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Posted on July 31, 2017

5 signs you may be addicted to the gym

fitness

When most people hear the word addiction, one of two things automatically spring to mind: drugs or alcohol. It’s easy to associate the word addiction with a substance because when we look at the top most common addictions, both drugs and alcohol rank quite high up in the echelon.

Due to the high-tech age we are currently living in, social media addiction would probably cross your mind also. As would gambling, sex, food, the list goes on really. But very much to my surprise, only a small pocket of society would even think of the prospect of exercise addiction.

I personally find it quite troubling because as a regular gym goer, I see the same faces time after time working their absolute socks off on the gym floor to achieve their fitness goals. It often makes me question whether they too are like me, and get agitated if for some reason they miss a workout.

So I’ve decided to compile a list of some indicators that you may be addicted to exercise and going to the gym.

1. You feel like it’s never enough

Instagram

No matter how intense your workout is or what milestone you hit, you never feel fully satisfied. You always crave more and you’re always hungry for more. Even seconds after completing an intense workout you are already thinking about your next one – you just feel like it’s never enough!

Solution: Your body eventually adapts to the pressure you put on it, so that desired feeling you are searching for may be unattainable. Instead of using your feelings to measure your success, measure your progress by looking at the numbers – can you carry more weights then this time last month? Can you do more cardio now? etc…

2. You’re guilt-ridden after eating ‘bad foods’

Click for egg-free protein pancakes recipe

Consuming something as little as a bar of chocolate triggers waves of guilt because you feel as though you are cheating on the gym, your diet and your workout. As a result, you end up over-training in your next session, exercising longer and harder, yet still beating yourself up over spilled milk (or spilled frappe!)

Solution: Prescribe times during the week for when you’ll allow yourself to have a cheat treat so this way you will avoid ‘falling off track.’ If going back to processed junk is a complete no for you, then why not try making your own? I have loads of recipes here.

3. You exercise more than once a day

Exercises for toned legs

Asking the trainers at your gym for a weigh in and measurements every two weeks is slightly obsessive for a non athlete, since exercising isn’t something that you are being paid to do. This is probably one of the biggest tell-tale signs that you may have an addiction to working out, especially if your personal relationships are suffering from it.

Solution: Spending excessive hours in the day exercising with no rest is actually more counterproductive than you think, your body needs to recover in order for you to build muscle and have the strength that is required for you to go that extra mile during your next workout.

4. You suffer from withdrawal symptoms

You’re either at the gym or thinking about the gym. You invest so much time and energy into getting a workout done – even when you’re exhausted – that going a few days without exercise makes you agitated, moody and incredibly tense. Such extreme reactions from a lack of exercise can indicate that your body is hooked on that euphoric feeling that comes from high levels of physical activity.

Solution: Find a hobby that will not require you to move physically in order to feel accomplished or satisfied with yourself. Creative activities such as baking or writing might help keep your anxiety at bay.

5. Your social life is suffering

Your gym schedule in causing you to miss out on social gatherings and even when you do get the chance to have a human interaction with someone who isn’t part of your gym life, you find a way to turn it down because you’d rather spend the evening using the row machine than talking to actual living people outside of the gym.

Solution: Your mind and body need a break from all the hours you put into the gym. Balance and moderation is key  in life. Taking some time out to spend with your loved ones will not only be good for your body, but it will give you the peace of mind you didn’t even know you needed. 

While there are other behaviours that may indicate a definite addiction to exercise, I can say from experience that if you are exhibiting even one of these symptoms, then it is time to re-evaluate things.

Only a mental health care provider can truly tell you whether or you have an addiction, but these habits are still pretty self-destructive and could have some damaging effects in the long run.

Always look after the health of your mind, because you are your longest commitment.

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Posted on May 31, 2017

5 simple exercises to help ease lower back pain

fitness

20170510_203744

From a young enough age,  I accepted that chronic back pain will always be an issue for me.  I first became accustomed to lower back pain around the time when I started menstruating and it has since then became such a normal part of my life. I have now gotten into the habit of practising my own stretches and exercises at home to ease up any tension whenever I feel a bit crampy.

