Park Bench Workout

I’ve started putting together a few different workout programmes that can be done without expensive equipment and make use of either everyday items or items that you can find while out and about. Today I have a park bench workout for you. This workout is perfect for when you are out for a walk or for going to a playground and letting the kids loose on the playground while you get a workout done on a park bench.

The beauty of this workout is that if you can’t get outside to find a park bench you can do it indoors on a chair you have in your house. If you can’t find a park bench when you are out you will no doubt be able to find a ledge somewhere that is about park bench height that you can complete the workout on.
park bench workout Park Bench Workout

I love how easy it is to incorporate a number of different exercises into the park bench workout. Adding the park bench to the workout can either make an exercise harder or easier depending on the exercise. If you are not confident with any of the moves in this workout then feel free to leave it out or if I have given a way to make it easier then take that option until you are feeling confident to do the full workout. Remember the only person you are trying to be better than is yourself icon smile Park Bench Workout

Before you begin this park bench workout consider where you will do the workout – are you going to do it at home or is there a park (or bus stop ;)) nearby where you can walk or run there and back. When you find your park bench of choice please make sure it is stable, especially for the squat jumps, safety first!

Without further ado here is my park bench workout for you:

park bench workout 1 731x1024 Park Bench Workout

Begin by performing mountain climbers – putting your hands on the park bench like you are about to perform a pushup then bring your knees one at a time as close to your chest as possible. You can do this quickly as though you are running or slowly depending on your fitness level.

Since you are already in the push up position you will next move into performing 10 incline push ups against the park bench. If you struggle with these take a break when needed until you get all 10 done.

Next we move into tricep dips – you can perform these a couple of different ways. First begin by flipping yourself over from the pushup position and place your hands on the park bench with your back to the bench. You can then do the dips by either having your knees bent and at a 90 degree angle (easier) or by having your legs straight out in front of you (harder), you then simply dip down until you feel the stretch in your triceps and push yourself back up with your arms.

Moving into our lower body portion of the workout, side step ups are next. Stand beside the park bench so the bench is beside you and then with one leg step up on to the bench and bring the other leg up to follow it then step back down. You are wanting the one leg you step up with to do the majority of the work so don’t use your planted foot to push you up [no cheating mmmkay!]. Once you’ve completed 10 on this side, face the opposite direction and repeat with the other side.

Next come the squat jumps – or park bench jumps as they should be called in this instance. Facing the bench lower yourself down into a squatting position and then jump up on to the bench (this is why I wanted you to make sure the bench was stable first!). If jumping is a bit too hard for any reason at the moment the squat down and back up then step up on to the bench instead.

Now we move into the abdominal exercises. I’ll let you in on a little secret, I’m not a fan of ab exercises! But they are very important as strong abdominals assist you in everything you do! First we have lying leg raises lie down on the bench, put your hands over your head to hold on to the edge of the bench and simply lift your legs off the bench until they are straight up then slowly lower them down. Keeping the repetition slow and controlled helps to really engage the abdominals and will make you feel it quickly too.

Take yourself into a seated position on the edge of the park bench to perform your V crunches. Start sitting on the edge of the park bench with your hands holding on to the bench beside your thighs. Lift your legs upwards so you end up with a V shape between your torso and your legs and then slowly push your legs out in front of you until they are straight then pull them back in to form the V again. Here is a helpful video to show this exercise.

Lastly you are going to perform a wall sit. This is simply sitting in the squatting position for a length of time with your back against the wall (or back of the park bench in this instance!).  Lower yourself down into the squatting position with 90 degree angles in your legs and hold for 30 seconds.

Now it’s time to take a little breather, have some water and then rinse and repeat! Repeat three times and time yourself and then try to beat your time each time you do it (safely though please!). If you are not sure on any of the exercises then have a look on youtube, or flick me a message or comment and I’ll find a video or images that will help icon smile Park Bench Workout

Have you ever done a park workout before? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this workout – please do comment and let me know. 




Top Tips for your First Triathlon

Summer is coming!! How is your summer body coming along?

If the answer is ‘what summer body’ then you should consider entering an event such as the Sovereign Tri Series, which is being held all over New Zealand between December 2014 and April 2015.

Dont’ wait for New Years to set a New Years resolution to make a change in your life! Click to Tweet

We all know that the resolution will be long forgotten by the end of January. I challenge you to get inspired by the #lifetakecharge mantra from Sovereign and jump into a challenge now!

