There is a lot of information out there about exercise – a little too much in my opinion.
I don’t know about you, but I find it pretty hard sifting through the masses of articles online talking about what the ‘right’ exercise routine is. So I stick to the three S’s.
Sweat. Strengthen. Stretch.
Like most things, when it comes to fitness, I think it should be all about balance. To me that means sweating (cardio), strengthening (weight/resistance work) and stretching (flexibility).
I’m no expert, but this is what works for me. Here’s what I do and some ideas for you to create a balanced exercise routine:
To get my sweat on, I go to the gym and take advantage of the cardio machines. At the moment I tend to stick to the crosstrainer, bike and rowing machine. I know there are lots of other machines I could use, but this is the routine I like at the moment, I’m sure I’ll get bored and switch it up soon!
I go to the gym a couple of times a week in the morning before work. I find it sets me up for the day and I found I was losing all motivation to go once the working day is over, so the morning is the best time for me to ensure I actually go!
Get your sweat on: If you’re not a gym fan, there are loads of ways you can get a little cardio in your life. You could go out for a run (if you do, you’re a better person than me!), you could join a sports team, or you could even start with some brisk walks.
For me, this involves work with resistance bands and free weights. I have a short routine on my wall planner I follow and for now, this suits me well. There are some great videos on Pop Sugar Fitness too which I like to use every now and then to mix things up a bit.
Again, this is a before work thing for me. I do this a couple of times a week, it doesn’t take long and can be done in the comfort of my bedroom.
Work on them guns: Resistance bands are cheap as chips so I would recommend getting these and browsing Pinterest for some handy routines. You could also get on the weights at the gym, try bodyweight exercises or a weight lifting exercise class.
As you’ll no doubt already know if you read my post about yoga being my go-to, yoga is a huge part of my exercise routine. It stretches me out, calms me down and improves my strength at the same time. No-brainer really.
Yoga is my after-work routine. I mix up the types of yoga depending on my mood and what my body needs. A chill online yoga class followed by a shower is perfect for switching between work and rest.
Stretch it out: If you don’t fancy yoga, try to incorporate some stretching exercises into your routine. You could also try Pilates or a body balance class at the gym.
I try to keep my scheduled exercise to the working week so I have a little freedom at the weekend. This just means I don’t feel pressured to work out at the weekend so I usually have rest days or head out for a nice walk, weather permitting.
On a good week, this is what my workout routine looks like:
Monday AM: Resistance | PM: Yoga
Tuesday AM: Gym | PM: Yoga
Wednesday AM: Resistance | PM: Yoga
Thursday AM: Gym | PM: Rest (/see Dan!)
Friday AM: Rest | PM: Yoga
I’ll admit, there are more weeks that don’t look like this than there are weeks that look like this… but as long as I get some sort of sweat, strengthen and stretch action in there, I’m happy.
It’s all about setting realistic goals and not beating yourself up if you go ‘off-plan’ (sometimes life just gets in the way). If you aim to keep some balance and are flexible in your approach, you’ll be just fine.