Giggle Fit : End Of Week One – Staying Motivated

I’m starting to remember why I’ve never achieved any sort of peak of physical fitness. This me-gymexercise malarkey is hard! Instead of looking like the beautiful, graceful people in the stock photos, I’m red faced and falling over in my living room. I swear that I used to be able to stand on one leg easy. These days, well let’s just say that my head and the mantelpiece almost made an acquaintance that I’m very glad they avoided.

Yes, that’s me in the photo, looking like all the blood has decided that my face, my entire face, is the place to hang out these

In my defence, tonight was the first night I’ve been back to the gym since October and I managed to run 5k in 37:38. There may have been some patched were I was walking, and my feet now look like a treasure trail of blisters, but this is one of the fastest times that I’ve done 5k in. The fact that I took my inhaler before going to the gym meant that I didn’t dissolve into a wheezing mess six minutes into the run.

Looks like an inhaler won’t solve my red face issue however.

As well as being the first day back at the gym for 2017, today also marked a full week of getting up and doing seven minutes of yoga every morning with the app Asana Rebel. I haven’t met all of my yoga goals. I did want to try and do a little bit each night, but in the end this seems like an unreasonable goal so I’m focusing on five minutes every morning, and seeing what I can manage in the evening.

The app itself is fantastic and I’m in love with the five minute daily goals. These are the ones that I do each morning and I always feel better after I’ve completed them. Granted, this morning I was a little distracted by my own lack of balance for most of the exercises, but I’ve seen a remarkable improvement in that over the last week. Granted. I’m still like Bambi wearing roller-skates on ice, but some of the exercises are getting easier and seeing that so early on is really pushing me to keep going.

The explosion of confetti when you complete the first exercise of the day also helps but that probably says more about me than the app.

I bought the app for £29.99 and that covers the first year. It’s actually on the cheaper end of the fitness app scales as far as I’ve seen and offers just as much as anything else.

You get an email with meal ideas, and asides from the daily goal, there are more intensive programmes which you can follow of the course of 4/8/12 weeks, or one off workouts that you can pick depending on how you feel. ‘Yoga For Runners’, ‘Fatburn Yoga’, ‘Flow Yoga For Relaxation’. They vary in time and intensity, but I haven’t seen one longer than thirty minutes. This means there isn’t anything to stop you picking a few and having a go at them all within an hour and a half.

I’ll admit that I haven’t been as rigorous with my schedule as I planned to be. I decided to avoid is putting to much pressure on myself. I know that if I do that and I fail, I’ll fall into a pit of self-depreciation and will loose all motivation altogether. I’m also aware that I’m just getting back into fitness, and if I try to pile my plate too high at the start, I’ll end up stalling half way through. It’s better to pace myself and build up slowly.

This is why I’m not beating myself up about being a couple of days behind on the thirty day app challenge. Today I was meant to do 45 sit ups, 30 crunches, 30 leg raises and a 35 second plank and the idea of it makes me want to puke right now. I’m already aware that doing 5k straight off the bat was probably pushing myself to far and all I want to do is collapse into bed.

Tomorrow night is the first night back at Judo and Thursday is likely to be another night at the gym. I’m going to aim for three nights a week at the gym and on Thursday I’m planning on cutting the run down to 3k and doing a circuit of the weights to keep things varied.

[I also left the gym tonight thinking about how I basically paid someone to let me run on the spot for half an hour before going home.]

Last week’s posts got some lovely comments from fellow bloggers who offered their advice on staying motivated, so thank you o Cansu Ashley and Where Are We for the lovely tips.

Until next week, happy reading!

 

Giggle Fit: Work Outs That Work For Me – Health & Fitness

Every new year, and most days in-between, I make myself a promise that I’m going to head back to the gym, make the most of that membership that I’m paying for every month, and get myself in shape! However, I’m a relatively lazy person when it comes to fitness and while my good intentions may see me through a week or two of regular work outs, before long I’m be back on my settee, making excuses for not leaving the house.

I’m simply not very good at sticking to a fitness routine. I much prefer writing and reading, to squats and running, so chances are I’ll pick my office over the gym most days of the week.

But that isn’t doing me any favours.

Health-wise, 2016 was a year of discover.

I already knew that lack of physical activity was causing problems with my knees. After giving up ballet in year six I had failed to replace it with a similar hobby and I went for being as fit as a fiddle, to in my grandmother’s words ‘sedentary.’ This resulted in me losing muscle tone, and my kneecaps found they had more room to move.

Trust me. You don’t want to give your kneecaps room to move. It hurts.

The cure for my painful knees? Squats, stretches and other glute related physio to strengthen the muscles and keep those pesky kneecaps where they should be. Did I follow through with a religious regime of nightly exercises? No. Did I do them once a month? No. Do I know where the instruction sheet for those exercises are? Hell no. I’ve moved three times since then.

So, my knees still ache from time to time and I live with it. It wasn’t enough to get me to take care of myself.

Then 2016 rolls around and I get diagnosed with exercise induced asthma, prescribed an inhaler and a personal trainer looks at me in shock as he tells me how low the reading for muscle in my body is.

It feels like I’m falling apart. Almost quite literally if you think about my knees.

So I decide to do something about it.

In October I joined a Judo club that meets on Wednesdays and started attending. I’m not there every week but it’s a great workout and I enjoy the company. Some weeks are harder than others, and getting thrown to the mat by a child half your age can be something of an ego blow, but you have to remind yourself that they’ve been doing this a lot longer than you.

