womens blog

Second trimester pains: What to expect

While many women experience less morning sickness during the second semester, a variety of pains may arise. These can include round ligament pains, Braxton-Hicks contractions, symphysis pubis dysfunction, and back and leg pain. Here, learn about the causes and how to find relief.

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What you need to know about breast cancer

Breast cancer survival rates are rising as screening and treatment improve. But breast cancer is still the most invasive cancer in women. Find out who might have a greater risk, what symptoms to look out for, and the treatment options a person might face. Plus, learn about the types of breast cancer and the stages.

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What causes pelvic pain in women?

Pelvic pain can affect both men and women, but its causes differ for each sex. In women, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids, as well as several other health conditions, may cause pelvic pain. In this article, learn what else causes pelvic pain in women and when to see a doctor.

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Crohn's disease and pregnancy

Crohn's disease and pregnancy can affect each other. However, most women who conceive while their Crohn's disease is in remission can have a normal pregnancy and healthy baby. Learn more here.

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Joe Wicks The Body Coach Hooks Up With Alexa To Bring HIIT Workouts Into Your Home

Nick Harris-Fry
Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - 10:51

Are you struggling with motivation in your home workouts? Do you think it would help if the Body Coach Joe Wicks was right there, guiding you through a HIIT session? Of course it would. Who wouldn’t want to impress Wicks one-on-one?

Well, getting Wicks into your house literally is probably not going to happen any time soon, but fortunately Amazon has made his inspirational tones available to anyone who has an Alexa-enabled device like the Echo or Echo Dot in their home.

Simply say “Start the Body Coach” within range of your device and it will fire up Wicks’s app, which contains seven 15-minute HIIT workouts. These get progressively harder, so start with number one and work your way up. Then, once you’ve tried them all, you can say your favourite number to do it again any time.

Wicks guides you through all the workouts in real time, providing instructions on the exercises you should be doing and all the encouragement you need to keep the intensity high and smash out the session properly. And if you do have to take an extended break during the workout, you can pick up where you left off...

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Get Fit In The Water With This Pool-Based HIIT Workout

Nick Harris-Fry
Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - 16:49

If you’re lucky enough to be a member of a gym with a pool, do you find you don’t really use it? Perhaps you’re put off by the smaller size of gym pools, even if you’d normally find you’d have the whole pool to yourself (as is the case with our local one). Well, here’s a reason to dive in – an aquatic HIIT workout from Tim Andrews of gym chain DW Fitness First.

DW Fitness First has launched a new class called H2O HIIT, which involves doing a series of exercises in the water. But why do a HIIT workout in the water, we hear you ask? “H2O HIIT training is a great HIIT substitute for those who need to avoid high-impact activities because of injury,” says Andrews, “and also for those who might feel they are not fit enough, or that the exercises in typical HIIT sessions are too hard. But it’s also a great additional way to train for those who are already participating in HIIT sessions.

“Exercising in the water is less stressful for the body because buoyancy helps to reduce impact. The water is also the perfect environment for those who want to work hard because muscles need to overcome the...

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Mobvoi TicPods Free Wireless Headphones Review

Nick Harris-Fry
Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - 15:22

Looking for a bargain in the truly wireless earbud market can seem like a futile task. There are a lot of very cheap options that come in around £50, but you’ll struggle to find any quality there, and aside from the solid Jam Ultra headphones we’ve not come across much that impresses under £100. Most decent sets cost north of £150.

The Mobvoi TicPods Free buds stand out as an excellent wireless option at £119.99. They don’t quite match the battery life and sound quality of more expensive options, but they aren’t a long way behind on either front, and they offer a solid fit and build that’s great for wearing during exercise.

It’s fair to say the TicPods’ design, and indeed their name, call to mind Apple’s AirPods. The long stem on the buds is a look that you’ll either hate or be OK with – I don’t think anyone will love it – but those long stems are at least put to good use on the TicPods, because there are touch controls built in. Sliding a finger up or down the stem changes the volume, a double tap skips songs and a long press pauses playback or brings up a voice assistant (the TicPods...

