How to fit exercise into your schedule when being a parent

In celebratory fashion of Mother's Day this week, we thought it was time to dedicate a post to all the parents out there, seeking a little assistance when it comes to exercise. It's completely normal to feel overwhelmed when becoming a parent, and feeling completely out of routine.

We've enlisted the help of these fitness enthusiast influencer mums to offer their advice on how they fit exercise into their hectic every day.



"Training can be hard. I mean seriously hard, but training as a working-mum, is Chuck Norris hard. Here's my tips for surviving training with a job and a child...

Get your family on board. Training as a mum requires a whole team effort. It will take you out of the house for many hours a week and it’s much easier if you have the support of your family. 

Plan, plan, and plan some more. Organisation is key! You are going to need to channel your inner Monica. Go through your calendar, buy those birthday gifts, make those appointments, and fill that freezer. Make your life as easy as possible.

Make friends with your alarm clock. To ease my guilt and minimise family disruption, my alarm sounds at 5.30am several times a week. This means I am home before the family rises. It’s hellish at first but it gets easier.

A family that trains together.. This top tip was given to me by none other than Super Mum, Jo Pavey. Bring kids and partners along on bikes or scooters and do some of your shorter recovery runs together.

Be a lady that lunches. Squeeze a run or workout into your lunch break. If your work place doesn’t have shower facilities, then even a brisk walk is better than a missed session.

Taking the term “school run” literally. To get my miles in, I run down to school everyday to pick my son up. Some days it’s the only way I can get any miles in, so I turn the short run into an interval session, sprinting/jogging to each lamppost.

Cut yourself some slack. Maybe you haven’t dusted in a week (ok, 2 weeks). Maybe you’re digging school uniform out of the ironing basket each morning. Maybe you’ve missed three sessions this week, as your child has norovirus and you haven’t slept for 2 days. But, does it really matter? You are still doing an incredible job. 

Finally, be kind to yourself and most importantly, never forget who is watching."



"I think we all understand the importance of exercise for our own wellbeing, but we often struggle to find the time to do it. When we first become a parent our whole lifestyle changes and we often forget to prioritise our own needs. Here are my top tips for new parents trying to get back into exercising...
  1. Embrace the small chunks of time you have and utilise that for a quick workout. Workouts don’t have to be long, you can get an effective work out in 15-20mins. Any kind of movement is better then nothing and if you only have 15 mins then use that time to get it done. You have to learn to work with the lifestyle you have now. Always remember that things do get easier and please don’t be too hard on yourself.
  2. Exercise as a family! As a family go for a walk, hike or play sports together.
  3. Multi-task with your partner. When your partner gets home from work, use that time to sneak in a workout.
  4. Early morning! Before the day gets away from you, and people start demanding things from you, try and get some form of exercise in before your family wakes up.
  5. If you have older children utilise their activities. When you drop off your child at a after school activity, go for a walk/run/bodyweight training while you wait for them.
  6. Join in during play time with your children! Don’t sit on the side lines while at the park, join in and run around the park with them.
  7. Don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s. Everyone’s circumstances are so different and if you start the comparison game it will often put you in a negative headspace.
  8. Treat your exercise sessions like an appointment that you can’t get out of. That way it is of a high priority and we all know when something is scheduled in we usually always make it happen."
"Honestly I feel that bouncing back into a routine and being active is hard at first, but once you start and see results then it's an amazing feeling. 
So all the new parents out there go find a sport you enjoy, try out a few classes to see what get's you moving. Not all of us are into yoga or HIIT etc. 
Go with friends or join a group so you can help encourage and motivate each other. 
A great tip is start nice and easy and work up the strength, focus on form as it's key. Quality over quantity. Another is take measurements rather then watch the numbers on the scale. 
Hydrate, sleep and eat good nutritious meals."

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Going bananas? Try out this banana bread recipe!

It's time for a healthy recipe to inspire your cookery creativity this week. Eating healthy doesn't need to feel like hard work or like you're making a huge sacrifice, creating a simple recipe from scratch can make you not only feel rewarded but also taste delicious.

As mentioned previously in last week's article, we encouraged you to swap your bad snack habits for a healthier alternative. Bananas are rich in fibre and potassium, and are a popular snack amongst athletes for a quick and refuelling energy source. There is evidence to believe that eating bananas regularly may help prevent digestive problems, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. Although viewed as a popular snack, they can also be used in some delicious bakes. 

