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PruHealth Vitality Experience - month 1 feedback thread with WEEKLY prizes for non participants.....

(401 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 20-Jan-14 09:58:48

You may recall we have recruited 10 willing volunteers to take part in the Mumsnet PruHealth Vitality Experience - this is running until mid March. This is the feedback thread for the participants to share their feedback with you all.

As PruHealth are so very keen for as many MNers as possible to experience the benefits offered by their Vitality programme each week there will be an incentive (see below for chance to win a £50 Nectar card) offered to non participants to read how the volunteers are getting on and to share your own tips, experiences and opinions. Bookmark this thread and keep an eye out for updates across the next few weeks....

PruHealth say "We believe the more you look after yourself, the healthier you feel. That's why we offer our customers Vitality when they buy our health insurance. Vitality is the world's largest incentive-based wellness programme and can make getting and staying healthy both easier and cheaper, but also reward you for all of your hard work!"

The Vitality Experience kicked off in style at PruHealth HQ in London on Friday 17th January. Here participants were given everything they need for the experience - including a Vitality Healthcheck, advice on healthy eating from a qualified nutritionist and an exercise plan designed by a personal trainer.

Each week participants will be presented with a new Vitality benefit - from earning additional Nectar points when you buy healthy foods at Sainsbury's, taking advantage of discounts at Virgin Active or treating the family to a trip to the cinema! Vitality aims to make healthy living fun, easy and rewarding.

Here's the full schedule of the Vitality Experience:

Week 1 - Get Gyming - Kick start your January resolutions with a free 2-month pass to a Virgin Active gym and £50 to spend on new gym gear at Sweatshop.
Week 2 - 5-a-Day - Get £50 worth of Nectar points to spend on healthy food choices at Sainsbury's.
Week 3 - Step It Up - Get motivated to increase your daily step count with your new FitBug pedometer.
Week 4 - Family Treat - Take the family out on a trip to the cinema with £40 worth of vouchers to either Cineworld or Vue cinemas.
Week 5 - Half-Term & Half-Time - Check in with your personal trainer for a free 1hr session to boost your gym routine.
Week 6 - Discounts Dispensed - Get £25 worth of vouchers to test drive our up to 50% cashback at Lloyds Pharmacy benefit.
Week 7 - Choose Your Reward - Take your pick between discounts to Merlin attractions, National Trust parks or travel with Eurostar, Mark Warner or Mr & Mrs Smith getaways.
Week 8 - Wrap Up - Finish the Vitality Experience with a day of pampering at Champney's spa.

Week 1 - Get Gyming
Vitality Experience Participants: please share on this thread:
How you found the welcome day - what did you enjoy, what worried you, how did you find meeting other MNers? Why did you want to take part? Pick three words to sum up the day.

Please share how you're getting on with the gym: have you been before? What did your family think / say? What did you buy with your Sweatshop voucher? How did you feel the next day? Do you think it's given you the push to start going regularly? How do you fit it into your schedule?

Non Participants - gyms and you - discuss!
Now that we're in the middle of January, how are your resolutions for a fitter 2014? Share your stories and thoughts about gyming and you and you'll be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £50 pre-loaded Nectar card (prize draw Monday 27th at 9am) NOW CLOSED

Week 2: - is all about healthy food choices (w/c 27-1). PruHealth with Vitality members can earn five times the amount of Nectar points they normally would by buying certain foods. As well they earn 1 Vitality point for each £2 is spent on healthy foods once they have linked their nectar card to their account.

Vitality Experience Participants - please share on this thread: At the welcome day you had a presentation from Sally Nash, the nutritionist with EnergiseYou -
~ What would you say was the key message you took away from her presentation and what did you learn?
~ What healthy foods have found their way into your trolley since then and what are you planning to buy this week with your Nectar card?
~ How's the rest of the programme going - we'd love to hear what you've done!

Non Participants - what's your best tip for including your 5-a-day in family meals? NOW CLOSED
~ Share your best tips for getting the 5-a-day into family meals or share a fruit or veg packed recipe on this thread and you'll be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £50 pre-loaded Nectar card NOW CLOSED

Week 3
The third week is about increasing the number of steps you take every day and finding ways to fit 'steps' around your lifestyle. PruHealth with Vitality members can earn points for the number of steps they take each day. Start earning once you've taken over 7,000 a day - the more steps, the more points.

Vitality Experience Participants: please share on this thread:

~ How are you getting on with your new FitBug pedometer?
~ How many steps are you taking each day? Does this surprise you? Disappoint you?
~ What tips can you share for increasing your steps per day.

Non Participants - what's your best tip for increasing the steps you take each day? Add your comment below to be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £50 pre-loaded Nectar card! Share your top tips for making it easy to get more steps into your daily life on this thread and you'll be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £50 pre-loaded Nectar card (prize draw Monday 10th Feb at 9am). NOW CLOSED

Week 4
Family Treat Week
PruHealth say "The very heart of Vitality is focussed on wellness and making healthy choices cheaper, easier and well-rewarding for our members. The weekly cinema ticket incentive is one of our most popular as it gives members the opportunity to treat themselves to a night at the cinema as a reward for their efforts to lead a healthier lifestyle. Small changes, big rewards."

Participants please share what film you are seeing or have seen with your Cineworld/ Vue voucher and what treats you like to enjoy generally with your family. How do you think the treat and reward element of the PruHealth with Vitality plan works?

Non participants...with half term coming up what treats do you have in store for your family? What are your families fav films?
~ Add your comment and you will be entered into a prize draw where one person will win a £50 preloaded Nectar card. Prize draw Monday 17 Feb at 9am. NOW CLOSED

Thanks and good luck
MNHQ

telsa Mon 20-Jan-14 11:48:00

Non Participants - gyms and you - discuss!

Well, I have never set foot in a gym, since school. I do miss those strange crumpety mats, but doubt they still exist. When the chance to win this PruHealth experience came up I looked into the Virgin gyms near me and was pretty impressed and almost tempted to join up, They looked like fun and funky and not too lyrca- and muscle-bound. I would join if I had more time to justify the expense. In any case, had an argument with partner yesterday and he brought up my overweightness, which I am well aware of. Since the New Year I have been watching what I eat closely. Taking the advice from Paul McKenna on the webchat - about mindful eating - I am trying to eat only when I feel hungry and am eating much more slowly. I hope this will make a difference. I walk to work, but my job is sedentary. I don't really feel I can face jogging or anything like that. I wish there was something active I loved doing and that I felt I had time to do it. One day I may try Pilates!

cather Mon 20-Jan-14 12:45:37

My New Year Resolution was to go for a walk every lunchtime instead of sitting at my desk and up to now I have managed it. I got a couple of colleagues to come along so now we have a brisk 30 minute walk and a good chat. I feel much better already and I don't get the mid afternoon slump like I used to.
I live in a rural area with no gyms so going to a gym means travelling 30 minutes so it isn't something I really have time to do

Willemdefoeismine Mon 20-Jan-14 13:46:15

Yikes the gremlins are in my machine today...I've just spent half an hour doing participant feedback and it's gone - GRRRR!

The welcome day was fabulous - there was so much positive energy coming from all the PruHealth Vitality employees that it was impossible not to be swept along with it! It was a breath of fresh air in so many ways!

I really enjoyed meeting Ann and Angelie from Mumsnet HQ and the other Mumsnetters too!

My three words for the day would be inspiring, positive and challenging!

I wanted to be involved because I am aware that I have slipped into sloppy habits (health, diet and exercise-wise) since having children. I was very lucky in my younger days to be very svelte and healthy without making any effort. I am still renowned for being hail and hearty but know that as one gets older one is living on borrowed time if one doesn't take a pro-active approach to all three. Prevention is better than cure and it's very much at the heart of the PruHealth Vitality ethos - and should be the way I move forward with living my life not only for myself but also as the mother of still relatively young (for my age) children.

I think that I've been quite conscious for a while that I needed to embrace healthier lifestyle choices and fortuitously the Vitality Experience arrived at an opportune moment for me :-)!

I will share the gym experience once my curve-enhancing (although maybe it should be hiding!) kit has arrived courtesy of Sweatshop! I opted for kit over trainers on the grounds that I own none of the former but do have a pair of very retro-vintage (almost) Nikes to which I'm very emotionally attached (although they have to date seen little active service!). My husband seems suspiciously silent on the whole idea of me 'gyming-it' but the children would love to come with me. I am not entirely a gym novice, having had membership before the DCs - I am looking forward to getting off the treadmill of life (temporarily) and discovering the running machine and possibly Pilates, yoga and zumba classes!

I am already religiously wearing my Fitbug and am pleased to see the evidence that I am not entirely a couch-potato! I did almost manage to put it into the washing machine having left it clipped onto my trousers - let that be a lesson to everyone!

Looking forward to hearing the experiences of the rest of the Vitality crew!

lorka Mon 20-Jan-14 16:35:55

Non tester - I am a member of a gym and hadn't been using it as much as I would like. I have however been trying really hard to fit it in and have managed 3 times weekly for last couple of weeks. I am already noticing the difference. I must keep it up!! grin

CMOTDibbler Mon 20-Jan-14 16:43:56

Non participant. I hate gyms, and only go if I'm staying in a hotel and want to run when its dark. I hate all the testosterone and flirting, and just want to get on with what I need to do.
Part of what makes running viable for me is getting out in the fresh air (a bit too fresh today tbh) and getting some head time.

My 2014 aims are at least two half marathons and my first ever sprint triathlon.

daisydaisy11 Mon 20-Jan-14 16:48:33

non tester. I used to find that I could motivate myself to get to the gym if I set myself a target of an hour in the gym followed by a relaxing swim/spell in the jacuzzi afterwards. I would visualize this part rather than slogging away on the machines when I was sat comfortably at home debating whether to give it a miss "just this once".

IncaAztec Mon 20-Jan-14 18:05:59

Non Participants - gyms and you - discuss!
Now that we're in the middle of January, how are your resolutions for a fitter 2014?

I'm doing well in terms of general fitness but struggling to get to the gym itself. I do however go to the pool quite a bit so guess that helps. I would really like to have a local decent gym to go to, however our town only seems to have the smaller body-building type ones. A more female friendly one with a pool and hot tub I would love.

CointreauVersial Mon 20-Jan-14 18:23:35

Ooh, shiny new thread. Lucky tester here, signing in for feedback...

I wanted to take part in order to give myself a New Year boost back into exercise and healthy living, and I was really keen to sample gym membership, something I've not had before, mainly because the DCs were too young to leave alone (they are now just about old enough for me to take off for a couple of hours, hallelujah). And I can't deny some of the other incentives played a part as well....

Pick three words to sum up the day? Hmmm......Informative, professional and fun.

I haven't ventured to the gym yet - I was a bit under the weather on Saturday after my unintentional hazelnut consumption and subsequent anaphylactic "episode", but I have scheduled visits for tomorrow and Thursday, and will report back......

I have had a look at the Sweatshop website, but am a little confused by the fact that the voucher says it can't be used online. That's not a major problem, because I will be able to visit a store at the weekend. I have a few thing in my virtual shopping basket - a new teeshirt for the gym, a long-sleeved top and possibly some new earphones for running, as mine have broken, and DH's make my ears hurt. I don't need shoes because I replaced my trainers just before Christmas.

I haven't broken out the Fitbug yet, but took a couple of little videos of myself before and after going for a run on Sunday. Complete with sweaty hair and glowing cheeks. Nice.

Bagtrainlady Mon 20-Jan-14 19:05:09

Marking place as have to put dc's to bed first!

CrewElla Mon 20-Jan-14 20:44:01

I miss working out hmm we can't afford a gym membership at the moment and we probably couldn't find the time due to the little ones being so full on.

I take the stairs up and down at work and the parking garage but that is about as much exercise as I get during the week. On the weekends we try to go for a hike on at least one day.

Audreyblue Mon 20-Jan-14 21:55:14

A very lucky participant here.

Firstly - the welcome day. I have to say it was a real eye-opening experience where I learnt a lot about exercise, fitness and most importantly nutrition. I also agree with Willemdefoeismine about all the positivity from the Pruhealth staff. They were so enthusiastic, down to earth and approachable. I felt totally at easy and really enjoyed the day. I was a bit apprehensive at first but everyone was really nice. The other MNers were all so friendly too. I wanted to take part because although I do a little exercise, I feel like I need to do a lot more. Since hitting the big 4-0 I know I need to take more care of myself. High blood pressure and diabetes runs in my family and I want to do my utmost to dispel this trait. Three words to sum up the day would be informative, positive and uplifting.

So I ventured out on my first visit to the gym this evening. I was very nervous as I haven't been in a gym for over 12 years (before I had kids) when I was slightly more svelte and confident about my body. My family were very encouraging. At first it was a bit intimidating as there were a lot of bodybuilder and gym bunny types but it wasn't too bad once I started on the running machine and bikes. I felt really good and energised afterwards and will definitely try and go about three times a week. As I work part-time I am hoping to go on my day off and possibly in the evenings and weekend. The classes look great too, so may try them too. The pool also looks very inviting, but one step at a time!

I haven't used my Sweatshop voucher yet as they can only be used in store and My nearest one is quite a distance away.

Once again, thanks to Mumsnet and Pruhealth Vitality for letting me take part in this trial. I am really enjoying it so far.

loopsngeorge Mon 20-Jan-14 22:06:09

Another lucky participant here! I really enjoyed the induction day - it was such a welcome break from everyday life. I remember thinking at one stage, I can't believe I'm sat here on a Friday afternoon having the luxury of discussing my nutritional needs and resistance training!

I too found the nutritionist very interesting, although predictably a lot of foods were mentioned that frankly I am never likely to enjoy eating. However, I am going to try using coconut oil and almond butter and more nuts and seeds.

I wanted to take part as I thought the sheer scale of what was being offered with all the different elements was fantastic. When I was younger i could eat what I liked without thinking about it and actually used to worry about being too thin. I still eat like this is the case, but now I've become more sedentary and noticed my weight creeping up, so I was keen to try and make some changes.

I'm going to try out the gym tomorrow - for a swim initially as that's what I'm used to doing, but I'm going to see what classes they have as well. I think the workout routine we went through is great and I can imagine fitting that in somewhere each day. My kids were intrigued by it!!
I will report back once I've tried the gym and used the Sweatshop voucher.
Oh and three words to describe the day - out of (the) ordinary!

Bagtrainlady Mon 20-Jan-14 22:21:02

I am another of the lucky 10!

I had a nightmare with trains, so did miss a chunk of the morning. The staff were very welcoming and were great about filling me in. Personally I was inspired by Sam, the personal trainer who gave us a work-out to go away and get on with. She looked amazing (rock-hard, flat abs a year after giving birth!) I am working my way up to a 30 second plank!

I am nervous about this as it truly is a challenge! My reasons for taking part are that similarly to Audrey I have hit my 40's and I want to be fitter and healthier. Also, corny as it may seem, I want to be a good role model to my 8yo DD and 2yo DS - couch potato mummy is not a good look!

I have signed up to the gym and my induction is booked for Friday. The staff at the Virgin Active in Nottingham have been really welcoming. I will be going tomorrow night whilst DD is at Brownies (got to fit sessions in where you can!) for my first session. I am also signing my dc's up to the gym whilst I am a member there. DS can swim & use the creche, whilst DD can take part in age appropriate classes and hopefully get her swim band to swim on her own - which she feels very grown up and excited about.

If I actually remember my voucher tomorrow I will be shopping at the Sweatshop that is housed in the gym!

CheeseTMouse Mon 20-Jan-14 22:21:05

Non tester: one of the things that went when I was pregnant was my gym membership. I found I wasn't using it enough to justify the expense - added to the fact I own a bike and row.

However, I have found that since being on maternity leave I have been able to do more exercise than I anticipated. I have been doing drop in outdoor fitness classes with the buggy, long long walks and on the weekend have been able to get on the river - provided I am organised with feeding. The key thing for me at the moment is to find a way of exercising with or around my daughter and the flexibility that requires. I do miss the gym, however, think it might be a while before I am able to consider joining again.

Stripytop Mon 20-Jan-14 22:25:51

I would like to say a huge thankyou to Annemumsnet and Team for selecting me for this experience. It's a great opportunity for me to get my fitness back on track and now my children are 8 and 10 maybe even prioritise my own needs a bit for a few months.

Friday was definitely information overload, but having had all weekend to get process everything, I'm really looking forward to the challenges.
I'm still picking information and gadgets out of my goody bag to examine and play with. The Biometric testing was really useful for me. It was good to have an accurate starting point with measurable targets to work towards. It was also a relief, with nothing too scary in the results.
The nutritional advice was really inspiring as I have lots of bad habits to change, but we were shown how to tackle bad habits and turn them into good ones by making three small changes and sticking to it for a month.
I have fell in love with my pedometer. I've only been using it a few days, but I get such a buzz reaching the 10,000 steps mark each day. I think it will be a challenge on the days I work though.
Before the welcome day, I had concerns that I might feel a little isolated and give up before the end of the experience, but it was great to meet other Mumsnetters, they were such a lovely bunch and I really feel as though I'm part of a team! There is also a great level of support from Pruhealth and Mumsnet too.

In summary, my three words are:

Exciting, motivating, challenge!

(fellow testers - sorry but I've name changed again Clue's in the name)

PepeLePew Mon 20-Jan-14 22:39:23

I have a Jawbone UP thingy which I got for Christmas. Really motivating - I am a pretty diligent gym goer (thanks PruHealth - love the Virgin discount!) but the Jawbone has really inspired me to walk more. I'm now doing 10,000 +
steps every day which I certainly wasn't before, and I can see the difference. I took the children swimming yesterday (to the Virgin pool which they love) and was inspired to run there while they cycled as I knew I wouldn't hit my target otherwise....previously we'd have gone in the car (it's about 1.5 miles away).

Stripytop Mon 20-Jan-14 22:47:55

Bagtrainlady - getting the DC's their own memberships is a great idea. Think mine would love that and I'm sure that would help me use it more. Will look into that when I join. Was hoping to go today, but didn't make it, so hopefully tomorrow.

Patilla Mon 20-Jan-14 23:41:25

non participant here <nurses sore spot>

So I haven't got massively far with my resolutions for fitness but I did start a fitness class today but taking DD aged 9 months was a challenge to say the least.

My abdominals are incredibly weak after two c sections and spd issues so my concerns are to take it slowly and not injure myself but that comes at a cost in terms of only really feeling confident with an instructor.

I've managed to pay for four post natal classes but after that it will have to be exercise DVDs with care and fingers crossed.

In the past when we had the disposable incomes to fund a gym membership I've generally enjoyed it and enjoyed fitting it into our time as part of our lifestyles - so Saturday morning DH and I would trundle off do some gym stuff (I would sometimes swim) and then meet for brunch at the gym cafe. Oh the days of leisurely brunches.

I've not had a membership since having DC but would love to be able to model and active lifestyle but do it as a family. At present one of us tends to take one of the kids somewhere and watches while they do sports.

Unfortunately for us, DC and gym memberships have proved to be mutually exclusive and I don't think we are unusual in that respect.

Now that we're

Kewcumber Mon 20-Jan-14 23:54:38

Participant

How you found the welcome day - what did you enjoy, what worried you, how did you find meeting other MNers? Why did you want to take part? Pick three words to sum up the day

I LOVED the welcome day. It felt very decadent talking and thinking about myself nearly all day! The staff really seemed to beleive in the Vitality approach which rubbed off on me... it gave me a real incentive to think that maybe I could make a difference in only 2 months despite being (by a Loooong way) the unfittest person there (will be building up my plank from 3 seconds...)

I was worried about being the unfittest and most overweight (which I was) but really no-one else cared. Which is really what I knew would be the case but you still have to worry don't you!

Other mumsnetters were lovely as they aleays are when I meet them - it doesn;t seem possible but they're always nice and *normal on the surface

I lost a lot of weight a few years ago and its crept back on slowly - I need to stop the rot and this seemed the ideal way of doing it.

I'm a bit concerned about the gym - not exactly gym material... but I like acqua classes so perhaps I'll start with that. As I can;t get to the gym until Weds earliest I got out the fitbug and started it off and am horrified to discover that despite a 1 hour dog walk (and pushing my sisters wheel chair) I made it to about 3000 steps today shock

DS is thrilled with our new healthy eating approach (likes to consider himelf a bit of a sportsman) and wants to help me cook every night... to be continued when I get to spend my Sainsubry's points.

Willemdefoeismine Tue 21-Jan-14 07:47:25

Hi the DC membership is a brilliant idea - how much would that cost for two (I know that prices may vary across the UK)??

If it's any consolation, Kewcumber after quite an active day on Saturday, I stayed in all day on Sunday and seemed to have only clocked about 1000 steps! Made up for it yesterday though with 17,000!!! BUT it just does go to show that a couple of days of inertia keeping the house in order grin can really rock a fitness regime! Over Christmas we seemed to have loads of stay-at-home days...no wonder the girth started spreading...

I found it really easy to use my Sweatshop voucher online (but didn't need to buy shoes/trainers so maybe that was why I found it relatively straightforward)....but it all seems a blur now, so not sure that I could usefully talk anyone thro' doing it - I certainly went to the site via PruHealth Vitality - it seems to connect the two....

Willemdefoeismine Tue 21-Jan-14 08:07:46

Oh and I'm busy embracing dietary improvements left, right and centre. The DCs loved the brown rice so that was a very easy for the whole family...I'm finding not eating cheese (my big vice) quite difficult though....I'm on the almond milk, eating oats for breakfast and nuts as snacks.....(polishes halo whilst dreaming of cheese on an oatcake...).

I was rather aghast at £6 for a small jar of Coconut Oil on the Waitrose website....I guess it's not that much more expensive (by £3 or so....) than goose fat......

Bagtrainlady Tue 21-Jan-14 08:48:11

At the Nottingham gym it's £12 per month for dd who is 8 and £5 for ds who is 2, plus crèche fees as and when I book him in.
Also if they are 8+ & pass the swim test they get a red band which allows them to use the pool by themself while you work out in the gym.

Punkatheart Tue 21-Jan-14 09:01:33

Non-participant. Gyms are not for me - or I have never found one that feels like fun. I joined Pineapple in London, bought all the gear and never went. It just feels like too much work and a lot of it is designed to make you feel guilty about - well about everything.

Very interesting reading about the volunteers' experiences though...

tinypumpkin Tue 21-Jan-14 11:26:06

I am not a gym lover. I have started the couch to 5K though and I actually am really enjoying it (and sticking to it!) I am truly amazed. It's now couch to 10K as I have registered for the 10K in May. Words that I never thought I would ever utter with regard to myself.

WalkingThePlank Tue 21-Jan-14 12:11:58

Hello Participant here. Friday was great - lovely Mumsnetters as expected. I enjoyed hearing about PruHealth Vitality (still haven't looked at DH's plan yet). I wasn't worried about the day other than getting home in time to collect the children - such is the life of a mum. I enjoyed the nutrition talk especially and getting the basic health check.

Three words to describe the day = Informative, Fun, Inspiring.

I tried to use my Sweatshop voucher yesterday but it doesn't work online and they don't have any stores in my near vicinity. I see it's valid for a while so I'll use it when I am next going past one.

