Thursday, October 4, 2012

I ❤ Health: Of treadmills, vitamins and chocolate

I didn't want to do a clichéd, 'Let's get ready for Summer!' post, but it seems that this is where I find myself.  Let's face it: you can't eat that many cupcakes, cakes, chocolates and cheesecakes (the 4C's) post-Ramadan and still think you can get away with it! So here I am, slogging away at the treadmill and avoiding all my favourite treats.

I must admit that I hated working out, but I realised that was because I didn't have an actual 'plan'.  So I decided to do some research and found some great ways to overcome the hate.

Jillian Michaels

I'm not a fan of home exercise videos.  However, I've watched one or two of Jillian Michaels home exercise videos and I loved them.  I really like how she explains what she's doing, what your body is doing throughout the workout and she has a tough-no-nonsense approach, which, let's face it, is something some of us need.  Her routines gives different levels for beginners and the more experienced fitness junkies.  I really like the fact that she doesn't use too much gym equipment in her workouts, so that's great for those who don't have access to them.

I'm currently using the Jillian Michaels: 30 day shred video.  The video gives you three levels and should take you 10 days to do each level if you're consistent.
Check out her website for fitness plans and other tips.  

Nike Training Club app for iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch

This is a great app.  No, let me rather state that this is a WONDERFUL app.  It helps you track your workouts, share them online if you'd like (which is something I'm too embarrassed to do, lol) and of course gives you great workout plans.  I love that it has videos so you can check how to do the exercise while you're at the gym.  Some of the workouts are great for home use as well as they don't require any equipment.

Women's Health Slimdown Slamdown Challenge

Women's Health have started an online challenge for their readers to get in shape for Summer.

I haven't joined up with it as yet, but it looks like something that could work as the training and meal plans have been designed by the Sports Institute of South Africa.
They have different plans designed for training and meals and a lot of the routines can be done at home with very basic equipment.

Mark's Daily Apple

The 'Paleo' or 'Primal Living' diet caught my eye when I first read an article by Tim Noakes, a Professor of Exercise and Sports Science at University of Cape Town.  The diet suggests that our bodies are not designed to consume grains, dairy, and other foods which are not completely natural.  This diet suggest we should be eating as the Cavemen did.  Even though I'm not entirely convinced about giving up dairy (I really love cheese and yoghurt), this is a fascinating read.

Not to be confused with the 'Cavemen diet'

Sportron and FoodState vitamins

I must admit that I'm not that consistent when it comes to my consumption of supplements.  I hate taking tablets in any form and I've even bought a pill cutter for those pills that are just huge.  My sister, a complete health nut, started researching FoodState and Sportron vitamins and found a huge difference when she started using it on herself and her children.  I've tried the multivitamin from Sportron (Ultraguard combo forte) and the Calcium (Calcitone) supplement and I'm quite relieved that both pills don't have a weird aftertaste and are not that huge at all.  I call the Calcium my own personal sleeping pill as I have quite a restful sleep after taking it :)  I find that the multivitamin has helped with my sugar and chocolate cravings as well.

So there you have it, I've shared my personal beginners guide to health and fitness.  Please note that I'm not recommending it to anyone for their own use,  and I'm certainly not a health and fitness professional, so if you do use my own personal reviews, please do so at your own risk :) 

By the way, I am cheating with a piece of dark chocolate every now and then :) I love dark chocolate :)


  1. Love your header!

    And can totally relate with this post :) The app is just a wonderful thing.. even to track workouts. I'm using the Nike+ Running app and it just works how I want it to, with a lovely interface.

    I guess we should compare notes in a few weeks ;)

  2. I started this week as well. Two things that I would like to you check out:
    First this article(Opened mah eyes)

    Secondly: I find these excercises usefull:

    Other than that we will see. Good luck

  3. Nafisa:

    I think a comparison would be great :) I'm keeping track of my measurements at the moment just to see what happens as my BMI seems to be normal (somehow I don't believe it). Right now it's all about toning and eating better (and losing that dreaded 'muffin top' GAH!).

    Hey, maybe you can share your app finds in your next Marie Claire article ;) I'm sure the readers would love that!

    Aasia: Thanks for the links! Good luck with your workout regime :) Maybe the three of us should have a comparison together in a few weeks :)

  4. Fantastic resources. It's such a motivation when friends are on the same journey. Here's to living well!

  5. Great post :) Particularly relevant as I'm in post-baby slimdown mode (in time for my brother's engagement next month hopefully!), though breastfeeding is pretty awesome for losing weight, not much additional effort required.

    I take FoodState vitamins and I love that their iron has no side effects (unlike most iron supplements). Solal is also a great brand to supplement with, completely natural, I like their super-nutrient shake.

    I'm a fan of Patrick Holford ( when it comes to nutrition though I often fall off the wagon (he keeps away from sugar, refined flours, preservatives)

    I used to do Adventure Boot Camp ( when I was at Bowmans but I don't have the time at the moment! I'm going to look into the Women's Health Slimdown challenge (without the dieting bit), thanks! (Women's Health also have some great workout dvds that I like using)

  6. Saaleha: Thanks :) It can be so challenging at times. Right now I'm trying to avoid the 'come hither' glances the jar of Nutella is throwing at me. *sigh*

    F: Sportron uses FoodState vitamins and adds additional items in there. I've tried Solal but it didn't agree with me :/ My sister was a Patrick Holford fan ;) Adventure Boot Camp sounds exciting, but I'm too lazy to join them! :D