Yesterday I delivered a keynote talk at UK Active’s annual ‘SWEAT’ event. My talk was titled ‘Understand Your Disruptors’.
The headline for this years SWEAT event –
‘Thought leadership event connecting forward-thinking brands, startups, influencers and investors in boutique fitness.With the boutique sector rapidly growing in prominence, Sweat will deliver cutting edge data insights, implementable business knowledge and will motivate and inspire.’
SO HERE’S WHAT I HAD TO SAY…
I’ve been working in the fitness industry for almost eight years and a lot has changed in that time! Firstly, our use of social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Youtube & Twitter, have changed the way we all communicate. When Instagram launched in October 2010, no-one could have predicted that they would have 50 million daily active users in 2019! This has also had a huge impact on the fitness industry too.
When we post a ‘gym selfie’ or a finish line photo, we are given virtual high fives in the form of likes and comments, ‘Well done! You smashed it’. We are instantly rewarded for our efforts. It is human nature to want to connect with others and to share our experience. Social media allows you to find your fitness tribe of like minded people. You can search for advice and information, get inspired and get self- affirming feedback all in one place.
Soon fitness brands began creating apps for us to connect and share our fitness stats online too. Apps like STRAVA & myfitnesspal have connected millions of runners and cyclists.
Another change that we have seen in the fitness industry in recent years, is our use of wearable tech. When I first started personal training, not many people wear wearing chest strap heart rate monitors in the gym or even wearing smart watches, but these days it seems like everyone is wearing one.
We’re able to track our calories, count our steps, record our resting heart rate and sleep. All of this data makes it much easier for consumers to personalise their training. As a result, consumers are more informed and they have a higher expectation. We are no longer satisfied with a ‘one size fits all’ approach to fitness. I believe that personalisation is going to be key for the future of fitness. We have to utilise the data that we have but it needs to be simplified. A good example would be pattern recognition. 60% of the decisions that we make each day are habits. We need to use the our data to identify these habits and to help us create new healthier habits if necessary.
In 2019 we have all the information that a we need to help people live a healthy and active life. We know the fundamentals by now. Eat more fruits and vegetables, drink more water, move more, sleep more, practice mindfulness, unplug from devices and connect with others in social environments. We know what we should be doing but we’re still not doing it! Information alone is not enough and the stats don’t lie.
MORE THAN 20M BRITS ARE PHYSICALLY INACTIVE Source: BBC (2017)
OBESITY RELATED ILLNESS COST THE NHS £16BN A YEAR Source: Telegraph (2016)
26.9% OF BRITS ARE OBESE Source: Guardian (2017)
BRITS SPEND £558M IN UNUSED GYM MEMBERSHIPS EACH YEAR Source: Telegraph (2019)
(That last statistic blew my mind!! If you are paying for a gym membership that you do not use, please know that you are making a lot of people, a lot of money! Either get your butt to the gym asap or cancel that membership and spend that money getting active in another way.)
Why do so many people struggle to engage in ‘fitness’?
HERE ARE SOME OF THE MOST COMMON BARRIERS TO FITNESS
TIME COST CHILDCARE CONFIDENCE MOTIVATION
Many people will identify at least one of these barriers as the reason that they are unable to maintain a healthy active life. It is unfair to simple label people as lazy. We all have busy lives, work, family commitments etc, so we have to find solutions that can work alongside our lifestyle.
This is why we are now seeing more and more people turn to interactive at home fitness, such as FIIT, Peleton and Centr. These platforms are doing an incredible job of helping people to overcome those barriers.
Exercising at home means that you can train anytime! You’re not restricted to gym opening hours or studio time tables. Plus you save time by not having to drive / walk to the gym in the first place.
They are far more affordable than most gym memberships. Some online fitness platforms even offer a free version of their app.
Childcare is no longer an issue and you can even encourage your kids to get active with you.
If the idea of going to the gym feels intimidating, then working out at home is a great solution.
Many interactive at home fitness platforms use data to personalise your experience. They might send you notifications and prompts to help keep you motivated. They provide feedback so you can track your progress. They offer incentives, fun challenges and competitions.
Personally, I believe that at home fitness will continue to increase in popularity over the next 12- 24 months. It is a simple but brilliant way to get more people moving.
However, there are of course somethings that the digital experience can not offer and you might not have the space at home to exercise, or you may not have access to any equipment etc.
When I am training a client face to face, I am able to see them doing each exercise and if necessary I can adapt a movement specifically for them. I can also give them physical hands on support which helps to ensure safety. Not to mention the social and emotional benefits of real life interaction.
It is important to acknowledge that sport is a brilliant tool for creating community, especially for young people! So perhaps we need to consider ways in which we can incorporate both the tech world and the real world. Gamification, leaderboards and live streaming are all examples of tools that can be used both online and in gyms and studios.
