To celebrate my 1 year fitness anniversary, I wanted to create something helpful and useful for others who are also on their own fitness journey, starting to embark on one or wishing to start but don’t know how to.
Here’s an infographic that I came up with on 5 ways to boost your body’s metabolism for effective fat loss… enjoy! Let me know what you think of it.
If you have any questions about the infograph, just leave me a comment below. 🙂
… PS. I made it using Canva
I’m an avid fan for working out in the gym. I love the atmosphere and the free weights area is where you will usually find me… there and the functional fitness area of the gym. You’ll rarely find me on the cardio machines unless I’ve just stepped foot into the gym as I only do cardio at the start of my strength training to raise my heart rate and warm up my muscles. I’m not a cardio fan – give me the squat rack any day! 🙂
However the magical equation to building muscle is very (scientifically) simple… eat a balanced diet to feed your muscles and exercise using your body weight or weights (resistance or strength training) to build the muscle. Okay, there is a little more to this but these are your basic building blocks.
So without further ado, here are some tips by Jane Sandwood, a freelance writer at Totalshape.com on how you can build some muscle without stepping foot into the gym…
How to Maintain Fitness Goals Without a Gym
When you have fitness and health goals, going to the gym may be an integral aspect – or even the focus, of your routine. Gyms offer inspiration, motivation and come packed with various equipment that help you build and strengthen muscle. However, if you have a family, especially young kids, going to the gym regularly, or indeed at all, may not be a realistic option. To stay on track with your fitness journey and keep progressing towards your goals while being a busy parent, consider the following tips on how to build muscle and workout gym-free:
Utilise your own body weight
When you have kids, committing to daily or even weekly gym workouts can seem impossible, but muscle building and fitness never have to be sacrificed. There are plenty of in-home workouts that can be done without stepping outside that utilise your own bodyweight to offer an intense workout that builds and strengthens muscle. Yoga, often considered to be a relaxing and calming stretching routine, actually has many different poses that are considered strengthening exercises, working both your arm, leg and core muscles. Other options to include in your at-home workout routine include lunges, squats, push-ups, crunches, and planks. All of these use your own body’s weight to provide you with a challenging workout routine that will build and strengthen muscle.
Invest in equipment
If going to the gym regularly or at all is not possible for you as a parent, consider investing in good quality equipment that will make your at-home workouts more challenging and productive. While exercises that utilise your own body weight are also effective, adding weights to lunges or squats, for example, will increase your strength and greatly speed up your muscle building goals. You can start off with some dumbbells of varying weights, a kettlebell, and some basic leg bands to add some diversity to your weight training. These options can all become staples of any good workout, so even if you choose to upgrade to fancier equipment in the future, you will always have a use for them.
Gyms offer inspiration and motivation. At home, you might need a little extra push to stay in the game and on track with your goals. Always make sure to challenge yourself and push yourself. When you find a workout routine that becomes much easier, don’t just settle. Instead, you should increase the weights, amount of repetitions, or both. Set goals for yourself based on your progress, and make sure to hold yourself accountable. This way, your at-home workouts will be just as productive, challenging, and results-oriented as any gym session!
For many parents, working out at home is the best way to ensure that they actually stay on track in terms of their fitness goals. While gyms of course come with many benefits, you can easily gym-ify your own home to make sure to build muscle, while remaining challenged. Incorporate the above steps to your workout routine and reap the benefits of at-home workouts!
A contribution post written exclusively for this blog by Jane Sandwood, a freelance writer at totalshape.com
It’s now October and has been two months since I started my fitness journey in August. You can check out my one month progress update here – my body fat percentage has improved a lot which I am very happy about. 🙂 My body composition now looks like this:
Starting weight: 56.2kg, Current weight: 54.1kg
Starting BMI: 24.3, Current BMI:23.4
Starting body fat: 30.7%, Current body fat: 26.2% (August 1st & October 9th values)
Here’s a photo of how my body looks so far:
Not much has changed from profile view but I can see a little ab definition coming through at the top. The side view shows off more progress – you can really see that the size of the waist has decreased. Woop woop! 🙂 I will upload some full length shots soon.
I am very happy with my results so far. I’ve currently lost just over 2kg and aim to lose just a little more whilst trying to keep as much muscle mass as possible. My goal weight would be my pre-baby weight which was 49kg but I don’t think I will be able to get there without losing muscle mass so if I get down to 52kg and lose more body fat, I would be happy with that. I don’t like to focus much on weight loss as I think fat loss is more important. Muscle weighs more than fat so the more muscle I gain, the more weight I’ll gain too.
