Let’s talk about fitness. I know, *insert collective groan*. But you know it all links up – beauty, fitness, food – all work together like a well oiled machine when you’re top of your game but when going to town on a pack of Pringles while your trainers gather dust is a daily occurrence – not so much. I’m obviously speaking from experience with the latter, but over the past few months I’ve been trying to ramp up my activity to more than just bending over to pick up a tub of Ben and Jerry’s out of the freezer, and actually doing something that makes me sweat. And boy do I sweat. I mentioned a while back that I was easing myself into running. Well after coming close to vomiting on my doorstep on a few too many occassions I decided to regroup, and I think I’ve found a routine that works for me. I’m only a month in, but hear me out on this one…

So one day while perusing the ‘Recommended for You’ page on YouTube that is usually littered with umpteen ‘Subtle Makeup Tutorials’ and ‘Cute Cat Sneezes’ videos, I stumbled across a channel cause Fitness Blender. A husband and wife run channel brimming with workout videos, 430 to be exact, that cover everything. They work you hard, guide you through the easy-to-follow routines and I like the fact there’s no background music so I blast out some tunes on my iPad while I sweat it out (how many times can I say sweat in this post? Sweat count: three). Now if you’re feeling like a maverick you can jump right in and get doing those high knees, but I went down the more structured path and downloaded their ’8 Week Fat Burn’ programme, that sounds a little extreme but is basically a calendar laying out when is best to do what workout. £5 well spent in my opinion. It suggests exercising five days a week, Monday to Friday (Saturday too in the second month), and the videos it points to usually average out at about 50 mins. It’s intense, and a pretty big commitment but if I miss a day or two I just restart from where I left off.  No biggie. The first week hurts, like real bad, even lifting my arms to shampoo my hair was hard, but it’s got better and now I feel pretty good after prancing about my living room, obstructing my Boyfriend’s view of BBC Breakfast on the TV behind me at 6am each morning.

One of the (many) stumbling blocks when it comes to exercise is the gear. Though for the Fitness Blender routines there isn’t much bumf you need. Here’s what they suggest, with some notes of what I’ve actually been using.

  • Gym Gear – The first few sessions I did in my pants and bra (due to mid-heat wave conditions – what a sight, eh?) but after a week or so I relented and made a trip to an unexpected favourite shop of mine, Nike. I did not leave empty handed. But less is more when it comes to clothing – you’re going to get hawt and make the most of letting it all hang out in the comfort of your own home. 
  • Mat – This I had some years ago when I had a yoga moment and actually it comes in so handy. It means you can do the floor work without getting bits of fluff (or Cheerios that have fallen on to the carpet) in your belly button.
  • Dumbbells – I completed some arm-focused videos with wine bottles swapped-in but damn that was painful. In the end I relented and picked up some weights, but you can pick them up for under a tenner.
  • Bench or Fitness Ball - There’s no room in my flat for a gigantic bouncy ball, I’ve got lipsticks to house people. I’ve made do with clearing my coffee table and laying on that whenever either of these two are suggested in the routines.

Fitness aside, I’ve also been working on the upping the ante when it comes to food. I love food. Love, love, luuuurve it. I look at the dessert menu, before the main course one – I’m that kinda gal. So something super restrictive is never going to fly with me. I’m a proponent of the Clean and Lean approach (the books by James Duigan are a must read if you want to overhaul your diet) – stick to real, unprocessed foods in their natural states. I could never stick to those restrictions 100%, but I go for a 80:20 split keeping an eye on what goes on my plate 80% of the time and letting whatever the hell I like go in the rest – moderation and all that. I’ve been sticking to my word in unison with the Fitness Blender routines and you know what?. I’m feeling gooood.

I’m only a month in, but who knows? Maybe I’ve got into a groove I’ll stick with. I’m never going to get to the stage where I’ll turn down a GU Melt in the Middle Chocolate Fondant, but my jeans button up without feeling corset-like and I’m getting less and less like the wheezy penguin toy from Toy Story when I run for the bus by the day. It’s a win, win.

  • Anna Blush

    I found this post really helpful thanks Anna! I’m in the midst of trying to tone up and look after myself better at the moment so these tips are really helpful x

    http://anna-blush.blogspot.com

  • Vanja Smole

    This channel if really great to get in shape! I tried some of their workouts and like you said, it hurts. But if it didn’t, it would be hard for me to believe that I actually did something:) however, I’m lucky that my boyfriend is a great fitness trainer so he makes me working out every day.
    Anna, I’d be so happy if you could check out my blog! I uploaded a DIY hair bow post today:) happy Sunday!

    crayonsandbeads.blogspot.com

  • Marta

    It’s really refreshing that this post is about feeling good and about yourself and being healthy rather than losing weight or anything like so many others are! Thankyou!! :D
    X

  • Line

    Yay, I love fitness posts. Right now I’m trying (note: trying) to complete the buti fitness workout – I saw it on the Kris Jenner show and thought it would be a great idea, but it hurts like hell! :) x

    http://www.picturenoergaard.blogspot.com

  • http://subjectbeauty.blogspot.co.uk/ Rinica Warner

    Motivating post just whats needed as I was munching on my greasy bacon sandwich *hangs head in shame*

    The fitness blender channel sounds like it’s worth checking out, I’m usually pretty good with exercise I think it’s diet that I struggle with, the clean and lean diet book might be worth a read….

    http://subjectbeauty.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Gemma W

    I’ve been putting off starting some kind of fitness for so long as I hate gyms but never actually thought of YouTube!
    Super useful post lovely- stick with it!
    Gemma xx

    http://www.thislondonlife.com

  • Alissia

    I think you’ll love Tone It Up too, they also have a YouTube channel full with exercise videos and on their website (www.toneitup.com) they post monthly schedules of what videos to do when… Plus their beautiful girls with amazing bodies, so watching them will make you want to push yourself that little bit further! :) x

  • Hannah

    This was really helpful- I like how honest you were. I have to do something dance-related or I won’t do any exercise. I like Denise Austin and Tiffany Rothe (both on YouTube).

