10 Reasons why you should drink coconut milk

Coconut milk has become a popular choice among vegans, vegetarians and for anyone who is aware of what they eat. With its delicious and fresh taste coconut milk is a great base for smoothies and milkshakes as well as a good dairy alternative for baking. Plus, coconuts are extremely nutritious for your body. They are rich in fiber, vitamins C, B1, B3, B5, B6 and E as well as in minerals like sodium, calcium, iron, magnesium, selenium and phosphorous. 

By now we know that dairy products are not as healthy as we think they are. The way they are manufactured basically removes all the natural nutrients that these products have to offer. However, the dairy industry has made a great job in promoting daily dairy consumption as a way to get nutrients.

Personally I’ve never been a milk drinker. The only way I drink milk is in smoothies and milkshakes. I’m also not a vegan or vegetarian but after reading and watching the videos about how milk is actually made I was shocked and I felt disgusted to prepare my smoothies with regular milk. So I went and did some research to find another way in which I could prepare my smoothies and that’s when I discovered coconut milk.

Perhaps you’ve seen that there is a hype around everything that is made out of coconut lately. While sometimes ‘hypes’ can disappear after a while, I think this one is here to stay. First of all coconut milk is delicious, I swear! Take it from someone who has never liked a glass of plane milk. But not only that, coconut milk along with its derives such as coconut oil and coconut water are among the world’s healthiest food according to research. Most importantly, coconut milk is lactose free so it can also be drank by people who have lactose intolerance! Why is coconut milk lactose free? Well because it isn’t actually “milk” as we know it. It is a liquid that is found naturally inside of mature coconuts and it is stored with coconut’s “meat”. When you blend coconut water with its “meat” voilà…you get coconut milk! If you are still not convinced then here are the 10 benefits of drinking coconut milk.

10 Benefits of drinking coconut milk:

1) Improves heart health by lowering cholesterol and blood pressure

2) Provides electrolytes and prevents fatigue

3) Improves digestion and relieves constipation

4) Builds muscle and helps lose fat

5) Helps lose weight

6) Can help to prevent anemia

7) Helps to manage blood sugar and control diabetes

8) Helps to prevent ulcers

9) Prevents joint inflammation

10) Can help prevent arthritis

I really recommend you give coconut milk a try. At first I was a little bit reluctant towards it because I have tried coconut water before in my home country and I didn’t like the taste of it.  I thought that coconut milk would have a very similar taste, but luckily for me it didn’t so I decided to make my favorite banana smoothie with it. Let me tell you something really quick, I AM NOW ADDICTED TO MY BANANA& CINAMON smoothie and I really think that it is because the coconut milk gave it a different taste.

Remember, by drinking coconut milk instead of regular milk you will be doing your health a favor. But not only that, you will also be helping animal cruelty to stop. I hope you give it a try.

3 Boob-boosting exercises

“Let’s work out they said. It’ll be fun they said”. Until your boobs start to slowly disappear, gravity does its work and suddenly you find yourself being part of the #TeamSmallBoobs. Are you one of those girls who loses her boobies or which boobs shape changes when they work out constantly? No worries! There are ways to make your boobs look bigger and/or more perky.

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You could of course use extra-double padded dressing-pushup bras that would do the work for you, but this is not your only option. Developing muscle mass under your breast can greatly improve the look of your boobs. Keep in mind though that these exercises are not going to change a cup A into a cup B or C, but they may give you the natural push-up effect that you are missing. Do not expect miracles, there is no scientific evidence for boob lifting  exercises, but it’s always worth a try!

The muscles behind the story

Before we talk about the exercises, it is good to know what muscles we will put to work. First thing to know is that when we talk about breasts/chest, we are referring to the pectoralis. Which actually there are two different types of: a large (major pectoralis) and a small one (minor pectoralis).  The pectoralis major is a large muscle, situated in the chest under our boobs.  The pectoralis minor is a thin triangular muscle situated under the pectoralis major. (I hope you’re still with me). In sports such as bodybuilding, the pectoral muscles are usually called “pecs”. Besides the pecs we will train the shoulders, back and arms during our exercises. Not bad right!

If you are a Fit Girl, you must be probably already familiarized with these exercises, as they are often performed in the gym. But did you already knew that your breast/chest will thank you for doing these exercises regularly? Namely, these exercises strengthen the muscles under your boobs and in some cases it can help strengthen them.