My husband has been as supportive as ever. My DD was surprised that I was going to a gym - not sure why she found it so surprising since I do run. Went to the 'health club' today. I was a bit apprehensive because I last went to a gym when I was a 'young professional' and all of the other people in those evening sessions were young professional or gym bunnies. I am now very much working the mother-of-two look! I went straight after school drop off and the car park was filling up with large 4x4s driven by mums. My membership card wasn't ready but they were expecting me and I was given a tour. I did have to pay for a padlock so thank you for the heads-up on that. The club is HUGE and the gym itself is the biggest I've seen ever!

I found myself joining a V-Trek class which is an interval training session on a treadmill and then for good measure I did a quick abs workout. I am going to be in so much pain tomorrow! Everyone was really friendly, in fact it reminded me of the atmosphere last Friday. PruHealth Vitality will be pleased to know I was talking about the scheme during the class!!

My health club is expensive - £92 per month or £46 as a Vitality member so I'm not sure that I would remain a member there, especially since its a 25 minute drive too, but I may consider going elsewhere.

I put the Fitbug on yesterday just before lunch time. Just 4000 steps but I was in meetings for much of the day and being a couch potato in the evening. Today I'm already over 10,000!

Letitsnow9 Tue 21-Jan-14 12:30:33

Non tester- I've not been in a gym since leaving school but so far am sticking to my exercise goals for 2014

CointreauVersial Tue 21-Jan-14 12:57:44

Gah - I'm going to have to bust out the Fitbug tomorrow, aren't I? You lot are showing me up.

I have scheduled my first gym visit for this afternoon (same one as WalkingthePlank - sounds very flash), and I really don't know what to expect. RL has got in the way this week, with Parents' Evening, golf lessons, football matches and an overworked DH all conspiring to keep me from my goal (he is supportive, but grumbling about who's going to sort out dinner/collect children etc. if I'm off "gallivanting"). But I will get there.

I am drinking lots of water (but I wouldn't say it has become a habit yet). And going to the loo a lot.

HellonHeels Tue 21-Jan-14 13:05:03

Non-tester. I'm a gym member (LA Fitness) and also member of a yoga studio. I love the gym but I'm focusing a lot more on my yoga practice at the moment and go to class 4-5 times a week. January and February are not my favourite time of year to go to the gym as it's always very busy then.

It's frustrating trying to book into gym classes as they fill so quickly (my usual gym classes are spin and yoga). For yoga I much prefer classes at the dedicated yoga studio as they supply better props (blocks, bricks, straps etc) I've had good instruction at gym yoga classes but generally yoga studio class instruction is better.

I enjoy the gym experience and don't find the atmosphere intimidating or feel that people are looking at me - in my experience everyone there is just focusing on their own goals and progress and doesn't take any notice of anyone else.

My only gym 'issue' is probably specific to LA Fitness - they don't have gym instructors on the gym floor anymore to offer help and you cannot book in for free progress reviews or workout plans. For that you now have to pay for a personal trainer and there is a bit of a hard sell approach - I get fed up with PTs coming up to "chat" AKA sell their services.

I'm enjoying reading about particiants' experiences on the Vitality Experience - thanks!

muser31 Tue 21-Jan-14 14:39:23

non participant - i am a member of a local gym and really like the yoga class in particular. my goals have been to use it at least 3 times a week, but i haven't been able to do this, because i am usually too tired to find the motivation. i also find it difficult to get motivated in january when its rainy and cold and all i want to do is hibernate. I keep wishing i had a gym partner as this would really help me to keep it going.

goodasitgets Tue 21-Jan-14 16:33:04

Non participant
I just love exercise grin
Mainly I do spinning, pole fitness, horse riding but I've started a bodypump class too which is enjoyable despite me being all "I don't know what I need and what if I'm not fit enough"
I think you have to find something you really enjoy. For me spinning is my escape, I totally tune out almost meditation like

CointreauVersial Tue 21-Jan-14 16:39:33

Goodasitgets - that's what running is like for me. It's my "thinking" time; I go into my own little world.

ScienceRocks Tue 21-Jan-14 18:16:27

Non participant here. I used to go to the gym, and was pretty disciplined about it but never really enjoyed it. Now I have kids, I simply can't manage it, so I have DVDs that I stick on instead. Sometimes I get quite into it, other times I find it really hard work, I never get that endorphin high that people talk about getting after exercise, but I do feel virtuous for having done it (as well as very red and sweaty).

What I really like is putting on wii dance, or similar, and bouncing around to that, but I know it isn't anything like as good a workout :-( I try and walk as much as I can, but it is functional walking. Still, I live on top of a hill, so I guess it helps. I used to love long country walks, but it isn't possible with the kids at the moment.

Sorry, it's all a bit negative.

peronel Tue 21-Jan-14 18:51:52

Non-tester. After forcing myself to the gym for a year - and spending a LARGE sum of money - I gave up and found a fitness DVD which works for me, plus I save shed loads of cash...

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Tue 21-Jan-14 19:11:00

Non-participant
Gym & me
I don't belong to a gym. I have at various times of my life, mostly when living in a big city where I find it more difficult to exercise outdoors (hate having to cross roads when running). The biggest barrier to me exercising is childcare, which a gym won't resolve. The second is daylight - I like to run on the mornings, but need to do it between dawn and DH going to work, so I'd need a gym that opened early enough for me to get back home. Running from my doorstep saves time.
I prefer running outdoors to running on a treadmill and there isn't much else I'd use at a gym, except perhaps a swimming pool. I'd like to try some classes too.
The gyms 'near' me would all take 20+ minutes to travel to, so it's really not something I'd consider right now.
I'm trying to get my fitness back post-DD2. I managed to go from couch to 10k in 4 weeks, but I'm still well off my pre-pregnancy pace and don't seem to have enough time to run for longer than about an hour before I need to get back to the house to let DH go to work/feed DD2 or something else.
I'd love to do a half marathon this year, but I'm also hoping to get pregnant again, so we'll just have to see how that goes....

janeyh31 Tue 21-Jan-14 20:35:19

I have started going swimming once a week since Christmas and I am really enjoying it and still sticking at it. I usually have to drag myself off the sofa but once I have been swimming I feel so much better for it & find I have so much more energy in the week. I have joined gyms in the past but find I quickly loose interest & find it boring. They are also very expensive & with a family it's not always practical to fit in

sharond101 Tue 21-Jan-14 21:31:27

Non tester here and i used to brave the gym before my knees packed in and then before having DS1 and now i manage a swim once per week.. The feeling afterwards was the best feeling ever. I felt I had achieved something by breaking out in sweat. I cannot understand all those women who get all glammed up to go and sweat it out, many of them just browsed the machines I found.

Kelloges0811 Tue 21-Jan-14 21:55:51

I have always been sporting from an early age and I enjoyed all sports at school. On leaving school i trained to be a Fitness instructor and kept a great level of fitness up for about 10 years, until I planned my pregancy. Since my first child I have been in and out of fitness programmes. After my second child nearly three years ago i find it quite difficult to be selfish with my time and have time to myself exercising around my family.

I do not go the gym or exercise at the moment. I did attend BOOTCAMP classes up to April/May last year then stopped due to family caring responsibilities. Having put on about 1 stone in weight I am really hoping I can start to shift it and feel and look healthy asap. With still having not got the time to start bootcamp again I have started to fit in an hour or so of fun fitness at home with my husband and children, playing our WII, every couple of days. Everyone joins in and it is great fun. This is easing both of us back into getting fit and lots of fun for all the family too. Hopefully we will be able to arrange some family members to help look after our children to exercise properly to enable us both to get fit properly, seriously. :O)

Hopezibah Tue 21-Jan-14 23:22:28

It's got to be a gym you feel comfortable going to. You don't want to feel self-conscious and you want to feel supported by the gym trainers there. Otherwise it's never going to work out.

If you can find somewhere with a sauna and swimming pool too then you can treat yourself to a little swim and sauna afterwards as a reward for getting to the gym (and on the days you really can't face the actual gym - a swim is better than nothing after all as it is great excercise in its own right)

Paintyfingers Wed 22-Jan-14 00:22:01

Non participant here!

Used to love going to the gym but have run out of money for it hmm

jollytummywobbles Wed 22-Jan-14 05:29:30

Non participant here

I feel very nostalgic about the gym righ now! I am on ml at the moment, and have an ebf baby who is still superglued to me night and day. I've woke up having dreamt of a good session on he cross trainer! Hopefully I'll be able to do something other than sit on the sofa when i wean...

Willemdefoeismine Wed 22-Jan-14 07:36:14

Not a piece of cheese nor dairy milk has passed my lips since last Friday....I'm not sure I'm feeling any different yet. I've cut down on the carbs too but it's quite difficult when also cooking for a family of very slimline bods... (DH and one of DCS don't have a scrap of adipose tissue on them!). Luckily I am very fond of veggies :-).

I used to drink water copiously (to the point that I half thought I might have undiagnosed diabetes) - but I find that I just don't get that thirsty.....so that's proving quite an effort to get the water down but I'm sure it will get easier...

The gym kit is on its way...and thanks for the info about child(ren) membership - worthy of consideration.....

USING THE SWEATSHOP GIFTCARD ONLINE INFO! Fellow Vitality Crew, I've just gone thro' the process to checkout again and I would say that where you are having the issues is presumably at the checkout stage....At Payment:

The first stage says "Are you a Member of ......" and PruHealth is one of the options - click on that and then it will prompt you to input your PruHealth details....(first name,DOB, m'ship no. and gender).

Once that is done and you've got four green ticks, the Promo Code box will become active - input the giftcard no (the long one at the bottom of it) and then proceed........

Does that help..........???? Good Luck

Bagtrainlady Wed 22-Jan-14 08:08:28

I went to the gym last night - it was packed but I still managed to have a go on the equipment. At one point when I was struggling to keep pace on the treadmill I thought of all you MNers watching & it kept me going! you're a little scary
Must remember to do some stretches as part of my cool down as my glutes aren't happy this morning!

ArthurCucumber Wed 22-Jan-14 09:24:23

Non participant - was completely put off exercise by school sports and it took me a couple of decades to shake the notion that I hated all forms of physical activity. Started going to the gym a few months ago - more of a September resolution than a New Year one - and couldn't believe how much I loved it. I didn't see myself as "that sort of person" before.
My tips are: look around and pick a gym where you feel comfortable - in my case it's a big deal not to feel intimidated by big muscle guys/superfit women in designer gear. There are loads of places out there where nice normal people like me can go, and it doesn't matter if you're not a size 6 and your trainers are glued together not a designer brand.
My favourite cardio activity is the treadmill as I can plug in some 90s dance music and get into a zone, almost like dancing :D. It's hard to drag myself out sometimes on a cold wet night but I have never yet been sorry afterwards that I did it. I go with my cousin and this works really well - there are nights that neither of us would have gone if it hadn't been for the other one.
Swimming pool and sauna are great, as a poster above mentioned. Lovely for a wee reward.

DifferentNow Wed 22-Jan-14 09:33:31

I need to lose 5 x baby weight! I've been a member of several gyms over the years but I've come to the conclusion that it's not for me so I plan to get back to basics and just eat less and move more. I'm going to walk with the buggy rather than drive and cut down my portion sizes and sugar intake. Now I just need a bit of motivation.....

Non Participants - gyms and you - discuss!
Now that we're in the middle of January, how are your resolutions for a fitter 2014? Share your stories and thoughts about gyming and you and you'll be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £50 pre-loaded Nectar card (prize draw Monday 27th at 9am)

We have madea family effort since the beginning of the year to eat healthier and together more often and so far this is going quite well, the children are trying new things with less dramatics than usual and we all seem a bit more energetic than we were in the post Christmas slump. I do not gym I always feel self conscious and silly but I do walk a lot so have invested in new walking shoes.

Fillybuster Wed 22-Jan-14 11:13:17

Non tester (sadly!)

Been doing 5:2 since last January and hit initial target weight last May, then revised target in July, so actually quite happy with my weight, and eating much more mindfully and healthily as a result these days. Fitness is another matter though, and my January resolution this year was to tackle that as I'm concerned about my lack of stamina and tone (and my much reduced but still very flabby tummy!)

I've been trying to build more excercise into my daily regime this month but it isn't having the same impact as getting to the gym on a regular basis. I have a variety of workout dvds, but find it hard to get motivated to actually do them in the evenings- although I do always feel great afterwards!

I cancelled my gym membership last year when I had an operation that meant I wouldn't be able to go for a while, and have been thinking about re-starting it.....reading this thread is making me think I should give it a go, as I do miss having access to a wide range of classes (Virgin Active) and I love the atmosphere of being in a 'real' class instead of my front room!

Kewcumber Wed 22-Jan-14 11:19:55

For any of the non-participants who aren't into gyms - I really recommend investing in a fitbug (or similar) - it's addictive and does make you focus on how much you're moving/walking!

I got up to about 9,000 steps yesterday and I'm buggered today so I obviously don;t move anything like as much as I thought I might...

Kewcumber Wed 22-Jan-14 11:21:05

Thanksfor the tip WillemDefoe will try it later. I'd like some new earphones and new shoes - just need to work out which shoes are best for me.

whattoWHO Wed 22-Jan-14 11:43:47

I've joined a gym for the first time ever this Jan. I'm getting married in April and have been losing weight but I really need to tone up.
So I've got very good motivation, hopefully I won't lose it once the wedding is over!

WalkingThePlank Wed 22-Jan-14 12:28:31

Have tried the voucher again. Wasted another half an hour. Still doesn't work.

Non Participants - gyms and you - discuss!

I love the gym! No really - I get a genuine endorphin high from high-intensity classes like Spin and Step. Unfortunately a long working day and hideous commute means I genuinely can't get to the gym - otherwise I would never see my husband or children so I try to build exercise into my day by cycling to and from the train station and brisk walks pushing a heavy double buggy whenever we don't have monsoon-like rain. But I honestly look forward to the day when circumstances allow me to squeeze into lycra again one day

CointreauVersial Wed 22-Jan-14 13:09:52

Well done on the dietary changes, WillemDafoe. And thanks for the info about how to use the Sweatshop voucher online. I am going to try to get to a store at the weekend, though.

I did my first gym session at Virgin Active yesterday. I managed to get away from home about an hour before DH was due back from work, so the DCs didn't have too long on their own - they are old enough really (14, 12 and 10), but it is still a new thing.

It was quicker than I thought to get to - 24 minutes there and only 18 minutes back, post rush-hour.

Not a great start; the receptionist was utterly bemused by my presence, and there was a lot of muttering and peering at screens before she and her colleague worked out why I was there. She then issued me with a card and left me to my own devices, but after wandering about the place for a few minutes I accosted a member of staff and managed to sort out an induction.

I was given a tour of the machines, and shown how to use a selection of them. Power Plate was verrry odd. I also got over my life-long treadmill fear! The gym was very busy; lots of gym-bunnies and pumped up men, but a fair number of "ordinary" folk too. I felt a little self-conscious, but for no good reason, really; everyone was just getting on with their own routines. There was a lovely bar, and a huge hall of indoor tennis courts. I didn't actually find the swimming pool.

After the induction I went to a class, called "Fierce", which was aerobics with an African/Dance theme. What a laugh! I managed to keep up OK.

On my way out I thought I'd just make the most of my new-found confidence and have a little run on the treadmill....25 minutes later....! It was great; I worked up a huge sweat, and went home feeling very pleased with myself. I really enjoyed my first session.

What will I change for my next visit? Well, I will bring some headphones so I can listen to the TV/music on the running machine. I will bring a hair clip (my hair was plastered all over my face after the class). And I must get a new top from Sweatshop - I have a pink Nike tee which is fine for running, but is way too big and looks like a sack.

I did get stung for £5 for a locker padlock, mainly because I didn't have one at home, but it's a very nice one!

I'm not sure how well it will fit into my schedule ongoing - my evenings are so busy with three DCs. That's why running is so good - I just go out at 6.30am, straight from the front door, and then get on with my day. But I will do my utmost to get to the gym at least twice a week. Next session is planned for Friday.

Belo Wed 22-Jan-14 13:21:33

*Non Participants - gyms and you - discuss!
Now that we're in the middle of January, how are your resolutions for a fitter 2014?*

I had decided that I was going to do the 30 day plank challenge to kick start my healthy January and 2014... I was very good up until 90 seconds. Now I'm stuck. I can't get to 120 seconds. Is it actually possible?!!

However, I've been going to the gym (4 times a week) and running once. I don't think I'll be able to keep this up all year, but am going to aim for 3 x a week minimum.

MissRee Wed 22-Jan-14 13:29:56

Non participant here!

In all honesty gym just isn't realistic for me right now - I have a full time job, some part time self employed work, two children and I'm studying as well! I did look into joining Virgin Active near my workplace so I could go at lunchtimes but it's £130 per month! Ridiculous.

I went on the PruHealth website and got a quote to see if it would be worthwhile me joining to get the VA discount but I get free healthcare through work so it wasn't worth it for me. As the cost of healthcare plus the cost of VA membership (even with discount) was more than the gym membership at full price.

I've taken to jogging instead!

ChooChooLaverne Wed 22-Jan-14 13:35:30

Non Participant envy

Gyms and you - discuss

I don't have a good track record as far as gyms are concerned. I like the idea of going to the gym and have taken out memberships in the past with a head full of images of me prancing round in lycra being super fit. But the reality has been me only going for the odd swim, sometimes with DS in tow before he went to school, and visiting the nice gym cafe. Which amounted to a huge cost per visit that I can't afford.

To use the gym regularly I would really need something to motivate me, such as being a participant in the challenge envy or having someone bossy making me go and coming with me.

So, I haven't set any daft (or expensive) resolutions this year but am intending to get back into running once or twice a week (free) and would like to start swimming once a week at the local (and cheap) pool <goes off to investigate pool opening times>

mumsbe Wed 22-Jan-14 13:44:05

Non-participants
I used to love the gym when I was younger and had no responsibilities however having children I have found it really difficult to keep regularly exercising. Its also a very expensive hobbie so I am currently looking for a yoga class I can take my new baby on and hopefully feel comfortable knowing all the class will be new mums and as unfit as me

EldonAve Wed 22-Jan-14 13:45:11

Non Participant

My aim for 2014 is to visit the gym more often.
Hasn't happened yet. It's too easy to get pushed to the bottom of my to do list.

Non participant here smile

I really like the gym in a lot of ways; a good hour using various machines to work different muscles and get in some good cardio always made me feel good. And a nice swim afterwards. But in London the membership is so expensive, and now that I've got young children the extra time it would take to get there and back makes it difficult. I prefer running and exercise DVDs at the moment; inexpensive and you can fit them in to a busy lifestyle more easily.

I'm currently trying to run twice a week, do a weekly (local) exercise class and maybe squeeze in a workout DVD at some point. Maybe once the children are at school I might consider joining a gym.

HannahLI Wed 22-Jan-14 14:19:08

I also am not really a gym lover, we currently live 5 miles from our closest gym and without a car most of the time during the week it makes it quite inaccessible for me. By the time the evening comes and my children are asleep I am generally too exhausted to go. I found the equipment very boring when I have been in the past. Some people love the repetitive monotony but I just can't do it, I find it too de-motivating.
I do however love the classes as I find them challenging and they have plenty of pace. Since christmas I have got back into a local (on my doorstep) fitness pilates class which is fab, and gives me plenty of exercises to take home and continue and complete. Since Christmas I have been trying to come up with ways that I can exercise at home without allocating any additional time to it and building it into my routine. For example whilst my boys are splashing around in the bath having a bit of playtime, I find I can do some crunches and plank and stretch at the same time (our bathroom is a good size I will add).

BeCool Wed 22-Jan-14 14:22:58

non-participant.

I haven't been a gym member for years. I was a member prior to having children and swum 5km a week through my first PG. It was bliss.

I tried joining a gym when I had one baby and a P - and I never got there.

Now I have 2 children and an XP and I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to go to the gym but time is so limited. Certainly it isn't worth me paying the full membership.

My local gym is a Virgin Active - it is lovely and I have been a member in the past. I could get there one weekday per week, plus the weekends every other week when the DC are with XP.

How I wish it was possible to be a part time member - I'd love to buy a lot of sessions for a reasonable price so I could use my lovely gym. There must be lots of people in my situation would would love a similar product????

Off peak membership would exclude the one weekday evening so doesn't suit me.

So I walk when I can, go to the park and swim with the kids. My goal is to start using fitness DVD's at home - soon. One way or another I need to get some regular exercise into my days and quick.

Oh how I'd love a part time gym membership.

pertempsnooo Wed 22-Jan-14 14:47:12

Non-participant.
re. the gym
I joined one last week, with a pool. I would never go for one without as swimming is one of my preferred fitness activities. Towels provided here which means less to carry, I could even just carry my cozzie around incase I drop in. Perfect.
One thing I dislike is the tedium of treadmills etc so I will have to start bringing an ipod.
Now is a crucial age for me as I could so easily 'let myself go'... waistline has grown somewhat in the last few years. Don't enjoy running outdoors in miserable weather so have chosen 2/3 days per week at the gym instead.

SantasSprouts Wed 22-Jan-14 14:53:17

Non- participant
I used to go to a gym years ago and did apply for this test as I miss going but its too expensive for me now. Was never a gym bunny as such and did feel a bit intimidated when there if I am honest! But I used to really love the pool,classes and the fact that DC can come along and use facilities.

Teladi Wed 22-Jan-14 14:58:42

I joined a gym in December, after pay-as-you-go visits to my local council one. I'm really enjoying it so far. I like to weight train and it's great to see that reflected in my figure. I went to my first exercise class on Monday - aqua aerobics - great fun!

GwenStacy Wed 22-Jan-14 15:37:09

Argh, child hit the keyboard and lost everything! Let try that again!

I am going to hold my hand up and admit, I've not made it to the gym yet this week. Not all my fault though (she protests!) I didn't my activation email until late on Monday, so wasn't able to go over the weekend or then, and then had stuff planned for day times! Tomorrow though, the plan is to get up, feed the baby, pump a feed, thrust baby at husband, and get out for a swim! I have been doing the home exercises though, and I've activated my fitbug - these are great for me at the moment as I can fit these in around the small human demanding a lot of attention!

As for the Sweatshop voucher, I have my eye on some new running tights for both the gym and getting my steps in running round our local park!

woodchuck Wed 22-Jan-14 16:54:53

Non Participants - gyms and you - discuss!

I love being a gym member, but can't afford it at the moment sad

I have used a couple of gyms in the past, firstly a big chain gym that was near to where I went to uni. I really enjoyed the classes and it encouraged me to try different things. I also enjoyed going with my friend, and challenging myself.

I have since been a member of a gym thats an independent, and a bit further out of town so easy to drive and park. Me and DH joined together and decidec to take the family membership so the kids could use the pool with us at weekends and after school. DH lost motivation for the gym fairly quickly, but I still used it. We all used the pool regularly and it was a great investment in 'family time'. The downside was the lack of suitable classes, and I found I was getting bored with my routine.

I would love to join one of the all-singing, all-dancing clubs like Virgin Active or David Lloyd which has pool, classes and family activities, but just can't justify the expenses at the moment.

The net result of thi is that I am currently doing no exercise at all, nor is DH, although we do have active lifestlyes, and the kids have plenty of activities, gym, scouts, athletics etc. so really it is me that has lost out the most

WalkingThePlank Wed 22-Jan-14 16:55:09

ContreauVersial - interesting that you had such a different experience at the same gym. The receptionist found the email about me straight away but couldn't give me a card at that point. She then gave me a tour of the facilities, letting me know what is included, but I didn't have an induction.

