How To Get Fit Without Paying Gym Fees.

Britons Spend £37 Million pounds a year on wasted gym membership and slimming classes (Daily Mail 2011)

These days it has never been easier to spend money on services that claim to make us look fit and improve our overall health.  We all want to look fantastic and wear our clothes without flab spoiling the overall effect, the concept of joining a gym automatically makes us feel conscientious and fit.  However just because you have spent £500 on an annual gym membership doesn’t mean that you will make the most of it.  In fact paying a fortune is not an incentive to visit the gym, if you are not that way inclined.  So if you are wanting to be able to buy a new wardrobe this winter with your gym membership consider trying these five ways to get fit without going to the gym:-

Trim Trails In The Park

If you thought that playground equipment is just for kids you are very wrong.  Around the perimeter of most local parks there are strategically placed pieces of playground equipment that give you the opportunity to do a proper workout while you jog around the park.  This video from Playdale playgrounds Ltd shows you trim trails in action.

Get A Fitness Game For Your Xbox (Or Any other Games Console

Get fit in front of the TV – no not by watching football. Many games consoles have interactive games which monitor your fitness and provide exercise regimes for you to do in your own living room.  As with everything to do with exercise you will have to use willpower and determination to do the exercises regularly and not sit and play a game instead.

Go Clubbing Every Weekend

We know that clubbing these days is not as hardcore as the 80’s/90’s rave scene but by making a few shapes on the dance floor and getting into the groove will make a great cardiovascular workout and leave you breathless.  You may even pull (see our final tip).

Play A Musical Instrument

If it’s calories you want to burn one hours violin playing burns off as many calories as one hour strolling in the park.  Plus you have the added benefits of making yourself more sexy and play in bands.  Using your brain burns up calories too.

Having Sex

Sadly we couldn’t find an appropriate video for this one – well we did find loads of videos of course but they all made us blush so we thought it best that if you don’t know how to do it – ask your Dad!

So you see exercise doesn’t need to be expensive or boring – if you have any other methods of keeping fit we’d love to know!


Looking After Mind, Body and Soul

If we were to believe our friends’ Facebook posts it would appear that the majority seem to be having a much better time than we are.  We all have a mate who seems to document their cool life in photographs and brilliantly written posts – they have hundreds of friends who seem to hang on to every word making their posts come up to the top many times.  Some friends do have disasters but seem to be able to document them in an amusing way so that they gain encouragement but not pity.  Comparing yourself to attention seeking friends can cause us to feel seriously inadequate and question the quality of our own lives.

These negative feelings can sometimes lead to anxiety and depression because we forget that social media is all about edited highlights, showing the best bits of people’s lives.  Remember the world is bigger than Facebook and time should be spent away from the computer, laptop or smart phone you usually access it with and life should be lived. Always seeking popularity and recognition does not make you a happier person as it just highlights insecurities that cast darkness in our lives.

Step away from the smart phone and look at the world around you, not the screen, grab your Converse sneakers and go for a healthy walk to meet real life friends and family. Fresh air and good company banishes away any negative feelings you may have. Sometimes a communal moaning session allows everyone to support each other and get their woes of their chest.

This article by Mind Body Green gives, ’15 Simple Tips To balance Mind Body And Soul’, which will help you to live life to the full and forget about social media.

How To Survive Freshers Week

Whether you hit the mark and got your university place straight away, or had to go through clearing, you will be starting to gear up to leaving home and experiencing university life.  Your parents will be feeling nostalgic and will be getting upset about you flying the nest and you will be excited with tinges of nerves.  Whether you will be going far away from home or just a couple of hours away your life will be changing forever.  You will gain independence, make new friends, have to cook your own food and do your homework without being nagged by your parents.

When you are driven to your hall of residence the car will be full of kitchen utensils you will never use, washing powder you will never use and probably a brand new piece of tech.  If you are clever you will have calculated how long you are going to leave it before you visit home and bring enough clothes to last then take them all home for mummy to wash – because she’ll love that.  Your parents will worry about you eating properly, making friends and enjoying your course when in fact this worry is misplaced because it is Freshers Week that should worry them the most.

Freshers Week is when you wear your best pair of Levis jeans and brand new trainers so you can dress to impress but are more likely to damage the knees when you lean over the toilet being sick.  Freshers Week is when all the good innocent girls and boys suddenly become rampant alcohol fuelled sex machines that cannot hold their booze.  Freshers Week is when you make loads of new cool friends that you spend the rest of your time at uni trying to un-friend. In fact during that time period your future career is the furthest from your mind.

