I CAN TOUCH MY TOES!
How are we all feeling on this rather gloomy Monday morning? You all had a good weekend? Ours was filled with meals out with mates, a marathon of the third and final season of Love (LOVED the ending) and a trip to an escape room with Lily and the guys which was ridiculously fun (would highly recommend Clue Quest!). Last week was a good’un too and although it was pretty nuts trying to squeeze everything in with the Bank Holiday and a day-off to entertain some of my favourite blogging pals (see Lily’s vlog of it all here), I somehow managed to power through my to-do lists AND get in a full week of workouts, which is something that I haven’t managed to do in a while. My fitness routine always gets thrown up into the air whenever I go away and I find it hard to get back into the swing of things once the dust settles, but I booked in my usual classes along with a new one too and managed to get in a total of five workouts which felt GREAT. So today I thought I’d talk you through where I’m currently at with it all, why I’ve finally got round to quitting the gym and my goals as of right now…
Sticking with what you love. So I cancelled my gym membership *insert dramatic music*. After a two-year stint of working out with my lovely PT, I just wasn’t enjoying it as much as I once was. And that’s the thing, if you’re not enjoying you method of sweating in some way, then you’re just going to try and find every and any excuse in the book to wiggle your way out of it. Along with me just generally looking forward to my Reformer Pilates sessions more, the Pilates studio is closer and easier for me to get to (I don’t have to drive!) PLUS it’s cheaper. It just makes sense. So I’ve said goodbye to my membership and instead trot down to do a 55 minute session of Reformer Pilates around three to five a times a week. Sure, there’s no way that I could squat the weight I once did, but my flexibility has increased, my core strength is at an all time high and I now have a little Pilates crew of mates that I can have a chat to before and after the sessions and the timings and location work perfectly for me to get me out of the house once a day; either early in the morning, for my lunch-break or I go after work for a late-evening session with Mark. I can’t get enough of it and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Introducing cardio. Ewwww. Some of the Reformer Pilates sessions that I book on to feel pretty hardcore. I sweat until my machine is dripping and my body trembles like a leaf. However you never get that breathless, ‘not sure if I’ll ever be able to breathe at a normal pace ever again’ feeling because it’s just not that kind of workout. I’ve pondered running (just really can’t be arsed and it hurts my shins), cycling (I’m more of a weekend leisurely ride kinda gal), a local F45 class (none are on at times that really suit me and it’s a bit of a walk), so instead I’ve settled on the most convenient option. Of course this is going to depend on budgets and what kind of classes you’re close to, but there’s a spin studio about a 30 second walk from where I do my pilates. I literally have no excuse. The introductory deals make it pretty good value for money and I attended my first class last week. I wouldn’t say I thoroughly enjoyed it and I did feel like I might pass out for a solid half an hour afterwards, BUT once the nausea had passed I did feel kinda great that I managed to get some proper cardio in for the first time in six months. It highlighted just how horrendous my cardio fitness is and the need for variety in my routine. If I could just find a class that specialised in early 2000’s rap beats then that would be FAB.
Get your stretch on. One other thing that regular sessions of Reformer Pilates have taught me are the numerous benefits of stretching. Tension release! The ability to get your hands closer to your toes! Little pops and cracks that feel like heaven! I find myself bending around with a smile on my face like a satisfied cat that’s receiving belly rubs whenever we have a chance to have a play on the foam roller, so I did what I had to do and ordered the same one off Amazon so I could recreate this feline-like writhing at home. For the past week I’ve spent 15 minutes before I get into bed firstly rolling my mid-back to upper back and then spending some time easing my spine to bend back over the roller. Any tension I’m holding seems to melt away and because the roller is nice and squishy it applies gentle pressure instead of feeling like complete and utter hell. One thing that does feel torturous though is the little spiky ball that I place and roll around under my butt cheeks because I tend to grip a lot in my glutes, so it’s an area I’m working on too. But with some deep breathing and a podcast distraction, I can get through it and feel like the combination of the two moves are doing me the world of good. TIME TO CRACK IT OUT.
Photos by Lauren Shipley
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