Top 5 Tips for Beginner Yoga by Laura Scanlon

Hey guys,  

Ahead of international yoga day this week (July 21st) I wanted to share my top tips for beginner yoga. I am not advanced at yoga but I like to incorporate it into my fitness regime for flexibility and a challenge. 

Benefits of Yoga 

  • Increased flexibility.

  • Increased muscle strength and tone.

  • Improved energy.

  • Cardio and circulatory health.

  • Improved athletic performance.

  • Protection from injury.

  • Promotes happy endorphins.

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Sukhasana Pose

Top Tips 

  1.  Free classes- Most yoga studios offer a free week or at least a couple of sessions before you make any commitment. Avail of this offer, go to as many as you can in the week, try out the variations of the classes and see which one you like most. Each teacher will have a unique style of teaching so see who you feel most comfortable with.

  2. Workshops - Most studios will offer a beginners’ yoga class workshop. I recommend taking part in at least one workshop. The workshops are designed to help you find proper alignment in your body and also help you get comfortable with terms and names before you head to class.

  3. Don't compare - this is a big one and even for me when I go to beginner yoga classes I see women extremely flexible (which I am not) doing these amazing poses. We all have unique strengths and weaknesses so try your best not to compare yourself to the others in the class. The reason you are there is to work on a weakness. 

  4. Go with a partner - bring a friend along and enjoy the new experience together. It will also make the experience less intimidating.

  5. Enjoy - Try your best not to take it too seriously and have fun learning a new type of fitness. 

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Trikonasana Or Triangle Pose

All activewear from OTG Active

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Vrikshasana aka Tree pose

Namaste, 

Laura x

 

Run Better with These Exercises by Laura Scanlon

8 EXERCISES TO IMPROVE YOUR RUNNING

 High Knees X 20

Kick Backs X 20

Lunge & Torso Twist X 10 (each leg)

Runners Lunge (hold 30 seconds each leg)

Kneeling Hip Stretch (hold 30 seconds each leg)

Calf Stretch (10 reps each leg)

Glute Stretch (15-30 seconds hold each leg)

Quad Stretch ( 30 seconds hold each leg)

NB. 2 rounds before and after your run. You do not need to do exercises 1+2 (high knees, kick backs) after your run.

Workout Of The Day by Laura Scanlon

Full Body Fat Burn (Bodyweight)

Hey guys, 

Here is a full body fat burning workout that will be sure to get your heart rate up targeting all areas of the body. No equipment needed! No excuse ;)

Always remeber to warm up, stretch and cool down before and after your workout

5 Rounds with little rest as possible between rounds

• Half burpee into squat X12
• Curtsey squat X 20 (10 each leg)
• Low plank knee 2 elbow X 12
• Straight sit up X 12
• Triceps dip + glute bridge X 12

New Look Website & Ebook by Laura Scanlon

"BODY BLITZ"- EBOOK

I am so excited about the launch of my website new look and feel and with that I have also just launched a new FREE ebook "Body Blitz". This is my best one to date, with easy navigation, pictures demonstration, it is the perfect ebook for home workouts or to use while away on holiday. Plus an EXTRA bonus fat burn workout and my favourite juice recipe.

Sign Up via POP UP

Laura x

My simple tips for summer fitness by Laura Scanlon

 

Article published in Irish Sunday Independent May 2017 Life Magazine

1. Join a club

What's better motivation than working out with friends while potentially making new ones? Join a tag rugby group or a running club this summer.

2. Breakfast

Prepare your breakfast and lunch the night before to avoid grabbing something quick and unhealthy on the run.

3. Snacks

Keep nuts, seeds and fruit on you throughout the day to avoid snacking on chocolate and sweets.

4. Coffee

Change your cappuccino/flat white to an Americano.

5. Frozen grapes

A delicious low-calorie alternative to sweets, without the extra sugar.

6. Water

People who consume sugary drinks regularly (One to two cans a day or more) have a 26pc greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people who rarely have such drinks, according to a recent study at Harvard School of Public Health. The recommended daily intake of water is two litres per day. Cut all sugary drinks from your diet and sip on water throughout the day.

