Monthly Archives: March 2016

Do you workout at home?

I’ve had a few gym memberships in my time. Virgin Active, Fitness First, local council funded gyms and the list goes on. In my pre-baby days, when I had acres of free time after work and on the weekends, I’d find it very difficult to drag myself to the gym and get a reasonable cost per visit from my membership fee.

In my post-baby world, I need to maximise every minute of my life to get what I need to get done, done. This is no joke. Between working, school work, chores and life admin, on the days I’m at home, if I don’t take the opportunity to workout during J’s naptime, then I won’t have the chance until he goes to bed. And then something will inevitably get in the way and working out will have to wait. So for me, it’s just easier to squeeze in workouts, when I can, at home. I cancelled my gym membership last year and I’ve never looked back.

 

Just workout when he’s awake, you say? Hahahahah. I’ve seen YouTube and Instagram videos of mums working out with their kids around them, and that just seems like science fiction to me. When I’ve attempted to do it, I get a 14 kg toddler climbing on my back during push ups and crawling through my legs during burpees. Which is why for me, effective workouts are restricted to nap time, bed time or at spin class.

 

I’ve been doing Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guides (BBG) at home since last August, combined with lots of walking (I live in London, with no car, so walking is like breathing – you need do a lot of it!) and weekly sessions at Psycle, the best spin studio in London.

What’s interesting to me is that the guides are ideally meant for someone who has access to a gym and all its equipment, but because I love the structure of the guides, i.e. they tell me exactly what exercises I need to do, how many and for how long, I’ve figured out a way to make BBG work for me.

 

And as I was setting myself up for today’s workout, I realised that I’ve managed to acquire a veritable mini-gym in my flat, the majority of which I use for the Bikini Body Guide.

So it is possible to do the guide at home, it just requires a bit of planning and some expense.

 

What I use for the Bikini Body Guide workouts:

  1. Kettlebells (7.5kg, 12kg and 16kg): substitutes for dumbbells or handweights
  2. Medicine ball (8kg)
  3. Hand weights (2kg each)
  4. Reebok step:Β substitute for a box and a bench
  5. Easy Shaper Pro (a bar with resistance bands attached):Β substitute for a barbell and weights
  6. Yoga Mat
  7. Foam rollers x 2

I’ve had to be creative and substitute where I can. I’ve picked up inexpensive quality equipment via Ebay, Amazons and various birthday / Christmas presents and it’s all added up to a very nice collection that makes working out at home really easy.

Do you workout at home? Have you done BBG at home? What are your tips and tricks?

 

 

I Tried It: The Mooncup

blood moon

Have you ever tried a menstrual cup? I hadn’t, until recently.

This goop article got me thinking about the implications of the cotton, chemicals and bleach in mainstream tampons. How many tampons do you think the average woman uses in a lifetime? Apparently it’s almost 11,000! That’s nearly 22 every menstrual cycle.

And what are the implications of all that non-organic cotton going into one of the most absorbent parts of your body? Makes you think, doesn’t it?

There are also the effects on the environment to consider. Many women still flush their used tampons down the loo, which puts a lot of pressure on water treatment plants, as tampons do not break down very easily.

After a particularly painful period recently that included a few too many tampon mishaps, I decided to search for alternatives.

Enter the Mooncup.

This is a medical grade silicone cup that gets inserted into the vagina, instead of tampons and is meant to be much cleaner than using pads.

When my Mooncup arrived, I looked at it and I figured, I’ve had a baby come out of there, how hard can this little cup be to manoeuvre?

Well. It does take a bit of practice to get it in, just like it did when I first started using tampons, a long, long time ago. πŸ™‚ And after a while, it becomes natural and effortless. Once you get the hang of inserting and removing it, the Mooncup can be kept in for up to 8 hours at a time, holding up to 15 mL of fluid at a time.

You absolutely need to be comfortable with blood and with emptying and cleaning the cup throughout the day. And that means that menstrual cups just may not be right for some women. Here’s a great primer on how to easily insert and remove menstrual cups (link totally safe for work!).

As for me, I love using the Mooncup and plan to continue using it indefinitely.

And it seems that I’m not the only one looking at alternatives to tampons and pads. The THINX ‘period underwear’ have been getting a lot of coverage recently.

Would you ever try an alternative to tampons and pads?

P.S. If you’re not convinced, here’s a great natural tampon alternative.

Photo by Anders Jilden

 

Stories I loved this week.

rain on my window

After having my nose deep in my text books for the last three weeks, with assignments and exam studying, I have now returned to the land of the living. It makes me laugh, thinking about how I used to cram at the last minute at university and complain about how little time I had! Ha!

The biggest lesson for me is that it can be done, with a lot of help and a lot of discipline and focus. Now, I’m giving myself the week off from studying, then I start my assignment, a study into a specific dietary model. Onwards and upwards!

Having spent the last three weeks studying like crazy on very little sleep, Β I can see how lack of sleep can bring on the ‘munchies’. (The Guardian)

Have you seen Dr. Sandra Lee’s pimple popper videos? They’re incredibly gross, compelling viewing and getting mainstream coverage. (NYMag)

Three persistent insidious health myths. (The Chalkboard)

Can you teach yourself to like new food? This formerly picky writer gives it a try. (The Science of Us)

Microbial resistance is a growing problem. How can we be smarter about how we use antibiotics? (Chris Kresser)

I’ve always hated baby talk and never speak that way with my son. Apparently speaking to your kids in a ‘normal’ way can help grow their vocabulary. Makes sense. (Cup of Jo)

How not to get old and tired. Harsh title, interesting content. (goop)

Photo by Death to Stock Photo