A 17 year old girl, fitness enthusiast and dedicated Olympic style weightlifter and non-competitive Irish dancer. I'm determined to live a healthy lifestyle and take care of my body whilst influencing other young people to do so. I never doubt my ability to achieve something; I just change what I'm doing until I succeed.
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I thought in this post i'd discuss how I manage to eat healthy throughout the day. This post I hope encourages others to eat healthily and start a routine which is similar to mine, but suited to you individually. These meals I eat often but not daily as I like to switch around the different things I eat. Carry on reading to view how I ate and remained healthy on Wednesday.
Wednesday Morning - Breakfast
Wednesday afternoon - Lunch
Wednesday evening - Tea
Before I decided I was going to write this post I promised myself that I was going to be completely honest with my viewers and post what my days are actually like when writing personal posts. So my evening meal was not the healthiest it could've been, but it was what I felt like eating and if you sometimes feel like eating something else, then thats perfectly okay. I knew I was going to make up for it later by completing one of The body coach's ab workouts instead of my usual ab workout. My meal consisted of chicken with roast potatoes, steamed broccoli, stuffing, one yorkshire pudding and a small amount of gravy. Obviously, if I had been eating at home the choice would've been different but since I was eating out, I admit it was a struggle to find something really healthy to eat.
Wednesday late evening - Ab workout
Personally, I found this workout not too tricky but great to get my abs pumped and burn off some of the meal I'd eaten previously. Water was my best friend during the workout as I got very hot quickly during the end of the 2nd and start of the 3rd round. I do recommend checking out the workout I did and subscribing to The Body Coach's YouTube channel.
Thanks for reading this post, I hope that by me explaining how I eat and stay healthy that you too can pinch some meal ideas. Perhaps next time you're thinking about binge watching your favourite TV show, you could complete a 20 minute workout instead. It takes less than 4% of your day!
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I think playing sports is a great way to make friends, get fit and improve your capabilities. Whether they are independent or team sports, learning how to play or do new things can benefit you lots. There are many different sports out there, they are all fitted for many different types of people so don't worry if you aren't the strongest or most flexible. There's bound to be some sort of sport out there which is more appropriate to suit your skills.
What sports should I try?
If you aren't sure which sports you should try, making a list of the ones you aren't keen on may help you. Also listing the things you're good at and things you want to get better at, e.g. flexibility, strength, coordination. Searching for people's opinions on different sports is a good way to make a decision on what you want to try. Think about negatives and positives. Once you've decided on which sport/s you want to try, if you search for clubs in your area you can find a group or coach to train you. If you still aren't sure which sport you want try, asking your friends and family what they suggest could be helpful. Often I've found that my friends do interesting sports which I've decided to try.
Some independant sports you could take up are: Gymnastics, Running, Weightlifting, Crossfit, Swimming, Ice skating, Skateboarding, Golf, High jump, Long jump, Javelin and tons more!
Some group sports you could take up are: Rugby, Football, Netball, Volleyball, Hockey, Cricket, Basketball, Rounders and more! Try taking the bbc quiz which can you to decide on what sports you can try based on how you answer the questions. The quiz will tell you sports which aren't suitable for you, but you don't have to stick to the answers as I recommend trying whatever you want to. Afterwards when you receive your results, the top three sports will be listed followed by a link to more information about the activities.
What sports are suitable for me?
Each sport will have components of fitness which are required to participate and can be improved by regularly uptaking a sport. Here is a list of some of them followed by some sports which can improve the aspects:
I personally recommend trying anything you've never tried before, you never know you could be amazing at it! Even if you aren't amazing at the sport you've chosen, if you don't try you might never improve. In PE classes at school, you may find a certain sport interesting and want to be as good as your other classmates. Why not try participating in a beginners class outside of school or if you can't find a club, searching online for improvement tips. With enough practise and knowledge, you'll be picked for the school team in no time! Heres a link to bbc's sport list and recommendations
I hope you've picked up some inspiration to try out some sports or any activities you've always wanted to try but never felt like you'd never be the best so there was no point. Improvement can happen, but in order to get better you have to practise regularly to get results.
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You may be the type of person who struggles to avoid unhealthy junk food or now and again becomes influenced to eat junk food whenever you’re trying to be healthy. If you aren’t sure how you can permanently cut back on junk food please continue reading. Junk food can become addictive and comforting but you’ll thank me later when you’re eating healthier and seeing the benefits good food can do.
What is junk food?
I view junk food as any food which doesn’t make you feel good about yourself and anything that’s addictive. Some examples could be chocolate, sweets, crisps, ice cream, cake, takeaway, pizza, chips, and fried food. If you aren’t sure whether a food is healthy or not, take a look at the sugar contents and the main ingredients as it’s not always about calories. I’m not saying to try and avoid sugar at all costs as you’re bound to find sugar in the majority of food, but you should try to limit your sugar content. Examples of what you don’t want to see in the food ingredient lists are: A sugar content higher than 10 grams, artificial colours and flavourings, large lists of unfamiliar ingredients, high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, high contents of sugar, saturated fats and trans fats.
