Posted on Leave a comment

Athleisure & Boutique Fitness Fashion

The Rise of Athleisure

Athleisure, simply put, is athletic apparel that people can wear in non-athletic settings.

The rise caught many by surprise with a lot of people wondering if it was just a fad. However, more and more people are leaning towards the comfort of athletic clothing.

Athleisure is the blend, the blur between performance wear and comfortable athletic inspired lifestyle clothing. It has over the last couple of years solidly dominated the runways. More and more brands are turning their designers to comfy practical clothing.

The athleisure interpretations on the runway divide into two themes. The first is a track, field or gym-ready look that takes athleisure quite literally. These are clothes-to-go with body defining cuts, utility details, sporty colourways and decoration that directly references sports – such as numbered tops or stripes on rugby shirts. But a little indulgence is still allowed – Moncler’s bomber and shorts in white luxe lace makes that clear.

Alternatively, there’s a sports influence that’s more about everyday (or after dark) wear with an edge. But it’s one that really makes you feel the force of the sports trend.

One potential reason this trend is going from strength to strength is the growing health conscious population. People are more aware than ever of how things effect their health. They are eating healthier, organic foods, living more active lifestyles and they want the clothes that fit with this lifestyle.

Another reason for the trends exponential rise is the support from big brands. Adidas, is one example of a sports brand benefiting massively from this trend. The athleisure movement is allowing them to reach new demographics.

HBBs and Athleisure

Where does HBB fit into all this?

Our bags make great companions for all walks of life, from the office to the beach. Whether you’re heading to the peak district or the gym.
They are designed to be practical, comfortable and stylish. They come in a huge range of colours, fabrics and design all with our unique shape.

Posted on Leave a comment

Cardio vs. Strength Training: What should you be doing?

Cardio vs. Strength Training

When it comes to losing weight there is a pretty broad mix of different things people tell you to do. Some swear that cardio is the only way to get thin. Others maintain that strength training (weights) is the way to go.

But who is right? And what should you be doing?

Unsurprisingly, the answer isn’t simple. The results you desire dictate the kind of exercise and how much of it you should undertake.

Before we begin, what do we mean by cardio, and what do we mean by strength training?

Cardio = cardiovascular exercise. This is any exercise that increases your heart rate dramatically. Examples of cardio are things like running, rowing or using an elliptical machine.

Strength Training = exercises designed to build strength and stimulate muscle development through the use of increasing resistance, for example, lifting freeweights or using resistance bands. An intense strength training session could count as a cardio workout if it raises your heart rate enough!

To Build Speed and Strength

Cardio: Exercises such as running should help strengthen leg muscles and increase speed and fitness levels, allowing you to exercise harder, burn more calories and build more strength.

However, your body is great at adapting to change. Just pacing out those 10 miles a week on a treadmill isn’t going to be enough. Your body will get used to the exercise and you’ll quickly find yourself plateauing.
In order to continuously see results, you need to push your body outside its comfort zone with speed training cardio workouts. These can jump-start your metabolism, help burn fat and increase endurance.

Strength Training: As the name suggests this is about building strength. If you want to be faster and stronger, you’re going to want stronger muscles.

More than that, strength training allows you to work muscle groups all over your body, most importantly your core and back muscles. This will help you better support your body weight and maintain good form, resulting in more powerful muscles.

To Burn Calories

Cardio: For burning calories and reducing body mass, cardio has the upper hand. However, it’s not quite as simple as burning off the pounds.

It has been found that people who ostensibly do just cardio burn large amounts of muscle mass along with the fat.

Strength Training: This doesn’t burn as many calories, but it does promote the development of muscle mass. This is important because muscle mass, even when idle requires more fuel for everyday functions than fat does. So, by building up muscle you will burn more calories over time.

It also takes energy to repair the muscles you break down during training. One thing to remember: muscle weighs more than fat. So, if you want to lose weight and only care about what the scales say, adding muscle will slow that process down.

If your goal then is to lose weight quickly, a cardio-heavy exercise regime is going to be best for you. However, if you want to keep the pounds off, you need to put on some muscle at the same time.

