Monday Motivation ...

I know I tend to go on about this regularly .. but it is just so important in being successful in achieving your goal. 

A daily reminder ...

Go forth and conquer the week!  Become who you want to be!

Friday Fitness .. So you want to run?

Today's post has been brought to you by someone who has been a little busy this last week! And I know Friday Fitness is 2 days too late but please don't hold that against me!

So you want to run but it all sounds a bit hard .. And it hurts!  

Yes, it does hurt ( sometimes ), but it shouldn't hurt so much that you never want to do it again!

I've been running regularly for nearly 20 years now. I'm not super fast by any means. I just plod along at my own pace and after having 2 children I have had to start back running from scratch twice. I've also had to come back after time off from injury and illness.


Many of my clients have asked how they should start running, both for fitness and weight loss. I'm all for anyone starting to run, but only if they really want to, if they have no injuries and have been cleared by their medical professional. Don't think that you HAVE to run just because your neighbour does it or someone tells you it's what you should do to be fit or lose weight.

Bear in mind that running is a high impact, high intensity activity that can cause injuries if you do much too soon .. This would be the first and biggest mistake that those new to running make. It's the main reason that most people give up before they have really experienced the benefits of running.

What I'm detailing below is my version of what to do to start running.  It is what I do when I start back after any time off or even if I'm not quite feeling the love. 

If you aren't doing any exercising or even walking much, then I recommend starting out walking and being able to walk at a brisk pace for at least 30 minutes before you start running. Your body needs to be used to moving with regular impact on your feet, ankles and hips.

If you are currently walking or even running just a little bit here's how you can increase to running.  I'm a simple girl and I Iike things a bit structured so whenever I advise my clients I suggest working in 5 minute blocks.

Start out with a walking warm up for 5 minutes .. No dawdling pick up the pace!

Now set out on a slow jog for 30 seconds to 1 minute depending on how much you have done in the past. Back to walking until you reach 5 minutes .. so 4:00 minutes to 4:30 minutes.

Repeat this at least 4 times until you reach 30 minutes and finish off with a warm down walk for 3 to 5 minutes.

Set out on this run / walk at least 3 times a week. Try not to head out on consecutive days as you want a little recovery time between each run.

If you are feeling good with not too much tiredness, soreness or stiffness next week it's time to increase your run time. Each week endeavour to increase your run time by 30 seconds and decrease your walk break by 30 seconds. I always stay working in 5 minute intervals .. I said I was a simple girl!

Always start your workout with a walking warm up of between 3 and 5 minutes and finish your run with a walking warm down for a few minutes.

By building up gradually you will be more likely to enjoy your runs and avoid many of the starting out niggles that can plague some beginner runners.

Once you have built up to running / jogging for 5 minutes, add a 1 minute walk break and each week add an extra 5 minutes until you have reached your time goal. 
You may note that I have not mentioned anything about distances ... They don't really matter so much to begin with, what you need to focus on when you start out is consistency and time on your feet. 
Once you have worked your way up to 40 - 45 minutes then you can look to adding distance. But if you can run / walk for this period of time you will most definitely be able to run 5km .. And head out for your first 5km fun run!

A couple of things to note .. you will get hot and sweaty.  This is OK.   You will get pretty huffy puffy.  This is also OK, and quite frankly if you're not getting a little puffed then you ain't working hard enough!  Hook up some tunes if you don't like to listen to the sound of your feet / breathing / the birds.  Take a friend .. canine or otherwise, it really does help!

You may also get to see some pretty nice scenery on the way!  This is what makes it worthwhile.   

My final piece of advice .. Venture out you can do anything that you set your mind to .. Be consistent and committed and you will achieve your goal.

See you really can do it!

Let me know if you have any questions and enjoy!

Monday Motivation .. Setting some mini goals

About a month ago I posted that I registered for The Stampede. Big call that was!

Well the big even is just over a month away and I have been thinking that I had better start stepping up the training for it! I have been training semi-regularly training which will definitely keep me fit enough and strong enough to complete this crazy event, but I would like to be just that bit fitter and just that bit stronger, if only for my mental state!

