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One of the most important things for me when training in the gym or out road running is being able to listen to good motivating music to keep pushing me. In the last 10 years of training I have been through countless pairs of earphones which have broken or stopped working for one reason or another. About 18 months ago I decided it was time to invest in a pair of real good quality earphones and decided to give the Bang & Olufsen A8's a go. I was very reluctant to spend over £40 on a pair of earphones due to the amount of pairs that have given up the ghost on me but I parted with my hard earned cash and it turned out to be a shrewd move.
The A8's have the bit that keeps them stuck to your ear whilst running (not sure of the technical term) so they don't fall out. On this pair of earphones it actually works and keeps them in place. I have had a number of cheaper pairs that although they have this feature they won't stay in your when running, which becomes a real pain. I have had to wear a hat to keep many pairs in my ear which is not good in the warmer weather. The sound on these is fantastic and does not start to crackle or get distorted when they start to get sweat in them, another major gripe of mine with the cheaper pairs.
The length of the the chord is ample compared with many pairs I have had which is a bit short. I am pleased to say that after 18 months of heavy use the earphones are still in perfect working order and are proving to be a sound investment. This is the first pair of sports earphones I have had where one or both earphones have stopped working (due to getting sweat in them I guess), I hope I have not cursed myself here. I am sure they won't go on forever so if anybody knows of another good, durable pair of sports headphones which are more modestly priced I would be interested to hear?
A few other nice little extra that comes with these are a carry pouch, In-Flight adaptor and a 2 metre extension cord if you want to use them indoors for any reason. I would certainly recommend these to anybody who is look for a durable pair of earphones for sport although they are a bit expensive you get what you pay for. Would I spend this much for a day to day pair of earphones? Probably not.
Although I think my diet is very good and varied (well Monday to Friday), I decided about a year ago it was time to introduce some multivitamins and oils into my diet to make sure I was getting all the essential oils and vitamins my body needed and which I may have missed from food sources. I had heard good reports on Cod Liver Oil from a guy a train with in the gym, he is getting on a bit and has been training for years and swears that a daily dose of Cod Liver Oil helps his ageing joints. Having suffered from a dislocated knee a few years ago and having intermittent Cartilage problems in the other knee I decided that Cod Liver Oil was something that should definitely be including in my new vitamin regime.
First off I bought the bottle of Cod Liver and intended taking a teaspoon a day, big mistake this stuff does not take good at all, maybe the name put me off and I was expecting it to be bad but it is certainly not something I could take daily like that. Anyway on my next visit to Holland and Barrett, I found that they sold this in capsule form which is how I take my Evening Primrose Oil (although this tastes better than the Cod Liver) and opted to give a tub a go. I think I paid about £5 odd for my first 120 capsules but Holland and Barrett like most High Street Retailers these days always seem to be running some sort of promotion or Buy One Get One Half Price so I usually pick my Cod Liver Oil capsules up a bit cheaper.
I have found the capsules to be a godsend compared to trying to force down a teaspoon of oil. My daily routine upon waking is to take all of my vitamins and oils with my morning Protein Shake so I don't forget.
A bit about Cod Liver oil in general it is a good source of vitamin A and D and also contains Omega 3 (I keep hearing that this is good for you). It is supposed to be good for your heart, bones, nails and hair and also as I have already mentioned be good for your joints. The only downside I have read about Cod Liver Oil is that you may end up getting too much Vitamin A which is apparently not good for pregnant woman.
It is hard to say if my body has seen any benefits from taking Cod Liver Oil but it is modestly priced and in capsule form no hassle to take so I will continue to use it as part of my daily diet.
Being field based a lot of the time and travelling up and down the country it is essential for me to have a good reliable travel alarm clock to make sure I am not up late for my meetings. I bought Acctim Atom Travel Alarm clock a good few years ago now before I had my Blackberry with its super loud alarm clock. The clock was a very modest price of about £9.99 at the time I think and it has more than paid for itself.
