Family Fitness: Fun Runs

Written by: Helen

Last year I spent all year either pregnant or with a small baby so exercise wasn’t at the top of my priority list (it was lower down, somewhere between getting a half decent night’s sleep and leaving the house with matching shoes).  This year I wanted to start returning to some semblance of a fitness regime and getting back into shape (no pressure, I’d still prefer a decent night’s sleep).

One thing I was keen to do was some sort of fun run.  The main reason being that I thought I would enjoy it and the second reason being that it may encourage me to do some training.  And this month I have done, not one but two runs.  Both were ran with my five year old son and both were thoroughly enjoyable.  It has been great including my family in my running as it is a nice thing to do together.  These are the two runs we have done:


The Colour Run

This was lots of fun.  It was a mile long course which wasn’t too taxing for someone like me who hasn’t experienced formal exercise in a while (apart from running round after the children).  Basically, you run the mile and every so often people throw coloured, powdered paint at you.  There’s no age limit and the paint is harmless so it’s perfect for doing with children.  The best thing is the money goes to LOROS which is a great charity.  You can find out about LOROS’s fundraising events here.



Mini Military Mud Run

I did this race with my son again and this time my husband joined us.  You can run either 2K or decide to do the 5K.  We opted for the 2K this time but will try the 5K next time.  As implied in the name, you get very muddy and also very wet!  Which made my son a happy boy.  It’s not often he gets to splash around in mud without his wellies on!  It is fun and also tiring.  There are obstacles dotted along the course and it’s hard going in the thick mud, especially when helping little ones.  However, it was fantastic to do as a family and we are now all looking forward to our next one.  You can find more out about the mini military mud run here.


5 Reasons to exercise as a family


It can be hard in busy lives to get quality time as a family.  Often ‘family time’ can be watching a film or a trip to the cinema.  As nice as these are they don’t allow time to chat and laugh together and you just can’t beat some family time in the outdoors.


2)Sets a good example

Putting time aside for family exercise can instil good habits that your children will hopefully carry with them the rest of their lives.


3)It’s not just good for the kids

You are far less likely to try and dodge doing exercise if you are all doing it together.  It’s a good way to help keep you motivated.


4)It doesn’t have to cost money

Children are expensive.  Doing stuff is expensive.  Exercise however is free.  Signing up for a fun run usually costs some money which often goes to charity.  However, walking, running and cycling are all free.  You can get fit and have fun without spending money.


5)You can raise money for charity

We ran our colour run with Loros Hospice.  If you build up to walking, running or cycling for a charitable event then it can give your children a great sense of accomplishment and, if they understand who benefits from what they are doing then it gives them good values.


Do you ever exercise with your family?  Have you done any of the runs I mentioned?  Let me know in the comments below.  If you want to sign up for my monthly email just pop your email address in the subscription box.  Thanks for reading.

7 Ways to get Fit Outdoors

Written by: Helen

I don’t know about where you are, but this week the weather here has been glorious.  Granted, now as I write the wind is blowing and the clouds are starting to thicken so perhaps it’s changing.  When it comes to the UK who knows what’s in store with the weather.  However, that’s all the more reason to make the most of it when the sun is out.  If the idea of going to the gym makes you groan aloud then perhaps getting some exercise outdoors will be more up your street.  And if the sun is shining then there’s really no excuse.

There are plenty of ways to get outdoors and exercise.  However, here are a few:


Tennis is a great workout for your legs, arms and upperbody.  It is also good for your coordination and speed.  Get in touch with your local tennis club and join in.  Or just grab a friend (you should probably ask them first) and a racket, book a court and start practising.



Bootcamp fitness is group training outdoors.  It doesn’t have to be sunny as they tend to take place whatever the weather but for your first time you might want the sun to be shining until you’ve toughened up a bit!  The classes are based on military style training and aim to be fun whilst giving you a full body work out.



