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How Being a Fit Couple Can Benefit Your Relationship

Fitness can not only give you physical strength but can strengthen your relationship too! In my case it’s my partners job to keep fit and as a dancer fitness has always played a huge part of my life. A mutual interest in fitness has made us stronger and closer as a couple. Here are my top 5 reason how being a fit couple can benefit your relationship

 

 

 

Attraction

The first way fitness benefited my relationship is that I find it attractive in a partner. A person who has an interest in looking after themselves is an attractive trait. We can tell alot from a person who keeps fit, they are disciplined, have drive and care about their health, all other attractive traits I look for in a partner. You dont get fit by being a couch potato! In the early days of our relationship a mutual interest in fitness and wellbeing also gave us some common ground.

 

Healthy Sex Life

Don’t just take my word for it, it’s a scientific fact that working out can increase your sex drive, especially in women. Exercise makes your blood pump around your body quicker, making you more responsive to stimulation. Research shows that exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress, which is probably the biggest sex drive inhibitor. Working out can also boost your confidence and let’s face it, self esteem is a huge help when it’s time to take your clothes off!

 

Healthy Eating

Food and fitness go hand in hand as does being in a relationship and eating. I’m pretty sure our relationship revolves around food ! Half the battle of keeping fit is eating right and I am lucky that my partner feels the same as it means we motivate one another to eat better. If the person you spend the most time with eats good it will influence you into doing the same. We inspire one another for example I am vegan and love to cook, I cook dinner everyday for us which means he eats mostly vegan. My vegan lifestyle has taught him alot about a plant based diet and how it can benefit him as an athlete. My boyfriend lovvvves fruit and so inspires me to eat more (I am usually more of a savoury person). I am also not very good at drinking water, I totally forget but he is forever reminding me. He probably doesn’t know this, but I am grateful he reminds me because I do moan at him sometimes lol.

 

   

Bonding Time

My partner is a professional athlete which means more days out than nights. Don’t  get me wrong we do enjoy a drink now and again but I see it as a plus as it means we put more thought into other things we can do for a date instead of the norm. It’s too easy to say we’ll just go for a drink ! We try to plan our days off, I love going different places to walk our frenchie Cisco.

There is nowhere better to bond than on holidays. Our love for adventure and fitness means that our holiday has to be somewhere we can explore with lots of activities. We went to Bali this year which was incredible, we cycled the whole of Gili T island, climbed giant rocks to a waterfall and went snorkelling with turtles. It made for so many wonderful memories.

  

 

 

Gym Partner

Another major plus is you always have a gym partner. In my opinion your other half is the best gym partner you can get because you feel comfortable around them which means you are free to concentrate on pushing yourself rather than on how sweaty you look. It also gives you motivation as you are more than likely wanting to impress your partner and having them there will make you do that one extra squat. It also gives you a bit of healthy competition and the motivation to push each other. You can learn a lot from your gym partner, swapping ideas and workouts, teaching each other along the way. This is all going to make you a better team and when it comes down to it that’s what you need to be to have a good relationship, a good team !

 

@mylilchickpea x

 

 

Fit Couple Goals Kourtney and Younes

 

Accounts NEUapparel
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5 Ways Working Out Can Improve Your Sex Life

We all are aware that exercise has many physical and mental benefits. Participating in regular exercise improves our energy levels and decreases risks of illnesses. Even though we are constantly reminded of it’s benefits, there are some days when we’d much rather stay under the covers than attend a sweaty spin class. However, working out has other benefits that involve doing just that. Here’s something that your doctor isn’t telling you; exercise can improve your sex life.

                                  (Origin: www.goodtoknow.co.uk)

 

Let’s think about it. Sweating, grunting and aching the morning after, are similar aspects circling exercise and your sex life. In fact, a number of studies have shown that there is a positive correlation (silent cheer) between regular exercise and performance in the bedroom. Have your favourite NEUapparel leggings at the  ready, because the gym is about to get a lot sexier with 5 ways working out can improve your sex life.

                               (Laura Amy wears the Venus Safari Leggings)

Improves Performance

Just like most physical activities, being fit and healthy will enhance your overall performance. Exercising regularly can help improve stamina, strength, balance and physical endurance. It’s also an energy boost, meaning your performance in the bedroom will feel more energetic and ultimately lead to a better sex life.

Makes You Stronger

Working on your strength not only means you are burning more calories, reducing risks of injuries and improving your body composition, but it also allows you to have better posture. Weightlifting is favourable when it comes to improving your sex life, feeling strong in the gym can improve your strength holding different positions. Mark Stibich, behaviour change expert, says, "Sex itself is an intense physical activity requiring strength and endurance. As you exercise, both your strength and endurance will increase, opening the possibility for more varied sexual positions that require greater physical control".  It’s true, strong is the new sexy but over training can have the opposite effect by lowering testosterone levels.

