Tuesday, 4 September 2012

It's Time for a Health and Fitness Overhaul!


Now that it is officially Spring in Australia, I wanted to do a health overhaul! I thought it might be useful to share with you what I’m doing, so perhaps if you were thinking of doing something similar you might be able to pick up some relevant tips.  And also give me some tips!

This post will cover Exercise, Diet and Motivation tips. I’ll do future posts on mental wellbeing and health.


Exercise:

My friend who is a very fit gym buff, has created this exercise plan for our friends to complete every fortnight on Sunday mornings at a big park near our houses. The aim is to complete the program every fortnight and try to better your times, so you can track how you are going and whether your fitness is improving.

This is the plan for the very fit members of our friendship group:

12. 50 Burpees
11. 100 Star Jumps
10. 10 Pushups (can be off knees)
9. 9 Squat Jumps
8. 20 V Situps
7. 7 Hill Sprints
6. 100 Mountain Climbers
5. 5 Lunges with each leg
4. 4 Squats with a pulse
3. 3 Squats
2. 2 Clap Pushups
1. 1 Bridge for 30 Seconds

You start at 12 and work your way down to 1, then go back to 11 and work your way to 1, then go back to 10... etc., until you complete just number 1 on its own. This took between 50-80 minutes to complete (depending on fitness levels).

My friend also kindly created one for the less fit amongst us (aka: me!). If you are going from basically zero exercise to this, it’s better not to go too crazy on the first go and gradually work your way up.

This is the easier modified version (but it's still very challenging!), which I recommend you start with unless you are insanely fit:

12. 25 Burpees
11. 90 Mountain Climbers
10. 10 Squat Jumps
9. 9 Pushups (can be off knees)
8. 80 Star Jumps
7. 17 Stomach Crunches
6. 6 Lunges each leg (Alternating)
5. 5 Hill Sprints
4. 4 Squats with a pulse
3. 3 Squats
2. 4 Leg Lowers
1. 1 Bridge for 20 Seconds

I find having this ahead of me every fortnight really motivates me to exercise of my own accord during the week more than anything else, because you don’t want to look silly in front of your friends! I’m basically going from zero exercise to this, so I’m probably one of the more unfit ones in the group, so it’s a great motivator to try to exercise in my own time between sessions. My friends aren’t competitive at all, and are very supportive with this exercise program, but you just tend to push yourself more if others are around than if you are by yourself.

It’s also a great way to catch up with friends, and we play music so it’s less boring. Plus it’s absolutely free.

Also in the days between each fortnight session, I try and do 3-4 workouts a week using Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred DVD, as I find the workout exercises are quite similar to what we have to do in the above program. Check out my earlier post about this DVD for more information - I’d highly recommend it.



Diet:

I’m just generally trying to eat healthier. I’m not really dieting as such, just being more mindful of what I'm eating and swapping in and out things. Such as swapping hot chocolate with tea, and eating more protein rich meals to fill me up more, and eating more vegetables and fruit. I don’t deny myself sweet food (I’m such a sweet tooth), just try and be mindful if I have eaten one sweet thing in a day, to limit sweet food for the rest of the day. I think the most important thing with a general diet is to make it sustainable, there’s no point trying to do intensive dieting that you’ll stop doing after a while. You should be aiming to make a gradual health lifestyle change, not crash dieting.

I also use this great app on my iPhone called My Fitness Pal. Basically you create a profile, insert your weight and basic statistics, and then it calculates the amount of calories you should eat in a day to maintain or lose weight (you input how much you want to lose at the start). It then has an enormous database of food, so you can enter whatever you eat and you can see how many calories you are eating. It also shows you the breakdown of your food, as in how much protein, vitamins etc., you are receiving from the food you are eating.




Another great thing about this app is you can add friends into it if you wish. I added my best friend so he can now see if he wants whatever I am eating every day. The main benefit of this is that you tend to eat healthier just knowing someone else can view your diet, compared to if it’s just you on your own adding food into the app. There is also a main news feed where if you have done exercise or eaten under your calories, the other person can see. So my friend congratulates me when I’ve done exercise and it makes me feel good and motivated to do more!

This app is free and I’d highly recommend it to anyone who wants to eat better, it’s a great motivator.

Motivation:

The hardest thing about trying to being healthier is finding the motivation to stick with it.

I find the following helps me:

·      Music. Create a playlist in iTunes of motivational workout music, and play it whenever you exercise.

·      Having something to work towards helps, like I work towards my friend exercise sessions to improve my fitness. Or work towards being fitter for Summer, or just to feel better in general.

·      Workout with friends or do a health kick together. Like with the app, it helps if you are doing it with someone else because you both encourage each other.

·      Remind yourself with quotes and pictures that inspire you to be fit and healthy. Get pictures of your dream holiday or bikini and work towards that.

·      Choose a workout to suit your needs. During Winter and when I’m time pressed after work, a quick 26 min exercise DVD was perfect for me - I didn’t even have to leave the house. In Summer when I’ll want to get out more after being in an office all day, I can go down the beach after work and swim and relax and feel like I’m on holidays.

·      Do incidental exercise. I go out of my building every day for my lunch hour, and shop and peruse stores. All that walking around the city really helps add to your exercise in a day. When you shop it doesn’t even feel like exercising! Take the stairs, get up and walk to the kitchen and around the office every hour or so.

·      Buy inspirational gym gear that you want to wear. I went to Lorna Jane on the weekend and purchased the following:

- A gorgeous pink/magenta lightweight top that has a handy pocket in the back and a tie string around the waist so your tummy isn’t exposed whilst exercising. Cost $59.




- Matching leggings that are navy with magenta cut outs in a cute pattern. Cost $89.





Gym wear like this actually inspires you to wear it as it’s too gorgeous to leave in the cupboard. So I’m hoping it will inspire me to get out and wear it! It also makes exercising more fun if you have nice gear to wear, or colourful hand weights or a comfortable yoga mat.


So that just about sums up the main points of my health and fitness overhaul!

Let me know if you have any recommendations for other things I should be doing, and tell me how you stay motivated and what your fitness tips and plans are!

8 comments:

  1. Hi dear!
    Love so much you're blog, is amazing!
    Follow u, my name in GFC is: sexy_paige_cucu.

    Hope u follow back :) :)

    A lot of kisses.
    http://zapatodetacon.blogspot.com.es/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thanks so much! What a lovely comment :D I'll hop across and check out your blog right now! Thanks for following me!

      xx

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  2. Great post! I totally relate to buying gym clothes to motivate you... I recently found out that H&M does sports clothes, and they're really high quality at an affordable price! Good luck with your fitness routine!

    x Ellie
    http://ellalogy.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Haha yeah I think my natural predisposition is towards lazy... so anything that gets me up and exercising is always good! Plus shopping for new clothes whatever they are for is always fun! Oh I wish we had H&M here, I've heard rumours they might be coming to Australian shores next year. Gosh I hope that's true! Amazing store at such affordable prices!
      Thanks for the luck, I'll need it :P

      xx

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  3. Great post idea :)

    Sophierosehearts, currently having an 100 follower giveaway :) x

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Sophie! You'll have to have a 200 follower giveaway soon at the rate you're going :P hehe well done lovely! xx

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  4. What an inspiring, motivational post! You've made me leap off the couch. Really like your weekend workout.
    H

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    Replies
    1. Aw I'm glad! What a lovely comment! It was a killer that's for sure! Never been this sore in my whole life! But hopefully it will get easier with each time, and it motivates me to exercise more in between to make it easier for me next time. OUCH THE PAIN! :P

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