It’s all about the weights

In order to ensure that the exercises have real effect, you need to make sure that the weight you are using is heavy enough. Thus make sure you can do up to 12 reps max. with the weight you are using. If you are not sure what weight will be enough, you could try this: Choose a certain weight and do 10 reps. Do you feel like you could do 10 more? Then probably the weight you are using is too light! Increase your weight. Do you feel like you could do a couple more reps but not more than 2 or 3 ? If yes, this is the right weight! Did you started your set and had to stop around the 8th repetition? Then the weight is too heavy, choose a lighter weight and try in a couple of weeks with heavier weight again. It is very important that you challenge yourself with heavier weights, but always make sure that it is safe. Follow the instructions and remember: form is ALWAYS more important than speed!

Exercises

1 | Dumbbell bench press

Lie on your back on  a bench with your arms straight and a dumbbell in each hand. Lower the dumbbells until they are almost on the side of your chest, push them back up to the starting position. That’s one rep.

Do 10 repetitions.

exercise 1 boobs

2 | Push up

Yeah, the old-fashioned push up. Start on all fours with the palm of your hands slightly wider than your shoulders, and your feet close together. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your toes. Drop down until your chest almost touches the ground. Keep your upper arms parallel to your torso. Hold this position and push yourself back up to the starting position. If you can’t do regular push-ups then you could modify this exercise to doing it on your knees instead of your toes.

Do 10 repetitions.

PUSH UP boobcercise-3

3 | Dumbell fly

Lie resting on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Hold a pair of dumbbells above your shoulders with your elbows slightly bent. This is your starting position. Lower your arms in a wide arc to the side until you feel a stretch in your chest. Here it is important that you keep your elbows slightly bent to prevent tension on the biceps’ tendon. Breathe at this point of the exercise. Make sure you keep the same form in your arms throughout the exercise. This means that there is only movement in your shoulders. Bring your arms back to the starting position while you tighten your muscles and breathe out.

Do 10 repetitions

EXERCISE 3 boobcercise-4

Try to do these exercises without much rest in between. Your muscles need to be refilled with energy, but if you give them rest for too long they will be fully recovered before you start the next set, and they will eventually not grow. Rest for up to 60 to 90 seconds max.

I’m really curious about your experience with these boob exercises. Keep me up to date in the comments.

Perfect healthy snacks to eat between breakfast and lunch time

When I decided to start eating healthier about a year ago I made the compromise with myself to have a healthy breakfast and lunch at least 5 times a week, and a healthy dinner whenever I was not in a social gathering. This was hard at the beginning but as time went by it naturally became easier. Fast forward one year and now the hard part is finding what to eat in between my breakfast and lunch as a snack. If you are anything like me then you’ll know that  getting creative with food can get tricky and then you find yourself feeling clueless about what to eat when the hunger strikes between breakfast and lunch. Therefore I decided to make some research and find some inspiration about what to eat as as in-between snack. 

The truth is that I have a pretty good idea of what it means to eat healthy. I’ve invested a lot of my time in researching what the healthiest foods are out there and I try to incorporate all my knowledge as much as possible. But for some reason I had never worried about my in-between snacks. (Hmm maybe this has a lot to do with that fat roll that simply won’t go away?) To be honest, it was not until I started working at Fitgirlcode that I realized that I get hungry in between breakfast and lunch, and that I had no idea what to eat then. I really needed to find some inspiration and ideas and while I was searching for them I came across this super easy to make snacks.

These snacks are so easy to make, which is why they are perfect for anyone that dislikes cooking and preparing stuff (like me!) or simply does not have time to be preparing elaborate stuff. The best part? They are so pretty and Instagram worth it! You’ll Instagram feed will thank you!

Greek yogurt with berries and chia seeds

yoghurts with berries

This mid-day snack is so simple to make and you only need 3 ingredients to prepare it!

Ingredients:

  • 200g low-fat greek yoghurt
  • 1 table spoon chia seeds
  • 170 g mixed berries (you can choose between frozen or fresh berries)

Method of preparation:

You just have to follow 2 simple steps:

  1. Place the yoghurt, chia seeds and half of the berries in a bowl and stir until they are well mixed.
  2. Pour the remaining berries on top. This is so Instagram-proof!

