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Fitness: Performance, Workouts, Physical, Recovery

4 Ingredients To Avoid In Supplements To Maximise Your Results
Looking to maximise your results when it comes to those all-important fitness goals? Wanting to make sure the products you're using are safe? Of course you are. When choosing the ideal fitness supplementation, it can be pretty overwhelming. Not only are you choosing the correct supplementation for your fitness goa, but you’re then navigating which ingredients to avoid in protein powder, and any other supplementation you may be taking. It can be a minefield. Don’t let this put you off, though. Don’t ignore the ingredients on your products. If anything, take extra care when reading them. They’re more important than you may have even already thought. When it comes to the top ingredients to avoid in supplements, you’re looking for a few key things. And we’re going to break them down for you. From added sugar to unnecessary fillers, here’s your one-stop guide to ingredients to avoid in supplements, by yours truly, Innermost.  Without further ado… Innermost’s top ingredients to avoid in supplements Whilst we could spend all day talking about the benefits of natural supplements such as nootropics and adaptogens, this isn’t the time. Sticking to natural products will help you to avoid fillers in supplements and other ingredients to avoid in supplements that we’re going to mention, but firstly, let’s list our top four ingredients to avoid… Added sugar Unsweetened protein powder can taste pretty bland. This is when some wellness brands turn to sugars to help out. And whilst it’s important to maintain recommended glucose levels in your diet for energy boosting purposes, added sugar is quite frankly, unnecessary. You should try and cut down your sugar intake where possible, so any fitness supplements that use added sugars should be avoided. Added sugars are also highly addictive, and should be avoided for this reason alone. Check the ingredients of your supplement to see what sweetener has been added here. Added sugars have been linked to obesity and heart diseases, so are best to be avoided. There are plenty of healthier alternatives to added sugars, such as natural sweeteners… for example. Xanthan gum (and other fillers) One of the absolutely key ingredients to avoid are fillers in supplementations. Common fillers in supplementations include: Cellulose Gelatin Starch Talc Silicon Dioxide Titanium Dioxide …just to name a few. Sometimes referred to as bulking agents, fillers in supplementations are used for a number of reasons: To keep manufacturing costs low To achieve a desired supplementation texture To up the amount of product a customer receives Whilst you may be under the impression that your protein powder only includes protein, that is not the case. Make sure none of the extra ingredients are any of those harmful fillers mentioned above, as the presence of these can not only reduce the quality of your supplementation, but can cause bloating, gas and gastric discomfort – amongst other health issues (that we will go into later). Not what you want. Here at Innermost we are committed to not using these harmful fillers in our products. You can be sure of it. Vegetable oils and fats Often included to increase the richness, texture and taste of fitness supplementations, these oils can actually wreak havoc on your intestinal system. These oils are harmful to our diet in large quantities, so including them in fitness supplementations is entirely unnecessary. Not only unnecessary, but harmful. They also add a large quantity of calories to your supplement, so if your fitness goal is to lose weight, these are definitely to be avoided. Skimmed milk powder Used to bulk up powders that are lacking in quality, skimmed milk powder can be a nightmare for anyone with a lactose intolerance. Skimmed milk powder should be avoided due to their high lactose sugar content, which can be pretty harmful to your gastrointestinal system. Think bloating, constipation, and gas. Not pleasant. Excess lactose and sugar can also cause acne and nausea… even to those that don’t have a particular aversion to lactose or dairy. Why should I avoid these supplement ingredients? All in all, every ingredient we have listed above has been linked to detrimental effects on users health. Whether that effect is organ damage, risk of acne, weight gain, heart defects… or even death. Now, that may sound pretty serious (and it is), when using supplementations with these harmful ingredients in them every day, you’re really putting yourself and your body at risk. Instead, opt for natural ingredients, from reputable brands. The less ingredients the better, and if they’re backed by research, that’s the goal. That’s what we call a well and truly clean protein powder. Summary If you spot any of the above ingredients in a potential protein powder or supplementation, no whey should you be adopting the product into your routine. Cheesy protein puns aside, though, it’s important to track what you’re putting in your body. Read more
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Discover Pilates for Men With Opus x Innermost