Of course, I am no fitness expert (please see disclaimer below). Being a regular gym goer and attending fitness classes has helped me pin down which exercises work best for my back pain so here are some of the simple exercises that I do at home whenever my back starts to act up:

Cobra stretch

20170510_203602

Directions:

  1. Lie flat on the floor with your tummy facing down and both legs extended.
  2. Tuck your hands and elbows at the side of your body and the push your torso upwards while taking in deep breaths.
  3. Ensure your hands are placed directly under your shoulders and only arch your back as much as it’s comfortable.
  4. Hold for about 15 seconds or more and then slowly lower yourself back down while exhaling.

Bird dog stretch

20170510_203454

Directions:

  1. Position yourself on your hands and knees while keeping the spine neutral (no arch).
  2. Extend one leg back and the opposite arm straight ahead.
  3. Hold for about 10 second, or as long as comfortable.
  4. Repeat five or six times on each side.

Floor knee-to-chest 

20170510_203650

Directions:

  1. Lie flat on your back with your legs straight.
  2. Using both hands, pull one knee up towards your chest while keeping the other foot flat on the ground.
  3. Hold your knee firmly against your chest and keep your lower back pressed to the floor.
  4. Hold for about 15 seconds and then repeat with the opposite leg.

Floor bridge

20170510_203632

Directions:

  1. Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and your arms by your side.
  2. Slowly raise your hips off the floor keeping your feet flat and contracting your glutes as you go.
  3. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds and then slowly release.
  4. Repeat about 10 times or more.

Wall plank (yoga pose)

20170510_205039

Directions:

  1. Start standing facing a wall.
  2. Reach the wall with your straightened hands and slowly bending them forward and downwards.
  3. Lengthen your spine as much as possible and if you feel any pain, slightly bend your knees.
  4. Maintain this pose for about 30 seconds while breathing deeply.

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Disclaimer: This is not a substitute for professional medical advice, I am simply sharing some of the exercises that I tend to find helpful for myself. Always seek advice from a health professional or physician before trying any exercise at home because no two people are the same, if it works for me that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will work for you!

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Posted on March 2, 2017

#BFitBFree with Claire McGrath & BFree Oaty Loaf

fitness/ Health

Bfree Oafy Loaf

A nutritious and delicious alternative to porridge

Yesterday morning, was like no other Wednesday morning. Myself and a small group of health conscious bloggers got into our best #FitFam gear and made our way to the super spacious and creative Iconic Offices, for an intense yoga session with fitness expert Claire McGrath to celebrate the exclusive launch of the new BFree Oaty Loaf.

BFree6

The WFF Fitness PRO started us off with a few breathing exercise. She then went on to speak about the power of the mind and how we can hold ourselves back by having negative thoughts. Similarly, surrounding ourselves with positivity and good vibes can have a positive impact on our lives – these are some of the main premises of yoga.

bfreebfit

After regulating our breathing and injecting positive energy into the room, we did a combination of various yoga movements such as the downward dog, the halfway lift and an arm balance pose that I likely would have never attempted to do previously due to not having the strongest core or upper body strength. Thankfully, Claire was incredibly helpful and patient with us all as she guided us one-by-one with poses that required a little more effort –  no paramedics were called, phew! Following our workout, we went on to the next room to get a taste of the new BFree Oaty Loaf.

BfreeBfit

I’m already a massive fan of the BFree wraps so to avoid sounding biased about the new Oaty Loaf, I will say this: it tastes very much like traditional soda bread except it is free from yeast, gluten, wheat, nut and soy! This means if you have any food intolerances (like myself) or if you simply want to healthify your life, then you can enjoy this oaty loaf without compromising on taste! First impressions? Not only is it light & fluffy, but it didn’t leave a bloated feeling in the tummy after consumption as most other breads have done for me in the past.

BfreeBfit

Made with certified gluten free oats, the bread is the perfect morning alternative to porridge. Every two slices of Oaty Loaf provides you with the same amount of oats as 1 bowl (40g) of porridge and is high in fibre with no added sugar making BFree Oaty Loaf a nutritious and delicious breakfast for the whole family

BfreeBFit

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The BFree Oaty Loaf will be available from Dunnes Stores nationwide from March 6th, Supervalu from the end of March and in Tesco nationwide from April 3rd  for the price of €3.49 🙂

A massive thank you to Claire McGrath, Revolve, BFree, Iconic Buildings and everyone who contributed to the success of yesterday’s launch!

