Free Bellabeat Leaf

by Joanne Chapman

Win a Bellabeat LEAF for Valentines Day

I recently posted a Bellabeat LEAF review.

Our friends at Bellabeat have given us a LEAF and as there’s no better way to share the love and be kind to yourself this Valentine’s Day, we would like to give it away to one lucky winner!

You’ll be able to track your activity, sleep and menstrual cycle, become a healthier you with the LEAF.

While its busy tracking your activity, you can keep an eye on your graphs through a simple app on your phone.

Whether you wear it on your wrist as a bracelet or around your neck as a necklace or clip it to you like a brooch, simply double tap the LEAF to pair with the app to track how your day is going.

It also includes some simple breathing exercises to reduce your stress levels and wear whilst you are sleeping and it will monitor your sleep pattern!

  • No charging
  • Wireless Sync
  • 14 Day memory
  • Pill reminder
  • Smart Alarm
  • Inactivity alert

The only thing you need to remember is that it’s not waterproof!

In order to enter our draw to be in with a chance of winning, all you need to do is subscribe below and click the confirm link in the email we send you (we promise to only send you cool stuff).
The winner will be drawn on valentines day. Only one entery per person. The winner will be contacted by email and delivery arranged.

What are you waiting for?

You have till midnight February 13th to enter.

Exercise I’m interested in::

Calculate You BMI

Calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI) with this calculator, simply enter your weight and height.

BMI Calculator

Now find out your Fat Percentage

hand held body fat monitor digital body fat percentage scales

What Does BMI Mean?

what does bmi mean

The BMI index gives a measurement based on your weight and height in an attempt to classify  or bracket your body fat.

It is a blunt instrument, which can be useful as a general guide for body fat levels for more than 80% of the population.

The concept of a BMI index has been around since the 1800s.

Initially it was not used for studying obesity, but rather classifying people based on their physical features.

After the second world war the weight levels in the general population started to increase.

Life insurance companies saw the connection between being morbidly overweight and an increased risk of death, so adopted the body mass index as a simple practical way of quantifying a persons relative body fat and hence their risk to insure.

In 1995 BMI was adopted by the World Health Organization as a simple tool to get insights into body fat levels and trends among different populations.

BMI Benefits

bmi benefits

The body mass index is useful as a quick and easy tool to get a general classification of your body fat levels, which is usually fairly close to accurate.

It can be useful to you, as the first step when exploring what your current weight actually means.

BMI Limitations

bmi limitations

There are a number of limitations to using BMI, which come about because it is a blunt simple formula.

  • BMI does not take pregnancy into account
  • BMI does not take gender into account
  • BMI does not take body fat percentage into account
  • If you are shorter than the average population, you may be reflected as having a more healthy weight than reality
  • If you are taller than the average population, you may be reflected as having a less healthy weight than reality

BMI formula – How is it calculated?

BMI is calculated by dividing the weight by the height squared then adjusting for imperial measurements if necessary.

bmi formula

A person’s BMI index is calculated by dividing their weight in kg by their height in meters squared.

For example a person weighing 95 kg who is 183 cm would have a BMI of 28:

95 / (1.83 X 1.83) = 28.36

To calculate the BMI score using imperial measures dive the weight in lbs by the height in inches squared, then multiply by 703.

For example a person weighting 190 lbs who is 6′ 1″ would have a BMI of  25:

(190 / (73 X 73) ) X 703 = 25.06

BMI Chart for Women & Men

Below is an example of a BMI chart.

This can be used for both women and men, as BMI and the ratings are not gender specific.

  • Read across the top to find your weight in lbs
  • Read down to find your height in feet and inches.
  • Where the two cross is the figure for your BMI
  • The color coding provides your BMI range classification.

BMI Chart

BMI Guidelines – What do the  Category Ranges Mean?

Very Severely UnderweightSeverely UnderweightUnderweight

The World Health Organisation (WHO) classifies a person with a BMI under 18.5 as being underweight. This may indicate they have either malnutrition or some form of an eating disorder.

The classifications of:

  • Very Severely Underweight
  • Severely Underweight
  • Underweight

are used as a general guide as to the level or severity of how underweight an individual is and primarily used for collecting statistics on malnutrition / famine related events or classifying impacts of eating disorders.