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What your housing dollar can buy you outside of Auckland

I recently read a blog post about the cost of housing in Auckland, New Zealand and I was blown away. I knew that Auckland was expensive but I didn’t realise quiet how expensive it was when it comes to purchases a decent first home. I thought I would do a few blog posts which cover living in Auckland (the good and bad) and what your housing dollar can buy you outside of Auckland.

Last week I discussed my rants and joys of big city living, today I want to do a post showing you what your housing dollar can buy you outside of Auckland. If you’re not from Auckland and want to see an Auckland example check out this blog post.

What your housing dollar can buy outside of auckland What your housing dollar can buy you outside of Auckland

To make it fair I am just going to show what your housing dollar can buy you in Wanganui given that I am familiar with the area and know where the good and ‘bad’ areas are, if they are close to schools and the CBD etc. I can also then tell you if what you are ‘buying’ is close to any parks or viewpoints or anything else noteworthy.

If you find this post interesting I’d suggest choosing any other town and having a play around on either the Trademe Property section or Real Estate NZ website and see what you could get for the equivalent of what you are living in, in your current city.

You will note that I haven’t started at $250k like the other blog posts that I read, because if I did we would be missing out on a lot of the houses! You can click on any of the images to be taken directly to the listing for the house (I’m not sure what you can see once the listing expires sorry!).

A budget of $100,000 could get you

housing dollar under 100k in wanganui 1024x512 What your housing dollar can buy you outside of Auckland

This three bedroom, one bathroom home is located in a quiet cul-de-sac and has been partly refurbished inside. On the market at $95,000. I personally would want to redo the kitchen as I can’t stand metal bench tops. Other than that the house appears to be perfectly liveable. In regards to location it is a few minutes drive to the beach and under 10 minutes to town. While it isn’t the nicest location you could find something similar in nicer streets in the same area.

A budget of $150,000 could get you

what your housing dollar can buy you for under 150k in wanganui 1024x512 What your housing dollar can buy you outside of Auckland

This three bedroom, one bathroom home is located in a slightly nicer area is on the market at $139,000. It has been partly redecorated and the kitchen is beautiful! If it had enough storage (which it looks as though it does), I would happily cook in that kitchen! The bathroom does look like it needs redoing though, as does the horrific blue room, but nothing a lick of paint won’t fix. This place has a single garage and a decent size section, it is also fully fenced for the kids or dogs. Located about a 7 minute drive to town it is also close to the river where you can take yourself or your dog for a nice walk.

A budget of $200,000 could get you

what your housing dollar can buy you for under 200k in wanganui 1024x512 What your housing dollar can buy you outside of Auckland

This three bedroom, one bathroom home happens to be only a few minutes drive from town and is on the market at $189,000. While there were no photos of the bathroom this property appears to be in fantastic order and looks as though you could move right in with no repairs to be done. The kitchen looks good, as does the decking which leads to the beautiful back yard! This property comes with a single garage and workshop and is close to some good schools as well as the river for walks.

A budget of $250,000 could get you

what your housing dollar can buy you for under 250k in wanganui 1024x512 What your housing dollar can buy you outside of Auckland

This three bedroom, one bathroom home is located in a desirable area only a couple of minutes to town. It is in the zone for the best high school (in my opinion ;)) and a number of primary schools. The floor coverings have recently been upgraded and a heat pump was also installed. This property is on the market for $239,000, two of the bedrooms are doubles and one is a single. The kitchen and bathroom are both beautiful and check out that backyard space! The listing doesn’t state the size of the garaging but it looks as though it is at least a double and the listing does mention there is workshop space.

A budget of $300,000 could get you

what your housing dollar can buy you for under 300k in wanganui 1024x512 What your housing dollar can buy you outside of Auckland

This four bedroom, two bathroom home located in the city centre is on the market at $279,000. Being so close to town and such a large house you will be getting something a little older than the other listings however it still looks like a great property you could move straight into. You also get three (!) living areas with this property so if space is your thing you’ll be on to a winner. Close to all the schools, shops and the river!

A budget of $500,000 could get you

what your housing dollar can buy you for under 500k in wanganui 1024x512 What your housing dollar can buy you outside of Auckland

I was torn with what to choose for this budget, I could get you a semi rural property that was super flash with  a bit of land or a massive property in a sought after area of town that included a swimming pool…. I have gone with the semi rural property as that is what I would tend towards. So here we have a four bedroom, two bathroom semi rural property on the market for $479,000. There is an internal access, double garage, double glazing and central heating, a beautiful kitchen and bathrooms with massive bedrooms! There are also two living areas with one opening up to the outdoor patio and there is a lot of land out the back, the property is over 1200 square meters!!

