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The Importance of Habit with La Pochette

19th May 2022

19th May 2022

With intelligent design and environmental consciousness as a priority, La Pochette creates gym and travel accessories designed to be by your side no matter where your plans happen to be taking you - rather than hidden away in a gym locker for days. Read on to join La Pochette in exploring the importance of creating regular, manageable habits to assist busy lifestyles, and how to do just that.

Creatures of Habit

As humans, we’re creatures of habit.  Whether we realise it or not, we are what we repeatedly do, and it’s this we’re told that influences our ability to achieve life’s goals. 

Conventional wisdom teaches us to ‘reach for the stars’ and ‘focus on the end goal’ to achieve results.  This is all well and good, but how do we actually get there?  Whilst our aim may be to possess the abs of Zendaya for example, we need to know how to get there.

In his bestseller ‘Atomic Habits’, James Clear acknowledges the impact habits have on our achievements in life.  As creatures of habit, he states we can take ownership and structure our habits to enable us to reach our goals.  Whilst this may sound like a lot of work, the action or habit which helps us arrive at our goal can be small.  Research has proven it’s more likely we’ll stick to something if it’s ‘doable’, or a nudge, rather than a gargantuan chore.  After all, changes that seem small and insignificant compound to form consequential results over time.

Health and Wellbeing 

Dr Becky Gillaspy, a US based science and nutrition specialist, has taken this a step further.  Far from thinking about habits as predominantly bad or unyielding (Ed Sheeran!), Gillaspy talks about making habits work for you, particularly when it comes to health and wellbeing.  This is where brands like Innermost, and luxury lifestyle accessories brand La Pochette can help, providing solutions that make creating new and healthy habits effortless.

Referencing Clear’s book, Gillaspy cites the example of a test group who wanted to increase their exercise levels.  Whilst the entire group were given material on the benefits of exercise, half were also asked to commit to planning when and where they were going to exercise.  In other words, they were asked to come up with a plan, or ‘how’ to achieve their end result.  In doing so, this group realised double the exercise time of the group who weren’t asked about their intent.  This is known as ‘Implementation Intent’, and improves the likelihood of following through on an intention or idea.  

Making It Stick

You might be thinking, this is great in theory, but how do we make it stick?  As Clear states, we need to ensure we make it easy by removing any potential barriers, and giving ourselves mental cues. 

One way of doing this would be to pack your gym kit in your La Pochette Sweat Bag, or La Pochette Shoe Carry the night before a workout, and to leave that kit by the door ready to go.  Practical, water resistant, antibacterial and machine washable, both provide clever functionality without compromising on style. 

Think about booking into a class ahead of time, and paying for it, making it far more likely you’ll attend.  Roping a friend in too means you’re more likely to commit and make it happen. 

Keep your swim kit with you in the waterproof La Pochette Wet Bag, and squeeze in a swim session during your busy day knowing so are always ready to work out, no excuses.

Behavioural change comes about when habits are not only easy, but also attractive and gratifying.  This gave rise to Vogue labelling the La Pochette brand as their ‘Gym Bag Hero’, because as well as being chic, the collection utilises sustainable materials.  The products themselves also enable sustainable practices, replacing single use plastic bags used post-workout or swim.

Today’s hybrid living means multiple transitions throughout the day from offices to gyms, to our social lives, and with it the burden of carrying all the kit and equipment necessary to achieve that day. La Pochette provides intelligently designed, stylish, environmentally sound solutions to enable you to become a creature of good habit. 

As renowned Philosopher and Sage Confucius once said, (and who better to take life lessons from), ‘All people are the same, only their habits differ”.  Let’s grab our bags, book that abs class and go….

To hear more about the La Pochette story, and to visit the shop, go to https://lapochette.co/



Clear, J (2018) Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones, Penguin Publishing Group, USA

Dr Becky Gillaspy (2019) 2 Habit Hacks You Can Use to Exercise More | How To Stick To Habits

Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ed-8URqxyH0&t=154s (last accessed 16th May 2022) 


