Why you should be working out on your period

All through high school, my classmates and I were always asking to be excused from gym class because of cramps, and I remember in particular that my gym teacher was always rambling about how working out on your period would actually help. The thing is, she never actually explained why, so doing laps around the field just wasn’t going to happen for me.  Looking back, I can now admit that she was right. Working out on your period is actually a pretty good idea, and here’s why. 

I am superwoman

While all women experience their periods differently, there is one thing all have in common: this is the time your body is closest to that of a man’s. During your period, estrogen and progesterone levels drop significantly, leaving you actually pretty powerful. According to Dr. Stacy Sims, an exercise physiologist from Stanford University, working out on your period may result in you hitting higher intensities, lasting longer in your routine, and with a lower core temperature. Besides that, your pain tolerance also rises. So if you’ve been trying to reach a new personal best, heading to the gym the next time you’re on your period may just be what you need!

working out on your period

Say bye bye to PMS and Mood Swings

It’s not new information that exercising makes you feel good. When you exercise, your brain starts releasing endorphins that act just like opiates. They stop the transmission of  pain signals, and instead produce feelings of euphoria. So instead of taking some pain killers, exercise offers an alternate and much more natural remedy for your cramps and discomfort.  It also helps to reduce some of those negative, depressive feelings and stabilize your mood swings.

While getting yourself to actually start exercising while experiencing all those menstrual symptoms  may be difficult, you’ll be left feeling 10x better afterwards. So, put on your comfiest workout gear and just go for it! Are there any Fit Girls out there who always work out while on your periods? How do you feel?

Sources: Women’s RunningWomen’s Health

10 good intentions that make you a better person

New Year’s resolutions like exercising more, stopping smoking, eating healthier and spending more time with family are always relevant good intentions, but it’s sometimes nice to think way outside of the box. I have thought of 10 original intentions to set for 2016 that could make you a better person. Are you ready for this challenge?

10 original good intentions

1. LESS TELEVISION

For those who like to watch television, I gotta break it to you: it does not exactly have a positive effect on your mind. Research has shown that it has a negative impact our life satisfaction. Researchers are now finding it a lot of television can have that much of a negative impact on your life. Wow! Of course you do not need to throw your television right out the window, but a little less will do you absolutely no harm.

2. GIVE MORE

Several surveys have shown that giving to charity boosts happiness and reduces stress. So look for a charity or organization where you can make a contribution to each month. Definitely something to think about next year!

3. LESS STUFF AND MORE EXPERIENCES

Buying cool experiences instead of stuff leads to more happiness for the person who buys it and to his or her environment. So from the results of this research we can say that it is a good idea to tackle this year differently. Do some more cool experiences such as tours, concerts and museums instead of buying yet another new pair of shoes. You’ll thank yourself at the end of 2016!

4. KEEP A JOURNAL

From now on, write what made you very happy or very unhappy. You do not necessarily have to keep one daily, only in the moments when you feel the need to. How much fun is it to read back over that flirt during your summer vacation or the week in which you decided to become a vegetarian and failed enormously? Sometimes we forget the little things in life. When you see this, you can look back at you how much you have experienced.

5. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY

Instead of saying you have a huge amount of weight to lose in 2016, you are better listening to your body. Are you tired often even when you have 8 hours of sleep per night? This may be due to eating too much processed food. Or do you often feel very bloated? Then try more often to cook with fewer processed carbs to see how this works for you. Your body always gives signals and it is important to listen.

6. ASK FOR HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT

Whether it’s about school, work or your personal life; ask help from your friends or family when you need it. This will help you to have a lot less stress in the coming year. It’s always possible to call in some help so that you do not constantly have sleepless nights because of all the work you need to do. Stress can result in fatigue and nobody needs tha. Do you find it difficult to ask for help? Think about it the other way around and how you would love to help others. It’s okay once in a while to let someone else help you.

7. SAY “YES”!

Say “Yes,” to questions that you normally would not. This makes sure that you find yourself in situations where you normally prefer not to be. It’s good to come outside of your comfort zone once in a while. And that’s what matters the most. Say yes to the invitation of a friend to dinner when you’d rather sit at home watching Netflix. In the long run it can make you a lot happier to say ‘yes’ to situations more often. Do it!

8. STOP SNOOZE

Snooze, despite how good it can be sometimes, hitting snooze on your alarm is not the best way to start your day. If you have trouble with your sleep patterns then try to set an earlier time for yourself to go to bed. Or use a handy sleep app so you can see when it is best for you to go to sleep and when to get up. Recently on #FITGIRLCODE we wrote this article on how you can sleep like a pro to help you out too. Definitely worth reading!

9. LESS SOCIAL MEDIA

Are you, like me, a huge Instagram addict? Then you probably  need this tip as much as I do. A little cut down on social media behaviour and enjoying the people around you more is definitely a good intention. Stop constantly checking your feed when you can have fun with all your friends and girlfriends in real life. Isn’t that much more important?

