Fitness

Fitness Diary: January

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I didn’t make a very elaborate resolution list this year because 1) I didn’t have the time to and 2) situations always change. So I thought to stick with the most basic things I would like to achieve and adjust accordingly. My first priority this year is towards my fitness. A few weeks back I wrote about my muscle injury that occurred last year. (Click here to read) I thought maybe you guys will be interested in reading how I plan to get back into my routine.

I would like to state here that I am not a professional and I am still very much a beginner. I have never followed a fitness plan through. I would achieve a certain goal and then just let myself lose which is the worst thing one can do. My only aim is to write about positive and healthy fitness methods that I personally follow. So if you’re someone who made a commitment to their fitness at the start of this year, stick around. I plan to share quite a bit of my fitness journey here and maybe that might inspire you to stay focused, motivated and on track. 🙂

So, ever since I got a green signal from my injured muscle, I have been looking for ways to get back into a proper routine without hurting myself again. I am being very conscious with whatever I do because the fear of relapsing several times before is still afresh in my mind and I want to avoid it at any cost. Personally I have never been someone who would work out at a low intensity. That just never cut out for me. I was always one of those highly intense working out type and yes I do want to get back to it – but at a very slow pace. Right now I don’t have much of stamina but it will build up as I keep trying.

The Goal: I have accumulated quite a lot of fat and look like Mark Gatiss (Mycroft) in 1800s from BBC Sherlock: The Abominable Bride right now. So my first goal is to lose as much fat as I can. I haven’t decided on KGs I want to lose yet because I don’t want to pressurize myself and end up doing some reckless routine and relapse. My second goal is to work out at least five days a week. Be very specific with your goals because that’s how you end up knowing what needs to be done aka formulating your plan.

The Plan: For starters I want to start off with cardio at least four days a week. I am being very realistic here. My life tends to get extremely busy when I least expect it so the only sensible plan is to walk at least four days because 5km takes an hour and 10 minutes for me and I can’t take that much time out if I have deadlines to meet within two hours at a 2 minute notice. I started yesterday with 5km walk on the treadmill. It left me quite sweaty and huffy puffy which is always great. So I am going to keep to it for at least four weeks that is till end of January. I picked cardio because I have noticed that I lose the most when I am walking a lot. If you think there is an exercise that helps you the most, stick to it and tweak it in intensity every now and then.

The Alternative: Now I do tend to get bored easily so on days when cardio isn’t cutting out for me I would switch to an exercise circuit of my choice. If you Google, you will find a gazillion circuits that you can do. Pick the one you like the most and you feel can push you a little harder. For me I am sticking with Eat Run Lift Winter Guide 2015 that I got for free after registering on their website. It’s run by Rachel Aust (youtuber) and her partner Beau. They are an incredible fitness duo. This winter guide has a great beginner routine that makes me almost die catching my breath by the time I am done with it andI damning well love it.

What are your fitness goals for this year? Let me know in the comments below and let’s get fit together. 🙂

All the very best for 2016, guys!

Love,

~F x

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Fitness

FITNESS ~ A Little Background of My Injury

Injury Post (famtaq.com)

I doubt I have spoken about it here but I thought let’s give it a go. Round about this time last year I was in a gym filling their forms and paying for a membership for 6 months. I was nervous and excited at the same time because I believed joining a gym would help me get back into my fitness routine. Fast forward three months, I was working full time, barely made it to gym three times a week and losing whatever fitness I had left.

I decided to take up drastic measures and started working out at home early in the morning and later in the gym in the evenings if I made it in time. My gym’s closing time was 9pm and I would leave work around 7pm or sometimes 8pm so I would mostly not go. The morning workouts were always rushed as I would leave for work around 6:30am so I was at my desk at sharp 7am. During one such rushed workout session in February I ended up injuring a back muscle on my left side. The pain was horrible. I couldn’t move, walk, sit, lie down proper or do pretty much anything. My doctor instructed me complete bed rest.

Fast forward to July; the pain was still there even if it had lessened a bit in magnitude. I would get bouts of it quite frequently. If I put just a little pressure on my left side, I’d be in tremendous pain within half hour. Three months later the pain was gone but I would still get fits occasionally.  This rendered me from exercising completely and all I could really do was lying in bed most of the time. Every time I would exercise the next day I would not be able to move. The most recent fit I got was in the middle of October. I woke up one day and I could hardly stand up. It took me three to four days to recover. All this time Panadol and hot bottle were my best friends.

In November I got sick of this injury taking over my life and ruining my health. I became so inactive and unhealthy I could hardly keep up my breath. In November I took the plunge and got back into working out. I started off with walking on my treadmill for 30 to 45 minutes. I would do it at least 3 times a week. By the end of November I got more serious about setting a proper routine and wanted to get started with exercising.

