What is it like to own a Bellabeat Leaf?

As a fitness and dance instructor I work with people all day and every day helping them to understand their bodies and calorie burning.

I am also a gadget girl and I’ve had many products that have helped me count those steps and calories, that’s why I was desperate to get my hands on a Bellabeat Leaf and find out its capabilities.

The lovely people over at Bellabeat sent me one over to play with and here’s my experience as an active mother of two with my first five days of wearing the leaf.

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Here are 3 simple elliptical workouts you can do to get some of those calories burned; no matter how much time you have available.

If you’re really short on time jump on the elliptical for 10 minutes give this first workout a whirl.

Elliptical Workout

For a 30 minute workout try this next one, which cycles through a rise and fall in both the resistance and incline, with a couple of sprint sessions.

Elliptical Workout

Finally if you want a longer 60 minute workout try this high speed, high intensity workout.

Elliptical Workout

For many more workouts like these check out the elliptical workouts selector

How To Start Running

When you first start running you should start with a combination of walking and running.

Unless you are already very fit you won’t be able to just walk out your front door and run for 30 minutes. Even if you do manage to keep running for the duration, you’re likely to injure yourself. You need to build up the time you spend running gradually week by week, increasing your fitness, stamina and strength.

Take a look below at our 30 seconds to 30 minutes running plan for beginners. Increase your running time from 30 seconds to 30 minutes in 10 weeks.
Start Running For Beginners
Start each running session with a brisk walk to warm up for 5 minutes, then do a short burst of running, followed by a brisk walk to recover then more running. Repeat this walk run cycle for the rest of your session. Over time you should increase the duration of these running bursts and decrease the walking recovery time.

When you start, aim to run 3 times a week, with rest days interspersed between your run days. This gives you enough repetition to improve and enough time off for your body to heal. Any time you exercise you will make tiny tears in your muscles, this is normal it’s how they get stronger, but your body needs time to repair itself in between workouts.

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Becoming a Zumba Instructor is a great way to earn a self employed income, while keeping fit, making lots of new friends and having a great time. When you become a Zumba Instructor everyday at work is a party!

Most new Zumba instructors are already existing fitness or dance instructors, however Zumba is open and very welcoming to first time instructors too. Zumba can be the perfect entry point into a fitness or dance teaching career.

To become a Zumba Instructor you must attend one of the Zumba Instructor training courses, and then keep your instructor license current, through a number of varying courses offered by Zumba or by joining the Zumba® Instructor Network (ZIN).

Step 1: Go to Local Classes

If you have not already done so, attend several different Zumba classes in your area, this helps you several ways:

  • Gain some experience of several different teaching styles,  giving you a feel for what is involved
  • Understand the local areas and days already well covered by existing Zumba classes
  • Start to meet the people who will be your local fellow Instructors (treat this more as a networking opportunity than meeting the competition – at one time or another everyone needs cover for their classes)

Step 2: Chose A Zumba Qualification


Zumba Basic 1This is the basic entry level course most people take, it teaches the basics and the Zumba® formula for teaching a class, covering these 4 basic steps:

  • Merengue
  • Salsa
  • Cumbia
  • Reggaeton

During the course you will learn how to put these steps together into a song and how to create your first Zumba class and receive the following material:

  • Cardio Party and Live Class DVD
  • 20 Minute Express Workout DVD
  • 4 Basic Rhythms Review DVD
  • Cardio Party Music CD
  • The Zumba Instructor’s Manual
  • Zumba Certificate of Completion
  • AFAA Trainers receive 5.5 CEU’s
  • ACE Trainers receive 0.7 CEC’s
  • One-year license to teach basic Zumba classes


Zumba Basic 1

This course is for new instructors to teach Zumba Gold, which is taylored to older adults and those whose fitness levels would prevent them from attending the standard Zumba Fitness. The course focuses specifically on the anatomical, physiological and psychological needs relevant for a Zumba Gold class.

The Jump Start Gold Instructor Training teaches you the foundation and Zumba class formula and prepares you to teach the Zumba Gold® classes by integrating the concepts of the Zumba Gold program.

During the course you will receive the following material:

  • Cardio Party and Live Class DVD
  • 20 Minute Express Workout DVD
  • 4 Basic Rhythms Review DVD
  • Cardio Party Music CD
  • The Zumba Basic 1 Instructor’s Manual
  • The Zumba Gold Instructor’s Manual
  • Zumba Basic 1 Certificate of Completion
  • AFAA Trainers receive 7.25 CEU’s
  • ACE Trainers receive 0.9 CEC’s
  • One-year basic Zumba license; Zumba Gold license as long as you are a ZIN Member in good standing

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Weight Loss Motivation

by Gareth Chapman

How can you ensure you don’t become one of the millions of people who sleep walk back into weight gain?

