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3 tips to ease your way into exercise (part two)

On Monday we chatted about setting health and fitness goals as a way to ease your way into exercise. But what next once you’ve got that goal in mind? Read on for tips two and three…

Tip #2: don’t go too hard too fast

If you’ve done what most people do and built your start or return to exercise up to be a big deal, something that’s going to be hard work or something that you’re really not going to enjoy, then the sheer idea of exercise is now hugely overwhelming!

So let’s stop, take a moment and reset. If you start off with too much too soon, then yes, the above might be true, but if you start off with something simple, something you know you can do, something that is guaranteed to make you feel good, once you’ve completed it you will be encouraged to go and do again – and that’s what we’re aiming for.

Low-intensity workouts are a good way to reintroduce the body to activity, frequency, and duration. After a week or two, or when you’re feeling more confident, you can bump up the intensity.

 

Tip #3: find an exercise buddy

Exercising with a friend comes with a number of benefits – the first being that you’ll show up to a training session if you’ve promised a friend you’ll be there!

In addition to accountability, it can be more fun training with a friend than on your own, it’s a great excuse for a catch up (as long as you actually exercise too J ), you are likely to be more encouraged to try new moves if someone is doing it with you, you are also more likely to exercise a bit harder with a buddy too – at least the Kohler effect tells us so!

The Köhler effect occurs when individuals work better when placed in a team environment than they would on their own and many studies looking into this have supported the theory. In a Michigan State study, women who were told that they had super-fit virtual sweat sisters simultaneously spinning with them, pedalled for nearly twice as long as those who believed they were working out alone.

If you’re struggling to get your exercise groove on – and believe us, you’re not the first and won’t be the last! – try the above tips and see how you go.

 

 

3 tips to ease your way into exercise (part one)

If you’re new to exercise or you’ve had some time off for one reason or another (life can get in the way sometimes, can’t it?), the idea of putting on your workout gear and getting your heart rate up can be a little daunting, to say the least!

But it doesn’t have to be. At the end of the day, exercise is movement and our bodies were made to move – so we thought we’d give you a few tips to ease your way into exercise…

Tip #1: set a health and fitness goal

Having a fitness goal can give purpose to your training, gives you something to aim towards and be your motivation to get to the gym or complete your at home workout. A goal can also keep you on track and structure your workouts with an outcome in mind.

So let’s set your health and fitness goal – our rules are, it needs to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely.

Specific: if you’d like to be able to run, how far would you like to run? Is there a race you’d like to complete? Or if your goal is weight loss related, how much weight would you like to lose, or is there a dress size you’d like to aim towards?

Measurable: let’s look at where you’re at now so we can track your progress along the way. For example, using running as a goal, how far can you run now? How long does it take you and what speed are you running at?

Achievable: if a goal is unrealistic or unachievable, you’ll be setting yourself up for a failure and we don’t want that. Make sure you’re setting a goal that you can reach – a 5km run is a lot easier to achieve than a marathon!

Relevant: let’s make sure your goal is relevant to you and where you’re at in your life right now. A goal that someone else wants you to achieve isn’t going to be very motivating! If you’re not concerned with weight loss right now or it’s not the right time in your life to focus on that, then chose something that motivates you instead.

Timely: having a time frame to complete your goal in gives you a bit of a kick up the bum to get there and allows you to set mini goals along the way to achieve to keep you on track.

Watch this space for later in the week for part two and more tips to ease your way into exercise.

Get fit for $3.40 per week – exercise doesn’t have to be expensive

Getting fit doesn’t have to be expensive.

I was slightly flabbergasted when I read this article on News.com.au
about how much some fitness activities can cost – and these don’t even include a gym membership or using a combination of gym + other activities.

And let’s be realistic, how many people have a fitness membership and just how may actually use it – especially when it gets to April and those New Year’s Resolutions are waning.

Forget smashed avo sucking up your house deposit, how about your boxing, yoga and spin classes?? That’s a mindboggling amount of money being spent or not used. And a whole bunch of fitness not happening.

