One life, live it well!
Hi & Happy July to you!
This month’s blog is all about Wimbledon and I am Soooo happy. Andy Murray did it again, Serena Williams did it again and Heather Watson did it for the first time in the mixed doubles… Wimbledon Bliss! And to top it all our British wheelchair champs claimed their place in Wimbledon history too: Gordon Reid, Alfie Hewett and Jordanne Whiley. Just brilliant. Their hard work and dedication paid off.
It has been a pleasure to watch Andy Murray blossom into the consummate professional he is today. I felt so proud watching him handle that game on Sunday 10th July. He expressed emotion openly and he was focused; the perfect game. Serena, as is usually the case, played like a powerhouse. To have spent so many years at the top of her game is truly amazing and as a woman of sport she has got to be one of the best role models out there; congratulations.
I could go on and on about many of the players I watched but the underlying point is that with hard work (and I mean real hard work), a great team to support, motivate and kick your butt, alongside a developed talent or skill, dreams can come true. The question is how committed are most of us to go all out? What are we willing to risk? Who do we have in our corner?
These are important questions for all areas of our life. If we want to get fit, work alongside those who are doing the same or who have been there, done that. If we want to progress in a career or build a business, same rule applies; find the team, put in the work consistently and grab every challenge that takes us outside of our comfort zone so we can grow.
Don’t just dream it, do it!
As a gym rat and running enthusiast I have to say, working out for less than one hour has never felt like enough of a workout. I know that it’s not about the time, it’s the quality of the workout that really matters but we are constantly being told we need to be active for a minimum of 30 minutes every day just to maintain a relatively decent health.
So where did the 7-minute workout come from? And seriously, what can you achieve in 7 minutes?
The story of the 7-minute workout seems to have come out of The American College of Sports Science. It is a scientifically based high-intensity circuit training workout using body weight. The approach combines aerobic and resistance training into a single exercise bout lasting approximately 7 minutes.
My Reality: Having tried and tested out the 7-minute workout for the past 2 weeks, doing workouts between 7 and 21 minutes long (1 – 3 circuits) I can honestly say I have achieved some decent results:
- Abs are beginning to appear again – thank you!!! It’s been a while and there is still some work to do but by combining this workout with my gym sessions and weekly runs the desired abs are on the horizon J
- My short distance runs feel easier. I am only running once or twice a week for 4-5 miles per run but my times have been faster with no effort to up the pace and I am pretty certain it’s that mix of explosive and strengthening work in the 7-minute workout that has had an impact.
- The 21-minute workout feels much harder than an hour in the gym – OMG! Although I opted for the HARD level I thought, being 21 minutes, it would be okay… mmmm, well, no point in doing it if I don’t challenge myself right? And I am saving time.
What I love most about this workout is:
- It’s free! You can download an app to your phone so no excuses. Take your kit and get the workout done – simple.
- I can fit in 7 minutes any day of the week and 21 minutes most. No more ‘I just couldn’t get to the gym’ syndrome.
- I can do it at home or, when I’m travelling, in my hotel room. No equipment required other than my trainers – sweet joy!
Highly recommended if you like to get more done in less time and highly recommended if you want to mix up your routine.
Because I’m ‘Appy… Have fun, get fit!
Knowing I’d be spending the best part of May travelling I had to reconsider my fitness plan. Determined not to get out of my routine I spent time pre trip carrying out online searches for ‘on the go’ fitness programmes. Imagine my surprise to see such a growing choice!
What I love most about these online platforms is the ability to diversify my fitness routine – true cross training. I initially spent time doing the famous Insanity programme on the Beachbody platform (truly insane!!) then mixed it up with some running and gym cardio/toning work.
I didn’t get as much time to workout as I would have liked on my trip but the hard work pre-travel really paid off and the rest time played its part too. Since getting home I have noticed an increase in my energy levels, greater strength in my leg muscles (all that plyometrics me thinks!) and a zest for more creative workouts.
A quick review then of the sites I have found useful and trialed:
Beachbody: This comes with a 30-day free trial – plenty of time to have a good search around and test out their library of over 100 workout programmes with some top names in fitness. This is where I trialled Insanity and I have to say it has definitely been beneficial. At £38.87 per quarter it’s good value, way cheaper than the gym but also a nice mix with the gym. (Cancel anytime policy). You can also access some information on becoming an instructor for some of the programmes but this isn’t overly obvious/easy to find. That said there are additional bonuses such as fitness guides, nutrition plans and progress trackers.
