Finding time to exercise

Neither my leg muscles nor my brain can remember the last time I did three sessions of exercise in one week.

But this week, while my muscles were weeping at the sheer shock of more than one fitness seasion, my brain was doing high fives and cartwheels.

As I said in this post, about week 1 of bootcamp, whenever my diary gets busy, exercise gets crossed off first.

But week two at bootcamp has shown me exactly why exercise shouldn’t be so disposable, and how I can juggle things around to make time for it. When I signed up to the monthly blog challenge with Reading Five Star Bootcamps, (a ladies only bootcamp by the way), it was recommended that I attend at least two bootcamp days and one running session a week, to really feel the difference.

Originally I thought there was no way I was going to make that many days, but by marking out time in my diary, and trying not to think of my hour’s exercise as my whole evening gone, I have made it, and I have felt the difference.

I feel stronger, I feel healthier, my clothes feel less tight, and I have totally mastered how to do a plank. YES!

Here’s a little diary run down of how the week went:

Tuesday – Running session

run3
Being put through our paces in the running session

If you thought a running day was going to be easier than a bootcamp day, you would be wrong. Very wrong. There were about 13 of us in the 45 minute session, and our instructor Jemma totally put us through our paces. Instead of being one long run, the session was split into various running exercises, with a few squats and planks peppered in for good measure. One of the tasks we had to do was take a cone, run for 30 seconds and then drop it. We recovered as we walked back to the start, and then had to go again, trying to reach our cone again in 30 seconds. We did that four times, and I was pretty pleased to actually reach my cone each time. We also did some hill running to finish, which involved teaming up with a Partner and running to various tree markers and back up a fairly mahusive hill. While one person ran the other held a squat. Tough, yes, but totally exhilarating when you pound down the hill on your last run. In the car on the way home I popped on a bit of Adele, sang at the top of my voice, and felt blooming’ amazing.

Squats = okay. Burpees = not okay.
Squats = okay. Burpees = not okay.

Wednesday – Bootcamp session

If my thigh muscles could talk they would have been nudging me on Wednesday saying, ‘seriously? We’re here again already?’. But having cleared out space in diary for three sessions this week, there was no question of me not going. Bootcamp did feel tough following the previous night’s running but once we got back in the zone, there wasn’t really any time to think about achy legs. Jemma mixed up the session from the previous week, so although you’re doing the same kinds of exercises, each day feels fresh and it keeps you on your toes not knowing what’s coming next. With eight in the group today we split into two groups of four and did a relay of different exercises, breaking after each one to run down the field, and then switch activities when we got back. As well as using 2.5kg weights to do squats and Russian twists (where you sit on the floor with your legs off the ground and twist from side to side) we also used the VIPR. The VIPR is a 6kg weight and we had to lift it in the air for a round, and then do bicecp curls for a round. (That’s got to be the reason why I’ve struggled to pull the boot of the car down this week with my poor achy arms!). We also did some boxing, which was great as my partner totally encouraged me to punch harder. It turned out I’d been doing pretty dainty punches and I’ve got a lot more fight in me than that! By the end of the session I was SO glad I’d gone. And I felt like I’d totally mastered the plank. Boom!

Friday – Bootcamp session

A beetroot red but very happy face!
A beetroot red, but very happy, face!

Friday afternoon might not seem like the most obvious time for exercise. You finish work, the weekend has finally arrived, and all you want to do is kick back with a G&T. But having clearly reached an age where Friday night is no longer party night, I was actually looking forward to a bit of bootcamp so I could start my weekend feeling good. We did a lot of 25 second bursts in this session, moving from planks to push ups, to plank push ups and so on. Although I still hate push ups (until this point my arms have been used for lifting chocolate, not my entire body), I definitely feel like I’ve made progress, and I can do a few without having to have my knees on the ground now. It’s only been four sessions but everything feels a bit stronger. We also did squat pulses moving into explosive squats, and dare I say it…I actually quite like the squat bits. You feel the burn, but there’s also a rhythm to it which makes me feel like I can keep going. And of course there were plenty of the dreaded burpees too. Although my body was definitely more tired in this session, I managed to keep going, and it felt good heading into the weekend knowing I had really put some work into it this week.

So. much. running.
So. much. running.

And really, that’s what it comes down to. I feel like I’ve really started to value my body this week. I’m pushing it, and testing what it can do, and in turn it is getting fitter and stronger. I haven’t worried what I’m eating, because I know I’m burning it all off, and I’ve been drinking a tonne of water because that’s what I want and need.

Finding time for exercise is hard, and it probably does help that theatre season hasn’t quite returned yet so I’m not out reviewing as much, but for me it’s trying to think of exercise as part of my daily routine, rather than as an evening that’s gone. When I come home after bootcamp I shower, eat, and then do whatever I would normally do. I’ve probably gone to bed an hour later than normal, but I’ve slept so well it’s all sort of worked itself out. It’s all about priorities, and I’ve realised that making me feel the best I can is definitely up there on the priority list.

Reading Bootcamps offers a free 7 day trial for those who aren’t quite sure about what to expect from a bootcamp. For more information visit www.readingbootcamps.co.uk.

I have been invited to team up with Reading Bootcamps for a blogging series so my bootcamp and running club sessions are complimentary, but all opinions are my own. 

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