A word advice: grab a cuppa – I can see this post turning into a long’un. The greater part of my blog will always be reserved for all things beauty, but because my blog is naturally a reflection of me and my life, I thought I couldn’t not share something that is now such a big part of it!
I know it sounds so cliche, but I really was that girl at school who would go to any (and I mean seriously embarrassing) lengths to avoid any and all of my P.E. lessons. I always hated exercise in its traditional form, and the only real form of exercise I ever had throughout my childhood and teenage years was horse riding, which I adored, and still do. And whilst jumping poles on a horse can be the equivalent of upright crunches for the abs, I wouldn’t really say that horse riding is too arduous in terms of exercise.
About a month ago, I started to think about my fitness (or lack thereof). I think that as we get older, we begin to appreciate how hard our bodies work for us, and I started to feel as though I was disrespecting my body as although I’ve always had a relatively balanced diet and really do enjoy healthy, nutritious food, I was embarrassingly unfit. Something just clicked, and I thought, I’m 21, this isn’t good enough and my body deserves better treatment.
I do also think it’s really important that we’re all transparent about our motivations for exercising, and I do feel as though a lot of people (not all) resort to the ‘I’m not doing it for weight loss, I’m doing it to become fitter and stronger’ when that isn’t always entirely truthful. I think that in order for exercise to become sustainable and a long-term lifestyle choice, the motivation can’t be entirely related to weight-loss or a quick-fix; you really do just need to exercise for the love of exercising. My main motivation was to become fitter, but I was also fairly keen to shed a few unnecessary pounds; I am, for the most part, a UK size 10, so weight-loss wasn’t too high on the grand scale of importance, but I did want to slim my legs slightly and tone my core. So, in short, and hopefully without seeming too preachy, I’m trying to say that working out really is a lifestyle choice and it needs to be something you enjoy for it to become sustainable, effective and add to your life in a positive way.
As an illustrative example, I was guilty of seriously intermittent exercise sessions whilst I was at Uni (I’m talking going to the gym once every 2 months), and that was simply virtue of the fact that I hate gyms, so it wasn’t sustainable or enjoyable for me. I still, and I think always will, hate gyms; driving to a dingy building and exercising in a crowded room full of machinery and strangers is about as un-stimulating, un-fun, and un-enjoyable as it gets for me. Now, however, I workout every day in the comfort of my lovely bedroom and go running in my lovely little quaint village in the countryside and I truly, truly enjoy it.
So, what does my fitness (cardio workout) routine entail? Firstly, I have reservations about calling it a ‘routine’ as I like to keep it relaxed and fun by doing whatever I fancy, but the following routine is one that I generally tend to follow. I do this cardio workout every day and will also go running (20-30 minute run) twice a week if I can. And just in case you don’t know what some of the below exercises are, I’ve linked videos to each of them so you can see a profesh demonstrating them if you so wish! Also worthy of note here, is that this routine usually takes me around 20 minutes to complete, and I tend to do each exercise move for around 1 – 1 1/2 minutes. If you’re new to cardio workout, follow this video (she’s amazing!):
My cardio workout routine:
- High knees (skipping). Video demo
- Butt kicks. Video demo
- Squat & knee raise. Video demo
- Jumping jacks & jump squats (4 jacks & 2 jump squats – 5 reps). Video demo of jump squats.
- Push up, plank & tap feet side to side (1 push up, go into plank and tap feet side to side once – 5 reps)
- Mountain climber. Video demo
REPEAT ONCE. Then to cool down, I do a ladder run and light jog on the spot for about a minute, and then do a few stretches.
Please let me know if this post was helpful or maybe even motivational for you! 🙂 Jess x