Saturday, 28 January 2017

How I Stay on Track with my Workout Routine

Sweater-Topshop, Leggings-H&M, Water Bottle-Home Bargains

Like most girls I have my bad and good days when it comes to sticking to a half decent work out routine. There are times when I go about three weeks without one appearance at the gym and yet at other times I can go 7 consecutive days in a week and not get even the slightest bit bored. I've always lived a pretty active lifestyle starting from gymnastics, swimming and dancing when I was in primary school and then going on to cheerleading and long distance running in my teens. Unfortunately as I've merged into my mid twenties I've noticed that there's a real difference to how I was back then to how I am now. Between the ages of about 18 and 21 I ate junk constantly as well as having a terrible sleeping pattern and yet managed to somehow stay as skinny as I wanted. But I definitely wasn't at my most healthy eating disgusting foods like pot noodles and caffiene laden fizzy drinks and I also really struggled with running (something I'd always been good at) during this period due to having such an unhealthy lifestyle. 

Fast forward a few years and I still go through some of the same struggles that I faced back then. My diet is no longer a huge problem since I mainly stick to plant based and vegan foods which make my meals much more nutritious and full of fruits and veggies. Being conscious of my eating habits makes me more likely to make healthy choices as a lot of the time the fatty and naughty foods are often the ones that contain animal products. Don't get me wrong I have a massive sweet tooth and love the odd bit of chocolate and I can happily neck a whole bottle of rose wine but I definitely think my current diet is the healthiest it has ever been. If anything eating a little better has really motivated me to get more exercise and really help to keep a lifestyle that coincides with those eating habits.

As it stands I currently workout on average around 4 times a week although this varies depending on how busy I am with other things. I'll normally start a Monday with a good cardio session and some abs work. This can be anything from a 30 minute workout in my garden to a busy meta-fit class at the gym or even a PT session when I have the necessary funds. I really find this intense type of work out to be the best start to the week for me as it really gives me the motivation and energy to carry on.

Normally I also do one pole class a week at Pole Position Glasgow too which is a gymnastics based class good for toning the tummy and booty areas as well as increasing flexibility and strengthening different muscles. It also doesn't feel too hard as although it is difficult (its definitely not as easy as it looks!) it gets easier after each time and you will also have a lot of fun and probably meet some new friends too! Even though our teacher makes us do sit ups and stretches and the plank and I normally end up with ridiculous bruises it still doesn't feel like a work out because its such a good laugh so I'd definitely recommend. And for anyone who is a bit iffy about this kind of thing it definitely IS NOT sexy! Unless you want it to be that is...

In addition to this I will try and fit a couple of different gym workouts or classes into my week to include some weights and cardio. I'm a proud member of budget chain Pure Gym which is fine for me as I feel like it has everything I need and plenty of different classes! I also go running with my brother who makes me feel like the most unfit person on the planet because he runs competitively and takes it very seriously while I'm trailing behind gasping for air. We both time ourselves and try to beat our best times which makes it more challenging and fun!

 At the weekends I like to remain active but normally it will be in the form of a swim or a yoga session as these are two activities I find particularly relaxing and swimming really helps to soothe my muscles. Swimming in particular is also really good for anyone who can't take part in  high intensity exercise due to injuries or joint pain. Yoga is just great in general for anything really. It helps me get a good nights sleep as well as improving flexibility and alleviating stress. I can't recommend Yoga enough to anyone who is as busy a gal as I am seriously it will change your life!

It can be really really hard to stay motivated in all honesty in regards to trying to stay fit and active and like most girls (and guys?!) I do fall off the bandwagon from time to time. There are days when I just can't be bothered getting up at a certain time for a class and times when I'm feeling too ill or hungover (lol) to even think about moving from my bed, but I think in general I do pretty well. I'm not super lean and I don't have rock hard abs, I don't even think I have muscles tbh but the main thing that my workout routine has given me is confidence. I may not have drastically altered the way that I look physically but knowing that I can run 5K and not want to die is a sign that I am definitely fit on the inside, which is enough for me.

My areas for improvement are definitely to walk more as ever since I got my own car I literally drive everywhere which is not only bad for my fitness levels but also for the environment. My gym is only a 20 minute walk there and back so I really want to start making an effort to walk instead of driving so I'll see how that goes. I'm thinking about purchasing a Fitbit although I've heard mixed reviews so if anyone has any advice on this please let me know! Anything that helps me to stay that little bit more active is an investment! I'm also thinking about taking up running more seriously as it's the only thing that really makes a noticeable change to my body and I used to enjoy it so much! I may even track my progress with that on here.

At the end of the day it is also really important to take into consideration your own goals and how you want your body to look. We are so used to seeing all these '#fitchicks' on Instagram who work out 7 days a week and have incredible abs, and its disheartening because unfortunately not many people who work in a regular job five days a week have as much time to work on their bodies. Don't get me wrong I wouldn't knock abs if someone gave me them but I don't think I would even know what to do with biceps or a huge muscular bum. At the moment I want to look very feminine albeit a little more toned and defined. So please if you ever feel bad about your body because of social media remember that the majority of these people see fitness as their job or career. Don't feel bad because you don't have a six pack, perhaps concentrate on the fact you have strength and endurance instead!

So to recap the main advice I can give to anyone who finds it hard to stick to a good workout routine is to start with the most intense workout at the beginning of the week to get you off to a good start. I literally lay out my nicest gym clothes in the morning so I put them on straight away and it gets me into the mood for a workout. Next you want keep your workouts varied as possible so that you don't get bored! Find a few things that you really enjoy and stick with them for a while, and take up something else if they get a bit boring. Also I have found that working out with a friend or family member has really kept me on track as its just more fun having someone elses' support isn't it?! In the end if you are looking to lose weight try to eat as well as you possibly can. I have treats all the time but I can only do that because 80 percent of the time my meals are extremely balanced, healthy and full of veggies! Good luck with your fitness journey!


Do any of you have a workout routine? How do you stay motivated?

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