FitTin was born from the idea of trying to save some money (on an admittedly very good Personal Trainer) to build up some savings for a specific purpose. I would write my exercise plans on little Post-It notes, laminate them on my $20 laminator (called the Glaminator) and take them to the park or up to the gym.

It occurred to me that if I needed workout plans, other people did, and so I picked up the phone to a friend Em, who as a PT and group trainer, immediately grasped how useful ‘FitTin’ could be. We collaborated on the concept, she wrote all the programs from ground up, and we launched two FitTins three months later – one with equipment, one that needs no equipment.

FitTin costs $45 and with 20 PT workouts in each tin, is effectively 5 PT sessions a week for a month. Realistically, it’s a three month program, or $15 per month, or $3.40 per week, – even cheaper than a fitness and waaaaay less distracting!!

And let’s face it, who isn’t trying to trying to get off their phone more this year?

FitTin – old-school distraction-free workouts in a gift tin. Good for you, good for your bank balance!

Is an exercise too hard or too easy?

Is an exercise or workout too hard or too easy? Follow our top 5 tips to regress or progress a workout to your individual ability.

At FitTin we understand that everyone has different fitness levels – which is why we have created three different audiences, newbies, rising stars and high achievers. But we also know within one audience everyone is still different!

For example, while one beginner to exercise might find squats quite simple and easy to do, another beginner to exercise may find them really hard…and the same applies for any exercise that we prescribe. Likewise, one rising star may find mountain climbers quite straight forward to complete, but another rising star might struggle to get their knees anywhere near their chest during mountain climbers!

That’s why we’ve pulled together a few tips for making an exercise (or a whole workout) easier or harder – so if you feel like something is a little too challenging or not quite challenging enough, try the tips below to get it right for you…

Let’s make it a little easier…

There is always an easier version of an exercise, so don’t give up! If you find an exercise too hard, let’s regress it a little. Give any of the below a try:

  1. Slow down: slow the exercises down – there is no rush to complete an exercise, so take your time to make it a little easier
  2. Change the range of motion: decreasing the range of motion of an exercise will make it easier
  3. Change the reps: decrease the amount of repetitions of an exercise – complete 10 reps instead of 15 or 15 reps instead of 20. Aim to complete the set amount of reps once you feel more confident and able to
  4. Rest: take a rest during your workout – for example, if you have a number of repetitions to complete, try completing five, then rest for five seconds, complete another five, rest for another five seconds, until you have completed all the reps
  5. Change the stability: adding extra stability to an exercise will make it easier – for example, remove the stepping part of a step forward lunge and complete lunges on the spot, lower the height of a step for step ups, drop to your knees or move your knees closer to your hands when completing push ups

Let’s make it a little harder…

There is always a harder version of an exercise so you can challenge yourself! If you find an exercise too easy or you want to step your fitness up a little, let’s progress it. Try any of the below to make it harder:

  1. Speed up: speed up an exercise and complete as many reps as you can – please ensure your technique doesn’t suffer and you are still completing full range of motion exercises
  2. Change the reps: increase the number of repetitions of an exercise – if you have a number of exercises to complete, add another 10-15 repetitions to challenge yourself
  3. Change the reps: increase the amount of time you’re completing an exercise for – add another 30-60 seconds to the exercise
  4. Add weight: add weight to an exercise to make it more challenging – if an exercise if body weight and your hands are free, pick up a weight to complete the exercise
  5. Change the stability: playing with the stability of an exercise can make an exercise harder too – for example, carefully adding a jump to squats, sumo squats or lunges (ensuring safe landing each time), placing one hand on a ball during push ups, using a higher step for step ups or lifting one foot off the ground without shifting your hips in a plank

You can try the above tips with any individual exercise or apply them to a whole workout if you like. Just remember…if it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you – so don’t go making it too easy!

If you’re running the Sydney City 2 Surf this weekend, this one is for you when you finish the race!

“Do I really need to stretch after exercise?” I hear you ask. And the answer is YES!

When you exercise your muscles go through multiple contractions, leaving them in a shortened state by the end of a workout. Performing static stretches post-exercise helps to restore some length to your muscles, encouraging them to return to their natural position. Stretching after you exercise also helps with posture, blood circulation and easing the potential of soreness and tightness of muscles in the days after your training session.

