16 Reasons Why Runners Need Yoga

Yoga is a tool that can help you to be a better athlete. Call it stretching if you don’t like the term “yoga”. Whatever. This discipline will help you to become a better runner and here are 10 reasons why…

  1. It can increase your range of mobility ie it helps you to move well.
  2. You learn to feel where tightness is coming from in your body and where imbalances and weaknesses are- so you can then work on these. It’s about getting your body in balance.
  3. It can bring length back to tight muscles. This is a key to injury prevention.
  4. You’ll discover your core.
  5. You’ll refine your posture – to avoid that slumped over runner’s look after many hard miles. Who has seen their finish line photo and thought they would look amazing, but discover an 100-year-old slumped over Yoda?
  6. Yoga is good for focus. Train the mind better to power you strong in the final miles of a race.
  7. Yogis are strong – in body (and also mind).
  8. It improves balance and stability – this is particularly important when trail running when a twisted ankle is more possible and can ruin your race.
  9. Proprioception – knowing where your limbs are in space. Think about rock hopping in an off-road race, or lifting your feet up around tree roots… one slight misplaced step and, again, your race can be all over.
  10. Your learn breathe work. This can increase your increase of oxygen to muscles and ultimately improve your endurance. Boom!
  11. Yoga helps you to engage muscles. For instance some people don’t use their lazy glutes to run and can just rely on the rest of the body to power them along.
  12. Yogis are strong. They look cute, but they’re kick-ass strong!
  13. Yoga embraces an arm of meditation. Calming your mind and keeping it focused and unwavering in a race is the key to doing better than great in a race.
  14. Yoga helps you sleep well, feel well, live well…
  15. Yoga will help you to iron out niggles so you spend less at the physio. Although some people might have a super cute physio and might not mind spending the money lol.
  16. You can learn mantras. When you are in the final miles of a race it’s your mind, not your legs, that drives you.

Rachel is a wellness expert, qualified yoga + meditation teacher, qualified PT and passionate runner (she has run 25 marathons and can’t remember how many half marathons and 10km events). She’s the author of the book Balance: Food, Health + Happiness, which features 30 global experts on how to live healthier and happier. Order a copy HERE.

Lemon Cheesecake in a Jar – made using an Instant Pot!

By Rachel Grunwell

(AD) The lemon layer in this dessert is so zingy and yum and it’s made quickly and easily in an Instant Pot – using the pressure cooking function. Meanwhile, I use the Instant Pot’s dehydrate function to make the lemon garnish too.

Ingredients:

Bottom Layer:

½ cup raw almonds

½ cup coconut

5 dates

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Middle Layer:

1 cup lemon juice fresh

3 eggs (separate egg whites from egg yolkes)

1 cup sugar

1 tsp lemon zest

4 tbsp butter (at room temp)

Top layers

½ cup plain unsweetened yoghurt

Whipped cream

Optional garnish – slices of fresh lemon. Mint leaves.

Method: Place all the bottom layer ingredients into a blender (I use a Vitamix) and blend. Place this evenly in the bottom of two jars.

Then to make the Middle layer…

  1. Whisk egg whites until fluffy. Set aside.
  2. Place egg yolks, sugar, butter, lemon zest and juice in another bowl and mix until smooth.
  3. Add the egg whites and fold into the mixture.
  4. Place this into a heat protected glass bowl, cover with foil.
  5. Place a trivet in the Instant Pot and add 1 ½ cups of water.
  6. Put the glass container on the trivet and close the lid until it locks shut.
  7. Cook for 7 minutes on high pressure.
  8. When finished, wait for a natural pressure release.
  9. Take it out and let it cool.
  10. Next add this middle layer mixture to the jars as high up in the jar as you like this intensely lemony zingy layer.

For the next layer, add 1 cup of the middle layer and a cup of yoghurt together and mix. Once blended, add this layer to the jar next.

