A couple of months ago, I realised recently that I haven’t done any exercise for ages, not since my eldest was born before I got pregnant with the second. Now that I’ve got one of them at nursery most of the time and the other doing a day here and there, my time is getting freed up a bit more, so I’m managing to fit in a bit more freelance work, so I thought I should probably take advantage of the spare time a bit more and squeeze in some exercise.
I joined a gym when I was a teenager, paid the 6 month fee up front, did the induction and never went again, so I knew straight away that wasn’t going to be an option for me. I would never get my money’s worth or be bothered to go. I was thinking about starting running, but I’m not one for getting too out of breath.
So I decided to have a look at what classes are running in my local area and was surprised to find there’s actually loads to do. I skipped straight past all the hard ones like spin classes and boot camp after hearing of the torture some of my friends have been through when attempting them and singled it down to a few different classes to try: Zumba, Pilates and aquarobics. I decided to do one class each week and see what I liked best, then make a commitment to sticking with one.
The first class I tried was aquarobics, and it took me all of ten minutes to realise that this was going to be a disaster. While I don’t mind swimming, there was quite a bit of splashing going on and my hair and face kept getting wet, which I really don’t like. I finished up the class, then packed my swimming costume away only to see the light of day when we finally get a holiday somewhere hot booked.
I went for Zumba next and actually quite enjoyed that. It was pretty fast moving and I had some difficulties in keeping up despite half the class being the same as me or older. I enjoyed getting moving to the music a bit, although my muscles ached like crazy the next day and I bet I looked like a tomato when I came out!
And finally I found Pilates was the one for me. I turned up to a morning class that was run by a lovely lady who welcomed me in straight away, asking if I was a beginner (yes!), and got me set up with a mat and set of weights. There were only 9 of us altogether in the class, and there was quiet music playing throughout. It was relaxing and yet we did plenty of hard work too. I felt like all my muscles had been stretched and strengthened, but wasn’t uncomfortable at all. So I’ve been going back every week to the same morning class, and I can already feel myself getting stronger and more flexible, as well as making friends with the other ladies who go.
Images courtesy of U.S. Army, Scott Ableman and Bro. Jeffrey Pioquinto.