blogs http://www.sweatybetty.com Thu, 02 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000 en hourly 1 http://www.sweatybetty.com Sweaty Betty celebrates brilliant florals with Bloom & Wild /blog/bloom-and-wild/ /blog/bloom-and-wild/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /blog/bloom-and-wild/


Ben and Aron are the masterminds behind this innovative flower delivery service, reimagining flowers with bespoke arrangements and chic packaging designed to slip through your letterbox. And they reciprocated Sweaty Betty’s admiration, with special praise for the Neon Floral print of the Pranayama Yoga Capris.

To celebrate a mutual respect for nature and its floral inspiration, Bloom & Wild are giving all Sweaty Betty customers an exclusive discount to send letterbox flowers for just £10. Treat yourself or brighten the day of someone else with a creative flower bundle that promises a colourful surprise when you collect your post.

Read on to learn more about Bloom & Wild founders Ben and Aron. You’ll find your exclusive code at the bottom of the blog.



How did Bloom & Wild come to life?
We had the idea after we were both repeatedly disappointed by the service we received from various flower companies found on Google. Flowers were expensive and didn’t last very long! Thus the idea of Bloom & Wild was born.

Did you have any particular sources of inspiration when it came to brand identity?
At Bloom & Wild we aim to strike a balance between beauty and simplicity. And as we’re using technology to reinvent the tradition of gifting flowers, we wanted our look to reflect this with both classic elegance and a modern edge. The brand is inspired by nature and our passion for colour, beauty and scent. We also love that the brand has a slight poetic touch to it. We believe there’s a story behind every flower gift, so we’ll be introducing names for each bouquet, which are inspired by our favourite characters from literature.

Everything we design, from the packaging to the website to the flower bouquets themselves, is created with that simply beautiful experience in mind.

‘Hidden treasures in an urban jungle’ is the theme for this season’s Sweaty Betty collection. What urban gardens inspire you?
The annual RHS Chelsea Flower Show (conveniently just down the road from Bloom & Wild studios) is a treasure trove of inspiration. But we also find everyday inspiration from the miniature urban gardens that dress people’s window boxes and front doors. Another Bloom & Wild favourite is the serene and lovely Kyoto Gardens in Holland Park.

Why do you think flowers are such a great gift and so represented in art, design and fashion?
Flowers are just so fascinatingly beautiful. The range of colours and shapes in the flower world is staggering, so one would be hard pressed to not find inspiration in them.

Flowers make such great gifts because almost everyone loves them, and they are suitable for all occasions whether it’s an engagement, birthday or simple thank you. There have been studies that prove how flowers have a positive impact on people’s emotions. We’re lucky enough to have flowers in our workplace everyday and we certainly agree.

Sweaty Betty’s inspired… Head over to bloomandwild.com now and enter SWEATYBETTY10 at checkout to order your flowers for £10!]]>
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Where we're training: Exceed Physical Culture, NYC /blog/where-were-training-exceed-physical-culture-nyc/ /blog/where-were-training-exceed-physical-culture-nyc/#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /blog/where-were-training-exceed-physical-culture-nyc/ Ever ready to try out a new workout, this week saw Debbie and Alison from the Sweaty Betty USA team train at Exceed Physical Culture, an intense 50-minute full-body workout combining the best of cardio and strength training.


 
The Exceed studio is in a great location close to the SoHo Sweaty Betty store. It’s bright and welcoming with an amazing changing room area and a large open studio space decked out with kettlebells, TRX, bosu balls, medicine balls, Concept2 Rowers, and plyo boxes.


 
The staff were all super friendly and helpful. Max, the trainer who led our class, is an NSCA Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist who clearly loves helping people reach new levels of fitness.


 
The class we did with Max was a great ‘fundamentals’ class to hone our technique and develop the correct movements for Exceed’s high intense classes. We did a variety of exercises to keep us going, with a combination of equipment and training methods including kettlebells, med balls, tabata method, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), and bodyweight training.

‘There are no machines, our bodies are our machines’ says the website, and the premise of Exceed is very much on functional training methods, training whole muscle groups and working the whole body. Classes also use metabolic training methods with structured exercises with rests in between sets to maximise calorie burn and increase metabolic rate during and after workouts.

Ali and I were very sweaty after the class. It was a hard but rewarding workout and it really developed our technique.
 
