If you have been following me on Instagram, where I post-exercise videos and fitness tips on an almost daily basis, you would know that I am a proper gym rat. So when  #TeamAaptiv approached me to test their fun and convenient programs, I jumped at the chance for a much-needed change-up in my routine.

The training game can be a very lonely game, whilst most gyms offer umpteen number of classes, for me given my crazy schedule, it is not possible to attend those classes. Also, working out in a mirrored room packed with Spandex-clad people all trying to synchronise their moves to Ed Sheeran’s Shape of you, is something I would definitely pass.

Whilst I do not mind being the lone Wolf at the gym, I do admit that occasionally I need the motivation to give it my best, to keep going and just to learn new things. Enter Aaptiv, an audio-based fitness app that gives you a boutique fitness class right in your earbuds. Each “class” has a trainer who will take you through the programme and you can get the work out at a gym, home or outside with the touch of a button.

The Workouts—

Aaptiv Fitness Review

Aaptiv has a range of training programmes that you can try from outside running, strength training, HIIT, yoga to meditation. Each category has plans for beginners, intermediate and advanced level athletes (that’s you gym rat!). Each plan is colour coded for your convenience—green is for beginners, yellow is for intermediates and green is for advanced.

I also liked the fact that they have both 10-15 minute programmes and 30-60 programmes as well. As I said earlier, the app is designed to get you going and having even 15-minute programmes which pump your heart in no time is essential. As a busy mum, this feature is my personal favourite, sometimes despite your best intentions you just do not have time. So, getting even 10-15 minutes of work out can help immensely. I am a big believer that training/exercise is the best stress-buster and therapy hence I make a point to do something even if it is for 15 minutes.

My favourite, however, was their meditation playlist. After a busy and hectic day at work, where I am usually fighting fire and doing other awesome things, my mind (needless to say) goes on an overdrive mode. And most nights, instead of getting a good sleep I end up twisting and turning, with all the thoughts in the world coming at bedtime. And let me tell you from experience: stupid ideas come from a tired, unrested mind.

Meditation is proven to calm oneself down, clear the cobwebs in mind and energise you from within. Problem is…well, it is not easy to keep still and reflect…at least for me. I have been trying to make meditation a regular practice before sleep but always fail hence Aaptiv helped me immensely in achieving this goal.

Aaptiv Fitness Review

Aaptiv: a boon for new mums—

When I had just had my daughter, I found it extremely difficult to get any workout in for days (Getting grips on how to handle a baby, the tiny new person in your life is a challenging exercise in itself and there is no shame in accepting that). Aaptiv has a section designed especially for new mums—stroller workouts. Their stroller workouts are short (20-25 minutes), making it easier to squeeze one into a hectic day, and because they use the pushchair there is no need for a babysitter.

When my daughter was a baby, stroller workouts was something I did very regularly. Getting out, with your baby, even if it is 20 minutes helps both mum and baby immensely. We all know news mums risk getting postnatal anxiety and depression (i have been there) and it is important that new mums can get enough support to get this done in their new-changed lives.

In a nutshell—

Aaptiv, in a nutshell, is a great app to use if you are looking for motivation, new training programmes and new tips for fitness. My only criticism about the app is sometimes it is very difficult to understand a move when it is only told to you. Human beings like visual cues and if you are a beginner some of the instructions get lost in translation. But you can easily overcome this challenge by carefully listening to the instructions few times before fully understanding and executing it.  For £9.99 per month, you can become a member and access all the workouts without any limits. Unsure still about Aaptiv? You can try it for free with Aaptiv’s 7-day trial.

This post is sponsored by Aaptiv but opinions are my own.

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In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different–Coco Chanel 

I must confess that I have been in love with Polka dot style ever since I was a child. My favourite dress as a child was a pink polka dot dress which my grandparents had gifted. Some things remain unchanged no matter how far you go and how grown up you become; my love for polka dots have only grown with age. Whilst on one hand, there is something wistfully nostalgic about polka dots, if done wrong it can look exceptionally juvenile too. 

