5 steps for busy mums to feel, good, fit and healthy

5 steps for busy mums to feel good

 

At the start of any New Year there is so much pressure on us to make sweeping changes, lose weight, eat more healthily, do more exercise. Whilst all this is great and having goals is a great thing to motivate us, if you are busy Mum so much pressure and big targets to achieve can actually have the opposite effect and demotivate us. I propose that actually smaller, more manageable targets are actually going to see greater gains if you are already pushed for time.

Simply tune into your body’s needs to get the power to make positive, lasting changes in 2016. Changes you make affect your childrens choices later on (trust me I nearly have a teenager who makes her own choices now!). So showing that change can happen just by doing small things is a great example to set them. Here are my suggestions.

1. Take 15 mins a day to put yourself first – it’s only 1% of your day, making small daily changes and you’ll find what makes you feel good!  Take a look at our 10 minute relaxation and breathing video here, which can give a you perfect time out solution.

2. Plan your meals – proper family healthy meal planning stops you snacking, plan the family meals around when you are hungry, and have relaxing nights out – say “yes” to healthy and a life!

3. Get to bed early – sleep is major (I’ve been tracking my sleep and it’s a shock!). When you are tired you reach for sugar. Get more energy from exercise or more sleep. It also lowers your risk of disease. Scientists compare those getting less than 6 hours sleep to those getting 8.5hrs and it alters genes involved in metabolism, inflammation and immunity. Also taking magnesium or eating foods like leafy dark greens, fish and avocado gives you deeper sleep.

4. Look slimmer by correcting your posture – slide your shoulders back, lift your chest up and lift through the spine, lift and engage your deep abdominal muscles to pull in your tummy. Encourage good posture in your children as well.

5. In 45 minutes you can increase your metabolism with a good work out! With regular exercise you can increase the part of your brain associated with learning and memory! Get out as a family- cycle, run or swim. They will thank you for the motivation and they look to you how to live their lives!

6. (OK I said 5 steps but I’m feeling generous!) You must do daily stretches and joint mobility to help you age gracefully – I’m training for the marathon and have to stretch to prevent back pain the next day. See my Facebook page and youtube channel for the right stretches.

At Farnham Pilates we offer videos with mobility, strength, core work, stretching and relaxation! Take a look here for more inspiration or sign up to our newsletter (to the right on a PC or below on a tablet/phone) for up to date tips and news of our upcoming online programmes.

Heated Pilates

Heated Pilates

We are delighted to announce that we are adding Heated Pilates to our timetable at Farnham Pilates from January, 2016.

But what is Heated Pilates?

Heated or warm flowing Pilates is an effective workout in a warm environment. The class uses the benefit of heat to help muscles into muscles more deeply and effectively and the heat allows for a greater range of movement in muscles, ligaments and joints. A heated Pilates class covers a number of areas including Dynamic Mobility, Strength, Flexibility, Balance and Core Stability Work.

Here are the top 5 reasons to try Heated Pilates

1) Detoxification -Obviously when exercising in heat you will sweat more, and sweating promotes detoxification through the skin. Sweating is very effective in flushing out toxins and it also helps the body cleanse itself and clears bacteria out of the skin. Sweating can improve circulation and the appearance of your skin too.

2) Increased Flexibility – The high temperatures allow you to stretch your muscles further and can reduce the risk of injuries. It can also improve circulation and can help ease bodily pains, strains and stresses. This can lead to healthier connective tissue as the additional stretching helps lubricate your body’s connective tissue which will in turn help your flexibility.

3) Mental Wellbeing – Heated Pilates can help your mental wellbeing by fighting stress and insomnia. This is achieved by inducing relaxation and encouraging sleep by calming and soothing your adrenal system and nerves. All the normal benefits of Pilates are enhanced in a warm class.

4) A healthier immune system – In hot temperatures viruses cannot thrive. Additionally, the heat increases your body’s production of white blood cells, which also fight infection.