Sweat + Stretch with Exceed & Sweaty Betty in Sweaty Betty SoHo, NYC
On Thursday October 9th join Exceed and SB at Sweaty Betty's SoHo boutique in NYC to sweat and stretch. Train like an athlete at one of Exceed’s ultimate full-body workouts at 5:30pm, 6:30pm or 7:30pm then stretch it out on the yoga mat with Sweaty Betty at 6:30pm or 7:30pm. You'll also be able to refuel after the class with lulutonix and massages by Mio Skincare. 

Sign up online or call Exceed Tribeca at 212-406-3600.

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Day 29: Get set to sweat /blog/day-29-get-set-to-sweat/ /blog/day-29-get-set-to-sweat/#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /blog/day-29-get-set-to-sweat/ Day 29 is your final Hiitgirl workout in the 30 Day Sweat Challenge, so take it to the max today and remember how far you've come since day 2 when you first took the Hiitgirl challenge.



Ready for the challenge? Take the workout below:

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Day 30: Benchmarking day /blog/day-30-benchmark-day/ /blog/day-30-benchmark-day/#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /blog/day-30-benchmark-day/ With 29 days ticked off the 30 Day Sweat calendar, today marks the close of the 30 Day Sweat Challenge. To see how far you've come, it's time to re-take the benchmarking test which you did on day 1.

Share your results at #SB30DaySweat for a chance to win £250 worth of Sweaty Betty vouchers. 



What improvements can you expect to see? “It depends on your starting point," explains Hiitgirl Founder Susan Dyson. "Those who are already very fit will see improvements, but not to the same extent as those who are new to exercise. For burpees and press-ups, adding 10 reps onto your score is a good target. For pendulisers, aim towards being able to complete a full minute without pausing.”

Take the benchmark test below to track your progress. Don't forget to drink at least 2 litres of filtered water today too.


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Day 27: On the home stretch /blog/day-27-on-the-home-stretch/ /blog/day-27-on-the-home-stretch/#comments Fri, 26 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /blog/day-27-on-the-home-stretch/


Susan Dyson designed the Hiitgirl workout to give busy women the best possible results without the need to camp out at the gym. No two workouts are the same and you're always being challenged and surprised, whatever the day of the week.


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Day 26: Walk the plank /blog/day-26-walk-the-plank/ /blog/day-26-walk-the-plank/#comments Fri, 26 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /blog/day-26-walk-the-plank/ Award-winning blogger Faya (Fitness on Toast) works the entire body today, giving four types of plank in her Walk the Plank Challenge.



Faya wears the Double Time Run Tank and Visama Reversible Yoga 3/4 Leggings.

The modern day human spends an disproportionate amount of time seated; at a desk, in a car, by the computer or watching TV at home. Often, this results in slumped shoulders, a curved neck, and generally 'weak posture'... and then eventually, the scourge of ageing Britain, back pain. Whilst some muscles will naturally grow tighter and others weaker, there are exercises and stretches you can perform to encourage a stronger core. The word 'core' mainly describes the central band of the torso, and the purpose of training it is to encourage better support and protection for the load-bearing joints in and around the back. Almost every move the body makes relies on the core - balance, running, reaching, lifting, kicking. Therefore it's crucial to build and maintain well-conditioned core strength. 
 
By pounding out sit-up after fruitless sit-up, in some respects you exacerbate the hunched position you already hold from sitting. But whilst sit-ups aren't a bad idea, ideally you'd want to include other exercises to improve overall core strength, to help reduce the risk of lower back pain and promote improved posture. To my mind, the plank is one of the very best exercises to work your core and below are my four favourite plank 'theme & variations' to target your core effectively. Aside from working the abs it is a full body exercise and also targets your arms, shoulders, back chest and legs. Just 15 minutes a day of the below will help improve your core condition no matter how strong you feel.
 
1) Original Plank
Such a phenomenal exercise if executed correctly, but undisciplined form when planking can aggravate the lower back especially, whilst failing to target the abs at all. So:
1. Resting on your forearms and toes, your elbows should be directly underneath your shoulders. 
2. Maintain a neutral spine throughout the exercise - this is crucial. Neither too engaged, nor disengaged, neither too arched nor curved. 
3. Keep the head neutral as well (avoid allowing your head/chin to drop or cranking it up) - hold this position whilst engaging your abs.
 
