I didn't want to do a clichéd, 'Let's get ready for Summer!' post, but it seems that this is where I find myself. Let's face it: you can't eat that many cupcakes, cakes, chocolates and cheesecakes (the 4C's) post-Ramadan and still think you can get away with it! So here I am, slogging away at the treadmill and avoiding all my favourite treats.
I must admit that I hated working out, but I realised that was because I didn't have an actual 'plan'. So I decided to do some research and found some great ways to overcome the hate.
I'm not a fan of home exercise videos. However, I've watched one or two of Jillian Michaels home exercise videos and I loved them. I really like how she explains what she's doing, what your body is doing throughout the workout and she has a tough-no-nonsense approach, which, let's face it, is something some of us need. Her routines gives different levels for beginners and the more experienced fitness junkies. I really like the fact that she doesn't use too much gym equipment in her workouts, so that's great for those who don't have access to them.
I'm currently using the Jillian Michaels: 30 day shred video. The video gives you three levels and should take you 10 days to do each level if you're consistent.
Check out her website for fitness plans and other tips.
Nike Training Club app for iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch
This is a great app. No, let me rather state that this is a WONDERFUL app. It helps you track your workouts, share them online if you'd like (which is something I'm too embarrassed to do, lol) and of course gives you great workout plans. I love that it has videos so you can check how to do the exercise while you're at the gym. Some of the workouts are great for home use as well as they don't require any equipment.
Women's Health Slimdown Slamdown Challenge
Women's Health have started an online challenge for their readers to get in shape for Summer.
I haven't joined up with it as yet, but it looks like something that could work as the training and meal plans have been designed by the Sports Institute of South Africa.
They have different plans designed for training and meals and a lot of the routines can be done at home with very basic equipment.
Mark's Daily Apple
The 'Paleo' or 'Primal Living' diet caught my eye when I first read an article by Tim Noakes, a Professor of Exercise and Sports Science at University of Cape Town. The diet suggests that our bodies are not designed to consume grains, dairy, and other foods which are not completely natural. This diet suggest we should be eating as the Cavemen did. Even though I'm not entirely convinced about giving up dairy (I really love cheese and yoghurt), this is a fascinating read.
|Not to be confused with the 'Cavemen diet'|
Sportron and FoodState vitamins
I must admit that I'm not that consistent when it comes to my consumption of supplements. I hate taking tablets in any form and I've even bought a pill cutter for those pills that are just huge. My sister, a complete health nut, started researching FoodState and Sportron vitamins and found a huge difference when she started using it on herself and her children. I've tried the multivitamin from Sportron (Ultraguard combo forte) and the Calcium (Calcitone) supplement and I'm quite relieved that both pills don't have a weird aftertaste and are not that huge at all. I call the Calcium my own personal sleeping pill as I have quite a restful sleep after taking it :) I find that the multivitamin has helped with my sugar and chocolate cravings as well.
So there you have it, I've shared my personal beginners guide to health and fitness. Please note that I'm not recommending it to anyone for their own use, and I'm certainly not a health and fitness professional, so if you do use my own personal reviews, please do so at your own risk :)
By the way, I am cheating with a piece of dark chocolate every now and then :) I love dark chocolate :)