Alaska Salmon Fried Rice – High Protein And Super Easy!

Take your canned salmon to the next level with eggy rice and a chilli kick!

A tasty, low calorie dish that’s perfect for fakeaway night or as a high protein meal prep option!

Serves: 4

Total Time: 30 minutes

 

Macros Per Portion

Calories 401 Kcal

Carbs 40g

Fibre 18g

Protein 30g

Fats 13g

 

Ingredients

400g Canned Alaska Salmon

5 Spring Onions

4 Eggs

3 Tbsp Reduced Salt Soy Sauce

2 Cloves of Garlic

2 Fresh Red Chillies

2 x 250g Pouches of Cooked Rice

Handful of Coriander (To Serve)

Large Knob of Ginger

Salt

Vegetable Oil

 

Method

    1. Start by dicing all your vegetables (spring onions, chilli, garlic and ginger).

    2. Heat a frying pan with a glug of vegetable oil, add your chopped veg and stir (saving some chilli and spring onion for garnish).

    3. Add in your canned salmon and stir it through.

    4. At this point, add the rice straight from the pouches. Fry for a couple of minutes.

    5. Egg time. Crack your eggs into a bowl along with a big pinch of salt and whisk.

    6. Make a well in your frying pan and pour the whisked egg into the middle. Start mixing the egg with your spoon. As it cooks, fold it into the rice.

    7. Drizzle over your soy sauce, scatter over your leftover chilli flakes, spring onions and chopped coriander, then tuck in!

     

From Our Friends At

Mob Kitchen Logo

 

This recipe is courtesy of our friends over at Mob Kitchen.

You can find this and other great options for you and your ‘Mob’ to try over at their website: http://www.mobkitchen.co.uk/.

Yoga For Lower Back Pain: Strengthen, Stretch And Relax Your Back

Workout Style: Strengthen & Stretch Yoga

Focus Areas: Lower Back

Difficulty: Beginner

Total Time: 30 minutes

 

 

What Is Included In This Workout

In this beginner’s yoga practice, we’re going to be focusing on managing and relieving lower back pain.

The most important thing to remember is that this class is aimed to increase strength in your lower back, help you gain stability, and most importantly, find relief.

This class should at no point create any numbness, pain or make your back feel uncomfortable in any way. If any of these occur, then please consult a doctor.

 

From Our Friends At

Do Yoga With Me Logo

This session is courtesy of our friends over at Do Yoga With Me. You can find this and hundreds of other fantastic Yoga videos, articles and advice over on their website – Do Yoga With Me. We hope you enjoy!

8 Things To Consider About Your Post-Lockdown Exercise Routine

Women working out together in gym class

Lockdown and the Covid-19 Pandemic were a major disruption to many of our workout cycles, including my own. The closure of gyms, the shifting of work schedules, and the rewiring of our social lives all took their toll and took us out of the natural rhythm we were in pre-2020.  

It can be hard to get back into the swing of things. If an activity, such as going to the Gym, has a regular slot or time hollowed out in your schedule, it is that much easier to stick to.

However, just as Lockdown scrambled our schedules. Over a year later, the lifting of that Lockdown threatens to do the same.

Regular exercise is important for all aspects of our health, be it mental or physical. And as such, it is important to get that routine back in full swing as soon as possible. You’ve got to enjoy the exercise routine you set out for yourself, and if you are constantly trying to make time, or worse, feeling guilty about not making time, then it will all be for nought. 

 

As such, I’ve put together some tips from my hard-learned experience and others about how to get back into an exercise routine that works for you, ready for the reopening of Gyms and Fitness Clubs throughout the country. 

 

1. Plan a Routine

An old Prussian General called Moltke the Elder once said that no plan survives the first encounter with an enemy. In the same vein, no workout routine really survives the first encounter with reality.

But that is no excuse not to plan. Moltke was a master-planner and his strength was recognising that a plan was necessary, but that flexibility was paramount.

His philosophy lives on today in the AGILE method of work used in offices. And it should be used in planning your workout routine. Your plan is your guideline, and if a part of it doesn’t work out, it should be flexible to cope and adapt to that. 


Sometimes something will get in the way, an important meeting, a family emergency. Have overflow in your routine to be able to slot in a backup workout session without it feeling like a defeat. A friend of mine has a two-tier system. He strives to go to his gym at lunch every day, and if he can’t, he goes after work. It is simple but effective. Giving him the wriggle-room necessary to adapt to his mood. 

 

2. Trial Your Routine 

Visiting our good friend the General for some more advice. Trial your routine and learn from that test.

Did you try to work out at Lunch every day this week? Did you feel really hungry and tired in the latter part of the day? Maybe every day is too much, maybe Lunch isn’t the time for you. 

 

Did you set out an ambitious plan and end up only sticking to half of it? That might be a good indication to scale back your plan. Not by the full 50% you missed, but maybe by around 70 to 80%. See how your next week goes. 

 

Remember the days that work really well. Did Thursday’s workout feel beautifully stress free because you have nothing on in the evening after work? Then lock that one in place. Did Friday Evening on the other hand drag because you were missing out on all that weekend goodness. Then maybe try and lock in Friday morning instead. Adapt and learn from your routine. Otherwise you’ll forever be hostage to something you aren’t enjoying, poor motivation to stick to it, and no good for your mood or self-esteem. 

