Cork Running Routes.

There are so many benefits to outdoor running, not only does it improve the way we look and feel, but it reduces the risk of long-term illnesses and even lengthens our lifespan. Whether you’re heading out for your very first 5K run or training for your third marathon-the benefits of running are achievable by all!

Calling all Cork runners! We know that finding a running route that’s scenic, pedestrian-friendly& exciting can be difficult. So to help you up your running game, we have put together a list of our favourite running routes around Cork.

The Carrigrohane Road (5k)

This flat stretch on the Carrigrohane Road, starting off at Victoria Cross, is synonymous with fast road running. It is nicknamed the ‘Straight Road’ because of its long stretch-without one single bend!

This route offers road runners the opportunity to put all of their focus on pace and breathing without having to dodge cars and climb hills. This running route is perfect for first-time runners or those training for speed and looking to better their PB.

Blackrock Castle Loop (7k)

One of Cork’s most scenic running routes, take in the sea air and the views of Cork harbour, historic Blackrock Castle, and the peaceful marina.

The first 3km of this running route is on a walkway alongside the water’s edge and at the 3kmmark, you will then cross over a causeway and up a short ramp, turn right here and go over the pedestrian bridge over the South Ring Road, head through the short Railway shelter, exit right onto a footpath along the Marina which runs alongside the River Lee, you will then passthrough Blackrock Village and come back upon the impressive Blackrock Castle Observatory

This route is a feast for the senses, you will not get bored or sick of this route as there’s something new to see each time you endeavour on this run!

Ballincollig Regional Park (5k)

This route is on the site of a historic Gunpowder Mill, which is now a scenic park full of greenery and flowers. It is a flat run that starts and finishes at the Regional Park car park at the end of Inishmore Lawn, the only catch is that to make up a 5km run you must do x2 laps clockwise.

This route immerses you in nature as your run through woodland and along the river, it’s a must-try. Cork is so beautiful, so why stick to the same boring running routes all of the time when our city offers so many scenic routes to choose from.

If you’re more of a treadmill runner or if it’s a stormy day, both of our One Life Fitness clubs in Cork city centre offer state-of-the-art treadmills and cardio equipment to still get your run in.

How to feel confident in the gym.

It can be quite intimidating to actually get up and go to the gym if you are new to the world of fitness, and it can be equally daunting to sign up and go to a new gym that you’ve never been to before.. Hello gym anxiety!

It’s completely natural to feel nervous & anxious before we try something new and unfamiliar to us. The gym is no exception to this, and you must know that you are not alone.

But, if you don’t try and get past these feelings of anxiety and you don’t feel all that confident about going to the gym, then you’re unlikely to be getting the most out of your workout when you do go..

We have put together a few tips in which we feel can help you combat this feeling of intimidation and in turn let you feel more confident when you head in for your killer workout.

– Focus on and believe in yourself

You must remember that you are your only competition, and that comparing yourself to others in the gym isn’t going to get you anywhere along your fitness journey. You should ignore everyone else, and focus on you and solely you. When you’re seriously working hard, you won’t have time to compare yourself to others anyway!

Everyone in the gym has their own goals, you don’t need to keep up with anyone else. It’s also important to keep in mind that everyone in the gym that you may be comparing yourself to has been in your exact shoes when starting off.

In order to work out confidently and effectively, ensure you are wearing clothing which you are comfortable in and ensure that you know how to use the equipment and machinery.

One Life Fitness’ team members will happily demonstrate with ease how to use each of the fantastic pieces of equipment available to you in our gyms.

– Plan your workout in advance

Plan ahead, lay out your workout plan and stick to it! If you go into the gym with a clear plan of what exercises or what machines you want to do in your session, with this structure, you’ll hold yourself accountable to finish what you said you would do.

Our experienced trainers would be more than happy to help you map out a Gym Programme to help you make the most of your session.

– Workout with a friend

Bring your bestie, partner or family member along with you to your workout session, you’ll be much more relaxed and confident with the company. You’ll feel more relaxed when you’re in a daunting setting with a friend, you’ll worry less about your surroundings, have more fun and will get more out of your workout.

At One Life Fitness, on the last Friday of the month, each month, you can bring your bestie along to your training session for free!

– Why not try Personal Training?

Gym trainers are known for enhancing your confidence in the gym. Having a motivated expert on hand during your session to help you use equipment properly and plan your workout for you, you’re likely to reach your goals and hit them more quickly!

One Life Fitness’ Personal Training helps you become the best version of yourself. With tailored assessments and programmes to guide you along with constant feedback, motivation and support we will help you fulfill your goals. We also offer Semi Private Personal Training, which is a small group training option with an added social aspect to help you gain your confidence in the gym.

