Reform, Refresh, Relax

REFORM your thinking…

To kick off this subject I want to address the old exercise adage… ‘no pain, no gain’ especially as it’s that time of year when the resolution is to join a gym and exercise (a lot!) is often on people’s list. Most people I know think that you have to push yourself to near exhaustion or so hard during training that it hurts, and that if you don’t you’re wasting time and energy. Or think that you have to train hard every day, but then give up when you find you can’t make it every day. I also know a few people who dislike exercise with a vengeance and start a regime but of course stop because they are totally not motivated. It’s time to reform your thinking on all this.

Debbie Jenner Pilates Company
Just do it | Photo: public domain

The good news is you do NOT have to push yourself to extremes, it’s really only if you’re training for a competitive triathlon or a specific sport that you really need to work to your maximum, and every day.

If you’re already a die-hard convert and exercise a lot (well done), but that training everyday milarky? It depends what your regime is. If cardiovascular exercise is your choice then doing some everyday can be very beneficial, but is not a must. However if its weight- or resistance training, if you train hard every day you’re setting yourself up for overuse injuries and your body needs to repair itself after training and that takes time. Its in the rest time after training that your body adapts. So every other day is fine. Training every day is such a commitment and for most people impossible in the long-term.

But if you’re someone who is sedentary and who dislikes exercise – how much can you get away with..!? Without being too technical there are things you can do in your daily life without having to join a gym. This is nothing new. I know you know this but the most important thing is that you make sure you’re active as regularly as possible. If you’re not used to exercising and you travel everywhere by car, consider walking more or cycling. This is something you could on a daily basis and will most likely make you feel a whole lot better. Get outside as much as possible – try and find somewhere away from exhaust pipes if you can, and get some fresh air into your lungs. Borrow a dog! Go for ‘walkies’! If you’re stuck in an office all day, stand up now and again and walk about… get yourself an adjustable laptop table, and stand and work instead of cutting of the circulation to your legs all day. Go out for a walk at lunchtime. Raining? There is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing… Rain is not an excuse! Do you then go home (in the car) and sit a lot of the evening, possibly glued to the TV/internet..? Again, get up and move around. Go for an evening walk or find an online exercise session that you like and can follow if you’re a TV addict!

Just do it
Of course, you can always join a gym. Just don’t think you’ve got to go every day! Two or three times a week would be ideal, but not always possible. So even if it’s just once a week, fine. Once is better than nothing as long as its every week. If you don’t like gyms, maybe a Yoga studio or Pilates studio is more up your street? Or there is so much on offer online that you can do in the comfort of your own home whenever it works for you (you do need self-discipline for this). Or maybe you’d rather play something recreational or competitive… well whatever you think you’d like to try, just do it! Once you get through the first few difficult weeks and can make exercise a habit you might find you actually enjoy it. And you will feel better. Exercise is not just about losing weight and looking good. It about your health and well-being. And good health is everything.

So, just make being active part of your daily life. If you join a gym then you really need to know what the results of your efforts will be. So ask. I will embellish much, much more in the future… but just for now, if you’re just starting out, get into your head that you need to do something you enjoy regularly, and if you’re already working out at a gym, you do not have to train every day. Make sure you are well informed on your choice of exercise, the ins and outs and the results.

Whatever your choice; take care of your body. Be nice to yourself!

My first REFRESH Blog will be coming up soon, and will cover the very fashionable subject of plastic. And it won’t be about what to do with it, but what plastic packaging and other plastic based  products actually do to your health…

See you soon,


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