S T R O N G E R

“Life at its best is a series of challenges. A big enough challenge will bring out strength and abilities you never knew you had. Take on challenges and you will bring yourself to life.”

Physical Courage is bravery in the face of physical pain, hardship, death or threat of death while moral courage is the ability to act rightly in the face of popular opposition, shame, scandal, discouragement or personal loss.

Mental strength is the ability to regulate your emotions, manage your thoughts and behave in a positive manner despite your circumstances. Developing mental strength is about finding the courage to live according to your values and being bold enough to create your own definition of success. Mental strength involves more than willpower; it requires hard work and commitment. It’s about establishing healthy habits and choosing to devote your time and energy to self-improvement. Although it’s easier to feel mentally strong when life seems simple, often, true mental strength becomes most apparent in the midst of tragedy. Choosing to develop skills that increases your mental strength is the best way to prepare for life’s inevitable obstacles.

Although it’s easier to feel mentally strong when life seems simple, often, true mental strength becomes most apparent in the midst of tragedy.

“The Brave is not one who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Developing mental strength is a work in progress. It may even take a lifetime of learning. At times it will seem more difficult than other times. How do the toughest people summon the will to keep going? In the book Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges, the authors studied resilient people for over 20 years. They spoke with Vietnam prisoner of war, Special Forces instructors and civilian who dealt with terrible experiences like medical problems, abuse and trauma. This is a few pointers of what they learnt…

  1. Be Optimistic. Truly resilient people who need to survive the harshest situations and still accomplish goals, balance a positive outlook with a realistic view of the world. But what about when your optimism gets tested and things gets scary
  2. Face your Fears. Neuroscience says there’s only one real way to deal with fear: you need to face it, head on. This is what most resilient people do. When we avoid scary things we become more scared. When you face your fears, they become less frightening. To extinguish a fear-conditioned memory, one must be exposed to the fear-inducing stimulus in a safe environment and this exposure needs to last long enough for the brain to form a new memory which conveys that the fear-conditioned stimulus is no longer dangerous in the present environment.
  3. Have a Moral Compass. They found that the emotional resilient people all had a strong sense of right and wrong. Despite being in situations that could threaten their lives, they always thought about others, not just themselves. They possessed a keen sense of right and wrong that strengthened them during periods of extreme stress and afterward, as they adjusted to life following trauma. Altruism often stood as a pillar of their value system.
  4. Practice Spirituality. This was the #1 thing that one researcher found when studying people who overcame tragedy. He found that religious belief among survivors to be the single most powerful force in explaining the tragedy and in explaining survival.
  5. Social Support. Our brains need social support to function optimally. Connection with others releases oxytocin which calms your mind and reduces stress.
  6. Have Resilient Role Models. Resilient individuals have role models whose beliefs, attitudes and behaviours inspire them. However, often enough, they have bad role models instead – people who provide an example of what they don’t want to be.
  7. Maintain Physical Fitness. Those who are resilient believe that staying fit has helped them both during their traumatic ordeal and during their recovery. The stress of exercise helps us adapt to the stress we will feel when life challenges us. Researchers believe that during vigorous exercise, the “anxiety-sensitive” person is forced to tolerate many of the symptoms (rapid heart rate, sweating, rapid breathing) that frighten them during periods of anxiety. Over time, the “anxiety-sensitive” individuals who continues to exercise vigorously can learn that these symptoms of arousal are typically not dangerous and the fear that these symptoms trigger gradually decreases in intensity (Salmon, 2001).
  8. Keep your Brain Strong. Resilient people are very often lifelong learners. They keep growing their mind, learning to learn and adapting to new information about the world. They continually seek opportunities to become more mentally fit.

“The Brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all. For now, you are travelling the road between who you think you are and who you can be”

What is GEMS: Grundy + POPWOW Empower ME Series?

GEMS is a series of fun and easy challenges across different elements, especially tailored to simulate life’s obstacles. GEMS hopes to EMPOWER participants with essential life skills, help to identify and remove any mental obstacles, bring clarity and complete with renewed confidence in themselves and their ability to make decisions and conquer life’s challenges. Participants will learn to enhance their spiritual practice, develop a heightened self-awareness and expand their comfort zone. All they have to do is participate in the activities and collect as many Gems as possible. The more Gems they collect, the more skills they will attain and more confidence garnered. All activities will be conducted as a group to foster social support with command opportunities to develop leadership skills. Don’t worry, no creepy crawlies in included in this series!

