I actually started writing this post at the end of summer (you will notice bright light in some of the pictures, as it is January and not stopped raining, we have minimal bright light now! I also don’t wear shorts and a cropped top when it is freezing, this was when the sun was out, you know, that lovely glowing object in the sky that offers heat, we haven’t seen it for a while)…..
but I was umming and arring as to whether I wanted to do an exercise post. Yes I love running, yes I am interested in eating well – but I am no expert and also, do I really want to post pictures of me exercising – but then I thought, what the heck, so here we go, my rather delayed ‘A fit and healthy
like love food. One of my favourite things to do is to eat out.
I’m also a major sweet addict. A few years ago, I wouldn’t give a second thought to having a chocolate bar for breakfast.
Over the past few years, I have started to take an interest in what I am putting into my body, and have come to learn that what I put in, will affect what I get out! If I eat junk food, I feel pretty tired and exhaused for the week, if I eat well, I have so much more energy and sleep is much better. (For those who know me well, know I struggle with sleep, so I’m willing to try anything to help).
The same with exercise, if I do no exercise, I just don’t feel as switched on, mentally and physically. I feel less motivated and don’t sleep as well. Whereas, if I do exercise, I feel more alert, and sleep so much better.
By no means am I an expert, and I’m not saying it is right, I’m just saying what works for me.
Exercise: I have a routine that works for me and I try and do it as often as I can – I mix it up now and again, but this is the basis.
Personally, I think running is one of the best exercises for your brain (also helps with toning). So I either stick to a couple of 5k treadmill run’s, but ideally around the park – I am also not ashamed to admit, I love running.
(I sometimes treat myself to a new album and save it for when I know I want to do a big run – the new music is such a good motivator – I also find running is good for ‘thinking time’ and I run really well when I feel angry or had a bad day).
When I do park running, I will do a few laps of the park, then stick to sprint training. I measure out approx 100 – 150 m with a water bottle, and pop my bag at the other end, and sprint as fast as I can one way, and jog back. I like to mix it up and do some high knee medium paced run’s (basically run at a pace good for you, but over emphasize your legs and kick them up as high as you can when running). By the end you will be shattered, but feel great, and the next day or two I often feel the burn in my legs.
If using the treadmill, I set the machine to a 5k and do a slightly faster than average pace – and the final 1.5k I go for it, and if I am feeling really brave, stick it on incline – if you can do it, try and do some sprints, run like you are being chased!…and then slow down back to a pace you can handle whilst preparing for the next sprint).
2. Mini routine
As well as running, I try my best to do this routine as often as possible, it is pretty quick, and you can just do it in your room (or add it to your gym/park work out).
Squats – 10 x low squats 3 times (building it up to 20 x low squats for the next set, if I feel I can!) – I personally feel these are fab for toning thighs and bum.
These are really easy to do at home, BUT ideally, adding weights is great – I generally do this at the gym, or if I can at home.
Single legged squats (great use of leg strength & balance) – 10 x one legged squats 3 times
Sit ups – I generally mix these up with straight leg (as below) and bring the legs in. I find straight leg tougher, but for me, work better on the lower tummy and sides, and bring the legs in for the main/top tummy) – I will do around 50 of each.
As well as standard bring the legs in and out sit up, I also do a bicycle style sit up – I find it mixes things up, so doesn’t get as boring.
The plank – I do this for as long as I can, until I can’t take the pain any more!
From the standard plank, I will have a 2 minute break and go back into the plank, this time lifting one leg up and down around 10 – 20 times, then moving on to the next leg.
I like to use the exercise ball – you know, the giant coloured balls (I used to look at these in the gym and wonder what to do with them). But after some research, I now include it in my routing. I get into a plank position, resting my elbows on the rubber ball – then I move my elbows back and forth around 20 times (or as many as I can handle before I can’t take it anymore) – then rest, and do it again 3 times. This kills your lower tummy! (This is on my ‘list of things to buy’ – oh dear, this list really is increasing. I only use this in the gym, so no pictures of this exercise I’m afraid).
When it come’s to what I wear for training, I’m sometimes a bit OCD. I love all the bright coloured Nike trainers out there now, but I always seem to stick to Asics, and I recently found my old Adidas running shoes which I plan to start using again. I’m looking at the shoes with separate toe areas for running, but not sure how I feel about them?!
If it is really really cold, I will stick to my leggings, but I much prefer a pair of shorts (like these). I also find my hair can be such a pain when running, so I always wear a head band – it just keeps all loose strands out of the way.
This is just a little insight into some of the exercise I enjoy and I feel works for me – there is so much more, and I would always suggest chatting to the trainers at the gym, joining some classes, joining running clubs or fitness classes – always nice to have a bit of motivation. Also, remember, we are all different, and motivated and enjoy different things. Set smaller goals, and then when you reach them, make them even bigger….
Food wise: I stick to the mantra, ‘eat when you are hungry’. I try and stay away from any junk food in the week, and If I know I am going out for dinner in the evening, I am more wary of my day eating habits. (Don’t get me wrong, I have naughty weeks and don’t follow this, but I feel so sluggish by the end of the week if I’m naughty and I get addicted to sweet stuff, so cutting it out weekly is best for me).
For lunch, I tend to have a chicken or turkey salad (peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, spinach, a dollop of cottage cheese and chopped chicken or turkey). Something new I have started eating in the evenings at times are home made egg muffins (I will post a recipe for this one in a different post).
The weekend is a time I can eat what I like. I don’t over indulge, but If I want a bacon sandwich or a cake, I have it. I also stop eating when I feel full, I know we are taught to eat everything on our plates, but why? If I’m full then I stop.
I’m no expert, but this is what I enjoy and seems to work for me. The cold weather has knocked my motivation I admit, but I’m getting back into it again and looking forward to a fit and healthy 2014 🙂