6 tips for a healthy gut

Nutritionist, exercise scientist, trainer and online coach Brooke Turner shares her tips for a healthy gut.

 

 

  • Increase your prebiotic intake, which good gut bacteria uses as fuel to nourish its growth and activity.
  • Eat fermented foods such as yoghurt with live cultures, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, miso and tamari.
  • Up your fibre intake, which is essential for having a diverse array of bacteria.
  • Avoid the use of antibiotics where possible. Antibiotics wreak havoc on your bacteria levels and can wipe out the good bacteria.
  • Avoid inflammatory foods which are highly processed and high in sugar. Opt for anti-inflammatories such as turmeric, aloe vera and slippery elm.
  • Manage your stress levels. A link between gut health and mental health has been proven in many studies so minimising stress can directly impact your gut

 

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6 ways to manage anxiety

Everybody has moments of anxiety, deep worry and high stress. Here are a few ways and tactics to help manage anxiety.

 

 

Counselling

The good news is that treatment for anxiety – for those that seek it out – is usually successful. Your first port of call is your GP to discuss your options and receive a referral to the best psychologist or counsellor, for your needs, in your area.

“The most recommended psychotherapy for anxiety disorders is cognitive behavioural therapy,” says Rudy Nydegger, psychologist and author of Dealing with Anxiety and Related Disorders. “It is not a template therapy method where each patient and each disorder is treated in a predictable and specific way. Rather CBT is an approach that relies on the use of many different techniques that are designed to deal with each unique situation and individual and focus primarily on the changing of particular behaviours, developing better strategies for managing troublesome situations, and learning how to think about, perceive and interpret circumstances in ways that lead to a healthier adaptation to conditions that are producing the symptoms.”

This could include learning how to self-monitor symptoms, relaxation and breathing retraining, and experimenting with behaviour, visualisations and relapse prevention techniques. While it’s not a quick fix – compared to medication, for instance – it will ultimately produce longer-lasting results.

“Using cognitive rehearsal and imagining how to do things differently help a patient to initiate new behaviours,” says Nydegger. “A technique called reframing is frequently employed to help people learn new ways to think about particular problems or situations.”

Mindfulness

A meditative practice of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is increasingly used as part of a holistic approach to the treatment of anxiety, as well as for chronic physical illness and pain.

“Mindfulness is a way of noticing how our attention gets pulled in different directions, and it’s a way of practicing the gentle, persistent art of returning our attention to the present moment,” says Dennis Tirch, cognitive therapist and author of Overcoming Anxiety.

“Mindfulness training has been demonstrated to be an effective treatment for a range of psychological problems, such as depressive relapse, anxiety and emotion-regulation difficulties. By developing our ability to be mindful, and by learning how to apply mindfulness to more healthy methods of coping with stress, we may become able to change our habitual and unhelpful responses to anxiety.”

Talk to your psychologist about mindfulness training and check out some of the free mindfulness meditation apps available.

Lifestyle changes

Is your lifestyle increasing your vulnerability towards anxiety? For a majority of anxiety sufferers, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’. Perhaps it’s time to de-clutter, delegate and slow down.

“If you feel that your life is spiralling out of control – with too many demands from your work, home, partner, family and friends – maybe it’s time to simplify,” suggests Wendy Green, author of Anxiety – a Self-Help Guide to Feeling Better. “If you regularly feel under pressure and stressed because of a lack of time, try reviewing how you structure your days. Keep a diary for a week to see how you spend your time and then decide which activities you can cut out or reduce to make more time for the things that are most important to you.”

It won’t hurt to be a little selfish, occasionally, for the sake of your mental health.

“Try saying ‘no’ to the non-essential tasks you don’t have time for or just don’t want to do,” says Green. “It’s a little word, but it can dramatically reduce your stress levels. If you find it hard to say ‘no’, then perhaps you need to develop your assertiveness skills.”

Diet

Nutrition can have a powerful impact on anxiety, for better and for worse, and can form an important part of an overall approach to rehabilitation.

“We use a number of therapies to treat anxiety, including exercise physiology, psychology, nutritional, medical and naturopathic support, gut health work and detoxification support for clients dependent on alcohol, medications, illicit drugs, sugar and caffeine, which we see a lot of in people living with anxiety,” says Pettina Stanghon, founder of mental health rehabilitation centre Noosa Confidential.

