When I was in high school, I was usually the one sitting on the ground playing with the grass instead of actually playing the game, and I always thought sport was really an ‘other people’ thing. I hated it, I hated getting sweaty, I hated feeling uncomfortable and I decided I hated sports. So I was never really what you would consider a ‘fit’ person.
Fast forward a couple of years later, and I am a changed woman.
I workout about six times a week, and I am one of those irritating people who actually loves working out, high school me is furious with current me. Although I have gone through phases with my fitness journey, I can certainly say I love working out. This year especially, I have been getting quite serious about my health and fitness, and I have developed a routine that I’m pretty happy with. I alternate between strength and cardio five days a week, I try and practice yoga and stretching stretching everyday and I play dodgeball (a team sport!) and run or go bouldering on the weekends. I have a really diverse schedule, and I feel like it all compliments each other, the better I get at box jumps, the better I get at running, the more strength training I do, the better I become at bouldering.
My Week in Fitness:
I aim to work out every weekday, and I belong to a couple of gyms, but my favourite is F45, which I think might be an Australian thing (sorry to my international friends). My brother lovingly refers to F45 as a ‘fitness cult’, which actually might be pretty accurate. It is really intensive fitness classes, which alternate between cardio and strength based training, it’s competitive and fun and it has forced me to develop a structure in my fitness routine that I have struggled with previously. It’s been a great way for me to feel ‘functionally’ fit and have a bit of fun with my workouts. Its also been a great way to keep motivated, accountable and make friends who are also into fitness.
I also supplement my workouts with yoga practice and stretching, I found yoga when I was trying to become more flexible and connected to my body, and although I am very much a beginner when it comes to yoga, so far it has been a great experience. It’s a great way to get an amazing stretch, challenge your body and to feel spiritually centred. I don’t belong to a studio, but I am a bit fan of yoga flow or yin yoga.
I also like to use a foam roller and stretch every night, usually while I’m watching TV. Foam rolling can hurt in the short term, but it’s great for muscle recovery. When I first got into fitness, I loved the high energy, results driven aspect, which means I wasn’t really taking care of myself, I shortened all my muscles, lost my flexibility and really hurt my long term progress. It took me a really long time to develop my flexibility again and I try and maintain that where I can.
I like to think of my fitness routine as ‘Yin’ with low impact yoga and stretching, and ‘Yang’ with high intensive cardio and strength training. This method has helped me to stay consistent and progress long term in both. I will usually do my ‘Yang’ workout in the morning and my ‘Yin’ workout in the evening.
On the weekends, I try to either go for a run, or I will go bouldering with my partner or some friends. It’s not as intense, but its a good way to work on my cardio. I also play dodgeball with my friends, which hopefully will help me to be more nimble and coordinated.
My Fitness essentials: What you should spend money on
I also have had some time to figure out what fitness products are worth the money, and the ones that aren’t. Obviously you don’t need any of this stuff, its easy to work out naked in your house if you want, but these are the things that have made the biggest difference in my life.
Good quality Shoes with Ankle Support:
There is nothing worse than working out in cool looking shoes with no ankle or arch support. My running shoes are ugly, but I love them so much, because they are light, comfortable and perfect for working out.
I would recommend that you get properly fitted for good running shoes that work with your feet, your workout routine will work so much better, it will also decrease your risk of injury and improve your performance. If you’re going to spend any money on fitness stuff, and you’re doing any kind of running/jumping/cardio stuff, please get good quality shoes.
A Good Sports Bra:
Anyone who has anything close to a chest needs a strong, comfortable sports bra, just trust me here. On days when I have a high intensity workout, I will wear two sports bras, and even stretching or even walking slightly far, I always wear one. And I cringe in sympathy when I run past women who are either not wearing a sports bra, or are wearing the wrong one when they do high intensity exercise. It looks so painful! Even if you’re not blessed in the chest, a good quality sports bra (or two) will help your poor back in the long run.
Resistance bands are great for bodyweight workouts, or just adding that extra bit of intensity to a workout, I love them for leg day and they are a cheap way to push yourself. They are also great for stretching.
I have talked about foam rollers before, but they have changed my life. They are perfect for easing muscle pain, stretching out your legs and tight hips, I’m especially fond of it for my quads. I even use one of mine for helping a sore back after sitting in an office chair all day. If you’re serious about improving your fitness, or your back hurts after a day sitting down in the office, or standing up all day and your back hurts (the human spine is a travesty), a foam roller is a great way to alleviate any mild pain you have.
I recently took the plunge and bought wireless headphones, and I am now a bougie as hell fancy pants, and its been amazing. No more annoying cord getting caught on everything, and no being restricted in my movements by the wires, or them getting tangled on everything! I have the apple AirPods, and they are amazing, I can jump, run, do burpees and everything and they say in my ears, and they also have a reasonable charge time. If you’re always moving around in the gym and don’t want to be caught on things, I would recommend some good headphones.
How do you approach fitness? What fitness products do you swear by? Let me know!