Weight Loss – Muscles vs Fat Mass

If you are trying to lose weight and you are not sure about what to exercise for, cardio or muscles, then this video is for you.
This quick video will help you determine how much cardio and how much strength training your body needs according to your body type. It gives a quick insight into what you should do to help your body with the weight loss process.

Good luck,
Nura

Throw Them Off With Taekwondo

Tired of feeling weak and helpless? Scared of walking home alone? Is there someone you want to tell off but don’t know how?

No need to fear, martial arts is here!

There’s karate, judo, aikido, taekwondo, boxing, wushu, and a whole lot more you can learn about just by a click of your mouse. But simply learning from a book or a website and playing it out a couple times won’t cut it. You have to get up and train for at least half an hour per week. After all, self-defense is a skill. And skills are not perfected in a blink of an eye, but by sheer sweat and determined practice.

Self-defense does not just ward off unwanted creepers, but could also potentially save your life. Places like Texas, where women are being targeted and attacked, strongly encourage Muslims to take up self-defense and learn how to protect themselves. With the current Islamophobia and hate against Muslims, it is essential that you, as a Muslim woman (especially if you wear hijab), know how to fend for yourself when encountered by any sort of threat – big or small.

In some middle eastern countries like Jordan, harassment is not uncommon. Despite women covering themselves modestly and wearing hijabs and headscarves, they are still targeted and attacked without hesitation. According to islam.ru, an islamic information portal based in Russia, some women in England are even attacked by muggers taking the pins off their hijab and stabbing their heads with it. So as we can see from here, how we dress is not the issue. It’s how we protect ourselves and how we deal with the ambiguous jaws of the world.

Among all self-defense techniques and martial arts, let’s zoom into one particular art: Taekwondo.

Kick as high as the sky. Reference: Edward Lim, (2016), Wallace Lai Yen Theng [ONLINE]. Available at: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10210164033279633&set=pb.1302833662.-2207520000.1499930670.&type=3&theater [Accessed 13 July 2017].

Kick high to the sky.
Reference: Edward Lim, (2016), Wallace Lai Yen Theng [ONLINE]. [Accessed 13 July 2017].

Taekwondo, as the name distinctly provides, is a Korean martial art. The word can be broken down into three: “tae”, “kwon”, and “do”. The definition of “tae” is foot, “kwon” is hand, and “do” is art. It generally can be broken down into two categories: poomsae, and sparring. Poomsae is a series of moves – both defense and attack – put together in one. On the other hand, sparring is your typical two-minute fight on the training mat.

This martial art consists of many moves and techniques. The few basic ones are kicks, blocks, and strikes.

Here are a few examples:

The basic kick in Taekwondo: front kick.

 

Basic blocks and strikes: punch, higher-section block, lower-section block, inner block, outer block, ridge hand strike, and knife hand strike.

Sparring technique: Chopping kick.

 

There are some centres available in Malaysia:

Other places to learn self-defense around the world:

Don’t be afraid because you are small and frail or physically unfit. With determination, comes great results. Remember: we are not inferior to men, but a sole equal. And sometimes, we may be even better.

– Nukey

No motivation ?? Here are 5 tips to motivate you to run ?

Find motivation to run

Stop giving excuses

Have you ever felt so lazy that you couldn’t put on your running attire,  lace up your sport shoes, to get off your lazy ass or to go for your routine run?

And you start to blame the weather,..“it is too hot today and I might get sunburn”, or “since it is windy, i better take a nap” …and you start thinking of thousand reasons to escape your run..

Actually, There’s nothing wrong with you, except…YOU’VE LOST YOUR MOTIVATION.

So, here are 5 tips to motivate you to keep running 😉

1. Set your goal. 

Plan your mileage target for every month wisely. Write them BIG and paste it at an area you can easily see. This will motivate you and get you to be more responsible towards your goal.

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2. Register for a race.

