How Team #FGC is making September healthier

Here at #FITGIRLCODE HQ we keep up with the latest health trends not only to share them with all of you but also to apply them to our own lives! Each of us is different and has unique strengths, weaknesses, schedules, and needs. After a summer filled with one too many scoops of ice cream (sound familiar?) we are ready to conquer September 2015 by trying out something new!

We’ll each share with you one workout, food tip, beauty tip, or new habit we’re trying out this month to continue unlocking our personal code to a healthy and happy lifestyle. We are determined to make September healthier!

 

Drink 2 Litres of water per day

Shelley, Brand Relations Manager

“I’ve started committing to drinking 2L of water a day and plan to make this a habit. For some this is super easy but for me it’s a downright struggle – I’m just a very non-thirsty person and now I have to go to the bathroom ALL. THE. TIME. They say it takes you 2-3 weeks to form a habit so let’s see if I can do this! Why? Drinking enough water is very good for your health and on top of that, my skin definitely can use some improvements.”

Bottoms up, Shelley!

Vary workouts to avoid a Fit Girl rut

Anna, Press Relations Manager & Lead Editor

“Prevent yourself from getting into a workout rut. If you do the same thing over and over again you’ll get bored no matter what, and the same goes for your workouts. I was doing CrossFit all the time and just didn’t feel like it anymore”

“This month I’m going to try all different types of workouts to keep surprising my body and mind. I want to keep it playful and exciting to avoid getting into a rut and to make sure I keep enjoying exercising!”

“… recently I’ve tried Hula Hoop, swimming, Grit Strength classes, running, and I’m having such a blast!!”

Cutting out dairy and adding fermented foods

Andrea, Marketing Intern

“My skin has been all over the place this summer, and I have not been able to figure out what’s causing it. I eat super well but have a weakness for certain dairy foods (cheese, greek yogurt, ice cream…). Dairy products are full of natural hormones, are a natural source of sugar, and increase inflammation in the body. These are all things that could be contributing to my not-so-great complexion as of late.”

“So as much of a cheese-lover as I am I will do my best to skip the dairy products and go for kimchi instead as I embark on my mission to baby-soft, clear skin”

Unplugging

Aranka, CEO

“I’m going on holiday and limiting myself to 30 min of internet per day during that week. I am going to read books and try to take less pictures. I sometimes don’t even see the view, only the picture of the view… Bring on the beach!”

 

Train for 10K

Laura, Project Manager
“I slowly built up my running ability to a 5K then had a bad ankle injury. This set me back and I broke up with running for several months. I’m looking for love again and am hoping to find it at the 10K finish line!”
“I’m going to use my Nike + app to train for running a 10K in 8 weeks. I know this is not just for September, but I plan to using the app’s schedule this month so I have clear goals I can stick to. I’m still looking for a race in the Netherlands in the coming months, any suggestions?”

 

Starting fresh with a positive mindset

Vladana, Online Editor
“This summer was marked by a lot of changes in my life, both good and bad. I met a lot of positive people here at #FITGIRLCODE who helped me change my negative mindset and inspired me to make changes”
“September will be my fresh start. I will find a routine and balance that work for me and get back on track in the gym after being injured for 4 months. More sleep and more water seems like a good place to start 🙂 “

 

Start going to yoga again

Laura, Chief Production Manager

“Team #FITGIRLCODE is moving to a new HQ! A new office means a new start. I’m letting go of old bad habits, including not going to yoga. I see every Monday as the 1st of January, a new opportunity to start fresh. You’ll see me back at yoga in September!”

Sleeping more

Joey, Graphic Designer

“This month I’m going to catch more zzzz’s and rest so that I can properly focus during the day. I plan to have more energy so I can be more productive and get better results in all I do, in and out of the office”

“A clear mind allows me to be on top of my game while working on my latest big project for the #FITGIRLCODE website! Stay tuned in the coming months to see if I succeed!”

So that’s what the #FITGIRLCODE team is up to this month! We’d love to hear about your plans, goals, dreams, and everything else. Tag us on Instagram or comment below and share what you’re doing to make September 2015 healthier!

The final week of the #PinkChallenge

We have almost reached the end of the #PinkChallenge and the last three weeks have been a very fun and educational experience. I’ve tried lots of new recipes and exercises thanks to this challenge and I’m going to include them in my daily routine!

The purpose of this challenge was to work towards a new goal of healthy eating and being active by changing up the normal routine. We all know that variety isn’t always possible to maintain to the hectic pace of daily life, but the important thing is that you always do what makes you happy. The first step to a healthy and happy life is to accept yourself and see what works for you. 

FOODIE

I like to eat lots of food every day and I off course it’s a constant struggle to find the right balance between a healthy lifestyle and having fun. Of course it is important that you eat your daily portion of fruits and vegetables, but you shouldn’t deprive yourself of treats you want either. You want to enjoy a juicy burger and a cold beer at the weekend ? Just do it! There’s really nothing wrong with that. During this challenge I didn’t follow the schedule rigidly, swapping meals here and there and yes, I’ve even had some cheat meals but I don’t feel guilty about it. We only live once, so don’t be too hard on yourself. I also tried lots of new recipes over the last three weeks that I will be including into my routine from now on. I often tend to eat the same things because life is hectic and this just makes it easier but I get tired of certain dishes quickly. This challenge has shown me that you can rustle up a simple but healthy meal with a few ingredients without spending too much time and energy! I’m also very happy with the Perfectly Pink Smoothie innocent because not only do I get the right vitamins, but it also gives me building blocks to support my body for working out. And I’ll let you in on a little secret, it saves me lots of time, that my blender has been a little neglected and left in the back of my cupboard.

