Why Monday workouts are so important

Monday sets the stage for the week. They start the week off with a bang and set you up with good intentions for the whole week. Even if s**t hits the fan during the week, you know you got one workout under your belt.

 

Weekends can also be a time for some slight downward movement in the diet and exercise area, so Mondays can give you that confidence to get back up and start heading in the right direction again.

 

Mondays get the weekly routine back on track. You start with some exercise, then you start to eat better, and of course, you sleep better. When we sleep better we make better decisions. This will usually mean that you choose to continue to workout for the rest of the week.

 

When we miss a Monday, it’s easy to convince yourself to hit snooze and then you miss Tuesday. Missing one day, that’s ok, but 2 days in a row can then create a habit. And if it means your eating goes in the same direction as your workouts, well let’s just say it’s easier to get up on a Monday than tackle that problem a few months later with a less energetic body.

 

And you are not alone, most people want to have a sleep in on a Monday morning, but just know that once you get to your class or the gym, and you see your regular gym buddies, you are reminded why you all got up for this workout. Because Mondays start your weekly routine of being a healthy, happy and fit individual.

 

So let’s do Mondays together! Let’s own this week people!

 

J

Weight loss … why isn’t it working?

When clients come to me, frustrated that they aren’t losing weight I start with the questions:

  1. How much water are you drinking
  2. How much sleep are you getting
  3. How are your stress levels

I then of course ask what are you eating and how much exercise are you doing?

But I find the first 3 questions mentioned above are often dismissed because “when I was 22 I ate what I wanted and played team sport”

Cool, me too. But did you have 2 kids and a mortgage and a full time job? Probably not. Things are different, so our approach needs to be different.

 

When I start to help people lose weight, I start with increasing their water intake (if it is less than 2 litres a day) and adding in 1-2 classes per week (assuming there is no exercise happening at the moment).

 

Why the slow approach? We want quick fixes!

What I also find out in the conversation is the weight has been lost before but it has also come back on, usually in the same fashion – fast. So again, let’s change the approach to change the outcome. Sound familiar?

My approach is ‘SLOW IS FAST’

What do I mean by this?

If we make gentle but sustaining changes, the change is more likely to become a habit. Habits last longer.

So after a week or two of drinking more water (feeling way more energised as well!) and doing 2 classes per week (also feeling energized without super tired), we then start to ask “what are you doing for breakfast lunch and dinner?”

Did I also mention that the weight has started to shift – in a downwards direction. Bingo!

 

I check the food diary, there are some small sustainable changes we can make there too. More protein for breakfast and more veggies at lunch time.

Again repeat for 1-2 weeks.
And so the process continues.

Why do I do the “slow is fast” process? Why can’t I help you lose 5kg in 2 weeks? Well I can, but will you learn anything? Have a taught you how to make healthy choices for yourself? No. I have just told you what to do and then the cycle of loosing and gaining will more likely be repeated. That’s not my idea of success.

 

I have been helping people lose weight for over 10 years. I have tried and tested a lot of methods. And trust me, Slow is fast works.

My job is to teach you, not tell you.

My job is to help you keep the weight off.

 

Need a little help with your weight loss journey? Check out our Ultimate Weight Loss Challenge post COVID-19. Be the weight you have always wanted to be!

To run with or without music?

,

A question I get asked a lot “can I run with music?” when people are joining our run club.

While I would rather you mingle with the group, and experience the group atmosphere of run club, here are a few ideas about running with and without music.

People run for a variety of reasons;

  • weight loss
  • fun
  • switch off
  • fitness
  • race preparation
  • and more

Whatever your reason is, it’s totally ok. But if you are wanting to improve your running, either speed, endurance, technique or all of the above, you might consider running without music (at least for the short term)

And here’s why:

  • Listening to your feet can give you a huge amount of feedback to what is happening with your feet and in fact your entire lower limbs. Are you thumping like an elephant? Or do you glide like gazelle? Losing control and landing heavy can mean a loss of energy and therefore costing you time and efficiency. Strengthening your glutes, hip flexors and feet muscles can give you more control and therefore your step will become lighter and faster.

 

  • Breathing – are you sucking all of the air out of your space, or are you a quiet breather? There is no one perfect way to breath, everyone is different, but the key is to get as much air in your lungs as possible with each breath. You want to expand your belly rather than shrugging your shoulders while doing short high chest breathes. Something I find helps is starting your running with a relaxed, full breathing cycle. High stress, or rushed lifestyles shorten our breathing and if you are coming off a stressful day then trying to do some hill sprints, you are already out of breath. Try incorporating some belly breathing for 60-120 seconds before starting your run.

 

So should you run with or without music?

