Ok, so you’ve purchased a bike, sorted out your helmet, and you’re ready to go. Before you set off on your cycling adventure, here are some surprising things you didn’t know about the benefits of cycling.
It saves you money
This is a great motivator to get you out there cycling. It saves you money by cutting down on the number of car journeys you’ll be taking. As soon as you can start cycling further, you’ll notice you use the car less and less. Extra pounds in the pocket, fewer pounds on the body.
It gets you fit
Anything that gets you off the sofa and doing some active gets you fit. However, cycling is great because it is suitable for anyone. It’s ideal if you have mobility issues, or struggle keeping up with others when you go running. You can go at your pace and build your fitness up as slowly or as quickly as you choose.
It helps the environment
More people on bikes means fewer people in cars. It also means you’ll feel healthier on your commute to work, and possibly a little bit smug as well.
You’ll get to your destination faster
This isn’t a guarantee, so don’t sue me. However, it has been shown in studies that in certain city centres at rush hour, you’ll be quicker cycling than sitting in traffic. No more rush hour misery? Perfect. Just remember to check out cycling insurance comparison sites when insuring your bike against damage or accidents.
You won’t get as many illnesses
Moderate exercise helps keep your body in optimum condition, so your immune cells will fight off infection better. A study from the University of North Carolina also showed that if you cycle for 30 minutes, five days a week, you’ll take half as many sick days a year as a couch potato.
You will live longer
Hurrah, we’ve finally cracked it! King’s College London studied 2,400 identical twins and found those that did just three forty-five minute bike rides each week were nine years biologically younger than those who didn’t. The more exercise you do, the better your body becomes are regenerating itself.
You’ll have better sex
Cycling will improve your sex life. Studies have shown that female athletes can delay the menopause by up to five years just by staying in shape. It also shows that male athletes have the sexual prowess of men two to five years younger. Men over 50 who cycle at least 3 hours a week also have a 30 percent lower risk of impotence.
It can help with pregnancy
Mums who cycle suffer far fewer problems in their pregnancy. It means they’ll have a much happier and healthier nine months. They are more likely to have an uncomplicated labour, as well as recover from the birth quicker. It also follows down to your new baby as they will have a 50 percent lower chance of being obese.
There are countless other benefits associated with cycling, so have fun out there and your body will thank you.
This summer, those travelling to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, cannot miss a trip to five-star safari lodge provider, Africa Albida Tourism’s (AAT) much-loved The Boma – Dinner & Drum Show, where they can experience exciting new offerings at this renowned, interactive dining experience. Popular with both guests and Victoria Falls locals, The Boma is more than just a place to eat; it is a complete dining and entertainment experience, and is the perfect place for families and friends to gather for dinner. Welcoming more than one million guests since it opened in 1992, this year the much-loved Boma has been rejuvenated to offer an uplifting local experience, keeping it a firm favourite of the Victoria Falls experience.
The Boma’s food offering has been fine-tuned under the guidance of South African celebrity chef, Arnold Tanzer, whilst its famous entertainment has been enhanced to create a truly multi-sensory evening, featuring energetic dancing, lively songs, story-telling, face painting, and an incredible interactive drumming show. The Boma – Dinner & Drum Show has long since been a celebration of Zimbabwe that diners flock to for an immersive evening, and now guests can learn even more about the Zimbabwean culture and fully enter into the African way of life.
With the help of Chef Tanzer, the dedicated culinary team at The Boma have refined their delicious four-course meal that encourages diners to eat like a local and try something new, with a mouth-watering platter of starters, soup from the campfire, a typical Zimbabwean braai, and traditional delicacies such as warthog steak, Zambezi bream and, for the more daring – mopane worms, as well as vegetarian offerings. Serving the local food up on platters, The Boma truly plays on what Africa is known for – hospitality and generosity. The whole Boma experience is based on sharing and enjoying time together, as well as joining in the entertainment and celebration as much as possible.
Having enjoyed an exciting evening and satisfied the taste buds, guests can continue their African Adventure by staying in the heart of Victoria Falls, whether at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, Safari Club, or Safari Suites. With breath-taking views across the plains, luxurious bedrooms, and five-star service, Africa Albida Tourism’s accommodation offerings are number one choice for guests looking to capture the very essence of Africa. One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, Victoria Falls is widely known as not only a stunning spectacle but an adventure capital, and visitors are encouraged to make the most of everything on offer, from white water rafting to sunset cruises on the Zambezi River and more.
This summer, Africa Albida Tourism invites guests to discover The Boma – Dinner & Drum Show with the whole family, so adults and children alike can make the most of the exceptional entertainment on offer, from artistic craft activities to local music and dancing that runs late into the night. Every evening at The Boma is based around combining fantastic local food with traditional entertainment, to evoke the sentiment of a true Zimbabwean evening, bringing guests together in celebration.