So what’s next? Virtual reality? More tech? Less tech? Regardless of what is coming next, somethings will always remain the same …
In order to take action, people need GOALS / MOTIVATION / ACCOUNTABILITY & REWARDS. If we want to help more people to get active and more importantly to stay active, we have to address these key factors. Whether you are boutique gym in London, a fitness retreat by the beach or an interactive home fitness platform. If you can tick all of these four boxes in addition to providing effective training, then you will succeed.
Let’s be honest, a lot of people are dedicated to working in the fitness industry because they are passionate about helping people! They know that we can all live healthier, happier and longer lives and they are on a mission to have a positive impact. But the reality is that fitness is also big business too. The fitness industry is competitive and consumers are savvy. We must continue to evolve in an attempt to keep up with the changing landscape of social media, social behaviour, tech innovation and cultural trends. It would be foolish to disregard tech as being just another fitness trend. Look around at how people are interacting with their phones, smart watches and tech devices. The internet has changed the world we live in and it’s never going to go back. I’m not saying this is either good or bad, I’m just acknowledging that it is true.
Tech is currently the biggest disruptor in the fitness industry, but that doesn’t mean the death of the gym. I am sure that both markets will continue to thrive. Most importantly, it really doesn’t matter how people choose to get moving. what matters is that we are helping them to move MORE!
I’d love to know what you think about this topic. As always you can comment below or connect with me on Instagram & Twitter @adrienne_ldn
Over the last few years I’ve tried a ton of different skin care routines, and I’ve figured out exactly what works for my skin. During the winter months I know that I need to hydrate my skin as much as possible. Running outside in the cold in the morning and spending time indoors with heating on, can really dry my skin out, so here are my golden rules when it comes to winter skin care…
Oil is your friend and it will NOT cause breakouts! I used to be afraid to put oil on my skin because I thought it would make my skin oily and cause spots. Ironically it has the exact opposite effect. In fact, using oil on my skin has been SO good for it. I use natural oils, like coconut oil and macadamia nut oil every night during winter. Apparently it’s anti ageing too! (FYI I did get asked for ID over Christmas, when buying red wine in Sainsbury’s, so maybe it’s because of the coconut oil! hahah)
The best way to hydrate your skin is from the inside out. During the summer everyone talks about drinking more water in the hot weather, but it’s just as important to stay hydrated in the winter too. Aim for 2 litres everyday. [*Top tip – Drink two glasses of water first thing in the morning to get a head start]
Also try to eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies everyday. Highly nutrient dense foods will help to boost your complexion too.
Get Moving! Exercising regularly will boost your circulation, clear out toxins and help to improve your skin. Find something that you enjoy and make it a part of your weekly routine. So many gyms and fitness studios have offers on at this time of the year so make the most of it. Try out a new spin class, yoga flow, run club, dance lesson… whatever it takes to get your body moving and break a sweat.
Face-masks! I’ve only recently started including face-masks into my weekly regime. I usually take time on a Saturday morning, after I’ve been out running, I’ll get home, stretch for 20 mins, have a bath and a face mask. It feels mega indulgent and it leaves my skin feeling super soft. My current fave is the Origins ‘Drink Up 10 minute Hydrating Mask’ the apricot one is the best!
Get your beauty sleep! I must sound like a broken record at the moment, I’m always talking about sleep. Through out my twenties I never really prioritised sleep to be honest, I used to stay up late most nights but I never associated my skin breakouts or any other issues to the lack of sleep. Now I’m in my thirties and I don’t care how uncool it is to go to bed before 10pm. I bloody love it!!
Don’t take my word for it, try for yourself. Get to bed before 10pm for just 7 days and your skin will thank you for it
So that’s it! You don’t need to spend hundreds of pounds on the latest expert facial or a £90 pot of under eye cream. Keep it simple and start with the basics first. If you’re eating well, sleeping well, staying hydrated and exercising. That should give your skin a really great start!
Let me know your winter skin care rules and any favourite product recommendations. Sharing is caring! I’m on Instagram & Twitter@adrienne_ldn
Last week I received a message on Instagram from a new runner, she has recently started running and is working towards a goal of running a half marathon later this year. Her question was ‘How many times a week should I run? Will I get injured if I run too much?’ I get a lot of questions about running, recovery, and injuries so I thought I’d share my top tips in one post …
ALWAYS Warm Up! Even if it’s just for 4-5 minutes. If you’re heading out for a run first thing in the morning, you might be tempted to just pull on your leggings, lace up, and head out the door, (I’ll be honest, I have done that before), but it’s really not a good idea. Usually before I step out of the front door, I do some ankle raises, some wide stance squats, a few hip rotations and lunges, and then I run on the spot with high knees for thirty seconds. This warm only takes about 4 minutes, but it mobilises the whole body and it will help to prevent injury for sure.