Once you click the ‘register’ button, you definitely feel like,..“Soon, I will run for this event, and yes, I should start run today”. You will start to find time to train and become consistent as the ‘race day’ comes nearer.

At the REPC..I'm very excited to run soon!

3. Remember, it’s for your health.

Do not run because your friends are running too, and that if you’re not running with them,..you’d be left behind and have no friends. Do not run because you wanna have the slimmest figure among your fat colleagues, do not run because it is a trend. Run because you feel good and fresh after accomplish your goal. Run because it is definitely the best stress reliever. And yes, remember that after you run, you can eat like a MONSTER!

An apple a day keeps the doctor away

4. Find running buddies. 

Running alone will sometime make you feel demotivated. You will feel bored, lonely and distracted. Get a running buddy, set up your goal together, plan and train. It will be even more fun if you guys sign up for a race and compete together. Your performance will be improve if you guys aim and train hard.

They are doing well today ;) Congrats guys!

Running sisters

5. Put your best attire on

Introduce variety into your running wardrobe so that you will be more excited to run everyday. Everybody wants look good and nice in whatever they’re wearing, so do you when you run. And yes, your running selfie definitely would be gorgeous too. Make sure you are comfortable and confident in your attires.

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Till then, we’ll meet again, keep fit and be inspired! ?

Pacer duty done…..with less drama!

It’s a wrap! Alhamdullilah, I was given a great opportunity to be one of the pacers for all the series in Men’s Health Women’s Health 21km Night Run which held in Penang, Putrajaya and the last one in Puteri Harbour, Johor Bahru last week. And it was pretty awesome!

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Team Pacers 😉

I was the pacer for 2 hours 30 minutes for Penang edition, 2 hours 20 minutes for Putrajaya edition and last one at Puteri Harbour last week, it was 2 hours and 10 minutes. Do read about my previous experience being pacer here → https://blog.nashata.com/?p=6389.

Since this was my third time become a pacer, alhamdullilah everything went well and of course gain more confident and less drama..hehe..

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For slimming effect, cross your legs when people taking your pic..hehehe 🙂

Oh ya, this is my first time running in Johor and of course I’m the one who’s running with widest smile. And the Nashata sisters ran too. Yayy!

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Nashata sisters finished modestly after running and of course still look beautiful as always! heeee

Alhamdullilah, we ‘re given the opportunity to be interviewed by NTV 7 before the event started.

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Overall, the water stations and traffic were well organised, we maintained our pace around 6.00 to 6.15 min/km to finish in 2 hours and 10 minutes. If you always train yourself to run sub 6.00min/km, you can go for sub 2 hours for half marathon 😉

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My favourite moment that night,is when my all- time- favourite running idol, best known as Malaysian’s Fastest Marathoner 2016, paced me for 500m before reached finishing line! Yes, Edan paced me towards finishing line!  And it feel like I’m running on the red carpet with flowers showering my way towards the dais..heee..And after that we accidentally met back at the nearby shop,..and here is our photo together 😉 Yayy, thanks Edan! Hope to meet you again in the future, insyaALLAH.

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Edan is very inspiring and determined. I wish one day I could be like him too, aminnn.

How do I trained?

It has been a while, since last December 2016, I had a break from any events due to busy schedule with classes and exams. But, I never miss my usual training every evening to maintain my stamina and momentum. I run at least 10 km with average pace 5.45min /km ,4 times in a week, and other 3 days I run at my easy pace,..and do daily planks as my daily routine.

The secret is,..set your goal, aim..and train for it! Get rid of any excuses that will disrupt your goal, be confidence and persistent to what you want to achieve. The utmost important is..always believe that you can do it. When your mind believed it, your body will achieve it. InsyaALLAH.

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“Believe you can and you’re halfway there”

How do I eat? 

I do eat like other people but the different is I know what i am eating and I care about it. I never miss my meals. I eat carbs for lunch and dinner. I always take bananas and half boiled eggs every morning and after running for energy and muscle recovery. Don’t skip your meal and don’t overeat.