Dr Malcolm Clark, Melbourne GP and author of Doctor in the House, says that stress and anxiety play a major role in irritable bowel syndrome, both in triggering and worsening symptoms, including bloating, abdominal cramps, flatulence and loose, frequent bowel motions or constipation.

“Sufferers often report the return of their rotten symptoms when they are under increased stress at work or at home,” he says. “Depressed or anxious people seem to suffer from this problem more often than the rest, suggesting these may also be causes.”

To combat ‘gut anxiety’, eat a low GI diet (which also helps regulate blood sugar levels), reduce fatty foods and alcohol, and increase fibre intake.

Exercise

Developing a healthy exercise habit is highly complementary to an overall anti-anxiety approach.

“Exercise is likely the oldest form of self-management of anxiety, although alcohol is a close second,” says Bret Moore, psychologist and author of Taking Control of Anxiety. “Numerous studies have been conducted over recent years showing that exercise alone, or in combination with psychotherapy, is effective in reducing anxiety associated with a variety of anxiety disorders.”

In fact, one study found that regular exercise can be as effective as medication in people with panic disorder.

“Vigorous and sustained physical activity promotes the release of endorphins: neurotransmitters in the brain that promote a sense of euphoria and contentment,” says Moore. “This phenomenon allows joggers to overcome fatigue and pain during long-distance running.”

Medical support

A number of medications are available that provide effective relief – but not a cure – from anxiety. The first option, usually, are SSRI’s (or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). Traditionally used to treat clinical depression, and a little slow to kick in from the outset (they can take a couple of weeks to ‘build up’ to the complete benefits) they have proven to be very successful for many people. MAOI’s (monoamine oxidase inhibitors), which inhibit the breakdown of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain, are a similar option that may be recommended.

The old-school anti-anxiety tranquilliser meds – still used for individual cases – are benzodiazepines; immediate and highly effective, they do come with a catch.

“As effective as tranquillisers can be, they are less frequently prescribed today because they are addictive if taken for a long period of time and at a high enough dose,” says Nydegger “Also, increased tolerance can become an issue, which means a patient needs to continually increase the dosage for it to be effective.”

Beta-blockers may also be used for planned events, such as a speech or presentation, where anxiety can go into overload. They work by calming the heart, reducing hand trembling and may even be helpful with blushing and sweating.

For more information about anxiety and mental health go to mindaustralia.org.au.

 

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Sculpting lower body circuit

Carve your buns, quads, and hamstrings (plus a little bit of core) with this killer lower-body circuit courtesy of trainer Joni Ortiz.

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Power through the exercises quickly using your own bodyweight, or take it at a slower, harder pace by adding a set of dumbbells into the mix.

Model/Trainer: Joni Ortiz //  Photography: James Patrick

This lower-body circuit is great for strengthening and toning your lower body and, considering some of the largest muscles of the body can be found in your legs, you get the added bonus of serious calorie burn.

Complete 15 repetitions of each exercise with good form before moving on to the next exercise. Complete each exercise back-to-back with no rest in-between to ensure your heart rate is kept high. At the end of the circuit, rest for 30 seconds (advanced) to 1 minute (beginner), before starting the circuit again. Four rounds.


Forward lunges

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Stand holding your dumbbells by your side (if you have them) and step forward, lowering your back knee down to the ground and keeping your front knee in alignment with your ankle. Push through your heel back into standing position. Repeat for 15 reps, alternating legs.


Good morning – squat Rotation

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Start in a standing position. Move into a good-morning with a slight bend in your knees, hinging at the hip and with your back straight. From here, sit back into a squat (hold this for a couple of seconds) and then move back into a good morning.  Return to a standing position. This is one rep. Repeat for 15 reps, moving at a moderate to quick pace.


Single-leg deadlifts

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Start in a standing position, holding dumbbells at your sides. Shift weight onto one leg, lower dumbbells down, keeping a slight bend in the stationary leg, while kicking alternate leg back. Upon rising, push through the heel and squeeze your glute muscle for two seconds before lowering back down. Repeat.


