Reasons to Love Zumba!

I dedicate this blog post to everyone who started off their fitness year strong before coming to a crashing halt. You hit the gym hard, drank every smoothie you found on Pinterest, “cleansed” your body from all the naughty snacks you devoured at Christmas and New Year… Then nothing.

Hey, you’re only human! In most cases, it’s not actually because you simple HATE exercise, it normally comes down to what you personally enjoy. You need something to get you pumped up, something that you’re more likely to do consistently because it’s just that fun. You need something that doesn’t make you feel rubbish when you find yourself struggling to keep up. Maybe try Zumba?

If you guys follow me on Twitter, you know how much I love Zumba. That wonderful, dance-tastic fitness craze that came into our world in the early noughties which blasts out tracks by Pitbull, Shakira and much more. Though I know many people who are mad about the latest Kim K butt blaster, I’m more about leaving the studio with legs like jelly and a smile on my face than wondering whether my body is looking amazing yet (not saying I never have those moments, as I said, we’re only human).

You can never do Zumba wrong

As a previous instructor of mine used to say, “if you can’t keep up, just shake it ’til you make it!” The moves aren’t too complicated, but you’re always going to have moments where you slip up and fall out of time with the steps, but you just laugh it off!

No one is judging you

One of my biggest issues with the gym is feeling like I shouldn’t be there. It’s never been enough to stop me, but I guarantee you won’t feel that way at Zumba. Join in on all the “Wooo’s” and “Hey! Hey! Hey’s!” You’ll realise that there is no room for being “too cool” and that going with the flow is what it’s all about.

Zumba doesn’t feel like a workout

I mean, physically it does. You’re obviously aware that your body is being pushed, but it’s so bouncy and exciting that you simply don’t care! You can burn between 400 and 700 calories in one class, but you honestly wouldn’t think so. It just feels like one big party!

The People are Amazing

The best thing about going to Zumba is that everyone is different. We all come in a wonderful rainbow of shapes, sizes, personalities, and we support each other with “woop’s” partner moves and catwalk poses.

There is a Zumba class for everyone

No Zumba classes are ever the same. Some I have loved, others not so much. If you find that you try one class and think it’s not for you, it could actually just come down to that particular class. For me, I need a bit of a challenge, so if a class is too easy then I need to find somewhere else. However, if I also need an instructor who is engaging. Try a few places out before you settle on one class.

It’s more than your average cardio

Yes, you’ll be out of breath and reaching for your water bottle between each song, but it’s much more than a basic cardio class. You will be toning your body as you squat, kick, booty-shake for an hour, loving every single minute of it.
Zumba is something I have been in love with since I was seventeen, and now I’m so excited to say that this Summer I will be doing my Zumba instructor training! I’m so over the moon about this new adventure and I will hopefully be instructing classes in a few places around Manchester, and hope some of you will join my classes!

LaceyFitspo xx

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Getting Financially Fit with GiffGaff Gameplan

There are three key points in my blog tagline; happy, healthy and kinda broke. It’s not just something I say to look quirky and interesting. This blog focuses on living a happy and healthier lifestyle without breaking the bank, so when GiffGaff invited me to to Leeds to take part in their MoneyFit Challenge, there was no way I was going to say no!

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The aim of the event was to encourage young adults to start using a healthy approach to their finances. GiffGaff are launching a new money service to help you get on the right track with your spending, keep an eye on your credit score and bills all in one place. Everything you need to monitor will be there on your phone, broken down and easy to understand. I have spent the past five years struggling to gain control over my financial situation. It wobbles up and down throughout the year, but after talking with some of the GiffGaff team, I felt like this is a great way to keep everything together so I don’t lose track of where I am with my payments and savings.

The Event

So, as the service is to help you get financially fit, it wouldn’t be right to have fitness related activities in celebration. Myself and many other northern bloggers met with the company at FireHouse Fitness where we took part in some fun, motivating, and body pushing activities!

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Fresh berries on ice.

My team were first up in the exercise round. The aim was to run on a treadmill for twenty minutes straight, while burning as many calories as we could. The more we burned, the more money we would earn (up to 200kcal). The highest amount of money we could take home was £40. I burned 168kcal, putting me in third behind two other bloggers, and giving me a total of £33.

Believe it or not, I was the only one who cooled down afterwards. The girls told me how much they regretted it the next day!

After that we moved onto smoothies! The team was split in half, pink or green. Well, you’d think I would be on the pink team, but everyone wanted that, so I offered myself to the green team and made a spinach based energy booster, with apples, cucumber, lemon and a little bit of carrot. It was surprisingly nice!

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Our smoothie gurus showing us what they’re made of

Finally we talked to the GiffGaff team about their new service. One of the girls on my team was actually already with GiffGaff, and gave us a personal perspective of the service. It’s now something I am looking into for my own financial situation, and I encourage you to do the same if you’re in the same money boat as me.

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The GiffGaff team were so friendly and informative!

Final Thoughts

Though money isn’t the most important thing in the world, it’s a good idea to do what you can to keep yourself stable and in control financially. with GiffGaff, you have everything in one place, reducing financial stress, and giving you more freedom to focus on other things in life that are important to you!

