Health-and-fitness

Get Bikini Ready With A High Protein Diet

With spring just around the corner you might be starting to think about that summer body. Chances are, if you’re anything like me, warming, winter comfort foods got the better of you over the last few months and extra kilos around the abdomen have been accrued.

RELATED: Top Snack Hacks To Beat The 3pm Slump

While winter weight gain isn’t uncommon, it’s not particularly healthy – especially if you are storing it around your mid-section. And while you can exercise your butt off, the problem generally lies with your eating habits; this is where a diet high in protein can help.

“High protein foods are shown to prolong satiety, meaning that you feel more satisfied for longer and are less likely to over-eat,” dietician and nutritionist for IsoWhey, Belinda Reynolds, told SHESAID. “When on a weight loss program they are useful as they promote the maintenance of lean muscle mass and help to promote the loss of fat.

“High protein foods also tend to have a lower glycaemic index, meaning that any sugar from the meal is released into the blood at a more steady pace, reducing the risk of sugar cravings and energy slumps that see you reaching for the wrong type of food as a pick-me-up,” she added.

While you might associate a high-protein diet with eating beef mince for breakfast and chicken and broccoli for lunch, this is hardly the case. In fact, there are loads of creative and tasty ways that you can incorporate more protein into your day, without going OTT.

Belinda says: “Tins of tuna or salmon can be a good… while edamame beans, sacha inchi seeds and sunflower seeds can be ideal options also. You can also get creative and make chia seed puddings (e.g. chia seeds soaked in almond milk with a little vanilla extract and greek yoghurt, berries and other seeds added – this option is high in fibre also).

“Consider too, celery with nut butter or carrot/celery with hummus, and wholegrain crisp bread with avocado and smoked salmon.”

If you are trying to trim down in time for the summer months, keep in mind that high protein foods still contain calories and over indulging will compromise your goals, says Reynolds. You still need to take into account portion sizes – especially when eating foods such as nuts – and it’s important to “take into account your individual dietary needs.”

“Be sure to include a variety of different snacks and also aim for a majority of your diet to be made of plant-based foods,” she advises. “The reason for this is that a wide variety of different proteins provides a nice combination of different amino acids, essential fats, fibre, essential micro-nutrients and other beneficial compounds.

“Amino acids provided by protein are essential for a plethora of functions in the body including muscle maintenance, hair, skin and nail health, detoxification, mood health, the production of enzymes, energy, metabolism…the list goes on!”

So what’s the ideal amount of protein to include in your diet? “Aiming to consume 0.8-1g protein per kilogram of body-weight is ideal,” recommends Belinda, however she also points out that this increases with more physical activity.

Image via Shutterstock

Introducing Ultimate Soccer

Looking to get fit and healthy playing one of the world’s most popular sports?

Ultimate Soccer will be launching its state-of-the-art soccer facilities, that will bring the 5-a-side experience from the UK to Australia. Supported by the Football Federation of Australia and ex-Socceroo Brett Emerton, its flagship location is right in the heart of Fairfield, Western Sydney.

SHESAID chats with CEO of Ulimate Soccer, Emir Mani about the benefits of soccer, how to book your own pitch, and how the idea of Ultimate Soccer was initially created.

RELATED: How To Deal With Winter Weight Gain

How did the idea for Ultimate Soccer first come about?

The inspiration for Ultimate Soccer emerged from a number of different thoughts I was having about 5 years aIntroducing go.

The first thought was ‘how am I going to evolve my music marketing business (that was fairly successful) with the advent of iTunes, Spotify and other digital offerings’?

My second thought was to move into a business area I am passionate about and love…

My third was a decent ‘brick and mortar’ business would combat investing into a new digital concept that could become obsolete a day, week, month later.

My fourth and final thought was the business idea and replicating the hugely successful UK 5 a-side football business model here in Australia.  The reason it has been so popular is that the floodlighting, shorter game times and small team numbers make it more accessible and convenient for busy people that do not have the time to exercise due to work and family commitments.

The issue for me was not so much the about reinventing a brand new concept here in Australia. It was more about the right approach in terms of how do I raise $4m to build this thing, how will Australians respond to this new concept, will there be demand, how will I get the land etc.

Why do you think soccer has become such a much-loved, world game especially for women?

It is the most popular sport among both boys and girls at school (according to the ABS) so kids are familiar with the game and playing from an early age which helps.

It is a non-contact sport relative to rugby league/union and AFL and promotes good values, in terms of teamwork, discipline and skill development.  This is important to parents to want to keep their kids active in a positive playing environment. The fact that it’s a very enjoyable game contributes to the popularity.

Introducing Ultimate Soccer

Why is it popular specifically with women, this is a tough one – it could be a number of factors including the success of the Matildas in the previous World and Asian Cups, it could be that Australia is a sports nation and women are not hung up with it being perceived as a male game which obviously it isn’t. Due to the popularity of the female game, accessibility to women’s football’s team could also be a reason.  It is worth noting that there are more registered female football participants in Australia than in England, which is pretty amazing considering the difference in populations.

