Quite a few readers of my blog have asked me what I do to keep in shape, so I thought I’d write a little blog post.
I was lucky enough to be handed down the ‘petite’ gene from my lovely mum, but contrary to what some people may think, that doesn’t mean that I can eat what I like and never take any exercise. I do work quite hard at keeping myself fit and healthy and am a firm believer that you don’t always get what you wish for, but you do get what you work for! I have never dieted, but I have always been conscious of eating a balanced diet and really do feel better about myself if I exercise. It’s a great stress reliever and seems to blast my little niggles and worries away.
I know how hard it is to feel motivated to exercise when you are completely shattered from little people and life in general, and it is only really now that the children are a little bit older that I have been able to fit in regular exercise. So if you are mum with a baby or very small children, be kind to yourself. It is not easy to find the time or the energy and even though my children are a little bit older now, I am often guilty of telling myself that I am just too tired to exercise. On days when I need the extra motivation to get myself out there, I make a point of putting my gym kit on and try to get it over and done with as quickly as possible.
Here are a few tips that I find help :
- Find an exercise buddy. If you’re having a ‘can’t be bothered’ day, it’s likely that your friend will have hers on a different day and she will be the motivation you need to get yourself there. It’s also much more fun and the time passes quickly while you natter away.
- Mix it up. I try to stick to a mixture of classes, gym sessions, HIIT sessions with my friend and swimming so that I don’t get bored. Variety is the spice of life.
- Set yourself a realistic goals. I aim to exercise 3 to 4 times a week, but if I don’t manage that then I try not to let myself go more than 4 consecutive days without exercise. I find that if I have a long break I lose the will altogether and getting back into it is so hard. The more I do, the more I want to do.
Find your optimal time of day to exercise. I prefer to exercise in the morning, so that it’s out of the way and I can focus on the rest of my day. I am not a good evening exerciser, plus it’s not that easy to slip away out of school hours.
- Find a form of exercise that you love. It can be anything from dance classes to boxing to fast walking with the buggy. As long as you get your body moving, your mind will get the rest that it needs.
- Invest in some good gym kit. My go to brand for gym kit is Sweaty Betty. The quality, fit and designs are hard to beat and I think it’s really important to wear the right, breathable fabric when you are working up a sweat. If you’re like me and love clothes and the way they make you feel, then it makes sense to feel good about the way you look and feel in your gym kit too! New gym kit is a great thing to put on the xmas wish list, because your hubby can’t really go too wrong if pointed in the right brand direction!
- Book a session with a personal trainer. It is money well spent. It’s a fantastic way to start and they will design an exercise plan that’s right for you, show you how to use the equipment if you are going to a gym, and generally give you the kickstart that you might need. If you are paying for a session, you are much more likely to turn up too! My gym membership comes with one free personal training session a month, which I try to use as my PT will always introduce new exercises so that I don’t get bored and my muscles don’t get bored.
- Exercise well, eat well. On the days I exercise I am far more committed to eating well and drinking lots of water. There’s something about doing exercise that makes me feel healthy inside and I think twice about undoing all the good with a chocolate bar or a few glasses of wine.
- Make it a way of life. Change the way you think about exercise. Don’t think about it as a chore, think about it as a way of resting your mind, and exercising your soul as well as your body. It’s like you are treating your body to those wonderful endorphins and keeping yourself young and healthy at the same time. One of the main reasons I took up regular exercise was because I suffered with a bad back. Once I realised that the solution to my back problem was to strengthen my core, I found a way of building it in to my lifestyle and my back pain is a thing of the past.
About 6 months ago I started doing the Body Coach HIIT workouts, that take 20 minutes and are high intensity, fat burning workouts. The brilliant thing about these workouts is that they are over quickly, but get your heart pumping and can be done anywhere. (I even did one in our little hotel room in New York) All you need is an iPhone and WIFI (Youtube) and you’re good to go. You don’t need any equipment, just a pair of trainers and a bottle of water.
Here is a link to his beginners workout if you want to take a look.
If you find the exercises that he does a little too difficult or tough on the old pelvic floor, think up your own exercises that are more manageable and then stick to the 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off principle for 20 minutes using the Clock timer on your iphone. And then don’t forget to stretch. This is just as important as exercising and your body will thank you.
And remember …
Thanks for reading and here’s to staying young, fit and healthy.
Love, Chloe x