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Collecting my earnings at the end of the event!

I had an amazing day, met wonderful people and I would like to thank GiffGaff and Firehouse Fitness for such a wonderful opportunity.

LaceyFitspo xx

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Sweet potato burgers

This is actually a recipe which I ended up changing almost completely from Simply Nigella. Hers was a butternut squash and halloumi burger, but I don’t really like butternut squash. Anyway, this is my own spin!

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1-2 sweet potatoes, depending on size and mouths to feed
  • Sainsbury’s Greek style vegan cheese
  • wholemeal pitta bread
  • light mayo
  • pesto
  • spinach
  • tomatoes
  • salt & pepper

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200*C and wash the sweet potato(es)
  • Cut the potato into slices about 1.5cm each, then lay on a baking tray
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper (optional)
  • Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes
  • Mix a dollop of light mayo with a teaspoon of pesto to make a sauce.
  • Cut the pitta in half, then slice open through the middle
  • Spread the sauce and add spinach and chopped tomatoes
  • Remove sweet potato from oven and add one slice per half pitta
  • Crumble cheese on top
  • close the pitta and enjoy!
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Winter warmer… Guksu!

Guksu can be made in many different ways, but as I only work with basic ingredients, this is more of an inspiration than a proper guksu recipe. Non the less, it’s a perfect winter warmer and is super easy to make!

Serves 5

Ingredients

  • 2 packs vegan noodles
  • ½ small bowl mixed frozen veg
  • ½ small bowl chopped mushrooms (can buy frozen too)
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 heaped tsp korean seasoning (can buy from Aldi or make own)
  • 2 sheets of nori
  • sriracha/chilli sauce (optional)

Method

Heat the noodles in a pan with hot water. Whilst doing so, slowly heat a large pan with water and add the Korean seasoning, and the noodle flavour packets. Then add the spring onions, frozen veg and mushrooms. Keep stirring every now and then to allow the flavours to mix.

When the noodles are ready, strain the water and add noodles to broth. For the rest of the nori, crush and serve a spoonful with each portion. Add sriracha/chilli sauce.

Serve and enjoy!

LaceyFitspo xx

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Stretch and Flex with Pink Sorbet

This post features a gifted item.

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE a good stretch. I can sit in my living room for an hour, pulling my body about until I’m as loose as spaghetti! But as it’s cold out, I find it much harder to get a good flexi session as my body doesn’t want to move as much. How do I work around it? Layers of course! So when I was sent these beautiful work out jumpers from Pink Sorbet, I thought, why not write something about flexibility training, while talking about these adorable designs?

There are so many reasons to stretch on a regular basis, and you are likely to get better results when your body is kept warm, so these jumpers are perfect for keeping in the body heat, while looking awesome at the same time..

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I really love the simplicity of the designs. I don’t know about you, but I find that sometimes you don’t need too much to make something look good. This jumper basically has “me” written all over it!

Flexibility – The most obvious point. I used to stretch for ten minutes a day using this Blogilates video, and sometimes I still use it. I ended up getting my splits from just 10-15 minutes of stretching each morning.

It wakes you up AND sends you to sleep – Wait, how can it do both? When you wake up in the morning, your body is stiff from the positions you’ve been in all night, so by stretching you are breaking yourself out of that achy feeling you get when you don’t wish to get up. As for going to sleep? You are likely to drift off quicker if you are to stretch out first as your muscles become more relaxed, meaning you won’t be tossing and turning as much.

It encourages good posture – If you’re a blogger or you work in an office, you’ll definitely benefit from this. Stretching every day can lengthen tight muscles and by stretching the lower back, chest and shoulders can help keep the spine aligned the way it should be and reduce any aches you get from sitting at a desk all day.

It relieves fatigue – I can’t elaborate more on this really. The more you stretch, the less fatigue you have and the more energy you feel!

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Something worth noting is the inside of this jumper, it really does hug you! It’s super soft and makes you feel extra comfortable while stretching out.

A few other benefits?

  • Better blood circulation
  • reduces cholesterol
  • lower risk of injury
  • better athleticism

Thanks ever so much to Pink Sorbet for sending me these wonderful jumpers to keep me warm when working on my flexibility. Their designs are minimal yet cute and there’s a design for everyone. I’m loving the rose gold star, it’s sooooo me! And the lightning bolt? Anyone else getting Harry Potter vibes?

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Which design is your favourite? Check out more of their items

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Realistic Resolutions: Feel Good 2018

Honesty Hour: How many of you say every year that you’re going to get fit and healthy, only to look back at the end and find you’ve DEFINITELY not stuck to that plan?

It’s okay, it’s completely human and to be expected, but I don’t see why it should be routine each year. This doesn’t mean to say we shouldn’t strive for a healthier year, but I think its’s time to focus less on the weight and inches, and more on getting our spring back and feeling fab. So here’s my resolutions for the year ahead:

Have a 3:2 method

One of the reasons I would often find my regime falling off the wagon was because I would go through the motions of working out all week for about two weeks or so… and then I would give up for a month and eat even more crap. So my new plan is to do two days of extra effort exercise (for me that is zumba and pole) and then have three days of short, gentle workouts such as lightly jogging or Wii Fit.