[Throwing a child half your age to the mat is also terrifying. Luckily they seem to spring straight back up.]

Judo wasn’t enough though, and it still holds my old pitfall of ‘I have to go outside so if it’s particularly cold or I don’t feel 100% I can cry off’. I know, I know, I’m a wimp.

So, in addition to Judo, I decided I’m working my way through two fitness apps on my phone. The first being ’30 Day Ab Challenges’ which I’ve started on Beginner Level 1 and the second being ‘Asana Rebel‘, a yoga based app that supplies numerous work out plans for all manner of goals. [*Ahem* Even the more saucy ones.]

I’m currently on day 3 of the 30 Day Ab Challenges, and day 1 of Asana Rebel’s ‘Life and Body Transformation 2017’.

 

At the moment I look like this: img_1581

I want to make it clear that I’m not doing this to loose weight. At 55kg I don’t feel like I need to loose anything, and when I look in the mirror I don’t feel fat, I just feel out of shape.

I want to feel strong and empowered. Having my inhaler means that when I run I can keep up my pace without being forced to slow because I’m wheezing so loud the whole gym can hear. 2016 taught me that I am capable of more than I thought, and the first time I ran after getting my inhaler I couldn’t believe it.

I’d been told to take it half an hour before exercising but I didn’t think it would have that much of an impact. Turns out that what I believed to be lack of fitness was actually my asthma playing up and that first run was a thing of beauty. I felt unstoppable.

So that is what 2017 is going to be about for me: getting stronger.

To keep on track I’m introducing a new side to Writing and Works. Every Tuesday I’m going to post a ‘Giggle Fit’ update about how I’m getting along with the apps and my Judo, and how I’m working out what work outs work for me. [Try saying that six times fast.]

If you’re using the apps as well, or doing something else to stay in shape I would love to hear your input too. Let me know how your fitness resolutions are coming along. Any tips for keeping up the motivation? The comments section is down below.

If We Were Having Coffee

If we were having coffee tea then I’d have to apologise for turning up in my gym clothes. After four weeks of laziness, I’ve finally managed to drag my butt back to the gym and the Saturday morning pilates class that I’d been getting into before Christmas. It hurt more than I remember it doing, but that could be because I’ve spent the Christmas in a sort of lazy slumber. That isn’t the only reason I’ve pushing myself back to the gym again however, I’ve signed up for Race For Life’s 10k this summer a Tatton Park. It will be my third year running the race and I’m hoping to raise a little more than last year for the cause. It’s always a great day with lots of ladies in pink who help to push you along when you feel yourself flagging. My best time was one hour and eight minutes so I’m hoping to managed it in just under an hour this year.

If we were having coffee tea I’d let you know that last week’s wobbly over the novel seems to have worked itself out. I’m motivated again and while I haven’t actually sat down to write this week I’m hoping this afternoon and tomorrow will be productive days. I’ve part way through chapter nine and by tomorrow night I wanted to be at the end of chapter twelve or further. I’m going to have to plan my time out carefully soon as I’m about to take on an AAT qualification in Accounting. Alongside full time work and study, writing might find itself falling along the wayside somewhat, but I’m hoping that if I cut out TV and similar distractions I should be able to get everything I want to do done. One thing I want to do this week is to write a schedule of all the blogging events I want to do in the week and have it above my desk so I can see it. I think it might help me stay focused. [Or it might not. I’m weird that way.]

post-milestone-500-2x

If we were having coffee tea I’d also want to let you know that this week I published my 500th post on this site! I didn’t realise that I was even anywhere near 500 posts and the 500th ended up being a little doodle of a bottle that I’d only posted because I’d forced myself to sit down and IMG_1055completed my doodle-a-day challenge. It lifted my mood quite a lot though to see that little blue badge flash up and I’ve been thinking about how much this blog has grown over the last three years. It now has over a thousand followers and while my first posts were lucky to get a single like, the ones so far this year have often got between fifteen and thirty likes. I’ve also managed to engage with the blogging community on a scale that I’ve never managed before, thanks to events like the Weekend Coffee Share and DVerse Poets.

 

If we were having coffee tea, I’d say thank you for all your wonderfully, kind, motivating comments from last week. I was feeling a little lost and a little down and so many of you came back with fantastic words of encouragement. Each one of you made me smile and I’m so grateful for you taking the time.

weekendcoffeeshare

Make Way For The Blonde Bombshell Going For The Try!

I make no secret of it, rugby is about the only sport I’ll sit down and watch, and it’s probably the only one I actually have any understanding of.

And that is all because of one insane, wonderful person, Connie Morgan. You know those people you meet and just thing, yes, your mind works in the same weird, eccentric way mine does and we are going to be friend. Meetings in public places become an issue because your weirdness together actually stands a chance of freaking other people out and sending them running.

Anyway.

This amazing friend of mine has kindly agreed to run a feature here on Writing and Works in honour of the Rugby World Cup. [Yes I know we’re a little late to the game but we got here in the end.]

Connie will be joining us once a week to share with us her take on the World Cup and all that surrounds it. As a past player, coach and more importantly, a die hard fan, this girls has blagged her way into Scottish Team after-parties and proven herself a formidable sports writer when handed a pen.

Look out on Wednesday for her take on how the game has changed in recent years, right here on Writing and Works.

 

Connie Morgan: The Tartan Duchess

Connie Morgan by Antonia Brennan

6ft blonde stunner who is a fanatic about rugby and more importantly rugby players! Half Welsh Half Scottish babe who keeps anyone on their toes with her sarcasm and wit.