Normal – Healthy Weight

BMI scores in the range of 18.5 to 25 are considered a “Healthy BMI”. This is the most desirable BMI range for the general population as a whole to aim for.


BMI scores between 25 and 30 are classified as overweight, which is having more body fat than is healthy.

Within this range it is more likely individuals will start to experience the negative health implications of being overweight.

Moderately ObeseSeverely ObeseVery Severely (Morbidly) Obese

Obesity is a medication classification where the extent of body fat will have a negative affect on a persons health. Across the population as a whole, people within the obese BMI classifications will start to experience body fat related health problems and which has an impact on their life expectancy.

Obesity increases the chances of experiencing many different diseases with some of the most common being:

  • Heart Disease
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Cancer
  • Osteorthritis

Exploring you Body Fat Percentage

In exploring your BMI, you’ve started the first step in managing your weight and improving your health.

Now you have an idea of your BMI the next step is to understand what your Body Fat Percentage is.

BMI vs Body Fat Percentage

Body fat percentage is a way of measuring the portion of your body consisting of fat, vs lean body mass (muscle, bones etc)

Understanding your body fat percentage is a much more accurate way of understanding your body composition than BMI, however it can be more complex to measure without the right tools.

For example using only the BMI scale:

Imagine a 6′ 2″ body builder weighing 240 lbs  would show as being obese. In reality the body builder may have a very low fat percentage, but the BMI scale has no way of knowing that.

Start by looking at your BMI, then when you’re ready to explore it further try to understand your body fat percentage.

Get yourself one of these cheap body fat percentage measuring devices and find out how much of your body weight you actually need to shift.

Hand Held Body Fat Monitor

hand held body fat monitorbody fat percentage hand held monitor

This hand held device will calculate your your BMI for you.

Hold the device in your hands for a few seconds and it measures your body fat percentage.

Body Fat Percentage Scales

digital body fat percentage scalesdigital body fat scales

Upgrade your scales, measure not only your weight, but your:

  • body fat %
  • Total body water %
  • Muscle mass %
  • Bone Mass %

What is it like to own a Bellabeat LEAF?

As a fitness and dance instructor I work with people all day and every day helping them to understand their bodies and calorie burning.

I am also a gadget girl and I’ve had many products that have helped me count those steps and calories, that’s why I was desperate to get my hands on a Bellabeat LEAF and find out its capabilities.

The lovely people over at Bellabeat sent me one over to play with and here’s my experience as an active mother of two with my first five days of wearing the LEAF.

[Click here to continue reading the rest of this article…]

This is a 5 point guide to walking to lose weight, aimed at identifying the key actions you can take to effectively, safely and consistenly lose weight through your walking routine.

Ultimately to lose weight you need to eat less calories than you burn, to be precise 3,500 calories less for every pound of weight you want to lose. The thing most people find difficult about weight loss is staying the course, they either end up eating too much or losing motivation to keep exercising.

1) Keep Track of What You Eat

walking to lose weight food logThe key to avoiding over-eating is to be aware of what you are eating. It sounds simple but managing your eating starts with being aware of what you are eating.

Make a record of everything you eat and drink; if you want to record the calories each item contains then great, but the main thing is just to record everything.

The act of keeping a food log will:

Help you ensure you don’t eat more that you do today

As you exercise more your metabolism will increase and your body will naturally increase your apatite.

Help you realise how much you are eating

It is very common for us to “graze” on food without really being concious of everything we are eating, stopping to make a note of everything you eat or drink, makes you much more conscious, lets you look at your full days intake all together and ask yourself “do I really need to eat this?“.

Keep you motivated to keep exercising

This again is because taking the time to log what you eat or drink makes you much more concious, it helps to maintain your motivation for exercise. “I’m going to exercise because I’ve worked so hard eating well” and “I’m going to eat well because I’ve worked so hard exercising

Do NOT fall into the trap of, “I’m going to eat rubbish because I’ve worked hard at exercising“. This can be a slippery slope that does NOT end in weight loss!

2) Measure How Far You Walked

There are several ways to track the distance you’ve walked. Tracking the distance allows you to compare one route with another and help you gradually increase your distance, which will help you increase the calories you burn… crucial if you are walking to lose weight.

Drive the route in your car

Very easy – reset the odometer / mileometer in your car before driving your walking route, however if you are walking off the beaten track or just off road this is not going to be possible.

