|I dug out my swimming goggles and dusted off my old trainers...|
I took my health and fitness so much for granted when I was younger; being a dancer and having grown up by the seaside where I could swim every day of Summer if I wanted- it was second nature to do things that kept my body moving. Later on, I would always go to dance and yoga classes, and as I am a non-driver me and my daughter would walk everywhere too. It seemed that without even trying I could maintain a basic level of activity, with all the benefits that brings such as keeping trim and feeling positive. But all that changed about 7 years ago when I married my lovely husband and came here to the city. He is always happy to give me a lift in the car, and there are buses and trains when he can't do that. Moreover, we have such a busy life at the moment with our kids, work and doing up the house that spending the extra time to walk anywhere has actually become a luxury we cannot often afford. I have been working full time for the last 5 years, and when I get home exhausted it's all too tempting to spend any spare moments slumped in a chair munching on snacks rather than doing something that involves yet more physical effort... does any of this sound familiar to you?
Result: I have gradually put on weight, and despite a pretty healthy diet I lost a lot of physical stamina, felt tired all the time and suddenly looked a lot older. After returning from holiday this year, where I had been swimming loads every day I decided to keep up the excercise; and amazingly, I have continued to lose weight despite not having swum since returning. I have been running, though. This is my program:
- A short run- not jog- round the block (about 3/4 mile 5 or 6 times a week after work or in the morning at weekends. Running is free, doesn't take long, and you can do it virtually anywhere.
- Swimming once a week (I want to start soon- it's just finding a local pool that opens in the evenings for lane swimming.)
- Walk the 3 miles to work 2 or 3 times a week with a colleague who lives nearby. We have done this once so far. We kept up a fairly brisk pace, despite chatting the whole way, and did it in about 40 minutes.
- Join a yoga class for some much-needed stretching after all that hamstring-shortening running. (Haven't done this yet.)