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Your No Excuse Workout Plan

This is a guest post by Danielle Shoom, Personal Trainer. Visit Danielle’s website here

Some weeks are busier than others and some times you just feel lazy! However getting in your workout can make that busy, stressful week seem not as bad or your lazy day can turn around with just 30-60 minutes of exercise. Here are 4 tips on how to get your workouts in, no matter what!

Get Into A Routine

On Sunday nights I will sit down and think about what I want to do for the upcoming week. I always change it up but I’ve made a pact for myself to work out every day between Monday and Friday. This way, I have a routine. I like to workout first thing in the morning, so this is how I schedule it: running on Mondays, Barre class on Tuesdays, and so on. This really keeps me motived all week long!

Schedule Ahead of Time

Schedule yourself into a class and be committed to it! Most gyms have a 12-hour cancelation period (once you’re in you’re stuck!)   Whether or not you’re in the mood to exercise, I promise you that you will never leave a workout feeling worse than before.

Buy A Gym Package

Buying a package at a gym is not cheap! They usually start at $100, and that’s normally just for  a 5-pack! By investing in a package, that means you have to use it! Buy a 5 pack at one gym, then find another place to exercise next month.  Changing up your workout will keep your mind and body guessing.

Grab A Friend

Schedule to meet up with a friend at the gym or at the park, and work out together. This will make you both accountable and force you not to bail on each other. You’ll be killing two birds with one stone (metaphorically of course) by catching up with each other and staying fit together!

Danielle Shoom is a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and nutrition enthusiast based in Toronto, Ontario. Visit Danielle’s website at danielleshoomfitness.com

What motivates me to stay healthy, fit, and happy

This is a post by PumpUp’s DebbieMC1232. Through her weight loss journey, she has been able to motivate and inspire others both on PumpUp and through her own personal fitness page

It’s Debbie here again!

I want to talk about motivation and what drives me every day to stay fit, healthy and happy.

It’s been 10 months since I started my healthy lifestyle change. I think the reason it worked this time was because I was no longer stressed due to my old job, I wanted to prove to everyone that doubted me (including myself) at times that I could do it. That I could train myself, eat right and motivate myself. 

The 7th of January was the day I started and I started by searching for motivational quotes on Google and I came across one I loved and felt like it was written for me. I wrote it out and signed and dated it. I only found it there a few weeks ago by chance and it brought a tear to my eye when I could finally say I accomplished everything on it!! 

Throughout my weight loss journey I’ve come to realize that to lose weight permanently you have to do it the right way. Healthy eating, working out, and having one treat day in the week will keep you sane.

Some weeks I don’t always treat myself to goodies, I treat myself to gym gear or health books which I absolutely love. Anytime I go on holiday you are sure to find me in a sports shop or in a book shop in the health/fitness section. 

Every day that I get up I feel so much better and happier than I used to. I no longer have to dread waking up and figuring out which baggy jumper will I wear today. It had gotten to the stage where I literally had one outfit to wear and sometimes I would just wear my work clothes at home on my day off as it was the only thing that would fit me and of course it was black (it makes you look more slimmer, right?)

I had thirty pairs of jeans and not one of them fit me. I would not give into buying size 14(uk) clothes. I would squish myself into size 12(uk). I know there are many girls out there that are a size 14 and happy but for me I just did not want to own a size 14 anything!! I had always been a size 8(uk) so it really affected me mentally being three stone bigger.

I did the hasfit.com “30day challenge to get in shape” and lost 12lbs in the first 2 weeks. It was really so motivating for me to see how much I lost in such a short space of time with working out and eating healthy. It got me into a routine of working out 5 times a week and found it so motivating(it was like having your own free personal trainer at home) I still do Hasfit workouts daily, and mix it up with HIIT workouts, Kettle bell’s, core work and my favorite  the treadmill. I find the treadmill great for running off any negative feelings that you can get sometimes!!

Ten months on from that I am feeling fully motivated, healthier, happier and fitter than I have ever been. I did not give up; I found that ‘bad days are the best days for working out’. You just have to conquer your negative mentality (it can be our biggest enemy at times).  Keep eating healthy, keep working out, keep saying no to other people trying to tempt you with food and have one day in the week where you can look forward to and have some treats, but the most important thing is to make sure that you ‘bring it’ to the gym on the next day and eat healthy consistently!! I promise you that it is all worth it in the end. I have just recently started weight training 3 times a week and I can’t wait to see myself at my next goal! I will be sure to post some new pictures after a few weeks! If I can do it, so can you!! 