Bench step-ups with kickback

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Stand facing a bench. Step up with your right foot and kick your left leg back at the highest point of the movement, squeezing your glute. Step back down to the ground and repeat with your opposite leg. Alternate legs until you have completed 15 reps.


Spiderman plank

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Begin in plank position, holding dumbbells. Bring your right knee towards your right elbow with a slight squeeze in your oblique, before returning back to plank position. Repeat on your left side and alternate sides until you have completed 15 reps.


Bench jumps

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Stand facing the bench. Squat down and jump up onto the bench into a squatted position. Think ‘light knees’ – you should not be banging into the bench with force, as this puts undue pressure on your joints. Step back down to the ground and repeat until you have completed 15 reps.   


Alien squats

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Get into a squat position with knees wide. Kick feet out without raising your upper body, before moving back down into the squat position. Repeat for 15 reps. This exercise should be completed quickly for best results.


Single-leg variation (lunge – kickback) 

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In standing position, shift weight to one leg, move into single leg lunge and, upon rising, kick alternate leg back. Move back into standing position before completing the same movement on the opposite leg. Alternate legs until 15 reps are complete. Remember to move quickly through the movement.

 

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Tiramisu smoothie recipe

Get maximum taste and maximum tone with this delicious protein smoothie by Lisha Lorincz.

Ingredients

Chocolate Coffee Layer:

  • ½ frozen banana
  • ½ scoop chocolate protein powder
  • ½ cup chilled coffee
  • 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup ice

Vanilla Cream Layer:

  • ½ frozen banana
  • ½ scoop vanilla protein powder
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp cottage cheese
  • ½ cup ice

Method

Blend Need for chocolate coffee layer until smooth. Pour into desired glass, and set in freezer. Next, blend Need for vanilla cream layer until smooth and pour on top of chocolate coffee layer. Garnish with toppings and enjoy!

 

 

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10 ways to lower your cortisol levels without the price tag.

So how can you bring down that all important cortisol level without emptying your back pocket? Here are some easy and affordable ways you can relax.

 

 

1. Swimming: Any physical exercise will release the happy hormones, endorphins, leading you to momentarily lower cortisol levels. However, swimming takes things one step further, with the water providing a meditative effect to help calm and clear your anxious mind.

2. Yoga: “If you struggle to engage in mindfulness or slow breathing exercises, yoga might be for you,” says clinical psychologist Dr Rosalind Case. “It combines slow and deep breathing techniques with strong postures and movement, which many people find easier to focus on if they are distractible.” Before you start looking at the cost of classes, remember you can incorporate yoga into your daily routine by checking out a book at the library, finding a YouTube video, or downloading a phone app such as Daily Yoga or Asana Rebel.

3. Mindfulness: “Try some daily mindfulness with the Smiling Mind’s app. Remember, it’s normal for your mind to wander during mindfulness – resist the urge to do it perfectly! Just do it every day for a couple of minutes and you should start to notice results,” says Dr Case. Another option is to take time while stuck in traffic or lined up in a queue to observe mindfully, rather than getting impatient. Participants in a study at Maharishi University who meditated daily for four months decreased cortisol levels by an average of 20 per cent.

4. Music: In the journal Plos One, a study was published that looked at the effects of music on stress levels. It found that music was most effective when you used it prior to a stressful situation or environment rather than during or after. When doctors at Japan’s Osaka Medical Center played tunes for a group of patients undergoing colonoscopies, the patients’ cortisol levels rose less than those who underwent the same procedure in a quiet room.

5. Massage and pressure points: You could splash out on a professional full body massage, or you could gain most of the benefits for free at home! Grab some moisturiser, and mindfully rub from the tips of your toes, all the way up your legs, your back, your stomach, arms and chest. Breathe deeply, appreciate the light scent of the cream and think about each body part as you self-massage. For a quick stress relief while out and about, you can even use light acupressure. Pull down gently on your earlobes and rub the inner surface for two to three minutes to relieve some pressure.

6. Chew: Chewing gum may be the answer to a little stress relief. Findings from Northumbria University show that under moderate stress, gum chewers had salivary cortisol levels that were 12 per cent lower than non-chewers, and also reported greater alertness.

