Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Building strength using outdoor playground equipment

Aerial strength

After being absent for over a month with injuries, I am struggling to get back into aerials. Tricks I used to be able to do and the amount of times I was able to do time in one go, dropped dramatically and to be honest it has been frustrating. I remember how good I was and I need to rebuild it.

With my end of year performance coming up and a new silk burn injury which is preventing me of combining all the tricks together, I have to find a way to build my stamina aerial strength without being on the silks.

Get hanging

I spoke with my trainer and he suggested, just hanging from a bar for 15 minutes. He said, start with as long as you can and then jump down and then climb back and hang again for as long as possible. Try to do it quickly after each drop and try to go to 15 minutes in total.

So I took my child and off to the playground we went to find some monkey bars.

I climbed up and started hanging I counted in my head, 1, 2, 3 ... I made it to 21 seconds. I jumped down. My hands were sore and already showing they would get calluses. A small price to pay if I could sync my entire routine together of tricks in 3 weeks time for my performance.

I climbed back up, 15 seconds in total this time.

A third time, I tried again, 10 seconds.

I jumped off and felt a nice pull in my arms.

The results of hanging to increase strength

I didn't feel embarrassed I didn't do fifteen minutes worth, I am just grateful I started the process.

I went to aerials the day after and could definitely feel the nice pain from yesterday's hanging. Will it help increase my aerial strength? Only time will tell but it sure is fun.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Difficulties getting back into fitness

Image via: Fitted Magazine

After having a break

Wow, so I had four weeks where I had off aerials, the first two weeks was due to back pain from a crazy incidental fall in my own home (not from aerials). The next two weeks following I couldn't participate due to a major tension headache and during that time I had a range of brain tests to check my brain wasn't bleeding or anything had been ruptured. (Talk about trying not to stress!)

Thankfully, everything came back clear and after many physio visits and de-stressing moments, I was finally able to start aerials again properly.

What happens when you get back into fitness after a break

For me, aerials is my two-hour haven, where I push my body to its limits and I feel like a complete idiot learning new tricks and then I do a trick and it's perfect and I feel on top of the world.

The first week wasn't as bad as I thought and normally I would go in twice a week for two hours at a time but this week I just did an hour and a half. It felt good, not as strong in some tricks and I did feel behind from the rest of the class, simply because I hadn't learnt what they had.

Week two and I feel amazing. I am able to do multiple tricks together. I feel strong. I feel good. My tricks are improving and although I am in some places not where I used to be, I know it will only be matter of time till I am.

Go in with a strong mental attitude towards exercise

It's scary taking time off from exercise. My doctor told me I wasn't allowed to exercise at all until I had done all the tests and received the results. Exercise can be such a mental game sometimes. Yet, as long as we get back in the game, we are winning. If we give up at that point then we have no hope of catching up. It never takes long, just a couple of weeks to get back to the standard you expect to be.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Aerial Silk Pretty Videos

So I went to training and I was the only one there and I thought, why not just go all out and try to make everything look really pretty.

So I did, well at least I tried ...

This one is very cool, it's the splits for about a minute thirty and then a roll up split and then keep watching for a cool upside down straddle split and my first time I rolled back up:

A cool spinning trick that I love!:

The scorpion:

A pretty climb:

Thank fully, I created so many video's on this one day at training because that night (not at silks) I hurt my back!! So a few weeks off tricks (but still stretching on the silks). Can't wait to get back on it and learn more!

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Two aerial silk drops in class

So aerial silk class is always an exciting time, because we learn new tricks all the time.

This cool drop, I am still perfecting ... but I love it. In this video, I tried it up high to feel the greater effect. It's always a good idea to see how far we have come by filming these videos. We used to let go and drop and stop after the first turn, being locked in by the silk!! Very painful and scary, but now we are getting it!

Another cool climb, we have just learnt. It's pretty cool and I think the music with this one is perfect!

Monday, 21 August 2017

When one can't go to silks, one must improvise ...

When one can't go to silks, one must improvise ...

A trip to the bars, provided some cool outcomes:

The warm-up

Now warm, let's have some fun

For some fitness ideas:

When you can't make your fitness class, do something else in it's place.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Its time to get out of your comfort zone and be amazing

Realise you hold the power you need to go to next level

The mental strength you need 

As I have said before, aerial silk is just as mental as it is physical. I have been postponing the aerial silk drops for long enough and now I am ready to just do it. Aerial silk drops are what make the performance a wow factor. I don't want to just stop at a level I am more than comfortable with, I want to go to the next level and do the drops.

Don't let fear win before you even begin

After a couple of freak out moments up high, facing upside down, head first into the mat, I told my trainer, "I don't want to do this," but I really did. It was just in that position, up high, is quite scary, especially when you don't know what to expect.

In my third attempt, I nearly didn't even attempt it. But my friend encouraged me to just do it and I have been putting it off for weeks. So I did.

What happens when you let go of fear

And it felt great. It reminds me that I am in control when I am doing silks. I hold the control. But apart of me has to let go of the fears. The fears are what is temporarily stopping me from being great.

So whatever mental block you are facing, makes sure the people in your a sidelines are those you trust and support you. Make sure you believe in yourself and make sure you give it a go.

"Don't settle for comfortable, settle for amazing." 

Below is a video of my third attempt of my aerial silk drop:

Monday, 14 August 2017

Aerial Silk Inspiration

Le Cirque du Soleil. La Nouba, Chapter 8.

My trainer says when looking on YouTube, look for the best. So I found the best!
I love this aerial silk piece. So much strength and beauty. 

