An active Summer style guide for men

Getting some well-needed fresh air and exercise during the summer months is great for both our physical and mental health. In fact, a government survey revealed that over half of the population make at least one or more leisure visits to the outdoors each week. But in order to enjoy the most of your outdoor activities, you need to be comfortable, prepared and dressed to go…

The UK is home to 15 official sublime national parks and numerous untouched nature reserves just waiting for you to experience them this summer. From distilled reflective lakes to the grounding peaks of Snowdonia, inexpensive summer walks are guaranteed to leave you feeling richer in mind, body and soul.

Cargo shorts
Emphasizing comfort, elasticated waist cargo shorts are both lightweight and utilitarian. Perfect for that midday summer heat, these cooling shorts are easy to travel with and machine washable for any unexpected mucky paw prints.

Breathable layers
If you’re heading out for a long day of walking, be prepared to sweat it out. Wearing a breathable fabric means your body moisture can be released, avoiding an uncomfortable damp t-shirt.

Reusable water bottle
Instead of opting for a heavy aluminum or tin bottle, hands-free, plastic water pouches are the perfect method of fuss-free hydration out and about.

Waterproof walking boots
The most crucial part of any walking outfit, a hard-wearing but comfortable boot, will ensure your trip isn’t cut short by aching feet. A breathable and waterproof shoe will battle the unreliable British elements.

According to a survey last year, avid UK golfers spend around £4 billion on their sport. Whether you’re a seasoned pro, or a part time beginner, with around 3,000 golf courses here in Britain, there are plenty of courses to try your hand at this summer.

The iconic tank top/sweater vest
Marrying tailored fashion with sporting etiquette, the iconic golfing tank-top need not be an expensive or bold purchase. A simple cotton navy or grey sweater vest will team well with a smart trouser for a suave sporting look.

Elasticated chinos
Having a full range of movement is essential if you want to be on your A game. Restricting trousers will drive you insane and putt you at a distinct disadvantage. Consider taking a spare pair in case you get a hole in one..

According to Sporting England, just under half of UK respondents participated in their main outdoor activity with their parents/guardians/family. Fishing is a great way to spend quality outdoor time with friends or family in a serene backdrop. However, as it’s a waiting game, you’ll need to make comfort a priority, and prepare for a change in the climate.

Gilet
A waterproof but warm gilet is staple fishing attire. Choosing one with multiple pockets to keep all your hooks and bait handy is favourable, but comfort and flexibility should be a key priority. Machine washable, lightweight cottons are highly recommended

Fishing hat
A hat will deduct glare, allowing you to spot fish more easily under the water whilst protecting you from the sun. Full-brimmed bucket style hats offer wider protection to baseball-style caps.

Fleece lined trousers
Despite the summer weather, spending long hours fishing means temperatures will drop dramatically leaving you to feel the chill. It’s a great idea to pack a pair of warm fleece-lined trousers to cover all bases.

Sources
http://www.randa.org/News/2016/03/UK-golfers-spend-4-billion-a-year-on-their-sport-and-the-golf-industry-pays-1-billion-in-tax
https://www.sportengland.org/media/3275/outdoors-participation-report-v2-lr-spreads.pdf
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/survey-shows-more-people-are-heading-for-the-outdoors-in-england

Top ways to keep the grandchildren occupied this summer!

Are you on babysitting duty this summer?  If so here are some cracking Ideas to keep the grandchildren busy!

1: Gardening

So many of you might think that children would find helping you in the garden this summer a bore.  However, you can make it fun for the both of you.  Why not give your grandchild a section of garden they have to look after themselves and see how proud they are when they can see their flowers blossom!

2: The beach

Why not take your grandchildren to the beach on those sunny days.  Pack a little picnic and lots of sun cream! Go shell collecting or crabbing to ensure you have some perfect bonding time with the little ones while catching a tan too!

3: Museum

If you want to ensure that your grandchildren are still learning through the summer holidays then the museum could be the place for you.  Visiting a museum is such a fun way for the children and yourself to have fun while you learn! With most entries, being free of charge it is a perfect cheap way to keep the children entertained.

