The Wellness Gift Guide 2017

*Not a sponsored post, apart from being a Sweaty Betty ambassador, I have no connection to any of these brands.

It’s that time of year when your inbox is flooded with gift ideas….Gifts for Her, Gifts for Him, Gifts for Teens, Gifts for Your Loved One etc etc. But what about gifts for the wellness warrior in your life? Be it your yoga bunny bestie, your personal trainer partner, or simply someone you know loves to look after their mind and body, everyone deserves a treat this Christmas.

I’ve actually not started my Christmas shopping yet, which is unlike me, so in order to give myself a little kick up the backside, I’ve compiled a little list of some ideas for you, ranging from stocking fillers to more extravagant surprises. Take a look, and get shopping!

Treats up to £75

Flo 260 Massage Bar – £7.99

gift guide, christmas, massage roller

(tkmaxx.com)

Whether you want to admit it or not, rolling has so many benefits! For those who don’t love a foam roller, these handheld rollers are a great idea to get deep into those sore muscles. They might not thank you immediately (rolling is painful at times) but they will in the long run.

 

Kikki-K Wellbeing Diary – £21

gift guide, kikki-k, diary 2018, wellbeing

(kikki-k.com)

Not just dairy, but full of inspiration and prompts for a happy and healthy 2018.

 

S’well Bottle – from £25

gift guide, christmas, health, wellness

(swellbottle.com)

I am a massive fan of S’well bottles…I have two! Keeping cold drinks cold for 24 hours, and hot drinks hot for 12 hours, I have a traveller one for coffee and a bottle as above for water. They’re also completely leak proof and come in so many gorgeous designs!

 

Lululemon Run It Out Ear & Neck Warmer – £25 each

gift guide, lululemon, running, christmas

(lululemon.co.uk)

No-one likes cold ears, or a chill down their necks, so these Lulu warmers are a great idea for outdoor training. Buy one, or both for the matching set!

 

Sweaty Betty Gym Clutch – £35

sweaty betty, gift guide, gym, christmas

(sweatybetty.com)

If you’re lucky enough to have a gym just a stones throw from where you live or work, you probably don’t need a huge gym bag to fill with unnecessary baggage. This little clutch from Sweaty Betty is perfect for your gym pass, keys, phone, headphones, purse and maybe a little deodorant for a post workout spritz. I love the colour, and if you are gymming it further afield, then you can simply sling this in your main gym bag to make sure you don’t forget your essentials!

 

Sweaty Betty Velvet Padded Bra – £45

sweaty betty, gift guide, christmas, luxe

(sweatybetty.com)

I’m honestly not sure of the usefulness of a plush velvet sports bra, but I love it anyway! In fact, Sweaty Betty doesn’t even name this a ‘sports bra’ so I vote it gets worn underneath a fancy New Years Eve outfit for some comfort! Maybe this can be a treat for the lovely lady in your life?

 

Cowshed Knackered Cow Spa in a Box – £65

gift guide, cowshed, christmas

(cowshedonline.com)

I don’t know any health and fitness person who doesn’t like a night of relaxation and indulgence. In fact, if you want to earn all the partner / sibling / bestie / housemate points, get home early, run them a bath with this gift pack and treat them to a calming pre-Christmas night in…..hmmmm can anyone do that for me?!?!

 

Indulgent gifts over £75

Urbanears Plattan 2 Bluetooth Headphones – £85

gift guide, urbanears, christmas, music

(urbanears.com)

If like me, you’re (ahem, or the person you’re buying for) constantly listening to music or a podcast in the gym or while running, then the new Urbanears wireless headphones are going to be right up their street. Foldable, and with 30 hours of wireless time, they’ll never be stuck with awful gym music again!

 

Fitbit Alta HR – £129.99

gift guide, christmas, fitbit, fitness

(fitbit.com)

If chunky heart rate monitors aren’t your favourite thing, then the Fitbit Alta HR might be the best gift yet. The slimmest fitness tracker with heart rate technology, Fitbit have designed this in a range of attractive colours. Tracking exercise, sleep, heart rate and the usual steps etc. it’s a great gift for someone who’s either a fitness pro or just beginning their healthy journey.

