Let’s get physical
We’re not talking bedroom athletics. If you’ve lost your fitness mojo or struggling to get started, check out MyFitZone.
It’s dark, it’s cold and the last you want to be doing is slipping into wafer thin Lyca to haul your bottom outside to exercise.
Half the battle is getting started (largely speaking to myself as I dunk one more biccie into my coffee), but once we’ve got our arse in gear, it feels good, right? With so much going on at this time of year – mountains of work, social events, school Crimbo concerts and fayres, Xmas siopping… and we haven’t even mentioned all the regular household stuff.
It can be overwhelming, stressful and exhausting. So it is even more important to make ‘me time’. Yes in my head it involves a spa day, a bottle of wine and a peaceful 14-hour kip, but realistically – unless you have the time and cash of Tamara Ecclestone – an hour is a bit more manageable and affordable. Go for a run, join a fitness class or treat yourself to a PT session. Bin the idea of diet and exercise, this is about eating and training – making it more sustainable and realistic, ‘cos we’ve all got to eat and I reckon we could throw in a bit of training too.
Wellbeing and mental health are hot subjects right now. Studies have shown that physical activity reduces the risk of depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s. It can also enhance psychological wellbeing, by improving self-perception, self-esteem, mood and sleep quality, by reducing levels of anxiety and fatigue. Basically you’ll feel happier, healthier and more productive – an you’ll be nicer to live with too. It’s a no brainer really.
I used to run a lot, but a young family, work and life got in the way. The pounds have been piling on and every day I tell myself I need to schedule in some time for me (and it never happens).
Anna Cousins of MyFitZone is an incredible fitness instructor – her website is epic, lots of videos for you to do at home, healthy recipes, interesting blogs – and she offers different classes so you can pick and mix to stop you from getting bored. Anna created MyFitZone to counteract people’s obsession with body perfection and getting ripped and lean and all the clean eating that came with it.
“What’s wrong with just getting fit and healthy without the sacrifice of giving up the things that you love.” Anna explains. “I want to give people some structure to their workouts and provide workout programmes to follow each week with full videos and downloadable plans with easy to follow guides so you don’t have to worry about what you are planning on doing because I plan it for you.”
“I’m a qualified Personal Trainer, gained qualifications in nutrition and weight management and became a specialist instructor in functional training, suspension training, kettle bells, core strength, Boxercise, circuits, kids fitness and much more!”
I popped along Stretch & Tone (a good place to start, according to Anna). It was held on A Monday night at Oakbank School in Shinfield. In my head there was going to be a lot of lying around staring at the ceiling. Er wrong.
It was challenging – a lot of muscles were given a rude awakening. Oh hello tummy muscles! When fit types talk about holding your ‘core’ it’s like an adventure into the unknown. I’m not bothered about a six pack but it’s great to reacquaint myself with the parts of my body I thought were shot to pieces after child birth (er, tummy, pelvic floor, sanity).
The emphasis on stretching and toning your legs, bum and tum make a huge difference to posture – instant shape enhancer, right there. I didn’t realise the power of a good stretch, although by balance has a lot to be desired.. It felt really good. It was hard, but not impossible. The group in this class were fun, supportive and although some were better than others (Ok they were all better than me) it was inclusive and a magic hour just for me, doing something that benefits me – mentally and physically.
I won’t bore you with the grunts, wobbles and slight cheats that the Muddy body performed over that next 60 minutes I will tell you though that if you want to improve your health and fitness you’ll be doing your body a favour going to see Anna. You can pay monthly for and attend 12 classes or book a block of 6 for a specific class which I like, and her vibe is very positive, knowledgable and a teeny bit bossy in the way you want your fitness instructors to be – you’ll have a work out whether you like it or not!
The beauty of MyFitZone is that you commit to a class like Stretch & Tone to get your started, or add in a boxing style fat blasting workout, kettle bells, Peach Band workouts and much more – so you never get bored. You can workout online, or one-on-one PT sessions. It’s a realistic approach for real people. There are lots of classes to choose from and Anna refreshes the content on her site regularly, and check out her Instagram is totally inspirational (not alienating like so many accounts). The woman does not stop. I’m hoping if I put a pic of Anna on my fridge it’ll stop me from hitting the chocolate biscuits hard.
Anna’s top tips to find your fitness mojo:
1/ Overcome fear. Any new adventure or activity involves some risk and uncertainty — but don’t give up because of feeling embarrassed or being less than an expert
2/ Make it Fun. Focus on the enjoyment that can come from trying new things.
3/ Set realistic goals that are achievable.
4/ Experience the benefits. Trying new things leads to increased confidence and self-esteem
5/ Don’t overdo it.
6/ Never give up! If you are working out but not seeing results, simply back off for a few days and reduce your intensity.