5 August 2010

Killer Arms in No Time

A while back I showed you how to shape up your arms in my posts Banish Bingo Wings and So You Want Great Arms 

Today I'll show you how to adapt a single exercise - the good old fashioned push up - to help you tone up your chest, shoulders and the backs of your arms.  These push ups can be performed with either your feet or your knees on the floor.  Maintain a straight body throughout the movement and keep your head slightly forwards of your hands.

1) Narrow Push Ups x 10
For this set your thumbs should almost be touching and you press up with your elbows close to your body.

2) Regular Push Ups x 10
For this set your hands will be shoulder width apart

3) Wide Push Ups x 10
For this set your hands will be placed slightly wider than your body

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4 August 2010

Time For Some New Running Shoes?

I spotted these running shoes on the counter top of one of my clients.  Notice the melted cheese sandwich effect as the Gorilla Glue oozes out from the repairs to the front of the soles.

It'll work but I reckon if your running shoes get to this state it's time for some new ones.  Ideally you should replace them after around 350-500 miles, depending on your running style.  Once they're worn out they won't be giving you the support you need and this could end up in an injury.

So treat your feet to some fresh sneakers before you find yourself running repairs instead of running the streets...

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Ditch the Treadmill

If you'd like to make the transition from gym bunny to outdoor runner, have a read of this article I wrote for Women's Running Magazine

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1 July 2010

Bye Bye Back Pain

I got some good feedback about the recent post Unlock Your Aching Back so here are 3 more moves that really help to loosen up the whole of the back.  Whether you're suffering from too much activity or just too much time at the desk, these three moves will are great.  Adopt each position slowly in turn and hold the stretches for 5-10 seconds each.

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29 June 2010

Unlock Your Aching Back

Recently I've spoken to a few people suffering with back pain which can happen when you're a regular exerciser or when you're inactive for a while.  It's frustrating but it needn't mean you're confined to bed.  There are a few exercises that are great for stretching around the lower back, pelvis and legs that can unlock your back quickly and get you back on the road.  Here's one fantastic move that I always recommend.  It's borrowed from my Yoga friends and really works.

Warrior Pose
  • Stand upright with your feet flat and together
  • Take a wide step sideways and stretch your arms out to the sides, palms downwards
  • Your feet should be beneath your wrists a little further apart than hip width, with your toes both pointing forwards.  Imagine a straight line running vertically down the centre of your body and, keeping your shoulders relaxed, push your arms and legs away from the centre line and push your feet firmly into the floor
  • Turn your left foot out to 90 degrees and your right foot out to 70 degrees, take a deep breathe in, and then as you exhale, bend your left leg to form a right angle at the knee
  • Take another deep breathe and as you exhale turn your head to look along your left arm.  Hold this position for three breaths and then twist your shoulders and arms 90 degrees to your left
  • Raise your arms directly above your head.  Hold this position for three breaths, squeezing the feet into the floor and adjusting the hips gradually to fully stretch and release the hip flexors and inner thighs
  • Reverse the sequence to return to your starting point before repeating on the other side

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23 February 2010

17 February 2010

What does good look like? Part 2 - Healthy Eating

Following on from the post on what a good exercise week looks like - what does good look like? Exercise - let's examine what a good food routine looks like.

I've touched on this before in the post Why a food diary keeps you slim so here's the next step.

Keep track of everything you eat and drink for
one week only.

Then review your diary asking yourself the following questions:

  • Did I eat / drink the right things?
  • Did I eat / drink at the right times?
  • Did I eat / drink the right amounts?

You'll now be wondering, 'Right for what?'  The answer is right for what you are trying to achieve.

What we eat and drink dictates how we feel, our energy levels, our mood, our weight, our body shape and our confidence.

Whichever of these areas you're looking to improve, judge your food diary by the results you're getting in this area.  Then experiment with different approaches until you know the routine of what you eat, when you eat it and how much you eat in order to achieve fantastic results.  

Bear in mind the golden rules of eating for great results though, which are...

Hold on, this post is too long already, I'll let you know the golden rules in a few days...

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9 February 2010

What does good look like? Part 1 - Exercise

How do I fit exercise into my busy week? is one of the questions I hear most often.  It's usually followed by, I love exercise but there just isn't time, what can I do?

Here's my simple strategy for overcoming the idea that you don't have time for exercise.

Instead of blasting through everything on your agenda and hoping that you'll have time for exercise somewhere during the week, adopt a different approach.

Take a few minutes to plan out what good looks like for you when it comes to exercise.  How much, how often, what kinds of activity, who with, for how long.

For one week only, make your exercise the first thing you write into your diary, planner, calendar or schedule.

Then add everything else.

For one week only complete every diary appointment to exercise.

At the end of the week, review what happened.  Did you enjoy the exercise sessions, were the activities right for you, did you need longer or could you have got away with more time efficient options?

You'll be pleasantly surprised to find that by aiming to follow through with this approach for just one week, you'll have completed a lot of exercise.  The good news is that if you manage it for one week, you can manage it for other weeks from now on.

Use the feedback to plan for the next exercise week.

After a few weeks of refining the process you'll find that you have a routine that works for you and that's easy to stick to.

You'll also find that you've become more creative at fitting other tasks around your exercise.

I guarantee with this approach you won't miss out on anything and you won't get less done.  In fact, with the extra energy you generate by taking regular exercise, you'll get more done.

And you'll relieve yourself of a whole lot of guilt at not exercising as much as you thought you should.

Give it a go this week.  It works.

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Photo by sindändùne (Flickr)