Category Archives: answers

Deadlift and squat technique

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Deadlifts and squats are 2 of the best exercises as they work so many muscles and actually lead to better strength (which you can find useful in everyday life… i.e being able to lift heavy from the ground is very useful – maybe not squatting heavy things so much, but squats still work so many muscles!). However they also require ALOT of technique and proper technique, otherwise you can hurt yourself and can lead to back problems which take months to heal.

So hopefully the below gifs will help you 🙂 And remember FORM OVER WEIGHT – ALWAYS.

Best strength training workout for beginners?

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Best weight training for a beginner? 🙂

It depends what your goals are? And how often you are going to do it… But maybe start with 3 days a week (with 1-2 days inbetween the workouts) where you do 3 full body workouts – i.e legs&but, arms & back, stomach. Or you do one leg workout, one upper body workout and one full body workout per week.

This site: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/beginner_weight_training.htm can help you as well 🙂 This site as well: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/wotw57.htm

Think about what your goals are – muscle gain, strength, endurance etc and then decide the sets, weights, reps etc depending on that. And decide whether you are going to use weights, machines, body weight or resistance bands… all are good 🙂

Tips to run a 5k or a 10k

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Ill start with the basics:

Running form and basic tips-

My suggestion is to run outdoors… because it is more challenging that on a treadmill but also it can get so boring on a treadmill that after 5 minutes you want to give up. There is no motivation pushing you forward and you just sort of stay on the same speed.

But also remember, if you want to run races, they will be outdoors. Its so much more motivating to see others running or to feel yourself running past a walker or just to see how far you are coming…. and to notice progress in a few weeks time when you realise that the route you ran 3 weeks ago you now run 3 minutes faster!!!

But i also find that its easy to set upsmall goals while running outside like… reach that rock and then you can stop, and then i pick a new object and run twards that.

Though that trick doesnt always work, instead…. my favourite running tip for when you want to give up is: Imagine your friends and family are ahead of you, stnading there cheering you on…. and then i get that extra motivation and keep running, just imagining all my friends and family on the sides cheering 🙂

But also good music is very motivating!

So there you have the motivational tips for when you are running and the basics.

 

How to get your self to run? Well ask yourself WHY you want to run…. if you want to improve and get better at running, then the only way is to do it!

And i suggest mixing it up with HIIT intervals, and steady pace running and if you live near a hill or somewhere, try doing some hill runs/intervals!! All good and will help your running. Doing HIIT on the treadmill can be easier than outside, but either way works 🙂

While running, dont forget about your breathing and your foot work. You shouldnt slam your foot down ,it shouldnt feel like you’re lifting concrete blocks. And dont forget about how you breathe.

Also know that its ok to stop and walk, just try to keep moving forward. You can find that once you stop, its harder to start running again… so even if you just slow down to a slow jog thats ok, just one foot infront of the other 🙂

Running with others can be a motivation as well, but if you run with someone who is alot faster than you, then its just demotivating… according to me!: )

Remember the more you practise, the easier it gets 🙂 And if you dont practise… then youll never get better!

Also know your shoes are THE MOST IMPORTANT. I cant stress this enough. If you dont have the proper shoes you can injure your knees, hips, calves, feet, back…. So before you begin training more seriously with running, then make sure you have proper shoes. They are an investment for the future you and your body 🙂

Also having comfortable running clothes – i recommend Dry fit!

And another thing i cant stress enough ENJOY RUNNING.  Some might read this and think… are you kidding me. But if you dont get some sort of enjoyment out of it.. not even afterwards. Then skip running, why are you doing it? Find another sport to do. But running is something amazing and i love it. Even when my legs are heavy and i feel like my lungs are going to explode, i still get this sense of I love running! I never want to stop.

Also… when you run a race, its alot easier (according to me) as you get motivated by all the other people running 🙂

Here are some other helpful running schedules:

If you have any questions or want any more advice you can just ask 🙂

HIIT

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HIIT stands for High intensity interval training and research has found that it is one of the best training forms. It is a set of intervals which you do to increase your heart rate and a 20 minute HIIT session is eqivalent to c.a 40-60 minutes running at a normal pace.