If you want to change your running – speed, endurance, technique or all of the above, it might pay to listen to what is happening with your feet and your breathing and then you can get an idea of what you can work on. Then you can add your music back into your runs later 🙂

 

Happy running!

 

Banana Cookies

,

Watch out! These are highly addictive!

Donna Hay really does know her way around a kitchen doesn’t she? This simple and super healthy snack is perfect for on the go, the kids, or something sweet with a cuppa after dinner. Need to swap out the nuts? Cool. You could use coconut flour instead, just remember you will need a little more moister and a little less flour. The ratios are about 1 cup almond meal to 1/4 cup coconut flour.

 

1 cup mashed banana (about 3)

2 cups almond meal

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup demerara sugar

 

Preheat oven to 160 degrees.

Mix banana, almond meal, maple syrup and 1/2 tsp cinnamon in a bowl.

Place the sugar and remaining cinnamon in a separate bowl.

Roll tablespoons of the banana mixture into balls, flatten slightly and gently toss in the sugar mixture to coat.

Place on baking trays lined with non stick paper and make 35- 40 mins.

Allow to cool

 

EAT!!! And try and stop at one  LOL

 

donnahay.com.au

Would you buy it if it was full price?

Somehow you have ingested a chocolate bar that you just brought at the supermarket, and it’s almost dinner time. Were you even hungry for it? Were you craving chocolate? Can’t remember. How did this happen? And why?

 

Let’s back track. You were shopping for dinner after work and you were going along perfectly fine with the protein, green veg, quinoa and some herbs all in the basket and then suddenly this picnic bar jumps out at you 50% OFF! That’s a saving of $1.25. I am saving money, ok I will do it.  BAM they got you.

 

Supermarkets are smart. They know how to trick us. Place unhealthy items at the end of the isle just as we are about to finalise our shopping, and these temptations are put in front of us everywhere!  Not once have I seen a banana at the checkouts. And let’s face it, we probably never will -L

 

So I ask you, would you have purchased this chocolate bar if the sign was not a specials sign, but rather just the normal price? Or better still, in its normal chocolate isle and not in front of the checkout? Probably not.

 

So how do we avoid this?

 

There are a couple of tactics I like to share to help people avoid having to make these decisions:

  • Online shopping. You can create your shopping list as you need things, and then just collect when you are ready. No need to enter the shop, no need to walk past all of their temptations.

 

  • Avoid shopping when you are hungry. It’s just way too hard to make all of the right decisions when you are starving because you missed lunch because you were too busy.

 

  • Practice walking past and NOT making the purchase when you are feeling really strong. Like just after a workout when you are empowered by the endorphins. Or when you are wearing a really tight dress. Or when you are on a first date. (Are you going to the supermarket on your first date??? )

 

Over time, you will avoid the temptations, if you want to of course, and not put an extra $1.25 into Cadbury’s bank account, but rather choose the banana in the fruit section.

 

I am never going to condone you eating a chocolate bar, everything in moderation. But I just want you to be sure you are eating it because you want to rather than because you think you are saving money -J

Winter weight loss tips

Winter is almost here. The days are getting shorter, the mornings are darker and colder and it’s difficult to get excited about green salad and outdoor training sessions.

Unfortunately, the cold weather can lead to bad habits including comfort eating, missing your early morning training sessions, or just generally doing less incidental exercise.

The sunshine and warm weather is motivating but the plummeting temperatures in winter means healthy choices are harder to make.

Exercise

Is hitting the snooze button for 10 or 12 reps the only exercise that interests you on a cold winter morning? Try changing things up with one or all of the following:

Sleep in your workout gear. Yes it actually works. I have many clients who swear by it. It may sound a little kooky but it could mean the difference between hitting the floorboards, or hitting the snooze button.

Buy some new winter active wear. This is a simple but effective motivator. Everyone likes to show off their new gear at the gym.Consider something bright and brilliant to lift your mood and motivation.Feeling good in your active wear is half the battle.

Become a night owl. Do your training at night rather than first thing in the morning. You can head to the gym straight after work. This will help you to avoid the temptation of going home to sit on the couch in your PJs. The big bonus?You can sleep in on those super cold mornings.

Join a challenge or a program. This is a great way to meet like-minded people who can cheer you on and make training fun. Also the accountability is much higher when you are working towards a common goal. At Achieving You we have extra programs in winter to keep you motivated. Visit www.achievingyou.com.au for more details.

REMEMBER. Moving warms you up.Get out there and brave the cold. After a few minutes you will be warmed up and ready for a good session. You can reward yourself with a hot cup of tea and some couch time when you are done.

Eating

Comfort food can be healthy.Skip on the heavy carbs and choose slow cooked meals. You can add lots of garlic, ginger, turmeric and other herbs to ward off colds and flu. Click here to check out some of my favourite winter warmer recipes. Remember to keep a check on your portion sizes. This will help you to stay on track.