Monday, 7 August 2017

This is what fear looks and feels like

The fear is real 

So when I am learning a new aerial silk drop, I experience a wave of fear. Firstly because I am up high. You have to be high so you don't hurt yourself coming down or especially because I am afraid of heights, landing on the mat underneath is not going to make me want to do it again! So, up high I go. Again, having a real fear of heights my whole life to now hanging upside down, going to do a full body drop at least a metre fall, face down, is pretty damn scary.

 If you don't have this fear, like my friend, then its really not a big deal but for those who do... Well its hard to get there. I can even be watching my friend do the trick and feel the blood drain from my face. Most times I have to look away and take a couple of deep breaths. It sounds so silly because I know I am safe and I am wanting to do it because it looks amazing. Plus, when I do do the drop, I feel amazing. Nothing can wipe the smile off my face. But even with this knowledge the fear is real and when I am up there for the first time, my mind freezes as does my body. I freak out.

What happens when you experience fear

Its interesting though to watch fear, because your mind and body just shut down. All you can feel is the fear. I was doing the superman trick, and just before I go into a ball, you will see in the video, I have to basically be a plank, up high in the air, with my hands holding nothing. My trainer says, "Do you feel balanced, can you feel your feet touching my hands?" Me, "my feet are numb." (In my freaking out voice).

Find a good trainer who knows how to deal with your fears

My trainer knows my fear and its good on some level because he also had the same fear when he first started out. I go down into the position you see in the video (link below), ready to do the drop for the first time. My hands hold the silk. "No, I can't do this." I start to climb up. My trainer helps me back into position. My brain and body freezes. All I am thinking about is once I tuck my legs into my body, I will drop. My trainer is saying, "bend your knees." Nothing, I can't move. "Just bend your knees." I shut my eyes as I know I am going to do this either way. Finally my legs push through and I do it for the first time. Relief. My trainer shows me the rest of the trick and I come down with a big smile on my face.

The after effects of experiencing fear

 Afterwards, my feet were washed with sweat, my heart was pounding, my body was shaking but I felt on top of the world. When I dropped it wasn't scary, it was just the lead up that was terrifying. That weekend, with only my friend and me, I tried it again. I dropped, all by myself and I felt pretty damn amazing. For me, its the unexpected and its dealing with the fear of heights that is the hardest challenge to get past but I do get past it every week, it might be a slower way of learning but each time I get that bit better. It's important to face your fears, I do recommend you do it in a structured environment with an instructor who can spot you and help coach you through the fear. Don't let fear win, keep pushing through anyway.

This is what fear looks like, when someone is experiencing it:

Monday, 31 July 2017

Your Daily Exercise Motivation: Day 46

Open Training 

The pros and cons

So I decided very last minute that I would go to open training for aerial silk.

My friend couldn't come so it was just me.

I do love open training. I can do a trick 17 times and not succeed and nobody cares. Nobody laughs and really nobody even looks. Yet its my time to practice what I have learnt in class and try to remember the steps involved and making it look pretty. Also it helps when I go back to class and say, I had trouble doing this part can you tell me what I'm doing wrong?

In addition, I was feeling a light soreness from aerial silk two nights earlier and to be honest, going in the morning means I can be pretty tired for the rest of the day. But I spent the evening watching aerial silk inspired videos and I just wanted to get back into it.

So I went.

The outcome

And it felt great. I had some not successful moments but I would try again and I had some really nice elements and I even practiced some tricks that used to make me hyperventilate just watching my friend do it (I did it close to the ground) but still it renewed my confidence in those tricks I haven't had a chance to perfect and others I am only just learning and others that I need to get moving on.

Plus it gives me extra fitness. Extra exercise and strength that I can build and push my body to get used to.

The result, I felt great. I video tapped the session and I had practiced everything I wanted to and more. I even did things that I never have confidence to do for myself in class and I did it all by myself. Sometimes if we really want something we need more time to practice and we need to renew our confidence in ourselves that there is nothing to worry about, I've got this!

Want to see one of the many tricks:


Monday, 17 July 2017

Watch our first aerial silk performance here

Did someone say aerial silk performance?

Last night my friend and I performed in our first ever aerial silk performance.

We have only been learning aerial silk for 16 weeks.

It was awesome to have our family and friends watching and supporting our very first performance!

A duet no less.

I feel we rocked it!

A big thanks to my friend Eliza, who has been on the same journey, encouraging me every step of the way and challenging me to literally greater heights and obviously our trainer Darrin, who choreographed the routine and helped us make it happen and watched it over and over prior to the performance!

Watch it now:

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Your daily exercise motivation: Day 45

So if you read my last blog post, you would have hopefully not just witnessed but also undertook the 10 minute leg exercises to combat upper thigh and butt cellulite.

I did say in the post I was going to do this exercise every day for two weeks. I also said how it didn't give me much pain. Well guess what!?

The next day, I could barely walk and trying to sit down was a huge effort in pain. I ended up doing some light stretching in pain in the afternoon.

The day after, I was attending aerial silk training, which I was praying that my legs would help me out and not kill me in pain further. As they say mix up the exercises to allow the legs to recover, so work on the arms, not to just rest and do nothing.

I did have to do more stretching and my own normal stretches were pretty painful but after a two hours workout, my legs felt pretty good and thankfully the following day the pain was gone.

I was keen to do the exercise again, (if you ever need a motivator go shopping for bike pants) but I have our aerial silk performance this week, so I decided its in my best interest to forego this exercise until Saturday. I can't wait to do it.

Watch the killer exercise video here:

Actually, don't just watch it, do it.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Your Daily Exercise Motivation: Day 44

10 Minute Cellulite Removal Workout How To Get Rid of Cellulite and Lose Thigh Fat in 2 Weeks

The heading says it all, right!

So in two weeks the aim of this is to get rid of cellulite. So who is up for the challenge to test this out?