Well I have set my goal but haven't as yet set out how I am going to achieve it! 
I've decided that I will take my training a week at a time and each week I'll set myself mini steps .. a fitness goal, a health goal and a lifestyle goal. 
Each of these mini steps I know will take me closer to my ultimate goal ... Getting crazy muddy on an obstacle course .. The Stampede!

I'm sharing with you now my mini goals for this week ...

My Fitness goal ... 4 - 5 training sessions per week.  Two of these strength ( full body strength and a cardio strength session including plyometrics ), two running sessions and a yoga session or light recovery session.

My Health goal ... Being a bit more strict with my diet.  Fueling my body for training and recovery and repair.  No more added extras!

My Lifestyle goal ... At least one yoga session which helps with flexibility and relaxation, besides I love it!  Get to bed before 10pm ( not happening tonight though .. ) And, as Mr FitMum is away this week, booking in some family date time!

Have you got a big goal that you would like to work towards? 
Have you set your plan for the steps you need to take to get there? 
Check out this post on SMART goal setting ...

Let me know how you are going!

Friday Fitness .. You can still be a Sweaty Mess Workout at Home

You know you should be adding exercise to your daily routine but you don't have access to a gym, nor do you want to go to a gym.  Maybe you don't have time to go to the gym. 
OR .. You are happy to exercise at home but don't really know where to start.

Check out this post on fitting some exercise into your day.  These are the things I do to fit in my training ...
  • I get up earlier in the morning to go for a run .. and yes, it is freezing and dark and I don't enjoy hate with a passion getting up in the dark!  I know this one is not always possible ie single mums, shift workers, partner leaves really early or is away.
  • I have a yoga DVD that I use and it is a decent workout!  Besides, I love the stretch and relaxation part of it too!
  • I use the hour or so when the kids are at soccer training or dance practice to go for a run .. around the block or laps of the field.  I have also set up my son on the oval with a football and done laps around him while he kicks conversions!  Possibly more his favourite than mine, especially as it was my interval training days ...
You would still prefer to workout at home but think you can't because you don't have any equipment.  You don't need any equipment!   But if you wanted to get something I would recommend ... a mat, yoga / pilates DVD and a skipping rope.

You can do this workout in less than 15 minutes, so you can squeeze it anywhere in your day.  And if you do it twice it's almost your 30 minutes a day!  It doesn't even have to be back to back ... one session in the morning, one in the evening and you're done!

Warm Up    
Walk / Jog around the block or the back yard for 10 minutes.  OR

March / Jog in place         30 seconds
Skip ( or pretend to! )       30 seconds
Repeat this 3 times ...

OK, here's the good bit.  Do each exercise for 30 seconds .. set a timer, or a watch.  I have one with an interval timer on my phone and it blasts a siren at me every 30 seconds.
** A note before you start, please work at YOUR fitness and ability level, not what someone else tells you you should be working at.  It's all about you, not them!

30 seconds of Push Ups ( on your knees is fine )
30 seconds of Squats  ( feet just outside hip width, like you're going to sit on the loo )
30 seconds of Tricep Dips
30 seconds of Mountain Climbers

1 minute of shadow boxing .. 30 seconds straight jab / cross, 30 seconds uppercuts
1 minute of stair runs ( if you have stairs, or jog / skip on the spot )

30 seconds of Push Ups ( sorry, they are GREAT for arms and shoulders )
30 seconds of Squats ( again, sorry, but they GREAT for your arse backside )
30 seconds of Burpees ( modify if you need, and if you have BP issues continue squats )
30 seconds of Ski Jumps or wide low side steps ( get your bottom down low! )

1 minute shadow boxing .. as above
1 minute of stair runs .. as above

30 seconds of Crunches ( just little ones and squeeze your abs! )
30 second Plank hold
Repeat these ones twice...

Phew!! If you are not a sweaty mess at the end of this then you certainly haven't worked to your best intensity level!

It might seem a little much at first but write down what you need to do and keep it handy to refer to it as you need. 

Let me know how you go with this one!  Any questions please add to comments or email me directly.

