These girls can...
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.
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I've always loved upbeat music and I remember going to the gym with friends to begin with. It was never taken seriously and at the time I didn't know much about calories, or how to use the machines. It was only when I studied health and social at school, that I started to take the gym more seriously and went on my own.
It's a natural antidepressant! It's the best feeling when you get into the zone and have the right song blaring into your ears that makes you push it to the full! Setting your own goals and achieving them is very rewarding.
I had surgery a couple of years back which made my stop exercising for 6 weeks. I panicked loads but because I love exercising, it luckily just made me more eager to get back into it. It was hard to begin with, but the body quickly adjusts back to old routines. Motivation is key!
I've never felt worried about going to the gym, but do get conscious with how sweaty I get! I try and turn that into a positive because it shows that I've worked hard in that session. Everyone in the gym has their own personal goals and I've never experienced ever feeling judged. If you show you are working hard, that is an achievement and you shouldn't think about other people. Get in the zone where it's all about YOU
" Ignore everyone else in the gym because the whole point
in working out is to focus on you and your own goals! "
Getting back into the gym when I had my 6 week break was hard, but I did feel slightly unfit. I would say you need to slowly get back into routine with short bursts, so I would do half an hour workouts to begin with, instead of a full hour. I built it up that way. Any workout is better than no workout!
Ignore everyone else in the gym because the whole point in working out is to focus on you and your own goals! Make a brilliant playlist and be prepared e.g have a water bottle and towel at hand. Have a routine in mind with what order of machines you want to use and go from there. Plus don't make your goals too big to begin with! You need to think realistic. The feeling after a hard workout is indescribable and the more you go, the easier it can get and the more you will enjoy it! If you never try you never know. If you are too worried to go it alone, take a friend and set goals together, double the achievement that way, but don't get distracted!
I've been active since I was young - I did karate for 7 years and always made sure I was in the hockey/netball/football teams growing up, and I think I was the only kid to be happy when cross country was announced, haha! But when I became a teenager that all sort of went out the window and I just pushed myself to run for all the wrong reasons - running became a punishment for me,
not something I enjoyed.
Last September I started a new positive fitness journey and reminded myself why I love to be active, and after 6 months of training I got to a physique I was happy and proud of. Unfortunately I was on medication for the winter months this year which led to weight gain, which really discouraged the gym activity I was doing. However I'm now thankfully in a much better place and on track again, reminding myself of my previous progress and how much I enjoy taking pride in my fitness. I like to push myself and use my competitiveness which I usually hide away from, in a positive way with exercise. of which I usually hide away, in a positive way with exercise. At the moment I'm just a gymmo, so I push myself each week to burn more calories in less time, add an extra rep and attend an extra class, but the challenge does make it fun.
I know you’re active now, but was there a time when you weren’t or when you stopped for any reason. Did you ever feel worried about that? Did you ever feel these worries held you back from starting up again?
I never stopped, but I definitely went off track. I got tired of the same routine earlier this year and began to cut corners, at the same time paying less attention to diet. In my head I was still working as hard as I had been and couldn't understand why I wasn't making any progress, It took a long hard look in the mirror to realise things had to change, and that I needed to feel happy and confident again.
I know a lot of my downfall was my illness putting a downer on everything and letting me believe I wasn't good enough for whatever reasons, but now I'm more positive than ever to keep happy n' healthy! So far I'm 26 days in a row into the gym alongside clean eating and I finally feel like I'm getting my mojo back!
What would you say to other girls/women who might want to get involved in sport but don’t because they’re worried about being judged for how they look or not being good or fit enough?
It's cliché but everybody has to start somewhere. It took me a lot to convince my friend, who hadn't ever stepped foot in the gym, nor had done exercise since highschool, to join me. On her first day she told me 'it wasn't as bad as I thought' and now she texts me saying she's actually looking forward to working out later! She stood in front of me today tensing proudly at her progress in such a short amount of time. Each time she goes, the more confident she becomes, and this is somebody who believed gym to be hell.
Do you ever consider starting a new activity or exercise routine?
All the time, and that's why I'm enjoying fitness so much right now! I've mixed up my HIIT sessions and for the first time attended a kettlebell class today, as well as core and full body conditioning classes earlier this week. With fitness I think you do have to mix it up to stay interested. You may love the crosstrainer and find it works for you, but see it this way - you may also have a favourite dress which you love and if you wore that dress everyday, you would become bored of it. I will always be useless at yoga though...