Monthly Archives: January 2015

Post-Workout Slush

After your run/workout, the last thing you want to do is chow down on solid carbs or steamed chicken breast. For me, I will only have the appetite to eat a proper meal about 2 hours post workout (depending on the intensity). The harder I work, the longer it would take for me to have the appetite to eat a full nutrient rich meal. This is probably due to the 2 important hormones that are involved in appetite: ghrelin and peptide YY. Basically, ghrelin causes you to EAT-ALL-YOU-WANT and peptide YY suppresses it. Exercise has been thought to increase peptide YY hormones.

The problem is that the optimum time to refuel for maximum recovery is within 30-45 minutes post-workout. This is the imaginary “window” of refueling opportunity that you so often hear athletes talk about – the time where glycogen synthesis is at its highest.

On top of carbohydrates (to replace glycogen stores), your body will need some protein to rebuild and repair muscle tissue. Foods consumed within this window should be easily digested and absorbed, and have a high to medium glycemic index.

With all of that said, how do you get your carbs and proteins in the quickest, easiest and most effective way? POST WORKOUT SLUSH! It works for me and it keeps me feeling full and re-energized.

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As requested, here’s the recipe for the icy cool slush after your workout!

Slush tools:

-Blender

Constructing the slush:

-Coconut Water

-Greek Yoghurt

-Handful of Blueberries (Or any other berry or fruit of your choice)

-1 large Frozen Banana

-Frozen Mango (a few cubes)

-Goji Berries

-1 tablespoon of Chia Seeds

-2-4 tablespoons of Rolled Oats

Making the slush:

Throw it all into the blender and WHIZ away!

 

Nutrient breakdown:

Banana- Rich source of potassium which helps lower the risk of muscle cramps. It is also a good source of manganese, dietary fiber and vitamins B6 and C.

Coconut water- Coconut water is the ideal post-workout drink packed with electrolytes, minerals and simple sugar to replenish hydration levels within the body. It is also a rich source of potassium.

Greek Yoghurt- Greek Yoghurt has nearly twice the amount of protein compared to regular yoghurt. It is a great post-workout snack as your body needs the extra protein to repair worn out muscles.

Chia Seeds- It boasts 20% protein, having 5 times more calcium than milk, 7 times more vitamins than oranges and 8 times more omega fatty acids than salmon. Need I say more?

Rolled Oats – Good source of complex carbs and micronutrients: biotin, vitamin B1, zinc, fiber, magnesium, copper, chromium and phosphorus.

LOVE YOURSELF

Ahhhh! Craving for a slush right now!

Stay Happy and Healthy!

Have an awesome weekend!

 

Full Body Workout Videos

As promised, here are the workout videos!

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Do you know exactly which muscle/s you are working each time you perform a move?

I have listed the muscle/s involved with each move below the video. Before you scroll all the way down, give yourself a little test (no peeking!)!

Bench Jumps

Muscles involved: Quadriceps (Rectus femoris), Gluteus maximus (Your butt), Hamstrings (Biceps femoris, semitendinosus, semimembranosus), Calves (Gastrocnemius, soleus)

Tip: Activate your core and quads to maintain proper form when you land. Step down from the bench (not jump!).

Oblique Rotations

Muscles involved: Obliques (External obliques), Hips (Iliacus, Psoas major and minor)

Tip: Stabilize your hips and don’t let them sink.

Elevated Push Ups

Muscles involved: Chest (Pectoralis Major), Triceps brachii

Tip: Keep your arms close to your chest. Elbows should not be flaring out.

Split Squat Lunges

Muscles involved: Quadriceps (Rectus femoris), Gluteus maximus (Your butt), Hamstrings (Biceps femoris, semitendinosus, semimembranosus), Calves (Gastrocnemius, soleus)

Tip: Make sure your knee does not go over your second toe. If it does, take a bigger step forward. Your front thigh should be parallel to the ground.

Tricep Dips

Muscles involved: Triceps brachii

Tip: Keep your back straight and close to the bench.