Sports Fanatic

Exercise is good for you and gives you a lot of energy, but again you shouldn’t feel guilty if you don’t go to the gym every day. Before I started this challenge, I thought that a workout should last at least an hour and it could only be considered a succes if you are totally exhausted afterwards. Of course this is nonsense. Alicia’s workout videos showed me that short and powerful exercises can accomplish as much as an hour of intense training on the machines at the gym. More is not always better! This schedule also highlighted yoga to work into an active, lifestyle with videos from yogi Liberty which has given me variety and helped me to find the right balance for body and mind. It’s very relaxing and it brings a much needed sense of tranquility to my mind.

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The workouts from Alicia and Liberty are completely different, but they complement each other nicely. And the best part is that you can do both of them at home on a mat. Going to the gym is completely unnecessary! I definitely want to try and maintain this variety. I am guilty of focusing on my body and wanting look good, but I’ve also learned that it is important to be satisfied with yourself and being comfortable in your own skin. So it is not all about getting that perfect booty!

And here’s the next video for you so don’t wait any longer and get started. Just one week girls so pull out all the stops and just go for it!

It is your final chance to win some goodies now that we are in the last week, so don’t forget to upload and tag your photos on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #PinkChallenge and you could win a limited edition #FITGIRLCODE tanktop AND Jogha Racerback Bra!

blog4aShot at Balanzs Rotterdam 

Stressed? 5 on-the-go yoga poses to relieve tension

Do you sit in the same position for hours on end at your job, study, or other daily activity? It’s no secret that this is not the best for your health, as you’ll have noticed by your need to fidget, get coffee every 30 minutes, and general discomfort. Try these 5 on-the-go yoga poses to relieve tension in your body and mind and that will help you conquer your work day! 

The Huffington Post recently wrote about some yoga-inspired stretches that can be done without freaking out your coworkers… we do not recommend breaking out your downward dog in the middle of the office or library surrounded by people who are trying to concentrate on important projects. That bootay in the air is a spilled-drink-on-keyboard waiting to happen! We tried out these 5 poses that can be done in just a few minutes and are sure to rejuvenate you.

1. The Seated Backbend

Straighten your spine in your seat and take a deep breath. With both arms open wide, reach up as high as you can so that you are stretching while opening up your breath. As you exhale, bend your upper back slightly so that your gaze shifts slowly behind you. Hold this relaxing pose for a few seconds, then release both arms back to your side. Repeat this a few times.

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8 Habits of positive people part 2

In my article “8 Habits of positive people part 1” I shared with you the first 4 habits of positive people. If you haven’t had the change to read it, please do so. I promise it will make you SMILE! In Part 2 I will share with you, the last 4 habits of positive people, which Huffpost recently wrote in the healthy living department about perpetually positive people. Along with their input I will again give my “positive”  point of view on this matter. Are we ready Fit Girls? Oh YEAH! 🙂

In part 1 of the article, you could read about, how positive people have their calming rituals, tap into their positivity during challenging times, but also embrace the negative and that positive people don’t bully themselves but that it’s all about the “Loving-Kindness Meditation”. Does any of these habits sound familiar? I believe all Fit Girls are positive people in one way or the other.  Because we challenge ourselves and when we overcome our fears / challenges we can be proud and look back of our journey with a smile on our faces.

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Health benefits of having a pet – part 2

Living with pets is great and it’s good for your health (as an animal lover, I can confirm this). I read an article that described the health benefits of living with pets and because I almost have all of the animals mentioned in the article I thought it would be nice to write about these awesome pets while comparing it to my own perspective.

In part one of this article I explained why my pets aren’t just the fluffy and feathery companions I share the house with, they’re part of my family. I also stated that with kids and pets,my family is pretty big! We couldn’t live without our pets, even though it’s a lot of work, they make our family life more fun!

Back to the benefits of owning pets. After part 1 you’re probably curious to find out more about health benefits of having a pet. In part 2 I’ll write about three more pets. Hopefully you already get to enjoy being a pet owner, if not, I hope this article might persuade you to become one!

3. Fish

Looking to bring some relaxation and calmness into your life?! Apparently, by watching fish you can distract yourself in a good way, says Dr. Becker. Many studies show that spending time in nature can improve your well-being. An aquarium or a fishpond in your garden lets you bring this in and around your house. One study showed when dental patients (that were about to undergo surgery) felt less stressed after gazing at a fish tank for 20 minutes.

Fishies2

I think this is so true. I have a fishpond with Koi’s in it (see the photo above) and I often do yoga outdoors beside the pond because it’s way more calming and relaxing. I wish I would do yoga like this every day of the year. Beside this it’s really fun to feed the fish, they’ll eat from your hands (mind you, these are not small fish, they’re huge, so it can be a bi scary haha).

On page two you can continue to read about great pets for your health.

4. Birds

Schermafbeelding 2015-08-01 om 12.30.02

Birds have been companions for humans for ages. Recently they have been recognized for bringing you health benefits says Gregg Takashima, presicent of the American association of human-animal bond veterinarians. Like fish, they offer ‘nature on demand’ so you’re basically bringing nature in and around your home by becoming a bird owner.