 4: Films

So you have the grandchildren over summer you look outside the window and the rain is pouring down.  What a perfect opportunity to have some great quality time with your grandchild.  Why not curl up on the sofa and put on one of their favourite films.  The perfect solution to keeping them quiet!

TOP TIPS FOR GRANDPARENTS’ DAY

Grandparent Day

Introduction

Since mums and dads get their own special day each year, it only seems right that we acknowledge how great grandparents are too. This year, Sunday 2 October marks Grandparents’ Day in the UK – a time to celebrate, appreciate and shower your elderly relatives with love and affection. To make this day one to remember, here are some top gift ideas and great days out for you and your family to enjoy together.

Look your best with new clothing

  • So that you can celebrate in style, why not treat yourself to some new clothing?
  • From fashionable cardigans to stylish shirts and blouses, Chums menswear and womenswear offer a whole host of clothing items and accessories for you to choose from.

Kit out with gardening gear

  • If you are a self-proclaimed ‘green fingers’, you could kit them yourself with some new gardening gear.
  • From a pair of protective gloves, to a cushioned kneeling pad, to a handy trowel, there are a wide range of useful accessories to help you make the most of your time spent in the garden.

Treat yourself to a luxury food hamper

  • If you are a gourmand, a luxury food hamper could fit the bill perfectly.
  • To make it extra special, fill it up with your favourite treats and snacks.

Book a meal at your favourite restaurant

    • To get your taste buds tingling, you could book a meal at your favourite restaurant.
  • Whether you go to the pub for a traditional roast dinner or fill up on pizza and pasta at your local Italian.

Watch a flick at the cinema

  • To make this Grandparents’ Day one to remember, why not head to your local cinema to watch a flick?
  • Pick out a movie, stock up on popcorn and immerse yourselves in the full cinematic experience.

Take a trip to the theatre

  • Why not treat yourself to a trip to the theatre to watch your favourite show?
  • You could even dress up for the occasion – polish your shoes, dust off those binoculars and you’re good to go.

 

September Health Tips

Eating chocolate daily linked to lower heart disease and stroke risk

chocolate John Loo

Image credit: John Loo

There may be no need to cut out chocolate to protect cardiovascular health, say researchers, after finding that eating up to 100g of chocolate every day is actually linked to reduced risk of heart disease and stroke.

A large group of people in the UK (9,214 men and 11,737 women) were monitored for almost 12 years, during which time 3,013 (14%) people had either an episode of fatal or non-fatal coronary heart disease or stroke.

Around one in five (20%) participants said they did not eat any chocolate, but among the others, daily consumption averaged 7g, with some eating up to 100g. Higher levels of chocolate eating were associated with:

  • Younger age;
  • Lower weight, waist: hip ratio, systolic blood pressure, inflammatory proteins and diabetes;
  • More regular exercise;
  • Higher energy intake and a diet containing more fat and carbs and less protein and alcohol.

Compared with those who stayed off the sweet stuff, higher chocolate intake was linked to an 11% lower risk of cardiovascular disease, a 25% lower risk of associated death and a 9% lower risk of hospital admission or death as a result of heart disease.

And the highest chocolate intake was associated with a 23% lower risk of stroke, even after taking account of other risk factors.

“Cumulative evidence suggests that higher chocolate intake is associated with a lower risk of future cardiovascular events,” the researchers say. “There does not appear to be any evidence to say that chocolate should be avoided in those who are concerned about cardiovascular risk.”

Interestingly, milk chocolate was more frequently eaten by the participants than dark chocolate, so the beneficial health effects may extend to this type of chocolate too.

Source, Jump Start Mind, Body & Soul: www.jumpstartonline.co.uk.

 

The groove affects your heart

music  alexanderward12

Image credit: alexanderward12

Repeated musical phrases can affect the heart rate, which may mean music could be used as a treatment for heart conditions, according to a study presented at the British Cardiovascular Society Conference.