 

              (Origin: https://introvertedalpha.com/meet-women-at-the-gym/)

Helps You Orgasm

Research has found that women who are physically active report greater sexual desire and arousal than women who don’t exercise. Cardiovascular exercise helps pump blood around your body faster, and when you feel excited, blood surges into the clitoral bulbs, making the entire region around the vagina responsive to pleasure. This means those who participate in exercise regularly experience orgasms quickly and intensely.

 

                                    (Origin: www.iolo.co.uk)

Lifts Your Mood

As well as physical interest, exercise has benefits that can improve mental health and well-being. For example, working out can help to de-stress, relax, clear thoughts and boost mood. Physical activity helps bump up the production of your brain's feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Although this action is often referred to as a runner's high, sexual intercourse can contribute to this same feeling. Exercise benefits can ease your stress levels and give you a sense of command over your body and sex life.

 

                                           (Origin: www.freepix.com)

Confidence Boost

Lastly, but most importantly, working out helps to keep you in good shape and those who exercise are more likely to have a better body image towards themselves than those who don’t. Feeling good about yourself plays a massive part in sex. It’s important to be comfortable with your body, in fact Mark says, “Being more comfortable with your body leads to better and more relaxed sex.” Furthermore, exercise releases endorphins that correspond confidence, leading surprising benefits in the bedroom.

 

                                 (Bella Golden in the Itsy Bitsy Kini in Black)

 

Written by Molly Thorne 

Accounts NEUapparel
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Earn Your Stripes High Waist Leggings and Empowerment Black Crossover Bra Review

Walking into the office on Thursday with a Costa coffee in one hand and my Oyster card in the other, I was delighted to find a parcel on my desk. The dusky pink packaging complete with ‘Be Your Own Girl Crush’ emblazoned across it caught my tired eyes immediately, and it’s safe to say they lit up there and then. I was just disappointed I’d have to wait until I was back home to try them on, but it was worth the wait.

When it comes to buying activewear, I’m not the easiest person to impress - finding clothes for the gym that tick all the boxes can be difficult. Picking up something that looks good and feels even better is no mean feat – so I was happy (gym) bunny when I tried my NEUapparel sports bra and leggings for the first time.

It was only when I pulled the ‘Earn Your Stripes’ leggings on that I really realised how comfortable they really were (I ended up spending the rest of the evening wearing them around my apartment because I couldn’t bring myself to take them off, sorry not sorry). However, you’ll be pleased to know that I did wear them to the gym as well. The high-rise waistband works wonders and doesn’t fall when working out, and lettering printed along the back of my calves is high quality and makes for a bold first impression. As for the sports bra – where to start? With four, thick black straps, I was spoiled for choice when it came to how I actually wanted to wear the multiway ‘Empowerment Black Crossover Bra.’ Ahead of my gym session, I arranged them to cross over on my back and opted for an off-the-shoulder top that showed the perfectly placed straps. I’m a size 10 and I ordered a medium - it fits perfectly. It’s not tight enough to leave marks on my skin, but still enough to give me the support I need when running (or at least trying to) on the treadmill. I also love the gold lettering on the front label which makes for pretty detail.

My overall verdict? Both the leggings and the sports bra are comfortable and easy to wear. I feel secure when working out, and I’m not worried about the material being see-through when I’m doing squats or deadlifting (a major bonus). In all honesty, I’m not always the most confident person when it comes to working out in a crowded gym, so wearing pieces that both look and feel good have had a real impact on me and I’m ready to train, regardless of how busy the cardio area is. I think this means I’m earning stripes of my own.

Yasmin Harake

@yasmineleven
Alex Ryan
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Grey Marl Set Review

I knew I loved it just by looking at it on the website to be honest so it was only a matter of confirmation with this set. You know when you get almost business like when buying your fitness wear that you almost 100% KNOW wether they’ll be a hit or miss? Well I’m that girl now and trust me when I say I definitely wasn’t wrong on this one! French postal services were an absolute mess (as per usual) and made my delivery so delayed I couldn’t even bring them with me to Greece which is a damn shame coz you know, the Gram’ needs what it needs and my poorly lit living room doesn’t compare to a Greek island *insert crying emoji*

 

 

 

 

Anyways, here I am, all tanned and with beautifully sun kissed hair (thanks sun! #DontForgetYourSPF50Tho), ripping through the bag to get to my precious (you read that in HIS VOICE didn’t you?!) and falling in love at first touch of the fabric. To say its jersey soft would feel way to bland and not accurate at all, i’d say looking at it you would except a cottony feeling but its so much softer to the touch its almost buttery which is a gift from the gods because nobody is into itchy, non-baby-bum-soft like leggings AMIRITE?!


