Category Archives: Mental Wellbeing and Motivation

Your mental wellbeing is just as important as your physical. Keep motivated, keep happy and learn everything mental wellbeing with our articles. That’s the only way to be truly healthy after all.


If you are an expectant mum, whether this is your first pregnancy or not, this is an important time in your life. You want to stay healthy and well for yourself and your baby.  And staying active can help you to do exactly this!


Want to move fast? Jump to the right section below.


At first, we would suggest you to consider very basics in a relation of exercise and pregnancy. You can visit NHS website to familiarise yourself with some simple exercise tips for expectant mums.


Physical activity will help you to sleep better, control pregnancy weight gain, improve your mood, just to name few benefits.

Expect to be less tempted to take part in physical activity in your first trimester due to morning sickness and your body getting used to a new way of existing. However if you manage to do some type of activity you will feel miles better for it! Don’t worry if you cannot, most pregnant women are ready to do more in second and third trimester.


Don’t overdo it! Think about your current activity levels. Whether try to maintain these or build up gradually if you are not achieving daily recommended dose of exercise. Always remember to be gentle with yourself, one step at a time.


Make sure you enjoy what you do! You want to increase positive energy in your life. You can try Pregnancy Yoga, swimming or just stick with daily walking. You can get yourself some nice equipment to boost your motivation too.


Now, during the Covid-19 pandemic, there are many online classes for pregnant women, a good example being Us Mums programme (East Yorkshire, Hull). Check you local exercise providers and connect with other expectant mums to avoid social isolation. Mental well-being is at least as important as staying physically active! Please read more about this HERE.


Exercise adaptations for each trimester differ. Seek an advice from a fully qualified and experienced pre/post natal instructor to be entirely sure that you are performing exercises in a safe and effective manner, especially if you do home workouts. We would recommend to use REPs registered exercise professionals.


We cannot stress enough how important it is to take this seriously! Your pelvic floor can be weakened by pregnancy and you don’t want this to happen. In a long run it can cause urinary incontinence and even more serious problems. This is why you MUST include pelvic floor exercises in your daily self-care routine. You will find more information at NHS website and you can find many health professionals, including women’s health physiotherapists, advocating pelvic floor exercises.

Diane Mawer, Clinical Lead for physiotherapy in obstetrics talks to mums in the pelvic health workshop in Hull (Image: Joanna Lovell)

Have you ever before been told to do Pelvic Floor exercises? Please let us know in the comments section below!


It is baby steps. Don’t rush. Take your time & enjoy this beautiful journey to the motherhood!

Keep an eye on our learn section, more advice about health and exercise in pregnancy coming soon!


“Carrying a baby is the most rewarding experience a woman can enjoy.” – Jayne Mansfield


Being happy during pregnancy is not only very possible but also important for mother’s and baby’s health. Each women will have her own ways of keeping herself in emotionally and mentally good shape. There are many tools for you to use, such as:

However, we wanted to highlight such underestimated thing as connecting with other expectant mums. Before revealing more of this, we have to understand WHY it is important.


Have your heard about anxiety, depression and similar non-positive experiences pregnant women can face during and after their pregnancy? We don’t want to scare you, however we want to make sure that you know importance of respecting your emotions and feelings early in the pregnancy (and even before!) to avoid experiencing such things.

This is called Perinatal Mental Health. And it matters.

Just be aware. Read up on this and listen to other expectant mums to gain an insight into this topic just simply to avoid it from happening with you. And if it does, don’t worry! There is a great support and help available for expectant and new mums.

The last thing you want to be feeling is loneliness. Sometimes just by having a chat with other pregnant women can help massively. This has a power to reduce likelihood of ending up with some type of mental health problems.


Keep it simple. You don’t need to find a girlfriend which will become your best friend forever. You just need to surround yourself with women who are pregnant, the same as you.

You can either find some local mums-to-be groups or connect online! Nowadays distance is non-existent. Especially now, during the Covid-19 pandemic, this might be the best and safest option for yourself. Online meet-up groups via Zoom is a great way to connect and build a support network around yourself.

Connecting with other mums over a cuppa and having a friendly chat sometimes is everything you need! Whatever it takes for you to avoid social isolation and feeling lonely. It’s great to share worries and stories, ideas and expectations. And sometimes just to discuss what’s new on Netflix.


In UK many expectant mums are looking to connect with others and there are different groups and websites for women like yourself. As example, net-mums website is a great source to find ante-natal courses and local groups and there are many charities offering support to pregnant women across the country.

And, if you live in Yorkshire, there are many activities in Hull and East Yorkshire for young parents, including the Us Mums programme which offers free online exercise sessions, mediation and meet-up groups for pregnant women and new mums.

Has this blog post encouraged you to look out for other mums to be? Let us know in comments section below!

We are very confident that you can find suitable and positive way how to connect with other expectant mums. Now it’s over to you… Go, find it & just give it a go!