Before your plan
In order to truly battle your addiction to junk food, creating a plan of what you are going to eat will motivate you to continue eating healthy. Before sticking to any plans, you should create a food diary of what you’re eating every day for a couple of weeks. You might not be eating as unhealthy as you think, there’s no need to cut back on things which are good for you. Once you’ve recorded what you eat, you’ll need to create quite a few lists. The first list should be of foods which you should eat not very often or as a treat, this can include ones you’ve been eating regularly or not at all. The second list should include healthy foods which you can continue eating. The third list should include foods which you want to try, and replacements for unhealthy foods, the third list can be used when you need to purchase different types of food. This also gives you a chance to try new foods which you may not have tried before, why not try cooking some new and healthy meals?
Creating a plan
Here’s an example of how you can create a healthy plan by using the lists you’ve made. Write out the days of the week from Monday to Sunday followed by four boxes saying Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Snacks. For each meal, you could write two options per day which will give you a choice of what you could eat that week. Therefore, if you aren’t in the mood for something, you can choose the other option or eat something else. Because you’ll be buying food weekly, making different varieties of healthy food won’t be difficult if you purchase the right ingredients.
Some replacements for sugary breakfast cereals could be bagels, fruit, porridge oats, greek yogurt, almonds, raisins, egg, protein pancakes, granola, avocado on toast, and plain non-sugary cereals such as Weetabix.
Some replacements for a unhealthy lunch (processed ham sandwich, crisps and chocolate) could be a chicken and lettuce brown bread sandwich with fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds or healthy trail mix.
Some replacements for a greasy takeaway dinner could be fish with brown rice, grilled vegetables with chicken, stuffed avocado, chicken and vegetable pasta, an omelette and more! Ideas for healthy snack replacements can be nuts, seeds, fruit, veg sticks with dip, dried fruit, popcorn, pretzels, cheese and crackers. Remember you don’t have to stick to these ideas, go ahead and create your own personal plan.
I sincerely hope that my ideas and useful tips on how to create a healthy eating plan has helped you to become inspired to eat better. Remember that you can pick a day a week which you can eat some unhealthy foods (unless you don't want to) just make sure you don't binge as it will become more difficult to eat healthy again. Fruit and veg are my personal favourites when it comes to eating healthy; I always make sure I eat between 5 and 7 portions per day. It will be difficult at first, so don't give up and remember that its not about losing weight but mainly eating healthier so our bodies can grow stronger.
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I'm going to try and focus on discussing Olympic Weightlifting for youths in this blog alot more. Many people may get Olympic Weightlifting mixed up with Weight Training, Powerlifting and going into the Olympics. When really it is none of these, so i'm going to explain what Olympic Weightlifting is.
Your questions answered
What is it? Olympic Weightlifting is a strength based sport which improves muscular strength. The name Olympic doesn't mean that you are going in the Olympics, it refers to the technique type which is commonly shown at the Olympic games. It involves the two main lifts which are the Snatch and the Clean and Jerk which I will discuss further in this post.
Why should I do it? Olympic Weightlifting can help strengthen not only muscle but also bones, this helps prevent osteoporosis. It is also know to improve and develop skills in other sports.
Who can do it? Olympic Weightlifting is suitable for all ages, however how good you can perform could depend on age. If you cannot complete the lifts correctly when you're older (stiff joints/ health issues) they can be adapted for you.
When can I do it? You can train whenever you like once you can lift correctly, but if you're still a beginner most gyms/ professional clubs won't let you lift unsupervised.
Where can I do it? Local gyms may offer Weightlifting classes or have platforms, however there could be age restrictions. Certified Olympic Weightlifting and Crossfit clubs will usually take up any ages.
How can I do it? If you want to start Olympic Weightlifting but don't know of any clubs or gyms which coach the sport, try searching online or the British Weightlifting website (if you're based in the UK) to find clubs near you.
The lifts: Clean and jerk
In Olympic Weightlifting, there are two main lifts. In my opinion, the easiest lift is the clean and jerk but the snatch lift isn't incredibly difficult, it can just take more time to master the technique. When completing the clean and jerk lift, you want to make sure that your hands are positioned on the bar in a narrow grip (about shoulder width apart). Before picking up the bar, take some deep breathes and squat down with a flat back to place your hands in this position. To check if you have a flat back, stand with your chest out, bum out and bend your knees. I personally prefer looking at the ground when lifting the bar off the floor, some people prefer to look at the ceiling. The first part of the clean and jerk lift requires the lifter bringing the bar from the platform and above their knees until it reaches their upper body. As the bar is moved up towards your chest, squat down whilst moving the elbows up. Once you've driven your body upwards from your squat, bend your knee and push the bar above your head. When you've finished your lift, lower the bar to your shoulders, hips and then (with a flat back) place the bar on the platform.
