Category Archives: Exercise Tips

Don’t let a number defy you!

This is such a truthful, honest and aspiring read.

We are not defined by a number.

Beauty comes from within. As does self love, self respect and self worth.

Do not let scales or a number on a clothing tag defy your mindset.

Think positive thought’s and love the person you are. ❤

Thank you Kate at Wonder Woman Method for this beautiful post.

https://wonderwomanmethod.com/home/2017/1/17/kwf5hbiz8xpc34eut2c1dlcnk35xoi

Wonder Woman Method.

It’s not often I will endorse or help to promote a fitness or health plan. This is different though.

Kate is a wonderful woman who is a fellow mummy at my little guys preschool. Since getting to know her I have such admiration and respect for her and what she does. Not only is Kate a walking billboard for ‘Wonder Woman Method’ she is a qualified nutritionist, counsellor and health coach.

If you are struggling to kick some kilograms or just need a little support with your program, contact Kate. She is a wealth of knowledge and would be more than happy to help you get in your way to a healthier and happier you.

Have a look at her website, there is no harm in looking. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

https://wonderwomanmethod.com

Quick an effective core workout.

Quick an effective core workout.

Exercising doesn’t have to be extensive. It doesn’t mean that you need to do hours of exercise in order to see results or feel good.

I believe that doing the right exercise for your needs or wants, in proper form will have you seeing good results in no time.

I literally train for 2.5hrs per week. (If I’m lucky, I don’t always get to all 3 classes but I try to do at least 1). I do a body balance class on a Monday. This class is only an hour, it consists of a mixture of Pilates, yoga and Thai Chi moves. I find it helps me to stretch, relax and ease my mind for the week ahead. It’s low impact but I see results. Wednesday and Saturday to do a 30 minute CXWorx class which is a core training class. This again is low impact using balance and minimal weight and a resistance band / tube doing movement’s that tighten and tone your core muscles and improves your functional strength.

So below I’ve put together a short workout that I believe will get you results. It’s not a long workout, but if you try and do it at least 3 times per week, you will get some sort of results. Not over night, but if your following a healthy eating plan and keeping hydrated and active, along with doing these exercises correctly. You will get results. Remember a healthy mind helps a healthy body.

These exercises do not require any equipment other than your own body weight. You can do them in the comfort and privacy of your home or outside in the garden. I personally love training out doors. I love the fresh air and serenity that being in a garden can provide. Calming and relaxing yet still a workout.

Try doing these exercises for 30 seconds each. Once you have completed a whole round, start again.

Try completing these exercise 3 times each. If you can only do a single round, that’s ok. You can build up to doing the 3 rounds. Start slow if your a beginner or have not exercised in a while, and whilst I’m no doctor, if you have any injury or health issues, please speak to your doctor prior to any exercise.