Here are four important tips to get you through Freshers Week without causing a negative impact on your future career:-

  1. Avoid taking selfies that would get you into trouble such as; being naked, taking drugs, having sex and stealing traffic cones.
  2. Use protection – you don’t really want to make babies at this point or catch STDs (Even sexy chicks have STDs).
  3. Always carry enough cash for the taxi fare home and learn your address off by heart.
  4.  Please regulate your drinking because you really don’t want to get done for being Drunk and Disorderly or spend the night in A&E.

Whatever you do enjoy yourself but don’t put your health at risk – you will still make friends if you don’t become centre of attention.

How To Break Up Without Getting Bruised

2015 seems to be the year of the break up, One Direction has devastated tweens everywhere by announcing that they are going to spend the year apart following their own dreams. Zayn Malik and Perrie Edwards split up after a whirlwind X Factor romance, Zayn Malik broke fan’s hearts by leaving One Direction earlier in the year.  Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner have shocked fans by breaking up and even Kermit The Frog and Miss Piggy have called it a day on their long lasting romance.

Breaking up in the lime light is more difficult than for us everyday folk simply because everybody is watching every step they make.  Some manage to break up in a sophisticated manner like Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin who announced their, ‘concious uncoupling’, a while back.  While others like Katie Price and Peter Andre have never resolved their differences and seek to humiliate each other whenever the opportunity arises.

Let’s face it breaking up is difficult, whether you are the one who does the dumping or you have been dumped, it causes heartache and issues where shared friends are concerned. Here are a few tips that won’t make breaking up any easier but will help you to find a way to end an unhappy relationship respectably.

  1. Make sure that you are certain that your relationship has reached breaking point.
  2. Break up in person (don’t be a cowardly celebrity and use text messaging or social media).
  3. Be calm and give warning by saying that good phrase, ‘We need to talk’.
  4. Explain how it is the relationship that is not working and don’t make it too personal.
  5. Give time to talk it through then part amicably (hopefully).
  6. Put distance between you and don’t be tempted to go back out with each other as it will all end in disaster.
  7. Go shopping and buy that Star Wars T-Shirt she wouldn’t let you wear.
  8. Spend your time with your friends.
  9. Date again only when you are ready.
  10. When you bump into her, smile and say hello and be amicable.

There is no real advice to help a break up to be less painful but as the clichés say, ‘Time will heal’, and, ‘There are pleanty of fish in the sea’.

Back Packs To Help Prevent Back Pain

Back pain is likely to affect 80% of us at some point in our lives and it can be excruciatingly painful as well as debilitating.  There are many causes of back pain including; posture, medical conditions and general health issues.  Often we can reduce the impact of back pain by taking care of our body and changing our lives to accommodate it.  Simple measures such as; losing weight or exercising more can help us to control the pain in our backs.  In the past bed rest was considered to be a good way to deal with back pain but research has shown that keeping moving, despite the pain, is the best course of action.  Back pain can be triggered by; bad posture, turning round too quickly, stretching and carrying heavy bags – just by thinking a little bit about how you move and the pressure you put on your back is enough to make a little bit of difference to the pain you are feeling.

Carrying gadgets and lunch around can often cause pressure on your back and lead to back pain, the best type of bag to carry your stuff in is a back pack because it not only leaves your hands free it also allows the weight of your pack to be distributed down through your body. You must make sure that you wear your back pack correctly and don’t overload it or you will face further back problems. This diagram shows the correct way to carry a backpack on your back.


When you pack your back pack you must pack it in a certain order to make sure that you are distributing the weight correctly.  This diagram from, ‘Her Packing List‘, provides detailed instructions on how to pack your back pack correctly.  Obviously you will only packing a daily back pack but you can apply the instructions to whatever size back pack you are using.

These days back packs are big business and there are many designs available, Spiral and Hype produce extremely brightly coloured back packs that would look great on any holiday.  We have selected three classic back packs from Stand-Out.Net ranging from the robust Comutor 12 Hour Back Pack, The roomy Eastpak Provider Back Pack and the Classic Spiral Back Pack. These bags have all been chosen for their pedigree and because they are a good example of good value high quality back packs.


If you are already suffering from back pain and you would like to find out how to look after you back click on this link to the NHS Choices website where you will be given full details of causes, treatments and prevention of back pain

Five Great Blog Posts That Deal With Summer Office Wear

Generally when it is summer in the UK the weather is rarely dry and hot – it is often humid, muggy and sometimes chilly making our choice of clothes mismatched and generally practical.  Wearing clothes to suit how your body feels is pretty straight forward out of the office but in the office you do have to adhere to a formal dress code so it is important that you look presentable and feel comfortable at the same time.

