Working out, in some form or another, is a part of my day just like eating dinner or having a shower. It’s a daily ritual and non-negotiable. It’s not about getting marathon-fit or losing weight, but about better body confidence and improved stress relief, about feeling strong and delaying the ageing process, about being more productive and more focused, about setting a great example for my kids. It has taught me to go beyond my comfort zone and to know that I can handle tough situations. It’s fair to say, exercise has taught me many amazing life lessons.
Did you know when I was studying at uni for my English degree with dreams of one day working for a glossy magazine, I also trained to be an aerobics instructor and then a personal trainer? Since that time, fitness fads have come and gone (remember Step classes anyone?) but my passion for being active and all things health-related and wellness-based has only grown. Since my first journalist job Health & Fitness magazine, I have spent my working life and much of my spare time researching training methods and trying different workouts.
What I discovered from my readers, then our amazing customers at Calmia and also you lovely lot that read my blog is that you are on all onboard and embracing a more healthy, holistic lifestyle. Most of you enjoy working out and fully understand the benefits of exercise, you just find it really hard to fit working out as much as you’d like in to your already busy schedule.
My advice above all of else is you have to be creative – instead of taking the bus to work try running to the office; you have to be serious about eeking out some me-time – say, doing a body weight HIIT workout at home while your kids are busy watching a movie rather than cuddling up on the sofa and watching it with them - and you have to be really disciplined – getting up extra early to get a good yoga flow in before work if you know its going to be a heavy day and you’re not going to make it for your favourite 7pm class at your gym.
The next time you’re feeling as if you don’t have the time to workout, tell yourself you have to make the time. If you’re training hard enough just 20-30 minutes is more than enough to challenge your muscles and elevate your heart rate and who can honestly say they don’t spend that long scrolling through social media every day. So put down your smartphone and start squatting, what’s stopping you? Lucy xxx
Here are my go-to workout must-haves, from the kit I’m wearing and the accessories I’m loving right now..
For the school run teamed with an over-sized sweat, on the rower with a breathable tank, in a hot and sweaty dynamic yoga class worn with just a sports bra, these leggings never let me down. I especially love their deep waist, which is super comfortable and flattering and the mesh panels which keep me cool.
As you know I have a bit of thing for yoga mats, and yes this is another one of my favourites It is the one I keep in the boot of my car for impromptu park workouts or post-runs stretches – it’s really soft, supportive and versatile and importantly it’s easy to clean if it does get a bit grassy or muddy. Considering its thickness and comfort, this mat is surprisingly lightweight and also comes with a handy carry strap – making it a good choice if you are out about and not sure what class you are going to be popping into later on in the day.
I can’t be without this beauty for its endless uses – laying over pongy floor mats at the gym or sweaty workout equipment, as a wrap around my shoulders at the end of a workout when I start to cool down, as an extra towel for my hair after showering and most importantly, for its proper job , that is, for laying on top of my own or a smelly studio yoga mat to absorb sweat and stop me slipping. I always keep one in my bag – it’s soooo handy if you don’t want to carry your yoga mat around all day.
At the end of a workout, it’s tempting to skip the cool down stretches and rush off for a shower or on to the next commitment - but trust me as someone who is always trying to save minutes here and there - you will end up tight and achy, if not injured. Not at once, but over time, the tightness builds up and before long you can hardly touch your toes and your quads feel heavy and tired all the time. Don’t lose all that amazing progress you have been making in yoga on your flexibility by skipping the post workout stretches or roller time. Rolling is amazing for post-workout recovery – this is the one I am using right now.
If there is a water bottle by my side I drink more water whether I’m sat at my computer or I’m working out – simple. Besides keeping me hydrated, it’s cheaper in the long run and more planet-friendly to invest in a water bottle. This one is made from food-grade, shatterproof, BPA free plastic and has a convenient carry strap. The simple click push button lid is leak proof and easy to use during workouts and the 500ml capacity is the perfect size for hydration on-the-go.