In the last two years, ever since I re-started my fitness journey as a new mum, I learnt a lot of things that eventually helped me. In this post, I am going to share a few of those things, in the hope that some other mums out there would find it useful. I have already shared my meal preparation tricks and tips earlier. This post will focus on workouts more specifically home workouts.

One thing which still overwhelms is how to balance between cardio, weight-training and yoga whilst also handling everything else in life—home, family, work and blog.  I must admit I do fail a lot of times but planning ahead works.

Over the course of these two years, few programmes have immensely helped and these are:

Hiit workout

HIIT Workouts:

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval training. It is all about putting your body to maximum effort in minimum time. You can do it in the gym using treadmill and other cardio machines. Or you could do it with weights and you could also do it at home using no other equipment other than your body.

My favourite HIIT workouts are ones by Beachbody like Insanity Max by Shaun T and 21 day fix and 21 Day Fix EXTREME Essential Package by Autumn Calabrese (which I am following at the moment). Fitness Blender and Jillian Michaels are another favourites which will torch up those calories in no time.

Post baby exercises

Image credit: Pinterest

Cardio:

What really worked for me was combining different things. A good mix of cardio, strength and HIIT ensures that my body is always guessing what would come next and will always be on “work” mode. To be honest, cardio is my least favourite hence the challenge was to make it super fun. Enter Zumba (dancing). I thoroughly enjoy Fitness Marshall’s videos, Get Fit Janani and Vijay Tupurani (which you can watch on YouTube)for some Bollywood fun. I also love LesMills Body attack and body combat workouts. They are far cry from your usual cardio machines and oh so challenging.

postoartum core exercises

Image credit: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/standing-abs-workout

Strength Training:  

Weight or strength training is my favourite. However, I admit it was (and still gets) really overwhelming. Enter Bodybuilding website  another platform which I highly recommend. It has a plethora of programmes some by elite athletes and bodybuilders with succinct instruction videos and dietary guides. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate and advanced “athlete” you would find a wealth of information, programmes and plans suiting your needs and goals.

Thank you for reading. Hope you enjoyed this post. Have a lovely week🙂 Don’t forget to follow me. You can also follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

Hello everyone,

New week means new post. This time I am extremely excited because this post is about the Blogger Recognition Award. First of all, I would like to say a HUGE thank you to Grace Bevan for nominating me for the Blogger recognition award! I am honoured to have been chosen by you and super excited 😀

Blogger Recognition Award

 

The Rules:

  • Thank the Blogger who nominated you and leave a link to their blog.
  • Write a post to show your award.
  • Give a brief story on how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Select 15 other bloggers you want to nominate for this award.
  • Comment on each blog to let them know they have been nominated.
  • Provide them with the link to the post you created.

How my blog started 

I have loved writing right from school days. My high school ambition was to become a journalist/writer. And I was fortunate enough to fulfill this dream. I worked in India as a journalist before moving to UK. Moving to UK, was a bit of a shock, not culturally mind you but because wherever I went with my job application, I was mostly judged for my colour. I am not implying every industry in UK is like that, it is not. But Media is a tough place and at least I found that it is impossible to continue here without a God father or God mother. Now, I do not have any.

All I had (and have) is my grit, determination and the loving support of my family. I started and following various blogs like Girl with curves and decided to start one of my own.  I started this blog few years ago mainly to keep my love for writing alive. This is the reason, why you won’t find me only discussing a certain niche but a plethora of subjects. Whether it is a long term success solution or not, I do not know. What I know is this: find your passion and give it your sweat, blood and life. Style with Substance, has gone through several changes and like me it is ever evolving.

Blogging has also helped me in my career. I got lot of writing gigs through this platform, an opportunity to work for some of the finest magazines in UK like Time Out, London. I also eventually became an assistant editor with a start up magazine and after my maternity break blogging helped me to delve into the world of digital marketing. So, if you are one of those who want to know what blogging entails, just grab your laptop and delve in.

Advice to new bloggers: 

To all new bloggers out there I would say stick at it and not give up. Even today, I have days when I just want to give up. When I feel who will ever read this? But I try to shake those negative feeling and keep prodding along. Don’t give up; the best things come to those who don’t give up.

Be consistent, when I had more time in hand I used to post 3-4 times a week. Now, I have way less time in hand but I still make it a point to post at least once a week. I know it is not always possible but I try and fit this in no matter what.

My third nugget of advice would be to be friendly, speak to other bloggers, get to know them, follow them on social media and learn from them. Blogging has given me some really good like minded friends and acquaintances. Now, for the best part.

My nominations: 

Here are the wonderful people I have nominated for the recognition award! Check them out!

