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Exercise hints and tips:

Amanda Ferguson, mum to 12 month old Chelsea and owner of Blue Sky Health & Fitness shares her exercise hints and tips....
By Amanda Ferguson
Date: January 01 2012
Editor Rating:

Amanda Ferguson, mum to 12 month old Chelsea and owner of Blue Sky Health & Fitness shares her exercise hints and tips...

Scale of 1 to 10

When exercising, continually think to yourself, on a scale of 1 to 10, how do I feel. How knackered are you?

1 being I am sitting on the couch doing nothing

10 being I can’t possibly go any harder or further.

You want to be working at 8-10 for most of your workout to get the best results. Don’t cheat, as you will only be cheating yourself! GO FOR IT!! Give it 10/10 at every workout and you WILL GET RESULTS!


You may have heard this before. One thing that women are prone to doing is stopping an exercise when it hurts, or gets too hard. Think about if you were doing a push up, as soon as it starts to hurt, do you stop, or do you keep going? I bet you stop!

Well, you have to keep going! When you start to feel it hurt, do another 5-10! Really go to the point where you can’t to anymore and you start to get shakey! If you stop when it starts to hurt, you aren’t teaching your muscles to strengthen up! If you put your muscles to the test, that is when they will get stronger and toned!

Think of a 10/10 of pain! Push yourself just that little bit further! So grit those teeth and go for it!

If you get that burning feeling and the pain, it means it is working and you are toning up!!

Why build muscle?

Muscle is important in weight loss and shape change, because when you build muscle, you are making your body work harder, and therefore burning more calories when you stop exercising.  So don’t be afraid of doing strength exercises.

What muscles to work to get the best results?

Squats & lunges are the best for legs and butt toning, shape change and weight loss

Press ups and tricep dips are great for upper body.

You can do all of these exercises at home, or outside! You don’t need any fancy equipment or a gym membership!

BUT correct technique is SO important.


Cardio is great for fat burning, building fitness, feeling great and toning up. There are a number of options you can do. Once it gets to easy, you need to CHALLENGE YOURSELF and do something different, work harder, set a new challenge!


Powerwalking is great for you. To work your bum muscles at the same time, squeeze your butt muscles every time you take your leg behind. Also KEEP YOUR PELVIC FLOORS ENGAGED AND TIGHT! Challenge yourself by walking for longer, walking further, and build up distance and speed! You can do this with a pram, so no excuses!


Once you have mastered walking, you can build up to running/jogging. Or if you want to go straight into running, take it easy to start with.

You can always start by walk running. Walk for 5 minutes, run for 1 minute, walk, run, walk run etc. Work on reducing the walking and increasing the running!

Think about your technique. You want to land on the mid foot strike, which is basically the bottom of the ball of your foot, closer to your arch. If you land on your toes or the top part of the ball of your foot, you risk shin and calf injuries. If you land on your heel you also risk injury.

Other points to think about:

· Keep your pelvic floors engaged and tight.

· Shoulders relaxed, drop your shoulders down from your ears, try not to hunch your shoulders. Keeping your hands and arms relaxed will help this

· Relax your breathing. The more you think about it, the more you will stress about it, the more you will hyperventilate and stress!

· Have some good motivating music playing! I tend to sing to the songs, which helps my breathing as well!

How to challenge yourself?

· Start with an amount of time that suits you. Might be 15mins, 20mins etc. Build on that time. Once you find you aren’t being challenged anymore, increase the time, or increase the distance in your amount of time. Try and get the distance you run completed faster. Then increase the distance etc.

Interval training

Interval training is AWESOME for fat burning, increasing fitness and burning calories after you finish training! Interval training is basically getting your heart rate up, then taking it down, up, down etc.

So how do you do it?

If you are out for a run, make sure you are warm. So start about half way through your run. Pick a spot a distance in front of you – eg a street, lamp post, traffic lights, parked car etc and sprint to it as fast as you can. Make sure you are challenging yourself with the distance you are sprinting! Then take it down to a walk or a jog, recover and then set a new target. Challenge by longer targets and sprinting faster!

Hill training

Is great for building stronger legs and bums! And another great exercise for increasing fitness and shape change! Find a hill, walk up it! Walk or jog down it! Jog up it, and down and up and down! Build up to running up that hill! Find different steepness of hills as well! If you have a pram with you, what a bonus!!

Rest and Recovery is important

Make sure you are not exercising everyday. If you are giving it 110% at each workout, 3-4 days a week is perfect. You need to have at least 2 rest days a week, to let your body recover.

If you are working hard you will find that your muscles and body are sore and tired. Usually the day after and 2 days after you workout. That is normal! It means you worked hard! Make sure you STRETCH, STRETCH, STRETCH!

Have an Epsom salts or lectric soda bath if you get the chance as well. 

Amanda Ferguson is the owner of Blue Sky Health & Fitness in Bayside Melbourne. For further information visit

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Jane says: 2012 01 02

Good points. No excuses now for me to get off the couch!

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