Category Archives: Fitness Thoughts

Bali Holiday Cardio HIIT Workout

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a workout mode which involves alternating between short bouts of highly intense vigorous exercise activity with periods of a low to moderate intensity exercise activity. The whole workout can be as short as 5mins to 20 minutes long.

The suggested benefits of this style of training are:

  • You will expend the same amount of energy exercising at a high intensity for a short period of time compared with low intensity endurance activities
  • It's a time efficient way of committing to exercise for those who have a hectic schedule juggling the work/life balance
  • Your overall fitness and VO2 Max (a measurement of how much oxygen your body can consume during exercise) will improve
  • Your anaerobic (without O2) and aerobic (with O2) fitness will improve as you condition your body to use both energy systems
  • The energy we expend during physical activity is the only form of energy our bodies control which influences our BMR (basal metabolic rate). With HIIT this will promote your body to increase it's BMR and burn more calories!

This is my Bali holiday cardio HIIT workout which has 13 intervals and is 11 mins and 10secs long!  For a real sweaty challenge, complete 2-3 rounds or record your reps and aim to increase this number for each high intensity exercise in your next session. Set your interval timer for 40secs of HIGH intensity work with 1min of LOW to MODERATE intensity work.

Take 10 seconds to prep, get ready, sweat!

  1. High knees skipping
  2. Burpees with pushup
  3. High knees skipping
  4. Switch Jump lunges
  5. High knees skipping
  6. Step Ups LHS with propulsion
  7. High knees skipping
  8. Step Ups RHS with propulsion
  9. High knees skipping
  10. Star Jumps
  11. High knees skipping
  12. Pencil Squats
  13. High knees skipping



  • Warm up with dynamic stretches or light cardio to prep your muscles and joints for the work ahead
  • Adopt correct exercise principles and technique
  • Progressively overload
  • Do static stretches at the end








PlyoMania Workout

Plyometrics or jump training is a fun alternative to the routine strength-training or standard cardio workout. 'Plyos' are compound, dynamic exercises we did as kids - skipping, hopping and jumping in and out of puddles. These explosive exercises force your muscles to exert maximum force in a short period of time and will improve your agility, power, strength, speed and co-ordination.

Try this one!

  1. 20 Tuck jumps
  2. 10 Single Leg Backward Burpees - LHS
  3. 10 Single Leg Backward Burpees - RHS
  4. 20 Spinning Squats Jumps
  5. 20 Pencil Power Squats
  6. 20 Sit Throughs
  7. 20 Explosive Star Jumps
  8. 20 Jump Lunges
  9. 20 Box Jumps


  • Keep the exercises simple
  • Keep your core muscles engaged
  • Land in a soft and controlled manner
  • Avoid jumping on hard surfaces by jumping on grass, carpet or a mat

Successful Snacking

Many of my clients reach a point where their main meals are controlled but hit a wall when it comes to snacking.  Generally, most of us benefit from having one to two snack times per day which helps to control appetite but successful snacking can be challenging so evaluate your need to 'snack' depending on your fitness goals. 

Most snackers eat out of habit, boredom, social circumstances and often make poor food choices. This can easily lead to totally blowing your calorie cap for the day and all of a sudden, you're overeating! On the other hand, a mid-afternoon snack can keep blood sugar levels at bay which prevents overeating your next meal.

The key to success, is optimal food timing and regulating appetite by aligning your body's chemistry at the beginning of the day. When we first wake up in the morning, a neurotransmitter called nueropeptiede-Y is released driving us to eat mostly carbohydrates, so we should embrace breakfast and eat like a Queen (muesli, fruit, milk, yoghurt). If you miss breakfast, you'll be playing catch up all day. "Eat Breaky! Missing it is like a trip at the top of the stairs. Your diet goes down fast" by Matt O'Neill - Nutritionist/Dietician, Speaker, Educator. If you've allowed this to happen, a hormone called Galanin will release in the afternoon and drive you to eat fat usually in the form of cakes, chocolate and sweet biscuits.

Here are some simple strategies for successful snacking and appetite management:

  1. Only eat only if you are truly hungry
  2. Ensure your snack is exactly that! It's not a meal, it's a fix not a fill
  3. Keep your snacks to 140 calories or less (examples to follow)
  4. Make nuts or a trail mix your main mid-afternoon snack (contains healthy fats, protein, minerals and carbohydrates)
  5. Drink more water
  6. Drink green tea
  7. Prepare and plan your snacks at home, which reduces the risk of buying an unhealthy choice
  8. Eat nutrient dense quality food. Why waste snack time on empty calories? Peak performance can only be achieved with proper fuel.

And because we crave variety to keep our taste buds stimulated and motivational levels charged, here is a list of other snack ideas:

  1. Boiled eggs
  2. Green apples
  3. Slice of free range organic ham
  4. Homemade dips  with veggie sticks (capsicum, carrots, celery, cucumber)
  5. Small tub of low fat natural yoghurt with berries
  6. Punnet of berries
  7. Small tins of tuna
  8. Smoked salmon and cucumber wraps
  9. My date & cashew coconut energy balls (110calories/serve)
  10. Maca, Walnut and Macadamia Energy Bars
  11. Berry and banana or green smoothies 
  12. Veggie juices
  13. Natural popcorn



  • Demo Image
  • Demo Image

Tips for Surviving the Holiday Season

Happy holidays to you and your family and best wishes for the New Year.

