Freelance Series | Active Body, Active Mind

After a sluggish couple of weeks, I’ve decided to get back on track with my fitness! I’ve found that alongside working at home all day, my back was getting sore, my step count was proper low and my clothes were getting a bit tighter... 

I've spent this week experimenting with various activities at different times of the day to find a new routine that works best around my work, and to see if it would perk me up and increase my focus and energy levels. Here’s how my week went: 

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After waking up early and getting the morning admin done, I booked onto a 9:30am yoga class with Benedita at In Balance Hot Yoga in Southampton. The class was really challenging (I usually go to the beginners classes) but I wanted to push myself - otherwise how else will I progress in my practise? Well, I was a hot, sweaty and unbalanced mess - but what an amazing workout! Although I’m still new to yoga, I gave it my best shot, and Benedita was super helpful and guided me with the poses that I never knew my body could ever attempt! I left feeling pumped for the day and by getting my exersise done early, it meant I could crack on with work without getting ants in my pants in the afternoon and slacking off. 

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I liked the time of yesterdays class, so I booked onto a 9:30am pump class at the gym. I love weight training because I like to see my progress with the weights I use and I finished the class feeling awesome and strong! I managed to get two hours worth of admin and planning done before I drove to the gym for 9am. I had my 45 minute class, showered and got ready for the day there and I even got the food shop done and out of the way. I’m a Lidl girl through and through, however seeing as there’s a Sainsbury’s directly opposite the gym, it made sense to pop in and save time to get my weekly staples all in one place. I even picked up some more interesting veggie/vegan bits from there to try! There’s also potential for a post office trip while I’m there for future orders, as there's a post office nearby too. After stocking the cupboards and I had my lunch, it was 12pm. I was ready to crack on with the rest of my working day until 8pm. Even though it was a longer slog, I felt energised and I loved getting the errands done and out of the way by lunch. 

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I was a bit sore from yoga and the gym, so this time I went for nice hour walk down the shore at 8am. This was a nice and refreshing way to start my day, and I enjoyed the solitude. It was just me, my podcasts, the sunshine and the lovely doggos I met. The walk is about 5k in total and I really needed the cardio/step count. That’s what’s been lacking in my week so far, so while the Summer nights are long, I might do a walk in the evenings as well - it’s a long day to not move much! The morning walk is ideal for my busier days, as I don’t have to drive and park somewhere, and I can get back to the desk a bit earlier.

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Today I tried a lunchtime yoga session with Ian. It was another great class, although I found I struggled with the temperature this time; I had to take a few moments to rest. Also I tried the half crow pose for the first time and it was just not happening - I’ll be sure to practise at home for next time! Despite the great class, I did find the 12:30pm session a bit of a disruption to my work day; I felt that the afternoon slot disturbed the flow of my work and I struggled getting back into it that day. I definitely prefer working out in the mornings! 

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Now technically I haven’t gone to the 19:30pm gym class yet, but I’m writing this now because I already know I’ll probably cancel. I’m just too lazy to go now! I’ve booked onto a tone class which I really like, but it’s 5pm now and Martin's just got home and all I can think about is dinner and TV. Also I still have a bit of work to do. I love an evening class if I’m in the mood, and its a lot quieter to go then too. I think I know I’ll keep my fitness habits up if I attend the early morning classes! They wake me up more anyway, and I can combine errands at the same time.

What I’ve Learned
I know I love a morning workout - I feel alert, ready to focus and knuckle down with my work when I get back to the desk. My back's been a lot less stiff and as I got the activities done and out of the way in the morning, I didn’t find myself being naughty and wandering off to town just to get out the house. I also learned that I can be lazy towards the end of the day, so in order to keep on top of my fitness, I should aim for a morning session and maybe a walk to finish off the day.

My New Fitness Routine
8-9am: Breakfast, admin and planning
9:30am: Yoga or gym class
10:30am: Errands
11:30am: Back to work
8pm: Evening walk

This post is in collaboration with In Balance Hot Yoga. You can find out more about starting your own yoga journey via their website.