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Simple Smoothie Recipes That Are As Tasty As They Are Easy To Make

Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - 15:41

Red Berries And Chilli Smoothie Recipe

  • Handful of strawberries, provide polyphenols, which help to improve blood sugar control and reduce fat storage
  • Pinch of chilli powder, provides capsaicin, which aids fat loss by increasing body temperature and energy expenditure
  • Handful of frozen raspberries, provide fibre, which helps keep you full and avoid the temptation to snack
  • 100ml natural yogurt, provides filling protein, which helps to minimise muscle wastage when eating for fat loss

Kale And Pear Smoothie Recipe

  • Handful of kale, provides calcium, which plays a key role in regulating body fat levels
  • ½ pear, provides anti-inflammatory flavonoids, which help you recover after a fat-torching gym session
  • 1 scoop of natural yogurt, provides high levels of protein to keep you feeling full throughout the morning
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 1tbsp honey, has been found to increase exercise capacity during workouts, allowing you to burn more calories
  • Water, to taste
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Chocolate And Coconut Smoothie Recipe

  • 20g 85% cocoa dark chocolate, provides flavonoids, which supply working muscles with oxygen
  • 100g coconut...

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How To Treat Jock Itch

Nick Harris-Fry
Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - 16:18

If you’re suffering from itchy or inflamed skin around your groin, the absolute worst thing you can do is ignore the problem and hope it goes away by itself. And yet far too many people will take that approach, at least at first, to avoid the embarrassment of having to talk to someone about it.

To help you out, we’ve done some of the talking for you, quizzing Nick Thayer, pharmacist at Well Pharmacy, about jock itch. You’ll still need to go to a pharmacy yourself to get the treatment, but hopefully this article answers many of the questions you might have about this common skin condition. A common condition which, by the way, can be effectively cured within a couple of weeks once you get the treatment.

How common is jock itch?

Jock itch is a fungal skin infection, also referred to as tinea cruris or “ringworm of the groin”, from the same family of fungi that causes athlete’s foot, namely dermatophytes. It’s estimated that between 10% and 20% of the world’s population is affected by some sort of fungal infection and this is one of the most common.

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Jock itch is...

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Samsung Galaxy Watch Review – Not Fit For Fitness

Nick Harris-Fry
Thursday, November 29, 2018 - 06:42

Samsung Galaxy Watch In Brief

The Galaxy Watch is gorgeous to look at and seems great on paper, but it all goes downhill when you actually try to use it. There aren’t many apps, the sports tracking is poor, the heart rate tracking is dreadful and the quoted battery life verges on the misleading. It’s a decent smartwatch with great every activity tracking and 4G capabilities if you’re on EE, but we couldn’t help feeling disappointed.

Rating ⭐⭐⭐ (3/5)

Buy 46mm Watch from Samsung | £299

Buy 46mm Watch from EE with 4G plan | £20 upfront plus £20 monthly (two-year contract)

Things We Liked

  • The screen is fantastic and the analogue watch faces are beautiful. It’s a very good-looking bit of kit and you can set the main watch face to be always-on so you don’t have to lift the watch up to see the time.
  • The rotating bezel is a smart solution for navigating around a smartwatch, keeping the screen itself clear while you move through the menus.
  • It does everyday activity tracking well. It’s easy to access your stats for standard options like steps and calories, but you can also add widgets to record...

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Three Mindfulness Exercises That Take Just Ten Seconds

Sunday, December 2, 2018 - 20:55

Walking Meditation

Time 10 seconds or longer

This is a meditation that focuses on the auditory aspect of walking. I do it all the time, because apparently I’m a weirdo! The next time you’re walking anywhere – inside or out – notice sounds. Notice the rise and fall of voices or the distant hum of traffic. You are deliberately shifting attention away from the inner world of thoughts and feelings towards the outer world of sound. Try not to get too caught up in identifying what’s making the sounds. You don’t need to know what you’re hearing, only that you’re hearing. When you get distracted by sights, sensations and thoughts, notice this for as long as you can, then move back into your walking mode.

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Shower Meditation

Time 10 seconds or longer

Next time you take a shower, shift your attention to the warm water flowing over your body. Can you experience the water as a massage? Zoom in on the little pressure changes and on the individual streams against your skin. Stay with exactly what’s happening; try not to get lost in a daydream. Now, this is already a good meditation, but I like to add an...

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The Eight Best Things To Do In Taiwan, Ranked

Nick Harris-Fry
Sunday, December 2, 2018 - 08:45

For too many visitors, a trip to Taiwan starts and ends in Taipei. While the capital is an extraordinary place that’s well worth spending some time in, there’s a lot more to enjoy in Taiwan.