The Atom is very compact and easy to use, ideal for me as I keep it in the front compartment of my travel bag so I never forget it. The clock in the picture here is black but I have the silver version, but is exactly the same clock with all of the same functions. The clock is fold away and has a good size LCD screen showing the time and indicating whether or not the alarm is switched on. This is a very basic and simple mode, but is very good value for money. It has very few functions which makes it easy to use when you first get it and need to set up the alarm.
The clock takes 1 AA battery and this powers it for a very long time. The alarm itself is a very good volume and always woke me up. I am very reluctant to use the hotel wake calls or the alarm on the TV's as I have slept through these a few times the morning after a few too many Shandy's at the hotel bar the night before. The alarm has the obvious snooze button, which I must admit comes into play more often than not.
The clock is getting on a bit now but still does the job; for me it has been superseded by the alarm on my Blackberry but I do always set it up as I back in case either alarm does fail to wake me up or I have had a particularly heavy night in the bar. I would say this is an excellent, durable alarm for anybody who travels.
I have tried a wide range of different waxes, gels and hairstyling products over the years and have finally settled on Black and White Hair Dressing Pomade for my hair. I have shortish hair with the front and top sticking up/messy and I find that black and white is ideal for my style. The wax is clear in colour and has a pleasant smell compared with a lot of other products I have used.
I always opt for the 200ml tub for one it is the cheapest way of buying it and two I find it lasts absolutely ages. I buy it from ebay and pick up the 200ml tub for around £4.99 which is a bargain when you look at the small tub in boots which costs about £6. I also have a number of the smaller tubs which I have kept and refill from the large tub as I like to have one in my gym bag and one in my travel bag for work.
The pomade is easy to apply, just add a small amount to your hands and rub in your hair; you do not need to use a lot to get the desired effect. Once rubbed into your hair it is easy to style how you like it. I really like this stuff as like a lot of other products it does not make my hair go hard or look wet and greasy. The wax does not come off on my clothes when I take them off and I find that one application keeps my hair in place all day. I have tried a lot of other styling products which make my hair go hard which I do not like.
This is certainly a product I recommend and my brothers have both switched to Black and White on my recommendation. A good value and long lasting hair style product.
If ever there is an area of my body where I am looking for a quick fix is my abs. Every other body part is easily taken care of with my weekly gym regime except the abs. The main reason for this is that I hate sit ups so any piece of exercise equipment that comes on the market which targets the stomach I tend to buy.
I bought my Tuntari Gym Ball about 8 years ago to use at home instead of the sit up cradle I was previously using. I had seen adverts for these on a lot of shopping channels and the fitness world seemed to be raving about them (like most new fads). I paid about £10 for the ball at the time which was very reasonable seen as my sit up cradle had cost be about £40 a few years prior to this. Upon opening the box I was presented with the exercise ball and a list of various different sit ups and exercises to do on it. Once blown up the ball is about 65cm in size which does not sound a lot but you try finding somewhere to store a ball of that size without it getting in the way and being an eye sore.
The ball itself is easy to use for sit ups simply lay in a normal sit up position on the ball with your feet resting on the floor and knees at a 90 degree angle. It does feel a bit awkward and unsteady at first. You move up and down the ball to target different parts of the abdominal region. Be careful not to go back to far and topple of the back of the ball. Other than conventional sit up you can lie on the floor and rest your legs on the ball for a raised sit up or lay flat and put the ball in-between your feet and lift slightly to hit the troublesome bottom of your abs. The ball can also be used for a side sit up to target the oblique's. I have spoken to a lot of people who use the exercise balls in the gym (my current gym has about 20 of them) and they swear by them, for me though I am afraid it is not my favourite piece of equipment. Doing sit ups on the ball does take strain of your lower back but the sit up itself seems so much easier as you seem to bounce up of the ball. I am a firm believer in no pain no gain and never ached after using the ball so in the end stopped using it.