Photo by dylan nolte on Unsplash

Improving Lifestyle

The right exercise can help you improve your quality of life. Cardio is proven to help with a number of ailments, including, but not limited to, helping blood pressure, strengthening your heart and helping with osteoporosis.

That being said, it’s not all good news. Exercises like running, are incredibly hard on your joints and can lead to straining ligaments, wearing out cartilage and other permanent injuries that you might regret in later life. One suggestion we would make is to choose low impact cardio exercises like swimming.

For back health, resistance and muscle training are vital, particularly when focusing on your core. For those suffering from back problems, regular strength exercises can help minimise the effects of these problems on your daily life, while also stopping the build up of intra-abdominal fat.

Combating Stress

Exercising for just 15 – 20 minutes a day, no matter what it is, will help increase your serotonin levels and help your brain produce endorphins which will massively improve your mood.

On top of this, getting your heart rate up helps increase your energy levels by increasing blood flow to your muscles. A short cardio workout will stretch your muscles and break down any lactic acid in your system, reducing stiffness and aching.

Personally, if I am experiencing high levels of stress, I find a high-intensity strength workout consisting of lifting implausibly heavy things helps to vent my frustrations and clear my head.

Avoiding Injuries

Cardio: Regular cardiovascular exercises can help keep your body in shape and perform to its best ability.

However, the repetitive nature of doing cardio alone (that is, without combining it with any strength training) can put serious pressure on your joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons, and potentially result in injury.

Strength Training: Functional strength training teaches your brain how to handle muscle contractions that are quick enough to prevent or minimize injuries.

If you choose exercises that work your core, improve your balance and force you to bend at multiple joints, you are actually protecting your body. Think lunges, rows, squats and pull ups!

Conclusion

Simply put, if you want to lose weight, cardio burns more calories. Yet, as I hope I have made clear, this isn’t so cut and dry…

Cardio doesn’t do a whole lot for your muscles, in fact, a cardio-heavy exercise regime will reduce muscle.

Strength training on the other hand will help you build muscle, which, in the long term will help you burn more calories. ‘For every 3 pounds you gain (of muscle) you can expect to burn an extra 120 calories a day without moving.’

As you get older, resistance training becomes more important, as it improves muscle strength, suppleness and bone density. This will help keep you healthy and mobile and enjoy a better quality of life.

The best solution then is a clever combination of both cardio and strength training. This will help you slash calories, but build muscle at the same time leading to a leaner, stronger you.

References

Bernard Gutin, Paule Barbeau, Scott Owens, Christian R Lemmon, Mara Bauman, Jerry Allison, Hyun-Sik Kang, Mark S Litaker; Effects of exercise intensity on cardiovascular fitness, total body composition, and visceral adiposity of obese adolescents, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 75, Issue 5, 1 May 2002, Pages 818–826, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/75.5.818

http://www.health.com/weight-loss/best-exercise-to-lose-weigh

thttps://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/g19965862/your-body-on-cardio/ 

https://www.livestrong.com/article/421082-weights-vs-cardio-your-guide-to-the-perfect-body/

Keep updated on our blogs and everything else HBB

7 Quick and Easy Tips for your Winter Skincare

7 Quick and Easy Tips for your Winter Skincare Winter just seems to hate your skin, and with the recent cold weather, it's likely that you're starting to dry up. We've compiled [...]

How to improve your mood and beat the winter blues

Here are five things to consider to help you keep your spirits up through the winter.

Is Your Sugar & Fat Intake Out Of Balance?

There is a lot of confusing babble and conflicting advice when it comes to what we eat. So, we though we might try and clear at least some of it up…

Posted on Leave a comment

8 Reasons you Should Cut your Sugar Intake Today

Here’s why you should cut down your sugar intake today…

We were recently talking in the office about how much sugar you find in everyday food and drink. Things you consume without really thinking about it, like cereal or yoghurt.

Sugar provides the body with empty calories that give us energy without any nutrients. As a result, we eat more without feeling full or satisfied. This leads to an increased risk of weight gain, certain diseases, and a cycle of highs and lows in energy levels, which will leave you feeling tired and craving even more sugar!

