Want to tone up those legs? Is there baby weight that doesn’t go? Need extra energy?
One word for you: workout.
I needed the best part of 30 years, 3 pregnancies and a lot of wobbly bits hanging out from my pretty tops to realise I had to get my (sh*t) act together…
Do you know how people usually say “oh, I have absolutely no regrets in life – otherwise I wouldn’t have turned into this amazing human being now standing before you”. Well, I have one big regret and that is NOT having started to exercise regularly earlier in my life.
But when I got that wake-up call, I didn’t know exactly how to start.
I felt embarrassed to join a group class. I didn’t feel confident in my body and I was in such poor shape that I was sure I would look like a complete looser (not great for the aforementioned low body confidence).
I got a few DVDs to workout at home. But I wasn’t motivated enough to do the whole thing on my own. Plus I had a small baby crying all the time that sort of destroyed the momentum. I had to get out of the house. And with no-one to correct my posture, I wasn’t confident doing lots of the exercises.
But today, 3 years on from that point when I started to look after myself, I’m stronger, have more energy and confidence than I ever had in my life – and I like the way it looks on my bottom too (and I won’t lie).
So start moving, darling. It’s one of the best things you can do for your body and for your mind.
These 6 things really help to get started:
1. Get professional help
In the beginning, I found a wonderful personal trainer who came to my house. Best investment ever. She taught me the foundations of how to exercise properly. After a few sessions I could feel my posture had improved, my back pain had gone and I felt more energised. After a while I started to feel more confident to go solo and try group classes.
2. Be realistic
It’s all very nice to “visualise the results” but if you haven’t worked out in ages, it will take time to show. Focus on the small victories: in the beginning I was thrilled simply not to wake up feeling like an old woman. And when you feel like you’re ready to join some group classes, don’t go cardio-crazy. Start with something like Pilates or barre and work your way up the intensity. Barre was my first love – you can find out why here.
3. Buy new clothes
Need I say more? There are so many gorgeous options out there for all shapes and sizes. It’s an instant mood-lifter, specially if you’re planning to leave the house and rock them in the studio with your new-found body confidence! I do confess that I have amassed quite a kit since that first sad pair of black capris from Decathlon (OMG!).
Check my Fashion section or my Instagram for some real-life inspo. For something a bit more aspirational (!) try browsing Hip and Healthy or Active in style’s websites for great outfit inspiration, for a large variety of brands. Gap Fit is also a good value-for-money option, as is Zara (check out my thoughts on their first activewear collection here).
4. Go local
Don’t over-complicate, otherwise you’re setting yourself up for failure. Research the local studios and find a place and time that works for you. Even just a light jog around the park beats staying home. Barry’s Bootcamp is said to be “the best workout in the world” but I have never tried it – I simply can’t lose 3 hours of my day because of a workout. Consistency is key when it comes to achieving results, so choose something that can easily fit around your schedule.
I’m very lucky to have many studios at walking distance from where I live in Parsons Green: Heartcore, the Model Method studio and Ride Republic are my favourites. Because of this, half the battle is won before the workout has even started: I actually show up.
5. Recruit a friend
Some girls find it really helps to hook up with a friend in class. You get to catch up and have a partner in crime to goof about a bit. I think going along with a friend can be great – if you’re on the same page aspiration-wise and schedule-wise. Not so great if she’s in the habit of leaving you hanging last minute because of a big presentation the next day – making you feel disappointed and lose the motivation.
Let me say that I absolutely LOVE to schedule a workout or two every week when I also get to see my friends and gossip over coffee after the sweaty bit is over. It’s one of my new found greatest pleasures as part of this active, healthy lifestyle. But to be honest, in the very beginning I did everything on my own and that’s how it got done. You’re accountable for yourself, don’t let that depend on others’ work commitments or hangovers.
6. Just do it
Book it in your diary and stick to it, no matter what. Even better if the class has to be paid for in advance –there’s the extra pressure to show up! If it’s important to you, you’ll make the time – and you’ll feel so much better afterwards! The endorphin release after each workout will make you feel happier, calmer and more balanced, making you want to go back for more! And before you know it, that bottom will be happier too ;).
Hope this helps you getting that body moving darling! Did I miss any great tip? Please share!