Taking Up Photography to Improve Fitness

Manchester and Lancashire have many areas that are very photogenic, and some of these places are only possible to reach with a good amount of walking – an often overlooked but amazing exercise with one of the most health benefits compared to other forms of exercise. One of the easiest ways to getting fitter and doing more exercise is to take up a hobby that includes some form of exercise, especially if you don’t have to think about it. Photography is one such hobby. Below is a curated selection of cameras to help you get out there and start taking pics and getting fit!

Upgrade your mobile

But not with your network (if possible). It usually works out cheaper in the long run to buy mobiles out-right and the get a sim only plan. One of the best phone makers on tha merket today is Nokia, providing excellent camera phones at good prices. My pick is the Nokia 7.2 (click the image to buy)

Upgrade FROM your mobile

It is well worth investing in a true camera, and one of the best and easiest to use is the Olympus OM-D Mark 4. You WILL notice the difference in your images, plus you have the option of many different lenses that will give you different abilities. Cameras on phones are still no match for Oly’s (click the image to buy)

The Best Games Console for Fitness

Local Croronavirus Spikes mean there is the reuglar possibility of local lockdown’s in Manchester, Bolton and other areas around the North West. This can make maintaining fitness or starting fitness a little more difficult. While local lockdowns in Manchester usually mean you cannot visit other peoples houses and certain public spaces like gyms, you can usually still go to parks and other open spaces.

As winter is coming and that usally means lots of rain in Manchester one of the better ways of keeping fit (aside from a personal trainer :)) is to use technology, and video games are proving immensley popular.

The clear winner is the Nintendo Switch with the Ring Fit Adventure, I have it myself and can confirm it is super. It is such a great way to get into exercise and maintain fitness levels.

click the image to buy
Click the image to buy

But the Switch has other great fitness related titles as well. Here is a quick look at some of my faves:

Fitness Boxing

Click the image to buy

Just Dance

Click the image to buy

Zumba

Click the image to buy

3 Top Places to Walk or Go Running In / Near Manchester

The beauty of living in Lancashire is the abundance of places to go walking or running which just happen to be the best ways for starting and maintaining good fitness. Going for a walk or run is a great way to start losing weight and just improving overall physical and mental health. Below I will reveal my top 3 places for walking or running, including Lanacshires very own secret Japanese Garden and the Norths only Wetland. All images taken on the Nokia 9 Pureview Smartphone which you can buy here.

Clifton Country Park

Clifton Country park may not seem like much at first, but start walking left as you reach the lake and soon you will come up on the small and secret ‘Manchester Beach’ . The trek around the entire lake represents a decent walk and a good run. Be sure to do as many ‘laps’ as possible and for anyone interested in building muscle, try completing walking lunches all the way around.

Rivington Terrace Gardens

Type Rvinington Terrace gardens into google maps and make sure you arrive at entrance C. This will give you the chance to climb up to the terrace gardens – this will not only reward you with a very good exercise, but also some fantastic views. Be warned it is very steep and a long trek, but the rewards are great. Try not to miss anything out when you reach the Gardens, and make the most of all the stairs!

Kersal Wetlands

Park by the casino and you can go straight into the wetlands, or go further and go through Kersal Dale for a more adventurous trek through some pleasant surroundings. Kersal Wetlands are perfect for walking, running and biking. Again try to complete as many laps around the wetlands as possible, and for strength training make sure to include walking lunges.

Trips out to these places and more included in all regular personal training plans

Time to Get Going; The Best Running & Walking Accesories

Walking and running are great exercises that you can start doing with little set up cost, without a gym or a personal trainer. You also get to discover some of the UKs most amazing spaces. Take a good camera with you and you can even combine 2 new hobbies in one! A great camera is th Olympus E-M10 IV

HUAWEI Band 4 Smart Band

Perfect for counting steps and tracking kcals burnt, and for around £20 it is a fraction of the cost of many smartwatches, while still doing everything you need to track and push yourself to your goals. It also supports SpO2 which keeps track of oxygen in the blood.

