Pilates in the Sun

What a sunny Saturday we have had in Sydney today.. It is starting to feel like Summer is just around the corner 🙂

This morning my ‘private pilates instructor’ aka Liv,  invited me over for pilates and lunch. What do you think I said? YES! The studio was set up outside, under the trees and in the sun, with a good playlist guiding us through. We began with ab work, progressed into leg work and then arms and ended with some whole body stretching.

Here are some snaps of some of my favourite exercises with some helpful hints if you decide to try them out!

Criss cross – Lying in neutral table top position, hands under the head and elbows out to the side. Inhale to prepare, exhale to curl up.

Inhale to prepare, exhale to rotate opposite armpit to opposite thigh, while the other leg extends. Return and swap sides.

Side Plank – Supporting hand is inline with the shoulder. Legs and hips are stacked on top of eachother.Lift your pelvis away from the mat, with your body in a nice long line. Remeber to engage your core and allow your abs to support you from underneath.  Hold, embrace the intensity, smile and swap sides.

Lunges – The important part of ensuring a good lunch lunge is to make sure that when bent, both legs form nice right angles from the knee to the thigh. We did about 15 on each side.

After an awesome session; abs, arms and legs burning and shaking it was time for lunch!

Liv whipped us up orange and carrot juice whilst I got working on a tuna salad.

Nice. colourful, nutritious and satisfying!

With puppy eyes staring up at us..

What a beautiful afternoon.

Happy Saturday!

Have you ever tried pilates? What are your favourite moves?


What I Ate Wednesday – Fun, Food and Fitness

I have just joined a blogging initiative entitled ‘What I Ate Wednesday’, hosted by Jenn @ Peas and Crayons.  WIAW is all about celebrating the important role food plays in our lives; for nourishing our body and for giving us the energy we need in order to the things we love.

Peas and CrayonsSo let’s celebrate food! This is WIAW..
I began the day with a hearty bowl of oats and cuppa tea.

I had to park far to catch the train today, so it was a brisk 10 minute walk to the station accompanied by a peppermint tea on-the-go.
I had lunch @ a cafe near work. Today was a toasted tuna sandwich with avocado, beetroot, spinach leaves and carrots..

With a hot chocolate on the side 🙂

On my way home from work I had a Pink Lady apple. Upside is it was so crunchy but downside.. so hard to eat when you are trying to eat it quietly and getting death stares from the nearby passengers.

I got majorly caught in the rain on my walk run from the station to my car. I was freezing so changed into my nice dry gym gear and decided to try and get to a pilates class at the gym. I made it with a few minutes to spare, so did a quick 1km warm up run on the treadmill.

Pilates is something I have always wanted to get into, but have never quite had the patience to fully embrace. I have done a few pilates ‘classes’ with my friend Liv, who is amazing at it (and a great instructor).  Tonights class wasn’t great, the instructor moved quite quickly through the exercises which didn’t really give me enough to time to get into them, but it was nice to spend a bit of time working on my core and stretch out the body. (Please excuse the awkward photo).

After pilates I came home to some of my mum’s amazing heart-warming, soul-soothing chicken soup. It is honestly the best winter dinner. It is nice and filling and has chicken pieces and vegetables in every spoonful. Thanks Mum!

That is WIAW. For now anyway..
What is your favourite after dinner treat? 
Happy Wednesday (and for those Aussies interested GO THE BLUES)!

Easy ways to get moving (without having too try too hard!)

I am a big fan of incorporating as much physical activity into my day as possible.  I am all for taking the stairs over the lift; or getting out and dirty by doing the gardening on a nice sunny day.

This type of exercise is known as incidental exercise – or as I like to think of  it, ‘exercise without feeling as though you are exercising’.  It is a great way to keep yourself moving and active throughout the day, without scheduling in a workout, or even having changing into workout gear 🙂

Here are some easy ways to do it!

– Find ways in the workplace to keep active.  Whether it is doing the coffee runs, offering to run errands, participating in sport lessons (that’s if you are a teacher) or simply just finding a cafe or park that is that little bit further away to enjoy your lunch break.

Nothing beats lunch in the park, especially if you have had to walk a little more than usual to get there.

– Change the way you view house work, gardening or even just taking the bins out! Turn it into an opportunity to get your butt moving and your arms working.  It always helps if there is good music to accompany this 🙂

– Take the stress out of finding the closest parking space and park a bit further away than normal. Not only will you get a sneaky walk in, but your stress bank will thank you for it.

 – Spend quality time with your family and friends by doing something active and fun together. Whether it is rock climbing, bush walking, getting out in the garden, kicking a ball, throwing a frisbee or skipping a date over coffee to enjoy a chilled out-pilates session (thanks Liv 🙂 )… the options are endless and not only will it bring you closer together; it will benefit your health and fitness too.

A stroll wherever you are in the world is a good way multi-task -to keep moving and spend time with the people your love

And last but not least… Dance your little hearts out. Dancing a great workout and a good way to balance out those few extra drinks 😉

Happy moving peeps!

What is your best way to exercise without feeling as though you are exercising?

*Please note, I am not a personal trainer or a dietician. My blog is based on my own research and my own personal experiences. 

How to make a date with exercise and stick to it

Especially during the colder months (as it is, here in Australia at the moment), I often struggle to find the motivation to get out of bed early or brave the dark, cold night after work, and exercise.  I do however love to be active, so when I do push beyond the barriers it is always worth it.

Here are some of my tips for staying motivated and sticking to your workout schedule:

1) Imagine how you will feel after your workout. The chances are, you will feel good. Use this to boost your motivation.

2) Just GO. Put your sneakers on, and get out the door!

3) Plan your workout around your interests. If you usually workout on a treadmill or at the gym, schedule your workout to coincide with your favourite T.V. show. If you prefer to workout outdoors, find out about local bushwalking or coastal tracks, that offer an extra level of stimulation and excitement to your workout.

4) Mix it up! Sometimes I find that I lose motivation when my workout routine becomes too predictable and boring. So why not change something about your routine. For example, if your training mainly consists of high intensity, cardio work add some yoga or pilates; exchange a run for resistance training or for the runners, change your focus from distance to speed (or vice versa).

5) Set yourself attainable goals, both short term and longterm.  I like to set my goals using one of the methods I learnt in my Psychology studies. This involves making sure your goals are SMART:

S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Relevant
T – Time-bound

 And if all else fails.. get new workout gear. Because who doesn’t love working out in new gym gear?

For me, running outdoors is just the best!

This view is my Sunday morning motivation

I am always looking for new ways to motivate myself. So please share with me your secrets!

What motivates you to stick to your workout routine?

And for the workout-gear lovers, where is your favourite place to shop for gym gear? 

*Please note I am not a personal trainer; these views are based on my own personal experience.