 

Avocado with Feta & Pomegranate on Toast

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VIA: Kaylaitsines

This mid-day snack is so pretty and tasteful! The best part is that it is really filling.

Ingredients:

  • 1 slice of wholemeal or rye bread
  • 30g low-fat, salt-reduced feta cheese (you can also replace this for cottage cheese)
  • ¼ sliced avocado
  • 1 small handful pomegranate seeds
  • Lemon juice (you can choose how much if not at all)
  • Salt (you can choose how much if not at all)

Method of preparation

Three simple steps is all you need to do:

  1. Toast the bread to your preference
  2. Place the avocado slices first, then add the feta/cottage cheese and sprinkle the pomegranate seeds
  3. Squeeze over the lemon and salt (if you decided to add some) and voilà

 

Veggie soldiers with herb yoghurt

veggies

Because sometimes we don’t have the time to make our food look Instagram worthy we need to find options which are fast to prepare and don’t need to be served in a specific and “complicated” way! This is one of the easier if not the easiest snack you will come across.

Ingredients:

  • 50g low-fat Greek yoghurt
  • ¼ medium carrot, sliced vertically
  • ¼ medium cucumber, sliced vertically
  • 1//2 medium capsicum, sliced vertically
  • 2 table spoons fresh dill, chopped
  • Lemon juice (optional)

*You can add any other vegetable of your preference.

Method of preparation

  1. To prepare to herb yoghurt you need to: place the yoghurt in a bowl, pour in the lemon juice and dill and mix until they are well combined.
  2. Dip your veggie soldier in the Greek yoghurt. That’s it!

There you go girls, no more eating boring (or even worse unhealthy!) in-between snacks. I hope you try this super easy to make, pretty snacks. My favorite out of this selection is the avocado with feta and pomegranate on toast. Do you have a preference as well?  Do you have any more ideas for healthy and easy to make in-between snacks? Let us know in the comments! Any suggestion that keeps my in-between snacks far from boring is welcome!

The meat of the future: eat meat without killing any animals

Unless you live under a rock by now you know that the meat industry is very scary. It is an industry that cages, mutilates and butchers billions of animals. And the industry that exploits farmers by controlling the retail price of their products. Let’s also not forget that we see only what the meat industry wants us to see and if anyone dares to go against them, they will most likely end up in legal trouble. This industry is so f*/ked up that never before has there been so many activist groups trying to better things. And it looks like their efforts are paying off because things seem like they could be changing for the better soon!

For some months now every time I eat meat I feel a little guilty about it. Not because of the fact that an animal was killed in order for me to “enjoy” a piece of meat  but for the way in which it was killed. In my perspective eating meat is a natural thing, however I can’t stand the cruelty that surrounds the production of meat. I think it would be a different thing if animals would be able to grow old and live a cage free life until they were old enough that they would die from natural causes, or killed in a peaceful way.

Sadly this is not how things are. And while I admire and respect all vegans and vegetarians, that is not a lifestyle which I chose (however I haven’t closed the door completely to the possibility). This means that I am in a constant battle with my belly and my mind. Although I decided not to be a vegetarian I still try to limit my meat consumption to mostly 2 types of meat: fish and chicken and sometimes I eat beef. About a year ago I stopped eating pork and I don’t like to eat  “fancy” and exotic meats like for example duck or rabbit, just to mention some (I just want to clarify that I don’t think some animal lives are more valuable than others, or that it is okay to kill certain animals. That is not the point of this article and it should not be  interpreted as such).

Memphis Meats: The meat of the future

You can imagine my surprise when browsing through my Facebook I saw a video about meat which is produced without killing any animals! Yes ladies and gentlemen you read right, meat without killing any animals. Then company behind this is called Memphis Meats and the way they create this meat is by using stem cells. Stem cells are cells that be transformed and developed into any kind of cells. This new meat has many benefits, for example, thanks to the use of stem cells Memphis Meats is able to control it’s fat content and it is free of contaminants, fecal matter and antibiotics. The best part is that Memphis Meats claims that it tastes exactly like normal meat! (Of course we are going to need to try it for ourselves first to see if this part is true)

Beef pork and poultry will be the first types of meat available. Although the meat is already being made, it is expected to actually hit the market in 5 years so we’ll have to wait a little. Seems like 2021 will be a year that could change the meat industry as we know it for good. I’m definitely excited for this to happen and I’m really hoping this meat will be at a price which is affordable for everyone!

