Tag Archives: fitness

Fitness: Walking Morialta Park





I have been really trying to get fitter recently. I’m tired of being envious of other girls who seem to power on in the gyms. So for the last few months, it has been a lot of walks in the parks, 2.4km runs, daily workout videos…

I am 6 days from finishing my 50 days of exercise bet with the boy. We have a challenge going on right now that involves me doing daily exercise for 50 days, or lose 50 bucks. If there’s anything else I love more than food, I do believe that would be money. Not because money can buy happiness, no sirree. But because money can pay my bills. And that in itself is a contented type of happiness.

So far I have done…

  • 1-2 hour long walks in Morialta Park, Granite Island Walk, Para Wirra Recreational Park.
  • The entire 30 day shred by Jillian Michaels
  • A couple of days of the Fithoop DVD with the 1.5kg weighted Fithoop
  • The first week of Ripped in 30 by Jillian Michaels
  • 2.4km runs
  • Rock Climbing

Since starting exercising daily, I can now do:

  • Tricep Dips
  • Military style push ups
  • Jumping lunges
  • Run for 400m before having to slow to a fast walk to catch my breath

Weight loss: Zero. (Daily intake based around a 1200 calorie diet)

Sigh. Guess I will just have to keep on going!

What’s in a Brand – Natasha Bate from Fithoop, hooping your fats away.

I recently came across this interesting fitness routine – hula hoop your way to tighter abs and a better body. I was so lacking in motivation, I was grabbing at straws to rekindle my love for training. (I do have it, it just doesn’t… stick around for very long.)

Then twitter came to the rescue. K mentioned Fithoop. Hula hooping? But not just hula hoops, a weighted hula hoop. Really? Now I’m really interested.

I did a bit of research into it, got really quite intrigued. I knew I had my big race of the year City 2 Bay – 6km coming up, and I really want to beat my personal best this year. My usual routine with Jillian Michael’s 30 day shred was starting to bore me to tears and I wasn’t quite ready to go tackle Tracy Anderson yet. I needed something fun, something that was easy to ease me back into it. And looking at these hoops, I felt like I was looking at my solution. But here’s the thing with me, I always feel like anything new is the solution, anything bit quirky, bit fancy and was this really it?

So I got in touch. I spoke with Fithoop, I spoke with Natasha, the owner of Fithoop and I asked her all the burning questions I had about her, Fithoop, and whether or not this was going to work. Read on to find out more:

Before we begin, please share a little bit about yourself. Who are you and why did you start on this journey of fitness?

To date my career has been in the banking and finance industry, both here in Australia and in the UK and Belgium. I’ve always had swings and roundabouts with my exercise commitment and love trying new things to keep me motivated and fit in around work, friends etc. I’m very inspired to lead an active life and eat right but it’s hard to stay on track all of the time! I spent Christmas last year in Denmark visitng my partner’s family and friends and all of the girls were into using a weighted fitness hula hoop for their core workout and as an easy cardio routine in the cold winter months. I loved it the first time I tried it and knew it was going to help me with my problem areas whilst keeping a smile on my face and something I could do in front of the tv – perfect!

C: Something to do in front of the TV is definitely good, but I have my treadmill in front of the TV too, doesn’t seem to help much!

If abs were something you were after, why not develop a good ab machine? Why the Fithoop in particular?

It was never my intention to pursue a career in fitness but when the Fithoop concept came it definitely ignited a passion for me – now every day I’m doing something healthy or active to achieve a happy balanced lifestyle. I almost bought an ab circle pro machine last year but realised it would sit in the living room or under the stairs and wouldn’t get any use – I’d much prefer to be fithooping in front of my favouite tv shows or whilst checking facebook on my iphone along to some great music.

So how does Fithoop compare to other exercises and workouts such as Zumba, Aerobics and other types of physical activity?

Using a weighted hula hoop has been proven to burn as many calories as boot camp or very brisk walking so as a cardio workout it’s right up there! As a core strength workout it adds a real intensity that’s easier to obtain than numerous crunches or planks.

C: And we all know how hard it is to keep going at crunches after awhile. Ow.

Fithoop comes in two different weight sets. 1.2kg and 1.5kg. Pictured here is the 1.2kg Fithoop.

After watching the videos on Fithoop, I’m excited to try it out and yet a little intimidated. They make it look so easy, but I just know I’m going to fail at this! What are your best tips for a beginner?

The great thing about fithoop is it’s for all ages, sizes and genders – you’ll be surprised how easy it is to keep up first try as the weight adds to the stability and ensures you don’t have to move fast and crazy like with a kid’s plastic hula hoop. We’ve only had few customers that haven’t been able to keep their fithoop swinging first go and the trick is to try different stances with your legs – one in front of the other vs side-to-side and also give one big swing at the beginning and then try to use a forward-and-back motion rather than side-to-side or circular.

C: I’ve actually tried the Fithoop after reading these tips, wow, Natasha is right. The weight definitely helps keep the hoop up, oddly enough.