How to improve your mental wellbeing through fitness and exercise

Limitations live only in our minds.  But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless. – Jamie Paolinetti

Maintaining our mental wellbeing is one of the most important aspects which helps contribute toward a healthy fulfilled life, there are an endless variety of ways you can ensure you are taking care of yourself mentally and fitness and exercise are some of the most effective methods. It is clear the benefits that exercise has on our physical body, but people often don’t realise the great positive effects that maintaining exercise also has on the mind! Exercise has in fact be proven to be so great for the mind that those who suffer from challenging mental health battles such as depression and anxiety have felt an improvement mentally, the effects of the illnesses can be eased due to the positive influence that fitness has on the mind and the raise of serotonin that it creates within the mind. The most challenging step can be motivation, but if you can motivate yourself to persist through the first steps of your fitness journey then you can change the way you live your life through the power of exercise.

Not yet aware of how exercises and fitness methods can improve and maintain your mental health? Let’s take a look at some of the best exercises to help get you on your journey to feeling the best version of yourself!






Running is one of the best forms of exercise you can do due to its endless benefits, it is one of the most beneficial forms of cardio. Running is so easily accessible to all who wish to try it, however if you prefer not to run outdoors you can opt to run using a treadmill which can be just as effective! its all about your personal preference, the exercise is also open to all ages from the younger generations to the elderly who wish to take up a new hobby or continue their running habits. Running  can also be enjoyed at all different levels and paces to suit your fitness level and age range, the key to running is enjoyment and the incredible health benefits to the mind and body are a bonus.

Still not convinced that running and exercise can help improve your mental wellbeing to a great extent? Check out the video below!

If you’re not sure if running is for you then not to worry, there’s a much more laid back method of fitness you can try!








Yoga is an extremely well known term, nevertheless many people do not actually realise how astounding yoga can be for not only improving your physical health but also your mental health. Yoga has allot of stigma surrounding it as many see it as simply a socialising opportunity, however yoga is one of the best exercises for increasing your body strength.  There are many different types of yoga poses so your choice is endless, there is something for everyone which makes yoga so enjoyable and appealing. As we are focusing on the topic of mental health, listed below are some the most prominent yoga benefits that can help improve and maintain your frame of mind and overall mental health situation.

Watch the video below to see just how effective yoga is at improving mental health and wellbeing!

If you’re still not sure whether yoga is right for you and it doesn’t seem like something you want to try, you can take a look at another effective exercise method listed below.

Resistance Training






Resistance training can be so gripping due to the vast variety of exercises it contains, you are simply not limited to one form of exercise for example if you don’t find lifting weights is a good choice for you then you can try kettlebells or powerbands instead to strengthen your body. Anyone of any age can also enjoy resistance training, just like running and yoga there is no age barrier that blocks you from enjoying and partaking in the exercises due to their being options for everyone’s body strengths and age preference.  Maintaining muscle strength is particularly important as we age and ensures we stay as healthy as possible physical wise, however resistance training is also brilliant at helping our mental wellbeing

In order to see a clearer picture of how effective resistance training can be for your mental wellbeing, watch the video below which shows how simple a form of resistance training can be incorporated into your life. The video also shows that not all forms of resistance training have to be more challenging to begin with for those of you who want to take a less intense approach!


It is important to remember that just like physical health, mental health progress also takes time and it is not one short easy road. With that being said, remind yourself that the journey to improvement and change is taking the first step. Through exercise and fitness of your physical body you can also help improve and ensure that your mental wellbeing is also taken care of,  the hope is that this blog gives you some encouragement of just how incredible exercise can be in helping transform, ease and manage your mental health so you can get the absolute best out of your life.



The importance of yoga

In today’s society, yoga has become one of the most convenient and effective fitness exercises. When you practice yoga, your body, movement, mind, and breathing are connected to each other, which creates a sense of balance, relaxation, and harmony. Yoga practitioners can even use their own bodies to purify their minds. Through this thorough physical and mental training, every cell of the body and soul is awakened, and this is the wonder of yoga.

We also know that most people like some easy and effective exercise to help them stay healthy, why not try yoga?

Here’s a quick way to jump

Yogic postures

Benefits of Yoga

Yoga equipment

Yogic postures

There are many, many, yoga posture have difficulty have simple posture, yoga can help you to increase your strength, but the most difficult is always maintain the yoga pose for a long time, there are three kinds of typical yoga pose for your reference, which are much harder than it looks, if feel too difficult please try some beginners yoga pose. But first, be sure to use some yoga equipment to protect yourself, such as a yoga mat.


First, bend your left knee and hook your foot back. Then grab the instep back from the outside with your left hand, put your left foot behind you, and roll your shoulders. Finally, put your elbows up, open your chest, and tilt your head back naturally.

