How to keep running beyond January when you have family commitments

One of the reasons that this blog has been quiet for a while is that alongside my job and the daily trails of looking after three children I have been doing a lot of running again. Without seeming evangelical about it running is such a brilliant way to deal with the daily stresses of everyday life, it provides me a bit of me time and feels like the only thing I do entirely for myself. A couple of years ago I ran the Cancer Research Race for Life 10km and so this is the distance I’m working with at the moment. I’ve entered several 10km races both virtual and organised and i’m looking forward to creating some new personal bests.

Maintaining motivation is one of the biggest challenges for any sort of exercise and I must admit the only way I’ve managed to do this is by literally bribing myself with the odd new bit of kit here and there. I was absolutely thrilled when JD Williams offered to provide me with a selection of their JD Williams Activewear kit. JD Williams has been on my radar for a while as I’ve read quite a lot in the press about their ethos which is around championing and celebrating confidence and style at any age. This is the perfect ethos for me as i’m finding that in my forties its actually quite hard to find suitable running kit that doesn’t look frumpy, gimicky, suitable for teenagers or is just out of my price range.

Sweatshirt

I selected several items from the range and I’ve been absolutely thrilled with my choices. I’ve been out running in all of the kit and its great. I’d love to show you lots of pictures of me running along looking glam, but frankly I don’t have any. I generally look a bedraggled mess and unlike many of these fitness bloggers I don’t have someone taking photos as I run along. So you’ll have to make do with these 2 shots!

I absolutely love this kit, its top quality and so reasonably priced. JD Williams is my new go to place for sports kit, i’m going to have to treat myself to some of their fashion next! Click the links to find the sweatshirt , running jacket and leggings.

But onto my top tips- how do you manage to keep up running after that initial burst of January enthusiasm when you’re also juggling family commitments?

Running Jacket and Leggings

An an extra hour in your day

I’ve found the only solution to genuinely finding time for yourself to workout (without putting the kids into childcare) is to get up early and go for it. As soon as I wake up I get up and go, If I give myself time to think about it I wont go. I’m back before the rest of the house has finished breakfast.

Goal Setting

I don’t have a personal trainer or even a plan of action for my runs. I started C 2 5K ages ago but didn’t get along with it. I work on the basis of mentally looking at distances and pushing myself a bit further (or faster) each time. For example, try to run to a landmark like a bench or a lamp post and then next time try to run to the one just past it. I’m now setting myself distance goals using my Runkeeper and have signed up for some Virtual Runner challenges which works for me.

Motivation

In order to keep motivated I set myself little challenges and reward myself with a new top or leggings or something nice to eat.

Get the Family Involved

I often go for shorter runs with my 9 year old daughter. Her enthusiasm is infectious and we always have a fun time. I feel as if i’m setting her a good example and we are both getting fit, what can be a better incentive.

Disclosure: I was gifted the JD Williams kit for this post

Featured Post: Garden Lighting Projects that Will Transform Your Garden

The other day I was looking at garden lights from LED Hut and was surprised by how much choice there was. Garden lighting has come a long way. It really does not matter what type of ambience you want to achieve you can do it.

A sleek chic look

If your garden is all about clean lines then strip lighting could be the way to go. In the past few years, it has fallen drastically in price. This form of lighting is no longer the reserve of hotel pools and the owners of palatial homes.

You can simply use it to highlight any steps in your garden, or you can get a bit more creative. The lighting can potentially be installed on each fence post to create a row of beautiful upright strips that look like they are hovering above the ground. Or, you can run it around the edge of pots to highlight them and turn them and the plants they contain into stunning natural garden sculptures.

A soft oasis

For someone who likes everything to be a little warmer and softer, there are plenty of options. Installing deck lights is a great way to light up the communal floor spaces in your garden. If you buy the right kind, they can also be used to light up floors that are made of harder materials such as concrete. The light they give off is usually soft and very relaxing. Using spike lights you can create soft puddles of light that pick out some of your favourite trees or garden ornaments.