6 post workout mistakes you are probably making

Being Fit takes a lot of effort and dedication. From finding motivation and time to work out, to planning meals and good workout routines. There are so many things we think about that sometimes we forget that the things we do before and after a workout affect our results as much as the workout itself. The last thing we want of course is to work-out for nothing.

When we eat right and commit to exercising regularly it may seem hard to understand why we don’t see the progress we would like to see. The truth is that sometimes we sabotage our own progress by silly mistakes we do after a work-out that we can easily avoid. The things you do post-workout are as important as working out itself. That’s why I decided to look into 6 of the most common post workout mistakes people do:

6 post workout mistakes:

1. Oversnacking

This is one of the most common mistakes. Most of us (and I include myself here) overestimate the amount of calories we burned during a work-out. We think that because we feel sore, and we just sweat like we ran a marathon  that means we must have burned 1000 calories. Anyone else here is with me? But the sad truth is that most of the times we burned half of the amount of calories we think. Of course this varies depending what we did for exercise. Jus to give you an idea, a person who weighs 120 pounds (54.5 kg) burns 191 calories in hour of doing Pilates and 298 calories during 30 minutes of weight lifting (this are estimations that were found in previous research). While this numbers are by no means insignificant amounts, they are also not enough calories burned to justify the calories we consume if we over snack. This means that if you eat unhealthy snacks after a workout, most likely you will end up consuming more calories than what you burned which may result on weight gain. Remember that junk food has more calories than we think even when eaten in moderation. So don’t fall into the trap where you think that eating unhealthy snacks after a workout won’t jeopardize your results.

2. Drinking sports drink instead of water

Drinking a sports drink is something you should avoid unless you are a doing a super intense workout for hours (think of athletes). The issue with sports drinks is that they are full of sugar which helps deliver the amount of electrolytes that a body loses during an intense workout. This also means that sports drinks have a lot of calories (some of them contain 330 calories which is almost the same as a serving of ice cream!) Can you imagine eating an ice-cream during your work out? Not even in a million years right?! Drinking a sports drink is consuming unnecessary calories that at the end of the day will just sabotage all your efforts. That’s why if you are working out between 40 to 60 minutes then your best friend to keep hydrated is simply water. If you find yourself really craving a drink with flavor to keep you hydrated during a workout, then try coconut water instead. It has a sweet flavor, barely any calories and is extremely healthy.

3. Waiting too long to eat after a work-out

Some people don’t give much thought to whether they eat or not after a workout. Some others, like me do this automatically because they naturally feel hungry. But which is the right thing to do? After a work-out our bodies are gasping for calories and it is very important to eat something to keep blood sugar levels normal and avoid feeling tired. Ideally you should eat something within 30 to 40 minutes after you are done exercising. Besides the fact that if you don’t eat after a work out you are going to end up feeling more hungry and overeating afterwards, if you don’t eat after a workout you can slow down your muscle building in a long run.

I know sometimes our busy schedules can make it hard for us to work out, and even harder to find time to eat after a workout. Especially is you are working out before you go to work or to school. But it is essential to do so! A good  tip is to prepare your after work-out snacks beforehand. This way once you are done you can just reach out for  it. Try eating foods rich in proteins like eggs or Greek yoghurt with fruits. However, if you really feel like you have no time to sit and eat a real “post-workout meal” that’s okay. There are simple ways that will help you make sure that you always eat something within the ideal time frame. For example I always pack a banana and apple with me when I know I’m going to work out. This way I make sure I get some nutrients into my body right away. regardless if I am in a rush to get somewhere.

4. Eatin snacks high in refined sugars

Okay Fit Girls the fact that you need to eat something after a work out doesn’t mean you can eat anything you want. Eating foods with high levels of high refined sugars after a work out is as bad as not eating anything at all! Here is why: Refined sugar is basically sugar that has been so processed that it contains no nutritional benefits. This means that is has been depleted from vitamins and mineral and transformed into a refined carbohydrate (which are the bad types of carbohydrates). In other words, refined sugar is basically full with empty calories. On top of that, this type of sugar is addictive which means that in the long run the more you eat it, the more you will crave it.