Nightly rates at Victoria Falls Safari Club start from US$265/£197 per person sharing a Club Room per night on a Bed and Breakfast basis in High Season 2016 (1 July to 31 Dec 2016), and US$248/£185 per person sharing per night on a Bed and Breakfast basis in Green Season 2017 (1 Jan to 30 June 2017).
*Prices in Pound Sterling are according to today’s exchange rate.
London is one of the city break capitals of the world. Not only is it a magnificent destination in and of itself, but it’s also a hub for further onward travel. There is something for every type of tourist in England’s capital city. It covers shopping, culture, history and a vibrant nightlife all in one place. No wonder it is on so many people’s lists of places to see and experience.
If you are considering visiting London, there’re a few things that you should take into account when planning your visit. The city can be a daunting place to the uninitiated, so hopefully some of these ideas will give you the time and scope to experience London at its best.
Thinking of renting a car? Don’t.
Well, you can rent a car if you want to. But realistically, doing so is just going to guarantee that you spend most of your holiday in traffic jams. Despite a congestion charge meant to lower traffic, London is still a nightmare to navigate by road.
Luckily, it is supported by a fantastic transport system. The London Underground is world famous and allows you to cross the city at speed. Buses are also reliable, and the famed black cabs will navigate anything else that public transport can’t manage. As for payment, the Oyster card system keeps everything simple and means you have to carry less cash.
Many people assume that staying in London means staying in one of its famous hotels and that not doing so is not to be doing London “right”. The hotels are great, but they’re not the only options.
Small boutique hotels are accessible, with themes and small guest numbers allowing a more intimate experience. You could also try a serviced apartment, which is similar to self-catering and can enable you to feel more at home. Not having a restaurant in your accommodation means you’re more likely to go and experience the nightlife. If that appeals, here is a list of London serviced apartments to consider.
If you’re on a budget, then hostels are an excellent choice. They’re often a little further from the central areas, but remember the bit about the fantastic transport system? It’s a problem that’s overcome with little effort.
Maybe given the open-top bus tour a miss.
It seems like an obvious idea, and one of the most tourist-style things to do in the capital. But the open-top bus tours are only appropriate if you want to pack a lot into a little time. They suit short breaks, but if you have more time, use it. Driving past the outside of St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey does not compare to going inside and giving them a few hours. The bus tours are also expensive, so plot out your route and use the far cheaper transport links.
When it comes to a city like London, it’s almost impossible to list every idea and trick. However, hopefully, the above are a good start, giving you a full opportunity to experience London at its best.
With the celebrity cult well and truly on the wellness wagon, scenic social media snaps of hikes in Ibiza and treetop yoga in St Lucia are evoking worldwide workout wanderlust. Letting you in on the celebrity secret, Health and Fitness Travel, the leading specialists in wellness holidays worldwide, share where to holiday like the fit and famous. From a Thailand wellness retreat frequented by the Beckhams, to a health sanctuary in Spain graced by the likes of Kylie Minogue and Demi Moore, add a touch of star quality to your healthy escape.
Spa like the stars at Spain’s pioneering SHA Wellness Clinic, a celebrity wellness hotspot boasting scenic ocean views and sweeping mountain vistas. Frequented by Hollywood stars and music moguls, SHA prides itself on offering distinctively tailored wellness programmes, with healthy breaks to help combat insomnia, stress, weight loss, smoking and more. The world’s first macrobiotic wellness resort, combine a tailor-made macrobiotic nutritional plan with rejuvenating spa therapies and complimentary classes, from yoga to Tai Chi.
Famous Fans: Demi Moore, Kylie Minogue, Simon Cowell, Naomi Campbell, Madonna and Yoko Ono.
Health and Fitness Travel (0203 397 8891 healthandfitnesstravel.com) offers 7 nights at SHA from £2,330pp or £2,775 for single occupancy. Price includes full board, a choice of programmes, return flights and transfers.
Nestled in a peaceful cove on the stunning Caribbean island of St. Lucia, The BodyHoliday, has offered a wellness sanctuary to many celebs in search of a haven to refocus their minds and re-energize their bodies. Inviting guests to be as active or relaxed as they need, a dynamic offering of spa treatments, sports, fitness and wellness activities ensure you’ll soon glow like the stars. Explore your tropical surroundings on a scenic bike ride or ocean kayaking adventure, before making the most of a wide array of group classes, including yoga and spinning in the treetop studio.
Famous Fans: Morgan Freeman, Charlotte Church and Emma Bunton.
Health and Fitness Travel (0203 397 8891 healthandfitnesstravel.com) offers 7 nights at The BodyHoliday from £2,140pp for single or double occupancy. Price is all-inclusive, with a choice of programmes, return flights and transfers.
