Throughout most of my life, the idea of exercising and fitness rarely crossed my mind. I hated P.E at school and I think a lot of girls can relate to that, the classes were just not enjoyable at all and focused on how to play them rather than why it is important to exercise and keep fit. I neglected my body for so long and about 2 years ago I was beginning to make a change that has now transformed my lifestyle. I still find it a little strange discussing this part of my life but long story short I dropped a couple of dress sizes, eat a lot better than before (most of the time) and regularly exercise. Without a doubt it has changed my life and has made me a better person because of it. I know that everyone wants to be a better person, do good for themselves and their body, and I wanted to share a few things that I have learnt along the way.
My Workout Routine
I don't have a strict workout routine exactly, in 2015 I have done some form of workout at least twice a week, even if it was a short yoga/pilates/stretch. That is when I noticed it became part of my lifestyle and started to feel like I needed it. I genuinely enjoy it, I use that time for myself to let go and get the endorphins flowing.
Signing up for a gym membership was a decision I'm so glad I made. When I started out, I focused on the cardio machines, slowly building up speed and stamina. Then gradually introduced strength exercises such as squats, plank, sit ups and body dips. Today, I still focus on cardio when I'm at the gym and over time I introduced using the weight machines as my confidence and strength grew. I did it all at my own pace, I didn't want a quick fix, I wanted to change my life. I try to vary what I do every time I'm there. For example on the treadmill I will jog at a steady pace for as long as I can, the next time I will put it on a high incline and a fast paced walk and the next I'll try do quick bursts of interval running. I also have access to a variety of classes at my gym, this year I have tried pilates, body balance and body pump. I want to keep trying new ones and find a regular class to go to every week that's right for me. I like how useful it is to have an instructor right there in front of you. They push you a little harder and help you to improve your technique.
When I'm not in the mood to go to the gym I like to find a workout on YouTube. My go-to videos are Yoga with Adriene. There are a variety of different yoga videos and it is great if you are a beginner or an expert. Depending on my mood I will do a longer video that focuses on strength and weight loss, and sometimes I will do a more gentle one. I have tried some other workout videos but I always go back to Yoga with Adriene. I'm happy to try new workout routines to mix it up and hopefully I will find something new to try soon.
Tips For Beginners
1, Go at your own pace
Everyone is different and will have varying abilities, it's good to try and push yourself a little but it's okay if you don't. You're already doing a great job by making the effort to try and that's what is important, remember that.
2, Make it a habit
"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going". There will be days when you won't want to go for a workout, it happens to everyone every now and then. Making the time and going regularly every week will over time become your regular routine. My aim is to workout 2 to 3 times a week. Make a conscious thought to do it whether it's starting at once a week and then the next month twice a week and then the next 3 times or going straight in at 5 times a week. Whatever your goal is, stick to it.
3, Find a workout you enjoy
There are so many different ways to get moving. From the simple running on the road, to gentle stretches, to dancing. You can do it in a gym, with an instructor or at home. There's something for everyone. If you don't know what it is you like, try them all out. You never know what will make the fitness brain click. Find what is right for you.
4, Be patient and keep going
Results take time, one workout won't undo the past. And if you take on any advice at all, it is to be patient. Everything good and worth it, takes time and effort. I know everyone is capable. Believe in yourself. You have already made the decision to make a change and that's the hard part, invest in yourself and your life. You deserve it.
It feels good to share my thoughts about my fitness journey with the world. It has been a post I have been wanting to write about for a while now but have struggled to get started. When friends have asked me about how I got into it and made the change, this is what I tell them. I hope this has been useful to someone out there and I would love to hear any advice you would give someone starting out on their fitness journey. You can do it.