1st exercise
Plank.
Lay on your stomach face down.
Start by ensuring that your elbows are directly under your shoulders.
Your feet a little wider than hip width and if you can, raise up onto your toes keeping your stomach tightened. If you find yourself wobbling or dipping in the lower back, go down to your knees with toes resting on the floor.
It is important that you keep your back straight and level, don’t raise your hips and look directly ahead. If you look down at your feet you will cause strain in your neck.
If your feeling shakey or any pain in your lower back, it is best to perform this exercise on your knees. Remember though, you must keep your back level and core activated for this exercise to be effective. (An activated core us basically tightening your stomach muscles, holding them in).
2nd exercise
Leg Raises.
Laying on your back, bring your knees up to create a 90 degree angle between your legs and the floor.
Activate your core (brace / tighten your stomach muscles) imagine that there is a box pushed up against your hamstring’s (back of legs) and bottom and your calf muscles are resting on the top of it.
Keeping your toes pointed, slowly lower them down to tap the floor then slowly raise them back up keeping the knees at 90 degrees at all times.
This movement comes from the hips only and should take you 2 seconds to get your toes to touch the floor then, 2 seconds to raise them again.
Keeping your tummy braced will help support your lower back, you can tuck your fingers under the small of your lower back (think kidney region) but don’t allow it to arch or lift your back off the ground. By tightening the stomach muscles you will have more control with this movement.
3rd exercise
Squats.
Standing with your feet a little wider than hip width, keep your toes facing forward brace your tummy and keeping your back straight, imagine there is a chair behind you and your going to sit on it.
Lower your bottom as if your tail bone is going to touch the chair, but instead of sitting using your leg and bottom muscles to stand back up.
If your loosing your balance you can keep your hands and arms out straight in front of you, or rest them on your hips.
This is more effective if your driving your strength from your heels (in your feet).
4th exercise
Single leg squat right side.
Standing with your feet again hip width apart, leaning slightly over from the hips so that your nose is over your toes. Back straight. Looking forward.
Take your left leg back and straighten it, point your toe. Keep your right knee slightly bent and using your right leg to squat down and up. Taking 2 seconds to go down and 2 seconds to raise up.
Try to keep the left leg slightly off the floor and remember, this is not a deep lunge or swat, you only need to bend to lower approx 30cms.
As with the above exercise keep your stomach tightened to activate your core.
If your loosing balance put your hands either on your hips or reach them out in front.
Try to ensure that your stable leg is not ‘wobbling’ if your knee is moving sideways, you can injure yourself, so please try to keep as stable as possible.
5th exercise
Single leg squat left side.
(as above but opposite side)
Standing with your feet hip width apart, leaning slightly over from the hips so that your nose is over your toes. Back straight. Again looking forward.
Take your right leg back and straighten it, point your toe, keep your left knee slightly bent for balance and using your left leg to squat down and up. Again only a slight movement of approx 40cm and again try to keep the straight leg off the floor.
Taking 2 seconds to go down and 2 seconds to raise up.
As with the above exercise keep your stomach tightened to activate your core.
If your loosing balance put your hands either on your hips or reach them out in front.
6th exercise
Star Jump Burpee.
This exercise will certainly get your heart rate up which is good for ‘cardio’.
Start by laying face down on the floor.
Then ‘jump’ up and into a star jump.
(Arms and legs wide). Keep a slight bend in your knees to avoid ‘jarring’ of the joints.
Remember to keep your tummy in, back straight and use your leg’s and bottom muscles to stabilise your movement.
7th exercise
Oblique Crunch – left side.
Start by laying on your back, then roll onto your left side. Have your left arm out at shoulder height but flat on the floor. This will help stabilise your body from rolling forward. Legs straight. Toes pointed.
Then using your oblique (side of tummy muscles) squeeze up to the roof by raising your top (right) knee and right elbow. Try to get the knee and elbow to touch. Imagine your creating a C shape with your spine with your knee and head the top and bottom of the C. You will feel a slight ‘pinch’ between your ribs and hips if this exercise is done correctly.
8th exercise
Oblique Crunch – right side.
(as above but opposite side)
Start by laying on your back, then roll onto your right side. Have your right arm out at shoulder height but flat on the floor. This will help stabilise your body from rolling forward. Legs straight. Toes pointed.
Then using your oblique (side of tummy muscles) squeeze up to the roof by raising your top (now left) knee and left elbow. Try to get the knee and elbow to touch.
You will feel a slight ‘pinch’ between your ribs and hips if this exercise is done correctly.
9th exercise
Lifting Plank – right side
Starting in your plank position as you do in exercise 1. Keeping your elbows under your shoulders and hands together.
Make sure your stomach is activated to support your lower back and your body still.
Slowly and gently, push your body up with your right hand keeping the hand under the shoulder and arm straight, them raise with the left hand. You are now in a push up position.
Hold for 2 seconds, then lower the body again by going back down onto your elbows, right side down first.
You can do this exercise either on your toes or your knees. If you find that your body seems to be rolling, adjust and lower to your knees. You will still get results, you just need to strengthen your core to hold your body and form correctly. You can build up to being on your toes.
10th exercise
Lifting Plank – left side
(as above but opposite side)
Starting in your plank position as you do in exercise 1. Keeping your elbows under your shoulders and hands together.
Make sure your stomach is activated to support your lower back and your body still.
Slowly and gently, push your body up with your left hand, keeping the hand under the shoulder and arm straight, them raise with the right hand.
You are now in a push up position.
Hold for 2 seconds, then lower the body again by going back down onto your elbows left side down first.
11th exercise
Oblique side taps.
Laying on your back with knees bent and toes tucked up towards your bottom.
Keep your hands along aside your body.
Slightly raise the top of your body, basically from your chest to the top of your head. Approx 15cm off the floor.
Then with your fingers, move sideways towards your toes gently taping your ankle. Creating a slight C shape in your spine.
Alternate from left to right with your stomach muscles tightened to help support your lower back.

