LIFESTYLE | New Years resolution to get fit on a budget? - Lilla Loves

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

LIFESTYLE | New Years resolution to get fit on a budget?

As some of you might be aware I have been on a weight loss mission since April. So far i have lost 25lbs, which i'm happy with but I suffered from a long plateau that put me in a rut.

To help me get out of it I turned to exercise. A lot of people will be thinking that this is nothing new, no big secret, but for me exercising was a big issue. I hated it, even when I'd get into exercising it would last a few weeks (if i was particularly enthusiastic) and then I would get bored or give up.

My first problem is that I would expect too much of myself and set myself unrealistic targets. The second is that I would get bored quite easily. My fitness levels were low and I had no stamina. My final problem was that without a gym membership and a low budget I felt that it would be impossible to get anywhere.

Luckily I have access to a gym at work, but again grew tired of my routine very quickly. That was until a lady at my Weight Watchers meeting mentioned the NHS podcast Couch to 5k. I downloaded it with great intentions and completed week one, but this is no magical fix it still requires will power. After getting 'distracted' and being 'too busy' for a while I re-started just before Christmas and must say this podcast is a god send.

God send? I hear you cry, yes a god send! Here are the reasons why:

  1. The podcast is free to download so there is really no excuse.
  2. They start you off with realistic aims that actually help increase your stamina and ability. e.g Week one is 5 minute brisk walk to start followed by 60s running 90s walking for 20 minutes. - If i'm honest this was the most trying week for me.
  3. You repeat each section 3 times for the first 4 weeks, after that you get 3 new instructions a week, thus meaning you don't get bored (very important for me).
  4. Although the music is a bit crap, all the lyrics are inspiring and the lady who is talking you through the work out is really encouraging and gives you great tips to help you along to avoid injury and help you improve technique.
I'm currently mid way through week 4, which is a 5 minute brisk walk, 3 minute jog, 90 sec recovery, 5 minute jog, 2.5 min recovery followed by 3 minute jog, 90 sec recovery, 5 minute jog and finally a 5 minute recovery walk. When I heard I was going to be running for 5 mins non-stop two things came to mind. 

1. How on earth am I going to last 5 minutes once, let along twice? 
2. 5 minutes of running is going to be soooo long and boring. 

I persevered and got through my first 5 minute jog without to much problem but the second repetition came and half way through I actually thought I was going to pass-out, but then instruction lady told me I didn't have long to go and that this would help increase my fitness. I successfully completed it and felt fantastic!

I have since done the second round of week 4 and although it was still challenging I instantly saw an improvement in my stamina. To be honest i'm actually ecstatic at the improvement and can't wait to run again!

While Couch to 5K has been amazing for me and I would (and have) recommend it to everyone, i think it is really important for you to find what helps you, but definitely try it.

The main points in a successful workout routine for people starting out are as follows:
  • Set yourself achievable goals - there is no point aiming to go on a 5k run if you have never done it before. Chances are you aren't going to do it, you'll wear yourself out or injure yourself, won't complete it and give up
  • Vary your work out, if you get bored you aren't going to be inclined to keep it up.
  • Be persistent. Don't get me wrong I still find myself trying to come up with an excuse not to work out, even halfway through sometimes I am thinking that I should stop, but that satisfaction i get from continuing and completing the workout is amazing, then the following run when i find it easier it really pushes me to continue.


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