Time to Break a Sweat

I’ve invested in a personal trainer.  Well, when I say ‘invested’, I actually got it for free.  And when I say ‘it’ I mean a

I like that you can workout to your own music (Image courtesy of Nike+ TC)

I like that you can workout to your own music (Image courtesy of Nike+ TC)

new training app that I’ve downloaded.

Inspired by last week’s Weight Watchers talk about using regular exercise to help improve health, fitness and appearance, I decided to take the bull by the horns and get my, rather wobbly, backside moving.  I reasoned that I’ve got about a month before I go on holiday and in that time, if I work really hard, I could see good results.  After all, celebs can do it when they’ve got personal trainers beasting them daily.

Now, I can’t afford a personal trainer but I thought back to when I was on a mission to fit into my wedding dress and I’d downloaded a free Davina McCall fitness app.  I really enjoyed using it as the workouts were short, needed no equipment and because they were on an app I could do them to different music or even whilst watching TV so they didn’t get too boring.

Unfortunately,  it seems you can no longer get this app.  But I didn’t let this put me off.  I looked for an alternative instead.  There are quite a few decent looking free apps out there, but after a bit of research, I eventually went for the Nike+ Training Club app .

I’ve been using it for a week now and so far I’m really impressed with it.  There are loads of different workouts you

My Program (Image courtesy of Nike+ TC)

can choose from.  They’re split into different categories depending on what you want to achieve: Get Lean, Get Toned, Get Strong or Get Focused.  Within each of these sections you’ve got a selection of workouts at beginner, intermediate and advanced level and ranging in time from 15 to 45 minutes.  You can also edit the workouts to suit you by choosing alternative exercises.

The bit that I’ve mainly been using is the ‘Programs’ feature.  This allows you to choose a fitness goal from same categories and intensity levels as the workouts.  I went for a Get Lean Beginners program and was given the option of adding in running to boost reach my goal quicker, which I took.  The app then generated a 4 week program for me to follow.  Each week it gives me 2 different ‘Get Lean’ workouts to do, 2 runs starting at 5km and building up to 8km, and a yoga session.  It schedules these across the week along with 2 rest days.

When completing the workouts, you get the option of using an album, playlist or all music on your device or of using a separate music source.  The app them guides you through the

My Program (Image courtesy of Nike+ TC)

My Program (Image courtesy of Nike+ TC)

workout with clear instructions and time reminders.  There’s the option to look at photos, written instructions and videos of all the exercises either before or during the workout.  The workouts I’ve completed so far have been really challenging and have really got my heart rate going and have definitely had me breaking a sweat.  The yoga was particularly challenging, in a good way, even though I’m relatively experienced at yoga.

I’ve been impressed at how the app has pushed me.  Whilst I’d started running again a couple of weeks ago, I was only running about 3km and wasn’t finding it easy.  Left to my own devices I wouldn’t have increased the distance to 5km for at least a couple of weeks.  I must admit I was a little apprehensive about my ability to complete the distance but I decided to give it a go.  I knew from previous experience that it would largely be down to mind over matter and pledged to keep going.  And I did.  Admittedly it was at a slow pace but I kept going all the way around and I’m actually quite looking forward to increasing my distance this week.

Apparently there is also a Nike+ running app that you can download that links to the Training Club app but I haven’t had chance to look at that yet.  There’s also an option to

Clear instructions with photos and videos (Image courtesy of Nike+ TC)

Clear instructions with photos and videos (Image courtesy of Nike+ TC)

link with other users as a way to motivate each other but I haven’t explore this either.

All in all, if you’re looking for a free app to work you hard, this is a good one to go for (for beginners at least).  Here’s hoping I can keep my motivation up and continue enjoying using the app.  Please let me know about any apps you’ve come across that are worthwhile as I find that mixing things up a bit can help to sustain motivation.