10. MEET NEW PEOPLE

How exciting it can be at times to meet new people that often leads to great friendships.When you feel stuck in your daily routine it can help to connect you for example joining a new gym or going to a club with new people. So pluck up some courage, put your shyness aside and bring in the new year with a new club! You will notice how much fun it can be to meet new people all there.

With these 10 goals, you will get the most out of the new year. And these are good intentions to pursue in the following years too. Good luck in starting them already! 

12 tips for healthy night shifts

Hi girls! Do you work night shifts? You’ll probably know just how killer those can be on your well-being. You’re battling a chronic jetlag, and exercising can be very challenging to fit in your schedule. Night shifts are proven to be a bad influence on your health, did you know that? So let’s help each other! I will share my best 12 tips for health night shifts and please share yours in the comment section! 

  1. The day before my first night shift, I like to take it really easy. I sleep in until late and plan a powernap between 6PM and 9PM to recharge.
  2. I’ll make sure my fridge is fully stocked. There’s nothing more frustrating, than a blurry sleep-deprived visit to the grocery store after a night of work.
  3. Sleeping during the day can be a challenge: make sure you have a sleeping mask, a dark room and earplugs ready.
  4. Drink lots of water! Bring a big bottle to work. You’ll probably drink less at home (since you’ll be sleeping), so make sure to compensate at work.
  5. Plan something fun: spending all your evenings (after waking up) on the couch watching Netflix, will bore you to death. Break your social isolation by planning a dinner at your friend’s or parents’ house. Extra advantages: no cooking and no dish washing!
  6. Double your fruit and vegetable intake. Take veggie snacks and fruit to work!
  7. Bring a LOT of healthy food to work on your first night. This way, you’ll always have something to choose from.
  8. Do NOT make a habit of eating sugary things during your night shift. Your concentration level and alertness will totally go down the drain. Also, it’s a tough habit to get rid of once learned.
  9. My top tips for a jet lag after your shifts are: 1. Sunlight, 2. Walking. 3. Having people around you. 4. Wind (wind will keep you awake!). Combine those elements and plan a walk on the beach, it’s absolutely the best!
  10. Exercising is perfectly okay, but take it easy. You will probably notice a difference in strength and endurance. Don’t max out! I always get a bit dizzy or nauseous while doing strength training, but I love an easy run outside.
  11. Have fun! There’s always room for a bit of fun during your night. Put on your favorite dance track and do a little dance. Or play a prank on one of your colleagues. It makes all the difference during your shift!
  12. Try to keep moving during your work. I always try to take the stairs during my night shifts, even though I usually dread it. A little extra blood flow will do wonders if your energy level is low!

These are my tips! I’m so curious to hear how you manage your night shifts. Is it anything like my ritual? Or do you have a totally different approach?

Love,

Roos

@fitgirlroos

Super sexy foods for a great sex drive

Super sexy foods for a great sex drive

When was the last time you really felt like having sex? I don’t mean to be rude, but if you have to think too long about this question, your libido might be in hibernation. Obviously you are not always ready to rumble, but did you know that eating specific kinds of food can boost your sex drive? Add these super sexy foods to your shopping list, and you’ll feel sexier than ever.

These are foods for a great sex drive

  • Salmon and mackerel

The omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish is your best friend when it comes to your blood circulation. This is essential for the supply of blood to your genitals (and thus increases the excitement down there). They can also increase (feelgood) dopamine levels in your brain – that enhance your lust.

  • Steak

Did you ever hear about Steak & Blowjobday (the Valentine’s Day for men)?  The link between steak and blow jobs? Probably because steak is a rich source of zinc, the same nutrient which oysters owe their reputation to. Namely zinc boosts testosterone and reduces the production of prolactin, a hormone that has a negative effect between the sheets.

  • Eggs

Breakfast in bed? Choose an omelet. The proteins in eggs will boost your energy- and focus level – two things that always come in handy. Plus eggs are a good source of vitamin B6, which helps balance your hormone levels and thus regulate your libido.

  • Unsweetened cranberry juice

It not only helps to prevent cystitis, but cranberry juice is a natural diuretic, which is very effective if you suffer from a bloated stomach. Put a few tablespoons unsweetened cranberry juice in a glass of water and drink up!

  • Chocolate

Everybody knows, that chocolate is the answer, no matter what the question is.  And this example proves it once again: chocolate is a proven aphrodisiac and contains a lot of magnesium, which makes you more relaxed. And you probably already knew that de-stressing is crucial to get in the mood. But dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) also contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which releases the same hormones as hot and steamy love making.

