Monday, 12 December 2011

Maybe this time next year I'll have a Beachbody...

One of the things that I really, really want to get off to a flying start this coming January is a proper exercise routine. Throughout 2010 I was managing fairly regular attendance at the gym – to the extent that I was actually choosing to get up before nine on a Saturday to get to a Body Combat class. All that has rather petered out in the latter half of this year.

My general attitude to exercise was always one of dislike and suspicion, a seed planted back in my school days. I was not, it is safe to say, a sporty child, nor had any ambitions in that direction and can’t say I ever cried myself to sleep at night when I missed out on a place in the netball team. While we’re on the general subject, I never really understood the edict that every single pupil had to have some sort of role in Sports Day, but tried to get on board (generally by putting my name down for the relatively safe Tug of War every year as soon as the sign up sheet was posted). With the exception of swimming I steered clear of sport in general. And I think the world of sport was probably pretty grateful.

But then, back in (I think) about 2009, D and I began attending a local gym on a reasonably regular basis. I started off by just sticking to gentle lengths of the pool before cautiously venturing into the gym proper and then discovered that some of the classes were actually OK as long as you stayed at the back and avoided catching sight of yourself in the wall to wall mirrors. It would be too much to say that I ever enjoyed myself, but I definitely enjoyed the feeling of well being that followed a good workout. And I also enjoyed the fact that exercising allowed me to eat more. Weight Watchers allows you to earn bonus activity points to be consumed or not as the individual sees fit – well, I generally always saw fit (I am quite very greedy) and still achieved a steady weight loss as well as some fledgling muscle tone beneath the flab. So what happened in 2011? Hard to say. We’ve fallen out of routine, and, I must admit, the thought of having to build up all that fitness again from scratch does fill me with dread. More than once in the last couple of months have I thought about cancelling my gym membership.

Perhaps, then, it was more than a little bit lucky that a few weeks ago I had an email from someone who wondered if I’d be interested in mentioning some of their products on here. If I tell you the site was called you may understand why I was more than a little surprised – there may well have been some incredulous laughter on my part. But I read her mail and was touched that she said that she’d seen that I have posts relating to “living a healthy lifestyle”. And I thought, well, they may have been a bit thin on the ground lately, but living a healthy, balanced lifestyle is in fact the point of this blog. I want the people who visit me here to understand that losing weight or maintaining a healthy figure isn’t about deprivation but about balance. Have your cake, eat it, but make up for it somehow. Eat salad for dinner or (and here’s the bit I’ve certainly been avoiding for the last six months) go for a swim or a jog. I’ve lost sight of the exercise bit of a healthy lifestyle recently, but this was a salutory reminder, and just in time for New Year Resolution season.

Beachbody have some new products coming out which they’ve asked me to link to, and, in the spirit of spreading the exercise love I am more than happy to do so, although I should add that I haven’t tried these particular ones myself – unfortunately, my living room doesn’t lend itself to home workouts. I have however done some Les Mills Pump classes at the gym and always found them good in a painful sort of way, plus, strength training is a really good way of boosting your metabolic rate. The slightly amusingly named Body Beast workout looks to be more aimed at those people who are wanting to build some serious muscle – not my thing, but ideal if you’re after a more Fatima Whitbread look (hats off to her, the woman looked amazing on I’m A Celebrity). And I had actually heard of the P90X2 workouts, which seem to be a mixed bag of strength training and cardio previous to seeing them on the site – to have penetrated my consciousness they must be doing someone some good.

I should also say that although it is an American site they do international delivery at no extra charge, which is nice of them.

Many thanks to the very sweet Emily from Beachbody for what may well be the gentle nudge I needed to get me back in the direction of the gym – I can’t imagine that I’ll ever be what you would call a gym bunny, but I do need to make it a part of my life again. Are you there, Bonus Activity Points? It’s me, Seren…

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