There is a misconception that you need to run for hours to get results. Trick is to train smart, not hard. By this I mean, get the most out of your time, more bang for your buck! By adding some Hiit (High Intensity Interval Training) youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll get the results you are after, by mixing your cardio with a combo of intense heart pumping bursts. Okay, so you might not have the recommended 20-30minutes for cardio, but you for sure have 15mins to give your body the immediate benefits of a Hiit workout.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¨Here is a simple circuit you can do for either 5mins, 15 or 30. However much time you have, make the most out of it.
4-5mins warm up with some basic stretching light cardio.
Perform each exercise for 40 seconds on, 20 seconds rest (total of 1min per each exercise)
Repeat the following for as many rounds as you have time to do, do each exercise as fast as you can and then enjoy your 20-second rest.
1. Jumping Jacks or Jump Rope
2. Bouncing Lunges (alternate right foot front, then left foot)
3. Wide Squat (with optional leap at top)
4. Push ups (full or on the knees if beginner)
5. High Knees jogging on the spot
Be Strong Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Alternating Lunges with a shoulder press
Make the most out of your workout by doing exercises that utilize more the one muscle group. Go a step further by making the exercise dynamic rather then stationary and youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be elevating your heart rate for cardio benefits also. Cool, kill three birds, one dumb bell.
This can be done anywhere, with or without weights.
Arms into a goal post (elbows out to the side at shoulder height and hands above the elbows either with or without weights)
Feel hip distance apart.
1. Right Foot Steps back down into a lunge, at the same time the arms raise to the sky straight up.
2. Step Right Foot forward to starting position, arms come back down to goal post (elbows out to side, hands raised up above the elbows)
Repeat with the left leg.
10x on each side, total of 20.
Repeat for 3 rounds.
Be Flexible Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Sunrise
Add a stretch to your morning. YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be hooked. If you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t make it to an early morning yoga class, there is nothing to stop you from giving yourself just 5-10 minutes in the morning to stretch out. Think about it, you have been lying down for 6-8 hours, you are obviously going to be feeling tired first thing. A good stretch can work better then a coffee.. or work well with a coffee (if you are a caffeine head like me! Both work!).
1. Stand tall, stretch up and reach for the sky, with hands together reach left to right, keeping the hips square, and chest lifted. (Looking in a mirror will help you keep correct form)
2. Lay on the floor, hug the knees into the chest and rock side to side. Drop the knees to the right (keeping them stacked) Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat on the left. Do as many times as you to stretch out the spine
3. Standing with on foot crossed in front of the other, forward fold to touch your feet (if you can, let the body hang. Hold 20-30 second. Repeat with the other foot crossed in front.
Be Healthy Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Vegetable of the Week: Sweet Potato
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve experimented with every type of diet or fad there is out there. From vegan to paleo, I have done it all, successfully and not so. But at the end of the day, it is balance of the right foods that is going to keep your body functioning, as it should.
Cutting out carbs entirely is never a good thing. The wrong carbs can do havoc to your blood sugar levels, so yes, steer clear of breads, pasta and avoid too much fruit.
My obsession of the week has to be the Sweet Potato. Both filling and delicious you are giving your body a good source of fuel, keeping you full without feeling sluggish. Here are a few ways to prepare your sweet potatoes to keep your meals bursting with flavor and variety.
My favorite go-to method of cooking. I steam pretty much everything; this way vegetables keep their nutrition value, flavor and color that is often lost in frying and roasting.
They taste so good like this that all you need is some light seasoning, but they are so sweet they really donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t need anything else.
You can part steam them so they are slightly softened before they go in the oven, this way the maintain their moisture.
Before you pop them into the oven, drizzle with olive oil, agave, seasoning, a slash of soya sauce, crushed fresh garlic and chili flakes.. Yum.. Mouth watering just thinking about it!
Simply cut the potato into chunks and throw them into slightly salted boiling water. Once soft, you drain the Ã¢â‚¬Ëœtatos and add splash coconut milk and olive oil. Season to taste. I love to add some mustard powder just to bring some heat into the dish.