Sit for Angle

This is going to be an easy move. First, stretch your thigh muscles by extending the lines of your legs 180 degrees while sitting. Then support the ground with your hands and lean forward naturally. What’s even more interesting is that you can do this on a yoga mat while looking at your phone


The tree type

Raise your hands sideways over your head, put your hands together, relax your shoulders, and look straight ahead. Then bend your right knee, open your right knee to the right, and place your right foot on top of your left inner thigh with your toe pointing directly down.

Benefits of Yoga:

The biggest difference between yoga and other fitness activities is that yoga has both physiological and psychological factors. The common limb stretch that we know about is only external. Yoga poses not only build muscles, improve the body’s perception and flexibility, but also create inner awareness and stabilize the mind. While general sports emphasize only the accuracy of external

movements, yoga calls for a deeper sense of perception while focusing on accuracy to bring about an overall balance of body and mind. Therefore, the benefits of yoga are self-evident.



Yoga can help us become younger

We often can not guess the age of the yoga teacher, because the practice of yoga, through the body, breathing with, promote cell delay aging, ruddy complexion. Yoga practice in the twist, squeeze, stretch, pull posture, can smooth the whole body meridians Qi and blood, activate the viscera function, yoga to reduce facial wrinkles, produce a natural “pull” effect. This is mainly due to the handstand. In our normal upright position, gravity pulls our muscles down. Over time, the facial muscles break down. By standing on our heads for a few minutes each day, we can reverse the effects of gravity as a rejuvenating force that keeps facial muscles from sagging, reduces wrinkles and flattens the skin naturally.

Yoga can promote us to sleep

What we don’t know is that yoga also improves sleep quality. The practice of yoga can reduce stress, heal and release the body, make one feel better and increase self-confidence. Regular yoga practice can help calm the body and mind, boost the immune system, and flush out the toxins caused by stress. There are many yoga practitioners who believe that yoga is the perfect cure after a hard  day of study or work. Yoga can eliminate fatigue, make people maintain a comfortable and quiet state, fully enjoy life, thus significantly improve the quality of sleep.

Regular practice of yoga can alleviate the shoulder neck, lumbar discomfort and other sub-health problems


In the fast-paced work and busy study of modern society, doing more yoga exercises can speed up the heartbeat and oxygen-rich blood circulation, thus strengthening our blood circulation. Almost all yoga classes make you sweat, practice deep breathing and improve circulation, and massage and stimulate the excretory organs through twisting and bending postures. It is also important to note that regular yoga practice has a great detoxification effect. The classic postures of yoga are body movements that have been developed through thousands of years of practice. They strengthen and stretch the connective tissues of the body. Whether your body is soft or stiff, weak or strong, yoga can improve your body and mind to some extent, as well as improve your physical health.


Yoga equipment


Yoga is probably the most cost-effective exercise because all you need is a perfect yoga mat, Because we want to know the role of the yoga mat is not only used to prevent slippery, it also played a protective effect, when you are making some knees moves, if mat is too thin, the knee will be very strong and the squeezing pressure on the ground, such as tiger, we are doing only one hand and a leg, the other will lift balance, if we are doing this thing, not a yoga mat, that leads to his injured case, for we have a great harm to the health of human body, so do yoga for a yoga mat is very important. In today’s market, there are a lot of poor quality yoga MATS on sale. It’s better to consider buying a good quality yoga mat from us.


Consult your physician, doctor or other professional before starting any exercise or nutrition program. This is especially important for people over the age of 35 or those with pre-existing health problems. In accordance with our advice, is not responsible for any personal injury or property damage caused.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain or any other unusual symptoms, stop exercising immediately and consult your doctor immediately.




Should I be Doing Yoga Workouts?

Should I be doing Yoga Workouts?

yoga squat pose

The short answer is yes – yoga isn’t all about middle-aged women meeting up at the studio with their yoga mats to get their stretch on and drink their protein shakes; it’s more inclusive, easier and beneficial than you might think!

Although yoga workouts are not the most effective way to lose weight, they are great for building strength, toning muscles and improving balance and flexibility. We don’t need to tell you the importance of exercise for your overall health, but we can tell you how amazing yoga is in helping you reach your fitness goals, one stretch at a time! Ranging from cardio to strength training, yoga lets you stretch muscles you didn’t know existed and gets your heart working to release endorphins – it’s de-stressing, grounding and boy, does it make you feel good!

Unlike a normal vinyasa flow, a yoga workout incorporates more intense exercises, much like a HiiT routine (including squats, mountain climbers and jumping jacks) to keep your body moving and your heart rate up. It counts towards your daily ‘vigorous’ exercise recommendations set out by the NHS and is easily adaptable to your fitness levels.

Yoga workouts, like any other workout, require warm ups and cool downs for injury prevention – check out this article to learn more and find out how best to warm up.


Top Tip – yoga poses and flows can be used in your warm ups and cool downs!


yoga pose - upward and downward facing dog
Upward and downward facing dog pose.

