Posts tagged Health

Race for Life 2015

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I try to do at least one charity run every year, and this year I’ll be doing the Race for Life again.  The Race for Life is a huge nationwide event which runs every year, where women and children of all ages come together to run, jog, walk, or even dance a 5k or 10k route, to raise money for Cancer Research UK.  I’ve signed up to do the local 5k race on 5th July, which gives me just under two months to do some fundraising!

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My fundraising target for this year is £50, but I hope to raise as much money as possible.  So, if you can spare a few pounds, please sponsor me via my JustGiving page.  Also, if you’re a UK taxpayer, please tick the Gift Aid box, as this will increase your donation by 25%, at no extra cost to you.

Thank you everyone!  And please check back in July for my Race for Life photos!

Naomi x

 

Degustabox June 2014

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It’s time again for me to review the latest Degustabox!  The June box contained fewer products than usual, with eight brands and only nine individual items (ten if you count the extra freebie), but a couple of them were higher value, bringing the combined total to around £20 – similar to previous months.

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Estrella Damm Lager (RRP Unknown)

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According to the Degustabox leaflet, ‘Estrella Damm is an authentic imported, award-winning premium pale Spanish lager known internationally as the ‘Beer of Barcelona”.  Unfortunately, I’m not a fan of lager, so I’ve given this can to my fiancé to enjoy instead, as I wouldn’t be able to give a fair review of it anyway.  I will have a sip of it however, just to see if by some miracle I actually like this one.  I’ll keep you posted!  Also, I’ve put this down as RRP unknown as the leaflet says the cans cost £4 each, which seems unusually high, especially as you can get 4 bottles for about a fiver in Asda.

Elizabeth Shaw Milk Chocolate Amaretto Flutes (RRP £2.59)

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I loved the dark chocolate cocoa nib version of these that were in the May box, and these are 100 times better!  The milk chocolate is incredibly smooth and creamy, and they have an authentic, and really quite strong flavour of amaretto.  Amaretto is one of my favourite liqueurs, which tastes like almonds or marzipan, but unusually these Flutes contain no nuts or alcohol whatsoever!  These little sticks of luxury would make a fabulous evening treat for yourself, or to share round after a meal.  Sort of like a posh After Eight.

BEAR Alphabites Cereal (RRP £2.69)

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I always look forward to breakfast, and I like to have a variety of options available each morning as I often fancy something different, so these BEAR Alphabites have made a nice little addition to my cereal cupboard.  Unlike a lot of breakfast cereals, these multigrain letters contain ‘no nonsense’, meaning they’re completely free of refined sugar, salt and additives.  Instead, they’re sweetened with coconut blossom nectar, which happens to taste nothing like coconut, and contain wholegrain wheat, oats, corn, rice, and wholegrain barley.  Because I’m so used to eating sugar-packed cereals, these took a bit of getting used to as they don’t taste like a conventional cereal, but once you get past the ‘different’ kind of sweetness, they’re actually really nice.  And healthy too!  They even have my rats’ seal of approval.

Veetee Basmati & Wild Rice (RRP £1.49)

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Degustabox describe Veetee as ‘a deliciously convenient range of microwaveable rice products’, and though I’m not a big fan of microwaveable rice, this was surprisingly decent.  I received the Basmati and Wild Rice, which I served with a Quorn chicken and vegetable korma.  The photo above shows half of the rice, which when served with the curry and a couple of poppadoms is more than enough, so one package can easily serve two.  The rice itself is nice and fluffy, and the wild rice adds a touch of texture and flavour.  Using this kind of rice is especially great when you want a quick meal, as it only takes two minutes to cook in the microwave or wok.  I’d love to try the egg fried and wholegrain brown versions too!