I am in need to get rid of my cellulite and I am ready to start now.

So I did. Today, I found this video and did it. It's pretty cool and ten minutes flew in time. Immediately afterwards, my legs gave that nice pain. But about thirty minutes later, I thought I don't think this will work, I feel nothing ... but then, about an hour or two later, the nice soft pain that comes after exercise rebuilt.

My aim is to do this at least once a day for the next two weeks.

Who is with me!?

Monday, 3 July 2017

Your weekly body love workout

Okay, so now I am into my second 8 week term of aerial silk, I want to continue to focus on the areas that I discuss in these blogs, such as upper body strength, stamina, flexibility etc.

However, now what I also want to focus on during the week is a tighter stomach and work on my upper thighs and butt.

Basically, nearly every woman's favourite areas to workout.

So I need a new plan and I know one that works but like all good things, it takes regularity and time to see results.

So like many women, I am going to take my before pic and then take a 3 month, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months pic. (I'm not going to share these with you though.)

So whats my trusted plan?

Well, in my teenage years I had an incredible body. A four pack and flat stomach, tight muscles and we'll a great tan. Don't get me wrong, I love my body now. Love it.

However, it doesn't mean I can't work on it to make it even better.

So what did I used to do?

I have always had a small bum right. But I did this bum exercise every day and in 3-6 months I could notice the difference. It was tighter! 

Every morning before school,I would spend 30 minutes on exercises. 
Included 100 x bum lifts.
200-500 x crunches 
Among other things, like flexibility etc.

In the afternoon,I generally did some dancing or would put on an exercise DVD for an hour once a week. Plus once a week,I would walk home from school.

I started last night. I did 35 minutes of dance, plus 100 crunches. The crunches really started to burn after 70. And it felt good. 

So are you ready to go on my next journey to not just be fit but also look good?

Let's do this.
First things first. Take that photo. 

Monday, 26 June 2017

Perfection can help you get better but if overused, it can make you feel a failure

Remember how far you have come

Related image
Image via: Pinterest

Throughout my aerial classes, I do take videos. I video tape new tricks so I can watch them over and over during the week to remember how to do them for the next class. I also like to take videos of tricks I love, so I can share it with, well ... everyone.

Also, lately, my friend and I are have been practicing for an upcoming performance ... because you know we are awesome. Read my confidence blog here.

Any who, I have noticed that I look for all the areas I need to improve on.

Although, this is good. Once or twice. Going over and over and looking out for the weaknesses is not great on the whole confidence thing. Plus, it loses it's magic after a while. In addition, during training, I felt great. Amazing actually. So watching it, in a critical fashion, which is very me, it made me lose all the attention on the hard work we achieved and even how far we have come to be able to do this performance.

What I am trying to say is, don't lose sight of how far you have come to get to this point. Yes, aim for perfection but don't let it loose what you have right here in this moment, something pretty amazing.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Strength workouts

Image result for build strength in aerial silk
Image via: Aquazorb

So, I am newly convinced that building strength is something we should all strive to do.

As an aerialist, I can now call myself that right? Anyway, I need to build my strength. That's one main area that I need improvement and although I am getting better each week, I can help accelerate the process over time by adding in some strength activities throughout the week.

In addition, I really do want to focus on improving my stomach, bum and thighs so more crunches and bum lifts are in order. A great way for your child to practice counting to 100!

I have read a few blogs on aerial silk in building up strength and the main one is doing lateral pull ups.

My trainer also has suggested just standing against the wall - completely flat (ensuring the lower back in against the wall) and then lift both arms ... while maintaining the flatness. In addition, add a bar and in a sitting position, lift the bar up to shoulder height, with your back flat to the back and this will help build the upper strength you need.

I also spoke with an elite trainer who is training a BMX chick. He has spent a year changing up her training and focusing on various strength training exercises. By doing this, she went in a BMX comp against a girl three years older than her who competed in the Olympics and she won!

In addition, I spoke with an Occupational Therapist whose focus is on how to care for the elderly/limited mobility. Interestingly, those with more strength are more mobile.

Strength is key in all age groups and yet here I thought it was mainly for body builders. I am looking forward to getting stronger. I am already noticing a difference with aerial silk. Again, this is what I love about doing a sport/fitness workout that I love to do because it makes me want to aspire to greatness.

*Get moving, get strong, get fit and feel great.*

Monday, 12 June 2017

When you face a fall, get back up and get back up quick!

After leaving with a scare on the last class. I didn't want to wait a whole week to get back into it.

So today, I went to an open training for aerial silk without a trainer. I haven't been completely by myself at all. So I knew to only practice what I have learnt and I had some practicing to do! 

First on the agenda was to practice three tricks tied into one for our first upcoming duet performance. However, they are quite exhausting so practice is needed. 

I took in my iPad and set up the video to continually play the entire time. In my first trick, I climbed up four times to then perform it. In the video you can see my foot physically shake as I am scared of heights and the fact I didn't have a spotter there but I know the trick well, so I was confident that I could do this by myself.

Here's a quick preview, as I can't review the entire trick before our performance! 

I also had a trick I had to conquer, I practiced it 17 times. 17!! I did get better and better but I still haven't completely mastered it. So I will go back to my trainer in the week and ask him for help! I definitely hit the mat a lot from this one. But it was worth it.

I did some more tricks up high to continue to build my confidence and upper strength and overall fitness and after an hour and a bit, I was done. 

Exhausted, I walked 30 minutes to my home as a cool down and then sat down without moving for the next hour. 

Exhausting yet so exhilarating. I loved the time to myself to practice, improve and push through. 

Also, my stomach is actually starting to look flatter. Yah!! Win/win.

