Getting creative with Physical Activity
If your New Year fitness goals are slipping it's time to rethink
Date: 26 June 2020 Author: Energise Me
Getting active outdoors is great for your health and mood. But it's easy to get stuck in an indoor routine. Kelly, our Project Officer for Children & Young People, shares how she got hooked on outdoor fitness.
I was going to work when the sun was rising and coming home as it set. The majority of my day was spent indoors – working, eating, sleeping and exercising. I was losing momentum at the gym. I wasn’t motivated to attend fitness classes and the less I did, the less I wanted to do.
Having been into sports and being active all my life, I knew the importance of it. I didn’t want to give it up, but I wasn’t enjoying my weekday routine.
At the weekend I was making the effort to go to the New Forest with friends and family. I went to the park to play badminton and enjoyed getting out on the road bike. So what was the difference? Come rain or shine, I was outside!
I started thinking about being active outdoors but I wasn’t sure what exercising outside looked like. I wasn’t confident to lead myself and I was adamant I didn’t want to join a sports club again.
When I was out one evening, I came across a group of people exercising in a field. They were running around with equipment, being led by an instructor, laughing and seemingly having fun. The following week, I was intrigued enough to turn up for a free trial. I was apprehensive; I hadn’t done ‘fitness’ in a long time, and I wasn’t sure what would be expected of me.
When I arrived, I was given the choice of what intensity group I would like to train with. This had never happened to me before and it immediately made me feel better. I chose to go in the mild intensity group (as most people would, I didn’t want to embarrass myself). Everyone was incredibly welcoming and, with the sun shining, I started to relax.
My first session was amazing, I was outside, working at an intensity I was comfortable with and with like-minded people. Of course, I went back for another session!
Being in the local woodland, the park and green spaces was amazing. I was playing like a big kid on the monkey bars and gaining strength at the same time.
Session after session, I was there and I and looked forward to everything they gave me. Being in the local woodland, the park and green spaces was amazing. I was playing like a big kid on the monkey bars and gaining strength at the same time.
No two sessions are the same, and the variety of instructors makes it great fun! I am in the same position as everyone else. We don’t know what to expect, we just turn up. It feels amazing to be out in the fresh air, to look up at the sky (when you are working hard on your sit-ups of course) and not have to hear traffic or have the time to think about anything else, other than what is being asked of you. This was ‘me time’.
I had started finishing work earlier to allow time for me to get to the session and have a quick chat with everyone before we started, but one night it began to rain – hard. The weather had turned and the temperature had dropped. Nevertheless, I made my way to the session. All I could think was, am I going to be the only one turning up?
I needn’t have worried. They were all standing in the rain, ready to start the session! People looked at us like we were crazy as we started to press-up in the mud and run through the puddles. I didn’t care what I looked like (I don’t think anyone else did either) and I can wash my clothes later. It doesn’t matter: whatever the weather, I am still training, and it only makes my workout better.
Training in a group environment is a social activity that I thrive in, but the support I get from our instructors is invaluable. They listen to me, motivate me and constantly challenge me. They have to do that for each individual within the group, and I have never felt overlooked. My goals are important to them and, in any session, are never too far from their minds. I have doubted myself, I have complained and I have certainly not always seen improvements but the commitment and belief of the instructors to see me succeed is phenomenal.
The instructors frequently train with us and remind us that they are human too. They have a cheat day, go on a night out and find a workout hard. In doing so it makes everything achievable and helps us see that it’s all about finding the balance that works for you.
Once I committed myself, I began to think about what I wanted to achieve and set short and long term targets. I started to see the results I wanted but never lost the enjoyment.
Being completely honest, I have days where I think it's too cold or I’m lacking motivation. But knowing the feeling I get after I complete a session, I know I won’t regret it.
Training outside keeps me sane, fit and healthy. I am outside getting my daily dose of vitamin D and being physically active. Sometimes I turn up just to train and talk, and that is absolutely fine. We are encouraged to socialise and support one another. After our Saturday morning session, sometimes a Parkrun, we go for breakfast. We have been climbing, entered running events and even had a night out. I have dedicated time in my week that makes me stronger, healthier and happier.
I have found new confidence in fitness and am trying lots of new activities, achieving personal bests and encouraging others to do the same. Being completely honest, I have days where I think it’s too cold or I’m lacking motivation. But knowing the feeling I get after I complete a session, I know I won’t regret it.