You can find a promotional video about the app here Nike+ TC Video


Thanks for reading,


(This is NOT a paid review.  Please see my disclaimer page for more information on my product reviews)

Mission: Damage Limitation

Well, as you may or may not have noticed, I’ve been away from the blog for a LONG time.  This is partly down to me getting a promotion and getting my head around my new role.  But it’s largely down to the fact that I haven’t been prioritising my own health and fitness.  The result is that my weight has gradually been creeping up for the last few months.

I can't wait to be back here!

I can’t wait to be back here!

I have felt really annoyed at myself but I’m choosing not dwell on it as that’s not going to get me anywhere.

I’m now on holiday from work for 7 weeks (just over 6 left) and so my plan is to get my fitness and diet kicked back into shape.

Well, that was my plan but, as we all know, the only sure thing in life is change:

Originally, we’d planned to go to Tunisia for 10 days in the middle of the holidays.  I felt that I’d have enough time to get my prep for September done before going then have a couple of weeks when we got back to get back on track.

So, we’re now not allowed to go to Tunisia so are instead going to Mexico at the end of the holidays.  It gives me only a few full days to get back on track between coming home and going back to work.  AND where we are going is a Gourmet Inclusive hotel.  We’ve been before and the food and cocktails are absolutely to die for.  Now, we’ve paid a lot of money for this holiday so I don’t want to feel like I’m missing out BUT I also don’t want to have to pay for an extra seat to accomodate my backside on the return flight!

So, I’ve come up with a new damage limitation plan:  I’m working really hard to eat really well and exercise daily to enable me to be in as good a position as possible when I go on holiday.  We’re going to make use of the gym facilities at the hotel (if my sister is reading this, “Ssshh! It’s my holiday, I’ll do what I want!”).  I’m going to do some energetic swimming whenever I need to cool off (this really helped when I was in Turkey a couple of years ago and worrying about not fitting into my wedding dress) and I also really wnat to try the yoga classes that are available at the hotel.  I’m going to enjoy the food on offer but will make sure I make sensible choices and don’t go overboard.  When I get back, I’m getting straight back on track.

Sorry for the long post but it feels good to be back!  I’ll write a couple of shorter posts over the next couple of days with more info on my exercise plan etc.

If anyone’s got any suggestions for how to keep focused on making sensible food choices and how to motivate themselves to exercise on holiday, please share!

Thanks for reading


Stepping Up The Exercise

Image courtesy of Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So it’s half-term week and I thought that I’d use the extra time to increase the amount of exercise I’m doing.  I’ve already taken part in my first parkrun event and now tonight I’m going to step things up another gear with a new Zumba class.

If you’ve never tried Zumba before, you ought to find a class and give it a go.  It is a dance-based exercise class based on Latin/Salsa/Merengue/Cha Cha dance steps.  It’s great fun and a great work out that’s easy to adapt for different fitness levels.  I used to regularly attend Zumba classes at my old gym.  However, on joining my current gym they didn’t run any at a time to suit me.  But now they’ve started a new class and it’s on right before the Body Pump class I’ve been attending for the past 6/7 weeks.

I didn’t want to give up the Body Pump class as Mr FFF has been enjoying going to that with me, but I do really want to take up Zumba again.  So I’ve decided to go to both.  This will not only earn me more activity points and boost my weight loss, but it will also increase my stamina and overall cardio fitness.  And I’m pretty certain to sleep well tonight!

Wish me luck!

On Your Marks, Get Set…

Well, I’ve taken the plunge.  In an effort to bank a few more activity points prior to going out with my work mates on Saturday night, I’ve registered for parkrun and plan to take part in my first one this Saturday morning!

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you’ve never heard of it before, parkrun is an organisation that arranges free, 5km runs across the country (and indeed the world!) every week.  Your time is recorded and logged online so that you can track how you’re improving.

I must say, I’m a little apprehensive: I’ve never been a massive fan of running and I haven’t run at all since September.  And even then I was only doing 1 mile daily.  However, I’m reasonably fit and I hope that being in competition with myself will help to spur me on to make this a weekly occurrence and so give my exercise and weight loss a boost.

Here’s hoping!

PS – If you’re interested in taking part in a parkrun event, take a look at their website http://www.parkrun.org.uk/