Strawberry Lambrini (RRP £3.29)

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Lambrini Strawberry is one of several new flavours to be added to the Lambrini summer range, and it’s really quite yummy.  My fiancé and I enjoyed this one evening after chilling it in the fridge, and it made for a light, refreshing treat.  The strawberry flavour is quite sweet, but still has an authentic fruity taste, and at only 5% alcohol volume it’s pretty easy to quickly finish the bottle!  This would be perfect served at a barbecue.  Other flavours include cherry, peach, apple and blackcurrant, and rosé, all of which I would like to try.

Be Fast Banana Breakfast Drink (RRP £1.00 each)

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Be Fast is a ‘breakfast on the go’ drink, which is very much like a milkshake, but low in fat and packed full of fibre and protein.  Now, I really don’t think one of these would keep me full until lunchtime, as I seem to get very hungry in the morning, so I’ve been having half a bottle with my breakfast as a bit of extra ‘filler’.  The drink is fairly runny, just a bit thicker than milk, and it has a nice, refreshing banana flavour that isn’t overly sweet.  It would’ve been nice to have two different flavours in the box to try – I bet the chocolate one is fab!

Urban Fruit Pineapple Snack Pack (RRP £1.09)

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I’m currently on a mission to eat more fruit, so this Urban Fruit Pineapple came at the perfect time for me.  The fruit is apparently baked gently to dry it out, and 20g counts as one of your five a day.  That’s great, but the bag contains 35g, so you don’t get two full portions.  An extra 5g would be nice!  I ate half of this bag as a snack whilst at work, and I had the other half on a bowl of overnight oats one morning (read on for my recipe!).  The pineapple has a lovely sweetness to it, and a nice texture – soft and chewy but not too tough, and I’ll definitely be repurchasing.

Dr. Oetker Madagascan Vanilla Grinder (RRP £4.99)

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This Dr Oetker Madagascan Vanilla Grinder is such a simple yet innovative idea, and when I found it in the box I was really excited as I do a lot of baking, and authentic vanilla makes cakes and suchlike taste ten times better!  The grinder is a little bit like a pepper mill, but has two grinding options – coarse or fine.  The vanilla itself has a very strong flavour, and a little goes a long way, so the contents of the mill should last a good while.  I’ve been using this in my overnight oats for breakfast, and overnight the flavour infuses into the milk and it’s delicious.  I will 100% be repurchasing this!

Seeing as the June box has a bit of a breakfast theme, here’s my recipe for tropical overnight oats, using the Dr Oetker Madagascan Vanilla, and the Urban Fruit Pineapple.  These oats are the perfect combination of healthy, filling, and delicious…

Tropical Overnight Oats

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup semi-skimmed milk

Dr. Oetker Madagascan Vanilla

20g Urban Fruit Pineapple

15g Aldi Tropical Granola

Method:

– Before going to bed, combine the oats, milk and vanilla in a bowl, cover, and leave in the fridge overnight.

– In the morning, top with half a bag of Urban Fruit pineapple, and a sprinkle of tropical granola.

– Enjoy!

Again, this is another winning box from Degustabox, and everything in it was delicious.  Will they ever disappoint?  Hopefully not!  Bring on the July box…

If you fancy giving Degustabox a go yourself, you can get a £3 discount by entering code UPOAW at the checkout.  You can also follow Degustabox on Twitter and Facebook for more exclusive offers.

Naomi x

PS. You can check out the rest of my Degustabox reviews here.

*This Degustabox was sent to me by Degustabox for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*

Sport Relief 3 Miles

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This morning, my fiancé and I took part in the local Sport Relief event, and ran not one, but three miles!  The Sport Relief Games aim to bring the nation together to run, swim or cycle to raise money for charity, which will be spent by Comic Relief to change the lives of people living in the UK and abroad.  My fiancé and I ran as a team, and together we managed to raise more than our fundraising target, which I’m very pleased about!

The run was hard work, and I did have to slow to a walk a few times (I blame my complete lack of training), and the weather was unpredictable to say the least (rain and hail followed by hot sun), but it was actually a lot of fun.  In fact, the course we ran was about 3.6 miles in length, so we definitely worked hard for our sponsorship!