For the top, whip some cream and spoon it on top.
Garnish

Slice lemon and put it in the Instant Pot. Dehydrate it for 8 hours. Pick fresh mint from the garden if you have it and this adds that wow factor if you want it. Alternatively, dehydrate some raspberries – the mix of lemon and raspberries is AMAZING. Good luck in not eating all the raspberries. They taste incredible and rich in flavour when dehydrated. They’re such an amazing snack all on their own.

This recipe was kindly sponsored by Instant Pot. Buy one now on Kitchen Nook – and if you sign up to their mailing list you can get 15% off your first purchase!

#sponsoredpost #instantpot #nzrecipe

Rachel Grunwell is a recipe creator, wellness coach, yoga + meditation teacher and author of the book Balance: Food, health _+ Happiness.

5 Tips to Avoid a Hangover

AD This blog was created for those training for the Rotorua Marathon event on May 8, 2021

By Rachel Grunwell 

It’s the festive season and I too love to savour some wine and soak up social gatherings and the fun. 

I thought I’d share some tips and advice  around alcohol for those of you who love “the sweat life” too. Alcohol can impact on your performance if not drunk in moderation. So it might be helpful to know some of this stuff for when you are next contemplating how much to drink at a party or social gathering.

Firstly, a standard drink is 100ml wine (12% alcohol – and not that much liquid in a glass!) or a 330ml beer (5% alcohol).

According to the National guidelines, the consumption of any more than two standard drinks for women and four for men in one sitting is associated with increased risk of health problems (obviously if this is sustained over a period of time).

According to the Nutrition for Life book by Catherine Saxelby, hangovers are caused by dehydration and things like the substances in alcohol like congeners, such as tannins, volatile acids, methanol and histamines.

Dark-coloured drinks like red wine, brandy, and sherry can cause the worst hangovers – especially the cheaper brands, she says. Mixing drinks can also spell bad news for a sore head (and leave you witch-like the next day – likely! Or is that just me? ha ha ha ha ha).

Here are 5 tips to help avoid a hangover:

  1. Stop at one drink. That’s smart! Or have none, if you have a very long run planned the next day. I totally recommend this. I’ve drunk ONCE the night before a long run and I will never do this again. I felt nauseous!! However, some people can get away with this WAY better than me.
  2. Don’t mix a whole lot of different drinks. This is REALLY bad news for a hangover.
  3. Drink non-alcoholic drinks in-between an alcoholic one to slow down how much you drink ie water, fruit juice etc

2.   Have lots of water to combat the dehydration.

3.   Have something like milk, or cheese, before you drink – as this lines your stomach. So our mothers telling us to “line the stomach with food” wasn’t just them being bossy.

4.   Foods like toast, fruit, flat lemonade, weak black tea with sugar, boiled rice, and eggs, can be kinder on the stomach when you have drunk a lot.

5.   Sleep it off. You should feel better after 24 hours.

ps an extra tip from Catherine Saxelby is not to bother with those effervescent tablets. She reckons they are just expensive urine!

Meanwhile, when I coach clients on how to move, eat and live healthier and happier, I advise clients too that alcohol has a lot of calories (7 calories per gram). A lot of my clients are chasing weight-loss goals. So there’s that to consider too.

ps remember all things in life in “balance” can be okay. Just make informed choices about how you fuel your body and have moderation in mind.

Set your next run goal by entering the Rotorua Marathon event held on May 8, 2012. There’s a fun run, 10km, half marathon and marathon distance to contemplate. Enter HERE

Rachel is a wellness coach, keen runner (25 marathons at the last count) and Rotorua Marathon ambassador.

Rachel is also the author of the book Balance: Food, Health + Happiness.

Follow her via  Instagram @RachelGrunwell or click here for her business Facebook

6 Top Sleep Tips

(AD) sponsored content.

Declaration: Rachel was gifted the weighted blanket and Fitbit

Sleeping well is crucial. It helps you to perform at your best, have sharper concentration, make better decisions and you remember more when you have had enough sleep…

How much sleep you need comes down to the individual. But around 7.5- 8-hours nightly is great for adults. If you are training hard, then you could do with as much as 10 hours sleep to aid your recovery. While, kids needs around this much too.

