Fit Not Fed Up: Motivation for the Festive Season

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Brrr! December is certainly living up to it’s seasonal reputation – it feels like I’ve been in a permanent state of wet feet and red nose for weeks! Not only this but with all of the festive merriment going on, our health and fitness priorities have a little habit of going out the window don’t they? I’ve been thinking about what’s been keeping me motivated lately and thought I’d share it here.

Get Yourself a Buddy: I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, having a partner in crime is a must if you feel your will power slacking. I recently joined the same gym as one of my friends. Having someone there who to laugh through the pain of Pure Abs with made the torturous nature of side crunches just that bit more bearable. Even if we’re not going at the same time, it’s good to be around people are are pushing toward similar goals to you. So look at who’s around you and encourage each other in these dark days of Winter!

Do Something For a Good Cause: There are tons of sponsored walks, runs, hikes, swims and dives at this time of year for so many good causes. Although Winter events tend to have a higher risk of cancellation – which myself and Chris fell victim to a couple of weeks ago when our BHF 10k was cancelled due to course flooding- when they do go ahead it’s a great day out. I ran the Glasgow Santa Dash 5k in aid of the Prince and Princess of Wales Trust Glasgow 2 weeks ago. It was a fantastic event with Santas of all ages – and a couple of dogs disguised as Reindeer – running through the streets of Glasgow on what was a beautiful mid Winter’s day. With all of the parties and days out this season, you could do worse than having a day out in the fresh air planned where you can meet people and generally have a bit of good clean fun. It’s great for the body, soul and you’re helping someone who needs it!
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You Don’t Need To Party All Night: I love a good night out but with the sheer amount of Christmas festivities right now I’m finding it impossible to have a late one every time! When I went out the pantomime last week it was a great night but I decided to take the last train home instead of face the queues in the cold for a taxi later. Committing yourself to public transport or a lift home may not be as glamorous but for some reason I enjoy the night more when I do it! Plus you can get a cheeky hot chocolate on the way back too if you’re hear a late opening Greggs too! Win win .
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If You See Some Good Weather…Go!:
Beautiful days can be few and far between so if you see one get the runners or walking boots on! Even in the depths of Winter nature is beautiful especially covered in frost and lit by pale sunlight. Dress warmly and make sure your footwear has good grip. It my be an antiquated notion and I do think gyms are great but you can’t beat some fresh air especially in these dark days.

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Go For It: Let’s Go Trampolining!

Sorry about the lack of pictures and the quality, we were just having too much fun to take more and it wasn't the kinda place to bring your new Nikon!
Sorry about the lack of pictures and the quality, we were just having too much fun to take more and it wasn’t the kinda place to bring your new Nikon!

Here in this part of the world we are lucky enough to get some time off over the Easter period. When I was living at home, this would always be a time when we would do something as a family, usually involving some kind of light exercise and the subsequent consumption of a LOT of really good food. I haven’t been back in Ireland for the Easter break in the last two years, however, the old habits stick, so food and fun were high on the list for this weekend. Which leads me to write this weeks Go For It post on Trampolining! A little while ago, my boyfriend told me about an indoor trampolining park called Airspace which had recently opened in East Kilbride, and could we please go because it sounded awesome.

Well, I didn’t need to be asked twice!

Having only ever done a little bit of trampoline work during PE at school and of course bouncing about on friends back garden trampolines in my childhood, I’m a total novice when it comes to this. But the idea of a massive floor with over a hundred trampolines sounded way too exciting to get put off by a little matter like that. We booked a slot and went to Airspace on Saturday morning. When we arrived we were welcomed at the door by a member of staff who told us a little bit about the venue and where to go to sign in etc. which was nice and helpful. By the time our slot came around we were itching to get on the trampolines. There was a safety briefing before going out where the presenter used video examples of do’s and don’ts on the trampolines which was good because it told us what we needed to know but didn’t take too long; and then we were let loose.

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There is trampoline dodgeball, basketball, airbag jumps, and then a space towards the back of the area with wall to wall trampolines (and I’m actually talking trampolines on the walls here). My favorites were the trampoline basketball where you can bounce as high as you can to get a slam dunk (I didn’t manage it, but it was still awesome and Chris and I got quite competitive) and the wall to wall trampoline area where I tried a few twists and bouncing from my bum to standing (again, with varying degrees of success).

Jumping around on trampolines for an hour is pure joy. The second we got on them we were smiling and laughing like a pair of children (although we were far less talented at trampolining than all of the children there, we discovered) and we didn’t stop until it was time to leave. Trampolining is high intensity exercise so it’s a fantastic workout, and the fun aspect of it makes you keep going for longer than a more boring or repetitive activity. It was tiring and I recommend taking a couple of breaks, but the hour slot is more than enough time to have a lot of fun and try all of the things that you want to try. I was a little bit stiff on Sunday so stretching afterwards is a must. If you want to give something new a try, get a group together and go trampolining, it is so much fun and will make you feel happy and silly and all of the good things. I’ll be back next month, hoping to get that slam dunk!

There are trampolining parks all over the world, but in my little corner Airspace is the closest, you can find out more about it here.

