Friday, April 12, 2024


Hiking & walking

An enjoyable form of exercise to do both solo and as part of a group, hiking and walking are not only good for the body, but also for the mind, helping to alleviate stress and anxiety. Walking is a more casual form of exercise than hiking, which requires elevated terrain like hills and mountains, and tends to work the body harder. In 2021, 36% of Brits hiked weekly and enjoyed the benefits, which include weight loss, improved heart and brain health, increased strength, better mental health, and a reduced risk of diseases like diabetes and cancer. Besides these, hikers and walkers also gain a greater appreciation for nature and friends. However, both hiking and walking require the correct clothing and equipment to protect you from the elements, avoid injury and help you navigate your way. Wearing multiple, moisture-wicking layers is important for regulating body temperature and staying comfortable, and having the correct footwear is important for avoiding ankle and knee injuries, preferably waterproof in case of wet conditions. For the more health-conscious, wearable fitness tech can also be worn to avoid injury and track fitness progress. What do I need to go hiking? As hiking requires spending long stretches of time outdoors, it's important that hikers are wearing the correct clothing and have the correct equipment with them to avoid serious accidents and protect them from the weather. Generally, when hiking or walking, it's important to have with you: a weatherproof backpack properly-fitting hiking boots or shoes weather-appropriate clothing (layers are important) a first aid kit portable charger plenty of water and snacks Where are good places to hike and walk in the UK? The UK has a lot of scenic and challenging outdoor spaces perfect for hiking and walking. Some popular options include: Snowdonia National Park Hadrian's Wall The Quiraing South Downs Scafell Pike Causeway Coast Yorkshire Dales When is the best time to go hiking/walking? Especially during the summer and spring, it's best to hike early in the morning (around 6 am). At this time, you can avoid large crowds of hikers, enjoy a boost of energy and cooler temperatures, and clear your mind, leaving you ready for the day ahead. If you're braving the cold air during winter and autumn, make sure you wrap up warm and go during the warmest part of the day, typically the middle of the day.


Swimming is a great way to keep fit and can benefit the mind. A swimming essential? Swimwear. Coming in a variety of colours, styles and fabrics there is swimwear to suit everyone. Besides being another way of expressing style and personality, swimwear also provides a crucial health benefit. It helps to insulate your body and conserves your body heat in order to prevent hypothermia, while also acting as a protective barrier for your skin against chemicals in the water. Choose a style to suit you and help keep you covered whether you're in the swimming pool or at the beach. Tan not included. What is the best swimsuit material? Swimwear is most commonly made with a polyester/elastane blend. This is because polyester is chlorine-resistant, easy to clean and colourfast, while elastane is lightweight and super stretchy. However, swimwear can be made with a variety of other materials that have their own pros and cons. These other materials include:

  • Nylon (comfortable to wear, but easily damaged by chlorine)
  • Cotton/polycotton (has a cooling effect, but easily damaged by regular wear)
  • PBT (quick drying, but not very stretchy)
  • Neoprene (very insulating, but can be difficult to wear and remove)
What is the best style of swimwear for me? Swimwear comes in a variety of styles depending on personal preferences and what water activities will be happening. The best style of swimwear for you is one that is suitable for your activities and also makes you feel good. Styles of swimwear include:
  • bikinis/two-piece
  • trunks
  • swimming costume/one-piece (also known as a bathing suit)
  • swim shirts
  • wetsuits
  • boardshorts
  • swim briefs
Check out our range of gym equipment if you want to keep fit but aren't fond of swimming.

Yoga & pilates

Yoga and pilates are both extremely popular forms of exercise in the UK. They are both low impact forms of exercise, which means that there is little weight and or strain put on the muscles and joints whilst exercising. Both yoga and pilates are forms of exercise that focus on strength, flexibility, breathing - all of which provide both physical and mental health benefits. Muscular and joint strength, improved posture, better sleep and stress management, increased self and bodily awareness - all of these are shared benefits of incorporating yoga and pilates into your workout routine. However they are not the same, and it's worth doing research into which would be more beneficial for you and your body. When taking part in any physical activity, it's important to be wearing the correct clothing. Close, comfortable clothing like leggings, yoga pants and vests made of breathable, stretchy material is best for doing yoga and pilates as they'll help keep you cool as you work out and won't ride up and become uncomfortable as you move. For footwear, many yoga and Pilates studios have their own policies, but barefoot or socks are the most common. What's the difference between yoga and pilates? While the two fitness practises have a lot in common, the key difference between yoga and pilates is what you do with your core muscles. In yoga, you hold a pose for a period of time before flowing into the next. Yoga poses engage all your muscles, even though your body remains still. However, in pilates, you don't just hold the position, but also challenge your core muscles in particular by moving your arms and legs at the same time. Yoga also has an increased focus on diet, lifestyle and mentality through breathing exercises and meditation - it's more spiritual than pilates. Are yoga and pilates enough exercise? Deciding whether or not an exercise is "enough" depends on your body and the benefits you are hoping to gain from doing it. If you are looking to improve your balance, strength, posture, and flexibility, either yoga or pilates are excellent choices to do that. However, yoga and pilates do not provide the same benefits you receive from doing other forms of exercise, like cardio. To improve your overall health and wellbeing, it has been proven that taking part in a variety of exercises is your best bet. If you're not up for yoga or pilates, swimming can be a great stress reliever and helps you keep fit.

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  • Hiking & walking
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  • Yoga & pilates

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