Whilst performing any of the above exercises, remember to breathe. By breathing your oxygenating your blood, which keeps it pumping throughout your body. Oxygen energises!

Enjoy! Remember exercise should be fun.

I’d love to hear or see your results.

Holiday exercise

Quick and easy exercises that can be done anywhere!

Whilst on holiday I don’t generally make time for the gym. I do however try to do little things just to keep active. Pending where your holiday or what your doing, these exercises can be don’t in your hotel room or at a local park.

If we are somewhere with swimming facilities, I’m always swimming with my 2 little ones. Not doing ‘laps’ but general playing with them, treading water, swimming races etc. this is an ‘incidental exercise’ (I have previously posted about incidental exercise).

Key to these are to always hold in your tummy – this activates your core muscles which also help with good posture.

3 X Plank for 30 seconds rest 10 seconds
– You can do this on your knees or toes pending your fitness ability. Get into the ‘push up’ position with your elbows directly below your shoulders, you can clasp your hand’s in front if you like or have your forearms crossed. Keep your knees / toes approx the same width as your hips. Keep your back straight. Hold your tummy in tight and keep he whole body still.

3 X 20m Walking lunges
– keeping shoulders back and your tummy in, take a step into a lunge position, keeping your knees at apex a 90 degrees angle, then pushing up from the front leg and taking the next step forward again into a 90 degree angle remembering to keep your back straight and core activated. Repeat until you have done approx 20meters. You can do 10 steps one way then 10 back if you are space confined. Walking lunges use your thighs and bottom, which are larger muscle groups therefore a very effective workout.

3 X set 12 Squats
– keeping your back straight, tummy in and shoulders back. Have your knees a little over shoulder width apart. Knees and feet slightly turned out. Pretend your going to sit into a chair controlling the movement down slowly, hold this position at 90 degrees and slowly come up. When coming back up squeeze your bottom in. Again using the thighs and bottom, core.

3 X sets laying bike
– laying on your back, bring your knees to a 90degree angle, feet raised from the floor (imagine a box under your calf muscles and up against your bottom. Slowly straighten one leg out at a time and hold your tummy in, lowering the leg to approx 10cm off the floor. Rotating each leg. Repeat until you have done 10 each side. Rest 30 seconds then repeat until you have done 3 sets on each leg. You can also rest your hands under the lower part of your back to help stabilise if needed.

Remember that all exercise should be done using care. If your in pain at all or during and movement, stop. (Bad hurting not lactic acid burn) You should also speak with a doctor if you suffer any injuries prior to any exercise.

Also remember that walking is great exercise. Whilst we are on holiday I quite often walk over taking a bus or taxi. It gives me fresh air, I get to see the ‘sights’ easier and more freely and pushing a pram is extra weight therefore added resistance, especially up hills.

New year – new you?

New year, new you? Ummm maybe but shouldn’t we be more focused on continuity?

I know that most New Years resolutions are to ‘loose weight’ ‘get fit’ ‘tone up’ etc. however I prefer to try and not follow ‘dad’ diets but continue to eat and live healthy throughout the year.

Yes I know it’s easier said than done, but rest assured if you don’t give yourself a time limit or try to convince yourself it’s a ‘new resolution’ you will generally be able to stick to it.

Now I had my second baby 7 months ago and have recently started to ‘work out’ again. Not because I’m trying to loose baby weight as such. I’m not as I’m fortunate enough that my baby weight was easily shifted. With what I believe helped was breast feeding and generally eating healthy throughout my pregnancy.

I did however still gain 17kg but I managed to loose it all within the first 3 months. My body shape had however changed. I’m more curvy now and my hips are defiantly wider. I’m back to my pre pregnancy weight and in most of my pre pregnancy clothing but I will admit they do fit differently and my jeans are tighter in the hips and bottom and yup – I have muffin top! But I haven’t been too stressed about it. I’m more concerned with keeping my milk supply for my baby girl and also being healthy for my own well being.