I’m a UK 8 (I think? Pardon my frenchness I Beg ya) and I’d say the sizing on these ‘Get it Girl’ high waist leggings is a bit smaller than what Im used to but nothing i personally couldn’t work with and honestly it fits so smoothly around the legs and bumbum that I kept it for a while before putting my Pjs on! As for the ‘DOUBLE UP GREY COTTON MESH BRALETTE’ I paired it with, lets just say it how it is : ACTUAL PERFECTION! The fit is just right, the straps adjustable and that peachy mesh colored bit gives this whole look the vavavoom effect we all love without looking like we even tried #TotalWin. Regarding support, I would advise my girls with heavier tatas to go for another piece maybe though.
So here I am, after a night of being shamelessly ogled by my husband (he’s been converted to NEU FOR SURE!) I took it off and placed it right where I could see it so I’d wake up and put it on first thing in the morning for upper body day. And so I did, this morning. I was a bit scared the leggings would be see through while doing my barbell rows but nope, everything stayed under cover and the waist didn’t bulge one bit.

What I can confirm  though is the number of times I gave away Neu’s Instagram handle! (ps : I am NOT paid to say this. I was literally SHOOK.) Would I recommend it? You’ve guessed it by now : HELL YES! And then some! Now all I can say is I can’t wait to get my hands on more and get my fitness gear ready for summer! Sweat spots wise -because I know you’re thinking about it- as the big phat sweaty mess I am, I did see some on the underboob area and a bit behind the legs but you know what? I’ve never ever been bothered by it! I actually feel great pride at sweating like a boss lady working on my gainz and don’t feel the slightest bit of shame at it being visible *dramatic sweaty hair flip*. BUT if unlike me you are concerned about it, then I’d say keep this particular set for LISS days, hikes and the likes. I’d also say it’s actually perfect as the most stylish athleisure look for those rest days where the only action of the day is coffee with a friend! Pair it with the ‘GET IT GIRL OVERSIZED MARL GREY SWEATSHIRT’ and either white or dusty pink sneakers (In my picture I’m wearing Adidas NMD’s with it and its just too good to pass on) and you’ve got yourself a hella gorgeous and effortless monochrome look.


Don't hesitate to @ me on Instagram ( @miss_mands) if you want further details or anything really.

The more the merrier! Xx Mandy.

Alex Ryan
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Girls For Girls


Would you say you’re body confident? I don’t know how many women would.


To be happy with your appearance takes a certain degree of strength. We are bombarded with standards of beauty that many of us don’t fit and that many of us physically can’t fit. I will never look like a Victoria’s Secret model because whilst I can lose weight, losing bone from my hips is slightly more difficult. Similarly, I will never be the tiny, cute one of my friendship group because at five foot five, I’m taller than most of my friends. My tiny, cute friends don’t like being so small though – they want longer legs. None of us are content.

 

It’s hard to be satisfied with yourself when you see things in others that you like more – longer legs, toned arms, a flat stomach. That’s where you need to remember that's someone else’s best feature doesn’t make yours any worse.To be happy with your appearance is to define your worth on your own terms. It takes a lot to stand up and say ‘I am beautiful. I am strong. I am my own girl crush.’

 

 

How empowering would it be to be your own motivation? To aspire to look like your best self, rather than someone that you see on Instagram. It is to take society’s definitions of beauty and to stamp
on them.


Take that empowered sense of self, that confidence that you have found and use it to help others feel the same. Girls for girls. Let’s help each other grow. You never need to unscrew another woman’s lightbulb in order to shine. Feeling that someone else is prettier than you doesn’t mean you have to find something about yourself that is better than them. ‘She’s
pretty but she’s got fat legs.’ We don’t need to hear that and you don’t need to think it either. Female empowerment is about collaboration, not a competition and if there is anything we can learn from Mean Girls, it’s that ‘calling someone fat won’t make you skinny’ and tearing someone down definitely won’t build you up.

 

When payday comes around, we tell ourselves and others to ‘treat yourself’. We’re talking about a night out, a new bag or a new pair of shoes but why don’t we treat ourselves everyday? Treat ourselves more kindly. Tell ourselves how much we are worth. If we were to reward ourselves with positive affirmations and phrases to inspire confidence and empowerment, the world would be full of far happier women. Speak to yourself like you speak to other girls when you’re drunk in the bathroom and I guarantee you will feel a million times more confident.


This is why body confidence is a form of female empowerment – a movement that is on course for world domination and rightly so.
Females all over the world are refusing to be the ‘weaker sex’, physically and mentally. The weights section of the gym is no longer solely male; female CEOs are on the rise and we are slowly but surely refusing to be confined by masculine definitions of beauty.


