Monday, October 17, 2011

Courtney Barber for Slim Secrets - How to boost your health and fitness in 1 week!


Happy Monday!

How are you feeling today? Lethargic & tired from the weekend or full of energy and vitality ready for the day! :) Did you implement some of my weekend survival tips from my blog post last week? If you missed it, you can read it here.

I get a lot of emails from people wanting to make changes to their life, especially in the realm of health and fitness. I know that a lot of you would love to have an abundance of natural energy (without needing those doubleshot expresso's) and would love to fit perfectly into your favourite pair of jeans (without all the "lumps and bumps" sticking out). We all have things about our lifestyle that we would like to change, but sometimes it seems as though there are a mountain of items on the To Do List and never enough time to get them done. Wouldn't it be great if we all had an extra 10 hours in the day to work on our bodies, mind and soul. Sometimes just the thought of starting can be enough to make us cringe and wait til next Monday!

I know that most people are very busy and sometimes our health can take a back seat - however it doesn't need to. I have listed 5 ways that you can boost your health and fitness in 1 week! Yes that's right! In just 1 week! If you have been waiting for the right "Monday" to start then today is the day! Print off my list and tick them off over the next 7 days. You can feel an increase in your energy, your skin will look great, your tummy will be smaller and you might even pick up a few compliments along the way :)

How to boost your health & fitness in 1 week!

1. Drink at least 2 litres of water each day - Go to your nearest 7-11 or supermarket and instead of buying a small bottle of water, buy the big 2 litre bottle. Sit it at your desk or wherever you spend most of your time. Your goal is to drink that whole bottle before lunch time. If you can drink it all, then fill it up again and keep going!

2. Cut out the junk - You know what food is good for you and what isn't. No junk this week! Keep some Slim Secrets bars in your bag plus some fresh fruit and almonds.

3. Go to bed earlier & wake up earlier - We all love staying up late watching True Blood, however this week you are going to go to bed a bit earlier than usual. Sleep is so important for your body. Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier than you would normally get up. Use this extra time to do a little circuit in your living room.

4. Move more - When you get home from work and feel like just relaxing in front of the TV - don't! Get up and go for walk or head to the gym. Activity is key!

5. Beauty time - Nothing looks better than glowing & hydrated skin. Exfoliate your whole body, have a face mask, pop on some tan (makes everyone look healthier!), give your hair a deep conditioning treatment. Simple things really make a difference!

Don't wait til next Monday - start today!

I also look forward to reading more of your questions through Ask the Trainer, so keep them coming!

Courtney :)

Courtney Barber for Slim Secrets - Your Healthy Weekend Survival Guide

 Hi Guys!

Did you have a good weekend? Like most of us, weekends are the time when we can meet up with friends, relax and enjoy a whole range of social activities. Unfortunately, many of these social activities involve drinking too much, eating too much and no exercise, only to find ourselves feeling less than motivated on Monday morning, with a hangover, stomach ache and big sunglasses to hide the telltale signs of not enough sleep!

After numerous coffees, we start to feel a bit more alive, however our bodies start craving carbohydrates and sugar and soon we find ourselves snacking on cupcakes or a chocolate bar to "get us through the day". This cycle then repeats itself throughout the week and then before you know it, the weekend has rolled around again and we are back into the Friday night cocktails and Sunday brunches.

It may feel as though it can be hard to break this cycle of bad eating and not enough exercise, however with the right choices, you don't have to dread Monday mornings anymore and will be ready to take on the week with energy and motivation. Don't let those weekends sabotage all those hours you have spent in the gym or all the healthy salads you have been consuming throughout the week. Plan your gatherings and time around activities that are fun, but also align with your health and fitness goals.


Lets take a look at your weekend...

Friday - What would you normally do after work on a Friday? Head straight home and watch some DVD's? Go to drinks with work colleagues? Friday is the start of most of our weekends, so sometimes we can get a bit excited (and go crazy) at the thought of 2 whole days of freedom! Think about your weekend and what you would like to fit in during this period. Plan out some healthy activities and lock them in, whether it be booking yourself in for a massage, booking in for a fitness class or going for a long walk. If you are going out, don't be persuaded to stay out longer than you wanted (or to drink too much). Remember, you are trying to maintain your health and fitness, while still being social and having fun!