If you eat a snack with high amounts of refined sugar after a workout you will get an energy boost first but it will wear off quickly which will make your body crave for more sugar and feel more tired afterwards. This is known as a sugar spike which means that your body goes from being low in its level of sugar- to being extremely high-to being extremely low again. Obviously having our sugar levels change so drastically, so fast is really unhealthy!

5. Drinking alcohol right after you worked out

Sometimes it may feel tempting to pour ourselves a glass of wine after completing our workout. Especially if you are working out in the evening before ending your day, like me. However reaching for that glass of wine, or any type of alcoholic beverage would be a mistake. To begin with, when we work out we sweat and lose liquids. If on top of that you add booze which is dehydrating the result won’t be nice. Also some studies have shown that alcohol keeps muscle from synthesizing protein after a work out which in turn keeps them from repairing torn muscle fibers. This means more soreness and less muscle growth which is the opposite from what you want to achieve. Also alcoholic beverages are full with calories which is another reason why you should avoid them after working out.

6. Not cooling down and stretching out after your work out

Not cooling down and stretching out is one of the worst things for your body after a workout. When we are exercising our muscles are constantly contracting as we push ourselves through our work-out. If we don’t stretch out we are at higher risk of getting an injury because we don’t bring our muscles back to their natural, relaxed form (stretch out). Also not stretching out can lead to permanent or chronical contractions. As someone who has a chronic contraction, believe me it sucks! It limits your workout because the muscle is basically in the shape of a ball and it hurts when you do certain exercises. As for the cool down, think of it as a car which is driving fast speed and out of the sudden the driver stops abruptly going from 100 km p/h to 0. This will damage the motor of the car at some point right? Well the same counts for our bodies. During our workout our heart beat goes much faster than normal and we are sweating because the temperature of our body rises. Cooling down allows our heart beats to slowly return to its normal pace and our temperature to regulate. Also keep in mind that cooling down and stretching out can prevent muscle soreness the next day (or make it less). Forgetting to cool down is a NO GO and a recipe for disaster. Believe me, this is a mistake I swear by!

Now you know what are some of the silliest mistakes we do after a workout and how they can actually get in the way between us and our ultimate goals. Try to avoid these behaviors and I’m sure before you realize it all your efforts will start to pay off. Remember, what we do after a workout is jus as important as what we do during a workout itself. 

6 Reasons why you should be eating peanut butter

Nowadays, research about the food industry is constantly being performed. Specifically, there is a lot of research focused on what foods are actually healthy and which ones are not. This has allowed foods that were deemed unhealthy and fattening to be seen in a whole new light.  A perfect example of this is peanut butter. While many people think of it as an unhealthy food, in reality, it is full of nutrients and healthy properties! 

Being Fit Girls means we are always looking for healthy food and snack alternatives. Personally, I am always looking for options that are easy to incorporate into my diet and that don’t require that much time to prepare.  A few weeks ago, a friend told me that I should start eating peanut butter on a daily basis. This was a little bit surprising for me since the last time that I ate peanut butter was in a peanut butter jelly sandwich when I was a teenager. This was really the last thing that I wanted to be eating now!

However, I did my homework and checked to find out if peanut butter is actually healthy or unhealthy to eat. After what I read,  I now feel like peanut butter is something that has become stigmatized. It is certainly not the first food I would think of when I think about eating healthier. But I was amazed to find out all the benefits peanut butter has to offer,  especially if  you are working out constantly! So before you decide to ditch peanut butter from your diet, keep reading.

Not only is it tasty, cheap and easy to grab when you are in a rush. It is also full of nutrients I could never think it could have. Research shows that one serving of peanut butter will give you  vitamin E, vitamin B6, zinc and magnesium in small amounts. But the benefits don’t stop there, here are some of the best characteristics and benefits from peanut butter.

IT IS A GREAT SOURCE OF PROTEIN

With just 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, you will be consuming 7 grams of protein. Eating protein makes you feel full for a longer period of time, but that’s not even the best part. The best part is that protein is good for building and repairing muscles which means peanut butter should definitely be your friend if you work out regularly.

IT IS A GREAT SOURCE OF POTASSIUM 

A lot of people have way too much sodium in their diets. The problem with sodium is that if it is consumed in large amounts, it can mess up your cardiovascular system. Peanut butter, however, is a rich source of potassium, and potassium helps to counter the dangers of consuming a lot of sodium.

