Tuesday, 18 September 2012

My Fitness Diary 1

I dug out my swimming goggles and dusted off my old trainers...

Much as I cringe with embarrassment at writing about myself, I'm following my husband's suggestion to post about my own personal journey into fitness, which I began recently whilst on holiday. He pointed out that good health and balanced lifestyle has to include the element of excercise as well as diet. I'll update regularly on what I am doing, how I am feeling and how my life has been affected by it. (I'm about 3 weeks in and already noticing a few changes.) I'm hoping that my ability to focus on meditation will also be enhanced by taking some exercise. I will share the lows as well as the highs, and by telling all to you, my readers, knowing that you will be waiting for the next instalment, I hope to stay motivated- so please feel free to support me by commenting and perhaps we can inspire each other to even better health and wellbeing... (and no, there will NOT be any "before" and "after" pictures of me!)
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.)
The "Plus"es: So far, I find I'm feeling more comfortable and looking better in my clothes, which colleagues and family have commented on. This has made me feel more confident and positive about myself (I didn't realise how bad my self esteem was until it started to get better!) and I've had more energy and been more efficient at work. After running I actually feel more energised, and have been a lot more on top of the household chores, which means it doesn't all get left until the weekend, which in turn means I have had a bit more free time to relax and/ or do some more exercise...
The flip side (Tue 18.9): When I went for a run today my legs felt like lead; I only managed half my usual distance as although I was no more out of breath than usual, I just couldn't shake that heavy feeling. Maybe I was too tired from taking the class swimming at work today? Maybe I didn't warm up enough? Maybe I hadn't eaten enough during the day?

2 comments:

  1. I think it's great your posting about fitness - I've just started running (well it's more like a painfully slow jog - and I stop a lot) but it's great and I love it - and I feel better for it - keep going - i'm proud of you!!!! and keep posting about it because it's great to know you're not alone :)
    Mary x

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    1. Yhanks for your comment. I will keep going and try not to push myself too hard! And I'll post about it too- maybe every week or two.I didn't run last night and I really missed it, so I'll be more enthusiastic today :)

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