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Keep your legs active with this lower body workout

Once upon a time, it wasn’t hard to hit 10,000 steps in a day. All you had to do was walk to the station, stroll to Itsu and back for some lunch and offer to make a few rounds of tea (before updating everyone on your step progress, obviously). But lockdown laps of the sofa, fridge and desk don’t quite cut it in this strange new world – so we’ve got the antidote. This quick 10-minute workout strengthens all the leg muscles from the comfort of your own living room. 

WATCH THE FULL WORKOUT HERE

These chocolate crumpets are super-powered comfort food

Bread is great at all times, but arguably it’s best when you need to eat something that feels like a warm hug – which makes these chocolate crumpets the most gigantic embrace of all. This nutritious recipe is packed with healthy fats, such as almonds and chia seeds to support heart health, and sweetened with coconut sugar for slow-release energy. A slathering of nut butter is absolutely non-negotiable.

GET THE RECIPE

Need a zen weekend filled with relaxation and feel-good stretches?

If, like us, you are also missing your weekly yoga classes, join us from 9am Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 May as we host the Strong Women Yoga Retreat on our Instagram account – live classes every hour led by trainers from some of London’s best studios: FLY LDN, Lifespace, FLEX, Strong & Bendy, Stretch, Third Space, Re:Mind Meditation Studio and Core Collective. Head to @StrongWomenUK for sessions that include yoga, sound healing, meditation, breathwork and other practices to help restore your inner peace during this tricky time. Don’t forget to invite your friends and family to join – it’s free.


How to warm up before heading out for a run
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Gripping onto your phone for dear life when running? Go hands-free with these high-performance leggings that offer pockets for storage
LULULEMON / £94
Buttery soft, yet with so much hold – these classic leggings support both you and your belongings while working out
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M&S / £25
Sweat-wicking leggings that offer not one, but two pockets, to choose which side most comfortably holds your phone
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PUMA / £40
Store your bits and pieces in the envelope pocket located in the back waistband for legs that feel weightless while sprinting
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SWEATY BETTY / £95
Dual pockets fit both your mobile and bank card in case you feel like picking up post-run snacks while you’re out
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REEBOK / £38
Focus on your mileage and nothing else with a side-slip pocket that’s deep enough to keep your phone safe from sliding out
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UNDER ARMOUR / £55
The secure pocket on these second-skin leggings (without being too tight) sits higher on the hip for extra comfort while jogging
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How many sets and reps should you do for strength training?
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According to Stylist’s fitness editor Meriam Ahari, this game-changing yoga mat will improve your practice

“My biggest complaint when it comes to yoga mats is that my naturally clammy hands and feet constantly slip the sweatier I get. It’s been my experience with every single mat I’ve ever used – and I’ve been through a few. But with this one, I felt the difference from my first downward dog. Let’s get the bad news out of the way: it’s £109, which is very steep. But before you dismiss it, it’s also totally bespoke. 

When ordering, you submit your body measurements and the mat is tailor-made to your height with visual markers that act as a guide for hand and foot placement to ensure your alignment is correct – incredibly helpful for moves like warrior and triangle pose. It’s also got a cushiony surface with a strong grip and it sticks to the same place on the floor, no matter how much you move around. Plus, it’s PVC and paraben-free – even biodegradable, since it’s made from natural rubber and Eco-PU. And for the cherry on top, you can personalise it with your name so no one can accidentally nick it. Think of it as a lifetime investment.”
Yogaline Ultimate Yoga Mat, £109 

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Improve your air intake during exercise with this tip

Find your body struggling to keep up during workouts? Your fitness level might not be to blame. According to a recent study, women – in comparison to men – have thinner lung passages that can make them feel more fatigued from exercise. “Smaller airways can lead to unsmooth or restricted airflow,” explains Stuart Sandeman, founder of Breathpod. This limited respiration reduces the amount of oxygen pumping through our bodies. Not great news given our muscles require higher volumes of oxygen during exercise. “Thinner passageways negatively impact performance and strength, meaning women may experience more muscle fatigue,” says Sandeman. We can’t change the size of our airways, but learning to control breath at rest will allow for better oxygen flow during exercise, suggests Sandeman. He recommends strengthening lungs by breathing in for a count of four (feeling the ribs expand), holding for four, and breathing out for eight. 

Can’t remember when you last picked up dumbbells? Your body can

It’s official: muscle memory is a thing and can last for a pretty long time. A new study cites participants that took part in a 10-week strength program where they exercised only one of their legs. After taking a 20-week break, researchers tested muscle mass and strength in both legs and found that the trained leg was significantly stronger than the control leg – preserving 50% of its strength. Biopsies also revealed that the cells of the trained leg had strengthened and grown at a genetic level, making it easier to regain the original amount of strength. The takeaway? You won’t lose all your gains from a few weeks of lockdown rest. If you’re still exercising – albeit without dumbbells – your muscles will regain strength from your past lifting days as soon as you return to weight training. So, much like our fridge contents right now, nothing has been wasted.


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Image credits: Greens Of The Stone Age; Getty
© The Stylist Group Ltd