Weight Loss

 

Our Top 10 Home Exercises to Strengthen Your Core – Part 2

Our Top 10 Home Exercises to Strengthen Your Core – Part 2

 

This weeks challenge: Complete all 5 exercises with 10 repetitions, 3-5 sets. Once again, this should only take 10 minutes a day to complete, so no excuses! Having spent last week strengthening a building your core and abs now we have increased the intensity.

1. Dead Bugs

Start by laying on your back on the ground, ensuring your back is flat on the ground throughout. To allow this to happen, your core should be braced the whole time, ensuring the movement is completed slowly and controlled. Hold your arms and legs straight in the air, slowly lower your right arm and left leg until they are around 1 inch from the ground and return to the starting position. Repeat with the opposite arm and leg.

 

2. T Hold

Begin in a pushup position and shift your weight to your left hand which will allow your body to rotate. Keeping your feet stacked on top of each other, raise your right arm into the air so that your arms form a T shape. Hold this position for at least 30 seconds and then return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side.

 

3. Plank Jacks/Taps

Start in a plank position, with your forearms on the ground, ensuring that your elbows are beneath your shoulders. Tighten your abs to ensure your body is straight from head to toe. Whilst keeping your torso tight hop your feet out wide and then back to the starting position. If at first, you find this a little challenging, simply tap one foot out to the side and repeat on the other side.

 

9. V Ups

Begin by laying on your back with your arms and legs extending. Keeping your knees and elbows locked, Lie faceup with legs and arms extended. Keeping knees and elbows locked, raise your upper body and lower body together, whilst trying to touch your fingers to your toes.

 

10. Boat

Start by sitting on the floor with your knees bent, slightly lean back (ensuring your back stays straight) hold your arms out in from of you and then raise your feet off of the ground making sure your legs stay together. If you can extend your legs out straight so that your body forms a V shape this is great! If not, practice this move with your knees slightly bent and straighten them as you become stronger. You can also raise your arms and open your legs to make it harder.

 

 

I hope by the end of the second week, you’ll be feeling fitter! Send us your best photo of your favourite ab exercise.  

 

If you didn’t see last weeks post click here!

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Our Top 10 Home Exercises to Strengthen Your Core – Part 1

‘Ab’ A Fab March!

 

Here at Pursuit Fitness Training, we are often telling our clients to ‘hold their core’ or ‘squeeze those abs!’ But, what actually is your core or abs? Your core refers to the midsection and is made up of many different muscles around your trunk and pelvis which work together to stabilize your entire body.

Having a weak core can mean that you are more susceptible to poor posture, muscle injuries and lower back pain. Strengthening core muscles can not only help to improve back pain, it can also lead to better balance and stability which is very important in many daily activities.

As well as a well-rounded fitness program, the core element is also important to focus on. Pursuit fitness training has put together 10 of our favourite core & abdominal exercises, which you can do from the comfort of your own home.

 

This week challenge: Complete all 5 exercises with  10 repetitions, 3-5 sets. This should only take 10 minutes a day to complete. Next week we shall be sharing with you 5 harder abdominal exercises for you to try.  

1. Bird Dog

Start by balancing on your hands and knees (on all 4’s). Lift your right leg and left arm and extend your right leg to the rear and reach forward with the left arm, hold this for 3 seconds and return to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite arm and leg and you have completed 1 rep.

 

2. Reverse Crunch

Begin by lying down flat on the floor with your lower back pressed into the ground. Extend your hands alongside your body and bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor with your knees at right angles. Contract your abs and raise your knees towards your chest and slowly release so that they return to the starting position.

 

3. Superman

Begin, by lying facedown on the floor with your arms out in front of your body, palms facing down. Contract your abdominals, tighten your glutes and lift your arms, chest and legs off of the ground. Pinch your shoulder blades together and the top and slowly return to the ground.

 

4. Scissor Kicks

Start by lying on your back with your legs extended and feet together. Place your hands behind your head with your elbows wide and contract your abdominals so that you are in a crunched position with your shoulders off of the ground. Raise your right leg to the ceiling whilst keeping your left foot a few inches from the ground and switch legs.

 

5. Plank with Alternating Arm and Leg Raise

Begin in a pushup, lift your right arm and left leg simultaneously, ensuring that your shoulders and hips do not move. Hold for 3 seconds and return to the starting position, repeat on the opposite side.

 

Look out for next weeks post which will have 5 more great ab exercises to add to your workouts.

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Beat Your Sugar Cravings!

8 Healthier Alternatives

Sugar cravings can take over as soon as they hit, it is important to be prepared so therefore you have healthier alternatives to eat instead. If you plan ahead then you will not be tempted to grab the first chocolate bar you see.

