How To Exercise When You Don’t Want To

Let’s face it, if we all just exercised when we wanted to then we’d sweat maybe once or twice each week, which is fine if you’re not working towards anything but if you have goals (whether physical, mental, challenge-based etc.) then chances are you’re going to need to be training more than this.

It’s not just the volume of training that’s important (or not, depending on what you’re working towards) but it’s the quality and diversity. Some of it is going to hurt, some of it is going to be within your comfort zones and other bits are going to be plain boring.

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It’s Time For A Spring Clean

The 1st of March is technically spring although I don’t believe it because it’s still FREEZING. But the crocuses are coming out in the parks and it’s now light by about 6:30am which makes those early morning training sessions all the more bearable. 

My brain has start to motor forward to summer and those lovely warm mornings when we can run with the sun on our backs and lazy evening swim sessions. Remember that summer bodies are made in winter, it’s not a quick fix that you can do when you realise that you’ve got to be in a bikini in 3 weeks. Put in the work now and you’ll reap the benefits when you look fit as f*ck in summer. 

Start with your mind, it’s time to blow out the cobwebs of winter:

– Go out for a walk or if you’re not fortunate enough to live in the countryside then jump on a train until it looks green out of the window. Take a load of snacks and water, plot a route that sounds manageable and off you go. It’s great exercise for the brain as well as the body

– Try reading a new book that you might not have picked up before, it’ll wake your brain up if you’ve spent the winter hibernating with Game of Thrones or Mad Men. Try Us by David Nicholls, The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins or Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese, all books that I’ve enjoyed recently

– Sign up for a challenge, physical or otherwise. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn Spanish or learn to roller skate? Now’s your time to push yourself with the longer days and promise of sunshine!

Now for the body:

– Try and cut out refined sugar for 30 days. I know, it’s a toughie but you’ll feel the benefits very quickly. Things like biscuits, chocolate and cake are out but if you start looking into it there are healthier alternatives. There’s still some sugar in things like agave nectar, coconut sugar or raw honey but they go through less of a process than white or brown sugar so there’s less chemicals hitting your system. Give it a go!

– If you’re a caffeine fiend now is the time to start cutting down. By removing stimulants you’ll learn to listen to your body more and read your ups and downs. After a few days any headaches and cravings will disappear, especially when you realise how much more balanced and level you feel

– Step up your high intensity cardio (alongside your weight sessions) to torch any hibernation body fat, now is the time to start ‘leaning out’ before bikini season. By starting early and slowly your summer body will be much easier to maintain throughout the season of BBQs and ice cream

Who else is doing some spring-cleaning? 

It’s Not All About Working Out

One of the biggest things that I’m learning is that fitness, health and exercise doesn’t always come in the form of a plate of salad and an hour in the gym. There’s more to feeling good and there’s definitely more to life than just that. 

This past weekend I visited friends in Plymouth, Devon and we stayed active all weekend whilst indulging our foodie faces in lots of great food (and ice cream!). 

I finally got to try paddle boarding in Cornwall which has been on my list of goals for a while. My balance was better than I thought it was going to be, mainly because the board is so big and wide that it was like standing on a door, but also because my core is getting stronger. I loved it and will definitely be looking to do it whenever I can!

We walked a few miles back along the coast to Devon which was very beautiful and included a few hills which was a brilliant quad and glute workout. I attempted to swim in the lido the next day but for a pampered London girl it was a bit too cold… I jumped in and jumped straight out again! 

Anyway, my point is that exercise can fit into your life in more ways than just pounding the treadmill. Try going for a walk with some friends, swim somewhere new or give something that wouldn’t normally think of a go and see where it takes you!

My weekly workout schedule

A few people have said to me recently that it’s impressive how I’ve stuck to eating healthily most of the time. My reply is normally ‘it’s easier when you exercise’!

If I’ve worked out I feel much more inclined to eat proper nutritious food. I’m also more likely to fuel properly before a workout because working out after eating junk food is a straight road to chunderville. Not cool.

Also, if you eat carefully and don’t workout, then yes you’ll get skinny. But I’d rather be lean and strong. Because I’m basically in training to be Wonder Woman. 

So here is a snapshot into my typical weekly workout schedule:

Daily commute (5 miles total) – walk/cycle/run

Monday: 19:30 – 20:30 Mash Up with Kate

Tuesday: 8:00 – 08:45 Circuits with Rowan OR 20:00 – 21:00 Warriors with Rowan and Sapan

Wednesday: 19:30 – 20:30 Boxing with Dave

Thursday: 19:00 – 20:00 Personal Training with Sapan

Friday: Active rest day (walk 4-5 miles or swim 30 minutes)

Saturday: 11:00 – 12:00 Booty Camp with Sapan or 5km run

Sunday: Rest day (lots of sofa time and TV)

And this schedule, paired with eating clean 80% of the time is slowly giving me the body and strength that I’m after! If you’d like to join me for some/any/all of these classes at London Fields Fitness or runs then let me know and you too can look completely gormless in post-workout selfies…

Warriors Assemble

I like to think of myself as someone who could handle themselves in a fight. Whether this is actually true or not I’ve (luckily) never had to prove and long may it continue that way.

But when the opportunity came up to start working out like a fighter and training in boxing techniques I was far too excited… Introducing ‘Warriors’ from those lovely people at London Fields Fitness Studio.

I dragged a friend (Kristina) along with me to the first class because I had no idea what to expect and I was oddly terrified! Quite rightly…

We started off with a gentle group warm up before getting stuck into the first circuit – 15 reps, 5 stations, as many circuits round as you can do within 15 minutes.

Circuit 1 (cardio): burpees, military press + triceps with 5kg plates, crossover star jumps, stepper, sprint up the road and back

I pushed myself hard and managed to fit in 4 complete circuits. I might have pushed myself too hard based on the muscle soreness today.

Circuit 2 (strength): abs + obliques, knee + arm blocks, jump squats, slow push ups, punches with weights

My weak back and I were rubbish at this circuit as I really struggled with the ab work – very frustrating!

At this point Kristina and I were dripping sweat and looking at each other in terror contemplating what was coming up next.

Luckily, next was some boxing technique which gave us a brief breather before we were skipping round the gym working on our footwork. Every time ‘don’t cross your feet’ was shouted, all I could think of was ‘don’t cross the streams’. Particularly useful, thanks brain.

The session ended with a 3 minute round of sparring putting into practice our newfound punching and blocking techniques. We walked out into the fresh air feeling on top of the world (if not quite like Rocky yet…).

Details

When? Every Tuesday 8-8:45pm

Where? Railway Arch 379, Mentmore Terrace, Hackney, E8 3PH

How much? £5 per class, no booking necessary

Back to the grind

I’ve just spent the weekend in Brighton with some great friends and my lovely boyfriend and I completely relaxed my diet and exercise regime. I ate:

– Crisps

– Chocolate

– Biscuits

– Curry

– Bread

– Rice

– Ice cream

Oh and I drank rather a lot of prosecco in the sunshine…

But rather than feeling guilty about any of it as I would have done last year, I relished it and enjoyed every single mouthful. Sometimes you just need a blow out!

However, it’s back to the grind this morning with an intense 45 minutes circuit session at my favourite place in East London, London Fields Fitness Studio followed by some delicious chocolate protein oats with chia seeds and berries. It’s time to shift that last stubborn bit of weight and tone up for summer…