How to juggle a busy family life and stay active

Believe it or not, there actually are enough hours in the day, we just don’t always spend them productively enough. Life seems to keep getting busier and we are trying to do more, achieve more, fit more in and be something to everyone. No matter how busy you are, take some time back for yourself to ensure you are keeping fit, healthy and active. You will never have this moment again so do it now!

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It wasn’t too long ago that I was always waiting for the ‘right time’ to start living a fit and healthy lifestyle. What I didn’t realise was that life was passing me by anyway and there really is no such thing as the right time. I realised it was now or never. We are always justifying how busy we are as if we are looking for some kind of medal. It’s become a social status and if someone asks how we are, we automatically reply with a sigh and an “I’m so busy”.  Well, busy or not, one thing is certain, life won’t stand still or stop being busy to wait for you to get moving and make time for your health. So, right now seems like the perfect time to start. Stop waiting and just commit to making 2018 your year to make it happen.

It’s not as hard as you think, fitting exercise into your everyday life, you just need to prioritise and plan. I am positive that you can find a minimum of 15 minutes a day and even more on some days. Even on the days where you think it is going to be hard to fit it in, look for opportunities and try your best to make it happen… these are usually the days you need it the most and will benefit greatly from some exercise. And if it doesn’t eventuate, don’t beat yourself up over it ~ tomorrow is a new day with new opportunity.

My number one tip is to wear your workout gear, wherever and whenever possible! You will be surprised how much more inclined you will be to workout, get moving and be more active in general. This really does increase your activity levels. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed about being one of ‘those’ women who do everything in their activewear… embrace it and be proud, it’s a way of life!

walk outdoors

If you are extremely time poor and can’t make it to a gym, make High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) sessions your best friend. A 10 – 15 minute HIIT session in the comfort of  your own home before work, while the baby sleeps, while the load of washing is on, after the kids are in bed or whenever else you can grab some time will make you feel so energized, get your heart rate up, burn fat and release those endorphins.

Another great time to fit in a little workout is while playing with the kids. Involve them and make them part of the workout, they will love it and you are role modelling wonderful lifestyle behaviours that they will hopefully adopt as part of their lives as they grow up. Jog on the spot, squats, pushups, plank, burpees, have a running race, skipping competition, dance, the list goes on. They are all simple body weight exercises that do not require any equipment and the whole family can do it together. Use the kids as weights, let them time the sets and count the repetitions. They just love being a part of what you are doing. Just make it fun and you won’t even know you are working out and you will be also spending quality (technology free) time with your children…. A rarity in itself these days!

Make an effort to do an outdoor activity on the weekend (rain, hail or shine – just dress appropriately…. Weather really shouldn’t be an excuse not to exercise). Being outdoors is great for boosting your energy, relieving stress and blowing off those cobwebs, especially if you are stuck indoors or behind a desk all week. Go for a walk, hike, jog, bike ride, walking tour, or just park your car further away from where you need to be and walk – let’s stop being so lazy or in a hurry all the time. We are all guilty of it.

One of the best ways I have found to increase my activity and exercise during the week (particularly incidental exercise) is by using an activity tracker/fitness watch. I love my Garmin 235. If you are someone who is motivated by challenge and hitting a certain target and goal then I suggest you get yourself a tracker (one that has an app on your phone is great for easy viewing of your progress and integration into your daily life).

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My goal at the start of last year was to get better at running and make running a consistent part of my life. The last little tip I have is one I found extremely beneficial for increasing my exercise, in particular my running when I was just starting out, during a busy week. Whenever we went somewhere as a family (eg. Grocery shopping, visiting family, sport etc), I always dress in my running gear or at least have it in the car along with a hat, suncream and earphones if you like to run with music – (be prepared and you can’t go wrong) and then on the way home I would get Hubby to drop me off and I would run the rest of the way home. Make sure you pick a distance you know you can comfortably run when you start out and you can increase it each time. I’ve actually lost count of the number of times I have done this and it gets it out of the way without having to make specific time during the day or stop what you are doing to leave the house to go out for a run.  It’s a no brainer and it helped my running in the early days immensely. Often the family will follow me in the car for a bit and yell encouragement out the window and then they go and park somewhere further along and surprise me. It helps keep you going when it gets tough or you want to stop.