GEMS is brought to you by Nashata Active Singapore. Register here : https://shop.nashata.com/en/134-active

RAMADAN TIPS : FIT & HEALTHY

Ramadan, already started on  May 6 in most countries this year (2019), is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. It involves abstaining from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual relations from dawn to sunset, in the hopes that it will lead to greater “taqwa”, or consciousness of God.

Benefits of fasting

Experts have also found that restricting food intake during the day can help prevent health problems such as high cholesterol, heart disease and obesity, as well as improve mental health and wellbeing. By not consuming any food, our body is able to concentrate on removing toxins, as we give the digestive system a rest.

Maintain healthy, nutritious & eating habits

 1. Never skip suhoor – Suhoor is important during Ramadan.  It helps your body stay hydrated and fueled up on energy and nutrients until iftar.

A well balanced meal suhoor contains : 

  • Complex carbohydrate – oats, wheat, grains and other complex carbohydrates are slow-releasing carbs, it helps keep your blood sugar steady and give you feeling fullness.
  • High Fibre food – High fiber food are digest slowly dates, apricot, prunes, vegetables, and fruits. Bananas are good in potassium that help your body hydrated.  
  • Protein – eggs, cheese, yoghurt or meat can replenish your energy.

2.  Cut down sugary and processed food – Avoid heavily processed food contains refined carbohydrates like sugar, and white flour as like normally Ramadan desserts. They are high in fat and low in nutriens.

3.  Break your fast slowly and don’t overindulge – Start with a few dates, and water than wait before your main meal.  Avoid heavy oil and fts in your meal. Make sure you consume plenty of vegetables and good portion of protein and enough carbohydrates.  Eat slowly so that your body can digest the food.

4.  Stay hydrated

Drink at least 8-12 cups of water a day ( 2-3 liter).  Drink plenty of fluids for hydration from the period of Iftar to the time of suhour.  Although juices and milk are sources of fluids, water is the best choice. You can consume other drinks in moderation but beware of sugary Ramadan drinks.

This is the tips how to drink (2-3 liter) in Ramadan.  1 glass = 250mil

1 glass – before suhour

1 glass – after suhour

2 glasses – break fasting (includes juice/ milk)

1 glass – after break fast

1 glass – after maghrib solah      

1 glass – after isya solah

1 glass – after terawih

1 glass – before go to bed

You can also drink in between the time as you need.

5.  Avoid Caffeinated drinks – Caffine such as coffee, tea and colas can stimulates faster water loss, leading dehydration.   

6.  Avoid deep frying – Try to avoid fried foods or those prepared with large quantities of oil.  It it cannot be avoided, reduce the quantities of oil. Alternative recommended oils to use are sunflower, canola and corn oil.  

 7.  Working out

If you can modify your training routine a bit, you will still be able to keep fit with a busy Ramadan  schedule. Try to time your workout so the ending coincides with iftar and you have enough time to shower and break your fast, so you aren’t waiting around totally dehydrated after your run.Take your average workout down a level to make it a little easier on your fasting body. Don’t do any extreme workouts, just something that gets your body moving.

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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6 Tips to Staying on Track

It’s easy to get started, exciting actually. It’s Sunday afternoon and you sit down with a cup of coffee and your last cookie, and begin to plan out the next week. Healthy meals. Gym sessions. You have everything all set up and ready to start your new journey on Monday. The week goes really well, but then it begins to fall. You’re sick of the eating the same meals and your schedule is way too crammed to keep up with these workouts. You lose all motivation and eventually fall back into old habits.

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This is a very common scenario for someone starting down their healthy journey. The slip ups become more frequent and eventually discouragement and hopeless take over the once so lively enthusiasm. It seems to be that other people live up to their goals but you are just not made to do it.

Maintaining motivation it the hardest part of any fitness journey. But, it is not impossible! Many times, people are just going about it in the wrong ways. Here are some pointers what will help you to stay on track all the way to your goals and beyond.

