5 health benefits of open water swimming

Monday mornings have never been my friend. Waving goodbye to the weekend and embracing chaos, stress and work has never been my thing. But recently, something changed and they are now my favourite part of the week. Why? Because for the past few weeks I’ve been swimming in a local river every Monday morning. And not only have my Mondays improved, but my entire week. Before telling me I must be mad, have a look at the amazing things open water swimming does for you. I’ve also interspersed a few photos of the places I’ve swam in recent years. Because…

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10 tips for running in hot weather

On Sunday, I embarked on a bit of a mega run. It was nothing like the distance I did last year in the Gower ultra, but it was the furthest I’d run in a long time. Seventeen and a half miles to be precise. And it was hot. So before I went, I did a bit of research to find out the best way to tackle distance running in the heat. Here are my top tips. 1. Do it This is the big one for me. If I hadn’t made an arrangement to run, I wouldn’t have gone when I realised…

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The health check

I’ve battled with myself over whether to write this post. It is, after all, the ultimate in over-sharing. The last thing you need to read about is the excess lard around my waist. And yet, it seemed like the right thing to do. To be honest, put myself out there and say that keeping in shape as a parent is hard. But it’s never too late to do something about it. A wake-up call I know I’m overweight. I feel fat, frumpy and disgusting and none of my clothes fit. But somehow, hearing it from someone else hits harder. Last…

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My love hate relationship with cycling

This is a collaborative post. I remember having my first bike as a child. It wasn’t much of a bike, a second hand monstrosity with a broken seat that my dad had mended with building foam. But nonetheless, I learnt to ride it and eventually graduated to a slightly larger second hand pink bike. It was here that my love of cycling started – and ended. The accident Well by adult standards, it wasn’t a proper accident. But to me as a six year old, it was nothing short of a disaster. I got on my pink bike on our little road…

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The health benefits of owning a dog

I’ve thought long and hard about writing this post because I don’t want to persuade people to get a dog. It is a massive commitment for the length of that dog’s life. I also don’t condone buying dogs with so many being put to sleep every day simply because nobody wanted them. But my rescue dogs have changed my life for the better, not least because of the health benefits of owning a dog. Physical health benefits of owning a dog The NHS suggest that walking 10,000 steps a day is a great way to kickstart a more active lifestyle. But according…

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10 things you need to know about parkrun

At 9 o’clock on Saturday morning, my four year old daughter and I lined up on a start line in a local park with hundreds of other people. She was bouncing around, excited to be running in a race. There were people with dogs (sorry Bubbles, not this time), elderly joggers, walkers, children and elite runners. And the same scene played out in parks across the country. In fact these days, there are parks around the world where you can turn up at 9 am and run, jog or walk 5K. If this sounds good to you, here are a few more…

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The benefits of exercise for children

The benefits of exercise for children are indisputable. It enhances their physical and mental health and prevents obesity. It even helps their learning and concentration. And yet, a recent study conducted by the British Journal of Sports medicine found that children’s exercise levels were declining from the age of seven. How much exercise should children be doing? The NHS guidelines suggest that children under 5 years old shouldn’t be inactive for long periods. The only exception is when they’re asleep. This really surprised me. Especially because children start school at four years old, and from then on they spend a…

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