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Workout Playlist April 2016

Workout Playlist April 2016

Workout music can be a great motivator when you are exercising.  It can help take your mind off the a particular exercise, push you on to train harder or even get you to concentrate more.  To be honest I don’t always listen to music when I’m training but when I do I try and to mix up the music I listen to and am constantly putting together new playlists.

Music can be a great motivator when you are exercising,here's my Workout Playlist for April Click To Tweet

Here’s my workout music playlist for April 2016

Workout Music
My Workout Playlist for April 2016. Listening to music when training can help me to push harder, take my mind of what I’m doing or focus me on a particular set or exercise.

What tracks make up your workout music playlists?  Do you use music to motivate you or take your mind off things when training?

 

What to wear running

running

What to wear running

I got back into running about 3 years ago. I remember raking through my wardrobe and coming up with a pair of faded  joggers, a grey t-shirt previously used for gardening in and a pair of trainers that hadn’t seen the light of day since having my daughter (2006).  It wasn’t a catwalk moment but I was motivated and focused more on getting that first run in the bag.  It was also early on a Saturday morning so apart from dog walkers no one would see me (I hoped).

The great thing about running is that you really don’t need to spend heaps of money getting kitted up. If you get more serious you may feel that spending money on proper running kit will enhance your running experience and I would tend to agree but when you first start out it is not necessary.  Running is an accessible and inexpensive way to get you fit but is not for everyone.  You don’t want to spend heaps of cash on trainers and a running outfit only to use it once!  For me it is all about comfort and getting the right kit.  When I run I want to focus on the actual run not that my trainers are rubbing or my shorts are chaffing.

Wearing the right running kit can help give you a better running experience Click To Tweet

If you are a beginner runner and do want to spend some money on running gear essentials there here are my own recommendations:

Trainers

The pair of trainers I dug out of my wardrobe were old and worn. They were ok for my first couple of trips out and I was walking more than running but I soon realised that they were no good if I wanted to get better at running.  So first off decent trainers are a must.  You don’t need to spend loads of money, there’s always a sale on but if you can go to a store that specialises in running.  Tell them your budget, they will analyse your running style and foot type.  A decent pair of trainers will give you a more comfortable running experience and you will be less prone to injuries.

Running Socks

Normal everyday socks can cause blisters as they get wet and sweaty and the seams can rub. Invest running specific socks that wick away the moisture and have no seams that rub plus they stay in place.

Sports Bra

Ok one for the ladies. A good supportive sports bra should be top of your list.  A decent sports bra will not only give you the right support but you will feel secure when you run wearing one.  When I first started running I didn’t wear a sports bra; the constant twisted bra straps and clasps rubbing against my skin was enough to put me off running altogether.  If in doubt about what type of sports bra you I would recommend you actually visit a sports shop and ask their advice.

T-shirts

Cotton t-shirts soak up sweat, stay wet and then you get cold. Not nice, eh?  Look for Technical or moisture ‘wicking’ t-shirts that sweat away from your body.  These are lightweight and some now have the feel of cotton, fewer seems or seamless mean less chance of chaffing.  Also once washed they dry very quickly.

Shorts

I tend to go for light-weight, moisture wicking fabric style running shorts. Sometimes they can be a bit skimpy for me and so I’ve worn a pair of compression shorts underneath for extra support.  I’d advise not to go for the heavy jersey cotton style as when they get wet they stay wet.  Chaffing can be an issue so apply Vaseline to areas that are prone to chaffing is my advice but the compression shorts can help you avoid that.

Running Tights

Some consider running tights a brave fashion choice and only suited to those hard-core runners. Rubbish!  I wear them all the time and have various types dependent on the weather.  I find they give me support, keep me cool/warm and depending on the fabric they are moisture wicking so keep me dry!  Plus they protect my legs from the elements which helps me focus on run.  You don’t have to spend a fortune on them but make sure they feel supportive and fit right before you purchase a pair; I found a fab pair in Primark the other week!

Hi-Vis Clothing

If you are running when it’s dark particularly on roads wear hi-vis clothing. It’s for your own safety.  A lot of running clothes have reflective stripes on them but sometimes I don’t think this is enough.  I tend to wear a high-vis t-shirt if I do run at night.  Yes you ca certainly see me coming and I hope everyone else can too!  Plenty of choice ranging from t-shirts to jackets and you don’t need to spend a fortune.

Layers

You can run in all weathers but bear in mind you might be freezing when you start but overheating half-way through. Many new to running can make the mistake of wearing too much then over-heat and end up stripping off.  It’s distracting, irritating and knocks you out of your stride!  The trick is to layer up but make sure you layer up the right type of clothing.  Opt for clotting that’s moisture wicking, breathable and light-weight.  Base layers are ideal for this. Just don’t over-do it!  Think also about gloves and hats.  Sometimes it’s just our extremities that need an extra layer.  If its cold, I keep my gloves and running hat on the radiator and shove them on just before a venture out for a 5km. A nice pair of warm gloves and hat can help distract me from how cold the rest of my body is when I start out on a run.