With this article, we are combining the two as we collaborate with cookery enthusiast Lucy, to bring you her favourite banana bread recipe. A well deserved and healthier alternative treat!

Simple and easy banana bread recipe:


1lb loaf tin lined with baking parchment paper

2 large or 3 small very ripe bananas

1 egg and 1 egg white

3 tbsp honey

1 tbsp coconut sugar

1 tbsp coconut flour

75g oats

75g ground almonds

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp of flaxseed (optional)



In your mixing bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Add the eggs and cinnamon and mix well. Add all the other dry ingredients and mix the mixture together until it forms a thick batter. Pour the batter into your lined baking loaf tin and spray the top with a light cooking oil spray before putting it in the oven.

Bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees, and voila!



Small changes to improve your lifestyle and health

Whilst change is daunting to most of us, making adjustments to improve your lifestyle and health don't have to be drastic and at full speed. These easy steps can make a difference to your daily activity and your digestion, meaning a healthier and a happier you as a result.


Monitor your steps

Firstly start by taking note of your daily activity. Are you on your feet for most of the day? Are you in an office job, and therefore sat down during the day? An easy way to track an estimation of your steps during the day is by downloading a step counter for your phone, there are also other devices available. The guideline amount is 10,000 steps per day, and most of us struggle to achieve this on a daily basis.

If you know that you do less steps than this per day, why not add in an extra walk after work? Skip public transport for the day and walk to your meeting if it isn't too far away. 


Opt to take the stairs, not the lift!

Always take the stairs! Taking the stairs over the lift or escalator will enable you to feel much more fulfilled whilst also getting those steps in too! For an additional benefit, squeeze your abdominal muscles as you go to keep your core tight.


Swap your snack! 

Swap your snacks from a biscuit to a banana. We're all guilty of a little craving here and there, especially something sweet! Swapping for a healthy portion of fruit will kill your cravings, leaving you satisfied but not guilty! 


Increase the fibre in your diet 

Increasing the variety and amount of fruit and vegetables in your diet will improve your gut health, due to an increase in fibre. A healthier gut leads to a healthier body, brain and life! Foods such as nuts and seeds, beans, and vegetables such as broccoli or carrots contain high amounts of dietary fibre. 


Be considerate of your alcohol, caffeine and sugar intake 

Being considerate of your alcohol, caffeine and sugar intake will also make big differences to your general health and mood swings too. If you find it hard to cut these out straight away, then slowly reduce the amount you're consuming over time. A gradual decrease is much easier to handle and more manageable if you are finding it tough. If you are a smoker, most definitely look into quitting for health reasons.


Smile more and enjoy the process

Smile more! Even if you're faking it, smiling actually uses less facial muscles than frowning. Smiling also tricks your brain into feeling happy, lifting your mood for longer. So next time you feel down, turn that frown upside down! 


Don't stress

If you are putting yourself under stress to achieve a certain look or weight goal, keep in mind that cortisol levels are raised from stress. Cortisol is a stress hormone and can lead to weight gain, memory interference, and the lowering of your immune system function. Therefore, hindering your progress and chances of improving your health. Bettering your health is a journey that never stops.

The decisions that you make daily determine your health in the long term. You must enjoy the process of taking care of your body and your health. Be sure to feel positive and satisfied about the small or large changes that you make each day. The Sculptmode tagline #youVyou is key in this process as you work on the mentality of helping yourself for yourself. The only competition is you.

We've teamed up with professional marathoners

Would you switch your kit? We asked a group of marathoners at Reading Half Marathon to switch their kit and run the distance in Sculptmode instead. When it comes to performance, we know that our high quality technical sportswear matches the needs of the elite athletes, and it was about time that they saw this for themselves. Enlisting the runners as a focus group to test out our garments, here's what they thought...

Ollie Lockley

Ollie finished in 6th place in the Reading Half Marathon this year and ran a PB of 64:46. He conducted his warm down in our Compression Long Sleeve, and this is what he had to say about it.

"I've been wearing the Compression long sleeve from Sculptmode for my warm down, which consists of an easy jog. I find the top breathable with comfortable mesh panels and it's not sticky at all. I would definitely recommend it, it's kept my muscles really warm as it's so cold out here and I don't even need a jacket! I'd recommend it to all athletes, not just runners, because it feels really good and looks good too!"  