Venture outside the city limits and you’ll find some remarkable natural parks, with attractions ranging from canyons to the mountains covered in misty forests in the centre of the country. There are 286 peaks over 3,000 metres on the island and five mountain ranges to explore.

After spending a whirlwind week exploring Taiwan, these are the eight activities I reckon should top any list when planning a visit.

8. Have a dram of Kavalan Whisky

In 2015 the Best Single Malt gong at the World Whiskies Awards didn’t go to a Scottish, Irish, American or Japanese brand, it went to Kavalan’s Vinho Barrique. That’s far from the only award the Taiwanese distillery has picked up in recent years – not bad at all considering it only released its first bottling in 2010.

Kavalan is based in Yilan County and you can visit the distillery for a tasting, but even if you can’t fit in the hour’s drive from Taipei, it’s worth...

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Take The 30-Day Abs Challenge

Nick Harris-Fry
Sunday, December 2, 2018 - 08:09

While we’ll always suggest that maintaining your fitness in the long term relies on forming a consistent training plan involving achievable goals, we’re also fans of occasionally throwing in an ambitious short-term challenge. That’s because you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve in, say, just 30 days if you push yourself – and it’s a terrific way to stay motivated with your workouts.

This 30-day abs challenge, created by Taofique Folarin, trainer at boutique gym Sweat It London, is a great example of that. At the end of the 30 days you’ll not only have a far better-defined set of abs, you’ll also have a much stronger core, which brings with it a ton of benefits – from easier everyday movements and improved posture to more mobility and power when playing sport or lifting weights.

It’s not going to be an easy ride, however, with only four full rest days in the entire period. Here’s all the info you need on how to complete the plan.

How To Do This 30-Day Abs Challenge

“This challenge not only targets all parts of the abdominals but also works your core endurance,” says Folarin. “It builds in...

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Functional Training Made A Massive Difference To How Good I Look And Feel Says Cover Model Kirk Miller

Tuesday, December 4, 2018 - 16:09

Having a cover-worthy physique is all well and good but if you want to be the healthiest, fittest and best version of you possible, you need to take a more rounded approach to fitness – and Kirk Miller would be the first to admit that. Because what use is a set of sculpted abs if you run out of puff when running for the bus?

“I did years of training purely for aesthetics, so my entire focus was building muscle and burning fat, but there’s so much more to optimal health and fitness than simply looking good,” Miller says. “I got to the point where I want to move quicker and be more explosive, and I’m now training for my first amateur boxing match. I’ve had to change my training accordingly, so there’s less of a focus on some lifts, especially isolation moves like biceps curls, and a greater emphasis on cardio, conditioning and explosive moves and drills to get me ring-ready.

“I can honestly say having a more rounded and balanced approach to training and fitness has made a massive difference to how good I look and feel. Now I’m able to turn my hand to a heavy set of squats, or some explosive Olympic lifting, or even...

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This Tyre Workout Does It All

Monday, December 3, 2018 - 20:17

Often, when training, you have to make a decision between doing something that makes you look good, such as dumbbell biceps curls, or something that makes you move well, such as single-leg kettlebell Romanian deadlifts. And when you’re faced with that choice, it’s all too tempting to go for the former. After all, it’s fair to say that T-shirt-filling arms are more of a confidence boost than impressive thoracic mobility.

There are, however, some things you can do that will give you the benefits of both. Flipping tyres, for example, will develop athletic prowess. “It’s a full-body stimulator,” says top strength coach Jack Lovett from Spartan Performance gym. “There isn’t a single muscle this exercise won’t recruit and strengthen – including your stabilising muscles – in a way that traditional barbell and dumbbell movements can’t.

“I personally find it particularly beneficial for contact sport athletes as a bridge between the weights room and the playing field. It helps develop force from the ground up – all flips require an explosive lower body drive which extends up into triple extension and through the hands.”

And...

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The Best Workout Plan To Transform Your Body

Sunday, December 2, 2018 - 21:46

If your number one health and fitness goal is to add lean muscle to your frame and transform how you look with your top off, then you’ve come to the right place. This workout plan is designed to help you get big by building muscular size across all your major muscle groups, while also chipping away at body fat stores, to enable you to build your best-ever body.