7. Have a cup of tea: While herbal usually receives the positive wrap, black tea is the way to go when you want to reduce that stressful feeling. Naturally occurring chemicals such as polyphenols and flavonoids are thought to be responsible for black tea’s calming effects. However, the process of brewing and sitting down to sip is equally calming whatever colour of tea you choose.

8. Sleep: Sometimes that nasty stress hormone can be the reason you’re not getting enough kip, whether you have difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep. The average adult is recommended to get between seven to nine hours sleep every night; anything less, and you are rewarded with 50 per cent more cortisol circulating in your bloodstream compared to your well-rested friends. Keep technology out of your bedroom, keep caffeine to a minimum and try not to have any after 12 pm. If you’re struggling to fall asleep, write down what’s bothering you, or go to another room to read until you feel sleepy so your bedroom is reserved exclusively for zzz’s.

9. Get out: Socialising might be the last thing on your mind when those cortisol levels have ramped up, but it could be just what you need. A distraction from what’s setting you on edge and connecting with the real world might have you feeling a bit more normal. Studies published in the journal Science used mice to illustrate the connection between isolation and the level of cortisol that trigger a cascade of potential mental health issues.

10. Breathe: “Slow your heart rate down with slow breathing – check out the Breathing Zone app, which helps you slow your breaths down to an ideal seven breaths per minute,” says Dr Case. There are also various meditative breathing techniques to try including belly breathing or pranayama (forceful inhalation and forceful exhalation)

 

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Protein carrot cake cupcake recipe

With hints of vanilla, cinnamon and salted caramel, and containing less than 13 grams of carbs, we doubt you will stop at one of these protein carrot cake cupcakes.

Settle down with a cuppa and a clean protein cupcake this winter, courtesy of WH&F cover model Heidi Cannon.

 

Ingredients (makes 8)

Cupcakes:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup crushed walnuts
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 scoop of salted caramel protein powder of your choice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening

Icing:

  • 1/3 cup low fat cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp. organic icing sugar
  • 1 scoop salted caramel protein powder of your choice

 

Method

Cupcakes:

1. Shred carrots in food processor.

2. Fold in all wet ingredients.

3. Slowly add in dry ingredients to mixture and blend together (mixture will be fairly dense). Scoop out the mixture and place into individual cupcake tins. I recommend using a tin foil lined cupcake wrapper to make removal easier.

Icing :

1. With an electric mixer, blend cream cheese and salted caramel protein powder.

2. Slowly add in organic icing sugar and blend together.

3. Place in fridge for 10 to 15mins or until you are ready to ice the cupcakes.

 

NUTRITION  (per cupcake, depending on protein powder used)

Protein= 7g // Fat= 18.25g // Carbs=12.25g // Calories= 236

NEXT: Looking for more healthy treats? Try these mini chocolate pronuts today.

 

 

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Your very own DIY spa

 

Your DIY guide to getting the spa feels at home, courtesy of our interior styling expert, managing director of Dammer Interiors, Louise Dammer.

 

“The important thing is to keep it simple and think about how all five of your senses can be stimulated,” says Dammer. Think about the type of bath you like the look of, a chair you feel comfortable in and the oils you enjoy the smell of.

1. Keep the space clean and free of clutter to reflect your mind. Achieve this by restricting the amount of furniture to essentials only.  Clear bench tops, and keep things out of sight in storage or organised on shelves.

Hint: Multi-function furniture such as a stool with in-built storage will allow you to keep products and supplies hidden away.

2. Opt for dim lighting to encourage rest.

If you don’t have lights that can be dimmed, try candles or tea lights.

“Lighting is a major element in opening up a space. Recessed spot lighting is perfect for a small space and a feature light hanging over the bath is lush! Making switches dimmable is handy but there are other alternatives,” says Dammer.

3. Have natural oils burning for the joy of smell and relaxation. Peppermint evokes clarity and lavender is calming. Research has also found that lavender improves quality of sleep, promotes relaxation, elevates the mood and reduces anxiety. According to a study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, aromatherapy has a beneficial effect on heart rate and blood pressure in both men and women, and may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, it was found that over-exposure to essential oils of more than one-hour might be harmful to cardiovascular health. So perhaps don’t go OTT.

4. Play soothing music as background.Think classical or sounds of nature.

5. Have room temperature filtered water on hand.

In a jug, or a teapot of jasmine tea for cleansing is ideal.