What I’ve been up to
I’ve been on a fabulous workout event I came across on Eventbrite called TotalBody Brunch. It was brilliant! The event was hosted by Chiara Pellegrino who is a PT and fitness lifestyle blogger. She’s amazing and her workout really worked up a sweat! Post-workout we were treated to some yummy healthy snacks from Fresh Fitness Food and one of the nutritionists from FFF gave us a nutritional talk which was very useful. I also went to an amazing meditation & sound healing class last week. It was a taster session and all I can say was that it was brilliant! I’ve never meditated properly (only touched on it in yoga and through my Be Calm mindfulness app) so it was lovely to do something like that. We were given a sound bath for 20mins and it involved the lovely Kalie playing a series of sound instruments to create vibrations which resonates through our bodies to ‘heal’ our mind and body. The instruments included a gong, Tibetan singing bowls, crystal singing bowls, a Native American drum and some other instruments I’d forgotten the name of.
I was fully relaxed and even drifted off somewhere that was in-between being awake and being asleep. It’s very hard to describe but a lovely experience. I felt so relaxed afterwards and actually felt calm and relaxed for the rest of the day. No shouting at the kids for once! Kalie hosts two sessions a week (Wednesdays 10-11am and Thursdays 7-8pm) so if you want to try a meditation/sound healing therapy class in Greenwich I can highly recommend her.
I’ve got a couple more events that I want to go to including The Om Yoga Show and the Glasshouse Yoga which is a popup hot yoga event in… get this, a greenhouse! 🙂
What my week looks like
I’ve been going to the free weights area a little less these past weeks and the reason is because I want to lose a bit more body fat so need to up the cardio. My current workout routine has changed from last month and now looks like this:
Monday: Boxfit (and strength training if I have energy)
Tuesday: Yoga and Zumba
Wednesday: Strength training or rest day
Thursday: Total body conditioning
Friday: Pilates (and Yoga if I can wake up early enough)
Saturday & Sunday – rest day
I do stray from my routine when I have my nephew around or have other things planned. I would usually then skip the classes or strength training for that day. Also if my body is really sore from the day before, I always listen to my body and give it a rest and resume my routine when I’m better. I’ve also been using epsom bath salts on the days I have intense workouts to try and help my muscles relax and repair quicker.
What I’ve been eating
I’ve been good and have stuck to my healthy eating most of the time. I do occasionally treat myself to chocolate and the odd pizza; after all it’s all about balance and finding a sustainable way of eating healthy. 🙂 Last week, for the first time since being pregnant, I had white potatoes (my sister made sausages and mash) and it was absolutely delicious! Oh my! I’d forgotten how much I love white potatoes but they’re not great when it comes to blood glucose levels (they’re high-GI) so I won’t be eating them often but will occasionally introduce them into my meals.
I will continue to eat a low-carb, high-fat diet as it’s working really well for me and it’ll also help me in reducing my risk of getting diabetes later in life. Carbs are very important so I would never, ever cut them out but will cut down and obviously choose more complex carbs over the simple ones – sorry if that sounded all science-y. 🙂
Turkey breast steaks are my staple purchase (I haven’t had red meat in a while) though I just had salmon recently and forgotten how yummy it is and wonder why I don’t buy it more regularly! I love fish and LO seems to enjoy it too so I will be adding it to our weekly shopping list from now. I still take a protein supplement which I take on workout days (pre and post workout) and between meals on non-workout days. I am currently using PhD Diet Whey Salted Caramel and it’s so delicious. I can’t get enough of it.
I still have a little while to go but I’m losing weight and body fat and most importantly feeling healthier and stronger every day. I can’t wait to see where I’m at in six months time. I have a goal weight and goal body fat percentage but won’t be too upset if I don’t reach it as I’m in this for the long haul so any progress is the best progress. #progressnotperfection
In August I joined in on a yoga challenge called #TheHeartofPractice – it was hosted by yogi instagrammer, Kerri Verna (@beachyogagirl). Kerri uploaded a post with 23 yoga poses that she had set for the challenge and each day participants would need to carry out that pose, a variation of it or if it was too challenging then something similar would be fine.
Fortunately, I was able to carry out all of the poses with some variations of poses along the way. It was fun but also really challenging especially where I am only a beginner. Luckily, I still have some flexibility left in me and can perform a few of the advanced poses which I practiced more when I was younger. Here are the photos for each day of the yoga challenge.
You can learn how to safely do these moves on the YogaJournal website.
It can be tricky to have a home practice with a little one around so sometimes I let LO join in with me for some poses and selfies!
I can’t believe it’s been a month since I started my journey to a fitter, stronger and leaner me. 🙂 I joined the gym at the end of July and a couple of weeks before that I took up mother and baby pilates. I started off going to the gym for the fitness classes. I was taking up yoga and tried total body conditioning, ballet fit and functional classes and decided functional and yoga were my favourites.
So now my typical week of fitness classes looks like this:
Monday – yoga / gym (strength training or light cardio) / functional
Tuesday – rest day
Wednesday – mum & baby pilates or yoga or functional and gym (strength training or light cardio)
Thursday – total body conditioning or rest day if I’m too tired