5) Weight loss – Sweating will help you lose some weight, but more noteably, the stretching builds more muscle, burning more fat and therefore increases weight loss.

Sound good?  We’ve had some great feedback already from a couple of trial sessions we have run.

Heated Pilates

We will be running  a new Heated Pilates course at the Garden Pilates Studio, Rowledge, Farnham on Thursdays  at 1pm starting February 4th 2016.  We currently have a special offer – a course of 6 sessions for just £75 instead of £90.  Email hannah@farnhampilates.com for full details

To see our full programme of classes for the New Year, including Heated Pilates visit our classes page.

Are you scared of exercise? We can help!

scared of exerciseWith Halloween just round the corner again I want to use this scary time of year to motivate people to face some of the biggest fears they have about working out.

 

Gym-phobia is a stumbling block for a lot of people who want to start exercising more regularly but feel really anxious about working out, but I have some tips to anyone who wants to get over their fears of fitness and face their demons head-on.

 

It may surprise some people but the biggest hurdle many face when trying to lose weight, tone up or just focus on their body is the fear of working out in front of people.

 

They feel that they will look silly in tight fitting sports gear or they’ll sweat too much or not know the correct way to do the exercises. It can cause really high levels of anxiety so they avoid working out altogether.

 

Hopefully if you’re thinking of joining a class nearby you don’t think all fitness professionals are scary and we really do just want to help you, so don’t be afraid to ask.

 

I have a variety of options from private one to ones in our specialised Pilates studio, small group classes to larger mat classes at Rowledge Village Hall and soon, Weydon school, Farnham. I run a personal service designing your workout for you and your bodies needs – whether that be private or in a friendly group.

 

Some more advice if you are worried –

 

Try getting a friend to come with you to one of the classes. Working out with someone you know can help you feel more comfortable and the moral support you can give each other can be invaluable

Check for beginners classes or explain that you are new and have no experience and need a few pointers

Wear workout clothes you are comfortable in. You don’t have to have all the latest gear to exercise. If you work out properly it’ll be covered in sweat anyway, don’t feel you need skin tight Lycra just a normal loose fitting t-shirt and leggings will work just as well.

Don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone struggles in the beginning and you may not know the moves or the right techniques but you’re not alone

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You may think a reformer or hand weight is something you’d find in the kitchen but try not to get overwhelmed. Gyms can be daunting at first but we all start somewhere, if you stick at it you’ll feel more at home the longer you are there.

Please use these tips from me to push through your fears you face head-on. You never know you may just end up surprising yourself. For full details of the classes we offer in and around Farnham click here.

Schools Out! Keep exercising while the kids are on holiday

Exercise with kids in the summer holidays
Schools Out for Summer! Whilst that may mean lots of fun with your kids it can also mean that your normal workout routine can take a hammering.  So can you keep up your exercise regime over the summer? Here are my thoughts in a short video on the importance of making some time for yourself, followed by some great tips to help you keep exercising over the holidays.

Short workouts first thing can be great to keep exercising, but always –
Stay cool
Stay moving
Stay motivated
Stay healthy
Do 10 mins every morning
Swim, run, cycle, enjoy the sun for 10 mins get vit d.

 

Here at Farnham Pilates we also have a 15 min exercise video that you can download and do anywhere which can also help give you a focus to the exercise time you have.

 

Keep Calm and Carry on Exercising!
It’s important to stay calm with the kids and regular exercise for you can help with this. Physical activity influences changes in the brain otherwise activated by anti depressants and sport enhances the brains ability to absorb serotonin, which helps keeps moods balanced!

 

Stay motivated
Exercising as a group can be a real motivating factor to keep going. Run as a group, check local running groups or get other mums to meet you when partner home or cycle – wear a technical top to keep sweat away from skin to stop you feeling clammy. Or agree to do a class with a bunch of other mums and stick to it.