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So, there are plenty of ways you can fit exercise and activity into your busy week. It’s not about having time, it’s about making time! Set your goals, plan your week and just get it done. No questions, no excuses!

Follow me over at  https://www.facebook.com/fitm.u.msa for workouts, tips, motivation, recipes and more. It’s a great community and we would love to have you join us.

Enjoy xx

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Local Fitness Destinations Adelaide – Part 1

Fitness Enthusiast? Outdoor exerciser? Looking for great workout locations to mix up your routine? In the Adelaide area? This series of upcoming blog posts is for you and this is the first of my ‘local fitness destinations’ around Adelaide, South Australia. Hopefully it will help you find a new fitness spot to add to your workout adventures.  I also love hearing from others, so if you have a great location that you enjoy training at… please let me know at fitmumsa@gmail.com and I would be more than happy to feature it.

I am dedicating part 1 to the Seacliff Ramps and Stairs. Seacliff is a picturesque beachside suburb (16.8km from the Adelaide CBD, approximately 27 min drive) and the ramps and stairs are located just off the main Esplanade at the Seacliff Yacht Club. This is already quite a popular cardio workout destination so it can get quite busy at popular times. It will certainly get the heart pumping and the calories burning! There is a set of ramps and a set of separate stairs which are both great for either walkers or runners. They are an achievable length (not too long but definitely long enough to get a great workout when you do multiple repetitions). If you are a serious exerciser and like competition you might like to time yourself each time you do it and try to beat your times. Alternatively, it’s a great workout to do with a group of friends. There are benches and seats at the top of the ramps which are great for a little rest between rounds or you can use them for added exercise and do a set of dips, bench pushups, step ups in between your ramp sets!!).

This location ticks many boxes:

  • Easy to find
  • Plenty of parking
  • Suitable for all fitness levels (just vary how hard you go or do more or less laps and try to improve each time)
  • Family friendly (you can even push the pram up the ramps in the not so busy times if you dare – this will really get you working)
  • It is an all round, cardio and strength workout so it is great if you are time poor and only have a short amount of time to fit in a workout
  • Enjoy the great outdoors and fresh air

This is one location I love training at and have done FitM.U.M group sessions here before. Please subscribe to my newsletter here to find out about any upcoming group workout events!

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Go and hit the trails! Enjoy xx

 

FitM.U.M 8 Week Summer Body Transformation Check-In

The lucky winner of our FitM.U.M 8 Week Summer Body Transformation, Cassie is just about to start week 4 and will be half way through this 8 week program. However, knowing Cassie and the amazing changes she has made and the way she has embraced the exercise and nutrition changes, this will just be the start of a whole new lifestyle for her. I am so impressed with her motivation and determination to work hard no matter what. She is a  wife and a busy mum of 4 and works part time while trying to juggle everything else that a busy life entails. She has previously suffered anxiety and depression and I am so glad that she entered this competition and made the commitment to do something for herself and start her journey towards a healthier, happier and more active life (for her and her family!!). What a fantastic role model for her children!

As well as seeing Cassie’s physical strength improve and fitness increase, one of the best things as a Trainer is to actually to witness her confidence and self belief grow. She is changing her life and becoming a much stronger and happier person because of it. The workouts I have given her have been HARD but she has done every single one of them with no excuses!

Cassie enjoying a strength workout

Cassie enjoying a strength workout

Let’s hear from Cassie about her first three weeks of her program:

Wow! What an amazing three weeks it’s been. Kelly has given me a workout plan every week consisting of body weight exercises, weights and cardio. She also provided me with some awesome food advice.

I was totally shocked when I read my first workout plan. I thought there was no way I was going to do it. I had six days of workouts with one rest day and Monday consisted of two workouts!
But I did it! I completed the whole week and I felt amazing.
During week two Kelly came to do a PT session. I was really nervous, but didn’t need to be, she made me feel completely comfortable and didn’t mind helping me to correct my technique and to pick her brain.
It’s now week three and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the whole process.
Next week I go for my massage I won as part of the competition, can’t wait.
Thanks for reading.
P.S. Thank You everyone for your support and kind words of encouragement, I was in tears reading all of your messages x
Cassie.
I hope this story may help, inspire or motivate someone else who has their own challenges and may be starting their health and fitness journey (or thinking about starting). Set yourself goals and do it for yourself! Today is your day to get started.
Head over and join our wonderful FitM.U.M community on Facebook to stay motivated with other likeminded people!
xx

FitM.U.M Product Review – Polar Loop Activity Tracker

I was lucky enough to be contacted a few weeks ago by the Marketing Coordinator of RunStopShop, a fantastic online fitness store (http://www.runstopshop.com.au/) to be a brand advocate for them and try a few of the awesome products that they stock.