Who can partake in Ultimate Soccer, is there a specific age group or target?

 At Ultimate Soccer we aim to appeal and to be accessible to men, women, over 35’s and kids across beginner, intermediate and advanced levels for league competitions. We wanted to ensure that we created an environment were people wanted to participate in the game regardless of age, gender or cultural backgrounds.

How important was it to hold the first flagship facility in Fairfield?

Pretty important…we knew that just half of all Australian people that play football occasionally and regularly resided in NSW with a heavy focus on Sydney (Roy Morgan).  We just needed to find the perfect location within Sydney.  Ideally it had to be in the home of football where demand would be strong and that be amongst the Western Sydney football community. It needed to have good transport links and be visible from adjacent main roads. Fairfield High School was particularly receptive and excited about the opportunity of getting a $4million facility and this made a big difference to our decision.

Are the fields open for training, or just a casual game with mates or work colleagues?

We offer one-hour pitch bookings for friends to play amongst themselves in a friendly environment or for local football teams to train, so you’re able to enjoy Ultimate Soccer in a casual or competitive capacity.

In addition, we offer one-day corporate events for team building exercises and for companies adjoined to a particular industry and adult bubble soccer for bucks and hens parties at weekends.

We have kids coaching, kids parties and kids bubble soccer. So there’s definitely something for everyone!

What type of health benefits does a simple game of soccer offer?

The high intensity nature of 5-a-side soccer ensures a quality cardiovascular and muscular workout. The game will build long-term fitness, burns fat, lowers cholesterol and reduces blood pressure. Professor peter Krustrup from the University of Copenhagen said, “Playing 5 a side football is healthier than running or lifting weights.  The intensity and range of movements involved in the game, including kicks, twists, turns and sprints, provide better overall exercise, according to a series of studies.  And five-a-side is more beneficial than a full-scale game, as it ensures that all players get a vigorous workout.” So its health benefits have even been scientifically proven.

What’s next for Ultimate Soccer? Do you have any plans to open pitches in other locations?

Yes we certainly do. The company objective is to launch a further 10 sites in the next 10 years.  We have a pipeline of 4 other sites and will be monitoring the first site in Fairfield closely before activating a full-scale expansion strategy.

For more information or to book your own pitch, visit: www.ultimatesoccer.com.au

How To Deal With Winter Weight Gain

Weight gain in winter is like Oreos and milk, they just go together – maybe the Oreos might have something to do with the weight gain, too – because when you’re covered up and snug in your coats for work and stretchy pyjamas at home, it’s easy to ignore the weight gain that might be creeping on from extra full fat hot chocolates and warm, cheesy lasagna leftovers when you can’t be bothered to cook.

RELATED: Top 5 Non-Diet-And-Exercise Ways To Lose Weight

Weight gain is different for everyone and there may be reasons behind it that you haven’t even thought of before. You could even be using winter as an excuse behind your weight gain when it’s something else entirely.

Dealing with winter weight gain isn’t easy; dealing with any kind of weight gain is usually no walk in the park, so it’s important to take manageable steps to overcome it and reduce your weight back down so that you feel fit and healthy.

  1. Identify the reason for your weight gain

Your weight gain is most likely to be from the deterrence of cold weather to stop you going to the gym or getting outside to exercise. It might be that you’re eating more and you feel the need to keep eating to feel warm. It might even be something deeper than either of those and you might be feeling unhappy in your job or relationship, causing yourself to eat more or exercise less. Or, in opposition to this, you may be feeling extra happy in your relationship or job, causing you to fall into a comfort zone.

  1. Make a plan to overcome the reason for weight gain

After you’ve identified the reason, it’s time to overcome it. Whether it’s laziness or happiness or comfort, overcoming the reason might be a shock to your system but it’s the shock you need to get back in shape. Even just identifying the reason might be shock, but that’s what needs to be done to overcome it. If it’s laziness, it’s time to look at the weight you’ve actually gained and try and put on a pair of your old skinny jeans for motivation. If it’s comfort, it’s time to look back at some pictures of when you first met you partner or started your job. And if it’s unhappiness, in work or a relationship, you need to identify what it is that makes you unhappy and start taking steps to fix it, so you can get your motivation back. After all, happiness is a great tool to want to feel good about yourself.

  1. Take action

It’s all well and good to say you’re going to do something and to make a plan, but actually taking action is completely different. Pushing yourself to go to the gym and put down the Tim Tams is a work of self control that takes consistant motivation to get through. But once you start and make yourself a habit, you’ll thank yourself for it.

Image via womenshealthmag.com

Keep Fit And See The World: Active Getaways

Sometimes you want to get away to a five star, beach-front resort, drop your suitcases at the concierge and flop onto the sand, fancy cocktail in hand, delicious snacks in the other. And sometimes you want to keep that hot body that you worked so hard for during the working season and you want to have some adventure and experience the world in an active way.

