I have been gone for the last week, I will admit it, and usually that means family time, holiday or moving- but not this time. This time I have been taking time to myself for my fitness.
I have never been the girl who goes running in the morning, or gets excited for P.E. I have been the girl more than happy to sit on the sidelines cheering my lungs out or watching from afar, I am not the most active of girls nor did I find a hankering for physical exercise- not until recently.
Matthew just celebrated his birthday a week ago where I naughtily purchased a new Red Fitbit Flex that he had been lusting after for some time, if you didn’t know a Fitbit is a little device that fits into cute little wristbands that during the day tracks steps, distance, and calories burned. At night, it tracks your sleep quality. Matthew had one already that he claimed “the battery is dying” (honestly I think it was the pretty red wristband that the new one came in he was after) so I swiftly went out and brought it for him, thanking my stars that gift giving for Matthew is that simple.
With the shiny new red Fitbit Flex on his wrist Matthew passed his old one (which I swear is perfectly fine) on to me, herewith starting my fascination with my exercise and fitness.
First off I thought it was fascinating that it tracks your sleep, but I soon found that the function for tracking steps and activity level is addictive. I have been enjoying yoga and walking lately, but I have kicked it up a notch with even running and hiking uphill- two things I dreaded thinking about let alone attempting. So with this little backstory I have my new fitness tips, regime, information- whatever you’d like to call it, here it is!
Yoga is something I have always enjoyed. Luckily I am blessed with my flexibility as well as my short stature- so stretching has always been a strong point no matter my weight which yoyo’s frequently due to a niggly sweet tooth I find hard to ditch.
I currently use the Reebok 55 Weighted Exercise ball and a nifty little yoga mat I got from a department store that does the job. I use fitsugar.com to find my sequences and can be a bit fickle with them, I chop and change as I like and I usually like to do Yoga when Matthew is out of the house when it is quiet and calming- so I have no set period to when I stretch.
I have started attending Zumba classes held at the local school hall on a Wednesday with a few colleagues of mine, I have been doing this for a month or so now and I love how it enables you to get your heart rate up without you even noticing. I have so much fun with Zumba and can’t believe it has been an hour at the end of it. Zumba is a fun, satisfying way to exercise without gruelling yourself at the gym (although I would love a gym membership regardless- since I have been a bit fickle with exercise in general in the past I haven’t taken that leap to joining)
I also have been lucky enough to be situated close to a forest where tracks are laid for the purposes of running, walking, cycling etc and have a couple of buddies that I go walking with at least twice a week. I like to stick with a buddy as talking passes the time and helps keep the focus off the pain that walking up those hills incurs. I like to choose an somewhat uphill route, and yes it kills me, and yes it hurts, and yes I look like a red-faced puffing mess when I do it- but it is totally worth it. I have also taken to walking around the block a couple of times in the morning before work on Saturdays to get my step count up and fit that exercise in so if we don’t get around to doing something that afternoon I know I have exercised somehow. I will also take to the block if I cannot find anyone to accompany me to the forest as I prefer not to be walking alone in there- safety first kids.
This one still kills me. I do not do this often. Matthew is a big mountain biking fan, his Mother and Father bike the trails, his brother works in the mountain biking industry along with his girlfriend and so naturally- coming from a biking family- Matthew would like to me to join him for afternoons in the forest, which is fine, until two minutes in and I lose my breath.
Seriously, I’m that bad. I am a big red faced swearing mess amongst those trees, but Matthew enjoys it and thats all that matters. I have found a couple trails that I enjoy riding and I am DETERMINED to be good at it, and I know this only comes with perseverance and hard work- so guess what I’ll be doing this summer.
HOME WORK OUTS
I have a couple of lists that I use when I work out of set reps and exercises that I do if I want to work on something in particular or haven’t been particularly active that day (or if I’ve eaten something naughty and think that it may help compensate) These include three sets of reps usually 12,10 & 10 of exercises such as rows, push presses, push ups, dips, crunches, squats, hinges, lunges and step ups. I always have my little 1.5kg weights handy for these which I also take walking around the block sometimes.
I am a very visual person when it comes to inspiration and motivation, and actually looking at things on places like Pinterest, We Heart It (my personal fave) and blogs always help. For some reason taking a quick look at the “fitness” tag on we heart it really gets me ready for a walk or a ride, its incredible how much these images help. (let me know if thats just me)
Music is another big thing. I have two or three playlists dedicated to exercise and working out. I boom these at home or in my headphones when I am active and it keeps everything fast paced.
Having a buddy is also another great way to keep you on track, whether is be your partner, a colleague or a friend and it probably helps them too!
MY EXPERIENCE AND TIPS
I thought I would add this little bonus on the end as things I have personally experienced when it comes to actually getting up and getting fit. Firstly I know that drinking water is a must. I am very very bad at this and have found since purchasing my pretty pink Camelbak Eddy it has been much easier. I make a habit of carrying this in my hand whether it be around work, around home, in the forest or even shopping- your consumption of water will definitely increase.
Secondly I recently added some Nike Flex running shoes into my wardrobe and these have helped my activity level immensely.
Before I didn’t have any decent trainers other than my good ol’ Converse and my feet were suffering because of this. When you have good shoes going out and exercising doesn’t seem as daunting.
I have to say that my Fitbit has definitely helped but just tracking your exercise in general is a good idea, writing it in a journal, an app such as my fitness pal (another one I use) or on a blog will enforce a little bit of commitment in there.
Let me know if you have enjoyed this type of post or if you’d like to see how I am trudging on with things. I started all of this just coming out of Winter but some of these tips should help throughout the seasons. I also post regularly on twitter and instagram about my fitness and health so you can check me out there too!