  • Oatmeal

A while ago we shared some delicious oatmeal recipes with you. These recipes are also a big reason to start eating oatmeal for breakfast. But I’ll give you another reason to swap your cheese sandwich for a bowl of oatmeal in the morning. Oats contain L-arginine, a substance that is sometimes used to treat erection problems. AND it stimulates the blood supply to the clitoris. Pretty fucking awesome, right?

  • Peach and nectarine

These fruits are full of vitamin C, which several studies have shown that those increase the female libido. It’s also good for the blood flow and thus for your sex drive.

Enjoy your sexy time!

source: Woman’s Health Magazine

How To Choose a Sport That Fits Your Personality

When you start your fit journey, you soon find out that you ‘simply’ need to do two things: eat healthy and work out. One does not go without the other. Eating right can be a hassle and it isn’t easy fighting daily temptations. But choosing the right kind of sports isn’t either. You have to find something that is exciting enough to drag your ass to for three or more times a week. And it must be a place that doesn’t serve wine or cocktails 😉

How to choose a sport that fits your personality
Let me start out by making clear that EVERY type of workout is better than not working out. Whether you start out with two short runs a week or completely dive into an active lifestyle right away: it’s super badass that you came off the couch and started to care for yourself and your body. So what can help you find something that suits you?

Team player or solo?
You could start by asking yourself: am I a team player or do I like flying solo? Think about if you would like to compete against others with a group of people or if you are more interested in challenging yourself. Examples of group sports are soccer, basketball and hockey. How about thinking outside of the box and looking into street dance or rowing.

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Skincare tips for Fit Girls

While working out on the regular is super beneficial for your health, not caring for your skin properly can lead to increased breakouts. We definitely want to prevent this from happening since you deserve glowing skin to match your killer body! Here are some skincare tips for before, during, and after exercising to help minimize any imperfections due to your workouts. 

Prep your face before your workout

  • Clean your face. This applies whether you’re wearing makeup or not. We know it’s tempting to run home, grab your gym clothes and go without wasting any extra time, but breaking a sweat with a face full of makeup can cause excess moisture buildup and can trap bacteria in your pores. Did you know that pores enlarge when you work out? This means that they are even more vulnerable to being clogged by any makeup you might be wearing. Even if your face feels fresh and product-free, make sure to splash some water on it or use a light cleanser to ensure that any potential cloggers are washed away.
  • Go easy on the hair products. When you sweat, hair products containing heavy moisturizers are likely to drip down onto your face which can cause breakouts around your hairline. This means that, if you can, stay away from leave-in conditioners or hair masks on your heavy workout days. If you must use these products (some us have frizz that just needs to be tamed on the daily), make sure you wear a tight headband or use a sweat band to keep as much sweat from dripping as possible.
  • Outdoor workouts: Protect your skin from the sun. If your workout takes place outdoors, make sure to use a moisturizer with around SPF 30. However, try to use a lightweight oil-free product rather than a heavy one, as this plus your sweat could lead to a bad breakout.

Steer clear from bacteria during your workout

  • Wipe down  your equipment.  Don’t trust others to clean machines after they workout, and make sure to clean your equipment with anti-bacterial wipes before and after you use it. Gym machines are filled with bacteria, and just one quick swipe of your hand on your face during an intense sweat drip could have nasty consequences for your skin. Most importantly, not matter how tired you are on the elliptical machine, focus on your Beyoncé playlist and DO NOT- I repeat DO NOT- rest your face on the machine!
    • This also applies to yoga mats! A good rule of thumb is to not put your face anywhere that someone else’s sweaty feet have been. Tip: bring a clean towel to the gym to put down on any equipment that could potentially touch your face.
  • Drink water. This might sound like an obvious one, but be sure to drink plenty of water; sweating dehydrates you and water rehydrates you, helping to minimise any wrinkles and other skin damage resulting from dehydrated skin.

Post-Workout Care

  • Don’t wait to wash your face. If you only wash your face once you get home from your workout, you may give any built-up bacteria time to really sink into your skin. Bring your cleanser to the gym and clean your face ASAP to avoid this! Use a gentle, unscented cleanser if you can since your skin tends to be extra sensitive after a heavy sweat session.
  • Shower. Another obvious one, but take a few minutes to change out of your gym clothes and wash your body even if you don’t feel like you got extremely sweaty. This will help avoid any irritation or body acne that might be caused by bacteria build-up. If you don’t have access to a shower soon after your workout, try to at least wipe down the areas where sweat tends to build up most: your chest, back, and stomach.
  • Apply some moisturizer. To add nutrients back to your body, use an anti-irritation moisturizer once you are squeaky clean and cooled off.

I hope these tips are helpful for you! You can show off your healthy, glowing skin on Instagram to us by using the hashtag #FITGIRLCODE. Now it’s time to go and get extra sweaty, the bacteria has no chance against this fool-proof skincare routine! 

sources: Womenshealthmag.com, Teenvogue.com, Notpasty.com

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!

