Tips To Get You Back Into Your Exercise Routine!

Regain motivation and get back into it!

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How was your Easter? Did you eat 12 Hot Cross Buns like I did? or maybe a few too many chocolate bunnies… Easter this year seems to have extended from one long weekend, to two long weekends! Plus, all of that discounted chocolate and leftover goodies really does a number on the old, motivation and waistline.. Woops.

I am someone who really loves health, nutrition and fitness and am very passionate about other people learning to love it to. I say learning, because it took me a LONG time to find the right balance and relationship with fitness, food & exercise. So I know how hard it is to get back on the bandwagon after a break. So here are my top tips for getting your groove back!

Buy Some New Active Wear!

This doesn’t have to be expensive. Go to cotton on body, Kmart, Target or look out for sales online! I find that having a few new bits or a new top and leggings to put on really makes me want to go and test them out and show it all off! Nothing wrong with making yourself feel good at the gym by buying a new outfit.

Get Things Ready The Night Before

Whether you are going to the gym in the morning or in the afternoon, have it all ready to go the night before. There’s nothing worse than getting up in the AM and realising all your gear is in the wash or the back of the cupboard. Have it ready to go so that first thing in the morning you can either put it on or chuck it in your bag for later!

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Find Something That You Love & Enjoy

Groundbreaking advice. I know. But really, it’s pretty simple! If you find something you love to do, you are more likely to want to go and do it, prioritise it and book it! Whether that is a class, going for a walk with a friend or booking in to play a game of tennis or squash! If you love walking, go for an extra walk at lunchtime. Every little bit counts.

Don’t Set Yourself Up For Failure

Spend a little time writing up a few fitness goals. Whether that’s doing X amount of push-ups or working out X amount of times per week.
My tip is to be really real with yourself. If you know that in the past you have said “I will workout Monday to Friday” and it just hasn’t happened for some reason or another, don’t write that again. Put ” I will try to work out 3x per week” that way, if you do end up working out Monday to Friday it will make you feel great for achieving your goal rather than feeling stressed on Tuesday night when you realise you can’t go the next day.

Go When The Time Suits You

If you aren’t a morning person, don’t go in the morning.

When I first started my fitness journey I was so obsessed with this idea that you HAD to workout in the morning on an empty stomach or otherwise it wasn’t worth it, so why bother. BOY was I so wrong. The best advise I can give you is go when it suits YOU. Don’t listen to any stupid rule saying you have to be at the gym at 6am and train for an hour. NOPE.
I find that I have the most energy and motivation in the afternoon so that’s when I choose to go. You just need to find out what you like and what time of the day will help you keep a consistent routine.

Prepare And Plan

Whether its self-guided plan or booking into classes, know what you are doing at the gym for that week or day. On a Sunday night, look at your schedule, look at the classes available that week or text a friend and find out what time or day they would like to go for a walk or run and schedule things in.
If you are doing your own workout at the gym, go online and find a plan or book a session with a personal trainer and write your plan out before you go. There’s nothing worse than getting to the gym and realising you don’t know what to do! Hello motivation killer.

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Try Something New

The beauty of the internet now days is that all you need to type into google is “Free gym classes in (INSERT CITY)” and you will generally get a whole list of trials come up.
Make use of these and go and trial a few new things! Yoga, Pilates, KX Pilates, Step Classes or Boxing!
The list is endless and you might find something you really love. Its also good to note that a lot of gyms or centres do 1 or 2 week trials so go and see what you can find!

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A bonus tip which isn’t in this list but I know is super important is that, find a gym that you LOVE. If you go into your gym and people make you feel uncomfortable or the trainers are constantly looking around the gym when they should be paying attention to you, they don’t have classes or equipment that you want…then you should probably find a new one.
A fitness routine has more chance of sticking if you are going to a gym that you love going to!

Just remember. Something is better than nothing. If you start working out again and you can only go 2 times per week, that’s okay. Listen to your mind and body and find what works for you.

I really hope these tips have helped at least one person. These tips aren’t supposed to be revolutionary or anything new, they are just things that we all know, but need reminding of sometimes.

What are your best tips? Leave a comment, share with someone who needs a little extra motivation! or find me on Instagram and here, Facebook and Twitter.
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Living A Healthy Lifestyle and Finding YOUR Healthy

Focus on yourself, not everyone else

 Being healthy nowadays is such a relative term. What one person deems to be healthy can be completely different to someone else, and to someone who is just starting out trying to become healthier, it can be really overwhelming!