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5 exercises for toned legs

fitness

 20160315_172600-1

I’m often complimented on how toned my legs are. If it’s not ‘your legs have a lovely shape,’ it’s ‘oh my God, they’re so toned.’  Either way, they do get attention – more attention than my “booty gains” ever will! Although I’ve always had good muscle tone in my legs, I must admit that I’ve had to do certain exercises to keep them that way  – can’t give genetics all the credit for it, I’m afraid!

Here are some of my top leg toning exercises:

Walking Lunges (3 x 15 rep)

lunge

  1. Start with your feet shoulder width apart and both hands on each hip.
  2. Take a step forward with your right leg while flexing the knees to drop to your hips. Keep going down until the back knee nearly touches the ground.
  3. Use the force of the heel of your lead foot and extend both knees to bring yourself back up.
  4. Take another step forward with your left foot this time and keep repeating the lunge on the opposite legs.

Tips: Posture should be upright and your front knee shouldn’t go past your front foot. You can use dumb bells if you want to add some weight.

Wall Sit (30 – 45 seconds)

  1. Stand with back and heels against a wall.
  2. Walk your feet out in front of you and the spread them apart.
  3. Slide your back down the wall until knees are at a 90 degree angle.
  4. Hold for required time and then repeat.

Tips: Your knees should be aligned with your ankles. You can hold a medicine ball between your knees to work the muscles more!

Standing Calf Raises (2 x 12 rep)

calf raises

  1. Stand on the edge of a step and rest one hand against a wall for balance.
  2. Raise your heels a couple of inches above the edge of the step so that you’re on your tiptoes.
  3. Hold for a few seconds and then lower your heels, you should feel the stretch in you calf muscle.

Tips: Go up on your tiptoe and lower your heel as much as you can. Use the entire width of your foot to push.

Leg Press Machine (3 x 15)

This is quite possibly my favourite machine at the gym. There are days when I go in specifically for it ! It’s great for working all the lower leg muscles like the quads, hamstrings and glutes. At this stage I can press about 70kg, but it took me a good few months to get to that point. Always start with a lower weight and then build your way up!  My main tip for using this machine is never ever lock your knees in when you’re doing your reps! Locking your knees in puts a serious amount of stress on the knee joint which could lead to an injury.

Single Leg Dead Lift (3 x 15)

single dead lift

  1. Hold a kettlebell on one hand and then stand on the side you’re holding the kettle bell.
  2. Keep that knee slightly bent and lower the weight while raising and extending the other leg backwards.
  3. Lower the kettlebell until your body is parallel to the ground.
  4. Return to upright position and repeat.

Tips: Start with using your body weight first and then you can add weights once you find the right balance and form!

What are your favourite leg toning exercises!? Would love to know! Tweet me @FilomenaKaguako 🙂

legs 1

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DISCLAIMER: I am not a fitness trainer of any sort. I simply have a passion for health and fitness. I find these workouts fun and beneficial for achieving physical and mental strength.

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8 types of people you’ll meet at the gym

fitness/ lifestyle

gym goers

Being a regular gym goer means I come across a wide range of people who share the same passion for health & fitness as I do.  I bump into a few once every blue moon.  While others have me questioning whether or not they live there.

Since I go at least four times a week, I think it’s safe to say that I’ve gotten to learn the habits of avid gym nuts and have witnessed some of the most unfathomable behaviour from my fellow gym lovers. So here’s a list of eight ‘types’ of people you’re bound to meet at the gym:

gym goers judging

1. The selfie king

Sometimes you get the impression that the selfie king goes to the gym just to take selfies. It almost seems like they document every workout from start to finish – and with little to no shame! One or two selfies? Absolutely fine! Check in on Facebook? Again, totally normal. But is a two hundred second Snapchat story really necessary? I dunno…..

2. The makeup addict

You’ll never see the makeup addict without makeup. Before her workout, she is caked in it and after her workout, she is just as caked (what setting spray does she use and where can I find it, right?). The makeup addict won’t dare to break a sweat because she fears she’ll rub off her perfectly drawn brows. If it weren’t for the yoga pants, the sports top and kicks, you’d never guess that the makeup addict is going to the gym.