PumpUp is awesome, I love it, and I couldn’t live without it now for my daily motivation! Also, have a look at my fitness page on Facebook. I have daily tips and motivation up every day!

These pictures from PumpUp's Emy B. will take your breath away - PumpUp Spotlight Series

All the world’s a stage, and Emy B. glimmers under the spotlight both as a theatre major and as an extraordinary PumpUp member. She is wise beyond her years, earnestly confessing thatI have realized that comparison is the thief of happiness. I tell myself that ‘Flowers do not think of competing with the flowers next to them, they simply bloom.’”  She blossoms today on Spotlight Sunday for her optimism and insight. Read about Emy’s incredibly balanced lifestyle and view more of her breathtaking photos in workout gear from Jillian Michaels’ new clothing line for Kmart down below.

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Emy, who joined the community more than one year from the time that this article was written, is a beacon of inspiration for many longtime and newfound PumpUp members. “It is by far the most motivational health app on my phone. I love how supportive and positive everyone in the PumpUp community is,” asserts Emy.

She has been a dancer and a yogi for several years, but committed to set health and fitness goals for herself on a regular basis when she entered college. Her commitment to wellness derives from both personal and professional reasons. “I’m an actor and a theatre major. I love the performing arts and it’s really important to be in shape as an actor,” Emy explains. “I love theatre for the same reason I love PumpUp, it’s an incredible community that, once you decide to be a part of it, will welcome you with open arms and support you in your journey.”

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Emy advises PumpUp members looking to lead a more active life to begin with a health journal. She advocates its personal and portable qualities. “Write down your goals, your successes, your workout and meal plans and inspirational quotes,” she counsels. I think it’s important to track progress in a way that is completely personal to you because you can write down exactly how you’re feeling without needing to censor yourself.”

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Though Emy works out almost every day—either by taking a walk, practicing yoga, or dancing— she identifies Pilates as her favourite strength activity. She gushes, “I can do it anywhere and I feel like a beast when I push myself to do more reps and say, ‘If you’re not challenging yourself, you’re not changing yourself!’” Hiking is her favorite cardio activity because it gives her a chance to commune with nature. “It satisfies me on so many levels,” Emy conveys. “I feel that it is good for my mind, body, and soul. Being in nature clears my mind. Hiking and climbing up hills makes my body feel great and feeling the earth under my feet soothes my soul.”

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Emy admits that she at times struggles with comparing her own progress to the progress of others, but reminds herself not to do so. “I’m really good at seeing the beauty in others but I need to remember that I will make more progress by being my own cheerleader instead of my own biggest critic,” says Emy. “Everyone is beautiful in their own special way.”

Personal growth is something that Emy constantly strives for, and in 6 months from now she hopes to be able to do something that she could not have imagined herself doing today. Just over this past year, Emy has made patient and steady progress with hoop dancing. “When I started, I dropped my hoop and messed up a lot but I worked at it every day and approached it with a purely positive mindset and now all my practice has paid off,” she says. “I hope to continue growing and improving and do so with nothing but happy vibes.”

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Every person on PumpUp committed to living a healthy lifestyle inspires Emy. “I love seeing the pictures people post and how they choose to express themselves and their health journey,” says she. Cassey Ho, the creator of Blogilates, is also a person that she looks up to. “She sees the beauty in everyone and everything,” explains Emy. “I think that’s a really important message to remember: you are beautiful just the way you are. We work out because we love our bodies, not because we hate them.”

Motivational Mantras

“I have so many quotes all over the place that inspire me but one that I came across recently is ‘Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life.’ I really like this because it’s true that small steps lead to big changes. Switching out soda and juice for water and tea seems like a small step that can make a huge difference to how you feel. I believe in making choices today that will make me proud tomorrow, every little decision counts.”

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Favourite snack, meal, and drink

“I love fruits and veggies. I often fill up a Tupperware container with spinach and mixed fruits. Right now I have mango, peaches, strawberries and snap peas in my fridge ready to go. One of my favorite meals is fruit salad. I make mine with spinach, kale, mango, strawberries, olomomo almonds and edamame! For dressing I like to add a little lemon juice or sometimes I add avocado.

