Keep on Walking – with Adventure Geek

My challenge this year has been to Walk 1000 miles and with doing mostly 2 walks a day I need to keep things interesting and find new places to walk. In my last update and progress report I have been storming ahead with my walking after a health setback in February.

First we discovered this great website called Northamptonshire Walks where we can download and follow walks all over Northamptonshire and beyond. With my walking pack ( 4 adults and 3 dogs) we have done walk 1 – Castle Ashby which was our first foray out, walk 2 – Collingtree and a couple of other walks too. These work well if you download the walk from the blog and save it on your phone just in case you have a limited phone connection and there are handy pictures and pointers to keep you on the straight and narrow. There are loads to choose from on the website and you can download an excel file of walks too which tell you distance, terrain, dog friendly and if there are loo stops of pubs en route.

There is another local option in Northants too – Adventure Geek has walks on their website and runs guided walks both locally and longer adventures further afield if you really take to this walking lark. Julia Doherty, who I vaguely knew through business networking over the years, has been able to make her passion her business through starting Adventure Geek. My sister had been going on the local walks for a while but I was always busy – but this week I finally took the plunge and went on a new walk which included a walk through Kellmarsh Tunnel along the old Northampton to Market Harborough disused railway line.

Adventure Geek allows you to go on two walks free of charge so you can try before you buy, or you can then pay as you go £4 per walk or pay £10 a month if you plan to join them regularly. If you are at all shy or worried about joining ‘strangers’ for a walk then really don’t be – they made us very welcome, were mindful of covid protocols, and kept to a pace which meant it felt inclusive and fun for all. You can clearly see on the website the length of the walk and the terrain and also dogs and children are welcome if the walk is suitable. You can also download the walk routes as GPX files or PDFs to follow yourself if you don’t fancy a group walk.

I definitely enjoyed chatting to a few different people as we walked along, including Julia the Adventure Geek herself. It was interesting hearing about the adventures they have had walking the Camino Pyrenees and the West Highland Way which are some of the further afield trips Julia organises. I hear she has big plans to walk right across America too.

So if you want to break out and get walking but don’t feel confident exploring the countryside alone then joining with Adventure Geek walks is both cost effective and highly recommended as a way to explore new areas in Northamptonshire.

Just keep walking!

Walking 1000 Miles in 2021

How are you keeping motivated during this #lockdown3 to keep moving and keep healthy? Back in 2012 when was 5 years post op from my hip replacement I started in January using Endomondo and doing a walk 100 miles in January challenge with my best mate.

We got quite competitive with it, and once January was done decided to do the same in February. At the time I was a school run mum and we didn’t even have a dog so I used to walk with my bestie, short ones during the week mostly and longer on the lovely 6 mile walk round our local forest at the weekends. But it still wasn’t quite enough so I used to get to outside my kid’s school for the school run early and then just walk round in circles on the streets around the school any opportunity I got. There was no getting away with it – and doing the challenge definitely helped me move more.

We actually kept the challenge going every month that year, and ended up realising on New Years Eve we were 6 miles off having walked 1300 miles in one year, so off we went and hit the target. I felt though that walking was very time consuming, and I was losing weight and getting fitter and I wanted to do other things with my time, so I parked the excessive walking, and in 2015 when we got Daisy Dog, our Jack Russell Cross, we walked more again but just not quite as much as previously.

Daisy in 2015

So when in my Keto Fitness Club chat they were talking about the #walk1000mile challenge I was reluctant to join in. I was feeling like I didn’t have the time, the head space or the energy. And my best mate now has two primary school aged kids which make it difficult to for the longer walks, and she likes to run, which I tried but gave up as I don’t want my hip replacement to wear out too quick.

But then news of the latest lockdown came out again, and walking is something you can do right through the winter if you pick your moment or just wear the right gear, and the dog needs to go out every day anyway, and I can walk on shorter walks with my best mate and her new puppy but still do additional walks myself to get the miles in, so I thought why not join in.

Walking with the Puppy !

So the long and the short of it is I am doing the #1000miles challenge – and I have set up a facebook group for others joining in too, so if you fancy motivating yourself to get out and move more then do come and join us.

I have found now in the first 13 days of January I have already walked 45 miles ‘boots on ‘ (I am even learning the lingo – this means I am only counting outdoor walking and not converting my fitbit steps to miles – although either method is perfectly acceptable) and joining the challenge and being able to walk with others being the only way we are permitted to actually see and speak to anyone right now is definitely helping me stay off the sofa more and get outdoors more – even if my dog has now sometimes decided to not come with me !

If you have chosen to do a walking challenge too then let me know in the comment below and let’s support each other !

Elliptical Bike – ElliptoGo

I am always looking for new and interesting ways to stay fit and keep my motivation up.  Since my right total hip replacement in February 2007 at the age of 36 my health and fitness have improved immeasurably.  I went from needing crutches if I was going to be on my feet for any extended length of time to walking 100 miles a month in 2012, you can read my story on previous posts.

