Fall Fitness – Tips for an active Autumn/Winter

Autumn

Moving into a new season, especially Autumn/Winter is a transition which isn’t always an easy one. The days are getting shorter and darker, the temperature is dropping and motivation levels can be low, especially now that the clocks have gone back.

But… it’s also a great time of year to reflect on where you are on your fitness journey, even if you’re only just starting out. Where would you like to be in your training when the daffodils start popping up and there’s blossom on the trees? Believe me, if you start now and work through the colder months you won’t regret it come Spring/Summer ‘16.

With some tips to help you through, let’s fight the urge to curl up every evening on the sofa, or snooze the alarm in the morning… getting out from under your duvet when it’s cold is a struggle (I’m a PT who loves her bed), but the rosy cheeked achievement of being bad ass and completing your workout makes it all worthwhile…

Tips for Autumn/Winter training…

Shake up the routine – If you’ve been meaning to try that dance class or fancy a bit of Animal Flow, find a session and give it a go. Alongside your training programme, shaking up the routine could be the perfect way to stay motivated throughout the colder months ahead and you might just find something you really love. Don’t be afraid to try something new, just move, play and enjoy!

Sweat in style – The right training gear is key and a great excuse to buy some gorgeous kit for the new season. All motivation is good! I would recommend bagging yourself a thicker pair of leggings (you too boys), some thicker or longer trainer socks and layers for your top half. As you get sweaty you’ll probably want to peel off, but post workout it’s really important to be warm!

My fave brands for keeping warm and stylish include:

fizzYcaL1fizzYcaL – An independent brand close to my heart, with a mission to celebrate every day fitness heroes, fizzYcaL also sell amazing quality fitness wear for men and women. I live in the hoodies and jumpers at the moment. In the depths of winter they are perfect for training in and during autumn they make for the perfect pre and post training layer.A workout wardrobe MUST have.

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FinisterreBase layer heaven right here. I wear this merino wool T for both training myself and when training clients – It keeps me warm and cool in equal measure and the fit is fantastic. You know what I mean ladies, nice and long in the body, flattering sleeves, great neck line. Also, definitely worth checking out their knitwear for casual style…serious lust!!

Catalyst2Catalyst Activewear – Affordable luxury active-wear in the most delicious colours and fabrics. The leggings not only keep me warm but they also add that much needed pop of colour on a winters day. The fabric is totally opaque and the quality and fit is exceptional – Catalyst is a small, independent business with a huge impact! And for each metre of material they use, a metre of rainforest is saved…Sustainable style right there!

Cashmere hat& Other Stories The best £39 I’ve spent in a long time – this cashmere beauty is so soft and warm and also looks great. Again I wear it to keep warm while training clients and in the depths of winter it stays put on my head as I peel off other layers. There’s nothing like a bit of luxury when you’re out in the cold… tip: leave on the radiator for extra snuggliness!!

Now rock that Autumn/Winter ’15 style!

Group workout sessions – Training with a group is great motivation at any time of year but if you need that extra push during the colder season and the buzz of other people getting their sweat on alongside you, it’s the perfect time to find a group. If you’re in South London, I run female only Bodyweight training & Calisthenics classes at Studio B on Brixton Hill – You can find all the information @frankieholah online or contact frankie@frankieholah.com to register – #JoinTheTribe

Stay Hydrated – Even when it’s cold you still need to stay hydrated, especially if you’re training! Our bodies are approx. 70% water so stay topped up. Herbal teas are a great option if you can’t always face cold water… Fresh ginger tea is really warming and as well as being super tasty, it’s also great for boosting your immune system and aiding muscle recovery after a workout. I love to hit Nour Cash & Carry on Electric Avenue, Brixton for ginger joy and much more yummy goodness!

The time is now…Happy sweating!

Psssst: Coming up soon on the blog – ‘How to look after your body outside of training’ & a sports massage discount for you lovely readers! Be sure to follow the blog and be the first to know more…

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Are you wearing the right sports bra?