Now, I am enjoying the park while my children play. (When you are feeling physically tired, go outdoors). 

Both of my children are also doing tricks on any bars they can find. My youngest is hanging off any type of bar and my oldest is climbing on bars, taking his hands off, doing the middle splits. 

Being an example also feels great,removing the guilt of being away from them for the hour today.

Monday, 5 June 2017

How fear woke me up quick

So I had a bit of a scare at aerial. We did the usual two hour training,when right at the end we performed an aerial drop. I have done this four times already the only thing that freaks me out is the height. Although I have done it, it feels, what I can only imagine like, bungee jumping. You are free falling but somehow your body goes round and you catch the silk.

The problem was I had no idea what was happening as I dropped until I heard the 'oh,' from the people around me. What had happened was, I had dropped one arm out instead of two and pulled one arm in, instead of having them both out. Meaning, I landed with one arm reaching up for the silk and instead of my other arm doing the same, my neck did the catch instead. 

It was the most weirdest feeling. I still felt the incredible adrenaline rush immediately and for hours after, but I knew I hadn't landed properly and could have seriously injured myself (luckily I didn't). 

That night I had mixed emotions. I didn't want to do an aerial drop for a long time but I knew this was silly. A fair enough fear but with he right practice and guidance over time those drops would just be normal and nothing to be feared. 

The next day I was fine, no neck pain, no silk burn pain on my arm and I was looking up more videos of aerial tricks from others. I was so keen to get back up!!!

Why do I tell you this? My fear and hesitation and over thinking made me land this way. Nothing else. 

Friday, 2 June 2017

Confidence in sport

Don't repeat the same mistakes

Image result for confidence in sport
Image via; Pinterest 

So I discovered something... There is something holding me back in aerials and I realised last night it's what held me back when I did ballet, so much so that I gave it up and regretted it ever since. Not so much as regret but knew I would never make the same mistake again. 

My mother has always said, life will keep re-sending you life experiences of lessons you still need to learn. I.e my lesson to be confident in my own ability and put myself 100% mentally and physically into the sport. 

Most sports, if not all, are incredibly mental based. You have to be or you won't be able to give yourself the full chance of being great. 

I have been thinking too much about the fears, too much about not being perfect and I am just a beginner. Why am I placing so much mental road blocks in my way? If I held no fear, I would learn aerial silk in a heart beat. 

Image result for god didnt create fears
Image via: Twitter

So what I know is, it's okay to learn and start somewhere but each week I am improving and I am getting that bit better. Why would I give up on something I love?
Sadly, I have done it once before but I will never do it again. It's too heart breaking to think what could have been. 

Now, I am all in. It means I have to give my everything to aerial silk. Live and breath it. And it's okay if today I don't learn a trick in its entirety because tomorrow I will finish what I started. 

If you feel the same, don't give up instead give yourself fully. 

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

One of my favourite Aerial silk split tricks in training

One of my favourite aerial silk split tricks is shown in the video below. I still have a few areas to perfect, however I love the split at the end. Love, love, love.

I do think if you want aerial silk to look good, spend time on improving your flexibility!!

However, aerial silk really is a whole body workout.

Aim for a strong core, upper body strength, tightness in body to hold tricks and flexibility.

Watch my video here:

Friday, 19 May 2017

My Aerial Silk trick showcase

I am excited to share with you my round and around aerial silk split trick video!

I learnt it last night at training. This is my second attempt.

Fun, nice pain and will look great once I perfect it.

Tip: if you are learning aerial, film everything you can, so you can remember how to do all the tricks.

I got there early and did a very good flexible stretch 15 minutes before starting. I believe this really helped. Plus, my motivation to do the splits well on silk.


Thursday, 18 May 2017

Your Daily Exercise Motivation: Day 43

10 reasons why I love Aerial Silk

(An image of me in week 2 of beginners Aerial Silk class)

1. It's so different from any sport or art I have ever done.
2. I have to use my core to really get the most out of it. The more my core is in place the more I tricks I can do.
3. It's fun. I laugh as my butt lands on the huge mattress when I'm learning a new trick.
4. It's mentally challenging. I have to be determined and stay determined to complete the trick. It's for the strong minded.
5. It's a full body workout that doesn't involve horrible lunges and squats. It's actually fun.
6. I look forward to challenging my body and learning new tricks each week.
7. I do it for me. It's my time and chance to give it everything I've got.
8. It makes me work harder inbetween classes to strengthen my body, work on my flexibility and build my core and stamina. If you want to get motivated to workout, doing something you enjoy and something that challenges you each week will help motivate you.
9. It's a great talking point in conversations. A great ice breaker. Many people when they hear of aerial silk, say 'oh, What Pink does?!'
10. It doesn't discriminate on age or body type. I am lucky that after such a long stint after doing ballet that my body has remembered my body flexibility and technique that I can utilise during silks. However, you don't need to have any skills. And you don't even need much upper body strength to do it.

Have I convinced you yet?

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Your Daily Exercise Motivation: Day 42

Aerial silk last night was amazing!!

I did my first drop!!!

I did it three times, it was just so fun.

The first time I had no idea what was going to happen, as my instructor just said, now do this and do that and I had no idea what to expect or that I was even doing a drop until a few seconds before I did it.
I screamed in delight obviously! I also dropped one arm first instead two at the same time, so it made me a bit off balance.

Wow. It's like you are free falling and of course you feel really high up!!

The second time I did it, I was up but my body was shaking, I now knew what to expect. I put both arms out and went and my landing felt awesome.

The third time my family came in and my son took a video!! So, forgive the shakiness of it but his commentary is pretty cool. My youngest son, freaked out when I screamed falling.