Here are 6 sleep tips or suggestions to try

  1. I’ve trialled a #gifted 7kg weights Groundd blanket (that’s it pictured in my bedroom below). They come in 9kg size too. It’s weighted with hypoallergenic natural glass in pockets evenly distributed throughout the blanket. It’s really comforting to sleep under, and kind of like being hugged or cocooned. I was worried it might be too hot, but it isn’t. The bamboo silky cover feels divine to sleep under. The peeps behind this brand say the blanket is reassuring for kids who might feel anxious. According to their website, sleeping with them is like deep touch therapy – which is pressure equally across your body such as a hug, swaddle or blanket. Receptors in your skin help you feel safe apparently. Since using this blanket I’ve stopped waking through the night as often – and I like the feel of it. So I’ll keep on using it!

2. The new Fitbit sense watch is great for tracking your night’s sleep. You get a sleep score in the morning and can see how deep you’ve slept, or not! It’s a wake up call (chuckle) for getting to bed early enough so you know you have had enough zzzzzzzzz

3. My book Balance is full of amazing tips on how to sleep better too. The book boasts 30 global experts sharing science backed wisdom on how to live healthier and happier (plus 30 nourishing recipes).

4. Have a shot of tart cherry juice before bed.. It helps you wind down – so says Adam Storey, a strength and conditioning coach for Team NZ. He used to recommend this to The Blues players when he worked with the team (great insider secret spilled there!). Adam shares lots of other science-backed strategies in my book Balance too which are epic including the perfect temperature for sleeping to other hints to help you sleep incredibly well.

5. Don’t drink too much coffee – and remember too not to drink it too late in the day. It stays in your system a long time and can disrupt your sleep.

6. An hour out from bed, turn off your phone. The blue light can impact melatonin levels and keep you awake.

#sponsored post

Rachel was gifted the weighted blanket and Fitbit. Rachel has collaborated with Fitbit many times over the years (and has worn a Fitbit for many years also).

  • Rachel is a wellness coach, yoga + mindfulness teacher and author of the book Balance: Food, Health + Happiness.
  • Follow Rachel on Instagram

7 Exercises for Back Pain

Book review by Rachel Grunwell

Book title: McKenzie Method:  Treat Your Own Back – by Robin McKenzie

This post is sponsored by The McKenzie Method company #AD

If you have ever experienced back pain, you’d be interested in this helpful easy-to-read book…

This can empower you on how to avoid or manage self-care for your back.

This book is penned by the late Kiwi physiotherapist Robin McKenzie, who is renowned for developing the McKenzie method to help people self-manage low back pain.

An acronym for the McKenzie method is mechanical diagnosis and therapy (MDT). McKenzie passed away in 2013. But his work lives on. Medical professionals have used his method worldwide for decades and continue to do so.

This 120-page book distils myths about acute back pain, lists common causes, and then details exercises and remedies on how to manage symptoms. 

The book is short and easy to read (ie not too much medical or technical jargon). I like that anyone can pick this book up and read it with ease. The exercises are also easily explained and not too difficult to do. Many of them are yoga poses I teach as a yoga teacher, but they go by different names in the book.

The book shows you strategies on how to put your back “in” too if you have put it “out”. It also advises around how to try and avoid a recurrence.

McKenzie writes in the book that back pain affects nearly everyone at some stage and is a common ailment. 

He writes: “It is often described as fibrositis, slipped disc, lumbago, arthritis in the back or rheumatism and, when it causes pain extending into the leg, sciatica.”

Some common causes of lower back pain include sitting for a long time in a poor, flexed rounded position. You know, that slumped in a chair kind of position. Or prolonged forward bending (take note: gardeners, or anyone using a poor lifting technique when picking something up!)

McKenzie writes that when pains of postural origin are first felt they can be easily eliminated merely by correcting your posture.

If uncorrected, the habitual poor posture can cause changes to the structure and shape of the joints. Excessive wear can occur, loss of elasticity resulting in premature aging of the joints etc.