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And yes! I had char kueh teow for my post running treat..and it’s yummeh!

Till then, we’ll meet again, keep fit and be inspired! ?

The Kuching Marathon when I no longer run with my legs

Yesterday, I ran the Kuching Marathon for the second time. It is one of my favourite homeground running events that I never miss.

At the REPC..I'm very excited to run soon!

At the REPC..Looking very excited to run!

What’s exciting about the run was that I did a back to back full marathon (FM). A week before, I ran a full marathon (42.195km) at the Standard Charted Kuala Lumpur Marathon better known as SCKLM.  My goal was to  finish BOTH marathons without injury and I did it! Hoyeahh!

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Hoyeahh! I finished strong after back to back FM.


After coming back from SCKLM, I was very busy attending classes and lectures. Honestly, a week before the Kuching Marathon I didn’t run much, only carbo-loading and hydrating myself well. I believed that all I needed was a good rest and to continue loading myself with carbs since there was only a week gap before the Kuching Marathon.

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I couldn’t wait to arrive at the finish line,..but before that let’s take a pic first!

I was glad that the number of participants at the Kuching Marathon increased this year. Yayy! Here’s the breakdown:

  • 5km – 2200
  • 10km – 1897
  • 21km – 2343
  • 42km – 1658
    (info from KPD Kuching)

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It was almost time to flag off,..and everybody was soo excited!

The full marathon flagged off at 2am. I liked it early because first  – no sunburn and second – the weather would not be not that hot. I was hoping to finish the run before 8 am.

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Yayy! Aina was back hometown for this event! Run Aina run!

The route was almost flat with some not-so-hilly, and long, never ending road. I started my first 10 km with paces ranging from 5.30 to 6.30 min per km and the timing for first 10 km was 59 min. For the next 11 km, my average pace dropped to 7 to 8.30 min per km, hence my timing was 2 hr 21 min for the first 21 km. Oh ya, I did spend 6-8 minutes for toilet stop at the Shell petrol station nearby. Hmm, how I wished that I didn’t stop.

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Running with energy for a selfie ;P The Nashata hoodie top keeps my head dry from morning dew

It was cold and humid, and was sure most of the runners performed best at their first 21 km. I then continued running until km 32. It was already 5.50 am and I stopped at the Petronas Petrol Station nearby for about 7-8 min to perform Fajr prayer.

By the time I started running back, it was already 6 am. If I really wanted go for sub 5, I only had about one hour left for my last 10 km. However, sub 1 for my last 10 km was probably impossible. I remained positive and changed my target to sub 5 hr 15 min, 1 min earlier from my timing at SCKLM – 5hr 16min.

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I like this pic very much! I look like an Olympians..teehee 😛 photo credit to DNA Sport 🙂

I kept telling myself, “just keep running, this suffering is almost at its end”

My last 5 km was really tough, as I was fighting with myself to complete within my target. I no longer ran with my legs, I ran with heart. I kept running, no matter how slow it was, at least I kept moving. I kept my pace within 9 to 10.30 km/min, and at that time, I could no longer feel my leg. All I could feel was my socks soaking in sweat, my big toes felt like being pressed, this and that…my only wish was that I could just walk.

Towards the finish line, there were a few cheering squats who kept entertaining the runners. I ran even faster towards my last 500 m., and yet that 500 m felt like 500 km. Arghh!

Finally, I finished my 10th Full Marathon strong at the Kuching Marathon in 5 hours 9 min.*drum rolls*.. Yayy, mission sub 5hr 15min accomplished and 7 minutes earlier from FM SCKLM. Alhamdullilah.

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My first time running in Amin Sports Hijab and I love it. I love the look and the feel. Yeahh! I made it! Forget the mile, and just remember the glory 😉

Overall, the traffic was well controlled and organised. However, the water stations had limited supply of  plain water and isotonic drink. Runners had to queue up and share cups to drink, to our inconvenience. My take home message is to bring small bottle at my next run. Should the organiser fail to provide enough water throughout the run, at least I have my own.