6. Go for natural elements such as wood (cedar smells fab FYI), stone, green and water. Stick with neutral colours for a fresh look and steer clear of bright colours. Paintings and prints also look busy and avert calming effects. Keep the walls a light colour, as dark walls will make a bathroom look small. Light also creates a sense of calm and peace.

Hint: Mirrors will create an illusion of space.

 

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Top tips to bring your holiday glow home with you

 

Ditch the holiday blues and bring the holiday glow back to your home zone with these tips and tricks from our experts:

 

Maintain the holiday frame. “To keep the benefits of your skin after returning from a holiday continue to get enough sleep, try to avoid stress, get some sun exposure avoiding too much sun, and continue to regularly moisturise,” says Dr Saras Sundrum from cosmetic medicine clinic Dr Saras and Co in Sydney.

Detox. You can maintain your detox and recreate a sense of the ocean at home by bathing in epsom salts, a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. The magnesium helps to produce serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of calm and relaxation. Alternatively, treat yourself to a flotation tank session. You’ll get all the benefits of an epsom salt bath, with additional sensory deprivation to have you emerge a truly relaxed individual.

Rearrange the furniture. You don’t need to be a master at Feng Shui to know that the way you place items in a room can brighten or dull a mood. For a spark of creativity and a sense of purpose all you need to do is spend an afternoon ensuring you’re using your space the best way you can – and throw in a couple of blue pillows for an extra sense of calm.

Meditate. “Lots of people try to meditate and find it’s not for them. In that case I say don’t give up, keep trying and try a range of different approaches – yoga, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, slow breathing exercises – the list goes on and on. There are now a range of apps that can be downloaded which help structure and guide these types of practices, so it’s just like you’ve got an instructor with you.” says clinical psychologist Dr Rosalind Case.

Vary your diet. “The different seasons deliver the perfect foods for each climate. Eating seasonally has many benefits including both nutritionally and environmentally,” says qualified nutritionist Tracie Connor.

Take some time for yourself. Even if you’ve only got time for a cup of tea it will help to dampen stress levels. “Stress causes a flood of the hormone cortisol in our body which attacks our immune system and makes us more susceptible to allergens  and bacteria,” says Dr Sundrum. “We also know that stress decreases our lipid barrier and causes it to dehydrate and lose moisture. All this causes us to look dull, dryer, older and blotchy.”

Focus on what’s important. “If you draw a pie chart and divide up the time spent between work, recreation, family, friends, exercise, spirituality and whatever else is important to you, how much of the pie chart would be taken up by work? We need to consider our values, goals and options,” says Dr Case. Your mood will be all the better for it.

A stay-cation is just as good as getting away. Boost your morale by simply giving your body time to rest. Dr Case agrees: “Think about what elements of a holiday you really benefit from. Is it the increased sleep? The time to relax and reflect? Reading books in the sun? Drinking wine with friends? Whatever it is that makes you feel relaxed and restored when you’re on holiday, think about how you can build more of that into your ‘real’ life.”’

 

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Beauty talk with health and fitness blogger Amy Lee

We caught up with health and fitness blogger Amy Lee to get an insight into how she maintains her glowing skin on-the-go. 

 

ON MORNING BEAUTY ROUTINES

I drink one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with warm water every morning (no matter where I am in the world) to detoxify my system and aid digestion.

ON TRAVEL BEAUTY ESSENTIALS

An eyebrow pencil: it makes all the difference to the structure of your face. I use Bare Minerals brow pencil. A hydrating face mist with lavender can also be a quick and soothing fix for dehydrated skin when travelling.

ON MY TOP TRAVEL TIP

I sleep with a silk eye mask (Jurlique is my pick). It doesn’t stretch or irritate the skin, which is especially good for those of us who lie on our sides to sleep.

ON MY TRAVEL MAKE-UP KIT

A tinted mineral moisturiser with SPF 30+ protection. It keeps my skin hydrated, while still allowing my skin to breathe – it’s especially good in the dry atmosphere of a plane.

ON TRAVEL HAIR

I prefer a fish braid – sometimes I get a headache from having a tight ponytail!

I use Moroccan oil on the ends of my hair but because I get oily roots, I love the Klorane dry shampoo as a quick fix.

