• upmysport go off-road

    Posted in startups on October 20, 2014

    So the upmysort team had a pretty sweet friday.

    We started the day in style with some Bacon and Egg Naans from Dishoom, arguably the best breakfast in town, before strolling over to the Olympic Park.

    But before we got there had second and third breakfast at the awesome E5 Bakehouse.  You’ve gotta refuel if you’re to perform at your best..

    Mobot/ Lightening Bolt/ ambiguous

    Lightning Bolt/ Mobot/ ambiguous

    Having Carbo/Caffeine/Chocolate Brownie-loaded we checked out the Olympic Park. Beautiful sunshine, and for those of us who had been at the Olympics two years before, great memories. We headed over to the Velodrome where it’s pretty safe to say team GB smashed it in 2012.

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    It was time for action. At the Lee Valley Velo Park there are all sorts of cycling antics you can get involved in. You can ride on the track, road, BMX park, velodrome or go  mountain biking. Whilst deliberating which to go for we suddenly realised that Neil was nowhere to be seen..

    IMG_1949

    Mountain Biking. No- brainer.

    With different trails of varying difficulty- blue, red and black, there really is something for everyone. We explored the trails for a couple of hours, Michael tried to do a black trail and fell off and broke his bike, and London delivered a bit of sunshine. All good.

    As the afternoon drew to a close we stopped off at the local Crate Brewery.

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    Delicious pizzas, beers and a great spot right on the river. It was a lovely opportunity to welcome Antonia to the team and enjoy all being in the same city. We meandered back to our Old Street home feeling good.

    There’s something hugely rewarding about trying something new– especially when you’ve got someone who knows the ropes and can make sure you enjoy the experience as much as possible.

    Follow us on twitter, Like us on Facebook, and say hello if you’ve got a sport or activity you think we should try..

     

  • Finding Balance

    Posted in health and fitness on March 28, 2013

    Yoga instructor Erika Shapiro talks about the importance of finding balance in our lives and offers a few tips to help ease the pressure.

    We live in times when we tend to be constantly wired. Work generally demands a lot from us and we are forever on duty with smartphones and technology.  We try to conciliate and balance other aspects of our lives such as families, friends, and hobbies.  Ultimately, this leaves very little time for ourselves.

    Erika Shapiro

    This means that our nervous system is constantly on alert. Ideally, we would like our nervous system to be balanced, with on one side the parasympathetic system (our calming response) and on the other our sympathetic system (our fight and flight response). We need both to function and to be able to intervene when needed. If there is a real threat to our safety, it is important that our sympathetic nervous system is able to kick in, creating adrenaline. When, we have been in overdrive, it is important that our parasympathetic system responds, bringing us back to balance. However, in modern life, our sympathetic system is often overactive, leaving us depleted and searching for balance.

    We can also think of this balance as the yin and yang of the daoist system. The two are in constant flux with each other, like a pendulum.

    Below I offer a few little self-care tips that can help us achieve more balance in our busy and pressurized lives:

    • Take time out from external stimulus. Switch off the phone and make yourself unavailable for 10-15 minutes on a regular basis (2-3 time per week to start with). Find a comfortable seating position (a chair or a sofa is fine), making sure that your spine is straight and upright, and that you are sitting on your sitting bones.  Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath. Thoughts will come to your mind: just watch them come and watch them go, bringing your attention back to the breath when you drift. Imagine that you are watching your mind activity from a camera, with a lens and that you are zooming out, watching from a distance.  Stay with the breath;
    • Set time aside for something deeply nurturing, if you are feeling depleted. Try and resist the temptation to unwind with a glass of wine or in front of the TV (or both!) once in a while and choose something that feeds you in a more holistic way. Book a massage, surround yourself with art or music, go for a walk in nature, book a meditation, yoga class or do something creative (drawing, painting, sculpture….). This will help you reconnect with your deeper sense of self. It is important that we learn to practice kindness and compassion not only with others but also to ourselves;
    • Have an early night. The body needs to rest and restore. We often confuse adrenaline for energy and are unaware of our fatigue. If you have trouble sleeping, try breathing deeply, lengthening your exhale to calm your nervous system;
    • If your diet has been erratic, make the time to prepare a homemade meal with lots of organic vegetables. Our modern diets tend to be rich in acidic content. Vegetables are mostly alkaline and help us rebalance our PH levels. There is something deeply soothing and nurturing in chopping and preparing lots of multicolored vegetables. Make a nice soup, salad or just some oven-roasted vegetables.  No need to be a chef!;
    • Breathe deeply! Our breath tends to be constricted, especially when we are in overdrive. Learn a few basic breathing techniques that you can practice when necessary. They can be deployed at any time; before an important meeting, to help you get through a deadline, or to just help you reconnect.  A recommended book is “The Breathing Book” by Donna Farhi.

