Say Goodbye To Flabby Arms!

Flabby arms are one sure enemy of progress when it comes to fitness.  I’ll be the first to admit that I neglected working on them for the first year of my fitness journey because I honestly didn’t pay attention to them.  It was only after taking a few selfies wearing short sleeved dresses and tops that I realised that I still had a lot of work to do on my arms even though I had lost the weight.  I was certainly looking like I borrowed someone else’s arms!

Before Weight Loss and After Weight Loss

As you can see on the image above, there was still some flabby arms to work on.  Society doesn’t make life any easier by the way.  There are a number of nick names given to your flabby arms which include and are not limited to; bye bye – meaning when you are waving at someone the flab on your arms waves as well, mukadzi weparty (woman involved in a political party) – some of the women are on the overweight side and flabby arms is one of their distinctive features and lastly monya(a strong person) – unfortunately the strong in this case is used in a sarcastic manner.  With people using words like that on your not so great features at some point you will decide to do something about it.

I’m all for home fitness and I did a lot of homework on the subject and decided the first thing I would need to try and do was incorporate planks to my fitness programme.  Anything that doesn’t need me to pump out money is a plus for me because I believe my body can work some wonders without weights!  I got in tune with planks and thankfully there are different variations to them and so far I can safely say they have helped sculpt my arms but it’s still work in progress.  Planks have worked some wonders for me and you can check out how to do them in the video below.

Some of the benefits of doing planks include:

  • Planks are an equipment free arm and upper body workout that will tone and strengthen your shoulders, back, chest, biceps and triceps.
  • Better movement and coordination.
  • Say hello to better posture.

That said,it’s of great importance that you do your plank in proper form, you don’t want to experience any injuries.  Make sure you breathe and smile, smiling burns calories too.

For best results add them on to your existing exercise programme.  You won’t get toned arms from simply doing planks a few minutes a day, there aren’t such miracles in the fitness world.

Do you have flabby arms?  What are you doing to fight the flab!  Let’s talk.

Fitness Bae®

 

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This Is Why You Are Gaining Weight

Ask anyone trying to lose weight and they will tell you how easily you can gain weight if you stop paying attention to your healthy habits.  It took me an entire year to lose 10kgs but if I’m reckless it takes me just one week to gain 1kg back!  The universe has some mad jokes I tell you.  It has been 3 years on this journey and I now know what makes my body tick or not.  Today I will share habits that easily contribute to my weight gain, I’m sure you will read some of them and notice that they probably have the same effect on you.

1. Poor Sleep

I’m a runner and this form of exercise requires that I get as much rest as I can to perform at my best.  However, on days I don’t sleep properly I don’t have the energy to get up and do one of the few things I love the most.  No energy means no runs means zero progress on that day.  Which translates to me feeling guilty all day long and probably missing a meal which by the way is a bad thing because starving yourself means your body goes into starvation mode which leads to weight gain, my word, the cycle!

2. Clothes

Fashion keeps doing the most.  One time our jeans are all the way up to our boobs next thing they are low cut and at some point they had elastic bands around the waist.  I remember the elastic band phase, I had a pair or two of those.  Now that’s the worst pair you want to invest in if you are trying to lose weight.  The elastic just keeps stretching and you don’t even realise you have gained weight until you wear something else.  Stay away from elastic band jeans, they give you false sense of security!

3. Alcohol

I love me some white wine, on a good weekend I will go through a whole 1litre of white wine and not even feel bad about it.  I run so that I can drink and drink so that I can run; that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!!!  I’m pretty good when it comes to watching what I eat and very consistent when it comes to exercise but I promise you, alcohol will be the death of me!  My six pack comes and goes and I know alcohol is the reason why it won’t let it thrive.  Alcohol contains a lot of calories so unfortunately for me, I drink my calories…Just so you know, it’s not just alcohol that contains calories, soft drinks and fruit juices are also an enemy of progress.

White wine has 83 calories in 100g glass

Coca-Cola has 210 calories in a 500ml bottle

Fruit juice has 54 calories in a 100g glass

My advice is drink water, it has zero calories.  If you can’t at least cut down because those clearly these drinks do more harm than good.