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Thank you guys for support 😉 and not to forget, Fatin finished her first run, a 10km within cut off time..congrats! *claps

Before I went back, I managed to meet up with some friends who flew in from Peninsular just to race. Ermm, not entirely, they flew in for Kek Lapis and Mee kolok too 😛

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Congrats Khairul (in black shirt) for doing his personal best for his HM. And others, congrats guys for finishing strong.

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This superman did a back to back too,..with an awesome timing ,..sub 4.30..congrats Mambo!

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My medical lecturer (in blue hijab) also ran this morning,..she’s did 5km but overmileage with 3km add on! Congrats Dr! Next time she should upgrade to 10km 😉

When someone tells you, ‘You can’t’, turn around and say, ‘Watch me!’ ….And the bragging continues ….. 😛

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We continued bragging,..because the suffer is astounding!

Before the moment ended, we celebrated our victory with…..tadaaa!

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Mee Kolok with FM finisher medal add-on!

Till then, we shall meet again in next post 🙂

Keep running and be inspired!

Malaysians spend too much time on the Internet

You may not realize you are glued in front of your gadgets more and more everyday. Recent studies conducted by AIA Healthy Living Index show that Malaysian adults spend on average 4.1 hour/day on non-work purposes. That is 1.1 hour more than the average of 3 hours/day for the region.

On the other hand, Malaysians spend on average 2.6 hours/week exercising, and that is below the average of 3 hours a week of exercise time recommended by fitness expert.

Now, it is pretty obvious there can be a positive shift in our daily habits that can help improve Malaysians state of health. We can make small steps of positive changes by shifting 30 mins/day on the screen to working out. Yes, pivot the hours to working out.

Let’s Reduce Screen Time for a Better Health

1. Malaysia Numbers

The study has also shown that:

  • Obesity is on the rise : 55% of Malaysian adults are either pre-obese or obese (with Body Mass Index 23 and above)
  • Sleep Deprivation : Malaysians adults are not sleeping enough with an average of 6.3 hours / night, 1.2 hours below desired sleeping hours of 7.5.
  • Declining health condition : 68% of Malaysian adults feel their health is not as good as it was 5 years ago.
  • Misconception of healthy food : 81% think healthy food is more expensive, 64% do not like the taste, 58% find it harder to prepare

 

The panelist discussing the current health trends of Malaysians

Thomas Isaac, Director of Intuit Research | Indra Balaratnam, Consultant Dietitian | Jacqueline Wong, Head of Learning & Development, Fitness First Asia | Dr Myralini, AIA Health Services Sdn. Bhd.

2. What can we do?

Tips from panel fitness & nutritionist expert for improved wellness:

  • Indra says : “Make exercise exciting!”
  • Jacqueline says
    • Find something you are good at
    • Have full control of the activities you want to focus on
    • Find the right company / friends / group to work out with
  • Healthy diet and Exercising are equally important!
  • Reduce eating out. Prepare healthy food. It is cheaper and healthier.
  • Change our way of life to keep healthy. It takes mental, body & social effort

3. About AIA Healthy Living Index

The study was launched in 2011 by AIA Group, to understand how people feel about their health and the extent of their health habits, as well as their concerns and hopes for a healthier way of life. Conducted by TNS, an independent, global research company, each survey involved interviews with over 10,000 adults 18 years or older  (including 751 adults in Malaysia) across 15 markets : China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Korea, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.

I like these goodies useful for body toning; Dumb bell water bottle #ilike, Corny Nutrition bar and Fitness First voucher for yoga #ilike. Thanks AIA!

Healthy Living Essentials

Healthy Living Essentials : Good for Toning

Let’s make small steps for positive changes. Eat healthy & exercise everyday. It takes effort but make the small steps until they become habits. Take the advises from the panel experts and turn them into actions!