    Erika Shapiro

    By practicing deeper awareness and becoming more attuned to our rhythms and needs, we can lead healthier and more balanced lives. Yoga helps us develop this internal awareness and inner insight. It is not just limited to what we practice on our mat; the awareness we carry with us off the mat is just as important. It is easy to confuse adrenaline for energy and deplete ourselves even further, increasing our stress levels. By getting to know ourselves better we will know which is which and when it is necessary to intervene and practice a bit of self-care.  This will lead to better balance and deeper harmony in our lives.

    You can book a  yoga lesson with Erika here.

    Erika truly grateful to those who have helped her find deeper balance in her life: Linda D’Antal, Alex Filmer-Loch, Joanne Avison, Deborah Grant, Bo Forbes to name a few.

     

  • What do you look for in a personal trainer?

    Posted in personal training on September 26, 2012

    At upmysport we believe teaming up with a personal trainer can be a fantastic way to help you achieve your sporting aspirations and give renewed focus to your health and fitness goals. We also know how difficult it is to juggle such virtuous aspirations alongside a myriad of work and other personal commitments!

    Finding a personal trainer who is the right fit for you is key. We spoke to some of London’s busiest people to find out more about what they look for.

    Lisa, a Banker, says she “always” looks for a personal trainer that can offer nutrition advice and Simon, an Events Producer, knows that he needs, “someone, who will push me” and most importantly, “help me quit smoking.” Many people want help to achieve a specific goal. Bobby, a Lawyer at an investment bank,  explains how he chose his last personal trainer because he “had a specific objective in mind – increasing my stamina and pace for long distance running.”

    More general factors are also important, including location.”It needs to be convenient,” says Dorothea, a Lawyer and keen triathlete. “I would also look at who their other clients are. Being able to see they already work with a diverse range of people is reassuring. That way I can be confident they can tailor the sessions to meet my particular needs. It is also important that the trainer looks fit and healthy too – it’s a good sign that they know what works!”

    Personal Trainer Dave Selkirk in action

    Taking the first step back into fitness is not easy and can often feel impossible. As one City lawyer put it, “Having a personal trainer would just add loads more missed appointments into the sorry mix that is my work-life balance.”

    Don’t worry readers, upmysport is launching a jail break for this City inmate. Yeah, that’s right. We’ve got contacts on the inside.

    It’s not just those in the City that find the work–life-fitness balance a challenge.

    Journalist Ellie explains, “As a new Mum, it’s really hard to get time for myself, so I’d be looking for a personal trainer who can be flexible and work around my schedule. Some nights I don’t get a lot of sleep -I’d appreciate someone who understands that.  I would also love to know of ways to exercise while caring for my baby – whilst pushing the buggy round the park and so on. It would be fantastic to find a trainer who could help me do this.”

    Juggling child care and training can be challenging.

    Harriet, a Play Therapist who loves tennis and swimming, is looking for a personal trainer that can help  improve her fitness level and provide a stepping stone into other sports, “Variety is really important. I would want them to help me explore different training techniques and introduce me to other sports.” Balancing child care around training is also an issue. “Sessions where I can take my step son (who is eleven) and where he can participate or there are child care facilities would be great.”

    Inspired? Check out our diverse range of Personal Trainers in London