Got the kids ?? No probs !

Now first things first –  trying to fit in some exercise when you have your small people around is not an easy task.  Sometimes theres the option of a willing friend to have them for an hour, or a grandparent to take them to the park , but long term not many of us are lucky enough to have that luxury.

So its about compromise .

No it wont be that summers evening hour of escapism listening to your tunes, no it wont be a flowing routine of exercises that takes half an hour  – but what it will be is WORTH IT !!! Just remember that every move you make – effort you go to, gets you one step closer to your goal.  Its ALWAYS worth it – even if it takes you an hour to get them fed, watered and settled enough for you to even get started !!!

So heres a few tips I picked up along the way, and how I managed when my children were teeny;

  1. Time your exercise around their nap 

Most small children have a napping routine in the day, mine used to be mid morning and mid afternoon.  Use this time to your advantage ! Yes of course you properly could be tidying the kitchen, putting the washing in and manically clearing up….but LEAVE IT!! Those jobs will always need doing, and they can wait  – give yourself 30 minutes of the day and you will feel great for it.

Pre nap time, change into your exercise kit, and plan what you are going to go .  This could be a simple list of exercises, or perhaps an APP you have downloaded – either way get everything ready to go .  Then once baby is asleep, you are ready to get straight to it – in the lounge, in the garden or out on a walk whilst little one is in the buggy.

When I had a baby and a toddler I would always save an episode or two of their favourite TV programme . Once baby was asleep, toddler would sit and watch 20 mins of TV while I was in the same room ‘doing my thing’.

No its not ideal – its a compromise…. and you will find you get stopped many times to fetch drinks or run to the potty….but guess what …its still worth it as its still progress in the right direction !!!

2. Garden Play !

Another favourite of mine was to do some exercise in the garden whilst the children were playing outside.  At this age they weren’t old enough to join in, but were happy pondering around playing by themselves, but still requiring constant supervision.

Plan yourself a circuit of exercises using what you have around you  – for example if you have some steps in your garden, this can be used to step up and down on , jump up , or press up/ tricep dip on.   You could always take a kitchen chair out into the garden to use – or simply use yourself and the grass !  It doesn’t have to be anything intense as you will be interrupted a lot , so you need to be quite adaptable.  A list I would use for example would be something like ;

a) 10 squats

b) 10 jumping jacks

c) 10 sit ups

d) 10 lateral lunges

e) 5 press ups and then hold the plank for 20 seconds

3) Let them join in ?!

When the children get bigger it’s easier to integrate exercise into the day whilst still keeping them entertained.

A favourite of mine is taking the children out on their bikes or scooters while jogging beside them .  Again this never quite goes to plan as envitably they fall off, need the loo or get tired very soon and need help – BUT 20 minutes power walking or jogging is still so much better then nothing , and all it takes is for you to stick your trainers on !

Integrate activity into your daily life – don’t stress about it needing to be perfect …. it just has to be more then you were doing before to start making a difference 😉

4) Use them as equipment …..!

Make it really funny with them and they wont mind doing again the next day .  Lifting a child as they grow takes some umph ( technical term ! lol)  – but you could use this to your advantage.  For example ;

  1. Focusing on perfect form…. hop the small person into a piggy back, and aim for 10 nice controlled squats!  Laugh with them, let the giggle about – they will love it !
  2. Again focusing on perfect form – try the squat with your child on your front!  This will change the balance and really have to make you concentrate hard  🙂
  3. When your plank starts to progress and you fancy and extra challenge …. get your child to lay on your back!

Other ideas would be to do sit ups opposite them – clapping hands at the top every time, or even simply getting them to count your reps or use the stop watch with a clip board to make them feel really important !

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All of the above is compromise – but it has soooo many benefits not only for you , but for the example you are setting to your children, that exercise can be a lot of fun…. as well as hugely important both mentally and physically 🙂

 

 

 

Its ok to find it tough !

Now this wasn’t the next blog I had planned, but I wanted to write it ‘off the cuff’ so to speak, as I feel its quite an important point to make every now and again – and quite relevant to me right now.

ITS OK TO FIND WORKING OUT REALLY REALLY HARD!!!!

Now 80% of the time, I do mega enjoy my training, and I am that person bouncing around in lycra.  But just like everyone else , there are times when I struggle – a lot !!

It can be due to an obvious thing such as having not eaten well enough or hydrated, it can be hormones, or just general fatigue. Sometimes there is no obvious reason what so ever – its just bloody tough !

Tonight was one of those struggles.

I’m picking my running back up following and injury ( which actually is still giving me grief) , and I’m pretty much back to a starting point.  I’m getting exhausted quickly, settling my breathing is taking longer, and I’m getting stomach aches again and sore shoulders.

The picture above was taken tonight just 4.5km into a run ( in perspective I have 22 miles of hill running to do in 8 weeks), and I felt wrecked!! I was angry and frustrated at how hard I was finding it, and I must admit I had a proper tearful moment 😦

I had two options

A) walk back to the car and go home – knowing that realistically my goal is a long shot with my Achilles

or

B) dig in…pull myself together and fight for it !! Turn my anger and frustration into determination, focus and power, and get the hell on with it.

I stayed at this spot on my run for about 5 minutes , had a drink, calmed down……then put Justin Biebers Despacito onto repeat, turned it up MEGA loud…..and got the hell on with it !

Yes its ok to find it really hard……but its the decisions you make at that point which will make the difference to achieving your goals.