I have been there a couple of times before to drop my children off at parties there and the staff have been unfriendly/unhelpful. Must be an element of luck of the drawer.

The pool is on the righthand-side of the main corridor, before the bar area.

I like the sound of Fierce - sounds like a real laugh.

As a road-runner, it does seem slightly absurd to travel by car to get to a gym to run. I usually run straight from school drop off so I can run 10k and be home by 10am. The same distance at the gym would mean I'm not home until nearer 11am! However, I think it will be great for making me do new things. After my V-Trek class, which demonstrated that I had good CV fitness, I was quite awful at the 15 minute Abs session; no muscle control at all!

WalkingThePlank Wed 22-Jan-14 17:03:33

OOps, perhaps the pool was past the bar, but definitely on the opposite side from the indoor courts.

KnitActually Wed 22-Jan-14 22:07:28

Firstly I just want to say well done to those people who are turning their lives around, couch to 5k, 30 minute walkers, gym bunnies and living room prancers.

As of tomorrow I am joining in on my zumba dvd!

No gyms for me since DS(2) though, we managed it with 1 child, but not with 2!! Maybe we'll all go whenDS(2) is old enough to do kids stuff smile

loopsngeorge Wed 22-Jan-14 22:50:34

Made it to the gym yesterday and had no problem getting the card etc. It was lovely and I really like the way the gym was open plan to the reception area as it made it much less intimidating and I could have a surreptitious look at all the strange machines. Anyway, i wandered past all that and went for a swim, but I tried to do some fast lengths at intervals to get my heart rate up.

That Fierce class sounds right up my street but they don't have it at my gym, so will have to try Zumba instead!

Stripytop Wed 22-Jan-14 23:21:20

Finally made it to the gym!! But only after battling through match traffic, parking miles away and walking in circles for ages before I found it!
Maybe it was that, plus the fact that it was the end of a very busy day, but I just didn't really have a good experience.
I have had gym memberships before, and always felt welcomed and well looked after on my first visit, but not so tonight. The reception staff were friendly enough, but I was given the briefest of tours before being left to my own devices. The gym was busy and full of very fit people so I found a cross trainer in the corner and used that. The pool was busy too and by that time was feeling a bit lost and sorry for my self so I gave up.
On my way out the reception staff asked if I would like a 1:1 induction which I've booked for Saturday. Hopefully I can make a fresh start and recover my positivity and enthusiasm.

On the plus side, I've walked 14,500 steps today. Lovin that fitbug!

PPaka Thu 23-Jan-14 09:42:54

Non Participants - not been to the gym as seem to have too much to sort with the house and not enough hours in the day
But really , just not motivated. V bad time at home, just separated from husband and it's all I can do to stay on top of things for ds.
I'm booked on a positivity course next week
Physically feel dreadful

Audreyblue Thu 23-Jan-14 10:19:02

Tester here again. I managed to squeeze a yoga class in yesterday evening. My first visit was on Monday when I received my membership card. They seemed to know who I was and had my card ready. They just left me to my own devices though. I asked if someone could show me around which they did eventually. However, it was a quick 5 minute whizz through.

Yesterday's visit was much better. The receptionist was a little older and much more friendly. She has booked me in for a one-hour induction course on Monday. So I am looking forward to that.

The yoga class was 90 minutes long and although relaxing, I didn't feel it did that much for my fitness level. I think I need some fat-burning exercises that gets my heart rate up! Very enjoyable nonetheless and it was a nice end to a busy day for me. Still using my Fitbug which I love.

nickymanchester Thu 23-Jan-14 12:35:29

Another non-participant here.

I've tried gyms on and off over the years but could never really maintain any enthusiasm.

But then last year I did a women's only lifting course and now it's so different - I actually look forward to going to the gym rather than dreading it.

Although, to be frank, I'm generally the only woman in the weights area and I do get a bit self conscious at times. But it is just sooo good to realise that I can actually lift some quite heavy weights.

Also, this is the first thing that I've found actually works for me with losing weight. I get so bored doing running or cycling for hours on end but lifting heavy weights for a short time is great. I've lost a lot of weight and my body fat is way down as well.

museumworker Thu 23-Jan-14 12:59:15

Non-participant smile

I'm rubbish with gyms. Joined one as a student and only went once (so cost me £115 for one sesson!). Joined a work one a few years ago and made it three times - costing me £30 a session! With 2 DCs I've found home DVDs a lot easier to fit in. Used to do family fitness class could take children to, until had to return to work, they were great.

WalkingThePlank Thu 23-Jan-14 13:34:37

So went back to the health club today (2nd time). Had it been my first visit, it would have been my last!!

I went to the V-Cycle class. I'd forgotten my water bottle and it took me 8 minutes to get some water - £1.60 from the bar, thank you very much!

The teacher didn't check I was OK and she started early so I didn't have time to let her know I was new. I didn't understand the bike. It had no screen to tell me what I was doing, I didn't know how to adjust the bike and she kept saying to reduce or increase 'it' by x% which was via a mechanical dial that didn't have % on it. After 15 minutes I left, in part because I though the pigeon (yes pigeon) that was in there might cr@p on me.

I went to gym and tried the cross trainer for about 7 minutes and the treadmill for the same time but just could not get into it. So off I went to the changing room, proverbial tail between my legs.

I was almost finished when an older larger lady in semi-transparent kaftan stomped through, plonked her wet swimming stuff over my locker door and plonked herself at the hairdryer, glaring at me in the mirror. So getting my boots, dress, bag etc out of the locker meant working around her wet kit whilst she glared at me.

I think the gym will just be for those times when it rains for days and I can't pound the streets.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 23-Jan-14 14:15:55

Oh dear walking...that doesn't sound so good! Do let your coach at PruHealth know won't you?

Flossiecrossie Thu 23-Jan-14 15:03:43

I've been a gym lover in the past, and have loved it. But family life, work & finances mean regular gym attendance just isn't possible. To compensate I try to do as much exercise as I can at home, and out and about, but I do miss the motivation the gym and classes provide. Having been a member of a gym for years I would recommend to anyone planning on joining the gym as part of their new resolution to consider it thoroughly, and really question your long term commitment. It's amazing all the new faces you see in January, that you don't see when you get into April.

EldonAve Thu 23-Jan-14 15:04:47

WalkingThePlank - did noone else notice the pigeon?

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Thu 23-Jan-14 15:11:43

Walking - maybe the pigeon was there to poop on anyone not working hard enough?
Your V-cycle class sounds horrible. I hate being the newbie who doesn't know what they're meant to be doing while everyone else just gets on with it and ignores you.
I'm going to stick to running too. The gym sounds unfriendly. At least when I pass other runners we say hello.

Kewcumber Thu 23-Jan-14 15:54:23

My gym cad has arrived so I might go take a look tomorrow if I have time keeping a beady eye out for pigeons

Would it be really, really mean if I sniggered at your post Plank? Not saying it did of course... just wondering...

Is wildlife an optional extra?

HellonHeels Thu 23-Jan-14 16:33:27

Blimey some of these accounts of the gym aren't showing Virgin Active in a good light. I'm rather shocked! Is anyone from PruHealth or Virgin Active going to drop by and comment?

HellonHeels Thu 23-Jan-14 16:34:59

I'm bloody loving the pigeon in the spin class story though! (Was it on a spin bike?)

WowOoo Thu 23-Jan-14 17:22:03

Non participant here.

I tend to prefer other forms of exercise to going to a gym. I prefer running in fresh air to being inside. Even in bad weather.

I think an advantage of being a member might be that you want to go so that you don't waste your money. This is why I like paying for classes up front. More likely to go then.
I have no resolutions for 2014 but hope to continue doing as much exercise as I feel like every week. Usually 2 to 5 sessions.

Bubbles85 Thu 23-Jan-14 18:21:59

Non Participants - gyms and you - discuss!

I haven't been to the gym in a long while but am always out and about walking with the pram - that must be doing some good!

micra Thu 23-Jan-14 18:42:16

When DD was a baby and I was on maternity leave, the small local council gym ran a crèche. partly to get into shape and partly to get out of the house, I went once or twice a week for an hour - would take a magazine to read on whichever machine I was on at the time - my only chance! As soon as I went back to work that went out the window. As a time-filler and sanity saver on maternity leave, I looked forward to it, but I'm too busy now with work & family (2 kids and DH works away) to be able to do anything except collapse in front of TV - that's my luxury.

Pollaidh Thu 23-Jan-14 19:53:47

I am a non-tester but have insurance with pruhealth and I get really pissed off because there are no gyms here with an agreement with Pru, so I don't get any recognition for my multiple exercise classes a week. I really need a gym with a creche anyway these days. There is a great gym here with a creche, but it's an independent, so no link with Pru. (They don't link with waitrose either, so no point for buying healthy food there.)

Kewcumber Thu 23-Jan-14 21:02:15

pollaidh - have you thought about getting a fitbug and wearing one to your non-Pru gym classes. From memroy of our induction, you are limited to 40 points a month (?) from combining gym and walking you might be able to make up the difference using a fitbug.

Kewcumber Thu 23-Jan-14 21:04:26

And for any of the participants interested - you can get refined (ie no smell) cocnut oild from Amazon for £10(+postage) for a Kilo! I'm also told that indian/thai supermarkets often stock it cheaper

Pollaidh Thu 23-Jan-14 22:20:56

Kewcumber, thanks, yes I did have one and it was useful then but as have been unable to walk more than a few metres for the past year it's not been much use. I just look like I'm doing no exercise, but I am, just not walky/runny stuff.

smallinthesmoke Thu 23-Jan-14 22:41:08

A pigeon! That's hilarious.
I'm a tester, feeling very lucky to be part of this. It has come at just the right time for me as I was recently made redundant so have some very unusual and precious spare time between job hunting to get to the gym and complete the other tasks. And I am finding the swimming and other exercises a welcome diversion, a new challenge, something to stop me moping about. I wanted to see about the impact of regular exercise on mental health in particular, tackling stress and getting wound up by the kids.
I enjoyed the Welcome day. It had been well-planned and it was good to meet the other Mumsnetters. My favourite bit was when we were all doing the plank and I realised one of the women from Pru Health was photographing us. Not my best angle!
The whole principle of Pru Health Vitality seems sensible to me; cheaper health insurance if you can show you are trying to keep healthy. The actual way it comes about with points, levels etc is a bit complicated but I think I understand it enough to explain it... just about.
Since the Welcome day I have tried to incorporate a few small changes into my routine, eg swapping Coca Cola for cordial (not perfect but better), walking instead of catching the bus small distances. Nothing wild but should be sustainable. Actually, I have to be honest, I do find it really hard to stop drinking coke. There was a thread about it once so I know I'm not the only one! The nutritionist's threats about osteoporosis caused by acidity from drinks like Coca-Cola were really alarming. (Even if Coca-Cola were a v friendly sponsor at the Mumsnet bloggers conference this year! And I loved them because they were dishing out free Coke!)
Anyway, I have been to Virgin gym four times so far, at very different times of day ranging from 7am to 8.30pm. It is oddly sociable as I keep meeting people I know blush. The staff are very friendly. I started off with swimming to get into the hang of things. Then today I had my gym induction including the crazy Power Plate which Cointreau has already encountered! I think I'll do a few gym sessions then work my way up to a class as, like others have found, they can be a bit intimidating. I remember that from when I was a real gym bunny in my twenties (a hundred years ago...)
I haven't spent the Sweatshop voucher yet as I want to go to the shop for some gait analysis; hoping to fit that in in the next few days.

CointreauVersial Thu 23-Jan-14 22:48:56

grin grin about the pigeon, WalkingThePlank! I'll look out for it tomorrow.

Kewcumber Thu 23-Jan-14 23:57:59

small I have known about the calcium leaching effects of coke for sometime and was still a bit of an addict at one point! UnFortunately I developed a few autoimmune diseases some years ago and one of them causes gastritis and for some odd reason I've not really been able to stomach fizzy drinks since... its an ill wind...

MollyBerry Thu 23-Jan-14 23:59:52

I've decided that before gumming I've got to get my weight under control !

Laverne196 Fri 24-Jan-14 00:42:00

i think the benefits are great cos the whole family benefit from mum training.

Willemdefoeismine Fri 24-Jan-14 07:29:14

Kewcumber, the leaching effects of coke didn't surprise me although I'm not sure how I knew that fact. I had a phase as a student of being semi-anorexic (or is it anorectic?) so have always been interested in dietary issues (although obviously not necessarily practising them!). I think that's one of the double whammy things for anorexics - not only do they reduce dietary intake to virtually nothing but they use diet coke etc...to 'fill themselves up' which is then further depleting their calcium levels....

Thankfully fizzy drinks have never been my thing (except for the very, very occasional glass of lemonade to restore electrolyte balance when I suffered very bad morning sickness with one of the DCs) so thankfully that's one 'naughty dietary habit' I don't need to address at all...possibly the only one....

Just read an interesting article about making cauliflower 'rice' as a substitute for carbs with meals.....whizz it up in a food processor to 'fine grains' and microwave it with a few tbsps of water (in a covered dish)......Will be trying that one out....

However, having massively cut down on carbs, reduced the diary products massively (now on almond milk), upping the nuts and pulses/lentils and eating loads more fruit and veggies etc....I did start to think that my diet is in danger to returning to how I ate as a student - extraordinarily wholesome but lacking..... One of my best friends and SIL have this type of diet - they are very, very slim but..... I think as we get older, although we do need to 'not abuse' our bodies with rubbish food, one wants to achieve a healthy but not skinny look. It is actually quite difficult to get a happy medium, particularly with a family of whom two member have absolutely no spare fat to lose! I've got to get the cookery books out to find some really nutritious and healthy but tasty and robust meals for next week, using the 'healthy' foods list from the PruHealth Vitality website.....

My week hasn't entirely been the energy-bust I'd been hoping for....still awaiting delivery of my gym kit, my induction is booked but I have yet to break a real sweat. It's been an unusually atypical week on many fronts (more akin to a holiday week than usual term-time) with family members doing entirely different things to usual (which has impacted on my time use) which has meant that I've been managing my time very differently. I'm sure when usual routine returns next week it will be easier to incorporate gyming it into everyday life....

Willemdefoeismine Fri 24-Jan-14 07:51:26

Very impressed at you going to the gym four times thus far, smallinthesmoke.....Yikes I've got some catching up to do....

Using the Fitbug has been an eye-opener for me: what I've noticed is that for me usual activity (school runs etc..) means I hit the recommended footsteps easily but again this week activity hasn't been 'usual' at all - so I've varied from a mighty 17,000 one day (that's just walking not running) down to shamefully low number (about 4,000) when I was stuck at home hmm. Unless you do actively engage in exercise I cannot imagine that those who use cars, work at desks and lead sedentary life-styles would ever hit their daily target. It also made me realise that although my usual routine 'hits' the target figure, I need to be much more vigilent about weekends/holiday times when the children in particular are less keen on long walks....So there's room for improvement for me here even though I thought this wouldn't be problematic for me....

I found the gym staff very friendly when I went in so I have high hopes of a good gyming it experience...

Chopstheduck Fri 24-Jan-14 09:02:10

I'm a non participant, but I am actually a pru-health & Virgin member. smile

Walking - try another one, but with a different instructor, and do arrive early so you can get the bike set up. Some instructors are better than others and they do tend to start bang on time or I've found sometimes a bit early too.

I'd really recommend the Body pump, body attack, etc classes. I was going to give Fierce a try until I realised it was barefoot. My shins get sore as it is without jumping around without trainers on. There are loads of newbies in classes atm with it being January and new years resolutions, so it's the perfect time to jump right in.

I'm off to spin this morning followed by Body pump then maybe a quick dip in the pool. I love my gym!

Bagtrainlady Fri 24-Jan-14 09:17:57

Participant here
I'm off to the gym with ds this morning. His first crèche session & then a 'swim' as a treat after. He has been talking about this all week (was a bribery reward) so hope I don't have too high hopes for us. I get a whole hour to myself & I think there is a Pilates class at the same timewink
Back tonight for my induction as it was the earliest we could both do. Will keep an eye out for gym wildlife but don't think I'm going get that lucky!

CointreauVersial Fri 24-Jan-14 13:34:12

Willemdafoe - I'm a big fan of cauliflower rice, and eat it in preference to the real thing. You don't get the bloated feeling that a plateful of rice can give you. You can microwave it, or "stir-fry" it with butter, or oil. You can also add herbs/spices to jazz it up (although I like it as a bland accompaniment to curry etc).

And make sure you keep up the protein. Fish, chicken......

Willemdefoeismine Fri 24-Jan-14 13:40:57

Thanks CointreauVersial! I am just about to sit down and look at the Sainsbury's list of healthy foods - was reading their January food magazine yesterday and some scrummy options - particularly the ones for breakfast :-). It actually sounds rather scrummy, particularly if jazzed up! Thanks for the tips!

I think though that I will end up cooking one meal for me and DH and another for the children...I am not sure my patience is strong enough to sift thro' loads of recipes until I can find ones that are healthy and nutritious, heavy on veggies (DS eats most fruit but still not a veggie lover) and suit all taste-buds/predilections...

HazeltheMcWitch Fri 24-Jan-14 17:06:13

Non-tester here. My realisation is that I'll never be a gym-er, but I do like swimming, playing sports and being outside. So I ahve given up the gym, and I have joined a netball class. PLus have bought the family skates.
It's going ok so far, hoping to have formed habits before the weather gets too grim...

Kewcumber Fri 24-Jan-14 18:07:21

I went to the gym! Oh my word I actually went to the gym. OK I had a tour and a quick swim and booked an inital assessment for next week.

Better experience than most of yours... no wildlife, lots of ripped young men taking their clothes off, water station a plenty, pleasant receptionist. Cafe area looks nice - I'd actually be tempted to use the gym then work there.

I was also surprised that outside rush hour it only took me about 12 mins to get there (then another 15 to find the car park!) and another 5 to walk from the car park...

Looking at all the equipment I'm really not sure I'm the gym bunny type, but I'll give it a go and they have two acqua classes I can get to in the week (the joys of working from home)

Oh and Willemdefoe - 4000 steps on fitbug is not a shamefully low number 2000 is a shamefully low number! I am officially a couch potato. But I LOVE my fitbug, it is having an immediate effect on my level of activity, I'm glad we're keeping them, I wouldn't like to have been the PruHealth staff member who tried to prise it out of my clenched hand.

WalkingThePlank Fri 24-Jan-14 21:27:05

Well done Kew! Sounds like the aqua classes will be great for you. Liking the sound of all those ripped young men...

CointreauVersial Fri 24-Jan-14 22:50:59

I did my second gym visit this evening. It was a bit of a palaver getting out of the door (phone stopped working, couldn't find earphones, forgot to put tea in the oven, DS needed homework assistance, was halfway to the car when I realised I still had my slippers on), but I made it eventually.

MUCH quieter on a Friday night versus Tuesday, but the flipside of that is that there were no classes of any interest. So I did a 25 minute run on the treadmill (managed to drop my phone, which shot off the back of the treadmill; luckily no harm done, although there were a few sniggersblush ). Then I wandered around the gym machines, but realised I couldn't remember how any of them worked and was too embarrassed to ask. So I did a covert "stalk" of a woman who looked a similar age to me, watched how she used each machine, and followed her. After that, I did 10 minutes rowing, then ended with some of the lovely stretches we learned last week.

Didn't see any pigeons. <cheated>

It has been a really busy week, but I'm hoping to go three times next week. I'm slowly feeling more at home.......

smallinthesmoke Fri 24-Jan-14 23:24:43

Aqua classes sounds good, there's one I had my eye on on Sunday. I always have to wear a sports bra though as well as my swimsuit, for all that jumping around above the water.

Stripytop Fri 24-Jan-14 23:27:07

CointreauVersial that made me laugh. I am so like that trying to get out of the house!

Have my gym assessment at 9am tomorrow. Hope I make it (and not in my slippers)!

HappyMum4 Sat 25-Jan-14 00:24:03

Non-tester. I would really like to go to a gym, but feel a bit billy-no-mates on my own, and don't know of anyone who'd come along. I walk the dog every day, started going out at weekends with the family whatever the weather, but my body is seriously untoned, and I would love to wear shorter dresses and skirts than the maxi ones I've been wearing my whole life.

Chopstheduck Sat 25-Jan-14 07:39:21

HappyMum4, I would say that 90% of people in the gym go there on their own! Honestly, you don't need a friend to go with and you can ask for an induction where they show you around the equipment and how to use it smile
If you go to classes you will start to meet people too.

Willemdefoeismine Sat 25-Jan-14 08:33:05

I'm doing my induction on Monday - a bit late in the day but finally my gym stuff has arrived (more Miranda than Olivia Newton John!)and normal routine will resume next week.

I'm doing everything a bit A about T as DH would say.....I've had a look at the healthy foods list and no surprises at all really except for the fact that I couldn't see seafood on the list - I happen to know that prawns are high in cholesterol but squid, scallops....????

Flicking thro' all the Sunday newspaper mags I've come across lots of inspiring articles about giving up sugar and how to replace it......more power to the almond and cashew nut butters (but I'm pretty sure you can't get those in Saino's and ours is a massive one...).

I will be getting the jar of coconut oil that I've been eyeing up though....although £6 for a tiddly jar for a family won't go far methinks....

Thinking about this whole nutrition thing I do think the Govt and the supermarkets should consider making the healthy options cheaper than the unhealthy options. In middle-class La-la land it's not difficult choosing healthy options over unhealthy ones, but for a lot of families it's a toss up twixt cheap and plentiful (and unhealthy) vs expensive - it's a no brainer... It's not really as it should be.....

Kewcumber Sat 25-Jan-14 10:28:30

I got almond butter in H&B though you might find it in the "free from" aisle as its free from peanuts?

DS hates it so I have had to polish it off myself.

CointreauVersial Sat 25-Jan-14 11:17:47

Our Tesco sells almond butter. No idea where it is on the shelves because I order online. More-ish, isn't it Kewcumber ? grin

Bagtrainlady Sat 25-Jan-14 11:44:19

I went to the gym twice yesterday - Twice! What are you doing to me Mumsnet & PruHealth?? Ds was booked in for a crèche session in the morning, so I did a bit on some of the equipment. He cried leaving the crèche which makes me look like a great parent to hang out with blush

I was back last night for my introduction - I ended up with one of the personal trainers leading it which was great & possibly a better workout programme for me. He left me feeling really positive- Though my thighs are going to get put through their paces!

Was back again at 9 this morning as dd was booked onto a club active class which she enjoyed but has left her wanting to lounge on the sofa after her exertions! It was good because it got me back in & working out. I'm liking the family-friendly aspect at the gym & it is helping me build in more workout time.

After not getting on so well with my fitbug - I finally got over 10000 steps yesterday! Makes me realise how sedentary my job is.

smallinthesmoke Sat 25-Jan-14 15:27:22

Good grief, I am still suffering from the powerplating I did on Thursday. Must have used some seriously unused muscles.

Kewcumber Sat 25-Jan-14 15:30:20

But I had the almond butter with pumpkin seed ryvita so it was slimming really.

