It’s Friday, so let’s talk fitness!

Are you a couch potato or are you an exercise addict? I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum and neither extreme is healthy. Finding that elusive middle road is what will get you the best results: mentally and physically.

The thing is: my middle road looks different to your middle road. Training in moderation for a triathlete might still mean training 7 days a week. For a new mom, training even 7 minutes in a day might be pushing it. So how do you know if you’re training too much or too little?

Wellllll… It’s kinda obvious. If you’re really honest with yourself, you know the answer. Although when I was an exercise addict, I was in complete denial. Whoops.

So, if you’re overtraining you will most likely experience some of the following symptoms:

  • excessive weight loss or an inability to gain weight

  • extreme fatigue – wanting to sleep all the time

  • insomnia – feeling wired from excess adrenaline

  • weak immune system – getting frequent colds

  • frequent injuries and slow recovery times

  • for women – amenorrhea (loss of menstruation)

Those are just a few things to look out for… If any of this rings true for you, you need to consider cutting back on the intensity and/or frequency of your training sessions. How about adding an extra rest day into your routine. Getting sufficient sleep, foam rolling, sauna sessions, cryotherapy and proper nutrition and supplementation are all good tools to help your body recovery better and faster from hardcore exercise. Examining and possibly reassessing your reasons and motivation for training so hard is also important.

If your fitness routine consists of reaching for the tv remote and walking to your car, then maybe you want to consider upping your game a bit! I’ve been in that deep, black hole of not wanting to move my body and not being inspired by any type of exercise. I know it’s hard to get up off your ass when it’s permanently glued to the couch, but you have to freakin’ dig deep and find some motivation. Just take the first step and then the next little step and slowly but surely you’ll gain momentum.

The key is to find a type of movement that you like and maybe eventually you’ll fall in love. Not everyone is cut out for running; dancing isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and yoga is boring to some. Experiment. Try and try again until something clicks.

Your body was built to MOVE; not sit at a desk for 8 hours and then sit behind a steering wheel for an hour and then finally lie on a couch and fall into bed. No! Your body does not like that all.

Why is exercise so important?

Exercise can:

  • improve mood due to the release of endorphins

  • improve circulation and help with lymph drainage

  • build strong bones and muscles

  • improve cognitive function – that’s your brain!

  • improve body image

The list goes on and on…

I love variety, so joining FitKey in September 2016 was a game-changer for me. Fitkey is the same concept as Class Pass. You pay a monthly membership and get access to hundreds of studios around the country. It works out much cheaper than doing drop-in classes all over the show, or paying for packages. I get to enjoy all the yoga studios, circuit and HIIT classes, barre, ballet, boxing. You name it, they’ve got it. It’s literally impossible to get bored. When I crave a hardcore workout I go to Switch or Sweat1000. When I’m looking for something gentler there’s pilates and tons of yoga options: yin, vinyasa, bikram, ashtanga, restorative! I’m on the 10 class pass which is R695 a month (R69 a class is sooooo cheap, when most studios charge R120-R195 for a single class! It’s a no brainer.) If you use this referral code you will receive R100 off your first month! It’s a pleasure 🙂

Aside from doing Fitkey classes, I often crave outdoor workouts: a run, a hike, a brisk walk. I try to build as much movement as possible into my day: take the stairs whenever possible, use a standing desk, taking quick stretch breaks… It doesn’t help if you exercise for an hour and then you’re sitting for the rest of the day. Your body likes to move! Your brain likes it when your body moves too!

I also love giving myself a good home workout – I create an awesome playlist and then move intuitively. Some days it’s a lot of flowing, foam rolling and stretching. Some days it’s hardcore intervals of skipping, plyometrics and core work. I LISTEN to my body and I always feel amazing afterwards. Sometimes my workouts are 10 minutes, sometimes they’re 90 minutes. Exercise should never be a punishment. It should be a form of self-care.

If you’re struggling to find motivation to exercise, why don’t you:

  • find a workout buddy/buddies, make workout dates and make them hold you accountable

  • make a kick-ass workout playlist

  • buy a new workout outfit that makes you feel good, or even a new sweat towel or water bottle

  • enter a race (maybe start with a 5km run – don’t go full Iron Man to begin!)

  • get a fitness tracker like Fitbit or an Apple Watch – a bit of tech to keep you on track

  • try something new! Maybe you just haven’t found YOUR fave type of movement yet.

Even on days when working out if the last freakin’ thing you want to do, if you just get your ass to the gym/promenade/mountain and start, within 10 minutes you’re probably going to be feeling much better and carry on. If not, then throw in the towel and go Netflix and chill. Try again tomorrow. Keep trying though. Don’t give up on your body or yourself.

Now tell me about you: are you a couch potato or a fitness junkie? What kind of exercise makes you excited? Do you want to see studio reviews here? Do you want to see workout videos here? Comment below!