Rejuvenate your senses at this celebrity hotspot, a secluded wellness retreat set at the foot of India’s serene Himalayas. With a holistic wellness approach designed to unite mind, body and soul, revive your well-being with Ananda’s array of experiences, from ancient Indian Ayurvedic spa therapies, to meditation and healthy cooking demonstrations. Mere miles away from Rishikesh, the birthplace of yoga, yogi enthusiasts can enhance their practice before immersing themselves in the Himalayan foothills during guided mountains treks, a must-do for everyone, celebrity and civilian alike.
Famous Fans: Uma Thurman, Heidi Klum and Ricky Martin.
Health and Fitness Travel (0203 397 8891 healthandfitnesstravel.com) offers 7 nights at Ananda in the Himalayas from £3,440pp or £4,340 for single occupancy. Price includes full board, a choice of wellness programmes, return flights and transfers.
A newcomer, already a growing favourite of the fit and famous; experience a full mind, body and soul transformation on the Mediterranean island of Ibiza with The Body Camp. The go-to celebrity hotspot for London’s heiress stars; satisfy your workout wanderlust as you shape up in the great outdoors with a variety of fun fitness activities, from beach circuit training to sea swimming and yoga. Take part in educational cookery classes and mindful coaching workshops, before unwinding after an active day with a revitalising dip in the mineral-rich salt water pool.
Famous Fans: Millie Mackintosh, Caggie Dunlop and Madeleine Shaw.
Health and Fitness Travel (0203 397 8891 healthandfitnesstravel.com) offers 7 nights at The Body Camp from £1,890pp or £3,030 for single occupancy. Price includes full board, a wellness programme, return flights and transfers.
Get the VIP treatment when you escape to the Hua Hin coast of Thailand at world-renowned health and fitness retreat, Chiva Som. Dedicated to a holistic approach to wellness promoting overall well-being, celebs from football stars, to supermodels and Hollywood royalty have sought sanctuary at this award-winning retreat. With tailor-made wellness programmes, from stress relief and yoga to detox and fitness, expert health and fitness advisers utilise the best in specialist exercises, spa therapies and nutrition to help you achieve overall well-being.
Famous Fans: David and Victoria Beckham, Elizabeth Hurley, Hugh Grant, Elle Macpherson and Kate Moss.
Health and Fitness Travel (0203 397 8891 healthandfitnesstravel.com) offers 7 nights at Chiva Som from £3,395pp or £4,535 for single occupancy. Price includes full board, a choice of programmes, return flights and transfers.
Holiday like one of the A-list and discover paradise on the private island of Parrot Cay, where many stars have chosen to build their own holiday homes. Guaranteed to leave you feeling like a million bucks, feel the soft sand between your toes as you practice daily yoga and Pilates looking out onto the Atlantic Ocean. Further improve your yoga knowledge as you open your mind and calm your senses through Vedic yogic philosophy group discussions, before raising the pace with mountain biking and windsurfing or unwinding in luxury at the world-renowned COMO spa.
Famous Fans: Donna Karan, Bruce Willis, and Keith Richards.
Health and Fitness Travel (0203 397 8891 healthandfitnesstravel.com) offers 7 nights at Parrot Cay from £2,485pp or £3,885 for single occupancy. Price includes breakfast, a yoga & Pilates programme, return flights and transfers.
Set overlooking the stunning southern coast of Thailand’s Koh Samui island, Buddhist monks once used the cave at the centre of Kamalaya as a place of meditation and spiritual retreat. Now a wellness sanctuary for civilians and celebrities alike seeking long-term health transformations, tailor-made wellness programmes include; sleep enhancement, ideal weight, yoga, optimal fitness and learning how to embrace change. With a holistic approach to wellness, unwind with stress relieving spa therapies inspired by ancient healing traditions and classes, from yoga to Tai Chi.
Famous Fans: Sarah Ferguson,Annie Lennox and Oliver Stone.
Health and Fitness Travel (0203 397 8891 healthandfitnesstravel.com) offers 7 nights at Kamalaya from £2,502pp or £2,915 for single occupancy. Price includes full board, with a choice of programmes, return flights and transfers.
Buying a gift for one person is difficult enough, but what about when you are buying for a couple? There are many instances when you would like to do this. For example, for couples that you don’t know too well, it can be easier to get them a joint gift at Christmas. And then there are wedding and anniversary gifts and housewarming presents that you might need to get. So, read on to find some of the best gift ideas when you’re buying for couples.
Something for the Home
When the couple you’re buying for live together, it’s a good idea to buy something for their home. This could mean many different things. It could be a simple item that you know they need in their home. So, if they have been complaining about one of their appliances, you could buy them something that will replace it. Or you could buy something that’s more decorative.
You could buy small things if you don’t want to spend a lot of money. Things like twin egg cups and small kitchen items like that can make very good gifts. Even things like chopping boards can be good things to buy. Indoor plants, ornaments, vases and sculptures can make good gifts that add something new to the couple’s’ home as well.