Historically, women have been subjected, objectified and commodified by men. We have been taught to aspire to marriage but little more, to work on our appearance so that it satisfies men, to train our minds to say the right thing, to refine ourselves practically into submission.


Our worth has been defined by our relationship status, our appearance, our ability to cook, sew and clean. It’s a NEU time now. Now is the time to be empowered and to be your own girl crush. It’s time to know your worth and then add tax. It’s not all about getting a man. We’ve got bigger things to deal with.


Girls, it’s time to be strong. It’s time to be fierce. It’s time to be unashamedly you.

Written by Kirsty Spencer 

Alex Ryan
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Power Through

It has been about four years since I embarked on a journey to take care of my body. Unfortunately, the learning process, as it is with everything, is slow. It is a shame that even though I’ve been in this journey for a long time it was recently when I actually considered myself on track. I was, finally, looking for results not just an easy way into what I wanted. I set out the goals I wanted to achieve; results that would not only help me reach these goals but maintain me in a healthy mindset and would stick with me as a lifestyle.

When I first started laying out what I wanted and how I wanted to pursue new challenges for me to achieve it, I had heard a lot about cycling classes, so I thought I’d give them a try. My first 55 minute HIIT class was a heavy, hard-on challenge that I thought I wouldn’t be able to overcome even past the first 20 minutes. I could’ve easily walked out but, I’m very proud to say that I powered through. Just like all those 27 people in that class with me. I was very inspired by the instructor, she kept making us do our maximum effort, telling us that we don’t give ourselves the recognition we should because we are truly more powerful than we think we are. Also, I was inspired by all the people around me who kept going, and in those intervals it didn’t really matter what everyone was fighting for, but that we were doing it, we were powering through.

And that was the moment when I understood what empowerment should be and what it felt like for me. It was understanding that it is not easy, so you must gather all the power within yourself so you can get through.

I started understanding the real meaning of women empowerment, being among these amazing people. Most of them were girls and a one or two guys. The uplifting of our gender doesn't need to be considered a discrimination to any other gender, it should be something done with respect for everyone and knowledge of women’s rights and social history. This is something that needs to be heard and promoted, it should be implanted like a small seed in everyone’s brain. Our differences - in our genders - should be acknowledged and celebrated because we can do what we set our minds to, it shouldn’t limit ourselves. And learning this, made me happy. I could finally say that within everything that I was doing to reach my goals I was - and am - truly happy.

Throughout this workouts, I began to comprehend that I shouldn’t be doing things for other people, that I cannot keep comparing myself because I am in my own journey. That the most important things need to be done when nobody else is watching, because that is what you should focus on, building rapport for yourself, understanding your body and guiding it towards the results you are looking for. Not believing that you can probably do it, but that you can. I am strong and you are too, we are in a constant uplifting battle where we can get to the top, only if we power through.

Sofia Bonsor
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Interview with Dominique Meyers

Over the course of 2017 into 2018 I have been able to interview a variety of different women for my blog, Word of Mouth. All of my interviewees have been women, this was not something I did on purpose nor did I plan the content to be that way, it just happened. Want to know why? It is because when I was coming up with ideas for interesting content I found that my biggest inspirers are female.


I have found such strength and confidence in women across the United States from a variety of different content areas; from fitness, to health and wellness, to photography, and travel. Recently I was able to interview a woman who is a fitness coach and bikini competitor in San Diego, California. Her name is Dominique Meyers! Her & her husband have a fitness program that people enroll in to get their personalized coaching for training as well as eating.

 


I was lucky to get some great tips and even dive into some of her motivation for staying confident throughout her training process.



Check it out:


Q: What made you decide to commit to your fitness lifestyle? 


A: After college I was in a really low place with my health. I felt defeated and it had got to the point where enough was enough and I knew I had to make a change. Before that point I had tried a number of different diet and "quick fixes" and nothing was working. Once I accepted that it would take time and work, I made the decision to make a lifestyle change that would be sustainable and in a healthy way. 

Q: Have you personally struggled with the progress of your physique?


A: YES!!! This is something that I struggle with every single day. Whether it was when I was at the lowest point with my health or when I was at my "fittest", I thought I should be better and I just wasn't ever good enough. 

Q: How did you overcome that?


A: Honestly it's something I'm still challenged with, it's an ongoing process and journey that I'm learning to love. There was a book I read that really helped me out called "You Are a Badass" by Jen Sincero that helped fill my mind with thoughts and ideas that would empower me. Also, sharing my journey and doing my best to inspire others through my social media posts each day reminds me of those very principles and helps me.

 

Q: When do you feel your best?


A: When I'm able to find the balance between working out & eating healthy while still enjoying life and eating yummy foods. 

