ACTIVE LIVING: MY FITNESS HISTORY

This Blog post is about the importance of Physical activity as well as a bit about my personal experience with different types of exercise, including cardio, lifting weights, plyometrics and part of my experience with the ‘Bikini Body Guide’ by Kayla Itsines. 

imageThere are so many different forms of exercise and so many people with an opinion about what is best for you. Sometimes it can get a bit overwhelming. But I find that it is important to remember that We are Unique Individuals! We are people who have different Goals, different Body Types and different Genetics. There is one thing we can’t argue with though, that Regular Exercise or Physical Activity of some kind is Absolutely necessary for our well being. Luckily for us there are so many different ways to stay active! We must each find out what works best for us as individuals and works for our goals. Whether you want to lose weight, get toned, get stronger, be able to run a marathon, get bendy with yoga, etc. there are so many options! Just to name a few, there’s swimming, walking, running, cycling, gymnastics, surfing, crossfit, lifting weights, yoga, resistance training, hiit, etc. We each have the choice to decide for ourselves, learn what we like best and learn what works well for our own body. It may take time to discover what we like best, but the journey can be rewarding and such a great learning experience.

Over the years, I have tried a variety of different types of exercise. However, it has been over the past year that I have really discovered the most about fitness and the healthy eating habits that work best for My Body.  {{ Check out my ‘About Me‘ for more information about my lifestyle change and fitness journey! }}  When I returned home from living abroad for the 2nd time(in Sept.2013), I was doing mostly cardio, 45 minutes to 1 hour+ on the elliptical, followed by some Abdominal exercises or a little work with the machines. This lasted for a couple of months and while it definitely helped me lose some initial weight, in addition to completely changing my eating habits, I still felt weak and was having so much trouble toning up. So I started doing more and more research online about different types of exercises and payed close attention to other people at the gym. I also started using social media sites such as Instagram and discovered so many amazing Health and Fitness accounts, and I will forever be grateful for those discoveries. I found fitness and food tips, daily workouts, insightful and educational posts about different types of exercises and more. This really sparked my motivation to try new things and step out of my comfort zone in the gym!

image One of my first big changes, during Spring of 2014, was to start lifting light weights and using more of the machines. I was nervous to pick up the free weights or get on a weight machine and look like an ass in front of the more experienced lifters, but thanks to seeing other women around the World doing the same, and the support of my sister (who is very knowledgeable when it comes to fitness) I quickly got over myself and went for it! Everyone starts somewhere after all. I started with super simple routines with free weights, but was still mostly relying on the machines.

      One of my Biggest discoveries on Instagram was Australian Personal Trainer, Kayla Itsines. She is the creator of the Bikini Body Guide, a 12-Week training program that uses variety of different training techniques. I discovered her Instagram and Website last February (almost a year ago!) but didn’t buy the guide right away. I was still learning, wanted to go at my own pace and didn’t feel I was ready. But I saw all these amazing women changing their lives and saw Kayla, a relatively small girl completely Destroying Stereotypes about smaller women. She was So Strong and Fit and her Strength and  Workout Videos truly Inspired me.. So I started slowly but surely started incorporating some of her recommended exercises, such as Box Jumps, Tricep Dips, Lunges and Step-Ups! Some of my Absolute Favorite Exercises Now. I followed her tips and also started using some weights when doing Squats, Lunges and Started using a variety of new machines and free weighted exercises.

Slowly but surely I was getting
stronger! Finally this Summer I decided to buy her training guide, but just as I was really ready to buy it, she came out with a 2.0 version. A continuation of her 1st guide. By this point I felt that my fitness level had greatly improved (it had been about 5 months) and I was much more into lifting weights than anything else, and knew the 2.0 exercises required the use of more weights. So, I purchased the 2nd Guide beginning of September and finished it 1st week of January 2015. Towards the middle/end of the 2.0 Guide I realized how much better it would have been to have done the 1st guide from the beginning! and so I decided after I finished the 2.0 guide (with some modifications) I would go back and Start fresh from the Beginning. So, I am on Week 6 from the 1st guide and I’m Loving it!! And I discovered that the 1.0 guide does actually incorporate some weights.

>>I HIGHLY Recommend starting with the 1.0 Bikini Body Guide! If I could go back in time I would start with this one, but instead I’m doing it now, alongside thousands of other women around the World with #thekaylamovement, which started January 5th, 2015 and is still going strong! I’m currently on my 4th round and just hit the 1 year mark!!<<

I really love the fast paced, timed workouts from the guide, but I do still like to go at my own pace and do some extra weighted workouts sometimes, although much less than before (will do a separate post about that Very Soon!). With the BBG, each session, (which are a variety of Legs & Cardio, Arms & Abs, and Full Body workout) has two different circuits, each of which you repeat twice. The goal is to repeat the 4 exercises and the listed repetitions as many times as you can can in a 7 minute period. Then you rest for a short period (30-90 seconds), and go on to do the 2nd circuit in the same way, and then repeat the 1st and 2nd again. It takes a total of roughly 30 minutes or so. It has been such a great experience having this guide and challenging myself to do all these exercises.

image Every week my fitness knowledge grows, thanks to easily accessible knowledge sharing through sites like Instagram, certain blogs and the internet in general. Each and every day I learn something new about about how to take care of my body, how to sculpt it, nurture it and heal it. My fitness journey has been such a learning experience, and I am grateful to have found my own healthy balance with exercise and eating. I am so excited to see what the future brings and what I can accomplish.

I encourage you All
 to do some of you own Research, ask friends with Fitness experience for help and find a supportive community of like-minded people with similar goals, whether it be on Instagram, Facebook or in the “Real” World.

Keep Believing in Yourself and Never Give Up!

Will share my Weekly Schedule, including my BBG Routine and extra Workouts very soon!
Love, Alena

One thought on “ACTIVE LIVING: MY FITNESS HISTORY

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s