A budget of $750,000 could get you

what your housing dollar can buy you for under 750k in wanganui 1024x512 What your housing dollar can buy you outside of Auckland

This four bedroom, two bathroom is on the market at $749,000 and is in a semi rural location which is under 10 minutes drive into the city centre. This home boasts both mountain and sea views as well as a view of the beautiful country. This property is only five years old and as you would expect has both central heating and double glazing, there is an internal access double garage as well as another single garage and workshop space and a rumpus room as an added extra. The master bedroom has both an ensuite and a walk in wardrobe. And that VIEW, damn!

A budget of $1,000,000 could get you

what your housing dollar can buy you for under 1m in wanganui 1024x512 What your housing dollar can buy you outside of Auckland

I was interested to see if there were actually any properties in the million price bracket in Wanganui as I’ve only ever seen one listed before, but it’s not usually a bracket I look at! I looked at the $900k – $1m bracket and found three properties which matched that description! One had price by negotiation with an RV of $860k, however I suspect they are looking for closer to the $1m mark, this is in a sought after area (although it’s a bit of a weird one as it’s out of the way, about as far from town as you can get and you have to go through the ‘bad’ neighbourhood to get there). The other two properties were listed at $980k and both rural properties with land.

This property is on the market at $980,000 with a bold exclamation that the vendors want it sold, which to me reads that you could make a lower offer. The house is a three bedroom, two bathroom property with a seperate office with inbuilt cabinets as well as a hobby room, double garage and conservatory. The out buildings include a three bay workshop. The 7.98 hectare grounds are separated into eight paddocks for all your livestock. There is also a large raised vegetable garden out the back.

What do you think of the options of what your housing dollar can buy you in Wanganui compared to where you currently live?




Auckland Vs Elsewhere (The Joys of Big City Living)

I recently read a blog post about the cost of housing in Auckland, New Zealand and then followed the links through to some other blog posts which discuss the cost of housing in other major cities around the world (largely Northern American) and I was blown away. I thought I would do a few blog posts which cover living in Auckland (the good and bad) and what your housing dollar can buy you outside of Auckland.

I left you with my last blog post with my rants about big city living, today I want to focus on the awesome things about living in Auckland as there are definitely a number of awesome reasons to live here!

Bigcitylivingjoys Auckland Vs Elsewhere (The Joys of Big City Living)

The Great Outdoors

Whenever I’m going for a run through the Auckland Domain I feel so lucky to be living in a city where you can run through such an amazing area with all the greenery yet you can see the sky tower and see just how close you are to the hustle and bustle of the CBD. There is an abundance of green parks all around the city, both in the CBD and out in the suburbs.

Then there is the fact that you can hop on a ferry and cruise through the Auckland Harbour (which is seriously stunning) before arriving at any of the beautiful islands including Waiheke Island.

If you are into any type of outdoorsy pursuits then Auckland is likely to have something for you. When the weather is co-operating we enjoy getting out to Woodhill Forest and giving our Mountain Bikes a ride.

I could go on and on about the awesome outdoorsy things you can do in Auckland like checking out Piha, or walking or biking down Mission Bay as well as taking any one of the walks or hikes out in the ranges around Auckland.

Open Mindedness

In smaller towns there is a lot of close mindedness and there is the converse in the big smoke. Generally I have found that in Auckland people tend to be more open about both people and experiences. Having such a vast variety of people from all walks of life makes living here very interesting.

Back in Wanganui if I said I wasn’t drinking one night I would get weird stares and the inevitable peer pressure in an attempt to get an alcoholic beverage into me. If I don’t drink up here nobody really cares or says anything and I’m usually not the only one who isn’t drinking, which is nice!

Blogging isn’t weird

I never told anyone that I did any blogging back when I was living in Wanganui (even though it was very sporadically back then) as I wasn’t really sure how people would take it.

I love that blogging is actually a thing up here and that there are some awesome events being set up for bloggers #bloggersbrunchclub, #laptopclub and Bloggers Club are amongst some of the great events and communities for bloggers.

I consider a number of the bloggers up here to be friends and I really enjoy it when I get to spend some time with them. I also like that I can take photos of all my food and they don’t even bat an eyelid.

There is always something on

It doesn’t matter what you are into, there is ALWAYS something on somewhere. This is something I don’t think we have been taking advantage of enough to be honest so I am going to make a conscious effort to get out and do more and see more in Auckland.

