Something I’ve always wanted to talk about on this blog is fitness. So when I reached out on Twitter to see if this was something you’d like to see more of, your positive responses made this post happen.
One of the main things I want to do with this blog is inspire you through my own experiences. Since fitness is such a big part of my life, it made total sense to add this as a new category. And here we are!
We all have different reasons for starting a fitness journey. It’s only now I look back at my own that I’ve realised how passionate I’ve become about it and how much I’ve learnt. Whenever I have a conversation with someone about fitness, I find myself talking non-stop about things to do on your journey and what I’ve learnt.
For me, what essentially started out as a quest to trim off a bit of weight and feel better about my body has turned into a desire to feel good about myself and live a healthy, fulfilling life.
I’ve always been on the slim(ish) side of things, but I was never as slim as I wanted to be. I'm built in the way that I really need to watch what I eat. My brother is the complete opposite – he can eat anything and not put the fat anywhere. But if I ate rubbish five days a week, you’d be able to tell. When I was in school I always had a bit of extra “puppy fat”. Then when I got to my second year of university, I started to notice the puppy fat wasn't shifting. If anything, it was becoming even more defined.
Motivation has never been an issue for me. I don’t know why I didn't start exercising before I did. When I was younger I did a lot of walking and cycling – but not intentional exercise. Then at the start of 2013 when I was coming out of a dark place, I thought exercise might be able to help.
I was planning the launch of my blog that spring and that’s when I came across the first blog post I ever read – a review of the 30 Day Shred. I’ve never looked back.
I spent that year working through the 30 Day Shred over and over again. Those six months were a complete transformation. The foundations that I needed to make some changes in my body were purely down to the 30 Day Shred. I could not recommend a beginner workout enough.
After a while though, my body started getting used to the exercises and I realised I wasn't challenging myself enough. That’s when I came across a website called Fitnessblender.com, which has hundreds of workout videos that all focus on different parts of the body. I started up a schedule where I did the 30 Day Shred every other day and on the free days, I’d work a different part of my body using a Fitnessblender video.
I started pushing myself to do more strength training, work harder at HIIT and really make sure that my body was working at its best.
Now, I work out four to five times a week and I'm lifting heavier weights than I’ve ever lifted before. I’ve found new workouts to try and I can’t wait to get started. But that’s not what matters to me the most.
Right now, I'm happier in my body and in myself more than I’ve ever been before – that’s down to fitness and paying more attention to what’s going into my body.
I'm by no means an expert, but I do know how much a healthy lifestyle can fulfil you. So if you’re thinking about switching up your fitness routine or you want to embark on one, here are some tips for you.
Don’t Do It Alone
Whether you find a workout buddy or you join a community, you don’t need to do it on your own. I work out from home, but sometimes I’ll do a routine with Tom. You could even try a personal trainer. But instead of a gym buddy, what I do have is online communities full of people who support each other.
If you do this journey on your own you won’t achieve as much as you could with others. Even things like following fitness accounts on Instagram and Twitter will be enough motivation for you. Like-minded people who have the same passion to live a healthy lifestyle as you is one of the best feelings.
Plus these people can give you advice when you need it. If you want to incorporate more protein into your diet or you want to try a new workout programme, ask people! Asking for help is nothing to be ashamed of.
Do Things for You
Tom goes for two or three runs a week. I really don’t like running. Just because someone is doing a particular type of workout doesn’t mean it’s going to work for your body too. I prefer doing HIIT, strength training and cardio. Some people love yoga. Some people love swimming. It’s all about what works best for your body.
Try things out and then see which makes you feel the best – and gets the muscles aching! Send me on a fifteen minute run and I’ll be out of breath. Get me to do a fifteen minute HIIT routine and I’ll give it everything.
I live my life by thinking positively. I always try to be such a positive person. But sometimes, it’s just hard. We can’t be all smiles all the time. Situations and people have brought out negativity in me that I never thought possible, and it’ll be the same for you. Stay away from people that blow their own trumpet too much, stay away from people who aren’t honest and stay away from anyone that tries to turn you into something you're not.
Ten years ago working out used to scare me. Now it's a part of my life that won't ever go away.
Is fitness a big part of your life? How has it developed you as a person?