Find more adventures

Over Christmas I have been driving around with Larry and we have passed some beautiful areas in the UK that I really want to explore, and there’s so many activities I keep seeing online that I want to take part in… So why am I not doing it!? I want to go hiking, trampolining, dancing… anything!

Prep more food

I know, I know… I love my food prep. However, with the schedule I have, I often forget and end up too tired to make anything when I get in from work (six days a week is enough to exhaust a gal). So I’ll be writing up a prep plan, which I will be sharing with you guys, and my fridge/freezer will be packed with all my favourite healthy meals!

Listen to my body more

Another problem I have come across when trying to stay fit was learning to rest and relax. I work so much, but my one day off a week is normally spent catching up on everything I haven’t done at home during the week. I’m planning on spending an hour an evening on my blogs so that my day off can be completely dedicated to myself! I’ve also booked more holidays from work so I can get a good few weeks off until the end of the work year.

Stop beating myself up over my indulgences

It’s not worth it. The chocolate was eaten. Move on and do better the next day.

I don’t want to look back on 2018 and think that I didn’t stick to anything that I knew would be good for me. I don’t want to set resolutions that feel unattainable and eventually become nothing. I want a year where I don’t worry about my weight, my body shape or anything like that.

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2018! What are your resolutions for the year?

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Has Winter demotivated me?

If there’s anything I often reiterate on my blog, it’s that everything I write comes from my own personal journey. This means I want to be honest when I find that life isn’t going as planned.

It has gotten increasingly cold in the past month or so, and now I’m working two jobs, I find it increasingly harder to get out and about doing whatever I need. I noticed I’ve only been going to the gym for zumba, as there’s no classes I enjoy anymore, and it’s too busy to use free weights when I have the time to go, so I cancelled my membership. I’ll still be doing Zumba, but at a local community centre that’s only £1. I’m trying to pole twice a week, but that seems to have been a struggle over the past couple of weeks.

Though I know I’m working twice as much, and only have one day off a week, I can’t help but question whether it’s the cold season that’s having the biggest impact on my lack of efforts. As I’m writing this, it is 4pm, I’m still in my pyjamas and I’m wrapped in a duvet on the sofa. I just don’t want to move! So it’s time to make some changes.

As mentioned, I aim to do Zumba each week, and I’m trying my hardest to keep up with the pole as much as I can, but I need to also get a grip on my routine, my writing and even my diet.

I feel like my diet isn’t too bad, but I have been eating out after work a lot as the idea of cooking frozen food when I’m already frozen myself is something I try to avoid, and if I do eat at home, it’s usually snacks. I need to stop this! So I’m filling my cupboards with soups, microwave rice and any other healthier foods I can which don’t involve reaching into the freezer.

I will keep you guys updated, and hopefully my writing will motivate me to make more effort… Especially fitmas!!!

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Redefining Fitspo

This has been re-uploaded from LaceyFitspo Tumblr back in March 2017.

I have always considered myself to be a “fitspo” blog, but a while back I found myself falling out of love with the word as I noticed there were a few people who considered it to be the new skinny. so I thought I would remind myself and others how the perception of fitness has changed over the past couple of years.

When I first started this blog, I wasn’t truly aware of what it meant to be healthy. I’m no expert on fitness and nutrition, but to constantly wear myself out at the gym and worry about whether I am eating right or not is not good. As many of you may already be aware, I have been trying to move away from this focus, and to instead balance a healthy lifestyle with a happy one.

A lot of online platforms are changing the game when it comes to health and fitness. PopSugar are a very encouraging website if you’re looking for health guidance, with not only mouth watering recipes that are good for you, but there’s also body positive articles which bring you down to earth and remind you that you don’t need to have the body of Miranda Kerr for your body to be beautiful. That’s something we need to see more of.

Even Cosmo are jumping on the bandwagon, and they don’t just cover exercise and body talk, they actually cover medical stories too, which some people could feel motivated by reading. I may be slightly biased, however, as the header image on the website is a girl in a sports bra eating a huge slice of pizza…

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I will admit that I don’t get the same encouragement from magazines. I have never been a big magazine reader, but now and then I give them a chance and I will feel like I have wasted my money. Why? Because I buy it based on what’s on the cover, hoping to find some handy guides, but it is mostly just advertising. I know that many magazines make their money through promoting products, but there is often so much jammed into the articles that it’s basically saying “you will never be worthy unless you waste your money on these.” So to round that bit up… Don’t turn to a magazine if you want health and fitness advice.

Social media? I will be honest here, if you want the right advice or inspiration then you need to look in the right places. I have followed various accounts on Instagram only to unfollow them later because their views aren’t as healthy as I originally thought. I stand by Blogilates religiously, but I will also recommend Grace Fit (especially for booty inspiration… not that it should be a specific goal, but it may convince you to not skip leg day). But also remember to follow smaller accounts to create social encouragement and interact with one another.

So this is my take on the great things, and a slight view on the bad things, about being fitspo! What do you do to keep yourself motivated?

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