close up of 3 dumbbells

Living in the World of Fitness and Exercise

The other day I was running on the treadmill and an idea came to mind for a new topic on the blog, that being, the world of fitness and exercise. There are many reasons why exercise is good for you including a boost in feel-good moods and making you stronger. I don’t mean that it’ll turn you into Mr Muscle man, I mean it could do if that’s what you’re going for… but it helps to keep the strength up in different parts of your body.

Loving your own body is hard, isn’t it? Well it sure is for me and there’s no doubt that you haven’t found at least one flaw with your body. On the fitness side of things is where it can get dangerous. You can damage your mind comparing your weight, capabilities and energy to others. The truth is, some people can run faster than others; swim lengths quicker than others, lift heavier weights than others etc.

Now I’m no fitness guru but I do know that it should be enjoyable. Once you see things from that perspective, it really does help. You live in your body every single day of your life, you shouldn’t be so harsh on something that helps you to develop and grow, mentally and physically.

My fear of going back to the gym since my teenage years was known very well by Danny. I would constantly say, “but they’ve got toned stomachs, they can go into the gym but no fear about who they see and what they can do in front of anyone…” I used to be with weighing myself every week. If I didn’t have a £1 coin on me, I’d ask Danny and he would say no straight away because I seen what I doing to myself.

I’m not overweight (and wasn’t then) nor am I underweight. I’m actually in the ‘ideal’ weight category. But I mean, shouldn’t ideal be what we’re comfortable with? Of course, if exercise and diet tips have been advised on a health level by your GP, nurse etc. then that’s different but I’m talking about loving your body for what it is including those flaws you see, no matter how they may or may not appear to others.

I can’t emphasise enough how your body is YOURS. There’s so much influence online, some good, some bad. You don’t have to be like anyone but you. I slack with the gym from time-to-time; eat those snacks that aren’t ‘good for you’ sometimes. But guess what? Both of those things are good for me. Sometimes it’s nice to take a step away and be in little piggy mode as I like to call it.

It’s amazing when you do the simplest thing and that’s doing what makes you happy. Sometimes it’s nice to push limits like training for a run if that’s your thing. It could be anything such as lowering the weight of an applicator but increasing the number of sets.

In school, I enjoyed running, it wasn’t my favourite thing. I was more of a rounders, circuit, a bundle of activities kinda girl. I was chosen for the relay in high school on sports day and I used to love it. Cross country was a thing that everyone used to hate (usually a punishment if someone complained about a sport or forgot their kit) but again I didn’t mind it.

Back in 2017 I completed my first 10k run with Danny. It wasn’t about being the fastest, it was about finishing the run for our grandparents and the charities we had chosen in memory of them. It did take a lot of training. We surprised ourselves yet again at Race for Life where we beat our goal by 5 minutes. A little encouragement from each other was all we needed.

The main point I’m trying to get across is start doing what you’re comfortable with. One day you might want to try something new and push yourself further but it’s okay if not. Keeping fit and exercising should and can be enjoyable.

I hope you’re going to come away from reading this post and look at your body in a more positive way.

woman standing while stretching

Why Exercise Is Good For You

Exercise can be fun! I’m not a fitness fanatic or someone who works out a lot. I’m just a young woman who likes to think that a little bit of exercise here and there can make you feel better.

I’ve found exercise to have many advantages on my body both physically and mentally. Whether you prefer to workout at home, go for a run in the park, or go to the gym, it’s what works for you.

There are some key benefits in particular which I’ve recognised exercise has done for me. Here’s 3 benefits that you could experience.

Exercise improves your strength

I used to joke a little with Danny by saying, you’re stronger than me because you go to the gym. Now he says, wow you can tell when you’ve been to the gym. I can finally open them lids on the protein shakers he has! But in all seriousness, I feel a lot stronger.

And I definitely try to make up for the times when I’ve missed the gym, even if it’s using the little weights I have at home. Improving your strength doesn’t have to take hours out of day. I feel that it’s better to do smaller workouts every other day. You find what’s best for you.

You feel a boost in your mentality

Oh we know those thoughts: I feel like a slob. Or, there’s the debate whether to ‘gym’ today. Sometimes I’ve tried to put the gym off but the majority of the time it’s not the best decision to make. There’s nothing wrong with missing it every now and again. But if you keep at it, you’re bound to feel a bigger and brighter spring in your step.

You don’t have to exercise to lose weight. I choose to exercise to maintain fitness and to feel better about myself all round. There were times where I had to conquer my gym fear in order to get the most of the workouts. It hits me a little but nowhere as much as it used to. I feel a lot more comfortable being seen with no make-up, sweating, and looking like a lobster! Who cares?! You’re exercising, not within the company of people at a fancy event.

Reduces hypertension

I went through a stage where my blood pressure went sky-high (stress related the doctors thought). Who knows?! But since exercising, it has helped me to take away stress. It’s such a good method of escapism. Blood pressure is important for everyone. Considering I’m young, I should have a normal level, and be fit and healthy.

Sometimes I want to do cardio and other times I want to use the weights. Either way, I always like to make sure I get my blood pumping around my body.

You won’t always make up raring to go each morning/afternoon/evening, as you may already be aware. But you’ll feel so much better when you’ve finished that great workout. I used to feel rubbish about how I looked compared to others in the gym but now I just go with it and think positive.

You might love swimming, running, or a sport such as basketball. Whatever it is, enjoy it! Try it out for yourself. Remember, you don’t have to overdo it but it’s always good to push yourself a little further than you usually would.

My First Experience of a 10k Run in Manchester

Sunday 28 May is a day that seemed so far away since the day I registered for the Great Manchester Run.

Training for the Great Manchester Run

We began to train at the gym on the treadmill and developing other fitness. We decided that we needed to train for the Great Manchester Run outside rather just on the treadmill.

The truth is, we probably could have done more training. But the day wasn’t about being a professional runner. It wasn’t about time and being competitive. Today was about running for our charities, for our grandparents. Hitting the finish line made me teary eyed. But I did completed the run with Danny. That made it such a special accomplishment.

There was such a positive and boosting atmosphere prior and during the whole event. We watched other waves getting ready to run after they did their warm-up and couldn’t wait until it was our turn. It didn’t rain, although we kind of wish it did at one point to cool us down. Luckily, there was two opportunities for the shower mists that were there so they helped a lot.

Fight for every heartbeat

Before we began to run we did the minute’s silence for the atrocity that caused children and adults to lose their lives in Manchester on Monday evening. Once we began to run, it took a few moments to get passed the stage, where you feel like you’re too close to everyone to move properly.

We were so happy that we got to see my best friend, Faye as she was representing Diabetes UK and cheering runners from all charities on. It was lovely and so heart-warming to see all of the other charities, children wanting us to hit their hand as we ran past, and KEY 103 cheering us all on. I felt a great boost in my step when I saw the British Heart Foundation team, which is the charity I was running for in memory of my grandad – they were very supportive.

I loved how we did it together.

– Danny

There was a lot of sweat but most of all there was a lot of determination to run for Manchester and for our chose charities.

An amazing feeling

We passed through the city centre and sights such as Manchester United. There were people ready to hand us bottles of water as we reached the aqua stands. They were nice and refreshing to have.

I couldn’t have ran through a more supportive city full of togetherness. My favourite moment was approaching the finish line. We held hands to make sure we reached the end together.

Thank you to each and every one of you who supported us for the Great Manchester Run.

If you haven’t done a 10k before or a run of any kind, I recommend that you do it. Take the plunge and do it for you, your family, a friend, or for a cause which is close to your heart.