 

3. Variety is the Spice of Life. What do you want to do?

While this list is mainly focused on lockdown ending and the return to your Gym or Fitness Club, that doesn’t mean it is the only thing you need to do.

 

Mix it up. Classes will be reopening now with the lifting of restrictions and that means an unprecedented amount of variety. And I’m not limiting this to just resistance and spin classes. There is a whole world opening out there again. Dancing, football, rock climbing, paddleboarding. There are a hundred ways to move your body, so don’t limit yourself to 30 minutes on the treadmill every day.

We’ve spent a good portion of this year trying to reconstruct a routine under a limited set of parameters. It is time to get out there and find out what you love and what works for you.

 

4. Find a friend

Speaking of limitations. Another limitation you no doubt keenly felt this past year, unless you live on a commune, is the inability to see your friends.

What better way to reintroduce yourself to the world then by syncing up some of your workout routines with a friend. This will be a great way to get back to socialising and make your restart less daunting.


In addition, you and your friend will be able to keep each other honest. With someone to motivate you and observe your triumphs and failings, your journey to a fitness routine will be that much easier. 

 

5. Find a Target

So I’ve run out of quotes from our friend the General, but I’m pretty sure he didn’t make all those plans without a goal in mind. So let’s talk about targets.

 

A routine isn’t going to do all that much unless you have a target in mind. Now this target isn’t set in stone. As we discussed in point one, you’ll be shifting aspects of your routine as you learn what works and what doesn’t.

Your targets are the same. This will either be because you achieve them, or because your values change. Want to dress up as Conan the Barbarian for Halloween? Might need some more Chest Press in that routine. Halloween passed and you are now trying to keep that winter weight at bay? To the treadmill my friend.

Your circumstance and desires as you go through life will change, and your routine will change with it. But always have a goal, even if it is as minor as to just keep maintaining your existing gains. 

 

Finally, think about what really motivates you to exercise. It doesn’t have to be something grandiose like winning Mr Universe. It can be as simple as because you really enjoy exercising, or because it puts you in a good state of mind for work, or for the evening at home.

 

6. Don’t Burn Yourself Out

Leading on nicely. Be kind to yourself, in your routine, and your target. It has been a tough and extraordinary time over the last eighteen months. And many of us are in a very different place to where we were before.

This doesn’t mean you need to crack out the whip and pump iron until you can’t move. That is, in fact, the opposite of useful. What we are looking to do is build a sustainable, responsible but effective routine. 


And you hitting the gym twice a day, seven days a week until you’ve atoned for that lost year isn’t any of those things. It isn’t sustainable as you won’t keep it up and form a habit. It isn’t responsible as you may well damage your body, and it isn’t effective because you need time to recover.


Obviously, that is an extreme example, but we all have limits and this lockdown represents the perfect storm to accidentally over-exert yourself. You never want to hit the point where a workout will be pointless damage to your body. Sustainability is the name of the game. Ideally, you want this routine to be one you are doing for a long time (albeit with minor tweaks). 

 

7. Make sure to get enough rest

Once again with an effortless segue between topics, the last point reinforces why it is all the more important to factor REST into your routine. Like Plato understood when he was hanging out in a cave, without the dark we cannot know the light. And without rest, we cannot get the results we desire.

 

While it might not be as glamorous as going up another 5k in your reps and sets. It is how you are going to enable your body to make those improvements and therefore it can’t be taken for granted.

 

As we referenced in points 1 and 2, this means that if you have a day where you’ve got a workout planned and your body just doesn’t feel ready. The issue might not be with you, but with your routine. Examine it closely, is this a one-off, or are you pushing yourself too hard. The last thing anyone wants, you most of all, is permanent damage to your body. Your routine should be designed to protect you from this possibility, but if you ever feel yourself falling out of sync. Rest up.

 

8. Your Point of View

Mindset is key in every walk of life. Whether something is bearable or unbearable will nearly always come down to mindset and your Gym or Fitness Club workout routine is no exception.

Whether or not you are finding the workout enjoyable is what really matters. As I mentioned in the variety section, find out what works for you. As I mentioned in the Target section, understand what benefits you and your body. But most importantly it has got to be something you enjoy doing. Take my go-to example, the rear delt fly. I literally look forward to the moment I can sit down and do that exercise. And that is how you should eventually feel about at least one aspect of your routine, and preferably more.

There will always be parts you enjoy less. I hate treadmills if you couldn’t tell. But I still get on one because I recognise it is an important part of what will help keep me in good shape. (And if I’m not feeling like it, see point 2, I just use the cross-trainer instead). 

 

And In Closing…


If you’ve been paying attention, you might have noticed that a lot of this revolves around planning, trial, and error. Finding your feet with a new routine post-Lockdown is going to be all about practice, perseverance, and persistence.

Remember it isn’t a race against anyone else other than yourself. We have all been locked away for a long time, and many of us haven’t exercised around other individuals in over a year. Celebrate your successes, learn from your failures. If you can celebrate the successes of others then all the better. 

 

The Gym and Fitness Club environment is going to continue to be strange for a while to come. Covid-19 safety restrictions and measures will continue to be in force, and the looming threat of another lockdown is a distinct possibility as we move into the winter.

As such, it is all the more important that you remain optimistic, structured yet flexible in your approach to working out. Utilise your Gym or Fitness Club while you can, as long as it is safe and appropriate to do so. 