RELATED: Holiday Like A Celebrity: Top 5 Luxury Locations

Active getaways are becoming more and more popular, with less people choosing the traditional beach holiday for something that is filled with exercise and thrill. Not that your usual holiday isn’t thrilling, it’s just unlikely to get your heart pumping unless you’re experiencing some holiday love between the sheets.

There are certain destinations in the world that are recognised for shopping, for star spotting and for traditional sight seeing and then there is the list below in which you can experience a fabulous active getaway, keeping fit while seeing the world.

5. Skiing/snowboarding, Colorado, United States

One of the most popular active holidays is a snow one. Spending your days shredding up the powder on skis or snowboards while checking out beautiful views atop the mountain. You’ll burn those legs and buns in a skiing holiday and Aspen is a fantastic place to experience it. Better yet, head over during Christmas to see the town during the festive season and keep those extra Chrissie calories at bay.

4. White water rafting, Queenstown, New Zealand

Water sports are always better in adventure capital Queenstown. With heaps of water activities to choose from, white water rafting is going to be at the top of your list for thrill and sight seeing through the valleys of New Zealand.

3. Mountain biking/cycling, Europe

Let’s face it, there are way too many options to narrow this one and you can take your bike to so many places in Europe to explore the country side and mountainous terrain. Not only will it be cost effective, but you’ll see amazing sights and find great places that you may not be able to find by car or bus, and you’ll be keeping all those pastries off your hips.

active holidays, exercise, travel

2. Surfing, Hawaii, United States

Hawaii has something for everyone. From places to flop and drop, to some of the most active holidays you can have, it’s all up to you in Hawaii. Famous for their surf, catch a few waves, or learn how to anyway, climb volcanoes and go snorkelling through the crystal clear waters. With some fantastic views to find from higher up, hiking is a big one to take in some breath taking beauty.

1. Trekking, Machu Picchu, Peru

See history and challenge yourself while trekking through the Inca trails around Machu Picchu. The amazing ruins will have your jaws dropped as you finish the trek and see your final, amazing destination.

Images via worldadventuretravel.co.uk and surphile.tumblr.com

Rookie Gym Errors We Need To Stop Making

Whether you’re a rookie in the racks or a veteran with weights, there are still common gym errors that many of us will make during the time that we exercise. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to lose weight, gain some muscle, or get a better cardio vascular system, these mistakes that we make in the gym apply to most.

RELATED: How To Clean Up A Dirty Diet

Doing the same thing

If you never change up your routine, your body gets used to doing the same things and you will start to plateau, meaning that you won’t be making any improvements; rather, you will be staying at the same level. This could mean that you won’t lose any weight, you won’t gain any muscle and/or you won’t improve your cardio vascular system. It’s important to change up your routine and try lots of different things to keep your body guessing and get fit in many different dimensions.

Not changing your diet

You can exercise all you want, but if you don’t change your diet to something that is healthier and more beneficial for your bod, you won’t be getting the improvements that you want. We’ve often heard the terms ‘you can’t outrun a bad diet’ and ‘abs are made in the kitchen’, and they’re not wrong. To get the results you want, especially if it involves losing stomach fat, it’s important to change your diet.

Not being consistent

We’re probably all guilty of this one, especially through winter, but only hitting the gym once a week is not going to be enough to achieve the goals you’re after. Consistently hitting the gym 3-4 times per week is great, and 4-5 times is even better for making improvements to your body.

Not doing enough

You may be consistent with your time at the gym, but if you’re not pushing yourself and your body, you’re going to stay the same. Just because you’re at the gym, it doesn’t mean that you’re putting in the hard yards. By working hard, you’ll feel your body fighting to get fit.

Image via sofeminine.co.uk

4 Killer Ab Exercises: No Crunches Included

Alright, ladies! It’s time to get off the couch, put the cookies away and start working on getting that stomach you’ve always dreamed of. No, this is not an infomercial, this is real life – and you too can get those strong, sexy abs. Sorry, I couldn’t resist that last line.

RELATED: 5 Winter Sports To Join This Season

Back in the 90’s and early 2000’s, celebrities would divulge their workout secrets and it would all come down to doing heaps of crunches. Let’s be real though; celebrities don’t get killer abs from doing hundred of crunches and they don’t want to give out their real workout secrets because then you would look as good as them and they would lose their job.

You can get a great set of abs – yes an actual six pack – without doing crunches. Don’t believe me? Let’s get your sports bra on then. Crunches are boring and doing hundreds of crunches doesn’t get you a sexy six pack, but adding in these simple ab exercises can help trim and tone that tummy (yes, I watch way too many infomercials).

Move one: Ditch the bad diet

Not technically a workout move, but very important in getting abs. You can’t out-run a bad diet and that’s what is causing the fat that hides your abs. The secret is that everyone has a six pack, some are just better hidden. You can bring yours out by reducing your belly fat through cleaning up your diet.

