Health and Fitness

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In the last couple of years, I have really started to find a love for health and fitness. Most days, there is nothing I love more than putting my trainers and headphones on and zoning out for an hour in the gym. I also love the feeling of eating healthy- there is nothing better than feeling more energised after eating well. However- don’t get me wrong- I can be terrible for snacking on sugary/fatty snacks, I love a good burger and I can go days, even weeks, without thinking about the gym. I don’t believe in restricting yourself- I believe in everything in moderation but if some days you find yourself eating your weight in chocolate on the sofa- that’s okay! We are only human and can’t possibly stick to ‘healthy routines’ all the time- life gets in the way. But for those who are interested in exercising a bit more, and eating a bit healthier- hopefully I can help a little. I am by no means a personal trainer, nutritionist or professional at all, however I am a student, with restricted time and money so hopefully I can show an easy way to become that little bit healthier and fitter. First up- my fitness tips.

 

Fitness

I always refer to the gym as my ‘playground’ because it’s truly my happy place where I can try new things and feel free. I try exercise around 4-5 times a week however that doesn’t always happen. I aim to spend 30 minutes doing cardio four times a week followed by either arms, core or glute toning for 20 minutes and spend the fifth day focusing mainly on weights, yoga or a gym class. My favourite exercises are as follows:

Yoga: I loooove yoga, especially as a warm up, cool down or just to zone out for a bit. I normally do yoga at home either using the Asana Rebel app (you can download it from an App Store) or I use Shona Vertue’s youtube channel- both are so easy to use and very informative! I have also recently tried a Body Balance class (a mixture of yoga, tai chi and pilates training) and found it so strengthening and relaxing.

Interval training: this has changed the way I do cardio. I used to find it so boring because I would just run or cross train for an hour and feel like I wasn’t getting anywhere. I started researching and found interval training is a way more effective and interesting way to do cardio. Normally I will now do 20-30 minutes on either the treadmill, bike or cross trainer doing 40/20’s. This means I work really hard on the machine for 40 seconds then for 20 seconds I take it easier to get my breath back. Not only does it make you sweat more and work harder, it makes the time go so much quicker!

Core workouts: I LOVE core workouts. It is my favourite workout because I love the burn in my tummy when I am working hard. I normally use youtube videos to find different workouts for my core by just typing ‘core workout’ or ’10 minute core workout’ and millions of videos pop up! I try and do core 2-3 times a week.

Weights: I have only recently started to enjoy weight training. I have started doing squats again after not being able to due to a hip injury for 2 years. You see results a lot quicker when doing squats. I also love dumbbell workouts for my arms. I am definitely not qualified in explaining how to use weights but I always find personal trainers/gym staff are really helpful in gyms if you need help with how to squat/use weights effectively and safely. If you are unsure, just give someone an ask- I have always found them really helpful!

Diet

And now onto diet! The one thing I have learned is that you cannot out-train an unhealthy diet! When it comes to diet I keep it really simple. All these ‘4-week diets’ or ‘low sugar’ diets are a load of rubbish and a waste of time in my opinion as they are super hard to stick to and not sustainable. My weight fluctuates like crazy so when I have noticed that I have put on a little weight I simply cut down on eating rubbish, eat more wholesome, healthy meals and make sure I exercise- simple! Again I am no nutritionist however I research a lot around the area of nutrition so I try and use the research to help me in deciding what meals to make.

I am not the best cook so these recipes that I have picked are really simple, healthy and don’t involve too many ingredients.

  1. Red Lentil and Carrot soup

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2. Courgetti and Spaghetti with Goats cheese

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3. Feta and semi-sundries tomato omelette

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4. Mediterranean chicken with roasted vegetables

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5. Simple hummus

 

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6. Butternut squash and Halloumi salad

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Dont fancy any of these? The best websites where you can browse health recipes are: BBC Good Food

Jamie Oliver Healthy Meals

I hope that this blog has been at least a little bit helpful to anyone looking for some health and fitness inspiration! I am a huge believer on feeling the benefits of a healthier lifestyle before worrying about physical changes. Progress takes time, and every body is different. Just remember that if you feel good- you look good!

Wishing you health and happiness in the new year!

Love always

Rachael

 

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