10 Ways To Get Your Fitness Mojo Back
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For the last year and a half since I got married, I've ignored fitness and exercise.
Going through major depression of being away from my folks after getting married and moving away, learning that I have Polycystic Ovaries (which makes conception harder) and losing my father-in-law last year have put me on a downward spiral. I pretty much shunned my old life of fitness and health, which has had a major impact on my physical, mental and emotional health.
I'm finally beginning to see the light and start back on the fitness wagon, but trying to exercise as a Modest Plus Sized woman has been very hard, but here are 10 ways to get your Fitness Mojo back after a break.
1) Find a friendly gym
I know, shock horror, a gym! I joined a women's only gym at first but never really went due to being too distance and always found excuses not to go. I will say that Gymophobics is a fantastic gym with female-only staff, friendly environment and a unique circuit training programme that makes exercising so easy. If it hadn't been for the distance, I probably would still be there.
2) Trial a gym before you commit to membership
Most gyms require you to sign up for a year's membership before they let you use the facilities, but I know that there are so many apps and websites that can find the nearest gym in your area, and you can just pay-as-you-go to use the facilities. If you're short on cash this is a great way to try them out at different times, and see how you feel.
3) Find a class you love
During this year and a half of experimentation, I found I need to be in a class to have any sort of motivation. I decided to take the plunge and try Zumba yesterday, and I love it!
I was so nervous that everyone would be fitter, thinner and not be nice but our trainer was insanely positive, and we all held hands at the end to sing one of the members happy birthday. Once you hold sweaty hands with someone, you can't look back!
4) Buy some cute and modest gym gear
It's so easy to revert to the baggy t-shirt and sweatpants version of fitness when you're on the larger side. NO! You owe it to yourself to look cute when exercising because it motivates you to do more. Why do you think the fitness clothing industry is so huge?
If you're exercising in a mixed environment and wear the Hijab, then don't let that put you off. You might get the odd stare, but trust me, no-one is looking at you. I exercised in a mixed Badminton class with my husband last year in Hijab, and everyone was nothing but kind and friendly. The only reason they stared at us was because we're hopeless at Badminton!
You can get smaller Al-Amira hijabs that are perfect for exercise and won't bunch up when you're running around. I tried the Sports Hijab, but they just weren't for me, I felt like I was suffocating. Not a good look!
5) Find a friend to exercise with
Yes, I know it's a cliche, but you are far more likely to exercise when you have a friend you know you can't disappoint. Makes you more accountable. Who's my friend? Why all of you!
6) Hire a Court
Whether it's for basketball, tennis, badminton, squash etc. if you're not down for group exercise with a bunch of strangers, then rope your family and friends into some exercise by hiring a court and letting off some steam. Surprisingly, you don't always have to be a member, so check out your local area and see what's on offer. You might be surprised!
7) Utilise the Internet
If you can't afford even casual gym fees, and are pressed for time, then there are a TON of free workout videos on YouTube and the internet. Check out Fitness Blender, Blogilates and various others who have full length videos on any type of exercise, and best of all, they're free! I even found some short Zumba videos set to Bollywood Dance which I made into a playlist to rock out to when I'm not in class.
8) Exercise in 7 Minutes
There is an app called the 7 minute workout which is amazing. My husband uses it every day and we've noticed that he is looking more toned since using it alhamdulillah (praise be to god). It's available for Android and Apple, and it's free. You have to pay to unlock the specific exercises or do them 7 days in a row, but have a look around for apps to help you exercise on the move.
9) Get a FitBit
My life has been transformed since I got a Fitbit Charge (UK/USA)* in January. We're supposed to walk 10,000 steps a day which is about 2 hours consistently. Some days are easier than others, but you can set it to a lower goal to start off with like 5,000 steps and as soon as you're consistently hitting it, step up the goal till you get to 10,000. I'm at 7,000 right now, but it's a constant struggle to get myself moving and using it, but when I reach my goal and the Fitbit buzzes on my arm, I feel awesome!
10) Listen to a Podcast
I love listening to Podcasts when I'm walking. In the olden days (only about 5 years ago, but man I feel old saying this!), I used to walk to work or anywhere really with my iPod loaded up with my favourite Podcasts. I loved Radiolab and Stuff Mom Never Told You, and I became addicted to Serial. Great way to get a walk in and not even notice the steps!