Move two: Spidercrawls

These may look easy and even a little bit fun, but they’ll make your abs burn like a bowl full of chilli. Assume the low plank position with your shoulders over your elbows. Bend one leg and bring your knee as close to your shoulder as you can on the side of your body. Take it back down and repeat on the other side. While these are similar to mountain climbers, they also target your oblique muscles, pulling in that waistline and erasing those love handles.

workout, abs, six pack

Move three: Hanging knee lifts

Not only do these work your abs, but they also work on getting your grip, shoulders and back strong from hanging onto the bar. While assuming a hang position, bring your knees up to your chest, squeezing especially at the last point to get them really high and slowly release them down to starting position. Try not to swing as this uses more momentum and less abs. Once you get really strong, keep you legs straight and lift them to an L shape in front of you.

workout, abs, six pack

Move four: Swiss ball jackknifes

Placing your hands on your floor and your feet on the swiss ball, assume a push up position. Bring your knees to your chest and slowly roll them back to the starting position. Feel the burn as your keep yourself stable and slowly complete the movement.

workout, abs, six pack

 Images via Oxygen Mag, Womens Health, Popsugar, Get6packfast.com

5 Simple Ways To Fit Exercise Into A Busy Routine

Trying to fit exercise into a busy schedule can be a nightmare, especially when you’re working full-time. Hauling yourself out of bed an hour earlier seems outrageous and by the end of the working day you’re tired, hungry and ready to relax. So what’s the best way to fit in some exercise when you’re constantly feeling run off your feet?

RELATED: The Lazy Girl’s Guide To Weight-Loss

Create a workout schedule

Instead of trying to stick to the same routine, create a new exercise schedule every week. That way you can factor in any mid-week events that you might be attending and can also choose to mix-up your workouts to prevent boredom. Once you’ve organised your week, incorporate your workouts into your diary or planner so that you don’t accidentally double book yourself. Priorities, ladies!

Discipline yourself

Once you’ve scheduled in your workouts, commit to and follow through with them. Like Lorna Jane Clarkson advocates: think of your workouts like business meetings – they’re non-negotiable. So if working out five times a week is unrealistic, don’t commit to five times a week. Instead aim for three or four. Would you organise five business meetings if you knew you’d have to cancel two? No. And would you reschedule a business meeting because you couldn’t be bothered attending? No.

Think smaller

Preparing for an hour at the gym can be mentally challenging, so to break the barrier opt for shorter but more intense workouts. Half an hour is relatively easy to squeeze in early morning or late afternoon and research shows that high intensity training at shorter intervals burns more fat.

Get appy

The best type of workout for someone that is constantly on-the-go is the one that they can do anywhere. There are hundreds of apps available for DIY exercise that can easily be performed while travelling or at home in the lounge room. The best part is that you get to experiment with all kinds of different exercises including pilates, HIIT, boxing and yoga. Who’d have thought?

How To Fit Exercise Into A Busy Routine

Look at the bigger picture

Nothing worth having comes quick or easy, so you may need to reassess your goals if you think it does. Getting fit is mostly about consistency, so don’t be disheartened if you don’t notice any major changes straight away. Any exercise is better than no exercise and once you get into the swing of your new routine, the results will start to follow.

The Barre Method: The Workout Keeping Celebs In Shape

If you’re looking for a new workout class to try, we’ve got the perfect one for you! While it’s not quite the ballet slippers and tutus that you had when you were little, the Barre Method is a serious workout that will have you trim and toned in no time.

RELATED: 5 Winter Sports To Join This Season

Celebrities have been a driving force in the popularity of Barre classes, with Natalie Portman, Margot Robbie and Taylor Swift endorsing the workout method as the one that keeps them looking amazing. The elongating and isometric moves create leaner and lengthier muscles that look fabulously toned – do you ever wonder how Madonna keeps her incredible bod? Not to mention ballet dancer Misty Copeland’s amazing figure!

The Barre Method is a fantastic workout for your whole body. By incorporating small weights, the arms and upper body are toned, while the abs, butt and legs get a killer workout from isometric moves. You’re sure to feel the burn!

ballet, workout

The Barre Method is often a mix of ballet and barre work, and yoga or pilates, adding in high reps of small movements to really work those muscles and target areas of the body that can be hard to shape.

Of course, weight loss is going to be the number one reason to start up Barre classes – especially if you’re doing a cardio Barre class – but it also has a great impact on your posture by strengthening the muscles of the back that hold you upright. You will also see an increase in muscle definition, meaning stronger and more toned muscles that make you look leaner, plus the added benefit of increased flexibility and reduced stress.

Doing a Barre workout combines strength and cardio into one, while your core is constantly engaged to really fire up the abdominals. It also helps with grace and balance, which can help your poise in everyday life, not just your workouts.

There are many variations of the ballet inspired workout that are all about sculpting your long, lean body, so check out a Barre class in your area today – no tutus required.

Images via mybodyequation.com, lifestyle.com.au

Are We Being Fooled By The Health And Fitness Industry?