Strengthen Your Core. Running is great for your cardiovascular health but if you have a weak core or poor posture, then running might cause pain in your lower back or hips. Improving your core strength will also help you to run faster, so if you’re hoping to run a new PB this year, then you definitely need to work on strengthening your abs.
Start off by doing a 30 second elbow plank (repeat 3 times) gradually increase the time each week until you can hold it for 60 seconds. Also try adding some pilates core exercises to your weekly routine. (Check out Lottie Murphy for free pilates classes on the FIIT app or on YouTube. She’s great!)
Stick To A Training Plan. I can’t tell you how much of difference I felt when I started training with a plan. The golden rule is that you should increase your minutes (or your miles) by roughly 10% each week. I believe that running three or four times each week is optimum for me, anymore than that and I struggle to recover and get the most out of each run / training session.
Your training plan should allow for adequate rest days as well as some recovery sessions too. You can download training plans online as a guide, or you could reach out to a running coach that will design a personalised plan for you.
Stretch. Stretching is incredibly important for preventing injury and runners are notoriously bad at prioritising it. I know that stretching might be the last thing that you want to do when you’ve just completed a long run, but if you are disciplined with it, then it really is a game changer. You don’t need to be super flexible, but you do need to ensure that you have good mobility and movement. I recommend doing at least 10 minutes of stretching after every single run. I also do a much longer stretch session on one of my rest days too.
Get A Massage. Now I’m not talking about a relaxing back massage at a spa (although that would be so nice!) Book a sports massage with a physiotherapist. When I was training for my first marathon, I wasn’t used to running so many miles each week, so I saw a physio every couple of weeks to get a deep tissue massage on my legs, hips and lower back. Sometimes I would dread going because the massage was so painful! but the next day my legs always felt great. I know it can be expensive to get regular physiotherapy treatment, but if you can afford it, you won’t regret it. Plus it’s much better to go with the aim to prevent injury, than to have go a few months later because you actually are injured. You know what I mean?
Prioritise sleep. This might actually be the most important piece of advice that I can give to new runners. The stats around sleep and the benefits are undeniable! Running is hard! and it takes a lot of energy. Your body is amazing at repairing and recovering but you have to help yourself. Make bedtime one hour earlier and your body will thank you for it. Sleep is the one thing that is absolutely free, it’s completely within your control, (unless you have a new born baby) and it will improve every aspect of your health. Get to bed!
I really hope that is helpful, please let me know via Instagram / Twitter @adrienne_ldn
and please share this with anyone that might need some help at the start of their running journey.
At the end of last year, one evening in the week between Christmas & New Years, I took a huge piece of card from Jude’s desk and I sat on the floor in the lounge. I had four different coloured sharpies and I started to write a plan for the year ahead. I wrote 2018 in the middle of the page and then I started to write down anything and everything until the whole page was covered. I wrote things like, visit a new country, run a marathon, start a podcast, film more vlogs, work with a charity etc. I also wrote down a financial goal for the year. I wrote down a list of names of people that inspire me, a list of people that I’d like to meet, a list of books that I wanted to read and I wrote down all of the things that make me happy and all of the people in my life that are important to me.
Well, they say that words have power! and I could not have imagined that so many of the things on that piece of paper would become a reality. 2018 has been one of the best years of my entire life. Of course it has had some challenges and I’ve made some mistakes but hey that’s life right? It’s a journey and I’m doing my best to keep up.
So today I’m reflecting on the year that’s been, before I start to make plans for the year ahead…
The year got off to a flying start, literally! I packed my bags on January 4th and boarded a flight to Cape Town, South Africa, to shoot a running campaign for adidas. PINCH ME! I’ve been working with adidas as a brand ambassador for the last two years and I couldn’t ask for a better brand partnership. Traveling to new places and meeting so many awesome people has been one of the highlights of this year for sure.
We were only in Cape Town for four days but on our last day we hiked to the top of table mountain. I stood at the top of that mountain and I felt tears in my eyes. The view was like nothing that I’ve ever experienced before. Sometimes it’s hard to believe how far you’ve come and then suddenly you just stop to take notice, it was kind of surreal to be honest. No photo or video could do justice to that view or capture that feeling, but I honestly think I’ll remember it for the rest of my life.
I never had the opportunity to travel abroad when I was growing up, so I feel like I’m making up for lost time now.
