Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Autumn || Fitness

I've been holding off writing this post for a while as I didn't think it would be quite right to talk about fitness and exercise when my routine is so off kilter. Since starting my new job at the end of August my exercise routine has disappeared and it's only been in the last couple of weeks that I have started to fall back into some semblance of one again (after some news earlier this month which has had a huge impact on what I can and can't do).

As you're all aware running is a massive part of my life - I know I've banged on about it often enough! I've now been told that I should stop running until my hip recovers and I've finished a program of physio. This was devastating news, I tell you, even though it's been a long while since I've been able to comfortably run even 5km. Thankfully there is a lot I can still do and I've been encouraged to try different things to build up strength in the area and speed up recovery. He suggested swimming and I very quickly jumped on that so I've decided to add one swim per week into my routine. Thankfully there is a pool near my work so I can still fit it an early morning workout.

To build up strength I've been going to the gym once or twice a week, practicing yoga twice a week and I try to do fifteen to twenty minutes of either stretches or strength work every morning. Doing shorter bursts like this and focusing less on getting to the gym or doing long runs multiple times a week has been really helpful. I already feel stronger and doing a burst in the morning seems to give me more energy - who knew?!

Now it's all well and good me listing off what I do (or try to do, let's be realistic), when actually even getting enough motivation to get out there is much harder as the days become shorter. I try to get up at around 6am on a week day and it's getting tougher by the day. Without my sunrise alarm clock I'd still be lost in the land of nod come 7.30am. I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in this.

So on those days when you've just snoozed your alarm for the fifth time or you get home from work and donning your slippers seems a better idea than donning your trainers, try this:

Keep it short no one wants to be running for hours before or after a long day at work so don't try to, or you'll risk setting yourself up for failure. Keep it short and snappy - enough to get a sweat on, but not enough to put you off entirely.

Get prepared you know the whole 'fail to prepare/prepare to fail' thing? Well, it's actually pretty accurate. Make sure you have everything set up for your next workout, your kit bag packed, your clothes laid out on the bed and even leave your trainers waiting patiently by the front door if it works for you. Being prepared means you can get straight into the sweating, instead of risking a half an hour deliberation about whether to do exercise or just get into your pjs.

Build it into a routine you'll know from the above ramble that I'm pretty much all about the routine. Although I do worry about routines on occasion, they are the best thing to ensure a workout is actually going to happen. If you know Monday night is swim night or Wednesdays you need to get up early to do some yoga, then it will not come as a surprise and you'll slowly start to accept it as a given.

Visualise nothing beats that post-exercise endorphin high. That rock-star feeling. That 'I've got this' feeling of triumph, achievement and determination. Think about that when you're dragging yourself out of bed in the dark. It helps, I promise.

Mix it up don't stick to the same old thing day in and day out. Try something new (swimming is new for me at the moment), and be sure to have some variety in there. After all, variety is the spice of life.

And finally, just go ahead and dive in! Pull on your sweat pants, your lycra or your swimming costume and go for it. You'll never know how good it feels until you try.

Do you have any tips for exercising as the days get shorter?

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1 comment

  1. I have a hip injury too at the moment (pushed an old injury a bit too hard during a half marathon) and not being able to run before work is throwing me right off. I'm squeezing in some circuit-type training but it's not the same. Re-adjusting is the worst! I totally agree with all of your tips though, especially about preparing kit and things the night before. Nothing's worse than scrabbling around in the morning trying to find kit or clothes for after!

    Did you get your yoga routine online? Because I really want to try yoga but have no clue where to start!


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