A key point of the book is teaching readers the importance around how to keep natural posture ie when you stand, there’s a natural inward curve in the small of the lower back just above the pelvis (called lumbar lordosis). The lordosis is lost whenever the low back is rounded ie sitting hunched over and bending forwards. It becomes an issue if the lordosis is lost for long periods.

McKenzie explains in the book that unless you do exercises to restore normal flexibility, your healed tissue can produce back pain or stiffness – possibly for years. The pain can then escalate if scar tissue forms and restricts movement and you feel pain whenever you stretch…

I found it interesting in the book that lots of people blame sports or vigorous activities for back pain. However, McKenzie writes that in fact often it is after the activity when people sit, slouch or collapse for long periods in a chair. So, it’s not the sport, but often the posture we do post activities.

Resting or sleeping in some positions can also fuel back discomfort. Even surface (a bad mattress) can be a problem.

The book helps guides readers through stretches to help remedy their discomfort – and what to do if pain persists.

There are stretches and varied advice in the book to combat different issues and there are many areas you can feel the source of the back pain. He shares tips on what to do to handle niggles, all the way up to acute back pain. There’s advice on when to apply certain exercises also in an emergency scenario if you get a sudden onset of acute pain…

Note. If pain persists, please seek the advice of a qualified McKenzie physio to get expert advice.

7 Exercises For Back Pain:

Exercise 1. Lying face down.
Exercise 2. Lying face down in extension.
Exercise 3. Extension in lying.
Exercise 4. Extension in standing.
Exercise 5. Flexion in lying.
Exercise 6. Flexion in sitting.
Exercise 7. Flexion in standing.
To find out more about the McKenzie method click HERE

Blog penned by Rachel Grunwell: Qualified coach, yoga + meditation teacher, wellness speaker and author of the book Balance: Food, Health + Happiness. Follow Rachel on Instagram or her business Facebook page

3 Inspiring Women Fundraising for the Rotorua Marathon event

By Rachel Grunwell

Tell me what breaks your heart and I’ll point you toward your purpose.

So writes activist and author Glennon Doyle in her book, Untamed.

When I read this line in Doyle’s book, it put into words the deep pain that has powered me into helping several charities over the years. Some things just break your heart and stir action. And you never regret action; You only regret inaction.

Whenever I talk to people fundraising for the Rotorua Marathon event (on Sept 26), I feel their passion. I also sense the pain that has caused their deep heart-connection to act.

These are just three inspiring (super) women fundraising for different charities via this iconic Bay of Plenty event. They are making their miles count. Please support them with a donation. Because small actions can snowball and help to heal this world…

Melanie Steen is fundraising for the Cambodian Charitable Trust, set up by Tauranga mum and lawyer Denise Arnold. This trust helps kids access education in Cambodia.

Kids at Ang Chhum Primary. This is one of the 23 schools supported by The Cambodia Charitable Trust.

Melanie says it is an honour to run this event and fundraise for this charity. She discovered the trust’s amazing work when reading about motivational people in my book, Balance (yes, I got pretty emotional over this!)

This is her “why”:

“The Trust was set up by a mother who wanted to make a difference, she saw a need to help these children have what we take for granted as a normal life something most of us give our children without really considering it a luxury”.

Denise says funds raised by Melanie will support the school communities at a time when there is no work and many are going hungry. 

“All funds will go to provide 50kg bags of rice to families struggling to feed themselves. There is no welfare system in Cambodia and with garment factories and construction sites closing and no tourism, there are many families facing a total loss of income. It is a huge problem, and so far the trust has provided 767 bags of rice. Each bag of rice costs about $60NZ and lasts the average family about a month”.

Steen has so far raised $329. To support this amazing cause click here:

https://givealittle.co.nz/fundraiser/help-me-to-help-others-2

Melanie
Steen

Kylie Allpress is among a team fundraising for the Rotorua Hospice. She is running in memory of her dad who died of leukaemia. She backs the hospice for giving “unconditional love and support to all our families in Rotorua”.

She says on her fundraising page that her dad longed to one day run this event but he never did. She is a marathoner already and aiming for a PB of 3hr45mins.

