Yoganuary

Last January I did the 30 days of yoga challenge with Adrianne, and I absolutely loved it. To be honest asI think about it now, Im not sure why I don’t do yoga everyday all the time?!

Anywho, I don’t manage to do yoga everyday, but when I do do it – I love it. It makes me feel calm, relaxed and happy.

So when I came across the 31 yoga challenge from Cat Meffan I was really excited. I follow Cat on Instagram, she is crazy bendy and wears the most amazing leggings!

I am on day 11 now and I have found this a lot more challenging than I was expecting – So much so that on Friday I felt like I had done a weights workout the night before! At the end of this challenge I am hoping that I will continue to do either yoga or meditation every day. My aim someday is to be as as bendy as she is, but Im not sure that is actually possible! 😬

The challenge is all on YouTube and is a mixture of yoga flows, meditation guides and tips on working into the poses and positions better and really making it work for your body. 

Have you taken up any challenges for January?

HIIT IT!

I have never been very good at doing what I am told, which is one reason I love creating my own HIIT workouts.

HITT workouts are so good, as they work all of your body and you can get them done within 10 minutes, if that is all you have time for. If you are only a beginner you can just do bodyweight exercises, whereas if you are advanced you can start to incorporate weights. Another thing I really like it that you can do it all at home, therefore it is free…no gym membership!

HIIT is a training idea in which low to moderate intensity intervals are alternated with high intensity intervals. In research, HIIT has been shown to burn adipose tissue more effectively than low-intensity exercise – up to 50% more efficiently. There are tonnes of really good HIIT workouts out there that you can follow, but if you are like me and like to create your own, here are my favorite HIIT moves to include:

  • Squats
  • Lunge
  • Push Up
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Burpees

If you are not familiar with these moves head over to YouTube, there are a wealth of how-to videos waiting for you.

No matter what you include in your HIIT workout, make sure you warm your muscles up properly. We don’t want any pulled muscles stopping your training now do we? It is really important to warm up for a minimum of 3 minutes.

Do each exercise for 30 seconds with 30 seconds rest in between, it is completely up to you how many rounds you do, but make sure you really push yourself.

Squat you say?!

I love a good squat, I know some of you might think I am weird for announcing that. But there is some logic to my thinking, I promise!

For those who have no idea what a squat is, here is the dictionary definition:

squat

skwɒt/

verb

  1. 1.
  2. crouch or sit with one’s knees bent and one’s heels close to or touching one’s buttocks or the back of one’s thighs.

Squats will help you is you want to lose weight or gain muscle, as they help you workout most muscles in your body! When you’re looking to burn fat, a squat will exercise as much of your body as it can so it is all getting a workout. Whereas if you are trying to gain muscle, your legs and back are the quickest area to build muscle.

Here are 5 variations of a squat that you can fit into your workout….

Basic Squat

Start with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing forward, neck straight, and abs tight. Arms out in front of you. Bend your knees and slowly lower yourself down until the tops of your thighs are parallel to the ground. Push your bottom backward, as if you were sitting on a chair. Return to standing

Sumo Squat

Stand with your legs wide, toes pointed slightly outward. Push your hips back and bend your knees, squatting until your thighs are in line with your knees. Return to standing.

Curtsy Squat

Stand with your feet hip width apart and hands on hips. Move your right foot behind your left leg, as far past your left foot as is comfortable. Using a “curtsy” motion, squat down. Keep your weight in the front leg. Return to standing.

Squat Jump

Take your basic squat to the next level, add a jump! Start in the beginning squat position. Lower yourself about half way and then jump up in the air before landing on your feet, standing.

Goblet Squat

Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell to your chest with both hands. Perform a basic squat without jostling or dropping the weight. Keep it close to your chest and steady. Return to standing.

Stephanie-3