Not long after I got back home, I was repacking my case again, this time to fly to LA. I went to the adidas creator all star weekend. It was such a fun trip!! The adidas creator network is essentially a team of bad ass, mega inspiring women. On the first day we were asked to introduce ourselves, say which county we were from and to share one thing that we were excited about for the year ahead. As I stood there listening to all of the amazing women in the room, I felt SO inspired! Here is a group of women that are all so different but we all have something in common. Women who are all using their platform for positive change, women that aren’t afraid to speak up for the causes they believe in, women who want to empower other women, champion their successes and stand as allies for one and other.
One of the things that I’d written on my wish list for this year was to do a TEDx talk. Over the last few years I’ve been invited to speak at events, I’ve hosted live Q&A’s, interviewed celebs and chatted on panels in front of small audiences. However this year I really wanted to find my voice as a public speaker and so I started writing longer speeches and practicing them. The first talk that I wrote was called’ Start Now’, it was all about timing and why now really is the best time to start living the life that you want to live. I wasn’t actually booked to speak at any events but I knew that anytime spent preparing would be time well spent if and when the opportunity came. I really didn’t think that the opportunity would come so soon. At the end of February, I received an email from my agent about speaking at TEDxMauerPark in Berlin. I immediately said yes, before any self doubt kicked in. This talk was the first time that I’d ever been asked to share my own personal story with the world. I had just over nine weeks to prepare the fifteen minute talk.
In hindsight I think that it may have been too long. Some of the best talks that I’ve ever heard have been impromptu. People sharing a story or a message that is unrehearsed and unscripted feels a lot more authentic and sincere. I’m not suggesting that if you are ever invited to speak at a TED conference that you just get up there and wing it, but when I watched the video back online, I felt like something was missing. It was too formal, it lacked my real personality.
I learnt two important lessons from this; Number 1 – ALWAYS be yourself no matter how big or small the stage is. Number 2 – Just because it wasn’t ‘perfect’ doesn’t mean that it wasn’t good enough. You can be proud of yourself and your achievements and your willingness to try, regardless of the outcome.
A few weeks later I was invited to speak at a conference in Manchester to an audience of more than 700 people. I decided on a title, made a few notes and bought a new outfit. I read the notes on the train on the morning of the event. When I walked on to the stage, I had no script but I felt surprisingly relaxed. I delivered the talk with passion and energy and it was by far the best talk that I ever done. I hope that I get the invited to speak at more events in the future, this year has really helped me to find my voice.
And the winner is… not me! but I did win runner up at the Cosmopolitan Influencer Of The Year Awards. Yeehaaaa! It was the first time that I’ve ever been invited to an awards ceremony, so I was mostly just looking forward to getting dressed up. I was nominated in the Fitness and Wellness category along side some fantastic bloggers, fitness trainers and health gurus. I was mega happy (and surprised) when my name was called out as the runner up and the very worthy winner was the wonderful Carly Rowena.
Summer 2018 was ace! I ran over 350 miles in training for the Berlin marathon. I ran the Great Manchester Run, I hosted a workout on stage at Balance Festival, we visited Lake Como in Italy, we cheered for England in the World Cup and I shot my first ever make up campaign for L’Oreal Paris! We took a family hiking trip to France and a family holiday to Mexico, we celebrated birthdays, went on bike rides, went to the theatre and partied at Paris fashion week. By the end of September I was pretty knackered to be honest. I’m not complaining cos I loved every minute of it. I know that life has its inevitable ups and downs (trust me!) so I know how important it is to celebrate the good times, and to truly enjoy them. This summer was one of the best and I’m so grateful for all of it.
Something that I have struggled with year is the elusive concept of ‘balance’. It is hard to juggle training, work, family trips, friends etc I love all of my friends but this year I’ve hardly seen them at all.
In-between all of the trips and the highlights, I also have to do the real life stuff too. I have to get through the mountains of laundry, clean the bathroom and do the food shop. I help Jude with his homework, listen to him read and attend school trips, sports days, concerts and parents evenings. I have to do admin, send emails, invoices, taxes etc and I also need to have some time off, time by myself. Most of my friends understand (I hope) but I have had a few crappy messages and comments this year. It’s really hard to keep up with everything and if I’m totally honest, I often feel pressured or obligated to do things that I don’t even want to do. I’ve read a lot this year about self-care and self preservation, I totally get it in theory but it can be difficult to implement in practice. Adult friendships can be tricky I guess, so I try to remember that everyone has their own life going on, good, bad and everything in-between.
This year we celebrated Jude’s 7th birthday. His room is full of LEGO, Star Wars toys and Avengers posters. He is officially a big kid now. I shared this message on instagram and it pretty much sums up my thoughts on parenting this year.
I know the world will change you but I hope that you will always know that you are enough, just the way you are.
Sometimes, I feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of parenting. How will my choices, actions and words shape my son. The world is changing so quickly, and who knows what is to come.
