30 Day Fitness Challenge: Day 1

Hello lovelies!

As there have been much inactivity for the past few months, there has been an increase of junk food intake and lazing in front of the television. Even so, there has also been an increase of sleeplessness, thanks to the arrival of my baby girl. She demands attention 24/7 so that gives me little time to sit and have proper meal. Everything has been instant and fast. Like fast food. Of course being a new mother is not an excuse for falling off the wagon, but I am determine to get back on, not only with my diet but also with my workout.

I downloaded this app from Google Play and even though I’m sure there are many other similar apps, this one caught my eye for it’s simplicity and straightforwardness.

All exercises are clearly categorized into four types and divided into different levels so that you are free to choose how intense you want your workout to be.

Then, you simply follow the workouts listed from Day 1 to Day 30. I am looking to do a full body workout, so I choose Bodyweight Exercises and since I am trying to ease back into working out, I’ve decided to start with the easiest which consists of just-

  • 3 x Push Ups
  • 15 x Sit Ups
  • 10 x Regular Squats
  • 5 x Chair Dips with bent knee
  • 10 Sec Plank

Easy, right? Very doable even for someone who has never worked out before. When you are done, the app will keep track of which day you’re on so you won’t have to worry.

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Apart from this challenge, I am also doing the #photoadaychallenge. One that was posted by a fitness friend of mine on Instagram (check her out: @fitmuslimgirl). I am actually a sucker for photo challenges and even though I almost always never complete them, I can’t stop doing them. I know I have a problem with committing, that is why I want to keep on trying. If you’re interested in joining me, here’s the list.

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Until then, here’s to a fitter and healthier 2016!

 

 

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Squats and Lunges while Pregnant – Yes or No?

Hello lovelies!

As some of you might know, I have been working out ever since before I was pregnant. I took a break during my 1st trimester and started again during my 2nd. I have received many stares and concerned looks at the gym where I workout. I’ve also received comments on my Facebook and Instagram about how I shouldn’t be working out as it would lead to pre-term labour or a miscarriage. But my advise is – All in moderation.

Many would say that squats and lunges are a big No-no when you’re pregnant but they are one of the few essential workouts that you need to do during your pregnancy. In our daily life, we squat more than we realize, only that we tend to bend forward while picking up things (not THAT’s a big No-no!).

  • Benefits of squats includes
  • Increase pelvic floor muscle strength
  • Prevent pelvic and lower back pain
  • Prepare for labour
  • Strong birth position
  • A great looking butt

Apart from doing your kegal exercises, squats (with proper technique) can help to strengthen your pelvic floor which in turn helps to elevate any kind of pelvic pain. Squats would also strengthen your glutes which would help in decreasing any lower back pain as it helps to stabilize your pelvis. This functional exercise also mirrors a position that you can hold longer while in labour. Strengthening your leg muscles with squats gives you more endurance in your birthing positions, especially the ones that allows gravity to assist in pulling the baby lower and opening the pelvis wider which would definitely help if you’re afraid of tearing during delivery. And as mentioned before, squats works your glutes so in the end of the day, you will get awesome looking butt!

But despite the benefits of squats, there are times when its not advisable to do them. Always check with your doctor before starting on any new workout during your pregnancy. Make sure you have a personal trainer or someone  who is experienced to correct you in your squatting technique. If you are in pain, then stop. Avoid squats at all cause if you have high risk pregnancy or are going through any kind of complications.

Other than that, you should be fine. =D

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Note: As your tummy gets bigger, you would have to spread your legs wider. Focus on doing Sumo Squats rather than regular ones when that happens.

As for lunges, many tend to avoid doing this especially in the later trimester as it gets harder to balance. If you’re at the gym, use the straps of the TRX or anything that secured to a wall to help maintain your balance. At home, you can use a chair to help with your balance.

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The benefits of lunges are pretty similar to squats. Lunges keeps the hip flexible making it easier to spread the legs during delivery. It helps strengthen your lower back and legs and is also a simple core exercise that doesn’t require you to lie on your back.

When doing lunges, remember to keep your back straight and make sure that your knee is align with your ankles. Push upwards using your heel and not your toes. Don’t lean forward as it would add pressure to your knee. Lift your back heel and feel the muscles tighten as you come up. This would make your hamstrings stronger and lift your butt.

You can use weights with both exercise but always remember to maintain at 70% – 80% intensity. What I do is that I cut down my regular weight to 50%, so if I was using a 6kg dumbbell before I was pregnant, now I just use 3kg. Remember – workouts during pregnancies are to help maintain your fitness so focus on high repetitions rather than high weights.

If you would like to share your experiences on how squats and lunges has helped you in your pregnancy, feel free to leave a comment. You can also ask me questions if you have any and I will try to answer them as best as I could.

Until then, stay strong!

 

 

Gym Day

Hey everyone!

I’m so glad that I managed to hit the gym today. Been missing it for almost a week now. 1st week of the 3rd Trimester is not easy. Fatigue is setting in as the baby gets heavier. Feels like its the 1st Trimester all over again.