Soda side effects: the 60 minute cycle

We all have our guilty pleasures that we give into now and again and that’s perfectly OK, however not all treats are created equal. Although a can of cola is a quick way to get a sugar fix that might not leave you as bloated as a pizza, it could create chemical chaos in your body and derail the rest of your day! 

We try to live by the attitude that you can enjoy any food or drink, completely guilt-free if you really fancy it, as long as it’s in moderation. But there’s more and more information to suggest that soda is at least one exception, Coca-Cola in this example. Everyone knows that a can of Coke is loaded with sugar which won’t do your teeth or (your waistline any favours). But the chemical effects that take place in your body after you drink it, might set you up for more than trouble than a trip to the dentist. Here’s what happen:

  1. In the first 10 minutes: 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. (100% of your recommended daily intake.) Phosphoric acid effects the flavour of the sugar so cuts down on how sweet it tastes to you.
  2. 20 minutes: Your blood sugar spikes, causing an insulin burst. Your liver responds to this by turning any sugar it can, into fat.
  3. 40 minutes: Caffeine absorption is complete. Your pupils dilate; your blood pressure rises; as a response, your liver puts more sugar back into your bloodstream. The adenosine receptors in your brain become blocked, preventing drowsiness.
  4. 45 minutes: Your body ups your dopamine production, stimulating the pleasure centres of your brain. Similar to other high fat and sugar products such as Oreos that are known to hit your sweet spot
  5. Around the 60 minute mark: Phosphoric acid binds calcium, magnesium, and zinc in your lower intestine, providing a boost in metabolism. The caffeine’s diuretic properties come into play. (It makes you need to pee.) So you evacuate the bonded calcium, magnesium, and zinc that was headed to your bones as well as sodium, electrolytes, and water.I t’s likely then you will have gone to the bathroom so you would get rid of any water that was in the Coke that gave you hydration.
  6. After the 60 minutes: All of these effects then calm down and blood sugar levels start to rapidly decrease. This is when a person would reach for a second soda and the whole cycle would start again. If you don’t have that on hand, it’s likely you’ll look for another sweet and sugary snack to suffice. You may become irritable and/or sluggish and will be followed by a caffeine crash in the next few hours. (As little as two if you’re a smoker.)

Does zero sugar mean zero problems?

I’m afraid not! They don’t fool your brain and can increase your cravings. The bottom line is if a sweet tasting drink is mysteriously lacking any calories, it often contains chemicals, artificial colourings, and artificial sweeteners. All of the above effects also take place and might be even more confusing to your body.  You can read more about artificial sweeteners from Andrea’s post here which raises some important issues. You might think that they satisfy your sweet tooth but as they don’t contain any sugar it it doesn’t fill you up in any way and research shows this can mess with the balance of bacteria in your gut which plays an important role in weight regulation.

On the very rare occasion that I reach for soda, I confess that I too would be guilty of grabbing the 0 calorie version as a ‘healthier option’. But not anymore. Instead, I’m going to try sparkling water with fruit when I feel like having some fizz! 

Source: Renegade Pharmacist What Happens One Hour After You Drink Coke & What Happens One Hour After You Drink Diet Coke

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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Can sitting cause anxiety?

When life gets hectic it’s important to find some time to yourself to slow things down so that you don’t become overwhelmed and anxious by a busy schedule. A recent review of international studies highlights a link between sitting for long periods of time and anxiety. So what if your chosen relaxation activity of watching your favourite TV show or online shopping, is actually making you more anxious?

A research group from Australia conducted a new review of nine international studies on anxiety and highlighted there was evidence to link the amount of time people spent sitting down every, with the risks of feeling anxious. For some of us it’s unavoidable with 40-hour weeks in the office (which many of us commute to by car or public transport) to spend a good portion of day your sitting down. And we Fit Girls might have super powers but it still takes a lot of thought to plan things to make life easier. This itself can add to the worries and anxiety, so it’s not uncommon to feel anxious about how you are going to do everything that needs done, when your personal or professional schedule fills up.

Although none of the data across the varying studies prove that sitting causes anxiety, its important to think about in an age when many of us spend at least 9 hours a day sitting down. Then there is the issue of how you spend your free time. Just when you think you are doing the right thing by indulging in some me time to curl up on the couch and catch up on your favourite TV show, it seems this might not help you relax after all. But what comes first? Is it the activities we spend our time on whilst sitting that contributes to feeling anxious, or is it the being seated part?

Lead researcher of the study, Megan Teychenne of Deakin University’s Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, in Australia stated that the relationship between sitting and anxiety could be indirect due to people losing sleep from spending too much time online or in front of the TV. But she says it could also be more direct, if the activity is stimulating the nervous system, like with video gaming. If you love nothing more than to scroll through all of your social media in your free time, then this activity itself might also contribute to the knots tying in your stomach – a UK study in 2012 found that social media contributed to uncomfortable feelings through negatively comparing ourselves to others and with it FOMO (fear of missing out).

