2020 was a year of lounging on the sofa with chocolate, and I have zero regrets about it. However I knew it was time to get back ‘on it’ and this is how I did it…
I don’t think I’m the only one that found 2020 hard in terms of exercising enough. Not having access to a gym and also being constrained to my London flat for the majority of the year didn’t do me much good and I found myself getting lazier and lazier by the day. I really don’t give myself a hard time about it, it was a tough, very different year and I was out of my normal routine, but I did start to notice by the end of the year my mental health started to take a hit and my energy levels were really low. I knew a lot of this was down to my days consisting of rolling out of my bed, heading to my desk then heading back to my bed or the sofa, so it was time to get moving again!
I’ve always been fairly active – in fact pre-lockdown I had started with a personal trainer and was starting to feeling really fit and strong! A big problem I have had with exercise is the fact that I get bored – very easily. I also find it hard to put a workout together or to figure out how to do a good workout that would benefit me. However, recently I have taken up two different types of exercise I never thought I would – dancing and pilates.
I used to dance when I was little, but to be honest, I wasn’t very good. I have always been very lanky with no coordination and get self conscious in front of people, but a couple of years ago I started going to a Zumba class and really enjoyed it – I also found myself not caring about what people thought about me. I loooove following a routine – it almost takes my mind of working out and by the time I’ve finished I’ve had a great workout and moved every part of my body! When lockdown hit, I took to following YouTube dance workouts and loved it equally as much. After a couple years, I know that I still look like a drunk giraffe when dancing, but do I care? Absolutely not.
Secondly, pilates came into my life only recently, but I just love it. It’s slow and controlled which means I am again focusing on the movement and not on the pain – ha! I also really enjoy feeling the burn and knowing my body is getting stronger. Pilates also involves a lot of focusing on breathing and stretching, which I find helps with my mind too.
Overall, I’d say the biggest thing I’ve learned is to try everything and see what you enjoy. I always used to think running and doing weights was the only way to exercise – never did I imagine myself dancing and doing pilates, but there we go! It’s also really important to start slow. Originally I started working out twice a week and am building back up slowly. If I’m tired, I rest or if I’m feeling low and don’t feel like it, I just stretch and do some breathing. I never push myself too far so that I resent working out – I always want to enjoy it!
Here are some of my favourite videos and platforms to use:
I love Pamela Reif’s dance workouts (actually all of her workouts are great). Quick, effective and easy to follow!
MadFit’s dance workouts are so fab – her music choice is spot on.
Melissa Wood Health App is a perfect place to start with pilates – £7.46 a month.
My favourite celebrity trainer to follow, Megan Roup, has an app called The Sculpt Society, which I think might be my favourite app right now. It has both dance and pilates workouts as well as breathing exercises, stretching and sculpting. Really it’s a dream – £14.87 a month.
If you are looking for free pilates workouts – Blogilates on YouTube is great.
Leave your favourite workouts in the comments!