On her givealittle page she says: “All I ask is please donate the price of a latte $5 for Rotorua Hospice, my chosen charity which gives unconditional love and support to all our families in the Rotorua community. I am forever grateful! This runs for you dad X”.

Kylie has so far fundraised $488. Please help her with a donation here:

https://rotoruamarathon2020.everydayhero.com/nz/kylie-2

Rotorua-based baker Tracey Dender is fundraising for the No Duff Charitable Trust, which helps current and former Defence personnel (and their families). Tracey is an ex war vet. She’s running the marathon in a weighted vest!

Dender (pictured below) has fundraised $2539 so far. To donate towards this worthy cause click here:

https://givealittle.co.nz/fundraiser/marathon-for-mates-2020

Meanwhile, read Dender’s full story on her marathon mission in another blog I wrote just on her. Click HERE

Join these amazing women and enter the Rotorua Marathon event (either the fun run, 10km, half-marathon of full-marathon distance.). Click HERE

This post is sponsored by the Rotorua Marathon #sponsored #ad

Joy at Work – new book by tidying expert Marie Kondo

By Rachel Grunwell

Rachel is a weekly wellness columnist fora string of NZME newspapers. This article was published on 13 June 2020. A version of this article is also on the Herald online

Marie Kondo taught us about the life changing magic of tidying up our homes and biffing out the junk. She asked us to let go of anything at home that we no longer held joy for. After all, an uncluttered home space feels more calming. Hence this is why it is terrific for our wellbeing.

Kondo sparked a world trend embracing the idea that less is actually more. We all became tidy-freaks.

Now Kondo has turned her attention to the workplace. She has released a new book, with organisational psychologist Scott Sonenshein. The book is Joy at Work.

Their mission is to help us focus on how to change our work, to embrace more joy. There’s advice on how to organize your desk, emails and office. There are tips too on quitting negative working practices and mindsets.

The book notes that tidiness doesn’t reflect how you feel, but also how others feel about you. Tidiness can result in a higher evaluation of our character…

My first thought about this book is that if you have a job in this Covid19 era then you should be joyful. Period.

Afterall, the economy is taking a hammering and job losses are a genuine concern in this climate.

And for many, you may think this book may be semi-redundant as your home has now become your office too. 

But outside of the advice on how to tidy up your workspace and emails, there’s great psychology advice to help you get ahead in your career. Below are some favourite points that I love in the book. These tips may help you to feel more empowered to love your job – and life – more.

1. Create an environment that helps you focus.

2. You only get one chance at life. Which will you choose? To live in fear of what others might think? Or to follow your own heart?

3. Reflect on your actions so you can revise and improve.

4. Prioritise tasks. Eliminate things that are unnecessary and unproductive. Focus, focusing instead on those that are productive.

5. Give up the idea of needing to make a perfect decision. In most cases, a good enough decision will be good enough.

6. Get rid of the idea that the more meetings you attend, the more important you are. Remember meetings are one of many ways you can make a difference. Your goal is not to win the award for most meetings attended.

Ps: I have a confession here. My work office has actually been at my home for many years now and it’s not always perfect and ordered. My emails are also in the thousands and need culling. So I’m working on this stuff too!

Find out more about Rachel’s coaching and wellness workshops services, public speaking engagements and her book Balance: Food, Health and Happiness via inspiredhealth.co.nz  

Follow Rachel on Instagram HERE

https://www.instagram.com/rachelgrunwell/

Ex War Vet Fundraises via the Rotorua Marathon a Tough Way – for a Heart-Connected Cause

Blog by Rachel Grunwell

Ex war vet, Tracey Dender, will be running the Rotorua Marathon in May – and doing it tougher than most. She’s running 42km in a weighted vest. So those hills around the back of Lake Rotorua are going to be haaaaard, long and slow. (I know this for a fact, as I’ve done this marathon without a weighted vest and it was haaaaaard, long and slow enough. By the way, that weighted vest weighs 6kg. Can you imagine carrying around a sack of 6kg potatoes around 42km?