I love that her confidence stems from balance in her life! It isn’t a number on the scale or an outfit that looked good! I have struggled with feeling my best while also finding balance but I think she is totally right and once you find it, it’s important that you stick with it!



Q: What advice would you give to people (women in particular) struggling with their overall health?


A: Stop looking for quick fixes and shortcuts. It's not easy and isn't supposed to be. It's going to take work but it's worth it. Remember that you don't have to give up all fun and good fun to enjoy a healthy lifestyle; you can have both when you embrace the 80/20 Rule. Everyone has a starting point and it's important to NEVER compare yourself to others because this is your journey and no one else's. 


Q: How important is confidence and mental health when it comes to your training?


A: 100 percent for both my training and coaching. It all starts with mindset and having the right attitude. You can have the best plan to follow or Coach to look up to, but if you aren't ready, willing, and committed to it then you won't follow through. 

 

 



Q: Do you think everyone is capable of building a body they’re confident in?


A: Absolutely. Before I started my journey, I never thought that was possible until my mindset about it all changed. What has helped me out is realizing that there's no "one-size-fits-all" when it comes to your health. Being healthy and confident means something different for every single person so figure out what that is for you and then work on building the habits that will lead you to that goal. 



I have been really inspired this past month from people I have met & interviewed to recently celebrating International Women’s Day. I feel so lucky to have found & followed some amazing women through social media! Especially with Dom! Her captions & daily Instagram stories get people excited about health and wellness; As well as overall confidence - especially for women. When I was brainstorming new people to interview she immediately came to mind and honestly I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner! I loved the answers she provided because I know people struggle with their fitness journey all the time! I myself have been working on building sustainable habits, which is why I'm so glad she mentioned that (maybe i'm doing something right! hehe). It also helped me to see that she has struggled with her physique & not everyone is perfect! It makes you feel like you're not alone. When you see so many fitness influencers it looks like they have it together every single second; that isn't always the case. It’s important to gain a real and healthy perspective for what goes into overall health and wellness. It all starts with a positive mindset and fearless attitude.


                                  After that, the sky is the limit – especially for us women.






Alex Ryan
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Your Mid-Month Motivator

With January resolutions well and truly behind us and summer getaways just around the corner, now is as good a time as ever to grab some mid-month motivation! 
March has plenty of reasons to keep you focused on your goals; if you're from the north the weather thawing and spring is finally on its way to give us a helping hand out of hibernation! Longer days are on their way people and I personally cannot wait to see a little more sunlight on my skin!
March and actually the whole of 2018 plays host to international women's day and year! It's time to celebrate being a woman and all that it stands for, we have come so far and have stood together through it all to become strong an independent! 2018 marks 100 years of women being able to vote after many struggling decades and we have kept fighting for what we are today. 
With January resolutions well and truly behind us and summer getaways just around the corner, now is as good a time as ever to grab some mid-month motivation! 
March has plenty of reasons to keep you focused on your goals; if you're from the north the weather thawing and spring is finally on its way to give us a helping hand out of hibernation! Longer days are on their way people and I personally cannot wait to see a little more sunlight on my skin!
March and actually the whole of 2018 plays host to international women's day and year! It's time to celebrate being a woman and all that it stands for, we have come so far and have stood together through it all to become strong an independent! 2018 marks 100 years of women being able to vote after many struggling decades and we have kept fighting for what we are today. 
(Image - author's own)
Now in the 21st century, we have access to so many inspiring women at the tap of a keyboard, or the scroll of a screen, our social media will have you spoilt for choice picking some mid-month motivation. whether you're looking for a bit of positivity boost with some mental mantras or some strong AF ladies to push you into that extra gym sesh here are some of my mid-month motivator must follows! #allthegrlpwr
@krissycela
if you're looking for some amazing tips for the gym,  Krissy has step by step guides and amazing youtube vids! perfect watch for a little LISS cardio on the stepper!
@femalecollective
all you need to remind yourself why being a woman is great, nuff said...
@chessiekingg 
Bringing real life to your insta screens, this instafitchick preaches body positivity and shows you the truth behind those perfect angel pics.
@najwazebian 
Author, Poet, Speaker, Teacher bringing you daily doses of amazing words of wisdom.
I love following girls that keep me pushing towards my goals, but more importantly, girls that keep it real, that are true role models, especially when it comes to body confidence and how we treat each other! sometimes following the instagirl with the perfect bod or the perfect life can have quite a negative effect on our mental well-being or self-esteem so I recommend you find people that are true to themselves as well as you!
One woman, I've been following for quite a while now I believe is one of these rare gems! fitness lover and NEU apparel team member @Sophieaustin93 has the ultimate bod goals but isn't afraid to share with you when things aren't all happy lean and pretty! From workout ideas to regular true body progress updates, I caught up with this lovely lady to find out a few of her secrets on keeping body positive through the tough times and what keeps her on track!!
(Image - author's own)
It's just been international women day, what do you love about your female followers?
I love how my followers support me and push me even further towards my goals because I know that I’m motivating them I feel it’s down to me to provide the motive for them to go and smash their goals daily!
Is there anyone particular who inspires you?
I absolutely love @LaurenSimpson she has such an incredible physique another favourite is @LinnLowes, her whole story and what she has overcome is just phenomenal, a total inspiration to so many she is the true meaning of a strong woman! And it goes without saying @TAMMYHEMBROW is just THE QUEEN!
Literally everything goals.
How do you keep a body positive outlook on harder days?
Some days will always be harder than others and I always remind myself “it’s a bad day, not a bad life” for the one day I’m feeling crappy I have 100 others that are amazing! I also look back at how far I’ve come if I ever need the motivation to get back up and get on it! 
What keeps you motivated and keeps your training interesting?
I am forever changing up my routine, I love incorporating new exercises in each workout especially when I see something a bit rare on insta I’m like YAS LETS DO IT! 
What are your workout clothing must haves?
My workout must-haves are always sports bras (as I’ve worked hard for my abs you gotta show um off) and a beaut high waisted pair of legging they contour the body so much!
Whats your fav clean meal to keep you on track?
My go-to meal is always an omelette when I’m cutting there’s nothing I love more than a chicken spinach and tomato omelette YUM! 
When did you start getting into fitness?
I’ve always been into fitness but it was last year shizzz got serious and I started a proper training plan and diet!
What advice would you give to ladies just starting out?
To Everyone starting out I’d say the most important thing is to trust the process and fall in love with it and results will come, you have to enjoy what you're doing. Xx
I hope that the rest of March is filled with positivity and motivation to smash your goals! Here are 5 things you can do to empower yourself and other women this month.
1. Be of help - helping others not only makes you feel good but also creates a domino effect, spread that stuff like glitter!
2. Genuine compliments - we don't realise how little we do it, or how much it could brighten someone's day.
3. Look after yourself - how much better do you feel after a workout? exercise can reduce stress and even boost your energy levels!
4. Repeat affirmations - got a goal? make that mantra something you remind yourself daily! Affirm that you can, repeatedly, until it sticks. a good little trick - change your password to one! "IAMGR8ATTHIS"
5. Smile - Because the smallest gesture can change your day and others!
Written by Stacey  Wildman 
Alex Ryan
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Inspired by CoCo