Hearing a repeated 10 second rhythm found in various music compositions, particularly by Verdi, coincides exactly with changes in blood pressure that reduce the heart rate.

Experts played different music styles to people and analysed each person’s cardiovascular response, including blood pressure and pulse measurements. The responses to calming (Indian rajas), or exciting music (jazz or fast classical), were similar between individuals. These findings suggest that a music therapy to calm people could be relatively simple, ie music would not need to be tailored to the individual.

“Music is already being used commercially as a calming therapy but this has happened independent of controlled studies into its effectiveness,” explains Prof Peter Sleight who has researched into the area for over 20 years. “Our research has provided improved understanding as to how music, particularly certain rhythms, can affect your heart and blood vessels.”

Source, Jump Start Mind, Body & Soul: www.jumpstartonline.co.uk

 

The secret to a long life? Always look on the bright side…

sun free image

Older adults who are happier with life are more likely to live longer, says new research published in Psychological Science. And variability in life satisfaction increases risk of death, but only in people who are generally less satisfied.

Every year for nine years, nearly 4,500 men and women aged over 50 years old responded to the question, “All things considered, how satisfied are you with your life?” Responses ranged from 0 to 10, with 10 indicating greater life satisfaction.

As life satisfaction increased, the risk of death reduced by 18%. But greater variability in life satisfaction was associated with a 20% increased risk of death. People with high levels of life satisfaction tended to have reduced risk of death regardless of how their life satisfaction varied over time. Other factors taking into account were age, gender, education, health conditions, smoking status, physical activity and depressive symptoms.

“Although life satisfaction is typically considered relatively consistent across time, it may change in response to life circumstances such as divorce or unemployment,” says Dr Julia Boehm who is involved in the study. “Some people may adapt more readily to new situations and thus appear to have relatively stable life satisfaction, and others may not adapt as quickly. If people repeatedly encounter distressing life events that diminish their life satisfaction, then fluctuations in lower levels of satisfaction seem to be particularly harmful for longevity.”

Source, Jump Start Mind, Body & Soul: www.jumpstartonline.co.uk.

 

New Zealand blackcurrants may keep the brain young

blackcurrants Ilya

<> Image credit: Ilya

New Zealand blackcurrants help keep us mentally agile, says research in the Journal of Functional Foods, a finding that could have implications in managing the mental decline associated with ageing populations.

A total of 36 healthy adults aged 18–35 years had a 250ml drink before doing a set of difficult mental performance assessments. The drink was either a sugar and taste-matched placebo (no blackcurrant), an anthocyanin-enriched New Zealand blackcurrant extract (Delcyan) or a cold-pressed juice from the New Zealand blackcurrant cultivar “Blackadder”.

The assessments showed that after consuming the Delcyan and Blackadder drinks, attention and mood were improved and mental fatigue was reduced. Blood tests showed that the activity of the monoamine oxidase enzymes (MAO) was strongly decreased after consuming the Blackadder juice. This regulates serotonin and dopamine concentrations in the brain, chemicals known to affect mood and cognition.

“This study is the first to look at the effects of berry consumption on the cognitive performance of healthy young adults,” says Dr Arjan Scheepens, who led the study. “Our previous research has suggested that compounds found in certain berry fruit may act like monoamine oxidase inhibitors, similar to a class of pharmaceuticals commonly used in the treatment of both mood disorders and neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease. This research has shown that New Zealand-grown blackcurrants not only increase mental performance, but also reduce the activity of monoamine oxidases.”

Source, Jump Start Mind, Body & Soul: www.jumpstartonline.co.uk.

 

The Great British Bake Off…

The long awaited return of GBBO is here and last Wednesday we finally got underway with series 6! When we say we, we’re referring to the 9.3 million people who tuned in… impressive.

gbbo

Just to add to our excitement, judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood have created 30 new challenges that will test the contestants’ baking prowess, creativity and skill in a bid to find the country’s best amateur baker. From Victorian classics to high end patisserie, it’s all about keeping a cool head and steady hand in order to impress.