Upward facing dog (background) and downward facing dog (foreground) are fabulous poses to be used in any yoga routine and warm up – stretching your back, arms and legs, they’re poses incorporating a variety of muscles to help improve flexibility. Don’t worry if you can’t form a perfect angle in downward facing dog, the main focus is keeping your back straight, meaning you can bend your knees to help maintain the pose. Upward facing dog can easily be transformed into child’s pose by keeping your hands flat on the ground, lifting up onto your knees and sitting back, allowing your arms to be outstretched on the ground in front of you.


yoga pose - high plank
High plank pose.

High plank is a pose integral in a lot of yoga flows and helps build strength and muscle in your core and shoulders. It can easily be adapted and incorporated into a more intense yoga workout with mountain climbers by keeping your hands flat to the ground in the position shown above, bringing one leg at a time towards your elbows, as if you’re running.


This yoga workout for beginners video comes highly recommended from us, incorporating some key yoga poses, including those above, in a simple yet effective workout. Using videos like this are wonderful for motivation and guidance, as well as helping to focus your breathing – a concept vital to yoga.


Yoga workouts are a great way to have fun, vigorously certified exercise that will help your mental and physical health. They can easily break up study sessions and help you stretch your aching, study-induced muscles.


Staying Healthy And Motivated As A Student On A Budget: The Basics

As a student, it can be difficult to get into a healthy exercise routine and even more difficult without the proper funds. Personally, I have used money as an excuse in the past for not being able to get into a regular fitness routine.

There have been many times a friend of mine has asked if I wanted to get a gym membership with them and I am faced with the same conflicting feelings. From a money standpoint it can be great value for money if you can afford it. However for me, as much as I would have loved to join the gym in the past, the commitment for me was always too big financially. And I am sure lots of other students feel the same. Besides let’s face it, there are plenty of ways to stay healthy without needing to invest large sums of money.

Budgeting as a student can be hard – but it’s not an excuse to stay unfit!

Staying fit and active during the last year became one of the biggest challenges for me. With the lack of structure and schedule in my days I started looking for new ways to motivate myself and create some sort of consistent and regular exercise routine to maintain my fitness levels. As a student, it’s important to have alternative ways of staying fit on a small budget, without the need for a gym or much physical equipment.  So lets explore some of the basics!

A Fresh Morning Walk

Free, easy and calming. One of the things I have come to appreciate most is a crisp morning walk. The hardest part of the day for me is the morning. Yes, I know, such a stereotypical student. But lots of people struggle with mornings and for good reason. Getting out of bed and starting a productive day can be daunting at first and the effects of the pandemic have made it harder for some.

Not everyone is a morning person

I have found that the quicker you get yourself up and active, the better. I got into the routine everyday or every other day of waking up, having a quick shower and heading out the door to get some fresh morning air. Living through the pandemic and multiple lockdowns, you really come to appreciate being in large open spaces like parks and the feeling of nature around you.

Scenic and natural environments are best to explore on your walks and jogs

Doing exercise in the morning has many benefits such as making you feel more awake and energized. As well as improving your internal mood it can spark productivity and help with motivation to complete tasks. These are certainly the effects I found, helping me get more done in my day as well as improving my outlook on the days work. If you’re ambitious and well prepared, turn this morning walk into a morning jog. The benefits will be enhanced and you’ll start noticing a difference in the way you feel throughout the day.

A Morning Stretch

In addition to a morning walk, to get your muscles ready and moving before you head out, try doing some light stretches or yoga positions. Nowadays we live in such a digitized world, a lot of students and young adults find themselves hunched over screens all day, attending online seminars or online work calls. All this use of technology can be difficult on your lower back, neck and eyes as well as other areas of your body for long periods of time. It is important to stretch on a regular basis to help improve posture, increase range of motion and also in some cases, help reduce and manage stress. The free act of stretching your limbs and body can have massive benefits on the rest of your day.

By taking the time and listening to your body, you can start stretching away tensions held up in your joints and muscles. Even just a 5 -10 minutes stretch will improve how your body feels, helping you to feel more relaxed and mobile. Take a look through this article to get an idea of how simple a daily stretching session can be.

Whilst there are plenty of stretches and yoga positions that can be done completely for free without additional equipment, if you’re doing floor stretches I would recommend investing in a yoga mat to make the experience more comfortable and prevent possible injury. What’s also great is as well as doing basic tension relieving stretches on the mat, it can also be used in more intense workouts and toning exercises if you choose to do so.

Download a Fitness App

Another great tip for young people looking to stay healthy and motivated on a budget is to download a free fitness app on your phone. Wearable tech is gaining a lot of interest these days, although it’s definitely not the cheapest way to track your health. Whilst a wearable tech more accurately tracks your movement and activity, free fitness apps on the app store are still a great way to manually input and track your fitness data. This way you can keep up to date with all the progress you’re making!

