Gym-free workouts

“The gym”. This word has been haunting me for years. As part of the Fit Girl team, the gym is a place I should feel comfortable in and should love to go to. Well, let me tell you a secret; I’m not a huge fan of the gym. Seeing all the machines and the sweaty people that I don’t know surrounding me and having them stare at you if you do something wrong. No thank you. However, I still love to feel healthy and fit and therefore I have listed 8 gym-free workouts for those Fit Girls who are anything like me! 

1. Walking

As simple as it may sound, walking can get you a long way! By walking just ten minutes a day, you improve your life expectancy, burn 2000 extra calories a week and improve the blood flow to your heart. Just ten minutes? Yes, just ten! But, us Fit Girls can do better than that! By walking half an hour every day we can burn 6000 calories a week. It’s time to take a stroll down to the supermarket instead of driving or simply taking the stairs rather than the elevator! This is also a great reason to get that dog you always wanted, time for a daily walking buddy 😉

2. Dancing

Dancing is one of my favourite ways to burn calories, stay fit and feel confident about myself. Did you know that you burn up to 700 calories by taking part in just one dance class? Dancing has made me stronger, less stressed and it is just fun! Salsa, Hip-Hop, Zumba, take your pick and go to any dancing class you like. It’s time to get that booty shaking and channel your inner Beyoncé.

3. Biking

Growing up in the Netherlands there is one thing that you just can’t avoid, and that is biking. Apart from being cheap and great for the environment, biking helps strengthen your thigh, hip and butt muscles, burn calories and is an activity that can be performed by anyone of any age. Take a look here for even more benefits that biking can offer!

4. Hiking

Think walking is too easy for you? Well, lets take it a step further and go on a hike! Hiking has much more benefits than you may imagine, including lowering your risks of cardiovascular disease, increasing your bone density, reducing risks of cancer, providing you with your daily dose of vitamin D, reducing stress levels and most importantly is elevates your mood and makes you happy! Hiking simply improves your overall health. Here are some tips and tricks for when you decide to go on a hike.

5. Swimming

Swimming is a type of exercise that is quite underestimated by many. An easy swim of about an hour can burn around 500 calories, while putting some more effort into it can make this number jump to 700 calories! In addition to burning calories, swimming is stress relieving, good for your lungs and improves your balance.

6. Yoga

Yoga has an abundance of benefits for your body as well as your mind. To start off, it is a great way to release stress. It improves your breathing, which in turn boosts your immunity and circulation. Depending on what type of yoga you do, it may also encourage weight loss. It is a perfect way to develop strength, tone your muscles and become more flexible in the process.

7. Pole fitness

One of my friends has recently started pole fitness classes, and believe me, it’s a must-try! Pole fitness is much harder than you may expect it to be, however, it brings lots of benefits with it! Pole fitness is a great way to burn calories, become more flexible and develop greater balance. It helps you gain more strength and improves your self-confidence (at least once you get the hang of it). For all those Fit Girls who wanted to try out something new for a while, here you go 😉

8. Home workout

Are you not into any of the activities above? Then doing exercises in the comfort of your own home might be something for you. Some dedication and 30 minutes of your time is all you need! There is no one-specific way to do a home workout as everybody focuses on something that is specific to them. Click here and here for some inspiration and take a look at our Fitgirlcode guide to give you some guidance with your home workout.

As you can see, there are many fun and simple alternatives to the gym. No more excuses! 😉

How to dance your way to a healthy body!

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Heyyyy girls, Nikki Pebbles here! I am SO excited to show you this awesome new dance I choreographed JUST FOR #FITGIRLCODE. This dance has a great combination of squats, jumps, and cardio. Even if you have never danced before, this routine is easy enough that anyone can do it!

Since summer is on its way, I wanted to talk about the top 3 ways on how to dance your way to a healthy body!!

  1. Try and find a dance fitness class at your local gym: You can burn up to 700 calories in ONE DANCE CLASS…. that should give enough motivation to dance!! You can find the schedules of your local gym either online or call them!
  2. Check out different youtube channels: There was so many different dance methods and you can find all of them on Youtube. Some people teach Zumba, Kerboomka, tone and dance and more! Try each one and have fun doing it at the same time!
  3. Dance in your room: It may seem silly but you know it do it! Turn on your favorite song and have a jam session. I even have a separate playlist for those times where I don’t have time to go to the gym. Its all my favorite songs and I always end up with a great sweat!