IT IS A GREAT SOURCE OF “HEALTHY FAT”

I feel like this is where the bad reputation started. Peanut butter is rich in fat, and a lot of people have the misconception that eating any fats will make them gain weight. But, this is only true if you are consuming saturated fats. Peanut butter contains both saturated and unsaturated fats, which are known as “healthy fats” . However, the level of unsaturated fat is much higher than the saturated fat levels, which means that peanut butter is a great source of “healthy fats”. Think about it this way, peanut butter is as good of a source of healthy fats as an avocado is!

IT HELPS BOOST ENERGY

Because of the amounts of healthy fats and proteins it has, peanut butter contains calories that will help you boost your energy. It’s best if you eat it for breakfast or before or after a workout to either boost your energy levels or help your muscles recover faster.

IT IS RICH IN FIBER

Not only is peanut butter rich in protein, but for every 2 tablespoons that you eat of it you will also be eating 2 grams of fiber. Fiber is essential for our digestive system to function properly.

IT HELPS BOOST YOUR WEIGHT LOSS

Eating peanut butter has many benefits, but this one is definitely one of the best! It may sound a little crazy that something that some people consider “junk food” could help boost your weight loss.  Because of the protein, healthy fats and fiber content, when you eat peanut butter you actually feel fuller longer. If you feel full for a longer period, then you are less likely to crave for unhealthy snacks. If you eat less unhealthy snacks, your caloric intake will be lower. Voila, your weight loss just got easier!

Now you know why you should incorporate peanut butter into your diet. However, don’t think that this means you can eat it carelessly! Go for 2 tablespoons per day.  I like to eat it in the morning on a toasted bread with some sliced banana and strawberries, or after a workout with some apple. I hope you are as convinced as I am about peanut butter. Did this 6 reasons convinced you to give it a try? Or do you already eat peanut butter regularly? Let me know in the comments!

Beginner’s guide to doing push ups

Always wanted to perform push ups but don’t know where to start? No worries! Just like any exercise, you’re going to be able to drop down and give someone 20 once you put in the effort into a solid training routine. This post has all you need to know to go from not being able to do one push up to being able to keep raising the number of push ups you can do in one sitting. Here’s your beginner’s guide to doing push ups!

What’s so good about doing push ups?

You encounter push ups everywhere you look: in the movies, in the gym class, on that girl’s Instagram page that you follow. But what’s the big deal with them? Well, they are an amazing test of strength. Performing a push up means that you’re going to use most of your upper body. It’s a great workout for your chest, shoulders and arms. And it offers many different variations so you can really focus on one body part.

Plus, you don’t need any equipment to do it, meaning that you can get some exercise in no matter where you are. It’s quick, easy, and really effective. What more do you need? Besides,  people are always impressed if they see a girl doing push ups with ease. 😉

Finding the right form

If you are unable to do a traditional push up, start off by doing knee push ups and build up the strength till you can perform them on your toes. Everyone needs to start somewhere, so just keep at it and you will see the development! While doing push ups at a fast pace seems impressive, I advise you to take your time and do slow push ups so that you really get used to the movement and actively engage the muscles that you’re using.

The first thing you need to do when it comes to form, is to make sure that you keep your head and your neck in line with your torso. Next, set up your hands a bit wider than shoulder-width apart and try to imagine your body as a straight line. This means engaging your abs to keep yourself straight and not sticking your butt into the air! A little tip: looking forward, instead of looking down helps you to keep your body straight as well.

When you lower your body to the ground, try to keep your elbows in as much as possible. Stop once your elbows are about a 45 degree angle, then push yourself back up until your arms lock again.

From 0 to 100 Real Quick

The key to being able to do more push ups is simple: keep trying. As you keep practicing, you’re going to build up strength in the muscles necessary for performing the movement.

Set some time aside to do push ups three or four times each week. Start by doing a set of 10 push ups, and resting for 3 minutes. Then do 2 or 3 more sets with the same amount of rest time. Strength doesn’t develop at the same speed for everyone, so it’s up to you to notice when it’s time to challenge yourself some more. If you’re able to do the push ups easily, then start giving yourself a shorter rest time.  So take 2 minute breaks, then 1 minute breaks, till you reach the point where you don’t need to do any breaks. From then on, you can start doing larger sets! And you’ll find the number of push ups you’re able to do go up massively over time.