Find the right app for you to track your health and fitness goals

A great side effect to using a fitness tracking app is that it can be used as a source of motivation to continue with your new routines. Personally for me, hitting my daily steps goal and tracking other factors such as my mood and sleeping patterns, really helped me to get myself into a better daily schedule and more importantly, stick to them! My days felt more productive and it was all documented on this app for me to review. If you are someone who struggles with motivation I would definitely recommend checking out what apps out there would best suit your needs.

Some apps focus more on certain fitness routines such as muscle building

There are plenty of apps on the market, finding the right one can be tricky. It all depends on what your fitness goals are. Some apps let you input really detailed logs about diet, different exercises, heart rate, blood pressure, the list goes on! Don’t be overwhelmed by this though. Just stick to the fitness and health areas that you want to focus on. Soon you will appreciate being able to track your long term goals overtime, whether that is just getting into healthier habits or really going for weight loss and muscle gain goals, there is an app for you.

Staying healthy and motivated as a student can be hard, but by trying to integrate some of the activities discussed here, you might find it’s easier than you think!

How to Schedule Exercise into University Life

Sticking to an exercise routine at university can be difficult. You may be juggling assignments, revision, society activities, ever-changing lectures and seminars, socialising and maybe even part-time work. This can all become overwhelming and you may start to notice fitness becoming less and less of a priority.

Worrying about when to exercise, how and where can become a stress in itself, and may be an added pressure to your university life. However, this can be easily solved with the right information. In fact, exercise is incredibly effective at reducing stress and releasing mood-boosting endorphins. It improves your quality of sleep, promotes self-confidence and can provide a sharper memory and thinking. All of which are important to creating a positive university experience.

Here are 4 ways you can incorporate exercise into university life:

1. Set Aside One Hour Everyday

Firstly, this full hour doesn’t need to be completely dedicated to exercise. For example, you may complete 30 minutes of exercise, but it is important that this one hour is dedicated to you and you alone. Make it a peaceful part of your day.

  • Set aside your phone.
  • Take yourself away from external stressors.
  • Exercise knowing you have an hour to yourself without distraction and there’s no rush.

This may be easier to plan ahead on a calendar if you have an irregular schedule. You will also be more motivated to complete your goals if they are written down!

2. Find Exercises that You Enjoy

You will find it much easier to stick to a routine when you are doing something you enjoy!

Maybe you already know what exercises you prefer but for those who don’t, trial and error may be your first experiences. Here are some good places to start:

  • HIIT
  • Pilates
  • Yoga
  • Barre
  • Body weight
  • Running

If you have specific goals in mind begin there! Decide what it is you want to achieve and what can help you achieve it best.

Here are some articles that can help get you started:

3. Use YouTube

There are thousands of free videos on YouTube that make exercising much more enjoyable and hassle-free.

The video platform takes the thinking out of exercise, you press play and follow the instructions, like having your own personal trainer without the price. You may even find a content creator whose personality is your main reason for coming back the next day. They can motivate you and make difficult exercises much more manageable and fun.

Some good start searches could be:

    • ‘20-minute HIIT workout’ (add ‘no noise’, ‘no impact’ if you live above neighbours)
    • ‘Cardio and Abs’
    • ‘Dance workout’
    • ‘Yoga for beginners’
    • ’No equipment barre workout’

However, be aware, social media isn’t always a positive space, especially when it comes to fitness. Make sure to read our guide on the pros and cons of social media in your fitness journey.

4. Avoid Putting Pressure on Yourself

University life is busy. Don’t stress if you don’t manage to exercise every single day.

To help avoid the pressures of exercise guilt, you can promise yourself a set number of days in the week that you are going to exercise. Therefore, you know you don’t have to exercise everyday and you can be more flexible.

For example, as long as you have exercised on 4 days during a week you have completed your goal. If on Monday you don’t feel like it, you have 6 more days to fit it in!

There is one important rule that you can live by to help avoid exercise guilt:

Do one thing every day that’s good for your body.

This could be as small as going for a walk around campus, meditating for 10 minutes or eating a healthy meal. As long as you have done one good thing that day you can relax knowing you have taken care of your body.

The Link Between Exercise and our Mental Well-being

When we think of health, the first thing that springs to mind is physical health, such as going to the gym or going for a run, we never really associate it with mental health. However, our mental health is just as important as our physical health as it affects how we think, feel, and act. It also harbours how we manage our emotions, stress levels, anxiety, depression, sleep patterns and how we socialise with others in our day to day lives. We don’t typically associate our physical health with our mental health as the link between the two is not easy to recognise, so here are some examples of how the two are intertwined. Furthermore, if you would to find out more on each topic, the link at the top of each section will take you to one of our guides with more in-depth information available.


