Nordic walking in Hungary

Nordic walking in Hungary (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s no secret. Most of us aim to achieve and maintain a certain level of fitness. It’s good for your health, it helps your mood and makes you feel good, and it makes you look good. How to go about it is another story.

I must confess to being a disaster when it comes to sports. I’m not even good at watching them (truth be told I enjoy watching gymnastics and ice-skating. At some points in life I’ve been into tennis, I quite enjoy watching diving and some athletics) and as a child I was fairly big and very clumsy. I always sported bruises, grazes and all kind of injuries testimony to my lack of coordination. I was fairly good at school, except for PE.

I’ve always loved walking. Although I don’t have the stamina I had before, I quite happily go walking anywhere for hours on end. My right knee has seen better days and cycling is not a good option. I can swim (nothing fancy), but my neck is also problematic and can only do short bursts.

When I was in Medical School, one of my peers and friends, Carmen, who also lived nearby, suggested that we should join a gym. It seemed like a good idea. As it tends to happen to me very often, she ended up not joining, and I went for several years, even moving gyms when the one I was attending specialised in Kick Boxing. I’ve always preferred classes (aerobics at the time) rather than machines and your own programme, apart from the social aspect of it, because it’s easier to get motivated. Although I’m fairly stubborn, and if I decide to do something, normally I’ll keep going until I decide I’ve had enough.

Since I moved to the UK my attendance has varied as I’ve moved about a fair bit. I went to a David Lloyd Club when one open nearby the first hospital where I worked, in Eastbourne. I played badminton (no ability for that either but at least I ran around with a colleague a bit), and went to a variety of classes. Then at times I’ve joined the odd class, I’ve gone rambling, etc. For the last 10 years or so I’ve been a member of a variety of gyms. I’ve tried different classes. Step (I’m pretty bad at free step although can manage some classes if they aren’t too complicated), aerobic variety of classes, body pump (classes with weights), combat (kicking and punching a non-exiting opponent, although you’re free to imagine whoever you like), attack (high impact aerobics), aqua-aerobics (I managed to kick the pool and break a toe)… More recently and because due to my neck problems I can’t tolerate weights that much I tried some of the more dance-based lessons, like Jam, Shebam, Zumba, and I’ve been doing yoga for over a year. I prefer the more active classes (attack, combat) although probably it’s variety that I appreciate.

With my plans for the future (that would mean leaving my job and not having a regular income) I have been looking at the things I do. Membership of the gym is quite expensive and there’s the time factor, so I decided to try and explore other options. When the weather is good, more walking, even running (that I don’t like very much but enjoy when I visit my friend Iman in Paris), and thinking about checking Nordic walking (I’ve heard good things about it from Silvia, a friend I met at the first gym I joined). I discovered quite a few people sharing workouts and exercising regimes in Pinterest and there’s a wealth of different options and videos to try in You Tube (I quite like the Daily Hiit, [Hiit= high intensity interval training] although some of the workouts are scary just to watch, but I’ve recently downloaded Body Rock TV on the phone and survived to the 30 days fitness challenge, where Lisa shared real time workouts. I must say it’s a real challenge, especially considering that I was going to the gym 5 or 6 times a week and I suffered through it). Interval training is quite the thing these days and they offer short programmes for people with limited time (although you’ll need a fair amount of energy). I also read about other fitness apps and I’m now trying ‘Nike Training Club’, that has the advantage, especially if you’re travelling, of not relying much on equipment, not requiring Wi-fi connection (you’ll need it if you want to share, but not just to follow the workout), and giving you the option to use your favourite music. (Yes, and it’s FREE. The particular one I share is recommended for women but there are versions for men and others.) I’m also exploring the yoga videos and trying to find those I find suit me best. I’m alternating different things, I have a bit more time and I’m saving on fuel. But we’ll see. Nothing suits everybody but there’s a big variety of things available, of local groups, and no reason why one cannot alternate with local classes or anything else. The important thing is to keep active.

I leave you some links in case you want to check any of these:

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it, and if you have, please like, comment (and let me know of your favourites), share and if you want to know more you can always click and see.

Fitness Motivation: No Excuses!

Fitness Motivation: No Excuses! (Photo credit: UrbaneWomenMag)