I’m learning that as a parent you can’t shape your child’s life, you can’t control the world around them and you can’t make decisions for them. You have to step back and let them figure it all out. It’s the hardest thing to do, but you have to let them be free to try, to explore, to fail, to learn.
Jude, I’ll do my best to answer all of your wonderful questions, like ‘What is snogging?’ & ‘Where is heaven?’ I’ll listen to your amazing stories and I’ll always do my best for you.
In September I flew to Berlin to run the Berlin Marathon. It was my second time lacing up to take on 26.2, but unfortunately I didn’t make it to the finish line. I feel like I’ve talked about this so much in the last few months, I’m sure Rob is probably very bored of hearing about it. The bottom line is that after four months of dedicated training, I got injured two weeks before the race. I wanted to show up and give it my best shot and that is exactly what I did. I wrote a full post about it… click here Public failure is tough but I no longer feel embarrassed or disappointed. To quote Charlie Dark ‘I have huge respect to anyone who takes on a marathon.’
Without a doubt one of the most exciting things about 2018 for me has been the launch of my very own podcast the ‘Power Hour’. After listening to hundreds of hours of podcasts whilst our running, I felt inspired to start my own. The podcast is all about motivation and encouragement. Each week I interview an inspiring guest about their journey to success and I talk to them about their habits and routines, their rules to live by and how they each start their day. The guests so far have been fantastic and I’m so excited to share more episodes next year. If you haven’t listened to it yet, head over to iTunes or Spotify and just search ‘Power Hour’
I can’t fit it all in to one blog post, but this year has been a game changer in so many ways. I have challenged myself to learn more, to be introspective, to trust myself and to be relentless in the pursuit of my goals. I’ve read some amazing books and listened to endless hours of inspiring podcasts. (I’ll share a list of my faves in a another post).
I’ve loved working at FIIT this year and I’m so proud to be a part of their awesome team. I’ve mentored two women this year and I’ve loved watching their journeys so far.
I know that the start of a new year can be overwhelming but it’s also exciting! Ultimately we only have one life and this is it right now. I’d rather take chances and maybe fail than to wonder ‘what if’. So, I’ll be writing a whole new wish list for 2019 later this week and I encourage you to write down your dreams and ambitions too. The bigger the better!!
P.s January 2nd is my five year blog anniversary! Thank you for reading, sharing, commenting etc Whether you’ve been here since the start or this is the first post that you’ve read to the end… THANK YOU xx
This year I have been on a personal mission to learn more about human behaviour, self improvement, success and high performance. I’m fascinated by the idea that you can essentially practice, improve and master anything if you have the right systems. I’m constantly looking for ways to improve and challenge myself, both mentally and physically. One thing that keeps coming up again and again is the power of habits. Many expert coaches talk about this concept of cultivating powerful habits. 40% of the decisions that we make each day are habits, for better or for worse.
So I understand and accept that habits are critical for achieving any goal, but the question I want to know is HOW to make good habits. I want to understand why some people can easily stick to a new schedule or plan, whilst others fail within days. Why is it that some people can be incredibly self motivated, whilst others need constant external motivation? What is ‘will power’?
Well after almost a year of studying, reading and listening, here’s what I’ve learnt so far about the power of habits…
Firstly it’s important to understand that whatever your goal is, whether personal or professional, mental or physical, repetition is essential! Habits will only have an impact on your life when you repeat them again and again and again. Doing something once in isolation will have little to no impact at all. If you eat a big bowl of ice cream today, it’s not going to impact your life at all ,but if you eat a big bowl of ice cream again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, then eventually it’s going have a negative impact on your health. It’s not the ice cream that is the problem, it’s the repetition. You have to observe both the immediate outcome vs the longterm / ultimate outcome of your habits. So eating the ice cream today is favourable, (for obvious reasons) but the ultimate outcome is not.
The same thing applies when it come to creating positive habits too. As I said, this year I really wanted to learn more by reading and listening to audiobooks. I wanted to become a better reader and a better writer. So when I don’t feel like reading, I have to remind myself of the longterm goal. Sure, reading for thirty minutes isn’t going to have a remarkable impact, but reading for thirty minutes every single day most definitely will.
Often our habits reflect ideas about our sense of self too, and this is why it’s important to look at your daily habits. For example, if you get up and go out for a run at 6:00am four times each week. You are creating the identity of a ‘runner’. Each time you lace up your shoes and step out of your front door, you prove to yourself that you are a runner. You prove to yourself that you are self motivated, self disciplined and determined. When that positive habit later becomes a part of your lifestyle, it confirms the desired belief about yourself and this quickly becomes a part of your identity.