Exercise is key for your head and not just your heart as it has been scientifically proven to lower stress levels. As we exercise, our heart rate increases, in turn, this generates an increased production of a hormone from our adrenal glands known as Norepinephrine which plays a significant part in our stress levels. Low Norepinephrine levels are usually linked to high stress, lethargy and low a concentration, therefore, it is clinically advised that we maintain adequate Norepinephrine levels through exercise in order to combat stress-related illnesses such as Asthma, Heart Disease, Obesity and Diabetes.

You can also try deep breathing exercises to reduce stress as they are easy to learn! Here’s how deep breathing exercises work:
1. Breathe in gradually until your lungs feel they’re at full capacity.
2. Hold your breath for a short moment.
3. Now, think to yourself “relax” as you slowly exhale.
4. Repeat each stage five to ten times.

The benefit of deep breathing is that it can be performed at any time, in any place. You should practice deep breathing in your own time and then use it when you start to feel stressed.

Depression and Anxiety

Another benefit that exercise has to offer for our mental well-being is that it reduces depression and anxiety symptoms. When we engage in physical activity, it boosts the feel-good chemical in our body known as an Endorphin. Endorphins decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression by communicating with receptors in our brains responsible for positive emotions. Many doctors recommend that if you are experiencing depression and anxiety symptoms, you should create an exercise routine throughout the week before turning to medication. 


There is significant evidence that exercising makes it easier to fall asleep at night as well as increasing your sleep consistency. Moderate exercise, for instance, boosts the amount of slow-wave sleep you experience which gives the brain and body time to rejuvenate over night. Slow wave sleep also helps regulate your built-in alarm clock, known as a circadian rhythm that controls when we feel tired and alert. Secondly, exercise stabilises your mood and helps unwind the mind; the science behind this cognitive process is that as we engage in physical activity, our body temperature increases, creating a soothing and calming effect on our mind.

It is important to remember that exercising too close to sleep can often have a negative effect on your sleep pattern. The rule of thumb is that you should exercise at least one to two hours before going to bed, as exercise causes the brain to stay active which can keep you awake at night.

Brain boost

Last but certainly not least is the relatively unknown link exercise has with mental well-being as it helps boost our brainpower. Many studies found that exercise expands the Hippocampus, the area of the brain responsible for memory, learning and the prevention of cognitive decline. Although this benefit is not as well known as the others, it could perhaps be the most important as it involves the brain, one of our most vital organs.

An abundance of advantages, with few costs!

The idea that exercise can improve your mental well-being is especially good news as exercise, in general, is relatively cheap. Exercise does not have to be carried out with expensive equipment such as ab or thigh machines that only work one part of the body; you can do most exercise for free such as a jog or a run, or with only a small initial purchase of some at-home gym equipment. A great idea to keep costs low is by purchasing exercise equipment that has multiple uses:

  • An exercise ball price starts from just £10. They are great for ab workouts; they can be used as a support during weight training activities, cardio exercise and can even be used while watching TV or working on the computer!
  • Resistance Bands typically start at £15 depending on the level of resistance you would like from the band. They are great as you can use them anywhere for shoulder and chest presses, curls, squats, and other exercises that involve pulling and pushing. 
  • Multi-gyms are relatively expensive and may feel like a huge investment, however, overtime, they may save you the money you’d spend on a monthly gym membership. They start at around £350 and allow you to work your entire body with various exercises. Before purchasing a multi-gym, I recommend reading through a buying guide and viewing the different workout plans available when using the equipment.  

So now, you may be asking yourself how much exercise is enough to improve your mental well-being? It is recommended that you exercise at least once per day, as it provides the most benefits to not only your mental health but also your physical health. The exercise you decide to choose is entirely up to you, but you should start by aiming to do either 15 to 20 minutes of vigorous exercise such as a workout using the equipment recommended or 30 to 40 minutes of moderate exercise such as a walk or a brisk jog!

I hope this blog has helped highlight the link between physical health and our mental well-being and set you on your way to an improved lifestyle by lifting yourself up when you start to feel down!

Tips for exercising at home easily that you should know


When you want to build up your muscles and stamina, tone your body and lose weight at the same time. There are some tips you should know !One of the best equipment’s to start with are Kettlebells.  There are varieties of exercising with a Kettlebell available, which you can try out. You will find below five of the easiest to begin with.

1.Kettlebell Slingshot

The slingshot is a very easy type of Kettlebell exercise, where you pass the Kettlebell around the body from one hand to the other. The benefit of slingshot is that you will adapt to the Kettlebell weight and involves working out the shoulder, core, and grip. It is important to keep the head and hip steady and still while passing the Kettlebell around the body. Once you get use to it this exercise it will be useful to catch the breath between other exercise or for a warm up before the main work out. To watch a video of the Kettlebell slingshot can be click here.

How to practice: To start , do 10 repetitions one way and then 10 repetitions in the other direction. Afterwards increase to 20 reps each way.