Santosha 200YTT Bali
It has been a 20 years on and off love affair I have had with yoga. I come in and out of it, but have always maintained a strong bond with it. Maybe it’s in my blood, my Indian family have been practicing it for years, maybe it’s because I am naturally bendy, or perhaps it is the complete Yoga experience that is not achieved from other forms of exercise.
Call it what you will: active meditation, self-massage; Yoga goes beyond the physical body. I cannot agree more that nothing beats a heart-pumping workout I love CrossFit like the next fitness fiend, but there is something both energizing and relaxing that comes with yoga, it clears your mind.
Having spend three month in Koh Samui on a yoga retreat, and visited several Ashrams in India, to study Yoga has been on my bucket list for quite some time. I decided to make the plunge and fly to a country I had never visited, and flew off to Bali to a tiny Yoga Surf Guest house for a month to get my first 200hours in Yoga Teacher Training.
When you think of Yoga, you think of the physical movements, also known as the Asanas – but that is only one eighth of the yoga practice. It is only day three but we have spent 10hours a day in intense theory classes, covering anatomy, religious, philosophical theories, meditation and breathing exercises, all these are a huge part of Yoga, which you barely, if at all, scrap the surface in a Yoga class. You crave fast and physical Vinyasa, a hardcore Power Yoga, which are both great cardio workout, which I was drawn to as an active person. What I am discovering here is that there is so much more to this ancient practice that truly combines mind, body and soul. I am enjoying exploring this side.
Fear not, I will not come back with a new “Yogi” name, if I did it would be Guru Chicken Tikka. There is nothing more then the pretension I hate that comes with people who do you, teach yoga, who call themselves “Yogis.” But there is a lot to be said for taking a step back, focusing on your breathing, learning how to meditate and applying certain philosophies and ways of life into your daily lives, be that as a “yogi” or not.
and don’t forget to find your way to Retreat Yourself Everyday
I really enjoy summertime in Dubai, call me crazy but there is a lot to be said for a place that pretty much 100% shuts down for a few months. Rather then feeling frustrated with the heat, and the feelings of being behind the rest of the world in productivity, use it as a mini life break.
It is a great time to enjoy life in Stay-cation mode, and is a great time to make use of all your spare time to get around to trying that new Crossfit class or joining up for FlyBarre or joining an early morning Nike running club. There is so much going on during the summer sports wise in Dubai, you have no excuse.
Last summer I spent most of it running around Dubai Sports World, www.dubaisportsworld.ae, making the most of the indoor boot camp and the great equipment they have on offer in the free gym down there. Not to mention the running track, the tennis courts and football pitches, all indoors! Its great, and the atmosphere in there was pretty cool (literally and metaphorically speaking so).
Personally, I love to try something new over the summer – it’s a good time to not spread yourself too thin. The pace of life here really slows down, rather then trying to fight it, how about your enjoy it.
Bounce have a great 2-4-1 deal on right now, I am yet to go but it is massively on my list. Groupon has some great deals over the summer, so try a new gym or class out before spending a fortune on the full package.
Right now I am enjoying my 630am swims, the pool in my building is pretty awesome and at that time, no one else is there, I pretend it is my private pool. Find something that makes you feel good. Let this be the Summer of Love[ing yourself].
Would love to know what you guys get up to over the summer! Send us an instagram of your Summer R.Y.E @theryelife
It’s important to practice what you preach, so with that in mind, I am off to Bali for a yoga retreat and to finally take my 200 YTT this August. I find learning relaxing, yoga is active meditation and to visit a new country I have never been to before, well that is just exciting!
Whether you are hear of flying off to some new shores, make the most of your summer, if that means switching off, learning a new sport, adding a daily yoga routine into your morning, make sure you enjoy every minute of it.
XOX, from one half of The Rye Girls,
Retreat Yourself Everyday.
You got to tell yourself you love these!
This is a full body work out like the sun salutations. SO a great way to get the body moving, tone up and if you only have 5 mins the perfect workout.
Whether its your morning 5min work out or added into your workout routine, Burpees raise the heart rate and utilize all the main muscle groups. You’ll be toning your arms, working the core and burning the thighs.
Here is the basic burpee in 5 easy steps. Repeat 5 – 10 times.