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1. Don’t Rush

The biggest reason for a lack of motivation is that people try to do too many things at once. Think about the years of unhealthy habits you have down your belt. You can’t try and change them all in one day and expect to keep it up. Take small steps. Don’t go from laying on the couch everyday to 6 days a week of intense exercise. Start with 2-3 days per week, even for only 10 or 20 minutes. After about a month, once you feel it’s become a habit and your body is more accustomed, start adding in a bit more and overtime you will be a pro!

 

2. Plan Ahead

Don’t go into the week blindsided. Go over your schedule for the week and plan your meals and workouts around your schedule. Take one or two days to do some food prep for the week. Schedule your workouts on days where you have more free time and schedule your rests on busy days. If you have any plans to go out to dinner, check on the menu ahead of time and plan out your meal. Having things written out will make the week a lot easier.

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3. Make the Time

This goes along with planning ahead. While you don’t want to overwhelm yourself, you also don’t want work and other responsibilities to take over your YOU time. If you really want to be healthy, make the time. 10 minutes of fast-paced exercise is better than nothing.

 

4. Have a Plan B

There will be many times when uncontrollable situations might ruin your plans. Always have a backup plan. Design a few quick at-home exercise routines in case you can’t make it to the gym. Keep smart food items in the house that will be there in case you have no time to cook. Examples of back-up foods I always keep in my house are canned beans, non-fat Greek yogurt, eggs, cans of tuna, and frozen vegetables. Just because you have to throw something together quick doesn’t mean it can’t be healthy.

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5. Modify When Needed

Never be ashamed to modify. If you don’t have the time, modify your workout. If you’re trying a new workout class that is a little too intense, ask the instructor to show you some modifications. It’s great to push yourself, but when you go too far beyond your limits you may discourage yourself and drop out. Stop right at the edge of your comfort zone and work there.

 

6. Make a List

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Write a list of your reasons for beginning a health journey. Don’t be afraid to make it personal, after all, it’s only for you. Whenever you need a little pick-me-up, dig out your list and remind yourself of why you started in the first place. This can be a powerful tool to bringing motivation levels back up.

 

Most importantly…have fun. There will be times when you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone. There will be times when you will have to force yourself to work out when you are dreading it. But always remember to keep it balanced. Push yourself, but not over your limits. Recognize the times when you have to listen to your body and just take a rest. The most important means of staying on track is enjoying the journey.

 

xoxo

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**Download a FREE Meal Plan from Fit Muslim Girl >>> FREE Meal Plan <<<

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7 Principles of Healthful Eating

The key to maintaining a healthy diet is understanding how to eat right in the first place. The diet industry could not be more confusing with its conflicting views, fad diets and continuous altering of information.

In reality, a healthful diet is actually quite simple. Once you know the basics you can alter it to fit your lifestyle and your taste buds. Here are 7 principles of healthful eating.

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Eat Real Food

In general, you want to be sure you are consuming whole, nutritious foods such as in-season fruits and veggies, whole grains (quinoa, brown rice, etc.), whole grain bread/pasta, lean meats, Greek yogurt, hummus, nuts and seeds, all natural nut butters, organic eggs, beans, and water.This is not a definite list but a general idea of good foods to consume.

For the most part try to avoid processed/boxed foods, sodas and other sugary drinks, fast food, fried food, white bread, refined pasta, canned foods, chips, and candy.

The 80/20 rule

While it is important to get the majority of your calories from clean foods, there has to be some room for treats, otherwise you will be miserable and probably won’t last too long on the diet. A general rule of thumb is to eat clean 80% of the time and treat yourself the other 20% of the time. Allow a small treat every day or every other day, or allow for a big treat a few times per week.

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Eat Less Meat

While meat offers a good source of protein, iron and vitamin B12, it also packs a lot of saturated fat and cholesterol. For this reason, meat should make up a small majority of your diet. For the most part the baseline of a healthful diet should consist of grains, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables; think Mediterranean diet. Nuts, beans, and whole grains are all great replacements for meat as they contain a lot of protein with better (or no) fats and a lot of fiber.

Reduce Sodium and Sugar Intake

While both sodium and sugar are essential parts of the human diet, it is safe to say that most people get more than enough. How can we avoid eating too much? First of all, staying away from the boxed foods is a start. These foods typically contain a huge amount of added sodium or sugar, especially if the labels read “low-fat” or “non-fat.”