Running can seem a little daunting.  It is a good idea to build yourself up gradually.  Go for short runs a few times a week and then aim to increase the length of your run.  You will notice that you are slowly able to go for longer.  If you are struggling then don’t worry about taking short walking breaks.  You will find your stamina and fitness increase the more you run.  The best part is you don’t really need any gear apart from a pair of comfortable running trainers.


adult, architecture, athlete



Cycling is good for your heart, it burns calories and is also a form of exercise that doesn’t put pressure on your joints.  The best way to get into cycling is to start using your bike for short journeys and then gradually build on this.  Using your bike for an everyday journey such as the commute to work is great exercise.



Hiking can give you a powerful cardio workout.  If you are going to start hiking then the best thing is to take time choosing a route, wear the right clothing (ie. make sure you are comfortable and warm enough) and have comfortable walking shoes.  If you can’t go on a long hike then a gentler walk still has health benefits.  A good way of getting into this is by joining a local rambling group.



Canoeing and kayaking is an aerobic exercise that can help improve your strength.  There are plenty of places in the UK where you can learn canoeing and kayaking and meet other paddlers.


7)Outdoor exercise regime

The other way is to simply move your exercises to the outdoors!  Instead of jumping around in front of a fitness DVD in your living room, jump around in the fresh air instead.  There’s nothing stopping you from doing your sit-ups in your garden as opposed to indoors.  Yoga and Pilates are particularly nice to do outside.  Here is a link to a 30 minute outdoor workout


Woman in Yellow Sports Bra Stretching Near Green Grass Field


If you want more exercise tips check out my post about spring cleaning your exercise regime.

Do you exercise outdoors?  If so what do you enjoy doing?  Thanks for reading.  If you’d like me to notify you of my monthly posts just pop your email in the subscription box.

7 Health Benefits of Rhubarb

Written by: Helen

Welcome to Fit Food Friday.  I thought it would be good to look at a vegetable that is in season now and is delicious.  I will link to some recipes at the end and, yes, one will definitely be a crumble.  Can you beat a rhubarb crumble?  I think not.

Here are 7 reasons why you should be eating rhubarb.


1) Weight Loss

If you are trying to lose weight then this is a useful vegetable.  It is not only low in calories but it is high in fibre.  Foods that are high in fibre help us to feel fuller for longer and can prevent snacking.


2) Digestion

The amount of fibre also means that it is good for our digestion.  Fibre encourages healthy bowel movements and keeps our digestive systems in good working order.


3) Alzheimer’s Disease

It provides good amounts of vitamin K.  Vitamin K is an important nutrient involved with brain health.  It stimulates our cognitive activity and can help to delay or prevent the onset of Alzheimers.  You can find more info about that here


4) Antioxidants

To read my article about the role of antioxidants in the body click here.

Rhubarb has high amounts of antioxidants.  The redder colour stems have more vitamin A than greener stems.  Antioxidants are an important part of a healthy diet because they protect our bodies and help to fight off diseases including heart disease and cancer.


5) Cancer Prevention

This leads me on to number 5.  As mentioned above the antioxidants make it a good food in the fight against cancer.  Antioxidants battle against free radicals and free radicals cause cells to mutate or die.


6) Healthy Skin

As well as containing vitamin A, rhubarb also contains compounds such as carotene, zeaxanthin and lutein.  These convert into vitamin A inside the body.  Vitamin A is important for skin health (It is also an important nutrient for healthy eyesight so rhubarb helps with this too).  Free radicals cause some of the signs of ageing and, as mentioned, the antioxidants in rhubarb help to combat free radicals.


7) Bone Health

As well as helping combat Alzheimer’s, vitamin K also plays a role in bone health.  It aids our bones with growth and repair.  This nutrient combined with the calcium in rhubarb means that this vegetable is a great food for our bones and teeth.

And now that you know how good it is for you, here are some recipes.  Just click on the recipe to be taken to the link.  Do you eat rhubarb?  Let me know below.  Thanks for reading 🙂

Rhubarb Cordial

Rhubarb cordial


Oaty Rhubarb Crumble

rhubarb crumble


Rhubarb Fool

Rhubarb Fool


Live Love Fruit

Organic Facts

Nutrition and you