My favorite drink is water, of course, because it has a ton of health benefits, and is great for your skin, nails, teeth and hair.

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Follow Emy on Instagram and PumpUp @meowemy. The clothing in Emy’s photos is sponsored by Impact by Jillian Michaels for Kmart as part of the #dailyIMPACT campaign. 

Shop the Impact by Jillian Michaels items as worn by Emy

Impact by Jillian Michaels Athletic Tank Top

Impact by Jillian Michaels Short-Sleeve Athletic Top

Impact by Jillian Michaels Power Capri Athletic Pants 

Impact by Jillian Michaels Medium-Impact Sports Bra

Debbie's Weight Loss Journey Will Inspire You

Easing into the groove of a healthy and active lifestyle isn’t without hardship, and PumpUp’s own DebbieMC1232 chronicles her story beautifully. Through her weight loss journey, she has been able to motivate and inspire others both on PumpUp and through her own personal fitness page. After losing nearly 42 lbs since January 2014, Debbie is now well on her way to becoming a certified personal trainer and fitness instructor. Learn about how Debbie has been able to marry her passion for motivating others with the PumpUp community down below. 

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My name is Debbie and I’m from Ireland. When I was younger, I would spend all of my pocket money on fitness magazines and would read through every single page taking every single bit of information in.  Suffice it to say, I loved everything about fitness. I loved working out and keeping active and would play any sport when I was younger.

Everything changed when I was 18 and accepted a job at a discount store. I couldn’t wait to start and had kept imaging what I would buy with all my money (as it was my first job). But six years later, I was still working there. I had become a different, unhappy, depressed woman. I had gained 3 stone (42 lbs) over the years from comfort eating because I hated my job and hated what my life had become. I stopped going out, detested looking at myself in the mirror and just wanted to leave the job, but felt somewhat stuck as I had been there so long.

This year, on January 7th, I was fired from my job. Some people would think I would be upset but I was over the moon. It meant that my life was going to change for the better. This was the day I decided that this was my chance to prove everyone wrong. I was going to lose the weight, not by ‘dieting’ but by eating healthy and working out. I had found that every time I told someone I was going to lose the weight that they would say ‘oh sure, how long will this last?’ and nearly straight away I would give up.

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This time it was going to be different. This time I wasn’t going to tell anyone. I would let them see my weight loss for themselves. The first time that my boyfriend commented that I looked like I had lost weight was the moment I knew I couldn’t give up. I had to see this through.

I found a free workout website called hasfit.com and did the 30 day challenge to get in shape, combined with healthy eating and working out and lost 12lbs in 2 weeks. I was ecstatic. By doing the 30 day challenge it got me into a routine of working out daily and I loved it!!

A few months later, I set up my own fitness page called Debbie’s Health and Fitness Motivation. I have constant daily tips for helping men and women lose weight. I am overwhelmed by the amount of followers I have and the amount of people that write to me daily seeking my help. I always make time to help other people with losing weight, as I know exactly what it feels like. One girl in particular has lost nearly 3 stone with the help of my page—and she is one of many.

I eat healthy 6 days a week, and one day in the week I have one treat day and have what I want, but I never over indulge any more.

On Monday September 22nd I started a combination course in Galway Ireland with Image Fitness, and I will be a qualified gym instructor, fitness instructor and personal trainer by February (as long as I pass my exams, that is).

Life is so much better since I lost the weight, became healthier and became a happier person in general.

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Six years ago I could barely get myself out of bed, I hated work and I was so so unhappy. I will never go back to the way my former, unhealthy lifestyle was.

I motivate myself every single morning I get up. I go straight on my page every morning and help motivate the 1,800+ followers I have by going through all the positives of losing weight, promising them it is worth it. I have lost nearly 3 stone since January— a combination of not giving up, setting myself goals, and rewarding myself with weekends away, perfumes, and other things every time I lost 5 lbs. Take your weight loss 5 lbs at a time. Don’t pressure yourself to do the impossible. Take it a few steps at a time, but always remember to look back at how far you have come and pat yourself on the back!

You deserve it!!! I am so, so happy I was told about PumpUp as I myself need some motivation at times. I do spend most of my time motivating other people, so I found it a ‘God Send’ to find PumpUp. I honestly wouldn’t be able to go a day without the constant and daily inspiration from other people all over the world, sharing their progress and stories. 