We have provided a stretching routine in all our FitTins and you can find an example of all those stretches below…

 

Quads (thighs)

Stand near a wall for balance. Transfer your weight into your left leg and bend at your right knee to raise your right foot towards your bum. Catch your foot with your right hand. Bring your knees together and gently pull on your foot for a stretch through your right quad muscle. Hold for ten seconds and then repeat with your left leg.

 

Hamstrings

Place your left foot slightly in front of your right foot, hip width apart. Bend through your right knee and lower your bum down towards the ground, while keeping your left leg as straight as possible. Tilt forward from the hips and bring your bum as close to the ground as you can for a stretch through your left hamstring. Hold for ten seconds and then repeat with your right leg.

 

Hip flexor

Step your right foot forward and drop your left knee down to the ground directly under your hip. Firstly tilt your pelvis under and then gently lean forward towards your front foot for a stretch through your left hip flexor. Hold for ten seconds and then repeat with your left foot forward and your right knee on the ground.  

 

Shoulders

In a standing position, take hold of your left elbow with your right hand and gently pull your left arm across your body in front of you to stretch through your left shoulder. Hold this position for ten seconds and then repeat with your right arm. To make this stretch slightly stronger, try tilting the hand of the arm you are stretching, palm towards you so your thumb faces downwards.

 

Triceps

In a standing position, reach your left arm towards the sky then bend at the elbow to reach your left hand back and down between your shoulder blades. Take hold of your left elbow with your right hand and gently push down to get a stretch through your left tricep. Hold this position for ten seconds and then repeat with your right arm.

 

 

Chest

In a standing position with both arms by your side, take your hands behind your body and link your fingers together. Gently push down and backwards to open up through your chest and stretch through your chest muscles. Hold this position for ten seconds and then release.

 

Upper back

In a standing position, bring your arms up in front of your body to shoulder height. Clasp your hands together and gently roll your shoulders forward and pull your hands as far away from the body as possible to stretch through your upper back. Hold this position for ten seconds and release. To make this stretch slightly stronger, tilt your chin down towards your chest while hold the stretch.

 

If you get stuck and need any additional guidance, please send us a message at ask@fittin.com.au and we’d be happy to help.

 

 

A ‘how to’ guide for all FitTin exercises is now LIVE!

Getting started with your fitness journey can be daunting enough, never-mind figuring out how to complete different exercises – we get it, fitness lingo can seem like a whole different language!

But don’t fear, if an exercise doesn’t sound familiar to you or you need a refresher on how to complete something with good form, our exercise video library is now LIVE!

Simply click on the name of an exercise in the FitTin exercise video library for a ‘how to’ video demo, along with instructions on technique.

There are so many exercises we use to keep things varied so do bear in mind this is a work in progress, and we are adding to it day by day to have you covered for all our exercises as soon as possible! Make sure you check back whenever you need to.

In the meantime, if you’re in any doubt on how to complete an exercise safely, please send us a message at ask@fittin.com.au and we’ll happily help you out.

Sneaky Ways to ‘FitTin’ Exercise

Sneaky Ways You Can Exercise More

Ally Feiam 12/07/2017

Getting your daily exercise into your routine can be tough, especially if you’re always busy. Sometimes we simply don’t have time to go to the gym (and sometimes we just don’t want to), but that can take its toll. Exercise is an important part of being healthy, and we need to get at least thirty minutes of cardio in order to keep our hearts nice and healthy. Here are a few ways you can sneak exercise into your day without having to hit the gym!

Make Your Bed
Making your bed seems like a chore, but it’s a great way to get your body moving as soon as you wake up. When you get out of bed, have a quick stretch and get your blood pumping by fixing your bed. Not only will your muscles be nice and warmed up for the day, but your sheets and your doona will look beautiful! There’s no better feeling than coming home and seeing a nice, fresh doona on your bed.

Park Further Away
If you often find yourself driving to work, you can sneak some extra exercise into your routine by parking a little bit further away than you usually would. This way, you can get some fresh air in the morning and get in a bit of extra cardio. Who knows, you may even find a better deal for parking, especially if you work in the city.

