Remember when you were younger and had all the time in the world? You could spend hours in the gym if you wanted. If you were like me, you didn’t, you went out instead. And then complained about what you now realise was a pretty perfect body. Now, the body isn’t as perfect. But there’s no time to do anything about it.
I’m not in bad shape. I’m 2 stone heavier than I was 6 years ago, before babies. But, I should be. I was much too skinny then. I would however, like to be fitter, and firmer. Maybe loose the half a stone I’ve gained since I started working from home. My main problems when it comes to exercise are:
- Time. Hunky Husband works long hours, so I don’t get a huge amount of time out of the house on my own. Then, when he is here, I want to spend time together, not at the gym.
- Motivation. When I had baby weight to lose, I went for it. Within 6 months I’d lost the weight and was fitter than ever. Then motivation died. I don’t have a big weight loss target. Or a fitness goal. So, I don’t do it.
- I don’t like the cold. At all!
- I don’t really like it. I’d much rather sit writing, reading or watching TV. I don’t enjoy exercise. However, I do enjoy food. So, I’d much rather exercise than diet.
So, if you want some fitness tips, from someone who doesn’t like exercise, can’t motivate herself, and has no specific goals or plans, but can’t eat a salad without covering it with dressing and cheese, you are in the right place!
Running is handy when you don’t have much time. You don’t have to go anywhere specific to do it, just head out. And you can get quite a good work out in 30 minutes. I used to absolutely hate running. Then I did the couch to 5k program, and really enjoyed it. Once you can run, if you are limited to a short workout, try to push yourself to run faster and further in the same time. Or try intervals. So, sprint for a minute, then jog for 2. Apparently, this burns more calories. I didn’t enjoy it however.
I love Pilates. All you need is a yoga mat, and YouTube. There are so many videos out there. I’m awful, I’ll have a month when I do loads, totally master any beginner’s videos and feel great. Then I stop for ages, and have to go back to the start. I recommend Pop Pilates. Cassey is a lunatic, who has nearly killed me on many occasions. But it works, and there’s lots to choose from, either full body work outs or targeting problem areas, so you don’t get bored. Some videos are only 10 minutes long too, so great when you are short on time.
Swimming’s harder when you don’t have time, with the getting there and showering. But it’s a great all over body exercise. Which means you can make the most of the time you do have in the pool. It’s also brilliant for those just getting in to exercise, or that have medical conditions or injuries. Swimming is the only exercise I’ve ever found easy. I’m an awful runner, but I could swim forever. I suspect my long limbs help. I find it a really great thing to do if I’ve got a lot on my mind and need to sort my head out.
I’m awful at the gym. I go in. Look around. Hate the 90-year-old sprinting on the next treadmill while I struggle with an inclined walk. Leave. I get nothing from it. Classes however, I have to do. I don’t want to look silly, so I do it all. Then cry later.
Walking, is the best, and easiest way, to be fitter. Walk wherever you can. This is what’s changed since I started working from home. The Boys school is next door, so on days when I’m working, I barely need to leave the flat. I’ve started trying to walk to the shop, or do a lap of the park after the morning school run just to get some steps in.
I’m not aiming for huge weight loss or body transformations, so if you are, these tips won’t be enough. They will however help with general fitness, health and strength. I think the main things are to stay active, even if that’s just little things like walking to the shop or walking around when you are on the phone. And to find something you enjoy. Personally, I like a challenge, it’s when I don’t have anything to beat I get bored, and stop. So, I try to set myself goals, and often try to master new things to keep myself interested.