About Ollie:

For as long as I can remember I have had a great passion for sport. I grew up playing football, hockey, tennis, golf etc, but I found that running was my true passion. I have since carried on competing at a high level, and in 2018 I was able to take the victories at the Isle of Man Easter Festival of Running, the Great Ireland Run 10k, and the England 10,000m Championships. In 2019, I have made a noticeable impact finishing 11th at the UK Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships, and 6th at the Reading Half Marathon in a time of 64:46. I already have two Great Britain standards for this years European Cup 10,000m Championships in London.


Alan Corlett

Distance runner, Alan, ran a PB at the Reading Half Marathon at 68:32. Alan wanted to recover as soon as possible after the race. He opted to warm down in the Compression Long Sleeve due to it's repair and recovery benefits.

"I'm warming down after the half marathon in the Sculptmode Compression long sleeve because I'm trying to get as quicker recovery as I can. I felt really good in my warm down because it felt light and airy yet still tight and supportive on my muscles. Recovery is so important in distance running, if you can recover properly, the quicker you can race again. The top itself is comfortable and soft on the skin, I would definitely recommend it."

About Alan:

I began running as I found I wasn't very good at football, but I did enjoy the running side of things. I wasn't built for running at this stage so I thought that I would work at it. I went to a local running event to see what it was about and I was challenged by a coach to come and try a session. I don't shy away from a challenge so I went for it. After a few years I improved and started to set goals. I now train twice a day and run up to 100 miles a week. I stay motivated by setting small goals along the way to my main goal. I also don't compare myself with anyone other than me and look at where I came from not where I am.

Lucy Ellis

Lucy ran her first half marathon this year all in aid of charity. After training for months, Lucy knew what she needed from her clothing: a t-shirt that would feel comfortable and un-restricting. We kitted her out in the Marble T and these were her thoughts post-run!

"I ran in the Sculptmode Marble t-shirt and I would definitely recommend it to anyone else as it's super comfy and lightweight as well. It kept me dry and comfortable throughout."

About Lucy: 

I loved running the Reading Half Marathon for the first time, it was definitely tough but I've been training really hard for it over the last few months. I always like to have a goal and a challenge to aim for when it comes to fitness which is why I entered the half. It felt great to raise money for charity too, I've almost raised £700 for Meningitis Research Foundation and the money raised is going towards my fundraising to climb up Mount Kilimanjaro which I am doing in September! I'm looking forward to getting back into the gym now when my legs have recovered.


Amy Anya

Amy ran the Reading Half Marathon for the third time, she is currently preparing and training for the Geneve Marathon in Switzerland.

"I ran in the Sculptmode Matte Black T. It was lightweight, kept me dry and I'd absolutely recommend it to anyone running a marathon or a half marathon."

About Amy: 

Running has always been a big part of my life. Ever since I was a kid it’s been my ‘escape’. It allows me to switch off and reflect without the online noise or day-to-day stresses to distract me. Running gives me a sense of empowerment and purpose, it makes me feel like I could achieve anything if I really put my mind and soul into it. It’s given me strength to deal with tough times on a number of occasions, it’s actually amazing how much of a positive impact it’s had on my life, not to mention the physical fitness element!


Sculptmode HQ


Boost your recovery with these five easy steps

 If you’re someone who takes your fitness seriously and enjoys training in the gym, it can be easy to forgo recovery at the expense of squeezing in an extra workout or two throughout the week.

It’s important to remember though, that recovery plays an essential part in building lean muscle mass, maintaining a lean physique, and achieving optimal health and performance.

Here are five of our favourite ways to boost recovery, optimise wellbeing and get back into the gym fighting fit:

Get enough sleep

There has been a number of studies conducted over the past five years relating to sleep and how it affects our physical and mental health. Given that we live lifestyles where we are constantly staring at our screens, available to work around the clock, and busier than ever before, it’s hardly surprising that our sleep is beginning to suffer.

It’s not just the number of hours that we’re clocking, but also the quality. Deep sleep is particularly important, as this is when our bodies are at the greatest state of rest and can achieve the most recovery.

Optimal levels of sleep vary between individuals, so experiment and see what works for you. Eight hours is generally a good goal, and the number of hours often cited by health professionals, however, if you’re particularly active, you may find that you benefit from more. If you’re struggling to clock enough z’s, try curbing your afternoon caffeine consumption and minimising screen time in the hours before bed.

Minimise stress

We know that stress wreaks havoc on everything from our digestion to our skin, making it much harder to maintain a state of good health.

When it comes to training, stress is actually a key component of building muscle. Every time you work out, you’re putting your body under stress. This forces the body to adapt, which is where we see progress being made.

