of the Pearson Fuels team today!