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Fitness and Health, Workouts

How to Enjoy Exercise…

…brought to you by St. Stephen’s Shopping Centre in Hull… 

You had a rough day, worked really long hours, ate all the junk food, feel low about yourself and then all you can think about is how you just can’t wait to go to the gym after work. Right? RIGHT?!? If this is you, well done, pat on the back. However, if you’re anything like me, you have probably struggled to incorporate exercise into your regular routine. Don’t get me wrong, nowadays it is ingrained in me, and I go, but it took a long time to get me there. Here are some tried and true tips for how to really enjoy exercise…

1. Make It a Habit

One of the best ways to exercise regularly is to make it a habit. I use an app (such as HabitBull) to track whatever behavior I want to become a habit. Having it as a bubble that I get to tick off is actually a huge motivator for me to keep going. I hate the thought of ruining a streak, so I’m more likely to do it to keep the it going. Also, I am someone who is motivated by crossing things off a to-do list, so HabitBull has been really helpful to make something, as painful as going to the gym, second nature.

Coach @david_pt_mankel showing us the ropes…

2. Change It Up

St_Stephens_Gravity_1

Science has proven (ok, I’m totally guessing with that statement) that one of the best ways to enjoy exercise is to not let it get boring or repetitive. When St Stephen’s approached me to try one of the HIIT workouts at Gravity (a trampoline park), I was extremely excited. Not only did the prospect of trampolining teleport me back to a wee 6 years old in gymnastics class, but I am always excited to try out a new work out. Needless to say, the class did not disappoint!

Blurry jumping! Trust me, it was a LOT harder than it looked!

The HIIT class is every Monday and Wednesday at 7 pm, and it’s 14 years and up, which is an added benefit. I love children, but I don’t like smushing children when the jumping gets out of hand. The class was only £3 for the session. You have to buy special socks as well and they are £2.50. I booked everything online, which made me signing in really easy. 

Post-HIIT. Will be definitely doing this again!

After listening to the safety video, we all went into the trampoline area. Our trainer, David, started us out with some warm ups and we started getting ourselves comfortable with the trampoline. We did a lot of lower body exercises, like jumping squats and side to sides, but we also utilized the barrier to do upper body, like pushups, burpees and planks. It is actually a lot harder than it looks especially since you don’t have a flat surface to stabilize yourself. I was sweating buckets!

Enthusiastic trainers like @david_pt_mankel make all the difference!

The class was very energetic and a great way to mix up your workout routine. The only thing I really thought could be improved was that I couldn’t hear the trainer very well, especially because I was on the outer rim of the trampolines. For that reason, I would highly recommend getting closer to his podium, as intimidating as that can be!

Post-workout Nando’s? Why not? 

3. Treat Yo Self

I am the kind of person that really responds well to positive reinforcement. If I know there is a treat right after something, you can bet I will put in my 100% effort. St Stephen’s has so many ‘treats’ to choose from. My ‘treats’ are usually food related, and there is nothing I love more than a cheeky post-workout Nando’s. 

It may not be the healthiest, but Nando’s is also not the worst option, in terms of post-workout snacks. Although I am a sucker for the peri-salted chips, you can actually make some really healthy choices. Their salads look amazing and you can get it with a chicken breast. They also have some veggie options and some non-chicken options, as well as the usual burger/pitta options. I went for the extra hot spice on the butterfly chicken, peri salted chips, and chargrilled veg! 

4. Have the Right Gear

Working out is so much fun, but you really need to have the right gear. There is nothing worse than exercising hard, and not feeling comfortable or not having the right shoes. Thankfully, trampolining doesn’t require much. Gravity does ask for you to buy their socks, but once you have a pair from there, you can use it again. The socks have a special bottom that helps create a bit of traction when you’re bouncing around. They can also be used to do yoga at home as well!

5. Do It With a Friend

I got to the fittest point of my life a few years ago, but I did not do it alone. One of my girlfriends was there every step of the way. Every time I wanted to be lazy and not go to the gym, she would have a pep talk with me, and we would both go. We held each other accountable, but also, had some of the best times together. There is something to be said about sharing a workout session with friends. My girl, Alice, from www.onetrackmind.blog, joined me for this trampolining HIIT workout, and it definitely made the experience. Plus, we shared a good meal afterwards, feeling extremely sweaty, catching up on life and feeling so accomplished for finishing a HIIT class together. 

What are your tips for getting back into the swing of things with exercise and staying in shape?

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