Try to avoid adding extra salt while cooking; remember that a little bit can go a long way. Use flavorful spices and a lot of fresh herbs to count for a lack of salt.

It is also wise to limit fruit intake to 1-2 servings per day, as many fruits contain a lot of sugar. Instead of reaching for an apple, go for a serving of berries as they are known for their low sugar content.

Wholesome Grains

Replace refined grains such as white bread, white rice, white potato, white pasta with whole grains. Whole grains are foods like steel-cut or rolled oats, brown rice, sweet potato, whole wheat bread/tortilla/pasta, quinoa, couscous, whole grain barley, lentils, etc.

Instead of white toast in the mornings try having some oatmeal and berries with your eggs. Instead of croutons add some quinoa to your salad. Try some brown rice on the side for dinner.

Healthy Fats

245470Many people are confused about fats. Fats are an extremely important energy source for the body and the brain. There are two important things to know about fats.

1) You want to know which fats are good for you. The “bad” fats are saturated and trans fats which are found in foods like dairy, beef products, palm and coconut oil, butter, and fried foods. The “good” fats are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats which are found in foods such as nuts and seeds, nut butters, vegetable oils, oily fish like salmon, avocado, olives, etc.

2) You need to know that fats contain more calories per gram than do carbohydrates and protein. So, although fats are extremely beneficial, you need to ensure you are not over-eating them. I will discuss this next.

Watch Portion Sizes

The easiest, and really only, way to gain extra unwanted weight is by eating too much. While unhealthy foods may be the culprit of various diseases, calories are the one and only culprit of weight gain. No matter what you are eating you need to have an understanding of healthy portion sizes. Does that mean you need to measure everything you eat? Certainly not. Here are some general tips.

  • Women should have about 3-4 oz of meat or a portion of meet the size of your palm
  • Carbohydrates (rice, beans, quiono, etc.) should be between ½-1 cup or a portion the size of one cupped-hand.
  • Because they are so low in calories yet high in nutrients, there is no limit of vegetables. In general about 2 cups, or two cupped-hand sizes is recommended. Shoot for a lot of leafy green vegetables.
  • Have 1 medium sized whole fruit or 1 cup (or size of a cupped-hand) of berries
  • Consume about 1 oz, or a serving the size of your thumb, of nuts/oils.
  • The portion size for nut butters is 1 tbsp per serving.
  • Listen to your body: eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full.

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To sum it up 

The majority of your diet should consist of real, whole foods

Limit processed and junk food but do not completely cut it out. Follow the 80/20 rule.

Try to consume less meat and more beans and whole grains.

Be aware of your salt and sugar intake.

Replace refined grains with wholesome grains.

Pay attention to the type and amount of fats you consume.

Be conscious of portion sizes.

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Fit Muslim Girl Recipe: Blueberry Pecan Protein Pancakes

First off, don’t mind the super amazing photograph of my pancakes…I have awesome photography skills if you can’t tell ;). Just kidding, I try to take professional-looking pictures but my lack of artistic skills always stands in the way. But they still look delicious right? I hope so!

 

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Anywho, if you’ve ever taken a look at my recipes on fitmuslimgirl.com you know that I am in love, maybe a little obsessed, with protein pancakes! I love them because you can really do so many different things with them and they taste so good…you would never know they are healthy! I experiment with different kinds of pancakes all of the time, and these may be one of my favorites.

 

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Blueberry Pecan Protein Pancakes 

Yeilds 1 serving (2-3 pancakes)

 

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup wheat four
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp non-fat blueberry flavored Oikos Greek yogurt (you can use any kind of yogurt but I find this brand tastes
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbsp Stevia in the raw
  • 1 tsp halal vanilla extract
  • dash of cinnamon
  • small handful chopped pecans

Instructions

  • In a mixing bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, stevia and cinnamon.
  • Add the yogurt, egg, almond milk, and vanilla into another bowl and mix.
  • Then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until everything is incorporated together.
  • Fold the blueberries into the batter (put a small handful off to the side for topping later).
  • Take two or three even scoops and scoop the batter onto a hot griddle sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Cook on one side until the batter on top starts to bubble, then flip and cook on the other side.

Toppings

Sprinkle the chopped pecans and leftover blueberries over the top of your cooked pancakes.

