The 7 Minute Workout… Are You Serious?

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As a gym rat and running enthusiast I have to say, working out for less than one hour has12well_physed-tmagArticle 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:

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

  1. It’s free! You can download an app to your phone so no excuses. Take your kit and get the workout done – simple.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Check out some 7-minute workout app reviews at Narrato and the official 7-minute workout app by Johnson & Johnson.

Because I’m ‘Appy… Have fun, get fit!

YvonneB

Power Up Your Fitness Mindset With These 3 Steps

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I’ve been back in the gym for a couple of months and so glad to be in the habit again. My Mental Fitnessrunning has taken a bit of a back seat but I’ll get the balance soon enough.

As I prepare to get back into a fit state I focus as much on building my fitness mindset as I do on creating my ideal workout.

What does a fitness mindset look like?

  1. Visual Preparation: depending on what you are working towards, have some images as a reference point to stimulate you. Using imagery to guide your workout is incredibly powerful. I have a portfolio of photos taken 18 years ago when I was competing in fitness figure shows that I like to flick through. They remind me of what I have achieved and help me focus on what more is possible. Even if you do not have photos, you can use your imagination. Picture yourself performing the exercises you intend to do or the end result you want. You can read more about this technique in detail with Dr John Rusin.
  2. Motivation: even though the photos are a good source of inspiration and help with the focus I like to reinforce them with audio. I was spending quite a bit of time searching YouTube for motivational videos to watch/listen to but have since found the perfect resource at Pre-workout TV; someone did all the hard work of pulling a list of great motivational videos together!
  3. Music: music really does it for me. Not only does it have the power to lift any mood, research has shown that it can aid pain by relaxing the body as well as improve your workout. I walk to the gym, maximising the time by listening to high energy music and walking at an energetic pace that prepares me for the workout ahead.

Mindset is as important as the physical activity itself; I fully understood that when running the London Marathon last year. My mind definitely got me over the finishing line!

What do you do to prepare yourself mentally for your workouts? Sharing is caring…

Fab Fit & Healthy

YvonneB

P.S: A recommended site for great tips and motivation is Breaking Muscle

I’ve Got Chills They’re Multiplying… Feed Your Cold

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Anyone old enough to remember Grease will recognize the first half of that title (oh, how I loved thatFlu film!) but I’m taking
a whole other approach with it!

Here in the UK winter is settling in nicely (thank you) and it is the time of year when colds, flu and all such nasty niggly viruses come out to play. Instead of (or as well as) visiting the bottle laden shelves of the chemist, here are a few tips to help get those viruses on the move.

First: What to Avoid

Cut down on foods that lead to inflammation. This includes things like refined carbohydrates, sugar, white flour or rice and saturated fats in butter (and animal fats, such as chicken skin).

Second: What will Help

Whole grains

Lean protein

Moderate amounts of healthy oils (ex. olive oil)

Fruit in moderation

Plenty of vegetables, herbs and spices

And a few other considerations

Shiitake, maitake and reishi Mushrooms are good for your immune system.

Garlic provides allicin, a natural chemical that fights bacteria and possibly viruses too.

Tangy citrus fruits are a great way to get vitamin C, a key antioxidant that supports your immune system. (Oranges & grapefruits are good as are the less tangy kiwi and strawberries).

Herbs and spices have been shown to kill germs. Rosemary, oregano, and thyme are other herbs that give you antioxidants.

Probiotics are “good” bacteria help keep your gut healthy and in turn are good for your overall immunity (found in some yogurts). Look for “live cultures” on the label.

Chicken soup helps fight inflammation. Warm liquids can soothe your sore throat and help relieve congestion.

Water – get your 8 glasses of water in!

In truth I have rarely been good at feeding colds, maybe because I don’t get them too often, but  I’ll refer to this short, simple list in future. What do you do to feed your cold/flu? Love to know! Please share your comments.

Hoping you get through the winter without any viruses!