Tip: Imagine you should be able to rest a stick down your back and the only contact points should be the head, upper back and hips. 
Avoid: Sinking the lower back or an arched back, sticking your bottom or hips in the air. Relax your shoulders to avoid shrugging your shoulders toward your ears.
Simplification: Rest on your knees and forearms
 
2) Side plank
The side plank works the obliques and helps stabilise your spine. 
1. Start by lying on your side and lift yourself up into a 'straight line', by supporting your body weight between your forearm and your feet.  
2. Repeat on the other side.
 
Simplification: Rest on your knees.
Avoid: pushing your hips back behind you and/or letting them drop towards the floor. 
 
3) Superman
1. Start in the Original Plank position.
2. Slowly raise your right arm off the ground whilst at the same time lifting your left leg off the ground. Hold this position for 2-4 seconds, then release. 
3. Repeat with the opposite arm and leg, and alternate between sides in succession, until failure. 
 
4) Walking plank
1. Start in the Original Plank position.
2. Plant your right hand down, and slowly raise up, extending the arm, with your weight supported by your hand.
3. Slowly and in a controlled manner, do the same with your left hand side.
4. Both hands should now be straight under your shoulder supporting your body weight.
5. Then slowly bring your right hand down to the original plank forearm position.
6. Repeat with the left arm. Repeat the process and cycle between them in fast succession, until failure.











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Day 28: The Neom Relaxation Reward /blog/day-28-the-neom-relaxation-reward/ /blog/day-28-the-neom-relaxation-reward/#comments Fri, 26 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /blog/day-28-the-neom-relaxation-reward/

Don't forget to do Charlie's 15-minute yoga class today - watch the video below. Charlie wears the Mukha Yoga Vest and Salabasana Reversible Yoga Capris.
 
The Relaxation Reward
We spend a lot of time doing something whilst thinking about what is going to happen next. Planning and setting goals can spur us on, but too much time spent in this state can overwhelm our mind, and often this means our minds and in turn our bodies can never truly relax.
 
This exercise is about rewarding yourself with the time to do something that makes you truly happy - even though it may not serve a particular purpose. It is simply about treating yourself to something that makes you happy and focusing on doing something without any next point - a single activity you focus on which allows your mind to be calm.
 
Focus your attention in the moment, de-clutter your mind and you’ll bring true relaxation to your outlook - the perfect reward to end the 30 Day Sweat Challenge.
 
How to do this exercise:
This is actually a really simple exercise to do, but many of us forget how to do it. Children do this a lot with play time but as adults, at times we can forget that not everything we do needs to be instrumental.
1. Schedule a little time in this week to do something that is fun or relaxing that serves
no purpose.
2. Choose something that makes you happy. For example: bake a cake for no reason other than you'd like to. It’s not for anyone, or serving any purpose other than you’re enjoying the experience.
3. Write a poem or a story, even though you aren't intending to publish it.
4. Schedule yourself some time to have a bath. It’s imperative this is done without any technology - this means no looking at Facebook whilst in the tub! No phones, books or time limits. Use fragrance oil or muscle soak. My favourite is Neom Real Luxury with de-stressing properties. Adding something like this makes that bath work twice as hard for your body and mind, naturally.
 

Today's the day to do Charlie’s stretch class. Try it home below.

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Day 26: The Detox Kitchen /blog/day-26-the-detox-kitchen/ /blog/day-26-the-detox-kitchen/#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /blog/day-26-the-detox-kitchen/ The Detox Kitchen challenge you to squeeze in 10 portions of fruit and vegetables today!
 
Experts suggest that we should strive for 7 portions or more of fruit and vegetables per day, with 10 being the optimum number. Sound like a lot? Fear not, we have put together a day's menu that includes 10 portions and we bet that by the end of it you’ll be surprised how easy it was, amazed by how delicious it was and impressed with your increased energy levels.


Egg and avocado

Spicy green juice
This juice is guaranteed to wake you up in the morning!

1 portion of veg and 1 portion of fruit 
2 courgette
½ cucumber
1 stick celery
2 apples
1 thumbsized piece of ginger
1 handful watercress
  •  
To make: Juice the courgette, cucumber, celery, apples and ginger. Place the juice in a blender with the watercress and ice. Blitz and drink immediately.
 
Tip: Starting off with a juice is a perfect way to pack in some nutrients before the madness of your day begins. Eat with a handful of nuts and seeds to ensure you are also getting some fibre.