You guessed it- it's partner time. Introducing Opus. Here at Innermost, we work with Opus due to their strong and innovative approach to exercise, nutrition and wellness. Based in Notting Hill, London, Opus offer a range of services and products to inspire fitness fanatics everywhere to push themselves to be their best with every single workout. They also love Pilates. And stock some of our award-winning products such as The Fit Protein. We got together with the team to discuss all things Pilates for men, check it out! Introducing: Pilates for men  "Pilates. It's my answer to everything nowadays" says reformer Pilates personal trainer Jade. "I believe it should form part of everyone’s basic training. But as a Pilates instructor for the last 7 years, I have wondered why are so few men doing Pilates?" Jade went on to state that when she asks men why they haven't tried out Pilates, she gets one of three reasons... Pilates is for women Pilates was actually developed by a man, Joseph Pilates (hence the name). He was a boxer, circus performer and body builder in his early life. Fast forward 100 years later, Pilates has grabbed the attention of some of the top athletes around the world. From basketballer’s, Lebron James and the late Kobe Bryant; top golfer Tiger Woods; Tennis champion Andy Murray and footballer David Beckham. Pilates is stretching, so it's super easy Pilates can be adapted to suit the needs of every individual. It can be tailored towards increased performance, increased mental focus, injury rehabilitation, specific sporting activities or general everyday lifestyle improvement. A good trainer understands the level required for each person, and accordingly make the sessions easier or harder - and trust me, they can be hard! Pilates is only used for injury rehabilitation Yes, Pilates is a great tool for rehabilitation, but also for prevention. As humans, it’s natural for us to find ourselves in certain postures for long periods of time (think sitting at desks or manual jobs which require repetitive lifting or carrying), and these can result in overusing specific muscles. If this continues, over time the pathway is often acute or chronic injuries. Pilates is one of the perfect ways to maintain balance through our various muscles. So, with so many men still to try their hand at Pilates, here are six reasons why I think men should be signing up for classes... Fix your posture  According to a recent study from Arthritis Research UK around 5.5 million people are living with back pain - and that's in England alone! By their very nature, Pilates exercises promote changes in habitual posture, and we know that this can have a direct link to back pain. ‘Good’ posture involves holding our bodies in such a way that any strain or tension is balanced between our muscles and supportive structures. Pilates exercises help to do just that, they rebalance the musculoskeletal system and re-train movement patterns. Improve your spinal health for every day life Our spine gives the body structure and support; and the movement, stability and alignment of the spine is an essential focus in Pilates. The exercises focus on developing a healthy spine which is able to move in all six directions without restriction (although this can take some time!). Control and discipline for your mental health In November 2020, The Mental Health Foundation published that nearly 6000 suicides were recorded in Great Britain in 2017. Of these, 75% were men. The principles of Pilates are breath, control, concentration, centre, precision and flow - all of which can take you out of your body and create a sense of focus and calm. If we create the right environment, we can retrain the brain into better thought patterns and help OPUS clients to feel good about themselves. Deep breathing techniques in Pilates brings a meditative aspect to training, which helps us to destress. Jade and Opus want to educate their clients to use correct and safe form, leaving no part of the body unattended - and breathing is a large part of it. Introduce movements to suit all training  As a Pilates instructor and personal trainer, Jade explained that a great future is seeing everybody using elements of Pilates in their basic training for, well, everything. The OPUS team stated that by understanding our natural biomechanics at a deeper level, we can increase everyday movement quality and physical performance quicker - and Pilates is the key ingredient. Achieve better core and hip mobility  The ‘core’ muscles are known as the “powerhouse” in the Pilates world. That is the epicentre of our bodies which is where many of our movements are generated. A strong powerhouse helps us to control the pelvis and spine while the limbs move. Pilates exercises help us to focus on deep abdominal strengthening which is too often missed in general training. Lifting weights, running or picking up our kids requires strong hips and shoulders, and Pilates is the perfect way to reach optimal function around these joints, too! Take advantage of the strength benefits for sports  As mentioned above, Pilates now plays a huge role in elite sports. Whether you are a gymnast, tennis player or a runner, Pilates can improve specific biomechanical movements by ensuring correct firing patterns between muscles. Developing strength in our deeper muscles and training multi-directional movements means that the exercises can transfer over to our favourite sports. Summary Pilates at OPUS isn’t Pilates in its purest form. Our classes are dynamic in nature and focus on building deep strength with higher volume and multiple sets on each muscle group. Our carefully curated classes are a nod to classical Pilates, with strength techniques thrown into the mix for a more rounded workout. Alongside our sequenced exercises, an energetic playlist is a must for us and will feature in every session! Read more
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How To Exercise With A Busy Schedule: Our Top 5 Tips