  1. Styleovercoffee
  2. Styleofterry
  3. Admirablylegal
  4. Beachwalkmuse
  5. Chicpudding
  6. Kavsarena
  7. Sustainabledaisy
  8. Helloscarlettblog
  9. Abbiosbiston
  10. Maisonbentleystyle
  11. Dayindreams
  12. Sonya Kassam
  13. Bluechickenninja
  14. Indahs
  15. Lifenstyle

I am also adding a bonus blog Quaint Murmurs, a new kid on the block, a blog about medicine, philosophy, literature and life.

Thank you so much Grace for the award and please continue to spread the love everyone 🙂

Thank you for reading. Hope you enjoyed this post. Have a lovely week🙂 Don’t forget to follow me. You can also follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee ~ Muhammad Ali

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am celebrating fitness and strength in my blog this month. When I re-started my fitness journey, post my baby, I had a really tough time sartorially speaking. As I have mentioned in this blog many times, the changes your body go through post pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding is more shocking than most of us realise (at least for most of the women, out there). Not only did any of my previous stuff fitted me but also I had lost all my confidence in myself. Internally, I had become so weak, that even walking with my 2.95 kg baby (birth weight) had become an herculean task for me. That’s when I decided to get my act together and really get fit. My goal since then remains the same: to be fit and strong (not skinny).

Of course, when you are trying to become physically, mentally and spiritually stronger at gym/outside, you need to do it in style. During my fitness journey, I have re-discovered fitness fashion and how to look cool whilst killing them with your strength.

 

Get the right material:

First thing first, do not underestimate the kind of material/fabric you use at gym. Whilst cotton is great outside personally I feel it is a no-no at gym (speaking from experience). Cotton absorbs sweat faster making you uncomfortable, sweaty and prone to chafing and irritation. Synthetic materials on the other hand repeal sweat faster, dry quickly and does not cling.

Choose the right sports bra: 

No prizes for guessing, investing in a good sports bra is a must. It has to support you and offer you flexibility.

Top: Red Herring (Debenhams) also like this one, Leggings: TK Maxx, Shoes: Adidas

Form fitting not baggy but not too tight:

When I re-started my fitness journey post baby, I would wear my husband’s baggy old T-shirts. I wanted to completely hide myself, needless to say it did little for my confidence and my form (whilst working out) while I stay away from to tight and clingy clothes, I also do not dress myself in baggy clothes. Form fitting clothes serve an important purpose: it helps you to see your muscles and curves as you exercise. Also, it helps you to feel good which in turn will help you to keep on exercising.

Layers:

Your workout wardrobe should be versatile, carrying you through from the hottest months to the coldest months. Build your gym wardrobe by choosing the right base layer—a moisture wicking dry layer such a vest or a t-shirt, add a warmer layer such as fleece pullover and finish with a protective outer layers such as a windbreaker. A handy tip: shop during off season for best deals.

Right clothes for right activity:

Keep in mind the activity you do the most. Baggy pants aren’t great for biking or strength training whilst for yoga you need roomy pants. Harem pants are my favourite. Generally speaking fitted ankle length leggings and a well fitted top would serve you well no matter what. Another handy tip—try out few signature workout moves in the dressing room to be absolutely sure.

Footwear:

Again no prizes for guessing, a good pair of footwear will serve you really, really well and keep you injury free that means no no to old worn out shoes. My rule of thumb is to wear shoes that support my feet and ankle well and I can walk as comfortably in them as possible.

Thank you for reading. Hope you enjoyed this post. Have a lovely week🙂 Don’t forget to follow me. You can also follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

I have been hemming and hawing about the much coveted ESPA facial. As I mentioned here, I have been having a lot of issues with skin. My skin is not only prone to spots but also tends to look tired and dull if I miss out on TLC. Hence, when the man of the house, Mr. Husband, gifted me a spa day at Blu Radisson, London along with ESPA facial I was beyond chuffed.

On my birthday, I reached Blu Radisson and quickly slipped on to the robe and headed for a well-deserving pampering and relaxation session. My first stop was at the really, really hot sauna hot. I could barely be there for ten minutes but I soldiered on. Regular sauna has several benefits: it flushes out toxins, strengthens immune system and helps in muscle recovery (a must for gym rats and sports people). What makes the Sauna at Blu Radisson special is the ice fountain next to it. You can use it in conjugation with the steam/sauna or alone at the end. The hot and cold cycle of sauna and ice (on my skin) really rejuvenated my skin and opened all the pores making it supple and brighter.