As for pancake syrup you can really use any kind of syrup you’d like but I prefer to stay away from sugar free. You can also replace syrup with honey or agave. A good idea, is to heat up some maple syrup (or honey/agave) in a small saucepan mixed with the leftover blueberries to create a compote. So delicious and it’s a great method for using less of the sugary syrup because you get all of the juices from the blueberries!

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Lessons from Experience: Tips for Living a Healthy Lifestyle

My knowledge of health and fitness stems far less from any education or certification than it does from my own personal experience. I will never consider myself a master in this field because I believe that there is always more to discover. However, I have learned quite a bit through my journey. The road to where I am today was long and hard. I started off not knowing a single thing about healthy eating or exercising, and just began learning on my own, step by step. I experienced many falls and discouragements. There were times when I didn’t believe in myself at all. I even fell into some very unhealthy habits in a desperate attempt to look good. But each time I fell I got back up. And these falls have taught me some of the most beautiful lessons.

 

I truly believe that the lessons and the strength one gains through a healthy lifestyle permeate into even the most intricate facets of life to allow for growth in all senses of the word. For this reason, I want to share with you some of the important lessons I’ve learned on my path to a healthy lifestyle.

Lesson 1: Listen to Your Body

 

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Beginning a healthy lifestyle is really a decision to respect your inner body. It’s about a desire to feel good, to age well, to set an example. We should always take the greatest care in paying attention to what our bodies are telling us. Whether you get injured, or are feeling discomfort in a certain area, take the time you need to recover. Don’t ever force your body into something that doesn’t feel right. Injuries, pulled muscles, pain and other restrictions are inevitable with regular exercise. Be sure you understand your body and treat it with the respect it deserves.

 

Lesson 2: Practice Consistency

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If you are not consistent with diet and exercise, your results will be inconsistent as well. Fitness is a lifestyle, which means it needs to become a habit in order for us to reap it’s amazing benefits. Coherence to a regular routine of balanced eating and exercising is what will get you feeling your best. Practice a healthy lifestyle everyday to form that habit. Of course you will get off track from time to time, maybe a lot at first, but keep bouncing back and with time you will start to notice the changes to both your inner and outer being.

 

Lesson 3: Find Your Why

 

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A healthy lifestyle is not possible without a why. You need a reason, a motivation to push your body and mind to their limits. What is your why? Try to find a deep-seated incentive, rather than a superficial one. Of course, we all want to look good, but there needs to be something more. If it’s all about looks, trust me, it won’t stick. Maybe you want to be in-shape so you can run around with your children. Maybe you are at an unhealthy weight and you want to become healthy enough to live a longer life. Maybe you want to set an example for your children or your family. Maybe you want to feel more energized and full of life. Whatever your reason, make sure it is unique and important to you.

 

Lesson 4: Be Patient

 

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Patience is a virtue. There is a reason why Allah (swt) puts so much emphasis on sabr. Patience is the key to unlocking opportunities and doors; it is the foundation of a deep-rooted faith. In terms of fitness, the most common reason for giving up is that people don’t see results quickly. There is nothing fast about change; it happens slowly, overtime, with a lot of effort, hard work, persistence, and PATIENCE. The body needs time to adapt and grow, and in listening to our bodies as we’ve already discussed, we need to give it the time it needs. Be patient and don’t give up on yourself.

 

Lesson 5: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

 

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Please, don’t stress out about small things. So you ate a chocolate when you weren’t supposed to. SO WHAT? We all make mistakes and no one can be perfect, no matter how much they might seem so from the outside. A healthy lifestyle is no easy task, and by adding unnecessary stress into the mix it becomes dreadful. Enjoy it, have fun, and don’t sweat the small stuff. Missed a workout? No problem, make it up later in the week or, if you don’t have the time, try to improve yourself the next week. Cheated on your diet? That’s OK it happens, food is delicious! Don’t use it as an excuse to beat yourself up and ruin all of your hard work; simply start fresh with your next meal. Take the edge off and enjoy the ride, no matter how bumpy it may get.