Ascics Trainers

It is vital to have comfortable well made shoes for running and walking. Too many times I have had a client tell me they don’t like this kind of exercise because they have pains afterwards in different areas of their body. Most of the time this was the cause of inproper shoes and not the exercise itself. Ascics are roughly the best brand I have experienced and many of my clients recommend the most.

Hydration Belt

Staying hydrated is most important, especially in hot weather. Choosing a good belt that lets you keep some water with you is a good idea. It’s also a good choice to have some form of glucose to help rebalance some your energy levels and replace the glucose that you will lose. This can be in the form of a few sweets like gummy bears, or you can choose those pouches of energy.

The Best Action Cameras To Buy

One of the easiest and most enjoyable forms of fitness to get into is action sport or adventures. This can be as simple as going for a run in different places, as opposed to always running in the local park or by the main road where you live. Of course the more adventurous you make it the better. So I have curated the best action cams to buy right now so you can get started in your favourite sport and show off your adventures

Go Pro Max

Great for VR and almost like having 2 GoPros in one. It acts as a regular GoPro to film your action plus you can also use it to film in VR so that you never miss a thing. Great for more adventure type activities and for group activities. You may even film your group or family workouts!

Go Pro Hero 8/7

The main GoPro to buy for most people, and more suited to activities like cycling, windsurfing, climbing & running etc. Sign up to GoPro plus and get all your videos stored in the cloud and money off all of their accessories.

Insta360

A popular brand of action cam, which has the benfit of having some very cool features. One being a modular design so you can customise to your needs. It can get expensive, which you might want to consider. Action cams should have a balance on price due to their main use scenario. If one breaks or gets lost you don’t want to be buying another very expensive camera.

Osmo Action

A great option if you want to monologue like a villain, or want the attention focused on you during your action sports, due to the nifty screen on the front. Like the GoPro it strikes a good balance for price that all good action cameras find.

Action cameras can be a great way to really invest in a new sport or adventure activity. And these in turn are a great addition to any health and fitness routine. You can even use the above cameras to film your team sports or family exercise. You can even have a great time filming your workouts at home and then creating a cool youtube timelapse video of your tansformation.

Best Streaming Devices for Health & Fitness

Chromecast

Best for Less Cluter & Ease of Use

The more ‘TV’ devices you have the more remotes build up and then theres also another box sitting by your tv, more wires going in and around the TV. It can start to look messy and its hard to organise. This is one of the reasons why Chromecast is the first on this list, plug it in your TV and its your phone that is the streaming device. Download your compatible fitness apps and cast them to the TV.

Roku

Best for Apps

This one has pretty much every app you can dream of. There is even a dog calming channel. So this is a great choice if you are interested in subscribing to a diverse range of fitness channels so that you always have something fresh and new to try.

Nvidia Shield

Best For Power

Fast, Really Fast: The latest advanced NVIDIA Tegra X1+ processor makes SHIELD the fastest and most powerful device here. Dolby Vision·Atmos: The fusion of Dolby Vision HDR picture and Dolby Atmos sound transforms your TV into an entertainment powerhouse. AI Upscaling: Upscale HD video to 4K using the power of AI. Crisper, clearer video enhanced to 4K resolution in real-time. 4K HDR: The most 4K HDR entertainment. All your favourite shows in the highest possible quality.

Fire TV

Best For Prime Members

The only real reason to get Fire is if you have a prime membership or are interested in getting one. The device is good and is well supported. You can buy many fitness shows as with the other devices in this collection.

Apple TV

Best For Apple Users

If you are already invested in Apples devices then this is probably the best choice for you. As with Amazons fire TV there is an ample selection of fitness shows that you can buy and with Apple you can always rely on it being a good quality device.

Top 4 fitness equipment for small spaces

As Manchester and other regions enter Tier 3 Lockdowns, meaning tighter restrictions it is important to keep up general health and fitness. With many gyms closing and personal trainers unable to see their clients, below are some of the best options for keeping fit at home, special consideration has been made for space saving design for those living in smaller spaces or don’t have much room to set up ‘mini gyms’.

4 SAVADECK DECK6.0 Carbon Mountain Bike

Most people will be able to find a space for a bike, especially with the many different ways of storing them on walls and even the ceiling. Investing in a good bike will brike many obvious health benefits, but will also help your general wellbeing, encouriging you to be outside more often. While you can use your bike in towns & cities (maybe even getting a courier gig job for extra money) The best use for bikes are the many trails, parks and woodland areas.