So having recently joined the gym to gain some fitness back I’m doing low impact exercises. Things such as body balance class, Pilates on a mat and yoga. I’ve also started with a personal trainer once per week focusing on more core and inner strength training.

Since exercising again I find that I have more energy and feel better as a mother, wife and person.

I used to train a lot, right up until I fell pregnant with my little man who recently turned 3. I trained every day – 7 days per week for about 2 hours per day mainly weight with about 30 minutes cardio and 15 minutes stretching.

It was hard for me to fall pregnant and I had complications with both my pregnancies so with my first my obstetrician suggested I do light exercise only which I basically quit the gym and only did light walking. I found that if I went too quickly I would get cramping and a ‘stitch’ like feeling in my tummy and groin area so I didn’t want to push my body.

Every one is different though and most can continue to exercise without any issues however listen to your body and also seek medical advice if your concerned.

Whilst on holiday I came across this article with some very good exercises which can be done anywhere any time.

I’m big on using your own body weight as your resistance and I’m also a big believer in listening to your body and only doing what your comfortable with.

Check out this link. Great exercises. Easy to do. You can do them anywhere, and perhaps like me, after the little ones go to bed and you have a spare 30-45 minutes to yourself.

I know it may not seem appealing to exercise at the end of the day as your possibly tired from looking after your little ones, or perhaps just a long day at work. BUT trust me when I say the endorphins will kick in and after a few days of exercising. Your body will feel great and your energy levels will be higher.

Go on, give it a go!

Good luck!

http://www.self.com/fitness/workouts/2016/01/bodyweight-moves-get-in-shape/?mbid=social_facebook_selffitness

Summer tips!

So with summer just around the corner, a lot of friends are starting to work towards their summer body.

Or if your like me, your trying to shift those last couple of baby kilos.

I know I’ve posted some foods calorie counts previously to help with weight loss goals.

Below I’ve listed a few easy ‘switches’ that can help you achieve these goals sooner!

Always remember to achieve your weight loss goals, eat healthy and your still allowed ‘cheat meals’ or snacks on occasion. With all weight loss, it is recommended that some exercise is included. Be it a walk or a class of some sort or simply running around with your children.

You can loose weight with a strict diet and without exercise however exercise will speed up the process and you will get results sooner!

Not to mention feel better as exercise releases endorphins and will give you more energy and a heather mind.

🙂

Switch a full cream milk in your flat white (123 calories) to skim milk flat white (68 calories)

Switch 100g of roast duck (313 calories) for 100g of roast chicken (152 calories)

Switch a can of lemonade (124 calories) for a diet lemonade (2 calories) – or even better sparkling water (0 calories)

Switch a pita bread pocket (190 calories) for a slice of Mountain Bread (75 calories)

Switch a glass of tonic water (135 calories) for a glass of soda water (0 calories)

Switch a 100ml scoop of Connoisseur
Vanilla ice cream (224 calories) for the same size scoop of Peter’s Light and Creamy Vanilla (75 calories)

Switch a tablespoon of regular cottage cheese (45 calories) for a tablespoon of low fat cottage cheese (26 calories)

Switch 80g of mashed potato (85 calories) for 80g of mashed cauliflower (19 calories)

Switch a tablespoon of sour cream (70 calories) for a tablespoon of fat free Greek yoghurt (13 calories)

Switch a cup of regular soy milk (185 calories) for a cup of light soy milk (95 calories)

Another tip – always read the labels of food as sometimes when something is low or no fat, it has a higher sugar count.

And what happens if we don’t burn the sugar ??? It turns to fat!

Mix up your workout!

Mix up your workout –

If your like me and have become complacent in your workouts, below are a few tips on how to get back into the ‘groove’ and become excited to workout again!

Cut your workout time down!