In recent years, the health and fitness industry has experienced rapid growth, with anything and everything deemed healthy or nutritional sparking our interest. But, in the past few months however, the same industry has come under attack by both the public and the media after several allegations surrounding dishonest business ethics.

With obesity and malnutrition rates at an all-time high, there has never been more of a demand for healthy weight-loss programs, but are we being subjected to false and misleading information by health and fitness ‘gurus’ in a bid to capitalise on the problem?

Recently, fitness trainer and clean eating advocate Ashy Bines came under fire after she admitted to some of her recipes had been reproduced from other people’s websites. The Gold Coast workout queen addressed the issue in a YouTube video and admitted: “By outsourcing… to a nutritionist I was trying to give you all something of value and to come up with delicious recipes from the food I suggested.

“Unfortunately, I may have been too naïve to think that I wouldn’t have to check the origins of each recipe, instead trusting that the work would be completed in an honest and professional manner.”

Her admission clearly raises concerns as to why stricter guidelines aren’t being set. Especially after the scandal surrounding The Whole Pantry founder Belle Gibson, who was recently accused of faking her battle with cancer and withholding thousands of dollars in charity donations.

Since reports surfaced, her smartphone app and cookbook – which are based on the story of healing herself from brain cancer – have been pulled from circulation and, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, the publisher, Penguin, have admitted to not fact-checking her story.

It doesn’t stop there. Pete Evans’ book Bubba Yum Yum was put on hold after featuring a bone-broth formula recipe that was considered to be potentially fatal to infants. According to Good Food, the claim was slammed as “false and misleading” by health and economics expert at the Australian National University, Julie Smith.

“I think the ACCC should be looking very hard at this particular claim. The commercial publisher aims to make money out of this book and I suspect they would have to consider very carefully the investigation that would ensue if they published it,” she said.

And then of course, there’s the cult-like following in which meal-replacement shakes and supplements are promoted by companies as being healthy and preservative free, yet several nutritionists and dieticians say otherwise, and critics claim most are a scam.

So what’s the deal health and fitness industry? How can we distinguish the fact from the fiction? One minute we’re told to eat kale, then a report surfaces that too much kale can be deadly. The same can be said with the low-carb movement – it’s promoted by some as being the miracle approach to weight-loss, while others slam the diet as being unrealistic and dangerous.

Who’s telling the truth? And at what cost does it come to our health in the long-term? Maybe it’s time the health and fitness industry seriously considered an overhaul because, for all we know, we could be doing more damage than good.

Image via Shutterstock

The Lazy Girl’s Guide To Weight-Loss

Are you one of those people who wants to lose-weight, but struggles to keep up with the consistency of working out? It’s a common dilemma that a lot of us face, with too busy, too tired or too lazy being the overriding voice of reason.

RELATED: Why You Start Working On Your Summer Body Now

The harsh reality is you have to move it to lose it, but you also don’t have to run yourself into the ground to do so, either. We chatted to Isowhey sports ambassador and owner of BattleFit Australia, Andrew Pap (pictured below) to find out more realistic ways to approach weight-loss, and all of which require minimal effort!

Be realistic in your planning

First things first, if you’re not used to going to the gym 5-6 days a week or eating impeccably healthy, cut yourself some slack and ease your way into it. “When you make the resolution it’s easy to get carried away, throwing yourself at the gym every day and over restricting yourself from sugar/carbs/fats or whatever ‘fad diet’ seems to be in fashion at that moment,” says Andrew.

Going too hard too soon is usually when failure strikes. It’s also when we’re most likely to get overwhelmed and quit. Instead, “be realistic in your planning, understand that you’re easing your way back into this lifestyle and are not accustom the work load that you will soon experience.”

Remember, slow and steady wins the race!

Incorporate ‘easy sessions’ into your workout routine

It’s all too easy to think that being tired or exhausted warrants the excuse to do nothing, but any exercise is better than no exercise. And while it’s important to take a “holistic approach” to training and nutrition, there are still exercises you can do that require minimal effort and which still burn calories.

“If you are feeling tired or exhausted, try doing an active recovery activity such as yoga, walking, swimming or a stretching session. After doing a session like this, you may find that you get a burst of energy and can then go onto do something that is a little more strenuous,” encourages Andrew.

Shorten your workouts

After a long day at the office or running around on your feet, sometimes the last thing you want to do is slog it out at the gym for an hour. This is not an excuse to skip on your workout, however! Stop thinking big and start thinking small. A half hour workout is more than enough time to work up a sweat and burn calories, and is relatively easy to motivate yourself to do.

“I would recommend simple body weight ‘tabata’ style circuits,” says Andrew. “For tabata, you will do an activity, such as rowing, running or cycling at a high speed for 20 seconds, and then a lower speed for 10 seconds and repeat for at least 8 sets if not more.

“This style of training is great as it incorporates the entire body including upper body, core and legs in every session. You’ll be able to enjoy a quick high intensity workout that’ll give you the ‘pick me up’ that you need for the day!”