This adds even more reasons to trust that exercising is a great way to relax. We read it often that exercise is one of the best stress relievers, especially when the post workout endorphins kick in. But if a 45-minute gym class doesn’t sound like your idea of winding down, this review supports the importance of getting onto your feet throughout the day. It is recommended to be on your feet at least two hours in a day, so those who spend their working days seated, should make this a priority. If this sounds like it would have your employer twitching then get creative and try to stand every 20 – 30 minutes. If you’ve been killing it at drinking more water this won’t be too much of a problem as you’ll probably need to get up for the bathroom often!

Although it’s kind of like a chicken or the egg scenario, researchers have come to one conclusion: people need to stand and move. Although it might seem impossible when you need to catch up to the same episode of Game of Thrones as your friends, choosing to go a walk with friends, will be more relaxing than time spent alone on Instagram and gives you that important social time. When you are feeling anxious, think about the reasons why and do what you can to help ease it. If it’s something you can’t change, then try to accept the uncomfortable feelings rather than mindlessly doing anything in the hope that it will distract and relax you! 

 

4 tools to plan your workouts and life

Planning. Sometimes I love it and sometimes I absolutely hate it. Planning makes me aware of all the things I have to do but also helps me keep track of all the things I have already done. Because I know I am not the only one who likes to keep track of their workouts and also because planning can be quite a task, I share 4 tools I use to plan my workouts and my life!

1. Planner
The first tool is my 18 month Paperblanks planner. In this planner I plan my appointments physically with pen and paper. I usually only plan work appointments and special fitness related events in here. To keep everything nice and neat, I plan my daily workouts elsewhere.

2. Cozi
Everything that goes in to the planner above and has to do with working (out) together with others , I also add to my digitally shared calendar for which I use the app COZI. Cozi is an app that is also used as a family calendar. I on the contrary use it with my colleagues to plan appointments regarding our joint activities and also use it to notify my family and friends whenever they want to know what I am doing. This tool is very user friendly, can be easily shared and has a lot of  other options like grocery lists and to do lists.  I use it mostly on my smartphone, which is a Sony Xperia Z.Cozi

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How much weight can you really gain in one day?

One day of eating a few too many cookies (or even the whole packet) does not mean that you have completely ruined your health regime. Yes you might feel really sluggish and maybe a little guilty for being a cookie monster, but how much weight can you really gain in one day? Registered Dietician Samantha Cassetty told Women’s Health Magazine the truth (and it takes a lot more to gain weight in one day than you might think)!

For whatever reason, tiredness, boredom or a night out on the town with friends, sometimes we can eat too much food in one day – or even in one sitting. If you have done this before, rest assured that you are not alone. More importantly though, is the feelings or mood changes that can happen afterwards. It is definitely not unheard of to feel extremely down after such an indulgence. Maybe you even  think that you will put have weight on because of it, and that you have completely undone all of your health conscious efforts up to that point. However this is not the case! One day, even if you think it was REALLY over indulgent, will not result in an instant excess in weight.

How much does it take to gain weight?

Registered Dietician Samantha Cassetty explained to Women’s Health Magazine, that it is harder than you might think to put on real weight from one day of overeating. According to her, in order to really gain 1lb of actual weight in one day, you would have to eat 3500 calories on top of your average daily intake. Generally speaking, this simple calculation is true enough that she says it is, “virtually impossible to gain weight overnight, even if you really blew it on bar food.”

To put it into perspective, here is an example of what you would have to consume in 24 hours to become close to gaining 1lb. But first, think of what you generally eat in an average day when you are not particularly active. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Then, consider that you would need to consume the following as well:

  • 3 glasses of wine
  • a quarter pound beefburger with all of the toppings
  • a portion of onion rings
  • a side of fries topped with cheese
  • a large slice of cake to finish it off. (your favourite cafe – sized slice)

Still feeling like you “ruined everything”?

Well, you can’t simply undo a lifestyle in one day (healthy or otherwise). So let it go, and get right back to eating properly and exercising regularly. This will minimise the aftermath from feeling like you ate more than you needed to. Try taking a walk if you do feel stuffed, but don’t compensate by going over board and working-out for 3 hours straight. Similarly, eat consistently afterwards and don’t restrict yourself. Start the next day consciously with a breakfast which is high in protein. This will avoid the spike in your sugar levels which would see you turning to the cookies again by mid morning and continuing a problematic cycle.

Put an end to any thoughts that the extra slice of cake will stop you from getting your jeans on the next day, because it’s just not true! There is the proof that you mustn’t have restless nights or start turning down social invitations out of fear over indulging! It is so important to rid yourself of these ideas in your efforts to live healthily, for your body and your mind. 

