Mixing Things Up

HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training, has always featured in my exercise plans over the years. Twelve months ago, it became a serious contender, in particular a class called Blaze where I beast it out, at least twice a week with people of all ages, shapes and sizes.

Boredom had set in; my usual outdoors runs and those rainy day cardio sessions in the gym became tedious. My lack of coordination excludes me from many of the more traditional club classes (pride before training gains you understand….instructor goes left, I go…well anyway, you get the picture). Blaze is a combination of boxing; the real deal, gloves, punchbag, strategic blows followed by cardio on a treadmill then strength work. 3 stations, repeated 3 times, for a total of 45 minutes. It does everything it says on the tin and more. I’ve gained strength and definition that running simply couldn’t deliver, and I’ve loved it.

Except now I’m getting a tad bored. Progression within a periodized training plan was the biggest area of challenge for my PT students. In order for a training plan to progress, an overload must occur. This is usually reached by increasing the duration of the exercise you’re undertaking or the intensity (in the form of speed, the weight lifted, or the addition of an incline) however, changing the type also demonstrates significant gains.

Mixing it up is sometimes all that’s required, preventing our complacent bodies and minds from doing the same thing simply because change feels; well, just a bit too much like hard work. And scary; the prospect of change can feel terrifying, especially if we’ve found an activity that we like, that fits into our hectic schedule and we’re actually rather good at. If it ain’t broke, why try and fix it, right?

Wrong. This is your time to be fearless, for if you don’t, you’ll begin to see your body regress as it becomes accustomed to the level of challenge you continue to present. Ignore those warnings of boredom at your peril people, your body and mind are screaming for a change in fortune. So that’s what I did, loaded up the bikes and drove to the Dalby Forest for two days of hard trail riding with the family. The hours of HIIT paid off; I absolutely smashed the gradients, whilst on the descent, the kids trumped me in the bravery department (what is the deal with little people and no fear?)

This small change to my routine provided the incentive I needed to dust the bike off a bit more often, especially given the time of year; I guess you could say I’ve been happily dragged out of my comfort zone. I tried a new High Intensity Class earlier in the week; Body Combat. I managed to survive and enjoy it.

So here’s to trying something new in your fitness routine, it’s the perfect season to take your training outdoors because after all; She who dares wins, right?

Enjoy your bank holiday

L x

Transporting the Good Stuff.

This week brought the return to high school for my older child, followed by the inevitable dilemma of how to pack healthy, nutritionally loaded food into her whilst on the move.

Under my watchful eye (and supported by a fridge packed with beneficial choices), my daughter’s a triple A student. Loves raw, manages her sugar intake without me breathing down her neck and on the whole she eats well and plentyful. High school however, has presented us with some challenges and not the ones I was expecting.

Sure, there’s the odd high sugar drink with lunch and a selection of fattier foods that any self respecting tween would consume; there are more ‘snacks’ generally to sustain the fifty minute bus journey she undertakes to and from school.

All of a sudden, we’ve become super picky about fruit and vegetables that aren’t ‘fridge fresh’. Last term saw the return of more berries and chopped peppers than I’m sure I sent her with, accompanied by an explanation that they were ‘ a bit squished’ or ‘had gone warm’. I tried everything, from different containers, to adding cool packs, even frozen fruit which then proceeded to leak out onto everything during the defrost process!

I think I’ve found my solution ( I don’t believe in jinx’s folks… she says, typing with her ankles crossed.) Morning smoothies for the bus; a high protein low sugar yoghurt base such as Sky R (Aldi have a more economical version than the more well know brands). Be mindful to check the sugar as the low fat yoghurts invariably contain higher levels of sugar than the regular version of the same product. Chuck in all the left over, imperfect squished fruit from my fridge (sshhh, don’t tell) and whizz up in the blender. The addition of ice makes it cooler and feels a little more grown up for her I think. If you find it a tad gloopy after whizzing, or indeed if it struggles to get going, add a small amount of water which ticks the hydration box too.

Even added half a teaspoon of the anticancer wonder powder Tumeric yeserday; she never even noticed.

Enjoy the bank holiday everyone

Loretta x