If you have a body of water in your garden, do not forget to light that up too. There is nothing more restful that listening to the sound of running water while you watch your fish swim serenely by in an otherwise dark space. The fact the body of water is the brightest element in the garden draws your eye to it and helps you to focus only on that. It really is a great way to lull yourself into a meditative state.

A place to play and entertain

Many people like to use their garden to entertain, for them, good quality lighting is essential. It allows them to continue to cook and serve their guests long after dark.

Again, there are many options. However, usually in that situation, you want your lights to be mounted quite high so that they create big puddles of light. Taking this approach means that you will need fewer fixtures to cast light across a big area. However, when installing this type of lighting, you need to think about your neighbours. Light pollution is increasingly becoming a problem in urban areas.

More ideas

If you would like more inspiration, just click the link. The article you will be taken too includes examples of 38 innovative garden lighting ideas. Most of them are for the type of luxury lighting you see used in high-end hotels and large properties. However, as you will see, the vast majority of them actually work really well for normal residential properties.

 

 

Featured Post: Choosing the perfect family pooch

So you have finally decided it is time for the family to grow and you are ready for the patter of tiny feet. Add to that a wet nose and a wagging tail and it can only mean one thing. Congratulations, you are going to share your life with your first family dog, and thing will never be quite the same again!

Deciding to get a dog is a big decision in itself, but it is only the beginning. The next question is what sort. Ask ten people and you will get ten answers, because each breed has its own foibles. One thing to remember, however, is that it can be a mistake to generalize. Suggesting that a spaniel will be hyperactive or a Rottweiler will be aggressive can be as inaccurate as making assumptions about a human on the basis of their race or nationality.

Remember, every dog has a unique character of its own, so see beyond the breed. In fact, some of the very best dogs are of no discernible breed at all, and there are no end of cross breed puppies for sale that will make wonderful pets and not cost you the earth.

So now that we have the question of breed disposed of, what else should you consider?

Family dynamics

Every family has its own dynamics, and these will affect your choice of dog. Young kids in the household? If you have under fives, you need to supervise closely for the safety of everyone, but it makes sense to get a puppy that will have a chance to grow up alongside the kids. Just remember, every dog has teeth and will use them, so what’s more important is to set ground rules for everyone – whether they are two or four-legged!

Temperament

As we mentioned earlier, every dog has its own character – but the breed will at least give you some clues as to what traits you might expect to see. Working dogs, such as border collies, need their own space, while breeds like Dalmatians thrive on attention and fun. Gun dogs tend to be sociable and obedient, while terriers can be more of a law unto themselves. But always remember, nurture plays a bigger role than nature, so do not get too caught up in the stereotypes!

Training

A key aspect of a dog’s temperament is how easy it is to train. Again, there are some clues in the breeds here, but when it comes down to it, any dog can be trained with determination and consistency. With that important caveat in mind, you will usually find that working dogs – Labradors, German Shepherds, Collies and the like – are keen to learn and eager to please. Huskies are notoriously difficult – not because they do not understand, but because they have an almost cat-like habit of deciding for themselves whether or not to obey.

Exercise

Every dog needs daily exercise and stimulation, and if they do not get it, they will become bored, stressed and often destructive – they are really not so unlike people. While working dogs need more exercise and longer walks than smaller breeds, even the tiniest terrier still needs to go out for a walk every day.

Featured Post: 5 Little things to look forward to this Spring

Now that the festive season is far behind us and the New Years celebrations a distant memory, we can get on with looking forward to the next season: Spring!

Whether you’re looking forward to a good Spring clean, clearing out those cupboards, donating old clothes to charity or treating yourself to some contemporary furniture from danetti.com one thing is certain: everyone loves Spring! Here, you’ll find a little list of things we can all look forward to as the weather warms up! Who knows, you might not even need your coat!