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This was my fifth charity run and I hope to do an even longer one next time – better get training!  Did you take part in a Sport Relief event this year?

Naomi x

Ozeri Precision II Digital Bathroom Scales

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About three years ago I made a couple of changes to my lifestyle (namely eating healthier and exercising more), and consequently lost three stone in weight over the healthy time span of about two years.  Since then, though I don’t weigh myself obsessively, I do like to check my weight every now and then, mainly because I want to maintain my weight and make sure I’m not losing any more!  So, when I was offered a set of Ozeri Precision II Digital Bathroom Scales to review I happily accepted, especially as my previous set had recently broken!

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To look at, the Ozeri scales aren’t anything special, but the design is nice and modern, and the tempered glass top is a lot better quality than the typical white plastic sets of scales you often see.  They are also slim and, though weighty, aren’t too heavy, so they’re also easy to store.  The scales run on four AAA batteries, which is handy as they’re easy to get hold of, unlike my last set which used one of those flat silver batteries that aren’t always easy to find.

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Perhaps the most important aspect of a set of scales is their accuracy, and these are incredibly accurate.  I even tested them alongside my mum’s bathroom scales!  I weighed myself three times on each to compare the readings, and on my mum’s I was given three slightly different readings, whereas on these I got the same reading every time.  I think this is down to the four high precision GX sensors that the scales boast, as they can weigh up to 440lbs/200kg, in 0.2lb/0.1kg increments, so they’re extremely precise.

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You can also change the units that the scales measure in, from pounds to kilograms to stone, using a small switch on the back.  I personally weigh myself in stone, but it’s always handy to have the other two options there, especially if you want to weigh your suitcase before going on holiday to check you’ve not gone over your baggage allowance!

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The screen on the front of the scales is a nice size, has a blue back light, and the digits are large so they’re easy to read.  A bonus for anyone who doesn’t have the best eyesight.  It also switches itself off automatically to help conserve battery life.

Overall, the Ozeri Precision II Digital Bathroom Scales are a quality set of scales and they do everything you’d want them to do.  They’re robust, accurate, low maintenance, and easy to read, and are well worth the £18.95 they cost.  If you’d like a set for yourself, they’re available on Amazon.

Naomi x

*These Ozeri Precision II Digital Bathroom Scales were sent to me for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*

Dopper Watter Bottle Giveaway Winners!

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Exciting news for everyone who entered my giveaway to win a Dopper Water Bottle – the giveaway has now closed, and the winners have been chosen at random via Rafflecopter!

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So without further ado, the lucky winners are…

Entry 18 – Rachel Wheeler

(who will receive the red Dopper)

and

Entry 127 – E. Cave

(who will receive the orange Dopper)

Congratulations to the winners!  Please email your postal address to bewitcheryblog@gmail.com, and I will post your prize as soon as possible.

A big thank you to everyone else who entered, and thank you too to Dopper for providing these brilliant prizes.  I am still running my AngelEye giveaway where you could win a gorgeous party dress perfect for Christmas, so if you’d like to enter please click here.

Naomi x

PS. To find out more about Dopper, why not check out my review?

Dopper Water Bottle: Review and Giveaway!

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I drink a lot of water every day, especially when I’m at work, but I really begrudge paying for bottled water when you can get it for free from the kitchen tap, especially as the bottles that bottled water comes in aren’t widely recycled, so the majority end up on landfill, littering the streets or even floating around in the ‘plastic soup’ that is our oceans!  As such, I have long been on the look out for a more environmentally friendly, reusable bottle, so I was extremely pleased when I discovered Dopper on Twitter.

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Dopper is a Dutch product which was invented with the aim to put a stop to the damaging effects that plastic bottles have on the environment.  Dopper is a unique reusable bottle which has a zero net carbon footprint, and is BPA-free, meaning that the Dopper is free of the harmful chemical usually used in plastic production.