Realise that motivation gets you started but it’s habit that keeps you going.

You need to make use of motivation and habit to achieve your goals.

Typical Weight Loss Motivation Yearly Cycle

Does this sound familiar?

January: Renowned as the busiest month in the fitness business calendar; with a fresh new year you are highly motivated for a fresh new you, you start your exercise routine; vowing this time I’m going to stick at it.

February / March: Reality kicks in, this is actually quite tough, other things happen, you don’t intentionally give up but life just gets in the way and motivation drops off.

April / May / June: As summer starts to approach your motivation picks up again, driven mainly by the thought of bearing your body on the beach, reaching a peak around July.

September / October: After July & August your motivation levels start to drop again, the days get shorter and colder, you cover up with more layers of clothing, covering what drove your motivation in the summer. You then spend the cold evenings sitting in the warm, on the couch.

December: By now you’re looking forward to Christmas and all the great food you’re going to be eating, justifying to yourself it’s OK, because:

This January I’m really going to make a change and lose this weight!

weight loss motivation by month

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Walking is an ideal introduction to a regular exercise routine and can be a great aid to burning calories and weight loss.

You learned how to walk as a toddler, so surely you already know everything  there is to know about walking, don’t you?….One foot in front of the other, try not to fall over…Job done!….Or is it?

Here’s my run down of 27 tips to help you maintain & increase your Calories Burned Walking.

View your calorie burn with the calories burned walking calculator, Keep inspired, stay the course and keep walking off that weight.

1) Walk Faster

Walking just a little bit faster can have big impact on the calories you burn. Keep your head up; look ahead not down at your feet and just concentrate on moving each leg just a little bit faster than normal.

You don’t need to be doing speed walking, you’re not in the Olympics. Make sure you don’t increase your speed too far or you may burn yourself out half way through.

Remember with any change you make keep it achievable and realistic:

You can achieve anything you set your mind to, but nothing worthwhile is achieved straight away.

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Are you looking to do some exercising and don’t know where to start? Let us help you with our quick start walking program for beginners.

Walking Program For Beginners

As with any exercise program, if you have any concerns or existing medical conditions consult a doctor before starting.

Within 5 weeks the following program will take you from sofa to walking 2.5 hours every week. That gets you to the point where depending on your weight you could be burning an extra 750 – 1000 calories per week! (check your own calorie burn with our calculator using your weight, normal pace & 150 minutes)

Once able to walk 150 minutes per week, if you combine this with a reduced calorie diet, cutting back by just 350 – 500 calories per day you could expect to safely and consistently lose 1-2 pounds per week.

Week Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Weekly Total
1 15 15 Rest 15 15 Rest 15 75
2 20 15 Rest 20 15 Rest 15 85
3 25 20 Rest 25 20 Rest 20 110
4 30 25 Rest 30 25 Rest 25 135
5 30 30 Rest 30 30 Rest 30 150

The red values show how many minutes each day to walk for, you have two rest days a week, make sure to keep these as rest days and give your body a bit of recovery time. If you need to move days that’s fine but don’t do any more than 3 days together without a rest day in between.

If you find yourself unable to complete one week just repeat it again the next week before moving on.

Don’t worry too much about your speed, the main thing to focus on getting into the routine of exercising and maintaining a sustainable pace. Concentrate on being able to go out on each activity day rather than pushing yourself to go too fast and causing an injury.

Right! Don’t delay starting your walking program for beginners, there is no day better than today to start! Make sure to come on over to our Facebook Page and tell us how you’re getting on.

Intermediate Walking Program

Post image for Intermediate Walking Program

by Gareth Chapman

So you’re fairly confident you can cover some distance and are happy to do a 30 minute stroll…looking to take it to the next level and really start burning some of those calories walking? Well this is the page for you!

Intermediate Walking Program

As with any exercise program, if you have any concerns or existing medical conditions consult a doctor before starting.

The Intermediate walking program is intended to help you go from being able to walk for 30 minutes, to gradually increase that to 60 minutes, while also getting your body used to really putting in the miles in a regular walking exercise program. By the end of these 8 weeks you will not only be walking for 60 minutes at a time but doing it 5 days a week!

This is an awesome way to start shredding those calories. Imagine running a half-marathon every single week, you’d start to loose weight pretty quick right? Well by the end of these 8 weeks you will be burning almost the same amount of calories each week as if you were running a half-marathon….don’t believe me? See for yourself:

 200 lb person Half-Marathon once a week:

running at 5.2 mph over 13.1 miles
= 2,100 calories burned a week during exercise

200 lb person 60 Minute Walk X 5 days a week

Walking at a fast pace (3.5mph) for 60 minutes
= 410 calories burned per walk
X 5 days per week
= 2050 calories burned per week during exercise

(About 150 of these calories are due to the extra time involved, 5hrs walking vs 2.5 hrs running)

Take a look at our Calories Burned Walking Calculator to see how many calories you could be burning based on your weight.

