Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Classic Versus Experimental

Skip rope
I read a quote I really loved - Balenciaga designer, Nicolas Ghesquiere, articulated what he was trying to achieve with my favourite perfume (Florabotanica - so addictive).
"There is a real duality... between classicism and experimentation...I wanted to explore this paradox between the pure and the enigmatic further."

Kristen Stewart Florabotanica
It got me thinking - the same approach can apply to your fitness and health in general. Adopting experimental ideas and actions is the way to discover new and effective methods, but it's also important to remember that the traditional beliefs and systems are the most dependable foundation.

So, stick to some basics. Combine strength and resistance training with cardio training. Stretch after exercise. Stay hydrated. Eat vegetables, fruit, legumes, wholegrains and protein.

But challenge yourself! Routine wrecks results. Not only is it not working, it's boring! No wonder so many people sign up to the gym at Christmas and head back to the couch by February. How can you be experimental without taking unnecessary risks?
Fitness Tools
Join a class you haven't ever done before. Try martial arts. Join a dance studio. Go to crossfit. Join an adult gymnastics class (guaranteed, climbing that rope is JUST AS FUN now as it was then!)
Go buy some fitness tools and create your own circuit.

Finally, I've been told several times that I look like Kristen Stewart so perhaps I was always going to be a Florabotanica flirt. Can you see it?

My Starring Role in New Zealand Fitness Magazine

So Tom Waits was Big In Japan. This might be my Big In New Zealand moment! Latest edition of New Zealand Fitness magazine features an article by yours truly on BalletSculpt.
New Zealand Fitness Magazine

Monday, 29 July 2013

Dress like a Dancer!

Bloch Dancewear

Shimmer Eyes
The catwalks are embracing the "sports-luxe" look and there's no reason not to take your tights and sneakers out to brunch and daily duties. Keep it clean though! Nobody wants to see sweat patches or tights that sag around your knees and backside. With so many brands and designs - the world of sportswear is your oyster! My pick for great colours, fit and high-tech design: Nike, Bloch, lululemon and Pilot.
Add some tinted lip balm, shimmery eyeshadow (featured: Laura Mercier Twinkle Eyes and Snazaroo Turquoise/Silver glitter pot), concealer and you're an off-duty dancer/athlete!
Bloch Studio Y-Back Crop
Laura Mercier Twinkle Eyes
Snazaroo Glitter Pot

Saturday, 27 July 2013

BalletSculpt: Ballet x Pilates x Yoga

As many of you know, as you attend my classes, I teach a class called BalletSculpt in Melbourne.

What is it?

  • A combination of ballet-influenced stretches, toning exercises, flexibility and stability training together with a challenging core workout
  • 30 minutes of standing work
  • 30 minutes of work on the yoga mat

What are the results?
  • Enhanced posture - standing tall, long through the spine 
  • Increased flexibility (with regular classes, you'll notice the improvements within two weeks)
  • Stronger, leaner abdominals and thighs
  • Sculpted, lean arms 
  • Sculpted, stronger thighs and calves
  • Tauter glutes (it's true!)
How can you introduce BalletSculpt to your local gymnasium or studio?
Ask your Group Fitness Manager to email me about availability!

Friday, 26 July 2013

Go Glam with Glitter

Life is a performance - don't be a wallflower. Over the coming week, I'll be featuring some fabulous nail and makeup ideas and products to add shine and lustre to your look. There's no need to be sparkling from your hair right down to your toes - save that for Halloween. But some glitter nailpolish? A gold-flecked eyeshadow? It says 'I'm worth it!' My pick is Illamasqua Spartan (gold) for fingers and Untold (red) for toes. Available at Myer!
Illamasqua in Untold (red) and Spartan (gold)

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Bloch Legwarmers - so many colours and textures!

Bloch dance and sportswear is a staple of dancers both professional and purely enthusiastic. Their range includes child and adult dance and sportswear, footwear and accessories (ah, how I  miss my purple/pink gymbag!)
Now, every dancer or dancer-at-heart must have their own pair of legwarmers. Wearing them makes your stretch go from merely everyday to professional-at-work. I think I can even reach a little further when I fool myself into believing I'm Margot Fonteyn!
Bloch leggings
Bloch leggings

I've got two new pairs to rock and I want you to get on board. My first pair is thick, cabled and plum coloured. Perfect for those slightly chilly mornings when the legs could use a little extra insulating!

The second are long, blue-striped and so much fun!

Bloch leggings
However, if you are not one for colour and
patterns, there are black leggings with or without stirrups, in various lengths. Take the challenge - perfect for BalletSculpt and also a great option for yoga, pilates or making a fashion statement wherever you're going.
Check out the range, find a store or purchase online at Bloch.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Fitness Swap!

Ballet Warmup
Has anyone else ever watched that abysmal tragi-comedy that is Wife Swap USA? First of all, don't. Secondly, I apologise that it is the inspiration behind the following idea:
When your body is used to the same movements and resistance (exercises and weights) that you're doing, it stops working so hard and you're really just wasting your efforts.
So, here's an idea.
Ask a friend or a trainer what their exercise or gym routine of choice is and commit to doing it - maybe just once, maybe a few times! Perhaps you'll find you LOVE bikram yoga. Maybe you'll go orienteering instead of doing the same Saturday BodyPump you always do...
Who's going to do Fitness Swap? I dare you.
Fitness Swap

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Product Review: Fudge Hair Colour (Paintbox)

Fudge Paintbox
Of all the trends to really stand out, the rainbow hair thing is so appealing. Life is too short not to embrace colour. Fudge Paintbox was a staple of my teenage years, but thankfully the formula has been modified and the colour not only lasts longer, but fades out evenly and can be coloured over instantly.
The other beauty of Paintbox is that the deeper colours can be combined with a lightening factor to result in pastel shades, like Kelly Osbourne's lavender mop or Audrey Kitching's candyfloss pink mane!
I used Blueberry Hill, which gave my hair a gorgeous burgundy sheen. Because my hair is already so dark, it was never going to turn blue, but the effect under lights was gorgeous. There's several uses from the one tube and I highly recommend combining two or more flattering shades in super-thin strips to get a multi-tonal effect (ie. purple/blue pink/purple).
Available from Priceline

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Eating breakfast: Before or After My Workout?

