Now, you have either clicked on this post because it was an accident, or because you want to learn about something that will benefit you.
Whichever one it is I am with you!
I would like to take you back to my school days when the word exercise used to fill me with dread. And if I’d had the bottle I would definitely have bunked off my PE lessons because I hated them with a passion.
From the cold damp open plan changing rooms to the leg battering with a hockey stick. I have to admit that I was always a little precious. And getting my hair wet for no real reason was never on my agenda.
Despite my immense dislike for all things exercise, I loved gymnastics, because I never really saw it as exercise. It as fun, and I believed that I was pretty good.
Exercise and the Menopause
So with my lack of enthusiasm for anything healthy, I spend most of my twenties and thirties smoking and drinking. With the occasional keep fit class thrown in for good measure.
That was until I was hit with a diagnosis of Psoriatic spondyloarthropathy (an autoimmune disorder). So when it got to the point that I was struggling to drive and dry my own hair, I felt I needed to get my act together.
For you, this moment could be now as you are reading this. Maybe you are on some kind of hormone replacement therapy, your eating healthy, and you’re doing your best to get 8 hours sleep a night. You may have decided to cut back on that alcohol after reading my post all about alcohol and menopause
But your still not feeling yourself…
So what can you do, when you hate exercise, but you know that just by taking that small step and implementing some kind of change into your life your mental and physical wellbeing will improve.
Well, this is what I did. And I hope that by sharing my experience you will gain some kind of encouragement to take the first steps into the area of exercise.
- I stopped looking for an exercise to do, and instead, I found a new hobby. I started doing Zumba. And yes I was really bad at it. My co-ordination was all over the place, and at times I wondered what everyone else must have thought of me. But do you know that 10 years on I still do it, and no I am not that much better, but just by participating and being part of a community I began to enjoy it.
2. I decided to enter a 5K charity race. Now running and me were never really friends, but as my Dad had run many marathons I assumed that I must have those running genetics somewhere. Had I ? Possibly not. But that didn’t stop me, and so I began to enjoy the process, although the actual races were a whole different story. And me being me, 5K was never enough, so I did a couple of 10K’s as well.
3. I started trying different forms of exercise, from PIYO to Insanity to Pole Fitness. I wanted to find something that I truly loved.
And if I came across a form of exercise that I found difficult I would research ways to improve my technique.
I even joined a gym, which I must admit I found extremely intimidating as I had no clue as to what to do.
4. I began having PT sessions to help improve my knowledge on the gym floor and to improve my ability to lift weights. This helped my confidence immensely, and something I would advise anyone to do it they are about to embark on a gym membership.
However, make sure you do your research when it comes to PT’s because you want one that is supportive outside of your sessions. Someone who encourages and gives guidance for healthy eating plans as well as helping you on those days when you are struggling.
5. Youtube and Instagram began to be my best friend when it came to learning all about things like callisthenics. Shame I have brain fog otherwise I would be a fountain of knowledge.
There are so many great people who are inspirational and real out there. There are also so many accounts that are not edifying!
I will share some of my favourites below.
One book that I recently read which changed my mindset when it came to making changes in my routine was a book by James Clear called Atomic Habits. In his book, we are told that we should not try to make massive changes to our habits, but small ones that may only take 10 minutes.
So like brushing our teeth in the morning, we will begin to perform these habits without giving it a second thought.
So what now?
Find a friend who wants to start going to a dance class, or want to learn to swim and go along with them.
And if non of your friends want to join in then make some new ones who do.
Exercise will help re-balance your hormones.
So, what happened after I started to exercise. Well for one it changed my mental well-being. I started to appreciated my body for all it was capable of. Yes, I was fortunate to be given the right medication which meant that I am now in remission. But I also know that taking control of my own physical wellbeing has made a massive difference to my autoimmune disorder. I also know that as I have been going through this season of menopause being active has given me the ability to enjoy it.
So I urge you to change your mindset when it comes to exercise. We are no longer in that PE class, we are now all superwomen and we need to build our superpowers x
During the lockdown, I have undertaken many different workouts of Courtney’s. Although very young she has a way with her audience which is engaging and encouraging.
Definitely check out her Instagram account as well as her app, which gives all of the live workouts.
During the past twelve month’s I have watched and learned from Krissy, both on her Youtube channel and her Instagram. She posts regular workouts as well as food inspiration.
She has built a large community of women who are doing it for themselves.
James Smith is known for his straight-talking as well as calling out diet and fitness plans that are un-healthy and un-realistic.
He does not mix his words and is not for the faint-hearted. But if you really want to learn about your own body and how it should be fed then I suggest you check out his book, as well as his online community.
Some others you may wish to check out…
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