3 Bluefin Fitness BLADE Home Gym Foldable Rowing Machine

Rowing is a staple for many exercise plans, its low impact so it can be safe for people with joint problems etc and it is a total body workout that is also high intensity, meaning you can use as a calorie burner and muscle developer. For features and storage this is a best buy.

2 Bluefin Fitness TASK 2.0 2-in-1 Folding Under Desk Treadmill

Nothing beats a good run and even Walking is perhaps one of the most underrated exercises. It is one of the easiest exercises to keep up requireing little motivation, but it has also been proven through the ages as the best way to dispell what are known today as mental health problems. It may not always be possible to get out so this makes it to our best buy list, as its has a great space saving design.

1 4D Triple Motor Vibration Plate

Pilates, Strength Training, Core and Weight Loss exercises can all be done on this cool looking vibration plate. What’s more is that the vibrations make your muscles work harder, it combats cellulite build-up for ideal tone & shape and can decrease the time it takes to reach your goals. It can be stored pretty much anywhere and with its versatility and design is the number one pick of this list.

The Best Smartwatches for Fitness

While in their infancy they were just extra things you had to put on charge at night, smartwatches have now become one of the biggest boons in lifestyle technology, especially for those interested in smartwatches for their health and fitness. I have had a good look at all the smartwatches on the market today and have curated the best for fitness.

Withings Steel HR Sport

Best Overall

Unmatched battery life, and full compatibility to both IOS and Android as well as good smart features means this is the best smartwatch for fitness available right now.

  • Day and OVERNIGHT Heart Rate – Enjoy heart rate tracking day and night plus continuous tracking during workouts
  • DAILY ACTIVITY TRACKING – Automatically counts steps, calories and distance
  • AUTOMATIC SLEEP MONITORING – Wake to a sleep score based on light and deep sleep cycles, interruptions, depth and regularity
  • MULTISPORT TRACKING -Delivers Fitness Level via VO2 max estimation | Tracks 30+ sports and maps your session with distance, elevationand pace via connected GPS
  • RECORD Battery Life – Spend more time moving and less time charging with a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 25 Days
  • SMART NOTIFICATIONS – Customize call, text, event and app notifications from your smartphone right on the watch screen
  • WATER RESISTANT TO 50M – Steel HR Sport is a life-friendly hybrid smartwatch that can accompany you to the pool or hit the showers

Apple Watch Series 5

This is the one I have and if you are a fellow iPhone user you will have to give this some consideration. The synergy between the iPhone and Watch is fantastic and it has some very usefull features. I love the decibel monitor, walkie-talkie and call features. Once a skeptic about the Apple watch I am now a full convert!

Best for iPhone Users

  • GPS
  • Always-On Retina display
  • 30% larger screen
  • Swimproof
  • ECG app
  • Electrical and optical heart sensors
  • Built-in compass
  • Elevation
  • Emergency SOS
  • Fall Detection

Casio Pro Trek Smart WSD-F30

Best For Action Seekers

One for my to-buy list as I am a little adventure seeker! I wouldn’t dream of taking my Apple Watch to anywhere where it could get scratched etc this is one watch I would take on my trips and while filming my action videos on my gopros.

  • A smartwatch for men and women powered with Wear OS by Google is compataible with iOS of Apple iPhone and Android phones.
  • 50M Waterproof for surfing and swimming while maintaining military grade toughness (MIL-STD-810G)
  • Switching between a monochrome LCD or a high-contrast OLED display, to achieve high efficiency of battery consumption. There are 3 selectable battery modes. Adjust power consumption according to how you use. On Normal use battery life is about 1.5 days. On Extend mode battery life is about 3 days for outdoor activities. On Multi time piece mode battery life is about 1 month with sensor data and time for your further long outdoor and sports activity.
  • A full color map with GPS is available on your wrist and can be used either online or offline. Once the maps are downloaded into a watch you can view the maps without a smartphone. You can export your activity log data to Google Drive via activity app. Using Viewranger app, it enables you to import a route data into a watch for trekking, trail run cycling as route navigation.
  • Any Apps and watch faces available in Google Playstore are all installable into a watch. There are 10 Casio PRO TREK Smart App partners such as Viweranger, Fishbrain, Skitracks and they are all fully optimized for the CASIO PRO TREK Smart.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active

Best for those on a budget

If your counting pennies, this seems like a viable option. Working with both iPhone and Android and with all the essential features needed to boost your fitness and adapt nicely to your lifestyle.