Once this was done, I was taken to the relaxation room. Now, relaxation is a must for busy mums like me. Have you heard of a relaxed and calm mum? I bet not because it is an oxymoron. To help me in the relaxation process, I was green a hot cuppa of mint tea and some tasty (and healthy) snacks. I was left alone in the room with a meditative music playing in the back ground. Now, any health nut worth their carefully cultivated Himalayan salt would agree this would relax even the haywire mind (like mine). Before I knew it, I closed my eyes and drifted to a zen like state (which was certainly new to me).

My honest review of Espa facial and skin care range

Next came the Holy Grail of pampering—the ESPA facial. My therapist came and took me into another room. All the ESPA facial products were kept there and for a fleeting second I tried to look nonchalant about it. However, I miserably failed as I was extremely excited to try this facial. My therapist asked me about my skin concerns and acknowledged it all with a smiling face. Next thing I know I was plopped on the bed and she took the scrub deftly starting the massage.

This facial is designed to brighten under-par skin, and bring it back to life using lots of ESPA’s new Tri-Active Advanced Instant Facial serum. The relaxing massage soothed my perpetually frayed nerves and unblocked the stress knots on my forehead, neck and back. Finally, the therapist applied a cellulose mask which sets off like a jelly and once you peel it off you would get a happier, hydrated and healthier skin.

I can honestly say ESPA facial would be one of the best facials you would ever do. Even two days, my hubby and friends commented how hydrated and fresh my face looks. And any busy, tired woman would tell you that is the best compliment you can get ever. 🙂

Thank you for reading. Hope you enjoyed this post. Have a lovely week🙂 Don’t forget to follow me. You can also follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

“You call it madness, but I call it love”–Don Byes

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“Sometimes, my mind battles with my heart. And often my heart loses the battle. Because what’s winning when we haven’t known a little love or loved back?”

I know you probably came here expecting my weekly fashion post and even assuming that I would have some date-night outfits or other such inane stuff. The truth is I just do not get Valentine’s Day-a day apparently to celebrate love, wear sexy underwear and prance around with fluttering eyes (really, only one day in 365 days???) Do not get me wrong, sometimes I do get sucked into this giant marketing ploy and in my head make elaborate plans for the day.

But when the St. Valentines arrives, knocking mightily on my door, instead of it warming the cockles of my heart the whole thing sends me into a WTF frenzy!! Admit it: Valentine’s Day is one HUMONGOUSLY overrated day in which we are expected to show our love by exchanging a string of undesired gifts (because we are material people living in a material world and all that )and fancy surprises (because love is nothing if does not come with a huge price tag). It’s not reality. It is  another commercialised facade and we are expected to conform. 

And conforming is something that does not come naturally to me.

Hence, this year instead of even pretending to celebrate it, I am going to throw caution to the wind and concentrate on the rest 364 amazing days of love, laughter and friendship because at the end of the day it is the little things that matter. And if you are in mood to celebrate then here are some ways that WILL warm the cockles of your heart no matter what.

Cooking: 

When the husband man without expecting or being told cooks a scrumptious meal. Cooking, is the new candlelight dinner for most parents, add a lit bit of wine and a lot of chatter and you will have a memorable recipe in hand, no matter what is cooking. Any man worth his charm would know that a way to a woman’s heart is definitely through her stomach.

Re-creating the first date: 

Valentines Day unique ideas

Anyone can go to fine dine dating place but why not add an extra zing to it by re-creating your first date atmosphere. This is especially true for those couples who have been together for a while and know everything about each other. This is guaranteed to warm anyone’s heart and give you more than one reason to smile and be thankful for.

Go Outdoor:

Valentines Day unique ideas

No one said Valentine’s Day has to celebrated in an expensive place with expensive shit around. Get out of your comfort zone and go adventurous and pick up an activity you love: be it hiking, a long walk, skydiving or bungee jumping. Outdoor activities take out the pressure of perfection and you would end up having more fun than anticipated and speaking from experience there is nothing more romantic than getting lost up in a mountain or in a woodland.

Get physical:

Valentines Day unique ideas 

And I do not mean the Fifty Shades kind but something more fun (and perhaps less painful) if you and your partner are gym rats or fitness lovers then why not bond on that? Pick a really interesting challenging, head to the gym, compete and see who wins.

Dress Up:

Valentines Day unique ideas

Now this is an activity you can do whether you are single or celebrating the day with your friends. Dressing up is an expression of self-love and self-love is the foundation of any kind of love.

I hope now you realise that it is not about soppy gifts and pricey experiences but little things that go a long way to fill you with love and happiness. I wish, all you people Happy Valentine’s Day.

Thank you for reading. Hope you enjoyed this post. Have a lovely week🙂 Don’t forget to follow me. You can also follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.