Nowadays, where most of us are very inactive during the day, it is so important to schedule exercise into our day. It should become part of our daily routine – but not a chore!
There are a lot of studies done on how nutrition is important for your health, but most are very contradicting and it’s very confusing to find out what is right and what is wrong. The good news is that regular EXERCISE is proven to improve your health and reduce all sorts of lifestyle-induced diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, immune disorders and many others.
This is such important information and I wish for everyone out there (even the not so health conscious people) that exercise can become as natural as brushing your teeth every day!
It doesn’t have to be complicated either. Studies show that 30 min a day is all you need. About 10 min of those, your pulse must be so high that you are out of breath when you talk. Small lifestyle changes can help you become more active and help you reach these 30 min. For instance, getting off the bus one stop before and walk the rest, park the car furthest away in the car park or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. I have even heard of a doctor who makes his nurses do lunges on their way to work when they stop at a red light! Walk around the office when you are on the telephone! Cleaning your house is also a great workout – when washing the floor and windows, you use all the good muscles and you get your pulse up.
I have always been a very active person, never been able to sit still for longer periods of time. It was very important to my parents that I did some kind of activity and it didn’t matter what. As a child my favourite game was to run around the house and have someone time me. This of course was my family’s way of keeping me occupied and they still talk about it today! They love the fact that I fell for their “trick”. For me it wasn’t a trick, it was an outlet for all the energy I had! I loved it.
Very young I took swimming lessons, which I think is so important for any child. Everyone should know how to swim. Most of the Earth’s surface (70%) is covered with water, so chances are you will be in contact with it at some point in your life and know how to swim can literally be life saving.
My parents played a lot of tennis when I was a child, so they put me in tennis classes. I liked it and was somewhat good at it, but the classes they put me in were in French and I didn’t understand what the teacher said. It therefore didn’t last very long. After that I wanted to dance. My best friend took dancing lessons and it looked so cool. So I did that for a couple of years. I was not very good at it, but I loved it! Unfortunately logistics made it hard to attend all classes and when we moved it became impossible.
In the new town I made a friend who played Basketball. Now that was fun and again I was not very good at it, but that didn’t matter. We soon moved again and I had to stop.
At this point I am smack down in the middle of puberty with pimples, hormones and everything. Teenagers sleep a lot and for girls it’s all about boys boys boys! No time for exercise! Although, I did experiment a little with handball I think. I loved gym class in school. I participated with heart and soul and this was also the subject I got the highest grade in when graduating. I never thought of turning this into a career, silly really – but its not too late 😉
I moved to Denmark when I finished school and it’s hard to find an exercise routine in a new country. There are so many new things one has to get used to first. However, people are very health conscious in Denmark and it seemed that everyone I knew was member of a gym, so guess what I did? I joined a gym. I think you can count on one hand how many times I showed up. I just don’t like gyms. It seems so artificial to me. We sit all day at job and school, and then go run on a running machine – it seems odd. I tried classes instead; aerobics, tae bo, yoga, body pump etc. etc. You name it, I tried it. Except spinning, I was too afraid to try spinning. A friend once got really injured on one of those bikes, so I never dared. None of these classes really stuck and being a student it was hard to stick to a schedule in between classes, exams and partying (of course). I also tried to find a basketball team and dancing classes. I went maybe a couple of times but it was not the right thing.
The most popular sports in Denmark are running and bicycling (although the latter is more a means of transportation). Running is cheap and you can do it whenever you want and (almost) wherever you want. Super convenient for those where this works! For me this does not work.
I need a fix time, a trainer and if I have to pay for it, it will give that extra little motivation to go! Finally and most importantly, I need something that I think is fun and with fun people! If its not fun, then exercise becomes a chore and this is the opposite of what we want. You need to find what works for you! It needs to fit into your lifestyle.
When I finished University I moved back to Luxembourg and again it was hard to find an exercise routine that worked for me, but with age I learned more and more what worked and what didn’t. I tried to play squash with my boyfriend and go for runs (but again had to find out that I am not a runner!) or bike rides but nothing stuck until I found Jessboxing!
Here it was, everything I had been looking for! A full body workout, that was fun, with fun and great people, a scheduled time and paying for classes gave me that extra motivation. The trainers are great, they push you to do that little extra that you think you can’t do, but you learn how amazing your body is, and it turns out you CAN do it!
I’m writing in past tense because I had to stop training during pregnancy, but I can’t wait to get to class once my body is ready for it! Instead I am doing pregnancy Pilates and pregnancy yoga – but that’s for another post!
What is your exercise routine? What are some of your tricks to get that extra exercise during a busy day?
If you don’t exercise, think about what would be important to you and what would make a particular routine work for you!
Make endorphins your friend, they are amazing! 🙂