With everything that goes into a daily schedule, the commitments of a busy lifestyle can mean it’s pretty hard (and sometimes impossible) to make time to exercise. It can also be hard to find the motivation to exercise after a long day even when you do have the time. It can be a really vicious cycle. With that in mind, you may be searching for some tips on how to find time in the day to exercise, correct? Or maybe some tips on how to extend the hours in the day so that you have enough time to get everything done? Well. Whilst we’d be millionaires if we had the answer to the second question (although The Focus Capsules might be able to help with that one), we can definitely help you with the first. Figuring out how to make time to exercise can be pretty difficult, but we’ve got five tips below that might just help you when it comes to fitting in fitness. How to make time to exercise If we could give you just one piece of advice: preparation is key. Planning and scheduling is the only way to successfully stay on track, and staying on track and remaining consistent is absolutely the quickest way to smashing your fitness goals. They say it takes 21 days to make a habit, so if you can choose and apply one of our below five tips to fitting in exercise to your life, we promise that after those initial three weeks, making time for exercise will become like second nature.  Here’s our top five tips for when it comes to making time for exercise… Switch up your commute Wondering how to fit the gym in with work? Think about your commute. The average commute is around 62 minutes in the United Kingdom. That’s over two hours a day that we are commuting. Not only is that a huge chunk of the day, but it’s two hours of the day that could be spent exercising… potentially. If you could switch up your commute to walk, cycle or run (maybe all, but even part of the way), this somewhat redundant time can be used to not only get you where you need to be, but assist you in fitting in fitness to your busy day. Granted, if you are commuting over an hour a day, it’s likely you are using a train service or perhaps driving yourself to your destination… but this doesn’t mean that you can incorporate some level of exercise into your day. Park slightly further away, or maybe get off at an earlier stop and walk, run or cycle the rest of the way. Every little helps. Set an earlier alarm (sorry) Whilst this is probably the tip that nobody wanted to hear, a great way of making time for exercise is to set your alarm earlier to give yourself extra time in the day. Getting up earlier not only provides you with a great chunk of extra time to get your workout in, but allows you to avoid the morning rush hour, give your body time to prepare for the day, and allows you to slow down a bit and avoid the awful morning rush that comes with those extra ten minutes in bed. Gym classes start as early as 5am, offering you the perfect opportunity to get an hour of exercise in before your commute and work. If classes aren’t your thing, though, there’s nothing better than a sunrise run or cycle. Seriously! Try it. Make the most of your lunch break Stop using your lunchbreak to just sit and scroll on your social media channel of choice. Make a conscious effort to leave your desk, office or home workspace and get out and about. Go on a walk, run, cycle or even lunchtime swim during your lunch break and really make the most of your lunch hour. The best part about this strategy is no early alarm, no late finish time… just time to yourself in the middle of the work day to not only smash out your workout for the day, but have some well-deserved time to yourself in amongst the office chaos. Sounds good (and productive) to us. Make every task count Waiting for your food to cook in the microwave? Do some star jumps. You may look a little crazy in the shared office kitchen, but so be it. No pain no gain, right? Want to watch your favourite TV show after work? Why not watch it whilst on the treadmill at the gym. Need to take the dog for a walk? Make that lap round the field two laps. Need to grab some milk and bread from the store? Walk, don’t drive. Little changes here and there add up to an overall healthier and more active lifestyle. At the end of the day, fitting in exercise doesn’t strictly refer to going to the gym or heading out for a run. Like we said… every little helps. Be strict with your schedule It’s time to start treating your exercise schedule like your work schedule. Got a gym class booked for 6pm? It’s now non-negotiable, just like that end-of-quarter sales meeting you’ve got pencilled in your calendar. Too often we fall victim to the post-work social calling (aka a trip to the pub), or even just the temptation of our sofa after work, which means that the scheduled post-work workout gets thrown out the window. Not anymore. If you’ve scheduled a workout, stick to it. Don’t sack off your gym schedule for something better (or nothing at all). It’s a commitment you’ve made that is just as important as those daily meetings, only this time, it’s a commitment to yourself. Making time for exercise is just as important as everything else, as it’s key for your health, wellbeing, and overall performance after all! Summary So. You wanted to know how to exercise with a busy schedule… we hope we’ve answered your question. Whilst it can be tempting to cancel, post-pone or even neglect our exercise routines as a result of the demands of work, relationships or otherwise, fitting in exercise needs to become a priority. Period. If you’re struggling or are unsure of how to make time for exercise, give one (or all) of our above tips a go. Find out which tip for fitting in exercise works best for you and start your fitness schedule. Exercise and working out is a hugely important part of your schedule, so it’s time to start treating exercise like a priority. Self-care 101. References SME News. 2021. New survey reveals large regional differences in workers’ commuting experience - SME News. [online]. Click here. Brain Pickings. 2021. Popiva, M. How Long It Takes To Form A New Habit. [online]. Click here. Read more
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