One exercise I did find good on the ball though was press ups. It is very good to keep your legs raised on the ball and do push ups it really does target the top of the pectoral muscle. I would say on the whole the exercise ball is a pain to store due to its size and does not give any benefit over a traditional sit up that you can do for free. My advice give this one a miss and save your cash. In my oponion the only way to get a six pack is good diet and hard work in the gym.
My girlfriend got me a job lot a job lot of different bits and pieces from the Boots No7 range for Valentine's day, I am not sure if there was some sort of special offer on or she was trying to suggest I have poor personal hygiene. Anyway one of the products she gave me was a 150ml tube of the Energising Face Scrub. I had never used any sort of face wash or scrub before, tell a lie I did use Clearasil when I was a teenager. The scrub was in a silvery tube with orange writing and said on the front how it would get the dirt and grime out of your skin etc.
Next morning I discarded my usual Imperial Leather and used the face scrub. It was a lot easier than lathering up the soap and smelt a lot better. It had some rough stuff in it which the old girl told me was the exfoliating stuff, felt like grit. I must admit my face did feel a lot smoother after use and it had kind of a zingy feeling which really woke me up in the morning.
I used the face scrub every few days and it must have lasted me a good three months which was good. When it came to replacing it I was shocked to find it cost £6.50, this must be the price of beauty I guess. To me this is a nice to have and would be gratefully received as a gift but when it comes to weighing up the price and the benefits Vs my normal soap I will stick to the Imperial Leather thanks Boots.
If this was half the price I may be tempted to keep using it.
I bought a bottle of this back in April in preparation for my holiday and the summer in general. Having never tried any kind of self tanning method before I decided that this moisturiser which provides a Sun Kissed looked would be the cheapest and safest method to use. I looked around Asda and found that they had their of self tanning Moisturiser priced at £3.49 but I decided that I would go for a more recognised brand so went for the Garnier priced at £7.50 for a 400ml bottle.
The bottle is a nice tanned colour itself and says it contains an extract of Apricot for a Summer Fresh Fragrance which sounded nice. It sounded easy to apply and all the Directions said was too apply evenly to your body all year round. This would apparently gradually build up a natural Sun Kissed Tan and provide 12 hours of moisturisation.
Unfortunately I didn't manage to use it for long enough to get the promised Sun Kissed look. I started using it over a weekend and it seemed ok. I applied evenly over my whole body before bed which was easy enough and to start with I found the smell quite nice. After a few days I did notice that my skin was looking a bit more tanned however I could not seem to get rid of the smell of the cream even after bathing which was not good. The skin all over my body started to feel very greasy. Come the Monday night I went to the gym as normal and started to sweat and the smell of the moisturiser was getting stronger. I had also applied this to my face and as I sweated this really irritated my eyes.
I used the cream for a few more days before deciding it was not the product for me the constant smell and greasy feeling was enough for me too not want to use it. I also noticed that although I washed my hands after application in between my fingers was starting to stain and go brownish.
I guess if you don't mind the smell and greasy feeling this stuff would over time build up a nice looking tan without subjecting yourself to the Sun or Sunbeds but for it is a definite no go!
I got my York Push up Bars about 8 years ago from Argos. Due to working away a lot I found it difficult to regularly get to the gym to use the resistance machines so for me push ups was an excellent exercise to work my whole upper body. At the time I was not into weightlifting like I am now so wherever I was staying a good long run followed by press ups and sit ups was enough for me to keep trim and work off some of the pies which are hard to resist for the travelling salesman.
The push up bars are small and compact and easily fit into my sports bag which I take away along with my running gear. Anybody who does press ups regularly will know that it does cause stress on your wrists due to the weight you are holding. I would sometimes experience shooting pains going up my wrist and into the forearm when doing normal press ups which as well as being uncomfortable stopped me doing as many press ups as I would have liked.
The push up bars are simple to use just place them however far apart you want depending on the part of the chest or triceps you are trying to target. You then just get into a normal press up positition lifting yourself in the normal way but instead of having your hands on the floor you are gripping the bars. This has two major benefits for me firstly it relieves all of the stress and strain on the wrists. Secondly you get a lot deeper into the chest muscle as you can go down further using the bar and although the press up is no harder it feels as if it is working the area a lot better.