The initial intention and the repetition of behaviour is essential. That’s why I don’t like the term ‘fake it til you make it’ You can’t fake it, you can’t just talk about it. You could say the words ‘I am a runner’ one hundred times but it’s not true unless you actual take action and start running. You can’t fool yourself by ‘faking it’.
So how long does it take to create a new habit?
Let’s say for example that you want to stop bitting your nails, often people will ask, how long does it take for a new behaviour to become a habit? Well, some coaches will say 5 days, some books say 21 days, some courses will say 90 days. There is no concrete answer. It will be completely different for each of us. But they all agree on one thing, and that is that repetition and consistency is the key!
It’s helpful to break down every new habit into three parts…
Number 1 – WHAT is the habit? ie, Exercising regularly.
Number 2 – WHY do you want to create this habit? ie, to feel good and improve your physical and metal health.
Number 3 HOW are you going to implement this habit? ie, buy joining a running club or gym.
It’s so simple but once you have outlined all three of these things, then you have to reduce any friction or resistance that might prevent you from doing it. What are the barriers that could make it difficult? These barriers will later become your excuses once you lose that initial spark of motivation. Maybe the gym is quite far away from your house, maybe it’s too expensive, maybe you don’t have any training clothes to work out in. You need to eliminate these barriers as soon as possible. Make it as easy for yourself to get started. If you’re going to stop drinking fizzy drinks, make it easier to do so by ensuring that there are no fizzy drinks in your house. Buy yourself a new water bottle, fill it up and carry it around with you so that you’re not tempted to buy a drink when you go out. In summary, less friction will equate to less decision making, less excuses and less failure.
Something else that affects our daily habits is our surroundings and our peer group. If you’re constantly surrounded by people who read a lot, they might talk about the books that they are currently reading, they will suggest books for you to read and potentially even lend you theirs. If you are consistently surrounded by people who go out after work to a bar to drink, then you are more likely to go to the bar after work too. We all want to adhere to social norms and to fit in with others. It’s in our DNA to want to be a part of a tribe because it was once essential for our survival. Make sure that your tribe are displaying the desired behaviours that you hope to create for yourself.
Lastly, remember habits are not just actions, our words have power too. Think about the type of things that you say every day. Are your words positive, uplifting and encouraging? Are you putting yourself down or giving yourself excuses. Each time you say the words ‘I AM…’ you are declaring it as the truth.
I am tired.
I am fed up.
I am useless, I have no will power. etc
I am excited to get started.
I am going to work really hard.
I could talk about habits all day! I really do believe that if you create powerful positive habits, that you can change your entire life.
I recently interviewed a psychologist named Fiona Murden, to discuss habits and to learn more about will power. I’ll be sharing this fascinating interview on my podcast the Power Hour on January 1st 2019. If you’d like to subscribe to the podcast just head over to iTunes or Spotify and Search ‘Power Hour’ podcast.
I really hope that you found this post helpful, let’s all start 2019 with intentional and powerful habits!
It’s finally here! Last week I launched my brand new podcast show, the Power Hour! So far, the response has been incredible. Within the first twelve hours the show was in the top 5 rated podcasts in iTunes. Madness!! click here to subscribe
I first discovered podcasts when I was training for the London marathon last year. Each week I would listen to inspiring stories and interviews, whilst clocking up my morning miles. This was around the same time that I began to change my morning routine and I started getting up each day before 6am. Initially I was getting up early because I had to train, but after a few weeks I started getting up early, even on the days that I wasn’t running, usually around 5.45am. I discovered this magic window of time when no one else was up and I could get a head start on the day, free from any distractions. My morning Power Hour quickly became the most important part of my day.
Since then I’ve spent a lot of time researching the psychology and the science behind early rising and the positive impact that it can have on your life. I’ve discovered that many incredibly successful people, pro athletes, global leaders, high earners and high achievers, all attribute much of their success to having a structured morning routine.
So now I’m on a mission!
I hope that the Power Hour podcast will inspire and encourage others to create powerful daily habits, to maximise their potential and to achieve to success.
Each week I will be talking to todays leading coaches, innovators and change makers to find out their daily routines and their rules to live by. I have an incredible line up of guests on the show, including… success coach, Jody Shields, activist Chidera Eggerue, plant based boss Ella Mills, TV host, AJ Odudu and many more!
I have been working on this show for months so I’m mega excited to finally be able to share it. Personally, I know that I am very lucky to get to work with so many people who are at the top of their game. I know that I have learnt so much for them, simply just by being around them. I really hope that the Power Hour podcast will help people to improve themselves and transform their lives.
Whether you want to run a marathon, write a book, start a business or maybe you’re just looking for a spark of inspiration, the Power Hour is going to help you get there faster!
Click here to listen to the show. I’d love to know if you have any feedback or guest suggestions, so please get in touch. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and Spotify. Please rate and review the show if you enjoyed and you want to hear more!