This journey is all about improving yourself in whatever ways you want and that is worthy of celebration. It is harder than it sounds, but if done right, it is worth doing. Good luck!

When Should You Go To The Gym and Train Post-Lockdown?

Clock

For as long as I’ve been going to the gym, me and my friends and my Gym acquaintances will get into debates. Some seem quite antiquated these days (namely, should you clean your Gym Equipment after use). But some are still relevant now we are hopefully moving past the Covid-19 Lockdown. 


Namely, what is the right time to go to the Gym? Is it at 10:45pm so that when you arrive there is no one but you and the guy wearing a mask that makes it harder for him to breathe? Or is it at 5am, where it is probably quiet but you risk running into the practitioners of Yogalates? Maybe it is at lunchtime because that is when everyone else seems to go? Ah, maybe not.

If you already have your answer, you might not need to stick with me on this one. But maybe you are feeling academic. Maybe you are feeling like switching it up now we are exiting Lockdown. Or maybe you haven’t made up your mind at all. If that is the case, keep on scrolling.  

 

As you hopefully realise, there isn’t going to be a silver bullet, miracle answer at the end of this blog. But hopefully I’ll be able to impart some knowledge and insight into when might be the best slot for you, and whether the strategy of mixing and matching the times where you visit the Gym might be better. 

 

Exercising at night. Better Sleep or Blighted Sleep?

So here is a talking point you’ve probably heard before if you’ve spent any amount of time around Gym People. The question goes, does working at night, before bed, kill your sleep quality and mess up your sleeping schedule?

If you are like me, you’ve heard people tell you both answers. They can’t get to sleep without their evening pump. Or they can’t get to sleep after it. 


While I fully believe the people who say they sleep better, chances are that they are in the minority on this one. It is generally accepted that working out immediately before you go  to sleep is not a good idea, and will impact most people’s quality of sleep.

However, that being said doesn’t make night workouts a no go. It just means you need to be careful. Plan a barrier of an hour or more between your Night Workout and the time you go to bed and you can still get away with this quiet, cosy workout slot. 

 

Additionally, working out in the evening is a great chance for you to blow off some steam and disperse the tension and stress of the day. Additionally, you’ll most likely be sitting on a lot of fuel from your lunch and dinner that you’ve had during the day. So there are definite benefits if you can pull this one off!

 

Your Internal Clock: Work around your strengths

You’ve most likely heard the phrase ‘Biological Clock’ before. The concept that people have times where they would normally be awake and more functional if left to their own devices, and times where they are less functional if you forcibly wake them.


This often comes into place with Teenagers, who tend to have biological clocks that trend towards 12 to 2pm in the afternoon as the ideal time to wake up. That being said, I know plenty of adults who work on this scale, so it isn’t a hard and fast rule. Everyone is different and the same person can have a different biological clock in their 20s to the one that they’ll have in their 30s. 

 

What this means for the purpose of my article here today is that, the time that worked for you pre Covid-19 might not be the time that works for you post Covid-19. 


Time has moved on, you have most likely changed and your routine may have as well. Examine your daily routine before you go back to the gym. Do you no longer feel as spry as you once did in the mornings and now really come into your own past midnight? Or conversely, did lockdown turn you into a Yogalates practicing juice drinker? Either is great, as you long recognise it and plan around it. 

 

How About Lunch?

No, I’m not asking you to lunch. In the introduction I mentioned lunch. Now, as you may remember pre-lockdown. A sizable portion of any given office staff in a city love to go the Gym at lunch. It makes sense right? You are in the area, you have an hour to kill. You are mid-way through the day and you’ve just had food or you’ll have some afterwards?

Unfortunately, an intuitive time does not always make a good gym-slot. And that is because of two key things. Overcrowding, and time restrictions.

Post Covid-19, Gyms and Fitness Clubs are going to have to be much stricter on the number of people that can go into any given workout area at any given time. In addition to that, everyone will be spending additional time cleaning any gym equipment they use.

Therefore, unless you plan to spend the entire hour gunning it on a treadmill, everyone’s workout will be taking a lot longer, during a lunch hour that was already pushing it in terms of efficiency. 

 

The only positive for lunch-time workout hour I can see post-Lockdown is that with the rise of Working From Home, actual office workers might be in scarcer supply in the big cities. 


But conversely, they will be more prevalent in suburbia. Understand your area and the behaviour patterns of the Gym-Goers in your area for the best, least stressful results.

 

So you want to use the Best Machines and Equipment?

Every Gym or Fitness Club I’ve ever been to has had certain pieces of equipment in short supply. Sometimes it isn’t even for a lack of trying on the Gym’s part. I’ve seen 3 to 4 Chest Press Machines all be consistently full during a 1 to 2 hour period. Sometimes you just can’t plan for the demand. 

 

As I covered in the last section, this problem is only going to become more acute for, at the very least, a while after the Covid-19 lockdown is lifted. 

 

Gyms and Fitness Clubs will be rightly prioritising hygiene and unfortunately that will result in long cleaning times, especially on the desirable machines.

The implication of this is that if you want to do a workout at your own pace, you are going to have to find a comparatively quiet time, or series of quiet times. 

 

One semi-reliably quiet time at the moment seems to be the very early morning. Getting your workout in while it is still dark out can be a challenge, but also very rewarding. The lack of distraction on that cursed mobile phone we all have will do you the world of good. And, at least for me, starting the day at the Gym really feels like I’ve achieved something before the rest of the world is awake. 