I use these every time I do press ups at home, strangely I have never seen them in any gym I have been too. Defiantly a product I recommend to anybody who feels the stress from normal press ups. They are also very well priced mine came with a home gym kit I bought but you can pick them up for around £5.99.
Now here's a pair of trainers that I can recommend. I have been wearing Reebok classics on and off since I was at school (I won't tell you how long ago that was). For me the Classic is a trainer that suit all occasions is ideal for sports I normally use my old ones for jogging or the gym. They go well with either Tracksuit bottoms or shorts for a casual look. I also personally sometimes wear them with Jeans for a casual night they are one of the smarter trainers on the market.
I remember when I was at school the Classics used to set me back about £60 so it is strange being able to pick a pair for about £35 these days but I guess that is the same with a lot products. There is a wide range of different styles and colours you can get Reebok classics in I think my favourite pair used to be with yellow and Lime green stripes, god how fashion changes.
I have always found these trainers very hardwearing the soles have good grip. When I have finished with a pair my dad usually has them for work which goes to show the life you can get out of a pair of these. The only problem I have had is the plastic bit of the sole which comes round onto the front of the trainer usually peels off after a while, luckily this is nothing a bit of superglue won't fix. Classics are very comfatable to wear and never seem to rub or hurt when I get a new pair.
These trainers have been around for years and I think they will be around for a long time. A lot of style of trainer seems to come and go but the Reebok Classic has stood the test of time. If you have never tried a pair you can pick them up cheaply at Sports Direct.
I have used a clock radio for as long as I can remember. For me the main purpose of having one is that I struggle to sleep without a little bit of background noise and find it a lot easier with the radio on. After replacing a number of cheap clock radio's I decided it was time to shell out a bit more so about 2 and a half years ago I went for the Pure Siesta Clock Radio with DAB radio. I bought this from Argos and paid in the region of about £50.
The device itself is black in colour with nice silver operating buttons on the top which are clearly marked. The rectangular display on the front shows you the time (24 or 12 hour) along with which radio station you are listening too and an indicator as to whether the alarm is on. This a very lightweight Clock Radio and compact compared with a lot of other similar ones on the market. I have a small bedside cabinet and manage to fit it on that along with a small lamp and my phone at night.
This is very simple to use the clock set itself the first time I plugged it in with seconds which was a bit of a surprise after using my previous prehistoric models. I worked out how to set the alarm without using the instructions. It has 3 different alarms which can be set, I find this useful as I like to have a bit of a lay in of a weekend but don't want to sleep all day so the multi alarm system means I can set a later time for the weekends and don't have to worry about forgetting to change the alarm time the night before. There are different alarm tones or you can set it to wake up with the radio coming on if you like. I find the alarm wakes me up well although the snooze button does come in handy on cold mornings or after a night out.
The radio is digital but can also receive FM stations for me this is the biggest benefit over my old Clock Radio. The DAB is so much better sounding and I love the fact that there is no tuning button to mess about with. You can save up to 16 Stations in the radio's memory if you wish although I don't use this as I only listen to one station. There is a port on the top for headphones which could be useful for anybody whose partner doe not like the radio on in the background.
This has been an excellent purchase for me and I hope it lasts a good few years yet. I would recommend this to anybody.
As I said in my previous review on T-Gel I suffer from Psoriasis although my case is considered minor I have tried all sorts of creams, herbal remedies and UV light treatments. One of the more natural remedies I read on a number of forums for Psoriasis especially under the nails which is a nightmare area to treat is Evening Primrose oil. I have been to the doctor a number of times with this complaint and told that there is no treatment for it.
Upon reading about Evening Primrose I decided to give it a go at £3.49 for 90 capsules I had nothing to lose. Luckily for me Asda had a Buy One Get One Free On offer so I had a nice supply. Reading the back of the tub they are an excellent source of vitamin E and contain something called Gamma Linolenic Acid whatever that is.