Dig in and find your fire  – you will never regret it xx

 

How I started this ‘fitness thing’…

People often assume I have been ‘fit’ all my life and it comes naturally for me …… sadly it doesn’t come easy at all ( I have to work hard like you guys every day ) , and I haven’t actually been into my fitness for that long at all ……so I thought you might be interested in how I started….
After I had my second baby I was a pretty big girl, and unable to do much other then potter about or be at home for a good six months due to the surgery I had, left me going a little stir crazy and very unhappy about my large size, and actually realising I wasn’t very fancible to my husband any more !
So, driven by a determination to just DO something ( and the NEED for a few moments to myself after a day at home on my own with a baby and toddler!) I started to run. Now when I say run….what I mean is, I went out at night into the garden after I had done the breast feeding, and I jogged for 20 seconds , and walked for 3 minutes – and I would do that for no more then 20 minutes in one go – as it was exhausting !!!! I would then stand in the dark listening to my music, and lift some heavy stones up and down to try and strengthen my arms. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing – but just doing it made me happy.
I stuck with it……I went outside about 3 times a week with my headphones up and I built up that 20 seconds each week. But I felt that bit better about myself EVERY time I did something ….which spurred me to keep going – even when I was tired. It took me a year to get to 5km ( no 12 week programme for me lol!) and it was really hard…. But the weight came off, I became happier, healthier and my self confidence grew with the inner pride I was feeling.
I also educated myself about food – what protein actually was, what were good and bad carbohydrates etc . But most importantly I made sure that the food I ate was not more then what I burnt off – so my hard work wasn’t wasted by eating too much cake !
( I will add that while I was breastfeeding ( which was a long time!!) I didn’t restrict myself on anything to ensure I could carry on feeding as long as possible)
I then decided I needed a goal….i needed to have a greater focus (massive progress to where I had started),so I entered a 5km obstacle run called Airfield Anarchy with my brother . I was extremely nervous ( even when doing the entry I had to dash to the loo!) – but it was a goal to keep me on track. Why an obstacle race ? Because I have always had a bit of an inner fire and want to feel strong and feisty…. And so by entering something that would push me hard, it would satisfy that craving.
And so we did it – I finished utterly shattered, bruised wet, cold and coughing like a trooper through the effort ……but happy – with the biggest sense of achievement I had ever known.
And from there the motivation to be stronger and fitter has just flowed…..by entering events it keeps me focused on training and by doing all the training it makes me a much more patient mother and (amenable!) wife …..
Coming up I am going to share some tips on how to fit in some training when being at home all day with my smalls….how to include them…work around them…. Or even use them as equipment lol!!

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Pre Event Prep

When doing these events we really do try to take our nutrition seriously (lol!!) ….. but we are girls in the end …….on a weekend away from the families…. so occasionally things go a little wrong !!! lol

…….eating chocolate late at night in hotel rooms is just part of the deal I’m afraid !!

Rat Race : The Crossing

Bossed it!

This event was flipping awesome !!  Its very fresh in my mind as it was only a few weeks ago ( still carb re-loading lol!), and I’m still feeling that massive sense of achievement…….and yes I am also still feeling those rather tender ass patches !

It was 200 miles off road from Whitehaven to Scarborough, and was substantially tougher then anticipated !  The terrain was very technical at times, and meeting a road section was a welcome rest on the legs at times .

Five of us did the event , two chaps and three of us girls.  We had a crew member (aka my husband in the truck ) who met us at various places on route to feed us, and then to have our tent set up ready for the overnight stops.  I’m pretty rubbish at looking after myself it has to be said, so my buddy Jane was very pleased to have Garys help in organising me and all my masses of stuff I had packed !

We were generally out for about 10 hours each day – 8 of which was riding time…. the other two hours being food stops….looking at scenery and the odd random yoga stretch due to soreness !

The technical training I had over the winter from the uber cool dude Skip, owner of  The Surrey Hills Adventure Company was a blinking lifesaver for me – as quite frankly I can be a bit of a wimp at times, so this was money very well spent for my confidence ( and safety !)

Sadly since the event I have a very sore Achilles which is hindering my training for the next event ( Man Vs Mountain in September) – but this was totally my fault, as realistically my training was not sufficient to prepare my poor body for that level of endurance .  So lesson learnt for next time !!!

If you fancy an awesome challenge witnessing some pretty amazing scenery at a very well organised event  – then get yourself super dooper mountain bike fit and enter Rat Race The Crossing ….its a crazy cool event !

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Hey !!!

HEY !!!!

So this is my new blog…..basically I’m just going to write lots of stuff about me – pretty self indulgent I know ( embarrassed face ) , but I hope that you guys out there will enjoy following some of my adventures, see a bit of the background that goes into the preparation to the events that I so love to do with my buddies, along with the general day to day fitness stuff I get up to!

I am by no means a pro of any kind….I’m a previously much bigger, very unfit girl, who has found a total passion for challenging myself through exercise  – the results of which have not only have given me a body I’m proud of , but more importantly they have given me a personal sense of uber ( love that word!) achievement I never thought possible – and I would love other ladies and gents to feel that self pride through their hard work.

I am also a wife and mother of two small people – so I totally understand that balance that has to be achieved with a family……that need to feel attractive again after being a stay at home Mummy, that need for a little bit of ‘you’ time every now and again ( and then the guilt that often goes with it! )  – so hopefully along the way I can help with some tips on how I have been able to get around some of these situations – so everyone is happy 🙂

So lets do this thing …. I will write…. and I hope you enjoy to read…. but be warned….it may get a bit random at times…im new to this … 😉 lol !

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