Exercise! It’s the last thing a dedicated couch potato wants to hear about. Tipping the scales at over 19 stone, I could barely walk without breaking into a sweat. I would however, make the effort to run (if you can call it running) for a bus just so I could avoid walking the one or two bus stops to my destination. It would take me about 10 – 15 minutes to catch my breath but hey I’d saved a couple of vital minutes.
I hadn’t always been inactive, in fact as a child I played a variety of sports, representing my schools and local clubs until I was in my late teens. So with this previous love of sport in mind, but not being keen on going to a gym, I tried to think of something I could do at home. My bright idea was to buy an elliptical cross trainer, like the ones found in gyms. Now this wasn’t exactly a cheap option, but I saw it as an investment and that cross trainer is still in working condition to this day.
I set my alarm and got up earlier so that I could work out before going to work. That first week I managed 3 minutes a morning on the cross trainer. I walked to and from the train station and took the stairs at work instead of the lift. I wasn’t exactly blazing a trail to the Olympics but I was moving more. Around this same time there was a government campaign about walking 10,000 steps a day, so off I went and bought a pedometer. There’s something hypnotic about seeing a step counter tick over and it made me get up and walk around the house if I hadn’t quite hit that magic number before bedtime.
Over time I gradually built up my time and speed on the cross trainer to 20 minutes several times a week. It complimented my weight loss, helping me to lose the recommended 1 – 2lbs most weeks. As advised by my Weight Watchers leader when I joined, I took my body measurements. It’s another way to keep track of the progress made when the number on the tape measure comes down. This was a great source of comfort on the occasions that I didn’t have a loss at the scales. They call it a ‘Non Scale Victory’, I like that.
So this is how I weaved exercise back into my daily life. Now my favourite workout is with a fitness hula hoop and to have my fitness exploits featured in the Weight Watchers magazine is quite surreal to me.
I’ve done a variety of fun activities which have taken me from being totally unfit to possibly the best shape I’ve been in since my childhood. I’ll talk more about these as my journey continues. So for now I’d say, make the first move!
My home exercise routine helps me to maintain a healthy lifestyle and weight, here’s a glimpse: