In our regular series we team regular guys on the street with menswear experts to get advice on how to dress for tricky situations. Here, IT manager Ademola Babasanya, 44calls on style guru Alex Field from high-street outfit Reiss for some rules in wedding dressing.
I can’t be the only one whose friends’ children are preserved in chrysalises of nostalgia. For years I’d watched my friends get married and spawn offspring, but I’d never considered that their kids might fancy getting hitched, too. So, when the invitation to my friend’s daughter’s wedding slopped onto my doormat, it wasn’t just an ‘invitation’, it was a memento mori. Was I terrified? Slightly.
The first thing I needed to do was find a new suit, one that would convey distinction without betraying my great age. The language of tailoring is one I’ve never fully understood; I’d fudged formal wear for 44 years, but my transition into the next generation of wedding guest – the-friend-of-the-father-of-the-bride – served as a wake-up call. It was time for an education.
The pinstripe option I had knocking about wasn’t going to cut it and my attempts to find a replacement had proven futile. My son’s lungs still haven’t fully recovered from the time he found me wrestling a pair of skinny-fit trousers from my hulk-like frame in the sweaty caverns of Topman Oxford Street, such was the hilarity. My wife has expunged the episode from her memory, such was her trauma too.
- Think about the fit
Thankfully, Reiss stepped in to help. “The most common mistake that people make when dressing for a wedding is the fit,” says Alex Field, head of menswear at the high-street store. “A lot of shops now offer on-site tailoring services so there’s no excuse for baggy trousers or for wearing your cuffs down to your knuckles”. And forget matching your tie to your pocket square – “too matchy-matchy,” he says.
2. Consider breaking into checks
Alex sees my pinstripe and raises me a check. I bristle at the thought, but Alex promises me it shows “sartorial flair”. So too does the double-breasted jacket – new territory for me but not half as mafia boss-style as I’d imagined. I then lose Alex to a well-intentioned but slightly confusing discourse on ‘notch’ and ‘peak lapels’. He settles on the former: “more versatile, less formal,” apparently.
3. Waistcoats are old news
With this oracle at my fingertips, I take the opportunity to settle one of formal wear’s long -held debates: to waistcoat, or not? “I don’t feel like they’re as on-trend as they used to be,” Alex admits, “and you might end up being mistaken for the groom if you wear a three-piece”. Case closed.
Alex kits me out in the type of suit the Prince Charles might wear if he were born thirty years earlier and out on the razz in Windsor: a fairly classic suit with a trendy, 21st century finish. The check – almost a ‘pin-check’ – doesn’t quite qualify as his namesake Prince of Wales weave and I imagine the Duchess of Cornwall would balk at the slim leg and lapel. It’s certainly not Savile Row but it is 100% wool and therefore feels far more princely than it does Primark.
But where on the princely-Primark spectrum do I actually sit? To get a response, I turn to that well-trusted and wholly verifiable barometer of truth: Facebook. I upload a photo to the few family members and innumerable strangers that comprise my online ‘friends’ and wait patiently. Years of silence are broken within minutes. ‘Swaggerlistic status,’ comments an old colleague and ‘Lord of the Manor,’ another: both totally ironic jabs that do nothing to quell my angst.
With the wedding but weeks away, I’m still yet to confirm whether the suit is a success. I doubt I’ll be mistaken for the groom. More likely, unwitting guests will assume – wrongly – that I am the ‘Lord of the Manor’ and spend the evening trying to wring me for drinks. With that in mind, I’ll keep my fusty old pinstripe number to hand – consider it damage limitation.
LIFESTYLE: Why Falling In Love Is The World’s Best Natural High.
If you search online for “falling in love”, the first result returned is: “What are the symptoms of falling in love?” Symptoms. Because what is falling in love if not our brains and bodies riddled with all-encompassing, uncontrollable sensations? Can love be diagnosed? Yes, pretty much, according to Freud. And there is a genuine condition known as broken-heart syndrome, if things head west.
Falling in love and being in love are different things. It’s falling in love that really screws you up. It is falling in love that leads one to play songs on repeat – platitudinous, cloying numbers, that would never otherwise be countenanced. Advertisement
It is basically awful and yet also the best thing that can be experienced; the world’s most natural high, no matter what free climbers tell you. There is a joyful optimism to falling in love, like ruining a crossword two clues in and still ploughing on, feeling that somehow it will come good.
Falling in love is the bus pulling into the stop just as you arrive. It’s accidentally putting a red sock in a whites wash and nothing coming out pink. It’s a gloriously sunny day in November. It is being offered a free upgrade on a 10-hour flight.
It is looking into your beloved’s face as if their features were a scientific breakthrough. It is seeing a copse of trees in a cluster of freckles. It is looking at a sweeping staircase and envisioning the wave of your lover’s hair. Everything is art. Everything is tangible.
It’s odd, really, that the heart is the organ so associated with love. Of course it beats faster in the presence of the object of our affection – or even when they are in our thoughts. But that’s thanks to hormones rushing the brain: adrenaline makes the heart hammer; oxytocin encourages bonding (“the love hormone”); dopamine (the pleasure hormone); the surge of sex hormones that are… how shall we say? Distracting. Very distracting. But perhaps you feel love most powerfully in the gut. It also makes one giddy, perhaps not entirely sane. “Romantic love is an obsession, it possesses you,” as Dr Helen Fisher has said, an anthropologist who wrote the book on love (it’s called Why We Love).
Newton’s third law is that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. When it comes to falling in love, this can go one of two ways. One results in hours and hours discovering things about each other and finding each insight endlessly fascinating. The other, of course, is a lot of solo Netflix and junk food and terrifying near-misses liking old Instagram pics. They say falling in love is like walking on air.. But it isn’t, really. It’s flying.
Why You Should Probably Eat Before A Morning Workout.
Whether or not you consider yourself a Morning Person, there are some undeniable benefits of working out in the morning. An a.m. workout can help you shake out stress, boost your mood, and make it easier to manage anxiety levels throughout the rest of the day. Squeezing physical activity into your morning gives you one less thing to worry about at the end of the day, and it can help you fall asleep faster at night.
These are all great things, but if you're waking up earlier than usual, scheduling a workout first thing in the morning can screw up your breakfast routine. Most of us have a hard time locating our workout leggings first thing in the morning, let alone making a full meal, but eating the right thing before a morning workout could make the experience more pleasant for a few reasons. Advertisement
For starters, when you wake up earlier than usual, you might experience mild nausea due to low blood sugar and an out-of-whack circadian rhythm, Daniela Jodorkovsky, MD, a gastroenterologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, told Refinery29. And that's probably not how you want to feel going into an indoor cycling class or hot yoga studio. The best way to remedy this kind of queasiness is to eat a snack or small meal, just to get something in your stomach.
Now, if you're looking to really optimise your workout, you'd want to eat something high in carbohydrates before your workout, Kelly Pritchett, PhD, RD, CSSD, assistant professor in nutrition and exercise science at Central Washington University, told Refinery29.
This increases your energy levels during exercise, which you might need if you're feeling groggy, and allows you to exercise at higher intensity levels, she said. To reduce any nausea or other unwanted gastrointestinal symptoms, you'd ideally eat something low in fat and fibre, that can digest quickly, she added.
For example, you might want to eat a breakfast of peanut butter and jam on whole wheat bread, oatmeal with fruit and walnuts, a banana and toast, Greek yogurt, or an egg on an English muffin, Dr. Pritchett told Refinery29. All of these food combinations would provide that carb-y energy kick that you need for your regular morning workout, without making you want to barf mid-burpee.
However, if your workout is on the intense side (like, if you're training for a marathon and completing a long training run), then your body would need slightly more fuel before, during, and after.
Meal timing is the last factor that can affect the way you feel during a morning workout. Ideally, you should eat about an hour before a workout so you have time to digest the food, according to the Mayo Clinic. If you have two to three hours to kill before you head to the gym, then you can get away with eating a little bit more, and you should feel fine, Dr. Pritchett told Refinery29.
© Copyright by Tom Werner While eating before a morning workout is generally net positive, there are some people who prefer to work out in a "fasted state," aka an empty stomach. The rationale is that fasted workouts help your body learn to use fuel efficiently, which over time can help you work out harder and for longer, Tiffany Chag, MS, RD, CSCS, a performance coach and registered dietician at Hospital for Special Surgery, told Refinery29.
This really comes down to a matter of preference; some people find that they feel okay enough to work out without any fuel, while others need a snack to feel human.
Basically, find what breakfast routine, foods, and technique works the best for you and your workout schedule. Who knows? Maybe eating a snack is what you really need to work out and feel like a legit morning person after all.
RUNNING or WALKING? Which Is The Best To Burn Fat.
It's a fact: both walking and running can help you burn fat, but, as with so many things related to health and fitness, these two cardio workouts aren't quite created equal. And as much as we talk separately about walking to burn belly fat and running for fat loss, if you've been wondering which is better once and for all, you're not alone. That's why we connected with two experts to explain which one is the ultimate choice for burning fat.
Running Is Better For Fat Loss
At the end of the day, the activity that burns the most calories is going to be the one that helps you lose the most fat. In this case, that's running. "Running is better, just because you can do more high-intensity training with it," said Michael Fredericson, MD, professor and director of physical medicine and sports medicine at Stanford University in California. "That really gets your metabolic system activated, and will help the burning of calories and fat."
Tom Holland, MS, NSCA-CSCS, an exercise physiologist and author of The Marathon Method, was in agreement. When you work out at a lower intensity like walking, he explained, your body will burn more fat as a percentage of total calories. However, he told POPSUGAR, "You burn more total calories, as well as more calories from fat, at higher intensities. The higher your heart rate, the greater the metabolic demand and the more energy you will expend."
Running is also more efficient, Fredericson said. If walking is your primary fat-burning workout, he recommended doing it for about an hour every day. You could achieve similar results, he said, by running for just 20-30 minutes.
Walking, though, is perfect for people who are just starting to lose weight and aren't used to harder aerobic workouts. "I'd start with walking and gradually build in the running," Fredericson said, noting that jumping straight into running multiple times a week can result in injury. "In that sense, walking might be better for some people, because you can go longer and it's going to be easier on your body." If you're ready to add running into your walks, here's an eight-week plan to follow.
Burn More Fat With Intervals.
Whether you're walking or running, you can optimise your fat burn by working in interval training; that is, going hard for a few minutes, backing off for a rest period, and repeating. You can do that either by adding in hills or simply upping your pace. "Both will elevate your heart rate for short yet manageable durations,"
Holland explained, which increases your calories burned from fat. If you're on a treadmill, try this walking workout that combines hills and speed, a 45-minute belly-fat blasting running workout, or this circuit that combines both walking and running.
If you're hitting the sidewalks or trails, Holland recommended power-walking or running hard for one minute, then walking or jogging for one minute to recover, and repeating for five intervals. Don't forget to warm up beforehand and cool down afterwards, for 10 minutes each - use our dynamic running warmup and cooldown as guides.
How Often Should I Run or Walk to Burn Fat?
Holland said that running three days a week (not consecutively!) "is a great way to burn fat without risking common-running-related injuries." On your non-running days, he recommended cross-training with activities like walking, biking, or swimming. If you want to build muscle while burning fat, add in weightlifting days as well; follow this four-week workout plan that will help you lose weight while gaining muscle.
Walking is lower-impact, so you can do it more frequently if that's your cardio of choice. "Walking four to six times per week and adding in hills and intervals will give you the best results," Holland told POPSUGAR.
If your goal is to lose weight, Fredericson added, "you should do something every day" - whether that's walking, jogging, swimming, resistance training, or even yoga on a rest day. And although running is ultimately the better fat-burning exercise, he said, "Walking is perfectly fine too. It's actually a great way to lose weight, combined with diet changes; you just need to do it consistently and do it for a longer period."
Overall, the news is positive: you'll burn fat through walking and running. "The key is to do what you can do relative to your fitness level, be consistent, and mix up your intensities," Holland said. "Give yourself time, stick to a plan, and the results will come."
HEALTH & FITNESS: Breathe Exercises To Treat Your Allergies.
There are trees and flowering plants everywhere that can trigger certain parts of your body. The result is usually painful, runny noses and itchy or watery eyes that seem to go on for hours.
Allergies may be eased by providing the immune system with a yoga boost or a few breathing exercises. According to Richard Usatine, a physician and professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, allergies is the involvement of an over-vigilant immune system that has gone awry. Usatine, who also co-authored “Yoga Rx,” noted that stress is a potential subject that can weaken your immune system and aggravate allergy symptoms.
However, there are specific practices in yoga that can help strengthen the immune system. Larry Payne, a Los Angeles-based yoga therapist who co-authored “Yoga Rx,” says that these exercises include Kapalabhati Pranayama, a traditional internal cleansing technique that makes use of a series of short and quick exhalations through the nose.
It is commonly known as the Skull Shining Breath that can help rid the nasal cavities of any irritants. Payne furthers it by noting that if you have acute symptoms and your nasal passages are all distended, you may want to move away from Kapalabhati in favor of a tension-reducing breathing exercise like long exhalations.
To perform this, you can inhale for a count of three, exhale for a count of four and then eventually inhaling for more than four seconds and exhaling for a minimum count of six. Payne advises the following sequence, which is designed to help open your chest and enhance breathing.
These series of breathing practices are beneficial to those who suffer from severe allergies. For optimum results, after the sequence, you can finish with at least five minutes of Savasana, a pose that can bring forth total relaxation.
There have been many studies that claim the advantageous effects of doing breathing techniques. These do not only help with typical congestion. Breathing can also help soothe a worried mind and will help lift the person from a panic attack.
Taking only minutes out of your day, when performing these, it is crucial to concentrate on breathing deeply into the stomach and mindfully counting your breaths.
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