 

If you like structure and minimal wait time between equipment use, then starting the day at the Gym can be a real boon. But as we covered earlier, if your biological clock isn’t ringing until 11:30am, this might not be the one for you. 

 

Closing Thoughts: On Convenience, and whether to be Consistent or Consistently Inconsistent?

Convenience is a double-edged sword, as you might’ve reflected as you read my thoughts on this matter. Any time that might work well for you, might work well for other people.

As such, it becomes important to understand who you are sharing a Gym or Fitness Club environment with. If 40% of the membership is there at 6am everyday, then perhaps it is time to consider going after work.

And equally, as I’ve implied throughout this article, there is nothing saying you have to go at set times of the day. In his autobiography, Total Recall, Arnold Schwarzenegger talks about how he felt he got the most gain when he started training at two separate times of the day. And that seems to have worked well enough for him! 

 

Jokes aside, the best time to visit the Gym will ultimately be the time that works for you. It sounds like a cop out, but it is the truth. Personally, I am someone who thrives when I am doing workouts at irregular times, depending on the day. Before lockdown I’d only ever be found in the Gym immediately after work on a Friday, because I knew it would be dead.


This sort of agile approach can allow you to access the great slots without locking yourself into bad slots. But it isn’t for everyone. I hope you can make the right decision for you, and I hope my thoughts have helped.


Good luck! 

Use It Or Lose It: Creating a Daily Movement Regime During The Covid-19 Lockdowns

Mother and daughter stretching together

Upon hearing the words ‘Daily Movement Regime’, your first reaction might easily be skepticism. We move everyday right? Sure, we do. But are we moving enough? And are we moving in the right ways?


This was a pertinent question even before 2020 and 2021, with the Covid-19 Pandemic and the Lockdown to combat it, it has only become more pertinent!

Over Lockdown, large swathes of the population had their routines altered. At the time of writing, many of them still have routines unrecognisable from how they were in 2019.

But as the prospect of society re-opening and shifting to more resemble how it was ‘before’, we have decided to put together a brief article detailing how you can construct a Daily Movement Regime to get yourself ready for a more active life slowly and without the risk of injury. 

 

What is a Daily Movement Regime

So, the good news is that our remit and mission statement is broad. A Daily Movement Regime is a way to standardise and study how much you move in a day, how you could move more and do low intensity, high impact movements like stretching and walking to improve your body. 


As the title of this blog implies, if you don’t use it, you lose it, and over Lockdown many people stopped ‘using it’.

And as such, it is time to get back into the habit of using it.

We will be looking specifically at a Daily Movement Regime through the lens of Lockdown, Working From Home, and Lockdown easing. But of course, if that is all a distant memory by the time you read this, it will still be useful!

 

Your Commute

Are you working from home, then congratulations! You’ve just identified a portion of time you have now that you didn’t have in 2019.

Take the time you spent commuting to work (or round it up to ten minutes if you happen to live right next to your work) and use the time you would’ve spent getting ready in the morning to get moving. 


This could be the stretches we are going to look into shortly, or it could be a ‘fake commute’. Walking 10/20 minutes in your local area early in the morning. Not only is this a positive way to start the day, it also sets the tone nicely.

 

Get Moving to Music 

Speaking of a commute. What commute wouldn’t be complete without music?


This doesn’t just go for your walks either. Swapping out a Podcast, an Audiobook or the Television during work hours for some energetic music will help. 


Renowned good-time guy, Friedrich Nietzsche once said that ‘we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once’ and we think on at least this count, he was on the money.


Dancing is an incredibly beneficial act, not only physically but psychologically. Find a song you love, and as Mark Twain said, dance like nobody’s watching. (And then pray no-one is actually watching). 

 

Move whilst at your Desk

You needn’t even get up to dance or stretch.


There are stretches and exercises that can be done at your desk, during a meeting or just when you have a few minutes between calls or projects.

Shoulder rolls, wrist exercises, arm stretches, breathing exercises and neck movements are all possible whilst sitting down and can make you feel limber after only a few minutes. 

 

Going Mobile

Consider investing in a Wireless Headset if you find yourself the recipient of endless Zoom invites.

This will allow you to contribute to the conversation while getting away from your desk. Look into low energy exercises you can do whilst talking about Q3 and suddenly you’ll be turning boring meeting time into Yoga time. Result.

This also applies to the much more tried and tested ‘standing up during work phone calls’.

Providing you don’t need to be at your workstation, a phone call is the perfect opportunity to stretch your legs, arms and anything else that we have covered. 

 

Yoga Apps 

If you don’t fancy leaving the house on your morning commute. There are a variety of free Yoga Apps that will act as an instructor for you and take into account the amount of space you may or may not have.


These apps can be perfect for brief, 5 minute exercises during a down-moment at work.

Yoga is calming and centring, so it will also, if done correctly, benefit your productivity as well as your bodily health. 

 

Research a Routine that works for you and mix it up:

Lastly, be on the lookout for new stretches and always be open to adding new exercises to your routine.

As we mentioned, Yoga Apps will be a great fountain of ideas. As will YouTube videos. 


We already covered some basic workouts above but don’t be afraid to write out your own list.

In his autobiography, Total Recall, Arnold Schwarzenegger talked about how he always found the most effective exercise regimes were when he was mixing up the order in which he did his exercises every day. 

