We all understand how important it is to take care of our body, both for our physical health and mental wellbeing. But for some, “exercise” can be intimidating. It’s natural to follow your favourite fitness gurus and assume that in order to feel like you’re achieving, fitness must be at the forefront of your life. I disagree. It’s always better to do something than nothing at all. If you’d like some ideas on how to simply incorporate exercise into your week, then keep reading…

What’s Your Motivation?

Unless you’ve been given advice or targets by a medical professional, I would avoid getting caught up on the specific numbers in terms of weight gain/loss. In general, using the BMI Calculator provided by the NHS is a great tool to use and if you do feel you are in need of support then please do contact your doctor.

The reason I suggest to not focus too heavily on numbers is that it can quite quickly become obsessive, speaking from my own experience. And if the numbers aren’t what you expect, it can have the opposite effect and make you feel like giving up.

Instead, it’s a good idea to picture how you’d like to feel in your body. As a petite, young woman, I’ve always wanted to be physically stronger by gaining some muscle. In this sense, it’s a process and not a goal, which in itself is motivating.

Find your motivation.

What Can You Commit to?

This is crucial in terms of sustaining your chosen set of exercises. When I first began making a conscious effort to start exercising regularly, I put too much pressure on myself. I had a strict routine and that lack of flexibility resulted in me taking some time off.

All you have to do is be realistic with yourself. I know for a fact that I can currently fit in two workout sessions a week. I don’t restrict myself with how long they take, and honestly, they only last for 10-15 minutes of continuous strength exercises. Other than a minimum of a few walks a week, that is all I commit to; anything else I fit in is a bonus!

It’s also important to consider the financial side too. As a student, there is no way I’d be able to afford a gym membership and so I look for other free ways to keep active. Once again, there’s no need for the unnecessary pressure.

What Type of Exercise Gets You Inspired?

In order to keep up a routine, you’re going to need to choose a few different types of exercises in order to stay flexible and open to change. This is the fun bit!

Consider whether you would prefer to exercise alone or with a partner/group of people, as you may find one or the other more motivating. If you don’t feel comfortable exercising in public spaces, take a look at some exercises you can do at home!

It’s all about moving your body – it doesn’t have to be boring either! I’ve put together a list just some of the many exercises out there, to hopefully spark some ideas…

  1. Walking
  2. Jogging/Running
  3. Yoga
  4. Cycling
  5. Swimming
  6. Tennis
  7. Weight lifting
  8. Skipping
  9. Dancing
  10. Strength training workout
  11. Hula Hooping
  12. Rowing
  13. Boxing
  14. Trampolining
  15. Surfing
  16. Bodyboarding
  17. Joining a sports team/Fitness Class
  18. Badminton
  19. Skiing
  20. Karate
  21. Judo
  22. Pilates
  23. Horse-riding

Dancing can be really fun to do in the evenings; just let go to your own music! And fitting in some kind of walking every day can be surprisingly easy. Find something that inspires you.

Bonus Resources!

As I’m sure you are aware by now, I am no fitness expert, just exploring my own way towards a healthy lifestyle! Therefore, I’ve linked some articles and blog posts below that may be inspiring when you are discovering your ideal exercise routine:

The Balanced Life: “Tricks I use when I’m lacking in motivation” – This podcast episode is both inspiring, filled with many useful tips, but also comforting in knowing that we are not alone when we lack in motivation.

Keep it SimpElle: “Making Movement a Part of Everyday Life” – Elle shares how she’s been keeping active from home including some useful resources of her own!

NHS UK: Exercise Page – Guidelines and advice on the different forms of exercise to make sure you get a variety.

Pamela Reif: 10 Min Upper Body Workout Video – I really enjoy following Pamela’s workout routines and this is one I go back to weekly!

Final thoughts:

One thing to always keep in mind is that our situations and bodies will always be changing and so the more flexible you are (and kind to yourself!) the easier it becomes. Always seek professional support if you feel it necessary and listen to your body! Breaks are required from time to time.

I’m so proud of myself for continuing my exercise routine, through its evolution, for over a year now and I am enjoying the benefits. Take care of yourself; you deserve it!

What’s on your mind?

What’s your favourite form of exercise? How do you motivate yourself? Leave a comment below!

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9 thoughts on “ How to Craft Your Own Exercise Regime: Being Realistic When Looking After Your Body ”

  1. You have no idea how much I loved this post. I relate to it so much, and so it really spoke to me. I’m definitely one of those people who obsess over numbers, and it really does tend to have the opposite effect when the numbers I see aren’t what I wanted them to be. I’ll leave you with this quote by Linda Sun, “numbers aren’t enough to define an entire person”. ❤

  2. Thanks for the mention Caitlin! Love all the suggestions you’ve shared! I recently got myself a pair of roller skates too which is super FUN!!

  3. I really agree that its toxic to focus on numbers and putting unnecessary pressure on yourself, but it can be hard to find a healthy balance.

    So dancing or doing yoga helps me to “forget” that I am actually exercising and instead focusing on the fun part which is obviously way more enjoyable hahah

    1. Yes it is really difficult isn’t it! Yep, I agree, having fun while exercising is the best approach I think. I am such a bad dancer but I love it haha!

  4. Totally agree! 👍🏻
    I start my day with Rajio taiso (a Japanese morning warm up routine which is only 3 mins long) stretching in my yoga mat for 10-15 mins is also great way to flex the stiff muscles and walking will always be my favorite exercise, like you said it’s so easy. 😀

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