We are in second week of December. I have been walking at least 4 times a week for 30 to 45 minutes now. Today I did my first round of exercise and I am so happy about it and extremely breathless. I haven’t felt any major pain in my back yet and I am hoping it doesn’t start again. *fingers crossed*

The reason I am writing this post is to share with you guys that I couldn’t exercise for a complete year and it had made me very unhappy. But it made me realize that unconsciously I was always a fitness enthusiast. I always thought that exercise was something I would do just to lose some fat but now I realize that I actually love working out. The other thing I wanted you guys to know was that a lot of us are suffering from some kind of injury or health issue and its okay to lie down for a while till you’re not okay. Your internal system would let you know when it’s enough and you need to stop making your injury into an excuse and get your shit together. I believe that’s what happened with me. 9 months after my injury I started thinking that maybe my injury was not as horrible as I believed it in my head and I needed to start looking after my fitness and health again. I took it really slow because I didn’t want to go back to bed rest and I believe that was/is the best approach when you start working out again post injury.

I really hope I stay on track and get back to being well and fit again.

Thanks a lot for reading! 🙂

Love,

Fam xx

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Features, The Office Series

The Office Series #2 ~ Snacking at Work

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Hello there, and welcome to the second edition of The Office Series. I did the first one last Monday (Click here to read it). I will be doing them every Monday this month so if you enjoyed the last one or this one, don’t forget to come back next week for a brand new The Office Series post.

I am the kind of a person who eats when they are bored. Things took a drastic turn when I joined work and discovered you can get way too hungry while working too. It is always handy to have some snacks. In the beginning my sister-in-law was stuffing my bag with chocolate cupcakes, muffins, croissants and god knows what not, haha. But me being me, I got sick of them after a week and started picking out healthier options because honestly this waist isn’t going to shrink on its own. -_-

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1- Mandarin oranges

These mini versions of oranges are my absolute favorite. JUST LOOK AT THEM – how tiny and cute they look. Oranges help your system prevents viral infections, cancer especially liver, kidney disease, protects your skin, regulates blood pressure, and is good for your eye. It is also a great source of Vitamin D and as I don’t get to be in the sun at all now, I like stocking up on it with the help of these tiny babies.

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I am not that big of a fan of salads but I love eating the ingredients individually. Also I hate getting sick and these choices have helped me keep the sickness at bay. Cucumbers, carrots and olives are my favorite.

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2- Cucumber

Cucumber is perhaps the best food you can snack on. It has so many benefits some of which are body hydration, helps in losing weight, good for diabetes, helps with constipation, extremely good for eyes, is good for the skin, fights heartburns and fills your tummy, ha.

Fresh carrots

3- Carrots

Carrots are amazing for your eyes – yeah there is a pattern here. I am freaked out about my eyes and that’s why I pick food that’s good for them. It also helps in protecting teeth and gums, prevents heart disease, strokes, and infections and is good for your immune system.

I like to cut cucumbers and carrots in sticks and I take the skin off.

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4- Olives

Olives are amazing for your skin, hair, and eyes. They also help in preventing cancer, allergies, reduce pain, help in weight loss and are good for your heart. I like seedless black/green Spanish olives.

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5- Watermelon

Watermelon beats mandarin oranges for me. I love watermelon. If you want to quit on sugary stuff but want to have something sweet every day and in abundance, this is what you should go for. Not only is it the best substitute for unhealthy treats, it also has health benefits like improving blood flow, helps with weight loss, fights heartburn, hydrating, and is good for the eye and immune system. I like sliced watermelon but for office I prefer cutting them in cubes. Did I mention how filling they are?

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6- Nuts

I am not a very dry fruit loving person but a handful of cashew, almonds and pistachio can really fill you up. These are perhaps the handiest snacks as you can carry them around in your bag without worrying of a spillage.

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These snacks don’t require much of an effort from you other than cutting them up and packing them for the next day before you go to bed. You can also grab them on the run. If you’re being lazy then you can check your local grocery store. Most of them will have pre-cut fruits.

I don’t say I snack healthy every time because I do love cake more than anything but I like to mix things up every now and then. Eating the same thing every single day is just not for me.

Work life is teaching me quite a lot of things. These days my one hand stays busy on the keyboard typing emails and working on quotations while my other hand stays busy stuffing my face with these snacks. Boy, I love my life.

What’s your favorite snack while at work?

~F x

PS. All the pictures are taken from Google because your’s truly has been crazy busy with work so apologies for that.

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Fitness

Fitness Inspiration of the Day #1 ~ Brittne Babe

I have been thinking to start writing about health and fitness on the blog on a daily from a while. I won’t say I am a fitness freak or take care of my health to a T but I am very enthusiastic about it. There are weeks when I don’t work out or eat properly or on time and then there are weeks when I am working out daily, eating the right food and on time.

