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Setting the Barre at Achievable -How get around to exercising

By November 18, 2016 Balance, Blog, Health and Wellbeing

When time is tight it can incredibly busy to fit in regular exercise.  I love pilates and barre classes but with a little baby at home, going out for over an hour for a class was just too difficult. I bought work-out videos but after a week got bored of them and found it increasingly difficult to psych myself up to start a 40 minute workout very early in the morning (too tired after a night of broken sleep) or late at night (not advised as exercise just before bed keeps you awake!).  Then I found the “Ballet Barre Fitness & Pilates Workouts” App by Kira Elste.

 So convenient and do-able…

For the fraction of the price of a regular class you get a fantastic selection of 15-30 minute workouts.  No commute time, no fancy fashion-forward activewear required…and no excuses.  Anyone can find 15 minutes per day.   

So fun!

Kira is an enthusiastic, quirky and encouraging instructor and includes fun workouts such as “Blue Jean Baby” (leg workout), LBD Barre (arms, legs, core) and Tank-Top Arms!  She also has a section for “Healthy Treats” she recommends and a technique section in the App.

 The benefits

 I felt better the within 2 days of adding in a daily 15 minute workout.  Obviously too early to see any change in the body, but I felt more supple, my muscles felt more toned and I just felt better about everything.  It’s such a small amount of time to put in, but just goes to show, a little can go a long way, and a tiny workout that you can commit to regularly is better than a long workout you never get around to. 

 It grows with you

Because the workouts are so short, you can easily add on more workouts as you become stronger, and once fitting in a workout has become a habit.  And you can customise the muscle groups that you work on. 

 So, the answer to getting around to exercising (and other things)? Make it easy for yourself and aim for something easily achievable at first. In this case 15 minutes of exercise wherever you (and your smartphone) happen to be.  Once the habit is instilled, you can build on it.

 (ps: this is not a paid/sponsored post, I just really like the app!)

This review was first published as a guest post on

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How to Stay Balanced When You Have A Million Things to Do!

By October 30, 2016 Balance, Blog, Career, Organsation and Planning

Sometimes it seems like life just gets busier and busier.  Are you constantly rushing around day long? Have even hobbies started to feel like a drain on your time? Or are you thinking “hobbies, who has time for hobbies?”?  It might be time to pause and restore some balance to your life.  Limiting time spent on certain things and taking the time to look after yourself doesn’t necessarily mean you will get less done.  To the contrary, if you have a defined time to get tasks done in, and start out refreshed and enthusiastic rather than exhausted and deflated you may be much more productive!

Here are 13 tips for finding balance in a busy lifestyle.


  1. Set boundaries and goals to stay focussed on what matters

Is work or some other aspect of your life taking over a lot more time than you think it should?  Assess what you want to achieve in this area, what is needed to achieve that goal and what is extra.  Create a timetable to allow you limits the time spent but that will allow you to reach your goals.

  1. Do a little each day; something is better than nothing

Having just been through one of the busiest periods in my life, I found exercise really, really hard to fit in/be motivated enough to do.  I am now fitting in just 10-15 minutes of exercise per day.  But it has actually made a huge difference in how I feel and is something that I can commit to as there is no excuse for not finding 10 minutes in the day!

  1. Actually…aim to juggle rather than balance

I’m a firm believer that if you really want to do something, then you can find a way to fit it into your life…at some point.  But no one can do everything every day.  There may be some things you can only spend time on a couple of times a week.  There may be some things that you want to try for a certain period at some point in your life (eg. run a marathon) but may or may not want to continue indefinitely.

  1. Take refreshing breaks, for example

-getting up for a few minutes after every hour at your desk

-having a mid-week evening out

-taking holidays; A great piece of advice I was given when I started working was that the best time to start planning a holiday is as soon as you get back from a holiday.  That way you always have something to look forward to.

  1. Indulge in a few little treats each day such as:

listening to an uplifting podcast on your commute, having a bubble bath, a hot cup of tea while reading a good book, a luxurious piece of dark chocolate…whatever helps you feel relaxed, positive or energised

  1. Take care of your body:

-have a generally healthy diet with some occasional treats

-get enough sleep, and ideally have a regular sleep pattern

-get some exercise, a little regularly is better than none at all

  1. Take care of your mind and spirit

-regularly stimulate your mind with new skills and information, thought-provoking books movies and  conversation, travel and generally get out of your comfort zone from time to time

-regularly relax your mind: read or watch something relaxing, consider trying a new stress-release technique (meditation, prayer, mindfulness, yoga, progressive muscle relaxation etc.)

-indulge your creative side: cook, bake, draw, paint, write, make music, dance, whatever you like

  1. Take the time to look fabulous

Ever noticed how the way you dress and groom can affect the way you feel and behave? Wear something that makes you feel confident and together.

  1. Invest in quality time with those you care about

-talk, have fun with and relax with family and friends

  1. Consider regularly doing something to help someone else

It might just help you feel better/more balanced/in perspective too.

  1. It’s OK to go “all-out” for short, defined periods of time

We all go through periods in life where there is some sort of major deadline (such as an exam) and one thing can take over almost every waking minute.  That’s OK, just try to make sure there is a defined end to this crazily busy time and maybe plan something to look forward to when it’s over.

  1. Remember…things change

Life is dynamic, circumstances change, we change… Roll with the punches and regularly reassess how things are working.  Consider if your schedule needs to be tweaked or if something doesn’t fit your life anymore and needs to be let go to create room for new things.

Have a wonderful week!


*this article first appeared as a guest post on

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