Vaseline

Yes you heard me! Chafing can be an issue and quite frankly doesn’t exactly make you eager to go out for another run if you’ve suffered from chafing.  So make sure you apply Vaseline to areas prone to chaffing.  Wearing seamless running gear also helps but make sure you have that Vaseline in stand-by!

Investing in some running kit need not to be expensive. Lots of high street stores are now starting to do their own ranges.  Whilst I love the main sports labels I also buy kit at H&M, Primark.  You can also get lots of bargains online as well; my favourites are Wiggle and Zalando.  There are plenty of sales and out of town outlets.  Once you know what sort of running gear you are looking for you can do a bit of research and get good deals.  If you also go to a gym perhaps consider buying running clothes that you could wear for a workout.

Whatever you wear focus on for taking up of running; being fit, healthy or just an opportunity to get out outdoors, wearing the right running kit will help you focus on your running and possibly help to keep it up.

What are your must-haves when it comes to running gear? Where do you shop for running kit?

My Blogging Tips when it comes to Blog Maintenance

Blogging tips

Blog Maintenance; don’t think of it as a chore as there are benefits to doing it!

Blog Maintenance is something that I have learnt is an absolute must when it comes to running a blog. When I started Busyfitmama I had the rose tinted view that I would write a blog post, add some images and throw it out there.  How lovely eh?  My blogging skills are evolving all the time so it makes perfect sense to revisit not only my old blog posts but also my blog in general to make sure it still represents the direction of my blog.  By refreshing and updating my  blog I’m not only increasing the likelihood of more traffic but I’m also improving the look of images, refreshing the content of posts and perhaps removing irrelevant, out-dated items.  It can also inspire me to write a new post as a new idea might pop into my head as I read through an old post.  So here are my own blogging tips when it comes to blog maintenance.

Update old images and graphics

My photography and design skills are evolving all the time, still not great but definitely an improvement on my early attempts to create images and graphics for my articles. I’m trying to develop a more cohesive look to the my images and graphics so I tend to periodically review each article to make sure it fits with what I am trying to achieve visually with my blog in general.  I might want to change the font on my blog headers or change a colour scheme.  I love Canva and I have recently upgraded to Canva for Work so I can develop a more cohesive look with colours, fonts and layout for my graphics. I am also starting to add my own images and replacing some of the stock photography but that’s a very slow process!

Review the content of old blog posts; update or delete

Can I add or delete any of the information? Are the links working?  Can I link an older post to one of my more recent posts? Can I refine the title in any way, perhaps make it more SEO friendly?  If a post is completely outdated or now irrelevant to you blog then remove it completely.

Check how SEO friendly blog posts really are

I use the Yoast plug-in to help make my blog more SEO friendly. I will review keywords and post titles.  Do I need to change anything?  Shorten a title or maybe change a keyword?  I’ll also review any links I have in the blog so check they still work; if not they are removed and maybe replaced.

Re-schedule an older blog post on Social Media Platforms

The hope is readers will arrive at a blog post you’ve just published, love it and want to read your other articles? Yes that happens but not always.  I tend to take an older post, update if necessary and then re-post onto social media.  I will use Hootsuite as a scheduling platform to help me plan ahead and target times when I’m likely to get more traffic.

Blog maintenance needn’t be a chore. It’s a must for me and instead of finding it a tedious task I see it as a way to re-focus and ensure that what I publish fits with what I want the direction of my blog to go in!  I find it’s great when I am short on inspiration; reading an old blog will often give me idea for a new post!  Don’t think of it as a drag and something you put off.  Do it as a means of reflecting on your past blogging journey and provide focus for what you want to do next!

Don't regard #blog maintenance as a chore think of it as a way to re-focus your blogging goals! Click To Tweet

Do you carry out blog maintenance? Do you find it a chore or something that can be quite positive?  Have you got any blogging tips when it comes to maintaining your own blog?

Happy 6 Months Blog Anniversary to me!

It's only been 6 months for Busyfitmama.com so here's my Blog Life so far! What I've learnt, what mistakes I've made, what next? http://www.busyfitmama.com/happy-6-months-blog-anniversary-to-me/

Happy 6 Months Blog Anniversary to me!

I still can’t bring myself to look at my first blog; Time to Start Blogging. OK I do occasionally glance at it when I open up WordPress for a bit of a Blog Housekeeping session (meaning when I have bloggers block) but I need a little more time to prepare myself for the toenail curling experience I’ll have when I do eventually look at it again.

So 6 months isn’t a long time in the great scheme of things, well it is when you are 5 and waiting for your birthday or Christmas day to arrive but when you are a grown-up it really isn’t. It’s also not a lot of time in the blogging world either but for me it’s probably an opportunity to reflect on how it’s all been going and maybe focus on what I’m going to do blog-wise for the next 6 months.