HIIT also has an afterburn affect meaning that even after your workout your metabolism is sped up and burns extra calories 🙂 As the workouts are so intense usually 20-30 minutes is all you have energy for. Generally my HIIT sessions are no more than 15 minutes with a 5 minute warm up.

You can do HIIT in many different forms and intervals. Usually i do on the treadmill or when i do boxing, but you can also do it on the stationary bike, while out walking, on the stair master or cross trainer 🙂 You can even do it with body weight exercises.

The type of intervals and lengths all depends on what you are up for. My personal favourite is tabata style which is 20 seconds sprinting, 10 seconds rest.

But then somedays like yesterday when i had energy but not energy to run at 17km/hr then i did 2 minutes running at 11/12km/hr incline and 1 minute walking at an incline. This got my hear tbeat racing!!

So try different intervals and times and see what works for you… some like 30/30, some like running, jogging and walking, some do 1 minute on, 1 minute off etc

But remember that when you are doing your ‘fast’ interval… give it your all. The reason you only need 15 minutes or so is because you work so hard in the short period that you do and then you get a certain period of rest. If you just jog and walk, its not having the same affect as if you were to sprint and walk 🙂

Im now trying to do HIIT 2-3 times a week and ive already noticed that i have more energy, im faster and looking leaner 🙂

How do i stay motivated

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How do you stay motivated? I can only go a week at a time without falling off the wagon and eating like crap and not exercising.

Well for me its a lifestyle i love… its not a diet im on. I dont deprive myself… i dont tell myself i cant eat chocolate. If i want chocolate i eat it… but when i eat it all i want is a square or 1-2 rows of chocolate, i dont need to eat the whole bar.

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I love healthy eating its delicious and fills me with energy, but i also love ben and jerrys and chocolate so eat that when i crave it.

I love all forms of exercise and each morning i wake up filled with energy and am happy to have energy. To be able to eat delicious food, to be able to exercise. To lift heavy weights or run fast!!! I love it.

So make it a lifestyle… dont starve or deprive yourself.

Have a goal you are working towards and know how to reach the goal.

See it as a journey, not just something you wikll do for a short period of time.

Find YOUR balance and moderation. Dont just follow what everyone else is going… find what works for you.

Dont forget to live life as well… eat healthy and exercise whilst also having fun, being healthy, spending time wtih friends etc

Make small changes all the time to make it a lifestyle and make it a long term thing.

Find what YOU enjoy doing…. be happy to wake up and be able to exercise and eat healthy.

Dont see it as falling off the wagon… because what wagon is there? You can decide to go for a walk now instead of sitting and watching TV. Or you can decide that your next meal will be a healthy one not burgers and fries… you ALWAYS have the choice.

Find motivational songs, buy new workouts clothes, have mini goals you want to reach, have healthy food in your house. Make a routine and habit of working out a few times a week and eating healthy 5/6 meals.

Eat right, not less

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If you want to see results the important thing is to change your eating habits – as that is usually where people go wrong. They find it easy to workout, or have atleast gotten a routine with working out. But what they do with food is either cut down really low and cut out food groups and lots of food and eat a starvation diet, but then their body starts crying out for food and suddenly you binge and then you feel anxious and you restrict and so the viscious cycle begins.

To lose weight – yes, you do need to eat a decrease in calories but you can still eat lots of food, if its healthy food. And if you just want to be healthy, then what you should focus on is changing the foods you eat rather than counting calories.

Change white pasta and white bread to whole grain pasta and brow bread. Instead of chocolate 5 days a week eat it 1 day a week and find a healthy alternative the other days. Instead of burger and fries for dinner make sweet potatoe fries and a chicken burger with salad. Drink water instead of juice… All those changes is what matters, not if you ate 50kcal more or less….

Eat nutrious food, not just the low calorie ones. A banana and a 100kcal special K bar might have the same calories but the banana will give you more energy and keep you fuller for longer.

