Exercise: an activity that for most of us is a love-hate type of relationship.
For me, I love it. My ideal day would consist of pottering around the house in gym gear, doing a HIIT session, playing with the cat, eat, having a cup of tea, watching an episode of OITNB, going for a run, eat, snuggling with the cat on the couch, snooooozing, waking up, getting the weights out and lifting until I’m tired, eating, binging on more OITNB, eating, and then finishing on a few ab exercises. Growing up, we were always an active family going biking, canoeing, walking, and climbing. There was a brief few months where I also ran for Hampshire and always get physically busy. Both my parents are fit, run marathons, and my dad used to be a PT in the army, so it’s something I always grew up with.
Although I love exercising, there’s always the ‘other me’ which at times can be hard work and a version that really does not want to take joy in the idea of fitness.
You have the:
Aside from those 10 versions of me, I love exercising, and whilst it’s completely normal to have days or even weeks where you just can’t be bothered doing anything at all, sometimes you just need to force yourself to do it. That’s of course only if you’re interested in getting or keeping fit.
And breaking the habit can be tough…
It’s really easy to come up with excuses and reasons not to exercise, and it’s even easier to convince yourself that starting next week instead is completely fine. And in all fairness it is, but when I went through that stage, I was annoying myself and tried to change the way I approached it.
One of the things that helped get back into exercising was attending ab classes at the gym. As the gym is just down the road from my work, the practicality of going during lunch also help to break away from the desk and be active. I head over to the gym three times a week for the classes which are only a 30 minute session, but an easy way to reintroduce fitness as well as a routine into your life. The beauty of classes is that it’s a team effort, you’ll meet new people too and find motivation through them too. Bonus too, that it will benefit your health and body!
I had read somewhere that if you can stick to a routine for 30 days and more (whether that’s for sports/diets/specific targets), it becomes a normal activity to integrate into your day-to-day.
Having the right frame of mind helps, but as mentioned before, it’s easy finding an excuse or convincing yourself you’re too tired. Even if that is the case, just do it anyway. Friday morning before work, I set an alarm for 6AM, with the intention to have enough time to wake up, have a brew, head out for a run and then have plenty of time to get ready and head off. Typically I snoozed the alarm and 45 minutes later, I was pondering, more like telling myself, that I didn’t have enough time for a run. Oh I SO had enough time, and even with my later run, I made it to work on time, and I felt amazing for doing a 5KM (or 3.3 miles) jog around the park. Plus the weather was sunny, a very rare occasion for us at the moment.
From experience, let me tell you that having the right equipment can seriously help you in your goals to becoming fitter, and hey, who doesn’t love new gadgets to play around with? As I love running, one of my recent investments that has proven to be very useful are my Bluetooth headphones. In the past, I was consistently readjusting the headphones in both ears as the earpiece kept slipping out and the wires would tangle and always flapping around by my arm. Nightmare! So having these new headphones are amazing. I can run without the hassle, and concentrate purely on the run. The battery lasts for around eight hours and can then be recharged with its USB cable. In terms of ease as well, I’d highly recommend a phone armband to slot your phone into so that your hands are free. A very nifty invention and perfect for the travelling sports enthusiast is the Dome8 phone case. Until last month, I’d never have thought a phone case could have been any more practical, but here I am saying it. The case has a cool USP, with the point being that not only does it protect your phone, but it also looks after your headphones. And it does it in such a brilliant and chic way too. The case has two little pockets to tuck your headphone earpieces into, and then with the cable you wrap it around the earphone nest (!!!) after opening the rubber dome, and after wrapping, closing the dome to secure the cable in place. It’s a thing of beauty and since using it walking to the gym or work, so many people have quizzed me on it. Surprisingly, the nest at the back makes for a comfortable hold, and although you alter the way to grip your phone, it sits great in the palm. Since using the case too, I’ve never forgotten my headphones either as they’re always attached regardless if I use them or not. When I’m not using the headphones, I just ensure the jack is unplugged and tucked into the nest so that I can hear any calls or messages to the phone. Next weekend I’m also running the Jane Tomlinson 10K and I’m currently debating whether to adapt the use for the nest, and pack it with jelly babies for during the run.
*On a completely separate note, last Friday a mate knocked over some beer near the phone, however because of the nest at the back of the case, the phone was raised and nowhere near the liquid! Bloody brilliant. That being said, if you’re prone to spilling drinks, this may be the case for you…* Home
One of the simplest things to help you get started is just exercise from home- you’ll be able to dictate your own time, create your own workout, with being able to squeeze in a few squats in between a cup of tea and shower. With there being so many online tutorials, you seriously can make big changes in your own four walls. My all time favourite purchase is my yoga mat. Oh my days, I love mine so much. Before buying this, I’d quite happily crunch on the carpet until one night the carpet found revenge through my elbows. Since then the yoga mat has been my exercise companion, during workouts in the living room and if the weather is good, out in the garden. Whether you’re looking to get into yoga, core exercises, pilates and so on, yoga mats are a god send. They also make for a comfy and squishy surface to sunbathe on!
For those of you who don’t know, Spotify have a very useful playlist generator in the ‘Genres & Moods’ section which sits under their ‘Browse’ tab on the mobile app. Within this, there are tonnes of pre-made playlists ready to be used, I’d recommend checking out the running and workout selections and let them get you into the mood.What is brilliant about their running playlists, is that it will track how steps you take a minute, and pick songs to match your pace. Brilliant, right? And to help track my runs I use the Nike app, which will calculate distances and times, plus also give you regular updates to let you know how you’re getting on.
Not that any lady needs an excuse to buy more clothes, but treating yourself to new sportswear that you like and feel comfortable in will work wonders for you and your fitness. I love the sports clothes that I have that most my free time is spent in them, even if I’m not exercising.
Getting motivated can be tough, but once you make your first move, get into a routine and see your first results, it will all be worth it. Even if you feel as though nothing is happening, be patient as these things take time, but most importantly it’s about you! The feeling after exercising is what makes it all worthwhile and is the perfect way to re-energise. Whether you start off small or go in large, it’s the being active that makes it; and having off days only makes us human.
Whether you’re looking to get into fitness or just browsing for a few ideas, I really hope some of the points mentioned can help or in some way spark a fire in your belly.