The lifts: Snatch
The snatch lift set up is in the same squat position but with a wide grip. Try not to have your grip too wide, as this can make the bar fall behind you. Lift the bar straight above your head whilst keeping it close to your body and not swinging the bar out and away. As soon as the bar is past your chest and going towards your head, squat down at the same time so that when you land in your squat, the bar is above your head. Then drive up from your squat and place the bar back on the platform.
What happens after you've learnt
Once you've mastered the technique of both lifts, you may be wondering what you can do now. In some sports, take gymnastics for example. In a sport like gymnastics, once you've mastered a skill you can learn more in that area. This isn't the case when Weightlifting. You'll mainly want to focus on how much you can lift whilst maintaining a good technique. There is still need for practice involving technique as without regular practice, you can fall back into old and unuseful habits which could prevent you from increasing poundages. Once you become good at Weightlifting, you might think about entering a Weightlifting competition. If you are still in school, the competition groups go based on body weight and school year. But for adult competitors. the groups are based on body weight and age. For example, the categories may range from 35kg to 75+kg depending on how old you are. If somebody was in the 58kg class and were in year 8, they wouldn't be against as year 9 who weighs the same or a year 8 who weighs lighter. In a competition, you complete 6 lifts overall (3 snatch and 3 clean and jerks) whilst increasing the weight of each lift. The three referees will determine whether you've failed or not depending on your technique or if you did anything incorrectly.
Benefits of Weightlifting
Weightlifting has benefitted me by helping me to grow muscle in all areas of my body. This has helped me to improve my ability to do pushups, situps and other exercises. The sport has even helped me to improve in sports I never knew I was good at such as swimming. I've also found that whenever i've had bad days, Weightlifting has helped me calm down and even tackle my mental health issues. You may not want Olympic Weightlifting to be your main sport as you could already have a main focus. But the sport is excellent to try and can certainly help you make progress across a wide variety of other sports. Weightlifting can help improve Canoeing, Kayaking, Climbing, Sprinting, Jumping, Boxing, Rugby, Bar work, Swimming and other sports which require muscular strength.
I hope that this post has given you a brief introduction to Olympic Weightlifting and has answered any questions you had. You can expect more posts about lifting highlighting the importance of technique and other areas for beginners. If you have any more questions, please leave them down below.
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Personally, I think that running in different areas is one of the best things about running. You get to gain experience from wherever you've ran, decide which routes you prefer and enjoy scenery surrounding you. Here are some my tips and experiences from trying different running routes.
Become familiar with the route
Wherever you are running (local park, forest, field, pavement) always remember to become familiar with the route you're running. By familiar, I mean perhaps walking around the area or driving through/past the route. If this isn't possible, searching for a map online can help you. Its important to know the types of services surrounding your route just incase something was to happen which requires help, (ambulance, police etc). Also, if you wanted to run to a specific area but aren't sure if there are pavements, examining the route is a must as you don't want to end up running on the road. Sometimes when I try to tackle a new route, i'll scope out the area for any dangers or problems which I could encounter (ditches, dog poo, water, roadworks, narrow paths, areas prone to gang and trouble). Yesterday, I was in the Cross country county schools competition and before I ran I checked out the area for any dangerous, steep and muddy areas.
Time of day
If you are considering running when it's dark outside, you may want to consider where you run. For example, I went for a run at 6am last week and was planning on running through my usual forest route. I soon changed my mind when I realised how dark it was without any light source. Areas may become unsafe during the night/early hours of the morning, make sure you sum up the dangers before heading out. Running when the sun is setting can be beautiful and ideal but not if you're in an unpopulated area which gets dark quickly. You can purchase lights to wear when you run, I advise looking into buying them if you can't avoid dark areas.
You'll need a plan
I like to mix up the routes I take weekly and often change the mileage, time and training. To make sure I'm not running in the same area all the time, I created this plan. This plan is ideal for me as it is suited to my weekly Wednesday runs, if you want to copy my idea but add in sessions more often, feel free too. I hope that my plan will help improve my endurance and stop me from feeling bored when running in the same places continuously. I hope that my plan encourages you just like it has for me, it's definitely motivated me to go running when I haven't felt like it. At the top section of my plan I have the months at the top and the run type down the side, this is so I know how many runs I have until my 5k race. At the bottom, I have the number of weeks left and boxes which i'll fill in using the key once i've been for my run that week.
Working out mileage
Often when you run, you'll want to know how far you've ran or the distance of a future route. I recommend trying a site or app which helps measure your mileage. Personally, I love using the site called mapometer.com. They also have an apple and android app which is excellent for planning routes and finding out about races near you. Even if you arent into running, you can change the settings for walking and cycling. I've been using this site for about 2 years now and I haven't found a better alternative. You can also check out other people in your area's routes which I find is helpful when planning where you'll run.
I hope this post helped you to come up with a motivating running plan involving which routes you take; changing the routes you take can help prevent boredom and help you to frequently run.