3. The show off

I can already sense you rolling your eyes as you think of someone who fits the bill. No matter what fitness club you’re in, you’ll surely come across that one person who makes a point of letting everyone and anyone know that their dead lifting game is unbelievably strong. They also walk around half naked so that they can strut their stuff. #Gainz #FitFam #Lean. We get it, you’re not new to this at all.

gym goers gym rats

4. The serious one

This person takes gym time a tad bit too seriously. You always see them carrying around a post-workout shake alongside an unusually large collection of workout gadgets that only a true die-hard fitness fanatic could own. The serious one drinks at least three litres of water a day, works out every single day and even weighs their food! There’s no stopping this guy!

5. The chilled one

The chilled one takes even the most intense workouts in stride. They calmly float about in the weights room as if they haven’t a bother in the world. These are the types of people you need to have around when you pull a leg muscle and have a near-death moment because you can always rely on the aura of the chilled one to calm you down.

6. The newbie

You can spot a newbie from a mile away. He or she jumps from one machine to the other in hopes that they will eventually figure out how one works because they are too shy to ask anyone around them. When the newbie finally discovers how to use a machine, they do more sets that required and then call it a day – bless them!

gym goers newbies

7. The two bestos

When you see one, you see the other. They are never apart. They attend every single class together and only use the treadmills when they can find ones next to each other. In the world of the two bestos, the gym isn’t a place to sweat. It’s a place to socialise and have a bit of a laugh.

8. The nudist

The nudist tends to prance around in, well, the nude (in case the name didn’t give it away). The second they get into the changing room, they strip down bare and walk around with pride. They’ll try to make small talk with you so you don’t feel uncomfortable although you never know where to look. Sharing the changing room with a nudist is one thing, but when it comes to sharing the sauna, then all bets are off!

What kind of people do you encounter at the gym? If you’re an active gym goer like myself, then which ‘type’ are you!? I’ll let you decide which one you think  I am! 🙂

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Posted on November 17, 2015

5 ways to make your workouts fun

fitness/ Health/ lifestyle

workouts fun

I often get asked how I find the motivation to get up at 6 o’clock in the morning, get into my workout gear, drive all the way to the gym for a morning session, and then carry on with the rest of my working day. Now putting aside the fact that I am a bit of a crazy person (aren’t we all), I think one of the main reasons I am able to find such motivation is because I know how to make my workouts a bit more enjoyable.

Naturally, I’m the type of person who easily gets bored. Be it a job, a hobby, people – yes, people. I just get sick of things very easily. That’s why switching things up in the gym is a must for me. Now by no means do you have to be a gym member to make exercise more fun, all it comes down to is being creative with your workouts!

So now that you have the back story, here are my top tips for making exercise feel less like a chore:

1. A killer playlist

Music, music, music. MUSIC. I really can’t stress it enough! A kickass playlist – excuse my French – will keep you going throughout your workout. A good techno remix does the job for me, but some people might like to listen to their favourite artist – whatever works for you! Just try not to get too carried away because you might just find yourself doing the Single Ladies dance in the middle of your workout!

2. Join a class

Some people hate dancing, but absolutely love swimming. Others can’t stand both but enjoy boxing. The point is, there is something out there for everyone. Once you find a class that doesn’t seem like a drag to go to, then you’re half way to becoming a #FitnessFanatic!  My advice is to try everything at least once, because you never know what might work for you. I tried a Boxfit class recently and loved it!

boxing fitness

3. Have a plus one

By nature, we are social creatures. So partnering up with a friend is always a good way of making exercise more pleasant. Not only does it make you look forward to your (super fun) workout, but the chances of you sticking to your exercise plan are much higher when you have someone to exercise with. Also, there’s always a bit of comfort in seeing your bestie struggle with burpees as badly as you – very fun indeed!

4. Set a target

Setting a target before your workouts can add a game element to them. If you set a goal, you will have something to strive for and as you will soon come to learn, there is nothing more rewarding than being able to push past your limits (or what you thought were your limits). What makes setting targets fun is the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel afterwards. Not sold? Try it! 

5. YouTube

And for the times I don’t wake up at crazy hours to go to the gym……YouTube of course! I genuinely don’t think being a gym member is a must if you want to keep fit. Obviously if you have other fitness goals, then you’d need to lift a bit more than the 2kg dumbbells you have at home! But if exercise is just a means of staying healthy, then YouTube is the name of the game! Because there are so many fitness channels, it is near impossible to get bored! Some of my favourite channels are Blogilates, Tone It Up and Fitness Blender!

