Theory of “body type”

As a woman, I’ve grown up to learn that there are different “body types”, especially for women. I’m sure the majority of us have heard the terms “pear” and “hourglass” in the context of what people’s bodies can look like. These terms aren’t only female- exclusive. The “upside down triangle” shape is also related to men, for example. Many men strive to get that big shoulders “V” look. This post however, focuses on slightly different terms for body type.

So recently I came across the fact that there are three main body types in fitness, and knowing yours could help you target how you should train and exercise. So, I researched this and thought okay, this is interesting.

The three different body types are Endomorph, Ectomorph and Mesomorph.

Endomorph- high body fat, usually hard to get rid of body fat

Ectomorph- long and lean body, can be hard to build muscle

Mesomorph- muscular, high metabolism

You can, however, be between these body types, and usually that can be the case. This website helps you calculate which “body type” you have, click here to take the test. 

I found this quite interesting and will definitely be looking into this to perhaps tailor my workouts to the “body type” I have and see how it goes! Stay tuned for more information on this.

Photo by Edgar Chaparro on Unsplash

Thanks for reading,

Maria

❤️

5 Exercises for back pain (Pregnancy included)

Back pain is something that a lot of us experience, me included, and it can be the worst. But don’t worry! There are some things we can do (besides go to see an osteopath), to help strengthen the back and reduce the likelihood of pain.

  1. Wall Squats *Pregnancy Safe*
    Stand against a wall and squat down so your back is flat against it, but your legs are bent into a squat. Look at your knees and ankles, make sure your knees are either directly above or slightly behind your ankles to reduce the likelihood of strain on your knees. Try to hold for 30 seconds.
    If you would like to challenge yourself further, you can extend and lift one leg to hold in front of you during the wall squat.
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  2. Arm and Leg Raises *Pregnancy Safe*
    These will work your back and bum.  Make sure your spine is kept straight, slowly lift one arm and the opposite leg to extend them both. If you can, try to get your knee to touch your elbow by doing a little crunch in the middle (shown below). Keep alternating sides to ensure both sides are worked equally. If you don’t trust your balance, you can do just one arm or one leg at a time. Aim for 10 reps each side.
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  3. Glute bridges/ Hip raises *Pregnancy Safe*
    Lie on your back, bring your feet close to your bum, keep your hands by your sides. Focus on your core, lift up your hips, and squeeze your glutes with your at the top and come back down. Try for 10 reps.
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  4. Reverse Curl ups *Pregnancy Safe*
    Lie on your back, bend your knees and bring them in towards your chest. Focus on your core, bring your knees to your chest and out again as many times as you can, but try and aim for 12 reps to begin with.
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  5. Oblique rotations *Pregnancy Safe*
    Lie on your back, bend your knees and raise them up to be close to your chest. Tighten your core and move your legs to one side, then to the middle, then to the other side. Hold these for 2 seconds on each side per rep. Try for 10 reps, take it as slow as you need to.
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  6.  *Bonus* Cat/ Cow stretches *Pregnancy Safe*

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Go on your hands and knees, exhale as you round your back and pull your belly in for cat pose (top picture). Inhale as you lower your back, raise your head and stick your butt out for cow pose (bottom picture). These stretches will work on your back, torso, neck and abs. If you need to modify because of wrist pain, go on to your forearms or pop a pillow/ blanket under your wrists. If your knees hurt, again, pop a pillow or blanket under them to make these poses more comfortable.

For each of these exercises, only do as many reps as you are comfortable with. If you feel those muscles ache the next day, that’s good! It means they are working your muscles! Each time you do these exercises try and increase your reps to get stronger and challenge yourself.

I hope you enjoy these exercises and stretches, stick with them to keep getting stronger!

Thanks for reading,

Maria

❤️

Finishing University

Hello everyone!

I’d just like to begin by saying hello and welcome and I’m sorry I was gone for a few weeks! For those of you that don’t know, I am in my last year of university and when people say the last year is full of stress, ‘they’ weren’t messing around! I tried really hard to manage my time and keep writing for this blog but basically, it got to a point where all of my deadlines were approaching (it’s so annoying that almost all the deadlines are ‘strategically’ placed around the same time) and I just had to prioritise those essays and presentations. BUT, do not fret because I am now ALL FINISHED (woohoo!) and I am back here for you all.

I’m so excited to have finished uni because suddenly I have much more free time on my hands! I do need to start looking around and thinking about if I want to study for a masters (which I’ve always said I did not want to do) or look to get a full-time job. It’s quite a hard decision I think though, because if I start looking for a job, WHICH job do I want? What kind of sector would I like to go into? I don’t know. My degree is of business and Spanish and one day I would love to become fluent in Spanish. However, this is quite a broad degree and I could do a variety of jobs with it. I also don’t really fancy studying for another year, to be honest. I’ve got a question for you all, have you got a masters qualification? Do you think they are useful/ beneficial? I’m currently debating doing an online masters, to give me a bit more freedom to work, still get another qualification and get more skills.