Route Mapping Websites

There are a number of websites that allow you to plot out your route on a map and see the distance, is one good example.


walking to lose weight - pedometersA pedometer is a device which counts each step you take by detecting the movement of your hips. As everyone’s stride length is different you typically need to tell the pedometer how long each of your strides are, it then uses this to calculate the distance you have covered. These are some of the most popular pedometers*

You’ll find once you’ve tracked your distance a few times you will get to know your walking speed and can pretty accurately work out any distance just from the time it took you to walk it.

Say you walk 2 miles in 40 minutes, this means you average walking pace is 1 mile in 20 minutes (3mph), or put another way, every 10 minutes of walking you cover half a mile. Knowing this you can workout if you went on another route walking at the same pace that took you 30 minutes you would have done about 1.5 miles.

[Click here to continue reading the rest of this article…]

Here are 3 simple elliptical workouts you can do to get some of those calories burned; no matter how much time you have available.

If you’re really short on time jump on the elliptical for 10 minutes give this first workout a whirl.

Elliptical Workout

For a 30 minute workout try this next one, which cycles through a rise and fall in both the resistance and incline, with a couple of sprint sessions.

Elliptical Workout

Finally if you want a longer 60 minute workout try this high speed, high intensity workout.

Elliptical Workout

For many more workouts like these check out the elliptical workouts selector

How To Start Running

When you first start running you should start with a combination of walking and running.

Unless you are already very fit you won’t be able to just walk out your front door and run for 30 minutes. Even if you do manage to keep running for the duration, you’re likely to injure yourself. You need to build up the time you spend running gradually week by week, increasing your fitness, stamina and strength.

Take a look below at our 30 seconds to 30 minutes running plan for beginners. Increase your running time from 30 seconds to 30 minutes in 10 weeks.
Start Running For Beginners
Start each running session with a brisk walk to warm up for 5 minutes, then do a short burst of running, followed by a brisk walk to recover then more running. Repeat this walk run cycle for the rest of your session. Over time you should increase the duration of these running bursts and decrease the walking recovery time.

When you start, aim to run 3 times a week, with rest days interspersed between your run days. This gives you enough repetition to improve and enough time off for your body to heal. Any time you exercise you will make tiny tears in your muscles, this is normal it’s how they get stronger, but your body needs time to repair itself in between workouts.

[Click here to continue reading the rest of this article…]

Becoming a Zumba Instructor is a great way to earn a self employed income, while keeping fit, making lots of new friends and having a great time. When you become a Zumba Instructor everyday at work is a party!

Most new Zumba instructors are already existing fitness or dance instructors, however Zumba is open and very welcoming to first time instructors too. Zumba can be the perfect entry point into a fitness or dance teaching career.

To become a Zumba Instructor you must attend one of the Zumba Instructor training courses, and then keep your instructor license current, through a number of varying courses offered by Zumba or by joining the Zumba® Instructor Network (ZIN).

Step 1: Go to Local Classes

If you have not already done so, attend several different Zumba classes in your area, this helps you several ways:

  • Gain some experience of several different teaching styles,  giving you a feel for what is involved
  • Understand the local areas and days already well covered by existing Zumba classes
  • Start to meet the people who will be your local fellow Instructors (treat this more as a networking opportunity than meeting the competition – at one time or another everyone needs cover for their classes)

Step 2: Chose A Zumba Qualification


Zumba Basic 1This is the basic entry level course most people take, it teaches the basics and the Zumba® formula for teaching a class, covering these 4 basic steps:

  • Merengue
  • Salsa
  • Cumbia
  • Reggaeton

During the course you will learn how to put these steps together into a song and how to create your first Zumba class and receive the following material:

  • Cardio Party and Live Class DVD
  • 20 Minute Express Workout DVD
  • 4 Basic Rhythms Review DVD
  • Cardio Party Music CD
  • The Zumba Instructor’s Manual
  • Zumba Certificate of Completion
  • AFAA Trainers receive 5.5 CEU’s
  • ACE Trainers receive 0.7 CEC’s
  • One-year license to teach basic Zumba classes


Zumba Basic 1

This course is for new instructors to teach Zumba Gold, which is taylored to older adults and those whose fitness levels would prevent them from attending the standard Zumba Fitness. The course focuses specifically on the anatomical, physiological and psychological needs relevant for a Zumba Gold class.

