How To Plank

Standard Plank, rocking plank, knee plank, side plank, forearm plank and reverse plank.  There are more planks from where that list came from but I don’t want to exhaust you so early in the morning.  This month I have been paying extra attention to my arms because I’ve just about had enough of having to mask the flab through wearing clothes that cover them up.  I need to show them off on New Year’s eve and I’m really doing the work!

Below are my personal favourite planks.

  1. Forearm Plank
Forearm Plank

Image from Pinterest

2. Reverse Plank (with leg raises)

reverse plank

Image from Pinterest

3. Plank Row and kick back

plank row and kick back.jpg

Image from Pinterest

One thing I absolutely love about planks is that they firm up my entire body.  Yes, my arms are feeling and looking more toned but the rest of my body is feeling the positive effects of planks as well.

Whatever you do, please make sure you do your planks in proper form and take your time to do them correctly.  There is no rush, the time you set aside for exercising is for you and you alone so rushing through it won’t give you any results.  Keep your exercise focused, intense and deliberate.

My challenge for you today is to try out at least one of the planks I mentioned above and once you find the one you enjoy, add it to your routine.

Don’t forget to smile, smiling burns calories too 🙂

Fitness Bae®

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

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®

 

21K Marathon Training

I’m now on week 9 of my marathon training.  I have been running for the past 3 years and through it all the maximum distance I have run to date is 15K. This year I promised myself that I would run my first 21K marathon and got myself on a marathon training programme on Nike Run Club. It’s a 16 week programme and I’m enjoying each week so far.  The experiences that I have encountered through these weeks are quite interesting. At week 2 I was down with a cough and I couldn’t get to run but I got back on my feet and soldiered on. Below are some of the things I have experienced from this training programme:

  • I get super excited about Speed Runs! However, they really push my body to the limit and I am sweating salt by the time I’m done with my run.
  • I can’t find the words to describe how much a bench mark run will bring you this close to your death bed.  They are super intense and lately I have switched things up so that when I have to run fast I am on an uphill route.
  • Long runs are pretty taxing and should NOT be done during the working week. I felt like death the whole day two weeks ago after running 9K on a Thursday morning.
  • Rest Days are very important; you come back feel more energised and a running pace that even you can’t believe.
  • Music is your friend especially on long runs, my go to artist is Christopher Martin, I now know that Big Deal album like the back of my hand!
  • It’s important to include upper body and core workouts to your programme because it really helps with maintaining your running form. Last month on the #PumpItUpChallenge both upper and lower body workouts were on the programme.
  • Listen to your body.  If you pushed as far as you can go but you can’t complete the assigned distance don’t beat yourself up.  You can always run the remaining distance, power walk through it or complete it another time during the day.  Not all days are the same, some days will be tough.
  • The Nike Coach knows what he or she is talking about.  If it states that today’s run is a recovery run and your pace should be slow by all means do exactly that.  You don’t want to be over eager and then struggle on your next run.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. You don’t want to feel thirsty during your runs!

I have 7 more weeks of marathon training to go and the running distances are getting tougher by the day. It was all fun and games when I had to run 2K but now I have to mentally prepare myself for a 17K run on a random day. It’s not easy but it’s totally worth it. After running my 21K marathon believe me I would have officially become a marathon runner and you won’t hear the end of it!

This is the workout I did this morning, you gotta love Hump Day!
6.5K long run (I’ll finish off the remaining 1.5K in the evening)
9 Burpees
10 minutes of stretching

Have you run a 21K Marathon before? If yes, do you have any tips and tricks to share?

Fitness Bae®

How To Drink Water : 5 Tips

If you follow me on Twitter you will know that I take my water drinking very seriously.  I keep a water bottle and a tumbler right on my desk so that I can save myself the kitchen trips.  The moment I get to work in the morning I fill up both containers so that I know my morning is set.  Here is a breakdown of how I spread out the amount of water I drink in a day.

