I have never loved exercising. There were a few sports I played and loved while growing up, but physical education was never something I enjoyed. It made me feel awkward, not confident and strong and it wasn’t until I joined the gym I found comfort and fun in exercising.
I joined the gym in 2017 to improve my physical and mental health; I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with my body and this was my starting point to mend this. Very quickly, the gym became a safe space where I could go at my own pace and set my own goals without that pressure. It became apart of my routine and was my coping mechanism. It was my “me” time, where I would tune out of my mind and into my body.
Now, like everyone else in the world, I cant go to my sanctuary . At first I was nervous and then sad; I had become so use to my routine I couldn’t imagine doing anything else to replace it. As soon as gyms closed all I could think is “What am I going to do now?”
As frustration built up, I knew I had to figure something out, something to keep me as happy as I felt stepping into the gym each day. So, I set up my exercise mat in the backyard and gave a chance to something new: yoga and HIIT workouts.
My first experience doing yoga was in my school hall, surrounded by 30 other girls, giggling as we tried to bend outselves into funny poses. I didn’t like it, I found it hard and frustrating. Closing my eyes to meditate was impossible and I ended up giving up and staring at the ceiling. A friend suggested trying MadFit yoga workouts on YouTube and after much debating, I gave it ago.I was instantly hooked.; it was just the thing I needed. Yoga is designed to improve flexibility, build muscle strength, increase your blood flow and help you focus. After doing a few sessions I did find myself more relaxed and focused afterwards. My mind was relaxed and my body left good. My muscles weren’t tight and sore but I still had the endorphin rush from a workout. The best part is it’s super easy to do in your pyjamas!
HIIT workouts are an easy way to get the heart pumping in a short amount of time. After only doing hour sessions of lifting weights, I struggled with the mix of strength and cardio. However, my body is loving the change in routine and the HIIT workouts on YouTube are testing me in new ways. I’ve done 10 minute workouts that have left me a sweaty mess on the floor and it’s made me realise I need more variety in my routine. I never thought I would enjoy a HIIT workout but YouTubers like Chloe Ting and Maddie from MadFit make it fun and achievable.
I’ve learnt that I should learn to embrace new things and listen to my body when exercising. I often get pain in my lower back and I’d come home in pain from the gym, struggling to move. Now, by integrating yoga into my routine, mixed with cardio and HIIT workouts, the pain is almost gone. I feel fit, strong and confident, and I’m saving $30 a fortnight
Do I still miss the gym? Yes, but I love being able to workout in my own space. Surprisingly I have less distractions, when I follow a YouTube workout my phone stays on the video instead of flicking between apps when I rest between sets. While I still haven’t created the perfect routine, the mix of these two workouts plus walking have kept me fit and healthy.
I cant help but wonder, who else is thinking of replacing the gym with their lounge room and workout clothes with PJs? I know I am.
Love, Erin XX