Tracey is also making her run miles count with a passionate purpose. She’s raising money for a Veterans support charity, called No Duff Chartitable Trust.

Why? This 37-year-old – now Rotorua-based baker – is a veteran herself. She did 11 years in the NZ Army including a tour to East Timor and one to Afghanistan.

But here’s her big WHY behind why she is making her run miles count with a true mission:

She tells this best in her own words:

“I have struggled with depression and anxiety, during my time in the Army and since leaving the Army. I am living life as best I can nowadays but some of my friends and colleagues weren’t so lucky. Some days are still tough. “Running definitely helps with the mindset and wellbeing. No Duff was set up and is run by veterans out of necessity and gaps in the support network for veterans.

“I’m passionate because there are so many veterans suffering and who need help.

“No Duff has had its funding decreased and so this is my way of helping a bit.”

This will be marathon number 3 for Tracey.

How does she think she’ll get on?

“I think I’ll go ok with the vest. It’s going be painful, but I am stubborn and have a good training group to run with (Jogging the Powerpoles, in Rotorua).”

Meanwhile, here’s a pic of Tracey after receiving a medal on Anzac Day in East Timor. This was to acknowledge working with the UN in 2002.

So far Tracey has raised $720. Please help her to make a difference for a deserving bunch of Kiwi legends by donating on her Givealittle page HERE And share this blog with anyone you know who may like to back this amazing runner. Her mission is the definition of inspiring.

Meanwhile, you can join Tracey and thousands of others chasing their own goals at the Rotorua Marathon too. You can check out the event by clicking HERE

If you’d like to know more about the charity Tracey is supporting click HERE.

Blog by Rachel Grunwell: Rotorua Marathon ambassador and passionate multi-marathoner (25 marathons at the last count including 4X the Rotorua Marathon full course). Qualified coach. Yoga teacher. Wellness expert. Freelance journalist. Author of the book Balance, which includes 30 global experts sharing science-backed hacks on how to be healthier and happier.

Dad & son run Rotorua Marathon event in memory of 3 loved men lost

Joe Kurukaanga and his son Pokaiaua Kurukaanga will run the 10km distance at the Rotorua Marathon event together in memory of 3 loved ones lost.

Joe Kurukaanga shed a tear when he won the Rotorua Marathon $1000 ultimate fitness kick-starter/pamper pack for two people.

It’s a prize that will boost his own health journey. But training for the event will also be a balm to soothe the grief in losing three beautiful young men this year – all in heart-breaking circumstances.

“I shed a tear with my wife when I found out I won. I thought ‘this is meant to be’. It will be a journey that’s good for my physical health, and mental health too. It has been a taxing six months….,” says Joe, who is from Birkenhead, Auckland.

Joe was among 500 entries across InspiredHealthNZ Facebook and the marathon ambassador Rach’s Instagram in a collaboration with the Rotorua Marathon event. The prize includes. 2 x entries in the Rotorua Marathon event, 2X 60 minute massages at the Polynesian Spa, 2 sets of Asics shoes, 2 X Balance: Food, Health + Happiness books by Rachel Grunwell, 2 run caps and 2 event medals.

Joe says he immediately rang his son and told him he wanted to share the prize with him. His son Pokaiaua, a member of the NZ open men’s touch team, is elated.

“He told me ‘enjoy Xmas day dad… cause we start training on the 26th’!” quips Joe.

Joe is looking forward to kick-starting his health journey and losing some kilos with this prize. He and his son will run the 10km distance over the sulphur flats at Rotorua. Pokaiaua’s partner Jess and another friend Kris, have vowed to join them on race day at the event on May 2. So they are already a strong team of four.

They will all use the run to remember three loved men lost. Zae lost his life due to complications from pneumonia. While, Manning and Josh died suddenly where there were no suspicious circumstances. Joe says they almost lost another boy recently he knows too, but thank goodness he will be okay. It has been a time of “struggle” through the grief, he says, but he has tried to stay strong for the other young men in his life that he is close with in his role as a sports coach, mentor and friend.

