Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Keeping Fit & Enjoying Exercise

Last week, I bought my sister a top from Victoria's Secret, with the caption 'I Hate Running'. Ironic for her because she loves running but always ends up with a running related injury. True for me though, I really do hate running.
But I do enjoy exercise. It tires me out, makes me ache and wonder why I do it, but it generally leaves me with a smile on my face and means I can have that piece of cake or glass of wine (or, as it often happens, both!) So what do I do to keep fit when I'm not throwing on trainers and racing to get out of the door to run a 10k like the rest of my family?
Do something you love. You may as well enjoy it if it's going to cause you pain. I suppose that's something people have with running... I'll leave them to it! I started gymnastics at the age of 5, and have been trampolining from the age of about 10. I stopped gym when I got to uni as I didn't like the uni club, but did keep going with trampolining. Since graduation, I've missed it. So I decided to get back in to both. With a little help from Google and British Gymnastics, I've found an adult trampolining class and an adult gymnastics class (regain flexibility on my 25 before 25!). I've been to one sessions of each (getting back in to gym is going to be hard), but I loved the feeling of being back and that's definitely an incentive to keep going!

Group exercise. Exercising is social! Maybe not a long chat over multiple coffees (or hot chocolate in my case), but finding like-minded people who do the same things as you encourage you to keep going, and even make new friends. Joining the uni trampoline club was also a great way to make new friends as a fresher and even when I re-joined in my 4th year after a year in France. I do Zumba with my mum every week, cringeworthy maybe, but you leave any inhibitions at the door. I may be a few years younger than the majority of the people there, but we're all there to shake and shimmy and have fun. We all laugh together!
Find a gym buddy. It's hard and intimidating sometimes to go it alone. Whether it's a new class you're unsure about or the prospect of getting yourself out and in to the gym with nothing to encourage you, find somebody who will go with you (and you don't want to wimp out in front of them). I'm awful at working on my own in the gym, but if I know that somebody is there with me it makes me work harder. This is also probably a bit competitive, and I am generally not competitive against others (just myself!), but you will probably compare yourself to them and it will push you harder. If you're trying a new class and know nobody there, it's nice to go with a friend and you can have a laugh together. Or an 'OMG this is horrible why did we do this?' moment, but you won't be suffering alone!

Make time for exercise. It's easy to sack off doing something because you can't be bothered, or make other plans. Schedule it in to your day, whether to kick start the morning or let it all out after a stressful day. Exercise classes are good for me as it means you have a set time to be somewhere that makes you get up and go. You can turn down drinks or re-arrange plans because you have Zumba or trampolining - I used to be so good at doing the quickest turn around after trampolining to have dinner, a shower and put my makeup on before hitting the dancefloor with my friends on a Thursday night. I think my record for getting home and leaving the house again for pre-drinks was about 35 minutes, it was impressive. Also, put it this way: a spin class is 45 minutes well spent, better than watching another episode of that trashy TV programme... guilty.

Don't think of it as exercise. Walk to uni, cycle to work. Get off the bus or the train a stop before or after the one you would normally get off at. You'll be making those journeys anyway, and you can walk as fast or cycle as slowly as you would like. I mean, I even have friends who have ridden their horses through the McDonald's Drive-Thru. If that's not an inventive way of getting your food, I don't know what is! Zumba is just like an old school disco with coordinated dances, but Saturday Night, 5,6,7,8 and the Macarena aren't top of the charts anymore. Last week mum and I even had our own dance-off to Shake It Off during a water break, as you do.

Set yourself challenges. You need an incentive for doing something, that's true. Whether it's to lose weight or lift a certain weight, you're probably looking to get something out of exercise other than just enjoying it. Get a PB in a half marathon or cycle up a mountain. Believe me, I was joking when I suggested we cycle up Mont Ventoux, possibly the toughest climb in the Tour de France, last summer. I only managed it from all those spin classes I'm sure, but it would have been depressing to cycle back down without reaching the summit or to even not have bothered and watch the rest of my family cycle off without me. Yes I was passed by a few MAMILs (middle aged men in lycra for those of you not in the know) on their snazzy road bikes, but hey, I did it on my mountain bike which is only about 5 years younger than me! Now that's an achievement!
Victoria's Secret

Workout clothes. Sure, exercise isn't a fashion show, but we all want to show off our new gear! There's so much on the market to help you feel fabulous even when you can see the sweat literally dropping off your nose and on to the handlebars of your spin bike. Bright colours and fun patterns are the way forward and everybody knows it. I recently bought these leggings - even M&S have upped their game for inexpensive sportswear. Next on my list, colourful trainers. Mine are so plain in comparison to the rest on the market!

What do you do to keep fit and feel good?

1 comment :

  1. i have recently found such a love for exercise which i never ever thought i would! id love it if youd comment back http://www.amyelizabethfashion.com/2015/03/mothers-day-big-beauty-event-with.html xx


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