In a few weeks time I'm off to Portugal with friends and family for a week's holiday and to celebrate my birthday whilst I'm there, so I decided a couple of months ago I needed to start getting in shape and try to achieve a 'bikini body'!
As a married woman who works full time, has a house and a dog to look after it can be so easy to let exercising and being healthy fall way down my list of priorities, but with a few tweaks here and there it can be incorporated into your daily routine more easily than you think. You don't need to join an expensive gym or start looking to employ a nutritionist - you can eat healthier meals and exercise at home.
First things first...I knew I had to change my eating habits. I decided to cut out bread and replaced my usual lunchtime sandwiches with salads and couscous, I've cut out a lot of the unhealthy snacks (not all though, I still need my chocolate fix every now and then!) and I've replaced white potatoes with sweet potatoes in my evening meals. I think my stomach gets a lot less bloated since cutting out bread and it wasn't as difficult to do as I first thought. It was hard though to cut down on sugary snacks as I have a very sweet tooth, but I've been enjoying healthier treats like strawberries and cherries with a spoonful of low fat greek yoghurt, fresh melon and raw carrot sticks.
Due to my new job and trying to keep up with blogging I haven't really had the time to join the gym and make sure I attend regularly, so I've been exercising at home to try and improve my fitness. This is my 'at home' routine that I've been following:-
- Aerobic exercise DVD at least three times per week which lasts approximately an hour. I've been alternating between the Davina Fitness DVDs and the Ministry of Sound ones to ensure different muscles groups get worked and also to try and keep me motivated. If I do the same one over and over again I get bored and won't want to do it.
- Squats every day - I started with 50 per day then increased by an extra 20 each day, doing up to a total of 200. I will have a bum like Kim Kardashian! (Okay, maybe not!)
- Sit ups/planks/crunches every day - I find stomach exercises the most difficult but I'm trying to do between 50 and 100 every day to try and make my abs reappear! I don't think I'll ever have a washboard stomach but I do think it's getting a tiny bit flatter so I'm going to carry on with them.
- Get outside and walk! Even just a short brisk walk can help towards achieving fitness goals so I've been getting outside whenever I can - a nice half hour walk on my lunch break at work, doing the evening dog walking duties (only when it's not raining though...she's such a diva and won't go out when it's wet), or if I'm feeling energetic, a short jog or run round my local area is a great way of burning off some excess calories.
(Here's the disclaimer bit - I must point out that I am in no way a fitness expert so I do not recommend that you follow this routine without first consulting a medical expert.)
Of course though, as a beauty and fashion blogger I still want to look good whilst I exercise (no, baggy old jogging bottoms and your husband's/boyfriend's t-shirt is not appropriate attire!) and that's why I'm loving the range from Ilu Fitwear at the moment. Founded in 2013 by two city centre high flyers, the idea for Ilu Fitwear came about over a chance cup of coffee in London. Sonya Morton-Firth and Mary Moran both had a passion for health, fitness and fashion and believed that all three should be combined to make women of all ages, shapes and sizes look and feel good - both on the inside and out. The brand is all about inspiring women and living a lifestyle which combines fitness, fun and everyday routines . Ilu Fitwear makes it possible to concentrate on getting fit without compromising on style. What I love about the range is that whilst you can wear it at the gym or exercising at home, it's also suitable for everyday life too. The 'Glam' collection on the Ilu website is full of sexy separates to make sure you're the centre of attention on a night out!
I love this Pink Layered Vest* from the 'Chilled' collection. The material is quick drying and has a lovely silky feel to it. It's perfect for wearing over a sports bra for exercising in or layering over a black cami top to wear with skinny jeans for a more relaxed daytime look. You could even wear it just over your bra if you're daring enough - with some denim hotpants, sandals and statement jewellery this would be a perfect look for the beaches of Ibiza.
The whole range is really versatile and very wearable. Each piece can be styled in several ways and isn't just for sweating in! You can see all the Ilu collections online here
What do you normally wear to the gym or for exercising at home? Have you checked out Ilu Fitwear yet?