“You cannot buy your health; you must earn it through healthy living” Joel Fuhman. He is an American physician and speaker who advocates micronutrient-rich diet.

8 Lame Excuses Not to Exercise

Everyone has a different personality and interests. You alone decide whether to choose good or not. The same applies to sports, there should be interest and patience to achieve the desired weight. Practicing negative mindsets only brings you down. What type mindsets are these? These are lame excuses that we often hear:

REASON # 1

“I’m busy. I’ve more other stuff that I have to prioritize.”

Usually workload makes one too busy and care less about finding time for exercise. If you are more concerned with money, this reason is common. Remember, it’s better to prevent than to cure. You wouldn’t want to spend your money on remedy, would you?

REASON # 2

“I’m already fat, so what? Nothing can change that.”

First, change your perceptions and know that anyone can change. You just need to put a little effort and constant dedication. Get someone who can keep you motivated on losing weight.

REASON # 3

“I don’t need to exercise. I only eat diet food.”

h_gumnastikh_paxainei600_155759_5Y4G63 Diet alone is fine if you take really low intake of calorie for a long period of time to lose your weight. But this is too much for people to handle. You need to exercise to burn calories and at the same time control your eating habit. That way you are able to balance your health without craving food.

REASON # 4

“I don’t want my body to look like The Hulk.”

Actually, this imagination has gone way too far. Your body will look better if you exercise in discipline manner. To get a body like a bodybuilder is not that easy, it requires a very long time.

REASON # 5

“My body always aches after the workout.”

Your body will be sore after sports because you rarely play sports. It also happens when you didn’t warm up first or you are doing it the wrong way. Don’t see it as a big thing to do. You actually are exercising every step you climbed stairs.

REASON # 6

“I’ll workout later”

Until when? Delaying is the most hardest part to avoid. Most people only workout for a temporary reason. Especially for their wedding look. Ask yourself again. Are you working out for yourself or other people?

REASON # 7

“I don’t have anything suitable to wear for sports.

I don’t want to mess up my mind for this. What a waste of time.”

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Fashionista. Women who are always concern about what they wear. Bare in mind, the best outfit to wear for sports are always the simplest yet covers your aurah. Let’s simplify this. There are few options nowadays to look for sportswear and Nashata.com is one of the most popular sportswear for those who want to look modest but still in fashion.

REASON # 8

“People are staring at me, too embarrassed to join any aerobic.”

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Some people feel embarrassed to exercise, especially plus size people who want to lose weight because she feels herself being watched. You really should never think and care about what people say because it makes you lose the spirit. Prove to them you can do it! You might as well join fitness center for women where you can feel freedom from the eyes of men. You can find it everywhere nowadays.

 

Are you one of these reasons? If you are, stay away from this negative vibes. EMPOWER an active lifestyle and you’ll stay healthier than before!

Photo credit:

http://northpointfitness.com/working-hard-or-hardly-working/lazy-exercise/

http://viralportal.net/diet-or-exercise-which-is-more-effective-in-weight-loss/

 

4 Reasons Why Yoga Is for Everyone

I often get emails and comments from people telling me they want to start yoga but don’t think they have what it takes. I’m too big, I’m not flexible, I could never do that pose or I don’t have the strength. These are just some of the many excuses people put in the way of them and their yoga practice.

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Here is something I’ve learned through my journey with yoga thus far; it is truly not about the destination. It’s not about putting your legs behind your head or standing on your hands, and this is something you will learn quickly if you go to any yoga studio. Yoga is a journey of self-love and acceptance. Perhaps, for this reason, yoga is best for those who think they can’t.It doesn’t matter if you can’t do a single pushup, or if your hands don’t even touch the ground in a forward bend. There is a famous saying by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, founder of the Ashtanga yoga method that says “practice and all is coming.” Yoga is about dedicating oneself to their practice as a means of becoming more self-aware. Some of the advanced poses are bonuses of a regular practice, but not everyone gets there and that is completely OK. Yoga is an individualized practice and you work wherever you are comfortable.

