A healthy lifestyle not only means eating healthy but also means exercise! It’s important to exercise and get your body moving! Exercise was the first thing that I started with when starting a healthier lifestyle. It can be very daunting to start exercising as it seems like you will never be able to exercise for even a minute without being short of breath.
I was very active during my school years and then throughout my twenties did not exercise at all, I was too busy having a good time socialising, drinking and eating. It wasn’t until 12-18 months after having my first child (in my thirties) when I realised I was the unhealthiest I had ever been that I decided to take the challenge to start exercising again. I decided that I wouldn’t be able to do it on my own and I knew that I hated gyms so started with an outdoor group personal training program called Step into Life. I found that by going to group sessions and being outdoors rather than stuck inside a gym was more motivating and enjoyable. I’m still with Step into Life now and love my trainer and the people that I train with as we all encourage each other making it a very positive environment to exercise in.
I remember vividly my first session and remembered really struggling through it and it wasn’t even a high intensity cardio session and was a lower intensity weights session. It’s in my nature to be very determined and I wanted to shift some weight that I had put on not just through having a child but throughout my twenties, so I stuck to it. I have to admit that my motivation to start exercising was to lose weight but I found over time that I started to really enjoy the sessions, how much I was improving with my fitness and the way the exercise made me feel afterwards that it wasn’t solely about losing weight anymore and it was about being the healthiest version of myself.
So it’s been about three and a half years since I started exercising with a break in between to have my second child as I physically couldn’t exercise and I am stoked that last weekend I completed my second half marathon!
Yes I do love running but before having my children I could not even run up the street. My message is not that you have to run but to just get your body moving in whatever type of exercise you choose to do. I also really believe that when you make the time to exercise, which can be a challenge in itself for us time poor mums go at it 110%, put in the effort, you are only there for a certain period of time, make it count!
As we all know there are many health benefits if you are regularly physically active including:
- Reduce your risk of a heart attack
- Manage your weight better
- Have a lower blood cholesterol level
- Lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and some cancers
- Have a lower blood pressure
- Have stronger bones, muscles and joints and lower the risk of osteoporosis
- Lower your risk of falls
- Recover better from period of hospitalisation or bed rest
- Feel better with more energy, a better mood, feel more relaxed and sleep better.
Exercise is important for a healthy lifestyle but I strongly believe 80% of being healthy is what you fuel your body with. The reason I believe in this is that my weight loss was much faster when I introduced a healthy diet to my exercise regime. You can exercise as much as you like but if you are fuelling your body with unhealthy foods you will never see any improvements. Exercise and a healthy diet go hand in hand and a healthy diet doesn’t have to be a diet it’s a lifestyle change that is very achievable and sustainable.
So go on if you are not already active, give it a go, exercise is no longer a chore for me and is something that I really enjoy! It will not only make you healthier but also happier!