Friday, 28 June 2013

Burpees - complete body workout

I think I first heard about Burpees just a few months back and I love them, the exercise engages a lot of different muscle groups and just like the other at home exercises you have a number of variation to a burpee

(use the links if for images to each)

Normal Burpee
  1. start in standing position 
  2. squat and touch your hands to the floor in front
  3. go into push up position
  4. back to squat position
  5. jump with your hands above your head

Easy Burpee -
To make your Burpee easier just avoid the last jump

Variations to the jump -
You can make you Burpees a bit more fun and difficult by changing your jumps
1. tuck jump Burpee
2. jump  over a step burpee
3. long jump burpee (jump in front instead of up)

Push up and Pull up
Want to make it more difficult? add both a push up and a pull up (combine this with your jump) to your Burpee.

Add weights -
No exercise can be complete without adding weights :)
1.Hold dumbells in you arms when your are doing your regular Burpee
2.You can also use the heavy medicinal balls

As usual before you start with your Burpees please warm up. Do you have a Burpee challenge in your workout plan?
I would  like to point out I'm no fitness expert these are things I learnt along the way of my weight loss journey by surfing the internet and going for fitness classes.

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Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Reactions - Reply (Healthy Eating)

Recently I have come across a few people who have completely disagreed with calorie counting or some other eating strategies I mentioned in my previous posts (here & here). 

1.     Calorie counting :
Reaction: “This is too much hard work, feels likes you are obsessed!!!
My Reply: It’s not hard work, initially it might take time but soon you get used to it, you don’t always need an app to tell you because you know by experience the approximate calories. I’m not obsessed I just make sure I don’t overeat. If you call that obsession I’m fine with it to me it’s more about taking care of myself and reaching my goal of being fit.

2.      Filling up on healthy options before going out for a meal:
Reaction: I go out to eat what I like, what use of going out if I can’t eat?
My Reply: I go out to have fun with friends and family, sometime I also go out to eat my favourite meals. It’s ok to eat what you like but if it’s an unhealthy option for me it is always better to eat less of that and if I don’t fill up on healthy options before I go out I will just be hungry or end up eating too much of the unhealthy stuff.

3.      Portion Control:
Reaction: I eat till I’m full, so I don’t need portion control
My Reply: If you are used to eating bigger portions you get used to eating more to feel full. I’m surprised at how much my appetite has reduced since I started focusing on eating right. If you focus on proper serving size and calories you will slowly realise how much your body actually needs.

I have a few friends who are healthy and still will not agree to use any of the above techniques but I have also noticed these friends already have good eating habits, they eat the right amount of food. Like my mom she does not do any calorie counting but if you notice she always eats controlled portions, she will not overeat just because it’s her favourite nor will she overeat just because we are going out, she is always sharing her meals and she sticks to her portions which I used to find surprisingly small (now I know I was eating more) and that helps her keep calorie count in place.
I think some people can manage to stick to the right calories and portions without giving it a second thought and some people cannot so they need to put in the effort. I belong to the second group and I'm perfectly fine with it.

I found these 3 techniques very useful in my weight loss/fitness program if you have some other ideas we can always exchange ideas doesn’t mean I will give up on these

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Friday, 21 June 2013

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Food and Vacation

In my previous post I discussed about how to exercise during your breaks and in this post we will be looking at what I did about my eating during my time away in India.
Going back home and sticking to my eating habits has always been a challenge for various reason, the first being I’m constantly catching up with friends and family most of which is either over coffee or dinner and sometimes even breakfast!! So I find it difficult to avoid eating outside. The other thing that messes up my entire eating plan is home food. I miss my mom's food especially because when I’m on my own I rarely cook and even if I do cook it's nothing like my mom's food so I'm always looking forward to my mom's food.
This time I knew I had to handle both of the above issues without missing out all the fun or my favourite food. My plan for the vacation was

Selecting only the favourites:
I would always decide the food I ate based on two things 1.) how much I really liked it and 2.) how much I really missed eating it, so if it was something I like but I would easily get in UK I would not even look at it, basically I used up my calories only on Indian food I really loved. I skipped the Indian bread, rice and desserts instead I chose daal and other Indian vegetable/ meat recipes my mom made (I’m going to share some of easier ones here)

Portion control:
Just because I liked something doesn’t mean I overate, 95% of the times I shared my food. I would share it either with my sister or T, sometimes I would eat half portion and keep the rest for a later meal. If I knew I was going out for dinner I would eat a light lunch basically I would keep within my calorie count

Food swapping:
I think I have shared this before with all of you here. I did this whenever I went out coffee or snacks with friends. I switched to small cappuccino no sugar, popcorn instead of chips, vegetarian warps instead of burgers and grilled instead of fried..

Saying No
One very important thing I did this time was I said ‘NO’ if I did not want to eat something I was firm and I did not let pressure get the better of me.
Two weeks on a vacation and I’m happy to say I'm still on track. What do you do when you go on vacations? I would love to know so that I could add it to my list for next time.

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Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Working out when on Vacation.

How are you all? Hope you are all doing well. I have been gone for two weeks now, I was in India on a break, spending time with friends and family is always so much fun. Every time I go to India my workout and eating habits go back a step but this time I was determined not to let that happen. So from the time we planned our trip I was busy planning my workouts for the trip. When I’m on my own most of the things are in my control but when I go on a vacation I usually have very little control, especially when I go back home I have so many people to much to do
My plan was to workout at least 4 days a week without joining the gym so it had to be exercise that could be done at home or outside. I had planned to go jogging every morning and then do some home workouts.
Everything started as planned for the first 2-3 days I did go out jogging with my sister but my days would end very late at night by around 2:00 – 3.00 am so waking up at 6.00 was difficult and then as if on cue the monsoons set in...with the rains pouring it was not possible for me to go out jogging but I did not want to give up, all I had to do was improvise my plan. I had to add cardio to my home workouts

My 45 minutes home workout
Interval 1 (repeat interval twice)
Squats – 10 * 3
Lunges – 10*2*3
Jumping jacks – 1 minute

Interval 2 (repeat interval twice)
Sumo Squats – 10* 3
Courtesy Lunge – 10*2*3
Burpee – 10*3

Interval 3 (repeat interval twice)
Single leg squats – 10*2*3
Goddess – 40 * 3
Jumping Lunges – 10 *2*3

Interval 4 (repeat interval twice)
Plank – 1 minute * 3
Pushups – 10* 3
Plank – push up position – 10*3
Mountain climbers – 1 minute

Interval 5 (repeat interval twice)
Donkey kick – 10* 3
Fire hydrant – 10* 3
Hip raise – 10* 3
Side plank – 30 sec *3

Every interval had 1 minute of cardio, sometimes I did change the exercises a bit but I mostly tried to stick to similar intervals and repetitions. My sister joined me for my workouts so that made it more fun.
Even though this workout was less then my usual workout it helped me maintain my weight (that’s all I was hoping for)

On vacation always remember:
1. It is always possible to squeeze in 1 hour for exercise (could be some weird time of the day but you can still do it)
2. Improvizing your workout plan is important because not everything can always be controlled by you.
3. I prefer to focus on maintaining my weight rather than losing weight during my break.

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