So I've been blogging for 6 months, what have I learnt and what do I need to focus on next?… Click To Tweet

The Story so far in the world of me and busyfitmama?

What have I learnt?

You probably won’t become an overnight success, be able to hand your notice in and earn millions! Blogging is hard work!

Looking at how others Blog and reading their blogging journeys has not only motivated me to carry on but I don’t feel that I’m the only one that isn’t getting the supposed success or engagement that we all perhaps want when we take the plunge and create a blog.

I prefer to take my own images and not rely on stock photography. Ok my images aren’t great, still very much work in progress but they are mine.  Yes I do use some stock photography and love Pixabay but adding my own images has been a means of injecting my own personality into my blog. Having a mix of my own images and stock photography has worked for me.

Using Apps/software to automate the admin side of my blog or help improve my graphic design and photography skills (although that is debatable at times).  I now can’t do without Canva, Hootsuite.

Discovering the world of infographics. Wow!  I love them!  I’ve actually started creating some myself.  Check this one out; http://www.busyfitmama.com/how-to-establish-a-morning-gym-routine-infographic/

What have I enjoyed?

The whole creative process in creating a blog and getting it out there.

The learning curve that I’ve experienced and am still experiencing. From registering a domain name, getting to grips with WordPress, editing images and trying to develop a social media strategy (of sorts).  The list goes on.  Basically I think it’s made me use the grey matter again and at times push me out of my comfort zone.

Falling back in love with Twitter and discovering Pinterest. Both amazing when it’s come to finding other bloggers, providing help when stuck on something technical and helping to motivate and inspire me to get a post published.

What’s not been so enjoyable?

Spam! Grrrrr.  Still fighting the battle on that one, I can only liken it to fighting Zombies in a post-apocalyptic world; relentless, never ending with the odd victory along the way!

Editing and using my own images only to find they look rubbish when I look at one of my published blogs.

What mistakes have I made?

Becoming obsessed with statistics. Number of hits, number of twitter impressions, number of comments ……….  Yes I do get a buzz when one of my blogs gets a load of hits but it shouldn’t be the be all and end all if a blog doesn’t get many views or no retweets when I throw it out there.  I need to get over it, perhaps look more strategically at how I can get more engagement.

Not always writing it in my own style. I’m busy, I’m a mum, I’m passionate about fitness and being healthy, my life is chaotic.  So why at times do I write like a robot?  I believe it’s important to inject your own personality into your blogs and this is something I need to keep focused on when I am writing.

Writing to please SEO requirements. Yes it is important and gives your blog a potential to be ranked higher but I’ve got to write first then look at ways to improve SEO; not the other way round which I’ve been guilty of doing!

What do I need to improve on?

Being more disciplined about getting blogs written, organised and published. I’m still all over the place when it comes to the frequency of publishing. It is a time thing, I’m busy and life just gets in the way.  I’ve overcome barriers when it comes to my fitness, perhaps I need to apply this to my blogging.  Sitting in a coffee shop writing dream-inspiring blogs would be lovely but at the end of the day I’ve still got to get the kid’s packed lunches sorted, still have to go to work and occasionally address the pile of ironing, which like zombies and spam, simply won’t go away if I ignore it!

So what happens next?

OK it’s only been 6 months. I’m still a newbie.  I need to look at establishing a more regular pattern for blogging.  Be mindful of not losing sight of why I started to blog and most importantly for me write as me!  This a been a great opportunity to reflect on my blogging experience.  Here’s hoping I still feel passionate about why I blog when I look back at this post in 6 months time!

6 Months Blog Anniversary

Are you new to blogging? Have you taken time out to reflect on how it’s all going?  Are you a blog veteran?  Are there any tips that you have for the newbie blogger?

Quick HIIT 20 Minute Treadmill Workout

Treadmill Workout

Quick HIIT 20 Minute Treadmill Workout

When I am short on time or the weather outside is dreadful I use this 20 Minute Treadmill Workout if I fancy a run or need to blast my cardio.  It’s my favourite go-to treadmill workout and gives my body a shock, gets the heart pumping and I always get a post workout buzz once I’ve finished it.

I’ve deliberately not put my treadmill speeds on as everyone runs at different paces and also I tend to vary my speeds depending on how energetic I’m feeling or how much I really want to push myself.

Remember to always warm up properly first, although the first 5 minutes of this workout is a warm-up I tend to make sure I perform some dynamic stretches before I jump on the treadmill.

 

Quick HIIT 20 Minute Treadmill Workout

 

 

Quick #HIIT 20 Minute Treadmill Workout when there's no time for a long run or the weather's awful! Click To Tweet

 

Disclaimer

I am not a qualified Personal Trainer or medical professional.

All the views expressed are my own.  I am an experienced runner and train regularly at the Gym.  All my fitness programmes and training have been designed to suit my own fitness capabilities and goals but happy to share if you are looking for inspiration and motivation.

Before embarking on any form of exercise or fitness programme or if you have any medical issues or injuries please ensure you seek professional medical advice.

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