Dopper bottles are completely sustainable, as they can be refilled and used over and over again, and promote the drinking of free, calorie-free, thirst quenching WATER!  There’s even a Dopper app so you can find out where to refill your bottle for free.  The brand also contribute to water projects around the world through the Dopper Foundation, with 10% of all Dopper sales going straight into the Foundation to fund the introduction of safe, clean drinking water and facilities in countries such as Nepal.

If you want to find out more about Dopper, their work and ethos, click here.

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What I love about my Dopper is that it doesn’t look like a normal bottle.  It has an unusual but fashionable design which is also practical, and comes in a wide range of colours.  The Dopper has a wide, flat lid which, at first, seemed a little unnecessary, until I realised why…  Not only does the lid unscrew, but the white section unscrews as well, so you can use it as a drinking cup if you don’t fancy drinking straight from the bottle.  An absolute genius addition to an already excellent product.  Luckily, both the lid and the cup screw back on securely, so there’s no need to worry about leakage.

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The Dopper holds 450ml of water, just a little less than your average bottle of water from a shop, and is the ideal size to carry with you in your bag, fit into the cup holder of your car or take with you on a run or whilst exercising.  I can’t express enough how much I absolutely love my Dopper.  The design is so innovative and functional, but it also looks fantastic and, most importantly, it’s so much kinder on the Earth than the bottled water you buy in shops!

In fact, I believe in Dopper so much that I have something very special to share with you… I have not one, but TWO Doppers to give away to two lucky readers – a red and an orange that both really stand out from the crowd.

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To enter, all you have to do is complete as many of the tasks as you want/can on the Rafflecopter form below.  The competition will run for three weeks, and will end at midnight (GMT) on 26th November.  The giveaway is open WORLDWIDE and all entries will be checked.  The winners will be chosen at random and announced the next day, and contacted via email, and will be given 48 hours to respond with their postal address.  If no reply is received within this time, another winner will be chosen at random.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Naomi x

Braun ExactFit 5 Blood Pressure Monitor

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Having had minor health issues in the past, I now make a conscious effort to live as healthy a lifestyle as possible; eating well, exercising more and making sure my vital signs are tip-top.  Not obsessively so, but just enough to know that I’m in good condition!  An important piece of equipment in helping me check that I’m healthy is my blood pressure monitor – the new Braun ExactFit 5.

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The Braun ExactFit 5 monitor comes with everything you need to check your blood pressure and heart rate – the monitor, two arm cuffs, an owner’s manual, four AA batteries and a handy black storage pouch.  The arm cuffs come in two different sizes, S-M for arms measuring 22cm to 32cm, which is the size I use, and L-XL, measuring from 32cm up to 42cm, so everyone is catered for.

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The monitor itself is sleek and compact for easy storage and transportation, and is a very intelligent piece of kit.  After the initial simple task of inputting the time and date, very little interference is needed, but the monitor can do so much.  It has a memory function and a multiple user option, so two people can use the monitor to store up to sixty results each, whilst remembering the exact time and date of each measurement, and after seven days it can calculate your full day, morning and evening average using your most recent readings.  As it takes your blood pressure reading, the monitor also measures your heart rate, and has the very useful feature of being able to detect and highlight an irregular heartbeat.  Furthermore, the coloured bar indicator down the side of the screen is compliant to the World Health Organisation, and gives guidance on whether your blood pressure is normal or too high.  Despite its complex abilities, however, it is easy to understand, as the on-screen information is displayed clearly, in simple terms.

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The ExactFit 5 is really easy to use, as the cuff depicts exactly how to fit it, with the red section and circular symbol having to sit over your main artery.  Once you’ve got the cuff right, you just press the start button and the cuff will inflate.  I have used home blood pressure monitors in the past which have felt uncomfortable and taken a long time to take and display a reading, but this one is surprisingly comfortable and quick.  After a reading is taken, it deflates quickly and the result is accurate and displayed immediately, unlike some less sophisticated monitors where you have to wait a while for the reading to show whilst the cuff remains tight.