** Please ensure that you consult with a medical professional before commencing any diet and exercise program! If you need any further instruction on exercises either contact me or your exercise specialist.

What's for breakfast in your house?

What did you have for breakfast this morning? 

Don't tell me you skipped it because I won't listen ... lalalalalalalalala ( fingers in my ears )

Apparently it's the most important meal of the day!  I know you've heard that it helps with weight loss if you eat breakfast, but why not skip breakfast and cut a few calories?  That should work out the same shouldn't it? 

Not really .. When you skip breakfast are you absolutely starving and can't think straight by 10am? Then you fill up on lunch, then continue to nibble through out the day thereby making up and even over eating the calories you skipped at breakfast!

Then what benefits are there for eating breakfast and helping you lose or control your weight?
  • You are "breaking the fast" after not eating for 10 - 12 hours. When you eat breakfast your body knows to produce enzymes that you need to metabolise and help lose weight.
  • Having a healthy balanced breakfast will fire you up and give you the energy that you need to keep going throughout the day especially if you have to work, chase kids, family and include exercise!
Now that I have convinced you to give breakfast a go, what should you do?

  • First up, eat soon after waking, some suggest within 30 minutes. If you are training early in the morning, it's a personal preference whether you eat before or after training. If you are going to be doing an intense training session, I would recommend having something before hand as it will give you extra fuel to put in a quality training session. You don't want to pass out on the floor half way through your session! If you are going for a walk or light run, you decide .. just don't leave it too long to get something in your belly.
  • Next up, choose something that is filling and slow digesting, a mix of carbohydrate and protein is ideal. Not high in fat or sugar! Also, watch your portion sizes. It is really easy to overeat especially when you are chowing down cereal in the morning after a run! I also like to have a serve of fruit at breakfast because I don't always feel the love for fruit later in the day!
What is on the breakfast menu at my house ...

  • Muesli with berries .. I make my own muesli and the recipe is here
  • One piece of wholegrain toast with an egg .. poached, boiled or scrambled.  If you are doing scrambled don't be adding too many extras like butter, milk, cheese!  Also, your choice whether you go egg / egg white.  I usually go whole egg + 1 egg white because even though the yolk has some fat, it also has heaps of nutrients!
  • Oats with berries .. I make my oats on water and then add about a tablespoon of milk to confuse myself into thinking it's creamy!
Oh and a coffee! Don't get in the way of my coffee!!

What's on the breakfast menu in your house? 
Or do you need to make a bit more of an effort with this meal?


Monday Motivation ...

It really is all in your head ...

Let's make it a week of positive thoughts, positive actions and see what difference it makes in your world!

What changes in thinking are you going to make this week?

Fitness Friday .. A quick workout is a good workout!

Hands up those of you who love to spend hours at the gym?  Certainly not me!  Well, except of course when I'm working, and that doesn't count!

Maybe it's because I'm a bit of an impatient person, or so I've been told ... but I like to get my workout done and get outta there!  I like to get as much bang for my buck as I can!

Depending on your goals, it's really not necessary to spend hours a day training.  Like those long runs I've had to do in training for the half marathons, I want the achievement of completing the half but I can tell that you training for it ain't always a fun!  But I do it 'cause it just has to be done .. feather in my cap!

I like to try and fit in some kind of workout most days, but there are some days it doesn't work and some days I need to find something that's going to work .. fast! 

Today is one of those days.  I've been at work this morning and I've got some running around to do this afternoon before I pick the kids up, get everyone ready and to the babysitters so that I can get myself prettied up for a dinner tonight.

Quick 30 minute workout required! 

I thought I would share today's kettlebell workout, so here it is ...

Warm up run around the block   15 minutes
** It wasn't raining ( insert happy face ) and poor Baxter ( the Border Collie ) needed to stretch his legs!

Around the world      10 each way   ( swinging around your body )  
Lunge rows               10 each side
Low windmills            8 each side
2 arm swings             15 swings
Single leg deadlift      10 each leg
Shoulder press          10 each side

I used an 8kg kettlebell and repeated the cycle twice.  All up this took me just over 30 minutes, so I skipped the third cycle .. ooops?!

