Hi lovelies! If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll be aware that as well as fashion and beauty, another thing I am passionate about is fitness and as I haven't done a fitness post in quite a while, I thought I'd do a little update of my fitness routine and a few tips for keeping fit and staying motivated, as my fitness routine has changed a fair bit recently! Get comfy guys, it's gonna be a long one!
Before we get into it, I'd like to say that I am by no means an expert and for further advice and tips on what may work for you, I'd thouroughly recommend checking out sites like nutrition inspector - which is a very helpful health and fitness resource!
So, first of all, I'll give you all a bit of background. I used to be signed up to a gym close to where I live, which I did love and initially, I actually found I was more motivated to go out and go to the gym, rather than working out at home, but more recently I've worked at setting up a home gym and have found that much better than being signed up. At home, we have a treadmill, stationary bike, weights, vibration plate (still not entirely sure what this is for) and a leg master machine. I'd like to get more equipment but what I have now is definitely working for me.
As for my actual routine, I don't tend to stick to anything too structured or regimented, as I find trying too hard to stick to a strict routine is what throws me off course. My working hours at the salon vary week to week so while I do try to work out at least 5 days a week, it won't always be at the same time. For example, if I'm in work until 5pm from early in the morning, I'll do an evening workout when I have plenty of time, whereas if I start later (this can be anywhere between 12 noon and 5pm), I'll workout in the morning so I can then shower and get ready for work afterwards. This way, it fits in with my day and doesn't feel like an inconvenience.
So, we've explained where I workout and when I workout, now all that's left is to explain how I workout. As I said previously, I don't stick to anything too structured, I do what I feel my body needs, and switch it up whenever I feel like it. However, I do think some structure is good and in a week, I tend to do 3 days of intense cardio and 2 days of lighter cardio and strength training. Like I always say in these posts, this is what works for me personally and I am in no way a professional.
So, to elaborate, on the days where I feel like I can push myself, I train. These are my three days of intense cardio. On these days, I'll warm up by fast walking, then jogging for around 10 minutes, then push myself as hard as I can on the treadmill and stationary bike for around an hour, then cool down again by jogging. Generally, on these days, this is all I'd do as it's quite intense and I try to up the pace every couple of weeks or so, this way I make progress rather than just sticking to the same routine, which can get boring. On the other two days or three days in the week, I'll do light cardio, so fast walking or jogging on a slightly higher incline on the treadmill, or on a low resistance setting on the bike. I'll then follow this up with weight training, sometimes squats with weights, lunges etc. I'm not personally into heavy weight training, so light/ medium weights along with aerobic exercise for half an hour is plenty for me on these days. I'll then take a day or two as rest days, which I'll talk more about when I get into the actual tips.
As I say, this is my personal routine that works for me, it may work for some of you, it may not, it's just something I've been asked about before and thought I'd share! To sum up, that's 3 days of intense cardio and 2 or 3 days of light cardio and strength training. Now I'm going to share a few of my personal fitness tips with you guys. These are a just a few things I've learnt along the way and things that I think some of you may find helpful.
Workout somewhere comfortable and convinient.
For me. I'm lucky to have created my little home gym, which works well for me as I can go whenever I want and don't have to worry at all about who's around! If you prefer going to a gym, then it's a good idea to choose one that's easy to get to and a good environment, this way it's much harder to make excuses!
Don't pressure yourself.
By this, I definitely do not mean only workout when you feel like it, because if you only fancy getting up and excerpting once in a blue moon, your results ŵill be very slow! What I mean by this, is don't pressure yourself to stick to an unrealistic routine. If you're still in school and vow to wake up at 5am to run every morning, you'll more than likely start getting bored and very, very tired! However, if you find a time that works for you, even if it's just weekends or days off to begin with, you're much more likely to stick to it, as you're doing it at a convinient time and not forcing it into your daily routine.
You do have time.
That said, as much as you shouldn't have to deprive yourself of sleep to exercise, too often do people say they just don't have time to workout. However, these same people very often find the time to watch an hour or two of tv every night after work. Finding times throughout the week that suit you is essential, make the most of your time throughout the day, sitting and watching tv in the evening may be something you love to do, but why not do some squats, jumping jacks, leg lifts and crunches while you watch? Or perhaps invest in a stationary bike or cross trainer (some of these fold away and can be bought really cheap!) and drag it into your living room while you settle down to watch GBBO (okay, maybe a show about cakes and pastries isn't the most motivational thing in the world), this way, you'll get in a good hour of exercise and you're not depriving yourself of anything. Remember, an hour of exercise is about 4% of your day, now tell me you don't have time!
Find a routine that you enjoy.
For me, I love running. However, I do not love going outside in front of living, breathing people and running on slippery pavements and in raining English weather. Therefore the treadmill is my solution, I enjoy it and it's in the comfort of my own home - no judgey strangers in sight. I also really enjoy the station bike, I love doing squats, lunges, crunches and other aerobic exercise. I actually enjoy my routine, which is why I stick to it and do it regularly. Perhaps if running and cycling isn't your thing, maybe swimming is, or dance or perhaps some sort of team sport. Whatever your thing is, find it and do it. If you actually enjoy your workouts, you'll push yourself a lot harder and get a lot more from them.
Don't rely on others.
This one may sound a bit odd, but in a lot of fitness posts I've seen, people say that they find it helps to work out with a friend. While I agree that a workout buddy can be fab (infact, I think I evenmmentioned it in one of my previous posts!), as they can help to motivate you, I think it's important notto rely entirely on your workout buddy for that motivation. For me, I always used to work out with my Mum, but now, our working hours are very different and while we do still get to work out together sometimes, other times it just doesn't work. Sometimes, your friend may have to cancel your run, or trip to the gym last minute, but this doesn't mean you shouldn't go! Having a workout buddy is fun and definitely does help to motivate you, but if you only workout when your friend is available, then you may find you aren't as consistent as you'd like to be. Which brings me to my next point...
I've said again and again in this post that I don't believe in sticking to strict routines, however I do believe in consistency. To be honest, I think the key to a good fitness regime and healthy lifestyle is consistency. Yes, there will be days when you're busy from 7am to 11pm, or you may be sick, or perhaps you're just not feeling it and that's absolutely fine and normal, however, always pick yourself back up the next day, or week and get yourself back on track ASAP. The longer you go without a workout, the harder it is to get back into your routine afterwards.
Have active rest days.
It's important to have rest days, particularly when you're just starting out with fitness, to avoid burning yourself out. However, I personally believe you should be active as often as possible. Perhaps just getting out for a walk on a rest day, or even dance around your bedroom for a bit! We all enjoy a duvet day now and then, but being entirely inactive and not getting up and moving at all on every single rest day may make it harder for you to get back into routine again. Personally, I generally plan my 'rest day' on a day when I have got work, as opposed to a Sunday or another day off, because even though I won't be hitting the treadmill or weights on that day. I know I will still be somewhat active at work. The I can just look forward to a chilled evening in front of the tv when I get home!
Phew! I think I'll leave this post at that for now, as I have lots more tips, but this is getting mighty long already!
Let me know your thoughts on this and if there's anything else you'd like to know, or perhaps if you'd like me to do posts like this a little more regularly. Leave a comment letting me know!