GET YOUR CARDIO ON

So if you’ve been following my posts on here or over on my Instagram, you’ll know that I’ve stopped running as much as before recently. But that’s not the only way you can do cardio. Want to find out how to incorporate cardio into your routine without spending an hour at a time pounding on a treadmill? Read on…!

Why cardio?

There are a number of reasons why you should incorporate cardio into your weekly fitness regime / life in general – from aesthetic goals such as weight loss, to overall health reasons such as improved cardiovascular efficiency.

How to do cardio without running? 

  • HIIT gym workouts: it look me a while to understand that high intensity interval training workouts were still working your cardiovascular system (and therefore ‘cardio workouts’)! So sign up to one of those body pump classes at your local gym and get that heart rate going!
  • Tabata at home workouts: 8 intervals > 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off > 4 minutes of work. This can be used with any type of exercise, doing as many reps as you can and working hard for only 4 minutes. Put your music on and do it anytime, anywhere! No excuses…
  • Spin: take yourself to a spin class for a really intense cardio workout – you’ll walk out with jelly legs and lungs on fire… and you’ll even want to go back (trust me)! The spin classes at the boutique studios in London are by far my favourite – turn the lights down low and just ride to the music. The key to this one is the instructor – you need someone high energy who really pushes you!
  • Row: the key with this one is technique – you can be pulling as fast as you want but that doesn’t mean you’re doing it right. Take the time to get your form right and you’ll go further (therefore rowing faster) with fewer strokes. If you’re not sure then just ask a PT at your gym to check if you’re doing it right. Then get ready to feel the burn… try alternating 500m as fast as you can with 100m rows on the minute for 5 minutes.

The key?

For me, it’s music. When I’m stuck exercising indoors, I need something I can train to! These headphones by Sudio are incredible – you can charge them up and use them wireless or plug them in and use them normally. The sound quality is incredible, they can deal with me being super sweaty and they really help you zone out! I have super small ears so finding earphones that fit me is difficult, that’s why these headphones are great – they sit on the ear so comfortably and I never worry they’re going to fly off!

Get 15% off your Sudio purchase with the code: Livelyel15

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GET COMPETITIVE

When it comes to finding the motivation to getting fitter, or being healthier in general, I find getting competitive really helps. Get competitive with yourself, that is.

I find it hard to stay motivated sometimes, but recently I’ve been really nailing it. Exercising 4-5 times a week, sleeping 7:30hrs a night, drinking 2L water a day and really pushing myself in my workouts (it’s about quality of workout, not quantity of time spent in the gym, after all!)

What’s been my secret?

My Fitbit activity tracker – the Charge 2. I love activity trackers in general – if you’ve followed my blog for a while you’ll know that I used to review them a lot! I find them so great to keep you on track – but this one in particular!

Not only can you track your steps, but you can also track your sleep, your exercise (yes, you can personalise it to the exercises you do most), your pace when you’re running / cycling, your heart rate (while exercising and resting) and how much water you’re drinking.

They’re not cheap, at over £100 each, but I can honestly say I would buy it – I actually had this exact one before Fitbit even contacted me about this beautiful limited addition one! Ive also bought one for Dom and am giving my other one to my sister – and if I wouldn’t buy it myself, I wouldn’t recommend it!

Link to get yours: here

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TAKING A BREAK FROM RUNNING

As you may or may not know, this year I’ve decided to give myself a break from long distance running. By long distance running, I mean marathon running. I’ve now done 5 – Geneva, Rotterdam, London, Edinburgh and Lisbon. The last two took place last year and I just felt like I’d lost my mojo. I wasn’t motivated to run, I wasn’t enjoying the training and neither of them went to plan (both were over 4:30) – they were tough! I found myself training less, eating more, struggling more in my workouts and just generally bored.

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So, as I said, I’m taking a break. I’m trying new things and finding my fitness mojo again. I kick-started 2018 by doing Kayla Itsines BBG again, via the Sweat app, which is £15 a month – see my review here. I’m still doing the workouts (albeit sporadically) and I’m also mixing it up with some classes.

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London has the best range of classes I’ve ever heard of – from spinning to boxing, barre to HIIT, pilates to rowing and so much more! I’m currently enjoying Classpass (they had an intro offer of 10 classes for £31 – how could I resist?!) and I’m really loving the range of classes I’ve now got access to!

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So far this year I’ve been exercising 4-6 times a week (!!) and loving it. And that’s the main point – I’m enjoying it again!

Don’t worry dad, I’m not completely giving up on running – I’m still doing the Cardiff half in October, but I’ve got plenty of time to get back up to running speed between now and then!


Outfit details: 

Every item in this post is New Balance (yes – even that incredible jacket!!) – and I am obsessed with their new stuff! I love the monochrome outfit with the splash of colour!!

I couldn’t find all the links, but here are those I could:

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THANK YOU MUMMA

My Mumma is my absolute inspiration.

She’s the most incredible, kind, hardworking, gorgeous woman you will ever meet.

I wanted to share with you what I got her this Mother’s Day, as finding something to show that woman you look up to so much just how much you love and appreciate her is really difficult.

This year, I got something to represent our family. My Mumma is an amazing woman, who values our togetherness – and always puts the family above herself. While I would love to get her a massive portrait of her just to celebrate how amazing and gorgeous she is, I know she wouldn’t like that.

I settled on this gorgeous, understated wire letter. Why I chose the letter Y instead of the first letter of her name? For our family. I know she would rather have something on display that is for all of us (even though this is definitely for her – I can only imagine my dad’s confused face if I ever gave him something like this!)

So Mumma – this is making its way to you. I hope you have an amazing Mother’s Day and I can’t wait to see you soon.

Wire letter – from HEMA (£6)

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ACCEPTING YOU CAN’T DO IT ALL

I want to do everything. And when I can’t, it upsets me, even though I know that it’s physically impossible to do everything all the time!

I’m sometimes asked how I manage to fit it all in: a full time job, blogging, fitness / marathon training, Instagramming (believe me it takes a lot more effort than you first think!), getting enough sleep and about a million other little things that I do. The reality is that when I’m acing one area of my life, it’s likely another is taking the hit. Recently, work, sleep and training have taken priority and I’ve not been as inspired with my blogging, so I know I’m neglecting it!

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No Questions Stripe Midi Skirt from Tobi | Top from H&M | ankle boots from Debenhams

It’s also frustrating that when I do put the effort in and subsequently get invited to events, I more often than not have to say no as they take place during the working week and I can’t take any time off (especially at such short notice)!

Another example is that recently I’ve been going to social events (shock horror, I know) – the more I agree to go to, the more I see my friends and my social life flourishes (rarely, very rarely) which is great – we’re all social beings and even stay-at-home people like me like being around people sometimes, but this means that my sleep and sense of routine suffer – and that doesn’t bode well for me!

As the nights get lighter I look forward to going out for dinner / drinks along the river, which will no doubt mess up my schedule again! It’s a balancing act for sure!

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I’ve managed to strike a good balance that suits me for now, at the moment my priority is my work, and I build in my training schedule around this. I’ve also been great at prioritising my sleep (getting about 8 hours a night), and we schedule taking blog / Instagram photos on weekends (when I actually get to see daylight!)


The clothes in this post are by Tobi – an online shop I’d not heard of before, but the clothes are beauuuutiful! I’ll definitely be back!!

Outfit links:

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