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This blog post is one of two posts to review the first two products I received. As well as ooohhing and ahhhing over the many, many fitness products, I also spent some time finding out more about the company and I love that their purpose is simple: to provide the products which enable you to get the most out of your active lifestyle, and enable you to reach your goals faster. This is something I’m all for…. as a busy mum of 2, who is not only on my own fitness journey, but who also motivates and trains many mums who are all embarking on regaining their health, fitness and active lifestyle! The timing could not have been more perfect, I was literally in the market for a fitness activity tracker and was researching different brands so when I saw the Polar Loop 24/7 Activity Tracker I knew I had to have it. It looks great, is extremely easy to set up and is very comfy to wear.

Polar Loop from RunStopShop

Polar Loop from RunStopShop

It’s features include:

  • Heart rate (when you are wearing the Polar H7)
  • Calorie expenditure
  • Total steps
  • Time of day
  • Activity Benefit gives feedback about your day, week, month
  • Waterproof

I love that it is simple to use and displays all the important information at the touch of a button but also has a smartphone app and website syncing which provides an accurate insight into your everyday activity and movement & sleep habits. I am definitely someone who is driven by having goals and targets to reach so, in the week that I have been wearing it, I have been so motivated to reach my daily fitness activity goal of 14,000 steps. Another feature I really like is that it tells you how much more activity you need to do to reach your goal (eg. jog for 30 mins or walk for 1hr 15). So far, I have achieved my goal each day.

As a mum of a 10 month old baby, who isn’t the best sleeper, I am up A LOT during the night to breastfeed her, so even though I am aware I am getting a very interrupted nights sleep, it has been good to see how much restful sleep I am getting at night. It accurately shows the times I get up and I find it quite amusing to see the tracking of me walking to her room (blue activity lines) and then sitting in the chair feeding her (grey activity lines) and then walking back to my room again and going back to sleep….. hey, at least I’m getting extra steps in my day. There are 24 usable hours in every day…. it’s no wonder I’m reaching my target.

Polar Loop App - Activity Breakdown

Polar Loop App – Activity Breakdown

So, although I have only been wearing my Polar Loop Activity Tracker for 1 week, I am hooked! I only take it off to charge it and I am much more aware of my movement and activity patterns and I am making sure I am staying active throughout the day. If you are looking for extra motivation to help you on your fitness journey and want to track your daily fitness, activity and sleep then I highly recommend using an activity tracker and, personally, I am loving my Polar Loop. I think it is on sale at the moment and you can shop this awesome product here.

Enjoy xx

Your reason or your excuse… which is greater?

It happens to all of us, sometimes we just don’t want to exercise. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter, there will be a day where you just do not want to get out there and get it done, plain and simple! But it’s funny (almost ironical) because those are usually the days that if you can overcome that feeling and switch to ‘mechanical’ you mode and do it anyway, you will probably enjoy it more, get good results and feel a whole lot better afterwards.

This is something I have been working hard on in the last 6 months. Yesterday I went for my run, it was my seventh day in a row and my legs were heavy, I had quite a bit going on, living on about 5 hours of sleep and quite honestly, it would have been very easy for me not to go. But I knew that wasn’t really what I wanted and that I would actually be disappointed if I didn’t do it. I set myself a realistic goal and off I went. I went through the paces and surprisingly I felt good and actually went 4 km’s further than I set out to go! The distance wasn’t huge and it wasn’t my fastest run but the whole way I felt proud of myself. It’s these workouts that actually make you a stronger person. I kept repeating things to myself like “I’m one run stronger than I was yesterday”, “I’m closer to my half marathon goal”, “my legs are strong and my breathing feels good so keep pushing!”, “make your family proud but more importantly make yourself proud”, “do it because you can, and for the people that physically can’t”….. there are lots more mantras I use to get me through. I use my running time as my thinking time, my planning time, my reflection time, my alone time. I always surprise myself at what I am capable of and what I can achieve. It’s my mental strength that has surprised me the most above and beyond my physical strength and capabilities! If you can overcome the mental barriers and negative talk etc you are well on your way to achieving whatever you put your mind to!