The problem with walking is it can get a bit boring!  Even in the lovely local forest here by where I live, and in order to keep moving and keep my motivation up I’m always keen to look for new things to do.  I did do 2 triathlons in 2013, but running is not great for a person with a hip replacement, it could shorten the lifespan of my titanium and ceramic hip, and I definitely don’t want to do that.

I do also love riding my bike, but I find the seating position leaning towards the handle bars can cause problems with my neck, and my hands and wrists ache if I’m on my bike for any longer than half an hour.

So when I was on a hip replacement support forum on facebook and saw an elliptical bike mentioned I was intrigued to find out if this might be a suitable alternative to a traditional bicycle, as it was mentioned as something great for people with joint replacements or who couldn’t run due to injury, as there is no impact, and you are in a more upright position which would be better for my neck.

So I looked up elliptical bikes and found the ElliptiGO website, and arranged a test drive locally here in Milton Keynes.  When you first see the bike and go on it, especially in a limited space where you need to keep cornering, it certainly is an odd experience, and I wasn’t sure I was going to take to it, so we thought long and hard before making our mind up.

Choosing my model

After a 2nd test drive in April to compare the new ElliptiGO ARC with the ElliptiGO 8C, we decided that my knees and hips would be most comfortable with the 8C, we finally placed our order, and I took delivery on Friday 6th May.  It all looked rather large and a little bit scary – you can tell by the look on my face!

Elliptigo (3)

Progress

I am writing this blog 2 weeks on, and after initially being worried about feeling slight discomfort in my shoulder whilst on the bike, I think that may have been me clinging onto the handlebars for dear life, and now I am getting more confident my grip is relaxing and I’m feeling less tension through my arms.

I went on a few short half hour rides to start with, coasting for a breather on the downhills and using the 8 gears to great effect on the uphill stretches.   This weekend I took a longer trip out, choosing a route with several options to turn for home if I felt the need, but I was very pleased to manager to stay out for over an hour and cover over 12 miles (20km) in total with no lingering aches and pains in my arthritic joints.  As a comparison on my mountain bike I can’t go out any longer than an hour without getting problems in my wrists and hands.

The point of getting the bike is so I can get out and about in our beautiful Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire countryside without aggravating my joints, and early indications are that the Elliptigo 8C is doing just that.  I’m also having fun linking with other riders through Strava and I’m quite chuffed to say I seem to be keeping up with the other riders quite well.  I was even faster on my Elliptigo on an uphill stretch today that I used to be on my traditional bike.

First Ride

Here is a short video of my first ride.  Thanks to Idai Makaya for the test drives and support in choosing my new toy!

 

What do you do after the Clean 9 Cleanse?

The Clean 9 is a full body cleanse, and if you don’t already know all about it please take a look at my previous posts about the Clean 9, and my earlier video diaries of day 1, day 2 and day 5 of the cleanse.

Update – December 2016 – The FIT program has been updated with a new pack and fabulous new exercise plans and support and changed to a more flexible 15 day programme – read my latest post https://siliconbullet.wordpress.com/2016/12/12/new-forever-f-i-t/ for more information.  The supplements and shakes still remain the same as in this video.

I have reached the end of my cleanse, and I feel fabulous!  I feel less bloated and I have increased energy and  I was told I was ‘glowing’ by a customer this week too, which really helps my self confidence.

But once the 9 days are over , what do I do now? Take a look at my Day 9 video diary to find out

F.I.T. Program

My FIT 1 Pack

My FIT 1 Pack

The F.I.T. 1 program, is a 30 day regime which allows you to continue towards your weight management goals in a sustainable, healthy way F.I.T. 2 builds lean muscle, tones and transforms your body and is the third step in the program.

F.I.T 1 and F.I.T. 2 both come with everything you need to follow the program, plus an information booklet with full details to help you achieve the results you desire.

The main product I find which helps me maintain my weight is the Forever Lite Ultra Shakes, which I use to replace my breakfast every day, or when I just don’t have time to prepare a healthy meal.  They are just so convenient and prevent me grabbing for the wrong kinds of foods.

Take a look at this video all about the shakes, which I prepared for an online informaitonal event my Forever team did together to promote the weight management products.  It’s my first attempt at a ‘shopping channel’ type informational video, so be kind and not too critical!

Please contact me for full details and pricing or take a look at my on-line shop for details.

Keeping Moving – Testing a Fitbit

So I have to admit, since my post about the Blacklight Run I have become a lapsed exerciser again.  Not totally, I still love my high energy classes with Red Squirrels Zumba twice a week, and go to a local Pilates class with Nikki from Move Better Fitness which I love, but the running has ground to a halt.

I think this is because I am not entirely happy when I am running. I don’t enjoy it but I also worry as I run.  The main reason being my total right hip replacement, which was carried out when I was 36 in 2007.  In the back of my mind I know my hip has a limited lifespan, and running just feels like too high impact.  Basically I don’t want to wear out my lovely titanium and ceramic hip.

My day job is very sedentary.  I basically sit in front of a computer all day either bookkeeping, training or promoting my business.  I need some kind of motivation to keep moving between my fitness classes.