The Jump Start Gold Instructor Training teaches you the foundation and Zumba class formula and prepares you to teach the Zumba Gold® classes by integrating the concepts of the Zumba Gold program.

During the course you will receive the following material:

  • Cardio Party and Live Class DVD
  • 20 Minute Express Workout DVD
  • 4 Basic Rhythms Review DVD
  • Cardio Party Music CD
  • The Zumba Basic 1 Instructor’s Manual
  • The Zumba Gold Instructor’s Manual
  • Zumba Basic 1 Certificate of Completion
  • AFAA Trainers receive 7.25 CEU’s
  • ACE Trainers receive 0.9 CEC’s
  • One-year basic Zumba license; Zumba Gold license as long as you are a ZIN Member in good standing

[Click here to continue reading the rest of this article…]

Weight Loss Motivation

by Gareth Chapman

How can you ensure you don’t become one of the millions of people who sleep walk back into weight gain?

Realise that motivation gets you started but it’s habit that keeps you going.

You need to make use of motivation and habit to achieve your goals.

Typical Weight Loss Motivation Yearly Cycle

Does this sound familiar?

January: Renowned as the busiest month in the fitness business calendar; with a fresh new year you are highly motivated for a fresh new you, you start your exercise routine; vowing this time I’m going to stick at it.

February / March: Reality kicks in, this is actually quite tough, other things happen, you don’t intentionally give up but life just gets in the way and motivation drops off.

April / May / June: As summer starts to approach your motivation picks up again, driven mainly by the thought of bearing your body on the beach, reaching a peak around July.

September / October: After July & August your motivation levels start to drop again, the days get shorter and colder, you cover up with more layers of clothing, covering what drove your motivation in the summer. You then spend the cold evenings sitting in the warm, on the couch.

December: By now you’re looking forward to Christmas and all the great food you’re going to be eating, justifying to yourself it’s OK, because:

This January I’m really going to make a change and lose this weight!

weight loss motivation by month

[Click here to continue reading the rest of this article…]

Walking is an ideal introduction to a regular exercise routine and can be a great aid to burning calories and weight loss.

You learned how to walk as a toddler, so surely you already know everything  there is to know about walking, don’t you?….One foot in front of the other, try not to fall over…Job done!….Or is it?

Here’s my run down of 27 tips to help you maintain & increase your Calories Burned Walking.

View your calorie burn with the calories burned walking calculator, Keep inspired, stay the course and keep walking off that weight.

1) Walk Faster

Walking just a little bit faster can have big impact on the calories you burn. Keep your head up; look ahead not down at your feet and just concentrate on moving each leg just a little bit faster than normal.

You don’t need to be doing speed walking, you’re not in the Olympics. Make sure you don’t increase your speed too far or you may burn yourself out half way through.

Remember with any change you make keep it achievable and realistic:

You can achieve anything you set your mind to, but nothing worthwhile is achieved straight away.

[Click here to continue reading the rest of this article…]

Are you looking to do some exercising and don’t know where to start? Maybe you just used our BMI calculator and decided it’s time to make a change. Let us help you with our quick start walking program for beginners.

Walking Program For Beginners

As with any exercise program, if you have any concerns or existing medical conditions consult a doctor before starting.

Within 5 weeks the following program will take you from sofa to walking 2.5 hours every week. That gets you to the point where depending on your weight you could be burning an extra 750 – 1000 calories per week! (check your own calorie burn with our calculator using your weight, normal pace & 150 minutes)

Once able to walk 150 minutes per week, if you combine this with a reduced calorie diet, cutting back by just 350 – 500 calories per day you could expect to safely and consistently lose 1-2 pounds per week.


The red values show how many minutes each day to walk for, you have two rest days a week, make sure to keep these as rest days and give your body a bit of recovery time. If you need to move days that’s fine but don’t do any more than 3 days together without a rest day in between.

If you find yourself unable to complete one week just repeat it again the next week before moving on.

Don’t worry too much about your speed, the main thing to focus on getting into the routine of exercising and maintaining a sustainable pace. Concentrate on being able to go out on each activity day rather than pushing yourself to go too fast and causing an injury.

Right! Don’t delay starting your walking program for beginners, there is no day better than today to start! Make sure to come on over to our Facebook Page and tell us how you’re getting on.