 As someone who has spent the last 5 or so years trying my hand at every diet and ‘lifestyle’ on the market and managing to come out the other side with good and bad experiences, I thought I could give a few handy tips on becoming a healthier, fitter and happier.

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Ditch the diets
I think this one is the most important. The best way to become healthier is to really just go back to basics. Try and get into a solid routine of having a good breakfast, lunch and dinner with minimal processed foods as well as a couple of healthy snacks in between if you feel like you really need it.

Find what exercise works for you
Just because someone tells you that running is the best exercise, doesn’t mean it is. For them it may be, but for you it probably isn’t. Trial and error is your best friend! Try everything you can! Bootcamp, swimming, weight training, pilates, yoga.. there are so many options. It’s important to try out as many things as you can until you find what you enjoy. Don’t just do something because it burns the most calories. Do it because you love it and eventually you will start to feel better and mental & physical results will follow.

Listen to your body
This one is hard and has taken me SO long to get right. It goes for food and exercise. Food wise, if you are following some kind of plan and that plan tells you that you have to eat at 3pm, but you really don’t feel like it, then don’t. Your body can tell you when it is hungry and when it is not. Exercise wise, it is important to recognise the difference between really not wanting to go for your workout and your body telling you that you have done enough. That takes time. But same goes; if you wake up and really do feel far too tired to go for that run, then maybe just go for a walk or stay home and stretch and see how you feel afterwards.

Quality workouts over quantity
Instead of trying to work out 6 times per week and potentially running yourself into the ground, start with 3 workouts a week where you try your absolute hardest and see how you feel. The following week you might be able to add in an extra one.

 Start small
Small changes can make the biggest difference.
I think it is so important not to go all or nothing. 90% of the time you end up burning out after a couple of weeks rather than making it a long term thing. You don’t have to completely change your lifestyle overnight, (if you have, then seriously, good for you) , you are allowed to take time. Doing small things like getting your exercise up by going walking at lunchtime or drinking one extra bottle of water in a day, or cutting out the sugar in your coffee really makes a difference over time.

 Find something positive in every day
Life is just one big annoying mind game and sometimes it can feel really overwhelming. At times like this I like to take a breath and just think of things that I am grateful for or something positive that has happened in my day, even if that is something really small such as appreciating that delicious coffee that gets you through that Monday afternoon.

Keep accountable
If you are really struggling with feeling unmotivated to go to the gym or are having self control issues in the food department, keep accountable to someone or someones’. Whether that’s booking into a class at the gym with a friend or using an app such as Snapchat or Instagram to send pictures of your meals to your bestie. These things can help you to make better choices overall.

Don’t beat yourself up, just try again tomorrow.
Changing your lifestyle generally doesn’t happen overnight. Give yourself time. In the great scheme of things, that extra meal you had is not going to matter. That pizza you ate, or that workout you missed, isn’t going to destroy your progress. You really just need to give yourself time. You are human, we all have bad days, so eat that pizza, it is completely normal.

When it comes to health & fitness, everyone is different. What works for someone, won’t work for someone else. Or it might, for a while. But to be a healthy and happy person overall, you need to find what works for you, what YOUR healthy is.

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Please note: I am not a qualified Dietitian, Nutritionist, PT or Health Coach. Please contact a professional if you would like in depth advice on anything mentioned.

The Lisbon Travel Guide

Pasteis de Nata – Google it and, need I say more?

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I have waited a while to write these travel posts about Spain and Portugal because I feel that when you first get back from a trip, its all a bit depressing and a little overwhelming! It takes talking to various people to realise all of the things you really loved and want to see (and eat) again.

Lisbon was probably my favourite place I visited in those 2 and a half weeks. Which is a tough call considering I managed 2 countries, 5 cities & 3 towns during that time. It was just SO beautiful and I would say if there’s one place I would (and do) recommend to everyone, that would be it.

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As you would have seen on my Instagram I went to Spain and Portugal earlier on this year and let me tell you, I LOVED IT. Lisbon especially, stole my heart – and my stomach. Dreams people. Dreams.

There were MANY things on my to-do list for Lisbon. However I was only there for 3 days so couldn’t quite finish the list however these are the places I did go and would highly recommend.