Keeping them is surprisingly similar to keeping cats or dogs; it’s really fun. They’re very interactive, especially the more intelligent ones. I currently have 5 birds, two ‘grown ups’ and their three hatchlings. To make the best out of their days and my playtime with them I let them fly freely every day. It makes them happy and lots of fun to interact with.

 5. Horses

Last on our list are horses! If you’re not familiar with them, they can be a bit intimidating. “By gaining control of a creature so much larger than you, you can gain control of a larger problem in life,” Dr. Becker explains. This is why horses are often used in animal-assisted therapy programs. It can even reduce stress hormones a 2014 study shows. Riding horses is a great workout; it improves balance, strength and it builds muscles.

Schermafbeelding 2015-08-01 om 12.33.02

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My sister Katinka has a very sweet horse named Djinty. I can confirm that being around Djinty is a good way to relieve stress. Either through a riding lesson or by just working on her and being around the stables. She loves to be brushed, she loves to cuddle and I’ll become totally Zen in the process, it’s a win-win!

On the main photo you can see my sister giving Djinty a kiss and on this photo you can see Djinty and me!

This was part 2 of the health benefits of having a pet. As a pet with health benefits I kind of miss bunnies on this list. What do you think Fit Girls? What are your experiences with pets and the health benefits they provide? Are there more pets missing on this list? Well, let me know! As always I’m curious to find out.

Source: www.health.com

Guilty pleasures during the #PinkChallenge

Two weeks into the #PinkChallenge and still going strong! Are you Fit Girls keeping it up? Despite one cheat day I enjoyed every minute of it.

We are only human and I also can’t always resist the temptations of everyday life. Although I am determined to keep up the challenge and eat clean, I still surrendered to a little cheat day. During this busy day, I nibbled on some liquorice and in the evening I treated myself on a piece of chocolate and a glass of red wine. This is just part of life and you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself. I’m not saying you girls should now all take that chocolate bar out, but please don’t feel guilty if for some reason it doesn’t work out or you eat something that’s not on the calendar. The goal of this challenge is to try out new things and incorporate them into you daily routines and food schedule. It’s important you feel comfortable in your own skin . So don’t worry if you have a bad day. Tomorrow is a new day!

Fruit benefits

Coffee is my guilty pleasure. When I started the #PinkChallenge, I thought I would miss the coffee in particular but it turned out to be just fine. I tried to replace my caffeine shot for a vitamin shot. Every time I crave a cup of coffee I drink a Perfectly Pink smoothie of innocent instead. Why? Because these juices are packed with fruit and, as we all know, fruit is healthy. Fruit is low in calories, high in fiber, and contains lots of healthy sugars, vitamins and minerals that keep your mind and body function properly. It’s also packed with vitamine C and this is important in order to retain a good resistance. Plus it gives you more energy which can help you through an active day. A fruit juice is therefore a good kickstart of the day and gives you a positive boost! The innocent smoothie is the right choice as it contains no added sugars. And it also tastes delicious!

Two more weeks

So what can we expect the next two weeks? In the upcoming weeks the recipes of the first two weeks will be combined. It’s not necessary to prepare new dishes every day, but you can also integrate certain eating habits into your food schedule. Breakfast is my favorite meal and I could eat oatmeal the whole day everyday. I try to play around with different fruits and combinations. So every morning it’s a little party when I sit down for breakfast. It’s important to choose food that makes you happy and you look forward to, otherwise life will get very boring. Try to find the right balance in your diet and enjoy every moment!

Workout

And remember to keep moving girls! Working out gives you lot of energy, confident and makes you happy. It’s really not necessary to go to the gym every day for a killer workout, but it’s important to stay busy. See what works for you and incorporate it into your routine. Would you rather go for a long walk? That’s also possible. This week our Fit Girl Alicia has shared some new workouts with you which make sure you will sweat. Check it out and go for it. We can do this girls!

Beginners:

Advanced:

Don’t forget to tag your photos on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #PinkChallenge for the chance to be one of four lucky winners who will receive a limited edition #FITGIRLCODE  tank top and a Jogha Racer Back Bra! 

The many benefits of exercising outdoors

Ever heard the saying “you’re just one workout away from a good mood”? We totally live by this, and some of us prefer hitting the gym while others go outside in rain or shine. Have you ever thought about how your satisfaction, the efficacy of your workout, and your mood might differ if you exercise indoors or outdoors? 

There are some physical differences between working out indoors on stationary equipment or outdoors, but the major differences have to do with mental benefits. I’ll take you through both so that you know when it might be nicest to go to the park with your #BFFF like Fit Girl Vladana and I did today instead of hitting the treadmill or the elliptical at the gym.

Pssst: there is a surprise on the last page if you read through the entire article!

Active Leggings in Black and Onyx, Jogha; Racerback Tops in Teal and Blue, MyProtein

 

Get the most out of your workout

The gym has some obvious benefits, especially in terms of predictability and convenience- you know exactly when the gym opens, closes, and what the temperature will be like. The presence of many different types of equipment in the gym is also practical if you plan to, for example, do a circuit training on your own and are not able to carry kettle bells, mats, barbells, and stability balls around with you. Going to the gym is a safe bet if you want to squeeze in a great WOD when the weather outside is just not on your side. However in terms of getting the most out of a workout, you’re better off taking your booty outdoors.