 

This can be valuable for creating an energy to your stretches that isn’t just the same 5 exercises every day.

 

Step it up

Once you’ve been doing a Daily Movement Regime for a while, start to incorporate more strenuous exercises in there that can still be done at a moment’s notice but with little preparation. A few sit-ups, a few push-ups mid-way through stretching will be a good start.

Make sure you stretch enough beforehand to warm up your muscles though, don’t go cold into a set of push-ups unless you know what you are doing.

If you have stairs in your house or flat, doing incline push-ups or ‘stair’ push-ups is an easy gateway into a higher level of fitness and muscle development. 

 

Good Luck in forming this great new habit and routine

 

Now the only thing left to do is incorporate this way of thinking into your day to day life while working from home.

Working from home quite literally allows us a scope for freedom of movement that we just weren’t allowed in most offices, and it is time to take full advantage of that. If you are worried you won’t be able to retain the information we’ve covered, either make a note of it or bookmark the page.

Consider creating a folder or playlist of YouTube Videos, Apps and Blogs that have contained exercises and routines that look promising. The less of a barrier there is between you and this knowledge, the more likely you are to effect changes that will matter in your life.

 

Thank you for reading and good luck! 

Getting Ready For The Gym After a Year of Lockdowns

2021 goals checklist

After well over a year of intermittent closures for nearly all Gym’s and Fitness Clubs across the nation, most of us are very excited to return to an electronic rowing machine or load up our barbell.

And with that in mind, we must all be very careful not to overdo it. As Owners, Managers and Fitness Fanatics, it is important that we prepare to ease ourselves into working out in a professional and responsible environment and all return to the gym in as safe a manner as possible. 

 

We’ve gathered our best insights for the coming lifting of lockdown and our full (and hopefully permanent) return to normality. 

 

Start stretching to prepare your body


The Oldies are the Goodies as they say, and this one is no exception.

Many of us have fallen out of the habit of stretching over lockdown. Even fitness friends who have been working out from home have felt that their homes and gardens do not provide the same scope for pre-workout and post-workout maintenance as the Gym once did.

And we all know what a huge role stretching plays in injury prevention and muscle growth.

A lot of peers have been worried that it’ll be hard to get back into the stretching routines that we had pre-lockdown.

Try to put a real focus on stretching by reading blogs and watching videos that detail new and old stretching routines. Now is the perfect time to mix up your stretching game in a big way! 

This will help with our transition back into the Fitness Club and Gym environment in a responsible way and hopefully leave us in better standing than we were pre-lockdown.

As it proved with many things, Lockdown might be the idea time to break some negative cycles of behaviour. 

 

Be mindful and careful as you return to a more intense workout environment 

 

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was Adonis or Arnie.

 

As we return to these more high-pressure and intense workout environments, it is more important than ever to be, be patient with yourself.

You may not be able to push yourself as fast, or as hard, or for the same length of time as you did pre-Lockdown. And that is okay, especially if you were taken ill and even if you weren’t. It is of utmost importance that you return in a responsible and mindful manner. There is no point having waited 4 or 15 months to return to the gym only to break your body as you try and do an obscene weighted pull-up.

Slow and steady wins the race and just because you’ve been spinning your wheels for a set amount of time doesn’t mean you need to go crazy on your first session. In fact, it means quite the opposite! 

 

Increase the amount of low-level exercise you’ve been doing from Lockdown Levels

 

I think it is safe to say that a good portion of the UK population started to move less during Lockdown. If you didn’t have a garden, your outside options were severely curtailed. Even if you did have a garden, the scope and applications for an outdoor space dramatically lessened.

Many people stopped needing to commute, stopped doing outdoor classes, sporting events, marathons, gigs, or even just being able to walk twice a day.

As such, you should make a conscious effort to increase the amount you are active consistently in the time running up to your triumphant return to the Gym.

 

Couch to 5k or Home-Workout Initiatives

 

Not comfortable returning to your Gym or Fitness Club as soon as Lockdown is lifted? Then why not try one of the popular health apps or programmes that can be done at home or outside around your local area.

Couch to 5k has become a household name and for good reason! Apps like Zombies, Run or None To Run offer more interesting and fun alternatives to the poster boy of the movement.


Or if you fancy something more based on weight-training and muscles, there are also sorts of good home-workout Apps, such as the official Apps provided by Athlean-X of YouTube fame.


All of these resources are free and will get you slowly and responsibly ready for your return to the Gym in your own time. 

 

Monitor yourself: Understand what you can do currently and where you want to be


During lockdown, we fitness fanatics learnt to improvise, adapt and overcome as the saying goes. And this was very apparent when it came to how we were working out.

Suddenly our Kettle Bells were replaced with heavy bottles of water and the door-frame was creaking under the strain of a pull-up bar. 

As such, your body is most likely not at the same level it was if you were a regular gym-goer before Lockdown and the Covid-19 Pandemic.

This represents an opportunity to start monitoring yourself anew. If you haven’t been using marked weights such as dumbbells or plates. Then understand what you’ve been lifting and make a note of it. Dedicate a notebook to what you are capable of currently and what that will translate to when you are ready, willing and able to return to the Gym.

 

Knowledge is king and understanding and transferring your temporary lockdown regime into something that can be used at your Gym or Fitness Club will make the world of difference and allow you to hit the ground running. 

