It’s the last day of February and I’m feeling goood! An incredible thing happened yesterday as I was finishing this blog post and I want to write it here so I don’t forget. Also, I want to share it with you guys. It was around 10:30 am and I heard a strong bomb-like sound and the windows in the apartment were shaking. It went off twice and I just thought it was the army because they announced their practice.
Anyways, the local news were flooded with people reporting hearing the same thing. Later it was established that the meteor entered the atmosphere and exploded above our country. I’m just so mesmerised by that because I love astronomy and I find it so awesome I witnessed that moment. Well, I heard it and felt it but didn’t see. There are videos of people who managed to capture and it’s amazing!
Nevertheless, I’m rambling on so let’s get back to our topic of the day which is me answering your questions. I gathered 20+ questions you asked me throughout my social media platforms so here is my first health & fitness Q&A! Grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy!
Health and Fitness Q&A
Q: What type of cardio you like to do when you train?
A: At the moment I’m following two workout programs. Mine and a workout program from Kayla Itsines called BBG. Her workouts are 28 minutes long but pretty intense so I count them as cardio because they include a lot of plyometrics. Aside from that I love jumping rope.
Q: How do you motivate yourself for a workout?
A: My daughter and my partner are my biggest motivation. I want to be able to play with my daughter, I want to be healthy for her, I want to set a good example for her. Same goes for my partner, I want him to have a healthy, happy and fit partner he’s proud of. Aside from that, visualising my end goal helps a lot. So when it’s time to workout I know I have to do it. Otherwise, I’ll feel lousy and there’s a 99% chance I’ll complain about the way I look and feel about myself.
Q: What is your favourite healthy treat?
A: It would have to be oatmeal cookies. I love making them for breakfast when I feel like eating something sweet. And they keep me feeling full for longer. You can find the recipe for my oatmeal cookies here.
Q: Favourite unhealthy treat?
A: Wow, this question is tougher that I thought haha! But I think I’m gonna go with Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Dough ice cream or a Kinder Bueno. Yum!
Q: Your go-to post workout meal?
A: Usually it would be wholegrain toast with peanut butter and banana. Sprinkled with cinnamon. However, things changed for me since I became a mother so some days I’ll do my workout around 11 am, but mostly it’s 8 or 9 pm. Since I do most of my workouts so late in a day I just have a protein shake afterwards.
Q: How do you incorporate fitness inbetween all the mother duties?
A: This one is actually pretty easy atm. Having a kid means you’re always on the move, whether you like it or not. You’re either cleaning, dusting and washing, or cooking food and running after your child haha! My baby girl keeps me pretty active and we do our best to go outside each day as well. Aside from those activities, I use her nap time or bed time as a chance to do my proper workouts!
Q: Are you currently using any supplements?
A: Yes. I hesitated for so long and if you want to know why read this. However, I decided to try out vegan protein and it’s going okay for me now. Aside from that, I’m taking creatine too (usually before my workout).
Q: Your ultimate/favourite booty exercise?
A: Unilateral – chair pistol squat, bilateral – elevated sumo squat with weights.
Q: How often do you workout?
A: If you remember from my first answer I said I’m following two workout programs atm. This means I train 5 days a week. Mon, Wed and Fri are for BBG workouts, and Tue and Thur for resistance training.
Q: How do your rest days look like?
A: My rest days are Saturday and Sunday and they vary. Sometimes I do yoga and go for a long walk and sometimes I foam roll and stretch. If you want to know how to get the most out of your rest days read it here. I also want to mention that each weekend me and my partner are working on the house renovation so I count that as a major activity as well. It’s a lot of hard work and it comes down to hours and hours of it.
Q: Should you stretch before or after working out?
A: You should stretch after working out. The reason being you need to warm up your muscles before a workout and stretching doesn’t equal warm up. Stretching before a workout can lead to injuries and undermine your warm up. Instead do a warm up before a workout which will increase blood flow and allow your joints a bigger range of motion. A warm up can last 3-5 minutes and here is an example of a few exercises.
- arm circles
- running in place
- plank walkout
- high knees
If you want to read more about the importance of warm up and cool down, click here.
Q: Is it possible to gain muscle without equipment?
A: It is possible, yes. If you ever tried calisthenics you know how difficult most of the exercises can be. By putting stress on your muscles (gradually increasing the intensity of exercises you’re doing) and staying in a caloric surplus you’re bound to see gains! The only thing you have to do is stay consistent and make sure you’re progressing with the exercises. For example, squats. Once you get comfortable with bodyweight squats, it’s time to step up the challenge. That’s when you can do jumping squats, box/chair squats, pistol squats, etc.
Q: What do you think of sticking to just one style of working out?
A: For me, personally, that’s not a preference. I like versatility when it comes to working out. I find that each workout style works your muscles differently so I love mixing it up. From weightlifting, calisthenics, yoga and pilates to running, swimming, cycling and playing sports. This way staying fit and healthy is much more fun and much easier to stick to.
Q: How can you be bothered working out as a mom? Don’t you feel exhausted all the time?
A: Ooooh yes! You bet I’m exhausted all of the time. And like I mentioned, I mainly work out late in the day and that is what I dislike the most. I’m so tired, I just want to crawl in bed, snuggle up with my partner and watch TV but I make myself go do my workout. I know if I don’t do it, I’ll feel even worse and that’s a good enough reason for me.