 

Janet x

5 Top clean eating habits

Are you struggling to find the time to make healthy choices? Are you getting home from work late and just grabbing some takeout on the way home or missing a meal completely because the thought of putting a meal together is just too hard? We get it! It can be hard to make the right choices if you haven’t got the right steps in place to make life easy. Because the last thing you want is another job with time you don’t have. The solution is here! Check out my 5 top clean eating tips to transform your unhealthy choices into easy, simple, delicious, time saving meals. You can do it! I’ve seen people turn their lives around with these 5 simple tips and watched them go from lethargic, unmotivated and stressed about food people to happy, energized and leaner people. You can do it too! Check out my suggestions and watch yourself transform.

 

5 TOP CLEAN EATING TIPS

  1. Make a list

Work out what you are going to eat for the week and put it on the fridge. This then makes it easy for the family to have some input so it keeps everyone happy and you can save time after work, at night and during the day, because you don’t need to think of something to eat.

 

  1. Food shopping once a week

You know what you are eating for the week, so now you write a food list and go to the shops. You are more likely to eat healthy and not overeat if you are prepared not only in your fridge, but also in your mind. Set yourself free of poor food choices. This saves you going to shops when you are starving, it’s dark, it’s late and you have no idea what to cook a hungry family that night. Save yourself the hassle – go once and it’s all over.

 

  1. Make a massive salad

It’s really easy to eat a good healthy and fulfilling lunch when you can put some leftover meat with a massive already prepared salad. A good salad with last a week, just leave the dressing off until you are ready to eat it. Then all you have to do is scoop out your portion into your container for work in the morning, add some protein (tuna, sardines, meat from last night etc) and you have lunch sorted! You are halfway there.

 

  1. Pre-Cut your vegies

You are going to make dishes – so just make them once. Cut two nights worth of vegies at once, cook tonight’s and store tomorrow night’s in a container in the fridge. This also saves cleaning time later. So when you get home late your dinner prep has been cut in half!

 

  1. Stick to the plan

You’ve made a plan, you’ve done the shopping, you’ve prepped yourself, the family and your food – now just stick to it. Avoid the emotional eating after a bad day at work when you just want a wine and some takeaway because your boss annoyed you. You know you will feel like crap tomorrow. Let off some steam or relax after dinner with some TV, a nice stretch or a walk. Stick to your plan. You will feel better for it.

 

Here’s how my client Katelyn felt after she adapted these simple principals:

“The tailored dietary advice provided to me by Janet has been invaluable. A great deal of Janet’s advice related to me simply tweaking my diet, and making small changes. These small changes however have had a hugely positive impact! Her advice is practical and is predicated upon making sustainable long-term changes for a healthier and cleaner diet.

 

I have not only lost weight, but have also increased my fitness. Most importantly, rather than staggering through the final weeks of 2016 feeling worn out and making bad food choices, I am energised and have the strategies in place to ensure I enjoy Christmas and the New Year without overindulging”.

 

Do you need a little motivation so the winter kilos don’t happen this year?

Contact Janet to get started   0427 167 288

Running – is it bad for your knees?

Running gets a lot of bad press sometimes. Someone hears of a runner who has got sore knees, or someone has developed arthritis and running is blamed. What we don’t often know is the full story.

“Most studies show there isn’t any correlation between running and developing osteoarthritis. The biggest risk factor for developing osteoarthritis is age,” says Dr. Bég. “Think of your body like a car: The more miles you put on it, the more there’s a chance to damage it, there’s more wear and tear. The more miles you put on your joints, the more chance there is for degeneration,” Bég adds.

Arthritis is also genetic. It develops over time and usually occurs as we age. So there are a few other things that are going on here as well. Again, you’re probably not hearing the full story.

Like any sport or physical activity, the other muscles around the joints being used need to be strengthen equally to cope with the impact. Running is a high impact sport, we know this, so it makes sense that the other super important muscles that help stabilise the knee. Glutes (your butt), VMO (inside of your quad muscle), your feet, calves and hips all need attention so you can run injury free. This is a no brainier. If you want to create impact, you must ensure that your body is equip to handle the impact.

 

HOW CAN YOU DO THIS?
I’m so glad you asked. You find a strengthening program that involves training and strengthening all the muscles I mentioned above (plus a few more) to cope with the demand you want to dish out. You also have a structured running program which allows for adequate rest days to allow your body to adapt, and you also give yourself and your body adequate time to complete the task eg: run a marathon in 10 weeks versus run a marathon in 12 months. There’s a big difference here.

