One of the best things that I did during iso was to get out of the house everyday to go for a run, or if the weather wasn’t great I’d do a Zoom fitness class. Exercising was one of the things that helped keep me sane being at home all the time, and I’m continuing to do it now. Without a doubt, one of the things that can sometimes help me get up and get moving is great activewear.
Exercise gear has come a long way from what it was and they’re now fashion pieces in themselves. Which is a plus as I’m able to go from running to grabbing a coffee and doing the school run if I need to, all without missing a beat. In fact, the range of fitness staples around right now is so good I’ve often taken to wearing them while working from home too.
I’m always a fan of a matching activewear set with a crop worn with leggings or bike shorts, as it’s an easy no-brainer look. Simply pair and away you go. And now with cooler temperatures, a warm jacket or jumper is a must and there are some great pieces around that can really elevate your look.
Ready to get moving? Shop my edit of fitness gear below.
I’ve always tried to stay active in whatever way I can and recently I’ve been doing group fitness training with David McIlwaine of Fit4Dreams and Mum Squad. Now that that option is on pause for awhile I’ve been trying to figure out effective ways that I can still work out from home, and I’m sure I’m not alone in that regard. Recently I asked David to share his tips for keeping exercise a part of my daily routine, and here’s what he said.
Why is it important to keep on top of your fitness regimen during this time?
“Training is a great way to feel like you have done something for yourself.
With so much happening from day to day and conditions changing at every turn it can be really stressful. It’s easy to feel like things are out of your control and that can take a toll.
Once you have done a good workout though, you have done something positive for yourself. Nothing can take that away from you and it gives you strength to take things in your stride knowing you have done what you can to stay #fit2fight.”
If you’re stuck indoors, with limited or no equipment at all, what are some of the best workout moves you can do?
“When you’re stuck indoors with limited or no equipment at all, it’s hard to beat the classics.
Exercises like push-ups, lunges, squats, the plank and sit-ups are great.
On top of that, you can use a chair to work on the backs of your arms with tricep dips or stand on cushions or close your eyes to introduce a balance challenge to your squats or lunges.
If you’re starting out, you might like to begin doing push-ups on your knees and then build up to doing them on your toes.
As you get stronger you can prop your feet up on a cushion to lift them up as you take on the push-up position and make it hard to balance as you lower your chest to the floor. This really really encourages you to engage your core as you do your push-ups.”
What are your suggestions for a workout routine that can be done outdoors if you’re lucky enough to have a backyard to work out in?
“If you’ve got a backyard you can designate a workout zone on either side.
Then you can run between them.
So you might start with 24 push-ups on one side of the lawn, run to the other side and back and then do 20.
You repeat that going down by 4 push-ups at a time ie 24,20,16,12, 8 & 4.
That means you’ll be running across the yard 6 times. You can use that as your exercise system and just change the exercises or the repetitions and if you want to make it harder you can mix it up a little.
Try running up and back across the yard to double the distance.”
What if people want to up the intensity?
“Lie down and get up again on the turn around and see how much harder the exercises are when you get to them.
Remember when you add the extra run, you just do your exercise on one side and the lie down and get up on the other.
Once you finish that you call it your first round and take a minutes rest.
Then you can do it with the plank with say a 24 sec hold then 20, 16, 12, 8 & 4 second hold to finish. Running across the yard and back in between each.
If you’re looking for an even higher level challenge when you finish your plank you can jump two feet at a time across the lawn instead of running. This will really get your heart racing.
You can also try lunging across the yard, do 24 squat jumps when you get to the end and then run across the yard and back, ready to lunge across the yard again and do a set of 20 squat jumps. You keep doing that and reduce your squat jumps by 4 at a time.
As you get fitter, you start reducing the set of exercise by 2 at a time or even double the number for each set..
Then to finish off the workout you can sprint across the yard and back twice and then add in different stomach exercises while you’re still puffing from your run.