Saturday - Head to your Saturday morning planned activity and feel the benefits of exercise! It will boost your endorphins and make you feel great for the rest of the day. The best thing about exercise is that it naturally persuades us to keep feeling healthy, so you are more likely the make the right food choices. Saturday afternoon is the perfect time for a home spa session. After a face mask, exfoliation and soak, you will be feeling vibrant and your skin will be glowing. If you are planning on going out to meet friends, don't over do it. Have a fun time but remember if you are drinking, stick to clear spirits with diet mixers, not sugary or creamy drinks. Steer clear of the party snacks and fast food. If you feel as though you will get hungry late in the night, pop a Wanted! Under 100 Calories Bar into your purse. That way you can snack and not feel guilty!

Sunday - Get up and get active. Instead of meeting your friends for the usual "hangover" brunch, why don't you meet them all for some yoga or a walk? This way you get to combine friends and fitness together! Stay away from fatty foods and consume a banana smoothie with a scoop of protein powder. Drink plenty of water today to flush out any toxins and use your time to get ready for the week. Have a massage, do some gardening, take your dog for a walk, clean the house. For once you will be feeling healthy, energised and organised on Sunday night, ready for your morning workout on Monday :)

Try this plan for your weekend and see if it makes a difference! :)

Ask the Trainer

I've had many great questions come in for Ask the Trainer, so keep them coming! Remember, a lot of other Slim Secrets fans probably want to know the answer too, so don't by shy! Your questions benefit everyone! Head here (http://www.facebook.com/SlimSecrets?sk=app_195223123884422) to send me a question or email me at askthetrainer@slimsecrets.com.au

I hope you all have a fit and healthy week!

Courtney

PS: If you feel as though you need your afternoon "chocolate" fix, then try one of the Wanted! Under 100 Calories Bars in Cranberry Choc N Nuts. It has chocolate on the bottom and full of lovely cranberry pieces!

Courtney Barber for Slim Secrets - 4 Moves for Great Glutes

Hi Everyone,

How was your weekend? I hope you have been enjoying my weekly blog so far and learning some new information about fitness that may help to motivate you this month. If you tried my Instant Cleansing Tips let me know how you went. (If you missed this post, check it out here http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150376678256240).

Over the past week I have been sampling all of the delicious Slim Secrets products which I was yet to try and let me tell you, they are amazing! The Wanted! Under 100 Calories bars are a delicious treat and with 4 yummy flavours they certainly hit the spot after dinner! I am currently eating the Vanilla Almond Bar. If you are one of those people who end up snacking after dinner, keep a bunch of these healthy bars in your cupboard. I also have been loving the Protein Shots. Just add water and your done!

As you would have seen on the Slim Secrets Facebook Page, we have just launched the Ask the Trainer tab (http://www.facebook.com/SlimSecrets?sk=app_195223123884422), so get those questions ready and send them through! I have already received a bunch of questions and love answering them for you, so keep them coming! I received a question last week about toning your glutes and the best exercises to do. I thought I would share this little workout with you all so you can benefit:

4 Moves for Great Glutes

Get a great booty with this glute sculpting circuit! Complete 15-20 reps of each exercise and move onto the next one. Rest 1 minute between circuits. Repeat 3/4 times.

Plie Squat

- Begin in a wide stance with toes turned out.
- Bend the knees and lower down into a squat, keeping knees in line with toes, abs in and back nice and straight, chest up.
- Only go down as low as you can without compromising your flexibility or your balance.
- Push back up without locking out your knees.
- Keep the tension on your inner thighs and glutes.

Squat

- Begin with legs wider than shoulders, toes straight forward.
- Pretend you are sitting down on a chair, so bend your knees stick your glutes out and lower (putting a chair behind you is a great way to start)
- Push back through your heels and stand up straight.
- Only go as low as you feel comfortable for your knees.

On the Spot Lunge

- Stand with left foot forward, right foot back about 3 feet apart.
- Bend the knees to lower the body towards the floor. Keep the front knee behind the toes and be sure to lower straight down.
- Keep your body straight and hold your abs in as you push through the front heel and back to starting position.
- Don't lock the knees at the top of the movement.

Donkey Kick

- Get on all fours on mat (hands under shoulders, knees under hips).
- Keeping right knee bent 90 degrees, flex right foot and lift knee to hip level.
- Your foot should be flat with bottom of shoe facing the ceiling.
- Lower knee without touching floor; lift again.
- Switch legs; repeat.

After this you will definitely be feeling the burn! Let me know how you go with it over the next week or so! If you feel as though you need to add resistance to this circuit, hold some dumbells or a weight plate. I would love to hear from you!

Enjoy the week and keep active!

Courtney

Courtney Barber's New Ask the Trainer Advice Column for Slim Secrets


Courtney Barber for Slim Secrets - Time to Shape up for Spring!


Hi Everyone!