Afterwards my oldest was keen to sign up and try it too!! Lucky they do kids aerial silks and he would be perfect as I always see him hanging upside down on the couch!

But seriously, it was awesome and although I am wearing terrible undies where you can see the outline. Plus, it was my fat week 'women you know what I'm talking about' and the video is a bit amateur. I am excited to share with you my first aerial drop!!!! Turn up the volume to hear my cutie's commentary

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Your Daily Exercise Motivation: Day 41

When you start to do less fitness, you have to get yourself back in the game

With a busy work schedule over the past month my energy levels to exercise has dropped dramatically. After my aerial class I knew if I made any more excuses, then it would just be me that would fail. So I did a workout the next day on the outdoor exercise bars in the park and I have video evidence to show you exactly what I did.

There are some exercises here that I wanted to improve my strength in for aerial silk. For example, the one where I am dangling that is to improve my strength for upside handstands in the air and the one at the end, is for a trick in a similar position but a bit straighter where I have to pull my head up from it hanging downwards. Hard to explain. It is need to boost my upper arm and shoulder strength to do it and with this technique it seemed to boost my confidence.

Also I love the roll over, really scary I must say, especially getting out of it. Going over you can let go easier, going back up, makes it real hard to get off. Practice makes perfect.

In addition, a couple of hours later my core was gaining that impressive workout pain that I love and I have been trying to feel that burn in my stomach for ages and this seemed to make it happen!

Watch the video here:

Monday, 15 May 2017

Your Daily Exercise Motivation: Day 40

Why you should exercise when you have children

Now I have started my aerial fitness and I have to wear tight gym gear, it's incredibly motivating to work out my body, especially the cellulite on the back of my legs, honestly if children and working causes a person to not work out due to exhaustion then of course Mummy's should accept and acknowledge that the body can't sustain the toned physique that we used to have time pre-children to work on.

That's one of the reasons I created this blog because starting was the biggest fear and actually doing it, gave my mind the confidence that my body could keep up. Not only that but I still felt like could do amazing tricks that I learnt in my late teenage years and hadn't performed in over 9 years.

But there are hard moments, nearly every day I have to push myself, motivate myself to actually do some sort of exercise and sometimes that's just simply walking.

I want to do more and I am never satisifed with working out a couple of times a week, I want and need to push my body every day of the week. Yet, life is busy and exhausting, without the added addition of strenuous exercise, so doing a couple of times a week is awesome really. Stop the guilt because we place too much self guilt on ourselves as parents anyway.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Your Daily Exercise Motivation: Day 39

Push your walk further to challenge your body

Image via: Pinterest

Today, I had no more than 1,500 steps and it was early afternoon. So the family and I went for a walk to boost all of our steps.

I always look for a challenge, where there are rocks, I climb them, where there is a path I go for a race. If there is a beam, I climb and hold my hands on it and lift my legs away. If there is someway I can push my body further than just walking, I will do it.

After five years of only walking, I am done. I want adventure and challenges. Plus, a nice firm body would be an added bonus. What I love about this is, what I do, my children do. My son loves to do everything I do and they even practice handstands against the wall as well, when I do mine.

I think it's great to give yhat example to children that your body is meant for working out in a fun way, while being outdoors especially.

After our long walk, I had made 5,500 steps. 'Oh bummer,' I said to my husband, 'I was hoping to have 6,000 by the time we got home.'

Hot, thirsty and tired I was ready for home. My hubby suggested I run up and down the hill to gain my steps. So I did and then I told them to do it too, so we all did it, racing up and down. It was exhilarating and fun. I couldn't hold back the smile on my face.

We got home 5,750 steps. All good. I know that I put in a greater effort then just walking. I made my steps count. (Mind the pun!)

What will you do on your walk today?

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Your Daily Exercise Motivation: Day 38

Walking 10,000 steps challenge

10,000 steps a day isn't going to tone my body unless I add in a workout

So I have discovered that doing more than 10,000 steps during my work day is quite easy to accomplish. However, I am only walking, not doing any thing to challenge my body. So although, acquiring 10,000 steps is good, just walking at an average pace won't tone my body or even improve my stamina.

The other issue is on weekends, I really struggle making 10,000 steps. So I aim to do physical activity to gain the 10,000 steps achievement.

With my aerial silk training, I am still motivated to workout because I can only do so much every day and for every new class, I want to be better.

If you are doing the 10,000 steps challenge, aim to do 10 minutes a day of actual exercise. This will help improve your level of fitness. Yet, 10,000 steps is still a great goal and helps motivate you to do more. Programmed exercise, whether done from Youtube or in a class, will help give you results.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Your Daily Exercise Motivation: Day 37

Small achievements make a big difference

Image via: Yoganonymous 

Today, was my first day being able to perform a handstand by myself. I did two in my class but then I tried it at home and I couldn't do it. I laughed at myself, it can't be the wall to blame so what was I doing differently in class to home? The answer, a warm up! We normally attempted handstands ten minutes into our class. At home, I didn't do any pre-warm up and just couldn't make it.

So I danced for 20 minutes and then attempted the hand stand and I did it! Ten seconds holding it up against the wall, trying to focus on straightening my arms and lifting my body up and then coming out cleanly. Having a little breather and then trying again and it feels awesome!

Our homework has been to do a handstand and hold it for 30 seconds and I haven't even been able to get up for weeks, although I have been trying! This is the first time in my life, I have been able to do one.

This is why doing something you have never done before is awesome, because you get to challenge your body but also feel triumphant at the small achievements you make.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Your Daily Exercise Motivation: Day 36

Ready to get fit

Image via: Shape Magazine

Today, I had done only 3,000 steps it was 3pm. 3pm!! Normally, I aim for 4-5,000 steps before midday.