Les Mills: This comes with a 10-day trial – not quite enough time to dig into all the different workouts but definitely worth doing. I have been testing out the Grit high intensity workout and Sh’Bam dance workouts (good fun) but there are many others and they have a schedule mapped out that you can follow, particularly useful if you are starting out. There is something for everyone here including kids so the whole family can enjoy this and at $9.99 per month it is great value. (Cancel anytime policy). Plus, if you are considering a career in fitness, Les Mills has instructor courses that are very well promoted and clear in terms of what you need to do.
Daily Burn: This comes with a 30-day trial – again, plenty of time to have a good look around and see if it is right for you. What I like about this platform is the mix of training session times, from 30 minutes upwards. Let’s face it, it’s not always easy to get to the gym (travel time) and once you’re there you almost feel obligated to spend at least an hour to justify going in the first place! Yet 30 minutes per day is sufficient to see change and have a good intense workout. I am currently trialing the Black Fire workout (simple routines but you go really hard) and I have to say it’s pretty insane too. For $12.95 per month and you can stream it or attend live. (Cancel anytime policy). They seem to have new workouts every single day so little chance of getting bored.
There are good reasons and benefits to join any one or all three of these platforms. In fact, if you work out the monthly cost of accessing all 3 it is as cheap as the cheapest gym memberships you are likely to find with the added bonus of being able to do the workouts from home with no or very little equipment… providing you are motivated enough to do the work on your own of course! They get a thumbs up ‘YES’ from me.
Hope you get time to test drive them and feedback plus if you have any other online fitness platforms you would recommend please do share them in the comments section – sharing is caring!
One life, live it well!
It’s the only place you have to live in…
One body, treat it well. One life, live it well…
I was going to sign off 2015 by writing up my favourite health tips and then I remembered a similar post from 2013 and decided to rerun it (‘if it ain’t broke why fix it’ moment) along with some links to other related posts. So here goes…
Christmas can be a potential minefield with alcohol flowing, food aplenty accompanied by long dark nights. It is so easy to forget about your fitness during the festive season but there are a few things you can do to save yourself from the New Year’s health laden resolutions…
Work That Body!
I must be crazy recommending this but just because it’s the holiday it doesn’t mean your body should have to suffer… too much! So whether it’s a power walk, a jog, a visit to the gym or an exercise DVD, fit in 2-3 sessions per week. It’ll feel a lot less painful than waiting for January and having a trainer work you to the bone!
Love Thy Self
Think December and not only can you imagine the festivities it’s also cold and flu symptom time. No one wants to be a kill joy however it is wise to ensure that you have a ‘pre flu plan’. Make sure you get your essential vitamins in place, in particular vitamin C and D. Take care of your body and it will take care of you!
Food Glorious Food!
Enjoy the wonderfulness of Christmas dinner, have the pudding you love BUT… start your day the healthy way. Having a nutritious breakfast will not only prevent some of the over-eating later on in the day it will ensure you get some quality vitamins and minerals in your body. Simples!
If you know that you want to be fit and healthy over the holiday but are also aware that you will be tempted to laze around with the rest of your loved ones, get your
loved ones to follow you instead! Theme those Christmas presents to make them fitness related (hint, hint!) Skipping rope, trainers, football for the kids, Wii Fit if you love being indoors… there is something for everyone!
If you are unfortunate enough to be affected by SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder – it is important to make the most of the daytime light by going for walks and eat food that positively affects your moods (dark chocolate, nuts, omega-3 fish).
Have fun but get some sleep! There is nothing great about facing the New Year with a sleep deficit that’s going to take a few weeks (or months) to put right. So whenever you get the chance to put your feet up (between drinks and rounds of turkey) take the opportunity to rest your eyes too.
And there you have it, your Christmas fitness plan in place. Enjoy!!
Happy Christmas to you all & I wish you the very best for 2016… Create the life you love & deserve!
On my scouting of their extensive library today I came across this great article and wanted to share it with you: Junk Science Blogs: 4 Signs You May Be Unknowingly Following One
Source: © The Health Sciences Academy. All Rights Reserved.
Now I am a great believer in simplifying information in order to make it more digestible and accessible however this article highlights the dangers of oversimplifying, from ‘spinning’ information to drawing conclusions without all the facts.
A worthy read… You have been informed 🙂
Live Healthily, live happily,