5 Compound Movements To Incorporate Into Your Running

Compound Exercises

If you love to run,then compound movements should be a part of your weekly workouts, especially if you are looking at shaping, toning and building muscle.

These types of movements involve the use of at least two or more muscles, and in doing so, allow you to be more efficient with your workouts. They also allow for the stimulation of more muscle fibres, which gives you the ability to train primary muscle groups as well as stabilisers.

If you’re time poor like me and can’t always get to the gym, you may want to consider purchasing some equipment from the specialists like Fitness Market to enhance the power of your workouts.

Barbell Squats
If lower body is your focus, squats are the perfect exercise. They train your gluteal muscles, as well as your thighs and calves. Try a set of eight to twelve repetitions times three. The balance required to prevent yourself from falling over will also strengthen the muscles in your back and stomach.

Dumbbell Lunges
Lunges are another way to develop your lower body strength, and activate a whole range of motion. You can also add another layer of difficulty to this exercise by incorporating different weighted dumbbells starting off small and increasing the weight as you become fitter.

Bench Press
The bench press can be seen as an upper body squat, and it will allow you to increase the amount of muscle you have in this area of your body. Control is extremely important through this movement, because it means you will exercise as many muscle fibres in your arms and your core as possible. Such control will also mean you won’t tire as easily, giving you the ability to perform more repetitions.

A great exercise for working most muscle groups in your body. It should be prioritised in any good, solid workout. This is also a good exercise if you are looking to really pile on the muscle mass. It can be tricky to master at first, so make sure you have someone supervising you making sure you don’t overextend.

Pull-ups allow you to strengthen your back muscles, as well as your arms, shoulders and core. Grab onto a pull-up bar, making sure your elbows are not bent, and pull your body up until your chin rises over the bar. Let yourself down slowly in a controlled manner, and repeat as many times as you can.

Compound movements are a great way to enhance the power of your workouts, and to get the most out of the time you spend at the gym. Three runs a week and three strength workouts using compound exercise will get you into the best shape of your life.

Do you train at the gym often? What are your favourite exercises? Which kinds of compound movements do you find the most beneficial?

This post was written in collaboration with Fitness Market.


5 Ultimate Gift Ideas For the Active Family

Each year I promise myself that I am going to be organised for Christmas and before I know it, it’s December 23 and I find myself at the department store on Christmas Eve purchasing last minute socks, jocks and useless toys. Sound familiar?

With a little over 6 weeks to go until the big guy climbs down our chimneys again, there’s still plenty of time to put some effort into gift ideas for the family.

Here are my Top 5 Gift Ideas for Active Families

1. Sunglasses – A great gift idea for those that spend a lot of time outdoors – running, cycling, surfing. Perfect for protecting the eyes from UV rays whilst looking the part with these affordable designs.


2. Surf’s Up – My kids absolutely love the water and we spend a lot of our Summer at the beach. Inflatable surf mats are the perfect gift for the littlies. They provide hours of fun but make sure you get them one each to avoid the fighting.

Inflatable mats

3. Let’s Go Fishing! – Fishing is a great activity for parents and kids alike and with so many rod and reel varieties around, fishing couldn’t be easier. It’s a great bonding experience for the whole family but you may have to flip a coin to decide who will be putting on the bait.


4. What SUPStand up paddleboarding has become so popular in the past few years. It’s a great exercise for core strength and it’s very therapeutic when you’re out there on the calm water. The perfect Christmas gift for a loved one.


5. Hydration Packs – Are you or a family member training for an ultra-marathon? Why not give the gift of hydration this year with one of these hydration packs. They are a fabulous gift idea for the avid runner.

Hydration Pack

There you go, Christmas shopping made easy. Head over to MOTACKLE for more affordable gift ideas this Christmas.


My 6 Favourite Ways To Drink Coffee


There are lots of reasons why I drink coffee but it hasn’t always been my drink of choice. It’s fair to say that I was a late coffee bloomer. Let me take you on my coffee journey.

When I was growing up, my parents had their Italian espresso coffee shots every single day. I never understood why they loved it so much nor why they got so cranky when they ran out of coffee beans. I saw coffee as a disgusting, bitter, dirty looking drink and vowed never to drink it.

Then I began working in corporate and absolutely everyone drank it so I was curious to see what all the fuss was about. I took it very slow and by slow I’m talking “office instant”. I couldn’t afford the real stuff until my bonuses kicked in.