I was fulfilling my day with writing, my other passion. But I had to step it up, I couldn't face my team with a dismal 3,000 steps, especially because I am team captain. Not only would I be laughed at, I would probably be forced to leave the team. (Probably not, I have a really nice team but still!)

At my last aerial silk class, I did a diagonal flat split in the air. It felt incredible. So I have to keep improving my flexibility and length of holds as well as all the other things (you know, stamina, strength, core and more ...)

So I turned on Fetch for MTV Music Hits Channel and started warming-up to the Most-Played Artists x 50. (All my favourite pop songs!)

It soon turned into a flexibility workout, stomach and bum workout with my famous bum lifts (which I know if you do daily, as many as possible, your bum will look perfect - I have proven it when I was younger, I know it works) and stomach crunches, in the middle and to the sides (to get the full stomach cut for the six pack. I used to have a four pack, so trust me on this).

I also practiced my core homework from my Aerial Silk trainer, where I lay down, put legs up to 90 degrees and then lift my head up and hold for 1 minute. The aim is to keep the back flat on the ground, so then to move it further down to the floor, as far as you can without lifting up your back.

I was going to do a warm-down but I had only worked out for 20 minutes, I needed to do another 10 minutes to make 3,000 steps. (see a good motivator to boost steps!).

I decided for the warm-down I would dance, I started with hip-hop and the songs kept coming, so I kept dancing and I even did some ballet to Chainsmokers. (My favourite music group) and finally finished with a warm-down.

In total, a 40 minute workout which had me sweating, trying new things and challenging my body in a fun way. Would I do it again? 100% yes.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Your Daily Exercise Motivation: Day 35

The 10,000 step challenge

Image via: Greater Bank

To help keep an eye on my fitness and laziness, I have started the 10,000 daily step challenge with a group of 8 friends. The idea being that to aim for 10,000 steps you get a little push if you haven't arrived at 10,000 steps by the end of the day to help you just do a little bit more to achieve it.

What is 10,000 steps?

"The goal of the 10,000 Steps program is to help you make movement a part of your everyday life. If you are already regularly active, focus on maintaining your existing habit. If you are not sufficiently activity, now is the time to take the first step to better health and wellbeing by increasing your activity." From the 10,000 steps website: https://www.10000steps.org.au/articles/first-steps/ 

Why I joined the 10,000 step challenge

I figured, I should be smashing through the 10,000 step challenge because I want to get fit.

My first week saw seemingly good results averaging 10,000 steps a day but the second week, well, my motivation has slowed dramatically. I am averaging around 7,000 steps a day with little to no additional exercise (30 minutes of dance equates to 3,000 steps, proving the extra 30 minutes dedicated activity is needed in your day).

I have done the 10,000 step challenge before but I found my level of fitness or body goals didn't really change. However, with my new found motivation to be awesome at aerial silk, it's important that I don't just make steps where I can but I also do actual fitness workouts nearly every day.

Have you done the 10,000 step challenge? How did you find it? Please comment below.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Your Daily Exercise Motivation: Day 34

Challenge your body with an exercise that will push you

(A picture of me in Class 2 of Aerial Silk Beginner's training)

Doing something for you is awesome.

So I went to aerial silk last night and Wow, I really love it.

As the week progresses before aerial silk, my whole anticipation is attending class. Aerial silk is so challenging, yet so fun and awesome that I want more, yet at the same time I am nervous to do more. But the more I do the better I get and the more fun I have. I can see improvement, I can see why we do start off in certain positions and what we can do once we get stronger in the position.

I am a long way off to mastering the talent but I have started at the beginning and it feels awesome.

It's hard to explain but every week I need to do it, I look forward all week to do it and aerial silk is so different, plus body and mind challenging that it makes me feel alive.

Its interesting, I push my self in new challenges in all areas in my life, with my writing, marketing and my job and self improvement but I haven't in a long time pushed myself towards a physical goal.

I realise how important attending a class is to help challenge your body and get the most out of the workout.

As a past ballerina, I have always enjoyed pushing my body to greater heights and then having time away from dancing and bringing up children, I've tried other exercises, mainly walking and haven't really pushed what my body is capable of, so aerial silk for me is everything. Jumping straight into something so challenging has helped me get excited about improving my overall fitness.

Sometimes when you start right at the beginning but choose an activity that you have never done before that you know will be crazy fun, is going to workout your mind and body way faster than simply doing an exercise that works but you don't enjoy.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Your Daily Exercise Motivation: Day 33

To get fit, get your whole family active, even you

Tell yourself when fitness feels good

I have been feeling really good at my fitness lately. This week, I have focused on strength, flexibility and now stamina and I have to say I am feeling great, mentally and physically.

Baseball for the whole family

Today, the whole family went to practice in the baseball bating cages. Our children started batting from the tea-ball equipment in the first batting cage. While my husband and his coached practiced bating in the far cage.

Both my children were batting and I started to stretch out as my body was a bit tight from the flexibility workout the other day.

After a few hits my son wanted to go pick up the balls. I decided to run and pick up four balls at a time and run back and the children followed and ran too.

The kids kept batting and then we would run again and pick up the balls. I want to build my stamina and fitness levels. I want to do something every day.

We then practiced our throwing. All up we threw about half a carton of balls. Then we ran again and got all the balls.

When it's time to go but you have more to give

It was time to leave but I still felt I had more in me, so I suggested to my husband that we run on the field. My son was keen, so we sprinted from the batting cage to the first field, about 100 metres and we raced back.

Both my children and I kept doing it, with rests in between. About 5-6 times.

Satisfaction and results 

It felt good and overall it was an hour's of activity involving the whole family and it's a memory that will last with me forever.