 

Lesson 6: Love Yourself First

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Don’t begin a healthy lifestyle because you hate your body, or you hate something about yourself. Begin a healthy lifestyle because you LOVE yourself so much so that you want to become the best version of yourself that you can be. It’s fine to have ideas of what you want to work on, but counteract those negatives with some positives. Make a list of things you want to change and also a list of things you love about yourself, or things you are good at. You will never treat yourself good if you do not like yourself. Find your beauty and watch yourself blossom.

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Full Body Bootcamp

Happy #workoutwednesday everyone! Today’s workout is a Full Body Bootcamp! This workout can be done anywhere with just a small pair of dumbells. As with many HIIT workouts, we will be focusing on a mix of cardio and strength. HIIT is a great, fast and efficient way to burn a significant amount of fat. It’s great for days when you just don’t have the time to put in, as these types of workouts can be done at home and in as short as 10 minutes. To do this workout you should perform each exercise down the list one time with minimal to no rest in between. Once you have completed the list you may rest for 60 seconds then repeat for a total of 3 times. Remember, if you are a beginner you can start off with 1-2 times, but don’t be afraid of the challenge!

Because many of the same exercises are being repeated from some previous workouts I have posted I will skip out on the descriptions. I will, however, provide links to YouTube videos for the exercises that are not as well known. Please note that these are not my personal YouTube videos.

Ready. Set. GO!

 

30 jumping jacks

10 push-ups

30 squat jumps

10 tricep dips

30 high knees

10 DB shoulder press

30 switch lunges

10 DB back flies

30 mountain climbers

10 bicep curls

30 burpees

10 lateral raises 

VIDEOS

SQUAT JUMPS – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4s4mEQ5VqU

TRICEP DIPS – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kALZikXxLc

HIGH KNEES – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tx5rgpDAJRI

SWITCH LUNGE – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysXybHNtq2Y

DB BACK FLIES – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1U3yZne1jw

MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmwgirgXLYM

BURPEES – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZQA08SlJnM

5 Tips to Determining the Right Workout For You!

There are so many different styles of workouts, from yoga, to kickboxing, to rowing, to spinning, to running, and so on. It can be hard, and quite overwhelming, to determine what you should be doing in order to reach your goals. So, with hundreds of different ways to exercise, how do you know what is best for YOU? Here are 5 tips to help you determine which workouts are right for you!

1. Determine your fitness goal.

Determining your fitness goal is essential in coming up with a workout routine. Is weight loss your main priority? Then you might want workouts consisting of a mix between strength training and cardio. Do you want to build up a significant amount of muscle? Heavy weight lifting is probably the way to go. Do you have a dream of running a marathon? Cardio and endurance-based workouts are in store for you. Determining your fitness goal is the most important step in determining your perfect fitness regimen.

2. Decide how much time you can invest.

The amount of time per week you are willing and able to invest is also a critical factor. If you are able to dedicate 10-12 hours per week to exercise then it’s possible to mix up your routine with different workouts, such as mixing strength training and cardio. If you are only able to hit the gym 3 days a week for short workouts, you might find that HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) will work best for you and your schedule. This type of training should not be done more than 3 days per week, and is an extremely efficient way of burning fat as these workouts can be as short as 10 minutes and probably no longer then 30 minutes. You may also fall somewhere in the middle. You may have a few days where you’re able to stay 1-2 hours at the gym, but other days may be so busy that you can only get a quick 20 minute workout in. This is perfectly acceptable as well.

You should always take your schedule into consideration and take the time to plan your workouts according to your schedule. You need to be realistic with yourself. I know we all want to be able to get a workout in 5 days a week but many times this is simply not possible. It is important to be sure you don’t overwhelm yourself with too much otherwise your workout plan will fail in the end. If three days a week is all you can manage you are not shorting yourself in any way; you can get a great work done with a 3 day-per-week workout schedule so long as your workouts are smart. It is recommended to try and get a workout in at least three times per week, no less than twice per week.

3. Figure out what kind of atmosphere you like.

The atmosphere you workout in is more important than you may think. Are you the type of person who enjoys solitude and likes to workout alone without anyone around? Maybe home-based workouts are best suited for you. Do you enjoy the atmosphere of a gym? Would you prefer working out alone at the gym or do you enjoy the camaraderie of a fitness class? Or maybe you are someone who loves being out in nature. If so maybe trail running or hiking would be good for you. Figuring out what type of atmosphere you like being in can really help you to narrow down your exercise options.