 

Get up early before the kids and do – Try this 4 min workout which you could do with your kids and encourage them to be fit and healthy too!
2 mins jog on spot then burpee
2 mins Squat then jump lift left leg then squat and change legs
2 Jumps
2 Air squats
Rocket jump bend knees
Butterfly sit up knees out – use core
Lunge
Crunch side reach for obliques
This will use oxygen so after the 8 mins the body carry on blitzing fat long after the session

 

We also asked Joanne McGowan of Act One Adventures for her top tips to involve kids in exercise and here is what she said.

 

“Try setting up a mini olympics at home, in the garden or park.  You don’t need fancy equipment – Pool noodles make great javelins, tins of beans for weight lifting, running races etc.  If you’re feeling really silly have a closing or opening ceremony too.
We also embrace technology that our son loves and have regular Just Dance evenings on the X Box.  It is a great giggle, good exercise and great family time too.”

 

To get the most out of your workouts in the summer…
Drink drink drink (water) –  it’s easy to be dehydrated do keep topping up.  I know in the summer it’s easy to start early with a glass of Rose but commit to 2-3 nights off a week and on those nights eat or choose healthily  – salads/ all veg meals, no bread.
Post workout Epsom salt baths cleanse your muscles of toxins restore mineral levels and encourage relaxation – soak away aches and pains
Diet – Keep blood sugar levels balanced take magnesium add more spinach, avocados, nuts seeds and dark chocolate. If you are going to drink a good detoxifier is hot water and lemon in morning and parsley tea- helps flush out toxins.

 

So with a bit of planning and a fun outlook you can keep up your exercise over the summer and have fun with the family too.

My favourite summer smoothies

Summer Smoothie Recipes

We’ve been enjoying some fabulous weather over the last few weeks and the warm weather can be a great time to look at your diet and fitness regime.  Smoothies can be a great way to up your nutritional intake which is very important if you are undertaking more exercise than usual.  They are also a great addition to a Summer detox. Here are a couple of my favourite Summer Smoothie recipes taken from Juice Tonic one of Soho’s hippest juice bars.

BODY FUEL JUICE

GOOD FOR –  This is an ‘Immune-system booster and a performance enchancer.’ It will help you to avoid a summer cold and generally help keep your immune system in tip top condition.

INGREDIENTS
Half a medium Beetroot
3 Medium Carrots
3 Oranges
1/2 Tsp. Acerola Cherry fruit powder

PERFECT SNACK JUICE

GOOD FOR –  This is a great one to have after a workout on a hot day.

INGREDIENTS
2 Pears
1 Large section of Pineapple
1Tsp. Chia Seeds
100ml fresh Coconut water

ENERGY BOOSTER JUICE

GOOD FOR – This smoothie helps the metabolism, balances your mood and gives you an energy boost.  Perfect for busy mums at this time of year as the kids start the long summer holidays.

INGREDIENTS
5 med Carrots
3 med Apples
1 inch of Ginger
1Tbsp. Lemon juice
1/2 Tsp. Maca

Not only do these recipes do you good, they taste fabulous too so enjoy!

For those of you looking to get a Yummy Tummy this summer do take a look at our Yummy Tummy Pilates programme which includes a 14 day detox to kickstart better eating habits.

 

Summer Detox – Getting the balance right

Summer DetoxA summer detox can be a great way to refresh your body ahead of a summer holiday or to help shift that last bit of weight if you have been following a fitness regime.  On my Yummy Tummy Programme we finish with a 14 day diet detox to help cleanse the body and reset some of our not so good eating habits.

However going straight into a detox can be a shock to the system, causing withdrawal symptoms such as headaches.  It can also fail if you don’t get the timing right.  In this blog I share some advice as to how you can make your detox successful by just putting in some preparation to get the balance right

1) Cut down before starting – If you start cutting back on caffeine and alcohol at least a few days before starting a detox then it won’t be such a shock to the body when you actually start properly.  Withdrawal effects such as headaches and irritability can be so severe if you just go “cold turkey” that many people will feel like stopping their detox before they have even really got started.  A little preparation beforehand can really help lessen these effects and lead to success. Increasing your water intake before hand will also get you used to drinking the amount of water needed on the detox.