Breakfast: Egg and avocado
Start your day in the strongest way with protein and omega 3
 1 portion of fruit
1 egg
½ avocado
Juice ½ lemon
1 tsp toasted sunflower seeds
1 handful watercress
Salt
 
To make: Boil the egg for 6-8 minutes. Peel and set aside. Peel the avocado and remove the stone, dice and mix with the lemon juice, sunflower seeds, watercress, salt and pepper. Serve the egg on top.  
 
Tip: Getting low fructose fruit into your breakfast routine can sometime be difficult but avocado is a breakfast winner! Have it on toast, in a smoothie or with eggs - it will fill you up and is a super nutritious way to start your day.



Raw cacao truffle

Snack: Raw cacao truffle
1 portion of fruit 
5 dates
1 handful hazelnuts
1 tsp raw cacao, extra for dusting
Pinch cinnamon
 
To make: Soak the dates and hazelnuts for 20 minutes. Place all the ingredients in a mini blender and blitz. Mould into two small balls and dust with cacao powder.
 
Tip: Make these in bigger batches. They make for a perfect snack throughout the day and will give you a good energy boost when you need it.


Lunch: Sweet potato with spinach and courgette salad and yogurt dressing
2 portions of veg 
1 sweet potato
2 handfuls spinach, roughly chopped
2 courgettes, cut into strips or use a spiralizer to create courgetti
1 handful cashew nuts, toasted and roughly chopped
1 spring onion, finely chopped
1 tsp rapeseed oil
Juice ½ lemon
 
For the dressing:
2 tbsp soya yogurt
Zest 1 lemon
Salt and pepper
 
To make: Place the sweet potato in the oven and roast for 30-40 minutes until tender. Make the salad by combining all the ingredients. Make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients. Once the sweet potato is cooked, slice it open down the middle, stuff with the salad and drizzle with the dressing.
 
Tip: Roast the potato off the night before and prepare the dressing, then when it comes to lunchtime all you have to do is knock together the salad. Easy, quick and super nutritious.
 
Pudding: Apple with flaked sea salt
1 portion of fruit 
Cut and core the apple then sprinkle with a tiny pinch of sea salt. Sounds strange but it's delicious, a bit like eating a sour-sweet apple.
 
Tip: Apples are the best fruit for flinging into your bag when you're in a rush. Stock up on them in your weekly shop and munch throughout the week.
 

Salmon with tomato, sprouts and chickpea salad

Dinner: Salmon with tomato, sprouts and chickpea salad
2 portions of veg 
 1 portion salmon fillet
100g cherry tomatoes, halved
50g sprouts
50g mange tout, finely chopped
1 spring onion, finely sliced
½ tin chickpeas, drained
Juice ½ lemon
1 tsp rapeseed oil
1 tsp toasted sunflower seeds
 
To make: Place the salmon on a baking tray and sprinkle with the lemon zest and ginger. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until cooked throughout. Meanwhile, to make the salad, simple mix all the ingredients together and season. Serve the salmon warm with the salad.
 
Tip: This recipe is great if you find that you never have enough time in the evening to cook. The salmon can be placed in the oven and by the time it's cooked you’ve knocked up the salad which involved no cooking whatsoever. 

Pudding: Frozen banana ice cream
1 portion of fruit 
1 frozen banana
50ml rice milk
1 pinch cinnamon
 
To make: Place all the ingredients in a blender and blitz to a smooth consistency.
 
Tip: If you keep a couple of bananas in the freezer this pudding will always be on call. And bananas are a great evening pud as they contain tryptophan, which is converted to serotonin and melatonin to both calm down the brain and help you to doze off quicker. 
 
 
 
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Day 25: Get set to sweat /blog/day-25-fitness-on-toast-the-plank-challenge/ /blog/day-25-fitness-on-toast-the-plank-challenge/#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /blog/day-25-fitness-on-toast-the-plank-challenge/

 
Ready for the challenge? Take the workout below:

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Day 24: The Detox Kitchen's 10 a day /blog/day-24-the-detox-kitchens-10-a-day/ /blog/day-24-the-detox-kitchens-10-a-day/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /blog/day-24-the-detox-kitchens-10-a-day/ The Detox Kitchen challenges you to squeeze in 10 portions of fruit and vegetables today...
 
Experts suggest that we should strive for seven portions or more of fruit and vegetables per day, with ten being the optimum number. Sound like a lot? Fear not, we have put together a day's menu that includes ten portions and we bet that by the end of it you’ll be surprised how easy it was, amazed by how delicious it was, and impressed with your increased energy levels.