1 glass = 500 ml

  • The moment I wake up, if I am not going for a run I have a glass of water.
  • After my morning run, depending on far I would have gone I drink between 500ml – 1 litre afterwards.
  • When I get to work I have a glass of water that I either sip on or gulp down depending on how I am feeling that morning.
  • At midday I have another glass just to make sure I can stop the hunger pangs just before having my lunch.
  • At around 3 pm I have another glass, this glass is just because I am used to always drinking water so most times I skip it.
  • The moment I get home after work I have a glass of water.
  • My last glass of water is usually an hour after supper because if I get carried away and have a glass before I sleep I have the worst night because I keep waking up for pee breaks.
  • So I drink anything between 2 to 2.5 litres of water in a day and at most 3 litres.

I’m one of those people who are not affected by how tasteless water is.  I actually like drinking my water at room temperature.  It’s only after my runs that I have ice cold water.  The whole add lemon, cucumber or whatever else people add to their water to give it “taste” does not work for me.  I enjoy it as is.  Thanks to always staying hydrated I hardly ever feel thirsty which is a plus for me!

However, if you do struggle with drinking water(especially in winter) you might want to try and:

  1. Drink a bottle of water first thing in the morning when you wake up.
  2. Substitute all your drinks with water.
  3. Download an application that will remind you to have your water, I use Water Drink Reminder what I like about it is that it will calculate the amount of water you need based on your weight.
  4. Drink water with lemon, cucumber, berries which ever fruit gives your water that extra kick and “taste”.
  5. Invest in a bottle which you can easily carry around with you and fill it up each time you drink up the water.

Remember that just because your friend is drinking 3 litres a day does not automatically qualify you to be doing the same.  First find out how much your body requires and then challenge yourself to start hydrating.

RANDOM WATER FACT: The weight a person loses directly after intense physical activity is weight from water, not fat.

How much water do you drink on an average day?  Do you have any additional tips and tricks to making the whole process an enjoyable experience?  Please share in the comments section.

Stay logged onto my Health and Fitness Journey Series Episode 9 will be live on Thursday at 9:00am.

Fitness Bae®

10 Cheap DIY Home Equipment Ideas

These DIY home equipment ideas will have you getting fit without having to set foot in a gym!  I am the one person who strongly believes in improvising when it comes to exercise.  It’s no lie that some exercise equipment is expensive and it is only practical to have some DIY equipment handy to make your fitness journey a breeze.  I would encourage you do the same without breaking a budget and here are a few tips you can try out.

  1. Go and run!  Running is free.  You have no excuse not to try this out.  If you can’t run then power walk if you must.  Just make sure you have a good pair of shoes, you don’t want to get any injuries.
  2. Skip.  I usually do nothing less than 10 minutes of intense skipping and that alone burns about 125 calories.  The best part about skipping is that a rope is reasonably priced ranging from anything from $1 to $20 depending on how fancy a rope you want.
  3. Dance.  I know you read this and thought to yourself, really?  Yes, dancing works wonders.  If you can’t get a hold of Zumba or any other dance DVD workouts then just create a playlist on your phone and dance the next 20 to 30 minutes.  You will need an upbeat playlist to get yourself into the groove.
  4. Join a team of fitness junkies.  I started a fitness movement and part of it involves meeting in the park once a month for fitness related activities.  I am working on having group runs every fortnight.  You can also search for something of the sort in your area and chances are it will not cost you an arm and a let, better still, it will be just like mine where just your presence and no fee is required.
  5. Flip a tyre!  You can get these from anywhere if you just keep your eyes open.  You can flip it, lift it or even do push ups.
  6. Do push ups with a weighted satchel on your back. @Jera
  7. Run up and down a stair case. The best part about is that stairs don’t cost a single dime.  Go up and down the stairs at home, when you visit a friend at their office, during your lunch break, when you get home from work.  The moment you see stairs just take the opportunity and use them, you can thank me later. @Jera
  8. Walking. You have heard all the lines before so I won’t bore you with them.  Just set a target to walk at least 10 000 steps a day and you are good to go. @KingKGC
  9. Weight train. I use 5 litre water containers filled with either water or sand to create weights for bicep curls or any other work out that requires weights.@FitnessHunk
  10. Lastly.  Be friends with the internet.  There is so much you can find on social media platforms to help you on your journey.  I mostly use Pinterest for new routines to try out.  All I can tell you is researching and trying out new things will go a long way for you.

I am sure you have no reason not to try these ideas out.  DIY equipment is within your house you just have to be creative about it.  Do you have any other DIY tips and tricks you know that you would like to share?  Kindly share in the comments section.