    Hannah
    Girl+World

  • Jessica Brown

    I recommend Blogilates over on YouTube – amazing, amazing videos! (The best bit is that, for most of the exercises, you get to lie down) x

  • Victoria Reilly

    This is great! I’ve recently started to up my ante, mostly to lose weight but it’s also important to look after your body – you only have one after all.
    Also, if you’re struggling with running, have you heard of the Couch To 5k programme? It really eases you into running over a course of 9 weeks. Could be worth looking at if you ever wanted to try running again!

    Vickie xo
    vickieblogs.blogspot.co.uk

  • Anya Cross

    I love this weekend post! Fitness is definitely important, I think i might actually get off my bum and do some work outs!

    http://www.crazylins.blogspot.co.uk

  • Ivy Vijay

    I just adore all her weekend posts.This one sure does make me get up from the bed and do some workout.

    Ivy
    http://ivysmaquillagecove.com/

  • Shireen Pasha Yasir

    clean eating is the way to go , and excercising of course :)
    love your post !

  • Beth Bradley

    A bit backwards but after my holiday I am on operation slim, I really want to get fit and more active!
    X

  • Amber

    I love this weekend post! :) feeling inspired!

  • Beautyandtheb

    I’m super lazy when it comes to exercising and am having to ease myself into running too, will have to give one of these programmes a go!

    beautyandtheb1.blogspot.co.uk

    B xx

  • Ada Strauss

    Good for you, Anna! I really wish I had the motivation and tolerance to keep up a fitness routine. I found this great program called DDP Yoga that I’m trying to ease myself in. It’s pretty easy, but gives you a hard body detox.

    Ada | thespianxx

  • Talisa Lauren Tossell
  • Lydia

    I’m so happy for ya! Sounds like you’re doing great! My overhaul re-begins again tomorrow ha, wish me luck! Fab post x

    http://thestylechateau.blogspot.co.uk

  • http://10amBeauty.com/ Alison M

    My husband does the Fitness Blender videos. I’ll get there…but for now I’m enjoying my favorite Jennifer Gilardi video :)

  • Carrie Ward

    OooOOoOOooh I totally have to check those work vids out, they sound fantastic. On a separate note and as a regular runner myself I thought I would put in my 2 cents in.

    I don’t think long distance running is for everyone (knee problems, joint problems, back problems, etc), which is a shame seeing as it only costs the price of a pair of trainers and work out gear. However I think ANYONE and I mean anyone, (without said problems above) can do a 5km run. Also there is nothing quite like finishing a race or run and feeling totally high on endorphines/adrenaline after. If you are feeling like you might throw up you might be pushing yourself too hard? As a beginner you need to start really slowly, so see if you can jog (slowly) for 5mins, then 10mins, then 15mins. Between each jog have a quick walk? Before you know it you can run 30mins without stopping which even at a really slow jog is at least 4km. Anyway enough of my blithering, I will leave you will one of my favourite quotes about running from John Bingham:

    “If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you’ve been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.”

  • Catrin

    I needed a new workout after finishing the 30 Day Shred, that’s definitly one to try, it does wonders to your arms!

    catrinteleri.blogspot.co.uk

  • Grace Collier

    Definitely going to try this!

    beautystylegeek.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Libby

    Thanks so much for the Fitnessblender heads up! Now I don’t feel so bad when I skip the gym…

  • Harriet

    Love this post! I have been trying to get fit to do a half marathon which is now just two months away – eek! It’s so hard to stay motivated but once you’re in a routine it does seem like it gets easier.

    Harriet
    sperorose.blogspot.co.uk

  • phoebe

    nike is my fave when it comes to workout gear! :) & i also look at the dessert menu first, who needs dinner anyway?? great blog, just followed you on bloglovin ;)

    hashtagphoebe.blogspot.com
    Follow on Bloglovin’

  • Sym

    Love this post. I’m a firm believer in the 80/20 rule! I’ve been doing this now for about a month and really noticed a difference! Great blog by the way :)

    aspoonfulofsym.blogspot.com

  • http://just-jesss.blogspot.co.uk/ Jesss

    Doesn’t EVERYONE look at the dessert menu first?! You need to know how much room you need to save!
    Great post, I really need to get back into keeping in shape..

    Jess xo

  • Rosie

    Great post, I’m definitely heading over to the Fitness Blender to check it out now : )

    Rosie

  • dh

    thanks for sharing with us your fitness post. im trying to jump start exercising at the gym 3 times a week and eating healthily. but it is such a chore! hopefully it can become a habit soon. all the best to you! please do keep us updated on your fitness routine. perhaps you can start a new category on fitness!!

  • Chloe

    Such a good post and some great tips, I’m def going to try the 8 week fat burn programme! My problem is the food, I just can’t resist! :) xoxo
    http://stylecrescent.blogspot.co.uk/