 

Picture Credit

Here are some reasons why yoga is truly for everyone.

 

1. You can find a style that suits your needs – All yoga classes are not created equal. Some are more vigorous while others are based more on meditation or relaxation. There are even therapy-based yoga classes which specialize in specific types of injuries or ailments such as chronic back pain or rheumatoid arthritis. Do some research, reach out to different yoga instructors to get an idea of their style, and possibly try out a few different types. When you find one that suits your needs, stick with it!

 

2. Yoga is a personal practice – The main goal is not something physical, like building strength or getting lean abs. The most important aspect of any yoga practice is finding oneself, accepting oneself as they are, and working to become a better person on the inside. Everyone’s journey is different and unique and one should not compare themselves to others. Many yoga styles even encourage developing a home-based practice as a means of personalized self-growth.

 

3. Yogis are non-judgmental – Yoga encourages a completely judge free atmosphere. Yogis will generally be very accepting and supportive in your journey. They will not judge you for your size or abilities, mostly because they are focusing on their own personal journeys…not to mention they were once beginners as well. Just try it. Sign up at a yoga studio for the minimum amount of classes they offer and commit to sticking it out. I guarantee you will be surprised by how supportive and welcoming everyone will be.

4. You are bound to get better with time –One of the worst excuses you can give is that you are not flexible/strong/skinny/whatever enough to do yoga. You must remember that every single person started somewhere…yes even the most advanced yogis were once beginners. One of my biggest inspirations is Kino Macgregor, who is a well-known Ashtanga yogi who travels worldwide to teach. She didn’t begin yoga until 19 years of age without any training in movement therapy, and is now learning the fourth series of Ashtanga yoga (there are six series and most people never move beyond the first series!).

 

 

With patience, and practice comes change. You may only be able to touch your shins in a forward fold, but a few months down the road you will get to your toes. You might need a wall or a teacher to help you into a headstand but one year down the road you will do it on your own. So long as you don’t give up, change is bound to occur.

 

The change that has occurred through my yoga journey extends far beyond physicality. Sure I can touch my head to my shins in the forward fold (something I never thought I would do). I can balance upside down on my forearms. But more than any pose, I have gained an appreciation for myself; an appreciation for what I am capable of becoming, an appreciation for who I am and what I have. I’ve learned patience, I’ve learned mindfulness, and most importantly, I’ve learned to love myself even on the bad days. Now that is an important lesson for anyone.

15 Ways to Make Exercise Fun and Productive

Working out is no easy task. We get busy, tired, lazy, stressed or simply have other things we would rather be doing. But getting in a good workout is actually the best remedy for all of the above. It gets your blood circulating and heart pumping, it gives you energy, helps you to sleep better at night and can act as a great stress reliever.

The goal with a consistent exercise routine is to knock out all excuses. One of the most common excuses is, “I hate to exercise.” I find that the general population hates to exercise because they don’t really know what exercise is.

Let’s clear up a few key points about exercise before moving on:

  • 60 miserable minutes on the treadmill is not the only form of exercise
  • blood, sweat and tears does not equal exercise
  • you do not need to be in shape to start
  • a gym is a great resource, but is not the only answer
  • a 10 minute workout still counts
  • exercise can be fun!

Here are some exercises that are so fun you don’t even feel like your exercising:

 

1. Short Workouts

Ever tried HIIT training or Tabata? If you’re short on time these workouts are perfect for you…they can be as short as 5 minutes! The trick is to push your body to limits you never thought it could go. Spike your heart rate by quick, short bursts of exercise, and then follow it with a short active rest period. The cool thing about these workouts is you can do so much; sprints, plyometrics, strength training, rowing…just about any form of exercise you can think of can be turned into a HIIT workout.