Have you tried something like this before? Let me know how you got on.

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Tired out after all of that bouncing!

Go For It – Let’s Make Bread

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Malted Walnut Seed Loaf

Hello! This post is so late going up today, the whole clocks going forward thing has really messed me up it feels like I’ve been chasing my tail all day! But here it is: This weeks Go For It Post is making bread. Not exactly ground breaking is it? But for people who maybe don’t spend too much time in the kitchen (which can easily be anyone if your schedule is busy enough) bread is a simple, satisfying and quick way to try your hand a baking and build up a bit of confidence. There is something really satisfying about kneading and crafting a dough and there is plenty of room for adding your own interpretation of a bread recipe to create your own customized loaf. I’ve never made bread before so this has been something that I’ve been meaning to try. Today I picked up a couple of ingredients in the local wholefoods shop (not that I couldn’t have gotten most of the stuff in a large supermarket, but there you go), and decided to get cracking. I found a great recipe on the BBC Good Food website for a Malted Walnut Seed Loaf. I have a couple of recipe books here at home but find the BBC Good Food website is a brilliant online resource for whatever you are planning to cook and I use it quite a bit. The only substitution that I made to this recipe was to use coconut oil instead of sunflower oil because, well, I just really like using it! Walnuts are packed with Vitamin E which is great for your brain and your skin as well as having antioxidants to combat free radicals. This recipe is also full of healthy seeds which is why I chose it, but of course there are lots of other bread options for allergy sufferers if this isn’t your cup of tea (or loaf of bread…).

I really enjoyed making bread for the first time and also took great pleasure in eating it too. Not only did it taste awesome, but the lovely bread-smells from the oven mean that the flat smells freakin’ amazing! Bread can be as simple or as complicated as you like so why not give it a try? I recommend it!

Thanks for reading!

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All the Yummy Walnuts
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The bread mix

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Yes here I am, making bread

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Feeling Fine

Hello, and welcome to A Venturing Girl!

How are you feeling? It’s a question that we don’t often answer truthfully. Saying I’m fine is a simple and welcome answer to a question that is rarely has much intent behind it. If I’m honest, talking about how I feel is often the last thing that I want to do (to the relief of a lot of people I’m sure), let’s have a laugh or go out and do something instead! “Fine” is such a funny thing. Fine is light and bright, but also thin, narrow and fragile. So by it’s very definition your “fine” feeling is at a constant risk of damage. Yet we all manage to persistently feel fine and never drop over the edge into the “not so fine” zone, whatever that is, eh?

How have I been feeling? Honestly, I think I’ve been in a bit of a funk over the last while. Between bouts of sickness with some subsequent feeling sorry for myself, it’s been a bit of a bad patch. But this week, I just felt a difference. The sun was out, I had a restful weekend and I just felt more like me again! I realised that after being in a bit of a funk, I’m getting away from it. On Monday night I got my lunches and soup ready for the week, Tuesday saw some sneaky pints for St. Patrick’s day (full of Iron though!), Wednesday and Thursday I was out for a 4 and 3 mile run respectively with some sprint work on Thursday which was a great workout and challenge. I’ve been up earlier and enjoying more breakfasts on the brighter mornings and it’s making such a difference to my day! Plus Chris and I booked a long awaited trip to New York in September for which I cannot even begin to explain how excited I am!

So if you’ve been a little bit un-fine, maybe you’re a bit sick of it too but don’t want to moan too much. If it’s a run in the park, listening to something extremely cheesy, talking it all over with a friend you feel comfortable with or all or none of the above, I hope that this weekend you can get some “fine time” all to yourself to help break the funk. If you have been feeling like me over the past while and it takes a while for it to completely go away, don’t feel bad; believe me, it too shall pass.

Feeling more like me
Feeling more like me

A Windy Weekend

Me Getting Ready
Me Getting Ready

I had thought that being March (already?!) and with the longer evenings ; maybe, just maybe the long awaited Spring weather would be here. Sadly, I was wrong and for those of us who like to be outside, the weather of Glasgow has brought us wind, rain and little else! However, we’ve got our goals to achieve and we can blame the weatherman all we like but that won’t stop those races, climbs and ski trips from looming ever closer.

After my Run
After my Run

On Saturday I had to forgo my parkrun in favour of a trip to town as I was off to a very fancy Presidents Award dinner for work! However, a 5k run was definitely on the cards and I got one in in a respectable enough 35 minutes on Saturday. I love getting a run in before a night out and will always recommend a bit of light exercise as part of getting ready.

After a night of dancing, Sunday saw me placed firmly on the couch and Monday has seen the winds rise again and I chickened out of a run I’m afraid! However being very conscious of the Edinburgh ten mile coming up next month I plan on getting two 5ks in before the weekend and then a long run on Saturday 6-8 miles if I can find a good enough route! Another event that I am rather looking forward to this week is getting my internet installed in the new place! I’ve been posting from my phone which really isn’t ideal so I’m sorry if my last few blog entries have seemed a bit akward. Come Friday all will be well again! Do you have any interesting plans for this week or recommendations for my ten mile preparation? Please leave a comment if you do I love getting them!