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Fit and Fabulous

  • Keeping active on Holiday!

    Hello Everyone!

    Over the Easter break my family and I were lucky enough to spend an amazing week at the gorgeous Grand Melia Sensatori Resort in Tenerife.

    It felt so good to soak up the sun, relax and take some much needed chill time.

    The hotel was possibly one of the largest hotels I have ever stayed in with over seven restaurants on the complex (such a variety of food including lots of fresh, local and healthy options too!), three swimming pools, which included a massive infinity pool that stretched over the whole width of the hotel and overlooked the sea (beautiful but freezing). They also had an amazing Clarins Spa with all the treatments you could possibly think of – having a full body massage with my twin sister was the dream, oh and I may have got a manipedi while I was there too!

    As you know me, a holiday wouldn’t be complete without being able to do some of my beloved Pilates and maybe a few beach runs! Lucky for me the resort had a wonderful ‘Sports Hub’ offering an array of exercise classes. Some of my favourites were Zumba, Aerobics, Legs Bums and Tums, Yoga and OF COURSE Pilates. They also provided tennis lessons, bike rides, archery and personal training sessions throughout the day too. (Woo hoo even more of an excuse to indulge come dinner time!)

    The instructors were really great: so friendly, positive and motivating, but man did they get you working hard!

    Find your centre! Find your balance!

    Here I am getting my daily fix of Pilates and Yoga in the ‘Wellness Garden’! Here I am getting my daily fix of Pilates and Yoga in the ‘Wellness Garden’!

    It’s so much fun to mix up your workout routine - to keep your muscles guessing and to work on different aspects of your fitness. Cue the bikes, towels and water for a bit of a Spinning!

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    Wow it was tough, I’ll be honest I didn’t enjoy my first class! However, you soon get addicted to the amazing buzz and the 'feel good' factor at having achieved/survived the class, so yes I booked in again for the next day and absolutely loved it, the second class I did was spinning and conditioning which involved high intensity spinning on the bike, followed by jumping off and doing strength training on the mat. Think one minutes burpees, squats, push ups ect… eek! Then we hopped back on the bike for some more cycling… nearly died, but such a great challenge and I actually surprised myself and enjoyed the session!

    Did I mention that awesome feeling after!? OH HEY WORLD! Did I mention that awesome feeling after!? OH HEY WORLD!

    I loved our sunny morning family jogs along the coastline. Its great that my whole family are so supportive and keen to get active therefore a post family run selfie had to happen! Loving my… ok Dad's Oakley sunglasses perfect for running and cycling, what can I say he has good taste!

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    We had such a fun week, I would highly recommend the Sensatori Resort as a lovely, luxurious holiday destination especially for all you active readers out there! It was such a great mixture of exercise, relaxation, pampering and of course a little indulging on some of the local yummy food and wine, made so much better by the amazing company! The perfect balance of healthiness with a splash of naughtiness!

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    I also brought ‘Behind the Scenes’ as my holiday read and thoroughly enjoyed it, it was prefect to read while soaking up the rays on my sunbed! Such a feel good, fun book! You can also pre-order ‘Searching for Steven’ now which I’m super excited about… roll on June!

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    I hope you all have a happy and healthy week!

    Remember to check out my Instagram and Facebook page!

    @hollychapmanpilates

    Type Holly Chapman Pilates into the Facebook search bar!

    Love

    Holly

    x

  • Why I love Pilates

    Hello!

    Today I thought I would share with you why I love Pilates, a bit about my journey and how practising regularly can have an amazing effect on your happiness, health and wellbeing!

    As you may know I’m a full time Pilates Instructor and currently working super hard to set up my own business (which is very exciting), however, it pretty much means that everything I do at the moment revolves around Pilates… yep it definatly feels like I eat, sleep and breath Pilates! But hey what can I say – I’m super passionate about what I do and I love teaching my clients and seeing them improve and get stronger each week is fantastic!

    What exactly is Pilates I hear you say?

    Pilates is a method of exercise and physical conditioning designed to stretch, strengthen, and balance the body. It’s not only incredible physically, it’s an amazing stress reliever too, so great for your overall wellbeing! By practising Pilates regularly you build up flexibility and suppleness while increasing endurance in the legs, abs, arms and back. It also increases strength and stamina by concentrating on the ‘deep core’ abdominal muscles and it’s through toning and stretching these muscles that posture can be corrected and strength and stamina can be naturally improved!

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    Convinced yet? Read on…

    My personal Pilates journey started a few years ago when I was recovering from a broken ankle, which triggered a nervous disorder in my left foot called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. To put it simply, my brain still thought my ankle was broken and so continued to send out the pain!

    Pilates became a part of every day life for me on my road to recovery and it worked wonders as part of my rehab program due to it’s gentle and low-impact nature. With regular training I built up the muscles that had wasted away due to my injury and my ankle got so much stronger and my fitness was restored.

    Throughout my childhood and teenage years I was a keen dancer, but during the time after my injury my posture, balance and coordination was awful because of the constant use of crutches and then a walking stick for nearly two years! Pilates is amazing for posture and to ‘even you up’, so by sticking to Pilates regularly my spine became naturally lengthened and correctly aligned which made me feel so much lighter, taller and gave me such a confidence boost!

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    Pilates really did change my life in the best way possible – it gave me enjoyment, strength, confidence and calmed my mind in a very stressful and painful period of my life. It teaches you to be so much more aware of your body and how it feels as well as toning up all those wobbly bits – don’t be fooled by thinking you are just chilling on a mat for an hour!

    For me it was such a natural step to train to become a teacher as I really wanted to pass on these fabulous benefits to everyone and to then be able to work closely with them to help them achieve their own goals and to watch how wonderfully it transforms peoples lives!