Working harder for a shorter amount of time is so much better for fat loss results. High Intensity Interval Training is probably the fastest ways to melt fat from your body and also accelerate your fitness levels. Rather than your traditional 30 or 45 mins of cardio on the treadmill at the same intensity/speed, try this:

60 secs sprints (as hard as you can) with 90 secs recovery time (this can be at a walk pace or even a slow jog). Try this for a total of 20-22 minutes. Notice the calorie burn and how you feel afterwards – similar energy burn for much less time.

Swap up your barbell with a medicine ball.

Lots of us use dumbbell training in our workouts but why not mix it up? Try using a medicine ball or barbell for your entire workout. It’s amazing how heavy a 5kg medicine ball can feel as a posed to a barbell, this also helps to engage other muscle groups therefore harder workout – better results!

Get out

If you are a regular indoor gym participant have a week outdoors and expand your exercise mindset. Go for a run or try running up and down stairs, climb walls – indoor abseiling is allowed, step up to benches/tables/chairs. You’ll be amazed how quickly your workout goes when your outdoors and absorbing your surroundings also.

Add unstable training to your workout

Have you tried squats on a Fit Ball? What about a single leg squat? I was working out at a gym on the northern beaches many years ago and one of the personal trainers there suggested I try these. Killer! By adding balance training to your routine will force your muscles especially your core muscles to work harder and it also helps your reflexes to become faster. You don’t need fancy equipment, simply using your arm weights whilst standing on one leg completely changes your focus.

Try a non-electronic workout

Block all cardio equipment that uses power. No treadmill, stepper, cross trainer, bike. Great creative – try high knees, ice skaters, skipping, plyometrics, mountain climbers, running especially outdoors and swimming. You are guaranteed to see better results and will feel the difference in your hear rate.

Use time under tension (TUT)

I’ve previously been guilty of performing the same speed in a lot of my workouts or actually just sticking to the same workout routine. The average time it takes to perform 10 reps is usually about 15-20 seconds, what you want to try is draw this out to 30-40 sec. Where each rep would usually take you 1-2 sec to perform, aim for it to take up 3-4 secs per rep. The more time under tension, the harder the workout and therefore greater results. Expect TUT to help increase muscle growth and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

Add agility training to your workouts

Rarely do people try agility training (ladder runs, jumping). Yes, it’s quite sports specific but it’s great to shake things up in current workout and everyone can benefit from agility work. Something really simple is an shuttle run, working on accelerating, decelerating and directional change.

Ban all floor-based ab workouts

There’s no need to freak out, here are some suggestions: Knee to elbow hangs, wood chops or even the plank – especially on an angle – put your feet on the lounge, elbows on the ground allowing your weight to be angled (feet higher than shoulders) have feet shoulder width apart, keep your tummy tight and control your breathing. Hold for 10 seconds then release – rest for 10 seconds then repeat. As you get a stronger core try to lengthen the time to 15 seconds then 20 seconds. Do this for 8-10 reps.

Become competitive with a friend.

Go running! Pick someone who is a better runner than you so that you challenge yourself, push yourself harder and feel that burn. So many of us get caught out running the same track, same pace and for the same distance and time. Running with a better or faster runner than you will force you out of that comfort zone and make you push yourself harder.

Try using your own body weight

No machines allowed. Be creative with your workouts – easily done at home. Try – step ups, lunges, side lunges, burpees, push-ups and planks etc. Use the TUT method with this body weight only method to challenge yourself and better results.

Organic v Chemical

Organic food but chemical life!

I dont understand all these people who only purchase and eat organic or rave about organic saying they are on the perfect diet etc however still continue to use deodorants or drink alcohol that is not organic. Are they hypocrites?

Eating organic but using deodorant, perfume, moisturiser, shampoo, conditioner, facial products etc that have chemicals in them kinda defeats the purpose of being organic in other areas of your life right?

Or do they feel like it’s compensating or equalling out? Eating organic but using chemicals?

The chemical still absorbs into your skin and therefore still travels through your blood stream.

Or drinking alcohol, it has preservatives and other ‘chemical’ in it that also goes through your blood stream.

I understand that eating organic can be great for your health but studies also show that by eating foods with preservatives etc it can build your immune system.

So is it a catch 22?

What are your thoughts?

Do you think that eating organic but still using chemicals is counter active?

 

Quick workout?

Quick workout

Weather your time poor or just cant be bothered, it’s still important to be active.