 

New Fit Girl In (Cyber)Town: Jasmine

Hi there! I’m Jasmine and in this post I’d like to introduce myself as one of the newest Fit girls! To start with the basics: I’m twenty six years old, am a cat lover, a Communications graduate and last September I started Law school. I know… you must think I’m crazy. But I guess I just like to study. Now that you know my name, how old I am and what I do in everyday life, we can jump to the interesting part. My background, my lowest ‘fit-point’ and my current situation.

Unfortunately, I’ve never been the type that is naturally very slim. Ever since I can remember it’s been a struggle for me to not gain weight (because I loooove food). In my teens, I was already very occupied with my weight and body image. Always trying to get rid of one or two kilos. But the advantage I had back then was that I cycled at least an hour every day (to school and back), which really helped a lot to stay somewhat fit. Now I have a car… you do the math.

The black sheep
To be honest, I never really liked sports. Which is really strange because my parents were both (professional) athletes. So I was always kind of the black sheep of the family (being more interested in music, fashion, dance etc).

My mom had been training track and field with my grandfather since she was a little girl. When she was eighteen she moved to the US to go to college (where she studied Physical Health and Education. Duh, what else?). Of course she also remained a big track and field fanatic and she became US shot put champion. And she met my dad…

My dad (African-American) was studying at the same university and his goal was to become a professional American football player. And so he did. Eventually he played in the NFL (the largest professional American football league in the US) for twelve years and in his last season he even won the Super Bowl (the annual championship game).

So. Now you see how it’s pretty strange that the only child of these two athletes has never really been interested in sports… Even my grandfather, who is eighty three, still participates fanatically in track and field competitions! Sports have never been, and probably never will be one of my favorite activities. But I have come to appreciate it more and more the past few months.

Enough is enough
Let’s travel a bit back in time. It’s spring 2012 and I’m on vacation in Bali with my mom and stepdad (cool!). Yes, super cool and fun and all. But on that vacation I was at my heaviest. My mom (who of course is always super fit) told me, “Jasmine, when we get back from this vacation, you really need to do something about your weight. ” And she was right. I had been a little bit overweight for a while, but now I was really heading towards being unhealthy.

I just really love food, you know. And at that time I basically put anything and everything I liked in my mouth. This had to stop. Not only because of my appearance, but also concerning my health. I always say that I’m actually glad I can’t eat anything I want without gaining weight. If that were the case I would probably eat and be super unhealthy. Because it wouldn’t show anyway.

Pro-slow progress
Since we came back from that vacation in Bali in 2012, I really started to turn my lifestyle around. Not drastically and at once, but gradually. I started to really change my diet structurally (not without any struggle, of course) and since the beginning of this year I started working out three times a week (mostly strength training). Now, it’s spring 2015 and I’m fifteen kilos lighter than in 2012 (thank god! no wait, thank me!).

Could I have done it faster? Absolutely. But in my opinion the number one priority is to get results and not necessarily to reach your goal as fast as possible. How often haven’t we all experienced some kind of super strict diet, which made the kilos fly off? But once you stop they come back just as quick, and then some. That’s why I’m pro-slow progress. When you really manage to change your lifestyle it’s much more lasting than when you deprive yourself from everything for two months, only to fall back into your old eating habits afterwards. So, you might not get to where you want to be as fast as you want, so what? It’s not like I’m less happy about my weight loss than if it had gone faster. But it is staying off now. Especially with the help and support of the #fitgirlcode community I’m glad to be a part of!

If you want to contact me about anything, you can always leave a comment and I will definitely respond!

I also just launched my own blog about fashion, (curly)hair and make-up. So don’t forget to follow @jazzyjoyner on Instagram too!

Until the next post!

Love,

Jasmine

Ultimate tip for a happier & healthier life

The execution of this tip can be very simple, or very complicated. You can make it as big as you want, by putting loads of effort into it or doing something a bit more petite. I’m talking about doing a good deed for someone else, it sounds kind of cute doesn’t it?! It’s because doing a good deed for another is a very sweet thing to do and by doing so, you will also boost your health and happiness! It’s a win win 🙂

Ultimate tip for a happier & healthier life

I wanted to start 2015 with an original new year’s resolution, so I started brainstorming. I have a background in healthcare and I really like taking care of others. I figured it had to something related to this. After my brainstorm session I came up with the idea to start my own blog, do as many tiny good deeds as possible and write about my adventures. I named my blog ‘One tiny good deed‘. The last few months I enjoyed it so much that it kind of became a part of my happy and healthy lifestyle.

You’re probably curious to know why doing tiny good deeds will boost your health and happiness? Read on! According to the Guard Your Health research it has shown the following:

Doing good deeds gives you a sense of belonging, reduces stress, improves your self-esteem and expands your life.