    Next month I will be giving you some top tips and exercises to trim and tone your waist! Perfect to get back into shape after enjoying and indulging a little during the 'Eggy season’ (meaning the chocolate variety of course)!

    Make sure you check out my new website, follow me on instagram Pilates3and like my page on Facebook for more Pilates chat and tips, links are down below!

    www.hollychapmanpilates.com

    @hollychapmanpilates

    Type Holly Chapman Pilates into the Facebook search bar!

    Stay happy and healthy and remember to enjoy the moment…

    Love Holly

    x

  • Delicious, scrummy, guilt-free banana pancakes!

    Hello Vanities!

    I hope everyone’s had a fabulous start to 2015 and is now ready, refreshed and raring to go for the year ahead!

    I’m delighted to be writing for the So Vain Books blog again and I’m really excited to bring you one of my favourite breakfasts of all time… the deliciousness, yumminess that is Banana Blueberry Pancakes… which, of course, are super healthy, super quick and have only three main ingredients! So NO excuses not to give it a go!

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    Pancake Day is upon us (yay!) therefore it’s the perfect time to start practicing and perfecting your flipping skills. It’s pretty much compulsory to enjoy fluffy pancakes for every meal and – believe me – with this yummy recipe you will definitely be wanting to make another batch and then some more!

    To make my healthy bloat-free, grain-free, protein and potassium packed pancakes you will need:

     

    2 large bananas

    1 large egg

    A handful of blueberries

    Pinch of cinnamon (optional)

    Pinch of ginger (optional)

    Coconut oil (sunflower or olive oil is fine too)

    Pure Maple Syrup/Coconut yogurt/ Extra Banana and Berries for serving (optional)

     

    Start by mashing the banana in a bowl, once fully mashed mix the egg in using a fork until the mixture is runny, smooth and lump free. There’s no need to blend the mixture as the pancakes may then turn out flat and you want to enjoy lovely fluffy pancakes!

    If you like, add cinnamon and ginger into the mix. That gives them that little special extra flavour!

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    Put a little coconut oil into a warm pan on medium heat and pour the mixture into the pan in small pancake shapes, then sprinkle the blueberries on top of each pancake mix. Cook for a minute on one side and then flip ‘em over and cook them for another minute (as if you would for normal pancakes). Transfer them onto a warm plate and when you have finished that batch, enjoy them with your favourite toppings! I love to add a dollop of coconut or soya yogurt with my pancakes and sprinkle cinnamon on top with extra banana and berries on the side. Or I go for pure Maple Syrup with extra fruit toppings! Pure deliciousness!

     

    I hope you will all treat yourselves and your friends and family with these gorgeous, scrummy guilt-free pancakes! They are quick and easy to make, plus packed full of yummy goodness. We would love to see your pancake creations so make sure you send in your pictures, tweet us @sovainbooks or share them on our Facebook page! Now get flippin’!

  • A Glamorous Guide to looking and feeling fabulous when working out!

    workout_2As apilates teacher and a dancer you will find me in the studio almost everyday, so I really do know how important it is to look and feel fab in order to get the most out of your work out!

    workout_1Feeling comfy, confident and (of course) glamorous in your workout wear is essential. Play about with different colours (bright colours are great for winter) and styles to find out which shapes flatter your body and highlight your best features. Make sure you consider the type of exercise you are doing, as this will obviously reflect in your choice of outfit.

     

    Invest in your gym clothes. You can’t beat good quality materials, unique styles and amazing patterns to help boost your performance, motivation and to have you looking and feeling fantastic! Some of my favourite brands are Sweaty Betty and Nike but I also like to buy online at hipandhealthy.com or withoutwalls.com where they host international independent brands, covering all genres, styles and sizes.

    workout_3You can also buy some amazing accessories on these sites too - bright totes, workout watches, water bottles, yoga mats and the list keeps on going. So how about instead of diving into that instant indulgent slice of chocolate fudge cake, treat yourself to a new yoga mat or gym tote? – its such a great motivator, plus it lasts so much longer!

    makeup_1Tip two: Keep your make up minimal. Blotches of cakey foundation dripping down your face is not an attractive look. Go for a light tinted moisturiser or a mineral foundation as these reduce shine without blocking your pores. I would recommend bareMinerals READY® SPF 15 Touch Up Veil or if you’re on a budget go for Max Factor miracle touch liquid illusion foundation. Use waterproof mascara to avoid panda eyes and add a little light coloured lip balm for a perfect natural finish. Have your hair tied back with a cute alice band either in a high pony, bun or braid, and your hair will look neat, sleek and chic allowing you to focus on your workout without worrying about those pesky flyaways!

    Hydration is also important to keep you focused and looking fresh throughout your workout. Water really is the best hydrator, please don’t be fooled by sugary energy drinks. They are so harmful for the body and cause numerous nasty side effects including heartburn, bloating and indigestion not to mention the post workout sugar crash!

    fruitwaterI tend to drink at least one large glass of water before my workout. Throughout my workout I have more to sip on to help me stay energetic, and afterwards I drink as much as my body needs for me to feel re-hydrated, which will normally depend on the intensity of my workout. This is ideal for me as it keeps by body cool - reduces any red blotchiness, raises my metabolism and keeps me feeling energised.

     

    I love to have fresh chopped fruit in my water for a yummy natural flavor and an extra vitamin boost, try adding some lemon, lime or strawberries for a refreshing delicious twist!

    These are just a few of my tips but I would love for you to follow these through and I can assure you that in no time you will be feeling more energised, motivated and determined to make the most of your workout while looking and feeling your best, most glamorous self!

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