– Workout During Off-Peak Hours

Time your gym session wisely! If you find it easier to focus in a quieter atmosphere, then you may be better avoiding working out during busy times. But, if you prefer to blend in with others working out then those peak times are ideal for you.

Our One Life team, armed with the knowledge of peak and off-peak times, can help you plan the time for your workout based on what environment you prefer.

– Don’t worry about the little things!

If something goes wrong at the gym, who cares?! Tripping on the treadmill, dropping a free weight or popping into the wrong changing room – might be embarrassing for a split second, but the odds are everyone else is so focused on themselves that no one saw anyway!

Just remember why you’re there and what you’re working towards, don’t sweat the small glitches along the way.

We know that going to a new gym, or a gym altogether, is intimidating,so that’s why we have made the necessary steps to ease your nerves! We are the ultimate beginner friendly gym.

Why not book in for your Free Trial and see what the One Life Fitness hype is all about?

Tips on how to stay motivated.

The ‘New Year New Me’ feels have began to fade and you may feel like your motivation to workout is beginning to, or has slipped entirely.

Often, starting up a workout routine is not the problem, but maintaining it is the hard part. So we have put together a few tips to keep you motivated:

1. Set some goals

Setting yourself some simple goals is the best way to start, then progress to bigger and longer goals. However, it is so important to ensure the goals that you set for yourself are realistic and achievable, as it is easier to give up on your goals if they are too ambitious.

Also, it is proven that physically writing down your goals, your efforts and your progress can help you stay motivated, so put it on paper and see your motivation jump!

2. Reach out and team up with friends, family, or co-workers.

Make your fitness regime social and team up with a friend or two – this way you can push eachother and hold each other accountable, whether it be a walk or a training session in the gym, you’ll both benefit all while catching up!

3. Make fitness enjoyable

Find a fitness regime, class or gym that you actually enjoy doing or visiting! Working out shouldn’t be boring, try something new like a high-intensity circuits class or your own AMRAP workout in the gym to keep you on track – you’re more likely to stick with a fitness program if you’re actually enjoying yourself.

4. Schedule fitness into your everyday routine

If your day is very busy and you struggle to find the time to exercise, then schedule in a class or workout into your daily timetable, like any other important activity you wouldn’t miss.

But if your day is extremely time sensitive then why not take the stairs instead of the lift? Walk your dog on your lunch? Or if you work from home, take the time to walk up and down your stairs as you’re on a call – there’s always a way to incorporate fitness into a busy day!

5. Grant yourself rewards

As your reach your goals – a new weight loss target, a lifting personal best, or that you have achieved your workout hours for the week, make sure to reward yourself! Whether it be a treat meal out, or a new gym set, you deserve a treat no matter how big or small the goal you achieved. These little lights at the end of the tunnel really will help keep you motivated.

Fitness is for life and not just the start of each new year, so set some goals, team up with a friend or two, add a slot into your calendar, have some fun and you will see your motivation getting back on track again!

Learn to have a positive body image…

It is so important to love the skin we’re in and feel comfortable in our own body, because it’s the only one we have! Yet 70% of women between the ages of 18-30 dislike their bodies, and 45% of men say that they are dissatisfied with their bodies too.

These statistics are quite worrying and for so many of us loving our own body can be challenging. Changing the way we think about our bodies is vital and requires daily effort.

There are so many ways that we can work on practicing body positivity, and different methods will work for different people.

Here are our favourite ways to practice body positivity, to get you started on your self-love journey!

1. Positive affirmations

One of the most effective ways in which we can practice self-love is to say positive things to and about ourselves aloud. Say a kind word to yourself in the mirror in the morning, or maybe place encouraging notes on your office desk, give yourself daily encouragement and reminders. This may feel silly at the start, but believe us, it works!

2. Don’t be so critical of yourself & focus on things you like about yourself

When you find yourself being critical of your body, ask yourself would you say that to your friends? Live by if you wouldn’t say it to your friends, then don’t say it to yourself. Every time a negative thought about your body pops into your mind, change it to something positive! A good idea is to try to make a list of the things you like about your body.

3. Learn to accept a compliment given to you and compliment others!

If you cannot accept a compliment, you are essentially putting yourself down. A simple thank you is a great start! Compliment others freely also, when we open ourselves up to be kind to others, it also opens us up to be kinder to ourselves.

4. Surround yourself with positive & supportive company

Negative messages about body image are all around us, on social media, billboards and in real life, and they have a way of letting themselves into our thoughts. Try to surround yourself with people who are supportive and uplifting. Look for positive people who will encourage you to be who you are.

5. Don’t compare yourself to others

Theodore Roosevelt once said that ‘Comparison is the thief of joy’, we know that this is so true. When you compare yourself to others, this damages how you see your own body and does nothing positive for you. Imagine how boring life would be if we all looked the same? Every one of us is different, all different shapes and sizes!