1. Start standing. Feet hips width apart. Arms by your side.
2. Bring your hands down to the floor. Squat down.
3. Jump both feet back together into a plant position. Shoulders over the hands. Gaze slightly in front, do not look down to your feet, keep the neck long. Legs are straight and arms are strong.
4. Jump the feet back together to meet the hands.
5. Jump up, reach up and clap!
.. repeat 5 – 10 times for a good quick morning wake up workout, a good warm up before your work out. You can even add a round of these within a circuit of 2-3 different exercises in your gym routine.
Have fun!! Remember smiling and laughing helps!
15mins is all you need for this workout to tick all boxes if you really are slammed for time.. or a good way to get yourself started into a regular workout habit
This mini workout is a great way to get the day started, and get the heart pumping while engaging your target muscle groups. Great for beginners, and great for those with minimum time.
Warm up (2mins):
5 X deep breathes: legs wide, stand with slightly bent knees. Inhale arms over head, exhale and fold over the legs. RPT.
30 secs Jog on spot
30 secs jump jacks (see picture below)
30 secs squat-kick (narrow stance, squat down, and alternating kicks as you stand up — PICTURED BELOW)
BE FIT (5mins)
1 40 seconds Jump jacks/20 secs rest
2 — 40 Squat-twists/20 secs rest – wide stance, hands up by the ears. Squat deep, as you stand up, rotate through torso, and bring opp. elbow to opp. knee. keep alternating
3 — 8 x Burpees
5 — 40 Squat-twists/20 secs rest
BE STRONG (5mins)
1 — 15 x wide push-ups. Repeat X 2
2 — 40secs plank
3 — 15 x tricep dips. Repeat X 2
4 — 40 secs plank
5 — 40 reps wide squats/ with 15sec hold at bottom X 2
1) Hamstring Stretch – Raise leg on bed, table, as high as you comfortably can while maintaining a straight leg. Hips square. Inhale arms up and fold over the leg. Hold 30secs/side.
2) Quad Stretch – Standing tall, pick up the right foot, with right hand behind you, with knee bend and pointing down. Push hip bones forward to increase stretch in the front of the thigh. RPT on the left. Hold 30secs/side.
3) Chest Stretch – Place right hand on wall, push the body round to the left to open chest. Hold 30 secs. Repeat with left
Ramadan can be a tough time to maintain your regular fitness or diet routine, with fasting and the heat it can all be a rough summer. Don’t use Ramadan as an excuse to not keep healthy, you’ll only be paying for it afterwards.
Instead of finding excuses, use this time for personal reflection and control. Enjoy being with family that comes with the evening celebration, make it both a time to think of others and yourself. You don’t want to spend Ramadan feeling sluggish and tired, fasting on its own is hard enough. By making healthy food choices, keeping active and hydrated, you can use Ramadan to your advantage in the yoyo weight game.
At Iftar make sure you begin with a couple of glasses of water, not only will this quench your thirst but will prevent you from overeating. The mind can confuse thirst for hunger, which is why when we are dehydrated we might eat more then we actually need too.
Keep hydrated between Iftar and Suhur, avoid caffeine, teas, coffees and sodas should be avoided.
When you fast your metabolism slows down, especially if you are not being a physically active as you normally are. Its best to stock up on healthy filling veggies and some grilled meats and avoid heavy carbs. Carbs are ultimately sugar, and if you are not being active your body wont need all that sugar-energy.
Cut down on the sugar, especially the processed kind. If you want something sweet have a date. But only one, they are very calorie dense and have a high sugar content, but will definitely tickle that sugar craving. This will make a huge difference to your energy during Ramadan and your body after.
Suhur is your time to hydrate before fast begins, eat a good balance of healthy proteins and slow releasing keep you full for the day. Avoid salt, which will dehydrate you. Eggs, yogurt, labneh, cheese, hummous and nuts are all good sources of protein. Combine with complex carbs such as oatmeal, whole grain breads, and whole wheat pita breads.
I know it’s hard to even contemplate working out during Ramadan, but keep the body moving. Even if that means a 10min run on the treadmill, a 15min swim or a long walk around the mall. Try to avoid being seated for long periods of time.
Above all remember what Ramadan is about… Be healthy and kind to yourself.