Right then, here’s the plan, the red values show how many minutes each day to walk for, you have two rest days a week, make sure to keep these as rest days and give your body a bit of recovery time. If you need to move days that’s fine but don’t do any more than 3 days together without a rest day in between.

Week Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Weekly Total
1 30 30 Rest 30 30 Rest 40 160
2 30 40 Rest 30 40 Rest 40 180
3 30 40 Rest 40 40 Rest 50 200
4 45 45 Rest 30 45 Rest 55 220
5 45 45 Rest 45 45 Rest 60 240
6 50 50 Rest 60 40 Rest 60 260
7 60 50 Rest 50 60 Rest 60 280
8 60 60 Rest 60 60 Rest 60 300

Try to keep to a nice steady speed go as fast as you feel comfortable but focus on the exercise routine, do not sacrifice distance for speed…slow and steady beats the Hare every time, you will burn far more calories doing every day slowly rather than Monday fast and not being able to complete the rest of the week.

If you find yourself unable to complete one week just repeat it again the next week before moving on.

This is a 5 point guide to walking to lose weight, aimed at identifying the key actions you can take to effectively, safely and consistenly lose weight through your walking routine.

Ultimately to lose weight you need to eat less calories than you burn, to be precise 3,500 calories less for every pound of weight you want to lose. The thing most people find difficult about weight loss is staying the course, they either end up eating too much or losing motivation to keep exercising.

1) Keep Track of What You Eat

walking to lose weight food logThe key to avoiding over-eating is to be aware of what you are eating. It sounds simple but managing your eating starts with being aware of what you are eating.

Make a record of everything you eat and drink; if you want to record the calories each item contains then great, but the main thing is just to record everything.

The act of keeping a food log will:

Help you ensure you don’t eat more that you do today

As you exercise more your metabolism will increase and your body will naturally increase your apatite.

Help you realise how much you are eating

It is very common for us to “graze” on food without really being concious of everything we are eating, stopping to make a note of everything you eat or drink, makes you much more conscious, lets you look at your full days intake all together and ask yourself “do I really need to eat this?“.

Keep you motivated to keep exercising

This again is because taking the time to log what you eat or drink makes you much more concious, it helps to maintain your motivation for exercise. “I’m going to exercise because I’ve worked so hard eating well” and “I’m going to eat well because I’ve worked so hard exercising

Do NOT fall into the trap of, “I’m going to eat rubbish because I’ve worked hard at exercising“. This can be a slippery slope that does NOT end in weight loss!

2) Measure How Far You Walked

There are several ways to track the distance you’ve walked. Tracking the distance allows you to compare one route with another and help you gradually increase your distance, which will help you increase the calories you burn… crucial if you are walking to lose weight.

Drive the route in your car

Very easy – reset the odometer / mileometer in your car before driving your walking route, however if you are walking off the beaten track or just off road this is not going to be possible.

Route Mapping Websites

There are a number of websites that allow you to plot out your route on a map and see the distance, geodistance.com is one good example.


walking to lose weight - pedometersA pedometer is a device which counts each step you take by detecting the movement of your hips. As everyone’s stride length is different you typically need to tell the pedometer how long each of your strides are, it then uses this to calculate the distance you have covered. These are some of the most popular pedometers*

You’ll find once you’ve tracked your distance a few times you will get to know your walking speed and can pretty accurately work out any distance just from the time it took you to walk it.

Say you walk 2 miles in 40 minutes, this means you average walking pace is 1 mile in 20 minutes (3mph), or put another way, every 10 minutes of walking you cover half a mile. Knowing this you can workout if you went on another route walking at the same pace that took you 30 minutes you would have done about 1.5 miles.

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How Many Calories Does Walking Burn

Walking is a great exercise, which doesn’t cost you anything and wont take you any time to learn.

If you’re over 2 years old you probably already know how to do it – but how many calories does walking burn?

Here’s a quick easy reference table of the average calories walking burns per 10 minutes walking at varying speeds:

100 lb 24 28 34 40
110 lb 26 31 38 44
120 lb 29 33 41 48
130 lb 31 36 44 52
140 lb 33 39 48 56
150 lb 36 42 51 60
160 lb 38 44 55 64
170 lb 40 47 58 67
180 lb 43 50 61 71
190 lb 45 53 65 75
200 lb 48 56 68 79
210 lb 50 58 72 83
220 lb 52 61 75 87
230 lb 55 64 79 91
240 lb 57 67 82 95
250 lb 60 69 85 99


If you want a custom calculation of how many calories does walking burn for you then take a look at calculator to see your calories burned walking

If you’re looking to walk to lose weight then read though our article 5 Secrets For Walking To Lose Weight and Quick Start Walking Program For Beginners