4. Stress

My stress comes from my Body Fat Scale.  I used to have a habit where I would weigh myself everyday.  That didn’t end very well and I since stopped the habit and I don’t encourage it either.  Now I weigh myself once a week, same place and same time.  According to researchers stress is connected to weight gain, because a high level of the stress hormone cortisol has been shown to up appetite, drive cravings for junk food, and make it oh so much easier to accumulate belly fat.

5. Pre-Menstrual Syndrome(PMS)

This is the worst time of the month for me.  I hate PMSng, it drives me up the wall with it’s cravings and mood swings.  I crave the strangest things.  Last month I had doughnuts, a whole litre of coke, chocolate, lots of greasy take out and biscuits.  Gosh!  All that bad food in a week.  I don’t know if it’s just me but my stomach has this small bulge of sort when I’m PMSng.  This is one of the worst times of the month for me because I know the moment I hop onto the scale I will be very disappointed!  I promise you the cravings leave me thinking I’m pregnant…but I know better.

*BONUS POINT*

You are all talk and no action.  I see you!

I believe you know what contributes to your weight gain.  You just have to pay extra attention to yourself.  At the same time weight gain is not entirely a bad thing, especially if it’s going to the right places.

My advice is make small deliberate changes in your life and the weight loss will happen.

Let’s talk, what’s adding the weight on your scale?

Fitness Bae®

ParkRun Harare : October

Come and run with us this weekend at the ONLY park run in Harare.

Place: Greenwood Park

Date: 14 and 28 October 2017

Time 5:30am for 6:am

Join us for a fitness filled morning at the park hosted by Fitness Bae in partnership with Steward Health.

  • 5K Run
  • Body Weight Training
  • Stretching

Bring your towel and bottle of water.  Remember to wear something pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

*Please be early, run starts at 6am sharp!*

Admission is Free!

28 October 2017

28 October 2017

Fitness Bae®

 

 

 

Avocado Is My Power Fruit!

Avocados make me happy.  The great part is avocados are available for the most part of the year so I never get to miss them too much. The one thing I love about avocados is that you can buy them for as little as 20 cents each.  Avocado is one versatile fruit and I use it for my sandwhiches, pop them in a salad, on my hair, my face…still trying to think where else I can throw it in because it seems to blend in well with a lot of things.

5 Benefits of Eating Avocado:

  1. Avocados are very nutritious and contain a wide variety of nutrients, including 20 different vitamins and minerals.
  2. Potassium is an important mineral that most people don’t get enough of. Avocados are very high in potassium, which should support healthy blood pressure levels.
  3. Fiber is indigestible plant matter that can contribute to weight loss, reduce blood sugar spikes and is strongly linked to a lower risk of many diseases and guess what, avocados are packed with fiber!
  4. Avocados can bring your sanity back after a run.  I don’t know how it scientifically works but about an hour after my run some days I have half an avocado and I feel as good as new.
  5.  You can eat avocados any time of the day and not feel guilty about it.
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Different Type of Avocados

I bet you thought there was only one type of avocado huh?  Wrong!  I like all types as long as it’s an avocado I’m eating it.  You have to love the lamb-hass type though, it sounds…different.

You should make yourself a juicy avocado sandwhich sometime.  Trust me you will fill fuller for longer and you will feel happier too.  Here’s a free recipe you can try out:

Ingredients:

  • Two slices brown/ white bread
  • One tomato
  • Finely sliced red onion rings
  • Fried bacon strips
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Chopped Fruits in season
  • Avocado slices

Method: 

Spread margarine on bread.  Layer up all ingredients on one slice and add a sauce of your choice.  Cover your ingredients with the other slice and your avocado sandwhich is ready and packed with nutritious options.  Add the chopped fruits on the side and enjoy a filling sandwhich for breakfast, lunch or even dinner!

P.S I love eating my avocado with a sprinkle of sugar and on days I buy a very tasty one I eat it as is.  Researchers(me) have found that those who eat avocado with salt are doing it wrong 🙂

Fitness Bae®

 

 

 

Run 5K For The Fun Of It!