FOR THE VIEWS
Alfama. Alfama is great for many things. The small lanes, the hole in the wall coffee places and the teeny tiny restaurants that have old men living above them yelling and shaking their fist if you are noisy after 10pm (Not only is it the oldest suburb of Lisbon, it has the oldest residents..)
But best of all, I think it has the best views of Lisbon. Every ‘I went to Lisbon’ picture you see on Insta will include the view from here because it really is amazing.
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At night
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During the Day

WHAT TO EAT

PASTÉIS DE NATA  Famously, there is a shop in Belem that does the ‘best ones’ however, there wasn’t a chance in hell I was queuing up for an hour to get in. I found the best ones I tried to be from a place called Manteigaira at the Time Out Market.
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In fact, the Time Out, was where I got some of the best food I ate in Lisbon, So I would highly recommend going there and trying a few of the different places.
Its a great stop on the way back from Belem and is also very close to the city centre (as far as I remember) if not, there is public transport just across the road.
You HAVE to try Ginjinha which is a traditional Portuguese Liqueur made from Sour Cherries. You will find little hole-in-the-wall places all over the place (Even in Sintra) and I promise it is delicious.
Fresh fruit. I found myself eating a lot of fresh fruit on this trip. 1, because it was so hot that fruit, just sounded good. 2, it was easily accessible with little carts of cherries and berries scattered all around and 3, its cheap! and tasty.
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On my last night in Lisbon, I had dinner with one of my new friends in a place called Lisboa Tu & Eu. We tried a lot of different things on the menu (sardines were… interesting, wine was delicious!) and the atmosphere was fantastic.
After having the old guy living above the restaurant come down and yell at the owners for the noise, we were moved inside and for the inconvenience, offered alcohol shots along with the other 10 or so people in there (which might I add were mostly older people). It was great. I happily declined the small beverages but I decided from that point on wards that this place was my favourite.
  THINGS TO DO
  • São Jorge Castle – there are also some beautiful gift shops on the way up to the castle
  • So many museums
  • Santa Justa Lift – Didn’t do this myself but have heard the views are to die for
  • Heard great things about the Aquarium
  • The Sight Seeing Trams (Just be aware of pickpockets)

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LX FACTORY
This place was really cool. Super arty, funky and trendy. Its a little strip of old factories which have been turned into boutique, cafes, music stores, cork retailers & creative hangout spaces. I had the BEST chocolate cake i’ve ever eaten here from a place called Landeau. Def try if you get a chance.

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BELEM
About 6kms west of the city is a suburb? called Belem. It is well known for the Belem Tower & Pasteis de Belem, which drew me here and I never had 😦 but I also discovered it had beautiful scenery, gardens and the walk/ bus/ tram trip here alone was worth the visit.

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ACCOMMODATION

There is many a beautiful Hotel here, just in any city. But I say, if you want to get to know the locals and get a bit of a different feel, stay in an AirBnb or a hostel. I booked my accommodation quite far in advance and because I wasn’t so sure on this solo travel thing just yet (hindsight tells me BOOK THE HOSTEL). However, my airbnb was great, the location was fantastic and the people were seriously cool (with many pets).

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GETTING AROUND

As with many cities in Europe, the public transport here is great! I used mostly trains and trams to get around Lisbon which worked a treat however there is also Uber which I used a fair bit and buses. All options really cheap.

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Praça do Comércio

I would say however, if you are semi-fit. Walk. Its a BEAUTIFUL city and is best seen that way (just wear sensible shoes because its hilly AF and also slippery!)

DAY TRIPS

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While researching Lisbon, I knew I wanted to do at least 1 day trip and the place that stood out most to me was a Town called Sintra. It is very well known and there are many ways to see it. I chose to do it alone and not with a tour group as I knew there were particular places I wanted to see and didn’t want the time crunch. Good choice in the end I say.
It really does live up to the hype.
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Pena Palace
the Gardens.  It was seriously stunning. I could write a whole post on this place ( if you want it, lemme know) so I will just leave it there. If you would like more info on how to plan a day trip to Sintra let me know!
Overall, Lisbon, Portugal was the best last minute travel decision I could have made. I spend HOURS planning this trip and when a few extra days came up in my schedule I had a really hard time deciding between here and Paris but decided, you know what. I ahve plenty of time in my life to go to Paris and Lisbon won’t be an under-rated destination for long. Overjoyed with my choice. Absolutely can not wait to go back and next time visit the rest of Portugal too!
If you would like to hear more about lisbon or just follow me in general. You can find me on Instagram and here, Facebook and Twitter.