 

Eastpak Stand Holdall – £200

gift guide, yoga, eastpak, christmas

(Emilie James / Eastpak)

Now this is a big indulgence, but since spotting it on the lovely Emilie’s instagram (@lovaine_james) I have been in love. Eastpak are moving with the times with this limited edition range, which also includes a gorgeous back pack. This weekend bag includes a yoga mat sling, making it the perfect gift for the yogi in your life. Not keen on the colour? It comes in a dark grey/black too.

 

The list could be endless, but I’ll stop there for now. Perhaps this will give you some ideas to share with your loved ones, or help you choose the perfect gift for the fitness fanatic in your life. And hey…..don’t forget your LOVELY personal trainer….treats are ALWAYS welcome. As is chocolate.

 

*As I mentioned earlier, no brand has requested these items to be featured in this post. All views my own.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Sleep Hack Your Way to Better Recovery*

Sponsored Post in Association with Leesa* 

We all complain about being tired from time to time, but have you ever stopped to think about how your sleep is affecting your workouts, and your recovery from those workouts? I’ve teamed up with mattress company Leesa to share with you all how vital your sleep is for your health and fitness and, more importantly, how to improve your own sleep patterns.

Leesa Mattress, sleep hacks, sleep, welllness

During exercise, the body not only uses up its fluid and energy stores, it also breaks down muscle fibres throughout (oh that familiar DOMS pain). Refuelling and rehydrating are probably the first thing you think about post-workout, but do you think about how your body is going to recover overnight as well? It’s all well and good ensuring your body is replenished, but research suggests that sleep deprivation can decrease production of glycogen from carbohydrates. Glycogen storage is essential for energy production in the body, and if it’s not optimised, through lack of sleep, your post-workout nutrition becomes less beneficial.

Research also shows that lack of sleep increases your cortisol levels, the hormone linked to stress, meaning that during your activity, you could suffer from fatigue, low energy or irritability. Sleep deprivation in the long-term can also attribute to such complaints as depression, anger, confusion and mood swings.

So the solution is to get a great night’s sleep of course!! Around 8 hours is best, but talking from experience of crippling insomnia throughout my late teens and early twenties (and even sometimes now too), I know it’s not always as simple as that. I’ve learnt some techniques in my time to help me get to sleep, so I’m going to share with you my favourite sleep hacks, to help you get the best night’s sleep!

Make Your Room Your Sanctuary

Your room, and your bed, should be the most comforting place in your house. It needs to be a welcoming place where you feel calm and safe. Depending on your preference, you can go for crisp white, opulent deep shades, or like me, soft muted tones and pretty lighting. I try to keep my bedroom nice and tidy, I make my bed every morning (come on, simply pulling the covers over and straightening the sides takes literally 10 seconds) and change the bedding every week. Then, at night, I look forward to snuggling up in my little sanctuary of peace and tranquility.

Leesa Mattress, sleep hacks, sleep, wellness

Plan Your Evening

If you need to go to sleep at 11pm in order to get a solid 8 hours of shut-eye, then getting off the sofa and beginning your bed-time rituals at 10.50pm isn’t going to work. You’ve got to do the washing up, tidy away any mess from the day, get your bags ready for the next morning, remove your make-up, wash your hair maybe…all this means you won’t get near your bed until 11.30pm or later. Plan these things earlier in the evening, and make getting into your cosy bed at 11pm on the dot your priority.

Unplug

Back when my insomnia was at its worst, I had a TV, DVD player, laptop, and phone all in my room. I would typically get into bed and finish some uni work, chat on MSN, check myspace (yes, I’m that old) and watch TV for another hour before actually trying to sleep. It’s no wonder that I would be awake until the early hours with my mind buzzing. I get that it’s not easy in a house share where you sometimes need to escape to your own room to watch your cheesy rom-com in peace, but these days the only thing that enters my bedroom is my phone. I use it as my alarm, but I do get annoyed with myself when I give it one last check before I turn my light off. Remove all those distractions, and ban yourself from checking your work emails/facebook/instagram after a certain time in the evening if you’re likely to over-think what you’ve seen.

Leesa Mattress, sleep hacks, sleep, wellness

Write It All Down

If what’s keeping you awake is the endless train of thoughts that scurry through your mind, then try writing them all down. A diary, bullet journal, thought book, call it what you will, but writing down all those nagging thoughts, be they worrying, happy, silly or mundane, might just help to switch off your brain a little.