How to wear Polka dots as an adult

How to wear Polka dots as an adult

So, the question remains: how to wear style polka dots as an adult? My best advice would be to link its playfulness with an edgy element. A tie-in waist belt, cold shoulder or ruffles are little details which will give polka dots style the classic je ne sais quoi quality whilst making it delightfully chic. The second tip would be to go for classic silhouettes like an A-line. And when in doubt: opt for monochromes. 

How to wear Polka dots as an adult

How to wear Polka dots as an adult

I got this black and white polka dots dress few months ago. It has the classic A-line silhouette and the tie-in waist-belt gives it an edge. When it comes to accessorising this style it is best to go less. Here, I have opted for statement earrings, an embroidered bag and wedges in millennial pink. If you have been following me on my blog or instagram you would know that I love adding pops of colour to monochromes.

How to wear Polka dots as an adult

Dress: New Look (also like this one), Bag: India, Shoes: Deichmann (old)

Polka Dots were sashayed down once again the runways of Louis Vuitton, Givenchy and Balenciaga (to name a few) this year, which only proves that no matter what, this sartorial favourite is here to stay for few more years. 

Thank you reading. Hope you enjoyed this post. Have a great week. Don’t forget to follow me. You can also follow me on InstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

 

Fashion changes, but style endures–Coco Chanel

If you have been wondering why sleeves–one of the most unassuming things in a garment–is becoming longer and longer then it is not just you. Bell Sleeves silhouette has been doing the fashion rounds for almost two years now. And why not? Bell Sleeves are fun, dramatic and makes the right style statement. 

How to style bell sleeves

Yours truly here has been experimenting with dramatic sleeves right from the beginning of this year. You can check out my gingham blouse look. Bell sleeves might look really overwhelming at first. But my top tip to pull this look? Keep everything else simple. 

How to style bell sleeves

 

As said before, bell sleeves are all about drama you need to make sure that it remains the focal point. You can pair a bell sleeve shirt with colourful jeans (like Pink) or ripped jeans for an edgy yet casual look. 

How to style bell sleeves

You can wear it with sleek trousers for a polished office-look. You can even use a bell sleeve top/blouse underneath a slip-like dress. As I always say, possibilities are endless if you just let your imagination run wild. 

How to style bell sleeves

Here, I have kept everything else simple with pink khakis, nude shoes and a simple clutch. This is the kind of look I would go for if I were going out with my girlfriends for a lunch. Although my style changes according to mood, I have an edgy kind of style and bell sleeves allow this without much effort. A win-win, don’t you think?

So tell me, would you be belling the cat on bell sleeves or let this trend pass? 

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Elegance is the only beauty that never fades: Audrey Hepburn 

Every year, the fashion circles makes a certain colour their favourite. This year power pink and mellow yellow has taken the centre stage. Earlier this year, Yellow lit up the Golden Globe awards when Viola Davis, Natalie Portman and Reese Witherspoon sashayed this bright hue on the red carpet.  At the Runway, we saw Cate Blanchett in Valentino, Rosamund Pike in Alexander McQueen all strutting in Yellow. Before we knew it, Yellow became the favourite colour of bloggers and style mavericks alike.

For ages, women have held this colour with suspicion as a hue which is difficult to pull off. And does little to their natural skin tone. But now the table has turned. And women across the spectrum have realised that there is whole gamut of yellow shades that will help them to serve the sunny side up.

Personally, yellow is a colour that I feel can instantly brighten up your mood and your wardrobe. It reminds me of sun, beach and happiness and that alone makes yellow a wardrobe hero in my eyes.

Yellow fashion trend 2017

 

Yellow Fashion Trend 2017

 

The trick to wear yellow is to stick to the right shade. Mustard and dark yellows look best on light to fair skin tones whilst medium and olive skin tones should go for bright and vibrant yellows whilst almost all shades of yellow suit tanned or dark skin tones.

 

The beauty of yellow is that it can be easily paired with neutrals or even other fun colours like blue, orange, pink or purple to get a striking statement look. And if you are still in doubt, then you can add yellow accessories like a little clutch, boots or a statement scarf.

Yellow fashion trend 2017

Top: Matalan (old, similar), Skirt: (Next), Shoes: Debenhams

So, you see you don’t have to dread yellow. This beautiful shade can bring a ray of sunshine to your wardrobe and your mood in seconds.

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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.