workout

In Need of Some Workout Motivation?

In Need of Some Workout Motivation?

Ever find yourself hunting for that desire to go and workout? Searching for a reason to get up early and go for a run? Longing for that kick that will get you into a gym routine? You and 100% of the population feel that way sometimes.  Here I’m going to talk to you about that shiny buzzword known as motivation – the electricity that gets us out of bed and on the pursuit of our goals. How do we get hold of it? How do we use it to our advantage and most importantly, how do we keep it if we find it?

It all starts with you. Your motivation process is going to be completely unique to you. That glorious motivation that you want lies within you already. To find it we need to observe and become aware of what we see and what we hear to reprogramme our thoughts, away from any negative ones, towards positive ones.

SO, LET’S GO LOOKING FOR IT.

Just How Much do Stress And Hormones Stop Us From Reaching Our Goals?

Just How Much do Stress And Hormones Stop Us From Reaching Our Goals?

We're a group of hard working, goal smashing, well warriors through and through, right?! But, do you ever just feel like you could quite literally sleep for a week and it still wouldn’t be enough? Do you sometimes feel that no matter what you do, it's not enough?

Yes?

Thank goodness, me too.

Then this blog is for you honey.

Are We A "Get Your Kit Off" Generation?

Are We A "Get Your Kit Off" Generation?

"The contemporary designation of the body as 'meat machine' is merely the latest iteration of a long tradition of self loathing" - Marina Benjamin

I've noticed a thread or should I say, a new 'norm' laced through my Instagram feed recently. 

More and more accounts seeing both men and women turn up the heat and drop the clothes. It's -1 outside baby so there's got to be more than meets the scantily clad eye on this new societal norm. 

Are we forming a culture defying sexual oppression or are we simply shifting the paradigm of what is 'okay' to post online? 

How Healthy is the Wellbeing & Fitness Industry?

Is it just me or has the entire wellbeing + fitness industry turned into one sexually objectifying shot after the other? And I'm not just talking women here. I'm all for progression shots but some of the ones doing the rounds are worse than the stuff you expect to see on a page 3 tabloid. 

I wish people were inspired by mind and spirit as much as they were by bodies and shapes. We should be teaching young men and women movement and exercise to build strong minds, learning to cope and navigate their internal landscapes - the by product of that will invariably be strong outer health anyway.

Our bodies constantly change as we go through life and when that happens if you've worked on a strong mind, along with those strong abs then you'll surround yourself with acceptance, self love and kindness instead of constant punishment, unachievable goals and negative self talk. 

Whenever I feel ungrounded or like I need to take a moment just to catch my breath, I always find taking myself outdoors, gently moving my body (keyword here 'gentle' - no goblet squats, deadlifts or HIIT today thank you) and allowing myself the time to absorb my surroundings always brings me back to the now and back to me...wherever I may find those feet.  Today was a day to be outdoors, to pause and reconnect. I have found that when we stop searching for home within others and other places or things it allows us to lift the foundations of home within ourselves and that there are no roots more special than those between a mind and body that have decided to be whole. 

Doing exercise and being creative is interlinked. You could argue that doing exercise is a form of creativity. That feeling you get from moving your body and movement is the same feeling you get when you're exploring and nourishing your creative spirit. You might say you're not creative - I call BS! Everyone has it in them to be creative, to play, to explore, to dream. It's simply about allowing yourself the time and space in which to experience (and often make a lot of mess but hey that's part of the fun of it). When we feel connected to ourselves be it through movement or art it's hard to feel bad about ourselves. And that's what it's all about - moving more, playing more, creating more. Now who wants to throw eggs filled with paint with me?

 

 

Ever Been on a Pants Rant?

Words By Geraldine Ruffle.

It's All Pants...

It's all pants, and bras and crop tops and socks and more hanging around my room at the moment, on the back of chairs, edge of desks, door handles, door frames, literally anywhere where they may actually get dry.

If you're a gym addict like myself this will be a familiar setting for you, I'm sat waiting for my third load of washing to finish and I've already run out of space on the line to hang all of it up.

Is it a case of there not being enough gym clothes in the world to get me through a week or there not being enough hours in the week to do enough loads of washing? I feel like a mum with 3 messy toddlers to look after, just constant laundry. Is anybody with me?

Anybody else wondering if it's enough of a workout just doing the weekly wash? Will it ever be acceptable to see 'Friday, laundry day - whole body' on my weekly workout planner? No, too sneaky?

As an instructor I do tend to get through more than one outfit a day in the gym which is obviously above average but then I must own an above average amount of sportswear to compensate. And I do, oh boy I do. I have a separate dresser for it in fact, away from the daily clothes closet so it can all be easily pulled out in my early morning zombie like state before the day has started. And it's bursting at the seams, it's not an empty dresser by any stretch of the imagination, so how do I still run out of workout gear by around Wednesday?

It's the sports bras isn't it, they're the main culprits, they're the main source of drama as you get towards the end of the week and are praying your 'B list' bras can hold up against whatever workout you had planned today, praying the now dodgy clip on the back isn't going to snap during a Zumba shimmy or that hole in the side isn't going to suddenly rip open while you're kicking ass in BodyCombat (could you imagine the horror, unsupported chest!). I find myself coming home with new sports bras on such a regular basis too, it's like it's becoming virtually impossible to do any form of shopping without grabbing one, even in the grocery store (one that has a clothing line obviously, I'm not just fashioning support garments out of avocados and coconuts). Soon I may have to have a section for sports bras in my weekly budget planner, it's getting that serious.