ON SKIN CARE

I wear sunscreen with at least a SPF 30+ every day, even in winter. Whatever the season, we must always protect our skin from damaging UV rays!

Even when travelling, I cleanse morning and night using an organic moisturiser.

ON WINTER BEAUTY FORECASTS

I think natural looking and effortless hair will be making a comeback – good news for those who oversleep on weekends like me!

Check out her stunning Instagram @amyleeactive for more.

 

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Fat burning full body workout

 

Burn fat, build muscle and lean lean lean with this efficient 30-minute full body workout courtesy of trainer, Amber Bloom. 

 

This full body workout takes just 30 minutes to complete and requires minimal equipment – so it can really be done absolutely anywhere! This training session will target your upper body, lower body and abs, while still incorporating some cardio to keep the heart rate high.

Each set has three exercises to be performed one after the other, followed by one minute of cardio (one round). Repeat each set three times before moving on to the next set. Take a one-minute break in-between each set (or between each round for beginners). As with any exercise, warm-up and cool down is always recommended.  

P.S: No skipping rope? No problem! Just jump in place, mimicking the movement.

 

Model: Amber Blom
Photographer: James Patrick

 

Set One

This first set focuses on your upper-body. You may want to choose a lighter weight since you will performing a high number of reps, or you can always drop the weight down as your muscles fatigue.

Repeat this set three times. Rest for one minute before moving on to the next set.

Bicep curl x 15 reps 

Make sure to keep your elbows in by your side, your hips tucked under and your core tight. Start with the weights fully extended down, then curl them up, squeezing at the top. Release the weight down to the starting position (resist the momentum and control them all the way down). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Military press x 15 reps 

Start with the dumbbells under your chin, then rotate them out and up to an overhead press. Bring them down below your chin and that’s one rep.  Make sure not to arch your back as you press them up – always keep your core tight.

 

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Push-up x 15 reps

The beauty of push-ups is that they can be modified to accommodate your fitness level.  You can do tricep push-ups, wide push-ups or push-ups on your knees (I like to do a mix).

 

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Cardio

Jump rope for 60 seconds.  You can do alternating single leg jumps, jumps using both feet or any other combination you like.  This cardio burst between each set keeps your heart rate up and the calories burning! 

 

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Set two

This second set of exercises focuses on your lower-body. You may want to use a heavier weight for this set.

Repeat this set three times. Rest for one minute before moving on to the last set.

Deadlifts x 15 reps. 

For this exercise, hinge at the hips with a slight bend in the knee. Stand up and squeeze the glutes. You should be able to feel the glutes and hamstrings on each rep. Keep your shoulders rolled back throughout the exercise.

 

 

 

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Squat jumps x 15 reps

Start in a squat position. Jump up, extending the arms to your sides, before returning to a squat position. That’s one rep. Make sure form is not compromised on this exercise: your knees should not fall inward when you squat. 

 

 

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Alternating walking lunge with glute squeeze x 15 reps per leg

To perform this exercise, extend one leg out in front in a lunge position. As you stand up, raise the back leg and squeeze the glutes. Lunge forward with the opposite leg and repeat on that side. You should complete 30 lunges in total (15 on each side).

 

 

 

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Set Three

This set is all about your abs and core.

Repeat this set three times.

Russian twist x 15 reps per side

This exercise hits the oblique muscles. Find a comfortable seated position with your feet elevated off the ground. You may have your legs bent for more stability or extended if you’re more advanced. Hold each end of the dumbbell in your hands and twist your body to one side then the opposite.  Complete 15 reps per side.

 

 

 

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Glute bridge x 15 reps

Lay on your back with a dumbbell on your abdomen.  To perform this exercise, raise your hip bones up as high as they can, squeezing the glutes.  Lower your body back to the ground. This is one rep. Ensure your knees don’t fall in or out as you perform this exercise.  

 

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One minute plank

This exercise helps cinch in the waist and stabilise the core. Rest your elbows and forearms on the ground, raising your hips to form a straight line from your neck to your ankles. The key to this exercise is to squeeze all your muscles! Think about your glutes, your core, your quads – they should all be activated. As you fatigue, it’s common to sag the lower back; resist this by squeezing all your muscles. And yes, it’s normal for your muscles to shake.

 

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