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Health benefits of having a pet – part 1

Living with pets is great and it’s good for your health (as an animal lover, I can confirm this). I read an article that described the health benefits of living with pets and because I almost have all of the animals mentioned in the article I thought it would be nice to write about these awesome pets while comparing it to my own perspective. 

To me my pets aren’t just the fluffy and feathery companions I share the house with, they’re part of my family. I have to admit, with kids and pets; my family is pretty big! We have two dogs, five birds (three are nestlings) with two eggs, five bunnies and fish! Having this many pets is lots of work. We take care of them as a family; everybody knows his tasks.

Back to the benefits of owning pets. You’re probably curious to find out what kind pets are best for your health and which benefits they could bring you. I won’t keep you any longer, read on!

1. Dogs

Schermafbeelding 2015-07-27 om 15.23.51So apparently “Simply petting a dog is like a spa treatment,” Dr. Becker says. He follows “after just a minute or two, you have this massive release of positive neurochemicals like dopamine and serotonin.” I reckon this is true, I totally feel at ease when cuddling with my dogs, it’s hard to step away from them because it’s so nice.

Studies also link dog ownership to lower cholesterol, triglyceride and blood pressure levels. As if this alone isn’t enough, there is also a reduced risk of heart disease. According to a 2011 review in the Journal of physical activity and Health, as a dog owner you’re 34 % more likely to meet your daily exercise requirements than non-dog owners. I’ve had dogs all my life so I can’t compare but when I take my dog with me on walks or runs I tend to go further and stay away longer. I think because it’s way more fun then going by myself.

On page two you can continue to read about awesome pets for your health.

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8 Habits of positive people part 1

When Fit Girl Safira Audrey  tags you in a link of an article of Huffpost of positive people, I guess that is her way of telling me she recognizes my happy spirit. 😀 And I guess I am. Most people know me for my optimistic vibes, bright outlook on life and leaving smileys everywhere I go. I loved the article Huffpost wrote in the healthy living department about perpetually positive people. Therefore I would like to share their input with you Fit Girls along with my “positive”  point of view on this matter 😉

According to Huffpost – positive people don’t have some magical, unicorn-like powers, well I guess I am still in denial 😉 Because I love to think we have. Makes life more fun, doesn’t it? 😀 But, according to Melissa Blakeman (M.D., the regional medical director at Johns Hopkins University) positive people engage in behaviours that reinforce their positive frame-of-mind without making it seem like their head is stuck in the clouds. Great fact right? Love it! Now let’s go to the part where we find out what positive people practice on a daily basis.

See the next page 😀

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Digital detox retreat in Ibiza

Detox is a word we Fit Girls never to want to hear when it comes to food and diet. However, when it’s a detox of the digital kind we are all ears. We use our mobile phones for work, convenience and for fun but some of us treat our phones as we would a baby; that simply can’t be left unattended! If this sounds like you, we are here to tell you how you can be in with a chance to experience a first of its kind retreat to digitally detox in a luxury Ibiza villa.

So what do you people do with their kids when they need a break to get other important things in their life done? They put them into day care. So why don’t we have the same thing to detach ourselves from our mobile phones? Gin Mare is the company behind the genius concept of a digital day care, to offer the most digitally connected people amongst the online generation the chance (and excuse) to take some respite from living in digital overdrive.

A recent survey conducted by Times Magazine and technology company Qualcomm, shows that people’s phones are almost an extension of their body with 68% of users taking it with them to bed and even to the toilet. Maybe that’s no big deal seen as your phone has a Kindle app, so to you it’s just like reading a book. But, the latest Technology Trends Annual Report, released by Kleiner Perkins Caufield, revealed that on average, people check their phones 150 times a day! The amount of time we devote to our mobile phones nowadays means it really isn’t such a stretch to compare our device to a baby.When they ring, we answer them immediately; when they are quiet, we get worried and check it’s working. They consume us throughout the day, bringing us amusement and frustrate us by keeping us up at night.

In attempts to challenge the digitally addicted generation and bring us back to what really matters, Gin Mare have evoked their laid-back image and applied it to a tech rehab centre. Located at the luxurious Villa Mare in Ibiza, the retreat offers yoga, dance and meditation so that you can indulge in reconnecting with the beauty and pleasures of life offline; all while having your toes in the warm mediterranean sand. Organized by a brand that has developed an artisanal gin around four plants that best characterise the Mediterranean: basil, thyme, rosemary and Arbequina olives; of course cocktails and a Mediterranean menu will be part of this digital free experience.

Vila Mare 01

To win a spot in the Daycare in Ibiza and undergo the detox, people in Europe can enrol themselves through the website www.daycareformobilephones.com. Participants then need test prove they can live 72 hours without their phones by taking part in a home based mobile phone detox. For this challenge, they will receive a Stress Test Kit to their door which contains a special compartment to put their beloved gadgets to rest for the 3-day period and a personalized hashtag, so friends can send them encouraging messages through Twitter and the Daycare website. The winners who will get to go to the real digital detox in Ibiza, are the ones who survive the 72-hour period without their phones and receive the most messages on both the Daycare website and on Twitter.

Thinking about living without your phone for 72 hours might be inducing panicking you, but that’s all the more reason to take the test! Simply order your kit and follow the instructions and  see if you have what it takes and be in with a chance at this exclusive opportunity. What better way to detox from you digital habit and let the all inclusive luxury ease your anxiety!

