A Step in The Right Direction Towards Fitness

Friday, 8 May 2015

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As a beginner, I am by no means an expert on anything that I am going to talk about in this post. In fact, I could definitely benefit from any tips and advice that anybody is willing to offer me! Feel free to leave any kind words of wisdom in the comments below.

Back in 2013, before moving to Manchester to start university, I was struggling to hit X stone. I was not careful with what I ate at all - I would binge all night every night on jaffa cakes, and yet I couldn't get my body to put on those extra few pounds. The only exercise that I had in my life was a Saturday morning dance class, where I would sweat my socks off for an hour and a half. After 9 months of living in university accommodation, with absolutely no form of exercise in my life, and no mother to provide me with nutritious meals, my weight had increased to X+1.5 stone. My body had put on those extra few pounds... and then carried on an extra stone and a half. Another year later, I am averaging at around X+1 stone. Don't get me wrong - I am by no means overweight, I am simply unfit. With a gentle motivational push from my boyfriend, I have decided to finally take a step in the right direction towards fitness.

Running: Jack asked me to go for a run with him about two months ago, and I took him up on the offer. I was awful - I couldn't run for longer than 30 seconds at a time, and the fact that I didn't have the appropriate clothes/footwear just made the entire run quite painful. Instead of going home and sulking that I was a failure at something, I decided to prove to myself that I could do it. My mum kindly bought me a sports bra and some new trainers, so that I was equipped to fight. Since then, I have been for a run every 2 or 3 days, and I am slowly progressing to be able to run further for longer periods of time. I began by running for 5 minutes, then walking for 5, then running for 5 etc. I then slowly increased the time that I was running, giving myself less walking breaks. Jack downloaded the most helpful app on my phone (RunKeeper), which keeps track of how many miles you are doing, and I have set it to notify me of the time every 5 minutes. The key is to just be strict with yourself - want to run for 15 minutes, but you've hit 10 minutes and want to stop? Keep going. Unless you're actually going to collapse, don't let yourself give up. Accomplishing the goals that you have set out for yourself feels so much better than stopping and walking because you are tired. Just keep going! You'll thank yourself after, and you'll feel like a winner.

Calorie Counting: Never did I ever think that I would say the day where I would count calories. Maybe it's because I love food too much, maybe it's because I had faith that my metabolism would sort out any problems. Whatever my mindset was, those days are now long gone. I have been using the app NutraCheck to write down everything that I eat, and it counts up the calories of each of my meals. This has really come in handy when I've been debating over whether to buy the chocolate bar or not - can I justify 250 calories on a dairy milk? I had never realised the amount of calories that some things have in them before, and have been absolutely disgusted when counting up what I have eaten in the past. For starters, my Nandos order comes to 1500 calories... I'll be sticking to the bare minimal at Nandos from now on!

Swimming: Swimming is something that I have always enjoyed, and so it's actually a fun form of exercise. I definitely don't go swimming as often as I should, mainly for the excuses of 'it's too far away', and 'it costs money'. I really need to stop making excuses and just go, because I'll feel so much better for it. Whilst I'm on holiday in June, I plan to do a set amount of lengths each and every day, and hopefully that will encourage me to go a lot more when I'm back in England.

So, these are the three things that I have been partaking in recently to try and increase the fitness levels in my life! Please please leave any advice/motivation in the comments below, as I could definitely use all of the help that I can get! How do you keep yourself fit?

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