Today’s Blog Every Day in May theme is ‘fit and healthy’ and, seen as I’m not going to post a picture of myself in lycra, this could be a pretty wordy post. So here’s Olivia Newton John to add a bit of colour to proceedings…
I’m not a naturally athletic person. I was the asthmatic girl trailing at the end of cross country races, who’d guilt her dad into writing notes excusing her from gym class every chance she got. It’s not that I didn’t like exercising, I just didn’t like doing it in front of other people… and I hated competitiveness. I did however like playing tennis, I helped set up a girls football team at school (probably out of a sense of injustice at there not being such a thing more than anything else) and discovered an ability to run pretty fast for short periods of time, so all was not lost.
I’m also a naturally petite person. Not quite the annoying ‘oh I can eat whatever I want and not put on weight’, but I’ve always been pretty muscular and it doesn’t take much for me to tone up. As I’ve got into my late 20s though, I’ve started to realise that being petite doesn’t necessarily go hand in hand with being healthy. So here’s what I do to try and stay fit…
I LOVE to walk. Honestly, I could walk and walk forever. I once did a 13 mile midnight walk and I wanted to keep going after (at 2am!) After yoga it is perhaps one of the most meditative things I can do, it totally clears my mind and is the best time to think. I don’t get the chance to walk as much as I like, but try to get out into the National Trust park next to where I work when I can. Because I don’t drive, I tend to walk at least 2 miles a day, so it’s a big part of my day and fitness routine.
As I mentioned above, running long distances does not come easily to me, but it is something I’ve done on and off since I was 17. I started getting back into it at the start of the year because I’m running a 10k at the end of May, so I joined a running club to make sure I run at least 5k once a week. It’s the first time since school I’ve ran with other people, but it keeps me motivated when I want to quit. As I’m in training I’ll usually run shorter distances another 1-2 times a week.
Pilates, yoga and other conditioning
I like exercises that focus on strength and wellbeing, so anything like yoga or pilates is great for me. I used to go to classes but I don’t really have the time or money at the moment so instead I have a lot of fitness DVDs that I try and do once or twice a week. I get bored of them easily, so I mix them up a bit. I like the Element series of yoga, pilates and ballet conditioning workouts (they’re filmed overlooking the pacific ocean, lovely) and also use the Tracey Anderson mat workout.
And now for a bit of fun! I honestly don’t believe that exercise has to be all about sweat and tears. If you enjoy doing something you’re more likely to do it, right? I started tap dancing classes at the start of this year and absolutely adore it.
I always worry that my diet’s not great because I tend to eat for convenience (everything with bread), but I do eat a fairly healthy vegetarian diet and try not to indulge in too many sweet things. I also don’t drink alot and try to avoid caffeine – I believe in everything in moderation.
Overall, I think health and fitness should be about finding a balance, doing what you love and being happy in your own body.
How do you stay fit and healthy?