If you want more tips or tricks for making workouts more bearable, feel free to add me on Snapchat @FilomenaKaguako 🙂

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Irish Fitness Gurus that will inspire you to hit the gym

fitness/ Health

irish fitness gurus

We all know that social media is absolutely saturated with fitness addicts, healthy eaters and dedicated gym goers. I’ve personally found Instagram to be one of the best sources when it comes to finding fitness motivation. While there are plenty of international fitness junkies out there like Jen Selter (I honestly think she should trademark that ass), I do find it more inspiring to follow the journey of those who are closer to home and based on Irish soil.

I think the transformations that some of these ladies have undergone are unquestionably mind-blowing and I honestly think that anyone who has even the slightest interest in health, fitness or both, should see these images for themselves – I am actually in awe!

Stephanie O’Quigley

stephanie oquigley

Instagram: @stephanieoquigley

It took Stephanie two and a half years of healthy eating and exercising to lose five stone and now she is committed to that lifestyle. While she likes to keep her body guessing with different types of exercises, HIIT training works the best for her. She eats a high protein diet and tries to avoid dairy. For more on Stephanie’s eating habits, check out her blog snappedup.ie or Instagram.

Kelly Donegan

kelly donegan fitness queen

Instagram: @itskellydonegan

Kelly Donegan is the ultimate health and fitness queen. Her life revolves around clean eating and making sure her abs are in check (no wonder they’re perfecto!). Finding fitness was a massive saviour for Kelly as it gave her a new outlet to be successful. She has participated in competitions in the past and she continues to throw herself in challenging environments. She is currently developing her website kellydonegan.ie, but has plenty of workout inspiration on her Instagram.

Faces by Grace

faces by grace fitness

Instagram: @facesbygrace23

Here we have yet another remarkable transformation of a driven and focused gal . Not that she needs much of an introduction, Grace Mongey, widely known as Faces by Grace is a qualified MUA and beauty blogger. While I think she is extremely skilled with a makeup brush, I find her fitness journey the most inspiring. Her hard work has led to her becoming the brand ambassador of Miss Skinny Fit Tea and an idol for those looking to embark in a life of health and fitness. For healthy recipes, fitness tips, and more, check out her YouTube and Instagram.

Grainne Nash

grainne nash fitness guru

Instagram: @insta_gra_88

Last, but not least, is Grainne Nash. A dedicated weight lifter who is currently prepping to compete in the Nabba and Ribbf bikini competitions.  She is committed to clean eating (full fat clean food up to 10 times a day) and pays frequent visits to the gym. Just looking at these photos is enough motivation for me! For progress photos and more #fitspiration, check out her personal Instagram account @insta_gra_88.

I commend every single one of these ladies for being so devoted to their health and fitness. I think it is evidence of strength, courage and an exceptional work ethic.

I truly find them inspiring and think they are evidence that making the right diet choices and being consistent with workouts, eventually will pay off. While all four of these ladies are huge fitness influencers for me, I would be delighted if even just one of them inspires you to start being the best version of yourself!

And because no fitness post is ever complete without a motivational quote, here is one of my favourites…..

It’s a shame for anyone to grow old without ever seeing the strength and beauty of which their body is capable of

Thanks for reading my post, hope you all have a meaningful and productive day 🙂

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How to get back to healthy eating after a holiday

fitness/ Health
how toget back to healthy eating after a holiday

Lisbon, Portugal

Let’s face it, when it comes to holidays, many of our healthy eating habits go way out the window: alcohol consumption increases, lazy days out in the sun become a norm and the technique behind leg raises become a  long and distant memory.

I for one know all too well about this – especially on the alcohol side of things! After having spent a week in Portugal, I think this article and all the practices that come with it are very much needed! If you follow me on Snap Chat (@FilomenaKaguako), then you would know exactly what I’m talking about.

So if you happen to be on the same boat as myself and are in desperate need of a post-holiday detox, or if you just want to get back to healthy eating after falling off track, then here are some tips that may help:

1. Get straight back into it

Don´t leave it for too long before you get back to healthy eating. It might not seem like it now, but the longer you wait, the harder it will be. Make a plan to start no later than three days after you arrive because  the last thing you want is for your holiday indulgences to develop into bad habits.

2. Meal Plan

As you probably know at this stage, meal planning is so important. Without planning ahead, making unhealthy food choices becomes very very easy. Make a list of all the things you need to get to recharge your body. Think green, think protein, think water. Steer clear of junk food!