2) Ensure you are in the right place mentally – If you are in a stressful place i.e. with work or family commitments then this may not be the best time to start a detox. So try and clear your mind a bit before getting started by perhaps making time to meditate or have a massage and choose a period of time where you can make some time for yourself to relax and do things that you enjoy.  This will make the detox process more manageable and enjoyable.

3) Are your hormones right? – If you are really effected by your hormones at certain times of the month then try and avoid these times to start a detox.

4) Clear your cupboards – get rid of the temptation of high fat or sugary snacks and make sure you have plenty of veg on hand and healthy snacks such as oatcakes and nuts.  If the temptation isn’t there you can’t be tempted, so don’t make things harder for yourself.

5) Get the family involved – I’m not suggesting that your children or anyone else should go on a detox but by talking to them about healthy eating and why you are cutting down on certain foods it can certainly help educate those around you.

6) Get support – if you can find others who are doing the same detox this can be a great help in succeeding.  With our Yummy Tummy programme we have a private Facebook group where we all support and encourage each other which can be really effective in seeing a detox through.

Do comment below if you have any questions about detoxing or have a look at our Yummy Tummy programme for more details.

 

3 fitness tips to lose weight and achieve a flatter happier tummy!

3 fitness tips to lose weight and achieve a flatter happier tummy! 

fitness tips to lose weight

There is so much advice out there as to how you can lose weight and get a “bikini body” that it can be hard to know what to believe.  This blog cuts through a lot of the conflicting advice to make getting your Yummy Tummy a lot more straightforward with just 3 easy tips.

Myth: You Need A Long Workout

Truth: Your body starts burning fat as soon as you start exercising. If you can’t exercise for the 30 minutes a day recommended for adults, a shorter, intense workout is better than no workout. Too much intense working out will wear you out, so start small and work your way up.

Tips: On those busy days, fit in a little exercise when you can.

  • Do jumping jacks for 2 minute intervals while studying.
  • Stretch while you read or study.
  • Challenge yourself to do 200 crunches and squats before you go to bed or right when you wake up.
  • Don’t make excuses not to do a little exercise! You can do it.
  • Aim for 2 strength-training workouts and 2-3 cardio workouts every week.

Myth: Snacking is always bad

Truth: Snacking really isn’t the problem. Actually, most nutritionists will recommend you eat 4-5 smaller meals each day instead of three big meals. The real culprit is what you choose as a snack, and how big your snack is. Another myth buster: snacking will not boost metabolism. Remember, when you’re snacking, you don’t eat to feel full, you’re eating to feel satisfied and to hold you over until you have a meal.

Tips:

  • Don’t eat from the bag of chips/pretzels/cereal/ etc.
  • Choose something fresh, like fruits and veggies.
  • Personal favourite: baby carrots and reduced-fat peanut butter. Weird, but awesome.
  • Use the hand rule: if you can’t hold it all in your hand, it is probably too big of a snack. Drink water with your snack.

Myth: Drinking water helps you lose weight.

Truth: Substituting  high-caloric and high-sugar drinks for water is better for you and will reduce the amount of added sugars in your diet, but the idea that drinking water helps you lose weight has no scientific basis. You might want to carry water with you and drink throughout the day, but water cannot replace food in your diet because you need those essential nutrients to function. Replacing food with water can make you feel worn-down, faint, and unenergetic because of those nutrients you’re lacking.

These 3 simple tips are definitely achievable in even the busiest of lives but if you feel you need a little help to get started or need ideas of manageable chunks of exercise to do every day, have a look at our Yummy Tummy Programme.  Designed for Mums of all ages with busy lives it can get you started on the way to your own Yummy Tummy in just 6 weeks.