Joe says he is still overwhelmed at the win. He’s still working out what they will do to raise awareness through their miles. But he already knows it will be around telling young people “it’s okay to feel not okay” – and to talk to someone if they feel not okay…

Meanwhile, thank you to everyone who entered the competition. There were so many deserving entries. So many were heart-felt.

Find out more about the Rotorua Marathon event HERE

Blog by Rachel Grunwell. Rotorua Marathon ambassador. Wellness Expert. Coach + Yoga Teacher. Multi-Marathoner. Health journalist and wellness columnist (Good magazine, Indulge magazine + the Herald online). Author of Balance: Food, Health + Happiness, which boasts 30 global experts on how to be healthier and happier + 30 nourishing recipes.

Follow Rotorua Marathon ambassador Rach on Instagram and Facebook for more Rotorua Marathon competition coming up s + health, yoga and run tips.

5 WELLBEING TIPS TO RADICALLY IMPROVE YOUR RUN GAME

8 Top Fitness Fashion Tips

Wear colour. Walk away from being head to toe in black! Rachel wears colourful shorts and crop by AsicsNZ.

8 Top Fitness Fashion Tips

I’m a gal who digs wearing a girly-girl dress and Kathryn Wilson heels. But I’m just as at home in a pair of Reebok Nanos CrossFit shoes kicks when I’m at the gym sweating and lifting heavy weights . . .

I’ve worked in the fitness industry (and also been a speciality wellbeing journalist) now for many years, so have given items from most major fitness labels and trends a decent testing — and thrashing.

Unlike many wellbeing writers, I work in the fitness industry and also love to do a lot of fitness disciplines. I’ve run 25 marathons and more half-marathons and fun runs than I can count. I lift weights
at a CrossFit gym every week. I teach yoga and meditation and run retreats. at Rotorua’s Polynesian Spa.

So, I’m always talking about wellness somewhere, or sweating doing some kind of fitness activity – and giving some piece of fitness gear absolute death. If it’s shoddy quality, I see it. I also think it’s important to feel confident in fitness fashion too. So it has to look good, feel good and perform well too.

I’ve discovered some fitness brands do some items exceptionally well, while others suck at making decent kit. I won’t name and shame but feel free to message me on Instagram if you want any specific recommendations. Follow me HERE.

Here are eight top fitness fashion tips you may want to consider for your Christmas wish-list:

Wear confidence: The top fitness thing to wear is to rock your inner

confidence — and a smile. Confidence is the key to goal-crushing and success.

Fitbit Versa 2 watch: For general broad fitness use, you can’t beat this easy-to-use device that comes in lots of

pretty colours. It’s so damn simple to use. Track your calories, sleep, run, steps, heart rate and more with this.

3 Asics run shoes: This brand makes top performing run shoes that support

your feet, ankles and go the distance. I’ll be wearing their Asics Gel Nimbus pink kicks for the Rotorua Marathon in May. They are comfortable, look cute and way superior than lots of other run shoe brands.

4 Reebok Nanos: If you lift weights, these are rockstars.

Lululemon tights: Best for flattering your booty and curves, but they also

make pretty tops.

6 Rhind: This is a new edgy, athleisure Kiwi label.

Waering Rhind crop bra, and Reebok shorts.

We-ar bralettes: If you’re into yoga and supporting a planet-loving label

(and have a small cup size, like me), then

these are sexy as!

themarket.com: It boasts more than 1500 retailers and some super cheap

deals on fitness gear, making it an affordable go-to. You can get labels like adidas, Cotton On, Lorna Jane and more. Everyone loves a good deal, right?

Clockwise from main, me in a yellow top and pink shorts by ASICS; turning my world upside down in Reebok shoes and shorts and a Rhind top; pink shoes by ASICS, a top- performing run shoe that I will wear in the Rotorua Marathon in May; Reebok clothing and kicks and a Fitbit watch.

Rachel Grunwell is a wellness expert and author of the book Balance: Food, Health + Happiness. Find Rachel via instagram and her InspiredHealthNZ Facebook page.