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Check out the video below and channel your inner Beyoncé ! Have fun burning calories and come back next month for a new routine!! Visit www.NikkiPebbles.com for more dance videos and recipes! Make sure to follow me on instagram @NikkiPebbles!! GO GIRL!

How to dance like nobody is watching

Did you hear about the #dancingman? For those missed out of this social media viral, let me give you a short recap. A bully at a concert saw a plus sized guy dancing. He thought it would be fun to make pictures of him and posting them on Twitter with a nasty caption. Fortunately, it completely backfired on the bully. A storm of protest rained down on him and even led to a fundraising action raising a amount money for charity as well as to the organization for a dance party where Pharell will perform as well.

I’m telling you because I want to make something perfectly clear: enjoying dance requires no skill at all. Dance is about expressing yourself through motion. About having fun and about feeling free. And that my dearest Fit Girls, makes dancing one of the best ways to introduce yourself to working out.  Dancing is a super cardio work out. You can easily burn 600 calories an hour. And another advantage is you can get pretty and dress up for this work out too!

But if you’ve seen the pictures of #dancingman, you have seen the shame on his face when he was caught dancing on picture. And I know a lot of people who think they cannot dance and won’t do so, unless they’ve taken a couple of tequila shots (or any of you favorite alcoholic drink). So how do you do it? How do you let go of your apprehensions and give in to the cardio work out, dramatic expression and freedom that is dance?

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Let me confess something to you: I really wanted to be a ballerina. I dreamt of being in the corps de ballet of the Lion King and I wanted to audition for ‘So You Think You Can Dance’. I let all of that go for motherhood. Nowadays, I am a Sh’bam instructor. Sh’bam is the entry-level dance work out by Les Mills, the fitness imperium from New Zealand. At first, I thought the class was too easy. But then I discovered how grateful it is to introduce non-natural-born dancers to joy of dance. So I wanted to share my experiences with you, workout-loving but dancing-shy Fit Girls, how you can dance like nobody is watching.

  1. Close your eyes

Do you feel awkward looking at yourself in the mirror when your dancing? Ignore those critical eyes, including you own and close your eyes. Not being able to see what your doing, helps you focus on how it feels your doing. Does it feel good? Does it feel fun? Do you feel happy? Now you’re on track!

  1. Over exaggerate

You could also take your awkwardness and run with it. I love some stupid dancing at the beginning of the evening. How would you do it so it look super stupid? With this you’re tricking the critics in your head saying “You look stupid. You can’t dance”. Your answer to with stupid dancing is “Of course, dummy, it is supposed to look stupid! This is stupid dancing! Duh.’ At the same time your body is moving, finding comfort in the movements taking your awkward rational self to that spot where dance actually feels good.

  1. Envision your comfort zone

Who would you be when you would feel comfortable and have a dance? Take a role model in mind and think how she or he would move. Where would you be? How would you feel? I really like Taylor Swift’s song ‘Shake it off’ both by lyrics and the video. It is a perfect example how to deal with those critical surroundings and creating a comfort zone.

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  1. Have fun with friends

I had the most fun when I went out clubbing with my friends and did all kinds of stupid things on the dance floor. That included pretending to dance like a Bavarian maid or a hippy with really long arm pit hair (Yes, I know…. I am crazy. It wasn’t even for the Cosmopolitans I drank). I guess it looked ridiculous but we couldn’t care less. It actually created a crowd around us wondering how we could act so freely. The magic happened because my friends and I forgot where we were and that we people were watching us.

  1. Follow a Sh’bam class

Still having a hard time getting over you dancing insecurities and awkwardness? Find a gym that offers Sh’bam class and enroll yourself. Your instructor will guide and help you feel comfortable with the steps and focuses on creating that happy vibe in which you can have fun and dance freely. And yes. That is a sales pitch for the most easy and fun dance work out ever.

So without further ado, Embrace your inner #dancingman and dance!

xoxo – Irene.