This was not a planned post, however as I battled through (cursing) all the resolution gymers yesterday evening it reassured me that many of them wouldn’t be around for long… And although it makes for a more peaceful session on my part, I felt a pang for those who will inevitably abandon ship in the coming weeks. Ultimately there is nothing, in my opinion, that keeps you level headed and feeling at your best like finding your way to work out, and getting the balance right.
I’m under no illusions that the pounding the treadmill is the best choice for everyone. Whilst I’m a bit of a sport fiend, and super competitive, working out at the gym is by no means easy for me! I’d much rather be hollering on a netball court, or out running in the sunshine to beat a PB. However for those days where that’s not possible (particularly during the darkness of winter) it can be a good way to get your blood pumping and that magic rush of endorphins which can transform your day, and justify a little bit of wine at the end of the week!
I know it’s incredibly easy to fall off the wagon, having been there several times myself, staring down the barrel of an empty pack of biscuits after a long day! So if you’re trying to turn over a new leaf and find your healthy groove, there are a couple of tips I use to ensure that I don’t undo all my hard work, but still get to enjoy all the things I love.
1. Put your gym kit on – you’ll find it harder to talk yourself out of that run when you’re all trussed up and ready to go, even if you take half an hour to summon up the courage. Having a race to train for always helps too!
2. Fit exercise into your schedule – don’t let your work out interfere with your social life, as you’ll start to resent it. Use it as time to clear your head, whether it’s pre-work, in your lunch hour or just before supper.
3. Mix it up – variety really is the spice of life! I’m a keen runner but, like everyone, I do get bored and injured! There are so many fun, alternative classes out there you’re bound to find one you love! With the exception of in the run up to a race, I can sometimes go a month without running at all, instead I’ll go to cardio, sports conditioning classes, do yoga or play netball until I’m ready to pound the pavement again!
4. Live the 80/20 rule – get the balance right! I try to abide by the 80/20 rule, as in 80% of what I eat is healthy, packed full of veggies and protein, and the other 20% is to be honest largely red wine, crisps and naughty cakes. I’m only human, when you know you’re going to have an indulgent weekend, make the rest of your week virtuous, and pack in as much exercise as possible without interfering with your life!
5. Don’t beat yourself up about a slip – so what you ate that whole family bag of kettle chips? Or missed an early morning wake up? No one is judging, so don’t feel too bad! Draw a line under it and make the next thing you eat healthy, or get off a tube stop early and walk that little extra distance to clear your head. Get back on the straight and narrow right away, you’ll feel so much better about yourself.
Ultimately, it’s all about enjoying it! Make sure you have rest days, to allow your body to repair and don’t stress too much about slip ups.
Keep your eyes on the prize, whether that’s completing a race, loosing a little weight, or simply wanting to have some time to think without interruptions. You’ll soon be in a routine, feeling the benefit!