Why do we exercise?

Ok, so a large part of exercising is about us looking after our physical fitness. Keeping in shape, improving our health, as a way of letting go of our frustrations after a long, gruelling day in the office, to improve our mental well-being. All perfectly valid reasons to exercise.

Whilst many people choose to join a gym or sign up to an exercise class, not everyone (including me) can afford to do that. Or perhaps, like me, you’re slightly intimidated by the stereotypical ‘bods’ who frequent the gym, and chose instead, to exercise in the local park, or at an outdoor gym, or perhaps even work out at home.

New Year, New Goal

One of my aims this year was to exercise more often. Whilst my initial aim was to get out into one of my local parks 3 times a week to go for a jog, hasn’t quite gone to plan . Whilst I’m generally managing to get out into the fresh air at least once a week, I discovered during the summer, that I’m not a ‘hot weather jogger’ and likewise, I have discovered this autumn, that I am also definitely not a ‘wet weather jogger’. This clearly leaves me with limited weather conditions to jog in.

However, not one to be deterred, I’ve recently been introduced to fitness guru Melissa Chalmers. Melissa posts exercises on her Instagram that are super easy to do from your own home, with or without equipment. I own a set of dumbbells which come in handy, but sometimes all you need is a cushion!

So on the days the weather has not been in my favour, I’ve been exercising for around 40-60 mins using Melissa’s videos for guidance and motivation. This week alone, I‘ve managed 3 workouts (2x home workouts and 1 jog around the park after working from home yesterday).

Motivation

So what’s motivating me to keep going?

  • My physical health – I had reached a point at the end of last year where I was the heaviest I had ever been. After a recent health scare, it also puts life into perspective, and reinforced the importance of living a healthier existence. Whilst I’m still finding it hard to shift some of that weight, body parts are definitely starting to tone up, and I’m starting to feel healthier again.
  • My mental well-being – if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times…why is it when the going gets tough, the first things we drop are the things that can help keep us going during those tough patches?? This time though, I’m more conscious of not giving into that way of thinking. Although I sometimes have to give myself a really good pep talk into changing into my leggings and my trainers at the end of a stressful day, once I start to feel my heart beat faster and the sweat start to pour, I feel so grateful for having made the decision to shut my mind up and get on with it anyway. And post workout, I’ve generally either forgotten what was stressing me out, or the cause at least doesn’t seem quite so bad.
  • My trip to India – with 15 days travelling around India in less than 10 weeks, I don’t want to be complaining about how tired I am because of all the walking, travelling, sleepless nights on overnight trains etc, that I will be enduring while I’m there. I want to grasp the experience with both hands, and enjoy every waking moment (even if that means not getting much sleep!)…
  • Love – although I’m incredibly lucky to be with someone who loves my curves, I want to look my absolute best for him. Not because he wants me too, but because ‘I’ want to.

Outdoor Playground

As much as I’m loving my home workouts, especially now the dark nights are drawing in, and the weather is getting slightly more unpredictable, I still love to get outside and exercise as much as possible.

Take yesterday for example. My working from home day. Working from home always limits the amount I move around. I do always try to get outside for some fresh air when I’m working from home, even if it is just to the supermarket on my road. But largely I try to factor in a lunchtime walk or a post work run.

We were treated to some beautiful October sunshine yesterday afternoon in the city, so with the inability to resist such a great opportunity, I headed out just after 5pm for a jog around one of my local parks.

And boy am I glad I did. Not only did it feel good to get my heart beating faster, the sweat pouring, and my mind feeling rejuvenated, the early evening skies reminded me of another great reason to exercise outdoors, especially at this time of year…

What do you do to keep fit? What are your motivations to keep going? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below 😀