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After putting the Berlei sports crop through its paces this summer, I had a fantastic response to the blog post ‘Berlei Knows Breast’. However, it did highlight an issue; most women aren’t wearing the correct sports bra for the type of training they’re doing and that most of us aren’t sure exactly what to look for when shopping for a sports bra in the first place. So, I decided I’d like to help out my ladies…

Damage to your breasts is irreversible – yes, irreversible! Yikes…This damage inevitably leads to sagging as breasts aren’t muscle…we all know we don’t want sagging! A good sports bra can reduce movement by up to 83%!

Whether you’re a AA or a GG you NEED to wear a sports bra for training. Lets be honest…none of us want our breasts to sag so lets beat the bounce in style!

Rosalind Strach, Lingerie Designer, has the following tips for finding your ideal bra:

  • Warning! Your sports bra will feel considerably tighter than your normal lingerie… that’s the point!
  • For DD and above, avoid low cut and thin straps. The raised neck lines and thicker straps are designed like that for a reason….support support support!
  • If possible, go to a specialized sports bra shop and get fitted. Otherwise, buy a few sizes and TRY ON!
  • Make sure the level of impact is relevant to the exercise/sport you’re participating in. Yoga and pilates will be lower impact than sprints and circuits.

Your breasts can move up to 9cm during exercise and they do so in a figure of 8 motion if unsupported. That is between 400-600g of weight bouncing around…even if you’re in the smaller B-C cup range, this still applies…

Here’s my compact guide to a selection of sports bras out there at the moment. Some of these I own and wear myself and the styles for larger bust sizes have been recommended by friends and clients coming in at DD-GG.

Low –  Medium impact

Catalyst Crop

Catalyst Activewear, Lunar Crop – This is a low impact bra in such a flattering style and seriously yummy pop colours. The fuschia is a favourite of mine and I tend to wear it for yoga or day to day layered under a soft vest. Style details are a feature for Catalyst Activewear and this crop doesn’t disappoint – £47 (Available from November – sign up here to get exclusive information about the launch of this luxury sustainable brand)

Adidas techfit

Adidas, Techfit – This is a medium impact bra, so ideal for exercise such as walking, weight training, yoga & Pilates. I wouldn’t run in this bra as it doesn’t offer enough support. Very comfortable though and the racer back is always a flattering look. For the larger bust size this style may not be supportive enough but always try on to make sure – £22

High Impact

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Berlei Sports Crop – As reviewed in ‘Berlei knows Breast’, this bra had to be in the selection as it’s my go to. The sports crop is perfect for high impact training including HIIT, sprints, circuits, burpees and much more. Sizes go up to a 38DD, so it’s a good option for larger busts if you prefer non-wire – Currently on offer at berlei for £21 – maybe I’ll bag another one!

Panache FrontPanache sports bra Now available in a J cup, this bra is award winning. The wide cut straps and silicon wrapped wire make for added comfort and the sleek design means that it doesn’t just reduce bounce, it adds style too. This bra does come in smaller sizes but is highly recommend for those with a larger bust. There is also a non wire style as well. Available at stockists including Bravissimo – £40

Running

Shock Absorber front

Shock Absorber Run Bra A classic sports bra especially for runners. I wore this bra for the London Marathon and would highly recommend it. Sizes go up to 38G so this is also a great option for bigger busts. The double fastening back offers incredible support and the seamless inner means no friction. Available at stockists including Wiggle – £26.99

Berlei awardBerlei Running Underwired – Last but by no means least, this award winning sports bra has been tested by athletes, runners and also, me. I was surprised that I found this bra so comfortable, as I prefer a non wire but to put it bluntly, the boobs don’t move and it looks great too! With the wider, padded straps and moulded cups for a natural fit, this bra is a dream to wear. If you prefer, the straps can also be worn crossed over at the back and sizes go up to 38FF. Oh and they’re currently on offer at berlei.com – £22 (what are you waiting for?)

