This Girl Can! It’s a great slogan because anything that encourages people to exercise makes me smile.
From an early age I always found it difficult to ‘get into’ fitness. I suffer from asthma and an overriding case of LAZE. Now I’m older I find laziness is a mental disability I’m able to get over. It’s both great and annoying.
These days I’m on my own journey of fitness and love-love-love that this campaign is encouraging girls to forget the embarrassment that usually comes with sweating. The big message is; so WHAT if you can’t run a mile? So WHAT if you get out of breath from doing 5 sets of 1.5lb weights? Because, do you know WHAT? You’re there, you’re trying, you’re working hard and you’re taking care of yourself.
The rumours about working out helping maintain a healthy body and mind are true. Seriously. The buzz from a good work out far out-weighs the anxiety of actually starting to move.
So, in light of the positive message of This Girl Can I wanted to share my favourite exercises that are easy, cheap and fun!
I’m starting with running because people think running isn’t fun so let’s get over this hurdle right now. Running is great fun if you do it right and make it your own (think Phoebe from Friends). If you’re new to running like I was a whole year ago the best place to start is the C25K plan (that’s couch to 5k). You might have heard of it. It’s great – life changing, even. It’s not hard and you’ll find – no matter your fitness level – that you progress each week.
My helpful hints; create a playlist. Plan a route that suits your running aims (flats, hills, off-road) and build up. TRY running in the rain (this is more fun that you’d think).
“Saying you’re too inflexible for yoga is like saying you’re too dirty to take a bath”
This is the phrase I hear a lot from yogis. I can’t help but agree. Yoga will transform your life; even if you find it hard at first the moment you touch your toes after weeks of not being able to will make it all worthwhile. I guarantee you’ll find a new lease of childhood playfulness when you start yoga because you’ll find yourself seeing poses and wanting to try them out. If you’re a little worried about trying a public class I can divert your attention to my online yoga teacher and inspiration: Yoga with Adriene – her Foundations of Yoga videos are brilliant and she also has a 30 day yoga challenge which will challenge as well as inspire you.
I love skipping. I am not a gym goer and I like things that get my energy up, challenges new muscles but also keeps me from having to trek somewhere for equipment to do it! Like running and yoga you can skip in the comfort of your own home (or garden!) and the equipment isn’t too expensive. I picked up a Reebok skipping rope from Amazon for a good price (you’ll want something ‘fast’ to get the intensive skipping boxers do rather than an actual rope which is slow and heavy). It’s crazy hard to keep up skipping continuously but that’s the fun, really. Once you break your record of 50 jumps without stopping you’ll feel ridiculously thrilled. You can then start adding in tricks like a classic cross rope and some fancy foot work!
4. Ballet fitness
If you live in the UK you might have access to the sportswear shop Sweaty Betty. If you do then you might be able to pick up a free class of Ballet fitness. All of Sweaty Betty’s classes (held in store) are free and the ballet class they hold is insane. It’s not only HARD work (you might not be able to walk the next day), it’s fun AND free. What more could you ask for? If you’re not into going to the classes, or you just can’t get to them, you can watch the videos and follow along. Trust me when I say you’ll thank me for this!
5. Martial Arts
I think this is a long shot but if you’re already on the track to kicking ass you might like to find a self defence class or a martial arts class to really feel empowered. Personally I go to a Samurai class every week – it’s local and the one I go to is just for women, which is great. We use wooden bokkens but also sometimes break out staff weapons, throwing stars and punch bags. Self defence is included and we practice wrist grabs and escape tactics. Despite me being a big wimp I mostly leave the class feeling slightly more bad-ass after sparring with my fellow Samurai sisters.
So whilst this girl can, so can you! Tell me what gets you moving in the comments!