 

2. Walking/Hiking

You don’t have to be dripping sweat and out of breath for your workout to be considered effective. Go for a brisk morning walk, even grab a coffee on the way, or get together with a group of friends and enjoy a beautiful day on the hiking trail while stopping for a picnic. That doesn’t sound like exercise to me!

 

3. Biking/Rollerblading

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Whether you’re into hardcore biking or just enjoy a leisurely ride, biking or rollerblading can be great exercises. You can enjoy the outdoors on a beautiful day while getting your workout in.

 

4. Yoga

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The great thing about yoga is there are so many different types that you’re bound to find something you like. From beginners to advanced to yoga therapy, yoga for relaxation, yoga for flexibility, strength training, even hot yoga or power yoga where you’ll find yourself wiping the sweat off your mat. Do your research, try a few different styles and decide which one your enjoy most, or even mix it up.

 

5. Group Fitness Classes

Group fitness classes are amazing! Not only do gyms typically have a wide variety of classes to choose from but they provide a great atmosphere of camaraderie and motivation. Typical gyms will offer classes in zumba, aerobics, kickboxing, kettlebells, spin class and more. You might like a mix throughout the week or you may search for a studio that specializes in the type of group class you enjoy.

 

6. Crossfit

A lot of women are afraid of weights. Crossfit is definitely an exercise that will get you over that fear. Learn proper form and push your muscles to their max with squats, deadlifts, weights, pushups and more.

 

7. At-Home Workouts

You may enjoy more solitude while you workout. There are countless DVDs out there ranging from total-body workouts to exercises targeting particular muscle groups, to dance and more. Pop a DVD in while your dinner is in the slow-cooker and you’re good to go!

 

8. Adult Sports Leagues

Were you active back in school? Do you ever miss being part of a team and competing? Join an adult sports league. Choose something you may have never tried like volleyball, softball, tennis or rowing, or kick it old school with something you used to do back in grade school like running, soccer o basketball.

 

9. Races

Races can be a fun way to get your exercise in, and many runs are set up as fundraisers for great charities. Try an adventure run, a color run, or simply run for a charity that you are passionate about.

 

10. Swimming

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Swimming is a low-impact exercise that is great for your heart, muscles and joints. Get in a pool and start swimming some laps, or if you don’t know what to do on your own, try a water aerobics class.

 

11. Get Active

Next time your friend wants to meet for coffee, suggest something active instead. Go for a walk, throw a frisbie, fly a kite, go bowling, or anything else that gets you up and moving.

 

12. Play with the Kids

Don’t just bring your kids to do fun activities to sit and watch. Spend some time with them and engage in those activities. Play tag outside, bring them to the playground, an indoor trampoline park or bring back your childhood games and play with them. Not only is it your exercise but it’s setting a great example for your kids to be fit and active.

 

13. Clean

Don’t feel like working out? Well I’m sure you don’t feel like cleaning either but remember those tedious house tasks that you keep saying you will get to but never do? Skip a day at the gym and instead get some house-cleaning done, especially the tasks that you’ve been putting off for months. You can also make cleaning time Qur’an time. Most of us probably don’t read or listen to Qur’an as much as we should. I like to play it in the house while I’m cleaning to be extra productive and feel good.

 

14. Ditch the Car

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Ditch the car whenever possible. If you work or go to school close by, swap the car for a walk or bike ride. If your gym is close to your house, jog over as your warm-up. Always take the stairs instead of the elevator and choose walking or biking over driving whenever possible.

 

15. Stop Sitting

If you have a desk job it’s a good idea to take a break and get some movement in every hour or so. Studies show that sitting all day can not only lead to back problems but also heightens the risk of heart disease, even if the person is thin and exercises regularly. Take a short, 1 or 2 minute walk around the building, or, if you have a private office or cubicle, you might even throw in some squats, pushups and stretches every hour. You can also use your lunch break to get active. Take a walk or go up and down the stairs a few times.