 

 

Do you want more motivation?

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If you want more motivation and to follow me elsewhere than here (as i dont update so often) You can:

Follow my IG: Itsahealthylifestyle

My Tumblr: eat-well-and-go-to-the-gym.tumblr.com/

My other blog: For those of you suffering with an eating disorder or other mental illnesses, you might prefer reading that blog:)

http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/

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Why do i strength train?

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Why do I strength train?

Not because I want to be super muscular or lean.

Not because I didn’t want to gain fat and  just wanted to gain muscle. (infact i only started really strength training the beginning of this year)

 Not so that I can squat 200kg or bench press 300kg.

 Not because everyone is doing it.

But because it makes me feel good…. It makes me feel happy and powerful. All my life I have spent as the skinny, weak girl. But not anymore.

 I love FEELING strong. It’s the feeling of knowing I can run 10km,  knowing I can leg press X kilo or deadlift X kilo. It’s knowing that I can do things… not have to ask others to lift a box for me or not being able to run 1km.

 I strength train for myself and for life. Forget about looking a certain way or six pack abs.

 Ask yourself so you enjoy what you are doing? Is your only reason to strength train so that you don’t become fat or only have to gain fat in recovery?  Then I think you should rethink your choices.

Exercise should be fun, an enjoyment, not a punishment or chore.

I strength train because it makes my outside match me inside. Because it makes me both physically and mentally strong, something which i love feeling. Strength training helps build me up, it gives me endorphines and makes me happy. Its something i long and love to do. Its a part of my life and a part of my lifestyle!

So if you strength train… whats your reason for it?

Recipe substitutions

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Sometimes you dont always have the ingredients needed for some baking, or in my case i cant eat banana so i substitue with applesauce or coconut oil.

Not all recipes will work with the substitutions, i.e sometimes when a recipe says protein powder it doesnt work to switch to oat flour or to switch from avocado to mashed banana… it all depends, but also the amount needed changes. But it can be good to know that some of these do work if you dont have say banana at home, you can use applesauce 🙂

 If recipe calls for:  Substitute with:
 White flour  Whole wheat flour, oat flour, barley flour, teff flour, a mix of flour and protein powder, a mix of flour and corn starch, Arrow root, tapioca flour, locust bean gum powder
 Sugar  Fresh fruits, dry fruits, honey, maple syrup, rapadura, agave nectar, coconut palm sugar, stevia, thaumatin, xylitol, Erythritol, splenda
 Oil, margarine or butter  Applesauce, mashed banana, mashed avocado, mashed beans, coconut oil
 Heavy cream  Dry skim milk, fat-free Greek yogurt
 Sour cream  Fat-free Greek yogurt, fat-free quark, silken tofu
 1 whole egg  2 egg whites
 Nuts  Reduce the amount by half
 Chocolate  Fat-reduced cocoa, carob powder

 

Very useful link

80 healthy recipe substitutions: www.greatist.com/health/healthy-recipe-substitutions

You might also have already seen this infographic from picklee.com/2012/08/01/recipe-substitutions on the web:

How to make a perfect salad

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Salads are one of my favourite foods, i could eat them 3 times a day and never get bored! However the salads you are served in restaurants or cafes arent much too look at, or to fill you. Often salads just consist of lettuce, cucumber, maybe some tomatoe and a little chicken? Not so filling.

I prefer more filling salads, when i make my own i always add salad leaves, chickpeas, sweet corn, tomatoes, lean protein, nuts/seeds or avocado & top off with some Balsamico Vinegar 🙂 Super delicious and leaves you full.

While i was in NY last winter i ate salads most days for lunch and the salads i got were HUGE and so filling, i almost couldnt finish them somedays. And i had so many toppings, sundried tomatoes, nuts, seeds, avocado, egg whites, chicken, prawns etc Thats, the type of salad i like!

Dont think that salad just has to be a boring lettuce and tomatoe salad, you can also make your own healthy dressing with greek yoghurt or quark. Mix in whoel grain pasta/sweet potatoe or quinoa to make it more filling as well 🙂