Lifestyle changes for the summer

There are few better times than the start of the summer to make some major changes in your life.

As the sun begins to show its face for longer periods of time, people all over the UK resolve to make some significant lifestyle improvements.

We all have things we feel guilty about or things we can do better, from eating more healthily or getting more exercise to sorting out your finances or finding a new job.

The start of summer offers a perfect opportunity to fulfil your goals. Read on to see some of the most common changes people will be hoping to make and some tips on how to achieve them.

A new job

The worst of the recession now seems to be behind us, with the economy having expanded for three consecutive quarters up to the third quarter of 2013 and unemployment on a downward trend that started 12 months ago.

With job security less of a concern, many people’s thoughts will be turning to making a change in their career.

There have been plenty of reports offering encouraging signs for jobseekers, including a recent study from recruitment agency Reed that signalled a shift to a “candidate’s market”.

A survey by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) found that nearly one in five UK workers are planning to leave their jobs in the coming year.

A new look

Fashion is of great importance to many people, not only as an interest or pastime, but in terms of self-esteem and positivity.

If you are among the many people looking to change career paths for the second half of the year, giving yourself a new look could be a key factor in building up the confidence to find and seize an exciting opportunity.

Or maybe you are hoping to start a new relationship this year. Again, revitalising yourself with a fresh style could give you the assurance and self-belief required to go out there and meet someone new.

There are many ways to update your look. For people who have spent a long time wearing glasses, one of the biggest and most beneficial changes is to make the transition to contact lenses.

Feel Good Contact Lenses offers a diverse range of products to choose from, including Cooper Vision contact lenses catering to all requirements. There are daily disposables for maximum convenience, as well as monthly lenses and toric lenses to treat astigmatism.

Diet and exercise

Eating healthily, losing weight and getting more exercise are some of the most common goals and most of them revolve around the summertime.

Rather than following the latest weight loss fads, the key to healthy eating is to maintain a varied, balanced diet.

According to the British Nutrition Foundation, fruit, vegetables and starchy foods like bread, rice, potatoes and pasta should make up two-thirds of what we eat, with the remaining third of our diet comprising milk and dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein.

Of course, the other piece of the weight loss puzzle is exercise, and the good news is that getting fit doesn’t have to cost money. Running, brisk walking and cycling are all free and fun ways of getting exercise, which can also help you to keep the winter blues at bay by getting your endorphins flowing. These chemicals block pain and are linked to feelings of pleasure. And with the sun out and about you have few excuses to not get out there!

If you have always wanted to get involved in a sport or outdoor activity but have been held back by the fact that you wear glasses, maybe now is the perfect time to make the switch to contact lenses. This change could give you the freedom to try a new hobby or pastime that could help you lose weight, get fit and gain more enjoyment from life.


Getting back on your wheels and back on the road  

Are you planning on embarking on an extended cycling trip or tour; have you prepared yourself for all the possible problems you may face; what if you are injured while you are cycling; would you simply turn around and go home? Here are a few basic tips to help ensure you are fully prepared before you leave, ways to adequately deal with an injury whilst cycling and possible ways to seek compensation if someone else was at fault. Whatever happens, don’t let an injury hinder your ability to have a memorable cycling tour.

 Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 9.54.33 AM

Pre-trip preparation tips

Pain, which can ultimately lead to injury, is usually caused by a poor bike fit or improper riding technique. Make sure before you leave that you have your bicycle adjusted specifically for you and that you have a bike helmet. Helmets prevent one of the most common and most serious injuries that can be sustained on a bicycle. Make sure you take all of your paperwork for your medical/health insurance, passport (if necessary) and any other documents essential for your healthcare. If travelling abroad, make sure you read up on the rules of the road and what is expected of you as a cyclist in the areas you will be riding through.


Early warning signs

It is important to be aware of early warning signs that may indicate you are on the road to injury. These commonly include tenderness or soreness of the muscles or joints, swelling, numbness or limited degrees of motion. It is important to treat these issues seriously so they do not lead to larger more serious problems.