Another wonderful positive about life here in Byron bay is that everyone is hugely against bras for daily life, they've swapped them for these super comfy bralet things that although supportive, feels like you have nothing on, simple things hey.

Speaking of simple things....pants, pants are the worst when you're a gym bunny, right? They're actually not simple at all, for something that can be so tiny they must contribute a vast majority of my daily wardrobe dramas (we're deep into talking about first world problems right now aren't we). I'm hoping at least some of you are still with me here but, gym appropriate underwear, what a palaver. Ones that fit, aren't too tight, don't disappear (nod if you get me), don't cut your hips, don't move and aren't visible (vpls still aren't cool are they?) we must have all had at least one of those days where you unfortunately realise slightly too late that you're wearing the wrong underwear, you try and ignore it but it gets to the point where it's just too uncomfortable, you're going to have to do something about it. So trying to look inconspicuous we try to wiggle or squat or lunge it into a better position and completely fail at both (awkward face)? Don't worry fit squad, we all do it! We can all breathe a slight sigh of relief there, go on it feels good.

Getting dressed for the gym is not as easy as it may appear then is it, despite the fact that we probably just grab our kit with the intention of throwing it on after work or when we wake up properly. Plus all this extra thought comes before we have even given an ounce of brain space to contemplating how to navigate the fashion runway that appears to have overtaken most gyms lately (don't get me started, that's for another day. As much as I'm all for a fluoro pair of trainers or tights)

We must live for the days when this isn't an issue, when you don't have to scramble around looking for the perfect seam free workout thong. On those days I practically jump out of bed to get dressed because I know that at the back of my draws is a collection of big, comfy, Bridget Jones style pants and I cannot wait to get them on! Please tell me that you do it too, it's not just me?

Then there will be those of us, who like me, get really excited for these golden days, rest days or days off because you don't have to wear sportswear and we can look nice and clean and fresh and swan into our closets in an excited manner ready to pick out an outfit and face the day. Only to end up in a pair of leggings and casual trainers......what? Maybe because I can no longer remember what real clothes go well together and look good, just have a craving to be comfortable or I'm tired of ending up in a rocking, shaking, paddy like state on my bedroom floor an hour late for something and contemplating not going at all. Does anyone else just play it safe and put those comfy familiar leggings on again? Thinking after all, active wear as a fashion statement is pretty big these days? Yes I thought so, me too, me always in fact! Rest easy on that one guys, leggings make your bum look great anyway so keep rocking that look!

One pro tip though, save yourself from sitting down to try and total up how much money you've spent on laundry detergent, water, sportswear and potential labour costs of getting it all washed in a week. It's a scary and depressing thing to do with your free time and take it from me, you could end up embroiled in a big, all consuming first world problem, gym addict rant. However, here's hoping after getting through mine you all at least feel a weight has been lifted from your shoulders and you're saved from any longer stressing about sportswear dramas by yourself.

So, throw some workout gear on and get back out there team. And, think of me when you get stuck into your sports laundry this week.

Keep lifting :)

The 101 on Being Comfortable in your Own Lycra.

The 101 on Being Comfortable in your Own Lycra.

Time off is not a dirty word...

Naturally, as women, our weight fluctuates regularly.

That's just a fact.

But, does anybody else beat themselves up every time we're "not looking quite our best"? Regardless of hormones, stress levels, exercise or diet? Of course you do, we all do. It's nothing new that the media and social pressures affect the way we feel about our bodies but why should that affect our happiness and our health. There's more to it than weight right?

I know what you're thinking, oh look another post telling us that the media is wrong to body shame and everyone is beautiful. But, can there ever really be enough of those? Why should you pay any attention to this one?

How to Flatten Abs after Pregnancy.

Many women have distended abdominal muscles years after they have given birth. This quite frankly is unnecessary.

But what actually happens to the abs when a woman is pregnant?

The abdominals go through a unique lengthening process. As the baby grows there's an increased stretch on the abdominal wall.

That stretch forces the body to add functional units to the ab muscles which makes them longer.

Naturally after childbirth the stretch force is reduced and the muscles should return to normal length. This should take around 8 weeks.

Now, as life happens this isn't always the case and the natural rebounding may not happen as quickly, if you become pregnant soon after giving birth, gain excessive weight or have a cesarean section.

Don't panic! That's not to say you can't get pregnant quickly again, enjoy eating that chocolate bar or worry if you've had a cesarean. That's not the case at all. It's actually a great starting point to look at how you feel in your body, to be mindful and kind to yourself as you navigate through your own individual post natal journey.

Check in with how you feel. There is no one size fits all return back to pre baby bod nor should there be. You've just grown and housed a human for the last 9 months. You did good girl.

To restore the abdominal muscles I would recommend the following:

And the first thing doesn't even involve a gym (yay)!

Nutrition - that's eating high quality foods and drinking adequate water.

Core work - working on core stabiliser exercises and strengthening your pelvic floor.

Plenty of sleep - I know, I know...you just had a baby, you're thinking, "what sleep?!" But we all know our bodies are built and restored when we sleep so try and sleep as much as baby will permit.

And finally, listen to your body - this might sound like an obvious one but it's amazing how often we don't pick up on the queues that our body is giving us.