27 May 2016

Fitness Friday: #InShapeMyShape with Women's Health

"Healthy isn't a one size fits all concept!" Women's Health
   With summer approaching, the majority of us women will be panicking over achieving the pinterest perfect '#BikiniBody'. Well this year, I am here with Women's Health to tell you to stop! After a worrying study showed that over 74% of women judge other women's bodies (as well as our own), it is time for a much needed shake up of social perception. It's time for a new age of #SummerHappiness & #BikiniConfidence instead.
   This summer, Women's Health has started a new body loving campaign #InShapeMyShape, to celebrate health & fitness in every form & at every level. They're calling time on body shaming, to focus on what we love about our amazing bodies & to show some appreciation for just what our bodies can achieve! With the help of celebrities & fitness personalities, this campaign aims to reshape our internal narrative, so that we begin to focus on what makes us confident, instead of what doesn't!
That through hard work & dedication, I am now seeing, as well as feeling, my progress. I am no longer aiming for that 'perfect body' that was inside my head, instead with each & every sweaty workout, where I have really worked for it, I feel more confident & happy within my own skin! This is me #InShapeMyShape.
Carly Rowena
@carlyrowena    Health & Fitness Blogger (One of my favourites! haha) & PT
"Social media is incredible, but one negative comment can confirm your worst fear. Mine was that my muscles made me look like a man & people have told me as much. But I've learned to ignore it & be proud of what they say about my strength."
Adrienne Herbet
@Adriennetmm    Fitness & Lifestyle Journalist & PT
"During pregnancy, I watched my belly grow from chiselled abs to the size of a space hopper. It was pretty awesome. In short, I love my body because it carried my son!"
Kim Hartwell
@kimhartwell    PT
"The body part I love is my back! By focussing my training on my back its allowed me to feel so much stronger. My training has (eventually) made me strong enough to be able to do exercises like pull ups. It's such an awesome feeling to know you can lift your own bodyweight. I feel more powerful as a whole & my posture has definitely benefited from it. Baby for back!"
Natalie Goodchild
@theblondeethos    Health & Fitness Blogger & Fitness Enthusiast
"I used to dislike how my tummy looked: messy with scars from life-saving surgery when I was a baby. Now, I love that they're part of me - a sign of something that made me stronger. Through healthy living I've learnt to appreciate the strength under my skin far more than what's on the surface. My tummy now says more about how I train & nourish my body than my illness."
Madeleine Shaw
@madeleine_shaw    Health Coach & Yoga Teacher
"IBS ins't a very sexy topic & people often feel embarrassed, but it's very common. It felt really good when I started to talk about having it & doing activities like yoga & meditation - it changed my body from the inside out."
Binky Felstead
@binkyfelstead    Made In Chelsea star & Fitness Lover
"I'm not ashamed to say I love my legs. I definitely inherited them from my mum & am lucky she had those long-and-lean genes. My tip for loving them even more? Fake tan!"
Hannah England
@hannengland_    Athlete
"I love my strong core that supports me in the toughest of races."
Joslyn Thompson Rule
@joslynthompsonrule    Nike NTC Master Trainer
"I love my shoulders because I've never worked on the specifically, but they are a result of consistent compound strength training!"
My 3 Tips to a Healthier Happier You!
1. Drink More Water
Hydration is one of the key aspects to health & happiness. Water is not only great for hydration, but it can reduce bloating & help flush out unwanted toxins in the body. Add lemon to it for taste & for added health benefits! Plus swapping soda, juice or a Starbucks for water means you're instantly cutting calories & processed sugars!
2. Replace Processed With Fresh
Try swapping flavoured ready made porridge for oats & honey, or ready made bolognese sauce for tinned tomatoes, onions & spices, or ready meals for hand made meal prep meals, or swap your packaged rice/white pasta/white bread for brown bread/rice/pasta... You get the idea! Where it is processed, try swapping it for a more natural source of food & you'll feel less bloated & leaner for doing so. There are tones of clean eating recipes online to inspire you - my favourite being Fit Men Cook.
3. Do Exercise You Actually Enjoy!
Stop forcing yourself to go for a run, to the gym or to that exercise class your friend loves - if you really don't enjoy it, try something new! First you need to find something you enjoy, then you can progress & challenge yourself within that field. For me, cardio alone used to bore me so much, but now that I focus on weight training, I am excited to get started & try new things - this is how you should feel too!
I hope this campaign inspires you as much as it has me, to love & appreciate our bodies more, because they are great! Please feel free to share what you love about your body with the hashtag #InShapeMyShape & help inspire a positive change!

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