Bought some coconut oil in local Thai supermarket about £3.50 for 500ml I'll let you know if i thin kit was worth it! Also bought some Tom Yum stock cubes to make some clear soup to drink between meals.

Kewcumber Sat 25-Jan-14 15:34:18

Would love DS to do a class but our gym (though swanky) really isn;t geared up to children (unless they are creche aged)

I didn;t tell you the story of the padlock did I?

Bought my £5 padlock, though I did thin kit was a pretty good one. Duly put in my new number. Put all stuff in locker and wemt off for swim. Came back from swim. Cannot see numbers due to swanky mood lighting and old lady eyes. Where are my glasses? In the locker of course.

It took 10 mins of squinting and swearing and peering and twisting padlock towards single dim light bulb and wondering if I was going to have to pad off dripping wet and in my swimming costume to get help when somehow (Lord knows how) I managed to get it right.

I need a cunning plan for next time.

Kewcumber Sat 25-Jan-14 15:35:52

I thought you just stand on a power plate and it wobbled the fat off you?

I have asked my Vitality Angel (or whatever they;re called) if I can swap th epersonal training with the cinema tickets weeks - it seems more sensible to spend the cinema tickets in the half term week and do the personal training session not in half term week.

WalkingThePlank Sat 25-Jan-14 16:16:04

I had the same thought Kew.

Willemdefoeismine Sat 25-Jan-14 19:24:28

Oh the plate sounds like my type of exercise...:-)

Do you think a Chinese supermarket would sell coconut oil - £3 for 500g is significantly cheaper than £6 for 250g. Thanks for the tips on sourcing the almond butter etc....I know exactly where the 'free from' aisle is in our supermarket but have never had reason to go down there....blush

Maiyakat Sat 25-Jan-14 19:49:43

Non-participant. I have never been to a gym and don't plan to! I'm a single mum and have very little time to myself, so fitness involves activities I can do with DD such as walking and swimming.

manfalou Sat 25-Jan-14 19:53:45

Non Participant

I hate gyms with a passion, this is no secret. They're so expensive to join and the commitment is usually a year long so you never really get to see if the gym is right for you or not. In all fairness I don't like exercising at all, its just not something I enjoy,

HOWEVER... I'm getting married next year and will start dress shopping in April, therefor I have a massive incentive to get on with getting fit and feeling good about myself. Since new year we have cut down portion size, introduced more fruit into the diet and started to exercise....at home. I have a 9 month old and whilst I've pretty much lost all of the weight I put on, the tone just isn't there anymore so thats what my aim is to do.

My partner enjoys exercising so we have quite a bit of equipment to be getting on with at home (power block weights, door frame pull up bar, floor push up bars, weighted basketballs, gym ball, resistent band, foam floor mats and foam roller)... I tried the 30 day shred last year but didn't do anything for me so I'm now trying out the T25 programme. I can sacrifice 25 minutes of my day to the greater good... I just can't commit to the journey to the gym, working out, changing then getting home again. Much more than 25 minutes.

HellonHeels Sat 25-Jan-14 22:03:03

Can anyone link to the fitbug you're using? I'd like to have a look at it -thanks!

Stripytop Sat 25-Jan-14 22:38:51

It's a Fitbug Go - Here. I can't believe how it motivating it is - and addictive! I just wish I was getting on as well with the gym. Didn't make my induction this morning as I just was hosting a birthday party today and realized halfway through the morning that it (the induction) just wasn't going to happen. Have rescheduled for Monday. Walked an extra 5000 steps to make for all the cake I've eaten today and planked whenever I got the chance though. That reminds me - I really must hoover under the couch!
Very interested to hear how everyone gets on with the coconut oil. I am slowly making healthy changes to our diet and that one's next on the list.

Chopstheduck Sun 26-Jan-14 08:03:30

I have some coconut oil lurking in my cupboard that I haven't used yet - so what's that all about?

If you have a good blender, something like a bullet or even a vitamix, you can make your own nut butters. We make homemade peanut butter and planning to try almond and cashews at some point. We also make homemade coconut milk when I run out.

Willemdefoeismine, eating healthy is expensive sad I don't diet as such, but eat healthy - eat high protein, lowish carb, low sugar and try to eat my normal fat allowance. I afford it by going shopping most days and buy whatever is reduced! blush I freeze some. Fish for breakie, steaks or chicken for lunches, buy whatever fruit and veg is reduced and stick in in smoothies.

manfalou, have you considered running? Running combined with some strength exercises with all that lovely equipment would soon get you there. Couch 2 5k is an excellent plan.

Willemdefoeismine Sun 26-Jan-14 09:43:35

Chopstheduck, apparently coconut oil should replace all other cooking oils (it's got a much higher 'burn/smoke' point so doesn't 'spoil' and lose vitamins etc...) and according to the jar in Saino's you can spread it on toast etc.... Going to get some today so will report back...

Looking at the list provided by the PruHealth Vitality/Sainsburys I would say that much of what's on it is also in our freezer/store-cupboard.......

I'm getting a bit mind-blow at the moment. In the past 48 hours I've read so many articles on giving up sugar, not eating carbs etc....my brain is swirling.....

Anyone tried chia....the Sunday Times Style section had an interesting sounding recipe for chia puddings......

Well done everyone!

EstoyAqui Sun 26-Jan-14 10:10:33

Non-tester here. I love gyms. I used to go pre DC after work each night with DH. We arrived together, did our own thing and then met again after 45 minutes to swim, sauna and wind down. It was a great opportunity for DH and I to leave work behind and de-stress.

When I was working away I always took a gym kit and ensured I found time to workout. Since having DCs my gym membership has not been renewed and I have not really looked at alternatives. Instead I try to walk or run when I have time. I have looked into re-joining but the costs Vs amount of time I would get to use it seems incredibly high. My nearest Gym had a joining fee of £350 and a monthly fee of £75 for the convenient times I would need. That is without the cost of childcare for DCs. So until I am back working it is something that I will go without and find alternative ways to keep fit.

I had a jawbone (similar to a fitbit) but it conked out after a couple of months. I loved using it and really set myself challenges as to walking more but my issue is not that I do not do enough it is that I do not have access to the gym equipment to condense that activity down. One day last summer I walked 32,000 steps so getting in the 10,000 is not a problem for me. smile

I try to run and play in the park with the kids every evening after school. We are lucky in that DD has a wonderfully equipped playground at school and we spend at least 30 minutes there whenever the weather allows.

2 years ago I signed up for a walking marathon and that gave me a focus to keep fit. I have kept the love of walking though and despite having a back condition my osteopath said my legs have 'fantastic muscle-tone'.

I guess all in all I am saying a gym membership is fantastic but there are other ways to keep fit so don't let not having one put you off.

Kewcumber Sun 26-Jan-14 10:38:33

I can say that coconut oil is good on toast and ryvita though its still fat so I do need to get a grip!

Look forward to trying to cook with it. Its got a very nice silky texture - I bought the refined as DS not keen on coconut and it really doesn;t taste/smell much of coconut.

I guess all in all I am saying a gym membership is fantastic but there are other ways to keep fit so don't let not having one put you off. To be fair the vitality people did make very clear that their programe could accomodate any increase in exercise and get some benefit - 50% of one pair of running shoes a year for the runners/walkers, link a fitbug to your account and you get credits to move up to higher benefit levels depending on how many steps you take, the exercises we were given all had home and gym versions. It really was very much about healthy living rather than the gym - but we're testing the benefits and one of them is the cheap gym membership (and its a bit of a novelty to me!).

Just in case you think any of us are normally so obsessed with the gym!

Kewcumber Sun 26-Jan-14 10:39:27

"I would say that much of what's on it is also in our freezer/store-cupboard......." though to be fair its putting them in your mouth that makes the difference!

Kewcumber Sun 26-Jan-14 11:05:02

authoritynutrition.com/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil/

Apparently making porridge with water then adding a spoon of coconut oil is nice and cuts down on your dairy.

I really need to look up calcium in non-dairy foods if I want to stand any chance of cutting my dairy.

Willemdefoeismine Sun 26-Jan-14 12:38:13

I've just gone to do my £50 healthy eating shop - readers it didn't go far and that was with buying Basics range for some key foodstuffs too! But as DS pointed out, £6 on a small jar of coconut oil didn't help the cause. I was quite shocked really at the cost.

I think that bulk buying nuts, grains, seeds etc..is the way to go...possibly from some of the Asian/Indian shops around. DSis eats like this all of the time but she is an affluent woman without DCs so has the time, money and inclination to do so....

It is my intention to mix the coconut flakes, chopped nuts, sesame and hemp seeds together as a 'topping' for having on porridge, yoghurt (0% of course) with fruit and possibly even in a fruit crumble!

The coconut oil looks divine....DH a bit hmm about spreading it on bread etc...... I love the wholegrain/pumpkin Ryvita so they will be yummy as a sandwich substitute although used to having them spread with butter. Will I use coconut oil instead or one of the elusive nut butters (that I couldn't even source in the 'free from' row...)???

I'm a bit of a purist with porridge...best way to have it is made with water and a wee bit of salt.....I may try it with the coconut oil stirred in but think I'm going to be really strict on how quickly that's consumed at that cost!

The one thing I categorically refuse to give up even embracing this healthier living is coffee (black). I've given up alcohol for January (and possibly some of February too) and all this virtuous living is a bit too much for my system to adapt to at once. I did have a phase of about two years when I used to drink nothing but herbal teas and ginger infused in boiled water.... It was fine but....

Oh and a tip with using the preloaded points on the newly provided Nectar Card - I had a bit of a hassle today because although I'd preregistered it, it didn't have my usual store registered as my 'home' store (it hadn't asked me for any such info when I'd done the initial registration process last weekend) so I had to faff around with one of the staff whilst they rang thro' to the Nectar cardline and go thro' all sorts of additional security checks. As I summised to one of the helpful staff members in-store, this inconvenience could have been avoided had I used the card mid-week when just doing a small not overly healthy top-up shop and presented it instead of my usual Nectar-card for adding the points to my account. She agreed that had I used it previously when shopping (but not redeeming the points) I would have avoided today's palaver. Does that make sense? The extra faff added at least ten minutes onto the check-out process which we could well have done without!

Willemdefoeismine Sun 26-Jan-14 13:49:56

Chia:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Naturya-Chia-Seeds-300-g/dp/B006HZ116O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390744007&sr=8-1&keywords=chia+seeds

and a recipe (it seems a bit like sago or tapioca when 'expanded' with milk....http://www.foodstolove.co.uk/recipe/chia-pudding/

Willemdefoeismine Sun 26-Jan-14 14:00:31

And food for thought about coconut oil too....http://www.hundredforhundred.com/2010/05/13/coconut-oil-and-pure-ghee-good-or-bad/

SaltySeaBird Sun 26-Jan-14 14:01:00

Non Participants - gyms and you - discuss!

It was a long time before I plucked up courage to go for a gym. They were for sporty, fit people who enjoyed getting a sweat on. Then I finally decided I wanted to do something about my fitness and weight and went. I noticed I was getting fitter. I started doing some of the classes and I loved it. After about a year I suddenly realised I was addicted to exercise and had gone from a size 16 to 10. I did lots of classes, swam before work and joined a local running club too.

Then I had DD. I went from a size 10 to 16 (shamefully I'm two stone heavier now, the last stone went on AFTER she was born). I need to get back into fitness but I simply can't afford the gym fees now I work part time. I also find that I have no time for myself as when I get home from work I go into the dinner, bed, bath routine which runs the same period as the exercise classes do.

My local gym is a Bannantynes and is £58 a month (it may have increased). I would love to still do the classes but as I can only make one or two of them at the most a week it is simply too expensive. There is another gym but that is still £38 a month and you have to pay for parking there too.

I feel very depressed writing this post.

Kewcumber Sun 26-Jan-14 19:08:39

WIllem - I think they dd recommend using it at a previous shop on the induction day.

I really liked the coconut oil on ryvita I could certainly get used to it instead of butter (and I love butter cannot have it in the house), in fact having used coconut oil I think I would find butter a bit greasy.

Going to read that article in coconut oil in a minute.

I have a vegan friends - basically it seems chia is vegan frogspawn

I'm going to treat myself to the healthy stuff I can't normally afford - organic chicken, fresh fish etc

Kewcumber Sun 26-Jan-14 19:09:28

Saltyseabird - have you thought of running using something like the couch to 5k app or Zombie run? If I can run anyone can

Kewcumber Sun 26-Jan-14 19:10:20

you might also find some classes like zumba etc running at local church halls though Im not sure how that would fit in with work/school etc

smallinthesmoke Sun 26-Jan-14 19:45:50

Really interesting to hear how everyone is getting on. I especially like the padlock story Kew.
I made it to aqua this morning. A very good class to start off with- no one can tell what you are doing under the water or how uncoordinated you are! Plus it is very silly, all to disco, not too serious.
I haven't embarked on the healthy eating yet as due to building works we have no kitchen. We are eating microwave meals on the floor in the baby's bedroom, totally ridiculous. I can see why people without access to decent cooking facilities don't eat healthily. The kids are just getting beans on toast on loop.
What I would say is that I think going to the gym is helping with this stressful time, at the very least I am getting hot showers which is more than is possible at home!
I will definitely enjoy the healthy foods from Sainsburys but maybe I will wait a bit before doing the full experience. I am interested at the moment in healthy snacks like seeds and nuts so will start with those.

Stripytop Sun 26-Jan-14 22:03:45

I have finally spent my Sweatshop voucher! got myself some very lovely running tights and a two layer long sleeve top with thumb-holes! I have always wanted a top with thumb-holes. Both were in the sale (40% off). Celebrated by putting them on straight away and doing a 5k power-walk.
Made some v healthy wholemeal banana and walnut muffins today, which are divine. The only problem is that the no one else likes them so I'm going to have to eat them all myself! Replaced the sugar with agave syrup and was wondering if I could have replaced the butter with coconut oil? Has anyone else used it in cooking like this yet?

Small I feel for you. Last time we had a new kitchen I put on half a stone from all the takeaways!

Kewcumber Sun 26-Jan-14 22:33:49

Having eaten it raw I would assume replacing it with butter should be fine.

Kewcumber Sun 26-Jan-14 22:35:22
Stripytop Sun 26-Jan-14 22:50:55

Cheers Kew I'll definitely try that. smile

CointreauVersial Sun 26-Jan-14 23:13:03

Checking in after a hugely busy weekend. Football, swimming and an athletics competition.....but none of it involving me; just my sporty DCs.

I finally made it to a branch of Sweatshop yesterday, battling though hailstorms and TWO diversions due to trees down in the road, arriving about 30 minutes before closing time. I managed to get three garments for my £50, and I'm absolutely chuffed to bits: a short sleeved pink top for the gym, a double-layer pink and black top with thumb holes for running (hmm.....sounds familiar, Stripytop? grin ), and a grey marl zip up hoody (because I wanted a warm outer top that was easy to take off mid-run if necessary), all in the sale.

Have any of you testers done any videos yet??

Kewcumber Sun 26-Jan-14 23:20:47

what the bleedin' 'ell are "thumb holes"?

Don;t remind me about video - will do one this week I think.

CointreauVersial Sun 26-Jan-14 23:46:57

They make you go faster, Kew, dontcha know....wink

zipzap Mon 27-Jan-14 00:40:32

Non participant:
My January resolution was to get fitter and actually do something but so far I haven't been very good. I like swimming but there are very few decent public pools nearby and the gyms with pools are ridiculously expensive - particularly as I only want to use the pool and nobody locally does a swimming only membership as I've had previously.

I've been trying to cut down on eating and a stomach bug last week inadvertently helped that plus I'm doing the wholegrain challenge too so trying to use that as a kick into healthier food.

Now I feel better I really need to try to get out - going to try to alternate couch 2 5k with the shred dvd, although if this rain keeps up it might be more shred than running! I've bought some trainers as my old ones were pre-baby days and they no longer fit as my feet got bigger and never shrunk back. Oh and getting a better night's sleep was also part of the resolution - but as you can see I'm not doing very well on that at the moment!

Chopstheduck Mon 27-Jan-14 07:28:09

I do like the sound of coconut oil on toast, shall have to try that!

I don't have any tops with thumb holes sad They would be pretty useless on me though, at 5'11 I also have very long arms!

I can't give up coffee neither. Don't have sugar or sweetener, but I do need the caffeine! I have been making smoothies in the mornings though, which stops me reaching for the 3rd or 4th cup blush

Willemdefoeismine Mon 27-Jan-14 07:31:42

That's where I've always gone wrong then....no thumbholes....

Well the recipe for chia pudding reminded me rather of sago/tapioca - having eaten Asian puddings which seemed to contain one of the forementioned I will give it a go......

Just had porridge made with 1/3 almond milk, 2/3 water and a sprinkling of coconut flakes and sesame seeds...yummy!

DH had fried potatoes (leftovers that needed using up) cooked in the coconut oil...he said that they did have a taste of coconut so won't be making that mistake again - obviously fine if cooking from a pan-Asian repertoire but not traditional British food...

I'm going to make some mackerel pate using 0% Total yoghurt instead of mayo today....to spread on my Ryvita.....

Obviously not paying attention properly regarding the Nectar Card or just plain forgot - unlike me and it's not as if I don't spend half my life doing top-up shops in there.....was in there at least twice last week and it didn't even cross my mind. Obviously compartmentalised it totally! wink.

Well done with the muffins Stripytop - I think this is how I've put on weight though since having a family. No-one in my family has a sweet tooth so although the DCs love making cakes etc...they're not keen on eating them....I end up eating stuff up because I hate wasting it....

Chopstheduck Mon 27-Jan-14 07:35:22

Willemdefoeismine, get your dc to make savoury muffins instead! Cheese, chilli and sweetcorn muffins are a big favourite in our house and are great for breakfasts smile

Kewcumber Mon 27-Jan-14 10:32:21

If you don't want the coconut taste get the refined one - but get a good brand which doesn't bleach the oil. I assume this doesn't as its organic...

www.amazon.co.uk/Organic-Refined-Coconut-Solid-Oil/dp/B007QRIX5E

Willemdefoeismine Mon 27-Jan-14 10:40:47

Thanks Kew... I do love the appearance and feel of the coconut oil - very sensual.....

Finally made it to the gym. I loved it although it's taken more than an hour's extra chunk out of my day....Was pleasantly surprised that I'm nowhere near as unfit as I might have anticipated....However, I might be eating my words tomorrow am when I can hardly move for stiffness :-)

Obviously all this walking has paid major dividends for me and my 'gluts' are pretty solid - shame about the rest of the body...All that will change though...

Happy days...

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 27-Jan-14 10:41:26

Big congrats to museumworker who is the first winner of the £50 Nectar card. I will PM you for your details.

The second week is all about healthy food choices. PruHealth with Vitality members can earn five times the amount of Nectar points they normally would by buying certain foods. As well they earn 1 Vitality point for each £2 is spent on healthy foods once they have linked their nectar card to their account.

Vitality Experience Participants - please share on this thread:
At the welcome day you had a presentation from Sally Nash, the nutritionist with EnergiseYou -
~ What would you say was the key message you took away from her presentation and what did you learn?
~ What healthy foods have found their way into your trolley since then and what are you planning to buy this week with your Nectar card?
~ How's the rest of the programme going - we'd love to hear what you've done!

Non Participants - what's your best tip for including your 5-a-day in family meals?
~ Share your best tips for getting the 5-a-day into family meals or share a fruit or veg packed recipe on this thread and you'll be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £50 pre-loaded Nectar card (prize draw Monday 3rd Feb at 9am)

Willemdefoeismine Mon 27-Jan-14 10:54:37

Oops blush as usual I've jumped the gun....ahead of myself!

The key message that I got was up the water intake significantly, reduce the carbs (and if you do eat them go for wholegrain varieties), use grains, seeds, pulses, beans a plenty, cut the diary (replacing with nuts and nut derivative milks) and ditch sugar as much as possible. COCONUT OIL stood out as one of the major revelations dietary-wise for me. Also veggies/fruit should - it seems - constitute at least half of any plateful of food eaten! I am a bit of an all-or-nothing person and was very into such a diet when a student (many moons ago) so none of it really came as a surprise. Good to be reminded though!

I did think that my family might be less than receptive to some of the changes but actually thus far they haven't. The DCs love the wholegrain rice and pasta.....DD loves fruity porridge anyway (and I've always been one for sneaking in extra sesame seeds for good measure) so it's not hard for us to embrace oats as our best friend (necessary for me with my higher than it should be cholesterol level). More fish has certainly gone into the supermarket trolly. Coconut oil has (although I did nearly have a fit at the cost of it...not exactly cheap) and lots of nuts/seeds etc....I do think though that I'm going on a much more cost-effective shop to one of the local Asian supermarkets where I will be able to buy nuts/grains/pulses significantly cheaper!

I've already spent my Nectar points (see yesterday's comments) and was shocked that really the £50 didn't go far at all. And I'd already done a Waitrose shop (to get the free bottle of bubbly ready for when I give up my dryathalon! Probably on Valentine's Day!) earlier in the day too....Anyway I have a freezer stuffed with fish, veggies and frozen fruits....

I am missing my carbs though....A bowl of cheesy mash or a baked potato with cheese/coleslaw is my idea of food nirvana at this time of the year...... I personally feel that I could more easily adapt if it was summer or I lived in a warmer climate.... Persevering though!

Willemdefoeismine Mon 27-Jan-14 10:57:05

Apologies: realise I've written diary rather than dairy..... that must be Freudian!

Glitterfairys Mon 27-Jan-14 11:18:17

My top tip for getting 5 a day into my family is to start the morning with a smoothie . I blend all different types of fruit with some milk and that's breakfast sorted.I give my boys slices of pepper or carrots for a snack in the afternoon if there a bit hungry and my youngest also loves bananas and custard for an occasional pudding too . With salad or vegetables with dinner it soon adds up to more than 5 a day smile

HellonHeels Mon 27-Jan-14 11:41:00

What's the rationale for cutting out dairy? TBH I'm not keen on ideas of just cutting out a food group altogether so would like to hear more about this.

CMOTDibbler Mon 27-Jan-14 12:20:37

In order to make sure we always get at least 5 a day my secret weapon is frozen mixed fruit and veg (not all together obv) as they fill in the times that the fridge is a bit lacking. The fruit thaws v quickly in the microwave or just in hot custard/porridge.

CointreauVersial Mon 27-Jan-14 13:36:15

I'll come back later to talk diets, but the big news from me is that my FitBug finally made it out of the box!! Not a huge success, as it almost immediately seized up, showing "8888" with a completely frozen display, and I had to take out the battery and replace it.

So, despite my busy morning and walk into town at lunchtime, it is displaying precisely 29 steps. angry I shall consider today a "test" day.

cather Mon 27-Jan-14 13:53:05

My top tip to get children to eat fruit and vegetables is to get them to help prepare meals, my children always eat their food better if they have helped make it and I find if we are peeling carrots a lot of the slices of carrot find their way into their mouths!

Stripytop Mon 27-Jan-14 14:02:53

Well I've just spent 3 hours at the gym. Nearly didn't go after my ropey experience last week, but so glad I did. Had a gym induction with the lovely John who was very professional and really knew his stuff.

He's done me a very manageable gym programme with the aim of running 10k by the summer. Instead of scoffing at my complete inability to do sit ups, he explained why (2 c-sections) and showed me alternative exercises to do instead. He also told me I had hypermobile ankles in a way that made it sound like an achievement!