I started these back an January and most of the forums I had read said they work on the nails very quickly. I was seeing no improvement at all after about 6 weeks at all so decided to double my dosage and take 2 capsules a day which I then increased to 3 a few weeks later. The capsules are small and yellow and very easy to swallow. Towards the end of my 2nd Tub I started to see an improvement of the thickness of and pitting in my nails and the white end of nail started to have a lot more shape to ,so I decided to buy some more.
I have now been using Evening Primrose for coming up to a year and take 3 capsules religiously every day. I have also started biting the capsules in my mouth and swallowing the liquid, it does not taste bad at all. My nails still have some bits of dry skin under some of them but they have improved tenfold and some nails which were affected are completely cleared.
I am not 100% sure if the improvement is down to the EPO capsules I as I also started taking other supplements at the same time including Zinc. Alongside this I introduced a lot more oily fish into my diet so I would not like to say what has made me see the improvement but whatever it is I am delighted with the results.
I would recommend anybody who is suffering from Nail Psoriasis to give these a try you have nothing to lose. I am sure they have a lot of other benefits as well but in I am just trying to share my personal experience.
I bought my Tom Tom one about six years. I work in Software sales and the particular solution I was selling at the time meant travelling up and down the country every week. I would sometimes do 2 or 3 appointments in the same region across a few days. Before Tom Tom it was a case of using the old Map, which I did not particularly like or putting the route into Autoroute on the PC and printing out the driving directions and various pictures of the smaller roads along the route. Both of which were pretty dangerous and it meant always trying to read and drive at the same time.
Anyway I decided enough was enough and got a Sat Nav. At the time I paid about £169 for the Tom Tom One from PC World. This was a Sunday afternoon after football and I was due to be travelling from Kent to a little place called Kendall in Yorkshire I think the next day. Luckily for me the device was very simple to set up and within minutes I had worked out how to add my destination and Tom Tom had already worked out for me how long the journey would take, impressive stuff.
Anyway next morning I set of having never travelled to my destination before. I found Tom Tom very easy to follow and there are a number of different voices to choose from if you want voice directions on. The screen is a good size and following the directions in so easy. I am pleased to say I made it to my destination easily. It is brilliant having your estimated time of arrival displayed on screen so you can let the person you are meeting early if you are going to be late. Some of the newer models have traffic news and alert you real time if there is a problem on your route and offer alternative routes.
Other nice bits on the Tom Tom are the ability to find local attractions such as restaurants etc. It has really helped me finding the nearest petrol station on occasions when I have been out in the sticks. It comes with a powerful sucker to attach to the windscreen.
I would recommend the Tom Tom to anybody whose job involves driving or anybody who just need a bit of help to get from A to B. I have looked at others like Navman and Garman and for me Tom Tom is a cut above the recommend.
I am sure most men will agree with when I say we HATE shaving. Woman always go on about how difficult it is to be woman and how easy men have etc, etc, etc! Getting up every morning and having to shave is the Bain of my life. It is not the time it takes but for me it is the irritation and nasty rash I get from daily shaving. I have probably tried nearly every razor and disposable razor on the market today and all with the same result dry, red and horrible looking rashes on either side of my neck and that is without the countless nicks and cuts. Dry shaving is not for me as I do like the close feeling and clean cut look of a wet shave. For years I had settled for what I had found to be the best of a bad bunch and this was the Gillette Mach 3.
I had seen the advertisements for the Gillette Fusion and resisted buying one for a few months. The main reason being the price of the blades as I have thick stubble and seem to get through blades at the rate of knots and thought this would be the same with the Fusion. Anyway a while after the razor had been launched I saw Tesco were doing a promotion for the razor and two replacement cartridges, so I decided to give it a whirl, why not I have tried everything else on the market.
