My Exercise Story

Sunday, 25 September 2016
I can’t boast about being a fitness fanatic and having a very strict regime. The truth is, before May 2016, I hadn’t done any exercise for 7 years! Unless you count one run every summer when I wanted to start exercising and then failed miserably. From the age of 4 I started ballet lessons which I really enjoyed and carried on until I went to university at 18; however once there I didn’t fancy looking for a new dance school and after £150 wasted on a gym membership that I used once I gave up on exercise all together.

So how did I manage 7 years with no exercise, eating anything and not becoming obese? Well lets just say that I’m extremely lucky that my metabolism has been on my side and I just haven’t seemed to put on a lot of weight. I know I’m one of those annoying people that was able to eat takeaway after takeaway without it showing, well not until last year anyway. So in April 2016 I started to realise that a lot of my clothes were getting a little bit tight and uncomfortable. Remember, I only work in childcare so I don't make a lot of money meaning I wasn't in the position to buy an entirely new wardrobe in the next size up. I then realised that I might actually have to start exercising *screams internally* and after much discussion with Sam we decided to start running together. The reason we decided on running was mainly because you can do it whenever you want and its free! (Bar any running gear you buy, and I bought quite a bit - you don’t tend to have a lot of exercise clothes and shoes when you haven't exercised for a long time).

Now I won’t lie to you it was a struggle at first, instead of starting with running certain distances we ran specific times instead. For example we started doing sets of running for x amount of minutes then walking for x amount of minutes 4 times a week and then increasing the running time every week. We did this for about 7 weeks before I decided to test myself and managed to run for 30 mins without stopping once. After that Sam and I decided to run for distances instead. We started off with 5k, then would increase to 4 or 5 miles; we even managed to run some 10k’s. Now I keep to running twice a week to avoid injury. I decide on the distance before my run depending on how I’m feeling; just because I ran 10k the week before doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll be able to do it again this week as there are a lot of contributing factors (how much you’ve eaten, physical exertion throughout the day etc.)

I really surprised myself when I realised that I was actually enjoying running, like during the day at work I was actually looking forward to running! I know right! what’s happened to me?! When I run I have my phone with me with the Nike running app open so I can keep an eye on how far and long I’ve been running, it also lets you set distances that you want to run and keeps you updated on how you’re doing. Whilst running I like to listen to music or podcasts, I find when I focus on that it can distract you from how tired you are or how much longer you have to run.

I would honestly recommend running to everyone, if you would have told me a year a go that I would be a runner I wouldn’t have believed you. But I’ve been enjoying it so much I really think you might be surprised how much you’ll enjoy it too!

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