A smart essential – thin, lightweight and tough, the stylish Galaxy Active watch fits in with your lifestyle Case Material: Aluminium, Samsung’s new smartwatch comes in a range of colours and interchangeable straps The dynamic Galaxy Watch Active will make every move count by tracking and automatically storing every walk, run and cycle, recognising when you’re working out Real-time guidance to reach wellness goals: Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Active can track your sleep, gives you breathing exercises to help reduce stress and creates healthy habits that last A powerful accessory that pushes you forward: the Galaxy Active lets you connect to your devices, to receive messages and notifications on your watch, control your music and enjoy the freedom of a wireless workout

Top Home Gadgets for Health

Using technology correctly is a great way to improve our fitness and health. And if you are making the investment of having personal training you may want to include some of these top home gadgets as well.

Withings Ecosystem

This one is more of an ecosystem of products, and there are few more comprehensive than Withings. Managable with just one app thise suite of gadgets can cover almost every area of your health needs. Pair them with one of the best smartwatches to buy for fitness.

Withings/ Nokia BPM Blood Pressure-monitor

Withings Body Cardio

Withings Sleep Analyzer

Withings Thermo

Airy pot

Innovative plant pot as a highly effective air purifier – Natural air purification with houseplants without electricity and chemicals

NASA proved that plants filter pollutants through the roots – but only if they’re exposed to the air! Plants that grow in an AIRY can absorb pollutants up to 8 times as much as in conventional plant pots. According to the latest studies, our homes can be as polluted as outside city air, so having some form of air filtration will benefit everyone, especially asthma sufferers and children.

Best Buys for Drinking Water and Staying Hydrated

The best fluid to drink is water, forget all those well marketed sports drinks which are at bottom sugar, salt and water solutions. Water is the one true hyrdrator and restorer. The following are some of the best items I have seen to help you drink more water and stay hyrated during the day and during exercise. These options also reduce 15kg of plastic waste per houshold per year!

Black & Blum Charcoal filter water bottle

The Black+Blum Active Charcoal removes harsh chemicals from tap water while adding beneficial minerals like calcium.

Leave for the first hour to improve the water, and between 4-8 hours it works even better!

The Charcoal Lasts up to 6 months.


pH Active Insulated Water Bottle – Filtered Alkaline

pH Active Insulated Water Battle filters the water through Alkaline, one of the fastest growing popular forms of drinking water.

Rich in Antioxidents which help combat free radicals in the body that build up with stress and exercise, it is these free radicals that makes you look older.

Also removes harsh deposits in water for a better taste and healthier water.


KURO-Bō Glass Water Filter Bottle

An Alternative to the Black+Blum that also uses Charcoal to create great tasting water

Removes harsher chemicals and infuses with good minerals

More simple and popular design


LaVie Pure Innovative Tap Water Purifier with Aluminum Case

A more tech focused gadget that uses Blue light to treat the water, removing more harmful chemicals and microbes

Takes Just 15 Mins to purify the water, creating a great tasting and healthier water

Reeduces the waiting time, reduces plastic waste – and is super cool!



Drinking & Hydration at home

Kilner Clip Top Round Drinks Dispenser, 8 Litre

A great option for drinking more water at home. Use your preffered way of treating the water: Charcoal, Filter etc

Use your fave spring water, buying large bottles reduces waste and has less micro plastics. Or buy Glass bottled water for no micro-plastics.

Add your fave fruit, mint etc for a great tasing infused water. Add Ice for the summer, or for your workouts


BRITA Flow Water XL Filter Tank

A well known brand for water treatment, with filters available at most stores local, and online

Simple, pratical design will fit most kitchens