One Life, Live It Well,

YvonneB

Reference: Webmd.com

What You Feed Your Brain Matters

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Well my opening statement is a simple one: What you feed your Brain1brain matters!

I am and will always remain intrigued by the intricacies of our make up, the way the body pieces together to move fluidly; the wiring of the brain to send specific messages to create a movement, a thought, a wish. We are incredibly built, more powerful than most of us will realise in our lifetime and yet we often choose to take this for granted and misuse it.

Like a finely tuned car we require a regular MOT, a long run and some TLC to operate optimally and one of the things we can do to make sure we stay finely tuned is watch what we eat. Mmmm, yes, a tricky subject! But let’s look at some facts…

Does Brain Food Exist?

Oh yes! Just like the rest of the body there are foods we can eat to enhance our brain power.

The brain requires some very specific things to work well and you might want to take note. It requires:

  1. Energy – glucose in your blood to the brain – Wholegrains
  2. Essential Fatty Acids – only obtained from your diet as the body is unable to make it – Oily Fish (Omega 3 fats)
  3. Blueberries – who knew? See why below
  4. Protection against free radical damage to cells – the magic ingredient lycopene in Tomatoes
  5. Zinc – Pumpkin seeds

Some other key sources include certain B vitamins, blackcurrant, broccoli, sage and nuts.

What Happens If You Eat These Foods?

  1. Increases the ability to concentrate and focus (from the steady supply of energy)
  2. Aids healthy brain function, the heart function, joints and general wellbeing (EFA)
  3. Improves short-term memory loss or delays it (blueberries – got to get me some of those!)
  4. Protects against the cell damage that can lead to the development of dementia (Alzheimer’s in particular) (Tomatoes)
  5. Enhances memory & thinking skills (Pumpkin Seeds)

The additional benefits of eating the food types listed above include reduced brain shrinkage, mental agility, enhanced cognitive function, improved brain power and improved memory. Not a list to be sniffed at!

So if you’ve been struggling to stay focused, to retain information or engage with a level of mental agility that you feel you have, you might want to check your diet. Are you doing everything you can to remain mentally healthy or are you resigned to letting it all slip away blaming the ageing process? The choices we have, the decisions we make!

What Are Some Easy Steps To Improve Your Brain Power?

Apart from eating good quality food here are 3 other ways to Brain2improve your brain power:

  1. Exercise your brainneuroplasticity (the brain can change!) – by doing something new
  2. Exercise your body – regular exercise not only increases brain function it enhances neurogenesis (every time you exercise you are creating new brain cells!)
  3. Train your memory – practice remembering things (you know, where you put your keys, wallet, even the children!!) Practice provides improvements.

Get your thinking heads on and post some other cool, fun or wacky ways to improve brain power; I’m open to ideas and new ways. And remember, what you feed your brain matters!

One Life, Live It Well

YvonneB

Sources of information:

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/10-foods-boost-your-brainpower

http://www.foodforthebrain.org/

It’s In The Bag!

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It’s in the bag! 3 months and 5 days before my 5Certificate0th I have completed my first (& to be honest, probably my last) marathon – Yay!

Sunday 26th April 2015, a wet and cold morning in London; perfect for the challenge ahead; Virgin Money London Marathon – 35th Anniversary.

Along with 38k+ other goal setters I had one vision in mind – simply to cross the finishing line.

The crowd were amazing, cheering energy into depleted IMG_20150427_163242muscles; it’s in those moment you realise the true power of people, the energy they give off.

23 miles, quadriceps in lock down, I had to get the mind to take over. Power walking to release some of the muscle tension followed by light running seemed to do the trick.Anything is possible

Finally I turned the corner into the mall, finishing line in view, and realised the hard work was over; awesome feeling.

And now I have a greater sense of the amazing fitness level elite athletes have to run marathons in less than 2.5 hours – respect!

As for me, one week off before I hit the running trail again.

Next fitness challenge… Insanity! It’ll be in the bag too!

Keep Giving, Keep Receiving!

YvonneB


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