ultrasport up down stepperULTRASPORT UP-DOWN STEPPER

Despite the fact the gym is literally 30 seconds from my house, since the weather has been getting cooler (to put it mildly), I’m finding it hard to motivate myself to leave the house on days when I’m nicely snuggled in my comfy sweats and uggs. It’s just too hard. Especially for someone as lazy as me who needs absolutely everything aligned before I will even consider going to the gym – and that’s on a good day.





duronic sports blender bl3

Every now and again (notably more often as I’ve been getting older), I reassess my health and lifestyle and try to implement healthier choices. I know for a fact I don’t get enough fruit or veg, I’m just not one of those people who sit down with a bowl of fruit as a snack (or shock horror – in place of desert!).

The only way I could see myself getting near my five-a-day was sticking them all in blender, and making myself a delicious smoothie! The problem with this was washing up a giant monster blender daily to make my delicious smoothie was equally unappealing. Enter the Duronic BL3 Sports Blender – an on-the-go, blend in the glass, smoothie maker!  (more…)




Sometimes it takes stopping using something to realise how good it was. Which is exactly the experience I had with Perfectil Plus Hair Extra Support*.

Perfectil Plus Hair Extra Support

At the time, I honestly couldn’t really notice any improvement with my skin, nails or hair – the three things it allegedly improved. However it was around the time I started using this new foundation that I was nearing the end of the monthly pack. Every time I applied the foundation I felt like my skin, especially my forehead, was exceptionally smooth and plumped up; not one line, even a teeny tiny fine line, could be spotted. I thought I had found my Holy Grail foundation and was naturally elated. But this elation was short lived, as a few weeks after finishing my monthly trial of the supplement I just couldn’t get my skin to look how it used to before with the same foundation. My skincare had been exactly the same, the foundation and application method was exactly the same, but alas my forehead just didn’t have that plumped up, super smooth, hydrated and radiant finish it had prior. To my disdain, fine lines were suddenly visible again, unconcealable!

After a couple of weeks of exhausting every option in achieving that lovely smooth skin again, I realised what had actually been the cause for my sudden (and loss of) good skin. Two weeks into starting the supplement, my skin is all plump, two weeks after finishing, it’s all fine line-y again. It’s my skin, nails and hair supplements, of course!

Needless to say, I’m a total Perfectil convert now – it’s not the number 1 selling UK women’s supplement for nothing! As mentioned, this particular form of Perfectil was with Plus Hair Extra Support, which means it contains everything the original Perfectil contained, but additional ingredients (Colourel blend with copper, I believe) to contribute to natural hair pigment. Now, I honestly haven’t noticed the effect of the Colourel blend and I’m not entirely sure how I would (does it just stop it from greying?), however my hairdresser did say that my hair was unusually difficult to dye the last time I went, unlike my sisters who also have black hair (she does their hair as well), and the natural black was incredibly stubborn. It could just be I have really dark hair, darker than normal black hair, or is it the Colourel blend? Who knows. All I know is I am repurchasing (except I’m going for the incredibly affordable Perfectil Original Triple Active – as I mainly care about the skin stuff, and yanno, much cheaper), and the best thing about repurchasing now is that it’s on 3 for 2 at both Superdrug and Boots! WOOOO. This means I’ve essentially picked up a three month supply for a couple of quid over a tenner. Absolute bargain.

Sadly I can’t jump into a fresh pack of it right now as I am about to embark on another round of skin supplements – this time from Boots (which I wrote a little about here), so check back in a month or so if you’re keen to hear how I got on with those.

Are you a fan of skin, hair and nail supplements?

Oh, and FYI, when I first wrote that I was trialling Perfectil, I mentioned it was making me feel a little nauseous. Well, just make sure you have it with a hearty meal (not a snack!) and you won’t feel sicky! That was where I was going wrong. :)





polar ft4 heart rate monitor (3)

I have really taken to going to the gym of late, alongside the whole fitness aspect, I find working out and getting lost in the workout incredibly therapeutic and it helps clear my mind. I decided I wanted to maximise my workouts by monitoring my heart rate and thus focusing on staying within the optimal fat burning and aerobic zone (I will go into detail over what these are later), and also, more importantly, count all the calories I was burning during the workout!

polar ft4 heart rate monitor (6)

The Polar FT4 has been hyped as one of the most accurate heart rate monitors around at an incredibly affordable price (about £50 from Amazon), so I decided to take the plunge and invest in one. This particular model, for women, comes in three colours and let me tell you, I spent a good day deliberating over which colour to get! In the end I settled on the pink, but I’ll admit I do wish I got the green now – but not to the point of it really bothering me or anything. The pink is still cute!

After inputting your specific details such as weight, height, age, etc., the monitor will calculate an average heart rate for you and from that determine your zones. There are five heart zones when working out but you really need to only stay within two, potentially three, for maximum effectiveness and health. Going over these zones means you’re straining your heart too much and burning yourself out quicker, whilst going below optimal zones simply means your workout is ineffective and won’t result to much. To summarise, you need to be within 60-80% of full capacity the majority of the time, peaking at 90% for parts of the time. That is your optimal zone for fat burning and aerobic exercise.

heart rate zones

I found my Polar FT4 very intuitive to set up and use, and have really, really enjoyed using it the last few weeks. For me, what I benefit most from it is using it as a tool to push myself further. Before I might have popped into the gym and quickly worked out for 40 minutes, probably burning around 300 calories, whereas now I won’t stop until I’ve burnt at least 800 calories, which often leads to a minimum hour and a half workout. This alone is really improving my fitness. My first workout I burnt a staggering 1040 calories and pushed myself for two hours.

polar ft4 heart rate monitor (2)

My one complaint is that I have had incredibly high heart readings that I fear are inaccurate. This is probably caused by the strap being a teeny bit too loose for my petite frame and every time it wriggles or jolts, the sensor reads it as a heartbeat. However, knowing this I just take that into account and have noticed it seems to especially happen when I’m on the treadmill, etc., so try not to panic!

Overall, I’m exceptionally happy with the Polar FT4, I’m so pleased I bought it. It really is like having a personal fitness trainer inside your watch! Even if you’re not one for fancy gym equipment and gadgets I’d still recommend this, as it really motivates you to work harder and longer and safer, to get better results. Without it I was just kinda doing stuff but half heartedly. Now I feel really in control over the effectiveness of my workout.

Forever in search of a good bargain, I scoured the net thoroughly before purchasing from Amazon, where it was for the cheapest price I could find online (here)! :)

Are you interested in upping your fitness game with a heart rate monitor?



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