They also made a super cool list to get you on your way to a healthier and happier lifestyle.

If this has got you all excited and you’re looking for more inspiration, check out ‘One Good Deed A Day‘. You can order this book here. I personally adore this lovely little book, my favorite good deed from it is ‘Smile at a stranger’. You’ll be surprised how this deed will make your day so much more fun!

Last but definitely not least. Dear Fit Girls, I challenge you to do the deed above, or any other good deed and as always I’d love to hear your stories!

xoxo

Safira Audrey

 

5 inspirational #THICKFIT girls on Instagram

Just like I like my money right where I can see it, hanging from my closet, or on my shoe shrine represented by some 9 inch platform heels,  I like my bones with a little bit of  meat on it. Ok I lied, I like a whole lot of meat, especially when it is accompanied by muscle. When scrolling through my instagramfeed,  I’ve noticed this preference also applies to the accounts where I get my inspiration from. So I thought I’d share with you 5 inspirational #THICKFIT girls on Instagram.

1. Shaineree (@iamshisha)
This lady right here, hailing from Rotterdam, the Netherlands gives a lot of people a run for their money when it comes to showing how determined she is. I can only respect that and I salute her. Wearing the #THICKFIT crown like a #BOSS  and keeping it real all day every day.

PicMonkey Collage shisha

2. Lita  (@followthelita)
When I say #QUEEN, I mean Lita. I mean her body, her drive, those thighs! Lita has been an inspiration from day one and I just love her positivity. Did I say love her thighs already? 🙂

PicMonkey Collage lita

3. Aisha (@proudtobeaisha)
Please allow me to introduce to you, also from Rotterdam,  Aisha. She just looks absolutely awesome, is so motivated, lifts heavy- ass- weights, has been around for a long while and oozes positive vibes. I like me some Aisha. Follow, follow, follow!

PicMonkey Collage aisha

 

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What to look for in a Personal Trainer : The basics

Starting your fit journey, or taking it to the next level can be rather difficult at times. Instead of giving up or staying in your comfort zone, you can opt for booking some sessions with a Personal Trainer, someone who is skilled and can help you accomplish your goals. But what to look for in a Personal Trainer and where do you start looking when you decide you want to do this . What to look for in a Personal Trainer : The basics are up next!

Goals
Before you determine who you are going to train with determine your goals. It is way easier picking a trainer when you know what you want to accomplish. By determining your goals first you will find your self searching for PT’s who’s expertise suit these goals and not the other way around.goal1-300x235

Surroundings
Some PT’s have their own gyms, some work in mainstream gyms and some just work all over the place, even outside or at your home. When you search for a PT, make sure you know where you like to work out. There is nothing wrong with being the  inside-the-gym type or the -nice-weather-lets-train-outside-type, but make sure you pick a trainer that suits these preferences to. By doing this you’ll make sure you have a good time, feeling comfortable and utilizing not only your but also your trainer’s skills.

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5 Inspirational books you should read

Your New Year’s resolution to cut the crap was ages ago. But you can’t seem to see the results of all your hard work in the gym…  Time for a little inspiration to continue your health journey – to give you a little push in the right direction and to remind you that you are doing great! Here are 5 inspirational books you should read:

 

1. The Fit Bottomed Girls’ “Anti-Diet”fitbottomedgirlsantidiet

Everyone wants a super-quick fix to lose weight, but here’s the secret:
The only way to get the results you want is to love yourself and your life. Jennipher Walters and Erin Whitehead, founders of the uber-popular website Fit Bottomed Girls, have spent years helping hundreds of thousands of readers fall in love with a healthy lifestyle. Now, they are sharing their 10 principles that will help you lose weight, love your body, enjoy your workouts, and face every day with a positive attitude—all at the same time!

 

2. The Anti 9 to 5 Guideanti9to5

Today, lots of women would love to integrate their passion with their career and are seeking advice on how to do just that. Michelle Goodman, a self proclaimed, “wage-slave” has written a fun, reassuring, girlfriend-to-girlfriend guide on identifying your passion, transitioning out of that unfulfilling job, and doing it all in a smart, practical way. The Anti 9-to-5 Guide realizes that not every woman wants the corner office, in fact, some women don’t want to be in an office at all.

 


3. When Organizing Isn’t Enough: Shed Your stuff: Change Your Life WhenOrganizingIsntEnough

Expert organizer and New York Times best selling author Julie Morgenstern
teaches you how to get rid of the physical, mental, and time clutter that’s keeping you from the life you want. For those who are eager to make a change in their lives—a new job, a new relationship, a new stage in life—they need to get rid of the old before they can organize the new. They need to SHED their stuff before they can change their lives!

