Backyard Workout Essentials

One of my favourite workouts is something I call a ‘backyard blitz’. This is one of the easiest workouts for me to fit into my schedule as I don’t have to leave my house, which saves me a lot of time and effort. It’s a combination of mild cardio and a lot of strength training, and it’s helped me gradually build up my strength and cardio ability as I work towards running again. I use a few small pieces of equipment for the routine, and I managed to put together a handy little at-home gym kit for under $50. Here it is –

I use the skipping rope for cardio, the 5kg dumbbell for various strength and toning exercises, the yoga mat for abdominal work, and the stretch bands to help me warm down at the end of my workout. All of these products are from KMart, and I’ve been really impressed with the quality and value for money of everything I’ve purchased so far. I highly recommend putting together a kit like this, it really makes “making time” for exercise that much easier when you don’t have to leave the house in order to give your body a great workout.

March Health & Fitness Chat

Time for another monthly roundup of where I’m at with my health and fitness. Guess what?! My stomach issues continue. I’m now on a third change of medication, and this combination seems to be working for me so far. I’m also “on the list” to have an endoscopy to try and see what’s going on in my stomach to cause all of these issues. Fitness wise, I have a renewed motivation after having cleared up most of the stomach pain I was suffering from recently. Onwards we go! Here’s how I did with my goals for February (hint: not very well) –

* work back into an 80/20 style of eating
* exercise three times a week (more like three times a month)
* continue to increase water intake
* cut back on after dinner treats
* increase workout time gradually to 45 minutes

So yeah, not great. I really need to knuckle down now, even if I’m not feeling well. It’s all a vicious cycle but I need to be in the best health I can possibly be to try and figure out what’s going on with my stomach. Here are my goals for March –

* try and get at least 10 stars in my workout diary for the month
* continue to track food on a daily basis
* cut down (a LOT) on sugar intake
* get better at prepping food to take to work
* make healthier meal choices based on food tracking

How is everyone else going with their health and fitness goals for 2015 so far?

February Health & Fitness Chat

I feel like I’m constantly talking about how I’m sick, and how it’s stopping me from achieving my goals. At least, it seems like that’s been happening quite a lot over the last 6 months or so and I really need to try and get on top of it if I can. I was sick for half of January (and the beginning of February), so again I’ve not been able to successfully complete all of my health and fitness goals. My head is in the right place though, so with that in mind I’d say we’re off to a decent start for the year. Here’s how I did with January’s goals

* work back into an 80/20 style of eating
* exercise twice a week
* increase water intake
* decrease “fake sugar” intake (ie: diet soft drinks)

* stick to a monthly meal plan

I think my biggest achievement in January was completely cutting out “diet” soft drinks from my life. I’d gotten into a bad habit of drinking them again (I quit them a couple of years ago, and as soon as I started drinking them again I noticed the detrimental effect they had on my body), and it was time to stop. I drink the occasional full-sugar soft drink (peach iced tea snapple is my weakness), but for the most part I just drink water. I’m back into my “backyard blitz” workouts, and hope to be increasing reps and times as the month progresses. Here are my goals for February –

* work back into an 80/20 style of eating
* exercise three times a week
* continue to increase water intake
* cut back on after dinner “treats”
* increase workout time gradually to 45 minute sessions

What are your health and fitness goals for this month?

January Health & Fitness Chat

I’m probably not alone in the fact that I fell off the health and fitness wagon at the the end of last year. I love the holiday period, and one of my favourite things about Christmas is the amount of delicious food that it suddenly becomes appropriate to eat EVERY SINGLE DAY. I enjoyed myself and wasn’t too hard on myself about the slacking off, but it’s a new month and a new year and it’s time to get back into the swing of things. 2014 was an interesting year for me in a lot of different ways, and I think calling it ‘the year of indulgence’ is quite fitting. Learning to live alongside someone new can be tricky, and although Sebastian and I see eye to eye on many things – we have different tastes when it comes to food, and I enjoy working out and he does not. Such is life, and it’s just something that we need to learn to compromise on. There were a few different periods during the year where I would have an exercise routine alone, or one that included Sebastian, but this year my focus will be on things I can do for myself. Of course he is always more than welcome to join me, and if I plan my own routine it makes it easier for him to pick and choose when he wants to participate. At this stage I’ve decided that my core workout will be an effective HIIT routine that I can complete at home, but I definitely want to work running back into my routine as we progress into the year. My goals for this month are –

* work back into an 80/20 style of eating
* exercise twice a week
* increase water intake
* decrease “fake sugar” intake (ie: diet soft drinks)
* stick to a monthly meal plan

I’d love to hear what your goals for the month (and year!) are, so be sure to share them with me in the comments below!

November Fitness Chat

Despite us having a week off last week (read: a week where we went out for dinner every single night and made zero effort to workout), I feel like we’re still on track with our health and fitness goals at the moment. For the most part at least. At the core of it we’re both feeling motivated, although translating that to some kind of regular life practice is the hard part. I don’t think I did too badly with my October goals, so let’s see how I went –

October Goals
Although we did make good progress with the month’s worth of workouts, it was a trial-and-error experience for me, and I’ll be changing up my method slightly when moving forward. We’re now in a place where we prefer to workout together, so the few yoga workouts that I’d included on the sheet did not get done. We’ve started strength training after our run, although this is hard because I’m not used to coming up with ideas for male muscle groups. I definitely need to do a bit more research here. Add to that the fact that Sebastian has a leg issue that needs operating on next month, and my regular ‘do 5 million squats!’ method doesn’t work too well. We managed to finish off 8 out of 20 workouts, which isn’t great, but it’s better than we had been doing. We also incorporated a lot of running into our schedule, and made use of the running track near our house – which was another of my goals for the month. So far we’ve stuck to the one takeaway meal for the month, but it’s been easy for us as we’ve been going out for dinner so much recently. So I don’t think that really counts.

November Goals
I plan on sticking to a similar monthly workout method as last month, only this time I won’t be writing down the type of workout that we’ll be doing. Mostly because at the moment we’re doing the same thing over and over again. As soon as we’re in a set routine, I think we’ll mix it up a bit. I also plan on sticking to our ‘one takeaway meal per month’ plan – December will be Sebastian’s choice. I hope it’s something good (I picked fish and chips). I’ve noticed that my water intake has been dropping quite a bit lately, which is not good. I need to bump this back up again. I’m also going to try and switch out my daily morning coffee at work to a green tea. Which is cheaper, and better for me in the log run.

Health & Fitness Goodies
* Bree Loves Beauty mentioned the Pump Up App in a few videos recently, and I decided to check it out. I’ve only just downloaded it, so I’ll let you know what I think of it in more detail in a future post. ** Sebastian is a big fan of Knife Party, so I’ve been listening to their music whenever I’m in his car, and I think some of their songs would be great to workout to. This is my favourite at the moment.