Ladies, whatever your bra size, sport or workout style, make sure you look after your breasts, because lets be honest, they’re fabulous!

I hope this helps you in the hunt for the right sports bra – let me know if you find a style that works for you!!

Love, health and happiness,

Fx

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Adidas Eyewear Shoot

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I got straight back into fitness fun mode after my holiday last week by shooting for Adidas Eyewear. Along with the lovely Lunges&Lycra, Julia Lundin and Fitness on Toast, I put the new eyewear through its paces on Parliament Hill… It was a great morning!

The ‘whipstart’ and ‘wildcharge’ frames blur the lines between sport and lifestyle, so whether you are running, cycling, skiing or simply off for a coffee at the weekend they will fit in perfectly with their style and amazing technology…

Check out the video below…Ending the week on a high…yay!

Enjoy…

The whipstart and wildcharge frames are available for purchase from today at Pro:Direct Running

#ReadyToRun

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Legging Lust

Leggings

The love I have for leggings is real and as my daily fitness uniform, they create the base of my outfit and have a become a bit of a feature of my day to day look… closely in line with sunglasses. It definitely makes getting dressed for work fun… they can reflect my mood, the season or be completely functional, especially on those cold winter mornings. There are only a few pairs which can hold up against hours outdoors throughout December…

I get asked regularly where my leggings are from and so I decided to go through the ever expanding collection and share just some of my favourites with you. With a couple of the brands the exact pattern may not currently be available but I have provided links so that you can shop all their latest collections…

leggings

Now I know how seriously us girls take leggings, so my mini reviews will always be honest… Life’s too short to wear things you don’t love and it’s important to know what will work for you and make you feel super woman bad ass when you slip them on…

frankie_leggings_boom_aTully Lou – These neon and mesh beauties most definitely turn heads wherever I go. They are not for the faint hearted but are extremely comfortable and flattering with a low waistband and sexy paneling. As a shorty I have to tuck the bottoms cleverly, but that’s just short girl problems…I love them! Just be careful of those fingernails putting them on and taking them off. Seriously fun to wear! Available to buy at HipandHealthy

frankie_leggings_boom_bH&M – I’m impressed with the H&M sportswear range. These are definitely my go to basics especially if I am roughing about in training. In the more affordable price range at £14.99 I don’t mind getting these bad boys a bit dirty. They’re not technical clothing but they are cut beautifully with flattering detail and a mid – high waist band. I’m sure they’re supposed to be capri, but on my legs they come to my ankles. The colours and prints in the latest collection fit perfectly into a fitness wardrobe.

frankie_leggings_boom_cGymluxe – A favourite British brand of mine, the Deco leggings are a key piece in my wardrobe. The fabric offers muscle compressing qualities and the high stretch with sweeping mesh give that signature luxe look. The plum colour is just perfect for the new season! The leg length is very generous on these, so if you’re a shorty you may want to get them taken up or tactically tuck. Seriously sexy, stylish leggings! Enter FRANKIE10 at the checkout for a 10% discount when you shop online – The new collection is landing soon and not to be missed.

frankie_leggings_boom_dPrimavera – If you are looking for tropical vibes in your workout wardrobe, look no further than Primavera Fitness. The leggings are super soft and hug your body in all the right places while still being extremely durable. The Afro Chic pair have a lower waist band, however there are other designs to suit everyone. I mainly wear my leggings for yoga, but the occasions they have been through HIIT training they felt amazing. Inspired by samba, nature, sun and sea the prints are guaranteed to add zing to your outfit – LOVE! Enter FRANKIE01 at the checkout for 10% discount when you shop online.

frankie_leggings_boom_eCatalyst Activewear – A brand that looks this good on while also saving forests is a winner in my books. For every meter of fabric going into their clothes, Catalyst fund The World Land Trust to buy a meter of forest. As well as this their leggings are a dream to wear and the colour…oh the colour! The red is on point and there are more to choose from too. Extremely flattering waist band, great length and the material is super snug and doesn’t lose shape at all. My pair are a bit too thick for summer training but I will be rocking them a lot now that the season’s changing. A MUST have!