The Lazy Girl's Guide To Weight-Loss

Rest up

If you just can’t seem to drag yourself out of bed in the morning, despite setting four alarms (all of which you’ve clearly snoozed), Andrew says it is okay to have a sleep-in, but advises that you revise your reason for being exhausted. And no, the bed being too warm and cosy doesn’t count! “If you’re waking up exhausted, then either you’re over training, sleeping too little or possibly lacking in your nutrition,” he insists.

“I would suggest sleeping and making sure that you’re well rested for your next session. If you continue to push through those signs of exhaustion you can potentially begin to show signs of chronic fatigue. Too much stress on your adrenal glands could have you sidelined for years!”

Find a spare 10 minutes

Surprisingly, you can achieve a lot in ten minutes, and it’s not a difficult amount of time to free up in your day. So if you really are too busy or too lazy to get in a half hour workout, make a commitment to move for ten minutes and give it all you’ve got. Just think: It’s ten minutes!

“If you are doing a very short session, I would suggest keeping your heart rate high the entire time by incorporating multi-joint movements such as burpees, squats, moving lunges, bear crawls and star jumps,” insists Andrew. “Look at doing an AMRAP session (As Many Rounds As Possible) in ten minutes.”

Here is one of Andrew’s suggested AMRAP workouts:

  • 5 burpees
  • 10 mountain climbers
  • 10m bear crawls forward/reverse
  • 10 lunges
  • 5 jump squats

 Commit, but don’t over commit

For some, working out 5-6 times a week is unrealistic. It’s certainly something you can work up to, but the goal here is consistency. To start out, Andrew recommends doing three hard sessions per week and two active recovery sessions, such as walking, yoga or stretching. Once you’ve become accustom to this routine, “bump it up to 4/5 hard sessions, 2/3 active recovery and at least one day completely rested.” Regardless, Andrew recommends moving at least four times a week to see results.

Keep it fun

Time and time again we’re advised to participate in forms of exercise that we enjoy, and for Andrew, this is partly how he keeps in shape. “I make sure that I am doing what I love. Exercising should not be a chore.”

He explains: “I like to train in many different codes of fitness as I love to try new things. It keeps me entertained and it allows me to learn new techniques and have new ideas that I can then incorporate into my own workouts.”

Not sure where to start? The sports ambassador insists there are many creative and fun ways to keep active, including joining an individual or team sport, pursuing hobbies, gym, boot camps, surfing or rowing. “You should be able to find something that you enjoy doing.”

Shift your focus

Ever heard of the saying “what you resist, persists?” If you continue to focus on the number on the scale or the centimetres around your waistline, the desired results are likely to evade you. Instead, try a more positive approach, such as Andrews: “What I like is to set performance goals rather than goals that are based on weight or measurements.

“I feel that if you become a stronger, faster, fitter version of yourself then you should start not only looking and feeling better, but also being stronger and healthier too. I really like to have events to look forward too as well as it encourages me to stay disciplined and on track.”

Feature Image via Shutterstock

Body Image Documentary Said To Create Global Change

A viral before and after photo of a mum of three posing nude has prompted a movement that is said to “create global change” by combating body image once and for all. The project, titled Embrace, started to gain momentum after the campaign’s founder Taryn Brumfitt took to social media in 2013 to celebrate her curvier ‘after’ body, following a bikini contest she competed in where she was deemed to have the “perfect” body.

RELATED: Shamed Dancing Man Has The Last Laugh

Sitting down with the Today Show, Brumfitt said the reason behind the post was to teach women to love their bodies. “I was talking to some friends… and they were struggling with the concept of loving their body after they’d put on a few kilos. And so I thought I would post this photograph to demonstrate to them that you can love your body when it looks like the before, and you can love it after.”

Embrace documentary

The image coincided with the Embrace documentary she is set to release that aims to encourage women to embrace their bodies by recognising that real beauty is from the inside out. The 5 minute trailer for the video was recently released and opens with Brumfitt sharing some of her negative self-talk as she pokes at her body in front of a mirror.

“You are fat, and you are ugly, and you are disgusting. That’s what I used to say to myself when I looked in the mirror,” she said to the camera.

As the video progresses, the mum then goes on to discover that she’s not alone in her self-defeating ways, after asking 100 women to use one word to describe their bodies. Wobbly, imperfect, stumpy, very average, frumpy and not nice to look at were some of the alarming responses, while one women confessed: “I hate it. I feel disgusting.”

The trailer then goes on to show Brumfitt entering into a body-building competition in a bid to have the “perfect body,” only to find that the perfect body still came with its hang-ups. “I did have the perfect body, or near enough. And you know what, nothing changed,” she admitted. “Nothing changed about how I felt about my body.”

She soon realised that happiness didn’t come from being perfect, it came from accepting who you were, lumps, bumps and all. And in a bid to be a good role-model for her daughter, she started to make some changes. “I wanted to be a positive role model for her, and that’s what started this whole movement,” she said to the Today Show.