2.Kettlebell Halo

 The Kettlebell Halo exercise is another easy exercise for beginners to try. To do the exercise you have to lift the Kettlebell closely around your head in one direction and then switched into the other direction of your neck. It is important to keep the Kettlebell during the exercise close to the neck as possible and swing around the head in a slow motion. The benefit of this doing this exercise is to strengthen your connection with your mind- muscle. As this needs the full attention involving your shoulder, triceps, back and core to move the heavy weight round your head. Doing this leads to full focused, increased intensity and the effectiveness of the whole upper body which ensures the best results. As mentioned earlier with slingshot exercise, the halo can be used as a part of a warmup exercise or as a less intense exercise between other workouts. For an example of how to complete the exercise watch here.

How to practice: To begin with the exercise do 5 reps in one direction and switch and do 5 reps in the other direction.

3. Kettlebell Single Arm Deadlift

The Kettlebell Single Arm Deadlift exercise is one of the most effective exercise beginners can do. To start,  the weight should be lifted up using a movement pattern known as the hip hinge. It is crucial to keep your back flat as possible otherwise your back could be left damaged. Your bottom does most of the weightlifting. The benefit of this exercise is that it I useful for the entire body. By not wearing a footwear it will help the movement and will be easier to activate the muscle. Maintaining the weight on the back of the foot guarantees the best outcome. Follow  video of Kettlebell single arm deadlift by clicking here.

 How to practice: To start with this exercise you should do 5 reps with one hand and 5 reps with the other hand gradually.  Afterwards you can increase it to 15 reps either side to receive the best outcome.

4. Kettlebell Good Morning

By doing the Kettlebell Good Morning exercise, the stress within the majority of body muscles will be reduced overall when positioning the Kettlebell lower. It is advisable to work out doing this exercising before more challenging exercise such deadlifts. To begin with the exercise, make sure your hold the Kettlebell behind your back with both hands balanced, also the arms must be kept straight and shoulders lent to the back. Next step is that you make sure that your feet are slightly apart with your knees kept straight and leaning forward at your hip level. Afterwards bringing the top half of  your body as far as possible but also making sure your spine is straight. Follow the video of the Kettlebell Good Morning  exercise by pressing here.

How to Practice: To begin with the exercise you could do 5 reps to train your breathing when you lean forward. Afterwards build up to 10 reps.

5.Kettlebell Goblets Squats

 The Final exercise beginners should know , when working out with Kettlebells is known as the goblet squat. The main benefit of this exercise is  to strengthen the movement pattern of the barbell back squat as you lift the Kettlebell up to the chin level the  same way goblet would held. It is a heavy exercise  if you want to perfect your technique of doing heavier compound lifts and avoid back injury it is advisable to practice squats in advanced before taking heavy weights. The main purpose of the exercise is to burn fat due to the increased reps. The hips become more flexible due to the squats , also the strength of lower body will improved. Similar to the original squat position the only difference is that you hold a weight with both hand under your chin. To Watch a video about the Kettlebell Goblets Squats click on the link. 

 How to practice: To start with this exercise you need to practice some squats safely and than add the Kettlebell and do 20 reps. Afterwards increased it gradually.

How exercising improves our mental health

Did you know that doing exercise not only improves our mental health but also our sleeping habits? Research has found that exercise lifts your mood to help to reduce depression, anxiety and the stress level of a human which leads to feeling better overall within our self’s. By regularly exercising its motivates you to your mindset, which automatically improves your well being. Your happiness levels are increased which leads to sleeping better feeling more well rested and have more positive thoughts in general about yourself. Exercising is a natural remedy to maintain a good mental health. So therefore it is important to keep exercising not physically  but also mentally.

According to a study conducted by MIND revealed that 94 per cent said outdoor activities including running and walking had benefited their mental health.






Using Progressive Overload to Improve Fitness and Wellbeing, and How to Implement it in Home Workouts.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, home workouts have been paramount in providing a sense of normality, routine and enjoyment. Home workouts have become a new trend, flourishing amongst social media platforms and providing people with a way to occupy their increased free time due to the furlough scheme, or working or studying from home. Creating fitness and well-being goals have provided a healthy distraction during these seemingly never ending national lockdowns. Progressive Overload can be applied to training regimes to help people improve health and fitness by gradually increasing the demand on the body and muscles.

The Principles of Training acronym, referred to as ‘SPORID’, is a great way for people to both stay on track with their fitness regime and allow them to achieve their goals, potentially including mental wellbeing, improve toning, improve strength or overall physique. The components are: Specificity, Progressive Overload, Rest and Recovery, and Individual Differences.