frankie_leggings_boom_fPrana – “A brand should give much more than it takes from the world” Another beautiful ‘environmentally conscious’ company making gorgeous leggings. Prana leggings are so soft and comfortable, with yoga at the heart they are perfect for my practice and I tend to save them for that and relaxation. As well as comfort, they are incredibly well cut and the patterns are so pretty! I wear the capri, but they also have full length online – Definitely worth checking out the latest collection.

frankie_leggings_boom_gOnzieI discovered Onzie in Story Coffee when I asked the lady wearing them where they were from. It trns out that she was the London distributor (The brand is Aussie)…and the rest they say is history. It’s no secret that I love some mesh so me and these leggings were destined to be together. Another yoga focused brand, they are extremely soft with a wide waist band and the leg length isn’t too extreme (I only have to tuck them under half an inch) The cut of the mesh is extremely stylish and slick. I wear mine off duty too… J’adore!

I do love to talk leggings – I hope the info on each brand is helpful…With a new season upon us, I feel some style updates will be on the way!

If you have any fave brands you’d like to share, please leave a message in the comments! I always love discovering new leg wear!

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Get off the scales…

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I don’t own a set of scales!

You can’t weigh happiness with scales, you can’t weigh confidence with scales and you can’t weigh bad ass skills with scales…

When I get asked how much I weigh I usually reply ‘The most I’ve ever weighed’. So what does a number on the scales mean? Well, it’s Frankie + Gravity… Bones, water, fat, muscle, peanut butter – everything basically!

If I didn’t know anything about my body I might panic and think that I must instantly lose weight as I’m heavier than I used to be. But here’s the thing. Increased or maintained weight doesn’t always mean something terrible, as we are often made to think. Want to know why? Muscle weighs more than fat and takes up less room on your body. When you train, your body fat should decrease and your lean muscle mass should increase. So the little number blinking up at you on those darn scales can often be misleading.

If tracking progress through measurements is your thing, then I’d advise sticking to a good old tape measure and taking progress pictures. Even if they make you cringe at first, you will thank yourself when you start seeing results. There have been many occasions a client doesn’t believe the amazing progress they’ve made until you place pictures side by side and notice all of those significant changes…achieved through their own hard work!

So, if you are tempted to step on a set of scales, remember this before you do…and then walk away from them. You are more than a number on a screen… You are the sweaty morning workouts that you always feel better after finishing, you are the hard-earned sub thirty minute 5k, you are the one extra rep you didn’t think you could do… And guess what… None of the happiness or pride you feel can be measured on weighing scales.

And to be honest until, they say ‘Well done Frankie – that was a bad ass workout and you look super strong and healthy’ I ain’t buying a set!

Be more than a number!

Berlei Knows…Breast!

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For the past month or so I have been putting the Berlei Sports Crop through its paces and when I say paces I mean, sprinting, burpees, back lever practice, pull ups, box jumps, squat jumps, crawls and general every day wear…I am so grateful to receive parcels of active wear and so I like to really try things out and review them thoroughly for you. This process usually involves plenty of sweating…

It’s safe to say I am now a BIG fan of Berlei. As the sister brand of Gossard, they know what they’re doing and with added design sass, which, lets be honest, is what us girls love!! They take protecting our breasts very seriously, which I am pleased about, as I will admit to having not always worn the right bra for some of the high impact work I do. I am lucky that one of my best friends works in lingerie and takes it upon herself to check my bra collection and cut up those which don’t make the grade. Plenty of LOLs but with a serious tone. Here’s why…

Protect the boobs:

  • Damage to your breasts is irreversible – yes, irreversible! Yikes…This damage inevitably leads to sagging as breasts aren’t muscle…we all know we don’t want sagging! A good sports bra can reduce movement by up to 83%!
  • Your breasts can move up to 9cm during exercise and they do so in a figure of 8 motion if unsupported. That is between 400-600g of weight bouncing around…even if you’re in the smaller B-C cup range, this still applies…
  • 64% of women complain about pain during exercise and cut their workouts short because of it…That’s a lot…and all they need is a good sports bra!