I hope you all had a great weekend and are now feeling the full effects of the Spring sunshine! It’s time to get rid of those winter layers now that the weather is warming up and embrace the outdoors. I am sure that many of you have full calendars coming into October and November, so what better time to start a new exercise and nutrition regime that will ensure you are feeling and looking your best. It can be hard to find motivation after months of hot chocolates and winter coats, however now is the perfect time to get those sneakers out of the cupboard and start your plan of attack.

Let’s Exercise

One way to keep in shape and take advantage of the warmer weather is to exercise outside! A morning jog or powerwalk is a great way to wake up and the best part is that it keeps our metabolism boosted throughout the day. Not to mention the rush of endorphins that will make you feel on top of the world! Alternatively, dust off the gym membership and commit to 2 weeks of workouts or classes. Really push yourself to keep that commitment and you will find that after the 2 weeks you will surprise yourself with some noticeable results. Make sure you supplement with one of the new Protein Shots after your workout to maximise your results!

Kick-start with a Cleanse

If you are feeling particularly sluggish after all those winter months, it might be a good idea to cleanse your body. I have added 7 tips below that you can start today, that will have you feeling better, more energised and less bloated in no time.

                 Courtney’s Instant Cleansing & Energising Tips for Spring

  • Drink more water! 2 – 3 litres a day will help to flush out those toxins and improve your skin and well-being. Add some lemon slices and try to drink 2 litres before lunchtime!
  • Have an alcohol free month. Give your body a break and see the instant results.
  • Clean out the fridge. Get rid of anything that is white, full of sugar, salt or chemicals.
  • Stock up on your healthy food. Lean protein, wholegrains, vegetables & fruit.
  • Give your body a break from Caffeine. If you have been living on coffee or energy drinks over the past few months then give your body a rest. Switch to herbal tea or water.
  • No bread. You would be surprised how much bread can bloat your stomach and add extra pounds. Switch to brown rice, or cut a wholemeal wrap in half and use that instead. 
  • Exercise.  You don’t need any fancy equipment for this Super Quick Workout: 20 pushups, 20 squats, 20 dips, 20 lunges, 20 crunches and repeat x 5.
Try all of these tips this week!

 Send me your questions at Ask the Trainer

 We have just launched our Ask the Trainer feature, so remember to send me your fitness and wellness questions! Each week a selection will be posted on Facebook with my answers. Don’t wait until Summer to find out what types of exercises you should be doing to tone your arms or flatten your tummy!

I hope you all start my cleansing tips today and I would love to hear how you all go with them! Take action!

Have a fit & fabulous week!

Courtney

Courtney Barber Brand Ambassador for Slim Secrets - My Weekly Blog

 Welcome to my first post as Slim Secrets new Health & Fitness Ambassador. I am extremely excited to be part of such an innovative Australian company that truly embodies the key aspects of a living a healthy lifestyle in today’s busy society. As a qualified Fitness & Wellness Coach, I hope to pass on some of my knowledge and “insider” tips to you all, that will help you make better nutritional choices, as well as motivating you to work out with simple exercise routines that can be done anywhere and in minimal time! 

Each week I will be updating my blog with new fitness tips, recipes, workouts, health and beauty advice, as well as some of my own tried and true techniques that may help you to live a healthier lifestyle! I believe that no matter how busy we all are, there are always simple things that you can implement into your schedule, that will leave you feeling better at the end of each day! It may be as simple as getting up 15 minutes earlier each morning to do a quick circuit of exercises in your living room, or when you go to the supermarket, stocking up on Slim Secrets bars for your desk, car, purse, gym bag and fridge, so you always have a nutritional snack on hand. Simple changes in our everyday habits can be extremely beneficial in the long run.


In conjunction with my weekly blog, Slim Secrets is also launching “Ask the Trainer”, a brand new feature where you can ask me your fitness and nutrition questions and I will answer them for you. Would you like to know which Slim Secrets product is best suited to your needs? Do you have questions regarding the best exercises to tone your legs? Here’s your chance to get answers directly from me! Each week a selection of questions and answers will be posted on the Slim Secrets Facebook page, so make sure you keep checking in regularly, as your question may be featured! Make sure you send through questions that you may have, as I am here to help you reach your fitness goals.

I hope you are all enjoying the sunshine and gearing up for new health and exercise regimes this Spring. Make sure you check back next week for my Instant Cleansing Tips, which may come in handy if you are getting ready to fit into those cute cocktail dresses for the racing season!

Have a fun and fabulous week!

Courtney

PS. If you are yet to try the new Wanted! Under 100 Calories bars then I suggest you try them! This week I am loving the Apple & Cinnamon Bar…perfect for my afternoon snack!