3. Water, water, water

Whether it’s lemon water, cucumber water, coconut water or just plain H20, your body needs to rehydrate after all those days you spent relaxing in the sun. Drinking your eight glasses a day will give your body a reboost of energy. It’ll also clear your mind and  improve your mood meaning you will spend less days sulking about being back – speaking from experience here!

give up drinks

4. Go alcohol-free

Yes, I am deadly serious. If you’re a drinker, then one can only assume that a lot of drinking rules were broken while you were abroad. Cold beers, fresh bubbly and cocktails were probably on the daily menu. Going alcohol free for a few weeks will do your body some good, as well as that it, it will help your bank account!

5. It’s all about shut eye

Sometimes, we don’t realise how tired we are until we actually get back to our sweet beds. So be sure to give yourself a good amount of shut eye the days following your arrival. Not only will your body thank you for it, but it will also take the sting out of getting back into the routine of waking up early for work.

6. Socialise wisely 

When making plans to meet with friends, try to make arrangements to meet up during the day. I always find that making evening plans can result in eating out (or in other words, overindulging), followed by a few drinks in a bar. I think this is less likely to happen when you meet up during that day.

Those are my top tips for now and I hope you find these suggestions useful and even decide to put one or two things into practice! I’m slowly getting back on track myself, as I spent a lovely evening in the gym yesterday and felt so much better this morning! Remember, it’s okay to fall of track, so long as you get back up. It’ all about moving onwards and upwards! 🙂

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Posted on July 26, 2015

Sure Voga with Juliet Murrell

fitness

voga founder and i

Yesterday morning, was no ordinary Saturday morning. Myself and Lorna Duffy a.k.a Fashion Boss, got into our gym gear, tied up our sweet little ponytails and brought our yoga mats over to Merrion Square, for a high-intensity workout called VOGA.

In case the name didn’t give it away, VOGA is a combination of Vogueing and yoga, which is inspired by the 90s dance scene. It uses unique yoga movements, dance (which I like to call my cardio) and of course, fashion to give you a workout which tones and stretches the body. VOGA founder, Juliet Mullet was onsite to show us how it’s done.

voga startShe started us off with a pre-workout before getting into the hardcore VOGA movements. Once we got into it, we held ourselves in specific moves which turned into a routine of different poses: stand up tall, right arm forward, do the unicorn, and repeat.  Switching from one pose to another nearly felt like we were striking poses for a photo shoot –that’s the whole Vogueing aspect of VOGA.

The playlist for this 90’s inspired workout, was as you would imagine, extremely upbeat. With the classics like ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’ and Madonna’s ‘Get into the Groove,’ the whole thing was really fun and lively.

After a long sweaty hour, we got to help ourselves with the water which was prepared for us. Thankfully, we each got to take home a bottle of Sure spray deodorant – very much needed!

voga water

In the end, she got us all to strike our favourite Voga pose for the group photo.Some of my favourites were the ninja, the warrior and the unicorn – I felt quite empowered in the mist of it all! But since it is near impossible to see me in the group pic without squinting, here is a close up of one of the ultimate VOGA pose, don’t I just look so elegant? 🙂

voga strike a pose

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Posted on July 14, 2015

8 ways to motivate yourself to exercise

fitness/ Health

8 ways to motivate yourself to exercise

Finding the motivation to get up and get moving doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Thankfully, I am a morning person who also happens to like Mondays. I know, I know, I sound like the devil right now! But I promise you, Mondays and early mornings really aren’t that bad!

However, being a morning person doesn’t necessarily mean that I get into my gym gear every single day at 6am on the dot. I too go through phases where I find it impossible to put on my sports bra never mind the rest of my fitness gear! Every now and again, my motivation to workout goes out the window and I really need to push myself to get exercising.

If you’re anything like me (and by me, I mean human), then you probably know what it feels like to lose motivation to workout. So today, I’m going to share with you some of the ways I like to stay on top of my fitness game. Hopefully one or two of these things will help you find the budding gym enthusiast lurking inside you!

#1 Buy new workout clothes……. and put them on

You know how excited you get about wearing new shoes or using new makeup products? Believe it or not, you can get equally excited about wearing new gym clothes (provided that you actually like them!). Buying new gym clothes will make you want to wear them and wearing them will get you into the right frame of mind to workout. According to researchers, the act of putting on workout gear alone motivates people to start exercising.I think this calls for a trip to Lifestyle Sports!

