It’s time for the first Fitness Friday of 2016 – my fortnightly round-up of how I’m progressing with my fitness goals for the year
Disclosure: Upbeat provided me with some of their delicious protein drinks, but the opinions in this post are all my own and unbiased. Apart from the ones which are Mark’s, but they’re unbiased as well!
So how is January treating you so far? Still sticking to your health and fitness resolutions for 2016?
I’ve had a slow start to the year, mainly because I’m a bit nervous of pushing my back too hard. I strained the QL muscle on the left hand side of my back last August, and was in severe pain with it for several months. At its worst, I was struggling to walk and driving a car was pretty much impossible. I finally gave in and saw my physio in September and after 6 sessions of accupuncture, it was much better.
Since then, I’ve been gradually strengthening my core and walking for 30 minutes twice a day which kept my weight fairly steady over the last two months. Now that my back is starting to feel almost normal, I’m ready to get back in the gym properly. I’m not being foolhardy though – I’ve been doing 30 minute sessions on the treadmill, with a 1.5% incline so that my back isn’t put under any major strain.This week I’ve pushed it a little further – 45 minutes at 2% incline and although my glutes are a little achey afterwards, my back isn’t complaining. I might get a session of accupuncture at some point though, just as a precaution!
Mark is also on a bit of a fitness drive, although he’s working much harder than I am. He’s just started on a round of Insanity – the DVD workout by Shaun T. It’s a 9 week programme and really pushes him hard, but the results at the end are pretty impressive. We’re both following the nutrition programme as well (although I’m not being quite as strict about it as Mark is!) and that’s where Upbeat drinks have been really useful.
When you’re working out, it’s really important to make sure that you get enough protein in your diet. While many people focus on carbs, sugar or fat, they can often overlook protein. Eating the right amount of protein helps you to stay feeling fuller for longer which means that you’re less likely to be tempted by snack. It’s also really important to make sure that you get some protein after exercise, as it helps your body to refuel more effectively – more on that in another post.
Now all of this is more important for Mark than it is for me at the moment, but we were both really pleased when Upbeat offered to give us some of their delicious whey protein drinks. We’re both big fans of Upbeat, both for the delicious flavours and for their convenience. Each bottle contains 20g of whey protein – you can work out how much protein you need per day with Upbeat’s handy calculator, but these drinks are an easy way to get a good proportion of it. They’re also low in fat and have no more than 150 calories per bottle.
They’re really useful to keep in the fridge to have with breakfast – a protein rich breakfast is a great way to start the day. And Mark likes to take one to work with him to have as an afternoon snack. When I’m working out fully, I love Upbeat drinks as a recovery snack – they help me to feel refreshed and ready to get on with the rest of the day. Mark likes the Blueberry and Raspberry flavour, my favourite is good old Strawberry! You can find Upbeat drinks in lots of supermarkets and health food stores – find your nearest stockist here.