We have scoured the internet to find blog posts that offer suggestions on the best clothes to wear at the office.


This blog post/slide show from GQ about, ‘Summer Office Wear‘, shows an interesting range of summer office clothes that you could wear or inspire you choose elements of it to look good behind your desk.


In Forbes, ‘How To Dress For Success In The Summer Months‘, is a rather brief article on what people generally wear and some office etiquette tips.


This chatty article from Stand-Out.Net ,’Dressing For Summer In The Office‘, gives tips on summer office etiquette and makes some suggestions on good value branded clothes you could buy.


Fashion Beans has pulled another great piece of advice out of the hat with their wonderfully presented, ‘Men’s Guide To Business Causal – The Summer Edition’.


Men’s Health have put together a slide show of expensive and exquisite office clothes in their article, ‘How To Dress At Work‘, although not exclusively relating to summer – they are definitely suitable for summer.

Whatever you choose to wear in the office this summer make sure that you buy a light weight rain coat so that you can dodge the summer showers.

How To Be A Barbecue King This Summer!

There is nothing more liberating than a party in the garden with burgers, beer and plenty of high jinx with your mates.  If you are hosting the party then you will be rightly crowned Barbecue King for the day.  The role of Barbecue King is a wonderful way to show your outside cooking talents, especially if you don’t do much cooking normally.  Being Barbecue king transforms you from baked beans on toast regular to being a Michelin Starred grill king, suddenly you have the innate ability to cook steak, burgers, sausages and chicken without any hesitation.  As soon as you ignite the gas or set fire to the coals in your barbecue you become life and soul of the party, super host and provider of the food.

Even the most confident Barbecue King has to make preparations for the party – there is no point leaving everything to the last minute or you you will end up calling your nearest Chinese Takeaway to make an emergency delivery.  Here are some tips to ensure that your party goes with a swing and you reign supreme for the entire summer.

Buy Fuel For Your Barbecue

Whether you use charcoal or gas you really need to make sure that you have enough of the stuff to keep the fire burning long enough to cook your banquette. If it is the first time you have ever used a barbecue then please read instructions on how to light it or you will look a bit daft otherwise. This, ‘Beginners Guide To Barbecue‘,  from StartCooking.Com is probably a very good start – it also includes some useful tips on grilling different food.

Stock Up On Meat For Your Barbie 

If you intend to be a pucker chef then you may want to tap into the wisdom of Jamie Oliver, who preaches about healthy eating but tends to cook food that would clog up your arteries if you feasted on it it regularly.  Jamie Oliver has a whole section of his website dedicated to barbecue recipes.   If you don’t feel that daring and would rather stick to the slightly charred burnt sausage style of cooking then grab a barbecue pack from your nearest supermarket and some veggie burgers as well as buns too – what ever you do don’t forget the buns! For safe cooking tips and how to avoid food poisoning – refer to this guide from NHS Choices.

Make Sure That There Is Lots Of Booze

Obviously when you invite your mates you will have said something like, ‘Bring a bottle’, or, ‘There will be booze but feel free to bring your own’, otherwise you will be bankrupt by the time you have prepared your party.  Alcohol is essential to dull the taste buds (burnt food doesn’t taste so bad when you are drunk) and it allows people to lighten up and get into the party spirit.  As host you will need to keep an eye on the lightweights around you because they have tendency to be a little bit self destructive and you don’t want a disaster on your hands.

Wear Substantial Clothes

If you are going to be standing next to an inferno that spits out boiling fat for the evening it is a good idea not to wear a vest, shorts and flip flops.  The Emergency Department in any hospital is insanely busy on barbecue and booze nights.  A superhero t-shirt like these from Logo Shirt  would make you not only King of the Barbecue but also show everyone that you have a great sense of humour.  Wear jeans and trainers to avoid being splattered and try not to be too drunk r you may pick up the tongs the wrong way round.

Make Sure Your Facebook Feed Is Up To Date

Don’t just restrict your cooking skills to be observed by your mates at the party, why not let everyone you know see your mighty reign through selfies and funny captions. A video of you tucking into your prized burger wouldn’t go a miss – as long as it is fully cooked of course!

Don’t forget to put the barbecue out at the end of your party or you may get a surprise visit from the fire brigade – though it would look good in your news feed I don’t think the fire service would be very pleased!