Keeping Resistance Machines and Cardio Equipment Clean At Your Gym or Fitness Club

Disinfecting surface with antibacterial spray

In my workout circles, in the ‘before times’ prior to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the wiping down of equipment after you had used it was always something of a debate. 


Some of my less conscientious peers felt a little, shall we say, wilfully ignorant about why this would be necessary back in 2019.

It is safe to say that as we all start to return to our Gyms and Fitness Clubs in 2021, the nature of this debate will be drastically different. The Covid-19 Pandemic has taught us all the importance of wiping down and maintaining a hygienic Gym environment. 


As such, as part of our series of articles on returning to our Gyms and Fitness Clubs, we will be looking at how to settle into this new normality we find ourselves in.

It is now significantly more important that we look after both our Resistance Machines and our Cardio Equipment. No longer should you tolerate any friend, peer or fellow member who decides to not wipe down his equipment to jump straight into the next exercise. That thinking is a luxury we cannot afford as a business and a culture and an era that has now passed.

 

So keep reading if you want to explore our recommendations on how, where and why to clean up specific pieces of Gym equipment as well as an initial overview on the rules that apply to most or all machines. 

 

General cleaning of Resistance Machines and Cardio Equipment 

For each piece of Cardio Equipment and every different Resistance Machine at your Gym or Fitness Club, a slightly different approach will be needed.However, with that being said here are some of the more universal tips, mindsets and safe bets when it comes to making sure the equipment that has just been used will be safe and hygienic for the next person.

 

Come Prepared, or Be Prepared:

Nearly every Gym or Fitness Club I have been in post-Lockdown has had an effective system in place for making sure that their members can clean up equipment. Usually this has taken the form of a spray bottle and a piece of cloth in a mass repository somewhere in the Gym or Fitness Club.  


However it is important to do your research beforehand, different Gyms and Fitness Clubs may have different solutions depending on the facilities and resources that they have to hand.

It is most likely that a Gym or Fitness Club will give you the tools you need to maintain this equipment and keep it hygienic but it is important not to assume you know what you will find. Every Club is different. 

 

Don’t Assume A Machine is Clean:

We have largely talked about cleaning a Resistance Machine or Cardio Equipment after your workout, and this is the most important and intuitive time to do so. But with that being said, you should not assume post Covid-19 that you can just walk up to a piece of equipment and use it.

By carefully cleaning the exercise equipment before you start using it, you are ensuring that your exercise space is clean and ready for you and that it is much safer for anyone who comes along after. 

 

 

Cleaning your hands:

Another classic that I’m sure you have gotten used to over Lockdown (or I hope so at least!). Make sure you are washing your hands with a strong sanitizer, as often as possible while you are in a Gym or Fitness Club environment. This naturally includes when you arrive, at any point you feel it is necessary during and then again when you go to leave.

Washing your hands when you enter and leave a Gym or Fitness Club is especially important as these will be the times when you do not have your cleaning products to hand, and when you will be coming into contact with high-risk surfaces such as door handles.

 

 

Please, don’t use your own workout towel:

We all appreciate the thought, but using your own workout towel to clean down equipment is frankly more hassle than it is worth. It might feel intuitive to use the large piece of cloth that you always carry around with you, but trust us, keep to using the cleaning products and towels provided by the gyms. This will help to stop germs being unnecessarily delivered to the Gym and any given surface is sure to smell much nicer for it.

 

 

Ensuring your Belongings are Clean while on the Gym or Fitness Club floor.

For the same reason it is important to not go wiping your workout towel over all and sundry, it is also vital that you ensure your Phone, Waterbottle and any other equipment that you take out onto the workout area is fully clean.

While the act of resting your phone on a Treadmill might not seem significant, this is a point of contact that will be ripe for the spreading of germs from the outside onto the equipment. 

 

Weapon of Choice

Much like the FatBoy Slim song, Gyms and Fitness Clubs will be selecting their weapon of choice in our continued struggle to safely and hygienically reopen our doors.

Currently, the two most popular methods we have seen across the most Gyms and Fitness Clubs are either wet antibacterial towels or dry paper towels and a spray bottle of treated water. 

Both of these can be used in nearly the same way, the only difference will be disposal and the fact you’ll need to spray the dry paper towels before applying them to the machines.

Both methods are effective and should be used ideally before and after every use.

In terms of which method of Covid-19 cleaning and prevention to pick for your Gym or Fitness Club, it is important to consider space, storage, relative expense and the workout equipment within your business. 

 

 

Safety when cleaning electronic Gym equipment.


While this is less pertinent for Resistance Machines as these tend to lack electronic components. It is very important when it comes to traditional cardio machines such as the Treadmill or electronic Cross-Trainer.

It is just as vital to wipe down these machines, but be careful not to use a spray bottle directly on them, or to get the screen area or buttons over-wet. This could negatively affect performance on potentially harmful machines. 


As a Gym or Fitness Club Owner or Manager, it is important you let your members know that your electronic cardio equipment is not indestructible and that they must be cleaned with care for their safety and the benefit of everyone.

 

Focus on cleaning the main touch points of equipment:

Continuing on from the last point, as a Gym or Fitness Club Owner or Manager, it is important that your members know where to clean. While it may seem intuitive enough, putting up signs that detail vitals areas will help reduce any sloppiness. If possible, these should be included near the workout equipment in question, but I appreciate that this will not always be possible.

Be sure to include a compromise list, including the (gentle) cleaning of any buttons, as well as handles, adjustment levers and mounting handles. 