If an injury occurs 

If you sustain an injury, it may be one that is most commonly associated with cycling, such as problems with the knees, road rash, muscle cramps or back/hip problems. There are also a variety of injuries that you may sustain if you are thrown from your bicycle due to a collision. If you are on a tour, don’t panic, there are steps to take to ensure that you can continue your trip, even if it means taking a day or two off. If the injury feels serious, be sure to seek professional medical help. If it is a reoccurring injury, you may know steps to take in hopes of reducing the pain.


No matter what type of injury you sustain, the same basic steps should be followed to ensure that the problem is remediated.


  • Take a break and seek professional help (file a police report if a collision has taken place)
  • Double check your bike fit and your equipment to ensure there are no problems
  • Treat the injury accordingly (i.e. stretch, ice, bandages, strengthening exercises, taping or using a brace)
  • Take a few days off from cycling, if necessary and rest up at a hotel
  • Listen to your body, if it is too painful to continue don’t push yourself too hard


If the injury is caused by a collision of some kind, make sure you report the incident to the police immediately and visit a doctor. Make sure you get contact information from all the parties involved, including any witnesses to the collision. There are many legal professionals who specialize in these types of accidents, such as auto accident attorney Gary Martin Hays. Seeking their advice will save you a lot of heartache in the long-term.


Compensation for your injury 

There are a variety of hotlines you can contact after being injured in a cycling accident. Many of them offer a free consultation regarding what steps to take when filing claims and pursuing compensation. Your best bet is to call one of these hotlines or seek the help of a professional auto accident attorney. Make sure that whatever you decide you do not put it off, file a claim immediately. Don’t be hesitant about making that call; you deserve to be compensated for your injury.



What is a spin class and where can you find one? Saddle up and read on to find out about some of the many spin classes London has to offer, and the background to this hugely popular form of exercise.

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 11.49.41 PM

Spinning – the more popular name for indoor cycling – focuses on endurance, strength, intervals, high intensity and recovery. The practice does not involve regular exercise bikes, but specialised cycles with a weighted flywheel – spin bike frames tend to be more similar in appearance to those of actual bicycles than the standard exercise bike too.

While use of an exercise bike tends to be a solo experience, spinning takes place in classes – where the instructor will lead the room through a routine, often accompanied by music. It has been stated that spinning can burn 400-500 kcal in 40 minutes, and other benefits include the strengthening and toning of lower body muscles.

As an indoor activity with a positive track record and a sociable element, spinning has become understandably popular around the world. It should therefore come as no surprise that in a city the size of London there are plenty of spin classes to choose from. Here is a round-up of just some of the classes to be found in the capital…

BOOM CYCLE – 2-8 Scrutton Street EC2A 4RT: Boom Cycle’s introductory blurb on its website is as dynamic as its name… “The go to place for a healthy balance of hedonistic endorphins and high intensity workouts to nightclub quality music”.

FITNESS FIRST – Unit A East Stand, Avenell Road N5 1FE: One of the many health club chains to have premises in London features a unique twist on spinning. Alongside its more conventional spin classes it offers Victoria Pendelton Pro-Cycling classes, developed with the Olympic gold medallist.

GOOD VIBES – 14-16 Betterton Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9BU and 11 Tottenham Street, Fitzrovia W1T 2AG: The club that offers Glow Yoga also runs classes in Glow Cycle – a workout that is fun but also effective in burning calories.

H2 BIKE RUN – Dufours Place W1F 7SP: Offering 72 classes per week and a variety of perks including a free towel and morning coffee, H2 advertises structured rides and freerides on 33 state of the art Star Trac bikes.

MY FITNESS BOUTIQUE – West Heath Yard, 174 Mill Lane NW6 1TB: My Fitness Boutique sells itself on having no memberships and no contracts. It can add no shortage of fitness classes to its pitch too, with spinning well represented.

PARAMOUNT HEALTH & FITNESS – 316-322 Green Lanes, Palmers Green N13 5TT: Spin classes with Julio are among the classes scheduled by this health club promising excellent service and state of the art equipment.

PEDAL STUDIO – 4 Token Yard, Putney High Street SW15 1SR and 7 Elm Grove, Wimbledon SW19 4HE: London’s first pay as you go dedicated spinning only studio, promising a warm welcome, an enjoyable experience and one of the most effective mind, body and soul workouts.

POWERVIBE FITNESS STUDIO – 1 All Saints Road W11 1HA: Powervibe offers a more intimate spinning experience, with classes for up to just four clients at a time. 30 and 60 minute sessions are available.