A special thank you to Peshy for the picture, she is the one in the middle holding a squat position.  She is also a fitness junkie and you can find her on Instagram @fit_fabmum

Stay logged onto my Health and Fitness Journey Series Episode 6 will be live on Tuesday at 9:00am.  I will be sharing information on What Is The Best Exercise For You?

Fitness Bae®

How To: Spiderman Lunge

Spiderman Lunges, Long Lunges, Warrior 1 Lunges, Curtsy Lunges and Side Lunges.  These are some of the different forms of lunge variations.

I will show you one of my favourite stretch routines; Spiderman Lunge.  What I love about it is that:

  • You can do it from anywhere; indoors or outdoors
  • You do not need any equipment (just your sexy self)
  • You do not have to wear any shoes
  • It’s easy to do
50f51661-a23a-42b0-9a3c-6b00da12191c

Starting Position

The beauty of doing Spiderman Lunges is that you get to;

  1. Improve the flexibility in the lower back area, hip and hamstrings
  2. You get a solid groin stretch
  3. You get some secondary benefits to your ankle mobility
  4. You activate your hamstrings and glutes.
1a2585d6-2962-4bd4-94fa-537aa8b961b5.jpg

Working my left and right leg with a smile on my face 🙂

I hold my position for about 20 to 30 seconds and make sure I breathe and keep my core intact.  I am a runner and this exercise really helps with keeping my muscles well stretched and when I go out for my run I hardly ever feel pain in my legs afterwards.

I hope you are working hard towards your fitness goals and you will be giving Spiderman Lunges a try; remember

If you want results consistency is key.

 

Fitness Bae®

 

 

 

How To : Breakfast

I have heard so many people tell me that they never have time to have breakfast.  I still can’t get used to that statement because for me breakfast is the most important meal of the day and when I have it I have it like the true queen that I am!  The great thing about breakfast is that it’s not a hectic meal and it can usually be ready in 10 minutes depending on what it is you choose to eat.  Let me help you break this breakfast thing down.

Who

Everyone should have breakfast, whether you are young, old, fit or unfit.

What

It entirely depends on the individual in question but something filling and balanced with all the nutrients is advisable.  Depending on time you can really go all out and make a :

  1. Full English Breakfast (I usually prepare this on weekends when I have time and I will be full till lunch time on this); 
  2. Fruit salad
  3. Sandwiches packed with different crunchy bits such as bacon, cucumber, chicken, lettuce, red onion the works!
  4. Omelette which can include a whole range of fresh vegetables and meat.
  5. Smoothies
  6. Breakfast cereal though I don’t eat it myself because it is highly processed and most of it is packed with sugars.  I prefer whole grain cereal specifically oats because these keep me fuller for longer.

*I strongly recommend that you cook for yourself; that way you are in control of what you eat and what you put in your food.*

de3e422d-8eea-44e8-8517-49b926c0157a

Photo Credit: @smilesobright23 (Instagram)

Where

When you have time then by all means have your breakfast from the comfort of your home.  A nice and relaxed environment will make you enjoy your food even better.  However; if you are like me and are almost always late for work then by all means pack a lunchbox that you can have from your desk come tea time.  Make sure you at least have a fruit before you leave the house; or when you get to the office.  It’s completely up to you but please eat something healthy.

Why

Below are some of the reasons why it is important to eat breakfast:

  • Fuel!  I work out A LOT and it would never make sense for me to skip meals because how will I have the energy to exercise?
  • Reduce the risk of starving and over eating later on.  I know this from experience.  If I eat right in the morning chances of me craving or snacking till lunch time are close to none.
  • Weight management.
  • Focus.  When you are full it’s easier to focus on tasks at hand.  You definitely won’t be spending your time thinking of what you can eat.
  • Save.  I for one can tell you that ever since I started packing a lunchbox or having my meals from home I have saved quite a bit of money.  You would never see me buying a sandwich for $1.50 in Pick n Pay even if my life depended on it!
26000546-d817-4d0f-80ab-210237a430a8.jpg

Photo Credit: @smilesobright23 (Instagram)

According to researchers skipping breakfast can cause fat to form around the belly; which increases the risk of disease…Now tell me why you would want to miss breakfast??

Fitness Bae®