The weather and the days getting longer

This one is huge. After so many dark, cold nights we’re all lacking in a little vitamin D! Whether you’ve been heading to work in the dark and coming home in the dark or struggling to get the kids out of their dark bedrooms at 7am, a little bit of sunshine and warm weather is very welcome, and it’s been medically proven to be a great mood booster. Something we all need after the excitement of Christmas has been and gone.

The first flowers of spring

There’s nothing more heart warming then spotting a few dewdrop covered snow drops in the cold, hard ground. It’s a sign that winter is officially coming to an end. Soon to follow will be rows and rows of beautiful and bright daffodils, as well as crocuses and stunning tulips. Head to a local florist or supermarket and bring some into your home – avoid picking them if they’re growing wild. They are there for everyone to enjoy!

The leaves and blossom on the trees

We all love it when the leaves on the trees begin to turn orange and brown. But after several months of seeing nothing but skeletal tress with naked branches and boughs sometimes covered in snow and creaking in the winter wind, the idea of green leaves can seem like a distant memory! So, when the first flurries of blossom begin to grow, and the little buds of green begin to show on the branches it’s time to get excited!

Ditching that winter coat

When it gets to this time of year – it’s almost impossible to remember a time when you didn’t have to leave the house with a thick jumper, a coat, a scarf, gloves, hat and umbrella, not to mention getting all the kids wrapped up too! When the weather begins to turn, it’s so refreshing to be able to head straight out of the door and leave your coat and accessories behind! It usually means that getting the kids of out of the door is a little easier too!

Getting out your Spring wardrobe

With Spring on the way, you can say goodbye at last to those thick knitwear pieces, heavy jumpers and worn out cardigans! Head to the back of your wardrobe and say hello to those pretty spring dresses, lightweight leggings, ballet pumps, brogues and blouses!

What are you looking forward to now Spring is on the way?

Dangers in the home you may have missed!

We all want to keep our children safe, from crossing the road, and the importance of not talking to strangers to eating sensibly and always wearing a helmet if they’re on their bike or scooter. But did you know that most accidents occur in home?

We’re all well aware of the basics like, keeping your sockets covered and making sure pan handles aren’t sticking over the edge of the stove and having things like a first aid box to hand and thick soft carpets ready to cushion a fall are a great place to start – visit discountflooring depot if you’re looking for new flooring solutions.

But, as parents we should always be on the lookout for danger, especially if it’s right under our noses!

Here you’ll find some of the other dangers in the home that you may have missed!

Photo frames

I’ll bet that there are plenty of photo frames on display in your living room, and of course there should be! But if your child is being a little bit too rambunctious and they knock over a frame and it shatters, the glass could easily cut your child. Always ensure frames are kept well out of reach and if possible, replace them with plastic ones!

Candles and matches

Everyone likes to create a little atmosphere at home from time to time. Whether you’re relaxing, creating a romantic mood, or you’ve just got a new candle and you’re filling your home with it’s gorgeous scents. It is entirely possible for a child or even a toddler to accidentally light a match, no matter how limited their motor skills are. The best solution is to completely remove the matches from the room and place them well out of sight.

If a candle is lit and the child knocks it over, the wax could burn them – or if they’re intrigued by the flame they could seriously burn themselves. It really isn’t worth the risk, so why not try some flameless LED candles instead?

Window blinds

A very scary but very real danger in many homes. A small child can very easily become entangled in the loop of a blind cord. In some cases, this has proved to be fatal. If you have blinds in your home, cut the loops immediately to remove the risk of asphyxiation. Or better still, invest in some cordless blinds or window coverings.

Your electricals

We know the importance of covering electrical outlets, but it’s just as important to switch any appliance off at the socket if you’re leaving it plugged in. Take your hairdryer for example – it’s very easy for a child to switch on – meaning that your child could easily burn themselves with the heat. In addition, if the hairdryer is switched on and left unattended near a curtain, or cushion it could start a fire before it has chance to cut out.

And always leave your straighteners out of reach when you’re done with them! We all know how painful burns can be!