There are always concerts, festivals and shows on as well as random events such as Art in the Dark, The Italian Festival and then there are all the night (and day) markets which are awesome!

Food

While this is at the bottom of this list I have put together it is one of the things that I absolutely love about Auckland. Although I have no idea how anyone would want to open a food business here as I would believe the failure rate would be pretty high. Everywhere you turn there is amazing food!

Sometimes we fall into the trap of going back to our trusted favourites as there are too many other options. But then grab one comes to our rescue and has some awesome deals on places we have heard about but never ventured too. Trying a new restaurant for half the price? Yes please!

I also love the variety of different foods you can get living in a big city. Korean, Japanese, Mexican, American, Malaysian, Brazilian… the list could go on and on. I love how there is always somewhere different to try and because of the number of restaurants the foods are generally reasonably priced, especially the asian food. Yum!

I’d love to know your thoughts on what you love about living in a big city. Please do comment and let me know icon smile Auckland Vs Elsewhere (The Joys of Big City Living)



Auckland vs Elsewhere (A Rant about Big City Living)

I recently read a blog post about the cost of housing in Auckland, New Zealand and then followed the links through to some other blog posts which discuss the cost of housing in other major cities around the world (largely Northern American) and I was blown away. I thought I would do a few blog posts which cover living in Auckland (the good and bad) and what your housing dollar can buy you outside of Auckland.

Let’s begin with the rants about living in Auckland (or any other major city in the world!):

bigcitylivingrant Auckland vs Elsewhere (A Rant about Big City Living)

Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city by far, of the 4.2 million people living in New Zealand (per the 2013 census); 1.42 million of them live in Auckland. Given approximately one-third of New Zealand’s population reside in Auckland it is no wonder that there is traffic and housing issues left, right and centre.

I’ve been living in Auckland for over a year now and while I really enjoy it here I know for a fact that we will not be living here forever. The reasons above, largely traffic and housing issues negate the want to live here in the long-term.

When I moved to Auckland the only thing I knew for certain was that I did not want to sit in traffic every day just to get to and from work. I am by no means an early riser and would not cope well at all if I was forced to sit in traffic each day.

Perhaps I have been spoilt by the short commutes of a smaller town, where it would take me about 10-12 minutes to get from my work in the CBD to my home on the other side of town. A 15 minute commute was a pain in the butt and meant that there was traffic on the roads AND that you got caught in every red light on the way home. (You Aucklanders think I am joking – I am NOT! ;)).

Don’t even get me started on the mystery of overtime. Which, in some circumstances I do understand. Especially if you are trying to climb the career ladder into a profession you absolutely love or if you are running your own business. I have found that people tend to be a lot less efficient up here (a huge generalisation I know but it is what I have found) and therefore productivity tends to be low and thereby the need for overtime increases to get the work completed.

The kiwi dream is to own a home you can call your own. Unfortunately the prices of housing in Auckland compared to what we could get elsewhere means that we will be going elsewhere when it comes our turn to getting on the property ladder! Whilst a step on the property ladder is not in our immediate future it is something that I do keep in the back of my mind.  I will discuss this further in my post about what your housing dollar can buy you outside of Auckland.

From what I have seen so far from living in Auckland, people don’t seem to leave Auckland. I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with this; it is merely an observation I have made. By not leaving Auckland I mean both in a ‘travelling our country’ sense as well as a ‘I was born here and will raise my kids here’ sense.

I was really surprised when I moved here the number of people who have never been to Wellington! Wellington is our capital city and beautiful (I may be biased as I was born there, but do not remember living there), I have also met a number of people who have physically never left Auckland to explore other parts of our amazing country – some have gone overseas and some have truly never left Auckland.

I’m not sure if the people who have never left do not realise what is out there or if they believe they can get it all in Auckland. While Auckland is ridiculously beautiful and you can get a lot of the beauty that is New Zealand from different areas in Auckland, I could not imagine never leaving my city and I feel that these people are missing out greatly. Perhaps that is just the explorer in me though!

While this post has been highlighting some of the somewhat negative aspects of living in Auckland please stay tuned for my post on Why I love living in Auckland (because at this point in my life it is awesome!) and What your housing dollar can buy you outside of Auckland (just in case you’re curious).

I’d love to know your thoughts on what you love and loathe about living in a big city. Please do comment and let me know icon smile Auckland vs Elsewhere (A Rant about Big City Living)

pixel Auckland vs Elsewhere (A Rant about Big City Living)


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