Another year has flown by and we’re right in the middle of the silly season, with shopping, parties and all sorts of traditions. It’s when we celebrate with our favourite food and wine, catch up with friends and family, and take a break from our daily routines. However, without some control over our caloric intake, it may also mean an extra kilo or two.

The trick is to have a healthy attitude towards ‘holiday’ food and manage your choices by balancing the calories over several days. Think about your diet over the past few days, were you on the party bus all week? Look ahead to the next few days, are there more celebrations coming up? If you had a feast yesterday, plan a few lighter meals for the next couple of days.

As well as moderating our food, we also have to stay active. Make it a habit. Exercise does more than just burn calories, it’s essential for good health and well-being. Take the family out for a bike ride, go for a swim or a long walk on the beach. I often do workouts at the playground while my kids run around. Plan to fit it into your daily routine.

Importantly, don’t feel guilty if your diet has gone crazy a few times. Balance your intake over several days and you will have time to regain control. It’s ok to enjoy anything in moderation so ask yourself, do I need a taste or a fill? A small serve of the real thing can be satisfying and lessen any sense of craving or of having missed out.

  • Go swimming whenever you can. It’s great for your general fitness.
  • Arrange BBQs or picnics where you can go cycling for an hour or two as well as indulge.
  • Before going to the Xmas work functions – eat a small meal such as a salad or soup.
  • At events with family and friends encourage people to bring or provide seafood, grilled food, salads with fresh fruit and homemade fruit sorbets for dessert.
  • Restaurants. Order entrée size, order fish wherever possible, share a dessert with someone, and go for the fruit-based dessert.
  • Ditch the car and walk or cycle everywhere. Carry the shopping home.
  • Balance your beverages by drinking sparkling water in between the wine and champas.
  • At BBQ’s don’t fill up on bread and nibbles, eat the meat and salads.
  • Make serving small meals a habit by using a smaller plate or bowl.
  • Do some form of cardio exercise for 30mins a day.
  • Snack on the glorious seasonal summer fruit (berries and tropical fruit are amazing right now).
  • Never go to a party hungry (plan ahead, eat a little of something healthy and have a glass of water).
  • Don’t hover around the food tables nibbling, use a small plate to load up your allowance and be sensible. Pick your absolute favourites.
  • Focus on socialising instead of eating, that’s why you’re really there!
  • Avoid sauces from a jar and oily dressings, go for yoghurt dressings instead.
  • Add fruit like mango and watermelon to your salads instead of bottled dressing, it’s much more delicious! If you are serving nibbles, go for veggie sticks, home made dips and nuts.

Happy holidays!

Fitness Tips – Fat Burning Tips of the Day

Make it happen! We all know, weight loss success (that is FAT not muscle) means really cracking down on what and how much you eat! 80% of weight loss success is achieved through your diet, exercise helps you maintain it and muscle keeps you burning it.  Adapting small positive diet changes will help you look, feel and function better.

Try these tips:

  • Reduce saturated fat and replace with healthier fats – E.g. avocado instead of butter
  • Eat more green vegetables
  • Eat low GI seeds, grains and pulses such as spelt, quinoa, lentils
  • Reduce or eliminate alcohol, increase water and fresh vegetable juices
  • Increase low GI fruit such as berries and green apples
  • Have caffeine before training – this stimulates fat to come out of storage so you can use it for ENERGY!
  • Include fresh chili in your diet
  • Always eat breakfast – to reduce the risk of making poor food choices when you’re famished come mid morning!
  • Drink a glass of water of with every meal
  • Plan and prepare your snacks
  • Drink green tea
  • Increase breakfast serving size and reduce dinner serving size

Staying Fit in Winter

Well, haven’t we been super spoilt with such a warm month of May?  Even so, winter is fast approaching and we’re all familiar with how icy it can get in Melbourne. This can sometimes affect our motivation levels as it gets dark earlier and we give in to feeling tired but to stay in shape and stay healthy, it’s vital to stick to your fitness regime and not put it off till tomorrow.  Working out during winter will help keep your immune system fighting fit making you more resilient to catching annoying colds and viruses, keep your mood lifted on those dreary grey days and enjoying just a little more of those hearty tummy warming winter meals without the looming guilt of potential ‘winter weight’.

Here are some survival tips for working out in Winter:

  • Outdoor training – rug up with layers and keep your joints warm.  Lightweight thermals, winter thermal compression tights and tops, instant hand warmers (great for pockets), good quality socks, a neck warmer which doubles up as ear muffs and wear a beanie
  • Train at home – no need for loads of equipment or space.  Try a circuit of basic whole body exercises, set a timer to 1min per exercise and complete as many reps as possible.  Dig out a workout DVD or do one of the many online workout videos
  • Keep your fluid levels up – it’s too easy to think you’re not thirsty when it’s cold but your body still needs to be adequately hydrated
  • Not interested in joining a gym? Feel limited with cardio options? Get a skipping rope, rent a treadmill or bike or just rug up and go for a walk or run
  • Don’t ponder – the more you think about about the reasons you can’t work out, “too cold”, “too wet”, “too dark”…the quicker you will talk yourself out of doing it and the days will just escape. Don’t make excuses, just do it.
  • Nutrition – boost your immune system with foods rich in zinc and vitamin C, green leafy veggies, berries, kiwi & citrus fruits and also get in lots of honey (natural anti-bacterial properties) and ginger (natural anti-inflammatory properties)

Follow these guidelines so that by the time Spring arrives, you’ll be gearing to show off your fit bod rather than go into a panic as we approach Summer.

All the best!

Karen 😉

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