January is slowly coming to a close and it's about that time to start checking our progress when it comes to our chosen New Year's Resolutions. One of mine was a fitness one (shock!) and yes, yes, I know it's such a cliche to join the gym in January but listen; after all the indulging that started during Christmas (and crept steadily into January) I need to get my butt in gear! You know it's time when getting into your jeans resembles a choreographed dance routine with all the wriggling and jumping.
I won't lie, I've found it particularly hard to get back into the swing of things since I came back from Zambia and Christmas certainly didn't help. The biggest difficulty I've found is the lack of routine that always seems to hit me in January. Work is slow and things are not regular yet and that just makes it doubly hard because I have nothing to schedule my meals and gym sessions around. Thankfully the lovely people at Matalan got in touch and let me know a little bit about the Value of Movement Campaign which got me thinking of my goals and how I could make them more manageable even with the lack of routine at the moment.
The campaign is all about showing how movements can have a positive impact on our lives no matter how big or small and I found this to be something I could really sink my teeth into by just doing small things here and there to add more movement into my daily life.
One thing I've definitely done more of is walk and run outdoors! I usually dislike outdoor running and I find it pretty boring. However, this year I'm trying to push myself out of my comfort zone and run outdoors a bit more. I try to go as often as I can and I switch it up to keep it from getting boring by using apps such as Running For Weight Loss which basically tailor makes running plans that are easy to follow. I've also tried to walk more by making small adjustments like walking to the bus stop that's a bit further away from my house or walking the short journey into my little town centre when I'd usually jump on the bus and I kid you not this with the running, has made such a great difference. I don't feel half as sluggish as I usually do and I feel more alert and full of energy. This combo also fits in with my current lifestyle because I can literally go anytime and it's free.
I definitely plan on getting into the gym once I start my new job next month and get into a proper routine but for now walking and outdoor running are helping me get moving and are also helping me beat that post Christmas slump.Souluxe range from Matalan which is super comfortable, stylish and affordable. It is not to be underestimated how much your workout gear can affect your motivation to get active and I can not stress enough how much we should all take time to consider how our active wear fits and makes us feel. The last thing you want is to spend those ten minutes on the treadmill constantly pulling up your pants or to spend that Zumba class feeling self conscious because your boobs are bouncing like two basketballs. The most important things I look for in my active wear are a great fit, breathable materials and comfort - and I get all of that and more from my active wear from Matalan. The Soluxe range has a great variety of active wear and accessories to fit all budgets, tastes and sizes and I highly recommend having a mooch if you're on the market for some great active wear without the big price tag.
Working out at home is also another way I've been trying to move more and get active. It is by far one of the toughest things to do because there are always so many distractions at home and not to mention warm beds and Netflix! A way that I've been trying to combat these distractions is to do at home workouts in my back garden or at the park near my house to deter myself from feeling lazy and staying in bed and watching Netflix instead. The initial getting out of bed, getting dressed and getting outside bit is always the hardest but once I'm out there I just get on with my exercises. sometimes I only spend 10 minutes, sometimes I spend 30 minutes to an hour but every little absolutely helps and getting out and getting active is the most important thing.
I enjoy incorporating skipping into my home workouts because it is super easy and a great calorie burner. I also enjoy body weight exercises such as squats, press ups, lunges and step ups. They're all pretty simple but effective moves (if done correctly) that are great for getting the body toned and when coupled with skipping in between sets, they burn major calories and get your heart rate racing. Whether you're a novice or a pro these moves are great compound exercises that will have you in shape in no time IF you stay consistent.
Household chores are also another great way to burn some calories and keep moving. Apparently the average 125lb person will burn 128 calories per hour while ironing, 128 calories per hour while washing dishes and 150 calories per hour while cooking. Can you believe that?! This was definitely good news to me because I love a good spring clean and some might even say I have a slight OCD when it comes to cleaning. If they thought I loved cleaning before they haven't seen anything yet because with all these potential calories to be burned I'm getting all up in the nooks and crannies of my house with the duster in hand and getting my clean on.
These are just a few simple things that I've incorporated into my lifestyle to get more active and no lie I'm already seeing improvements in the way I feel and in my confidence. I won't lie and say that the putting-on-jeans dance choreography is completely eradicated and that if you do all the above you'll magically drop two dress sizes. What I will say is that the more you move, the better you'll feel and the more value you'll find in your movements. I'll also say go at your own pace and listen to your body and of course eat healthy, get plenty of rest and drink loads of H2O and when you feel ready and confident; up your intensity, get into that class you've been eyeing up or join the gym and start smashing your 2018 fitness goals!
I hope this post gave you a little bit of #FITSPO and showed you that every little movement can go a long way for your physical and mental well being.