After an almost 18 month hiatus, I returned to the gym last week and boy, did it feel good!
I’d been a regular gym goer in the years leading up to my move to England, but I decided to forgo that part of my weekly routine while I was abroad as I didn’t have the same level of disposable income as I’d had previously and was planning to travel frequently.
I decided to use that break away to take a look at my exercise philosophy and work out what was going to fit in best with lifestyle…
I asked myself two questions:
- What did I hope to achieve? Lose weight? Get strong? Increase flexibility?
- What activities made me happy? I think there’s no point doing something you hate, just because it’s ‘exercise’ and you feel you should do it. The more you enjoy what you’re doing, the more it’ll feel less like a chore and more like a treat.
For me personally, weight loss is not the goal I’m aiming to reach through exercise. I want to tone and strengthen, move (critical when you sit at a desk for a lot of your day) and enjoy the great outdoors.
Over the years I’ve tried heaps of ‘exercise’. I grew up with a backyard swimming pool, danced all through school and have given jogging, personal training sessions, a range of group exercise and gym programs a go. The two things I enjoy the most are going for walks and a combination of yoga/pilates.
I’ve tried straight pilates and straight yoga classes but for me the Les Mills Body Balance program, seems to be best combination. It allows me to stretch, build muscle, push myself, is sociable and gives you a lovely little meditation session at the end – bliss! It’s also really popular with gyms – which is great, particularly if you live in a smaller community where there isn’t the same variety of choice as big cities.
Adam’s become a devotee to long walks since we’ve returned to Australia and is quickly becoming an expert on all the walking tracks around Wagga Wagga. He works on a freelance basis, so has quite a lot of flexibility in his schedule and some days is able to walk for a few hours every morning. My working hours are a bit more regimented, so I don’t have the same freedom when it comes to long rambles, but still want to get up and join him when I can. We took a walk last week through a local nature reserve and it was amazing watching the sun rise over the gum trees. We even saw a mob of kangaroos, grazing in the still morning air. I was in a good mood all day, which is proof to me, of how beneficial exercising in nature is.
At the moment I’m hoping my typical week of exercise will consist of two Body Balance classes and maybe a 1-1.5 hour walk maybe twice a week. I don’t want to overstretch myself in the initial few weeks back regularly exercising and there’s room to increase as I get stronger and into a more regular routine. Plus if I’m regularly exercising again, I can justify checking out some new gym wear to replace some of my ageing stuff. Cause, let’s face it, a little retail incentive is always a good motivator ;).
What’s your exercise routine?