#2 Set a goal and track your success

Setting fitness goals is the best way to track your success and to see how far you’ve come – or if you’ve made any movements at all! Forget the scale for the meantime, and instead, take pictures of your body on a week-to-week basis to track your progress. As I mentioned in 7 reasons your ‘diet’ isn’t working, sometimes a scale isn’t the best indicator for how well you’re doing since it doesn’t differentiate between fat weight and muscle weight.

fitess inspo 9

#3 Follow Instagram Fitness Gurus

I can’t even begin to count how many inspiring fitness gurus there are on Instagram. I don’t know about you, but I for one know exactly how it feels to go from “I’m not in the humour for this” to “damn, I better up my squatting game” after going through my Instagram news feed. Sometimes it only takes one account to make me want to hit the gym! And since we are on the topic of Instagram perving, I might as well ‘fess up and tell you that Jen Selter is enough motivation for me!

#4 Set up a rewards system

Knowing that you will treat yourself after having a positive fitness week is always a good way to keep yourself motivated. That little light at the end of the tunnel won’t seem so little once you get to it! So give yourself a lye in a marathon of your favourite TV series as treat! There are many ways you can reward yourself for reaching your goals, and while this may mean a sweet treat, it doesn’t always have to be that!

fitness inspo 2

#5 Find a gym buddy

Some people can be very self conscious about going for a run alone, or going to the gym without any company. That’s why having a gym partner can much such a difference when it comes to staying motivated. This person can be your voice of reason when you feel like giving up, and also a bit of healthy competition for you!

#6 Make a plan and stick to it

If your desire to exercise depends on whether or not you’re in the mood for it, then you won’t be seeing any results any time soon! Sorry to break it to you, but you will never be in the mood to exercise four days a week and you will never WANT to choose snacking on almonds instead of a packet of crisps. Make a diet and exercise plan and stick to it. Don’t rely on your mood to get things done otherwise you will be waiting for a long time.

fitness inspo 3

#7 Make it fun

Running isn’t the most exciting form of exercise out there. But if you’re body is in good working order, then you don’t have to restrict yourself to just that. You could go swimming, take up zumba, or even  pilates! There are so many fun ways to exercise. I recently bought a step to do step aerobics so that will keep me going for a good while until I get bored of it!

#8 Surround yourself with motivation

Whether this means covering your room with post-it notes filled with inspiring words, or watching endless videos of Ted Talks on YouTube (things I know not of….), is completely  irrelevant. So long as you surround yourself with things, people and words that will keep you motivated, that is all that matters. When it comes to fitness, your mind usually gives up well before your body does, so it’s all about getting yourself to the mental state that will keep you going.

And if the motivational quotes don’t work, the reward system is pointless and you just can’t seem to be getting on with your fitness partner,then just do it for the “holy f***, you got hot!”

Have a good evening all 🙂

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Posted on June 23, 2015

9 foods for a flatter tum

fitness/ food/ Health

lean abs

You can do all the abs in the world, if you wanted to. But, if you don’t pay attention to what goes into your mouth, then all your hard work will most likely go to waste. “Abs are made in the kitchen,” is probably one of the most used lines by fitness fanatics,and I’m sorry to be the one to break it to you, but it is true – if you want to get rid of ab flab, you need to make wiser food choices.

The good news is, that there are a lot of tasty foods out there that actually encourage weight loss around your midsection, so you don’t have to confine yourself to a life of leaves and tasteless meals.

Here are some foods that can help trim down a few inches on the waist:

Salmon

Salmon, along with other seafoods such as tuna and mackerel, are a great source of omega-3 acids. These fats can help reduce a few inches off your midsection by making your metabolism more efficient. They also contain ab-friendly proteins –hello, six pack!

Eggs

Eggs are loaded with protein and filling properties. Eating a heavy dose of eggs will help keep you full which will make you less likely to overindulge on unhealthy snacks. As for the protein, eggs are highly praised by dietitians for how much protein it has (about 6 grams per egg).