25 tips to stress less

Being a badass girlboss 24/7 can be quite stressful. Stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to this hectic thing called life. But don’t wait until stress has a negative impact on your health, your mind, body, relationships or quality of life. So put on your sweatpants, get your dark chocolate bar and read more about what effect stress can have on your health and the 25 tips to stress less 😀 😀 

Before we look into the 25 tips, I would like to explain what happens with your body and mind if you are living a “longterm” stressful life. A little bit of stress will do no harm. We actually even need a bit of stress in our lives to give our existence the necessary excitement. However stress becomes a problem if too many changes and/or stressful events follow up short after each other.  We see them as threats for our well-being or giving us the feeling that we can’t handle it anymore. The feeling that we are losing control over our life comes with the feeling of inability. This stress reaction provokes a physical reaction which could cause damage for our health.

Example sources of stress

  • Life events (demanding job/study, moving, wedding, passing of loved one)
  • Life changes (new job, promotion, big projects, family expansion)
  • Daily irritations (delay public transportation, traffic jam, constant noise, money problems, deadlines)
  • Perception of a person (the impact of stress and dealing with stress is different for every person)

Only a situation that could be a threat for our well-being could lead to stress. Especially life events or changes that are of great value for us will be experienced als stressful events. And even more if we can’t control them ourselves. But we could also act a fool and not acknowledge the degree of stress to which we expose ourselves.

On the next page the effects of stress.

Effects of stress
Stress is associated with a number of physiological responses. These responses make the body more vulnerable for diseases. Stress also has an effect on the metal functions.
A stress factor elicits two responses from inside the body:

  1. Shock reaction, which makes it possible to cope with the emergency, also known as the “Fight-or flight response”.
  2. Adjustment of your body to cope with stress for a long term.

Dealing with stress has a big impact on your health. For example this could lead to:

  • Hair loss, in fact, telogen effluvium (hair loss) can begin up to three months after a stressful event
  • More headaches as a result of the body rerouting blood flow to other parts of the body to provide more hormones to let the body function in a stressful event
  • Blood vessels to close, which is a physical reaction of the body. For instance when your body is bleeding your blood vessels close, so you will lose less blood. But if you are not injured this could cause a blood clot
  • Increasing the risk of both metal and physical problems, such as infections, illness, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, chest pain and heart disease, as well as depression and anxiety disorders
  • Prematurely ageing
  • Causes insomnia and other sleep disorders

FUN FACT: Research has shown that dark chocolate reduces stress hormones such as cortisol and other “fight-flight” hormones. Additionally, cocoa is rich in antioxidants called flavonoids. Lucky us 😉

Almost getting to the part where I will share the 25 tips to stress less, but first the next page 😉

A little bit of theory.. but fast forward 😉
If the first response (fight-or flight) of the body kicks in, the body immediately will trigger her systems for adjustment to cope with the stress factor for a long term. Since your body will not be able to persevere the energy consumption the body needs when it is releasing the fight-or flight hormone more than a few hours. The adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) will then be released into your bloodstream. The ACTH will stimulate the adrenocortical to release more corticosteroids. The corticosteroids makes sure that the body will have enough glucose stock so that energy remain available and the homeostasis stays maintained. If the body is exposed to longterm stress factors this could have serious consequences for your health.

General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS)
Continuous stress will lead the body into three stages of response: alarm reaction, resistance development, exhaustion. Also know as the “General Adaptation Syndrome”. See the overview of the three stages below.

If the body reaches the exhaustion stage, the body will not be able to stay in balance anymore and keep her homeostasis. Because hormones like adrenocorticotropic (ACTH) and corticosteroids will not succeed anymore to give a response toward i.a. the fight- or flight hormone which continues kicks in while exposed to long term stress factors or events. The body will reach complete exhaustion since it used all of her recourses and doesn’t have a back-up anymore. Besides the effects of stress I pointed out on page 2, you can see that longterm stress could have serious health consequences.

Before I wanted to share the 25 tips to stress less, I felt the need to explain what serious damaged continuous stress can have for your body, mind and health.
Knowing what happens with your body and mind, and the serious consequences stress can have for your health, helped me to realise how important it is to stress less from time to time. I know from my own experience that it is not without difficulty to live a stress free life (so much to do so little time) BUT this is a reminder that taking care of your health should be the most important job on your to-do list!

And now, finally the 25 tips that could help you to stress less. Apply them all or choose two or three tips during a stress situation or period. Whatever works best for you. My favourite is tip #25 😀

25 tips to stress less 

  1. Give yourself a break, take time for yourself
  2. Laugh as much as you can
  3. Go for a walk with a friend
  4. Put on music and dance it out
  5. Watch a silly movie or read a funny article
  6. Talk about it
  7. Listen to music (and sing out loud)
  8. Go to bed early
  9. Focus more on what you can control
  10. Meditate
  11. Ask for a hug
  12. Exercise
  13. Ask for help, you don’t have to do it all alone
  14. Take small steps towards your goals
  15. Simplify the task
  16. Have the courage to be imperfect
  17. Take deep belly breaths
  18. Talk to yourself as if you were a good friend
  19. Learn to say no
  20. Challenge yourself to turn off your smartphone for a few hours
  21. Accept your limitations
  22. Identify what you really want
  23. Eat healthy
  24. Be thankful
  25. Always SMILE =)

These tips are all proven to reduce the levels of stress and leave you feeling fresh, bright, and energised again. If you don’t give yourself a break every once in a while, your body will force you to take a break. Remember that!!