Anyways, I did back and legs today. As my lower back muscles gets weaker, I find that working on my upper back helps to elevates the pain. I also did a little bit of shoulders and abs. Fine, you can pretty much say that it was a full body workout.

Legs Extension 15 reps x 3 sets
Single Leg Extension as 15 reps x 3 sets

Cable Twist 15 reps x 3 sets

Standing Cable Row 15 reps x 3 sets
Bent over Row 15 reps x 3 sets

Other workouts I did were:

  • Lateral Pulldowns
  • Straight Arm Cable Pulldowns
  • Shoulder Press
  • Upright Rows
  • Prison Squats
  • Sumo Deadlifts

All of them I did 15 reps x 3 sets. Everything that I did, I decreased the weight by half as compared to what I usually do. I focused more on form (of course it can be a little tough when there’s no mirror and no one there to spot you). I’m not saying that you have to do all these, but I’m just saying that being pregnant should not hinder you from doing these workouts, or from working out at all.

But of course, please check with your doctor before attempting any of these work outs. Especially if you’ve never done any of them before.

Until then, stay active!

Dealing with backaches

Hello all!

As I go into the first week of my 3rd Trimester, I’m constantly reminded of this growing human in my belly. With the kicking and punching, its no surprise that I’m beginning to get many sleepless nights. But I think the worse (apart from heartburn) would be the backaches. This time, its nothing like the one I had in my first trimester. It aches even when I’m lying down and the more I lie down, the more painful it gets. I thought that my regular weight training of deadlifts would help strengthened my lower back but I suppose its not enough. So I started searching YouTube for alternative workouts, and I stumbled upon this.

It has helped me so far but just be sure not to do it on a hard surface. Lay a yoga mat or a towel on the floor before doing this. If there are other methods that could relief backache, do let me know in the comments. Would love to hear from you.

Until then, stay safe!

My tribute to Yoga

When I first started doing yoga, it was all thanks to an ex-colleague of mine. She does hot yoga regularly and she’s always effusive about it and its weight loss and detoxifying benefits. She keeps saying how much she perspire in class and it always makes her feel energised and alert in class and helps her sleep well at night. I suppose that kinda sold me. As an insomniac, I’ve tried almost everything to help me sleep; herbal teas, soothing music, meditations, etc. Sometimes they help, sometimes they don’t. I refuse to see the doctor however, because I know what they would give me (they’ve given me before) and I don’t want to be dependent on drugs.

Anyways, I bought a book on yoga that comes with a DVD. I read through and followed along to the instructional video. I researched on the internet and absorbed as much as I could about yoga. My research led me to numerous questions that my ex-colleague was not able to answer so that’s when I decided that I should go to a proper class. Not only would there be someone to answer my questions, but there would also be some to take a look at my poses. And of course, nothing beats looking at yourself in a big-ass mirror. =)

I was lucky enough that Groupon was having an offer during that time for yoga class at Platinum Yoga. It was much too far away from my house but, I figured it was only for a few trial sessions so why not? I did my first Bikram Yoga and I swear I thought I was going to pass out. Hahaha! But I don’t remember perspiring so much. And it really did feel good. 3 sessions in and I was absolutely hooked to the heated room. The instructors are friendly too and are always ready to answer questions. I really enjoyed my time there but unfortunately, I was not able to get a package from them because of the distance from my house. So I was on the hunt for a yoga studio closer to home, and also one that doesn’t burn a hole through my pocket. That was when I stumbled upon Yoga with Yun. She used to conduct morning classes at the Botanical Gardens (which I could never get up early enough to make it), and through her, I found out about Yoga Movement, a quaint little studio on Carpenter Street that gives out a very indie vibe. I didn’t think twice about signing up with them after seeing their price packages, and thus begins my obsession with yoga.

Two years on and the obsession is still going strong. Although I am currently not practising it as regularly as I would like to (I give myself all sorts of ridiculous excuses from not having a proper mat to practise at home to not having the time as I spend most times at the gym), I am happy with what yoga has taught me and I carry it with me everywhere I go. Yoga creates awareness. It has taught me a lot about my body and its capabilities. Yoga has taught me on how to be more aware of my postures and how to listen to by body. It has taught me that my body is not just a vessel to my soul. Every yoga session is like a bonding session with my body. It teaches me to be patient with myself (when I’m learning new poses), and to be forgiving (when I fail to do a certain pose) to myself. It teaches me to love myself and to exist in the here and now.

Different people has different translation and purpose on yoga and why they practice it. I can’t tell you how much it has benefited me, not only physically but also spiritually. Over the years, I have done classes with other studios, Anahata Yoga Singapore and Sadhana Sanctuary just to mention a few, but I still find myself favoring YM. Maybe its because of the people that I’ve met there (one of them being Janna Shukor, a recently certified yoga instructor currently teaching at the newly opened Yoga Inc and was induced as Team Climb Asia‘s first PrAna Ambassador), the super friendly and equally crazy staff and instructors and just the overall vibe. I can’t wait to renew my package with them and restart my practice. Until then, I shall be contented with simply working out at the gym.

Until then, Love + Light, Blessings to you…~