They got off to a flying start when they headed to the iconic tent for cake week. With their sights set high and aiming to better last year’s winner Nancy Birtwhistle, it was a mouth-watering Wednesday night for the majority of us.

The likes of a purple forest gateau, citrus madeira cake and even Mary Berry’s infamous frosted walnut layer cake all made an appearance on our screens. These tempting recipes have already appeared on the Bake Off website, so there are no excuses for not giving it a go yourself: http://goo.gl/qXB1TS

The BAFTA winning show has announced the finale will take place on the 7th October, with the autumn months and cold nights closing in, what better inspiration is there to stay in for a night of baking?

Just in case you want to get ahead of this year’s contestants, here are Mary Berry’s top tips – http://goo.gl/KUlsLt

Ready, Steady, BAKE!

Top tips for getting holiday ready

For the majority of us, a summer holiday is something we look forward to all year long.

Yet year after year we seem to forget how fast they come around. According to a survey by the Post Office, 37 per cent of holidaymakers admit to being disorganised packers, so we’re giving a helping hand and sharing our top tips…

case

Before you go:

  • First things first, make sure you have your passport and check it’s in date
  • Holiday insurance – you can pre book your insurance in advance. Just select the dates you need it to be valid to and from. Here are some of our favourite sites to give you a head start http://goo.gl/yFNNVa, http://goo.gl/YkrAc, http://goo.gl/19SgP
  • Boarding passes – be sure to check in online and print off your boarding passes to save yourself some queuing time at the airport
  • Baggage – make sure you’ve added the amount of bags you intend to take with you to your booking. Double check the weight limits so you’re not surprised with any charges when you get to the airport

Packing:

  • Getting started is always the hardest part – putting heavy items such as shoes on top of the wheels helps to balance the case out and stops any clothes getting squashed by them
  • Whether you choose to fold, roll or bundle your clothes into the suitcase, the key is not to over-pack! Squashed clothes become creased clothes
  • Don’t put anything valuable or irreplaceable in your suitcase; if it is eligible to go into your hand luggage keep it in there
  • If two or more people are travelling, split belongings between checked luggage so if one case goes missing, each of you will still have a change of clothes
  • Once you’ve put all your clothes in, make sure your beach towel is the last thing to go in and lay it across the top so everything is held in place
  • Add something memorable onto your suitcase handle – chances are most people will have a case similar to yours so it’s a good idea to have something to tell them apart

 

Once this is all done, it’s time to simply sit back, relax and enjoy your holiday!

holiday

 

 

 

Djokovic was crowned Wimbledon champion, but who won the style stakes?

As well as being captivated by the fast action tennis at Wimbledon over the past two weeks, we have also been keeping a close eye on the royal box to catch a glimpse of the summer fashions on show.

As the centre court draws to a close for another year, here are just a few stylish highlights we’ve taken from this year’s celebrity packed tournament.

Florals are a huge hit

Flowery patterned textiles were a favourite with Kim Sears, Pippa Middleton and Vogue editor, Anna Wintour, who brought a burst of colour to centre court with some eye-catching and timeless prints.
Floral dresses are flattering, comfortable and can be accessorised to suit a wide range of social occasions.

Kim SearsPippa-Middleton-vogue-7jul15-getty_592x888anna-wintour-wimbledon-vogue-6jul15-getty_b_592x888

The Royals tick all of the boxes

The Duchess and Duke of Cambridge continued to turn heads as the fashion forward pair upped the stakes while showing their support for Andy Murray.

duke-duchess-of-cambridge-2-tatler-8jul15-getty_b_646x430

Kate wowed the crowds in a striking red midi dress, while Prince William proved that classic navy blazers are a safe but stylish option.

Game, set and match for the Beckhams

david-romeo-beckham-wimbledon-vogue-8jul15-pa_b_592x888

The adorable father and son, David and Brooklyn Beckham also opted for classic navy suit jackets for their bonding session at the tennis.

images

Roger Federer might not have won the men’s final this year, but with his crisp Swiss style we think he always takes the lead for having a classic sense of fashion. If Wimbledon has inspired you to dust off your racket, get the look with our own range of stylish shorts and polo shirts.