I am a huge Instagram lover and more than that I am a huge fitness insta-blogs follower. I especially like those accounts that put up videos. Practical demonstration always motivates me more. I follow quite a number of such blogs on Instagram and I love discovering more of such accounts. From now on I’ll pop those accounts here so that any of you who are interested can follow them for inspiration as well as tips.

Brittne Babe

Instagram: @BrittneBabe

Website: BrittneBabeFitness.com

Some of you might already know her but I just discovered an amazing account by a girl named Brittne. She is 20, is a full time college student, an online health couch and is a natural body builder. Though I prefer leaner body type for myself, I enjoy her videos so much. She demonstrates such strength which inspires me a lot and makes me keener to work out on my strength and flexibility. She is really down to earth too which is always good to know about someone who has a huge following.

Give her a follow if you haven’t already and let me know if you like her account as much as I do.

Have a fit day y’ll!

~F x

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Fitness

Fitness ~ Yoga for Beginners

If you are following me on Instagram and/or Twitter you would have an idea that I recently graduated from university. I’ve completed my Bachelors in Business Administration (general pathway) from Oman only where I was brought up.

Last semester of uni wasn’t very great for me. I was asked to take four modules along with Final Year Project in order to graduate by May. I did not have much choice. I needed to get done with uni. Anyway, the pressure was tremendous. I was studying for my classes, doing assignments, writing reports, fixing my FYP, draft checks, attending classes and trying very hard to stay sane through all this. I wasn’t studying seriously instead I was taking a lot of stress. I would think more and do less, which is always a bad thing when it comes to anything education related. I had also travelled and was very sick for quite a while. I was finding it very hard to cope with everything. That’s when I decided to find a way to release all the stress that was just piling up day after day and beating me down. I gave Yoga a try. I never imagined myself going the Yoga path. I always thought it was for people who are thin and flexible, not people like me who are overweight and chubby all over.

I often google about things I want to give a try or don’t know much about before i start doing them. Yoga was one such thing I had no idea where to start and how to do. YouTube never helps me much because I get intimidated by the number of videos there is to see with different steps. I tried to YouTube it but it confused me. So what I did was I typed in ‘Yoga circuit for beginners’ and found out tones of images with different circuits. Pictures are easier for me. I saved the ones I found interesting. I am not a fan of going to classes for Yoga or such exercises. I prefer doing them home.

Before you start to workout or do any sort of exercise, it is very important that you warm up your body, especially if you are someone like me who workout once in a blue moon. If you don’t warm up you will end up straining your muscles or damaging them. I get lazy when it comes to warm up but it is better to take precautions and be on the safe side.

Following is the warm up circuit I prefer doing.

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It stretches my muscles in all the right areas and makes my body break a sweat. I repeat every step three times. It is not necessary for you to follow the same warm up circuit I use. You can google and look for one that interests you. Just don’t go all macho in the first go. Start slowly and then increase your pace. Going hard would only lead to muscle damage. Slow-Medium-Fast – go by the natural rule.

The picture below is my favorite yoga circuit for beginners.

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It is basic but makes your body work and sweat. Also, the bunny is just too cute.

In the beginning I found this circuit a little hard but on the third day I was pretty much fine and was doing all the steps properly. I was worried I’d forget all the steps but it did not take me long to memorize them. I was worried I will have problem breathing in and out properly but with time it did not remain a problem and I learned my way through. It is true guys, practice makes perfect. In the beginning we all make mistakes but with times we learn.

Things I noticed

1-      How quickly my stress level was getting under control. I was able to focus on my assignments and class work. I was more attentive during lectures. My overall uni performance was increasing.

2-      By my third workout I could visibly see my body fat getting into a proper shape. My knees which previously had any shape now were probing out all pretty (in a healthy way. Am I weird to think defined knees are pretty?) My thighs were getting in shape and my love handles did not feel that lose. There was a reduction in my back flab. My hips felt firmer and my arms were getting lean and strong. I thought I was imagining it all but after two weeks everyone started commenting that I looked quite in shape than before. I was over the moon.

3-      Flexibility – wow wow wow. I was able to lift my legs all the way back above my head. All this within 2 weeks – wow wow wow.

Few other precautions:

1-      Don’t workout on a full stomach. Wait for at least hour and a half.

2-      Don’t drink water or anything right before you start your workout

3-      I prefer working out without the fan or air conditioning on and with the door closed. Direct air conditioning can strain your muscles because of sweating.

4-      When it is warm in the room, you sweat quickly and more but always make sure it is not humid and it is not difficult to breathe in the room.

5-      Once you’re done working out, take shower after 10-15 minutes. Taking shower right after exercise may strain your muscles.

I hope this post was helpful. Let me know if any of you try it. If there is anything you want to ask or suggest, please do so in the comments below. I love hearing from you guys.

Love yourself often and enough!

Fam xoxo

PS. Just to be clear, I am not a fitness expert. I am just sharing my experiences here and what works well for me.

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