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From the Bedroom to the Gym: Is Your Sex Life Affecting Your Workout Performance?
The relationship between sex and workout performance is one that’s long been debated by scientists and fitness fanatics alike. It’s complicated and multifaceted, so answering the question of whether your sex life is affecting your training is difficult. That said, today we’re going to take a look at a variety of evidence, both academic and anecdotal, as well as several different scenarios and at least try to reduce some of the mystery around the subject. First, it helps to understand what’s actually happening to the body, both physically and psychologically, during both activities.   The Effects of Sex on the Body Sexual activity causes several changes to occur in the body:   Physical Changes That Occur During Sex During sexual activity and the lead up to it, the human body undergoes a process known as the sexual response cycle. This is the case for both males and females, though the cycle can be highly individual and may not be the same each time for each person. Describing the full sexual response cycle is beyond the scope of this article, however it consists of 4 phases: Desire Arousal Orgasm Resolution Factors such as elevated heart rate, increased blood flow and pressure and heightened muscle tension all come into play. If you’d like to read about the sexual response cycle in more detail, check out this great article from Cleveland Clinic.   Psychological Changes That Occur During Sex Several psychological changes occur both during and after sex. Most notable are the release of endorphins and oxytocin, which are associated with improved mood and a better sense of wellbeing. These are also responsible for reduced stress levels, which brings a multitude of additional benefits that are of particular interest to those of us participating in regular training and exercise. Cortisol, the hormone responsible for stress, is catabolic in high levels, meaning it can cause the breakdown of lean tissue. So, whilst it is unclear whether sex itself affects workout performance, the reduction in stress levels it may bring is definitely beneficial for preserving our results!   The Effects of Exercise and Training on the Body Exercise and training also cause the body to undergo a number of changes. These occur both during and after the physical activity. There are in fact a number of similarities in changes that happen during exercise and sex:   Physical Changes That Occur During Exercise The physical changes that happen in the body vary based on the type of exercise being undertaken, however, there are some that are common to exercise in general: Increased heart rate Increased blood flow, especially to the muscles Faster, deeper breathing due to additional oxygen needs Heightened activity within the circulatory, respiratory, musculoskeletal and endocrine systems A full summary of the changes that occur within these systems can be found here. More aerobically demanding exercise will, of course, place greater emphasis on the circulatory and respiratory systems as well as causing fat to be metabolised as an energy source. Resistance training, which often relies more heavily on the lactate and creatine phosphate energy systems, instead promotes greater muscular and endocrine (hormone) activity. Note the common physical changes between sex and exercise here, as they do crossover!   Psychological Changes That Occur During Exercise The psychological changes that occur during exercise are similar to those experienced during sexual activity and are mostly related to the release of endorphins and other ‘feelgood’ hormones. These help to regulate mood, and it is common knowledge that frequent exercise and leading an active, healthy lifestyle promotes a feeling of wellbeing.   Does Sex Affect Our Workouts? This is where things become complicated. Though extensive studies have been done on the subject, the results of these have varied massively. We must also take into account the experience of individuals, and this anecdotal evidence again has huge variance. Let’s look at both:   Sex and Training: What the Science Says Scientific studies on the relationship between sex and training are contradictory at best. There’s no denying the positive benefits of both activities, particularly from a psychological perspective, but as for the effect of sex on actual performance in the gym the results are inconclusive. A study, published in April 2021, by Kirecci, Albayrak and co. examined the effects of sexual activity of 50 men in the 24 hours prior to training on lower body strength. The study measured effects by having the men perform 3 separate squat sessions, each at the same time of day. Each of these sessions occurred after participating in or abstaining from sexual activity the night before. The men performed 5 sets of 5 repetitions of their maximum squat weight during these sessions and the difference in weight lifted was observed. The study concluded that ‘sexual intercourse within 24 hours before exercise [has a] detrimental effect on lower extremity muscle force, which suggests that restricting sexual activity before a short-term activity may be necessary.’ Aside from this study, most others found either no notable relationship between sex and athletic performance. A meta-analysis of 9 crossover studies, conducted by Zavorsky and Brooks and published on 16 September 2022, confirms this. The analysis concluded that ‘The results demonstrate that sexual activity within 30 min to 24 h before exercise does not appear to affect aerobic fitness, musculoskeletal endurance, or strength/power.’ This is perhaps more notable, because these studies incorporated different types of exercise and were not restricted purely to a strength/power based activity like squats.   Anecdotal Evidence: What About the Experiences of Real Gym Goers? The anecdotal evidence is, as expected, highly individualised. However, there tends to be a bias against the results of most studies, particularly in those participating in sports involving strength and aggression. For example, many fighters claim that they perform better when they abstain from sex in the days leading up to a contest. Similarly, bodybuilding forums are full of debate on this topic and many claim they note a significant decrease in motivation to train at maximum intensity after sexual activity. It has been hypothesised that this may be due to a downregulation in testosterone production after sex; during orgasm the mineral zinc is released in the body and this is also a precursor for natural testosterone production in the body and may, therefore, provide some reasoning as to the experience of many trainees.   Key Takeaways The relationship between sex and workout performance will always be a complicated one. The effects of one on the other in terms of physical fitness and, in particular, mental wellbeing, are clear, but when it comes to actual performance this appears to be highly individual. We’d advise doing what feels best for you but not worrying too much about it. Instead, prioritise your nutrition and make sure you’re fuelling your workouts properly. While you’re here, why not take a look at the Innermost range? We’re proud to be completely transparent about the ingredients in our products and we always ensure they’re of the highest quality. Check us out, and be sure to get in touch if you have any questions! Read more