January – Day 17/31

Short post – quick body weight workout you can do anywhere.

5 Minute Warm Up – 30 seconds each:

  1. walk on the spot
  2. jog on the spot
  3. bum kicks
  4. high knees
  5. right leg swings
  6. left leg swings
  7. jog on spot whilst circling arms forward
  8. jog on spot whilst circling arms backwards
  9. jog on the spot whilst crossing arms over chest and opening them wide
  10. walkout burpee

Main Session, Body Weight Circuit – Work through the exercises number 1-10, doing each exercise for a work to rest ratio of either 30s:30s, 40s:20s or 50s:10s depending on your starting fitness level and prior experience. Rest for 1 minute at the end of the 10 exercises – repeat for 2-4 rounds depending on time allowance and ability. One round will take 11 minutes in total (including the rest). You can download INTERVAL TIMER for FREE to your mobile phone which can then be set to your desired work:rest ratio (and how many rounds you want to do).

  1. Squat
  2. [Box/Wall] Push Up
  3. [Walkout] Burpee
  4. Alternating Lunge
  5. Tricep Dips
  6. High Knees
  7. Alternating Side Lunge
  8. Shoulder Push Up
  9. Long Jump with Jog Back
  10. Plank

All of these exercises have a beginner, intermediate and advanced version which you can search for online should you need a video guide (my apologies I haven’t made one myself but trying to move is a struggle at the minute let alone demonstrate exercises correctly). Bodybuilding.com is a great place to go to for video tutorials.

Cool Down – 5-10 minutes slowly allowing the heart rate to lessen, the body temperature to reduce and the breathing rate to come down followed by stretching:

  1. Gentle jog on the spot slowing to a walk over 3-5 minutes.
  2. 30 seconds stretching for each of the muscle groups used – hamstrings, quads, glutes, chest, back, triceps, shoulders.

Again, going back to day 1. Always check with your health professional before beginning a new health or fitness regime. If you feel light-headed, faint, or unwell at any point, discontinue the session.

January – Day 16/31

Time for a reality check!

How are you doing with the plan? Are you seeing changes? Are you making changes? Well, if you’re doing it properly, you should be and here’s the hardest fact – if you’re not then you have no one to blame but yourself.

Brutal? Maybe.

Necessary? Absolutely!

The thing is, when it comes to weight loss, I am giving you ALL of the tools here. I have given you the baby steps to put together to create your ideal lifestyle so that you can easily lose weight at the same time as living. If you are not prepared to use these tools properly then you’re not fooling anyone but yourself.

Lets recap the things that you should be doing:

  1. Are you drinking enough water?
  2. Have you worked out your daily calorie allowance?
  3. Are you tracking your daily calorie intake via My Fitness Pal?
  4. Are you tracking your daily calorie intake accurately by measuring all of your food?
  5. Are you hitting your daily step goal?
  6. Are you using the 80:20 rule to avoid binge behaviour?
  7. Are you hitting your daily protein goal?
  8. Are you hitting your daily fibre goal?
  9. Are you planning out your meals in advance?
  10. Are you planning out your exercise sessions in advance?
  11. Are you achieving 5 x 30 minute exercise sessions a week?
  12. Are you doing activities which help you relax?
  13. Are you working on your sleep habits?
  14. Are you being honest with yourself?

If you want to see a difference, like really, truly, honestly want to see a change in yourself the you will already be doing all of the above and have taken responsibility for your actions. If you haven’t made the changes then you need to either accept that you want to be unfit, unhealthy and unhappy OR decide that enough is enough and now is time to put the effort in.

No one can do this for you.

No one will do it for you.

People will question what you are doing.

But once you hit your goal – PEOPLE WILL WANT TO KNOW HOW YOU DID IT!

January – Day 12/31

It’s the weekend!!! What are you doing?

Serious question, how do you spend your weekends? Do you have a million things to do? Do you work? Do you take time out for yourself?

As well as getting fit and healthy and looking at weight loss, I think it’s important to look at ourselves as a whole. We are not the number on the scales or the size of our clothes. We are not the job we have, nor are we the clothes that we were. We are more than numbers and stats. We are our passions and our goals and we need to remember to make time for these things.

Without passion, love and fun, what do we have? I would say, not a particularly fulfilling life. We need to tend to our passions and nurture the things that are important to us, these things help us to keep a healthy state of mind and look after our well-being.

Little challenge for today: I know many people lose their way with their own passions, hobbies, pass times etc. I want you to reconnect. What do you love to do that has been pushed to the bottom of the priority list? What did you used to enjoy doing that brought you relaxation and satisfaction?

Write a list.