 

 

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Meet my personal transformation

Oh oh- It’s about to get personal today! To be honest I’m kind of nervous to expose my transformation pictures. However, I hope it will inspire you and show that every woman is able to do it – and that’s most important for me! Let me tell you how my transformation changed my life and how you are able to achieve your goals too.

I thought it was about time to tell my sweet readers about the story behind my personal journey towards living healthy and getting fit – so far. OM to the G, looking back I almost can’t believe it myself! I’m not holding any secrets from you girls, the key to achieving your goals is: determination!

At one point I was ready for a BIG turnaround and promised myself to stick to my mission. Now, I don’t ever want to go back again..

So two things happened before things got really serious! First, I moved out of my parent’s house into a student house with my best friend. Having my own kitchen meant that I had to do the groceries. I had all the freedom to buy a lot of sugar-loaded-sweet-treats and.. I did. Secondly, my ex-boyfriend and I broke up and that was the point where I knew things had to change to get rid of my insecurity and really love my body again. It was time for my personal transformation, for “me-time” and to have a positive vibe!

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That’s when my journey really started to develop and showed the results I’m now addicted to my new lifestyle. It’s all about the positive mindset, finding the personal-fitting-diet and workout – HARD! Once you see some results, it gets easier and that was the point, I started loving my new lifestyle. Eating clean, living healthy and working out made me a happier and glowing girl. Looking back on my personal transformation so far, I’ve had ups and downs, yes absolutely, but it made me stronger! I’m more motivated than ever before and I hope I can inspire you all by sharing my “Foodie-ness” way of life here on the blog!

Success doesn’t come to you, you go and get it!

Live happily ever active,

Foodie-ness.

 

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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5 main reasons to consider becoming a vegetarian

Today is the official start of “Meat Free Week”. This is a global campaign to get you thinking about how much meat you eat, and the impact that eating too much of it has on your health, animals and the environment. We challenge you to join us in not eating meat this week, which includes poultries and fish as well. Throughout the week, we will be posting a series of articles related to this and some nice vegetarian recipes to keep you satisfied! 

As someone who has been eating meat since I can remember, I never really even thought of breaking this habit; until now. In the last few months, I have noticed a growing skepticism and queasiness in my stomach when it came to buying meats or poultry. I don’t know if this shift is a product of the scandalous reports that seem to be released every now and then, or if I understood this while becoming a student.

By making my own meals, I’ve had first-hand experience with handling raw. industrial. slimy. chicken. Ever since, I am either avoiding it by making my roommate cut it, buying it sliced, or eliminating it completely from my meal! After doing my research, I understood what processes MOST meats and poultry undergo. There are countless amounts of additives, pesticides, and other toxic production methods that do not fall into the range of what any person in their right mind would want to put in their bodies… For this reason, I write this article more in the hopes to inform you in a simple way and encourage you to decrease your meat usage or even convert to a vegetarian lifestyle.

Here are 5 main reasons why we should all consider becoming vegetarians one day or another —

    1. “Two words: meat extenders + fillers”

      These two techniques are what make your choice of meat affordable and pretty. What they are, basically, is non-meat substances with altered protein content and high carbohydrate levels, lots of it.

       

    2. “The almighty chicken hormone cocktail”

      From the time they are in the egg, chickens are vaccinated with an abusive cocktail of antibiotics and growth hormones to survive the drastic living conditions they are about to go through. However, not even all of these chemicals are protecting us from the rising fear that there are new parasites that are becoming “scarily” resistant to all of our human efforts. #justsaying

      PS; Not-so-fun fact: chickens are now grown so quickly that if humans grew as fast, we’d weigh around 160 kilos by our second birthday…

       

    3. “Liar liar pants on fire, I spot an untruthful label!”

      I always wonder about the labels I see on packages, and there is a common belief that they are often deceptive. It is not the exception when it comes to meats — if there is neither an ingredients list nor any information listed on the front label, don’t assume it’s additive-free. Most words used to make claims on the front of packaging are not regulated (e.g., “natural”), so they really aren’t meaningful.

       

    4. “A beautiful veggie-full diet pleases your inner goddess”

      Not only does it provide your inner goddess with all of the right vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients, but it also boosts your energy levels and increases your sexual libido. The saying that “vegetarians make better lovers” didn’t just come form nowhere!

    5. “But at the end of the day, we should reconsider our choices because we are emotional beings, and we should treat other creatures as such too.”

      Over the years, overproduction has led to the most inhumane procedures to kill animals faster and in bigger quantities. So how about we stop for a second and really think about what it is we are encouraging?

As a fit girl who is currently trying to jump off the meat wagon, nothing would make me happier than having some tricks and tips on how to get the best balanced nutrition! So this is a call to all of our vegetarian ladies (and all of the other fit girls too) to share your thoughts, tips, and any opinion you have on this topic!

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