As with everything, there are skeptics for everything. To those who point at you and say: “That’s a gimmick! It’s just a hula hoop!”, what would you say to them?

I’d say try the fithoop for 5 minutes and tell me you don’t feel it working your abs and a leaves you a little breathless! It’s a very instant feeling of strength and engagement of your core, it will get your heart racing and most importantly it makes you want to fit at least 10mins of exercise into every day. There are plenty of other gimmicky ab equipment on the market but eventually they all end up in the cupboard or on ebay. Put your fithoop next to your tv and apart from looking very stylish it will make you get up in the adbreaks and burn some calories!

C: Well said, Natasha! Whoop!!

I love the saying “a 1 hour workout is 4% of your day” as this means a 15-minute fithoop session is only 1% of your day

So what’s it like being in your shoes? Can you describe a typical day of being you?

I’m always on the go and never sit still for too long, even in my office job I am up and down all day meeting with colleagues, grabbing a coffee across the road. I use my lunchbreaks to go for a power walk to the shops, grab things for dinner, try on new clothes etc. I do 2-3 group fitness classes a week and use these as a chance to catch-up with friends, rather than always meeting for bad food and wine – my favourites are hot yoga and Body Attack, I also do Tracey Anderson dance cardio and other dvds every other morning after my 10-minute morning fithoop session. By the time I get home I’m usually quite exhausted but before hitting the couch I grab my fithoop, put on a playlist and hoop for 20-mins whilst finishing my emails for the day on my iphone and planning for the next day ahead. This is a great stress releiver and most importantly ensures I feel good about having fit some exercise in and negate any naughties I may have treated myself to during the day!

C: *whistles* Can you believe this woman? Emailing while hooping? Nuts. I can barely take my mind off my sore abs, and she’s emailing away while hooping. Major respect!

Lastly, what sort of eating habits should one be having while working with the Fithoop?

We don’t recommend any specific diet or eating plan with the fithoop but do try to provide articles of interest and tips on how to acheive a flat belly. I believe it’s all about balance and variety so I chop and change ideas and follow different tips and trends all the time.

Thank you very much, Natasha! Definitely was an interesting interview. Having tried out the Fithoop for a little while myself, I can guarantee that you will feel it on your abs for sure. Plus it does take a bit of skill to keep it up. But do you know what it was as well? It was fun! So much so that I want to keep trying, keep going and keep working out.

You can keep up with Fithoop on their blog or tweet them at @fithoop to get your hula hoop fix today!

Fitness Friday #4 – Healthy Eating

I actually have something to report on this week! *cheers*

Over the last weekend, I went back to Melbourne and spent two whole days packing my house. We didn’t stop other than for lunch and dinner, and yet after 2 whole days, it is still not done. I have to say tho, packing a house is fairly physical work!

Here’s my exercise breakdown:


  • Day 1 – 30 Day shred Jillian Michaels


  • 10 Oblique V-up
  • 10 Saxon side bend
  • 50 jumping jacks
  • 50 crunches.


  • Day 2 – 30 Day shred Jillian Michaels
  • 2 minutes of static lunges and other leg exercises.


  • Day 3 – 30 Day shred Jillian Michaels
  • 100 Jumping Jacks
  • 100 crunches
  • 10 bicycle crunches

    Thursday – short exercise today due to School Council BBQ

  • 40 Squats
  • 80 Jumping Jacks
  • 20 Oblique V up
  • I plan to keep upping the intensity of the workouts. I can already feel myself getting stronger. My body is remembering how it used to be when I did the shred daily and ran to keep fit. I can do more pushups today than I could on Sunday and I got through my on-the-spot jump ropes without having to stop for breath, and while these are tiny successes they are a sure sign that I am improving – hooray!

    Here are pics of what I had for dinner this week:

    Steamed vegs with homemade burger patty and pepper sauce.
    Looks like a lot, but really it was just nice.
    Plus I’m trying to cut down my crazy aussie-sized portions, so this was still the beginning…

    Then I had salad greens with cherry tomatoes and chicken bites, topped with sesame dressing.
    This was yum!

    The hot weather made it perfect salad weather, but it was also perfect soba weather. So I made a soba salad. Salad greens, cherry tomatoes, soba noodles seasoned with soy sauce, pepper and sesame oil, and carrots.

    I love my food to be colourful as that makes it appetizing, so I try to incorporate my colours into my salads. This one was paired with miso soup and egg as well but I didn’t take a photo of them. The salad was made up of: Spinach leaves, carrot, zucchini, chilli and cold noodles. Yum!

    All good! I’ve done well this week, I think. Friday and Saturday will be rest days as I will be in Adelaide but the workout starts again on Sunday!

    p/s: I really don’t think you need recipes for simple salads. The key is to always know what goes together and to get a good dressing.

    Fitness Friday #3 – Running Healthy

    I never thought I’d be a runner. I used to hate running. But running in my first fun run was an eye opener. Now, I look forward to running.

