#STEPITUPNZ is your chance to get motivated and challenge yourself for Cigna Round the Bays 2017.

ENTRIES TO #STEPITUPNZ HAVE NOW CLOSED.

Congratulations to Mike Collett for winning the major prize of a Family Escape to Hawke’s Bay, valued at $2,500!

Reflecting on Cigna Round the Bays

Running an event like Cigna Round the Bays is just a bit about the actual running.

And the winner is……

Cigna New Zealand today drew the lucky winner of the #STEPITUPNZ Family Escape to the Hawke’s Bay - with Mike Collett of Broadmeadows, Wellington, winning the prize pack valued at $2,500.

Win with #STEPITUPNZ! (registrations close 5pm Friday 17 Feb)

With only 5 sleeps till Cigna Round the Bays we're getting closer to one lucky #STEPITUPNZ member winning the major prize of a family escape to Hawke's Bay New Zealand courtesy of Cigna New Zealand!

Cigna is looking forward to celebrating with you on Sunday!

You’ve all put in great effort to your training to help get you to that finish line, and team at Cigna are looking forward to joining you on Sunday and help to make this a great day for you, your family and friends!

Fueling your body in preparation for Sunday!

By now you should be well and truly into your pre-race taper. As your kilometers have decreased, your body is able to store away some of the fuel that you are putting in ready for race day.

Race ready with #STEPITUPNZ

I believe the phrase ‘Nothing New’ that we discussed at our #STEPITUPNZ event ‘Getting ready for the start line’- worthy of repeating as we countdown towards Cigna Round the Bays start line 2017.

Dealing with Injury – what you can do

Runners generally fear getting injured. The best approach is to adopt injury prevention strategies like yoga, using a foam roller, compression tights or self-massage to reduce the likelihood of injury (or see a professional masseuse if you run longer miles and can afford this).

Meet #STEPITUPNZ ambassador Larissa Carlson

Blogger, Bridal Artist & Mother Bear - Larissa is a stylish addition to our team of ambassadors! She's super excited to get active with her family at Cigna Round the Bays, and encourage other busy mums to get fit.

Meet #STEPITUPNZ ambassador Kate Southern

Social media provides us with an opportunity to meet and be inspired by all types of people - like Kate Southern! Kate is a runner, fitness enthusiast, food, coffee lover and a mum of three awesome boys.

Meet #STEPITUPNZ ambassadors Courtney & Abbey from Body Love Blueprint

Health and wellbeing isn't just about how you look on the outside. The girls at Body Love NZ share their positive messages and experience helping to guide people to love themselves by using fitness, healthy eating, and balance in an everyday lifestyle. They are fantastic role models not just for young women but the community as a whole. We love that they've joined our team of ambassadors for #STEPITUPNZ and will be leading the way for their Body Love girls at the 10km run at Cigna Round the Bays.

Yoga Tips for Runners

Runners can be reluctant yogis. We think our time is better spent continually pounding the pavements. It’s usually an injury that will force us into finally doing a stretch routine. But if you’re smart, then incorporate stretching (and strength work) into your training programme now.

Meet #STEPITUPNZ ambassador Jason Re

Running is a past time for most, but for Jason Re it's a platform to raise awareness for a cause that is close to his heart - He's a man on a mission to "actively introduce and encourage running to young New Zealanders on the Autism Spectrum"

Meet #STEPITUPNZ ambassador Amanda Broughton

Amanda Broughton loves running! When you meet someone with the passion and energy for running that she has, it's hard not to get excited about it too. She's extremely modest about her achievements and sets an impressive example of what you can achieve with strong mind and commitment to your goals.

Hit the ground running with your #STEPITUPNZ member pack!

#STEPITUPNZ members were treated to a surprise in the New Year with the arrival of their very own member packs. Be sure to register to be eligible for this awesome motivational pack! Numbers are limited so if you haven't registered DO IT NOW, once they're gone they're gone!

Getting our training back on track

With the holiday fun, festivities and feasting behind us here are some of my tips for getting back on, and staying on track training for Cigna Round the Bays 2017.

Achieving your New Year’s resolution to keep fit

Pick a New Year’s resolution to improve your fitness - for the sake of your health and happiness - and then hold yourself accountable to achieve your goal.

Meet #STEPITUPNZ ambassador Ian Morgan

Rarely seen without his top off, we're lucky enough to have managed to get him into ours to join Cigna and represent #STEPITUPNZ - this Christchurch running enthusiast and Instagram star is a running celebrity to keep an eye out for at the half marathon at Cigna Round the Bays in February!

How to keep motivated over Christmas

Summer is here. With decadent food beckoning and laying on the beach a top priority, Cigna Round the Bays can seem far away. But it pays not to forget your training or you could regret being at that start-line under trained.

Train Smarter, Not Harder

Train smarter, not harder, for Cigna Round the Bays on February 19. That’s the advice from Les Mills Wellington personal trainers Emma Cachemaille and Cody Burdon who are just two of the many Les Mills members participating.

Eating well to train better

Eating well is an important part of my training in order to train well, recover and perform. Getting the ‘fuel’ right for your body may take a bit of experimenting with different foods. In sharing some of my ’training fuel’ I hope to give you some ideas to try.

Limitations only exist if you let them

Achilles Kids Ambassador believes that ‘Limitations only exist if you let them’.

The Snack Pack

To help myself and my family to eat right, fuel training, aid recovery and above all feel good we have to be organised. This means, planning snacks and meals in advance.