Whether you want to check your blood pressure quickly every now and then, or regularly, the Braun ExactFit 5 is invaluable.  I imagine I’ll find it very useful when I eventually get pregnant, and it would also be ideal for the elderly or anyone with an existing health condition that requires regular checks.

The Braun ExactFit 5 has an RRP of £99.99.  For further details visit www.braunbloodpressuremonitors.co.uk.  Packed full of information and advice, Braun’s new microsite includes tips on controlling your blood pressure, as well as practical videos showing you how to fit your Braun blood pressure monitor and understand your measurements.  The Braun blood pressure monitors are available nationwide at selected Boots stores.  Visit the microsite for further information.

Naomi x

*This Braun ExactFit 5 Blood Pressure Monitor was sent to me for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*

Ozeri 4×3 Motion Digital Pedometer

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One of my favourite keep fit activites is walking, and I always like to track my progress using a pedometer.  However, every pedometer I’ve ever used has been cumbersome, noisy, and so basic it barely even worked.  That was until I recently discovered the Ozeri 4×3 Motion Digital Pedometer, which does so much more than just count your steps, and now comes with me wherever I go!

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This little gadget is a lot more sophisticated than your average pedometer as rather than clicking and only working when it moves up and down, it uses a 3D Tri-Axis Sensor, meaning it can sit at any angle or position along a Y, X or Z axis, and still work.  Also, it not only records your steps, but also your distance, speed, the number of calories burned and the amount of time you’ve been walking for.

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There’s a set-up option on the pedometer which allows you to set the date and time, but also your weight and stride distance.  Using the latter two pieces of information, the pedometer is then able to calculate how far you’ve walked and how many calories you’ve burned depending on your weight, and every single time it does so it gives the same result as the MyFitnessPal app that I use on my phone, so it’s really accurate.  It’s also easy to look back through your recorded data – you just press the mode button to scroll through today’s results, or the up and down arrows to check through the last seven days.

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Unlike a lot of pedometers, the 4×3 is completely silent, and comes with a detachable neck strap so you can wear it around your neck if you so desire.  However, its ultra slim design means it can sit in your pocket without looking or feeling too bulky, which is how I prefer to carry mine as it’s more discreet.

The pedometer has a few other useful features too, such as a blue backlight for night viewing, a sports timer, a clock and a calendar, and it automatically goes into sleep mode if you’ve stopped walking for thirty seconds or more.  This helps to save the battery life, but also prevents it registering any other movements or vibrations as steps, which is handy.

My only issue with the Ozeri 4×3, and it’s a small one, is the colour.  Though I like yellow, it wouldn’t be my first choice and I’d like to see a few other colour options be introduced.  A purple one would be nice!  But that’s only a tiny, insignificant quibble about an all-round brilliant pedometer that does what you want it to, and much, much more.

The Ozeri 4×3 Motion Digital Pedometer is available on Amazon UK and costs £15.95, which is a £16.61 saving on its RRP!

Naomi x

*This Ozeri 4×3 Motion Digital Pedometer was sent to me for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*

Race for Life 2013

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On June 30th I will once again be running the Race for Life in order to raise money for Cancer Research UK.  The Race for Life is a big event which runs every year, where women of all ages come together to run, jog or walk a 5k or 10k distance, and the funds raised through sponsorship go towards research to help beat all 200 types of cancer.

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My sister Freya and I have decided to run the course together, and will be completing the 5k track in memory of those we have lost to cancer, and in celebration of those who have overcome it.  The day is always a lot of fun, full of music, colour, fancy dress and positivity, and I am really looking forward to taking part.  I am absolutely determined to run most if not all of the track (rather than walking it), so I am hoping to get a bit of training in before the big day!