Don’t stress, be your best and forget the rest  😀

If  you have other tips to stress less, don’t hesitate to share them with us below in the comments. Also if you would like to have more information about what stress does for your health you can leave a comment below. Since I explained the theory in a nutshell, I would understand if there are any questions. 

 

8 tips to stay focused on your goals

Every Fit Girl has goals that she wants to achieve. Not only in the fit, healthy and work-out department, but also throughout life. I like to work towards goals, only sometimes life challenges me and I loose focus. These 8 tips to stay focused on your goals come in handy when you are loosing track of them, like me sometimes 😉

Surfing on the internet, I came across an article of Celestine Chua. Celestine Chua is a life coach and founder of Personal Excellence, where she shares her best advice on how to achieve personal excellence and live your best life. Awesome right? Well I guess we can always use some inspiration and motivation in that department so bring it on! 😀

TIP NR. 1 – Concentrate on 1 – 3 goals
This makes sense. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I become a master of setting goals in all different departments. Like in my work, study, fit journey, the healthy department, improving my workout skills and don’t get me started on the challenges I like to take on. Sounds familiar? YEAH! 😉 So I guess this tip is good to try out. Celestine Chua advises to pick 1 – 3 goals that are most important to you, and stick to them, before you set new goals. Unless priorities shift and these goals no longer reflect what you want in life. GOOD POINT!

TIP NR. 2 – Create a vision board
So okay. We get creative! I like that! A vision board is a collage of pictures and images that represent your goals and dreams. According to Celestine Chua, creating a vision board helps you to visualize your end goals more clearly, which inevitably inspires you to take consistent action. Also think of it as a reminder. You can go old-school and get a board, pile of magazines and scissors or use your social media. Like a lot of girls are doings nowadays. You might end up inspiring others which is a great motivator to achieve your goals, since the “world”  is watching you 😉 no pressure! haha 😀

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How to do Sun Salutation A

To me a sun salutation is the foundation of a yoga practice. I like to flow on the mat and move with the breath. The sun salutation is a great way to build up the inner fire and start creating that heat (energy) which warms up the body from the inside. 

My yoga practice always consists of many sun salutations and from there I move into other asanas (poses). Once you start doing a proper sun salutation, you’ll notice the energy it gives you and you’ll want to do them more often.

How to do Surya Namaskar A
In this article I’ll explain how to do Sun Salutation A, also known as Surya Namaskar A in sanskrit, and share a few tips about the postures.

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Come on to the front of your mat and stand in mountain pose. Feet grounded on the floor, big toes together and heels slightly apart. Stand tall and feel the crown of your head reaching to the sky. With your inhale, take your arms up and make yourself long. Reach for the sky and look up.

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Exhale and fold all the way down into a forward fold. Bring your hands on the mat next to your feet and bend the knees if necessary. Relax the back of your neck and shoulders and bring your forehead as close to your knees as possible. With your next inhale, lengthen the spine and come half way up into a flat back. Make sure to activate your thighs and lift up the knee caps.

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6 ways to love your body

Fit Girls have different reasons to start their fit journey and maintain their healthy lifestyle. During our fit journey we are challenged with changes. This could be in your lifestyle, work-out schedule, your mindset and very important your body. It shouldn’t matter if you are at the beginning of your fit journey or if you are riding this journey for years – you should always love your body and accept every beautiful part and shape of it. Here are 6 ways to love your body: 

#1 Focus on your health and feeling awesome
Stop obsessing for an ideal body. Instead focus on your health and how being healthy makes you feel, like awesome 😉 and you will have more respect for yourself. This is a far more lasting motivator and will keep you on your fit journey road rather than focusing on how “slow” the process is going. Your focus will change and you will become a more positive thinker which always is good. Now you can face the different challenges in the health and work out department with a positive mindset.

#2 Show yourself the love that you show to others
We can become harsh and mean towards ourselves when we don’t reach our goals or believe we took bad decisions. This doesn’t just apply towards wanting to unlock your personal code to a fit and healthy lifestyle. But also in all the challenges you will have in your life. Well, it is absolutely not motivating when you treat yourself without any respect or the love your body and mind deserve. You can train yourself to change this negative mindset. Deanna Schooner – verified nutrition coach gives the following advice: When a negative thought about your yourself enters your head, take a deep breath, release it, and replace it with a happy thought or positive compliment. This could be anything like: YOU ROCK or YOU ARE AMAZING. You will become your personal motivation coach instead of a condemnatory judge.

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Dare 2 Challenge – part 2

Well, this challenge became a pain in my cute butt. I was hoping the challenge would become easier, but unfortunately that was not the case. But even after I went a bit flamingo-crazy with my cheat days, I can still be proud of what I have accomplished after my 3 months challenge (live a complete healthy lifestyle)! YEAH! Here’s why:

Because I am determined to fully unlock my personal code for a healthy lifestyle, I challenged myself. In part 1 of my challenge I explained the 5 CONDITIONS and the 2 RULES I needed to keep myself to for the last 3 MONTHS. Working out on a regular base alone is not sufficient to fully unlock a healthy lifestyle. Your food intake is as important and especially since your body needs food to recover from your insane workouts.

MY GOAL

Developing a food schedule I feel comfortable with and gives me balance in my healthy lifestyle.