More importantly, I worked pretty much every muscle in my body and managed to get my heart rate up there!  Efficient, effective workout I say!

I'm off to have lunch now, and I might even shower before I get the kids!  Aren't I a nice mum?!

Do you like to get more bang for your buck when you train?  What's your favourite smash it out and get outta there workout?

Read more about kettlebells here

No Junk July update ...

It's almost half way through July. And half way through the "No Junk July" challenge, so it's time for an update.

There have been moments that I have been happy about my actions in regard to the challenge over the last two weeks, and there have been moments when I haven't been so happy! 

Overall, I've been more mindful of the food choices that I've been making. In fact, I was very mindful as I whipped up the batch of mini chocolate cupcakes that I had been promising the kids for a few weeks. Oh, they had caramel icing too. Yes, I taste tested one, well two actually and a lick of the bowl, but that's it! I haven't had any more.
Other than the cupcakes and a two three Mai-Tai over the weekend, I am really back on track. I posted about that here just this week and how I do feel that planning and organisation is key when it comes to making the right choices with your food. 

I've even been doing quite well with the de-junk part of No Junk July too. Last week, I pulled out a huge pile of PJs that have been bunkering down in the walk-in robe for a few years. I seriously would have had enough PJs to last me a whole month without the need to wash! I no longer have that many ...  A huge bag of them has now found their way to the bin .. there was no way these were being recycled! 
While I was on a roll, I grabbed a few more things and bundled them up to send to Lifeline. 

Now that a few things have left my closet, that means that I can go and find something else to replace it, right? No, just joking! It will be nice to have some extra room! 

I'm wondering if I clean it out enough I will find this ...

Pinned Image

Last weekend was a HUGE de-junk .. we cleaned out the garage and managed to get rid of heaps of rubbish / junk that was just taking up space and gathering dust. It was a relief actually to finally clear some stuff out .. and the garage looks lovely and tidy now! I even have a renewed motivation for my garage workouts!

Have you been taking part in the "No Junk July" challenge? How have you been doing? It's now too late to join either!

Getting back into the swing ...

Well we've managed to make it half way through the first week after school holidays and I can already see the tiredness in Master 6's eyes. Mine aren't far behind but that's another story!

As much as I miss the kids ( well, I do sometimes ) I do look forward to being able to get back into a routine and feel a bit more organised and in control.  No, I'm not a control freak, really I'm not! 
On holidays we tend to fly a bit by the seat of our pants, but I think this helps me to appreciate more the structure and routine that we have during term, especially when it comes to my eating and exercise.

Dinners, lunches and snacks are a little bit out the window during holidays which leads me to include a few extra things that I wouldn't normally include in my regular diet.

I usually plan the meals for the week then head out to do a grocery shop either on Sunday afternoon or squeeze it in somewhere on Monday .. I have been known to order online and have it delivered too! This way I am sure that I have everything I need to get dinner prepped and done without running around in the evenings. 

Another reason I plan my meals and snacks is so that I don't get lazy and eat too much of the things that I shouldn't. Don't get me wrong, I am definitely not perfect!
I don't always get it right and I don't always stick to the menu but it's there to keep me on track as much as I can.  And I know I've always got a healthy, nutritious snack when I need it.

So, these past few days I've been getting myself into routine again as I know this is key for me to not straying too far off track.  I don't want to have to do too much hard work to get back in shape when the weather starts heating up again!

This is what is on the menu at our house this week ...

Do you plan your weekly menu?  What's on your menu this week?

Monday Motivation ....

If you're not happy, do something about it .. don't blame anything else .. take some responsibility and work hard to make a change happen.

Pinned Image
This is not my belly ...

What are you going to do this week to take responsibilty and make some changes?

Fitness Friday ..

I'm writing this post as I sit here a sweaty mess from today's workout .. in the garage again.

It's the last day of school holidays which means I don't get to spend too much extra time at the gym fitting in my workout.  So, I'm making do with what I have at home.
Actually, it's more than enough for me to have a great full body workout .. in fact, it's probably enough for me to open my own gym in the garage .. oh, now there's an idea that requires further thought!