In a recent interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, she explained: ”We are constantly told to be something other than what we are. That we are gross or that we need to change … We’re not encouraged to love our bodies unless they conform to one idea of beauty … but beauty is so much more. We need a different currency for beauty. We have to change the currency of health and beauty.”

Brumfitt’s goal is to make a documentary that is “beautiful and life changing for people all around the world,” and after successfully crowd-sourcing over $300 000 to fund the video, and with nearly 6 million views of the trailer since its release, it seems she is well and truly on her way.

 

Image via Mamamia

Gym Etiquette 101: Top 5 Crimes Against Humanity

Gym crimes against humanity occur suddenly and at random; they should not go unpunished. Just the other day, an overzealous, new young employee startled me by jumping up suddenly, within inches of my face, on the treadmill next to mine.

She then proceeded to – gasp – try to talk to me mid-workout, when I was covered in sweat and majorly fatigued as I was halfway through a gruelling intervals training session. WTF? How very dare she?!

RELATED: Inspirational Women: Michelle Bridges

I looked around and everyone but me had earphones in. What an idiot I am, I thought! I’m being highly sarcastic, of course, but is mid-workout really the time to harass people? Does “walking the floor” ever really retain gym clients?

gym etiquette, gym crimes, fitness rules

For me, the gym isn’t a place to socialise; I get in, go hard (in what limited time I have) and then I go home. I do not want to talk to someone, other than my PT, about my “exercise journey” mid-workout, if ever, actually.

So, in no particular order, here are some common Gym Crimes Against Humanity:

  1. The Grunter: There’s always one, it would seem: the beefed-up guy who has to let everyone know he’s lifting really heavy weights (yawn). Keep your God-awful animalistic sounds to yourself, buddy! This strange breed of gym goer may also often offer unsolicited advice and/or use foul language, including the C-word.
  2. The Show-off: You know the type – the girl who always has to outdo the gym class instructor and/or strut around the gym in full make-up and eye-wateringly tight lycra – ala Adidas’ questionable, new gym leggings (pictured) that closely resemble aluminium foil.gym etiquette, gym crimes, fitness rules
  3. The Hogger: You will meet this strange breed in many a gym: he refuses to share gym equipment and will sit, admiring his own reflection, for hours at a time on one machine – naturally, the one you really want to use.
  4. The Socialiser: This could be either sex, but is usually more commonly a woman: the stranger or gym staffer who loves to share odd intimacies with you at every turn and who expects you to do the same, often mid-workout. And if she’s not accosting you, she’ll no doubt be glued to her iPhone or iPad for the duration of her workout.gym etiquette, gym crimes, fitness rules
  5. The Flirt: I understand some people may meet the love of their life mid-workout, but for me, I don’t want my gym resembling a meat market or nightclub vibe. Take it outside, people! Who wants to get chatted up while they’re drenched with sweat? Eww. Don’t ogle others, or yourself. Gym flirts belong in jail. Too harsh?

What are your gym dos and don’ts?

Images via www.thefashionpolice.net; thefitspoproject.com and fitgirlkris.wordpress.com

Inspirational Women: Michelle Bridges

Each week, SHESAID features an inspiring woman who has been kind enough to share her story with our readers. She might be a leader in her chosen field, someone still on their own path striving to make a difference or simply someone with a remarkable story to tell. These women contribute their own knowledge, expertise and life lessons in order to truly inspire others.

RELATED: Inspirational Women: Ford + Harris

We spoke to Michelle about setting goals and making 2015 the year to totally transform your body and your life.

Name and role:

Michelle Bridges, TV personality, author and all-round fitness guru

Why is it so important to firstly, write your goals down, and secondly, keep track of them?

When you want to make what I would consider a big life change there are few things you should and shouldn’t do.

The only time to overhaul your life is when you are ready to get honest and real about what it is you want for yourself and your family. When you are crying on your bedroom floor with clothes that don’t fit strewn all over the place and you’re about to go to a New Year party is DEFINITELY NOT the time to overhaul your life! This is what I would consider a BIG life changing plan and one which should be given respect, thoughtfulness and adult consideration.

Writing down your goals is key but so is not overwhelming yourself. I encourage making a plan with time lines so you can keep track of where you are going and how you are going.

How should you get started and why is January a great time to begin?

I actually think the ONLY time that is good to do this is when you are truly and honestly ready. It doesn’t have to be Jan, in fact that might be too much pressure for some people. Waiting till the silly season is over or more importantly when you can maturely and thoughtfully see that your plan, given the environment, is ready to be launched. However, that being said, you need to start. One small action can be the catalyst the next step and then the next step. I’m big on planning though, so time line your actions without overwhelming yourself by having to make all the changes in one day!

What are the key steps you should take in preparing to transform your body and your life?

