It’s Time To Focus On Your Five A Day

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You have to take a number of things into account when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. You need to exercise regularly (150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a week or seventy five minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise a week for the average adult). You also have to give up bad habits that can cause health problems, such as smoking or excessive drinking. We also know that we need to get a healthy, balanced diet. But what we should lay emphasis on here is that you do need to get your five a day. So many people teach this health advice to kids but neglect it themselves. There’s a good reason that you should be getting your five a day, which will get further into now!

What Is Five a Day?

Let’s start out by making it clear what five a day actually means. Put simply, it’s the World Health Organisation’s recommendation that you consume five portions of different fruits and vegetables every single day. One portion is generally around 80g or one handful. It’s important to remember that the five portions need to be of different fruits and vegetables, rather than five apples or five portions of carrots, for example. Variety is key in regards to the vitamins and minerals you’ll take in from your five a day.

Why Is Your Five a Day Important?

So, why is your five a day so important? Well, fruit and vegetables form an essential role in your diet. They provide your body with the relevant vitamins and nutrients to help it function properly. There’s a wide variety of vitamins and minerals that different fruits and vegetables can contain and each serves a different purpose. On top of this, fruits and vegetables often prove to be a great source of dietary fibre, which aids your digestive system.

What Counts?

Many people question what counts towards your five a day. Put simply, any fruit or vegetable counts. It can be whole, fresh, frozen, dried, juiced, tinned… whatever. As long as it contains fruit and vegetables, it will count.


Of course, some of us can find it difficult to strike the right balance when it comes to getting the right levels of each vitamin and mineral in our diets – sometimes even if we do eat five portions of different fruits and vegetables. This is where supplements come into play. They can top up levels of those you’re missing out on. You can get details here for further information on this.

Things to Bear in Mind

Remember when having your five a day through fruit juice, it does count but it can damage your teeth. Juiced fruit impacts your teeth more than whole fruit, as the sugar has already been released. Try to use a paper or reusable straw or clean your teeth after.

This is just a brief run through of your five a day and its importance, but you can really see your health improve by incorporating these fruits and vegetables into your diet. Hopefully, some of the above information can help guide you in the right direction!


Social Distancing and Exercise: Staying Fit During The Covid-19 Pandemic

If you are the type of person who likes to head to the gym or to a fitness class to get your daily dose of exercise, you may be finding it difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many gyms and classes have closed and stopped operating for the time being while the danger passes as they are relatively impossible to maintain social distancing in.

However, there are many other ways that you can keep fit during the crisis, whether alone, with your family members or even with a friend – as long as you maintain the regulation two-meter distance. Here we look at some of the things that you can do to keep your fitness levels up, ready to hit the gym when they reopen.

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Outside running and walking

Okay, so you may want to avoid street running for a bit. Lots of people who usually run on the treadmill may be out on the streets, and even those who do not usually might be trying their hand at something new while in quarantine. Why not go a bit further out and try a bit of trail, hike or cross-country running? You need the best trail running shoes that you can get your hands on, water to keep you hydrated, and that’s about it, to begin with. Why not explore some new trails and explore more of your area?

Get into your backyard

The government mandate wants you to stay at home as much as possible, so utilize the outdoor space that you have access to, whether that is your driveway or back yard. Set up agility ladders, obstacle courses, or suicides – you can use things you have lying around your yards such as tree branches and log, old tires, and jump ropes.

Play a sport

Most team sports are impossible to play and adhere to social distancing regulations, but there is no reason you cannot practice shooting a few hoops by yourself or with your kids or have a kickabout and practice keeping a soccer ball up. You can even go back to your childhood and play games such as throwing and catching piggy in the middle with the people you live with. Tennis, badminton, and golf are good sports to play, which allow you to keep a safe distance from other people.

Do some jobs

Chop down that tree. Shift those old logs if you are not using them as fitness props. Mow the lawn, dig up that old flower patch. Paint the fence. All of these things count towards maintaining your fitness level and also means you get those pesky jobs you never seem to get time to do done!

Social distancing rules do not mean that you can’t train outside. Some exercises and activities may be more challenging than others, but you need not let small obstacles hinder your fresh air and fitness levels. These outdoor activities can keep you healthy and active and prevent you from becoming a bit of a loner or going crazy!


At The Foot Of The Hill.. Prepare Yourself To Start Hiking

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Many people think hiking is one of those relaxing pastimes that doesn’t require any preparation. But the more you start to do it, the more you realize there are numerous destinations with various gradients that can undoubtedly prove to be a considerable challenge. It’s not just the mental preparation, but it’s about making sure that you are physically able to hike properly. Getting in shape for hiking is something that people don’t necessarily consider, but what are the best things that anybody can do to prepare themselves?