Strength-focused Session:

-15 reps for each exercise (30 reps in total for single limb movements, ie: 15 reps for the left leg; 15 reps for the right leg)

-Repeat 5 times with 1 or 2 minutes break in between

-Perform each move SLOWLY

HIIT Session:

-12 reps for each move (24 reps in total for single limb movements, ie: 12 reps for the left leg; 12 reps for the right leg)

-Set the timer for 8 minutes and complete as many rounds of the full circuit as possible

-Rest for 2 minutes and REPEAT x3!

And there you have it, 30 minutes full body workout! BOOM!

These moves are the basic functional movements with some variation to challenge your stability, mobility and your core. It requires some level of balance and coordination. This is a simple example of using your own body weight to add some resistance to increase strength. If you are like me and you tend to shy away from lifting heavy weights, this is an alternative.

Remember to activate your core. Your core muscles should always be engaged when performing any exercise.

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Say Hello to a stronger YOU!

Try it out and let me know how it goes!

 

The CORE: Why It Matters

One of the many reasons I started running was because it was “easy”. No gym required, no equipment needed, no counting of reps or needing any prior knowledge of how to perform the “workout”… the only thing you need is a pair of running shoes (or not?).

The CORE

The core is the center of the body which holds everything in place and it includes all the muscles which help you to maintain posture. These muscles are found on the abdomen, back and around your hips.

The Problem

The thing about runners is that we tend to neglect strength training. Most of our time is spent logging in the miles. Over time, we develop postural and muscle imbalances. These occur between the muscles that we use all the time (lower body) and the muscles that remain idle (upper body).

Weaker muscles/muscle imbalances may force other muscles to compensate for their lack of function, leading to injury (lower back, knees) and pain. 

Why It Matters

A strong core would mean that you are more likely to hold proper running form for a longer period of time. This is especially useful when it comes to distance running. Also, by strengthening these muscles, weight stress from the upper body on the legs can be evenly distributed and reduced. This will then reduce the risk of injury, allowing you to run longer and harder.

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A strong core keeps you in place, preventing unnecessary swinging/swaying which goes to improve your running economy = faster times.

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I am still working on my arm swing! I need to relax my shoulders, keep my elbows in and not swing my arms across my body.

It is so bad that when I race, my shoulders would start feeling the strain BEFORE my legs! I have to make it a point to tell myself to focus, relax and NOT SWING! It takes a lot of effort AND practice. As they say, practice makes perfect!

What You Need to Do

With this in mind, what you need to do next is to strengthen your CORE. Stretching and strengthening the muscles overall can restore muscle balance.

The Basic:

PLANK

If you have ABSOLUTELY NO TIME and are EXTREMELY lazy, the plank would be your best bet. It works nearly every muscle in your body from your arms to your core right down to your legs.

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-Keep your back straight

-Keep your elbows below your shoulders

-Suck your belly in, keep it tight

-Do not let your hips sink

Plank every day for 1 minute and then move on to 2, 3, 4… and see how long you can hold it without compromising on technique!

The Side Plank

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I LOVE THIS!

-Keep a straight line from neck to ankles

-Do not let your hips sag

You know the drill, hold this for as long as you can while keeping proper form and technique!

Some tips to enhance your planking experience:

-Listen to music when you plank

-Set the timer and push it aside

-Read articles, Fbook, Instagram, Twitter, Chat etc while you plank to KILL TIME! (I do that all the time and it works!)

I want to know how long YOU can hold it for! What is your personal best? Do share.

Just remember: Strong core, fewer injuries, faster times and juicy ripped abs

Stay tuned for my 5 favourite full body/core workout videos!

 

New Year, New Resolutions?

We’re into our first week of 2015, the first Monday, Hump Day, TGIF and the weekend!

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So, what’s up for this week?

Everyone is usually HIGH and MIGHTY during the first week of the New Year and then when the flame burns off, it goes downhill from there (I hope not!).

I started my Monday with a BANG! Woke up early in the morning to put in a tough core workout session followed by 20 minutes of stretching. I ate clean and healthy for breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner. In the evening, I took my brother to the park to run his first 5KM. Now, I’m feeling SORE all over! I hope I can keep this up, no downhill from here *fingers crossed*.