Here are 5 starting points:

  1. Answer the question: “What do I want?” You need to know where you are going in order to get there, right?
  2. Get real and honest with yourself. Start to do the work around why you buy into your excuses. This is REALLY big work and it takes time and guts and probably support along the way. But, until this has been done and continued to be worked on, everything else goes down the drain.
  3. Make a plan which is realistic and achievable. That means it’s something that you can do long term. When I say long term, I’m talking about a new way of living.
  4. Get some support. It’s not a deal breaker, but supporters are worth their weight in gold!
  5. Get organised. Habits and routines are fool proof ways to achieve what it is you say you want. Consistency is king in my books!

Why is 12 weeks a good amount to time to see results?

In 12 weeks you learn so much about yourself and you start to engrain habits which become rituals. That being said, these are habits and rituals which continually need to be honed and sharpened for your life. It’s all balance. There are times where you loosen the reins and times when you dial it in but for the most part you get yourself into habits which support the kind of life you choose to live. It’s a choice. And it’s your choice.

How To Jumpstart Your Exercise Goals In 2015

Are you too busy/sore/tired/cold/hot/hungry to go to gym, or have you just got a massive touch of the can’t-be-f***ed about you? Read on, sister, for you and I are going to get a lesson in how to set and achieve realistic exercise goals for 2015.

After all, it’s the start of another exciting, new year, and we should all be sweating it out at gym in our spare time, blah blah, instead of snacking on Doritos, guzzling red wine and watching old episodes of Sex and the City.

RELATED: How To Stay Motivated And Reach Your Goals

Sound familiar? If you’re anything like me, I can sometimes self-sabotage and find every poor excuse under the sun not to exercise. “I’m too tired, I’ll do it tomorrow,” I hear myself say. Slap!

So, how do we stop making bad excuses and “harden the f*** up” (a PT favourite phrase) in 2015? Fitness queen Michelle Bridges has oft been quoted as saying there is never a good excuse to not exercise, especially the well-worn “I’m too busy” one. Bugger.

Instead, the Biggest Loser star says accountability and commitment are key, as is a broad, varied and interesting training regime, in order to achieve our exercise, weight loss and fitness goals for 2015.

exercise goals, goal setting, exercise plan

But what do sports psychologists say? How does a busy working woman and/or mother find time to achieve her exercise goals, in between juggling family, work and personal commitments, without going insane?!

fitness inspiration

Here’s some fast, no-bull ways to combat exercise excuses from a top psych:

  • Choose goals that you really care about so that you are strongly motivated to achieve them.
  • Make your goals realistic. That is, don’t set your goals so high that you will not be able to achieve them.
  • Don’t overload yourself with too many goals, choose just a few that really matter to you.
  • Make the goals positive and specific. If you want to lose 8kg, make your goal: “I will lose 2kg per month for the next 4 months.”
  • Break big goals down into smaller ones, as above. So, set a long-term goal, but break it up into smaller short-term goals. This also enables you to celebrate your success along the way, such as at the end of each month, for example, rather than having to wait four months.
  • If you have a setback and don’t achieve a short-term goal, don’t give up. Try to work out why you didn’t succeed and do something different next time.
  • Praise yourself and give yourself a reward for achieving each goal. Allow yourself to feel really good about goals that are achieved.

exercise goals, goal setting, exercise plan

What do you think? How do you motivate yourself to exercise?

Images via www.pixabay.com.

5 Workout Accessories Every Woman Needs

A workout just isn’t complete without accessories which make the gruelling process that much easier.

Keep your belongings secure without compromising your workout, and invest in some of this must-have gear for your next training session.

RELATED: 5 Simple Back Exercises

Belt

Store all your essentials such as a phone, music player, and keys into this lightweight belt for a hands-free workout. The belt comes with a few different compartments so everything won’t rub against each other or scratch your belongings.

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Fit Belt, $28.99

Ear warmer

A comfortable 2-in-1 ear warmer which also keeps any stray hairs away from your face is an essential in our book. The lightweight material won’t create any tension on the temples of your head, but is secure enough to stay in place if you’re going for a run, or high-intensity workout.

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Lulu Lemon Run With Me Ear Warmer, $26

Water bottle

We’re aware this isn’t more than just a water bottle, but it will revolutionise the way you workout. With a stainless steel interior and exterior, and a silicon grip with a comfortable, ergonomic design, the bottle keeps water cool for over 12 hours.

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Under Armour Beyond 18 Ounce Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Bottle with Flip Top Lid, $28

Tracker

Not only does this little gem track your fitness, but it also comes with a mobile dashboard and sends all the information straight to your computer. Wear it all day to count your calories burned, check out your progress, and even match it with your outfit.

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Zip Wireless Activity Tracker, $79.95

Socks

Toeless yoga socks which give extra grip during each workout, and are lightweight so they won’t cut off any circulation to your legs. If you don’t like to go barefoot to your next yoga class, these socks are ideal since they’re actually more hygienic.

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Gaiam Grippy Toeless Yoga Socks, $9.50

Image via 9 to 5 Mac

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