There is no denying that the staying on top of your health and fitness regime is HARD during the festive season. For one thing, it’s cold and dark and who wants to get their bum down the gym in those kind of conditions. Secondly, the number of parties and social events in most people’s calanders tend to step up a gear at this time of year meaning more food, drink and general merriment. Bah humbug say my abs.
Here are my top tips for getting the balance right and managing health and fitness without losing out on having fun:
💗 Indulge in moderation. If you deprive yourself then you’ll only binge later. Plus, there’s no fun in being the only one at the party who won’t indulge in a treat. If you want something; eat it. Just eat one or two (or a slice – don’t eat one or two Christmas puddings!!) and use your common sense as to when enough is enough.
💗 Work it off. I tend to work with my body on a kind of negotiation basis. ‘If you eat that baked Camembert you have to do 50 burpees in the gym tomorrow’ and so on. And then I make sure I follow through on my promises! Setting these kind of guidelines ensure that you work off any extra calories which might cause weight gain. I also love sweating it out in the gym after I feel like I’ve over-indulged – it helps get my body feeling normal again.
💗 Watch those proseccos. Alchohol – the invisible calories. And my enemy. I’m not saying don’t drink – just remember to take those few
bottles glasses into account when you’re doing your negotiations for the gym tomorrow. On that note, you may not exactly feel like the gym tomorrow. Do not give in to the hangover. Get up, get out, work it off, start again!
💗 Don’t stuff yourself silly. There’s nothing worse than, when you’ve enjoyed a delicious Christmas dinner cooked with love and maximum effort, feeling sick as a dog because you wanted just one more pig in a blanket. Eat by all means. But don’t eat until you feel ill. It’s not good for your health or your waistline.
💗 Be chilled. You might get on the scales on 28th December and shudder a bit. Chill out. It’s normal to put on a few Christmas pounds. You’ll just have to hit the gym even harder in January.
Above all, enjoy yourself and have a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones.
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Quite often, these days, my workouts are rushed. Now that I’m teaching full time my days are long and my midweek gym sessions are squeezed in at 6.30am before I get the bus to work or quickly on the way home before tea and eastenders! I usually concentrate on having long sessions on Saturday and Sunday (at least 1hour) where I work specific muscle groups like legs or upper body – but in the week it’s usually a 30 min full body blast. Therefore I need to do a workout that works my whole body and gets my heart rate up quickly – no messing.
There are benefits to this kind of workout and although I’m not exactly an expert on all the technical stuff I know that doing high intensity exercise and getting a good sweat on, even if it’s for a short period of time, can burn just as many calories as a longer session of lower intensity.
So, here’s one of the workouts I do in my 30 min blast sessions. It takes roughly 20-25 mins which gives me a bit of time to warm up before and stretch after.
Completely 10 reps of each exercise in a circuit. Then move on to 9 reps of each, 8,7 etc descending until you finish with one of each.
PUSH UPS (picture A)
BURPEES (push up + jump up picture B)
BOX JUMPS (picture C)
TRICEP DIPS (picture D)
There is no set rest period in between circuits – I just do it as quickly as I can with a few short breaks for water etc.
Trust me, this is a total killer, whatever your fitness level. It’s hard but worth it – and such a sense of achievement when you’ve completed it! You can put in any exercise to this format to change it up and work different muscle groups.
Let me know if you give it a go?!
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I love a bright pair of trainers! I’m not gunna lie, I always do a better work out if I feel confident in my workout gear – and a pair of stylish trainers can real make a gym outfit! I’m a big fan of nikes, but there are a lot of other brands out there with really gorgeous styles. I’ve made a ‘lust list’ of all my favourite trainers on the market which I wouldn’t hesitate to buy if I had the budget or the storage space!!
NIKE FREE TR6 FITNESS TRAINER
This bright pink beauty is a real showstopper! Not only is the four absolutely fabulous but it’s also great for pushing yourself in the gym; lightweight but also durable and with enough support to do your heavy stacked squats!
