Friday, 25 February 2011

Digging out the exercise tapes and (really) late Valentine's Day!

As Summer is approaching and the amount of skin covered is soon to become less and less I decided to dig out my old exercise tapes and get back on the game! (and yes, I said tapes!) I've tried lots of different exercise methods such as Pilates, Yoga and Aerobics but I've never had as much success as I had with Callanetics. Seriously, I LOVE these exercises!

It is a low impact method which involves small 'pulsing' movements of certain body parts once in a pose. It's very thorough and I always feel very stretched and relaxed afterwards. The movements are no more than an inch and they isolate and work deep into the muscle which according to Callan Pinckney means that 'one hour of Callanetics is equivalent to 20 hours of aerobics' in terms of its toning and lifting effects. I can almost guarantee there are some raised eyebrows now! Haha, I was exactly the same, as it sounds too good to be true, but after seeing some of the results online and hearing raving reviews about it I quickly found myself online ordering the '10 in 10' video. In this program Callan promises inch loss of 10 inches in 10 hours.

The verdict? WOW. After 10 hours my body was firmer and lifted and I finally had the beginning of a waist! I didn't do before and after measurements but before the program I was a size 8-10 depending on the shop, and afterwards my size 10 tops are now too loose. Although I found the exercises very challenging at first they quickly became easier and I was soon completing them with little trouble at all, and I even started to look forward to my Callanetics nights and felt a little strange and let down if I didn't manage to exercise one particular night.

One thing I did find about the tapes was that the hips and behind exercises actually made my bum smaller, and although it was lifted I barely had much of a bum anyway and the last thing I wanted was to make it even smaller! So now when I do the exercises I skip these ones and instead do donkey kicks to lift and bridges and squats to add shape.

Also, if you do decide to try these tapes don't let the dated music, tight leotards and 80's big hair put you off, as the exercises in this blast from the past are very effective! Personally I love the soothing music as it helps me to relax and I found Callan to be very calming and motivating. Another thing that may put some of you off is the fact that you often have to do 100 repetitions of each exercise. The first time I tried it I had to rewind in disbelief! Seriously though, each repetition is only one 1 inch pulse, so really the 100 reps are over before you realise it.

One other thing I will say is that the exercises are not for weight loss. In the videos you are advised against using scales as your weight will most likely stay the same as you are sculpting your body rather than burning fat, so if fat loss is your goal rather than tightening and sculpting I would recommend cadio workouts rather than this. That being said, the exercises can be done by anybody and will help shape your body no matter your weight and they can be modified according to your fitness level. The program is also designed to take the pressure off of your lower back and has actually been reported to alleviate joint stiffness, aches, pains and lower back pain.

So I'll keep you all updated on my progress. So far I've completed 2 hours :)
The Callanetics Website
Some real before and after shots
Example of an exercise - The Waist Whittler (my favourite!)

Also, I just wanted to give you a little overview of my Valentine's Day with my boyfriend of 11 months, Akila. (<3) We had already decided we wern't going to do anything too elaborate seeing as we are both broke students but I still had an amazing day! As Valentine's Day was on a Monday and we share a house I went back to my parents house for the weekend with the intention to come back on the Monday so that it felt a little more special :). Anyway, come Monday, these arrived at my door:

I was surprised considering we had said we wern't doing anything like this, but that's typical him :) I thought the roses were beautiful and the chocolates were really tasty :)
Unfortunately I never got round to taking any photos of my outfit or makeup (which I kind of regret now) but I wore a royal blue silk tulip skirt from River Island with a little asymmetric ruffly bit around the top and a big sparkly brooch on one side with a black top, long dangly silver necklace, silver bracelets and black heels. Akila and his friends suited up for the night, the house was spotless, we had a bottle of champagne (read: vodka lol) candles, everything seemed perfect EXCEPT!... we had both forgotten to book a table for the meal... oops!!! So we then ventured into town to see if anywhere had any tables at short notice... unlikely I know and in the end we decided to get takeaway Nando's and eat it at home. Unfortunately something I had previously thought impossible became the reality... Nando's had run out of chicken. Haha, we both found it pretty funny and ended up getting a footlong subway each and going back to the house and had a romantic night in. Overall I had a pretty good time :D It was the first Valentine's Day i've spent in a relationship so it was special to me, and I don't think I'll ever forget it :)

See you soon!

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