Oh, if you haven’t already noticed, I’m a DOTCOM now! WHOOP!

As we step into the new year, did you manage to make a list of your New Year’s Resolutions? Did you achieve any of your 2014 resolutions? I don’t know about you but I’m still struggling to figure out my 2015 resolutions!

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Resolutions are just dreams and goals that you set for yourself. They mean nothing if you’re not willing to commit to them. In order to achieve them, you have to go into it with the right mind set, you need a plan. If you’re jotting them down for the sake of it (because the whole world is getting in on it) then you’re going to be in for some disappointment at the end of 2015.

If you haven’t written down anything, let me help you out! I’ll make it simple, PROMISE!

But before you start,2Let go of the past. Let go of anything that is/was holding you back. Learn from your failures and start the year without carrying any excess baggage.

Roll your shoulders back, take 10 deep breaths and READ ON!

  1. Stay Healthy, Get Fit

Have you been putting off your 2014 fitness goals? If there was ever a time to get rid of your bad habits and excuses, the time is now. And no, I don’t expect you to go cold turkey. Go for gradual change. Start with baby steps. Make a simple change in your everyday routine. Throw in a healthy snack, take the stairs and start working out at least 30 minutes a day (3-4 times a week).

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I WISH!

Sign up for that bootcamp session, dance class, group training, road race etc, that you’ve always wanted to explore. If you want to start somewhere, join the Puma Running Club for our weekly training sessions every Wednesday, 7.15pm at Desa Park City. A group of us will help you achieve your goals!

Soon, moving your body and eating healthily will come naturally. Your body will thank you for it!

My goal: Focus on strengthening my CORE, resting when needed and cutting out the sweet stuff.

  1. Family Time

Spend more time with your family. They are the ones who will be by your side through thick and thin. As the years pass, I noticed how much my parents have aged. And when you’re busy making a life for yourself, you tend to forget to spend time with them.

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My goal: Spend more time with them and attend all of our family gatherings!

  1. Get Organised and Get to it

Your life can be a big ball of mess when you’re not clear about your goals. Write them down! I got myself a physical diary (the good ol’ paper and pen!) to jot down my plans for 2015. It is easier to achieve them when you can SEE them. Try not to keep a digital record. Do away with the technology (we don’t need more of that!).11

I have a bad habit of putting things off for a “later time” which usually never happens. And I have suffered many missed opportunities because of it.

My goal: JUST GET IT DONE!

  1. Save Up

Save some money and spend wisely. Most importantly, spend within your means. With the GST rolling in, everyone will be feeling the pinch.

Set up a budget list and stick to it.

You can start by:

-Eating in, preparing your own meals (you will realise how much you can save in a month!)

-Switching off the lights etc and reduce air con usage (Save the earth! GO GREEN!)

-Walk instead of drive (If it is near)

-Recycle whatever that can be recycled (Paper, glass)

-Cut out unnecessary spending (bags, clothes, shoes, unhealthy snacks etc)

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I have come to realise that material stuff brings no value to life. Spend the money on somebody who needs it or use it to travel to a new place, a new country! The adventures and experiences gained are always PRICELESS! Life instantly becomes more meaningful.

  1. Be Kind

Be kind to others. Regardless of how others treat you, a speck of kindness and courtesy is the minimum that everyone deserves. Compliment rather than criticize, you can never give too many. A kind word can change someone’s life.13

Be kind to yourself. Be grateful for what you have. Accept your flaws and work to improve on them (if you can). Accept you, for who you are. Once you set that straight, no one can use it against you. Don’t always try to please other people, you can never satisfy everyone. There will always be people discriminating, criticizing, disagreeing and judging. Just BE YOU! Keep an open heart and mind.

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Remember to appreciate the little things. The beauty of life and its simplicity is right before our eyes. You just have to SEE it!

To me, a new year is only a new day. However, you can take this opportunity to start over, a clean slate and use this as a tool for motivation. Just keep striving for your own taste of greatness. Keep pursuing your dreams! And surprise the world with what you have!

Keep in mind that:7

I hope this helps! What have you got on your list?