I then had a swim, a steam, a lovely shower and did my hair! No way can I do this every time I have a day off unless I get a cleaner and start sending my ironing out, but I did enjoy it.

Audreyblue Mon 27-Jan-14 16:39:22

Participant here.

I had a day off today, so I had my gym induction this morning (and boy was it tough!). I was really put through my paces and shown a number of exercises, including cardio, weights, power plates and floor work. It was heavy going but I could really feel my muscles working and I have to admit I am really aching all over! At least I know it is working.

After this I managed to get to a Sweatshop (which was a 10 mile drive away) and managed to purchase a long-sleeved top and running tights/leggings. Only two items even though they were in the sale but they seem of really good quality. So now I have no excuses!

Now - onto the diet and healthy eating side of things. I have definitely reduced my intake of fizzy diet drinks and opted for water and lots of it. Sally's comment about what fizzy drinks does to your bones was quite an eye-opener. Apart from needing to pee a lot more often, I feel a lot better for it! I have also been taking lots of fruit to work to eat at my desk instead of munching on biscuits. If you chop up lots of fruit in a little container it really encourages you to snack on it. I've been eating pears, apples, satusmas, melon, grapes, strawberries and persimmons. All extremely delicious and healthy (but a bit pricey at this time of year).

I am planning on spending my Nectar points later this week on more fruit and veg and some fresh fish and chicken. My kids are okay with fruit but it's a bit more difficult with veg. May be a bit sneaky and try blending it and disguising it in a soup. I also find getting children to help preparing meals does help. They love making salads and do particularly like carrots and cucumbers. My diet is definitely changing and I'm feeling better for it.

smallinthesmoke Mon 27-Jan-14 17:48:33

Hellonheels
IIRC the nutritionist's advice was to cut down on dairy not cut it out. She talked about green veg as an an alternative source of calcium.

SaltySeaBird Mon 27-Jan-14 18:46:54

Non Participants - what's your best tip for including your 5-a-day in family meals?

Add fruit to cereal in the morning is a good one, with a small glass of orange juice (fresh, not from concentrate) that is 2 portions ticked off.

A portion of fruit with lunch add another.

For dinner it would be unusual for it to not incorporate at least two portions of fruit and veg. Stir frys are a favourite as they are packed full with different veg.

HellonHeels Mon 27-Jan-14 20:34:50

Thanks Small More green veg is obviously a good idea but what's the reason to cut down on dairy?

Kewcumber Mon 27-Jan-14 20:52:55

Yes nutritionist definitely said try to cut down on refined wheat dairy and sugar not cut out.

Wheat and dairy from what I remember was that both are hard to digest - I know this is true of milk which is why so much dairy stuff tends to be semi-digested (kinda) wth bacteria ie yoghurt and cheese. I've looked into the dairy thing before. Most animals lose the enzyme needed to digest milk once their young are weaned but Western humans have evolved to retain some of it (though not in the same quantity) and also treat dairy in many cases to make it easier to digest. Come cultures have not evolved in this way and are predominantly intolerant to dairy as adults.

The argument behind reducing refined wheat was really down to a combination of high GI for much wheat that we eat as its bred to be starchy and then refined and is very very prevalent in our diet. She gave the example of a typical day for many people being cereal or toast, sandwich for lunch then pasta for dinner. She suggested switching to non-wheat low GI alternatives at least occasionally.

Sugar was really to impact on insulin and even though fruit sugars were still sugar, they still took longer to breakdown by the body so stuff being sweetend by fruit was better on the whole than refined sugar or use molasses etc which at least had some minerals left in it.

She said that nutrition should actually be more about what you add in (more nuts, more seeds, more veg, more fruit) than what you take out and that you should aim for very small changes that you turn into a habit.

I certainly haven't cut out either dairy or wheat but I am more conscious or having a broader spread of food and not relying so much on the dreaded pasta and bread!

Kewcumber Mon 27-Jan-14 20:53:45

ALso I think she said nuts and seeds were a good alternative source of calcium.

sharond101 Mon 27-Jan-14 21:49:54

Non-participant. My strategy is variety in choice and method of cooking. DH is a horror for eating vegetables but if i cook them a bit different (eg tonight he had carrots roasted in honey and last night stir fried courgettes in soy sauce) as opposed to the normal steaming, there is a better chance of success. So for instance today in his lunchbox he had a small apple, 2 satsumas, homemade soup (carrot, leek and lentil) a banana and some dried figs. At dinner he had the carrots. Tomorrow he will have sandwiches with lettuce and meat on, apple, satsumas, banana and raisins. Dinner will have stir fried veg. DS is a bit more of a problem, he is 20mo and refuses all recogniseable fruit and vegetables except dried fruit. I thus add pureed fruit to his weetabix and custard and give him a mashed meal in the evening incorporating lots of vegetables.

sharond101 Mon 27-Jan-14 21:51:12

Vegetable packed recipe,

Vegetable Strudel

I chopped/sliced 1.5 red
peppers, 1 red onion, 1/2 leek, bag of brussell sprouts (I
steamed these for 5 minutes after taking outer shells and
bottoms off and halving). Put all in baking tray with 1tbsp
olive oil and roast for 25minutes at 200deg. Meanwhile make
a tomato sauce by simmering a small finely chopped onion in
5 tbsp water until soft then add 1 tin chopped tomatoes, 1 tin
drained cannellini beans, 1tsp balsamic vinegar, 2 tsps
worcester sauce and 2 tsp red pesto. Mix veg into the sauce
and leave to cool.
Set out your filo pastry onto parchment paper so you have
two sheets lying ontop of each other and to the side another
two sheets slightly overlapping. Add filling mixture in a row
about 2inches from the top of the pastry leaving an inch gap
at either side. Carefully fold the pastry over the filling and roll
up like a swiss roll. Roll into the shape of a spiral by bringing
one end in approxiately2.5inches and continuing to roll it
round. Brush with a mix of oil (I used the oil that settles
ontop of the red pesto) and melted butter. Sprinkle with
1tbsp sesame seeds and bake at 200degrees for around

WalkingThePlank Mon 27-Jan-14 23:34:07

Can someone point me towards the list of healthy food - have spent too long looking for it and want to go to bed. Shopping straight after the gym tomorrow.

WalkingThePlank Mon 27-Jan-14 23:37:01

I think I've found it now blush

Willemdefoeismine Tue 28-Jan-14 07:22:00

Sorry when I said 'cut' I didn't mean 'cut out' I meant 'cut down' - however for me personally, with a higher than expected cholesterol leve, l I think there possibly is more of an onus on replacing dairy with alternatives most of the time!

Mackerel pate made with (Greek) 0% yoghurt was lovely - with a bit of lemon juice and pepper - more than a flavoursome topping for the pumpkin seeded Ryvita!

I'm certainly enjoying having lots more veggies and a small salad at lunchtime....I'm not entirely sure I'm feeling better for this or for giving up alcohol in January or both....

I did a mighty 20,000 steps yesterday but as I said that helps to compensate for the odd slothful day of leisure....

Feeling a bit stiff after the gym but I don't think I was worked hard enough wink

Willemdefoeismine Tue 28-Jan-14 07:45:25

I think this is the mantra (in a nutshell) we should all be working towards:

http://www.womanandhome.com/galleries/diet-and-health/35902/9/0/the-honey-diet

Bagtrainlady Tue 28-Jan-14 08:08:52

I did my healthy food shop at the weekend it did come to about £20 more than our regular weekly shop but I also didn't skimp on things as I knew I had my voucher to cushion the blow iyswim. The coconut oil was a massive dent in that & I'm sure that I will be able to find it cheaper elsewhere.
What I took from the health talk was that cutting down on less healthy options & trying to eat things which have more complex structures to digest as it will give you more nutrients & feel fuller for longer.
I now have a bag of dried fruit, seeds & nuts at my desk to snack on. I don't do hot drinks so am not too bad about water intake. Where I am struggling is on my attempts to eat within an hour of waking. Still it takes a month to build a habit!
What has made the biggest difference to us is buying a slow cooker. A hot healthy meal waiting when you get in rather than resorting to quick processed meals has been a revolution for us.

Kewcumber Tue 28-Jan-14 09:45:35

At the welcome day you had a presentation from Sally Nash, the nutritionist with EnergiseYou -
~ What would you say was the key message you took away from her presentation and what did you learn?
Nutrition is as much about what you add into your diet (vitamins, minerals, fibre etc) as what you take out. Make small changes and build a new habit. Most families have an average of 8 recipes which they repeat.

~ What healthy foods have found their way into your trolley since then and what are you planning to buy this week with your Nectar card? I've bought coconut oil, mixed seeds which I've used in porridge and yoghurt. I've bought more fresh food and cooked from scratch more and have bought but not yet used almond milk.

I plan to buy some nice chicken to make our own nuggets! More fish, spelt pasta, I've going to stock up on frozen veg which is useful for hidden veg when you're in a hurry. I find frozen carrot and swede mash can be thrown into almost anything without being noticed, frozen chopped onions are great when there's only two of you and you're trying to thrown something together quickly and don't need a while onion.

~ How's the rest of the programme going - we'd love to hear what you've done!

I'm off for gym induction on Thursday and I'm going to try to make time to go to at least one acqua class before that.

Willemdefoeismine Tue 28-Jan-14 10:31:52

I'm wilting after gyming it and have already done 10,000 steps this morning. Feeling on a bit of an endomorphin high.... smile...Now to work....

GwenStacy Tue 28-Jan-14 10:47:36

Eek, a grumpy baby and a weekend away means I never got round to posting about my gym visit! I'm on the bus sans baby so have time to update!

First off - wow! It's beyond gorgeous. Last week was my first trip away from my daughter so I decided to go for a swim rather than try and figure out the gym equipment whilst I was stressing about how she was getting on…

As I said, the gym is gorgeous, and the staff were all so friendly. Free towels and Molton Brown toiletries make packing to go so easy as well and means I don't have to wash chloriney towels and get them dry for my next visit.

I'd forgotten quite how much I love swimming - after a couple of lengths I was into a rhythm and able to switch off and just concentrate on the feeling of the water and how my body felt while I was swimming. My daughter is 10 weeks old and whilst I love her dearly, having the time alone with nothing to do but swim was glorious! I felt really good for having done some physical exercise, but I think the mental benefits outweighed any physical ones smile

Willemdefoeismine Tue 28-Jan-14 11:29:43

Well done, GwenStacey, it sounds as if you had some well-needed/deserved 'me' time!

I think going to the 'gym' should be seen as being as much about mental as physical well-being wink. Think everyone needs some 'time-out' from normal life and going to the gym or doing some single-pursuit exercise can afford us a good opportunity to recharge!

flamingtoaster Tue 28-Jan-14 11:37:26

non-participant. I've never used a gym - I find the whole prospect intimidating. I do, however, enjoy ice skating which I am going to do more regularly in 2014. I also hope to get back to regular swimming.

olivia280177 Tue 28-Jan-14 12:26:23

I grate carrot and courgette into homemade turkey burgers and serve with a homemade corn salsa.
Also I serve sweet potato instead of a normal potato.
The kids often have ice cream or yoghurt with some berries for a pudding.

No idea where I am meant to answer!!

WalkingThePlank Tue 28-Jan-14 13:53:01

So happy to read GwenStacy's update. I think it is so impressive that you are up and about and getting active so soon after having a baby. It sounds like you have such a nice club too. I think mine is a bit down at heel given the fees - and certainly no towels or Molton Brown goodies - it's definitely working the 1990s vibe with generic pumps of gel, shampoo but obviously no conditioner. The no conditioner thing is a bug bear of mine but perhaps it is just me. Hotels, gyms etc rarely include conditioner but surely most women use conditioner so you still have to remember a bottle.

I went to the gym today - did the V-Trek class today which I really enjoy - saw 3 people I vaguely know as I puffed and panted with my red face!

After the gym I did my healthy food shop. I had swiped the nectar card at our little Sainsburys yesterday so that it was primed but went to the large Sainsburys to ensure a better choice. I too bought the coconut oil at £6 for 300ml. I also saw one in the world foods aisle which was £2.45 for 500ml (KTC?) but it was in a plastic pot (would the chemicals leach?) and was product of several countries. It would be interesting to know if anyone has views on this. I bought fruit, veg, cous cous, lentils, high fibre pasta (looked to be better than wholemeal) and fish. I couldn't find seeds and the like. Anyway, I then went to pay and they wouldn't let me use the Nectar points because I hadn't used the card in that specific store before. So, I'll have to use the points on top-ups which will be mostly fruit and veg over the next few weeks (I usually have groceries delivered).

I loved the nutrition talk but seem to be binging at the moment on rubbish. Not sure what's got over me. I need some discipline!

Kewcumber Tue 28-Jan-14 14:05:30

I bought the KTC one but having read up on it I would probably go in future for a refined (non coconut smell) organic oil which hopefully has a better gentler refining process.

I'm not sure left over choclate fingers from Xmas ar eon my healthy eating plan blush

But I'm just about to head out to Sainsburys... on foot... shock with my old lady trolley (we are only a 15 mi walk away)

RubyRR Tue 28-Jan-14 14:09:00

Non participant here, I do a selection of veg I noticed with salads the variety seemed less to create less fuss so now I do a small amount of different veg, if cooking carrots I give them raw sticks prior to meal they don't recognise that as its not served on their plate. I stab a cocktail stick through leaves of baby spinach, small pots of peas, sweet corn, red pepper sticks or roasted with onion, squash, courgette, leeks,if roasted with red onion they have a sweeter taste and I can also use up whatever I have left.

loopsngeorge Tue 28-Jan-14 15:24:00

I have had that jar of coconut oil in my hands so many times, but just can't quite convince myself that it will be life-changing enough to spend £6 a time on. Going to hit Sainsbury's tomorrow though, just to spend my Nectar points on trying new things.
I came away from the nutritionists talk thinking more about adding in things like nuts and seeds to my diet and making easy substitutions (hence the coconut oil dilemma). Also the idea of just trying new vegetables - I realised I never branch out from the ones I like and cook for the kids.
So tomorrow I hope to find some of the seeds and grains that Sally mentioned, and maybe try using things like lentils to hide them in casseroles. Also have promised my son I'lll get loads of "fun fruit" like mangos!

Kewcumber Tue 28-Jan-14 15:54:42

I also took away the "add more" message loops

Have added more seeds (form Holland and Barrett on their 1 extra for 1p offer - sorry Sainsburys!)

Will be buying organic coconut oil from Amazon because I like the texture and think it will multitask for baking instead of butter too.

I have just got back from Sainsburys and blown the lot! shock Mind you I have gone for some expensive stuff I wouldn't normally get... though I also added quite a few things from the sainsburys basics range like their smoked mackerel. I splashed out on free range skinned chicken breasts as DS and I plan to make our own chicken nuggets tomorrow and I thought it would be way easier! I also splashed out on agave nectar which I've wanted to try for a while and could never justify the cost.

I also bought some tinned salmon to make out own pate and tuna in oil. I know that the oil one doesn't count as "healthy" but I get the no drain one which really has hardly any oil and the one in water is so tasteless that I just end up drowning it in mayo.

Bought some spelt pasta to try to see if I like the taste and brown/white mixed basmati rice.

Struggled to find any commercial yohgurts that didn't have added sugar or sweetener shock surely there must be a market for yoghurts sweetened with fruit?

It was nice to be able to try stuff that I wouldn't normally risk because of the cost. It also occurred to me that the sainsburys basics frozen fish could also be coated and made into "fish fingers".

I'd love Sainsbury to have a made/grown in UK and in season section. I'm quite interested in food miles but mostly its quite expensive to go for the veg box schemes if you end up with a load of stuff you don;t want (particularly as there's only two of us). I'd love to be able to see at a glance which stuff is UK grown and in season. Annoys me when during apple season I inadvertantly buy apples from somewhere that have obviously been flown here. Happy to support farmers in emerging markets but not really with stuff we grow as well or better here!

Kewcumber Tue 28-Jan-14 16:08:38

Sorry that turned into a bit of an essay.

Will be interested to see what of my shop today counts as "healthy" by looking at my vitality points online.

GwenStacy Tue 28-Jan-14 16:14:29

This is a friend's blog - she bakes some amazing cakes and biscuits, but adapts recipes to use non wheat flours and alternative fats and sugars as well, if you anted to try baking with coconut oil!

http://londonbakes.com

Bubbles85 Tue 28-Jan-14 17:35:36

Non Participants - what's your best tip for including your 5-a-day in family meals?

Cut them up small and mix them in well. Works a treat every time! smile

telsa Tue 28-Jan-14 20:25:10

Non participant
I don't find it hard to get the 5 a day in, The children and all of us take an item of fruit to school/work. We have fruit with our porridge or cereal. We have 3 different vegetables with each meal and often have lots more beg in the cottage pie or spag Bol etc. we also have a salad with our meal, but only DS will eat that.

Theimpossiblegirl Tue 28-Jan-14 20:35:08

Non-participant
I don't find it hard to get 5 a day into my family as we all eat a lot of fresh fruit. I just have to ensure we always have a good selection available.
I do have tips though, it's not always been easy. Grated carrot in pasta sauce, side salads on most dishes. crudites and dips for snacks, smoothies, jellies made with fruit, fruit flan, soups where they can't see the veg, bribery.

mumsbe Tue 28-Jan-14 21:27:28

We make fruit smoothies with our children to make sure they get their 5 a day I find if the kids are involved in the preperation or cooking then they tend to eat more. With smoothies you can be as creative as you like and even say your making up magic potions that give us special powers

majjsu Tue 28-Jan-14 22:01:54

Non tester. I made no resolutions, I find it easier to focus on 1 thing at a time. Keep it simple is my motto.

Gyms are not my cup of tea. Running around after my LO, my husband and the housework keeps me fit, hee hee.

Re 5 a day, I agree with other comments, I always ensure offer a variety of veg at meal times and fruit salads/kebabs work a treat.

majjsu Tue 28-Jan-14 22:02:22

Non tester. I made no resolutions, I find it easier to focus on 1 thing at a time. Keep it simple is my motto.

Gyms are not my cup of tea. Running around after my LO, my husband and the housework keeps me fit, hee hee.

Re 5 a day, I agree with other comments, I always ensure offer a variety of veg at meal times and fruit salads/kebabs work a treat.

smallinthesmoke Tue 28-Jan-14 22:47:36

The key message I took away from the nutritionist was that acidic fizzy drinks increase the risk of osteoporosis. Also she recommended 5 fruit and veg each day as an absolute minimum, suggesting 8 to 10 would be better. That's when I started to shuffle around in my seat a bit as 8 to 10 portioms a week would be good going for me. I just live on sugars and carbs. blush
This week has been phenomenally shit, in many ways not least that my DD1 is in hospital. Not serious thank god but who reaches for healthy eating in these sorts of circumstances? Yet now more than ever I should be putting some proper nutrients into my body. I think when she is well I will take her to Sainsburys with me to spend the points and see if she can find the the healthy products. She'd enjoy that.
Aqua on Monday. No Zumba tomorrow as planned but I hope to fit in a relaxing swim on Thursday if things are a bit more sorted then. Fingers crossed.

CointreauVersial Tue 28-Jan-14 22:57:15

Checking in from the sofa, having just got back from the gym. I did the Fierce class again, and spent 25 minutes on the treadmill (still getting tangled up in my headphones). The treadmill (and running in general) serves as my meditation, but I find the classes quite fun and sociable. It brought today's steps up to 10,000 (I'm actually surprised it wasn't more). And I looked the business in my new Sweatshop stuff; a lean, mean, gym machine. grin

Anyway, onto the "discussion of the week" - nutrition.

~ What would you say was the key message you took away from her presentation and what did you learn?

I thought the presentation was excellent, and I like the way it focussed on little changes here and there that could make a real positive difference to your diet. Quite a few suggestions I already apply, or at least knew about, but I learned a few new things, like the fact that you shouldn't cook with olive oil.

I already eat a lot of veg, fish, chicken, very few refined carbs, and am a fan of almond butter, seeds and nuts. I never drink fizzy drinks (unless it comes in a green bottle with a cork wink). If I'm not low-carbing I eat a fair amount of wholegrain and porridge. I probably eat more fat than the nutritionalist suggested, but that's part of the low-carbing. I'm not giving up cheese any time soon!

I am trying to increase the amount of water I drink, and have taken some herbal tea to work to increase my fluids. I will also be adding coconut oil to my shopping list (I have a little bottle I use on my nails, but it's not culinary grade), although I already buy rapeseed oil, which is pretty good too.

~ What healthy foods have found their way into your trolley since then and what are you planning to buy this week with your Nectar card?

Apart from plans to buy the aforementioned coconut oil, I have stocked up on ground flaxseed, which is nice added to yogurts, or to make savoury pancakes (Linwoods do all sorts of yummy mixtures of flaxseeds with nuts/berries/cocoa etc). I had a look at almond milk the other day, but it was so pricy, and I wasn't sure if I'd like it. I only really have milk in tea and coffee anyway, and I'm a bit "funny" about milk. With my Nectar points I fancy buying some interesting fruit and veg, maybe some fish for the family to try, and it will be nice to see if I can pick up some healthy treats. I shall be going to the local "big" Sainsburys (so, if I'm reading it right, I need to make a purchase there first, to "register the card", then I can use the points.....?)

~ How's the rest of the programme going - we'd love to hear what you've done

It's going really well - I am feeling so positive. My clothes are definitely looser. I am going to bed early (or at least on time!) and feeling more rested generally. And the Fitbug is now working.

CointreauVersial Tue 28-Jan-14 23:00:37

X-post, Small - really sorry to hear about your DD, how stressful for you. sad Hope she's on the mend, and you are finding time to look after yourself.

kateandme Wed 29-Jan-14 05:18:15

dont make a big fuss oif it.if they think having them is normal from the off they will be easier to like.make it birght colourful.ask them what they want with tea.give them an exciting choice to make them feel all grown up[ being able to choose our veggie for tea.

Willemdefoeismine Wed 29-Jan-14 07:39:37

Oh dear Smallinthesmoke....hope your DD is better soon....You will be hard pushed to even find healthy food in hospital......ironic isn't it....

I haven't noticed my clothes being noticeably looser but my very sensible DD suggested that it was unlikely so quickly. I think I have a lot more weight to lose than you, CointreauVersial, so sure that I'm not going to notice it as quickly.

I'm finding porridge, nuts/seeds and extra fruit/veggies easy to do. I tend to drink my coffee black so the almond milk has not really been an issue in hot drinks. I bought a 1-L Tetrapak and I haven't finished it yet - just having it sometimes with the porridge...Not sure you could successfully use if for making savoury sauces though.....

Just a tip - I was perusing The World Foods Aisle in Sainsbury's yesterday and noticed that huge bags of nuts etc...are significantly cheaper there than in the 'Home Baking' row - it's all a bit of a swizz. If we continue with some of these dietary changes - which I'm intending to do - I will be in search of 'best value for money' rather than just buying in Sainsbury's. When I did my healthy shop at the weekend I couldn't find 'Basics' porridge oats for love nor money and paid well over the odds for Saino's 'normal' brand - it pained me to do so!

My Fitbug is just about full and I will need to download the data sometime today....