I did however forget to stretch afterwards but once we got home, I felt tightness, I did a stretch then and my son even showed me some good stretches to do.

As always, I suggest you try to involve your children in exercise as you do it. Turn it into a competition!

Your Daily Exercise Motivation: Day 32

Time to remind my body of its flexibility

Image via: Pinterest 

My self-made flexibility class

I've been saying for weeks I need to improve my flexibility but I haven't really spent a whole training session dedicated just for flexibility. So tonight I wanted to see how far I can go.

Recommendation for beginners in flexibility

I also don't recommend this if you have never done the splits before as you could hurt yourself.  Do everything slowly and make sure you have a spotter to help lift you if you can't get back up.

My flexibility lesson

I did lots of pre-stretching, I did the half split and front leg underneath and did this on both sides. I just tried the splits myself twice first and then got my husband to hold my arms up straight, which is quite difficult but it would be like I was holding the silk so you need a different strength and I went a good distance that I will now start trying with the silk.

I also went on tippy toes and did a side split on the half wall. Important to make sure your hip is straight forward in line with your other hip. Lower the height until you get this right. I tried on both legs a couple of times.

Always end your exercise session with something fun

I did some leg side kicks on each side and finished off with a dance to Julia Michaels - Issues:

Your Daily Exercise Motivation: Day 31

Using the outdoors to get fit and strong

The great thing about starting to get fit is after a little bit you realise, 'Actually I don't want to just be fit, I want to really challenge myself and push the limits of my body.'

Today, I took my young son for a walk. He walked with me and we walked quite a distance to then stop at each fitness station in the park.

I started with 20 sit ups. My aerial trainer advised for some activities to focus on keeping my lower back straight, this was a good way to do this and work out my stomach at the same time.

We kept walking and found some bars, which I started lifting my body up and did some swinging and worked on my in-air splits.

Then I found another bar where I lifted my body directed up straight and held for 25 seconds. On aerial silk I do a handstand in the air so learning to balance for 30 seconds in a straight body is key. 

We walked home, with my son in the stroller I reminded myself to walk faster to get a better workout and a couple of streets from home, I ran pushing the stroller.

The result?

An hour and a half later my son and I were smiling ear to ear. Actually, we were smiling the entire time we were out.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Your Daily Exercise Motivation: Day 30

My husband and I wanted to go look at some home displays. What I didn't realise was after two hours of walking in and around and up through homes, it would be classed as a workout. Ten minutes of walking is roughly 1,000 steps for me times that by 6 (6x10 minutes = 1 hour) = 6,000 steps times by 2 = 12,000 steps. I did 12,000 steps roughly in 2 hours. Admittedly, it was slow paced walking but there were stairs we walked up and down in and we didn't sit down once.

Need to boost your daily step count, go look at some display homes.

Your Daily Exercise Motivation: Day 29

Image via: YouTube

Want to get fit? Start your weekend by wearing your workout gear. Turn on the music on the TV or computer and dance. Clean the house while you dance. You will workout while your house is getting a clean! Plus Saturday mornings can be had to get out of bed, let alone move far from the couch. This makes a great start for a productive weekend.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Your Daily Exercise Motivation: Day 28

I just spent an hour putting my children to bed, reading books, laying down etc. My hubby was fast asleep as well (big day). I used my time in bed waiting for bub 2 to sleep to organise my writing tasks I wanted to do today.

When I finally got out, I realised, I needed to move my body.

So are you ready? When you feel you need to move your body, it will not only help you sleep better but it will help you stay awake for what you do want to do.

Let's begin!

Because I had on some Rhianna music playing when I began to write, I thought it only fitting to look for a Rhianna dance workout. Are you ready?

The good part about this workout is, the moves continually come back to the beginning. So simply join in and miss bits and you will pick it up as you move your body. It's quite fun, so give it a go! (Only 3 minutes!!)

I still had energy and my friend had told me she did street dancing. So I searched for a strret dancing workout:

At the beginning of this workout, I somewhat freaked out. Yet there is no need to, as they teach the moves well, but when he said just watch, I did the moves with him. I found I learnt the move quicker. It was good, but after 9 minutes my concentration levels were sinking... I wanted to write. (Do as long as you want!)

So I completed the exercise with one of my new favourite warm-downs. It's only 2 minutes and it's awesome. Join me by doing it now:

How do you feel?

You have done an awesome job! I can't believe how far we have come. At the beginning I felt so lazy (and I still do) but now I actually want to workout and know that I can survive. :) Comment below on how you are feeling now.

Your Daily Exercise Motivation: Day 27

The day after my first aerial silk ...

The day after my first Aerial Silk Class, I was expecting to wake up in a whole lot of pain but was pleasantly surprised when I didn't. A small amount of soreness in my arms that I can't even tell you where, because I have never used those muscles before.

I did do some stretching when I got home from class, for about 5 mins which seemed to help.

However, I was completely tired. I do wonder if I had tried to be more active before I started, if it would have helped.

The second day was a little bit more pain in the arms. I probably didn't be as active as I could have been, which resulted in me not sleeping till the wee hours of morning. Another reason to try and do something active every one to two days.

Your Daily Exercise Motivation: Day 26

Image via: BreckCreate

My aerial silk journey begins

Wow, I have great news! I did my very first class in aerial silk. Finally my dream of doing it, is actually happening and guess what it was awesome!

I went with my friend (which I strongly suggest) because we cheered each other on and laughed and swore. It was hilarious but awesome. We could actually do it. Which, I am pretty amazed about.

In the beginning of my aerial silk class...

Of course my first attempt I landed flat on my butt, which was to be expected but I wanted to do it. Then the next attempt, I did do it and I didn't just do it, I learned how to do tricks as well, like upside down hand stands and holding one silk in each hand while performing the middle splits (not full splits and this is where I want to improve), just felt incredible.