Hampers make perfect gifts when you are not sure what else would be suitable. They are big baskets that are filled with food items and drink. Let’s face it; everyone likes food and drink. Therefore, it’s the kind of present that is always going to go down well. Yes, it’s a safe option in terms of gifts. But that doesn’t mean that it can’t be a great gift too.
You can buy hampers that have already been assembled. For example, the Cuckooland collection of gift ideas includes numerous hampers for couples. This takes some of the work out of the task for you. But if you want to add a personal touch to the hamper, you could assemble it by yourself. That way, you can put things in there that you know they will like and enjoy.
Buying a gift that has a personal twist is a good solution to the problem. So, if you are trying to find a gift for your friends’ wedding anniversary, you could get them a personalised item. It could be a picture or an item that is engraved with the date of their wedding, for example. The good thing about a gift like this is that it shows you have really put some thought into the gift.
Photographs can be good as well. If you have a photograph on your camera that you think shows them both happy together, it could make a good gift. Get it printed and then frame it. It will look great, and it will be a gift that is very specific to them and their relationship. There are plenty of other ways in which you can make a gift personal too.
In 1993 world renowned photographer Stephen Shore travelled to Luzzara, a comune in the province of Reggio Emilia, Italy, where he photographed the town’s people, streets and squares, in beautifully subtle shades of black and white, just as another American master, Paul Strand had done forty years earlier. Today STANLEY/BARKER revisits Shore’s series with an exquisitely produced limited edition publication, which includes a number of never before seen photographs.
Speaking the series Shore said, “There was no way I could approach Luzzara as though I was not familiar with Strand’s work. At the same time, even though I was going to Luzzara exactly forty years after Strand, I was not interested in producing a re-photographic survey. In a certain way, Strand’s work does not need simple updating, because the kinds of people and farms and landscapes he photographed still exist in very much the same form today. But, they exist side by side with the modern world. A key feature of Italian life, at least to my New World eyes, is the presence of the traditional within the modern. My aim, then, was to produce a companion volume to Strand’s work; to produce a group of pictures, which to the limit of the subjectivity of my vision, supplement Strand’s work.”
Shore is one of the worlds most respected living photographers. His series of exhibitions in New York in the early 1970s sparked new interest in color photography and in the use of the view camera for documentary photography. He was the first living photographer to have a one-man show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York since Alfred Stieglitz, forty years earlier, and has had one-man shows at meuseums such as MoMA, Jeu de Paume and most recently C/O Berlin.
You may think that making a coffee is as simple as spooning some granules into a cup and boiling the kettle. But you’d be mistaken. If you delve into the world of coffee preparation and tasting, you’ll find much more complex systems. If you’re interested in coffee, or you can’t function without a caffeine hit in the morning, you may find these pearls of wisdom intriguing.
Preparing a perfect cup of coffee
If you visit coffee shops on a regular basis, you may be in awe of the swanky barista tools and high-tech machinery. While this is impressive, the key to success frequently lies in the quality of the beans and the grinding process. Once the beans make it into a packet, it’s up to you to finish the job.
If you’re hoping to achieve the same taste at home as you get in your local cafe, make sure you invest in a high-quality product. You don’t need to spend a fortune, but generally speaking, you get what you pay for. It can be tricky to choose products when there are so many out there. The best thing to do is try a host of different options and see what takes your fancy. Taste is subjective. You may love one type and find another completely uninspiring.
You don’t need an array of instruments and gadgets to improve the quality of the end product. Once you’ve chosen your blend, you simply need the right temperature water. Ideally, you should aim for approximately 94 degrees. Using cooler water increases the acidity of the coffee beans.
It’s up to you how to finish off your coffee. Some people prefer to add a lot of milk while for others a splash will suffice. Purists probably disagree with adding sugar, but it’s really up to you.
Gadgets and gizmos for coffee lovers
If you love coffee, and your kitchen has become something of a hideout for friends and family, there are some great gizmos out there. You can buy everything from personalised stencils for chocolate sprinkles to kitsch espresso cups. If you’re serious about coffee, it’s well worth investigating coffee machines. You may be particularly keen to invest if you prefer a latte or a cappuccino to a flat white.
The benefits of drinking coffee
You may drink coffee purely because you love the taste. But you’ll be pleased to hear that are health benefits associated with those magic beans. Coffee reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. It’s also proven to boost mind power and give your body an extra push when you’re exercising. Scientists also believe that coffee can make us happier, and reduce the risk of depression.
If you love coffee, you’re not alone. There’s a whole host of coffee fans out there. This guide will hopefully help you to hone your preparation skills, try new flavours and be more experimental at home. You may love coffee simply for the taste. But it’s always good to know that it’s also doing your mind and body some good.