I don’t think many of us ladies wear the right size bras, let alone the right sports bra, but it is definitely time to make a change and start looking after those breasts…

Style and support:

So, the Sports Crop Top has been a dream to wear. When I first put it on I thought it was too small for me as it sits right under my bust. Much higher up and tighter than my normal (non supportive) bras, but now I’ve worn it so much I’m like, duh, of course it is – it’s a proper bra!!

The style of the bra is very much wearable both under your kit (handy) and as a crop top in its own right on show. The cut out back is designed for breathability but it looks really stylish as well so that’s a bonus…It’s actually my fave feature of the bra itself! IMG_5620The material and design means that even though it’s high impact support, I forget I’m wearing it. It’s genuinely THAT comfortable! No rubbing…nothing! Just support and sass!

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No sports bra, no sport:

Check out the Berlei campaign featuring the Women’s England Hockey Team for #beatthebounce and for a very apt Wimbledon theme, check out Serena Williams giving a Berlei safety demonstration – very fun!

Whether yours are big or small, you NEED a good, supportive sports bra and I would fully recommend checking out Berlei – they know what they’re doing and they do it with style…perfect! Oh and there’s a sale on at the moment…. Go, go, go!!

Shop the Sport Crop Top here and let me know if you end up getting anything and how you find it!

#BeatTheBounce

Fx

Thank you for reading! Sharing is caring – if you have found this article useful or simply enjoyed it, please share and spread the love! You never know who’s boobs you might save with just one link xxx

Hayfever Hacks – The Natural Method

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Itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing…and no I haven’t got a cold. Summer is ‘officially’ here which brings with it, my nemesis…HAYFEVER!!

Growing up in the countryside I never had a problem, but living in London, working in parks and add to that, pollution levels, my symptoms have definitely got worse over the last two years.

Most advice will point you in the direction of the chemist, but in my bid to beat the pollen attack this year, I decided to stay away from ‘traditional’ tablets and instead, opt for natural alternatives. With good nutrition you can make huge improvements…

If you spot me in the park snacking on capers and necking black coffee you will now understand my reasoning, even if I do look a little nuts! Girls gotta do what a girls gotta do…

Go forth and experiment the natural way…!

1. Black Coffee: Has to be caffeinated! Coffee is a natural anti histamine and helps to relieve some of the symptoms quickly while you’re on the go. Now it’s warmer I’ve been opting for an iced version but be sure to drink plenty of water as well so you don’t become dehydrated.

2. Capers: Yes, that’s right…Capers. Get your snack on as these bad boysIMG_5120 are loaded with quercetin. They help to regulate the secretion of histamine which is what makes you sneezy and itchy. Quercetin is also an anti inflammatory and powerful antioxidant. I would opt for the less salty/vinegary version.

3. Onions: Also high in quercetin especially the first layer. Munch raw if you can bear it or just make sure there’s plenty in your meal.

4. Lemons/Apples/Garlic: Upping your intake of antioxidants and bioflavonoids help to improve your immune system. It is advised to start loading up a month before the time you suffer the most but it can’t hurt to keep good levels in your diet now. Homemade lemonade anyone?

5. Avoid: Dairy and grains – they aggravate hayfever as they stimulate the production of mucus. Dairy milk alternatives include almond milk (unsweetened), coconut milk or soya.

If all of the above fail, get yourself to the nearest shop and stand under the air con – yes, I was in a bad way the other day and dashed into Topshop for some relief…Maybe retail therapy helps as well? I’ll research that one and get back to you…

To all you sufferers, I hope this is helpful and if you know any other good natural remedies, please comment below as these are simply my top 5.

We can survive this!

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