You’ve seen her on Instagram and even on YouTube! The lovely Janelle Mughannam, who goes by Coco Janelle on social media, has given me amazing tips on how to achieve greatness in the realm of health and fitness!

Photo origin - @cocojanelle_



Now one might think that that in order to achieve the body of your dreams one must just work out… but that’s where you are wrong my friend! Coco says that in order to achieve your fitness goals, one must first change their mindset!!


Coco advices that women should stop having an idealized perception of what they think they should look like, but first appreciate what they have, stop comparing themselves to other women, and really for a positive relationship with their body image. She enforces to really mentally preparing yourself for the journey of health that is going to be embarked because in order to strengthen your body, you MUST strengthen your mind.

Coco also elaborates the importance of consistency! It took her about 2-3 years to see results she was truly happy with! Now I know what you’re thinking, “THAT A LONG TIME!” However, think of it this way, those 2/3 years passed, and Coco could have not worked out and stuck to her regimen and be disappointed in her lack of result BUT… stuck with her healthy lifestyle and is extremely happy with her results! In fact, her favorite quote is “A year from now you will wish you started today.”  Nevertheless, it wasn’t easy! Which leads into her next tip: NEVER GIVE UP!

Photo origin- @cocojanelle_

Coco comes from a family that prides themselves on leading a very healthy lifestyle. So when she went off to her first year of college and then came back 20 pounds heavier, it was a shock to her mother. Coco said that eating carelessly and drinking alcohol led her to gain the 20 pounds. Nevertheless, as soon as she got back home, with the support of her family, she started leading a healthy lifestyle. It was not easy though. There were days she did not feel like working out. There were moments where she would have rather stayed in bed. BUT …she knew that giving in and giving up was not the answer. Now 2-3 years later she is more than happy with her body!


Now for Coco its more than looking good, it is about feeling good as well. In a society that focuses so much on looks, Coco is making it her mission to empower women to love themselves as they are, while trying to become their best selves.  I like to say she’s kind of like the new age Oprah for health and fitness!

Written by Maryam Ramadhan
Alex Ryan
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Coregasm – Is it a myth?