Combine your push up training with strength training as well. Work out your chest, shoulders, arms and abs using other exercises, and this will also help you with your push up game. Good luck!

Karen’s journey: From anorexia, to couch potato to a Fit Girl!

You know the phrase “you don’t know what you have, until it’s gone”? Well, that is exactly what happened to me. Ironically, it wasn’t until I had an accident that left me on the couch for 2 months, that I realized how much our bodies do for us and how little I had done for mine in the last few years. It took me getting into a situation where I couldn’t do anything at all to have this appreciation for my body.

When summer started rolling around, I felt like everyone seemed to be worried about one thing….how to get that amazing bikini body. The gyms started to get full again, more people were seen running outside and people started going on extreme diets to help them get in shape fast for this summer.  While I personally also get extra motivated when I think about that sexy bikini I want to wear with confidence, this shouldn’t be someone’s sole motivation when they want to embark on a fit journey.

I think that there is no ideal time of the year to start working on yourself. You don’t have to wait until summer is close or for the New Year to start in order for you to begin exercising and eating well. Take it from me!

How the journey began

Last year, I went on a ski trip where I ended up breaking the interior cruciate ligament of my left knee. I also gave myself two bone bruises. Because of the bone bruises, I couldn’t do anything at all because every slight movement was extremely painful. It really was the worst pain that I have ever experienced. While waiting for the bone bruises to go away and till I was able to move my leg again, all I did for 2 months straight was watch TV from my couch. When I finally could move, I started going to physiotherapy. By this point it was already too late, after not using my left leg at all for 2 months, it had become a “pudding” leg…there was seriously no muscle at all! I have never seen any part of my body in such a state.

karen's journey

Physiotherapy did not help my injury, so the only option I had left was to have a surgery to reconstruct the ligament and regain mobility of my knee.  After my surgery,  I had to start from zero once again. My life revolved around going to physiotherapy every single day just to try to gain muscle again and to help everything to heal faster.  After only 3 weeks, my leg started to look normal again and the progress was undeniable.

I was amazed to see how much my body was cooperating with me in order to get stronger, and it was at this point that I developed a love for exercise and a better sense of appreciation of my body. Ever since then, I started going to the gym and taking care of what I ate because I wanted to become a healthy and strong woman. After some months, I really started to see results.  I don’t think I will ever give up this new healthy lifestyle!

karen's journey

Nurturing a good relationship with my body

Before my knee injury, I had never been a sporty person, but I was always concerned with being skinny. Because I didn’t like to exercise or eat healthy at all,  the only way I had left to become skinny was to barely eat. This led to developing anorexia when I was just 14 years old. Ironically, after I got better, I started to eat compulsively, so my weight ended up yoyo-ing from sometimes fat to sometimes skinny.

So, my relationship with food and exercise was never really good until I had to take care of my body for my health, and not just for my image. For the first time in my life, I started to listen to my body and nourish it. I’ve found that exercising makes me feel more connected to myself and more aware of what is happening inside my head. All in all, it has brought me a new sense of balance, peace and happiness.

fit

I wanted to share my personal journey to show that we all have different paths we need to follow on our way to becoming fit, and different reasons as to why we decide to do so. Some people want to lose weight, others want to gain muscle, others – like me – have to because of an injury, etc. I think that sometimes we tend to compare ourselves to pictures from girls we see on Instagram and start diminishing our accomplishments. But being fit is about being healthier and happier with yourself, not about being skinny and having the most amazing flat and defined abs.

Learning to appreciate our bodies and treat it as a temple is really the most important thing you have to do. Once you do these things, everything else will fall into place. You will naturally start eating healthier and exercising more often, and results will come. Personally, I’m still far away from my goals and my dream body, but guess what? I’ve never been healthier and happier. Remember, small changes lead to great things.

Full body workout you can do in your bedroom

Going to the gym just isn’t for everyone. I know many of my friends who just can’t get into it, and would much rather workout at home, outdoors or follow a class instead. And that’s, of course, lovely ladies, totally okay! For each, their own. If you’re more comfortable working out at home, then check out this full body workout where the only equipment you need is yourself. 

