Welcome back to my Monthly Favourites!! July is a Fitness based favourites, following on from my June Monthly Favourites: Health Edition. I took the inspiration to do this for everyone (like myself) who for whatever reason, doesn’t have access to a gym, yet wishes to live an active lifestyle.
Boy oh boy has July been fun. I have shimmied, kicked and OM’d my way through the month in order to find the fun in fitness, to hopefully inspire some of you to hop off the couch and onto your mat to workout with a smile. I have everything covered from free classes to youtube videos, Instagram challenges to magazine workouts. Everything I have mentioned in this post is free or costs very little money (cheaper than a gym and maybe more fun for most).
For the Month of July, Sweaty Betty held a huge Yoga campaign on Instagram which consisted of doing a different Yoga pose each day. I started off very well, doing Yoga (even if only for 10 minutes) everyday day up until day 16, but for whatever reason, I missed one day which turned into missing the next day and then the next…Slightly annoyed at myself for not getting back into the swing of it and finishing the challenge off, however, I am proud of what I DID do and I think Instagram and social media campaigns like this one are great to get involved in – they get you off the couch and taking part in an activity. Try them when you see them, you might just find your new passion or hobby!
Now I’m no Paula Radcliffe, I’ve never run a marathon, in fact the longest I have achieved was a 10k a few years ago, but don’t get me wrong here, I absolutely love to get my trainers on and hit the outdoors running. I don’t run fast, I don’t run to be good, I just run to feel the fresh air hit my face and to help clear my mind. By the time my mind is clear, I’m 40 minutes in and a good workout has been accomplished. Pat on the back.
It is something we can easily take for granted – we have two legs, two feet, a whole world outdoors and yet somehow, we can’t find the motivation to just pull ourselves off the comfort of the couch and get outside for some beneficial and enjoyable exercise.
You DO NOT NEED to run in order to be classed as a workout or exercise. In fact, walking is one of the most beneficial, easiest and cheapest (FREE) forms of activity anyone can do. Believe it or not, walking can help with weight loss, reduce excess body fat, help improve fitness levels and reduce the risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Got your attention yet? Look, I know trying to motivate yourself to do something you really don’t fancy doing (especially when The Great British Bake Off is on!), but sometimes you just have to get up, get out and get on with it to help better your health, your heart, your mindset and your entire life. I’m not asking you to run a marathon here, and you shouldn’t ask that of yourself yet either – baby steps, that’s all it takes.
I, like many bloggers, spend a good while of my day watching Vlogs, Music Videos, Beauty Tutorials, Shopping Hauls and Trailers on Youtube. I also use all the fitness and foodie videos on Youtube to learn new recipes or try a different style of exercise. You can literally get fit and learn new ways to cook healthy, delicious foods all through free videos on Youtube – it’s amazing!!
My favourite channels at the moment are Yoga with Adriene and Fitness Blender. Two very different channels, helping to create balance in my daily workouts – one very cardio based, whilst the other more relaxing and beneficial for my mind. I recommend utilising these free methods of training if you can not get out to classes or visit a gym, maybe get a group of your friends together to do it so you feel you’re gaining the social aspect of exercise at the same time.
For those who enjoy more of an intense workout and bit of a challenge, Insanity and Metafit classes are the place to be! I was lucky enough to try both of these classes in a free setting at a local Sweaty Betty boutique. For those that aren’t aware, Sweaty Betty – just like many other sporting brands – hold free in-store classes that pretty much anyone can get involved in. If I were you, I’d research the closest sport stores to your home and give them a call to see if they hold any free classes, I bet you’d be surprised.
Insanity and Metafit classes were held at my local Sweaty Betty store, and both ran for a 4 week free course every Thursday evening. They both were HIIT style classes (high intensity interval training), getting my heart rate sky high and my clothes wet with sweat. TMI? Sorry! The benefits of HIIT style training are known to be hugely rewarding due to results showing quicker than other styles of training and the workout being shorter and therefore easier to fit into day to day life.
These workouts are not for the faint hearted might I add! They push you harder and faster, testing your fitness, strength and endurance in under 30 minutes. It’s a great form of exercise to utilise if you want quick results, don’t have too much time on your hands and really like to feel as though you’ve worked out, as in: red faced, hot and sweaty!
Cheap and really accessible: fitness magazines. Now, I don’t always agree with the rubbish they put in these magazines about not eating this, or cutting out that, nor do I love the headlines they spread all over the front covers ‘Lose 10lbs in 10 days’, ‘Drink these, lose weight’. However, magazines like Women’s Health magazine include fitness pages (with detailed workout plans) within their magazine from qualified, healthy fitness professionals which, if followed correctly, are a fantastic way to get fit at home for very little money. I have Women’s Health magazine subscription (which I got for Christmas) and I love to take a bit of fitness inspiration from it each month.
My tips to enjoy FITNESS:
Be brave, try new things and don’t let your insecurities get the better of you.
You don’t have to be good at something to enjoy it – I’m no professional runner, but it doesn’t mean I can not run, or enjoy a leisurely jog.
Don’t worry about what other people think, if they care or are judgemental of you, that is their insecurity and worry, not yours.
Don’t look at fitness as a means of calorie burning or fat burning. Look at it as an activity which is social and lots of fun.
If you don’t enjoy a particular style of exercise, try something else. Do not let fitness be something you hate. There are plenty of options out there, different methods of training, instructors, personal trainers and classes – do not settle.
Try to take small steps to create healthy habits, that way you will be more likely to stick to it, rather than throwing the towel in early on.
Try and start off using FREE or cheaper means of exercise initially rather than joining a gym that has a 12 month contract. This way you will create an active lifestyle which suits you, and then once you have found the styles of workouts you enjoy the most, you can think about signing up to regular classes or a gym membership as you know you will use it then.
Thank you so much for reading, I could have included so much more, but I will save it for another time as I feel I have already waffled on to you all!