It’s a difficult time because, as I was told not that long ago, “the world is your oyster.” And now I’ve finished university, I’ve gotta make some big decisions. Sometimes the weight of making these decisions that are key to my life can be quite scary, but I’m trying to not think about how important they are and just take searching at my own pace. After all, this time now is also for me to enjoy. I’m going to get back into fitness (which is another thing I’ve neglected due to deadlines), going to do some reading, maybe some painting and enjoy my hobbies again. What do you all do to relax and enjoy your time? If you have any good book recommendations, feel free to send them my way!

Thanks for reading,

Maria

❤️

Goals: 2018

In one of my previous posts, “Resolutions”, I talked a bit about making goals/resolutions for the new year and how to perhaps make those goals a bit more attainable and manageable. Click here if you want to have a read. 

Today I’m going to discuss a bit about certain goals I’m making for myself this year and I’m going to show you how I’m planning on making them more manageable, measurable and therefore a bit more attainable. In order to make it a bit more focused I’m just going to give a more detailed insight into my fitness goals for 2018.

Goal one: Be Stronger
So being “strong” can mean so many things to different people. Do I mean it in the physical sense? Do I mean being more emotionally strong? I’ll break it down for you here with a few mini- goals:

  1. Increase arm strength
    I will do this by:
    Lifting my weights as often as possible (try to lift at least 4 times a week- mini goal)Increase amount of reps.
    I recommend setting mini goals for stuff like this so, currently for me, my dumbbells are 4kg each and at the moment I can only do about 10 bicep curls to overhead presses. My mini goal is to increase that to 20 reps in 3 weeks. So, what I’ll do is look at today’s date on my calendar, count exactly 3 weeks and write in the calendar/diary that my goal is to achieve that by that date. Having a closer deadline makes the goal a bit more real and will, therefore, help you focus more. Once you nail that deadline, increase the goal. Maybe I’ll go up to 35 reps in the next 3 weeks after that and keep going.
  2. Increase Core Strength
    Incorporate core work into yoga practice e.g. chaturanga holdsDo core work at least 3 times a week
  3. Do proper workouts
    By this, I mean proper HIIT / Cardio/ interval training workouts. I also have DVDs like P90X and T25 that I have loved in the past that I just really need to get into the good practice of doing again. One thing that has held me back from these workouts is the problem I have with my knees. However, I’ve had them X- rayed and just need to know the results and how to go forward with healing them and making sure I don’t have problems with them again. Once the knees are good I’m going to try to incorporate, for example, three sessions of T25 a week to then increase eventually to 5.

Goal two: Increase my yoga practice time

This goal is slightly more straightforward but can be split up. So I can sit here and say, in a week, how much time do I spend practising yoga? Let’s take an example from a bad week. So, on a worse week, maybe because I have deadlines for uni or other stuff going on, for example. Therefore, I might only spend an hour that week, maybe from three 20 minute sessions throughout the week. In order to increase that, my mini goal will be:

1. Increase yoga practice to at least an hour and a half each week.

If I must, that can be 3 half an hour sessions or maybe one full hour and one half. In my mind, if I increase it just a little and start to make time for yoga, then slowly it’ll be easier to make more time and then my overall practice per week can be much longer. For me, it would be harder to go from doing yoga for an hour a week to an hour a day straight away.

2. Practice more of a variety of poses and work on my weaknesses e.g. forearm stands, handstands, hip openers, etc.

The beauty of these two goals is that they overlap. So as I increase my overall body strength with goal one “be stronger”, this will also improve the quality of my increased yoga practice for goal two. This is because, with more core and arm strength I will be more comfortable holding myself in difficult poses such as handstand, Firefly and other poses that I’ve never been able to do before, while also aiding my practice overall. By the end of this year, one thing I’d love to be able to do is to hold a handstand for at least 10 seconds. It doesn’t seem like that much of a long time, but right now I can only hold it for about 2 seconds so it would be a great improvement. I’d be over the moon if I could nail that goal throughout the year and hold it for even longer at the end of 2018. Just gotta make sure I keep up with my current goals and I’m sure it will happen!

If you would like to talk a bit more about making goals a bit more manageable or just breaking them down feel free to get in contact! Comment on this post and alternatively, you can follow me / DM me on Instagram @yogajourneybymaria

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s post, please check back with me next week for more new content!

Thanks for reading,

Maria

❤️