The reason I put my shoes on and went outside yesterday and did it was because my ‘want’ to get it done was far greater than my ‘excuses’ not to! This is not a post about #noexcuses…. do you know why, because at times we all have real reasons why we can’t train and that is totally OK. We are mums, and we have sh!t going on, I’m no different, but we deserve to do something for ourselves and we deserve to spend time on our own health, fitness and sanity! For me that’s keeping fit, healthy and active and sticking to my training plan for my half marathon this year!

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I know I am much happier when I do fit my exercise in and I find it also means I tend to eat better too. If I skip a day or a session, for some reason it carries over into the rest of my day/lifestyle and I seem to not eat as well and I am grumpy (hence the reason my family are so supportive of my training ha!).

I’ve said it before in my posts and anyone who knows me will tell you, I am no elite sportsperson. I am a mum who has decided that this is my year to be the best I can be! I am constantly striving to be a better me, stronger me, fitter me, healthier me, happier me….These are my reasons for getting it done every single day! .This is my motivation.Every run or workout I do brings me a little bit closer to all of that, especially the ones where I bloody well didn’t want to do it!! What are your reasons and motivation? It’s so much easier when you have a clear and defined purpose for doing what you do (and that’s in all areas of life, not just exercise!).

The saying is “Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going” but I actually think motivation is what gets you started and your purpose and reason is what keeps you going… no matter what. If I give up on my reason, I am giving up on myself and I am not going to let that happen. I’m sure we can all come up with at least 10 legitimate excuses why we just can’t be bothered exercising today, but how much will we let them get in the way and actually stop us from doing it anyway and getting closer to reaching our goals?

This post was in my head while running yesterday and it didn’t quite come out as well written down as it sounded in my head (I really need to start recording myself while running as things seems much clearer when I’m not at a computer) but I am sure it will resonate with someone else and hopefully it will motivate even just one person to not give up on your own goal just because you might have an excuse or two. You are not alone, I was there yesterday!! It’s all part of the journey.

FitM.U.M xxx

Fit, Fast & Furious Training Session with Guin from Guin’s Everyday Style

Guin and Kel

WOW! What a session.We were both super excited about starting our first Personal Training Session. Guin wanted to be pushed and push her I did. I put Guin through a 45 minute High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Session which was predominantly body weight exercises. We did use a set of dumbbells for some of the exercises but most can be done without.

Guin already does a variety of exercise so she wanted to compliment her other workouts with a full body High Intensity Session. These sessions are awesome as they full of short burst intervals with minimal rest and they burn mega calories and get the heart rate up high. My trusty stop watch was getting a workout that’s for sure as I wanted everything we did to be between 20 – 50 seconds of hard work (max. Effort) and 15-30 seconds of rest. HIIT Training is no good without a stop watch so we can keep an eye on the time and really make the most out of the workout.

HIIT Trainers Secret Weapon

HIIT Trainers Secret Weapon

We also did a hard set of Plyometrics. For those who are unfamiliar with Plyometric Training, it is explosive, fast paced moves which work several muscles at once. It is a great way of training to increase fitness, speed and agility and also burns mega calories as your heart rate stays elevated the entire time, allowing you to continue burning calories after your session is finished.

The Plyo set I put Guin through was Squat Jumps (reaching up nice and high on the jump), alternating lunge jumps and mountain climbers. It’s fair to say her heart rate was up and her legs were burning! But she was still smiling at the end of it so I continued to push her with an upperbody strength session with shoulder press, burpees, pushups and punches followed by abs and lots of stair sprints!

It was a fantastic first session, Guin pushed through everything I threw at her and never once stopped. She is a machine and I am looking forward to our weekly workouts and seeing Guin’s results. She is also working on her nutrition at home and paying particular attention to snacking and ensuring she has healthy snacks handy at all times. The key to good nutrition is planning and preparation, see my previous blog post all about this topic!

So, session one has been conquered and we are both looking forward to session two next week. Stay tuned via FitM.U.M’s Facebook page and blog and Guin’s Everyday Style Facebook page and for updates, tips, progress, photos and workouts and feel free to comment with any questions or words of support for Guin, who has been fantastic to share her health and fitness journey with us all!

Peace xx