Saturday, 27 October 2018

My approach to fitness over the years

Over the past few years, my approach to exercise and fitness has changed quite a bit. When I was in school, a lot of my exercise revolved around school sports, and I found that it was pretty easy to get my required amount of exercise from the various organised team sports that I played. However, it wasn't until I left school and got to uni that I realised how hard it can be to make exercising a habit. I joined a gym the year after I left school, and after trying a few different classes and personal workout programs, I soon discovered that group fitness classes were my favourite form of exercise.

With all the moving around we've done in these past few years, I realised I have been a member at five different gyms during the past five years (two in Sydney, three in Tassie) so I've had the chance to try a lot of different classes over that time. When I was back in Sydney, I definitely preferred the approach of going to the gym a couple of times a week and doing longer sessions at a time, whereas these days, I have found that I prefer to exercise/move in some way each day, but that might involve only 20-30 minutes of exercise. Even on days when I'm really busy, I find that if I can get my sneakers on and get my heart rate up for 20 minutes, it works wonders for my mind.

In the past, I've definitely thought of exercise primarily as a way of burning more calories and feeling better physically, but these days, the thing I get the most out of a workout is the mental clarity and the endorphin rush that comes with moving my body. The physical benefits are obviously a very important aspect of exercise, but the feeling I get as a result of exercise is really what makes it worth it for me. In the past, I was drawn to those classes that would burn the most calories, but today, I really prefer to find a form of exercise that I love, and that sets me up not only physically, but more importantly mentally, for the day ahead.

For this reason, I am definitely more of a morning person when it comes to exercise, so I try to get a workout done pre-breakfast, however this isn't always the case, and sometimes I'll choose to do something during or after work if I can't quite manage to get myself out of bed for a 6am class.

My weekly routine looks a little something like this, but it definitely changes week to week, and there are some weeks where I definitely don't move every day, but this is what I like to aim for:
  • Monday - 45 minute spin class  
  • Tuesday - 45 minute pump class
  • Wednesday - 30 minute run/walk with Moose (usually along a coastal track near home)
  • Thursday - 45 minute spin class
  • Friday - 45 minute pump class
  • Saturday - 30 minute body attack class
  • Sunday - 30 minute run/walk with Moose, or a 20-30 minute at-home yoga session
It definitely is something that I've had to build into my routine and make a habit, but now that I'm in the swing of things with exercise, I've found that my anxiety and stress levels are much lower on those days where I can start off with some form of movement (plus, it helps me justify my chocolate addiction just a little bit more).

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