Take The Stairs
This one is an oldie, but a goodie. Taking the stairs is a great way to sneak in some extra cardio into your daily routine. Your legs will be getting an extra workout, and you’ll feel your heart rate lift. Taking the stairs is a great alternative to taking the lift, plus you won’t have to face that awkward silent treatment from strangers who are on different levels of the building. Taking the stairs helps improve your cardio, strengthens your core, strengthens your quads and your makes your butt better. There are so many benefits of taking the stairs, so I’ll list a couple. Climbing stairs burn more calories per minute than jogging; it produces endorphins (you know, the happy hormone); taking the stairs helps control your weight and builds muscle tone. It’s not just climbing stairs, either. Going down the stairs can also burn calories, just not as much. Still, get climbing!

Squat While You Brush Your Teeth
Brushing your teeth is another essential for your health. Since you do it every day, why not incorporate some exercise into the mix? While you’re brushing your teeth, squat. With every squat, you’ll focus less on brushing your teeth and more on your balance and core strength. With that, you’ll end up brushing your teeth for longer and develop wicked core muscles and quads. You’re on a winning streak before you even leave for work.

Get A FitTin
Everyone needs a bit of a push when it comes to working out, even if they don’t want to admit it. FitTin is here to help provide that motivation. “FitTin is a gift tin of qualified trainer-designed workouts with 28 cards – 20 workouts, a welcome card, warm-up and cool-down cards, motivational tips and fitness fact cards. There’s a FitTin for all levels and equipment styles – newbies, rising stars and high achievers, with or without equipment for anytime anyplace workouts, park, home, beach or gym – no excuses!” Find out more about FitTin by following them on Facebook and Instagram.

Walk It Out
Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore, and Brad Stocks, the personal trainer from Strong and Lean Australia can show you how to make exercise a better experience. ”After dinner try going for a walk and go over all the great things that happened to you that day you haven’t acknowledged cause you were too busy. You got a compliment here, had a good laugh there, was praised at work, you’re pretty sure you caught that co-worker lingering on your new outfit a tad too long. Our minds can easily filter out all the wonderful things that happen in a day and filter in the perceived threats so we need to draw our mind’s eye back to these things. This shines a light on all the positive things in our life. It makes us feel great and gets us ready to rumble the next day! Try it – It will do a lot more for you than watching the news. No, it’s not going to do the same job as 1 hour of weights or some uphill sprints, but over the course of a month it matters, because you matter. So if you’re serious about your health and fitness and you’ve finally stopped buying into all the shortcuts and scams out there looking to take your money, see if you can bump up your NEAT (Non-Exercise Associated Thermogenesis). It all adds up!” Find out more about Strong and Lean by following them on Facebook and Instagram.

No Gym? No Problem
You don’t need a gym to get your muscles growing. Whilst you’re watching tv, pick up some cans of soup and do a couple of tricep curls above your head. If you’re hoping to tone your arms up, why not lean against your kitchen counter top and do a couple of tricep dips. They’re a great way to get your arms nice and toned, without having to go all the way to the gym to do it. From here you can also perform other strength and core building exercises on the furniture in your home. You can do push-ups on your table, wall squats or even sit-ups on your bedroom floor. The opportunities are endless, but the benefits are incredible.

You don’t have to go to the gym every day to stay fit and healthy. In fact, you can get all the exercise you need in the comfort of your own daily routine. These sneaky tips don’t have to disrupt your daily routine, but they can benefit you in more ways than you think! For sneaky ways you can eat healthier, read this article.

 

Not familiar with an exercise? Check out our exercise library!

If you’re stuck on how to complete an exercise, something doesn’t sound familiar to you, or you want to check technique, don’t fear, we’ve thought about this.

We’ve made sure that the majority of the exercises featured in our FitTins are recognisable or can be found very easily through a Google our YouTube video search.

To make things either easier for you, we’re working on a video library for you to use as reference for all our exercises – we’ll be adding new exercises regularly so be sure to check back whenever you need to.

In the meantime, ensure you maintain good technique with all your workouts and if you’re in doubt on how to complete an exercise safely, please send us a message at ask@fittin.com.au and we’ll happily help you out.