I actually have to admit that this is reminiscent of when I just started getting into fitness. I remember being 14 years old or so, and looking online for any video I could find that had exercises that I could do right in my bedroom. I used to do tricep dips off the side of my bed, push ups and crunches to start off my mornings and countless jumping jacks. Running wasn’t possible for me since my issues with my knees prevent me from doing so, so I made sure to put together a routine that got my heart racing while also making me stronger. And that’s exactly the type of full body workout that I’m going to share with you now!

I guess you can say that this has a sort of ‘circuit training’ style to it. What you need to do is perform as many reps as you can for each exercise for one whole minute without losing your form. There is a total of 7 exercises, and you should repeat this cycle twice.

Warm up

We’re going to start off immediately raising your heart rate. Remember to always keep your form tight, and your abs engaged as you do these moves. How many burpees can you do in one minute? Time to find out!

  • Jumping Jacks
  • High Knees
  • Burpees

The core

These three exercises are going to really target your core strength, your shoulders, your quads and your chest. They’re all about control, so you have to use all your stabilizing muscles to properly do them. It’s pretty common knowledge that the plank is one of the best ways to strengthen your core. This added twist to it, just adds an extra challenge and emphasizes your obliques. You’re going to use your oblique muscles to really lift your knee towards your arms.

  • Mountain climbers
  • Plank (knee to elbow)
  • Push ups

Round things off with a a few wall sits. Stand shoulder width apart against a wall, and slowly lower yourself till your legs create a 90 degree angle. Hold this position for 20 seconds, then take a 10 second break. Do this 3x.

Repeat all 7 exercises twice, and then you’re all done! Remember to stretch your muscles out after you complete it. I like to use this as an alternative to going to the gym, but it’s also a good way to mix up your usual routine!  It’s also easy like this to track your progress, so note down how many reps is possible for you within that minute, and watch the number go up as you keep at this full body workout. Good luck!

8 Irritating things that men do in the gym

Men. They’re pretty great, but boy, can they sometimes be irritating. There are just these things that men do that make my blood boil, especially while at the gym. Sometimes I think that it would be bliss if I could just go to a big gym and only find women there. But then again, the mix of both men and women can also be pretty fun. Since I know that we can all relate, and that nothing brings people together like moaning about something every once in a while, I’ve put together this list of the 8 most irritating things that men do in the gym.  Enjoy!

1. They make a huge mess

The dumbbells and weight plates are literally EVERYWHERE. Is it really that difficult to put everything back in place after you’ve used them? Apparently so…

2. They make you doubt whether you should wear your shorts or not

When you wear your nice Nike shorts, it’s always paired with men from all corners of the gym staring you down. Leg day in a pair of shorts are a no-go for me whenever I know that the gym is going to be busy. I can already feel the eyes burning on my back…

3. Egos. Egos everywhere.

You know them well, the men that give you a disapproving look when you come next to them in the weight room. Calm down bro, you’re really not that important to me. I’m here to work for myself!=

4.  Don’t get me started with the smell…

Is it just me, or do men forget to use deodorant more regularly than women? Putting on perfume before you go to workout is maybe not necessary, but a spray of deodorant should really not be considered a luxury.

5.  The cocky conversations that never seem to end

You know them well, the men that never stop talking about how many women they got with this weekend, or how much beer they drank without getting too messed up. In my opinion, I don’t really think taking 10 minute breaks between sets just to brag on and on and on is that conducive to actual progress, but I’m not going to interfere with their training styles..

6. Those way-too-tight gym shorts

It’s not exactly on the same level of a Speedo, but damn, those shorts are tight. And we can’t do anything about it, because when someone wears such tight shorts, we can’t help but look (whether or not we want to).

7. Looking too long at themselves in the mirror

Okay, this is something women know and do as well, but men sometimes even go beyond us. Just when I’m finishing up my last set of squats, I honestly have to sneak a glance at the guy who has been flexing and checking out his muscles for the last 5 minutes.

8. Grunting, swearing, screaming…

Having to grunt sometimes during your workout is nothing new. Exaggerating these natural grunts is sadly, also common. When you have your bar so heavy that you can’t complete your rep without swearing and grunting with all your might, you should probably go a bit lighter. Just sayin’…

Despite these mega irritating habits, I must say that I also really enjoy having men around in the gym. Can you imagine a chicken-coop full of women? I don’t think that’ll do anyone much better..