This was possibly the best purchasing decisions I have made this decade. Although I will never like shaving the Gillette Fusion has taken away a lot of the pain from doing so. The neck rash that I would get without fail after every shave is now barely visible. I don't know the technology behind it, all I know that the 4 blades of the Fusion seem to glide over my skin even after a few days growth over a weekend. After a shave my neck would feel very sore and now seems to feel soft after shaving with the Fusion. I think this may be due to the fact that I only need to go over an area once or at maximum twice with the fusion to get a good close shave. The razor also has a 5th single blade on the back which is perfect for getting those rogue hairs under the nose area. I can honestly say this gives me the best and closest shave I have ever had.
Since I have been using the razor I actually spend far less on blades than I was when using the Mach 3. The blades on the fusion seem to last so much longer and the extra few pounds for a packet of 4 cartridges is money well spent. The razor looks good in chrome and blue and the box is in bright orange, it could be pink with purple spots for all I care.
My Dad and both brothers have switched to the Fusion since I have been using it and my girlfriend has also helped herself to a blade for her legs (although she denies it). Before anybody asks no I don't work for Gillette, just feel passionately about how good this product is and how it has helped me with a daily problem.
Mr Gillette if you're reading I think you owe me a year's worth of free blades for this review.
My girlfriend decided about 18 months ago on another one of her diet fads that she wanted to start having Fruit Smoothies for Breakfast. She had been buying the bottled stuff from the Supermarket which was starting to add up and at about £60 for the Kenwood Smoothie Maker we thought we would soon make our money back. I also like Smoothies so thought it seemed a good idea to buy one.
We have a lot of unused unit space in our kitchen so decided to keep it on display as the colour matched the rest of our kitchen appliances. If you are short on space do note that it is a fairly big unit. The base is silver the blender part is clear plastic with a black nozzle and the lid is black. The Smoothie Maker is very easy to assemble and we had it up and running in minutes.
We had a fair few ideas of what Smoothies we liked but it come with an instruction book and list of some exotic Smoothies you can make a few of which we trialled. It is very simple to use slice your choice of fruits and add to the blender with a choice of fresh fruit juice or milk add Ice Cubes if you wish and blend away within minutes you have a lovely fresh Fruit Smoothie ready to pour through the nozzle.
It all sounds good and don't get me wrong they Smoothies are very tasty and a lot healthier than you would buy off the shelf. Personally we found it a bit of a novelty at first but it does become a bit of a chore messing around with this every morning. The fruit needs to be chopped into smallish chunks which can be time consuming. The blender part obviously needs washing up after every use which is not nice to come home too after work. For us the Smoothie maker was a novelty that soon wore off and now only comes out occasionally on the weekend so has become more of a nice to have than a necessity.
It does come in handy to blend vegetables for soup or make nice thick Ice Cream Milkshakes in the summer but I would imagine this could be done using any run of the mill of the blender. My advice would be before you buy this is to decide would I really use it. In my opinion it is a bit of a fancy blender with a poring nozzle on the front!
Had always promised myself when I was going through my training programme at work that once I was out on the road and made my first big sale the commission I earned was going to go on a nice designer watch. I am pleased to say that back in 2007 after a long drawn out sales process I had the commission cheque which was going to get me my timepiece.
I had done a bit of shopping around and looking at friends and colleagues watches and decided that I wanted either a Tag or Armani watch. Although my commission was a nice amount I am sad to say that it would not stretch to a Tag, well not a real one anyway. There is a shop in the closest City to me Canterbury (can't remember the name) that I was told stocked a nice range of Armani watches.
After a good 30 minutes pondering in the shop I decided to spend £199 on the AR0156. It came with a lovely presentation box and with full instruction book. The watch itself is stainless steel with a small rectangle face in black, it looks lovely. It has lots of fine detail Emporio Armani written on the side of the face, Armani badge on the back and EA on the dial. The face has The Armani Logo on it along with a small face inside with a second hand.
The watch is great for a professional look work or casual for the weekends. In 3 years I have changed the battery once and it has always kept good time. I have looked after it well and is still in mint condition.
TIP: Next time you go to the Indian clean your watch with the Hot Wipe, sounds odd but it brings jewellery up a treat!