4. Do you need accountability?

Some people need accountability or they won’t get it done on their own. Maybe you need to pay for a gym membership to force you to get to the gym. Many gyms have signup slots for their classes. Maybe putting your name down and taking up a slot will help you wake up for the 6 am spin class! Sometimes getting a workout buddy can be a great motivation so long as they are as determined as you, if not they can actually hold you back. Hiring a personal trainer might be another way to hold you accountable for working out. If you enjoy fitness classes or yoga you might find a studio that you love. These studios usually sell class cards that often times have to be used in a certain time frame. There are countless ways to hold yourself accountable for working out, you just have to figure out which way is best for you.

5. Always, always, always, do what you love.

Of course, this is the most important. If there are certain types of workouts that you love, then always do that. There truly is no bad workout. If you love yoga, do yoga. If you love running, run. If you love biking, bike. No matter what your goal, you will never reach it if you are forcing yourself to engage in workouts that you don’t enjoy. Doing what you love comes above anything else. If you’re new to the game and you have no idea which type of workout you like, I recommend trying out a few different styles and eventually you will find something you enjoy.  

Bosu Ball Stability Workout

Today our workout is going to focus on strength, stability and balance. The only piece of equipment you will need is a Bosu Ball, as that is what we will use for each of our exercises today. Although this is a full-body workout, you will really be targeting the core in order to stabilize and balance the ball during this workout. Note that any of these exercises can be modified by performing them without the bosu ball. This workout can be done in home, at the gym, or outside at your favorite spot in nature.

As with many of the other workouts we have done, this is a circuit workout. You will perform each exercise down the list once, back-to-back, with little to no rest in between. Once you finish the entire circuit you will rest between 30-60 seconds, and will repeat the same routine again for a total of 3 times! If you are a beginner, start by doing the circuit only once and work your way up to three sets. Remember that these routines can be done and modified by anyone, regardless of fitness level. As always, I will post descriptions of each exercise below. I will also paste some links to YouTube videos showing each exercise (note that these are not my personal videos). Here we go:

 

30 Second Bosu Mountain Climbers 

10 Bosu Push-ups

8 Bosu Burpees

10 Bosu Balancing Squats 

15 Bosu Bridges 

1 Minute Bosu Plank Hold 

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Bosu Mountain Climbers – Start in a full (straight-arm) plank with the round side of the bosu ball down on the ground and yours hands on tops of the flat side. With the shoulders staying directly over the hands, begin by bringing one knee in towards the chest, then switch legs. Continue doing this at a fast pace for 30 seconds. Use your abs to stabilize the ball.

Bosu Push-ups – Again you will begin with the round side of the ball down and your hands up on the flat part. With shoulders directly above the hands, perform a push-up just as if you were performing one on the ground. Really squeeze and tighten those abs to keep the ball steady. You may drop down to your knees if this is too challenging. Perform 10 repetitions.

Bosu Burpees – These are just like regular burpees (or should I say death!) only you will be holding the bosu ball the whole way through. Start in a standing position holding the flat side of the bosu ball overhead. Lower it to the floor by putting the round side down. Continuing to grip the flat side, jump your legs straight out behind you into a plank position, then back in and come back to a standing position bringing to bosu ball overheard once again. Complete 8 of these.

Bosu Balancing Squats – Begin with the bosu ball on the ground, round side down. Step your feet onto the flat side of the ball (you may need a wall to help you get onto the ball). Once you find your balance, begin squatting by keeping the weight in your heels and dropping down as if you were sitting in a chair. Go down as far as possible. Note that the ball will shake, this is OK and normal. Tighten your core the entire time for balance and stability. Continue on doing this 10 times.

Bosu Bridges – This time we are going to have the flat side of the ball down on the ground (yayy!)…don’t get too excited yet =). Lay down on your back with your feet on top of the bosu ball, legs bent. Use the heels of your feet to lift your hips up off the ground, squeexing the glutes at the top, then slowely and steadily lower back down. Repeat this 15 times.

Bosu Plank Hold – As if we haven’t worked our abs enough during this workout, we are going to end with a 1 minute plank hold. Perform a full plank with the round side of the ball down and your hands on the flat part and hold for 1 minute.

YouTube Videos (in order by exercise)