Often when I talk about the Power Hour and about getting up early in the morning, the first question that I get asked is, “What time do you go to bed?’ To be honest I used to be a night owl and I’d stay up until at least midnight every night, but you can’t stay up late and get up early. Sleep deprivation is not the one! So, I had to re asses my bedtime. These days I get into bed before 10pm every night. At first it was so difficult to be disciplined, I felt like I was cutting my evenings short and like I was missing out. I’d either be on my laptop, watching TV, scrolling through social media or doing all three! Let’s be honest, non of these things are helping me to live a happier, healthier life. (Although the world is a much funnier place now that we have Twitter memes)
So, I made a vow to go to bed before 10:00pm every night for one week. I even set an alarm on my phone for 9:40pm as a reminder. By the end of that I week, I felt like I was walking on sunshine!! I was getting up at 5:45am in the morning, my body felt rested and my mind felt clearer.
Since then I’ve become fascinated with the benefits of rising early and the benefits of sleep. If you haven’t already read Mathew Walker’s ‘Why We Sleep‘, then I highly recommend that you check it out. I’ve discovered that a lot of mega successful people have a structured night and morning routine. Arianna Huffington, Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg, Olympic athletes, world leaders and even Albert Einstein have all talked about their morning rituals. So now I’m on a mission to help people reclaim their own time.
The modern world demands a lot of our time and attention but we don’t have to be slaves to our schedules and we don’t have to be plugged in 24/7.
I now prioritise the last hour and the first hour of each day to recharge, de-stress, prepare, read, stretch, write… basically do whatever I want to do.
The first thing I do when I get home is change into some loose comfy clothes, I can’t relax in a pair of jeans.
Then it’s all about food. I’m usually the cook in our house and I love being in the kitchen. I listen to a podcast or playlist whilst I’m chopping veggies and prepping dinner.
After dinner and once Jude’s in bed it’s about 8:00pm. That’s when I’ll catch up with Rob and debrief about the day and I might finish any work that I need to do.
By 9:00pm I’m unplugged and offline. The laptop is off and my phone goes on silent.
Then I get my notebook and this is one of my favourite things to do each day, I start writing lists. I write a To- Do list for the next day. This list is limited to eight things. I then write a list of ideas. This can be anything from a trip that I want to book, a person that I want to send an email to, a blog post that I want to write. I just get them all down on paper so that they are no longer clogging up space in my head. (I have a really great journal from TheDearDiary.com)
Then I write down three things …
What have you learnt today?
What are you happy about today?
Who have you helped today?
Writing these lists has honestly become my favourite part of the day, I thank God for the people and the things in my life, and no matter what’s going on, it really makes you feel grateful for your life.
Next, I have a 10 minute hair / skin care routine…
I add a little bit of Charlotte Mensah Manketti oil to my hair, I twist it and wrap it with a silk head scarf. Wrapping your hair is a game changer for textured hair, especially in the winter. It protects the curl pattern and keeps your hair soft.
Then, I take off my make up and wash my face, using Origins Checks & Balances face wash. Then I moisturise with either Origins Night-A-Mins cream or Drink Up Night Mask. The Night-A-Mins cream is a recent discovery and it is SO GOOD! It makes my skin look like I’ve had a facial. Honestly, it’s a little pot of magic!
Lastly, I spend about five minutes stretching and nasal breathing.
Depending on how my body is feeling, if I’ve been running a lot that week then often I’ll focus on stretching my legs, hips and lower back. I don’t have a specific stretch routine, I just move around and I hold each position for a few deep breathes.
I get into bed before 10:00pm and I feel so calm and relaxed. I don’t need to think too much about what I’ve gotta do tomorrow because I’ve written it all down. Now that it’s getting dark earlier and it’s colder outside, it feels so nice to be hibernating in bed. Rob and I both go to bed at the same time. He has always been pretty good at getting to bed early. His epilepsy medication makes him super tired if he stays up too late. For years Rob would go up to bed whilst I was still downstairs on my laptop. I feel kinda smug now, when I’m in bed before him.
Of course there are sometimes exceptions to my routine, if I’m out late at an event for example, but 90% of the time I stick to it. It’s the only way that I can get up everyday before 6am, feeling energised and ready to take on the day!
As always you can hit me up on social media @adrienne_LDN I’d love to know what time you go to bed, especially if you’re an early riser like me.
I train 5 times each week. (This is usually 3 runs and 2 workouts.) My rest days are usually Tuesday and Friday. If I’m training for a race then I will usually drop a workout to focus my energy on my run days, especially if the weekend run is long one. I always include a lot of mobility and stretching too.
Life is often very busy, but I prioritise my running and my workouts because I realise how important my health is. I need to move for both my body and mind to feel good.