This four-week workout plan, which is made up of four gym-based training sessions each week, is based on the core training philosophies used in the New Body Plan book, which details the complete exercise and eating programme that Men’s Fitness editor-in-chief Jon Lipsey followed to go from an overweight 37-year-old to grace the cover of the July 2018 issue of Men’s Fitness. Over the course of his eight-week plan, Jon lost an incredible 10kg of fat and sculpted a six-pack for the first time in his life.

What’s special about this particular plan is that as well as adding muscular size to your chest, shoulders, back and legs, it pays particular attention to your biceps and triceps – helping you build bigger and stronger arms quicker than you ever thought...

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Dockless E-Bikes Are Coming To London

Nick Harris-Fry
Monday, December 10, 2018 - 11:33

The next wave of dockless bikes is about to hit London and this time it’s going to be electric. Lime, a company backed by Uber and Google, plans to launch 1,000 of its Lime-E dockless electric bikes in to the boroughs of Brent and Ealing before the end of 2018, making cycling more accessible than ever – in north-west London at least.

Here at Coach we’re fans of anything that will get people cycling and we’ve long championed the e-bike as pretty much the perfect option for commuting in cities as long as you don’t have to lug the heavy beasts up a stairwell to your flat, so this is a development we’re excited to see. That said, the potential problems that can arise from all dockless bikes – that people will leave them in inconvenient or dangerous locations – could be exacerbated by the fact the Lime-E weighs a hefty 35kg (consumer versions are generally between 20kg and 25kg). Let’s assume the best of people, however, and rely on them leaving the e-bikes in sensible places.

The Lime-E, like all e-bikes, will only assist riders up to the speed of around 25km/h, after which you’re on your own....

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Six Healthy Breakfast Ideas That Don’t Use Eggs

Friday, December 7, 2018 - 14:10

Ever since William Kellogg invented cornflakes to curb a nation’s libido (true, Wikipedia it), cereals have been hugely popular. Not because they’re the best breakfast for building muscle, boosting brainpower or keeping you focused throughout the day – but because they’re convenient and delicious. And while omelettes are fine, occasionally you’ll crave a big bowl of something a bit like cornflakes in the morning. We’ve assembled a breakfast buffet that’ll keep you firing all day.

Low Carb Ideas

Even if you’re not looking to go full keto, healthy fats will keep your brain online through the toughest email session. “Put flaked coconut, sliced almonds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, ground cinnamon, cacao powder and coconut oil in a mixing bowl to combine and then spread it on a baking sheet,” says Martina Slajerova, author of Quick Keto. “Cook in an oven preheated to 150˚C/gas 2 for ten minutes, mixing it halfway through. Wait until it cools, then serve with almond milk.”

Looking for a warm option that cuts carbs? “Put 2tbsp each of shredded coconut, flaked almonds, chia seeds and hemp seeds in a bowl, add ½tsp of cinnamon,...

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Great Christmas Gifts For People Who Are Running The Next London Marathon

Nick Harris-Fry
Thursday, December 6, 2018 - 21:46

Think back to the second week of October when the results of the London Marathon ballot came out. You may well have seen a raft of posts on social media from several delighted/terrified friends and family members who snagged a spot in the race.

If so, lucky you, because that will make buying Christmas gifts for those people very easy this year. Running gear is what they need and while there’s plenty out there, the obvious choice is to get them something from New Balance’s just-launched London Marathon range.

The collection includes several of our favourite bits of New Balance running gear, complete with a London Marathon logo to make it that bit more special (and don’t worry – that logo hasn’t put an extra 10% on the price of the gear). Here are a few choice selections that we’re certain any London Marathon-bound runner will be delighted to find under the tree come the 25th.

London Edition NB Heat Quarter Zip


This versatile top is a great piece to have in the wardrobe ready for winter training sessions. It can be worn over a base layer or next to the skin with waffle fleece fabric...

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Here’s Why You Should Take A Resistance Band On Your Next Ski Trip

Nick Harris-Fry
Friday, December 7, 2018 - 09:59

Skiing is a sport that treads the fine line between pure exhilaration and outright terror, and the only thing keeping you on the right side of that line is your own ability to stay upright at speed. To do that, you need hard-earned skill and your muscles to be ready for the demands of the slopes, which is why it’s essential to warm up before you start skiing.

