Women's Health Magazine

Buddy Up: The Best Partner Workout

I'm delighted to announce that I have joined forces with Women's Health Magazine to share brand new fitness and wellbeing content as part of their #WHSquad. I will be featuring all kinds of tips and tricks to help you on your fitness journey, including fun exercises.

Tandem Bicycle Crunche

I know how tricky it can be to find motivation to workout so how about you grab a mate and train together? That way you can catch up on all the juicy gossip, work up a sweat and encourage one another at the same time. Bingo!

Try the six body weight exercises that I did with my friend Carly Rowena below. You'll need nothing but a partner. 

XOXO

Top 3 Foam Roller Moves

Work hard and sometimes, rest harder. Did you know that stretching and resting post workout is often overlooked? Yet it's an important way to avoid the risk of injury and is the quickest way to rebuild, repair and recover your muscles, enabling you to be at your best during your next workout.

I've teamed up with New Balance to share ways that you can use your rest days to the maximum and to show that running and resting really do go hand in hand. This is why I'm bringing you my top 3 Foam Roller Moves, especially essential for runners.

1. HAMSTRINGS

Hamstring movement using a foam roller

2. QUADS

Quad movement using a foam roller

3. Calves

Calve movement using foam roller

Foam rollers act as a 'self-massage' reliving muscular soreness even further and they are a great tool for the development of a more supple body. These top 3 moves are particularly great for runners as they focus on your hamstrings, quads and calves so roll on and find my step by step guide on how to do them safely by clicking here.

In this post I am wearing the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 Trainers, New Balance Racer Back Bra Top and the New Balance Printed Impact leggings. 

Photos by Duncan Nicholls

#IAmTheCompetition

XOXO

Where To Eat In Manchester | Home Sweet Home

If fast, American style burgers and hot dogs, Mac 'n; cheese and the most amazing milkshakes is what you fancy, then Home Sweet Home in Manchester is the place to be.

Home Sweet Home Manchester

There is literally nothing healthy about this place but if you lead a good diet the rest of the time then sure, it's fine to pig out once in a while. We're only human!

Burgers & Fries at Home Sweet Home
Manchester Home Sweet Home

I demolished sweet potato fries, a fried chicken & cheese burger with half a portion of mac 'n' cheese and a chocolate and marshmallow milkshake. I felt as though I waddled out of the door. So much food!

Milkshake Home Sweet Home

Was it worth the calories? Yes. It tasted amazing but I won't/can't be eating it everyday.

Loads of food coma love

AJ

xoxo

Mac 'n' Cheese

Waist Trainers | The Real Truth

Anyone remember those pics of Kim Kardashian wearing a waist trainer? Anyone remember the the trend watchers saying it was going to be the next big training fad? Well never one to jump on the band wagon late or anything, I thought it was finally time I gave it a go to see why Kim keeps taking selfies with one on.

I should point out, I'm not really one for exercise fads. I believe that to get in shape requires hard work, a balanced diet and regular exercise. I do however enjoy experimenting with different workouts and fitness techniques that can add to or enhance my workout regimes. I was also just damn curious! Does it even work??! Well, I teamed up with FemShaper to try theirs and to find out what the corset/waist training fuss is all about.

What is a waist trainer?

In case you don't know, a waist trainer or clincher is a band which you wear around your waist that makes you sweat bucket loads round your belly, the idea being that you shred and tone your waistline in the process. Think spanks but without the bottom half.

How did it look and feel?

Putting it on, as expected my waist appeared an inch or two narrower. You can adjust it, to cinch in your waist to your desired tightness. I kept it on the loosest notch, mainly because I wanted to be able to breath comfortably. If you've ever worn a pair of spanks before, it has a similar effect to that, only this time you get more of a curvaceous, hour glass look.

The lining is cotton so the material is soft on the skin and style-wise it looks really nice even on the outside of your clothes. It also sits discreetly underneath a t-shirt or vest so no one would know it was there. Top secret!

Can you exercise in one?

Well, I wanted to road test the waist trainer with a mixture of workouts so I wore mine in a spin class where I'm mainly sedentary on a bike and a body pump class where I'm bouncing about the place and using weights for added resistance. In the spin class I found I had to lean forward further than I normally would and found my breathing was inhibited slightly. I wouldn't describe it as uncomfortable, but I did feel quite restricted. It takes some getting used to.

As for the body pump, I had a few niggles. I found that when I wanted to engage my core during exercises such as lunges, squats and sit ups, those muscles around my core had switched off or disengaged because they were being squeezed meaning I wasn't able to properly work them out. As someone who is qualified in personal training, I would only advise really light exercise whilst wearing a waist clincher, specifically, brisk walking. 

What were the effects?

Well obviously I'd need to wear it for more than just two workouts to discover the long terms benefits. Apparently you should wear it for 3 hours a day for 4 weeks to get a figure like Kim Kardashian with testimonials claiming weight loss within just 7 days. One thing I would say is that you should certainly listen to your body. If you don't want to wear it longer than ten minutes. Don't. If you don't want to exercise in it. Don't! I've known people to sleep in these things. Just DON'T. 

Whilst a waist trainer is not something I'd choose to get sweaty in, I would wear mine occasionally because I like the discreet look, the flexible material and the fact that it instantly makes your waist appear smaller. It's pretty comfortable too and FemShaper deliver supper quick. It gives you an instant nip tuck, so if you were going out tonight and wanted a more svelte appearance with a waist that appears slimmer, you could slip this on and feel hot to trot.

Either way, whatever your stance is on waist trainers, you should try and feel comfortable and confident in your own skin and get used to the beautiful imperfections that make you special. So smile in the mirror because I promise it won't break :)

Keep an eye on my YouTube channel for a full demo on the FemShaper waist trainer.

Fitness Date with John Lewis and Women's Health

Women's Health AJ Odudu
John Lewis AJ Odudu
Yoga AJ Odudu
Yoga Crab AJ Odudu

Tweet Me: @AJOdudu | Instagram me: @ajodudu | Watch me on YouTube: AJOdudu

John Lewis and Women’s Health Magazine have collaborated to introduce their #JLLiveBetter campaign and I went to it’s launch at the John Lewis Live Better Loft, overlooking the Olympic Stadium in London.

The morning kicked off with a mini-session of awakening yoga led by Colby Hanks, which was swiftly followed by a healthy breakfast of bircher muesli, matcha porridge, cardamon buns and fresh organic smoothies made by nutrition’s woman of the moment, Natasha Corrett of Honestly Healthy. I’m a mere mortal human who loves to eat, so this was one of the highlights of my morning.

Elite Barry’s Bootcamp trainer, Anya Lahiri put us through our paces with a fitness training session before personal trainer Rich Tidmarsh shared the secrets on how to exercise better.  He had us doing crabs and all sorts which was a lot harder than it looks but loads of fun. I got to hang out with a number of amazing fitness and health bloggers and the icing on the alkaline, sugar-free cupcake was a money-can’t buy personalised front cover of Women’s Health Magazine. 

There was something particularly special about coming together with a bunch of women (most of whom I’d never met), to work out together, laugh together and learn together. Essentially, it felt really empowering. Mental stability is just as important as physical strength which is exactly the message this #JLLiveBetter campaign is trying to send. It was a Saturday morning well spent and a campaign well worthy of recognition.

For more information about #JLLiveBetter click here  and in the meantime, love yourself, eat well and feel fabulous!