Here I am in my gym clothes, sitting in front of laptop after my morning workout. I was excited to write about the healthy exercise regime today and had to sit here as soon as I got home. First of all, I will start with my story. I wasn’t keen to any exercises or sports until mid-20s. I’m not sure about now, but when I was growing up in South Korea, all we had to do as a student was to study at school, after-school study and home and again repeat every single day. I did a bit of swimming and gym now and then, otherwise I wasn’t familiar with any exercises. When I moved to Australia about 9 years ago, one of the requirements to get into the physio course was a bronze medallion from Royal Life Saving Australia. I, of course, couldn’t swim as good as other fit Australians and failed one of the prac exams where I had to continuously swim 400m with 4 different swim styles. It was crazy I felt like I couldn’t even rescue myself in the deep swimming pool. I had a month of practice until I could take the test again. I made myself to the local swimming pool 6 days a week and swam for 1-1 1/2 hrs for a month. Yes, intense! Then thank GOD, I was able to pass. That was probably a wake-up call for me that I need to continue on a regular exercise to keep myself fit. Swimming, walking around the park, gym..it was all okay but not that exciting. Then I started Pilates in 2009 to become a clinical Pilates instructor. I fell in love with it! I found my favorite exercise that I can enjoy and stick to it for a long term (well, for the rest of my life). There are so many benefits of Pilates – improving your posture, developing strong core and back muscles, a good combination of cardio and strengthening, sculpting the whole body with long and lean yet strong muscles, enhancing your flexibility, coordination and balance, improving breathing techniques, body awareness and focus, and lastly it is so much fun. I always finish my exercise with Pilates. My routine looks like this, for example.
- Pre-workout: I eat a piece of fruit or power ball with tea or coffee at least 30 minutes before exercise.
- 10 minutes of cardio: brisk walk, cycling, rowing machine or cross-trainer to warm up my body and get my heart rate up.
- 40 minutes of weight training: I like using theraband, dumbbells and kettlebells for upper body, body weights for core and legs. A variety of weight training every day so that I don’t get bored.
- 10 minutes of Pilates: core strengthening and stretching to cool down.
- Post-workout: Water, lots of it. Another piece of fruit or power ball within 30 minutes, then proper meal with a combination of carbs, protein and veggies such as a nourishing bowl later on.
- There is no right or wrong here. Find what works for you and keeps you going.
- Have an exercise buddy or join the group sessions if you need more support and motivation.
- Have variety in your workout and incorporate weight training.
- Let yourself recover x1-2 a week. It don’t mean you can be a couch potato. It is an active resting such as walking your dog, strolling around town with your friends or partner, gentle yoga or Pilates at home.
- Eat well to recharge your body.
- Be consistent. It is not just a new year’s resolution to be healthy and fit. It has to be your lifestyle!
- Have fun 🙂 After all you gotta feel happy, destressed and energised.
This recipe is great for a snack between meals or post-workout snack. It is quick and easy to make and nourishes you with a plenty of protein and good fat. Enjoy x
1 large banana
1 cup nut butter
1 cup coconut oil
1 tbsp raw honey
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
a pinch of Himalayan salt
Mesh ripe banana with a fork in a large bowl. Melt coconut oil, honey and nut butter in a pot over low heat. It takes only a couple of minutes. Then pour the mixture into a bowl and mix with banana. Add vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Transfer into a silicon mold or a container lined with a baking paper. Spread evenly with a spatula and chill in the freezer until it firms up. Slice into squares, serve immediately. Store the leftover in the freezer.