SOUTHBANK CLUB – 124-130 Wandsworth Road SW8 2LD: The city’s largest squash and fitness club features Spin/Circuit and Spin 2 Thin on its extensive list of available classes.

SPINADDIKTS – LA Fitness, 63/81 Pelham Street SW7 2NJ: Founded by Frances H Mikuriya (Johnny G Star Level 3 lifetime qualified Spinning Instructor), this is the first private indoor cycling group in London.

Now you know where to look, visit your nearest club and try out spinning classes London style!


How to have the perfect beach holiday

Booking your holiday to Turkey will leave you feeling as warm inside as you will when you are sat on one of the beaches soaking up the sun! Turkey has some of the best beaches that are on offer to those of us that live in the UK, the best part about it is that they really are not very far from home – that makes them very appealing indeed! Holidays to Turkey have been popular with British tourists for many years now because the country is great, the food is cheap and the weather always fabulous!

images (59)

Beach holidays are loved by absolutely everyone, from grand parents to grand kids, everyone will always have a good time and there is plenty to do to keep everyone entertained. From water sports, to beach massages to fantastic food, there is something there for every member of your family. People often get blinded by the excitement and the thought of the holiday they are about to have and forget about some important issues. You must remember how to keep yourself safe and protected because the sun is not always our friend, no matter how much we love it! It definitely is a love hate relationship, we love the sun but it really does hate us! With a few simple tips you can ensure that you are safe and sound when soaking up some rays of sunshine.

I know it is easy to forget the simple tips because we are all just excited to be out of the cold and wet weather that we have to endure back home in the UK. Here are some things that I remind all of my friends and family about before they jet off for a week in the sun.


You must apply this religiously, there can be no excuse at all. People of course want to go back with a sun tan to the UK but it really isn’t worth the risk of toasting your skin just to look good. You can still get a great tan with sun cream. Use it if only for the simple reason that you won’t get burnt on the fist day or two and be sore for your holiday.

Stay Hydrated

I think that most of us will do this anyway. But remember that if you are drinking alcohol at night, like most of us like to do on holiday, then you should definitely drink lots of water during the day. This becomes more important with kids, you like to give them a lot of freedom on holiday but make sure they stay hydrated, this simple tip will ensure that something simple doesn’t ruin your holiday.

Hat and Sunglasses

You should wear these every now and then, even if you are on the beach. We are not used to the sun constantly beaming down on us. A cap and sunglasses will make sure that our eyes take a rest and the hat will make sure that out temperature drops a little during the day – by the right  stuff and you’ll actually look really cool!


3 Reasons why reading is important

We all know that reading is very important, it is one of the essential skills that we need to be able to study and to learn more. Without being able to read there is no way that we could have learned much at school or even after our school years had come to an end. Learning to read is important, but what is equally as important is that you continue to read for as long as you possibly can, hopefully for your entire life. Getting children reading is one of the most important things that parents can do, inspiring your kid to read at a young age will help them no end at school and in life in general. To see how seriously reading is you only need to look at the amazing book tour that was launched by Scottish Friendly back in 2013. The tour is going from the North of the United Kingdom to the south, calling in at thousands of schools. The tour brings together leading authors and school children, the author will read their story with the kids and then talk to them afterwards. This is a sure fire way to get kids interested in reading and also to get them inspired to read more. The tour has been a huge success so far and has influenced the lives of many school kids in their reading. We think that the most important reasons for reading are as follows:


It allows an escape and a chance to de-stress

When a child picks up a book or has one read to them it allows them to lose themselves in a story, they can turn off and escape to an imaginary place that is created by the book. This is fantastic for kids, with so much pressure being put on them to perform at a young age a chance to escape is always welcome. The more interested they are the more they will lose themselves in the story and want to read more.

Helps for educational purposes

The number one way to learn things is to read books. Books can teach children any number of things, it can teach them about the world, history or even teach them to use their imagination when they are reading a fictional text.

It opens and expands the mind

When you read a book it allows you to walk through a door to an imaginary world. Your creative juices start flowing the second you read a book, you create the scenes, you create how the characters look and talk. Essentially you are teaching your mind to be more vivid and creative, this is such a useful skill for kids to learn.