Some of us maintain a fitness regime because it is inherent in our mindsets. Others take it on with a view to improving their body shape, while others still have a certain goal in mind, such as in preparing for a sporting event like a charity walk, or a marathon, or an upcoming sailing trip. The journey from zero fitness to peak condition can be a hard one, and your success depends on the attitude you adopt beforehand.
Personally, I fell into a category that was somewhere in between all three. I had dabbled over the years with semi pathetic attempts at regular exercise, but after the birth of my third child, the rolling layers around my midriff caused me to shirk in horror at the prospects of our forthcoming beach holiday. Enter a request from a friend to enter a charity walk/run to raise money for a charity close to her heart.
Not wanting to dive straight into a training programme, we decided to join a gym with a view to getting some professional help. With a targeted search online we came across a website that promised to take us by the hand and prepare us for the marathon walk, all ten kilometres of it!
The fitness trainer was fantastic. After checking our personal medical histories, he set us on an easy programme that would kick start us into a positive frame of mind. He promised that this was not boot camp and that the best way forward was to gently ease into a specific programme of mixed aerobic and weight bearing exercises, preceded by an all important warming up session, and following lots of stretching, we would end the session with a cool down. Every few days we upped the intensity of the programme, by walking a little bit faster and increasing the incline of a treadmill or the resistance of any of the other machines we were using. Because the increase was so small, with each tweak, we did not even notice, and by the end of the third week, we were achieving ten times more than we had been able to do on that first day.
Fitness is one of the single most important things you can do for yourself if you want to maintain a healthy life. With this in mind, we all set about changing our eating habits and began to replace doughnuts with bananas and flapjacks, and the cups of cappuccino became cups of herbal tea.
Setting out with the intention of walking the ten kilometres we actually ended up running it, not fast, but running it all the same. Such was the sense of achievement and satisfaction that we all agreed to become full members of the gym and keep up the hard work. All of us have progressed in different areas of the gym; some of us prefer the range of classes that are available, others prefer to concentrate on the weights. But the one thing we do have in common is the desire to maintain our new found fitness, and of course our newly toned bodies. It was certainly worth all the hard work.