I’ve been wanting to write this post for quite some time. As a P.E. teacher, former international athlete and part-time model, fitness and keeping in shape has always been a huge part of my life.
I absolutely love sports. I love trying new ones and particularly anything that is outdoors, I want to get involved in. Running is my main sport and people often ask me if I run every day – I can assure you, I don’t. Your body needs rest equally as much as it needs exercise, in order to repair and recover. Only then can you improve.
Carrying out the same repetitive movements and exercise on your body day after day will not only lead to boredom and soreness from over-use of the same muscles but you will also plateau very quickly as your body too gets bored of the same daily routine and those miles you are slogging away don’t have half the effect they could if you varied your runs/activities throughout the week. Personally I like to run, on average, 3 times per week. I vary these runs so that one run may consist of 30 minutes sprint or hill training, one 30-40 minute steady-paced run and one long run, ranging between 60-90 minutes – I usually save this one for the weekend (mainly so I can climb back into bed after it!). However, on the other 4 days I will stay active in other ways. I love to swim, go walking, do some yoga (if you can’t afford classes, YouTube is your best friend, there are hundreds of fantastic tutorials on there); or even just give the house a really good clean! It all counts!
With all that said, getting in and more importantly, staying in, shape is a lifestyle choice and a habit which you must adopt and adhere to. It can’t be about signing up for the latest trendy exercise class or quick fix fitness DVD.
There are also few people in the World who are ‘naturally skinny’. Enter – Gwyneth Paltrow. Not that I fully agree with her very strict lifestyle but I appreciate her honesty and admittance that looking as good as she does, at her age, takes real effort.
Another myth that I’d like to demystify is the overused excuse of a slow metabolism. A slow metabolism is in fact very rare. Genetics, too many calories, too little exercise and unhealthy habits such as not getting enough sleep are actually much more likely to contribute to excess weight.
So where to start? Well here are a few inspirational images and tips that might help..
It really is..
As I already said, any movement counts – walk the dog, clean out your car, do some gardening, go grocery shopping and park the car as far away from the door as possible – or better still, if you can, walk there in the first place. Carrying those heavy shopping bags is a super arm workout! (Just make sure they’re filled with delicious healthy foods and don’t undo all your good work! Refer to my previous posts Food As Fuel and Well-being Through Food, for guidelines on what to fill your trolley with!)
When you can, always take the stairs. It’s about making the active choice, rather than the escalators or elevators or parking your car as close to your destination as possible.
Next time you’re on the phone, rather than sitting on the couch, walk around the house or get outside and burn calories while you chat.
Meet friends for a walk, jog, swim or fitness class rather than a cup of coffee.
Join a fitness group – great for beginners and they have an added social bonus.
Just remember the most difficult part is getting started..
But once you get started you will begin to do these things and make active decisions automatically as they become your new habit.
And remember, best of all..
Good Luck! X