With my trip to the gym yesterday, I hit 17,500 steps...I think I am getting the picture that without trying, I have incorporated sufficient exercise (although maybe not fast enough to be efficient for calorie burning) to keep fit - as long as I'm doing my school runs. At the weekend when life is less structured and sometimes less active I will need to focus on hitting my target number of steps per day!

telsa Wed 29-Jan-14 09:17:40

Any recommendations y'all on almond milk. Would really like to try this but immediately ran into scare stories about carrageen.

Plus where are the vids!!

Willemdefoeismine Wed 29-Jan-14 10:25:15

Yikes what's carrageen, Telsa!???

I've not even got thro' a 1L Tetrapak yet so I'm not exactly swigging it back....just added a small amount to porridge and smoothie I made earlier this week. I recall reading about a very nice non-alcoholic almond milk based 'nog' that Pearl Lowe recommended that would be good try out at this time of the year...will have to see if I can track it down...

On the subject of 'scare stories' I think you will be hard-pushed to find any foodstuffs that don't come with a 'caution' label attached regardless of being natural or highly-processed.

I think at the end of the day the mantra "a little bit of what you fancy does you good" is possibly the best mantra to live by.....

Are the rest of you, the Vitality crew, using coconut oil as a butter/margarine substitute? Lovely as it smells I really don't fancy it smoothed on my Ryvita. Haven't got to a health-food shop yet to track down the elusive non-peanut-nut butters..Or the chia! I bought some Flora yesterday but somehow don't think that's any healthier than butter really.....

telsa Wed 29-Jan-14 10:38:35

I know absolutely everything seems to have scare stories attached. But I was really taken by the idea of almond milk - inspired by you lot - and did the fateful google and stuff comes up about the carrageen (Irish Moss) added to many of them has caused some tumours in mice blah di blah....jury still out etc. So wondered if you had addressed that at all.

By the way on coconut oil - which I have tried again in emulation of you lucky devils (I had some already for mouth swishing!) - goes really nice on Ryvita, hot cross buns! and just about anything, I think.

CointreauVersial Wed 29-Jan-14 12:48:04

Quite what Irish Moss is doing in almond milk I have no idea!

I've just thought of another "message" from the nutrition talk, which is to eat the main meal earlier in the day, and eat a small evening dinner. Unfortunately, this doesn't fit with my lifestyle; I have no cooking/canteen facilities at work, so lunch is usually of the soup/sandwich/salad variety. The main meal by default is in the evening (and we are late eaters because of DH's hours).

But whenever practical I will switch this around, so last weekend I did a big lunch and a snack for dinner, which was fine.

Kewcumber Wed 29-Jan-14 13:54:56

I went to acqua and I liked it! Must turn that into a song.

Geneticsbunny Wed 29-Jan-14 14:19:17

We always have fruit mixed into breakfast ie. bananas and porridge. Often I buy frozen fruit as it is cheaper. A glass of fruit juice with lunch and then secret carrot grated into everything. Spag Bol with grated carrot is surprisingly good and it is a cheap way of making it stretch further.

Willemdefoeismine Wed 29-Jan-14 16:44:03

Been to the gym again and beginning to hit my stride...not doing any classes though...too intimidated by super gym bunnies.....

Downloaded my first 10 days of Fitbug data...although realise that I've forgotten to input my food intake for the same timeframe so not entirely meaningful....I guess when we do our Fitbug week focus I will need to keep on top of doing that...

Still haven't got round to trying the coconut oil on the Ryvita....that's tomorrow's challenge...maybe with some exotic fruit stacked on top...Yum! Considering making a crumble with oats, seeds and substituting butter for coconut oil......Also wondering whether one could make custard with almond milk.......

Faithless12 Wed 29-Jan-14 17:02:29

Willem If you have custard powder (or corn flour) you can make it with any milk. We normally make it with Coconut Milk.

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Wed 29-Jan-14 19:27:15

Non-participant

My DD1 won't eat vegetables (except mushrooms confused), but loves fruit. I hide vegetable where possible eg bolognese with grated onion, carrot & parsnip. She enjoys soup too, as long as its smooth. We have fruit with every meal & for snacks - she loves grapes, banana, mango, apple, blueberries, tomatoes etc.

So my tip would be: offer plenty of different fruits and hide the vegetables if necessary!

Kewcumber Wed 29-Jan-14 19:35:42

if you're a veg hider (as I am) then try the frozen carrot and swede mash - it comes frozen in little pellets which you can take out just a handful and it mushes quite nicely into just about any stews and sauces

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 29-Jan-14 19:48:06

A couple of MNers posted their comments on a new thread - here they are:

olivia280177
I grate carrot and courgette into homemade turkey burgers and serve with a homemade corn salsa.
Also I serve sweet potato instead of a normal potato.
The kids often have ice cream or yoghurt with some berries for a pudding.

Geneticsbunny
We always have fruit mixed into breakfast ie. bananas and porridge. Often I buy frozen fruit as it is cheaper. A glass of fruit juice with lunch and then secret carrot grated into everything. Spag Bol with grated carrot is surprisingly good and it is a cheap way of making it stretch further.

Willemdefoeismine Wed 29-Jan-14 20:50:27

Thanks for the tip Faithless12 - it's quite difficult not tucking into unhealthy food in this grotty weather...roll on Spring!

Julestar Wed 29-Jan-14 21:28:41

We freeze grapes - they are delicious alternative dessert and taste like little icecreams! Also saves on food waste if you tend to have grapes that go off before you get round to eating them smile

CointreauVersial Wed 29-Jan-14 22:51:15

Willemdafoe - I actually found the people at the classes to be more friendly and less "gym-bunny" than the ones in the gym. All shapes, sizes and ages.

Kewcumber Wed 29-Jan-14 23:12:37

YEs several people at the acqua class were very friendly and showed me how to use the extremely impressive but incredibly complicated spa pool thing.

CointreauVersial Wed 29-Jan-14 23:57:36

GwenStacy - I love your friend's blog and I'm now following it!

Some delicious-sounding recipes. It might inspire me to bake some healthier snacks for the DCs.

Willemdefoeismine Thu 30-Jan-14 06:37:15

Did anyone see that very interesting (but equally alarming) Horizon progamme on BBC2 - about diet. That was enough to send one running from fat/sugar combos with a vengeance....

Thanks CointreauVersial....maybe I will have a look at classes....although I've settled into a bit of a routine which suits me and no doubt the classes that might interest me won't fit in...

17,000 footsteps again yesterday.....I can certainly feel 'the pain' of the exercise but not in a bad way....and I'm sure my tummy is flatter already...However, that in part could be due to giving up alcohol for January too....

I'm certainly sleeping a lot better....:-)

CointreauVersial Thu 30-Jan-14 12:40:22

Funny, Willemdafoe, the chap who sits next to me in the office was just talking about it. I might have to see if it's on catch-up.

I am hugely impressed by your step-count, by the way. Even on the days with a gym visit or a run I haven't yet topped 10,000.

Kewcumber Thu 30-Jan-14 17:32:11

I went for my initial "quick start" assessment. It was great - I am a gym convert! I did very little - he showed me how to use the funny elliptical bungee cord cross trainer thingies, and the reclining bikes then talked about classes and what would work with my achilles tendonopathy/hypermobile knees/arthitic chest [old crock emoticon], gave me three simple upper body machiney weight thingies to do to help improve my posture/back (which isn;t too bad but I spend a lot of time sitting at a computer).

He has challenged me to try the body conditioning class followed immediately by the acqua next week!

Can't beleive I enjoyed it - I feel really motivated.

Lesson one - how to pretend you are healthy.

Toast a wholegrain slice of bread spread with coconut oil and top with agave syrup. blush

GwenStacy Thu 30-Jan-14 18:31:42

I'm going to own up to something here - I've actually got a degree in nutrition, so I wouldn't say I actually learnt a huge amount, but as with anything, knowing and doing are two very different things! What I did take away though were ways to implement the ideas Sally was explaining. I think as well that rather than throwing myself in to making all the dietary changes I should, I'm going to try and implement one thing a week - and this week it's trying to swap my snacks of biscuits for fruit or something a little healthier!

I'm currently breastfeeding a ten week old, so am eating enough for a small army, and snacking a lot - both mostly one handed! I've spent some of my points on healthier snacks - ie, expensive pre-prepared fruit packs (there's only so many apples I can eat!) I know I should eat more fish as well, so some salmon and white fish has made it in to my basket! I have been eating a fair amount of meat (was a vegetarian for several years until I became pregnant) as I've had awfully low iron levels and since giving birth they've been even worse, so I've treated us to some good quality steak.

Over the last few weeks we've relied a lot on ready meals (more the ones have to cook rather than microwave meals if you get my distinction?) and this week seems to be coinciding with E agreeing to sit in her seat whilst we cook so we're trying to meal plan a bit more and cook from fresh - it's something I enjoy doing so again, as with the exercise, this feels like it's doing me good mentally as well as physically! I have to say though, however bad it is for me, there's no way I can currently contemplate giving up my mugs of hot sweet tea! I'm not drinking alcohol though, so I figure I have a little leeway ;-)

I've made it to the gym a couple of times this week and both times have done classes. As I mentioned above, I'm currently breastfeeding, and sometimes my daughter will take a bottle of expressed milk, sometimes she won't (we will have this cracked in time for me to go to Champneys, we will!!) so I need to use my time away as efficiently as possible. I also find that if I use the gym, my current lack of fitness means I probably don't push myself as hard as I can and I know I do maybe give up slightly to easily - in a class I don't want to show myself up and so push myself to work as hard as I can! I'm loving the chance to go swimming as well, and try and swim, if only for 15 minutes each time I go.

Bagtrainlady Thu 30-Jan-14 19:29:26

On my way back from the gym. I am really enjoying it & got quite grumpy this week because I couldn't go when I really wanted to. It's tough trying to squeeze it all in!

I've not been as adventurous with the coconut oil yet - just to cool stir fry. I am a total convert to our slow cooker & have been using the lentils & beans I got to make some hearty veg stews (well DP has because he likes to cook more than I do!)

It is hard to get the dc's to join us as they are both such fussy things. Dd after eating most things for years has just announced that she doesn't like most things to eat now (apart from processed chicken type things!) We keep persevering but it does wear us down!
Would welcome any suggestions

Bagtrainlady Thu 30-Jan-14 19:30:07

*cook stir fry

GwenStacy Thu 30-Jan-14 20:40:29

How about making chicken nuggets with chicken breasts and breadcrumbs and egg? You could even use non wheat breadcrumbs! Mixing a little Parmesan in with breadcrumbs is tasty as well smile

Kewcumber Thu 30-Jan-14 21:05:27

we made chicken nuggets - didn't think of putting some parmesan in but they were lovely and DS helped make them. I cheated and bought panko breadcrumbs to speed things up as I were told that are pretty much unadulterated breadcrumbs and they were nice and crispy.

SweetPeaPods Thu 30-Jan-14 21:53:33

Non tester- I add things like beans to shepherds pie (is a bean a veg?)
As others have said grated carrot to spag Bol.
I offer ds fruit throughout the day and he has fruit for pudding after lunch & dinner.
Often has fruit on breakfast cereal too.
I often have to sneak veg into DHs food too, but he will eat homemade soup if I add some chilli, so I make a spicy butternut squash soup with chilli, ginger and garlic. Works a treat when feeling run down.

Cherryjellybean Thu 30-Jan-14 22:35:03

Non tester- we put veg into loads of meals. In lasagne and bolognaise sauce we put onion, pepper, corjertte and mushrooms. Add a salad to the side and it is quite healthy.

Stripytop Thu 30-Jan-14 22:59:00

I felt really inspired by Sally's talk. Really just because she looked so, well, healthy! If ever there was a walking advert for healthy eating, I think she was it! That said, I'm not hugely convinced by the coconut oil thing, it's still a fat at the end of the day, and as I'm now in the habit of dry frying pretty much everything, I don't want to start using a fat where I wasn't before. Also I read up on it a bit and it seems that opinion is divided as to how much more beneficial it is for you than other fats, or even butter. I would be interested in your opinion Gwen, what do you think?

Fully on board with all the other things Sally suggested though. I had started trying to improve our diet after Christmas. We generally eat quite healthily at mealtimes anyway, but bad snacking and dessert habits had crept in. This week came just at the right time to boost my resolve, though in fairness, the dc's don't really seem to have noticed the 3 little changes I've made each week.

Here's what we had for tea this week:
Mon: healthy minestrone soup (made with wholemeal pasta and beans with wholemeal rolls and cheese
Tues: homemade fish fingers, potato wedges (cooked in the oven without oil) and beans.
Wed: steamed salmon and bean salad with ciabatta
Thur: wholemeal pasta with homemade bacon and mushroom sauce and cheese.
All with fruit and chocolate for pudding.

I'm really surprised how well it's going with the dc's tbh. We've only had one real disaster which was roast celeriac (bleurgh). Chucked it in the bin in the end and called domino's!

Willemdefoeismine Fri 31-Jan-14 07:55:23

http://wholegraingoodness.hgca.com/

Yes, Stripytop I know where you're coming from with the coconut oil=fat. In the back of my mind I have this niggling nag going "but nuts are fattening...."

I tried the coconut oil on pumpkin seed Ryvita and they were very more-ish....and I can't help but feel, if you succumb to temptation, would easily be a tool for piling on the calories...

Made the more delicious raspberry crumble last night using coconut oil instead of butter/margarine, sesame seeds, wholemeal flour and oats a plenty......(oh and some flaked coconut for 'sweetness). Yummy but still relatively high cal I would have thought....

I do a Nigella with breadcrumbs (possibly one of my rare domestic goddess moments!) - just put stale ends of loaves (DH loves making bread!) in the foodprocessor and hey within a minute you have breadcrumbs-a-go-go...Put in a container and freeze for future use....Easy :-)

Three successive days of gyming it has given me a stiffness I haven't felt since at school doing games regularly (ha!). I agree fitting it in is less than easy sometimes though....

Audreyblue Fri 31-Jan-14 09:02:39

Still not having much luck with my Nectar card! Thought I'd be clever and use it in my lunch break (we have a massive Sainsbury's near where I work). I'd scanned the card at this store before so with my list of healthy foods ready I zoomed through the aisles chucking all the healthy stuff in - only to find that it was refused at the till!). I was running out of time and had to get back to work so instead of spending a copious amount of time at the customer service desk, I had to give up. Was disappointed. I will have to try and find some time this weekend.

Still keeping at it with the healthy eating. Made a yummy lentil curry last night. Trying to reduce meat intake and this really hit the spot. I also went to the gym again last night (with my flashy new gym gear!) and really enjoyed it. Did plenty of cardio and even some running (which i never do!). I have been told to do short bursts of running then fast walking on the machine to build up my stamina. Felt really good after an hour and slept like a baby!

CointreauVersial Fri 31-Jan-14 13:17:07

I did a big Sainsburys shop last night, and resolved to try several new/healthy things:
Kale: I have heard it is high in iron, and we all like cabbage, so I shall give it a try.
Asparagus: Lush, dipped into boiled eggs as a low-carb breakfast.
Aubergines: I fancy a big ratatouille, maybe with feta crumbled on top.
Celeriac : Sorry, Stripy, I love this. We have a traditional family dish at Christmas which is creamed celeriac and carrot. Usually I mash it, or make a gratin with it.
Wholewheat noodles: I didn't know these existed until I saw them on the Healthy Foods list, so I'll be road-testing these on the DCs.
Seeded tortilla wraps: To jazz up the DCs' packed lunches
River Cobbler: Tis a fish! One of those non-endangered ones we're supposed to eat lots of, so it was "rebranded" with a fancy name. I also bought some salmon, which is popular with all, which we will have with some jerk seasoning.
Coconut oil: I bit the bullet.....�6! shock I adore coconut, but was nervous about using it for savoury dishes. Having road-tested it on a piece of pan-fried tuna last night, I can confirm it was fine, but I probably wouldn't use it for anything bland or eggy, as I'm sure the coconut flavour would come through.

I also bought my usual shed-load of veg, fruit and some chicken. But unfortunately, when I came to pay, I also had problems using my Nectar card. angry I did register the card AND used it to make a small purchase in-store beforehand (but possibly I needed to do this the day before so it filtered through the systems), but the "computer said no".....anyway, I will no doubt use the points at some stage, just not this week (my fridge is bursting at the seams).

Stripy - your comment about fat - I do remember Sally saying that a certain amount of "good" fat was necessary, and was less of an enemy than sugar, but I'm not sure if she would advocate extra fat if you aren't consuming it currently, just to substitute good for bad. Of course, the low-carbing mantra is to keep up your fat intake, but that's a whole other story!

Kewcumber Fri 31-Jan-14 15:09:48

24 hours between scanning and activating it and it being usable at that store.

How is DD Smoke?

Willemdefoeismine Fri 31-Jan-14 16:25:02

Love kale...:-).....

I'm going to make a lentil bake today...taking me back to student days :-). Not sure if I will use potatoes on it or something else....any ideas....????

We had salmon earlier on this week - DCs love it....Have got some Basa fillets too - normally do them in cheese sauce but I guess that's out........

DD not keen on my crumble made with coconut oil ;-(. She has decided she doesn't like coconut...Story of my life....find something healthy and then one of the troops revolts! Not that my family have particularly unhealthy tastes but sometimes the DCs are very limiting in their culinary tastes.....

aristocat Fri 31-Jan-14 20:03:18

Vegetable recipe - I made this on Wednesday and we loved it smile

Spicy Chicken and Vegetable Ragu.

For the spicy chicken

4 chicken breasts or thighs
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 lemon, juice only
1 heaped tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp turmeric
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp olive oil, for griddling

For the vegetable ragu

2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 aubergine, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
2 courgettes, chopped
1 red pepper, seeds removed, flesh chopped
1 x 400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes
pinch sugar
dash balsamic vinegar
sprig fresh oregano, finely chopped leaves only
small handful flatleaf parsley, chopped
1 lemon, grated zest only

For the spicy chicken, mix all of the ingredients for the spicy chicken, apart from the olive oil, together in a resealable food bag or non-metallic bowl and shake or mix to ensure the chicken is completely coated in the other ingredients. Transfer to the fridge to marinade for at least three hours or overnight.
When ready to cook the chicken, heat a griddle pan until hot, then remove the chicken from the marinade and rub all over with the olive oil. Place on the griddle and cook for about 15 minutes for breast, 20 minutes for thighs, turning once or twice, or until cooked through.

For the vegetable ragu, heat the olive oil in a wide pan over a medium heat and fry the garlic for one minute. Add the aubergine, onion, courgettes and red pepper to the pan and fry for 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and golden-brown.
Stir in the tomatoes, sugar, balsamic vinegar and oregano and cook for a further 20 minutes until reduced to a thick, rich consistency.

In a small bowl mix together the parsley and lemon zest then stir this through the vegetables and serve at once with the griddled chicken alongside.

CointreauVersial Fri 31-Jan-14 22:43:54

Aristo, that sounds delicious! I have all those ingredients so might rustle it up at the weekend.

smallinthesmoke Sat 01-Feb-14 15:55:13

Hello everyone, it is nice to hear how you are all getting on. Happily DD1 came out of hospital on Wednesday and is now right as rain, galloping around a playground with DH and DD2 as we speak. Thank you for the nice words. Hospital food is OK but not v inspiring, I had a good pineapple upside down cake and custard in the canteen!

I'm really interested in how you are getting on with the healthy eating. It is a serious challenge for me. I really should sort it out. Bowel cancer runs in my family, so I need to eat some sensible food and less meat etc. It doesn't take Einstein to figure out what I need to do, I just lack the impetus- but hopefully this programme is it! What I want to do is incorporate small changes rather than a massive and unsustainable shift in diet. So I am starting by trying to eat 3 meals and 5 fruit and veg a day. I managed that when I was pg so I ought to be able to pull my finger out and do it again, this time for myself rather than out of care for my unborn DC! I don't think I am going to spend the Nectar points on unusual stuff- coconut butter is getting a big swerve in this household- but rather on some of the more expensive or unusual fruit and vegetables that don't usually find their way into my trolley. Cashew nut butter is also on the list, as well as cutting down on coca cola and trying mineral waters instead. I was meant to cut it out entirely but... oh dear. DD1 had even made me a star chart and everything!

The exercise is certainly helping with my mood as it has been a difficult week but I have got through it OK. I am going to go to Aqua again tomorrow, it was a hoot last week.

Can I ask about videos as I feel I should be uploading some soon, has anyone else managed that yet?

CheeseTMouse Sat 01-Feb-14 16:58:47

To help with 5 a day, I always try and make sure the fruit bowl is stocked up in the kitchen. It means that if one of us is looking for a snack it tends to be fruit. Similarly have cucumber sticks or carrots in the fridge so they are readily available when fridge grazing!

smallinthesmoke Sat 01-Feb-14 17:00:36

That's a good idea CheeseTMouse

Willemdefoeismine Sat 01-Feb-14 17:58:21

Smallinthesmoke good to hear your DD is back at home - I love the idea of the tables turning and your DDs giving you a motivational star-chart!! :-).

DH found coconut oil in a local Asian shop for a fraction (25%) of the cost of the sainsbury's version. However it is solidified and in a bottle so the challenge is how you get it out - presumably some type of heating process to liquify it but without causing the glass to shatter hmm....Yes, I think you are wise to avoid it...I'm not sure that anyone here likes it - the same old story of me ending up having to use everything up....(which is how I put on weight in the first place).

I've finding eating loads more veggies easy but I tend to shy away from a lot of fruit although the odd banana does pass my lips. Now if raspberries were cheap I would be eating those every day. Do have a ripening mango to tuck into soon...

After my month of abstention from alcohol I'm afraid I'm having a glass.... wink.

Did pan-fried basa fillets in a wholemeal bread/sesame seed 'breadcrumb' combo at lunchtime - with a lentil/veggie 'hotpot'...The basa fillets were lovely and thankfully the DCs failed to spot the sesame seeds :-).

I'm a sucker for sticks of celery and radishes (ate loads when pregnant with DD!)....

No, I haven't really got to grips with the video stuff..I've done a few but amateur is an understatement. GRRRRR.....

DinoSnores Sat 01-Feb-14 20:11:40

Non-participant here.

In terms of getting at least 5 a day into me and the rest of the family, I try to make sure that every meal/snack involves some sort of fruit and/or veg, so thinking about today, raspberries in the porridge at breakfast, breadsticks and apple for snack time, cream cheese/tomato/cucumber sandwiches for lunch, broccoli/carrots/sweetcorn with salmon and then banana and yoghurt for pudding, so just trying to always incorporate it.

changedirection Sat 01-Feb-14 21:16:07

Non participants - best tip for 5 a day

Add fruit and / or veg to every meal in some form or other

Veg they enjoy (eg carrot) - large lumps, encourages them to eat the rest
Other veg - grate etc to hide / make into funny shapes

Stripytop Sat 01-Feb-14 21:23:41

Good news Small glad your dd is better.

Willem stand the bottle in a jug of hot water - as hot as your tap gets will be fine. It liquefies really quickly and you can pour out what you need. You can do this endlessly without it spoiling I think. I have used it in the past as a moisturiser and hair conditioner which it brilliant for, and that's how I got it out of the bottle every morning.

