Today’s blog post is about my return journey to fitness. For those of you who read this blog regularly, you may have guessed I am not a true ‘fitness’ blogger: Exercise is really important to me living healthily and helping me deal with stress but completing a marathon and holding a plank for 5 minutes are not goals on my radar right now. However, about 5 months ago I had surgery and ever since I’ve stopped exercising altogether. I don’t want to seem dramatic since it was only a fairly minor procedure, but as you might know- the site of the fistulatomy surgery made things like stretching really difficult at first; which then left me lacking the confidence to keep up my fitness and anxious that I might do myself harm. Like it’s often the case with health issues or if you’re just in a bit of a rut: days turn into weeks which turn into months and we forget how great exercise makes us feel- even if it’s a five minute stroll in the sun. So, I’m determined to get back to my fitness journey with a series of blog posts. If you struggle to exercise due to a health issue, or even lack of confidence like me then I’d love you to read along.
After my trip to the Gadget Show, I was overwhelmed by all the cool apps out there to track your health so I decided to find something to track my exercise. I ended up choosing the IFit classic* I feel lots of gadgets are too focused on number of calories and I really liked that this one was a bit more holistic looking at everything from food choices to sleep broken down by hour (plus it was a very on-trend fully functioning watch too- so I knew I’d wear it daily) .
I started off by tracking my steps on a regular day- I couldn’t believe it when I realised I was clocking up 12,000 steps a day in my day job as a teacher. This explained why I felt exhausted at the end of the day and meant I was lacking energy for quality exercise in the evenings. I’d recommend anyone tracking their steps each day, it’s not just for fitness buffs! You may be surprised at how much you’re doing without realising it!
Although it might seem I was already doing a lot of steps, I decided I need to build in evening exercises via short, relaxing walks- and try to pace myself during the day and take time to sit down (easier said than done as a teacher, but so important for our health). I noticed my work day steps were reducing and then I could add in evening walks. The first thing I challenged my to was doing 15-20 minute walks after dinner with the dogs. I decided to download a TED talk for each walk (you can checkout this blog post on my favourite TED talks) which really helped. I returned from walks energised and feeling like I’d learnt something! TED Talks are the perfect length for a relaxing stroll and super motivating!
I also found this was helping with my sleep. I recently blogged about my missions to improve sleep (with some excellent tips to help you get more quality sleep!) and the tracking feature on the watch meant I could see my sleep hour by hour. I always pride myself on my 8 hours but I started to understand the difference in quality of sleep. This was how many times I was waking up at first!
I’m happy to say I am beginning to sleep better and clocking up my steps consistently throughout the day. Here’s a screenshot showing how my sleep started to improve.
Now I decided to introduce yoga- following videos on youtube that help fatigue and digestion. I lack the attention span to do yoga for long periods but even a short sun salution really helped! I then moved to longer walks and made it my mission to checkout beautiful places in the local area and focus on 30 minute walks.
Walking for 30 minutes and introducing yoga has built my confidence as well as helping my energy levels a lot. I wanted to blog realistically about trying to keep fit with a chronic condition; it’s not easy and I’ve just been diagnosed with low iron which I’m struggling with- so don’t expect the next edition to be full of bootcamps and bodypump! But my surgeon has said I am free to exercise normally and I just received a Slendatone to trial so I am excited to continue my fitness journey and start focusing more closely on the nutrtion aspect of fitness too.
I hope you enjoyed my fitness diary and please send any tips of ways to gently boost fitness my way!