My friend and I were puffing, had sore hands but you couldn't wipe the smile off our faces. The class was incredible, what we were doing was incredible and it was definitely a life experience I will not forget.

This is an 8 week course so I will let you know on how we progress and what I will do in the interim to keep working on the target areas.

Is my fit journey over though?

Absolutely not. I am just beginning. I realise I need to work on greater flexibility to make the tricks look better as well as my core strength and upper body strength.

Plus, I am really loving it. It made me feel good, laugh lots and challenged me in doing something I have never done before. I feel alive.

I actually strongly suggest if you are feeling sad for no reason or you are just bored of life, then do something that seems totally out there and challenging. For me it's aerial silk, for you it could be another sport, just try it!

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Your Daily Exercise Motivation: Day 25

Yoga & Cardio to help you get into fitness today

Written by Melanie Toye

The reality of making one step closer to your fitness goals

So I did it! I am booked into Aerial Silk and to be honest, the nerves are starting to build already. I know I can do this. I also know I can survive an hour class (hopefully).

But I also know, feeling lazy (especially on the weekends) is not going to help me achieve my goal. I have not much time left before my first lesson and I don't want to be so tired and sore from it that I can't move the next day. So here's to a week of activity.

My focus today was to get flexible and do some cardio.

Starting slow, start with yoga

I found this yoga workout on Youtube. Try it!

How far did you go? Normally, I would try for the whole video. But I had a heavy dinner and the whole up and down, real fast got me to 14 minutes and then I had to stop. It was very good though and I hated it throughout (when I mean hate, I mean it was working! I think I will feel the exercise burn tomorrow.)

Overall, this yoga workout was very good.

At your peak, add in cardio to your workout

I felt like I should really do some more cardio, so I found this extra workout.

Again, I didn't finish the whole video, but you go right ahead! I also didn't incorporate weights, only because I didn't realise and felt it was too far to walk to the cupboard. Okay, I know I sound lazy but I was doing much more than I originally intended (which was to sit on the couch for as long as possible, huh! Who am I kidding, I've got kids). :)

Warm-down's are for everyone

And then came the warm down:

I have to admit I was really looking forward to the warm down, so much so, I nearly ditched it completely. However, it is so important you warm down after exercise, especially if you haven't done it in a while. That's why, it's okay if you want to finish a workout video early, as long as you still do a warm down.

I really liked this video, it look very professional. Plus, it was super quick. 

Thank goodness, today was hard but I feel great now that I have done it and that I am one step closer to doing well in my first aerial silk class.

Key points to keep up your daily fitness goals:

  • Have a bigger goal in mind with a deadline that will motivate you to workout daily. 
  • Keep a diary of when you are working out, so you know when you miss a day.
  • Do exercise if you are feeling lazy, it will wake you up. 

Your Daily Exercise Motivation: Day 24

The next day, I just wanted to dance. I put on Cmusic channel on Fetch, a classical, cinematic video channel. I danced ballet free movement (free movement is where you create your own dance). It was lovely to do after a while and I realised how much I miss it. Plus, I AM still good at it, which is nice to know.

The best way for free movement is to start by closing your eyes and listen and feel the music, then when you are ready get up and dance. Your mind and body will be in tune and ready.

Put your oven timer on for 20 minutes and dance. Don't forget to smile!

Your Daily Exercise Motivation: Day 23

A workout that will make you feel ... awesome

All I can say is this guy is awesome. My family went to do groceries, (a great chance for me to mop the floors). I cleaned and then I danced and I tell you what it was worth it. This guy, is great. Don't umm and err for this one, just do it. You will feel feminine, you will get a workout and you will want to do more! 

Get ready ...


I still wanted to do more ... so here goes!

And now for a slow cool down. Enjoy!

Did you enjoy this workout? Let me know in the comments below!

Your Daily Exercise Motivation: Day 22

Use the playground to your advantage

Written by Melanie Toye
Image via: www.shape.com

Fitness during sickness

I apologise for the delay in posts, I was sick and then I let posting of the blogs get away from me. If you do get sick, it's very important to rest as much as you need without pushing your body to exercise until you are fully over it.

Get fit with your children

Stomach crunches on the monkey bars anyone?
My first Exercise to get back into it, was by taking my children to the playground and while they played, I jumped on the monkey bars and performed lifts and dance leg moves while holding the bars and even stomach sit-ups with my legs over the bars with my upper body dangling.

Know your limits when it comes to fitness safety

Please note, I would hate for you to break your back, or arm or hurt yourself, so be careful, make sure your legs can completely hold you, use the side bars to place your hands to hold if need be and then bring your body back up to have your hands holding the bars to help you get back down. If you feel like your body is slipping, don't panic, simply fix it or get back to the ground as soon as you can.

Good luck!

Your Daily Exercise Motivation: Day 21

Today, I decided that I (just me) would take the dogs for a walk. Sounds pretty easy right?! Well, I never walk them, my hubby does. There was this time where my dog pulled me so fast down the hill, I fell and ... Oh no you don't need to hear the stories. So it's probably been quite a few years before I dared to walk them again.

Now, they weigh 45kgs each and have a lot of strength. So I can only walk one dog at a time.

Total of 10-15 mins each per dog. It doesn't sound a lot but to be honest it's all I could do. A cardio workout it was! Heavy, strong dogs who love walkies make you workout. You have no choice but to walk fast, it's not like when I stroll around the area that I would call a walk.

Do you have pets? Take them for a walk. If not, borrow someone's else dog (just make sure you ask them first!) 😉

Trust me you will get a good workout!