Friday, January 13, 2012

It's Fitness Time

Last year I decided to finally start an exercise programme. I started in September and my main motivation was summer and wanting to buy my first new pair of togs in 5 years (I've been pregnant for 3 of the last 5 summers and didn't bother buying a new pair of togs between pregnancies). In the last 5 years (and quite a few years before that!) my only form of exercise has been walking which, while nice and relaxing and good for a dose of fresh air, was never full on enough to get puffed or feel like I'd done any 'real' exercise.  The last time I went for a run was probably high school cross country, and the last time I did a 'work out' was when I joined a gym in London about 8 years ago so I am no natural exerciser person. My other motivations for starting to exercise was the fact that I always felt tired, wanted to sleep better and also wanted to be fitter/healthier to keep up with the kids as they got older and more active.  Reading this book really motivated me as well- The Body Bible-
YSM "The Body Bible"
and especially what Kelli and Jodie say in the book about how you have to use energy to get energy- 'you can't just wait for energy to come to you - you have to do something to get it' which I thought was a great concept!  But it was still quite random how I got started- my 4 year old was practicing her skipping so I decided to have a go and then my hubby said 'can you do 100 skips' or something so I did (just!). Then I got talking about wanting to start some exercise so he came up with a little fitness plan I could do at home using just a skipping rope and a 4 kg kettle bell (which he had bought for me from Rebel Sport when he bought one for himself about a year ago and I had never used). I went on about how I didn't have much time between feeding Jack and all the rest and how I didn't want to do any sit ups so he made up a 20 minute workout that I could handle. I decided to commit to doing it 3 days a week and then in the weekend go for a big walk leading up to some running. I also gave myself the goal of sticking to it for a month before I was 'allowed' to go and buy some new sneakers as a reward.
All you need
So I thought I'd share the workout here if you are thinking about getting started and want a really basic one you can do at home even while the kids are around. I used to do it in the morning after I fed Jack and before I had my shower so it was done and dusted before I could dream up lots of excuses as to why I didn't have time that day! Neither me or my hubby are fitness experts- this is just what I did to get started :)

Warm up
Skip for 1 minute or 100 skips

1. Skip 2 minutes or 200 skips
2. 10 Burpees (remember these from high school?!)
3. Skip 2 minutes or 200 skips
5. Skip 2 minutes or 200 skips
6. 10 Kettlebell squats holding the kettle bell in one hand then 10 squats holding it in the other hand (see the pic below) but just one hand at a time- so 20 in total
7. Skip 2 minutes or 200 skips
8. 10 tricep dips (I used our outdoor table bench seat for these)
9. 10 Burpees

Stretch to warm down

The first time I did this workout the next day I felt like I'd been hit by a bus ( I was seriously unfit) and the second day I had the sorest legs ever so my advice is to do your 2nd workout on the 3rd day as you still might be a bit sore but you will actually feel better after the workout. After that I felt fine most days after doing the workout.

For the first month I did this workout three times a week with a walk or run in the weekend, then because I found a friend also wanting to get into exercise I began just running twice a week with her with sometimes an extra one in the weekend instead of doing the workout. Still feeling surprised that I can actually run now- having a running partner was the best thing as it meant I had to go even when I didn't feel like it and I run a lot more than if I was on my own when I would probably walk a lot more than run! Then it went to a run once a week and a walk up the Mount once a week before Christmas. (and a big break over the New Year). So although I don't do the skipping/kettle bell workout now it was really good to get me started into some exercise. And I might go back to it especially in Winter when running in the evening isn't so appealing!

And to kick off  2012 (and use this blog to be accountable!) I have decided to commit to this for the next 6 weeks - a Cross Fit Boot Camp at Mount Cross Fit. It's a one hour workout three times a week for 6 weeks which isn't toooo daunting in itself (well only because I don't have much of an idea what it entails yet!) but it is at 6am which is going to absolutely kill me but I've signed up with my running partner so that will make me get out of bed! So will let you know how I go...

I hope I keep this up and it becomes just part of my life rather than being just another  'project' so will just have to see how I go as the year progresses! And it's been really cool seeing the girls copying me and doing their 'excises' as Stella says :)

And here are some extra links if you're interested... 'The Fit Club' is a really good half hour programme on Maori TV on Thursday nights all about health, fitness and nutrition. Auckland based Cross Fit gym- great info about Cross Fit and how it is different from a regular gym interesting article to read

Happy exercising!


Rochelle's Lenz said...

Ha! I was eying up crossfit too, but too screwgy! Just back into my fitness and taking on the eggcel challenge and may be mummy boot camp at the mount. Lost my pt but best lesson i learnt from her is look after your pelvic floor and havesixprotein based meals a day- busy mummy sneed this to survive increased fitness and daily mummy ness. Good luck with cross fit, looking forward to your stories said...

Good on you! I got really focussed on my fitness about a year and half ago and it has become part of my life, like you say. Stick at it - once you've finished Cross Fit you'll feel terrific and have so much energy. Good luck!

Rowantree Design said...

You go girl, getting fit is great for the mind as well as the body!

Thoeria said...

Congratulations on making the commitment! I've been threatening my body with a good trip to the gym for years and actually started an eating plan today! Gym to start next week :)

Caroline said...

Wow, so inspiring Megan, good on you and thanks for sharing. Good luck for reaching your fitness goals this year!

Gooseberry Jam said...

Oh I can so relate, having being pregnant for 5 1/2 years now and three more months to go, Its the hottest week on record here and do you think I have a swimsuit that fits!!! AGGHH!!! Next summer will be the one for me...
Your fitness routine sounds good and a great way to start the year. Could you please do an extra squat for me each day. ;)
Also just wanted to say Thank-you for becoming my 200th follower... Karen :)

Leah said...

Now you're putting me to shame! Well done hon - that's a fabulous commitment. I bet you feel tremendous. I mentioned to hubby last night that I'd like to hire a treadmill as I've got the sudden urge to run (never done it before and I'm sure it won't be pretty hence not pounding the streets!). There's still plenty of sunny weather to make the most of and skin to expose so that's motivating. Have fun!

Catherine said...

It sounds like you've made a great plan Megan and sticking to it well, you must be feeling really good, more energy and happy too at how much you are achieving. It's good to have someone to exercise with too, it keeps you going and motivated too. This year my goal is to head back into yoga and go every week, no more excuses. Thanks for the motivation.

gaijinwife said...

last time I spoke to you you were going for the 'occasional' run. Sounds like you're doing so well. Very impressed that hub made you a 20 minute plan - thats awesome. Hopefully by the time I come home this year we can flog all our children off and go for a run - followed by brunch and ten coffees.

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