Finding the motivation to workout regularly can be hard. Time is limited and energy levels can be low after a day/week at work.
I am by no means a fitness guru, nor do I pretend to be. I am just a normal girl wanting to be as healthy as possible and maintain my weight but I do share posts about going to the gym and working out (as well as lots of foodie things) as it’s an important part of living a healthy life. This means that I often get messages on social media asking me how I motivate myself to workout, what I do in the gym, how often I go etc. so I thought I’d share a bit about why and what I do.
What motivates me?
I work from home and have had an office job for as long as I can remember so I can be sitting for hours on end during the day, much like I am now…writing this blog post…! If I don’t workout, I get all sorts of aches and pains in my hips, back and neck so this is a big part of what motivates me to go and get moving.
In addition to the fact that I need to go for the health of my body and to prevent pain, it makes me feel good about myself and the world around me and helps me deal with the natural stresses of life much more easily. There is no better anti-depressant / mood booster than exercise if you ask me.
How often do I workout?
My goal is to workout a minimum of 3 times per week for roughly an hour or so but I usually manage to fit in 4. I like to do a mixture of yoga, cardio and weights.
I don’t kick myself if I don’t get those workouts in though. Sometimes during my period week, if it’s particularly bad (I suffer from adenomyosis which is SO PAINFUL), I hardly manage to get any in at all and that’s just fine.
One of the things I have learned as I’ve got older (and wiser) is that you have to listen to your body. It tells you what it needs and what it doesn’t need.
What do I do for exercise?
Firstly, let me start by saying (disclaimer alert) that I am by no means a qualified Personal Trainer, I have just worked out for so many years that I know what works for my body and what doesn’t.
It has taken me years to fine tune things and I have been through all the ups and downs that come with trying to create a fitness routine that works…trust me. My poor husband hears it all but luckily he is a trained sports therapist and spent years in the army as a Physical Training Officer before coming out and running his own fitness company for a few years so he knows his shit and, of course, I use that to my full advantage.
I have a pelvic dysfunction (my hips can come out of place with either a large clunk or gradually over time, putting extreme pressure on surrounding muscles and joints) so I need to be careful with what I do.
I absolutely love running and HIIT workouts, which are all the rage, but unfortunately I have learned that my body doesn’t. I tend to get really bloated around my abdomen and have to visit my Chiroprator and Physio more often and quite frankly, the pain is just not worth it. I now steer clear of too much impact and will only do an occasional impact workout when I really feel the need to jump around. Sometimes nothing beats a high energy jumping around workout though right?!
I have been a UK size 8-10 for as long as I can remember so my aim is not to lose weight, for me it’s more about maintaining fitness, strength and all the other reasons I’ve mentioned above.
Obviously with any exercise, variety is key so I make sure I do a whole range of different things; yoga, cardio, weights, walking, etc. and find that this really helps stop the boredom setting in. I work out at the gym, at home, at a yoga class or in the great outdoors going for long walks / hikes.
At the gym
I usually do 30-40 minutes of cardio followed by around 20 minutes of strength training. I get bored easily so for the cardio I like to use 2 or 3 different machines and rotate the machines I use each time I go.
I then pick a piece or couple of pieces of equipment and do a full body workout using those as I find it saves me time, e.g. a swiss ball, bosu ball, barbell, resistance machines, dumbells, etc. I find it makes life so easy doing that.
Today for example, I used a swiss ball and dumbells and did the following, (I’m probably not using the correct names for these so please ignore that);
- squats (ball against the wall)
- bicep curls (sitting on the ball)
- tricep extension
- ab crunches (using the ball)
- hip thrusts (feet on the ball)
- hamstring curls
- reverse ab curls (face down hands on the floor and feet on the ball – bringing them in and out),
- ab training (passing the ball from my hands to my feet and lowering both to the ground)
I did a couple of sets of 12-20 of these.
At the end of every workout, I always stretch for about 10 minutes and I have a little routine that I’ve developed over time that means I don’t miss anything out.
Classes & home workouts
I don’t particularly like classes, unless they are yoga classes. I always feel a little claustrophobic as they are so jam packed with people and I’ll never forget the time a guy actually flicked sweat into my mouth during a body combat class (GAG), so I pay a subscription fee of £10 per month to Les Mills so that I can get access to their classes online.
For my yoga workouts I either do a lovely vinyassa flow class with Alice from Yogi Wonderland or I do body balance class at home with Les Mills on Demand which is a combination of yoga, pilates and tai chi.
I love yoga and really enjoy the spiritual side of it. I find it so peaceful even when it’s quite an energetic flow but it’s hard not to when you are focusing solely on the movement and breath. Apart from during meditation, where else in our lives do we actually do that?
Alice runs lots of lovely workshops and events as well as yoga classes at a variety of different places and recently held an outdoor yoga class which I managed to attend. I was in my element…yoga and being outside are both my FAVE!!
I have a spinning bike and some weights at home so I use those and do Les Mills RPM (spinning) or Body Pump if I can’t be bothered to go to the gym. Occasionally I’ll even do a 30 minute body pump class in the gym on my own watching it on my phone as my strength training after my cardio.
My hubby and I love hiking, long walks and being outdoors in general so when we get a chance, we will be off exploring and walking at the weekends which will always be the best way to exercise if you ask me.
Please remember that everyone is different and what works for one person, might not work for another. It’s all about finding what’s right for you and keeping it fresh and varied.
Any questions, comments or suggestions, feel free to share them with me on here or via my email firstname.lastname@example.org.
With love, Tash ❤