Stretch It Out

Now, I’m not suggesting throwing yourself into an hour-long yoga session just before bed, but some gentle stretches can be useful to unwind and prepare your body, and mind, for sleep. Try laying down with your legs up the wall, taking some gentle twists or forward folds before bed. You can even simply sit and take 10 deep breaths in bed before settling down. Yogic breathing can be helpful as the exhalation stimulates the nervous system to release and certain poses, particularly those with your head below your heart, can also help to relieve tension and relax.

Leesa Mattress, sleep hacks, sleep, wellness Leesa Mattress, sleep hacks, sleep, wellness Leesa Mattress, sleep hacks, sleep, wellness Leesa Mattress, sleep hacks, sleep, wellness

With all these sleep hacks in place, it’s also important that you’re comfortable in bed! Having the right mattress can make or break your sleep. I’ve been testing out Leesa’s mattress for the last month or two and I love it. It’s supportive and firm, but equally soft and  luxurious. With 5cm of cooling Avena foam on top of 5cm memory foam, it holds the body’s contours and relieves pressure without feeling too hard to sleep on. All of this on top of 15cm of durable core foam, I definitely feel a bit like the Princess and the Pea (without the actual pea of course) atop all this bedding! A good mattress definitely worth the investment. What’s great is that, with Leesa, you can try the mattress for 100 days, and if it isn’t working out, they will arrange for the mattress to be collected and donated to a charitable donation, offering you a full refund.

Leesa Mattress, sleep hacks, sleep, wellness Leesa Mattress, sleep hacks, sleep, wellness

Saying that though, I won’t be returning mine! You can grab yourselves a cheeky £50 discount on a Leesa mattress of your own using my link!

Leesa Mattress, sleep hacks, sleep, wellness

This is a sponsored post in association with Leesa. All views my own, please see Disclaimer for more information.

Sources:

https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-news/sleep-athletic-performance-and-recovery

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4008810/

Fit Find – activbod

It was a little while ago that the bright green signage of activbod in Boots caught my attention. Beauty products designed purely for active people isn’t an entirely new concept, but there’s not a lot of it around either. I thought I’d give it a go, especially as a couple of the products didn’t contain almond oil, which I’m allergic to!

activbod, bbloggers, beauty, fitness

Results You Can Feel

Activbod has been designed with athletes in mind, with the assistance of athletes themselves. Natural ingredients, with recovery aiding properties, have been researched and developed to create products that both cool and warm the skin, for use before and after exercise. Blends of aromas, unique to activbod, are also used to rejuvenate and invigorate the mind as well as the body.

activbod, bbloggers, beauty, fitness

Activbod Pick Me Up Scrub £8

A cleansing exfoliator that contains salaclyic acid and green tea help to refresh the skin, Pick Me Up Scrub unblocks pores clogged with sweat and dirt. The pepper, eucalyptus and lemon fragrance is invigorating for the body and mind, and the scrub particles remove mud, sweat and those nasty dead skin cells.

I always get rough patches on my elbows from lots of planks, sometimes without a mat when I’m teaching, and Pick Me Up Scrub does make them feel smoother. I also get ingrown hairs a lot on my legs (sorry TMI), so do love a good scrub!

Activbod Cooling Finish Lotion £12

Designed for use after exercise, this non-sticky body lotion contains menthol for a cooling sensation to the skin, that smells so refreshing. It also contains a natural deodorising ingredient, vitamin E and allantoin to repair, moisturise and protect dry skin.

I’ve discovered the Cooling Finish Lotion is AMAZING post-shave or post-wax. I also use it when I’m giving my calf muscles a mini massage…so many uses for this stuff!

Also in the activbod range is their Mind Over Matter balm (I didn’t use this myself), a pulse-point rub with scents of rosemary, peppermint and bergamot to focus the mind and prepare for exercise. They have a face scrub and shower gel too, plus some cute accessories including a towel with a zipper compartment that I wish I’d gotten my hands on!

activbod, bbloggers, beauty, fitness

activbod.com

So although you don’t really need a specific range cosmetics if you’re a gym goer or athlete, it’s nice to know it’s there, and that the ingredients have been put together for a specific purpose. It’s affordable too, and easily available at Boots or at activbod online.

Anyone else tried it? I spotted them at Be:Fit London with a large crowd around them!

Activbod gifted me with these items, all views are my own, see disclaimer for details.