 

You see, the possibilities for exercise are endless. You don’t have to have a treadmill or a sweat rag. Any type of movement truly counts. It’s not about the calories you burn but it’s about getting the heart pumping and staying active for long-term health.

 

What types of exercise do you do for fun? Did I miss any that you want to add to the list? Comment below!

 

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5 Ways to Stay Motivated

If you’ve ever started a fitness routine and quit, you are not alone. Many people have no problem beginning a routine; they feel motivated, excited and ready to tackle anything. But the hard part is keeping that motivation up and continuing on in their fitness journeys for the long term.

Trust me, even those who seem to love the gym life have trouble staying motivated all the time. Here are some ways you can keep your motivation up and actually stick to a routine.

 

1. Set a goal

One of the best things you can do for yourself is to set a specific goal or goals. If you just say “ah I want to lose a little weight” but don’t have anything specific to work towards your likely to fall off of the bandwagon. Make your goals personal. Here are some examples:

  • I want to lose X amount of pounds/kilograms to get to a healthy weight
  • I want to lose weight because my doctor said if I don’t I won’t live long
  • I want to live a healthy lifestyle to set a good example for my children
  • I want show God that I am thankful for the health and body He has granted me

Setting specific goals in this way will really make it about so much more than the number on the scale or the way you look. If your goals are meaningful and close to your heart you are more likely to reach them.

 

2. Schedule a workout time

The key is to make exercise a habit, rather than something that you simply ‘should do.’ You want to think of exercise as a normal part of your day, like going to work or taking a shower. One way to do this is by scheduling a regular workout time. If you workout around the same days and time each week it will start to become a part of your everyday routine.

Sit down each week and plan your workouts to fit into your schedule. If you say to yourself “I’ll try to get my workout in after before dinner time” but have no set plan or time, you’re more likely to let excuses get in the way of fulfilling that workout. But, if it’s written down in your calendar you are more likely to stick to it.

 

3. Make it fun

Although there are numerous benefits to regular exercise, it’s still no easy task. If you do not enjoy the workout you are doing it will be nearly impossible to stick with it. Don’t just do a workout because you think it will burn the most calories or make you sweat more. There are countless different types of workouts to choose from that you’re bound to find something you enjoy.

If you’re a very outdoorsy person and nature lover, you might enjoy walking, jogging, hiking or biking. If you’re social and get really motivated by others, group fitness classes might be best for you. If you like to feel powerful then try picking up some heavy weights.

Variety is also important. It’s not only easy to get bored with the same routine day after day, but our bodies adapt rather quickly and need change to avoid a plateau. Mix it up throughout the week. It’s important to get a combination of both strength training and cardiovascular exercise.

 

4. Find your inspiration

While it’s important not to compare yourself to others, it can really help to have a little inspiration. Find someone who really inspires you, not just because they may be in shape but because they share your values, beliefs and concerns. Maybe they have an inspiring story that teaches you that you can accomplish anything.

Inspiration doesn’t just have to come from people. Other things that can be really motivational, especially during the times when you don’t feel like working out are quotes, motivational talks, or simply just putting on your workout clothes and starting your warm up to get in the groove.

 

5. Accountability

Accountability can be huge in keeping you motivated. Tell your close friends and family about your goals and what you will be doing to reach them. Ask them for their support. Next time you go out to dinner with those friends or have family over for brunch, you will be more aware about making good food choices because they are now watching you.

If you enjoy writing or keeping up with social media you might even start a blog or Instagram page showcasing your journey. Not only can you update your followers about your progress but you will find a lot of support which can be super helpful. Another option is to begin working with a professional, whether a nutritionist, personal trainer, wellness coach, etc. It can help to have a professional to design you a plan and help you track your progress. The fact that you would have to spend money on a professional is also a good form of accountability.

 

So stop telling yourself that you can’t and start telling yourself that you CAN! With some hard work, strong goals, and a little motivation you can start and keep a fitness routine, and it will be one of the best things you can do for yourself, inshallah.

 

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