Write it down. All the things you used to enjoy doing that were YOUR interests, and write down all the things you would LIKE to do that are YOUR interests. From this list, choose one activity that you can do today – even if just for 5 or 10 minutes – and go and do it. Don’t find an excuse not to do it, make a point of going and doing it JUST FOR YOU.

These are some of the go to things I always thing of when I think of getting some “down time” or “interest time” in:

  • Photography – I love nothing more than getting out into the fresh air with a camera and seeing the beauty there is all around.
  • Read a book – getting lost in a good book can take you are far away from your everyday life as you can get.
  • Draw or colour – get creative, let your artistic side out.
  • Play video games – again something to get lost in.
  • Do a puzzle – get your mind exercise in with sudoku or a crossword, try a jigsaw or a mind challenge game.
  • Watch a movie.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Make something – bake, craft etc.
  • Spa time – so this one might take a little more planning, and might be more of a treat than some of the others but hey, of you can do it, go for it.
  • Coffee at your favourite cafe – I love to do this on my own and just sit and watch the world go by (I very much enjoy time on my own so anything like this is a big win for me).

The list of things you can do is pretty much endless, as long as it something that you enjoy doing, that you feel good about doing, and that makes you feel better once you have indulged in it a little then it sounds like you’re on the right track. Different activities for different people and all that, it has to fit you.

Try and get some of this enjoyment time in as often as possible. Like I said above, even if it’s just 10 minutes that you can fit in, it’s better than nothing and you know you have done something that is just for you. You may feel guilty at first but please try not to, there is nothing to feel guilty about. By looking after yourself and your own needs you become more chilled and able to cope with the stresses and strains that come with life.

Look after you first, you can’t pour from and empty cup.

January – Day 3/31

Let’s talk about exercise vs. daily activity and what we can do to increase calorie expenditure…

First off, what is the difference between  exercise and daily activity?

Exercise is any activity which requires a physical effort, carried out to sustain or improve health and fitness.

Daily activity are the things we normally do in daily living e.g eating, dressing, taking a shower etc.

Why is this important?

I don’t want you to feel like you have to go out and join a gym or a fitness class to lose weight and get fit; you can if that’s what you would really like to do, and if that’s what fits in best with your lifestyle. I want you to be able to add activity to your day that will contribute to your calorie expenditure which is easily achievable. I’m talking about your NEAT calorie burn.

N.E.A.T = Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis – the energy we expend during normal daily activities (chasing after the kids, walking around the shops etc). NEAT is the energy burnt during all daily activities except sleeping, eating or taking part in formal exercise/sports.

Cartoon kid daily routine activities set

In a nutshell I am saying I want you to MOVE MORE ANY WAY YOU CAN!

Let’s say Sally and Sue both have the same body type, weight etc which means if they both basically sat and did nothing all day they would burn the exact same amount of calories. Sally and Sue both have the same office job, they sit at a computer to complete their work during their 37.5 hour a week 9-5.

Sally sits all day, only getting up when she absolutely has to.

Sue gets up and walks around the office at least once an hour. She gets outside on her lunch break and has a 20 minute walk in the fresh air.

At the end of the day Sue has burnt more calories than Sue in the same amount of time from simple doing more normal activity and how difficult was it for her to achieve? Not hard at all!

YOU CAN EASILY DO IT TOO! Throw some excuses at me and I will give you some ways to fit more activity in.

I bet you manage to log onto social media a few times a day, or manage to vegetate on the sofa in front of the TV for at least 30 minutes on an evening – nothing to stop you being active whilst you do these things. You don’t have to go anywhere, just walk on the spot. You might feel like a bit of an idiot to begin with but once you start seeing and feeling a difference you’ll soon get addicted.

Even when you’re talking to someone, a person who is a more animated conversationalist will burn more calories during a 5 minute chat that someone who just stands there with their arms folded (hint; if you’re talking to someone who is standing like this, end your conversation, generally speaking, they couldn’t give a crap about what you’re saying. Go and move instead).

You can track your activity too. Things like a free step tracker app downloaded to your phone are handy (though you have to keep your phone on you at all times and they aren’t quite as accurate) or more suitably an activity tracker watch like a FitBit are ideal. They track your steps, give you reminders to move, track your workouts (if you’re doing them), and they link up to MyFitnessPal which I recommended was great for tracking your calories.

Personally I love a Fitbit, I currently have the Fitbit Charge 2 but I need to upgrade as I have cracked the screen. I think I’ll be going for either the FitBit Charge 3 or the FitBit Versa.

We should each have a goal of steps to hit per day and for the average Joe this should be between 10,000-15,000 steps. No excuses, get up and start raking up those numbers!

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