    This week I have done no running. Unfortunately. However, I have started monitoring my diet and am pleased to say that with the better eating routine I have put back into place, my holiday weight is dropping off steadily. I’m almost 2kgs lighter already since Taiwan!

    My goal for the year in terms of running is hitting 10km. I hope to be able to run/walk 10km, but run steadily for 5km. Not asking a lot! Just need to train.

    My question for you is: Do you run? If you do, do you do it to music? I’d love some music recommendation. I don’t currently run with music but have been advised that running with music would keep my rhythm going better. So fire away your suggestions!!

    Fitness Friday: My birthday present to myself.

    Today is my birthday! I thought long and hard whether or not I wanted to give myself a birthday present, but decided that the best birthday present was one money can’t buy: better health, a better body, and more self confidence.

    At this moment, it feels like it’s all talk because I haven’t been able to put my eating and exercising routines into action. Yoga classes are closed for Chinese new year, and with it being Chinese new year week, there’s huge eating everywhere. I try to control my portions, but it is hard especially when you have relatives around you. But I’m doing my research and planning out my exercise and eating routines so that I can launch straight back into it once I hit Australia. I know I sound like I’m full of excuses right now, but gosh it sure is hard trying to be healthy and eat right when you are with your family! (They are scary metabolism monsters who eat 5 times a day and yet still stay super slim and fit, whut.)

    So far I have my eye on:

  • Jillian Michaels’ 30 days Shred

    This program worked brilliantly for me last year and when I kept at it for 10 days straight, I was losing inches and gaining stamina. I felt it keenly with the last 5km run of the year where I shaved almost 10 minutes off my time. Absolutely brilliant. I am keen to start it up again and go for it once more.

  • Tracy Anderson Method

    A workout that is met with the most mixed reviews I’ve ever heard. Some say it’s brilliant, some say it’s absolute bullshit. A workout that is based on dance routines? Interesting. I love dance so why not give this a try?

  • 1 million Kilo Challenge

    I love the fact that people are finally starting to realise the obesity issue that Australia is starting to be faced with. We don’t want to end up topping the charts for obesity, do we? I intend to chart my progress with this website, especially since I’m planning to get fitter and lose my excess weight anyways so why not do it in a team environment? Join me on my fitness journey, sign up and join my team: Becoming Beautiful and let’s get healthy together!

  • Running

    A quick walk in the nearby reserve made me aware of one thing real quick. I miss being out in the open and running! Of course, the heat and the humidity really sucks the joy out of outdoor exercising here but I’m already planning and looking up races to sign up for which is making me really excited to go running once again. I think I will start my running this year with this fun Beach Bash. 4km of running in high tide? Bring it on!

  • Dancing

    I promised the boy I would play Monster Hunter with him if he went dancing with me. I’ve yearned for dancing classes for as long as I can remember! I used to do ballet when I was a kid but a lack of financial support soon saw the end of that. With the boy’s latest move to Adelaide, we will be taking up dance classes together! I can’t wait, I love dancing as I’ve mentioned above and I can’t decide what dance to pick up first! Spoilt for choice, but will definitely be blogging about it, so stay tune!

  • K often said this: that I always have heaps of plans in the new year but always seem to run out of steam midway through. I do admit I have a tendency to overcommit. But instead of doing a million and one things this year, I am focusing on that one goal: to become beautiful healthy.

    On that note, the boy is getting me push up grips for my birthday. I’m excited because they are cute pink ones from Nike, and because push ups hurt my wrists something chronic (and yes, I’m doing them right, I checked with a million people or what feels that way). And because wrists and hands are a rather important asset for a musician, I’m opting for push up grips. I used to use my free weights but they are a bit small (1kg free weights aren’t that big)

    You can give me a birthday present too! You can do so by running with me on my races (if you are in Australia) or by pledging to go healthy and fit and actually doing so! Not much fun me being fit alone, let’s do it together!

    Or you could get me bigger free weights, god knows I’d love some. 1.5 or 2kg pair would be awesome.

    P/s: Images do not belong to me. They belong to their respective owners. Of whom I’m not sure who they are. Tell me if you know!

    Fitness Friday #1

    Because I need a constant reminder in my life. If this doesn’t go up on a Friday, you have permission to kick me up the bum.

    This week, I’ve attended two yoga classes. I can’t say I’ve eaten the most healthily, in fact I know I haven’t. But it’s a bit of a catch 22. I’m back home where all the yummy food is, and it’s a pity not to eat them as I can’t get them back in Australia.

    But I’m also trying to get back on the healthy eating bandwagon! And whoever heard of Chinese New Year being healthy..?

    So the current compromise is that I am eating, but eating small portions. I can’t help but down one too many durian, but I think we really will have to work on that in Australia, away from the temptations.

    Fitness Friday will be for me to report back on what I got up to during the week. I will also post up photos of what I’ve eaten and maybe even recipes. If nothing else, I’d like to use this space to share inspirations and motivational posters I’ve found to keep me and you going. Hooray!