 

Surprising Facts About Online Shopping [infographic]

We recently put together this infographic which highlights some of the more surprising and lesser known facts about online shopping here in the UK. Hope you like it.

If you’d like to include this on your own site, there’s a code below to embed it.

Surprising Facts About Online Shopping

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Style Icons Over 50

Ever heard the saying, age is just a number?

At Chums, our focus is to offer comfortable, stylish clothing designed to make our customers look and feel great. So it’s only right that we have our own style icons to admire.

At 78, Morgan Freeman is a prime example of how to keep cool and current. We’ve known him as Hoke Colburn, ‘Red’ and even God over the years, but one thing that hasn’t changed is his suave sense of style.

Morgan is seen here spicing up a classic look with an eye-catching yellow tie. Sometimes, less is simply more.

morgan freeman

The former 007 didn’t let hitting his sixties stop him from dressing to impress, Pierce Brosnan is pictured here looking super smart in his summer attire. He’s got the look down to a T with this beige linen suit.

pierce brosnan

With summer upon us, we wouldn’t blame you for wanting to get a taste of Pierce’s linen look. We’ve even got our own version here.

The list can seem endless when it comes to the likes of George Clooney, Richard Gere and Denzel Washington. As Coco Chanel famously said, “Fashion passes, style remains”.

This definitely applies to these three glamorous ladies.

Mary Berry looks radiant in this full length navy number, a timeless classic.  She might be 80 years of age but the Great British Bake Off star never fails to impress when it comes to stepping onto the red carpet.

Mary’s elegant style is common knowledge after her famous, floral Zara bomber jacket appearance on GBBO. This caused the jacket to sell out worldwide, just 48 hours after the show aired. Talk about being a style icon!

mary berry

Dame Judi Dench, most famously known as M, has a habit of stealing the show at Bond premieres. At 70 years old, she knows how to put on a show, both on and off screen.

Her tasteful pixie hair cut is always perfectly styled, and an elegant necklace in place completes her look.

judi dench

The award winning actress, Helen Mirren shows us how to dress like a Queen in this ruby red fishtail dress.

The jewel embellishment wasn’t the only thing drawing people’s attention that night, as Helen came away with 4 wins at the Golden Globe awards. She simply has it all!

helen mirren

We hope our stylish celebrities stand out to you as much as they do us, after all everyone needs to get inspiration from somewhere.

And like fine wines, the best only improve with age.

 

Father’s Day Gift Guide

It can be tough buying a Father’s Day gift for the man who has everything, but this year Chums may have the perfect suggestion for that much deserving dad.

Whether they’re pottering around the house or relaxing in the living room, a Roberts Dab Radio (£169.99) is a timeless Father’s Day gift that never goes out of style.

Your dad certainly won’t let you down in the style stakes if you pick him up a pair of these Farah Slant Pocket Trousers, which are only( £27.99) and come in an array of colours to suit his style.

trousers

Ideal for a rainy afternoon, or even a sunny one, the Portapuzzle, (£29.99), is perfect for the problem solver dad who wants to take things at his own pace. The felt surface holds the puzzle pieces in and the folding case means he can store it away to finish off another day.

jigsaw

It’s not always possible to help your older relatives out as much as you’d like, so why not give them a helping hand with their daily routines by calling in Extra Help. This handy service offers help with shopping, preparing meals, cleaning and more.

house

Buying your dad a National Trust Membership doubles up as a gift for the rest of the family. What better way to spend a day than quality time with your family than taking a stroll around a stunning stately home or gorgeous garden. The National Trust also offers a special senior deal for over 60s if they’ve previously been a member for more than five years in the last 10 years.

car cushion

Make getting out and about that bit easier with this revolving car cushion (£14.99) – it revolves 360 degrees to prevent potential strain when getting into position and the comfy pad makes the journey much more enjoyable.

Whether you’re having a day out with dad or helping at home, we hope you’re Father’s Day is just as special as he is!

By Julaine Speight content writer at Chums