For beginners or those returning to exercise

And…open!

We were so excited to launch FitTin officially at the AGHA Sydney Fair two weeks ago. We had some much great feedback and interest, from Adelaide, to regional WA and up to the Gold Coast so you should start to see us popping up in retailers in the future. Of course, we appreciate a helping hand so please do spread the word!

Due to popular request (which we’re so flattered by!) we’ve also decided to sell directly and we’re aiming to get our online store up and running in the coming weeks. If you can’t wait until then, please email sales@fittin.com.au and we’ll happily process your purchase manually.

We’re launching with two FitTins, Newbie No Props and Rising Star Gym Props. You can read a little more about our levels here to decide which FitTin is for you:

The Newbies No Props FitTin is aimed at beginners or those returning to exercise after a break who just want to get started with no equipment, perhaps at home, in the garden or your local park.

The Rising Stars Gym Props FitTin is aimed at those who have a gym membership and want ready-made workouts using gym equipment – perhaps in between classes or a personal trainer.

We have so many FitTins to launch to keep you motivated and challenged so watch this space. You can sign up for updates via our website and follow up on our social channels Instagram and Facebook.

So for now, keep fitness fun, distraction-free and make it fit your lifestyle – with FitTin.

Jo and Em

x

FitTin to launch at Sydney AGHA

FitTin: does what it says on the tin

~ FitTin gives the gift of fitness workouts in a beautifully designed tin ~

AGHA Gift Fair, Sydney, February 18, 2017 – Distraction-free, fitness sessions for all levels and locations are now available with the launch of FitTin, a range of fun, ready-made workouts in a beautifully designed gift tin.

Whilst health and fitness apps and websites have become popular, a recent study has shown that using a smartphone during exercise can reduce the time spent on high intensity activities, impact your balance and stability and affect form and posture.

Marketed as “old-school, distraction-free fitness in a tin”, FitTin helps people of all levels wherever they are start exercise, maintain fitness, stay motivated and improve their health with 20 workouts on a deck of cards in each tin.

With three levels, Newbie, Rising Stars and High Achievers, and varying equipment options, FitTin fits into your life, your ability level as well as your bag for on the go fitness. Each workout is individually designed by a qualified, experienced fitness trainer, and each FitTin includes welcome, warm-up, cool down and stretch, fun facts and motivation cards.

Now available for beginners with no need for equipment, Newbies No Props is perfect for people who want to get (re)started on their fitness journey but need some help with motivation, workout plans and know-how. No equipment is needed, so it’s ideal for people to use anywhere, in their own home or garden, in the park if they have babies, children or pets, in a gym or on the road while travelling.

“The best workout is the one you actually do – and we recognised that’s half the problem – what do you do if you don’t know where to start or need some fresh ideas? People often assume a few things: a long workout is a good workout, pedalling slowly on a bike with a magazine is a workout, or that you need a personal trainer if you want to get fit. At FitTin we reinforce that a well-planned, varied workout is the best workout – by yourself or with a friend or partner, it’s more efficient and never feels like a chore,” said qualified Personal Trainer and FitTin Co-Founder, Emily Boylin.

Smartphones can be helpful for music motivation but they can also be really distracting – a check of social media here, a quick text message there – a couple of times during your workout and that’s another ten minutes gone. We’ve gone old-school with FitTin – a distraction-free workout with a lightweight oversized card,” she added.

For more information and to buy, please visit http://www.fittin.com.au, or check out social media for tips, tricks, news and inspiration: Instagram and Facebook.

About FitTin

FitTin was created to take the thinking out of exercise sessions with simple, fun workouts to get you moving, into shape and feeling fantastic!

Specifically, FitTin is a deck of cards with workout sessions…but not just one tin of cards, we have a tin for all audiences – Newbies, Rising Stars and High Achievers (see Which FitTin is for you for further explanation on who you are). We have tins that use no props, your own props and gym props.

For more information and to buy, please visit http://www.fittin.com.au, or check out social media for tips, tricks, news and inspiration: Instagram and Facebook.

Jo Balfour, FitTin, Jo@fittin.com.au, 0405 542 018