… and now the results!
Because of my full-time support system and determination to complete my challenge, I managed to stay off the following drinks and food for 3 WHOLE MONTHS:

    1. Alcohol
    2. Soft and fruits drinks (also the light versions)
    3. Snacks (chocolate, candy, chips, cupcakes, pie etc.)
    4. Raw sugar
    5. Greasy and fast food

Due to some stressful events during these 3 MONTHS I did have two extra cheat days. Which is not a crime I know. I did however realise that stressful events or living an unbalanced life contributes to overeating and seeking for quick “comfort food”. And by “comfort food”  I mean snacks with sugar and meals like fast food.

My conclusion
To unlock your personal code to a healthy lifestyle you need to give yourself time. Time to figure out what works for you. Also you need to find the project manager in yourself, since living a healthy lifestyle needs a solid plan. Like prepping or baking your healthy snacks/meals in advance if you know you are going to have a busy week. Or to schedule in your workouts in advance otherwise you end up skipping them and thinking you will hit the gym tomorrow. ..if you are not busy again.
And finally, I like to call my cheat day a treat day. This sounds way more positive and will prevent you from going flamingo-crazy. Because if you treat yourself you can actually enjoy it instead of feeling guilty. The feeling of guilt contributes to the feeling of sadness, failure and stress. Those feelings like to be comforted and therefore your body will send signals to your brain to eat more.

In my food and exercise schedule you can see how I found my balance in my healthy hectic lifestyle. In this article you can also read all about my journey and the challenges I had to overcome and to get me to where I am now. A HAPPY 😀  Fit Girl who likes to live an active and challenging life 😉

FINAL: During the 3 MONTHS of my challenge I learned that my body is still developing and that’s why I need to keep adapting my food intake. I will keep challenging myself to learn more about nutrition and skill training in the gym 😉

Do you want start your own challenge?
Join the Cosmopolitan’s #FITGIRLCODESUMMERCHALLENGE

And remember dare 2 challenge yourself, but also dare 2 fail. Because there is nothing wrong learning from your mistakes! 😀

Good luck and have fun! 😀

Fit Girls perfect idea of a rest day

The days we don’t workout, we have a rest day. But what do we do on a rest day? We decided to give you some inspiration for the perfect rest day. Fit Girls Cynthia, Ilrish, Lisanne and Tiziana sat down together and wrote down their idea of a perfect rest day.

Cynthia
(@mamacyndotcom)
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A perfect idea of a rest day to me is having no plans whatsoever and to do whatever comes along. This can be messing around the house and being on my own. Strolling at the beach with loved ones (dogs included). Have a walk about in a park, enjoying the green scenery. Or spontaneous meet ups with family or friends. Rest day is letting the day guide you and see where it leads you.

 

Ilrish
(@ily_fitgirl)
FB_IMG_1427487719200(1)My perfect idea of a rest day is a day spent hanging out with my sister and fellow Fit Girl, Iris. To be honest I detest rest days because they make me feel like I am missing something (clearly the signs of a serious gym addiction), but lounging around the house in our PJ’s, watching Scandal, channeling our inner Olivia Pope and just relaxing all together, makes it a whole lot better. On rest days I also plan my workouts for the rest of the week and I always make sure I pack my gym bag for the next day at the end of rest day because going #H.A.M at the gym is just more my cup of tea.

 

Lisanne
(@lisanne_fgc)IMG-20150314-WA0009
At first when I had a rest day, I would also make it my cheat day and go all out. But that changed a couple months ago. Now I’m really using rest days to let my body recover with good food. On a rest day I love to stay at home and watch some Netflix with my boyfriend. Also I like to prep food and plan my week on a rest day. I end the day with a nice and healthy homecooked dinner.

 
Tiziana
(@fitgirltizi)
PB059427-660x400My perfect idea for a restday?
To have dinner with family. I am a real family girl. I love being around them because I can be myself. Preparing the dishes together, talking about news, gossiping about my brothers, eating our favorite dishes with a nice glass of wine. Very, simple, uncomplicated and basic. But that is how a rest day should be 🙂

 

 

What is you perfect idea of a rest day? Do you have another question you would like the Fit Girls to answer? Leave your comments below!

 

Love,

 

Lisanne

Stephanie’s food and exercise schedule

I’ve never have been a tall and slim woman, but a short happy girl with a curvaceous South-American body 😉 What I sometimes struggled to love, because of my insecurities and the outbalanced life I was living. I was a busy cute couch potato,  with an all you can eat philosophy, working 24/7 and taking care of everybody but herself. My life took a turn in 2010 when I decided that I needed to take responsibly for the state of my body, mind and health. 

During my study career I was involved in anything and everything but never took the time to listen to my body and neglected my health. I wasn’t even noticing I was gaining weight until after my graduation. I decided to finally hit the fitness centre again after sponsoring them for over a year… So like most girls I wanted to know my start point and stood on the scales…wow… I became a curvaceous woman of 198lbs (90 kilograms)….

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Graduation party – 2010

… so the only wise decision I could think of back then, was to start a diet… if I had the knowledge I have now about a fit and healthy lifestyle, I would have never let myself starve, but kicked my butt into the gym and would have changed my food schedule. I guess it was al part of my journey I had to walk before I could start to develop my fit and healthy lifestyle. Because we all know that dieting is not good for you and it doesn’t provide you a fit and healthy body. Let alone a balanced mind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So like most dieting journeys I lost weight but also gained weight and came to the realisation after 5 months that I would not be able to continue this lifestyle for the rest of my life. Also I was having inner fights with myself and became so tired of constantly forbidding myself to eat anything outside this dieting schedule.