If your not one to hit the gym or go for a walk / run, try exercising at home using your own body weight as resistance and be comfortable in your lounge room, no I don’t mean laying on your lounge, I mean utilise the space.

You don’t need a lot of space approx 2 square meters. You don’t even have to do this daily, however I recommend 3 times per week at a minimum and you will def feel better! Hey you may even find that you have fun!

– Run on the spot for the count of 30
– Drop down and do 20 burpees
– Finish off with planning for the count of 30

Repeat these 3 exercises 5 times each!

When running remember to keep your tummy in and shoulders back with your head up.

When doing a Burpee remember to keep your hands shoulder width apart and never drop your tummy to the ground. Again keep your head up and tummy in with feet also shoulder width apart.

When planning, keep on your toes with feet together and elbows directly below your shoulders, head straight looking at the ground and tummy in tight. Don’t forget to breath in your nose and exhale out your mouth.

It’s important to keep good posture and do these exercises properly to ensure minimal risk of injury.

Have you got a quick work out that you enjoy?

Email me – noordinarymummy@gmail.com

Juice v Calories!

Juice diet v’s calorie counting.

We have all seen and heard of these ‘juice’ diets that promise copious amounts of weight loss and that they are so good for you etc etc.

Yes I understand that having a juice with many different fruit and vegetables in it can be good for you and that its a great way to get your daily dose of these vitamins and minerals, however what if you are having 2 or 3 of these juices a day as your ‘diet’ instead of having a solid meal?

Another question is what if you are calorie counting?

As most of my regular readers will know, I’m all for a healthy balanced diet of eating a variety of foods and not excluding any, including fats, sugars and treats.

The average female daily calorie intake if you are trying to loose weight should be approx 1200. 1500 to maintain.

We all know this can be achieved if you stick to 3 meals per day and 2 snacks with you meals are approx 200 – 250 calories and your shacks are less. I have previously blogged many meal and snack ideas with calorie count so that its easier for you.

How many calories do you think would be in one of these ‘super juices?’.

Let’s say you have one of the following juice.

1 Granny Smith Apple = 80 calories
100gm kale = 50 calories
100gm cucumber = 16
10 green grapes = 70 calories
Total calories = 216 calories

Or

1 orange = 70 calories
1 Granny Smith apple = 80 calories
1 pear = 60 calories
10 cherries = 43 calories
Total calories = 253 calories

Or

20 blueberries = 16 calories
10 strawberries = 60 calories
1 mango = 60 calories
Total calories = 136 calories

Or

1 orange = 70 calories
15 almonds = 100 calories
1 cup sweet potato = 114 calories
1 green apple = 80 calories
Total calories = 264 calories
You could add ice or coconut water to these to add extra flavour or water them down so they are less thick and easier to drink, however in 100mls of coconut water there are 39 calories so you again adding more calories to your diet.

A metric cup is actually 250mls, so your not even adding half a cup of liquid to your juice.

Also remember fruit has a lot of sugar in it, although it’s natural sugar, it’s still sugar and if you don’t burn this sugar it can turn to fat.

Yes these juices can be good for your vitamin intake etc but if your counting calories then adding meals also, there goes your daily calories in one juice!

These also have no dairy in them which isn’t always great, so therefore your excluding milk and yogurt from your diet and remember soy and almond milk do t have as much protein as cows milk.

100ml soy milk = 54 calories
100ml almond milk = 17 calories
100ml cows full cream milk = 62 calories
100ml cows skim milk = 37 calories

There is also minimal Protein in them unless your adding nuts or dairy as both contain protein.

Hair and nails are mostly made of protein. Your body also uses protein to build and repair tissues and to make enzymes, hormones, and other important body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

I know that a juice doesn’t fill me, I need a solid meal but for those of you who would rather have a juice than a meal perhaps think about what juice your having.

I’m not saying don’t have them. I’m saying be mindful of what your adding to them, especially if your trying to loose weight.

Also be mindful that’s it’s possibly not the best health advice to have a liquid diet only. Perhaps have one at breakfast time or as a snack but I personally wouldn’t recommend having a liquid only diet.

What are your thoughts on these juices?