Just sprint across the yard twice and get straight down and do:
How can people adapt their workouts so they can still get a good workout at home?
“You might just concentrate on doing more or lifting heavier weight when there is lots to gain in doing every exercise properly and to the best of your ability. So much improvement will come from being able to concentrate on the details of your exercise because it’s easier to focus on that when you are on your own at home.”
What are your suggestions for ways people can keep moving right now?
“Some easy simple suggestions keep moving during the current coronavirus restrictions are:
walking on the soft sand at the beach
going for a ride
running on the soft sand at the beach.
doing some stair repeats or
finding a nice steep hill to run up.
Fit4Dreams is still doing personal training sessions at this time but also they have just launched group sessions online. If you’d like more information or to sign up you can email David at [email protected] or give him a call on 0414 138 778.
Personal trainer and founder of Fit Mamma, Jack Seymour knows that once you’re a mum, it can be tricky to get back into an exercise routine, having witnessed it first hand when his wife had their daughter. So he sought to remedy it by founding a gym that specifically catered to mums — and Fit Mamma was born! Understanding the unique needs of mums when it comes to establishing and maintain a training program is Jack’s forte so I thought who better to offer expert tips on getting back into a fitness regimen than him? Here he shares his tips for introducing exercise back into your life post-baby.
Get the all clear
“Most mums tend to get the ‘return to exercise’ clearance from their GP or obstetrician. While we highly recommend that these health professionals give you the green light, we also recommend all new mums see a female physio specialist for a post-natal screening. This is where you may benefit from identifying deeper (potentially harmful) physical problems caused from pregnancy or birth, regardless of whether or not you are planning on exercising. Generally, the screening consists of a thorough examination of your pelvic floor and an ultrasound to determine how much separation you have, how well your transverse abdominals are firing, and general harmony throughout your trunk area. If anything needs attention then your physio is there to lead you back to physical greatness.”
Make it a part of your day
“Simply getting out of the house and going for a brisk pram walk for up to 60 minutes is a great start. It’s also great to clear the mind and get some fresh air. Alternatively, get into the habit of doing a quick 10-20 minute workout in your living room when bub is having one of their (many) naps. The shorter the better to begin with. This ensures you don’t overdo it, but more importantly it’s a time frame you can commit to. If you overcommit yourself (with all the other crazy things you’ve got going on), you’re more likely to stop (See below for a quick in-home workout that gets harder as you get fitter).”
Incorporate your baby into your exercise routine
“Brisk pram walks as I’ve already mentioned are great! If your bub is still light enough then you can incorporate them into most of your in-home workouts. Some exercises will require them to be sitting next to you, but they like to watch you do those silly up-down-repetitive things. You can have lots of fun with bub— squats, lunges, sit-ups, baby presses with bub are great. You can create a really nice routine with your bub and it’s a nice bonding process. If your little ones are on the go, get involved with them, get outdoors, grab a ball and have a run about.”
Take your time
“[One of the biggest mistakes I see mums making is] not listening to their body. Pushing too hard too soon. Wanting to jump back into exercise with the same vigour and intensity as they had pre-pregnancy. It is soooo important to take your time after pregnancy. In some cases, it can take the body up to 18 months to fully recover and get back to normalcy. Take it easy!”
Exercise with others
“Commit to working out with a bunch of mums from your mothers’ group. Commit to 2 days a week working out together. This might be on your own, with a trainer, at a gym, or better yet a post-natal specific class. But set the days and times. Organise lunch or coffee after the workout, thus making it easier to commit to.”
Try this workout at home
“Don’t work for reps. Work for the ‘burn’. Different levels of strength and fitness make specific rep counts ineffective. Some exercises are too easy – some, far too hard. When you start to fatigue and that burn kicks in, move onto the next exercise. For cardio stations simply do the set number of reps shown. Keep a nice controlled tempo, and great form. If you’re not sure what you’re doing, then seek some professional advice to ensure you don’t injure yourself.”
