Monday, 28 March 2016

Fitness: Exercise, Why do we start?



Everyone has their own reasons why they start something. When it comes to fitness some people find it harder than other to start. I work with young people, middle aged people and even the older generation who all at some point decided that they wanted to get into exercise for their own reasons. Some reasons are more serious than others but they all have one thing in common and that is that they took the first step and did something. Some people far really fit when they're younger and then life gets in the way and it isn’t the main priority of their life but then something clicks and it then because more of a priority.

This post is to show that everyone has their own reasons for starting and that it isn’t straight forward but if you keep trying you’ll get there eventually.

I thought I would start by telling you about how I got into exercise. I started doing sport at a young age I was involved in every sport at school but when I was at university I couldn’t handle juggling doing exercise, having a job and assignments. That was when I stopped doing exercise but unlike most students I lost a lot of weight and my confidence wasn’t what it used to be. I was so underweight that a lot of people got very concerned about my health. I decided that was when I needed to get back into exercise and found tennis. Tennis was my stress release and soon become the sport I would coach as my main sport. I wanted to get fit again because while at university I lost any fitness I had, I had signed up for the Great North Run in 2015 and started running and strength training at the gym. Now I’m slowly putting on weight and my fitness is definitely better.

Some people find the hardest part of getting involved in exercise is the starting point. I’ve run 2 beginners running programs for the past 6 months with over 20 people starting each one. Every one of them starts wanting to make to make it through the 10 weeks but for some that doesn’t happen but it doesn’t stop them trying again just like Shivani and Laura who I’ll talk about that later.

Most people have to try more than one type of exercise to find the one that’s best for them; Helen from Nelly's Cupcakes told me she wanted to get fit so she could keep up with her toddler and be a good/healthy role model for her which is a perfect reason to get fit. She first tried out Zumba which she did enjoy but because of class politics, she started to not enjoy it anymore and decided to try running. She started running and she started alone doing the Couch to 5K and a year later she is still going. If you’re like Helen and find that you’re not enjoying what you’re doing mix it up and try something new you never know you might fall in love with it.

Helen wasn’t the only person I spoke to that wanted to get fit because of their kids Pixie from Fashion Voyeur wanted to get fit because she has a severely autistic son and wanted to get fit so she could give him the best life but also so that she could handle anything that he threw at her. She first started with Barre but now does a large range of exercises including boxing and roller derby. Pixie went on to tell me that exercise has become a coping mechanism for her as for her ‘its pure escapism.’ Pixie has become to love exercise so much she became an This Girl Can ambassador in 2015 along with 100’s of other women across the country.

From talking to a people I work with a lot of them get involved in exercise because they want to lose weight. Shivani Malhorta from Cloud in a Teacup told me how she had always been an overweight adult and after trying to get fit on a number of occasions decided that last year was the year to get serious and started the gym in June. At first, she hated it but she kept going, she started off cycling, walking on a treadmill and doing a few minutes on a cross trainer, she started off really slow but she’s kept going and now she is doing HIIT workouts and weights. For her, it’s not about being skinny it about feeling healthy and strong. Shivani has lost 4.5 stone (give her a round applause because that’s amazing) in weight but she has seen a huge change in her body shape because of the exercise she is doing and that has given her a lot more confidence. 

Laura Dawson from Elle Blonde was another amazing lady that started off being a big lady and decided she wanted to change that, she took herself to the gym and for her, that was when it clicked. She lost 4 stones in a matter of months (I’ve seen her in person and she looks amazing) and that was where her healthy obsession began. Laura had horrendous depression two years ago and refused to go on medication and one night after a few too many drinks signed up to do the biggest half marathon in the North East. After training and running further, she discovered that her depression got better.

After I left university I really got into research about how exercise could have a good effect on people’s mental health. I know myself that when I feel low that going out and doing some sort of exercise I feel always feel good after.

So when Kayleigh Lindstedt from I Dream of Coco told me how she suffered from mild anxiety and she started running as a way to clear her head as well as keep herself fit. She has even signed up to do the Great North Run which is a half marathon (Good Luck Kayleigh). Holly Olivia Stephenson from Bisous, Holly Olivia (http://bisoushollyolivia.blogspot.co.uk/) was another lady that started exercising to help reduce anxiety and depression. Holly decided that she wanted to work on her upper body which now she doesn’t have to cover up in warmer weather and has helped to improve her confidence. Like many other people, she tried swimming, running and cycling but fell in love with body weight exercises and hula hooping.

When Andy Hooper from Here Come the Hoopers told me how he got involved in exercise because he wanted to use it as a way of socialising. Alan recruited the dads from his estate after his wife Catherine had decided to recruit the mams from the estate to do a couch to 5K together. After running for a few weeks Alan decided to do the Disneyland Half Marathon in September.

I’ve used these stories with a hope that these might inspire someone to want to exercise or keep some people already exercising motivated. Writing this post is making me want to go out and go for a run and I hope it has inspired you.

I hope you like this post I have. I have loved writing this and can’t thank the bloggers in this post enough for telling me their stories. If you like these types of post please leave me a comment below.

Why not tell me your reasons for getting involved in exercise?

I hope to see you soon
See you soon
Love Melissa  xx  


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