So each day as my colleagues strolled in with their trendy lattes, I’d be sitting at my desk sipping on my cup of instant. It wasn’t until one day that a colleague offered to buy me a real coffee that I became incredibly nervous. I had no idea what to ask for as there were so many different options out there.

“Oh whatever you’re having,” was my reply. He returned with a “skinny capp” and this soon became my all-time favourite.

Fast forward twenty or so years and I now know why coffee is one of the most popular commodities in the world.

I have been a coffee drinker for half of my life now and I’ve tried and tested many different styles and flavours.

Coffee is BIG business. I had no idea that there are education sessions that you can take as well as team building events. Check out Di Bella coffee for more information.

As a busy mum to 3 and someone who loves to keep fit, coffee has been my daily go to drink not just once, but up to 3 times a day. I seriously believe that it has given me the stamina I need to get through day to day life as a mum and a fitness fanatic.

Here are my 6 favourite ways to drink coffee:

1. The Short Black – a 30ml shot of espresso in a small cup. A good short black will have a thick golden crema on top.

Before each run, I have a short black 30 minutes prior. It helps boost my energy levels and is also great for endurance running.

2. The Cappuccino – Prepared with espresso and warm milk and milk foam. Finished with a sprinkle of chocolate powder. (I use cinnamon)

This baby is the drink that gets me up in the morning and keeps me going until, well my next coffee.

3. The Iced Coffee – This is a cold variant of coffee. There are different ways to brew this but best brewed cold for this drink. Filled with milk, then ice cream, and topped with your choice of flavourings such as chocolate, strawberry or even syrup.

This is super refreshing on a hot summers day. I like to have one of these as the kids sip on their iced chocolates at one of our favourite cafes.

4. The Latte – Simply made with espresso and steamed milk.

I like to call this the coffee for meetings. During meetings in cafe, if I ever order a cappuccino, I am guaranteed to get a latte instead. Happens every single time.

5. Mocachino – A cappuccino made with chocolate powder.

This is a great weekend fun drink for me. Makes me feel less busy and more relaxed whilst giving me my daily caffeine fix.

6. Espresso Martini – A delicious mix of vodka, coffee liquor and espresso.

This is the perfect drink to unwind with at the end of a busy week. It’s indulgent and creamy and best shared with good mates.

If like me, you LOVE your coffee and you’re considering purchasing a coffee machine, DO IT.
We spent thousands on ours which is a little extreme but worth it’s weight in, coffee.

Do you love coffee as much as me? What is your favourite type?

This post was written in collaboration with Di Bella Coffee.

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8 Realistic Tips For Weight Loss

8 Realistic Tips For Weightloss

When it comes to weight loss, I’m afraid to say there are no quick fixes, no magic pills and definitely no short cuts. The good news is, with a small tool box of tips and ideas to help you on your weight loss journey, you’ll be well on your way to reaching your goal weight.

One thing I have learnt about gaining (up to 30kgs) then losing weight post pregnancy, (3 times) is that slow and steady wins the race. The human body is amazing and it will do what you tell it to do. Be kind to it and it will be kind back.

You will have heard all of these tips before but sometimes it’s just a gentle reminder that gets you back on track to being at your optimum weight.

Below are 8 Realistic Tips That Will Help You Achieve Your Weight loss goals.

1. Use the scales as a guide only
Hands up who has ever weighed themselves daily or weekly? I know I used to. Our body weight changes regularly for various reasons. Whether it be fluid retention, that time of the month or an over-sized meal we ate the night before. Snap out of it and focus on how your clothes fit and more importantly, how you feel.

2. Set realistic goals
Here’s a fact for you. You will never achieve what you set out to achieve if you don’t set realistic goals. Setting realistic goals that you can re-visit regularly will not only keep you focussed but will help you reach your ultimate weight loss goals.

3. Use the professionals

Many factors can impact you reaching your weight loss goals. Take motivation for example. It can be with you one day and just as quickly gone the next. Or you may be so confused with all the conflicting information out there that you feel overwhelmed. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the professionals. Chi of Life is a great weight loss and health retreat that will inspire, educate and help you reach your goals sensibly.