Working on body positivity can be a challenging and daunting task, but finding the method which works best for you is the very first step of a beautiful relationship between you and your body.

One Life Fitness – Tips for training while Pregnant

Exercising and training during pregnancy has so many benefits. However, there are so many ways to workout safely for both you and your baby bump.

The more active and fit you are during pregnancy, the easier it will actually be for you to adapt to your changing shape. It will also help you to cope with labour and get back into your shape post-birth!

There are a lot of misconceptions about what training should and shouldn’t be done during pregnancy, so we’re here to clear this up for you, along with stating the benefits and warning signs:

  • Start off slowly and keep the workout low-impact, use slow and controlled movements while lifting weights as pregnancy hormones can cause joints to be loosened and thus can increase the risk of injury – which definitely should be avoided.
  • Always warm-up before exercising, cool down afterwards, and drink plenty of fluids while exercising.
  • There are certain strength exercises that pregnant women should focus on like Deadlifts, Squats and Rows. Strong upper legs, glutes and back muscles will really help support your bump.
  • You can see and feel your body changing, and changing up your workout routine as your body changes is one of the most important things to do if you want to continue training safely. Not only is each pregnancy different, but your body can feel completely different from one day to the next!
  • A strong pelvic floor is so important for all pregnant women. It is recommended to do daily pelvic floor squeezes to help prevent things like bladder leaks, bowel leaks, and pelvic organ prolapse. And as the pelvic floor is the most important part of your core, a strong pelvic floor means a strong core which means you’ll be able to lift weights more safely.
  • Now is not the time for mad high-intensity workouts or smashing your PB’s! Instead allow yourself plenty of time to recover and rest, always work within your abilities and comfort during pregnancy. Remember that exercise does not have to be strenuous to be beneficial.
  • Towards the final trimester of pregnancy, do avoid lifting weights overhead or picking them up directly from the floor. Your centre of gravity shifts as your baby is growing, and this change in balance can make you less stable and unfortunately more likely to be wobbly and fall over.
  • You should watch out for the following warning signs during exercise, and if you do notice any of these signs, do stop and seek immediate medical help:
  1. -bleeding from the vagina
  2. -feeling dizzy or faint
  3. -shortness of breath before starting exercising
  4. -chest pain and headache
  5. -muscle weakness
  6. -calf pain or swelling
  7. -regular painful contractions of the uterus.

Muscle Recovery Tips

If you want to get into the best possible shape and avoid injuries, allowing your muscles some time to recover after a workout is essential.

While you’re exercising, you create damage to your muscles and it’s only during the recovery time that your muscles can fully repair those tiny tears from exercising.

Take the time you need to rest, recharge, treat your body well, and see the benefits later. Your recovery and easy workout days are just as important as the days you crush it in the gym!

With the right approaches, you may be able to speed up muscle recovery and improve your overall fitness in no time, so that you can keep working towards your health and fitness goals. There’s no better way to do this than by following these tips that we at One Life Fitness live by:

1. Hydration is key

Any fitness enthusiast knows just how important proper hydration before, during, and after a workout is. It is so important to drink plenty of fluids during all of those times if you want to avoid dehydration, which is linked to muscle fatigue and reduced performance.

Replacing lost fluids is essential for post-workout muscle repair. Drinking sports drinks enhanced with electrolytes, a glass of milk, coconut water, a smoothie, or plain water after your workout are all the most effective ways to rehydrate!

2. Rest, Relax and Stretch it out

Getting plenty of rest is the key to both mental and physical health, and a lack of it can disrupt your muscular recovery process and reduce your athletic performance.

So get a good night’s sleep, and make sure you get your 7 to 8 hours per night!

When it comes to rest days, the general rule is to maintain a gap of 48 hours between workouts if you endure physically demanding workouts. But this is only a guideline, and you can follow this or tailor to suit your personal needs and goals!

And don’t forget about stretching, especially during rest days, and overtime this will become a habit that will assist with your muscle recovery.

3. Replenish your body with healthy recovery foods.

Eating clean and well is so beneficial to muscle recovery!

Protein is the number one muscle repairing nutrient that you should be sure to incorporate in your diet. Focus on getting your daily intake of protein from foods such as eggs, Greek yogurt, and lean cuts of meat. These ingredients are so versatile and make for great snacks or full meals.

It is also a good idea to eat a snack that is rich in protein before bed so that your muscles repair overnight, this will help diminish the sensation of soreness you might get the next day after a workout.

Of course, the amount of time it takes for your muscles to recover from exercise depends on your fitness levels and the volume, intensity, and duration of your workout. It is so important to give your body the time and attention to recover fully so that you can perform at your very best for your next session!