My fundraising target for this year is £100, so if you can spare a few pennies and would like to sponsor me, you can do so via my online fundraising page.  It’s safe to use and all money goes directly to Cancer Research UK, and can be Gift Aided too.  Thank you so much in advance!

Naomi x

The Olympic Legacy: Keeping Fit

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It has been a few weeks now since the London Olympics finished, and the incredible event that is the Paralympics is slowly coming to a close.  For me, the last month and a half has been the most important time of sport I have ever experienced, as it has truly made an impression on me, and inspired and encouraged me to become more active and take part in more sport.

Up until a few years ago I was rarely interested in sport.  With Athletics as the exception, I dreaded and loathed doing PE at school.  I didn’t support any teams, and watching a game of sport was my idea of hell.  Over the last few years, thanks to my partner, I have started to enjoy watching some sports, namely rugby (my city is home to the Leicester Tigers, one of the best rugby teams in the UK) and the UFC, but even through my sport-hating childhood I always had a soft spot for the Olympics.  I remember spending hour after hour watching various events, but once the games were over they soon disappeared from my consciousness and I carried on as normal.  This year was different, however.

With the 2012 Olympics being held in London I really felt the buzz of the lead up to the games.  I went to see the Olympic and Paralympic Torches being carried through Leicester (which I blogged about here), and once the Olympics began the country felt so positive and a nice place to be.  Team GB performed amazingly well and I was glued to the screen every day, shouting my support and feeling so proud.  I felt part of something big and I didn’t want it to end.  And it didn’t!  When the Paralympic games began last week I couldn’t wait to see how well our Paralympians would do, and so far they have been outstanding!  Every single British Olympian and Paralympian has inspired me with their performance, and it is because of them that I am writing this post, because without that inspiration I wouldn’t have been encouraged to be more active and to keep fit!

I recently posted about reaching my weight loss target, which involved healthy eating and some good old-fashioned exercise, but I wanted to do something more than just walk everywhere.  I learnt to enjoy exercise more on my journey to change my lifestyle, but since reaching my target I felt I was lacking a goal.  As a result, and thanks to the Olympics, I started to look for activties where I could set myself goals to visibly and physically improve and hopefully become good at something, and here’s what I’m starting with…

1. Swimming

A new swimming pool recently opened at the university I used to attend.  I taught myself to swim in the sea when I was 4 or 5, and have always preferred swimming in the sea to pools.  I thought I’d give the new pool a try though, and as it happens it is lovely.  It’s clean and modern and doesn’t smell too strongly of chlorine, and its a pleasure to swim in.  I’ve been a few times now since it opened and I have already seen my swimming improve.  I have cut a few seconds off of the time it takes me to swim a length, and I have noticed that my body is starting to tone up.

2. Aqua Aerobics

I will be going to my first ever Aqua Aerobics class on Friday afternoon with my mum.  I’ve been wanting to try a water fitness class for a while, so I decided to take the plunge (excuse the pun) and book a place.  The class is 45 minutes long and will involve a lot of splashing about to music, I imagine.  I’m hoping it will be a lot of fun!

3. Jogging

I haven’t actually started jogging properly yet, but I now have all the kit to do so (I didn’t even own a pair of jogging bottoms up until a month or two ago), and I have every intention of going jogging at least once a week.  If I don’t, force me to.  It must happen!

4. To Be Continued…

That’s right!  I don’t know what I want to try next, but I am going to look for another sport or fitness class to try out, so watch this space.

This is what I’ve done so far to keep the Olympic spirit alive.  I’m determined to make the legacy of these wonderful games last and carry on keeping fit, trying new sports and being active, and I hope you will join me on my mission to do so!  In fact, I plan on updating my blog with my fitness ventures every couple of months, so if you see me slacking give me a nudge.

Has the Olympics inspired you to try any new sports, or to keep fit?

Naomi x

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