 

YOUR TERRAIN ALSO MAKES A MASSIVE DIFFERENCE:

Running on constant hard surfaces will also play a big role in how your body feels. It’s important to mix it up with some grass (oval) running and softer surfaces (maybe an athletics track) every now and again.

 

I WANT TO START RUNNING NOW!
Awesome and I would love to see you in our run club straight away. And you can join us! But the advice you will also hear from me is you need to do at least 1 strengthening session per week (Friday’s Functional Strength is what I recommend) and you must follow the advice I give in terms of rest days and lower kilometres weeks.

 

WHY?
Because I want you to be able to enjoy running for a really long time, like me! it’a just a great activity and it’s so easy, you can just throw on your runners and get out your door and you are running. Seriously – that easy. But, you must respect your body first and foremost.

 

HOW CAN I GET STARTED WITH RUN CLUB?
Come in for a free assessment so I can check out your form, your technique and how your body moves. This takes around 45 minutes then we can get you running. I want everyone to experience the joy of running, and if you follow us regularly, you will see sometimes we even finish running with beer and pizza. Yep, serious runners that have fun along the way 🙂

Call Janet 0427 167 288 to get your running career started – it’s never to late to join the club 🙂

 

https://www.everydayhealth.com/news/what-joint-docs-say-about-running/

POST BABY: HOW TO GET YOUR BODY BACK

post-baby body

I am a first time mother.  My beautiful daughter Elke recently had her first birthday and I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone. Nobody can really prepare you for how much your life and your body will change. Women also tend to put a lot of pressure on themselves and each other to just ‘bounce back’ after child birth and regain their pre-pregnancy body within weeks. This can be overwhelming for sleep deprived, time poor and generally exhausted mothers. It isn’t a race. It is important to set your own pace and listen to your body because nobody understands it better than you do.

I hope sharing my story will help the mothers who read this on their fitness journey post-pregnancy.

Before I had a baby, I would work out whenever I wanted.  Some weeks I would clock up 8 sessions. I could do this because I had the energy and the time. Now, it’s a different story. One of the biggest lessons (there are plenty) I have learnt since having Elke is that my time now has to be shared. What! No-one taught me to share. Where was that in the handbook? It also meant my husband and I had to schedule who was baby-sitting (whoops I mean parenting) so the other could take some time for themselves. Not having flexibility to do things when I wanted to do them was a big adjustment.

I was also tired. A kind of tired I can’t really explain. It was a tired that lasted for a really long time after having Elke. My mindset had to change when it came to my workouts – the intensity, the duration and what my body could handle considering what it had just been through. As a personal trainer of more than seven years and a group fitness instructor of more than 11 years, this was a big learning curve.

HOW DID I ADAPT?

I love to run. After giving birth though I was really cautious about getting back into running. I had to learn to adapt my training. I was also stuck in a baby cycle of feeding, expressing and sleeping. Time for myself was virtually non-existent.  I knew that for my own physical and mental health I needed to get back on the horse and start to feel good about my fitness and my body again.

SO …

I set myself a goal of exercising for 30 minutes most days. First stop was the stationary bike. Although it is not a favourite of mine it suited what I needed. It was safe (low impact), easy (inside and close to the clock and Elke) and it gave me the workout I wanted. I mixed it up each workout changing the intervals and the intensity. I did whatever to make the 30 minutes come around quickly.

I LAUGHED …

As I tried my first lot of pushups. OMG I knew it was going to be hard, but struggling to even get to 10 was a massive shock to my system. I knew that I had lost strength but I hadn’t counted on it being quite so dramatic. I tried not to lose heart instead telling myself that the first few times would probably suck but it would get easier. I was right. It did get easier. Starting is the hardest part. Just by starting you are already half way there.

Over the following weeks, I worked on my energy levels and the intensity of my workouts. All the time I remembered to be kind to myself. This was my journey. It was important for me to set and realise my own goals and not compare myself to other mothers who seemed to be recovering more quickly. Pregnancy and child birth affects each woman in different ways. It is so important not to compare your progress to anyone else.  I stuck with my 30 minute goal for a workout until I had the mental energy to train for a longer period. I wanted to make myself feel good again, not set the bar higher than I could reach.

I GOT ON WITH THE JOB

Personal trainers like everyone else have to work on their physical and mental strength. It is not something we are born with. The muscles of our brain and our body need to be rebuilt. The best way do to this is to just do it.  I did my workout every day – maybe not at 90% or even 60% but I still did it even on the days I really didn’t want to. Every day though after a workout I felt better than I had when I started. This made me feel good.

THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION:

Your body after child birth will be different but you can get back to being strong and fit. It may take a little longer and it may hurt a little more but be patient and kind with yourself.  You just have to start 🙂