Monday, 17 February 2014

Getting Fit



So this post is a little different from my usual topics, but it has become a larger part of my life recently: exercise. I have always, always hated exercise, especially doing P.E. at school. It was easily my worst subject and left me feeling embarrassed and exhausted every time. My siblings are both quite active, particularly my brother who plays rugby, and my parents have also encouraged/nagged me to do more. When I was little I did dance classes, but the teacher moved away and we live in such a small town there was no one else to go to. We did Scottish country dancing every year at school, which is so much fun you forget it's exercise, but I only get to do it a few times a year now at ceilidh and suchlike. I also took swimming lessons, as I'd imagine most people did, and I did quite enjoy it, but since stopping lessons I rarely go now, partly laziness and partly the hassle of changing and showering etc. In recent years, walking has really been the only form of exercise I have undertaken. I try to walk as much as possible, especially when it's a longer distance that I could cheat and take a bus for. 


(Source)
(Source)
     So, one of my resolutions this year was to get fit. I get tired just climbing the stairs, and I'm becoming increasingly aware of the future negative effects on my health. I spent the first few weeks of the year experimenting with what works best for me. I'm far too shy and nervous to join a gym, as I know I'd feel awkward and embarrassed all the time, so I wanted something I could do at home. I also didn't want to start with anything too intense, as my fitness level is pretty low and too much too fast would have put me off sticking with it. Eventually, I've found two apps which I use; Nike Training Club and Yoga Studio. I do each one three times a week, the cardio to get me really active and burn calories, and the yoga for something more gentle and toning. It's a nice balance, as I'm active six days a week, but don't feel like I'm overexerting myself, which makes it easier to stick with it. I highly recommend both these apps, as they are easy to follow, highly customisable to your needs and ability level and inexpensive! And once you download routines, there's no need for an internet connection to use them, which is great for where I live, with it's dodgy connection.

     I'm also trying to eat healthier this year, mostly by reducing the amount of chocolate and sugar I eat, as I have quite a sweet tooth! As well as limiting sugary snacks (and snacks in general) I've also switched to non-sugared cereal, natural yoghurt and low-fat alternatives where available, and am trying to eat more fruit and less starchy carbs. I'm not following a specific diet or counting calories, just trying to be more aware of what I put in my body and not eat for the sake of eating. So far, I haven't noticed any major changes to my health or mood, but I'm not going to deterred, as I think the benefits of all this will be more long term. Losing weight is not the main goal of this, but I wouldn't mind dropping a little. However, I don't have scales so I don't know if I'm making any progress on this front or not. Some days I look in the mirror and think I've lost a bit, then I see a different angle and think maybe not. Regardless of this though, I know my lifestyle is improved somewhat through these changes, so I'm sticking with it for as long as possible!

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