Oats for breakfast
Personally, I have changed over the years and found that it totally depends on the intensity and duration of the exercise I'm doing whether I want to eat beforehand or not. I have found though, that if I don't eat before a workout, my appetite is raging by midday and nothing I eat afterwards feels like enough!

From personal experience, I know that eating about an hour before a workout is the best idea.
A mix of carbohydrates and protein, no fat. Fat slows down the emptying of the stomach - not a good idea when you need the focus to be on your muscles, not still digesting your food!

Carbs and protein give you an energy boost and balance your blood sugar and hormones so that you can tackle your workout in optimal condition.

Coffee boosts your workout
Coffee before a workout is also a good stimulant - try to stick to one coffee and preferably not too milky. Save the lattes and cappucinos for afterwards.

Good breakfast options include:
  • Whole-grain cereals or bread
  • Low-fat milk
  • Vegetable and fruit-based juice
  • Bananas
My personal preference is a bowl of wholegrain rolled oats, soy milk and sultanas; a piece of fruit (plum, nectarine, mandarin) and either coffee or hot lemon juice.

If you want expert advice on your diet, you can look up a registered professional with Sports Dietitians Australia

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Work your inner ballet dancer at home

What's better than rocking a pair of legwarmers and tights to the gym and joining me at BalletSculpt? Well, nothing. But, this is a good introduction or alternative when you can't make it. Follow the instructions and try not to topple over. Do you love a Scottish accent? Me too!

Product Review: Sanctuary Spa Age Reverse

Darcey Bussell
I was browsing Vogue recently and an editorial on Kate Moss really struck me that she looks, to me, a zillion times more attractive than she did at 18. The same with Christy Turlington, Katie Holmes, Nicole Kidman and both the Minogue sisters. Sure, they all have an array of dermatologists, facialists and nutritionists. But the great thing is, with access to targeted products and attention to our lifestyle, skincare and nutrition, we can look better at 40 than we did at 18. True. So, while Kate and the Minogues can indulge in Covent Garden's own Sanctuary Spa facials and massage, I will happily settle for using their new anti-ageing range. The Active Reverse Peptide Replenist Serum is amazing - goes on like a gel and absorbs quickly - no gooeyness! The Lipid Recovery Facial Oil is to die for. My favourite. Smells divine and I can sit and massage it in while watching The Sopranos. Best of all? Darcey Bussell is the face of the range - formerly Principal Ballerina with the Royal Ballet in London. Nobody embodies grace, beauty and strength quite like her.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Feel The Fear...And BOSU Anyway

We're all guilty of just wanting to do what we know - inside and outside the gym! But discovering a new way to move and challenge your strength, stability and endurance is how you'll change how you look AND how you feel.
So be an intrepid gym bunny (or seek out a BOSU at your local sport or discount store)!
On that note, I have just started reading Dr Susan Jeffers "Feel The Fear...And Do it Anyway" and I'm determined to apply that mindset as broadly as I can. Come with me.

The BOSU looks like a half-ball and it is intended to provide an instable surface so that you are forced to use your core stabiliser muscles (abdominals, glutes and back) to maintain your balance. BOSU Squats: you can do these on the round or flat surfact of the ball

 Single Leg Extension: Pull your belly button towards your spine, slightly tuck your chin and extend one leg at a time
 Back Extension: Lying with your belly over the round side of the ball, pull your belly button to your spine and raise your chest. Fingertips are either side of your face and keep your elbows back, shoulders slightly contracted towards the spine
 Lunges: Front foot either on the round or flat surface of the BOSU, ensuring your front knee and ankle are aligned. Your back knee moves in a STRAIGHT line up and down

Mountain climber: Gripping either side of the flat surface, keep your body in a plank position. Without raising your hips, pull one knee towards your chest, sucking your belly in. Alternate legs. Keep your eyes ahead and avoid dropping your head down!

Monday, 1 July 2013

Skin goodies: Gym/sweat friendly and skin lovin'

Ok, shh.. just between you and me (and Google?), I invest in a prescription Vitamin A cream. It is proven to blitz blemishes, plump up and soften wrinkles, and purge the pores. About $40 and it lasts for months.
Sanctuary Spa
Vapour Beauty
If you want the best from the shelves though? Sanctuary Spa has brought out a kickass range - Deep Cleanse. I've got the "Exfoliating Pore Refiner" and "Pore Refining Toner". Available at Priceline!
You want organic, really flattering colours and concealer/foundation in EVERY POSSIBLE matching colour? I've just discovered Vapour Beauty. I SWEAR by the Illusionist concealer! Why? You can wear it to the gym - it won't clog pores! Love. Hello perfect skin
I also use the multi-use blush as a lippie. Lasts for ages. Secrets revealed. Don't tell anyone xo

Denise Payne: Fearlessness And Mercy

In the 1970s, as a teenager, Denise Payne was introduced to Kundalini Yoga by her teacher Sat Jiwan Singh. It became more than “a life...