We asked Team GB freestyle skier and PT Rowan Cheshire what she does before a day on the mountain and she was good enough to provide this ten-minute warm-up you can do before skiing. Cheshire takes a resistance band with her to help with the warm-up, so if you have a spare pocket in your ski pants, you know exactly what to stuff in it.

Ten-Minute Ski Warm-Up

As with all sports, the benefits of a warm-up are well known and widely ignored by people who just want to get into the thick of the action, but here’s a reminder of why you should warm up.

“You need to get the muscles moving and the blood flowing around the body,” says Cheshire. “This helps prevent injuries and helps you ski for longer and at a better standard as well.”

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Pro Tom Evans On The Benefits Of Cross-Training For Runners

Nick Harris-Fry
Wednesday, December 5, 2018 - 14:15

No matter how much you love running, if your training consists solely of pounding out mile after mile you will eventually tire of the sport. That is, if you don’t injure yourself first.

Cross-training not only provides the opportunity to take a mental break from running and mix up your workout schedule, it also helps to strengthen the body so it can better cope with the demands of the sport and indeed get better at it. In short, whether you’re chasing PBs or just want to keep enjoying running by staying injury-free, cross-training will help.

We spoke to Tom Evans, Red Bull athlete and winner of the CCC ultramarathon at the UTMB mountain running event in 2018, about the benefits of cross-training for runners, and how you can motivate yourself to mix up your workout schedule.

Five Benefits Of Cross-Training For Runners

You can increase your training load without the impact

“As an endurance athlete I try to do between 25 and 30 hours of cardio per week,” says Evans. “If you spend that running week in week out you’d just destroy yourself, mentally and physically. So I use cross-training to...

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Up The Intensity With This Full-Body Workout

Nick Harris-Fry
Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 21:43

One of the benefits of heading to an exercise class at the gym is that you can be sure you’re not going to be wasting any time there. It’s all too easy to spend longer than needed drifting between machines or extending your rest breaks when you’re working out solo, but head to a class and you’re getting full value for every minute.

That’s certainly the case at new London fitness studio Victus Soul, which offers two workouts concepts – HIIT & Run and HIIT & Box. Both these high-intensity sessions involve pushing yourself to the max, and you’ll leave the building absolutely certain you haven’t wasted any time in the gym.

To get a taste of the sessions at Victus Soul we enlisted Lyanne Hodson, master trainer at the studio, for a workout. In a typical Victus Soul class this workout would be combined with a boxing routine, so if you know what you’re doing on the bags, feel free to add that aspect in yourself. And if you’re unsure of your boxing skills, you can always head to Victus Soul to try a HIIT & Box class with a trainer guiding you through every punch.

Section 1

Perform each of the...

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Running To Work Might Be Faster Than Your Current Commute

Nick Harris-Fry
Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 15:38

Some of the benefits of running to work are obvious. You get your exercise done while doing a journey that you’d need to do anyway, meaning you don’t have sacrifice any leisure time to fit in a spot of cardio. You also get some valuable time to yourself away from the irritations of a standard commute, whether that’s the crush of packed public transport or the stress of navigating traffic in a car, so you arrive at work or at home in the evening in a more peaceful state of mind.

Your journey is also free, which is a nice bonus, but the real cherry on top could be that it may actually be faster to run to work than it would be to drive or take the bus. Fitness app Strava has compared its data on 4.6 million run commutes logged on the app in 2018 with information on declining traffic speeds in cities to estimate that, if the trends continue, run commuting will be faster than using motor vehicles by 2020. Run commuters in London manage an average speed of 6.7mph (10.8km/h), which is still slower than the 7.7mph (12.4km/h) average speed of traffic, but the latter is declining and Strava...

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Hepatitis C symptoms in women

While hepatitis C can affect both sexes, it may cause different symptoms in females. In this article, learn about hepatitis C in women, including the causes and risks.

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What causes sweating around the vagina?

Sweating in the area around the vagina is normal, but it can sometimes cause discomfort and irritation. Several factors can increase sweating in the groin area, including exercise, nonbreathable underwear, and too much pubic hair. Learn more here.

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What is melasma?

Melasma causes dark patches to appear on the skin. It is a pigmentation disorder that is more common in women. Learn about the symptoms, risk factors, and treatments here.

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