4. Incidental exercise is king
Not everyone likes the idea of exercise and incidental exercise is the perfect way to get you moving without feeling like you’re putting in the hard yards. Run out of milk? Walk to the shops instead of taking the car. Drive the kids to school every day? Walk or ride instead. Work in an office? Take the stairs instead of the lift. I think you get my drift.

5. Portion control
Portion control plays a big part in weight loss. I have a portion plate at home and absolutely love it. It stops me from over filling my plate and helps ensure that I am getting the variety of food that I need. Invest in one, go on, you know you want to.

6. Mindful eating
Do you find yourself reaching for food (even when you’re not hungry) at certain times of the day? I do. For me it’s between the hours of 5-7pm when I’m wrangling 3 kids and trying to maintain my sanity. Practising mindful eating throughout the day is an important practice for those trying to lose weight. The next time you go to put something in your mouth, ask yourself whether you’re really hungry or stressed and try to only eat when those hunger pangs really kick in.

7. Find a buddy
Working out with a friend is one of the surest ways to keep you accountable. A buddy can help with motivation and you are less likely to hit the snooze button again and again if you know you have to meet someone for a workout. Set goals together and push each other to achieve them.

8. Consistency is key
There is no point working out and eating well for a week then going back to your old ways for the next two weeks. Consistency is crucial when it comes to weight loss. Have a whiteboard and update it each week with your meal and workout plan for the week ahead. When it comes to losing weight, planning, consistency and willpower are crucial to your success at losing weight.

Do you have any other tools that when can throw into the tool box when it comes to tips on losing weight?

This post is written in collaboration with Chi of Life.


7 Ways To Prevent Sun Damage

Sun smart
I’ve always loved the sun but have spent way too many hours in it without protection.

At the time, I just wanted to be brown. Now, in my 40’s, the hundreds of freckles on my back and chest are a direct result of those irresponsible tanning years. If I had my time again, I’d have been a lot smarter about my choices.

Over the course of a lifetime, your body is subjected to hundreds of hours of sunshine. Regardless of whether you work indoors or out, chances are at some point your skin has felt the effects of sun damage.

Here are 7 ways to limit further exposure.

1. Cover Up
It’s not so much the days lazing on the beach that account for a lifetime of sun damage but the days you forget the sun is even there. Experts note that about 80 per cent of sun damage is incidental. So a good rule of thumb is to cover up when outdoors. That includes wearing long sleeves (hello kaftan) and rash vests for swimming, especially on the kids.

2. Hats on
Wearing a hat whilst outdoors limits sun damage to the all-important skin on your face, reducing the likelihood of early ageing and sun spots. Wide brim hats that also cover the back of your neck and ears are a great option and there are so many fabulous styles to choose from!

3. Sunscreen

Did you know that sunscreen should be applied daily? Whether it’s foundation or moisturiser with built-in sunscreen or a quick application of sunscreen before you walk out the door in the morning. Cancer experts suggest a minimum of SPF 30 and regular reapplication. If you or your children have allergies, it’s best to use the sensitive skin options. There are a lot out there.

4. Protect your lips and eyes
Don’t forget your lips and eyes when it comes to sun protection. UV resistant sunglasses are the must-have eyewear and you can either apply your sunscreen to your lips or use a specific sunscreen lip balm.

5. Shade
Where possible, seek out shade, particularly during the heat of the day when the UV index is at its highest. On the beach, take your own beach shade and use big umbrellas in the backyard.

6. External shading
You don’t have to be sunbathing to be exposed to the sun. Driving your car, particularly for long periods, will expose you to damaging rays. Exposed areas of the body like hands on the steering wheel or your driving arm closest to the window are more prone to sun damage, additional shading like window tinting is a must. Companies such as Energy Efficient Tinting will offer great advice when it comes to tinting your car. I would not drive a car without window tint.

7. Watch the clock
The sun is at its strongest between the hours of 10am and 4pm, so try to limit your exposure during this period. If you have to be outdoors during these hours, be sure to take sun smart measures. It’s important to note that if you are on the water or at the snow, the sun factor is reflected and amplified, so be extra diligent in these environments.

There’s no doubt that a little dose of sunshine and vitamin D goes a long way towards improving your mental well-being and brightening your day. Be smart about it. Protect you and your family now from the damaging effects of the sun and you’ll all be thankful for it in years to come.

This post was written in collaboration with Energy Efficient Tinting” target=”_blank”>Energy Efficient Tinting.


Copyright 2013 Fit Mother Hubbard