What’s the best way to lose belly fat?
Now this is a question that I get asked a lot! I’m sure that people would love for me to say that there is a flat tummy secret or quick and easy solution, but unfortunately that’s not true. When it comes to reducing body fat there are lots of things to consider. Exercise, diet, sleep, stress, genetics, all play a part. It’s important to focus on all aspects of health, and not to focus solely on weight lose.
One thing that I do know is that ‘flat tummy’ tea’s or meal replacement drinks are never a good idea! They are not a healthy sustainable way to lose body fat and they can be very dangerous. The best way to reduce your body fat in a healthy way is to get active! Walking, swimming, cycling, pilates weight lifting and jogging are all great ways to burn calories and strengthen your core muscles. When it comes to diet, make sure that you’re eating a varied food, reduce the amount of processed sugars and packaged foods.
Which trainers are best for running?
I have been running in adidas UltraBoost for four years! For me, they are by far the best running shoe for road running. They are mega cushioned and very supportive, and they last for ages. If you need advise on running shoes, pop in to a running specialist store like Pro Feet or Runners Need. They offer free consultations with footwear specialist. Plus then you can try before you buy.
How do you stay motivated?
Well, I always say that motivation comes and goes, somedays I am motivated, but on all the other days I am disciplined.
Training towards a goal is a great way to get motivated , so I sign up to races throughout the year. If you need other people to help keep you motivated, sign up to a group class or meet up with a friend to workout.
Do you lift weights?
Personally, I don’t do very much strength training. I do some resistance band workouts and occasionally I’ll add a kettle bell set in to my workout. Strength training is a very effective way to train. When I am personal training, I often include strength training in my clients training programme. When it comes to my own workouts, I prefer to train outside and I rarely use a gym. (Unless the weather is really bad)
What’s your current fitness goal?
Well, I’m just getting back into endurance training again, now that my foot has recovered. I’ll be signing up to at least three half marathons next year, so I’d really like to run sub 1:40.
What’s the best way to avoid injuries?
SLEEP!! Plus, it’s important to wear supportive shoes if you’re running a lot of miles on the road. Improving your mobility and strengthening your core muscles will always help you to move better and this will help prevent injury too, but ultimately I believe that rest and sleep is the key!
That’s it for now, but as always you can get in touch on Twitter & Instagram @adrienneLDN
Okay, so the time has finally come. I’m equally excited, overwhelmed and kinda terrified… we are buying a house!! Yikes!
Well, that’s the goal, we’ve been saving for almost two years and now we need to apply for a mortgage. As a self-employed freelancer, I’ve been told by many people that getting a mortgage is a long and stressful process. It turns out that applying for a mortgage is yet another thing on my list of ‘ Stuff that I didn’t learn at school’. Other things on that list include, ‘How to complete a tax self-assessment’, ‘How to compare car insurance deals’, and ‘How to set up a pension’.
As a thirty-year-old, I’m not sure that I qualify as a millennial, but for the sake of this article I am happy to include myself within that group. Many millennial women are choosing to walk the less conventional career path. We are a generation of self-starters, entrepreneurs, and female founders. But the media still talk to women and men VERY differently when it comes to cash. Headlines targeting men are talking about business investments and raising capital, whilst women’s mags are talking about splurging on a pair of designer heels and how to stretch your cash until payday. It’s insulting. Recent stats say that only 53% of millennial women are saving for retirement, compared with 71% of men.
Ladies, we need to get to grips with money matters!
So, first up you need to figure out if you are eligible to apply for a mortgage.
Your eligibility rating usually appears as a percentage. It shows how likely you are to be approved – the higher it is, the better your chances.
Find out the facts.
Experian are providing us the tools to take control and learn more about our financial data. They are helping people improve their lives and realise their life ambitions. I recently used the Experian site to find out my own credit score. It’s mega simple and don’t worry if your credit score isn’t great, their website also offers advice on how to improve your current Experian Credit Score.
I believe that it is really important for us to take responsibility for our own financial data. Once you get to grips with the basics, it’s actually not as bad as you think. A mortgage is probably going to be the biggest financial commitment that I ever make in my entire life, so I want to know what my options are, and I want as much info as possible.
74% of people do not check their credit report before applying for a mortgage, which means they could be missing out on the best deals2.
So, if you are thinking about buying a house in the next few years, make sure that you start off by finding out your credit score. Check out Experian.co.uk to find out absolutely everything you need to know about mortgage eligibility. I recently started following @ExperianExperts on Twitter too. They post great advice and links to really useful articles, so it’s worth giving them a follow.
FYI, I may still splurge on that pair of designer heels, but I’m gonna wear those shoes to march all the way to the bank! Let the house hunt commence!