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Wednesday, 5 August 2015

The Gym | Six Months On

Untitled I’ve been focused on my health and fitness for five years or so but have ‘upped my game’ considerably over the past two years - and for the first time in my life, joined the gym just over six months ago. Before moving into the city, all I did was run - which although tough at first became much easier over time and physically it paid off. I got abs and toned more than I ever have in my life. I started off with 2K distances and then with each run I’d slowly lengthen it by half a KM so my body could adjust - until eventually I hit what became an average of 10K (on a good day 12K). The good thing about running in the country is the ability to mix up the route and it doesn’t get boring. Plus, unlike being at the gym, if you run so far you literally have to run back otherwise you’re stuck in the middle of a field with sheep staring at you.

If you’re looking to start running I’d recommend keeping track of your progress via an app. Forget what people say - you’re not #humblebrag-ing - it’s a great way to keep a note of your achievements and to set goals. I, at the time, had my best friend’s wedding to prep for in terms of exercise as I was a bridesmaid - and knowing I had to keep to my dress fittings really worked.

When I moved to the city, I was apprehensive about my fitness as I knew I wouldn’t be comfortable with running outside without my fields and rivers. So the gym it was. Running isn’t the same but there are a lot of classes to choose from, I go with my friends and paying for a membership forces me to throw myself on a treadmill no matter how tired I am. I thought I’d share my tips and things I’ve learnt along the way:

Plan - just like everything, plan your week of exercise - not only to be organised but, if your gym is like mine, to actually get onto the class. Have a busy day of meetings on a Tuesday? Maybe a tough workout is best following the 9-5 so you can let off steam.

Eat well - I’ve made the mistake of not eating enough prior to a workout meaning I’ve not given it my all and it’s not good for your body. If you’re off to a high intensity class - make sure you’re properly watered and fed before you bench press.

Keep track/set goals - As I said above, keep track of how well you’re doing - whether that’s an app or photos. In January at my work we had a competition to see who could cover the most distance in a month. Sometimes a little competition never hurts…

Don’t give up - Had a bad day? Don’t fancy the gym? That’s how you know to go more than ever. Take it out at the gym, you’ll feel better afterwards.

Don’t be too hard on yourself - This kind of contradicts what I’ve just said, but at the end of the day - whilst exercise is massively important for your health, it isn’t the be all and end all. Sometimes a brisk walk is just as good as the gym and having a few extra hours in bed will reap more benefits than a session on the cross trainer.

I never thought I’d be one of those people who enjoyed exercise and reaped the health rewards that I do, but I do. People comment about how much energy and life i have now and I feel it. I haven’t felt this healthy and ‘bouncy’ for want of a better word, since my dancing days.


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