Figs, blueberries and nut granola

Get your juice in and drink the rainbow...

Red Juice
1 portion of veg and 1 portion of fruit:

1 beetroot
3 sticks of celery
1 carrot
2 apples
1 thumb-sized piece ginger
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To make: Simply put all the ingredients through the juicer and serve with a couple of ice cubes.
 
Tip: Starting off with a juice is a perfect way to pack in some nutrients before the madness of your day begins. Eat with a handful of nuts and seeds to ensure you are also getting some fibre.

Supercharge your muesli with some fruit, seeds and nuts...

Breakfast: Figs, blueberries and nut granola
1 portion of fruit:
5 brazil nuts
5 cashew nuts
5 almonds
3 figs, cut into quarters
Handful blueberries
100g soya yogurt
 
To make: Place the nuts in a blender and blitz so that they are finely chopped. If you don’t have a blender you can do this by hand.  Place the nuts on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes until lightly golden. Serve with the figs, blueberries and soya yogurt.
 
Tip: Make a batch of nut granola for the week and keep it in an airtight container. This is a great way to start the day but you can also snack on the delicious nutty granola throughout the day. 
 
Snack: Hummus and cucumber
1 portion of veg
¼ tin chickpeas
1 tsp sesame seeds
Juice ½ lemon
Pinch salt and pepper
Drizzle rapeseed oil
1 cucumber, cut into bite-sized batons
 
To make: Place the chickpeas, sesame, lemon, oil, salt and pepper in a blender and blitz to a coarse texture. Serve with the cucumber batons and a little sprinkling of rock salt.
 
Tip: Make a bigger quantity of hummus and add it to your salad for an extra boost. Hummus will keep in the fridge for up to three days, so its worth making a little extra.


Buckwheat and peach salad

Lunch: Buckwheat and peach salad
2 portions of veg
70g Buckwheat
1 handful flaked almonds
1 stick celery, finely diced
1 handful pistachios, shelled
Juice of half lemon
1 tsp rapeseed oil
A few mints leaves, finely chopped
Salt
Pepper
2 doughnut peaches
 
To make: Place the buckwheat in a pan and wash it under cold running water, then drain and fill the pan with cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Mix the rest of the ingredients together apart from the peaches. Remove the stone from the peaches, roughly dice them and add to the dish.
 
Tip: Adding fruit to your lunch is a great way of boosting your intake and can be a deliciously refreshing addition. These peaches are great this time of year, they provide a wonderful sweetness and a lovely crunch to the dish.  
 
 Pudding: Apple with flaked sea salt
 1 portion of fruit 

To make: Cut and core the apple then sprinkle with a tiny pinch of salt. Sounds strange but it's delicious, a bit like eating a sour apple sweet.
 
Tip: Apples are the best fruit for flinging into your bag when you're in a rush. Stock up on them in your weekly shop and munch throughout the week.


Chicken burger with cucumber and radish salad

Dinner: Chicken burger with cucumber and radish salad
2 portions of veg
For the burger:
1 fillet chicken breast
1 egg
1 tbsp wheat-free flour
2 spring onions
1 handful chives
1 handful coriander
Salt and pepper
 
½ cucumber, sliced
5 radishes, halved
½ courgette, diced
1 tbsp edamame beans
1 tsp toasted sunflower seeds
Juice ½ lemon
1 tsp rapeseed oil
 
To make: Place all the burger ingredients in a blender and blitz to combine. You want a fairly coarse texture that forms together when you mould it into the burger shape. Shape the mixture and place on a baking tray. Cook under the grill for 10 minutes on each side.
 
To make the salad, mix all the ingredients together. Serve with the burger.
 
Tip: Raw salad with good lean protein are the perfect combination at dinner. The protein is filling and satisfying whilst the raw salad tops you up with nutrients and gives your digestive system a bit of a rest overnight.
 
Pudding: A handful of raspberries with Coyo yogurt
1 portion of fruit
70g raspberries
1 tbsp Coyo yogurt
1 tsp honey
 
To make: Mix the raspberries with the coyo and enjoy.
 
Tip: It's always good to have a little treat after dinner and this will keep the sugar cravings at bay before bed time. Fresh raspberries with honey is the perfect amount of sweet and sour!
 
 Don't forget to do the glute pulse challenge today, then It's time to move onto day 25.

 
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