I’m actually half laughing at myself whilst writing this, but I like to get these things written down and I couldn’t tell you how many (or where they went) Post-it notes I’ve lost to the battlefield that is my apartment. After a few Tweets and WhatsApp messages, I thought I’d share my current after-work regime so if you’re just starting to consider fitness, you can have a nosy! And it means I can reflect on this in 6- and 12-months time to see my progress. FYI, I’m mostly doing this to return to my ‘comfortable size’, tone up and feel stronger overall.
Things to note: I don’t use my colleague gym membership. I live in a tiny high-rise apartment with a yoga mat and weights for company. I also spent anything between 12-16 hours out of the apartment per day. Consequently, this routine is well-suited to the working girl – or guy – living in cities, towns or villages with minimal time, space and previous experience. If I can do this, anyone can.
My workout routine is oh so simple at the moment but it’s one that I can get on board with and one that leaves me feeling pushed yet A-OK.
- Start with light stretching to warm up. (5 mins)
- Do my Squat Challenge of the day. (Usually between 5-12 mins)
- Complete my core, abs or legs challenge. (Usually around 15 mins)
- Follow with Nike Training Club ‘Get Lean’ programme. (Between 30 mins-1hr)
- A Yoga with Adriene video. (30 mins)
- 2x Blogilates videos to target trouble areas. (30 mins)
To be honest I switch and swap between this combination at the moment depending on my tiredness levels from work. Monday is all about the yoga, while by Wednesday I quite fancy some hardcore Nike time, then Thursday/Friday is usually dedicated to Blogilates for a smoosh of fun. I also get 30 minutes of brisk walking in per day (a.k.a. half-running for my bus because I’m late then half-running home because I want to be in comfies).
Food is a hazy subject alongside fitness routines. I just know I’ll never be a kale-crunching, protein-shaking kinda girl, but I’ve also never eaten super unhealthily either. What I have decided to do, however, is to amp up breakfast and lunch and downplay dinner.
Breakfasts now consist of fruit (for sugar) and granola (for substance) or dim sum (4x pieces). I do also sneak in a sweetened tea or coffee at this point, but with the whole day to work off something that I don’t see myself going without, it’s fine by me.
In Hong Kong, I have discovered a newfound appreciation for lunch. When I worked in England (both in and out of London), I rarely made time for my lunch break. I’d skip it altogether if I was busy – #freelanceproblems – or eat something convenient and small. Small lunches doesn’t equate less calories. Here in Hong Kong, I take my whole hour and I make sure it’s a protein packed lunch – we can go for protein-packed lunch or protein packed-lunch here 😉 – along with vegetables AND more fruit. My workplace actually provides us with free fresh fruit which is a bonus! Some of my current lunch recipes include:
- White rice, soy chicken, and pak choi;
- White rice, lemongrass and ginger marinated pork, and broccoli;
- Raw avocado, red pepper, cherry tomato, sautéed onion and smushed boiled egg pasta salad with sesame miso dressing;
- Butterleaf lettuce with cucumber, tomato, red pepper, chargrilled chicken and egg salad with wasabi mayonnaise prawns.
In the evenings, I am currently restricting meat in my dinners. I tend to go for eggs and ‘something’, or a grilled vegetable wholemeal pasta with nutty pesto, but of course I add in meat if I really want to! (I.e. run days.) It’s worth noting at this point that the done thing in Hong Kong is just to eat out, so it’s very much worth it to go healthy when I’m cooking for myself.
PS. If anyone has any tips for slimming calf work, please let me know in the comments in exchange for some avocado on toast 😉