 

Be thorough:

As well as the vital areas on any given piece of workout equipment (as listed above), you should also be normalising the process of giving the entire machine a brief wipedown. While there are certain areas that are high-risk due to the large amount of physical contact. A member who has just used a machine will have been breathing on and potentially brushing up against many different areas of any given machine.

As such, we can never be too careful when instilling good practice and conduct when it comes to wiping down a machine. 

 

Be Patient:

As I talked about during the introductory paragraphs, the reason this wasn’t a universe practice at Gyms prior to 2020 and 2021 was merely because it took extra time. Unfortunately that hasn’t changed, but the necessity of ensuring we are being as hygienic as possible has.

As such, you need to be making sure that you as a gym goer or you as a Gym or Fitness Club owner are taking the time to make sure everything is clean. Make sure that the liquid has had time to do its work.


Cleaning a piece of workout equipment isn’t a race, it is a task to be seen through to completion

 

Disengage Safely from the Exercise Equipment Once Cleaned:

This may seem simplistic but it is important that once the equipment has been wiped down, you do not attempt to touch it again. 


If after cleaning up the treadmill or chest-press resistance machine you’ve been using, the eye of the tiger is back in you and you are ready for another three sets of ten, or another ten minute run then you’d best be prepared to clean it all over again when you are done!

 

As with many aspects of our lives, leaving Lockdown will require more planning in our daily routine than it did pre Covid-19. 

 

Providing Bins for wipes and paper towels in your Gym or Fitness Club

All of this was for very little if every Gym and Fitness Club became littered in germ-ridden rags and paper towels.

Placing Bins in strategic locations around your workout areas will help ensure that your members have their frustrations minimised and make them more likely to continue to ensure their workout area is clean, tidy and safe.

 

Now that we’ve covered all of the fundamentals of keeping Fitness Equipment clean and hygienic. It is time to close on a specific case study. We will be focusing on the specifics of cleaning all important cardio mainstays, the Cross-Trainer and the Treadmill, followed by the Chest-Press and the Rear Delt Fly Machine.

 

A Cross to Bear: Cleaning a Cross-Trainer as the Covid-19 Pandemic Lockdown Lifts 

As we covered in our general cleaning tips and doctrines. It is important to understand that it isn’t only the handles you’ll be gripping and the foot-wells you’ll be stepping into that need to be cleaned after using a Cross-Trainer. 


You may have a preference and only use either the fixed handles or the vertical moving handles on a Cross-Trainer, but it is still vital that you clean both sets, as well as the front panel, including the display screen. This is because even if you don’t come into direct contact, you’ll have been breathing to a greater or lesser extent (depending on your pump). 

 

Finally, be sure to also wipe any and all buttons, even the ones you did not press.

 

 

Tread Carefully: Cleaning a Treadmill as the Covid-19 Pandemic Lockdown Lifts 

Much like the Cross-Trainer. The Treadmill has several intuitive points of contact. The central tread belt being the most obvious, followed by the side rail handles and the front static handles.

All of these should be your priorities when cleaning, as well as any buttons, display screens and the entirety of the panel fixture in front of you. This will have taken the lion share of your breath and as such it is vital that you wipe it down before moving on

 

A Pressing Issue: Cleaning a Chest Press as the Covid-19 Pandemic Lockdown Lifts 

The Chest Press has several parts that you’ll need to contend with when cleaning it down before and after your workout.

First, both sets of handles on the chest-press will be your first port of call. After that, the seat and backrest will be next on the agenda.

The pin that sets the weights will be next, in addition to any of the weight areas. It is also important to store the area that stores your phone and water bottle. If your Chest Press Machine has this feature. 

 

Flying High: Cleaning a Rear Delt Fly Machine as the Covid-19 Pandemic Lockdown Lifts 

For the Rear Delt Fly Machine, it is more important than on the Chest-Press to clean the backrest/front rest (depending on the workout). This is because it will be subject to much more physical contact and will be directly in the path of the nose breathing trajectory.

As such, you need to pay special attention to the entire seat area while cleaning a Rear Delt Fly machine, before moving onto the handles, phone/water bottle area and the weight-pin. 

 

While it is a dramatic change for some of us compared to working out in 2019, if we all want to continue to use our Gyms and Fitness Clubs in a responsible manner. We have to do our part and ensure that the equipment is safe for both us, and the people who will use it afterwards.

A Gym or Fitness Club is a collective and we all have an obligation to protect ourselves and each other.

We hope you’ve gained some insight from this article and enjoyed the read.

Stay Safe out there. 

A Quick & Tasty Summer Recipe – Harissa Chicken and Couscous

Harissa Chicken Recipe

Spice up your life with this creamy harissa dish.

A low-calorie summer favourite!

Serves: 4

Total Time: 30 minutes

 

Macros Per Portion

Calories 399 Kcal

Carbs 45g

Fibre 3g

Protein 31g

Fats 10g

 

Ingredients

4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs

6 Tbsp Natural Yoghurt

5 Tsp Harissa Paste

400g Couscous

Bunch of Mint

Bunch of Coriander

1/2 Cucumber

1/2 Lime

Salt

Pepper

Olive Oil

 

Method

      1. Roughly cut your chicken thighs into chunky strips and whack them in a bowl with 4 tbsp yoghurt and 3 tsp of harissa paste. Season this with salt and pepper, then massage the mixture into the chicken.