I love October!  Running is much more colourful thanks to the blooming jacaranda trees. The early morning runs are filled with beautiful fresh scents and that’s an additional reason to get up and run!  I’ve been training for my first half marathon and I’m currently on week 12 of 16.  I’ve stopped following the programme on My Nike Coach for this month because just looking at the set distances is making me sick to my stomach.  I don’t think I’m mentally prepared to wake up and run 18K on a random Wednesday morning.  I’m still going to run my half marathon though, but I’m going to do it my way!

I got this brilliant idea of documenting what you plan to do each week and then sharing both what you and don’t get done from one of my favourite fitness bloggers Piper.  You should check out her September and October goals from here.

What I Planned vs What I Did

Monday Run 5K * Ran 5K. It was one tough run considering I had gone out the previous night and left the event at 10pm, only to get to sleep at 11pm, absolute madness! 

Tuesday 50 crunches 50 push ups and 30 minutes Zumba 50 crunches 50 push ups the only problem here was the push ups.  Now that I know how to do them properly they are pretty intense.  I didn’t feel like doing Zumba afterwards so I let that slide.

Wednesday Run 5K Ran 5K It was mostly an uphill run but I smashed it and clocked in my best time and shaved off a whole 15 seconds from Monday’s run.

Thursday 50 crunches 50 push ups50 crunches.  My right shoulder is in pain.  I think I got overzealous on Tuesday morning.  I had to fix a hot water bottle and lie on it throughout the night to ease the pain on my shoulder.

Friday Run 5K * Ran 5K + 30 minutes of Zumba. It was a slow easy run.  I didn’t have any music today, I wanted to enjoy my surroundings.  My shoulder is still in pain but hopefully tomorrow I’ll be feeling much better.  Threw in some Zumba as well, the hunger I felt within an hour!  I gobbled down half an avocado before I left for work.

Saturday 50 crunches 50 push ups * 50 crunches 50 push ups.  I did these first thing in the morning before my body could make any excuses.

Sunday Run 5K * Ran 5K First #JustDoItSunday of the month, I loved it! 

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Image from Pinterest

My highlight for the week was definitely Zumba.  It takes me to a happy place.  I love how my body can do all these various moves and still get to exercise at the same time.  It gets me sweating, way more than I do when I go for a run!  Maybe next week I will do two Zumba sessions instead of one…will see how things go.

How was your exercise week?  What did you get up to and what have you changed on your fitness plan?

Lesson Learnt This Week: Go out for your run at 5:00am if you want to beat running in the sun!

Fitness Bae®

October Challenge

October is going to be one heck of a month!  We are going to be out here running like it’s going out of fashion.  If you took part in the Winter Challenge in June then this challenge will be a breeze.  You can read some of the challenge reviews from here.

When I initiated the winter challenge I told beginners that it would be a once off thing but I knew once they started running they would never stop and that’s exactly what’s going on now!  They are hooked onto running and I love it!

In winter we ran 2K almost everyday.  This side of the world winter mornings are pretty dark so you can imagine how onlookers probably thought we had lost our minds running in the dark cold weather.  However, it paid off and most team members managed to lose or maintain their weight throughout the winter season.

This October we will be running 5K at least three times a week and at most 4 times a week.  I’m proud to say that team Fitness In The Park managed to smash the June Challenge and I know they will surprise October by completing every single run.

Here are a few tips on how to survive the 5K challenge from the members of team Fitness In The Park:

Enjoy the run and ignore the pain, find new routes to run, avoid running soon after a meal and adjust your speed during your run. – M.K

Run at a steady pace that suits you. I had a problem of trying to run to finish as quickly as possible but you burn out real quick!  Running is really all in your mind, don’t give up! – Jeff

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SpreadSheet Credit: Nyasha Chidavaenzi

 

Rules Of The Challenge

  1. Have fun!  Run, jog, sprint, power walk through this but whatever you do; have fun!
  2. Share your run on any social media platform.
  3. Use the #RunWithFitnessBae challenge together with your other favourite fitness hash tags.
  4. Wear pink.  It can be a cap, tshirt, shorts any pink workout gear for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

I encourage you to take note of your progress.  When October comes to an end I want you to see the difference between your first and last run of October.