Have fallen of the wagon big time today. A trip to the theatre, a botched restaurant booking and terrible weather left us eating chocolate and crisps in the theatre and then tea at a Hungry Horse. And, only 3000 steps on the fitbug too! Back to the Gym and Salad City here tomorrow!

CointreauVersial Sat 01-Feb-14 23:35:27

Stripy, I think I win the sloth competition today; my Fitbug reads a shocking 580 steps so far. blush blush I just fancied a lazy day, to be honest, but I will go for a run first thing tomorrow to compensate.

Tonight I cooked the river cobbler, with a red pepper and tomato coulis. It was lovely, actually, not too "fishy" a fish, nice soft texture, and I seem to remember it was very cheap. The DCs scoffed the wholewheat noodles without noticing the difference - result!

I must must must do a video tomorrow. I am not a natural in front of a camera, and look like a total idiot.

loopsngeorge Sat 01-Feb-14 23:47:25

Glad to hear about your dd Small!
Tonight we have tried kale for the first time courtesy of Nectar - and the verdict was - tasteless!! Don't know if I cooked it too long or something.... Left the coconut oil on the shelf but I did pick up some nut and seed mixes to have as snacks rather than my usual chocolate or jelly babies. And i'm finding they are working as the kind of sweet 'hit' I always seem to want after a meal. I couldn't find any of the nut butters or chia seeds etc so I'll have to look elsewhere for them.
I'm loving the swimming and have just heard they do an aqua zumba class so going to try that out as soon as I can.
I haven't really got to grips with the videos either - that's my job for tomorrow!

stephgr Sun 02-Feb-14 03:06:52

Not a tester, sadly. I don't allow desserts unless all the veg has been eaten. I try to stop boredom by using interesting veg recipes and sometimes I'll chop veg up into tiny pieces so I can "hide" it in a lasagne or something!

Non-participant: my DCs are 3.5 and 1.5 and luckily, getting their 5-a-day is no problem as not only do they love to snack on fruit (the expensive kind mind you - blueberries, pomegranate seeds, mango) but they love peas and broccoli. I make a very easy pasta sauce by wilting half a bag of spinach then whizzing it up with half a tub of cream cheese. Tastes great, very easy and nutritious

Willemdefoeismine Sun 02-Feb-14 09:53:36

Cointreau...if it's any consolation I did the same number of 'steps' (or lack of them...) - had an 'in' day...I'm very all or nothing, including with the exercise!

The thing is that I do so much walking during the week that at the weekends I'm not inclined to be marching "up hill down dale''....I'm not sure how I will work with this for the Fitbug Week which is looming...

Stripy, thanks for the tip on the coconut oil! I think my hair could do with some :-)

Just made the mistake of putting a scattering of chia in with the raspberry porridge...of course in the process of making it they didn't have time to swell and soften - DD wouldn't eat it!

Stripytop Sun 02-Feb-14 10:25:32

Cointreau I'm with you on the lazy day idea. Sometimes you just need one!

kelzw84 Mon 03-Feb-14 00:27:38

I dont find it to hard.
in the morning the kids always have fresh pure juice, normally orange or apple.
they have a piece of fruit then midmorning snack when in school and at home.
for lunch we normally have something small like a sandwich or a salad. if a sandwich i always include carrot and cucumber sticks. then with tea their is always at least one veg served.

My son when he gets home from school is often hungry and asks for a snack or chocolate so before i allow him have that he has handful of fruit or carrot/cucumber sticks.

kids both like to have super so il add fruit to their cerial or offer them dried raisens or small salad bowl.

for fussier eaters though you can give a glass of fresh pure juice. make a banana milkshake blending well. mix veg in food. make a carrot or beetroot cake and have it with chocolate sponge.

WalkingThePlank Mon 03-Feb-14 09:26:22

Interesting. I avoid fruit juice because of how acidic it is and the impact it has on teeth. My children are really happy with plain water - what a mean mum I am!

Stripytop Mon 03-Feb-14 09:57:56

I agree walking. Fruit juice is a treat in our house too.

I never send fruit into school for lunches or snacks as they never eat it there, they eat plenty at home though, strange that.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 03-Feb-14 10:49:26

Congrats to CheeseTMouse who has won a £50 Nectar card for posting her tips on getting your 5-a-day into family meals.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 03-Feb-14 10:51:30

The third week is about increasing the number of steps you take every day and finding ways to fit 'steps' around your lifestyle. PruHealth with Vitality members can earn points for the number of steps they take each day. Start earning once you've taken over 7,000 a day - the more steps, the more points.

Vitality Experience Participants: please share on this thread:

~ How are you getting on with your new FitBug pedometer?
~ How many steps are you taking each day? Does this surprise you? Disappoint you?
~ What tips can you share for increasing your steps per day.

Non Participants - what's your best tip for increasing the steps you take each day?

Share your top tips for making it easy to get more steps into your daily life on this thread and you'll be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £50 pre-loaded Nectar card (prize draw Monday 10th Feb at 9am) grin

WalkingThePlank Mon 03-Feb-14 11:43:38

I've been using the Fitbug for 2 weeks now. I walk between 6k and 20k per day - seems I'm an all or nothing girl! On the low step days I could cut out some short car journeys but time is precious at the moment.

I have found the Fitbug very frustrating to use. When I upload the data it doesn't do it correctly. I have several days where it has said I've only walked a few hundred steps when the Fitbug unit told me I'd done 10-20k for that day. It's not motivating if it loses your steps. Has anyone else had this problem?

aristocat Mon 03-Feb-14 11:53:35

Non-Participant

More steps are easy to add into a routine, without much thought you can

- take the stairs instead of the lift/escalator
- walk everywhere possible instead of driving/catching the bus
- see housework as extra steps grin
- start a daily walk (even better with a friend to chat to)

manfalou Mon 03-Feb-14 11:56:20

Adding a 10 minute power walk into your day can ramp your step count up quite a bit... if you have more time have a longer power walk. If you're at work and have an office job do what my partner does, when getting a coffee don't go to the closest coffee machine go to one further away or go the long way round

loopsngeorge Mon 03-Feb-14 11:57:57

I love having the fitbug but haven't been able to get it to upload anything yet. Got to try and sort it out because I ll lose some of my days soon! I've been surprised how many more steps I get on the days when I walk somewhere which is gratifying but hasn't actually changed anything I do. As you say, time is precious. I have worked out though that spending the last hour before school pick up walking somewhere is a really easy and enjoyable way to increase my exercise and is something I can do long term.

RubyRR Mon 03-Feb-14 13:16:23

Non participant here, I used to drive into work car park and aim to park as close to the door as I could. Now I park closer to the exit so I don't get stuck in traffic waiting to get out and as soon as I park up I feel closer to home time!

AndHarry Mon 03-Feb-14 13:42:55

Non-participant.

It's a cliche but at work we have the option of using the lift or taking the stairs up and down three floors and I always take the stairs to fit in a few more steps.I go up and down them several times a day so I'm sure it makes a difference!

Stripytop Mon 03-Feb-14 13:43:11

I love my fit bug. Ic heck it throughout the day, and if I don't look like I'm on target, I'll add some steps in. It's easier to do than I thought, just taking the long way, or zipping out for a yomp once the dc's are in bed. It's so much easier than the gym cos I don't need to get changed or anything.

Haven't had any problems uploading, but not sure i would always bother anyway once this challenge is over. Though it was useful to see how many aerobic steps I had taken and set a challenge of upping those.

I'm reaching 10,000 at least most days, but have yet to reach 15,000. I also find I do considerable less on the days I go to the gym. The gym is so time consuming I then can't make up in actual steps, I haven't added extra exercise in yet, but will do so next time I upload.

Willemdefoeismine Mon 03-Feb-14 16:52:47

I manage about 13,000 on a usual school day but it can vary considerably depending upon whether I go walkabout (rather than doing the school run and nothing else) during the day or not.... What I am finding though is that I get worn out by my 2 hours (plus) of walking during the week and it seems as if at the weekends (particularly at this time of the year), my step count can plummet if we don't go out.... That is what I need to work on....

Monday is my very active day and that's an 18,000 at least - today I went out during the day too so I might hit 20,000...I'm already on 15,000 and still have another hour of walking to do later on...

I can already tell that because I do two hours of walking per day, fitting in the gym on top of that is possibly untenable on a long-term basis. I did it three times last week but if I'm out and about doing other stuff during the hours of daylight (when the children are at school), I can't really justify the extra time spent to fit in a gym visit too...

I think it's swings and roundabouts....surely as long as you're averaging 10,000 - 12,000 a day it doesn't really matter how you achieve it????

Willemdefoeismine Mon 03-Feb-14 17:19:45

I'm getting on fine with the Fitbug although it nearly fell down the loo yesterday evening and has almost been put in the washing machine twice too! It's a bit like a cat with nine lives methinks.

Seemed to have a bit of a blip uploading the data initially but it all worked out fine after about 10 minutes trying to decipher the extraordinarily small writing in the 'trouble-shooting' section of the instructions booklet...Even my DCs couldn't easily read that size of print!

My tip would be to not take short-cuts when you're walking (unless you really cannot spare five minutes). Those extra five minutes of walking do add up... and to make an effort to walk if you can rather than taking the car.... I think the older the DCs get the less opportunity one gets to 'pound the streets' ...and also to invest in decent footwear for comfortable walking... You cannot comfortably walk 10,000+ per day in shoes that rub your feet etc..... I find that in the summer my feet really suffer with all the walking I do if I wear flat, fashion sandals....

Bubbles85 Mon 03-Feb-14 19:13:11

Non Participants - what's your best tip for increasing the steps you take each day?

I try and walk to the post box and local shop instead of taking the car.

HootyMcOwlface Mon 03-Feb-14 20:27:35

Non participant.

I increase the number of steps I do by going for a walk at lunchtime every day (well most days!). That gets me away from my desk and I feel so much better for having a break.
Other things are spending a few minutes chasing my son around in the evenings, he loves being chased, and walking to the park or library at the weekend. I try not to use the car if I can avoid it.

WalkingThePlank Mon 03-Feb-14 21:03:35

I've uploaded todays steps - it is wrong today again but this time it has added another 10%.

I thought I'd take a look at tomorrow and see what it suggests I aim for. It not only has a goal for me but says I have already done 19.5k steps...tomorrow. What a useless piece of kit. I think this is my last day using it.

So, as a PruHealth Vitality member, how do I actually record activity? I can't prove I have been to the gym, or for a run, or walked so how do I do it?

sharond101 Mon 03-Feb-14 21:20:55

Non-tester here, I do alot of walking. It's easy when you have a dog. I also walk where possible and avoid the car, bus etc. I have a toddler and we are spending alot of time when the weather is dry, outside. Getting wrapped up and wellies on and wandering around to the playpark or to find puddles adds up lots of steps. I stand all day when I am work too, this means it's less effort to move around than it would be if I was sitting down.

KateOxford Mon 03-Feb-14 22:14:20

Non tester
I have a a 3 year old son who needs a lot of exercise so I'm always trying to make an activity out of little errands in order to tire him out!
I always try to walk rather than take the car, good to get fresh air and good for exercise.
If we have to run an errand like go to the post box which is in the next street we use the opportunity to walk around the block to get a walk too. When I take my children to the park we walk around the far edge first before going to the play park, my son enjoys looking at the trees and squirrels and then if he doesn't do much running around in the park and just sits in the sandpit at least we've had some exercise.
We always try to hand deliver letters rather than post, saves money and more steps!
When I'm without the pushchair I take the stairs rather than the lift but when I'm with the pushchair we take a slightly longer route to walk a little further, taking in a more scenic route and getting more exercise.

museumworker Mon 03-Feb-14 22:30:15

Non Participant

Get a pedometer - you'll start to keep an eye on your activity levels. Have been known to walk in rain just to reach the magic 10K steps!
Buy a house which is 20 mins walk from tube/school/shops ;)
If you have baby with colic, put them in sling and walk for hours aimlessly.

IWasThere4Aug12 Mon 03-Feb-14 23:56:45

Non tester
I work on the second floor so each time I need the loo or a drink I use it as an excuse to walk down to ground floor and back. Not much but it does add up over a day and gets me away from my desk

SweetPeaPods Tue 04-Feb-14 06:57:06

Non tester-
I try to use the stairs where possible. I'm naturally lazy and when I'm with ds I rely on lifts so much so when I'm not with him I make a point of using the stairs.
If I park at a motorway services or any big car park I avoid parking as close as possible, so I have a little walk to stretch my legs.
When I had ds I found being in the house very hard so every day I would make a point in going out for a walk either with pram or sling. Even just around the estate it was a little walk but just fresh air for both of us.

Chopstheduck Tue 04-Feb-14 07:27:31

Non-participant.

Park the car outside of town and walk to the shops - saves on parking fees and great exercise!

Willemdefoeismine Tue 04-Feb-14 07:43:44

Was 700 footsteps shy of 20,000 yesterday - it was dark and very cold otherwise I would have been tempted to walk around the block one more time just to hit the magic number..... I do feel stiff today though from all that exercise!

However, despite living by praise of keeping fit by walking, can I say that I wear thro' shoes at an amazingly fast rate - and as soon as I get my sensible shoe quota back up I notice another pair has bitten the dust.....

I would love to know what % of the population actually reaches their footsteps target - I imagine it's nowhere near as high as we might think...

When I went to the gym for my induction the instructor remarked that DD does lots of walking for such a youngster - I guess she does as did DS before he went to secondary school (he now only has a 10 minute walk to the bus-stop and a 2 minute walk to school from bus-stop at the other end)......

If you don't particularly like walking I would suggest breaking down the 'journey' into bite-sized chunks so that psychologically you are not daunted/put-off .....

Willemdefoeismine Tue 04-Feb-14 07:53:15

It sounds as if your Fitbug has got gremlins...Walkingtheplank....Oh dear.....As far as I know mine has been pretty accurate - based on my memories of steps done when I previously had a pedometer....

I'm afraid though that I haven't been inputting data about calories consumed on the Fitbug website - not really enough hours in the day with a family to be recording such things...

Audreyblue Tue 04-Feb-14 10:04:33

Willemdefoeismine - your walking impresses me! How do you find the time? I am lucky if I manage 6000 steps a day. I've been using the Fitbug but am struggling to get the number up. I have been using it but sometimes forget to attach it to myself in the morning rush (what with getting the kids out of bed, packed lunches, breakfast etc). I am hoping to get my number up this weekend when I am planning to have a long walk with DD and DS, but it also depends upon this terrible weather. Having an office job coupled with too any things to do means I really struggle to find the time.

On a positive note I finally managed to use my Nectar card this weekend and managed to load in plenty of fruit, veg and fish into my shopping trolley. Still had the usual faff at the till but as it was very early on a Saturday morning I didn't have any disgruntled customers behind and it was sorted out pretty quickly at the customer service desk. Made some delicious steamed salmon with a chilli sauce with plenty of veg to go with it. The whole family loved it.

Was hoping to go to the gym yesterday but after spending 2 hours at the dentist and having extensive root treatment, leaving with my purse considerably lighter and a blinding headache, I decided to give it a miss. Hoping to back on track soon smile

Paintyfingers Tue 04-Feb-14 10:14:31

This really does sound great!!

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Tue 04-Feb-14 10:36:11

Non-participant.
Week 3: Steps
I try to walk as much as possible - always take the stairs rather than the lift etc, but I don't walk nearly as much now as I used to. Pre-DC I walked everywhere. I'd think nothing of briskly walking for an hour to get into town, but now I just have so much extra stuff to carry (plus usually at least one DC), it's so much easier and quicker to take the car.
Tips like get off the bus one stop early etc just don't work for me.
My tip that would work for someone who's retired is to subscribe to a newspaper like the i where you get vouchers then walk to the newsagent each day to collect your paper (it's what my dad does now that he has the time in order to stay active).
Also, get a small backpack so you can walk to the supermarket when you only need a few things.

ArthurCucumber Tue 04-Feb-14 11:53:35

Non-participant (Week 3): Steps - I don't use a pedometer to count steps, but I try to walk an hour every day (or at least I did, before the weather went horrible!). To keep myself interested I play music in the same way that I do at the gym.

Also when I go to the out-of-town shopping complex I fight against my natural instincts and walk between shops, rather than driving, even when carrying stuff. It isn't laziness that would normally stop me, but the site is very high and exposed, so freezing! In our town centre I use a car park that isn't the closest one to the centre, because it's cheaper, there's always a space and there's more of a walk to the centre. Must admit I woudn't have done it when the children were small. The above reasons are why I find it better to go on a Deliberate Walk than try to fit little bits of extra walking into my day, iyswim.

Willemdefoeismine Tue 04-Feb-14 14:26:17

Hi Audreyblue

Easy for us - we don't have a car! One of those hippyish families here grin. And more importantly I do most of my required footsteps just dooing the school run - seriously!

And I object to spending money on bus fares unless absolutely necessary so tend to walk everywhere unless it's quite beyond me (i.e. more than an hour each way!)....

I do just about fit it in but this is what I mean about going to the gym too...that's an hour (or so) extra time that I don't really have to give over to exercise when I already use two hours (at least) a day exercising by walking...

Well done for tackling the Nectar Card issue...salmon is scrummy and I did home pan-fried basa fillets t'other day which went down very nicely! Also had lovely kale sprayed with oil/soy sauce combo and baked in the oven on a low temp for 10 minutes - absolutely delish and with that 'kick' that to my mind was a lot scrummier than sugary stuff....

I seem to have slipped slightly with good eating habits. I did a roast chicken and I'm afraid given how cold it was couldn't foresake the yorkshire puds and some mashed potato [oops].

I keep reading everywhere about the merits of coconut - oil and otherwise :-).

Haven't had a more successful attempt with the chia again but intend to do so although I've now run out of almond milk..... Don't the Chinese make some delicious cold puddings with sago/tapioca and if so what are they? (I know I've eaten such a thing in a Chinese restaurant with an Anglo-Asian family we know).

telsa Tue 04-Feb-14 16:23:28

Non Participants - what's your best tip for increasing the steps you take each day?

Walk everywhere - obvious, innit? With the cost of buses, I don't find it hard to walk instead. Walking to and from work i also good thinking time, I find.

Also, weekends, get the children out - walk along the canal, to the park, into town, anywhere.

I think it will be easier as the summer comes, but, on the other hand, walking is a way of keeping warm too.

Patilla Tue 04-Feb-14 19:03:46

Non tester - how to get more steps into your day?

Well walk instead of the car. Don't take lifts at work, and offer to make the coffees (just dont offset this with nibbling in the ubiquitous cakes in the kitchen!), print to a printer a little but further away.

But my best tip is to maintain a level of sleep deprivation approximating torture in most nations in order to necessitate a large number of repeated trips upstairs to get the thing you forgot you were going upstairs for in the first place.

CrewElla Tue 04-Feb-14 20:03:30

Non-participant - walk up one floor or down 2 instead of taking the stairs. Every step counts!

CheeseTMouse Tue 04-Feb-14 20:13:33

Many thanks for my nectar card -it has arrived already - fantastically efficient!

mumsbe Tue 04-Feb-14 20:34:56

Non participants
Hi I have a few ideas for increasing steps like getting onyour stepper while watching tv and marching on the spot when cooking dinner or washing dishes.
When the kids come home from school have a game of football or tag that should do the trick

HappyMum4 Tue 04-Feb-14 20:58:40

Non-participant -

Ways to increase my steps: we live out in the sticks so pretty much have to drive to most places, so the best tip I have is when we do park somewhere, if it's the shops, supermarket, school, park, cinema, to park not as close so we have to walk a little bit to get to where we need to be. So for the supermarket, park at the furthest away space and walk to the shop. Fortunately you can wheel your shopping back in the trolley!!

stephgr Wed 05-Feb-14 02:30:37

not a participant.

I try to keep separate money I would have spent on buses/tubes/petrol/car parking when I walk instead. I then put the money towards treats as an incentive to keep me walking!

Bagtrainlady Wed 05-Feb-14 08:10:11

I have been fitbugging since week one & it's been a bit if a love/hate thing really. Some days I can find it really motivating, others quite the opposite!
It has made me realise how sedentary my job is, so I try a lot harder now to have a couple of minutes moving around from my desk. On work days I'm doing well if I get over 5,000 steps though it is creeping up as I am putting the effort in. Ironically it's gym days that I get the most steps in as I have to walk a fair distance to get to it as it is nowhere near public transport.
I don't think I am getting the most from my fitbug as there are so many more bits to it, but as Willem said there are only so many hours in a day. It would be good if you did MFP or the like.

telsa Wed 05-Feb-14 10:08:51

Does anyone think that those negative heel shoes help in increasing the 'quality' of the step (given that mine are a little few and far between). I have heard they do, but wonder if it is all nonsense.

GwenStacy Wed 05-Feb-14 10:20:26

Can I sound a bit ungrateful and say I don't like my fitbug much? I've got a fitbit flex, which I wear on my wrist and don't have to remember to put it on and off each morning! I understand there is a fitbug that does the same, and I think give the choice I'd go for that! I'm also paranoid about putting it through the washing machine!

Since using it regularly though, I've found it really interesting to see how my daily activity varies. Since going on maternity leave, with a small baby it's very easy to do not much activity at all - I used to walk a minimum of an hour a day to and from tube stations/home/office! I do try and get out most days for a walk with E and have been checking to see how many steps it is to the various places we go - sainsburys is further away then Tescos and waitrose so added incentive to go! We don't have a car, and now I don't have a travel card, each journey costs me actual money as well, which is a pretty good incentive to walk!

If E stays asleep once we're out, I do try and keep walking, often round the park close to my house so that when she decides she needs feeding, we can get home quickly! I also find with the pram that it's often easier to walk to and from town, rather than try and get on a bus. This also involves a lot of up and down hills!

Of course, I then end up with days like the last couple where she has a rotten cold and we've basically hibernated on the sofa, cuddling, feeding and dozing, so my step counts have been shocking!

CointreauVersial Wed 05-Feb-14 12:49:42

I now have a good few days-worth of Fitbug stuff to upload, which I shall do tonight, then I'll have a look and see how I've been getting on. I keep forgetting to look at it before midnight, when it resets to zero.

You must have a different Fitbug to me, GwenStacy. I think mine is a Fitbug Go.

Interesting about wearing it on your wrist - I spent a good ten minutes scouring the instruction booklet, the website and the FAQs, but nowhere did it tell me where you are actually supposed to attach the bloody thing! Waist? Wrist? Leg?? I also couldn't work out how to use the strap and clear clip (how small is the print in that instruction book??!), so I just clipped it to my waistband and hoped for the best. It seems to pick up most steps, but not all - sometimes I can walk across the room and the display doesn't change.

loopsngeorge Wed 05-Feb-14 14:02:58

Yay I uploaded my fitbug! Most days I get over 10,000 - but almost 20,000?Wow that's good going Williamdefoe!
Cointreau there is quite a delay I've found in it registering the steps, so if you just walk across the room nothing changes. I've just had it clipped to my waistband all this time.
took my kids swimming at the gym on Sunday and they loved it and declared it was the best swimming pool ever! I was meant to be going today but a broken filling, broken dishwasher and lots of work have put paid to that. That's what I find so difficult, making time to go there, whereas walking can be fitted in so much more easily!

GwenStacy Wed 05-Feb-14 14:09:23

CointreauVersial - sorry if I was confusing! I've got a pedometer called a Fitbit which I have had for a while, previous to this. There's a FitBuh (I think it's the Orb?) that can go on your wrist. I've got the same one as all you guys as far as j know!