7. Alcohol

Although the bright evenings are screaming at you to go to the beer garden for a few drinks, this can play havoc on your midline. Avoid cocktails and beer, which are full of empty calories. If you are going to drink, keep it clear with a vodka soda with lots of fresh lime. Be warned: tonic water does not mean less sugar; one can of tonic has nine grams of it. That's two teaspoons of sugar.

8. Implement fitness Friday

The end of the week can sometimes mean meeting a friend for a sneaky lunch-time burger, which can often be the start of a downward spiral for the weekend ahead. Instead, why don't you and your friend meet and try out a new fitness class close by, such as yoga, spinning or Pilates. Your body will thank you.

9. Fitness tracking watches

I find mine very motivating and they help keep track of your sleep pattern, calories, steps, heart rate and mileage. Pretty cool.

10. Juice

Adding a green juice to your diet daily has many health benefits such as healthier skin, improved digestion, not to mention nutrients. There are many health shops and cafes now stocking fresh juices. I like to combine a handful of spinach/kale, one green apple, ginger, celery, lemon, chia seeds and flax seeds.

11. Body

Focus on athletic changes in your body rather than aesthetic changes. Focus on building strength and stamina rather than what the scales says.

12. Recovery

Rest and recovery is essential in order for your body to adapt and muscles to grow. Self-myofascial release is a term for self-massage to release muscle tightness or trigger points. This can be performed with a foam roller or a lacrosse ball. By foam-rolling specific muscles on your body, you are able to aid in the recovery of muscles and assist in returning them to normal function. Normal function means your muscles are elastic, healthy, and ready to perform at a moment's notice. This is also known as active recovery, so on your 'day off' don't sit around feeling stiff and sore, get up, move and get foam-rolling.

13. Bodyweight training

Bodyweight training (using your own bodyweight for resistance) helps increase lean muscle mass in individuals, especially when combined with aerobic activity. Its doesn't cost you anything. You literally need your body and some space.

14. Get planking

Give yourself a new daily challenge by planking. Hold a low plank for 30 seconds, then go straight into high plank for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds and repeat four times. Always ensure you're using the correct technique for the plank and don't forget to breathe.

How to do the basic plank

• Get in the push-up position, put your forearms on the ground with your hands straight in front of you.

• Squeeze your glutes, thighs and your abdominals.

• Keep a neutral neck and spine.

• Create a straight, strong line from your head to your toes.

• Hold that position.

Plank Hold

 

 

15. Burpees

Love them or hate them, the benefits are real. This full-body functional exercise acts as a fat-burning machine. Burpees are a great exercise to do in a HIIT workout (High Intensity Interval Training). You can also do them as a warm-up exercise. The basic burpee is performed without the press-up, as, for beginners, it is best to modify the exercise and leave the press-up out. For the more advanced among you, the press-up is an extra benefit. Try three sets of 10 burpees with 20 seconds rest between each set and feel your chest burn.

16. How to do a burpee

• The classic burpee is a four-point move.

• From a standing position, drop into a squat with your hands on the ground just in front of your feet.

• Then kick your feet back behind you, keeping your arms extended so you are in a raised plank position.

• At this stage, the more advanced can throw a press-up into the mix, which really ramps up the difficulty.

17. Change

The body responds really well to change, so if you have been doing the same form of exercise for the past few months and feel like you are stuck in a bit of a rut, then try something new. Ramp up the intensity like HIIT, fast interval running like hill sprints, or higher repetition resistance training at a lower weight.

18. Skipping

It's an incredibly effective, versatile workout tool. You can pack a rope and bring it away on your holidays to keep up your cardio fitness. Bring it to the gym or just use it in your own back garden.

Skip for cardio

 

 

19. Major muscles

Target your major muscles with compound exercises like back squats, deadlifts and lunges. Moves like these burn more calories during and after exercise. You can make these exercises more of a full body workout by adding in planks (see point 14, below left) and sit-ups between your sets. For example, after completing your amount of back squat repetitions, hold the plank for 30 seconds low, then 30 seconds high.

20. Core

Although the core is engaged while doing compound exercises like squatting and deadlifts, it is always good to add in core toning exercises to your routine.

21. Positivity

Being positive about your workout will help get the results you are looking for. Use exercise as a form of therapy. During exercise, the body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins trigger a positive feeling in your body and help reduce stress levels.

Article piblished in Irish Sunday Independent May 2017 Life Magazine