Fitbit Review

So I am trialling a Fitbit Flex which a friend of mine is wanting to sell.  I’m going to see if this piece of tech is the kick up the backside I need to get moving again, and watch my food intake more closely. I am a user of Endomondo and My Fitness Pal, and with both these apps they were very motivational when I first started to use them.  I walked a huge 1300 miles in 2012 by following the 100 miles a month challenge on Endomondo, a fact I am very proud of. But the novelty has warn off and I need something new.

Setting up the Fitbit Flex

Once I realised the app wouldn’t work with my Nexus 10 tablet, it was really quick and easy to set up my Fitbit on my Nexus 4.  I was able to set up my profile with ease and the first thing I did was log my first nights sleep.

You do have to remember via the app to say when you are going to sleep and when you wake up, then the fitbit tracks your restlessness and gives you a great graph to see how well you slept.  Not enough is the answer at the moment!

Linking Fitbit to MyFitness Pal and Endomondo

How the apps fitted together got me scratching my head at first, but with trial end error I soon sorted it out. I had to log into my individual accounts for My Fitness Pal and Endomondo on my PC in order to set up the new link to the Fitbit.

In Settings -> Connect you can link Endomondo to your Fitbit

In Settings -> Connect you can link Endomondo to your Fitbit

Historically I logged my exercise on Endomondo which then fed into My Fitness Pal to ‘buy’ me extra calories   I have now had to switch off this link as Endomondo feeds into the Fitbit app with my exercise, then the Fitbit app feeds this information into My Fitness Pal in the form of a Fitbit Calories Adjustment.  If Endomondo also feeds the exercise into My Fitness Pal then the exercise is double counted.  It makes your stats look great but won’t help much with my weight loss target!  The exercise from Endomondo in My Fitness Pal was also fed back into the Fitbit double counting there too – are you still with me?

Fitbit Calorie Adjustment in My Fitness Pal

Fitbit Calorie Adjustment in My Fitness Pal

I do however love the fact that I can still log my food in My Fitness Pal and this then gets automatically fed into the Fitbit App in the form of a calorie value per meal.  I’ve used My Fitness Pal for years now and I have a database of favourite meals already set up, I am a creature of habit, so I dreaded having to recreate all this in the Fitbit app.  Now I don’t have to.

Early Signs

So early signs that having this new Fitbit will hep me get back on track with being more active are good, as I am itching to get out and increase my step count (currently at 4000 steps at 2pm in the afternoon) , I’ve drunk more water today, and I’m not snacking as I’m back to logging all my food.

Let’s see how long this new inspiration lasts.

Forever F.I.T. launched in the UK October 2014

Forever are launching the new F.I.T. programme this month, which will replace the Clean 9 and Nutrilean program.  So if you have enjoyed the benefits of the Clean 9 cleansing program, keep an eye on my blog for details of the new and exciting products.

Clean 9

Clean 9

They tested the products by asking 14 people to trial the Forever F.I.T. program. The 14 guinea pigs completed the Clean 9, F.I.T. 1 and F.I.T.2 programs, which take 69 days to complete.  The results were amazing and will be shared with distributors at their Big Event in mid October.

In the meantime, take a look at this YouTube video to find out more information, get in touch with Alison via the Contact Me link above or take a look at our brand new Forever F.I.T. webpage.

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Working as a team.

I have run my own business now since 2000 and I’ve always been the sort to try to do everything myself.  If I can get the task done and I have time, why should I pay someone else to do it?
Trying to do too much.
Since I have been a keen networker, though, over the last four years I have gradually learned that doing everything yourself is not necessarily the most cost-effective and best way to run your own small business.  When those jobs that you really don’t enjoy start to pile up, isn’t it better to outsource them to someone who can do them quickly and efficiently and then get on with the jobs you know that you are skilled at? I have now met many other small business owners, and by trading services and assisting each other, we can all help each other to grow.

I joined Forever Living in June 2012 and I am learning even more how great it is to work as a team.  My expertise is in IT and Bookkeeping.  It’s something I can talk about forever, excuse the pun, and it can be really satisfying to be able to help team members who often have never been in charge of their own accounts before, making sure that they do the right thing and keep the correct records, and helping them to find the right tools for the job.

I also recognise that in building a strong team in my Forever Living business, with people from different backgrounds and with different skills and knowledge, the sum of the parts working together can be stronger than the individuals each working on their own.

Forever Living has an ethos of those who are further on with their journey sharing how they have got there, and what has worked for them. When you go to the company trainings and team events you will always hear inspiring stories and useful practical advice on how you can improve your business.  We share resources online as well as in person, too, and it means that team members become great friends as well as colleagues.

So, I am looking for people with particular knowledge and skills to grow my team, as there are sectors which I know our products are perfect for but I know little about. If you know anyone with expertise in any of the following areas, please put me in touch with them, as the other thing you learn when networking is one good referral is more effective than 10 cold calls!

And just think – who would you like to work with to make your business more effective.  If you ask for referrals yourself, you might just find that your job gets easier too by spreading the load.
Working Together