Where do you prefer to exercise / workout?

In a gym, in a private studio, in the great outdoors or at home?  Each really do have their own benefits so it all depends on what your personal needs are.

Gyms and studios have similar services with access to classes, equipment, 1 on 1 training, protection from those nasty cold, dark or rainy days and the motivation of other gym goers or your exercise partner.  On the down side, these can be expensive and not everyone wants to fork out a few thousand dollars on a membership they may not even get value from!

If you rely on the great outdoors as your gym, it can certainly be a little unpleasant sometimes!  Call me a princess but you won't catch me heading out for a run when it's pouring rain!  And I REALLY have to force myself to head out the door when it's cold and dark .. like I did on Monday and Wednesday this week!
On the plus side, no gym fees!

Training at home is an option, but not necessarily for the weak willed!  You need to motivate yourself to get out of your toasty, warm bed and move yourself!  Training at home can also be a bit expensive, but it doesn't need to be .. just a few bits and pieces and you're set!  Just a note here .. watch out if the kids are counting your reps, they may not be right!  But apparently it's their idea of fun to have mummy do extra lunges ....

Personally, I tend to mix it up a bit but it all depends on my schedule ( ie .. the kids, work, family ).
I prefer to run outdoors in the fresh air.  ( Read comment above for further excuses clarification )
I will do a workout with weights at home if I'm feeling super motivated.  As I work at a gym I have access to pretty much everything I need so I usually do my workout before I head home because as soon as I walk in the door I will find something else to do!
That being said I'll do yoga at home with a DVD.

Do you have your own workout that you do at home when you can't get to the gym?  What's your favourite workout at home?

PS .. check out the kids workout in the garage after mine ...

No Junk July ...

One of my blogging cyber friends Liz from Last Chance Training! posted on Sunday night that she was issuing a challenge to herself and those who wish to participate and has declared "No Junk July".

As soon as I read this I was in .. my diet has been leaning a little towards the .. shall we say, lazy over the last few weeks and I really need to pull my finger out and do something about it!  I am also on a bit of a band wagon at home about cleaning out all of the crap extra necessities that really aren't necessities. 

Read more about Liz's "No Junk July" here but these words from Liz really just sum it up ...

“No Junk July” encompasses two things – using foods that are packaged in a minimum of “junk” and that require little or no junk ie excess packaging to transport them and to store them in. This means recyclable shopping bags, and eating mostly unprocessed foods for the month of July. 

Liz is also taking it a little further and declaring junk food off limits .. you know those pretty silver wrappers .. off limits!

I'm taking on the "No Junk July" challenge too.  We don't eat a lot of processed food to begin with but I'm going to make a bit more of an effort to rely on my culinary skills than those of a packaging machine!  This is going to mean planning ahead just that bit more and organising my weekly grocery shop around the fresh fruit and veg section.

One of my big dislikes is the pre packaged "snacks" for kids.  As I have said before, my kids have pretty decent appetites so making sure I've always got food around is a big thing.  I will still bake for the kids snacks, so I'm not including this in the "junk" as I know what I'm putting in the food and as much as I can I substitute for a more healthy option.  You can check out some of my kids snack recipes here

In a nutshell, my "No Junk July" will consist of minimising the "junk" that comes into the house .. be that food or otherwise!  And eating fresh, unprocessed foods .. those with as little packaging as possible.  I'm thinking that "No Junk July" will be my lead up to "Sugar Free September" that I participated in last year!

Why not join us?!  Check us out on Twitter with the hashtag #nojunkjuly or pop your email over on the side there and get my blog posts on email!

Let me know if you are joining us, I would love to hear your thoughts and how you are going!

Vicki x

Monday Motivation ...

I know, you've heard it all before.

But it's so hard to wake up when it's cold and dark and get out to do your workout ...

This is why I'm thinking this way this week ...

Maybe I can fool myself into thinking it's not that cold and not that dark ...

Go out and work for what you want Fit People!  Enjoy your week!

Vicki x