This workout is called The AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible). Start with a 10 minute timer, increasing to 15 minutes, and finally 20 minutes, as fitness level improves.
Leading a healthy lifestyle is important to me. I think if you’re eating well and staying active you’ll generally have much more energy to get you through a very busy day. However juggling being a mum along with work and any other commitments means – and I’m sure a lot of women will agree with me – that I don’t always have as much time to focus on my health regime. I know some days are definitely better than others, but ultimately I’ll always try and approach each day with a healthy mindset. Here’s a peek at what I try and do each day.
I go for long walks…
Before I became a mum, I used to run a lot, go to the gym twice a week and do Pilates twice a week. I was really, really into it. However being a busy mum I’ve had to get creative with how I stay active as it’s not always easy finding the time to head to the gym or go to a class. I’m always running around after Sophia and Grace whether it’s at home, in the park or at the beach so that’s my cardio! I also do a lot of walking with the girls. Every morning we’ll do a pram walk and sometimes we’ll go in the afternoon as well. They love going for long walks so it’s a win-win for all of us.
I keep my meals simple…
I eat out a lot for work so when I’m at home I try and keep things as basic as possible. Typically we’ll have something like chicken and salad or steak and vegies. I also eat a lot of fruit and vegetables throughout the day and drink loads of water. I don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen but still want to eat well so I will always try and find the quickest and easiest way to whip up a healthy meal.
I love juices…
I think freshly squeezed juices are great, especially when I’m on the go. They’re quick… and they’re portable! I always try and incorporate some vegies into my juices so I can squeeze in an extra dose of vegetables each day. When I’m running around I always get an orange, carrot and ginger juice. If I’m pressed for time, a juice is an easy and healthy option for me.
Tell me – what are some things you like to do to stay healthy?
Let’s face it: working out is often made better when you’ve got some cute workout gear to motivate you. If the right training attire can help you feel (almost) like Karlie Kloss in exercise mode then why not extend it to you gym bag? Not only will the right bag help you keep your workout essentials organised and ready for a sweat session at a moment’s notice, you’ll also feel just that little bit more stylish whilst doing it.
As part of my plan to kickstart 2017, I’m back into pilates and about to start personal training. One of the perks of working out these days is that there are some seriously fashion forward pieces available. The activewear revolution has meant that a busy training session or day running around no longer requires a shabby tshirt and plain leggings. I tend to opt for quality pieces and durable fabric as there is a lot of running around with Grace and Sophia too.
I’ll always try to mix in navy and grey marle to avoid feeling too washed out in all-black. Don’t be afraid to add in some navy and grey to your look this season. Sweat is no longer a problem with this amazing towel from Dolce and Gabbana. I’ll be using one for a quick post-training dip at Balmoral.
How about some of these standout pieces to add to your activewear wardrobe? The platform Kenzo trainers may not be the best running shoes, but they will lift up any casual outfit.
When it comes to packing a beauty kit for your gym bag it pays to keep it to just the essentials so you’re not lugging around your entire bathroom cabinet. So, what are the things that you will really, really need? Add these 10 things to your list the next time you pack your bag.
For those times when you just don’t have time for a shower a spritz of dry shampoo will do the trick. Not only does it absorb sweat it will even give your locks a volume boost.
This is a no-brainer of course! No one likes to deal with the odour post-workout so a mini can of deodorant in your bag is well worth packing.
It goes without saying that packing a towel in your gym bag is key. If you really want to up the style stakes this is a great option.
Doing a hardcore workout with makeup on is a serious beauty no-no. Just think of your poor clogged pores! Be sure to always have cleansing wipes in your bag to ensure that you can give your face a good cleanse before training.
There is nothing worse than rocking up to the gym only to find your hair tie has gone M.I.A. To avoid this dilemma keep a packet in your bag so you always have spares.