Tuesday, 26 July 2016

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Start with exercise aka movement

I was talking to a friend last night who was undergoing an image overhaul. And I just thought that it would be colours, clothes styles, that sort of thing. But no. It was more. Listening to my friend tell me one or two things that she had to start with, I thought that it would be fun to do it too. Basically we are looking at our life, so it's not just one's appearance.

The first thing to do is, do some exercise everyday. So here, we can be looking at anything from going to the gym everyday, to going for a walk, doing some yoga or callisthenics. The list of possibilities is actually quite big.

I worked in gyms for years, teaching yoga. I certainly learnt a lot from the people (nearly all ladies) who came to the classes. Now I do know that you need time and space to do a lot of exercise, and many of these women either didn't "work" (have an "official" job) or were retired. So going to the gym each day was easier for them. 

Inspiring fit ladies

However, one of the most inspirational ladies, ever, whom I taught, was 80. I asked her about her fitness. She replied that she didn't do much anymore. She was going to a ladies only gym everyday except Sunday, for a fitness class. The classes varied from yoga, to pilates, to bootcamp, to keep fit. She had a thirty minute walk on the treadmill  beforehand. Not much!!! My goodness, it was heaps. She looked amazing, and could do more difficult poses than many of the others in the class. Her diet was just as "regulated" and automatic. Prior to all this, she had run everyday, for years, and done callisthenics. Whenever I feel lazy, which can be often, I think of this woman. She honestly had kept her figure after childbirth decades prior, and maintained it.

One of my friends had kids, a job, a home, her own garden, so had very little free time. She is a gardener by trade, so is very strong & fit. Each evening she was doing elbow planks and side elbow planks for her abdominals plus some yoga salute to the sun.  Yes, I know. Massive guilt reading this.

I met an older woman who was trying a fitted jeans in the most trendy of jeans shops. She got one skin tight pair to wear around her husband (very cute idea!) and another, less tight one, for the weekend. She walked every single morning for about forty minutes. And had for years.

I had always only ever done yoga, ever since my mid twenties. It wasn't the full-on stretch and hold for a long time, type. Nor was it strenuous. It had always been adequate until my mid forties. I didn't need to do much walking or anything else. But the time had come where I knew that I needed something extra for body tone. Joanne came to stay. She had a totally killer body. Of course, I wanted to know how she got it: ten minutes, first thing every morning, using cans of baked beans, or even no weights, body tone exercise. Each exercise was done twenty, so to fit it all into ten minutes, she would have been moving fast. Totally the opposite to yoga. I had to work this out in my head, I was so unused to anything like this. Plies with toes turned out and squats, for legs and buttocks. There was a side leg lift for outer thighs but this is not an area that I need to worry about so I skipped that. Crunches combining bust exercise: have your arms by the sides of your chest & as you crunch up you bring your arms up and cross them at the wrist, above the chest. Triceps kickbacks & pushups. I mean, really, how hard is all that? I can tell you that it really works. I only ever did each exercise ten times, and probably slower than Joanne.

Then there is a woman whom I taught in a gym, for years. She came once a week for an hour yoga class. It was her easy workout each week. Every other day, first thing, she would walk, run, swim, lift weights. She varied it, and had a routine with her husband whereby one would be getting kids ready for school whilst the other exercised, then they would swop over so that the other could then do their fitness routine.

Look at what suits you

So, reading all this, I do know that it can seem quite daunting. But I really just wanted to give some inspiring examples. It can take trial and error to find out what suits you and your life. So, today, let's all think about ways to add a bit of exercise each day. And do it. If it's not right for you, do something else tomorrow. But try to get some in everyday day:

  • even just a short walk. Or a couple of ten minute walks, at a pinch
  • try some pushups against a bench, or wall
  • do some plies when you have 30 seconds
  • some crunches before bed
  • if we make things easy, then we can do it
                                     Image result for ladies bench push ups

I shall add these suggestions: 

  • two x ten minute walks
  • pushups
  • plies & crunches
  • all twenty times each, daily
  •  I already do ten minutes of easy yoga sun salutes most mornings. Some sun salutes are hard. I've learnt that for myself, if it's hard, it becomes too much and I stop doing them. And I'd rather just do them than make it too daunting.

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