In collaboration with THIS GIRL CAN, we spoke to some of our favourite bloggers about their fears and motivations on fitness. From novice gym goers to marathon runners, each one of them has a story to tell about their journey to getting active.
Do you ever consider starting a new activity or exercise routine?
Every single week. There's always a new exercise class being talked about at work or some new celebrity fitness craze. Ravercise, Clubercise, Yogalaties, Britney dance classes (yes, Britney dance classes - I can do that in my bedroom with my Best Of.. album!) that I like the sound of.
"There's always a new exercise class being talked about at work or some new celebrity fitness craze."
Tell all your friends >
Is there anything about that idea that makes you feel worried or concerned?
Not worried or concerned (as I would quite obviously own the Britney dance class). Sometimes it's more due to time constraints. One of the last things I want to do when I've finished work after a long day is head straight to a class, when all I want to do is greet the sofa with my badunkadunk. But needs must.
What would you say to other girls/women who might want to get involved in exercise but don't because they're worried about being judged for how they look or not being good or fit enough?
Being plus size it can be daunting to embark on a new exercise routine (yes, plus size people exercise too!). The funny thing is that it isn't the exercise itself that's daunting, the idea of getting sweaty at the village hall for a Zumba class or pumping some iron at the local gym doesn't bother me in the slightest, after all, isn't that the aim of exercise? To sweat, get out of breath and eventually look like Beyonce?
I spent my first gym visit convinced that everyone was staring at me and hated the whole experience. The moment I realised the above I began to enjoy the gym and didn't dread that text to say "fancy a trip to the gym *insert bicep emoji*". No one is expecting you to have rock hard abs or be able to run the equivalent of a marathon on the treadmill or lift the weight of an elephant. Even if you find you can only do 10 minutes of an exercise class before you feel the burn and want to pass out or can only do a minute running on the treadmill, so what? Maybe the next time you can do 15 minutes of the class or two minutes of running of the treadmill.
Don't push yourself and don't feel embarassed. Chances are there's more people than you think at the gym or in that class with you feeling exactly the same way as you do.
In the run up to my wedding in May, I tried to workout at least three to four times a week to combat stress and also keep in shape for the big day. I like to mix it up each week and often plan my exercise to work around my busy work/life/blog schedule, which means that on any given week I can be doing a combination of pilates, boxercise, body pump, yoga, spinning, metafit, circuits and running.
How did your love of boxercise start? What do you love about boxing
When I was younger, about 12 years old, I went with my little brother to a boxing class at our local gym in Warrington. I wanted to try it but was told that I couldn’t as I’d not stopped developing yet. So I took my AA chest and put my dreams of a Million Dollar Baby-esq boxing career behind me.
17 years later, I moved down to London and joined a local gym. I saw boxercise on the timetable and booked myself into a class. I was hooked! Excuse the pun. Boxercise is a combination of boxing, circuits and abs. It’s perfect for relieving stress after a particularly hard day and, if you get a good instructor like I’ve got, you’ll laugh your head off too!
"I saw boxercise on the timetable and booked myself into a class. I was hooked! Excuse the pun."
How do you feel when you box?
I feel strong and powerful when I put on a pair of boxing gloves. I feel supported by my sparring partner as they count the number of punches I throw and hear words of encouragement. Everyone has a shared goal: hit it hard and feel great.
What would you say to other girls/women who might want to get involved in boxercise or try different exercise classes, but don’t because they’re worried about being judged for how they look or not being good or fit enough?
If you don’t challenge yourself to try something new. If you don’t scare yourself, just a little bit, I guess you’re not really living. I’d say, give it a go. If you don’t like it, no one is going to force you to go back again. But if you do love it, you might just see a side of yourself that makes you feel incredible: proud, strong and capable of anything that life throws at you. Make time for you. It’s important.