You may be surprised to learn that I am not a natural athlete *cough* I HATED P.E in school. I hated it from the stupid embarrassing kit, to the utter humiliation that seemed to be to the pleasure of my evil P.E teacher. Sadly my experience in school scarred me for a while and I avoided this fitness malarkey like the plague for some time.
But over the last couple of years I have taken my fitness a lot more seriously. I have had periods in my life where I have been underweight, and periods of my life when I have been overweight. Neither of these states made me happy, and in both cases I was far from fit and healthy.
You see, one of the biggest mistakes that us girls make is that we confuse size and fitness. I have rectified this particular error in myself in the last year or so. I now know that it is not about your dress size, it is much more important than that! It is not about being on some stupid diet that makes you want to jump in front of a bus either. The funny thing is that when you realise there is no big magical secret to being fit & healthy, it makes your life a lot easier!
It is not a magic wand my friend, or a pill, or a soup diet that makes you smell like Oscar the grouch...The two key things are
Yup, sadly the answer is boring and obvious. But that is the reality!
Believe me folks, if you eat well and regularly exercise your fitness will improve greatly. Not only that but no food is off limits! Depriving yourself is not good, as the old adage goes 'a little bit of what you fancy does you good'. It has taken me a number of years to realise that this is the case instead of not letting myself eat what I want, or being at the other extreme of eating too much of the wrong things.
You probably want to smack me right now for this, but I am seriously not lecturing, I am just being as honest with you as I have finally been to myself.
I am not saying we should all become little gym bunnies. The gym is not for everyone, and it can be pretty costly. But there are plenty of other ways you can keep fit on the cheap, or even FREE! In my experience, it is not only good for you physically, but also mentally. I had a breakdown last year and getting regular exercise has helped me so much. It was hard to motivate myself at first but once I got going it was well worth it.
Things I do to keep fit....
- If I feel like I have had a few indulgent days, I cut back. I don't starve myself or go on a diet. I just make sure I have healthy options and watch what I eat a bit more strictly.
- Walking in my opinion, is one of the best things you can do. It is relaxing and you can go at your pace and build up to further distances/paces. It also gives you some great thinking time - just get comfotable footwear on, get the MP3 player out and go!
- Wii Fit - yes I am one of those people who does Wii Fit. It may seem silly but you can actually programme work outs on it and if you get easily bored of doing the same fitness video over and over again it can provide something different. It also tracks your progress for you.
- Jogging - me and my OH started jogging this year and it has actually been really good (I admit I need to get my arse back into gear with it as haven't been for a while) again, you need to pace yourself. I would suggest looking up beginner running programmes on the net before you get started.
- If the weather is ok, get off the bus a stop early and walk it.
- Take the stairs instead of the lift.
- Find something that you enjoy doing as you are more likely to stick to it.
- Don't over do it. If you haven't exercised for years, don't suddenly expect to run a marathon!
- Try new things - keep it fresh , again this is more likely to stick to keeping fit!
- Exercise with friends/your partner - supporting each other can really help