£45 from JD SPORTS
NIKE LUNAR EPIC FLYKNIT
A little on the pricey side but how amazing are these? I love the colour. They are designed for running rather than gym work and give you all the high tech support, ventilation & ‘barefoot’ feel that runners need. I don’t really like running – but I still want these babies!
£130 from JD SPORTS
UNDER ARMOUR CHARGED BANDIT TRAINERS
I just love the colour of these. If you do t fancy a psychedelic shade like the two above I think this is a really nice compromise. These are all about comfort; with an extra foam layer for shock absorption so would be a good all round training shoe. They are also in the Sports Direct sale at the moment – what’s not to love??
£62.99 from Sports Direct
Karrimor Duma 2 Ladies Running Shoes
Karrimor were the first trainers I ever owned and although they didn’t last as long as my current our of nikes – if you are looking for something that will do the job and not break the bank then these are great. These shoes come ina great choice of colours ranging from the very garish (which I would pick obvs.) to the subtle and plain, as well as having great grip and being an already fitness training shoe. I personally wouldn’t recommend karrimor for serious running; I once did a 10k in my old ones and they we were too heavy and didn’t have enough bounce.
Currently in the sale £24.99 from Sports Direct
Do you lust after fitness shoes like me? What are your favourites?
Some of you may know that when I started working out in January 2016 it was inspired by my impending wedding and I was motivated by getting in shape to look hot for my big day! One of the things top of my list of flabby bits to tone was ARMS. I always struggled with confidence around my upper arms and always felt they looked flabby in certain outfits. This would not do in a wedding dress!
So, my aim – to get toned sexy arms weren’t too muscley or ‘stacked’. Contrary to popular belief, if you lift weights in the gym – you will not get stacked over night!! Seriously I know so many girls who avoid the free weights because they think their arms will get too big. Body building takes months or even years of constantly lifting and using VERY HEAVY WEIGHTS. Trust me, you’ll be fine.
I’m really pleased with how my arms look now – I feel that they are slender and I have some muscle definition but not too much growth. I achieved this by doing one upper body workout per week where I worked all the muscle groups in my arm, and by keeping the weights mostly the same or increasing by a small amount (1kg at a time).
My favourite arm exercises:
💙 Push ups
💙 Pull ups (assisted or non – depending on how hardcore you are)
💙 Tricep dips
💙 Bicep & Tricep curls using the cable
💙 Bar bell clean & press (great all body toner)
💙 Kettle bell swings (tones the whole arm)
The important thing to remember is it’s okay to start with very low weights. If you think about it – the Bicep and Tricep muscles on your body are actually pretty tiny compared to, say, your leg muscles. The key is to complete the exercise slowly and controlled with a weight that is challenging, but still enables you to complete the movement.
So, get down the gym and boss those arms. Being strong is sexy!
Do you like upper body workouts? What’s your favourite?
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Sometimes you lose your rhythm in fitness. It can be anything, a change in routine, an upset, difficult period in your life or maybe just you’re really tired. For me, I’ve recently started placement in a school and I have to leave the house at 7am. Given that my gym opens at 6.30am this is not realistically enough for me to have a workout in the morning. I now go 3 times a week (one evening and both days of the weekend) compared to my old routine which was 5 mornings a week.
This has been a really hard upset for me, not just because I enjoyed it and it really set me up for the day but also because I had genuinely become a morning person ! I loved getting up early and thrashing all my stress from the day before out in the gym. It made me feel alive, and awake actually! These days I struggle out of the house feeling sleepy and lethargic. I’ve also noticed I’ve put on 3 pounds which has been upsetting me a bit.
HOWEVER, it’s important to not be too hard on ourselves and recognise our achievements so far! I’ve still lost nearly 2&1/2 stone and managed to maintain it. The first picture was taken in January 2016 and the second is now. It’s still an amazing achievement!
I figure I’ve just got to stop giving myself a hard time and understand that it takes time to adjust to a new job and routine.
Do you find it difficult to fit fitness in around a demanding job? What are your thoughts on this?
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