How to get into shape, if you are as lazy as me and quite like the sofa? Before I tell you how to get in shape if you, like me, grew up a bit “allergic” to exercise, I should tell you a bit about me.
The teens were less about getting in shape than worrying about my puberty induced shape. I had liked running very fast (keeping up with the boys at that stage) at Primary school, then I spent my teens not taking PE (gym class) seriously. I became fixated with the size of my tummy (a girl had to take a break from reading Just Seventeen magazine) I then moved on to pondering how quickly you could bring up a Mars bar you had eaten before the calories counted.
Joining gyms to get into shape
The 20’s; there were brief with liaisons with gym memberships, and the idea of getting in shape. I tried martial arts and Thai Boxing, it was exhausting and great fun, but it didn’t stick. I ran on-and-off; starting with joining a running club whilst studying for an MA. It was a beautiful-one-season-long-fling; we ran through Hyde Park in the height of summer. That got me into great shape. I actually loved the act of running, once my lungs had stopped hurting after every run. It was brilliant, until a knee injury intervened and forced my retirement.
Running into fitness
Then again in my early 30’s, I ran again; there were the odd Nike 10K (the company used to hold this brilliant mass participation event in cities around the world. I always thought it was a terrific way to get people off the sofa, get them fit and sell them kit at the same time).
Then came the big one: the half marathon and running to raise money for cancer research. I ran for 6 months before the race itself. It was more therapy during a tough time, than just training runs. The 6 months of runs got me into such good form that the day after I ran the half marathon, I had no blisters, no bruising, no DOMS or anything that might suggest I’d ever worn trainers in anger and hurtled around the great city of Cardiff with no one chasing me. I dabbled in the odd jog here and there after that; Sunday morning runs were a great escape from my house-share.
Caught exercise and fitness bug by accident
I found the real joy of getting into shape by accident, I was not even trying. I stumbled onto pole dance fitness as a bit of a lark, it was a bit daring…..then I got hooked.
It was a revelation. Going to class week after week (sometimes 3 classes a week) showed me how much you can improve your fitness; get out what you put in, all whilst enjoying yourself. I got so fit that my muscle mass reading (tested on those fancy scales that take segmental muscle/fat/water readings in your torso and limbs) gave me a younger body age than my actual birth years. Whoop whoop.
Helping others to get into shape with Pilates
With my new found love I decided to train to teach pole fitness, I was then made redundant from my day job. No panic (well, not much) I thought that Pilates would be a great match for the other fitness work, so why not teach that too. I had been attending classes on and off since 2002 and it balanced out the interval and cardio workout that I was getting with pole fitness classes. There is was, a marriage made in heaven. I found Stott Pilates (which was the same training as the wonderful teacher that I had been going to for a year or so) It all made sense. I was in great shape and the fittest I had ever been thanks to Pilates and pole fitness; life was transformed.
Learning about muscles for health and fitness
As it turned out, my passion for Pilates grew, the more I taught, the more interested I got in teaching more. I love reading about exercise, delving into knowledge on different types of exercise and how each movement works the muscles and helps to get people into shape.
That’s one of the reasons why I’ve started working on the beginners guide to Pilates exercises; I get to share the knowledge with my clients and subscribers.
Tell that to the 13 year old
So here I am all these years later, with lots of fitness knowledge and teaching under my belt. My 13 year old self would be laughing at all this. I’d have to explain to her how wonderful it is to understand the way that the body moves, to get to help people to feel better about their bodies, be fitter and feel ready to take on and enjoy life’s challenges.
That’s me and my meander from the sofa to the world of exercise and fitness.
How do you get into shape?
Back to the question I asked at the start, how to get into shape? Look for something that you can grow passionate about. It might be in a fitness or dance studio, at the squat rack at the gym, or at the top of a 10 foot chrome pole. It might even be in your own living room working out to videos. Make sure that you enjoy getting out of breath and that each time you start you are faced with tasks (from perfecting your Pilates Roll up form, to smashing your dead lift PB) that stretch and challenge you. Once you find your flow, knowing that this activity gets you in the zone, you will keep going back , which will mean that you keep improving your fitness.
Don’t be afraid to try lots of different things until you find your perfect fit, at that point, without even trying, you find that you will get in shape.