There was no room for a treat day because than I would go flamingo crazy and eat everything and anything that crossed my path. The next day or sometimes even 5 minutes after this all-you-can-eat exercise I was feeling guilty and would be impossibly mean and harsh to myself. Putting myself down and pushing myself to do a better job next time… even writing this down makes me tear up again… that hate feeling towards yourself is unhealthy and so not necessary.

Because I was so mean towards myself and hating the process I was in, I started to develop an unhealthy relationship towards food. During this period I was not in a happy place… I became a grumpy girl, who wasn’t fun hanging around with anymore…and because of all the emotions running towards my body, dieting was even harder. Back then I just couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t feeling better… I was losing weight right? That was what I wanted… at least that’s what I thought.

Well this story has a happy ending, I promise 🙂

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7x abdominal exercises & win your own BLACKROLL

I like to keep things simple, however effective. Working out with your own bodyweight and gravity, is something I believe to be smart movement: it’s all you need to stay super fit, in a safe way. However, some intelligent and simple product design to support training can really get my spirits lifted too. Small training tools that I can take along when I travel (and I do this quite a bit!) I especially enjoy to get moving on days I would rather just don’t.

Resistance bands, (self massage) rollers, ankle weights or just some simple water-or sand filled bottles, are enough to add just a tad more challenge and fun to your work out. In the following series of articles ‘simply fit’ we will go through some of my favorite and most effective body-inspired exercises to stay fit, lean and strong, using as little as your own bodyweight and some real simple, cool tools.

In this kick-off, we’ll start with some great and effective abdominal exercises that I do daily to strengthen the core: the very centre of our body that needs to be strong to be able to train all other parts of the body in a balanced manner. The only thing you need is your lovely body and a floor. And gravity. Ok, so far so good – and no money is spent ;-).

Check out these 7 abdominal exercises & win your own BLACKROLL

As you already read in my last article on foam rolling, I like adding a Blackroll to my workouts. Not only to recover faster by ‘rolling it out’ and to shortly warm up, and stimulating my blood circulation, but also to actually use it during my work out to make things more challenging and fun. The following exercises* are inspired by experiences I have collected over the last year, from Pilates and Yoga classes to studying Essentrics . Using the legs as levers, our own body and gravity we’re working on a strong, flat stomach. Simplicity is AWESOME! Check out all the exercises and don’t forget to enter the contest to win your own Blackroll!

* Some of these exercises can (also) be executed with the roller, to make it more fun and challenging.

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How to stay (or get) fit as a student

As a student, I know it’s very hard to juggle between school, work, friends, gym, cooking, studying and having some me-time. Of course, just like many other people, I want to have fun, do good at school, go to the gym and eat healthy. But (sadly) all those things cost time and money: things students wish they had more. I’ll give away some tips on how to be (or remain) a true Fit Girl student!

5 tips to a healthier diet

  1. Have a healthy breakfast

Your body needs energy to start a new day, so nourish your body with an awesome breakfast, oats for example. Click here to find out why oats are awesome.

  1. Prepare a kickass lunch

I love my bed and I never want to leave it, especially when I have to get out. To give myself more quality time with my bed in the morning I prep my lunch or dinner the evening before.

  1. Don’t forget to bring some healthy snacks

To prevent unhealthy snacking at the school cafeteria I bring my own healthy snacks with me. My favorites are nuts, dates, carrots and a banana.

  1. Eat your veggies

Just like my mother always said. A lot of people don’t reach their daily recommended amount of veggies and that’s too bad because they’re amazing for your body! Why? Vegetables are a great source of dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals and they’re low in calories.

  1. Keep track of your own workout and health journal

It helps me to see my progress, which will motivate me even more to continue. It’s a great way to monitor your workouts and reach your goals. Next month I will share my own workout and health journal with you!

And remember: you can work your ass off in the gym, but if your diet isn’t on point, your body won’t be either.

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How I almost got a sixpack for my birthday

Hi girls! Four months ago, I set a goal for myself: I wanted a sixpack for my 30th birthday. And today is my birthday: Hip hip, hooray! I’ll share my journey on how I almost succeeded on my way to get some more ab definition. Let me tell you how I got as far as I am now. Hopefully you will learn some tips and tricks from my journey: the road to a sixpack! 

Okay, so, why a sixpack? It might sound like a superficial goal: of course a sixpack looks great, but what other purpose does it have? Well, I’ll tell you. To me, a sixpack is the ultimate proof of fitness. You’ll have to train hard, but also keep a close eye on your nutrition. And you’ll have to be patient. Very. Very. Patient. For those who have never met me: I’m a super impatient girl! I cannot sit still for a minute, haha. So sticking to a fitness and food regime for a long term goal, was the best thing I could commit to. No quick fixes! This goal will take me months to reach! And I was up for a good challenge.

So when I started blogging for #FITGIRLCODE, I was looking for a long term goal. A sixpack it was! I started using the hashtag #sixpackbefore30 on my Instagram account (@fitgirlroos), because I would turn 30 in April. It was my goal to be the strongest, happiest and fittest version of myself at the age of 30. With some good abs, preferably!

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One of my Instagram pictures: My weight hasn’t changed much! But my abs have changed! This is why you shouldn’t trust your scale 😉

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