Q: A person exercises every day and doesn’t eat that much. Yet, they can’t lose any weight. What else should they do to try to lose weight?
A: First of all, you shouldn’t exercise every day. Your body and your muscles need time to recover. So make two days per week your rest days, or maybe even more, depending on what your body is telling you. Secondly, you need to eat. Your body needs fuel and it can’t burn enough calories when it doesn’t receive enough calories. Once you drastically decrease your calorie intake your body decreases it’s metabolic rate, meaning it’s burning fewer calories. You need to increase your food intake and increase your metabolic rate and here is how you can do it.
Q: Why do I feel stronger in the gym on some days and others not so much?
First of all, we all have days like this so don’t worry. It’s completely normal and it could be the cause of many reasons. If some days you feel stronger/weaker than others it can be a sign of overtraining. It can also be related to how much you did that day, has anything happened in your life that affected you mentally or emotionally. Feeling weaker/stronger can be due to the food you ate that day, the time of the day when you’re doing your workout. It can come down to how you slept the night before. I can go on and on but you see how many factors affect your workout. Remember it’s natural to have high/low days, don’t let it discourage you. Make your workouts fun, take rest days seriously and listen to your body.
Q: Do you start your day off with exercise?
A: I don’t, no, it doesn’t suit my lifestyle at the moment. I do it either early afternoon or in the evening.
Q: What are the best exercises for a good core workout?
A: There are so so many great core exercises but for them to be effective you need to pay attention to performing them correctly. Many people don’t perform the exercises in a wrong way and don’t engage their core correctly. So make sure you are doing that and here are a few of my favourite exercises:
- dead bug
- bear crawl shoulder tap
- half kneeling wood chop
- body saw
- alternating jackknives
- leg raises
- Russian twists
Q: Will squats work your hamstrings and calves to some degree?
A: Squats primarily work your glute muscles and quads. On the other hand, depending on the technique and the type of squat your hamstrings could get involved. In addition, calves don’t get very much involved either. They mainly help you keep balance and that’s it. If you want to work on your hamstrings and calves, do exercises like good morning, deadlifts, single leg deadlift, hamstring curl, single leg bridge, calf raises, single leg calf raises, etc.
Q: Did it take long for you to lose the baby weight?
A: Yes, it did. A month after giving birth I still had a pretty big belly and then around 6 weeks postpartum I started to slowly get back into fitness. I think it took me about 9 months postpartum to get back to where I was before. Well, kinda, because after giving birth my waist and hips got wider and my lower belly is still pretty loose. Right now I’m working on that, working on tightening my belly and losing little bit of weight that’s left there. Aside from that, I want to say if you’re a new mom, take things slowly. Your body just did such an incredible, magical thing. Be grateful for it and don’t be mean to it or yourself. You can’t expect to just bounce back, so be kind to yourself, take it easy, stay consistent, eat healthy and exercise.
Q: Did you train during pregnancy?
A: I did, but I never got to stay consistent with it, because I was vomiting for about 6 months out of 9. Sorry if it’s a bit TMI but that’s how it was. I managed to get in 4 workouts per week towards the end of my pregnancy. However, that’s only because back then I was vomiting once per day so I felt a little bit better. Second trimester was the worst for me as I would vomit up to 13 times a day. Fun, I know. As you can figure out on your own, on days like that I did not train at all.
Q: How did it feel to get back into fitness after giving birth?
A: Ohh, it felt so, so difficult. Before pregnancy I could do 12-15 push-ups in a row but after pregnancy I could do 1. It was so challenging getting back into my workout routine. Every exercise felt so difficult, I got out of breath quickly and had zero strength. A lot of the times I wanted to quit but kept pushing forward. Around 6 months PP I began with yoga then moved onto pilates and then started weight training, plyometrics, running and so. Right now, 15 months later, my strength is back and I’m doing my best to get in the best shape of my life. Of course, consult with your doctor first, before beginning exercising postpartum.
Q: What tips/advice can you give to someone who wants to start exercising but doesn’t have the motivation to do so?
A: I say if you’re thinking about exercising in the first place, you’re half way there. You just need to fight that inner voice that’s telling you things like: “you’re too tired, you don’t have time, just go lay on sofa and watch tv!” I admit, it’s damn hard getting yourself to do something you don’t want to. But here are the tips that can help you:
- prepare your workout clothes the night before and place them next to your bed
- when it’s time to do your workout firstly go change into workout clothes (this will kickstart your will to exercise)
- find a short workout to start with (I recommend choosing something from FitnessBlender so you can follow along)
- short workouts will make you feel amazing and you’ll realise you still have some time for a couple of exercises so you’ll do them
- gradually begin to increase your workout time
- set realistic workout schedule (for example 3 or 4 workouts per week)
- remember that life happens so there will be weeks when you won’t hit your desired amount of workouts and that’s okay
- remember you need to eat good, healthy and balanced meals along with exercising
- it’s a marathon, not a sprint so pace your self accordingly
- don’t rely solely on motivation because you won’t have it on most days; work on developing discipline, dedication and determination
- stay consistent
Hope you enjoyed this health and fitness Q&A. Now it’s my turn to ask you a couple of question so let me know in the comments how many times per week do you workout and what is your favourite healthy snack/treat?
Until next time, I leave you with this incredible picture. Take care,