Apple

Foods that have a high water content tend to take up more room in your gut. This means you stay full for much longer and consume less unhealthy foods through out the day. The hunger busting properties in foods like apples and pears can surely help you get the midsection you’ve always wanted.

leafy greens

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens such as spinach and broccoli help shrink your waistline because they’re low in calories and high in calcium. Calcium is needed for muscle contraction so the more greens you eat, the quicker you’ll see results.

Beans

Beans are often avoided by people because eating too much can give off gas (just calling a spade a spade here!). But, a lot of people don’t know that they help burn fat and develop muscle. The best part is, they minimise the whole “I just ate a horse” look – so it’s a win-win!

Quinoa

Quinoa has become a recent addition to my diet. This grain looks like a mix between brown rice and couscous, and is very high in dietary fibre and protein. A serving of quinoa can fend of hunger as the day progresses so it’s a good idea to have it early in the day! Oh and it’s pronounced keen-wa, in case you were wondering! 🙂

abs are made in the kitchen

Green Tea

Green tea can help fire off fat by stimulating the body to burn ab fat. Consuming green tea on a regular basis helps cause your metabolism to work at a faster weight. Since fat is stored as fuel for the body, a metabolism which consumes fat at a faster rate helps you drop a few extra pounds – guess it’s time to ditch those diet teas!

Greek yoghurt

Greek yoghurt contains more protein than regular yoghurt. As you probably already know at this stage, protein is essential for building muscle mass and trimming down on a few inches. When choosing greek yoghurt, be sure to go for the unflavoured kind which is full of sugar. Oh and remember, your body burns more calories digesting protein than it does digesting carbs!

Skinned almonds

Not only do almonds contain fibre and protein, they also contain magnesium, a mineral that is needed to produce energy, build muscle tissue and regulate blood sugar. Since having a stable blood sugar level reduces cravings, almonds make for a great healthy snack – just make sure you avoid salted almonds (sodium makes you retain water which puffs up the belly – that’s not exactly the aim here!).

I hope you found this useful, if you’ve started eating any foods to trim down the tum, do let me know! 🙂 xx

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10 tips for choosing the right swimwear for your body shape

fitness

bikini cover

You may have seen a beautiful piece worn by a Victoria’s Secret model and thought to yourself, “I want that exact one, it look so beautiful on her” – exactly, on her. Not to rain on your parade or anything, but unless you have the same body shape as the person you see something on, then the chances are, that ‘beautiful’ piece of clothing might not look quite the same on you – sorry, pal!

But that’s not to say that you can’t find something else that looks just as good on you! It all comes down to knowing your body shape – even when it comes to finding a swimsuit.

When you’re looking for a swimsuit, you must always think about what you want it to do for you. Whether you want to hide your bust or accentuate your curves, knowing what your goals are – besides looking ridiculously hot – and knowing what your swimsuit needs to have can almost guarantee you’ll find the right one.

Here are 10 tips for choosing the right swimsuit for your body:

1. If you’re a bit busty upstairs, make sure you look for a top with an under wire. Find one that will give you somewhat coverage with a tiny bit of a lift (no saggy nannies please).

2. If you’re not so boobalicious but want appear to be, then make sure you only look for a top that has ruffles on them! Ruffles on top help create an illusion of a bigger bust.

3. If you have a bit of a belly and want to make it less visible, then it can always be camouflaged by wearing a ruched one piece suit. Ruched fabric is key for helping you disguise your stomach by giving it a slimming effect.

runched swimwear

4. If you want to downplay your backside, make sure you go for dark-coloured briefs or shorts, they will give you all the coverage you need!

5. Not so much junk in your trunk? Then it’s time to bring out the ruffles again (they’re a saviour!) ruffles on the bottom give you more volume so if you skipped a few hump day’s, this technique will help you.

6. If you have a boyish figure and want to create the illusion of curves using a two piece swimsuit, always go for bold prints and feminine details. A one piece with the sides cut out also create an optical illusion of curves.

7. If you have a curvy figure make sure you go for vertical patterns so that you would create a thinner torso and draw attention downwards, rather than outwards.

8. Plus size physic? Look for a piece with little details such as ruching, they do wonders for hiding places you don’t want to show!

9. Petite figures can elongate their body with high-cut leg or strings at the side! You should also avoid polka dots and girly patterns (you don’t want to look twelve).

10. And last but not least, if you want to avoid the look of love handles remember to go for folded bottoms. Love handles, be gone!

folded bottoms

Hope you found these tips useful, happy bikini hunting!

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