Archive for August, 2013

I came back from 6 days holiday in Port Douglas, Queensland on Monday, and was rushing around unpacking and sorting out the flat when I tripped over the leg of a dining room chair. This was no ordinary trip – I am now the not-so-proud owner of a purple toe that I can barely walk on without pain. I’m yet to figure out if it’s broken, sprained or just bruised, but I fear the worst. And this coincided with me wanting to get back on the exercise bandwagon after a month of travelling! Queue shaking fists at sod’s law.

Damn you toe, damn you!

Damn you toe, damn you!

But I was adamant that I would do some form of exercise last night – my body was craving it, and it was going to happen if I had to drag my gammy leg behind me, zombie-style. And that’s kind of what I did. Which inspired me to write this post.

I hope I didn't look *quite* this bad at the gym last night ...

I hope I didn’t look *quite* this bad at the gym last night …

Last night I did 10 minutes on the cross trainer at level 11 on a Hill setting, then a 20 minute upper body workout which required no feet movement – squat presses, chest presses, bicep curls, tricep dips and 5 minutes of abs. And I was so glad I went! Tonight I plan on doing another 10 minutes on the cross trainer and then a lower body workout including squats, wall sits and leg extensions. And then I will hope that my stupid toe gets better.

Of course if I had a broken leg or a stomach virus or a horrible dose of the flu, all exercise would be off the agenda. But if you are suffering from an injury to one part of the body, it IS possible to still workout. It takes more effort to work out what you can and can’t do, but it’s worth it in the end, if only for how great exercise makes you feel when you’ve done it.

My top tips for exercising when you’re not feeling the best:

  • Know when you ARE too sick to exercise, and rest up at home instead
  • If in doubt, walk (provided your health issue is not with your legs or feet)
  • Pilates and yoga can be great for strengthening problem areas but take it easy and tell your teacher if you have an issue
  • Even 10 minutes exercise is better than nothing

 

Have you ever pushed yourself too hard and exercised when you shouldn’t?

 

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x

So last month I interviewed Lau from Fierce for Life about her life and her fitness business. Lau is a personal friend of mine, but I’ve also participated in her fitness programs and she’s a brilliant motivator and all-round great person. Which is why I’m pretty excited about her new program – 8 Weeks to a Bangin’ Bod on a Budget.

Fit chicks rock :)

Fierce For Life

There’s a fantastic sneak peek you can take a look at here, to see what the program is all about. Workouts, meal plans and access to Lau herself are all included. If you’re looking to begin a fitness program but are unsure where to start, I would really recommend this, as it’s step-by-step and easy to follow.

Eat well and move more

Lau knows this. She’ll sort you out.

What other programs have you tried? What has worked and what hasn’t?

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x

So I just got back from a 3 and a half week holiday in the UK and Thailand, and this was my first week back at work. This is where we stayed in Thailand (yeah, I’m pretty much just bragging):

Indigo Pearl Resort in Phuket, Thailand

Indigo Pearl Resort in Phuket, Thailand

After an amazing trip that took in London, Glasgow, Manchester and Phuket, it’s strange to be back in our flat, staying in the one spot. I woke up the other morning and thought ‘this doesn’t look like the hotel room, where am I?!’.

It’s actually been really great to get back to Sydney and celebrate our engagement with all our Sydney friends, and it’s been surprisingly easy to slip back into work (god bless my awesome work colleagues) but the hard thing about being back is getting back into fitness and good eating habits.

In England, we ate a LOT of bread. I don’t normally eat much bread, and this was a shock to the system. Also, my alcohol intake went waaaay up (hello London’s boozebag culture). Combine that with no exercise to speak of, unless you count walking along the South Bank (I don’t) and dancing until the wee hours (the late-night chips from the local kebab shop probably cancelled out any benefit there) then I have done no more exercise than running through Bangkok airport (twice) to try to make our flight. We missed it, and boy did I realise how unfit I’d become in just 3 short weeks, when I was huffing and puffing fit to blow someone’s house down.

My diet for 3 weeks

My diet for 3 weeks

So now we’ve been back for 6 days and I’ve been to the gym once. You could say I’m easing my way back into it. On the food front I’ve been a lot more motivated – after all the stodge we’d been eating I was craving salads like nobody’s business, and salads I have had.