Enjoy me in the morning, afternoon or evening for the best way to stretch, energize or even relax. A full body exercise routine for mind, body and soul.
Strength and Stretch compliment each other. People forget how important it is to include a good strength session at both the beginning and the end of a workout.
There are various types of stretching that you can easily utilize: AIS, Myofascial Release and PNF are the three I want to introduce you to today.
Active Isolated Stretching (AIS)
Great post workout, lay down and relax and stretch it out. Hold a stretch for a few seconds repeatedly for several reps, each time stretching few degrees beyond the previous stretch.
A combo of pain and pleasure! Using a grid roller is a great way to get deep into the connective tissues, aka fascia, in your body using a form roller/grid roller. Easily available at most sports stores in the UAE. Not only does myofascial release relieve tension in the muslces, but it also improves flexibility in the fascia and underlying muscle.
Use small, continuous back-and-forth movements over an 2-6 inch area for 30 – 60 seconds. The pain can be quite intense but you will get used to it and reap the benefits. Best done after a workout, but can be part of your warm up if your muscles are feeling tight.
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF)
This stretching technique capitalizes on the use of autogenic and reciprocal inhibition, and includes three types of techniques:
Begin with a passive 10-second pre-stretch.
Then begin the hold-relax:
Hold and resist force applied, either using a band or pusing against a wall, for six seconds, for an isometric contraction in the target muscle group.
Relax the muscle group and allow a passive stretch; hold for 30 seconds to increase range of motion (ROM). The final phase should be the deepest stretch.
Begin with a passive 10-second pre-stretch.
Resistance is applied in the same way as the Hold-Relax technique, counteract the force of contraction of the target muscle group, without completely restricting the joint through its ROM.
Relax the muscle group and allow a passive stretch; hold for 30 seconds to increase ROM.
The final phase should be the deepest stretch.
Hold-relax with agonist contraction
This technique is similar to the Hold-relax technique, but differs for the final stretch.
Relax the muscle group and allow a passive stretch. Contract the opposing muscle group of the target muscle group that is being stretched; hold for 30 seconds to increase ROM.
The final phase should be the deepest stretch.
Whether you have a long work day sat at a desk, or you are up at the crack of dawn being a rockstar full-time-mum, it is hard to fit in that workout. We all hit that afternoon slump when either a nap or a cuppa seems far easier then a workout. Be it time or location, sometimes it doesn’t seem possible to fit a workout in.
Afternoons can be a tough time to fit in a workout, especially when you are in the office. But it doesn’t have to be a full-on one hour gym session to get your body and brain back in the game without hitting the caffeine again.
Try to sneak off for a 15min session. If it is an option, take a walk outside and get some fresh air, if not find an empty conference room or any space where you can move around a little, or take a walk up the stairs!
Include these in your workout:
1. Deep Yoga Breathes:
Stand tall, one hand on the heart, other hand on the belly. Inhale through the mouth, Exhale through the noise.
Do this 5-10 times until you feel relaxed
2. Alternating lunges
Begin with feet hips distance, alternate stepping out with the right and then the left into a deep lunge. Can make the exercise more dynamic by adding the arms up into the air. Repeat 15 reps per side
3. Shoulder Rotations/Chest openers
If you have been sitting at a desk all day you are prob hunched over the computer, or if you have been running after your kids, you have prob been carrying heavy bags or babies without thinking about proper posture. We are so hunched and rounded in life, as part of our daily routine we need to open our chest most and draw the shoulder blades together. Start practicing this now:
Begin standing tall, with hands by the side.
Rotate shoulders backwards.
Rotate them forwards.
Add the arms, repeat going backwards and then forwards.
Do these for a few minutes. You should feel nice and warm.
Next, place the right hand against the wall, and push your arm into the wall as you turn the body round to the left, you should feel a deep stretch across the chest. Hold for 40-60secs, and repeat on the left. Do 1-3 rounds depending on your time.
All these can be repeated for a 5-15min workout. Get moving. You’ll work better, feel better and you won’t hit that afternoon wall.
ACE qualified Personal Trainer, FlyBarre Instructor, and RYE Chef. “Never sacrifice who you are to get to where you want. Be the best person you can be without changing the essence of what makes you unique and special.”