We know that sugar isn’t exactly good for you, but at the same time we couldn’t agree on just how bad it is.

So, we did some research…

Your Recommended Daily Intake

The Government’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) recommends that our daily sugar intake should be less than 5% of our total energy intake.

This varies from person to person but as a rule of thumb that works out to be around 25 g for women, and 40 g for men.

To put this in perspective, a 330ml (small) can of coke contains 39g of sugar. That’s basically the suggested daily intake for men.

What does sugar do to your body?

Let’s start with the obvious ones.

Sugar can Cause Weight Gain

The SACN carbohydrates and health report found that the consumption of high sugar beverages and foods resulted in weight gain and increases in BMI.

Sugar supplies us with energy but no other nutrients meaning it is in no way satisfying for our bodies. This leads us to over consume. This means if you are able to dramatically cut down your sugar intake, losing those extra pounds will be much easier.

It’s bad for your teeth

We are all told this as children, it doesn’t stop us of course, but sugar rots your teeth and leads to gum disease. So, if you want that pearly white smile, best to avoid it as best you can.

Sugar contributes to diabetes

People with large sugar intakes are much more likely to develop type-2 diabetes.
The issues surrounding diabetes are complex. Sugar by itself is unlikely to be the direct cause of diabetes, however, it does contribute, you are much more likely to get type-2 diabetes if you are overweight. Other factors include genetics, and fatty foods.

It’s bad for your skin

We’ve all seen spotty teens running around and our first thought has been too many sweets. Well, we aren’t entirely wrong there. Too much sugar causes your insulin to spike which leads to inflammation through your body. This Inflammation produces enzymes that break down collagen and elastin, resulting in sagging skin and wrinkles.  Aside from increasing the effects of ageing, sugar can also exacerbate skin conditions like acne and rosacea.

Winter Skincare

It’s bad for your heart

“When glucose spikes after eating sugary food, our insulin increases to compensate for it, and this activates a part of our nervous system which increases blood pressure and heart rate.” High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease, as is diabetes and obesity, both of which have been linked to excessive sugar consumption.

Sugar also increases unhealthy blood fats called triglycerides in the blood, which up the risk for heart disease and stroke. In one April 2014 study, those who ate the most added sugar were most likely to die from heart disease than their counterparts who consumed the least.

It makes you tired but won’t let you sleep

We all feel like we need a quick sugar pick me up sometimes. I personally keep some dark chocolate in my gym bag for if I over do it and start feeling faint. However, consuming sugar gives your body a sugar spike which then forces it to over compensate by producing more insulin. This means the sugar spike lasts only a short period of time and then you crash. You then crave more sugar, and you begin a cycle of sugar spikes which could be detrimental to your sleep.

Sugar could very well be addictive

Although the verdict is still out on this, you can’t argue with the withdrawal symptoms people suffer when they reduce their sugar intake. Nor can you argue with the cravings that lead us to over consume sugars. Both of these things are signs that sugar is addictive.

Sugar is bad for your liver

Like alcohol sugar is processed in the liver.  Too much sugar leads to fatty build ups around your liver. Some studies even suggest sugar is as bad for your liver as alcohol.

What can you do?

  • Cut out fizzy drinks. They taste good, but not only are they full of sugar, our body processes this sugar very easily leading to very quick energy spikes.
  • We’re sad to suggest it, but cut down on your desserts.
  • Exercise frequently. This will give you something to focus on that isn’t your cravings.
  • Check the sugar content of your food. Yoghurt for example often has surprisingly high sugar content.
  • Be careful of fruit juices and smoothies. Whilst they are often sold as ‘healthy’, they can contain huge amounts of sugar.
  • Breakfast cereals are another thing to be wary of. Some of my own favourite cereals like Crunchy Nut Cornflakes are hugely sugary.
  • Jamie Oliver offers some great healthy recipes and advice on sugar.

All images sourced from Unsplash

We are no experts on these matters so please feel free to share any knowledge you have in the comments section below.

Our main sources, which we have linked to at various parts of the article, are:

Posted on Leave a comment

The New HBB Branding

Our New Branding

You may be noticing some changes.

This is because we decided it was time to refresh our look and our message.