Progressive Overload and Motivation

Progressive overload is a pivotal component in enhancing health and fitness and involves the continuous increase of difficulty or demand on the muscles by increasing the duration, weight or repetitions involved within the fitness program. This is an important factor in maintaining dedication and motivation to continue exercising, especially during the monotonous days during national lockdowns. Therefore, despite gyms closing, it is important to be able to apply progressive overload amongst home workouts to firstly achieve the desired outcome, but also remain committed to exercising. There are mental and physical benefits to exercising, suggested by the NHS, which are especially important during the difficult times due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In relation to motivation, progressive overload is important to ensure the participant doesn’t plateau in their performance or improvements. Witnessing the improvements in fitness can instil motivation because repetitive exercises can be avoided and interesting variations can be included in the regime.  Seeing the results acts as a driver for further change until the desired outcome is reached…whatever that may be!

Progressive Overload at Home

To effectively achieve progressive overload, the principles of Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type (“FITT”) must be implemented within the workout. It may be ideal to include a combination of these principles, or select one aspect and focus on this in the training regime.

Frequency‘ relates to the amount of times you perform the exercise or routine each week. Increasing the ‘intensity‘ refers to gradually moving from a form of an exercise, to a more difficult form. The ‘time‘ component refers to increasing the duration which you perform that exercise/ routine for, or could refer to the reduction in ‘rest time.’ Finally, ‘type‘ means the sort of activity which you are performing within the regime.

Progressive overload can be included in training regimes at home, and even without the gym equipment. The shutting of gyms and the national lockdowns increased the demand for home gym equipment. This demand could not be met by all manufacturers, meaning variations for at home workouts are important for keeping them exciting, new and effective.

Progressive Overload Demonstrations

The following videos demonstrate a simple workout plan for 3 different, at home exercises, requiring just minimal space. Each exercise has 3 different variations to offer examples on how to use progressive overload to change the ‘type’ of exercise. The range of exercises vary significantly, providing suitable alternatives to accommodate your needs, perhaps dependant on your age or ability.

Squats offer an option for lower body work, press ups concentrate on the upper body, and burpees offer a cardio option for your fitness plan. However, a limited  variety of equipment, such as dumbbells, resistance bands and exercise balls can increase both the intensity and alter the type of exercise, thus recruiting a wider variety of muscles, improving overall fitness, and helping achieve goals and targets. This equipment is accessible by clicking here.

With hopes of national lockdowns being eased over the year of2021, and gyms reopening, a fourth variation of the exercises has been demonstrated to show how these can be further progressed with gym equipment.


  1. Air Squats:

Coaching points:

  • Chest and head upright, do not bend forwards.
  • Knees shoulder width apart.
  • Knees remain slightly outwards for all squats.
  • Squeeze gluteus muscles when upright.

2. Squat Pulses:

Coaching points:

  • Deep squat, 90 degree angle, squat 2 inches up and down.

3. Squat Jumps:

Coaching points:

  • Land softly on the balls of your feet.
  • Use your arms to generate more power and jump higher.

4. Weighted Squat Press:

Coaching points:

  • Keeping chest tall, hold weight at chest height.
  • Add overhead press. Push weight up, do not lock elbows out.

Press ups:

  1. Knee press ups:

Coaching points:

  • Arms directly under shoulders.
  • Soft elbows, do not lock elbows out.
  • Chest to elbow height.
  • Elbows out to develop chest muscles or in to develop tricep muscles.
  • Bring knees closer to make the exercise easier.
  • Engage the core to protect your back for all press ups.

2. Full press ups:

Coaching points:

  • On toes, full length press up.
  • Keep body straight from shoulders to ankles.

3. Elevated Press Ups:

Coaching points:

  • Use a platform (e.g. a chair) to raise feet.

4. Weighted Press Ups:

Coaching points:

  • Wearing a weighted vest/ weight on back, perform a standard full press up.
  • Get somebody to help put the weight on your back.
  • Put the weight in the centre of your shoulders.
  • Engage the core to ensure the back is straight and protected.


  1. Staggered burpees:

Coaching points:

  • Squat – step into plank – squat – stand.
  • Engage the core to keep balance and protect your back.
  • Pause in the plank position to ensure your hips or back don’t drop.
  • Start slowly until comfortable with the technique.

2. Jumping burpees:

Coaching points:

  • Squat – jump into plank –  jump to squat – jump upwards.
  • Keep back straight when in plank position.

3. Tuck knee burpees:

Coaching points:

  • Tuck and jump, knees to chest, use arms to generate more power and height.
  • Landing on the balls of your feet.
  • Optional progression: incorporate press up when in plank position.

4. Weighted Burpees:

Coaching points:

  • Overhead press the dumbbells/ weight plate.

Safety Considerations

There are various safety implications which must be considered when applying progressive overload. It is vital that you adopt the correct technique. Maybe practice the exercises involved for 2-3 weeks before applying progressive overload.

Also, you must focus on being “progressive” in order to avoid overtraining. Increasing the frequency, intensity, time or type individually could reduce your susceptibility to injury and allow the body to cope gradual increased demand.

Finally, rest and recovery must be prioritised within any exercise programmes – it is during this period that the body actually adapts its shape and form. Read more about the importance of recovery by clicking here.