In this case, stress can be a good thing – but like all good things, you can have too much, and that’s where we see fatigue and feelings of burnout beginning to manifest.

Offset the stress of your workout by trying to manage stress in other areas of your life. There are lots of different ways to reduce stress, from journaling to yoga and meditation, to talking a walk outside or giving your mind a break and indulging in a Netflix binge.

Eat enough protein

You’ve probably heard before that protein is the building block of muscle, and that’s entirely correct. Getting a complete profile of amino acids is essential for building and maintaining muscle.

By resistance training in the gym, we’re increasing our muscle protein breakdown in the part of our body that we’re using. Consuming enough protein in our daily diets, but particularly around training sessions, helps to reduce that muscle protein breakdown, and increase protein muscle synthesis.

The overall goal is to achieve a greater rate of synthesis than breakdown and eating enough protein will help get you there. Current recommendations suggest that consuming 1.6 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight will put you in good stead. If you’re struggling to reach that point through food alone, there are plenty of good protein supplements on the market that can help.

Treat yourself to a massage

Many athletes and individuals report an experience of faster recovery from DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) after a massage. Not only does a massage feel great, but it can also help to promote recovery within the body. It can increase blood flow, relieve tension in muscles, and can ease inflammation.

If you’re particularly sore, it can be well worth a visit to a remedial massage practitioner. In addition to the benefits you would get from a regular massage, a remedial massage therapist will assess and treat you with the express purpose of enhancing recovery and performance, as well as managing any injuries you may have developed.

Plus, massage has the added benefit of reducing stress and, if you can get one close to bedtime, may assist with sleep.

Schedule proper downtime

You can’t expect your body to recover if you’re constantly burning the candle at both ends. At the recent Live Well Festival, we heard Kimberley Wilson from Monumental Health say that scheduling time to do nothing was one of the most common tips that she gave to her clients in helping to improve their mental health and in turn, their digestion and gut health.

Giving ourselves the luxury of downtime can improve many different facets of our health, allowing us to function at our prime. We know that rest plays an essential part in recovery, so allowing yourself to really, truly rest (without feeling guilty or stressed out over what we think we should be doing) is hugely important.

When it comes to what to wear during your downtime, Sculptmode has a range of products to help you with your recovery. For ultimate comfort on rest days, the Sculpted Joggers and Pullover should be your comfy go-to, but for serious recovery, try the Sculptmode Compression range. The technical performance wear is engineered to reduce muscle oscillation and improve recovery post-exercise.

by Ashleigh Went

Five ways to improve your track performance

Don't neglect working on your overall strength
Improving your general strength is an important part of your training and shouldn't be neglected. As you get stronger, your endurance will increase meaning you'll be able to use more energy for longer. Core strengthening is particularly key, aiding your balance and acceleration. Introduce an abs circuit into your training a few times a week.
Focus on your form
Posture isn't typically the first thought when it comes to sprints. As Olympic sprint champion Micheal Johnson states: "Think of your arms as your accelerators. Your arms drive your legs, not the other way around." Keeping your posture strong, core controlled, and your knees high, you should keep momentum through driving your arms backwards and forwards, aiding your speed and performance. 
Wear SculptX Compression to support your muscles
We engineered our technical performance wear with SculptX compression in order to provide sportswear that you can not only wear, but benefit from. SculptX compression technology produces a reduction in muscle oscillation and offers impressive recovery benefits post exercise. Shop our Compression T-shirt here, or our Compression Long Sleeve here


Why wear SculptX compression wear?

- Reduced muscle fatigue

- Muscle strain and damage prevention

- Decreased muscle soreness

- Improved sport performance

- Improved posture and body awareness

- Better muscle oxygenation

- Rapid recovery post exercise


Rest up 

When we think of improving our strength or speed, we often don't consider the importance that getting enough rest could have. Often a lot of people over train and plateau when it comes to seeing results. Rest allows your body the time it needs to rebuild and repair the tissues and muscles that are strained during exercise, making sure that you are completely ready to go next time you race.


Fuel Your Body Through the Right Nutrition

Diet is important in many aspects of exercise, and even in everyday health. Ensuring that your muscles have enough protein to aid growth and recovery is very important. You can find protein in foods such as meat, fish, eggs, and nuts. Vitamins from fruit and vegetables are also a key component of a healthy diet as your body needs and absorbs the minerals that they provide. 

Sculptmode HQ