      2. To cook your couscous, pour it into a large bowl and cover it in boiling water and leave this to absorb fully. Once absorbed, run a fork through the grains, separating them and fluffing it up. Cover this with a chopping board or a tea towel for five minutes.

      3. Heat a healthy glug of oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and then pop the chicken in, stirring occasionally and leaving to cook for around 20 minutes.

      4. Chop your mint and coriander, and finely slice your cucumber. Add the herbs (saving some for garnish) and cucumber to the couscous bowl, and squeeze a generous amount of lime juice over the top. Toss this thoroughly, season with salt and pepper, and then toss further.

      5. Plate up a portion of couscous, top with your finished chicken, and dollop on some yoghurt and harissa. To garnish, sprinkle a few more of your chopped herbs over it, and you’re done! This dish is an instant crowdpleaser, so gather your mates together and enjoy!

Top Tips To Stay Motivated With Your Fitness Goals At Home

Now or Never Slogan

You might not always be able to find time to get to the gym, but it’s important to try and maintain your fitness regime if you want to achieve your fitness goals. Staying motivated outside of the gym is one of the biggest obstacles people face whilst trying to get fit.

The number of distractions at home in comparison to working out in a gym is far greater, so, here are our 8 top tips that will make sure you aren’t saying things like “I’ll do it later” or even “I’ll carry on next week”…

 

8 Top Tips For Getting Fit Outside Of The Gym

Here are 8 tips to get you up in the morning, get you working out and get you achieving your fitness goals at home. And the best part is, you can start right now because you’ll be surprised how few changes you have to make to your day-to-day life, other than just giving it a little bit more structure.

 

1 – Set a Schedule

Plan your workouts by day, keeping to the same schedule when you attend the gym if possible. Split it by training different muscle groups or by the style of workout. It is all about what suits you and what you enjoy, BUT, be realistic with how many workouts you plan. The worst thing you could do is plan for 2 workouts a day from the beginning.

You won’t complete them, and your motivation levels will plummet!

An idea may be to start at planning 3 workouts a week and go from there.

 

2 – Use Your Day-to-Day Calendar

If your workouts are in your diary you use for all other meetings and social meetings. Block out time for you to do the workouts when it suits your lifestyle! If you don’t block out the time at the start of your fitness journey, you’ll struggle to make time to work out.

 

3 – Workout With Friends

Create a small group of friends with similar goals and make each other accountable. Share your workout schedule and complete workouts together! These days it is easier than ever, make use of video calling apps like Zoom or Facetime and complete sessions together. Think of it as a fitness class… just at home.

 

4 – Adhere to the Schedule

Points 1, 2 & 3 are all great, BUT only if you stick to them! You have taken the time to plan, so go and do it!

 

5 – Make Time

30 minutes is 2% of your entire day!

If you can watch a Netflix show for 30 minutes, I’m sure you could workout for 30 minutes.

And if there is one thing that I can guarantee, it’s that 30 minutes of exercise will make you feel a lot better than that extra episode of The Office that you have seen countless times before!

 

6 – Create a Space to Work Out

Kind of like having a home office; if you make a dedicated space to workout you will enjoy going in there. A lot of workouts are made to be done in a very small amount of space, so living in an apartment isn’t an excuse!!

 

7 – Push Yourself

Part of the perceived problem with working out at home is that you have no one there to push your limits. If you make it a point to do that extra rep, hold that plank for 10 seconds longer you’ll definitely see results… and a lot quicker than you think! It’s all about making those small incremental gains – they add up. A good way to think of this is if you feel like a workout is too easy, you’re either not pushing yourself or you need to make it harder. Add a bit of weight to the exercise or ad another set to the workout.

 

8 – Start Positive, Stay Positive

Excuses creep in more at the beginning. Having a longer-term goal in mind will help you to stay positive.

I set you a challenge; workout at home for 30 days.

If you absolutely hate it, then stop but once you are in your groove you will soon discover that it is one of the most rewarding ways to exercise!

A Healthy Vegan Breakfast With A Twist!

Vegan Breakfast Tacos Recipe

A tasty breakfast recipe that’s vegan, feeds the family, and satisfies all your macros?

Don’t pinch yourself, you’re not dreaming!

These Vegan Breakfast Tacos add a twist to your standard breakfast and you can make them quickly to feed a family of 4.

 

Serves: 4

Total Time: 40 minutes

 

Macros Per Portion

Calories 378 Kcal

Carbs 42g

Fibre 2g

Protein 19g

Fats 16g

 

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped

2 small spring onions, sliced

10 cherry tomatoes, halved

350g silken (firm) tofu

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

Black salt (kala namak), to taste

125g cooked black beans

1 avocado, sliced

Sambal oelek (to serve)

4 soft tortillas (to serve)

 

Method

  1. Fry the chopped garlic and spring onions in 1 tablespoon olive oil over low-medium heat, stirring frequently, until both soften.
  2. Place the tomato halves cut side down on the pan and fry them in the same oil gently until they soften.
  3. Make some room and add a block of silken tofu breaking it into small pieces with a fork.
  4. Sprinkle with turmeric and black salt, stir and fry for another two minutes, just to warm through.
  5. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  6. Pile black beans and tofu scramble onto warm tacos, decorate with avocado slices, black pepper, spring onion and chilli paste.
  7. Consume immediately (because how could you resist!)