We wanted to get to the core of who we are and what our bags mean to our customers.

This was no small challenge.

We began by sitting down and asking the hard questions, what are our customers saying about us? To each other, to their friends, and to us?

With this in mind, we began thinking about the HBB identity, where it currently is and where we wanted it to go.

What became very clear, very quickly was that we are many things to many people. But what is our core message?

Comfortable, Practical, Unique.

After hours of brainstorming these three words appeared at the forefront of the conversation.

From this we came to a brand statement that we believe combines these ideas perfectly.

Beautifully Balanced

Balanced not just in the ergonomic, comfortable shape, but as a part of your lifestyle. Perfect for city slickers and country ramblers; for the office or the beach.

The Look

Next we had to figure out what this would look like.

Mood board after mood board exposed some weird and wild ideas.

We settled in the end with a mixture of abstract imagery that display this idea of balance without immediately identifying our product. Perhaps more importantly though is the idea of colour! Bright block colours that match the innovative, exciting and colourful bags that we make.

How does this actualy look?

What are your thoughts?

Posted on Leave a comment

7 Amazing London Walks

Seven Amazing London Walks

You don’t have to travel to the Yorkshire Dales, or the Brecon Beacons for a nice walk.

Sometimes you simply don’t have time to take the weekend to get out of the city. If you live in London, there are loads of great walking routes, from abandoned railway lines to some of the biggest parks you can find inside a city.

Whilst a walk in the city won’t give you the raw savage beauty of the cornish coast or the stunning views over rolling hills that you might find on the South Downs it does offer views, forestry, cityscapes, parks and a rich, full history.

So, for all of you who can’t get out of the city, grab your HBB, pack it with all your essentials, and have an explore of one of these walks we’ve shortlisted for you!

Don’t have a Healthy Back Bag yet? Shop Now

1) The Capital Ring

The Capital Ring Walk offers you the chance to see some of London’s finest scenery. Divided into 15, easy-to-walk sections, it covers 78 miles (126KM) of open space, nature reserves, Sites of Specific Scientific Interest and more.

Find out more and download maps

2) Green Chain Walk

Stretching from the River Thames to Nunhead Cemetery, the Green Chain Walk spans the fields, parks and woodlands across 50 miles of the area. Split into 11, easy-to-follow sections, this guide allows you to explore as much, or as little as you like, at your leisure.

Find out more and download maps

3) Jubilee Greenway

The most recent addition to the Walk London routes, the Jubilee Greenway is 60km long – one km for each year of the Queen’s reign, to link together all the major Games sites.

Find out more and download maps

Our Bags are great for walking with. The clever design makes your bag feel lighter, and the clever pocketing means no more rummaging around lost at the bottom of your bag.

Don’t just belive us though!

“I actually use this bag for dog walking, it has a pocket for me to put a bottle of water, the bag itself holds an ice-cream tub that i give the dogs water in. The side pockets are great for storing dog treats and poop bags and i have room for my keys, a spare lead, somewhere to put my purse/phone etc too. It might be small but it has been so useful and it’s even weather resistant so if it rains the things inside don’t get drenched!”

– Emily

“Just wanted to say I’ve now recieved my two HBBs and am loving them! Now able to walk with both arms free, love the clever deisgn… and how it can be easily opened while wearing. Thanks!”

– Sylvia

Get yours here

4) Jubilee Walkway

The Jubilee Walkway may only be 15 miles long but it contains some of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Find out more and download maps

5) Lea Valley Walkway

The Lea Valley Walk follows the route along the Lee Navigation towpath, from Waltham Abbey to the Thames at Limehouse Basin.

Find out more and download maps

6) The London Loop

Taking the London LOOP is a great way to get to know London better. Made up of 24, mostly flat or gently sloping sections, its combination of beautiful open spaces like Hainault Forest Country Park and Bushy Park, historic buildings (Hall Place and Black Jack’s Lock & Mill), makes this an enjoyable walk.

Find out more and download maps

7) Thames Path

Stretching from the lost floodplains of Richmond to the Dickensian stretches of the eastern marshes, the Thames Path offers walkers lots to see and do.

Find out more and download maps