April 23: Tough ab workout and flexibility

For today’s exercise, I thought I’d search for something different from somewhere different, but I knew it had to be stomach-centric. When I plank, I’m gobsmacked at the pudding that hangs from that area! When the fitness instructors plank, their bellies stay flat and taught. How is it so?! I can’t even ‘blame’ having kids on this excess! So that’s a new goal for the end of fitfor15in15 – to plank without the pudding.

Thanks to the Internet, ask and you generally shall receive. I liked the name of this – Get Fit Fast Ab Workout – 15 minutes of pain – and ignoring the physique of the totally ripped bloke without a shirt, thought I was up for it.

Ahh, no … nowhere near up for it. Apart from it feeling a bit militarised, with the host, Adam Harper, barking at his buddies, “Don’t you give up on me!” *cringe* it would be a brilliant workout for someone who has the fitness levels of, say, Adam Harper and his buddies.

Wowsers it was tough. I couldn’t do any of the exercises properly, or for the entire duration, apart from the side plank hip lower one. I’ve learnt some new exercises though and will try adding them into any homemade routines. The last one, touching your ankles through bent, spread legs, may become a regular. (I really had to giggle at the end of the show, when the host plugs his company’s t-shirts. If they’re so good, shouldn’t he be wearing one?!)

A lot of the raised-leg exercises hurt my lower back, so I did them with bent knees. I realise this made them much easier, but I’m not an advocate of pushing through the pain, yo. Especially when it’s yo back, yo. Overall, I’m not proud of my efforts in that workout, but it’s something to do again and refer back to, in order to keep improving. It’s motivation to plank without the pudding! Plank without the pudding! (A new mantra?!)

One thing I am proud of today is the realisation I’m becoming more flexible. Yesterday and this morning, I was able to touch my nose to my knees for the first time, albeit briefly, but that is a massive improvement from January. Sure it can be contributed to four months of moving, but I also think yoga is making a big difference. I’ve done two yoga classes, here and here, in the past week and I really think my hips are loosening up, which means I can bend further forward. Morning stretches, as part of my morning routine, will have also played a role.

Have you been doing something regularly and noticing an improvement? It’s such a nice boost, isn’t it?! Please, tell me about your successes.

  • Physically Fit: Get Fit Fast Ab Workout
  • Mentally Fit: Sitting in the sun for 10 minutes
  • Nutritionally Fit: Fourth day of fasting on the 5:2 Diet – 500 calories
  • Minimalism: Nothing today – other than minimal calorie intake 🙂

Wishing you a wonderful day. Here are some photos from my walk home yesterday evening after meeting Iva.

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The long way home

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The sun was a huge ball and created a wonderful sunset glow

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The sun sets on another day in Tulip Military School

March 21: Interesting stuff, food for thought, I wonder …

I don’t read any women’s or fitness magazines, but after searching for today’s 15 minute workout, I saw an article from Women’s Health Magazine which caught my eye. It endorses the benefits of an intense 15 minute workout four to six times a week.

The online course I’m currently studying states 30 minutes of moderate exercise, such as walking, five times a week (a total of 150 minutes) is enough to keep you fit. One of the lecturers says you could cut that time in half by doing intense workouts instead. So 15 minutes of intense exercise, such as running or HIIT training, for a total of 75 minutes a week would also work just as well.

Interesting stuff. Food for thought. I wonder … Could this fitfor15in15 plan to raise a daily sweat by exercising for a minimum of 15 minutes each day work just as well if it was for only 15 minutes a day? I’m not about to try this out, as I enjoy the longer walks and exercise videos, but if you were really, really, really strapped for time, could you achieve just as much if you went hard for 15 minutes every day as someone who went for a 30 minute walk each day?

Once again, interesting stuff. Food for thought. I wonder … if I only did 15 minutes per day, really going for it, like doing sprints and burpees, or one of the workouts from these two amazingly fit women at TwoBadBodies, for one month, would I feel the benefits just as much as I have over the past month? Would the time benefits be that noticeable? Maybe when I have a job, I can put this theory to the test, to see if I feel just as healthy and happy as I do now by varying the workout styles and durations in less time.

I’d always have to have variety. But if it could really all be done in 15 minutes … wow! Would people be more likely to do it regularly? Interesting … food … wonder …

Sooooo … back to the task at hand – finding a 15 minute workout, because my body’s tired from yesterday and it’s a horrible, grey, rainy day here today. Time to curl up on the couch with a bowl of Leo’s chili and watch a Scandinavian murder mystery.

Using the article from Women’s Health, I chose The Superfast Total-Body Workout, which focuses on four moves which hit all the key muscle groups in 15 minutes. Squats, chest press, bent-over row (all of those with hand weights) and bicycle. You do the four exercises in a row, then pause for a minute, then do two more run-throughs to make 15 minutes. I finished a bit faster, so did some more squats. I raised a slight sweat, but nothing too heavy. Maybe if my weights were heavier it would be a different story, but for now the 1kg pair are fantastic.

That Women’s Health Magazine link also has Belly-Blasting, Arm-Sculpting and Skinny Jeans Workouts too, if you fancy.

Wishing you a wonderful day.