{onr. fitness} A little progress update

Hello all,

It's been a while since I shared any of my fitness journey with you guys on here! Mainly because I guess, there wasn't much new to say. I've been plodding away sticking to my 3 gym classes a week for a long time now, and in the last few months I've added a weekly 5K run to the mix with our local Parkrun and I've started PT again, this time as a joint session with my good pal Megan. I guess since last summer I've been maintaining my fitness rather than really going to any great lengths to improve it per say.

However, with my PT/instructor currently away for 3 weeks visiting his family in The Gambia - I've been left to my own devices! So I've decided to up my game a little!

Since switching over to a largely plant based diet 3 months ago - I've been finding it a challenge to fuel my body with enough protein to help my muscles repair - whilst eating a fairly low amount of carbs. Having done some extensive research, it transpires that a high protein, low carb vegan diet is actually quite difficult.

Whilst I've been eating some incredible new meals - thanks to Serious Eats extensive vegan recipe archive - I've found I'm not relying on, but certainly eating a lot of, things like brown rice, lentils, oats, soba noodles. All of which are of course mega healthy, and do contain lots of lovely protein - however, they are pretty carb heavy. Where I used to eat lean meat/fish/eggs with veg post workout - I'm now having to find alternative sources of protein.

Cue my new best friend - raw powdered hemp! It's super high in protein, low in carbs, high in fibre and contains all 12 amino acids the body needs! It's super delish in porridge/smoothies - and raw hemp hearts I've found are ace sprinkled on top of salads, pasta, veg, all sorts! With 30g of protein per 2 powder scoops - and 10g per 3tbsp of the hearts, its been a great way for me to shoehorn in a little extra without resorting to chowing down on 2.5 blocks of tofu!!

Anyway - if plant based protein ideas are something you're interested in, I can totally do some recipe posts as I found it really hard to find anything good online!

Back to the progress though - the idea of upping my protein and limiting {in no way excluding} carbs within my diet, means that my body will hopefully start to drop a little more body fat. I'm within a nice healthy range, so I'm not too worried, but trimming the last bits of stubborn excess fat from my thighs/middle would be nice.

So combined with a little diet shake up, I've started back on Kayla Itsines' 'Bikini Body Guide' which I was working my way through last year with the lovely Dessy {kale is the new black}. I got to week 9 and fell off the wagon {as I went on my little yoga/pilates holiday}. I did however see incredible results - so cue round 2 of her 12 week guide! 

It's definitely harder to motivate myself without someone like Dessy who was 100% committed to getting every workout done without fail and who would routinely drag me to the gym BUT I'm determined to motivate myself!

Working out has been such a positive feature within my life since taking the plunge and going full-time self employed. It's given me a nice routine to structure my week around. It gets me out of the studio, gives me a nice bit of free air, time to pause, reset and clear my head - and has allowed me to make some super lovely new friends. Each class is like a little social event - and the regular girls that I go with are super rad - it's nice to see us all changing and getting fitter together!

// left: December 2013 // right: March 2016 //

// left: December 2013 // right: March 2016 //

I hope you guys don't mind me continuing to share this aspect of my life with you {past fitness posts here}. I know it's not to everybody's taste - but I think of this blog a little bit like an online diary, a way for me to track my milestones - both business, and personal - and a way for me to see how far I've come too!

If you would like to see more of this sort of thing though - you can always pop over to IG & follow @onrfitness where I post much more regularly  :)


{SWEAT} 7 minute jelly legs workout

Hello all!

Get ready for jelly legs this week after this next little 7 minute workout instalment. The aim of the game with these vids is to give you a few new exercises to get you started on the fitness wagon, or to add in to your existing workouts to mix things up!

7 minute legs: 

Use your watch or phone to set a 7 minute timer - perform as many sets of the 3 exercises as you can within the time frame. Take your time with each one, though, making sure you get it right - it's not a race :)

It's really important with these workouts to focus on your form, not speed. Incorrect form can cause injuries - and taking the time to do it right will give you the best results and target the correct muscle sets. Concentrate on keeping your body flat, back straight, bum tucked in, abs tight - it's much more important than getting through more sets in the time frame! 

 First up - Jump Lunges 

- 15

These are KILLER on the old quads, expect them to feel like they're seizing up - it's all good. If it gets too much you can pause for a few seconds & shake em out before continuing.

The most important thing to remember when doing any kind of squats/lunges is not to let your knees pass your toes. It's all-too-easy to do, it puts tension on all of the wrong muscles and over exerts your knee joint. Make sure you dip down with your back knee for these rather than forward with your front.

[tip: if you struggle with balance, pause to steady yourself between each jump rather than going straight into it, the more you do, the better your balance will become - stick at it!] 

 Next Up - Weighted Squats 

- 10 squats {5-12kg weight} 

Make sure with these that you keep your back straight, head up, bottom back and, again, don't let those knees pass your toes.

You should really feel this exercise working your glutes, hams & quads. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, grip your weight with both hands, look up, and lower yourself down with your bottom doing all the work - like you're sitting down onto a chair. If you can, keeping your arms straight, gently lower yourself until your kettle bell/weight touches the floor. Slowly raise back up and at the top, squeeze your glutes {bottom} forward.

[tip: if you're struggling to keep your back straight, or your knees keep passing your toes there are two variations you can try. First - perform this exercise with your back against a wall, using it to support your back and keep you upright as you squat down. Second - face a wall with your toes touching it, and squat - this will prevent you over-throwing your knees!]

Finally - Squat Jumps

- 10 

You're squatting just like before, maintaining good form, but this time without weights. Instead of coming up slowly to standing, you want to squat down then explode up, straightening your legs, tightening your glutes & throwing your arms back, before carefully landing and taking it back into a squat.

Just repeat these three circuits as many times as you can in 7 minutes. You'll definitely get that heart rate right up & a bit of a sweat on with just these but as always, if you're feeling pumped you can definitely tag on some more body weight exercises or throw in some high intensity cardio!

Remember to always stretch everything out as you warm down & make sure you give your body the protein hit it needs!

Hope you liked the second installment of mini workouts - more to come next week :)




p.s. please remember, I'm in no way a fitness 'professional' - this is just my humble advice & personal experiences! If you feel unwell at any point during these exercises, stop & if you have any previous medical conditions, do make sure you consult your doctor or a physiotherapist before you do any of the above mentioned exercises! I can't be held responsible if you hurt yourselves lovelies - so do be careful - and HAVE FUN!