Happy running and even when you don’t feel like running remember the saying “Just Do It!”

Fitness Bae®

Keep Calm And Do Yoga

Yoga is one form of exercise that took me a little bit of getting used to but once I got the hang of it, Yoga is in my fitness programme every other week. I took some time out yesterday afternoon and got to talk to one who also goes by the name “Fitness Duchess” and this is what she shared with me.

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What is your name, your age and where you are from?

My name is Margaret Sandra Munthali.  I am 26 years old and I am from Blantyre, Malawi.

What inspired you to start doing Yoga and why Yoga?

My childhood best friend and I felt like doing something different for hanging out. Something healthy. We agreed upon Yoga. It was just about trying something new. A great way to spend the afternoon. We got our inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram.  We started off with Acroyoga actually.  There was no specific reason as to why we picked Yoga. We didn’t know it much at the time; but after our first session we felt SOOOO  good and got hooked.

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Do you do any other forms of exercise?

Yes I do other forms of exercise.  I run here and there. As of December 2016 I’ve been inspired to skip. So I am currently on a skipping challenge.  I also do random workouts on the app Nike Training App.  One day,  I’d love to do Cross Fit activities.

What are some of the benefits of Yoga?

There are so many benefits of Yoga. The physical ones include better posture,  increased core strength,  toned muscles, increased flexibility, pain and stress relief,  weight management and improved breathing. However, I discovered some other benefits too,  it is a great stress reliever!

I found that it taught me some great life lessons. Life is a  journey,  creating small goals is essential for happiness. In Yoga, a pose was a journey,  I would celebrate each improvement or step towards being able to get the pose. I found myself constantly motivated and happy. I apply that to life as well. The journey is just as important as the end goal. Another feeling I can’t really describe is the feeling you get after a great session. A sense of peace. Amaze balls!! It also helped me focus and helped me practice the skill of blocking things out and being able to be present.

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What would you advise someone who wants to try out Yoga?

Practice, practice, practice. I can’t emphasise this enough. The more you do it the better you get. When you stop you reverse the effects slowly. The Internet is your friend. There is tonnes and tonnes of inspiration on the Internet.  A lot of amazing people doing amazing things. There are many variations of yoga too. Research and choose what suits you. There are different types of yoga too. Personally I enjoy the Hatha Yoga  and Ashtanga types; sometimes Vinyasa too. I would love to try some Iyengar  which is the yoga practice that uses props like straps and blocks and some  Birkam also known as Hot Yoga. (Feel free to search for these Yoga variations on the Internet). My advise is find a partner to do it with. I think that was what helped me to stay on track. When I am practicing alone. It’s okay but not as fun.

Where do you do your yoga and what equipment do you need?

I do my Yoga at home mostly and at places with beautiful backgrounds if the aim is a pose and a picture. In most cases you just need a mat. However, if you wanna try Iyanger  then you will need blocks and straps (or a scarf).

I have noticed your  #RunWithFitnessBae hashtags, what got you to join the group?

I decided to join because I had fallen off the wagon. I had not really exercised in a long time. I was feeling lazy and uninspired.  Body size was not the problem. I was actually weighing less than I had in a long time. But for someone who loves fitness I was feeling very unhealthy. I saw Umba’s post on Instagram and sent a message to Fitness Bae that I want in and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. Not only did I find my inspiration back,  I get daily motivation and a six pack doesn’t seem like an impossible dream anymore

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Anything you would like to share with anyone who is making excuses to start on working out?

Working out is not just about weight loss.  I cannot stress this enough. You can be in love with the size of your body but you still need to work out. I read somewhere that working out decreases the chance of getting breast cancer by 25%.  Working out also decreases the chance of getting many diseases. It boosts confidence and it’s great therapy.  You don’t have to go out and run 50 kilometres today, just make small exercise improvements everyday and make the habit a part of your life.

Where can people reach you on social media?

Pinterest: @magzmunty

Instagram: @magzmunty

Twitter: @TheeMagzMunty

Facebook: @magz.munty

 

Since I started doing Yoga,  I have noticed that I celebrate the small things.   I am more in love with my body and I have more confidence in what my body can do.

Fitness Bae®