Regaining Health: Get Moving

Let’s get you moving. This is the part everyone thinks health starts with; exercise! I chose to start this series with self reflection and food because I know very active people who can miss two weeks of gym visits and still stay healthy without you or me noticing a difference. Why? They turn to some form of mindfulness- breathe work, journaling or meditation- to touch base themselves daily and they stick to balanced eating. Yes, movement is important but countless burpees and planks won’t help if you aren’t doing those two things. 

If you follow me on social media, you’ll know that yoga changed my life so much that I wanted to pass it on and become a yoga teacher. It’s a philosophy and way of living that infiltrated every part of me. What we learn on the mat through breath and movement continues off the mat through the yogic Yamas. So I don’t refer to Yoga as a workout or exercise. Getting strong physically is just a cherry on top. With that little foreword, here are some ideas to help get you moving.

The Stylist's Notebook- Regaining Health: Get Moving

Start Small, Do something every day

Well, maybe not every day but at least 6 days a week for 20 minutes minimum. Then build up for there. When I started moving again, I tried Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Challenge and the thing that stuck the most was how she structured the week; 3 HIIT workouts, 2 LISS workouts and 1 day of something fun and not in her programme. Spoiler alert: I have never managed to finish BBG! I would get to week 5, feeling good and some type of injury would hit- generally my knees. 

I highly recommend starting with 20 minutes a day. There are multitudes of fitness You-Tube girls with short routines for beginners. Involve a 20 minute fast paced walk into the routine will help, slowly work up to 40 minutes. The combination of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and (Low Intensity Steady State) are highly effective to build strength, lean toned muscle and slim down. However, they aren’t for everyone. I’m a case in point, which leads me to our next point…

Try Different Things to Find What You Love

We all get into ruts and that leads to boredom. If you don’t enjoy the form of activity or exercise you’re doing it’s not likely that you’ll stick to it. So try new things and try them often. I love yoga. I’m quite possibly addicted. I still try barre, adult ballet, pilates and even boxing (I know!) classes and videos. The other day I actually enjoyed spinning, I tried that once when I was a teen and never went back. Tastes change over time, so maybe something you didn’t use to enjoy is now fun. And if it’s a short class or video and you don’t like it, you never have to go back! If you do love it, you’re motivation to work out will be higher.

Make Goals and Schedule Workouts

Working towards goals can make something monotonous seem fun again. The Anna Edit has great PDF for setting fitness goals and scheduling your weekly workouts. I literally couldn’t put it better myself so please go over to her downloads page via this link and download it.  Anna says that goals should be SMART- specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based. For instance, I want to to be able to get into Pincha Mayurasana (scorpion pose) by November. I can come into the preparatory poses for Pincha and I’ve slowly worked at inversions for over a year. This ticks the SMART boxes.  Makes total sense. Setting out goals is one thing but without planning for them and scheduling them in, they won’t just happen. So sit down every week and set time aside to get moving. Take your work and social schedule into account so you know you can manage. I involve Pincha drills in at least two personal practices a week and make sure they are on mornings when I have the most time.

The Stylist's Notebook- Regaining Health: Get Moving

Find a friend

Working out with friends is not only a great way to stay accountable, but you can also bond a little more. When I spoke about trying Kayla Itsines BBG before, I probably only made it to week 5 because of the friends I did the programme with. Think of it this way- grab a coffee and meet a friend for a fast-paced walk, not only are you doing light cardio but you’re catching up with each other. Attending classes together or going to fitness events are also good things to do. If you have a friend you look up to because they integrate fitness into their lives well, ask to join in. They’ll probably be delighted! Just don’t push yourself to keep up with a Comrades runner when your goal is to jog 5km without stopping to walk. I did that once. It was not pretty. 

Challenge Yourself

I wrote about how a 30-day Yoga Challenge at my favourite studio changed my life. I started on 1 September and by November I was paying for a teacher trainer course. Challenges don’t have to bring out such an extreme reaction in all of us but they are really invigorate a workout routine that feels stale. Whatsmore, we live in a time where it feels like every other fitness professional has a challenge. This is a good thing because there’s probably someone out there who is your vibe! Finding a challenge to suit you has never been easier or more accessible. Some are free, the only cost is your time. Some charge but normally less than a months gym fee and many normally don’t use much equipment either so they are suitable for home workouts. One month or eight weeks challenges are my go-to when I feel like a need re-start.   

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