Feeling hot, sweaty and sore the next day - sound familiar? No, I’m not talking about the racy night with the cute guy behind the bar. Working out and having sex have a lot in common. Without the climax though right? Well, there’s a way you can make your gym sessions more pleasurable, queue the coregasm.
Orgasming whilst working out? Hell yes! The coregasm is real and there’s lots of women experiencing it. Exercise-induced-orgasm (EIO) or exercise-induced sexual pleasure (EISP) activities can occur during many activities such as rope climbing, yoga, weight lifting and cycling.
 
(photo origin - longevity-media.co.uk)
However, may women have reported it taking place more so when enduring leg pullups on an exercise equipment called ‘The Captain’s Chair.’ This is a vertical, seat less chair that allows you to engage your abdominal muscles whilst bringing your legs to your chest. According to the American Council on Exercise, ‘The Captain’s Chair’ crunch is one of the most effective ab exercises for stimulating the rectus abdominis and obliques.
Although experts are still yet to find a definite explanation for the coregasm, another reason why women experience this sexual sensation is by having strong pelvic floor muscles. Let’s get those leg raises going! The pelvis helps stimulate the contraction of an orgasm, if you have a strong pelvic floor muscle this will improve not only your abdominal muscles but your chance of having a coregasm. See, it’s not just pain and gain at the gym.
If you've tried various techniques but still yet to experiencing an orgasm during exercise, perhaps try engaging your lower muscles more during your workout. Hanging leg raises are a perfect way to improve your lower abdominal muscles, as well as pull ups and chin ups, as you are captivating your pelvic muscles to help bring your body up towards the bar.  
 (photo origin - prima.co.uk)
Don’t forget to always challenge yourself. Not only will you work up a sweat during a killer workout but you are likely to discover different sensations that your body releases under pressure. Just like during sex, relaxing your mind whilst working out will help you to focus and fully immerse in the experience.
Perhaps you have killer lower abdominal muscles but you are yet to experience the magical sensation of the coregasm. Just like most exercises, diets and even sexual preferences, what works for one person might not work for another. Don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t feeling the coregasm, there are still plenty of amazing benefits to working your abs. Having a strong abdominal muscles can improve your posture, flexibility and stamina and we all know these will definitely be handy in the bedroom.
 
Written by Molly Horne
Alex Ryan
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Welcome to the Yard: Meet the Ex Offenders Trading Cells for Circuits

When it comes to working out, we could all use a little encouragement from time to time – especially if you’ve fallen off the bike, so to speak. Maybe you over-indulged at the office birthday party yesterday, or got a little excited at Happy Hour last weekend – either way, exercise is no longer at the top of your to-do list. It’s currently sitting somewhere between doing laundry and cleaning the kitchen. Well, it’s time to change that - the exercise part, anyway. Your kitchen can wait.
Welcome to The Hard Yard - a fitness community making a name for itself across the UK capital. With a varied schedule that offers power, shock and strength workouts, there’s quite literally a class for everyone, regardless of ability. The main reason The Hard Yard is making headlines across London? The trainers. Ex inmates who have served their time in prison, the trainers are determined, hard-working individuals looking to make a change. After an intense 45-minute workout, I caught up with Frankie Bennett, CEO and founder of The Hard Yard to find out more about the start-up, and what inspired her to make her idea a reality.
There are many talented people leaving prison who aren't getting the opportunities they need to develop the next stage of their lives and careers,” Frankie explained. People who have served time are undoubtedly discriminated against as soon as it becomes apparent they committed an offence, and potential employers are quick to discard their CVs in favour of one with a three-year sentence in university, not prison. I asked Frankie about the message behind The Hard Yard. “The Hard Yard stands for opportunity, inclusivity and continuous self improvement,” Frankie began. “We're founded on the principle of withholding judgment, and we carry this into our workouts too. Whether you're an athlete or a total newcomer, everyone should feel at home with The Hard Yard - and empowered to make change in their lives.”
I scribbled down some notes while reaching for my almost-empty bottle of water – it was my first time back having been away with work for a few weeks, and I was feeling the effects of the jump squats already. Anyway, back to the questions. I’d tried my hand at a fair share of classes before trying The Hard Yard, and even though I felt I already knew the answer to this one, I asked her anyway. How is The Hard Yard different to other fitness classes? “Our trainers will tell you it's not about how you look, what you wear or capturing the perfect gym selfie - it's bigger than that. It's about using fitness as a tool to better yourself, to manage stress and to challenge your assumptions about what you're capable of,” she concluded.
I’ll be honest. I enjoy working out – I hit the gym at least four times a week and have been known to try more unusual forms of exercise (aerial hoop was one of my favourites). However, I do find myself feeling intimidated when walking out of the changing rooms and into the weights area. What’s that Instagram post I’ve screenshot on more than one occasion? “Works out but also likes doughnuts.” That pretty much sums me up – but back to my point. The gym can be nerve-wracking, so I decided to quiz Frankie about this. “The gym can be scary if you feel you don’t belong,” she said, nodding in agreement. “At The Hard Yard, there's a friendly atmosphere that our clients often describe as being like a family,” she added. That means it’s ideal for people who are new to the fitness scene, right?
“Absolutely,” she answered. “As someone who was never picked for the sports team at school, I didn't want to build something that only people who were already 'into fitness' could enjoy. You'll never hear a trainer tell you ‘5 of this.' It's always ‘You've got 30 seconds - give it your all, whatever that is for you.’ That way, people of all abilities can train together and motivate each other,” she explained.
After my chat with Frankie, I stole five minutes of the trainers’ time to get their thoughts on The Hard Yard. First up – Shab. A friendly face with a personality to match, it’s impossible not to like him. I started by probing him about The Hard Yard atmosphere, and what it is that clients most enjoy about the exercises – aside from the obvious health benefits. “The environment,” he states. “There's no pressure, there's no judgment - it's laid back but good, hard workouts,” he concluded. Going back to what I discussed with Frankie in regards to gym culture, I asked him what people might notice about The Hard Yard. “It's different,” he began. “The gym is often about image. When you come to The Hard Yard, you leave all of that at the door and it's just you and the workout,” he explained.
Lou is the team’s latest addition and only female trainer - I was fortunate enough to sit down with her for a few moments before she kicked off her 45-minute drill. I got started by asking her about how The Hard Yard has affected her personally since she joined the team, or clan as they prefer to call it. “The Hard Yard has been a massive help for me both physically and mentally,” she revealed. “It has had a positive impact on my life, and as well as giving me hope, it has given me something to work for and look forward to each week,” she said with a grin. I asked her about her workouts in particular, and what she hopes her clients take away from them. “I want clients to leave each session feeling empowered,” she responded, with almost no hesitation. “I want them to be able to go home or into a fitness environment feeling confident and knowledgeable,” she added.
We’re on board. Are you?
Written by Yasmin Harake
Sofia Bonsor
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The Ultimate Fitspo: Sanna-Maria Seilamo