Love to Run!

The first few weeks of a new, or harder training programme can be hard physically and mentally. Perhaps you are taking up regular running or walking for the first time? Embarking on a programme for an event you haven’t tried before, your first 10km, or Half marathon? In my experiences as your body and mind adjust over the next few weeks, the new training will become part of your routine and seem easier.

Fitsnap – a tool to help you jazz up your fitness or running posts

Want to jazz up your fitness or running posts for your friends? FitSnap is an iPhone app that adds your workout information on top of your photos to create motivational pictures to post them to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Buggy Walk Fitness Fun

Many parents find it tough fitting in fitness at a gym. But getting fit can be easy and free - just put the little one in a buggy and head out to a local park. This is what I did to build up my fitness gradually and it is soul-lifting to be in nature – for you and your baby.

Tips from Emma

Perhaps you are contemplating entering Cigna Round the Bays but haven’t taken the leap yet. Maybe you and your mates have signed up and paid the entry fee, but you haven’t actually gone out for a run. Or, maybe you have gone out for your first run, but it felt awful and you are wondering if it is ever going to get easier. Whatever the scenario you may be in, some of these tips may help you on your journey.

Sisu – a cool tool to map our your activity for the past year

Do you Strava to track your activities? If you do, then you need to check out Sisu!

“What’s for dinner tonight Mum?”

From my experiences the body will always recover better from training if I take time to fuel it with a good balance of carbohydrate, protein, fat. May we inspire you with a quick, healthy balanced favourite meal our family will enjoy tonight.

Achieving your goal – no matter what

Can you imagine being legally blind and running fast? Well, Maree Carson does this. The 32-year-old Wellington travel agent refuses to let her disability stop her from running.

What my training looks like.

As you embark on your training for Cigna Round the Bays I thought I would share with you an insight into my training programme as a long distance runner.

Why you shouldn’t run cold!

Runners are renowned for wanting to skip the ‘warm up’. I get that. All we want to do is lace up our shoes and pound the pavements – or trails – for training. The sooner we get that fix of movement, escapism, freedom and that scientifically proven “runner’s high” the better.

Planning for your success

If you are reading this, the great news is you are already on the same page as me, you either have or are thinking about a plan.

How to deal with Wellington hills

It’s hard to get away from hill running in Wellington! Hills recruit more muscle fibres than flat terrain does, so making them a part of your programme is a great way to build your running abilities.

Just Runnin’ in the Rain…..

With Wellington putting on sunshine one minute and torrential rain the next, we need to be prepared for anything as we start ramping up our training for Cigna Round the Bays 2017. It is easy (and forgivable) to get unmotivated to train in bad weather, but don't let a bit of rain get you down!

Sweet & Salty Primal Trail Mix

It's good to be prepared when you're out and about - whether it's on a training run, or after a session. Having some supplies at hand will help get you through to your next proper meal. This super tasty, super healthy trail mix is totally gluten free and refined sugar free, making it the perfect snack choice. Make a batch and portion it out to keep some in the car, at work and at home to dip into as and when you need it!

Training tips for beginner runners

Now is the time to step it up for training for the annual Wellington event - Cigna Round the Bays. The family-friendly event is 14 weeks away – on 19 February 2017 – so there is plenty of time to train well and make the most of this health journey.

Motivation for all ages

Enter Cigna Round the Bays 2017 with your friends, work colleagues and family! Together you can support each other’s training and get fitter and healthier.

How to prevent chafing

Even if it's spring in Wellington, there's always chance of rain. Rain won't make you melt like a gremlin but it can give you chafe if unprepared.

#STEPITUPNZ with the kids!

Cigna Round the Bays is a great opportunity to get active with your kids. The high energy of the event and the excitable crowd will be sure to help little legs through the 6.5km distance, plus there's plenty to keep them occupied at Kilbirnie Park when it's over.

Banana Pancakes

A great source of carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals to help recover after long training days. Banana’s contain potassium which is important of the body fluid balance and bone health. The spelt flour is a low glycemic carbohydrate which has less gluten than wheat flour and is highly water soluble which makes it easier to digest.

Cashew Nut Bliss Balls

Another simple, yet healthy recipe. A great post workout snack.

Run to the beat of your own drummer

Every person runs to different rhythms and according to varying moods. So, when it comes to creating a playlist of running music, you’ll need to experiment and see what fits your personal style.

Getting your family involved

Training for a run is time consuming and can often be a very solo endeavour. By getting your family involved, you can help your kids become more physically active and eat better. And as an added bonus, you’ll get to spend more time together as a family. Here are some tips on getting your family in on the fun

Thinking about doing Cigna Round the Bays?

Whether you’ve been running for several months or just starting out, deciding to run your first race can be exciting, but also a little scary.

Choc-Hazelnut and Goji Berry Balls

Healthy and delicious, a simple treat for the whole family

Vegetables like a rainbow

There is no denying your day to day nutrition has a massive impact on how well you recover from training, stresses of life, stresses of children, and how well your body can cope with the bugs in the work environment.

Quality Carbohydrates

Your day to day carbohydrate quality (and timing) will affect the way you train. There is a lot of emphasis on “how many carbs” runners and gym enthusiasts eat, but not always as much on the quality of them.

Hydration

Keep hydrated...but not too hydrated.

A message from Emma

Congratulations on entering Cigna Round The Bays. The weather has the hope of a long warm summer, and hopefully your motivation is high to make improvements for weeks ahead.