If you were to grab a 53 gram Mars Bar it contains 244 calories. To burn all of those calories, you’d have to walk for almost two hours to use up all of the chocolate fuel! By eating naturally sweet food, not only will you cut down on the processed carbs and sugars,  you’ll also be eating vitamins and minerals which will help your body to function and will not cause a spike in your insulin levels.

Pursuit Fitness Training has put together our top 10 healthy alternatives to avoid eating those empty calories.

 

1. Popcorn

A small bowl of homemade popcorn is perfect for when those sweet and salty cravings hit. Try adding a pinch of salt or a dusting of cinnamon or cocoa powder. Popcorn is low in calories (around 30 kcals per cup) and is also high in fibre.

 

2. Fresh Fruit

Fruit is naturally high in sugar so is perfect to fill those sugar cravings. It is definitely the healthiest choice and you’ll get added nutrients and fibre into your diet too.

 

3. Dark Chocolate

Always opt for 70% or more cacao as it can be a healthy treat in moderation. Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants and it can help to regulate the stress hormone. By sticking to dark chocolate you’ll be avoiding all the added fat and sugar which is present in milk chocolate.

 

4. Banana Ice Cream

This is the perfect after-dinner treat with only one-ingredient! Simply cut bananas and place them into the freezer. Once frozen, blitz them so they become creamy and voila!

 

5. Chocolate Covered Strawberry

Dip strawberries into melted chocolate and leave in the fridge until the chocolate hardens. This treat will not leave you uncomfortably full or sluggish and is perfect for those sugar cravings.

 

6. Yogurt Parfait

Yogurt is an excellent source of calcium, protein, zinc, potassium, and vitamins B6 & B12. Add a choice of toppings from granola, nuts, and fruit is great for a healthy sweet snack.

 

7. Smoothies

Smoothies are great for filling those cravings, simply blitz fruit and enjoy. They are great for a breakfast alternative, or a snack or dessert. By adding avocados it’s a great way of adding vitamins and nutrients like antioxidants, vitamin B & potassium into your diet. You can also add Chia seeds to thicken the mixture, but they also add a good amount of fibre, healthy fats and protein.

 

8. Trail Mix

This snack is one of our favourites, by eating a mix of nuts like almonds and pistachios which some dried fruit like cranberries or cherries makes a great snack which excellent nutritional value too.

 

By swapping to these healthier alternatives, they’ll soon become a part of your daily routine. Therefore, you will not crave a cheat meal which will help you stay on track with your training and goals. We are always looking for easier behaviours which can easily be implemented to everyone’s lifestyles to ensure everyone can lead a healthy life.

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Happy Healthy Pancake Day!

 Healthy Pancake Recipe

 

Pancake day has arrived! Possibly one of the best days of the year! However, 2 pancakes with butter and syrup contains 520 calories which makes it is not so good for those waistlines! Don’t let Shrove Tuesday derail your nutrition goals for the week. Pursuit Fitness Training is here to guide, support and encourage you to opt for those healthier options, whilst not missing out on all the fun. Try our healthy alternative below.

 

1 Serving contains 283 calories, 13.5 grams of protein, 42.6 grams of carbohydrates and 7.6 grams of fat (before toppings).

 

This recipe is great for the whole family including being a huge hit with the kids!  By opting for healthier toppings you are also avoiding many processed and added sugars in return for boosting vitamins, minerals and antioxidants! For extra protein, you can also add chia seeds which will add to the texture or use Whey Protein powder instead. This breakfast favorite works equally well for deserts too.

 

Prep Time: 5 Minutes – Cooking Time: 5 Minutes – Servings: 2 (Small)

Ingredients:

This will make 5 pancakes:

  • 1 Medium Banana,
  • 2 Large Eggs,
  • 75g of Oats,
  • ¼ Tsp of Cinnamon (to taste).

 

Method

  1. Begin by mashing the banana in a bowl with a fork,
  2. Crack two eggs in a separate bowl and whisk,
  3. Add the eggs and oats (blitz in a blender if you’d like a smoother texture), cinnamon and mix all the ingredients together.
  4. Add coconut oil or cooking spray to a pan on a medium heat,
  5. Spoon 4 lots of mixture so that the mix spreads to about 4 inches in diameter,
  6. Cook until lightly golden and flip to cook the other side.
  7. Serve with fresh berries and a small drizzle of honey, maple syrup or greek yogurt for a creamier finish.
  8. And Voila!

 

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I can’t run ……or can I? 10 tips for a successful start to running

OK, so you really want to add a bit of cardio into your fitness routine & running is the most straightforward right? Right! But somehow there’s something stopping you getting out there?

 

Try thinking about it this way & you’ll soon be flying!

 

(more…)

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