Okay I have to admit; I was fangirling SO hard over this reply from fitness influencer Sanna-Maria Seilamo (@mssannamaria on IG). Not only is she a player on Team NEUapparel, she is actually #goals. Her Insta gives me all the inspiration I need to squat, she looks good in everything and is the kindest soul I have encountered online! She took time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions on fitness, empowerment, and also a fun one about NEUapparel!
Q: What/who was your biggest influencer in starting to workout? What pushed you the most to keep going?
A: When I first started working out was before Instagram, so I used to watch these "Female Fitness motivation" videos from Youtube where I saw these gorgeous women with their incredible bodies. This really gave me the push to workout harder and chase the gains :D Later when Instagram got bigger my first two fitness idols were Michelle Lewin and Yarishna Ayala.
What pushed me to keep going was seeing results and the feeling that working out gave me. I´ve been very athletic since I was little so for me sports come very naturally and are a very big part of my well being.
Q: You empower women every day with your accurate information and kindness. What does female empowerment and body confidence mean to you?
A: Hearing this makes me so happy. Helping and empowering other women is such an honor and I could not be happier when I hear that my page has helped someone. For me female empowerment and body confidence means lifting and helping other women to gain the confidence be exactly who they are. Women face so much criticism and negativity, no matter what they look like. So it’s amazing to see how women from all over the world empower other women on social media with their kind comments and presence. When I hear that I motivate somebody it truly makes my day.
Q: If your followers/readers could take anything away from your page as a whole, what would you want it to be?
A: Not to stress too much on the little things when its comes to fitness, nutrition or staying in shape. Fitness is supposed to be fun and you really have to enjoy what you´re doing. The easiest and most effective way to get in shape is eating healthy (but not counting calories or worrying about every little snack) and exercising (does not need to be lifting if that not your thing). Just do what makes you happy and make the best out of it ;)
Q: What is your favorite way to boost other women's confidence in themselves?
A: It's most definitely being kind :) Women go through so much already that they should not have to feel unconfident, or that they would need to compete with other women on social media. Sending nice comments, messages and embracing them exactly how they are. I absolutely love it when women build each other up.
Q: And, just for fun, if you were to buy any item from NEUapparel, what would it be?
A: Ahh this is super hard since I honestly love all their sets! However if I´d have to choose it would probably be the Candy Goddess set or the new Luxe range
I think we can all agree that we fell in love with her just a little bit more from her answers (the Luxe range is my obsession at the moment as well)! In an age where genuine kindness can be hard to find, Sanna-Maria is one of those people who never fails to be uplifting and kind to everyone! Talk about GRL PWR!
Written by Kayla Norris 
Sofia Bonsor
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