So thank you PumpUp, you are doing such a great job, keep it up!

Dislike Running? You Won't Anymore! (We Promise)

Guest blog by Siya Natseva. Follow Siya on her blog, PumpUp (@cinnamonontop), and Instagram (@cinnamonontop8).

An active runner? A beginner? A runner-to-be? A runner-to-never-be? Regardless of how you describe yourself, I’m sure we agree that running has an unfairly bad reputation. It’s often reduced to a treadmill in a confined space. In our minds, running is the definition of ‘boring’! One foot in front of the other, to eternity and back. But running shouldn’t be mundane. Let’s see how…

(Photo : omghowgirl)

1.    Music is the solution to every problem!

Your grandparents may not grasp the idea of blocking your hearing by means of headphones and a blast of sound, but for the 21st century kid musical accompaniment is a must. Running is no exception. When you focus on your favourite song versus the fact you’re drenched in sweat and exhausted, you…forget that you’re drenched in sweat and exhausted! Create a playlist to at least cover your estimated jog duration. You should aim for upbeat songs, not devastating rock ballads. Don’t be fooled: I’m a rock chick but I can’t imagine myself pumping it up (see what I did there?) to Bon Jovi’s ‘Always’.

2. Changing Gears    

Due to its nature, running can become a tedious form of working out. This is particularly true when you discover a comfortable pace and settle for it. In this sense, upping the speed and / or length of your training is crucial. In addition - the changing gears part – you can modify your pace. Run fast for, say, three minutes and then lower your speed for three minutes. No hardcore interval training required; small adjustments make a difference. In this case, you’ll also benefit from a balanced music list. Harmonise your jogging with it.

3.  The oh-so-important scenery

Running is what we ought to complete in the gym before the real deal happens. Perhaps this is your error. Running needn’t be done in the gym with air being scarce and people killing themselves on the machines. Visit the local park. Is there a secluded area which can serve as your running ground? Running in the open is a life saver. Having a jog, whereby you connect with nature, is beneficial in numerous ways. And, hey, there’s plenty of oxygen to feed your cells! New locations are a distraction from your physical discomfort and lead to better results!

4. Empty your head   

Running is an effective stress-reliever. You can test this statement by fully concentrating on…you. Ditching technology isn’t half bad. We live in an extraordinarily hectic world and have to remind ourselves to breathe, embrace the moment and enjoy it. Free yourself of thoughts and simply run. Pay no attention to anything or anyone. Listen to your breathing and admire what you’re capable of! You’ll be surprised to feel extremely refreshed and worry-free after a run which is about you and you alone. Need to resolve an issue? By ridding yourself of mental effort, you’re likely to do so without even realising it!

5.  Buddy Up

For those afraid of solitary confinement, teaming up with a friend may be what you need. Unlike other sports – notably swimming - running provides you with the opportunity to socialise! Having a companion will transform running into a fun activity that you participate in together. Sometimes the best workouts are those that don’t resemble a workout in the slightest. It’s certainly worth attempting, especially if you lose motivation quickly, for it’ll awake your competition spirit. You’ll be discouraged from whining and quitting. Instead, you’ll be invested in burning calories, toning up your body and catching up on gossip! 

(Photo: Starling Fitness)

About Siya

Howdy, PumpUps!

My name is Siya. I’m 27 years young, with a passion for a healthy lifestyle, including a love for nutritious food and an active routine. Having struggled with my weight for years, it would be incredibly rewarding to me to support others and inspire them to prioritise their health instead of their appearance. I’m currently working out at home and can relate to those on a tight budget. An aspiring blogger and writer, I’ve recently started a blog where I share simple recipes and exercises, and promote a positive body image. I welcome advice from like-minded fitness enthusiasts, for I believe one can never know enough. Hit me up and let’s ace this! 

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This stunning transformation was posted by PumpUp member lykadeleon. Her goal for 2014 was to get fit.

Since January, she has lost a total of 20 lbs and continues to aspire towards “fitness, not thinness”. Congrats Lyka, you’re AMAZING! Remember to tag your pictures with #TransformationTuesday today, PumpUp fam! Your progress matters to us, no matter how big or small.