Hoody: H&M || Neon Racerback Vest: Zara
Sports Bra (Just Seen): Adidas || Arm Band: Stella McCartney @ Net-A-Porter
I love a great ‘good morning! out for a run’ Instagram (I probably stop far more frequently, to take photos, than advisable for any type of endurance) but I’ve realised that I’ve never actually written a post about how I stay fit. Or rather fit-ish. I am a great believer in ‘healthy body healthy mind’ and have especially valued my workout time since I graduated this Summer and have been figuring out all the odds and bobs that go with working from home.
I am not an aficionado by any degree, but I wanted to share with you guys a few of the things that work for me.
Read on for five of my top tips . . . !
Get Outside And Use What You have On Your Doorstep
I live in England where, yes, it is often cold and rainy. Nonetheless one of the most important things in my daily routine is getting outside.
Ideally I like to take a walk first thing in the morning, and every few days I aim to go for a run. I work from home so changing my environment is as much for my mental health as physical, fresh air helps to get my cogs turning and ease any ‘cabin fever’ I have.
One of my favourite things about my area is the local outdoor running track we have at our disposal – for free! There is also an outdoor gym which again costs £0! Here is a link to a The Great Outdoor Gym Company which lists all the outdoor gyms in the UK – pop your postcode in and it’ll show you your closest apparatus or outdoor activity group. It took me two years to discover the facilities near me – until then I had been running around my local pavements – if only I’d checked earlier! If you don’t have outdoor facilities near you, have a think – is there a park, river or even a nice town centre that you would like to walk around?
Follow This Do-Anywhere Workout Routine
I posted a link to Lauren Conrad’s do-anywhere workout routine last week – and apologies for the repetitiveness but really it is one of the simplest and most effective routines I’ve found. Even when you really can’t face going outside, this can be completed indoors with nearly no equipment.
Dress The Part
This is both a practicality and aesthetic tip. When I was getting really bogged down juggling my University studies, the blog and a part-time job a few years ago – it seemed as if I couldn’t fit any more commitments in. In reality I realised that if I could take better care of myself physically I would free up mental space too. So, by way of encouragement I took myself down to Lily Whites in Piccadilly Circus and spent my waitressing tips on a top-to-toe outfit – all of which I still use two years on. The new clothes were a mental boost – I felt good in what I was wearing. Having the correct clothing worked to my advantage physically too. Running leggings, trainers and a breathable jacket have been my saviours through all weather conditions and genuinely help with performance. I wear a mixture of Nike and Adidas apparel, and Asics trainers. In terms of a colour palette I favour black, white and grey, with pops of colour. Neon and light reflectors are vital if you are planning on exercising outdoors – do not allow yourself to become invisible in the dark or rain.
Think about it – surely you are more likely to do something if you enjoy it?
Whether it is a sport you loved as a kid, an album you want to listen to whilst working out, or re-connecting with a friend in a positive and active way, find a medium and motivation for excercise which you will enjoy.
When my friend Hollie and I both decided we needed to crank up our workout routine we made a pact to meet regularly and do it together, we had so much fun and encouraging one another meant we could do more and for longer. The promise of a low fat cappuccino and a gossip after helps! I don’t actually listen to music when I run, but I do love taking photographs. Often I notice things when I am out and about which I don’t log when I am concentrating on getting to my next meeting or such. I have been using this Stella McCartney running band to keep my iPhone 5 in place. Without sounding too Mum-esque I also think that it’s a matter of personal safety to have your phone with you.
Have Days Off
As much as I love the high of a workout I allow myself days off too. Sometimes you just can’t fit in the time and sometimes you just can’t face it – that is totally OK. Don’t feel that because you’ve missed a day or even a week of exercise you have to give up, pick up your routine as soon as you can and keep at it. Again, to quote Lauren Conrad (pick up her book which I keep harking on about here) try and up your daily exertion by doing simple things like taking the stairs or walking to your bus stop or getting outside on your lunch. Every little thing helps.
Personal Experience: Having An Injury Need Not Stop You From Exercising
In 2011 I was travelling in California with Ols when I dislocated my knee cap. It was one of the most painful experiences I have ever had. For a year after my injury I was too afraid to take on physical activity, I thought that any pressure would likely re-dislocate my knee cap and I couldn’t bare the thought of going through the recovery again. However, I got a recommendation for an amazing physiotherapist Ciaran McCoole, and I decided to visit him knowing that I needed to exercise and build my strength again.
Through consultations, implementing Ciaran’s advice and critically doing the physiotherapy (which I know can often be painful and tedious) I have built up my strength again and am now able to take regular exercise – including running – which I really did not think I would be able to do.
If you have an injury, or a twinge of pain which is bothering you when exercising, I cannot recommend enough that you visit a reputable physiotherapist and seek treatment. This is only my personal experience and I cannot speak on behalf of others who have faced serious injury, however I would say that a lot of my personal reticence was through fear of being injured again – once I built confidence I eventually felt strong enough to exercise again.
So what do you guys think? How do you look after yourselves? Do you exercise regularly or are you thinking about doing it more?
Have you ever had an injury? If so, how have you felt in your recovery?
I wasn’t to know your stories too! Oh and tell me if you like the fitness post – I have a tonne more up my sleeve!
Have a super (healthy) day all!
Love, MB x