SantasSprouts Wed 05-Feb-14 14:36:02

Non- participant

Walk the school run if its doable for you instead of driving. I don't drive and have to walk 20 mins each way everyday, twice a day. I moan inwardly when the weather is bad but am the fittest I have ever been. It seems to be only short bursts but really makes a huge difference. 20 month old dd has the walking bug- she walked all the way home the other day! I was amazed as my other children would hitch a ride in the buggy any day!

Twinkletights Wed 05-Feb-14 15:48:06

Non tester

Leave the car at home at walk the school run
Park at work as far away from your desk as possible
Use the stairs at all times
Use the ladies that are the furthest away from your desk

I also find that just wearing a pedometer and having an awareness of how many steps I am doing helps me to up my step count.

Wjjkl Wed 05-Feb-14 17:16:09

Non participant

Every time my son needs a nappy change, instead of having a mat downstairs, I take him up to the nursery to change. Up & down the stairs plenty of times a day gets me moving more!

Maiyakat Wed 05-Feb-14 19:02:21

Non participant.

Every time we go out I consider if we could walk if possible. I try to use stair and not lifts if I don't have the pushchair with us. And I chase round after DD a lot!

smallinthesmoke Wed 05-Feb-14 20:20:41

This fitbug is hilarious. I put it on at lunchtime and it already reckons I've done 11,000 steps. With school run in one direction and nursery drop in the other, and no car, maybe not a surprise. What is funny is that DD1 is crazy about it. She has been marching up and down at bus stops, practising twirls (which register as 10 steps apparently) and went on a huge walk (fopr a 6 year old) after school voluntarily in excitement about getting the figure past the next 1000.
So if you have a non-energetic but but competitive, curious and technology obsessed child, this fitbug is just the ticket.

Stripytop Wed 05-Feb-14 21:20:52

William I am so impressed with your step count! And if I'm honest, a little bit jealous, as I love to walk. I simply cannot get mine over 10-12,000 and that includes a 5k walk in the evening if I can fit it in.

The problems are that I live very close to the school, so the school run is v short (2 mins) and as I compress my hours I have a nonexistent lunch break, so no walking then, and no time to park further away and walk. I also have a sedentary and v busy job, so am mostly tied to a desk all day.
On my days off, I am trying to get to the gym, but as someone up thread mentioned, this seems to have a negative effect on the the step count.

I am generally not enjoying the gym either (no Morton brown toiletries, cafe, or child-friendly pool for me), and am really resentful of the time it seems to take up, and of being trapped indoors. So I think I'll swap the gym time for a really long walk, and maybe even jog a little.

On the healthy eating note, we had a major fruit breakthrough ths evening when my son discovered he loves oranges! I have never been able to get him to try one, even as a baby. But the last few weeks, instead of pudding, I have been putting a plate of fruit on the table for everyone to eat if they like. He just declared he was going to try some... and ate 2 whole oranges!! smile

Willemdefoeismine Thu 06-Feb-14 07:54:19

Hi Everyone

Well done with the breakthro' on oranges with your DS, Stripytop - there was a time when DS (when he was a toddler) wouldn't eat any fruit or veggies - seriously (despite being weaned on home-made purees etc....). Now he easily eats enough to get his five-a-day (but upping it to 8 - 10 as suggested at the Vitality Day would, I think, be a challenge too far) quota.....Little by little...

My two tucked into wholemeal pasta without batting an eyelid....So the wholegrain challenge has been a success and we're definitely loving black/red and wild rice - yum! Although I would observe none of these healthier options come as cheap as their less healthy 'white' alternatives...

The walking thing is easy for me because I have no choice, although I do actually love walking. However, this Fitbug challenge is making me realise that although weekdays are easily 'good enough' in terms of steps done, the weekends can be an entirely different story....The weather has been so grotty that the last thing I want to do is opt to go for a walk in the lashing rain etc.....Why would you? And as I said my feet get quite a pounding from all the walking I do and sometimes they need to rest...

And yes, I wonder how many parents, and Mums in particular, do have time enough to do everything else and fit in going to the gym regularly too? The ones I know who do a) live virtually on top of school and the gym (so their school run is seconds rather than minutes even) and or have older children so don't lose precious time doing the school run anyway.... I can easily see that in child-free days going would easily fit into the day either en route to or from work....but it's not so easy when factoring in children too old to be put in the creche but not old enough to be entirely self-sufficient.....

I guess it all evens out.....If you could fit in a super-walk once a week (to get up to 20,000 steps - but note to reach that I did 3 hours - not all in one go though - walking on Monday) that will help you for the days when couch-potatodom is the only sensible and desirable option - grin!

Willemdefoeismine Thu 06-Feb-14 08:26:53

PS Does anyone know very many people who do hit 10,000 - 12,000 footsteps a day without having extreme school runs to do? When talking about it with friends and considering commuting life-styles, the general consensus seems to be that most people would be hard-pushed to get anywhere near that.....

Audreyblue Thu 06-Feb-14 11:13:41

Stripytop - I have the problem of living very close to the school too. In fact, I can get there in 7 minutes so doesn't add up to many steps!

Willemdefoeismine - would love to not have a car (imagine the money i would save!) however I think it would be impossible for me to get to work without one. And the ferrying around of children to all their after-school activities means I couldn't live without one.

Managed the gym again last night - after an hour of cycling, walking, running and sit ups, I feel like my legs are going to drop off today...

CointreauVersial Thu 06-Feb-14 12:51:30

My problem is I live too FAR from school (4 and 7 miles away), so I always have to drive! The only option to extend my walking day-to-day is to park further from the office and walk in, but I'm always so tight for time (I work 9-3) that I barely have time to slow the car to a crawl at the school gate and boot the DCs out; certainly no spare minutes to walk to and from the office. My family also hate recreational walks, and we've no handy dog, so really the only option for me is actually a session of exercise i.e. running, to get the step count up.

I still haven't uploaded my Fitbug data (no time!!). Yesterday I had a flying visit to the gym - I couldn't leave the house until 6.30pm, because I had to pick DS up from football, so I only managed 10 minutes on the treadmill before the Aqua Aerobics class. Hmmm....definitely one for the blue-rinse brigade - it was a reasonably workout but I found it very dull, and felt faintly ridiculous bouncing about in the water. I was the youngest by some margin...... And I had forgotten how much I hate the whole faff about swimming; the whole "wet hair, squelchy feet, clammy clothes, hairy floor" horror of getting changed afterwards.

I have decided that unless there is a sun-lounger and large cocktail and bronzed pool-boy holding a fluffy white towel waiting for me poolside, I shall give swimming a miss from now on.

Kewcumber Thu 06-Feb-14 13:07:15

OK I'm back...

You didn;t miss me did you sad

NIghtmare at work (tax returns and VAT returns due) and I have to go down to Torquay now cancelled because of weather but probably will need to go Monday.

Because of work I haven't done much - haven't got to gym and haven't been walking much.

If we walk to school then I just about get to 4000 steps a day and if not then I hardly top 2000 some days blush But this is unusual in that I am tied to my desk at home a lot at the moment. I'm probably underestimating my steps because I clip it to my coast which of course doesn't measure steps inside. I don;t think there's is any way as a single paretn I can get above 10,000 steps a day and work all day (at home) maybe I'm wrong and I need to rethink.

Vitality Experience Participants: please share on this thread:

~ How are you getting on with your new FitBug pedometer? OK
~ How many steps are you taking each day? Does this surprise you? Disappoint you? I'm doing between 2000 - 9000 though to be honest more like 2-4000 at the moment. No I wasn;t surprised though I bit disappointed on teh days when I felt like I'd walked loads that I still didn;t hit 9,000. The fitbug website has sugegsted that I aim for 5000 based on my current usage! But I think thats a better aim for a few weeks than 10,000 as it will be an overall increase. then perhaps aim to get it up 1000 per week until I'm more reliably doing 5-10k
~ What tips can you share for increasing your steps per day.*don't work at home as an accountant or sell your car*

GwenStacy Thu 06-Feb-14 13:26:50

One thing I've discovered from "having" to do some exercise is that it works best when I can slot it in to my day quickly! I'm considering getting a couple of the shorter length DVDs (people have been very complimentary about the new Davina one, and I feel like the only person who hasn't done the 30 day shred, which is only 20mins a session) I'm loving the gym, but I could never afford a membership, and it is a bit of a faff to get there - Tuesday, my little girl was unwell, and there was no way I could spare the 2.5 hours getting there and back takes up. I could have probably squeezed in a run or a DVD though!

Kewcumber Thu 06-Feb-14 14:22:14

Oh and it was my birthday this week so I had two very lovely and very fattening lunches and a big pile of chocolate brownies blush

Kewcumber Thu 06-Feb-14 14:37:30

Oh and my Pru Vitality angel has agreed to arrange the [ersonal training next week and cinema vouchers for half term if anyone wants to contact their's.

Willemdefoeismine Thu 06-Feb-14 19:39:25

Hi Kewcumber...had registered that you were 'off-piste' - glad to see that the tax returns haven't got the better of you! And happy birthday albeit belated.......! :-)

I started really well with the altered diet and although I've been good on cutting carbs (particularly bread-based ones) I have to say with the grim weather it's been hard. I had a delish macrobiotic lunch t'other day but really it's fine for LA hot climes but less so in the grim conditions we have to live in most of the time......Who would eat a salad, however yummy, when it's wet and cold outside????

Definitely eating better but I find myself in 'revolt'.....

I love my Fitbug (despite two near-miisses with the washing machine and one with the loo) -but with the Tube strikes my DH has taken time off and I found today, having handed over school-run duties to him, I've walked less than 1,000 paces (yikes sad). As I said you have to take an average - just as well......So that will be another 20,000 steps tomorrow to up my average.......

I'm not shining my halo about all the walking I do .....if I had a school run that was only 5 minutes away I would be dancing with joy.....BUT I do appreciate that it keeps me relatively fit. I think we are lucky not to need a car - we are really well positioned for all transport links - but can easily see why you others may not be.... I certainly couldn't be doing with a 2 1/2 hour round trip to the gym! And we do waste a lot of time getting from A-B (and back again)....

We're nearly half-way thro'.....and will consider the 'swap' on gym session and cinema trip, Kewcumber (thanks for the advice) - it makes total sense....DH and DD are pitching to see the Mr Peabody.....film - I'm not convinced. We're such cheapskates we seldom ever see full-price films - the last time was 2nd part of The Hunger Games - so I don't want to 'blow' our £40 voucher on 'any old film....' Incidentally has anyone received their voucher yet????

CointreauVersial Thu 06-Feb-14 20:13:13

I finally got around to uploading my Fitbug data! So now I can truly provide some feedback:

~ How are you getting on with your new FitBug pedometer?
Not bad! I had a few glitches setting it up, but am getting into the hang of fixing it to my waistband every day. I haven't really got into all the other stuff on the website (nutrition, sleep etc), as quite frankly there aren't enough hours in the day to log it all, but I can see it being a very useful tool if needed.

~ How many steps are you taking each day? Does this surprise you? Disappoint you?
Nowhere near WillemDafoe's tally, that's for sure! My best day was 9,500 steps, and my worst was a disgraceful 578 (it was cold and rainy, and I had a sofa day, Your Honour wink). On an average "work" day, I come out between 3,000 and 5,000, but if I go to the gym or take a run (at least three times a week) it goes up to 8,000-9,500. Quite low, actually, considering where you need to be to maximise your Vitality points. I seem to do a lot of "rushing about", and I always feel like a hamster on a wheel, but really I'm not doing that much, it seems....

I did add in my Aqua aerobics session yesterday as "additional exercise", which tipped me over the 10,000 steps, and I need to add in other things which were "exercise" (e.g. re-roofing the shed last Sunday, and cleaning the house), but not reflected in the step-count.

If I were earning Vitality points for real I would get into the habit of looking at the step count a few minutes before midnight (I'm an owl, so always still up). Very annoying to get so close to 10,000 and suddenly find I'm back to zero!

~ What tips can you share for increasing your steps per day.
Well, as I said in my earlier post, for me it boils down to fitting in some exercise sessions. I can't walk to school or work, because of where we live, so I either park further away from where I am going, or I ensure that several times a week I get out for some proper exercise.

One interesting side-effect of the FitBug is that people spot it attached to me and start asking questions! I have been "marketing" PruHealth Vitality on more than one occasion as I've explained what I'm doing and why. People are generally intrigued as to how all the points are tallied.

I try to use the stairs at work instead of the lift, it might not sound like much but it is 3 very TALL floors so is quite enough to get me puffing and panting for a while afterwards, especially if done fast!

Bagtrainlady Fri 07-Feb-14 12:50:32

Just on my way back from the gym & feeling really positive! I can feel that my muscles are stronger (it's not as blimmin sore doing all those squats & lunges!) and I can do things for longer without getting short of breath or wanting to quit. Thank you for starting me back on the path to getting fit. The fitbug does help because as so many of you have said it makes you more aware of how many (or more often for me how few!) steps you are taking.

Happy Birthday Kew - the meals & cake sound good! I have been having the odd 'treat' because I think otherwise I would obsess about it & then binge if I didn't and that is probably worse than having the odd biscuit (or choc ice!) now & then. I really want to make this a sustainable lifestyle change. I don't see almond milk in my future if I'm honest but other good habits are starting to creep in!

Has anyone been blogging to camera? I've neglected that a bit so will try to catch up with that over the weekend - so much to fit in but I am enjoying it!

Stripytop Fri 07-Feb-14 16:11:50

Cointreau I can picture you now, jogging furiously on the spot at 5 to midnight. grin

Stripytop Fri 07-Feb-14 16:14:33

Inigo you name is brilliant! Do you shout "prepare to die!!" Before attacking those stairs?

CointreauVersial Fri 07-Feb-14 16:26:06

I have done a couple of videos (no-one is going to be offering me a job in TV any time soon) but haven't got around to sending them in.

NON TESTER I walk everywhere unless I am carrying heavy shopping, I find that If I take my ipod and listen to music I notice less how far I am walking and enjoy it more.

GwenStacy Fri 07-Feb-14 20:29:34

I was in town today and managed to get to a Sweatshop - and what a haul!

I managed to get a special offer of some long running tights, long sleeved top and a long sleeved thermal top for £38, usual price £64 and then to use up my voucher I bought a pair of shorter running tights for warmer weather - if it stops raining this weekend I might try and get out for a run - starting Couch to 5K again I think!

LaVitaBellissima Sat 08-Feb-14 19:22:15

Also a non tester, I try and walk as much as possible, always take the stairs instead of the lift, I often get off the bus a stop early.
If it's nice weather we always walk into town 30 mins away but we are lucky as it's a lovely river walk.

smallinthesmoke Sat 08-Feb-14 23:14:56

Hello everyone <waves>
Happy birthday Kew flowers
I been using the fitbug all week and clocking up an average of 10,000 steps, with more on the tube strike days. Perhaps it's the novelty but it definitely is spurring me on to walk a bit more than usual.
I am feeling a bit slimmer too but it might be my imagination. I have been swimming regularly, tried pilates, aqua, body balance, but haven't properly tackled the healthy eating bit yet. (Still no kitchen, sigh)...
Also, I went to Sweatshop on Thursday and had a great great experience spending my voucher on some new running shoes. I went for the gait analysis, involving having my feet videoed as I ran on a treadmill for a minute or so. The v friendly sales assistant then showed me how my left foot leans in (pronates?) and recommended a few supportive trainers to help with this. Being shallow, I then went for the ones with pink laces. blush
I have to say that I've previously had bad experiences of running shop staff in another chain being snotty about me not being a serious runner, but not here. He then watched me jog up and down the shop in my favourite pair to see how they fitted. So I am now the very proud and happy owner of a new pair of personally fitted £105 trainers, with the 50 percent Pruhealth discount and then the £50 card, for £2.50 shock grin I was so cheerful I literally ran out of the shop in them, and haven't had them off my feet yet. Thank you Mumsnet and Pruhealth!
And my top tip for walking more is v simple- comfy shoes seriously help spur you on. I think a 50 percent discount on running shoes at Sweatshop for Pruhealth vitality members is a socking good deal as most trainers seem to top £100.

smallinthesmoke Sat 08-Feb-14 23:15:50

Most trainers stocked by Sweatshop that is!

CointreauVersial Sat 08-Feb-14 23:41:06

Well done, Small! You'll be unstoppable now.

smallinthesmoke Sun 09-Feb-14 08:36:35

Haha Cointreau. That makes me think of one of those messages you get on fridge magnets- " I'd be unstoppable... if only I could get started...". Usually accompanied by a picture of a sleeping puppy or similar grin

ataraxia Sun 09-Feb-14 10:01:06

Nontester - tip for increasing the number of steps would be to not put things aside or leave them on the stairs to be taken to their proper place later on but to take them individually right away. All those steps will soon add up.

Willemdefoeismine Sun 09-Feb-14 19:06:40

Your gait analysis sounds very interesting (and possibly something we should all do) Smallinthesmoke! How do the new trainers feel?

I feel a short-changed having bought my Sweatshop stuff online - I thought even the Sale stuff was quite expensive and ended up with only two items for my £50 voucher - I would never normally spend so much. So a bit cross with myself for not making it to a branch where I obviously would have picked up better bargains.... hmm

I've just uploaded my second lot of Fitbug data and for some reason one day's readings didn't register at all. I have to say my readings are all over the place possibly because DH has been using up leave and has been doing some of the school runs. I think I just about even out at 10,000 a day but all I can say is that it's just as well I sometimes do nigh on 20,000 for the days of inertia....DD and I purposefully went the long way round on our shopping trip today (and nearly got blown away by the wind!) but I still only have managed 5,000 steps today [sigh]. Hey ho...

I admire anyone who is motivated enough to think "I must go out and reach my 10,000 steps" on a cold, rainy, windy weekend day - it's the last thing I want to do - possibly because I am compelled to do so during the week!

Incidentally speaking of walking and PruHealth Vitality: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/article-1356392660408/

I am beginning to see a pattern forming with all these health lifestyle changes - the not so great British weather......As with wanting to eat carbs in the chilly climes we live in, I think outdoor exercise is a lot less appealing than it would be in a naturally warmer climate....

Has anyone received their cinema ticket voucher yet or do you think they may have swapped round the cinema and personal trainer assessment weeks for all of us???

Nearly half-way thro'....

Kewcumber Sun 09-Feb-14 22:08:14

I dragged my out to gym in middle of really busy week and shock really enjoyed it shock I even caught myself thinking at one point that I wouldn;t rule out joining at end of free trial (my bank bank manager will be cackling loudly if he reads this).

I am now in sodden sunny Devon on business til Tuesday so no exercise to speak of.

To add insult to injury, my iron is low again so will be booked into hospital for top up shortly - a dull day attached to a drip unable to go anywhere is not going to improve my step count any!

GwenStacy Sun 09-Feb-14 22:25:05

I feel this may be my last message.

I booked in to do a step class today. Somewhere along the line, the timetables got confused, and it was a body conditioning class, with weights, which I decided I may as well do as I was there.

Ow. So much ow. I doubt I'll ever be able to move again ;-)

Kewcumber Sun 09-Feb-14 22:26:59

It was nice to have known you GwenStacy.

(Would the thought of a massage at CHampneys perk you up?)

GwenStacy Sun 09-Feb-14 22:30:15

Hah, if I can move, I'm very much looking forward to it ;-)

Boo about your iron levels. I was threatened with all sorts when I was pregnant and just after I gave birth. So much spatone and dried apricots…

Hope you feel a bit better soon!

Kewcumber Sun 09-Feb-14 22:33:44

I can eat all the spatone and apricots in the world but I dont absorb it (autoimmune problem)! The only way is to mainline iron into a vein in hospital... mind you, I shouldn't get too dramatic as its only once or year on average (unlike B12 which is every three months).

WalkingThePlank Sun 09-Feb-14 23:06:42

I seem to have ground to a halt. I have plantar fascilitis in both of my feet which has ground me to a halt. I might have to focus on swimming for the next few weeks. The rest of the time I am literally feet up with on a foot stall. I've put on a kilo since last weekend!

michelleblane Mon 10-Feb-14 00:07:16

Non tester

I have to say that as I get older, I am taking more and more steps daily in the home as I constantly forget what I am looking for, walk back to where I was, then remember again. Only today, I went upstairs and downstairs three times before I remembered I was looking for my reading glasses. I always park in carparks where there are no cars (sick of thoughtless people opening doors into mine) this means further to walk but gives me time to remember the items on the shopping list I left at home.

BlackeyedSusan Mon 10-Feb-14 01:16:43

non tester

taking more steps, take a walk before returning to the car fter theh school run.

walk into town rather than take the car

park at the far end of the car park.

walk around our shared garden after the school run

take the children to the park after school in good weather.

walk up the stairs rather than lift

Willemdefoeismine Mon 10-Feb-14 06:36:12

Good luck Kew - hope you're not going to one of the waterlogged parts of Devon??? Safe journey....

The iron 'drip' doesn't sound at all nice - yuk and poor you. I had really low Hb when pregnant and had to drink liquid iron (I can't take tablets) - that was truly disgusting....

Glitterfairys Mon 10-Feb-14 11:26:22

Non- participant

To increase steps throughout the day I try and walk to school instead of just jumping in the car . That twenty minute walk there and back in the fresh air makes me feel better and it's a lot easier than trying to find a parking space smile

Stripytop Mon 10-Feb-14 11:29:34

Well fitbug was a disappointment last night. Uploaded all my lovely steps only for none of them to register! For the whole week! Grrrrr! If I was a proper vitality member I'd be so frustrated at that.

Also, just had my first video blog experience. Hilarious! Either my head is too big or my arms are too short. All I can fit into the little filming square (only half the screen - am I doing it wrong?) is my face, and nothing else. And that's with the camera at arms length. I'm thinking we should have also been issued with some kind of tripod. Lighting and make up wouldn't have gone amiss either.

Any tips anyone??

smallinthesmoke Mon 10-Feb-14 12:55:35

My main tip for photos/ video is don't get the sales assistant in Sweatshop to take lovely shots of you on the treadmill from behind.
The horror.

CointreauVersial Mon 10-Feb-14 13:10:20

Oh, my videos were just me talking to camera, not exercising, or anything. Although I did get DD1 to film me perspiring heavily glowing gently just after I got back from a run.

When I did the "talking to camera" I propped the camera on the table in front of me (on a couple of books), so didn't hold it the whole time.

Note to self....must send them in....

Non Participants - what's your best tip for increasing the steps you take each day?

I would love to count how many steps I take at home - I am constantly chasing a 3 year old and a 1 year old, up and down the stairs all day with washing, toys, clutter. And we go for lots of walks - to jump in muddy puddles and to try find some spring flowers, I feel like I never sit still!

Willemdefoeismine Tue 11-Feb-14 07:48:08

I managed 23,000 steps including my trip to the gym! But the balls of my feet are suffering today - yikes...

WalkingThePlank Tue 11-Feb-14 11:00:30

Just done some videos. I think I had been a bit scared of using the equipment. I have managed to set the time/date wrong. Not sure how to get to settings.

Isn't is weird seeing yourself on video. I remind myself of someone, but not me! Is there an address to send them to or do we send to Ann?