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Saturday, 28 January 2017

FITNESS | My fitness progress in January

I am aware that this is the third fitness related post in a row, but I just wanted to check in and write a quick blog post about how I've been getting on with the fitness side of things in the past month.

In my '10 achievable resolutions post for 2017' last year, I mentioned that in past years I tended to set more general goals such as 'be more healthy' and that for 2017, I'd chosen specific ones like how I wanted to take up a new fitness class and go swimming more.

However, as well as those specific goals, I personally decided to continue with the goal of being more healthy and trying to be more fit. This is a goal I've tried to work on a little for the past year or so too as I believed I was happy with my body, but felt I wasn't healthy: I didn't do a lot of exercise, I ate a lot of junk food etc.

I slowly made progress with little steps - eating more healthy and homemade meals etc - which is good in itself, but I have to admit, I got to a point where I was becoming really self conscious about my weight. Although I wouldn't say I was massively overweight, I realized I wasn't thin or healthy either.

I didn't make a conscious decision to change this though, as I felt I was taking the right approach. I don't believe in dieting and I knew that by aiming to be more fit and healthy and by taking on some more healthy lifestyle choices, in the long run it would benefit me.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Fitness | Fitness in January | New Year's Resolutions

Anyway, in January, I decided to get a bit more serious (or fun) about it and mix it up it a bit. Rather than just consciously choosing to eat a healthy meal sometimes and working out when I felt like it (like I had done in previous years), this year/for 2017 I decided to genuinely begin to eat more healthy and try new exercise classes.

Although I decided I wasn't going to be hard on myself, I made a plan to mix it up so I do at least one exercise class each week (and a different one each week, if possible) as long as money allowed, try and walk more (even if it means pacing around my living room to hit my step goal most days of the week) and, again, generally eat more healthy. 

This month, I feel I've done particularly well.

The healthy eating part has been super easy what with taking on Veganuary of course. I've been eating a lot more vegetables and, er, lots of potatoes, which doesn't seem like a big difference but has really evened out my meals. I've gone from eating barely any vegetables at all to having them with nearly every meal for a start.

As for the fitness side of things, I've also been pleased with my progress. I've taken on a new fitness class each week, and here is a general look at what I've been up to:

WEEK ONE
My sister and I saw in the New Year (sort of - we'd planned the walk for January 1st but had to reschedule when it p*ssed down with rain!) with a long walk up Dunstable Downs. It was a beautiful fresh and frosty day - we took the dogs (and my neice of course), had a long gossip and treated ourselves to a delicious hot chocolate with soya milk (for me) and coffee (for her) afterwards at the cafe overlooking the scenery. We also flew a kite! This week, I also finally tried Pound Fitness. I absolutely loved this, but typically it's the one class I've been unable to find the time to return to so far!

WEEK TWO
This week I stuck to the one fitness class (which was my original plan all along, but I actually accidentally spent some of the month doing two fitness classes per week instead of one!) as I was headed to Centreparcs that weekend and knew (well hoped) we would do a lot of walking there. This week, I chose Pole Fitness, which is conveniently pretty much across the road from me. I've actually done pole classes before and took three or four lessons last year which was fun, but this one nearby made much more sense to me, as I won't be wasting petrol money to get there and can't cancel due to traffic or anything like that. It was really fun - the class was small and intimate so we got a lot of one-on-one time, but my god the bruises I developed afterwards were worrying!

At Centreparcs, we didn't do any specific walking (I'd envisioned long, relaxing walks through the woods when instead we spent a lot of time partying), but did do a lot of walking since the pool was about a fifteen minute walk away. We didn't do a lot of swimming either, but with lots of time spent on the rapids and waterslides (then me almost falling asleep hungover going round and round the lazy river on the last day), I'm still counting it as a win.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Fitness | Fitness in January | New Year's Resolutions

WEEK THREE
Last week, I met my sister for a Zumba class with Fitness Milton Keynes, as I had some vouchers from the MK Blogger Network Christmas Party. This was super fun and the lady who ran it was so friendly and energetic - I can't believe it's taken me this long to try a Zumba class either! I'm in two minds about taking this class again though. I absolutely loved it, but being in Newport Pagnell, it's a little out of my way, especially as I've just joined my local gym which also runs Zumba classes. My sister really enjoyed it too though, so I think I'll probably look into attending the class maybe once a month when my sister does. 

I also did another Pole Fitness class and have pretty much given in to the fact that I'll likely be continuing this on a weekly basis too, as I enjoyed it so much! I feel like I'm really learning and acing some of the moves this time around.

WEEK FOUR
Finally, this week, I took another Pole Fitness class. I had hoped to take up another class this week with my local gym, but just haven't had the time. Instead, I've tried to make it up by trying to hit my 10,000 step count more this week (so far, I've nailed it on three days, which is impressive as a couple of those days saw me working from home and not even leaving the house), and working out at home (I started the 30 Day Squat Challenge, god help me!).

So, although I'm not pushing myself to work out every single day, I feel like for the month of January, I have made some really good progress so far. I feel like I've incorporated enough fitness changes in my life so that they can be realistic lifestyle changes in the long run - I feel that there's a good chance I can stick to doing at least one exercise class per week and trying to hit my step count as much as I can.

Keeping this long term and seeing this progress as a lifestyle change rather than a new year fitness regime which sees me pushing too hard and running out of motivation far too soon has really helped me stay on top of keeping fit this month and I really hope it continues.

I also believe joining the gym may help. I didn't plan to join a gym, but my local gym has a deal on where it is cheaper at the moment up until March, so I figured it would be a good time to try it out. It's a gym I hadn't been to until now and it's really nice with a little coffee shop area. The classes are more varied (although they do book up quickly), and membership includes entry to the swimming pool too which is nice as I want to start swimming more this year too.

I may not keep my membership after March - this is something I'm going to see about - but in the meantime, I'm really enjoying taking part in the classes on offer. Next week, I am already booked into yoga (straight after Pole Fitness!) and Zumba. I'll be booking another Pound Fitness class next week too.

So overall I feel like it's been a realistic success in January, and I really hope I can keep it up!

How are you getting on with your fitness goals, if you have any? Let me know with a comment!

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