I seem to have avoided the comedown from a long holiday this time. I think the fact we’ve been out for dinner and drinks several times this week to celebrate our engagement, plus eating well and throwing myself back into work has actually all combined to make me feel ok. My advice: get engaged, you’ll feel awesome every single day for quite some time to come (until you start thinking about how much there is to plan).

And boy am I going to relish the sleep-in tomorrow!

Anyone have any other tips on how to avoid the holiday comedown?

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x

This is the second HIIT workout I’ve created (the first one was here) and let’s be frank – this one is focusing on the arse. The bootay. The rear end. Baby got back and if baby doesn’t have back then baby needs to get back, stat.

Ok, that’s about as ghetto as I get.

And who better to aspire to for killer curves than Beyoncé – quite apart from being a talented singer, dancer, wife, mother and brand name, she’s got an arse to aspire to. She’s certainly inspired this workout.

Beyoncé

Check out those killer curves!

So here it is:

Beyoncé Booty HIIT Workout

Warm up on the cross trainer, bike, treadmill or rower (or just go for a jog outdoors) for 10 minutes. Then…

3 sets of:

5 x burpees
10 x squats
20 x (10 on each side) reverse lunges
30 x squat presses with a medicine ball (or two dumbells if you don’t have a medicine ball to hand)
20 second wall sit
10 x walking lunges
10 x bridges

Then stretch for 10 minutes (and foam roll for another 5 if you don’t want to be walking like a cripple the next day).

If you’re at an advanced level and want to push it, stretch to 4 sets of each rather than 3.

Make it count people, make it count. Ryan Gosling would want you to.

Well if you insist...

Well, if you insist…

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x

Today’s blog post is extolling the virtues of an amazing mineral that I never knew we used so much of, nor how much a deficiency in it could affect our lives. I’m talking about magnesium.

Magnesium powder

Here’s the lifesaver in the flesh

I first came across it about 6 months ago when I went to a physio for the first time ever. Yep, EVER. Prior to that I had been an advocate for chiropractors for fixing my back and neck issues, but I had an ongoing shoulder problem that the chiro just wasn’t fixing on a long-term basis, so in desperation I visited Sports Focus Physio who I highly recommend to anyone living in Sydney.

My physio did the usual massage (painful!) and a few joint manipulations (love that cracking sound!) and also looked at my posture and various other things. I left with my back strapped to force my shoulders back, and a recommendation to start taking magnesium and foam rolling. I asked her about the magnesium and she said the amount of exercise I was doing and the sweating associated with that meant that the salts and minerals were being depleted and therefore the muscles were seizing up. And it can take a few weeks or even months to build magnesium levels up again so I better get started quick-smart!

Oxygen & magnesium

Did you know that low levels of magnesium can contribute to brittle bones, slow tissue repair after injury, high levels of fatigue, and even depression. I looked into the side effects of taking a magnesium supplement and they were minimal, so I jumped on the magnesium bandwagon.

Magnesium is found naturally in green leafy vegetables like spinach and swiss chard but also in nuts and seeds like pumpkin seeds. I eat a fair amount of seeds, but not a lot of spinach on a daily basis, and the amount you’d need to eat to satisfy your daily requirements is pretty ridiculous. So for me a supplement is the best way forward, and I use Blackmores magnesium powder simply because it was the first one I came across in the pharmacy. It also contains B vitamins and amino acids which also help in exercise recovery. And as a bonus it has a nice orange taste, kind of like vitamin C. Please note I am not being sponsored by Blackmores to write this post. Although perhaps I should be!  (Blackmores PR department please take note).

After just a couple of weeks of taking it daily I noticed a difference, and now I take it a few times a week after exercise and I wouldn’t be without it. Magnesium powder and foam rolling literally changed my life.

Foam rolling is the poor man’s deep-tissue massage therapist and let me tell you that while it’s damn painful (especially the legs, ooooh the legs) it really does make a difference in how you feel the next day. Foam rolling combined with taking a teaspoon of magnesium powder in water every day I exercise makes my recovery so much less painful and quicker by a country mile. Of course everybody’s different, but if you’re recovering from a chronic injury or working out a lot, maybe give them a go.

Magnesium and my foam roller - a match made in heaven

The happy couple

What would you say has aided your recovery from exercise?

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x