Building Your Range Of Motion

If you are someone who seizes up as soon as you get out of bed, you may find your first few expeditions particularly taxing. It’s crucial to build your range of motion to strengthen your muscles and make sure that you are building your stabilizer muscles. You can do this through various exercises at home, but you also need to make sure that your body is conditioned appropriately for those activities. There are shortcuts to this. Processes like Trigenics Manual Therapy can start to condition your body, but it’s also possible for you to prepare your body at home by doing simple exercises like step-ups and improving your cardiovascular system.

Training Appropriately

You have to remember that you are going to be pushing your body beyond a typical afternoon stroll. A hike isn’t something that takes a couple of hours; it’s an all-day effort. This means that you’ve got to work on getting your heart rate up but also condition your body to get used to the physical exertion associated with hiking. The best way to begin is very lightly. As with any physical activity, the most important thing is not to overstep your mark. Get your body used to a certain level of intensity and gradually push just beyond your comfort zone. It’s also important to rest adequately. The very act of getting fit and building up your muscles is ensuring you have proper rest time to recover so you can do it again and go a little bit further. You can also make sure that you get your body used to long distances by just going for long walks. Start by going twice or three times a week and moving so your heart rate can gradually go up. You should also carry a light weighted backpack as this prepares you for carrying the gear.

Strengthening Your Joints

It’s not just about the muscles, but it’s about making sure that your joints are strong. Alternately your skeleton is the foundation for your muscles. And while you may think about hiking as purely being an uphill challenge, downhill hiking is just as tough on certain parts of your body, especially the knees. “Hiker’s knee” is a very common problem, but you can reduce the impact by building up your calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps. You could also purchase ankle weights and exercise with these or purchase trekking poles.

Make no mistake, hiking is a very physical activity. And for all of the more relaxing aspects of the journey, you can’t underestimate just how much of an impact it can have on your body. 


High Energy Foods You Absolutely Must Include In Your Marathon Training

We go through the majority of our lives, believing that we should eat low-energy foods to keep our weight down. But if you’re preparing for a marathon, this approach will cause you to lose weight and feel weak and hungry all the time – the opposite of what you want. 

Training for a marathon is an enormous physical undertaking. You burn between 500 and 1,000 calories per hour while jogging. So, theoretically, you could burn through your standard daily calorie allowance in as little as two hours of training.

It is crucial, therefore, to fill up on high-energy foods that will sustain you throughout your training and prevent you from feeling depleted. 

But what are these foods? Let’s take a look. 

Dried Fruits

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Regular fruit contains a lot of high-energy sugar, but it is also packed with water. Eating a box of fresh apples gives you the calories you need, but it would also cause your stomach to expand massively. All that extra water is just unnecessary overhead. 

Dried fruit, however, eliminates this problem. You get the same amount of nutrition but in a far less bulky format. Apple slices, raisins, currants, dates, dried mango pieces and dried pineapple are all excellent options. You could also try whole dried apricots for longer training sessions – or even prunes if your bowels can handle them. 

Baked Goods

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When you’re training hard, though, you need something tasty that will encourage you to stick with your routine. Savoury baked goods, especially bread and pretzels, are ideal for when you need an energy boost fast. The starch in the food quickly breaks down in the stomach and goes straight to the muscle. 

Companies like Eastern Standard Provisions also include salt in their baked products. This addition helps you to maintain hydration and restore electrolytes lost through sweating. 


Nuts are one of nature’s highest-calorie foods. While the energy you get is primarily fat, not sugar, they are anti-inflammatory and help you recover from even the most gruelling of workouts. They put your body into repair mode, helping to make you stronger for the following day. 

Their high energy content is also kind on your stomach. You don’t have to eat mountains of pasta when you have nuts to hand. 


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You might think that rice is just a grain, but it is actually a lot more than that, especially for people looking to get super fit. Unlike the vast majority of grains, rice is almost perfectly hypoallergenic. Practically everyone can eat mountains of the stuff, without any negative repercussions. It contains gentle fibre and starches that protect your stomach and provide calories without any of the usual overhead. 

Rice is also a type of food that goes with practically any dish. You can have it with curries, chillies, soups and stews. 


Oats provide carbs, but they’re also high in a compound called beta-glucan. This phytonutrient actively clears out the arteries and makes them healthier and more robust. Thus, they can indirectly improve your fitness, even outside training.