4 October 2017

Sportswear: how I stay healthy

Let's kick off this fitness post with one fact: size does not equal health. It's something I wanted to get out of the way before you guys see me posing in my new activewear. I don't want to promote the idea that you can only be considered healthy if you are a certain body type or body size, and I definitely don't want to promote the idea that you have to be a certain way to be fully happy.
This is just a general post about my routine and habits which keep me feeling happy and healthy. I'm not a professional, and I'm am not a hard-core gym bunny.
It would be so easy to go into details about how and why I got into fitness, but I want to keep this post light and simple and relevant to how my life is now!

I try to workout every 2 days - and my routine varies every few months. For a while I went running, I also attended my Mum's aerobics classes when I lived at home which are the best (having a Mum as a fitness instructor comes with alot of benefits!). I have also done spinning, and swimming in the summer. As of now, I tend to do HIIT workouts and yoga, which can be done at home (you may want to check the strength of your floor though!). I do use weights when I can, I have access to alot of equipment back home in France, but most of the time I use my body-weight as I don't have the budget to join a gym.

Working out is good for the mind and the body - yoga on a friday evening after work is one of the best feelings ever - just waking up those muscles after sitting down all day feels so good! When I'm ill or really don't feel up to it I don't do anything - being too strict on yourself and putting yourself down is the worst thing you can do, you need to be mentally aware of how you approach fitness and health, not letting it become too dangerously obsessive.

The main things I do are pretty general, and once you get into a routine it's pretty easy to stick to. Regular exercise, lots of water, and plenty of veggies and fruit. I eat a vegetarian diet, and most of my meals are actually vegan so I do find it easy to get the right nutrients. You do have to be sure not to eat the same thing over and over (I am guilty of this with all the bean burgers I consume lol). I bring a bottle of water with me everywhere I go, and I avoid sugary drinks completely.

I believe education is the best way forward when you start your fitness journey - however important you make it in your daily life, it's always best to do a bit of research so you don't end up frying yourself out. Food is a very important part of fitness and you need to make sure you eat the right things to feel great. & accepting that it's okay to have a (veggie) burger and chips every so often (or 5 times over 10 days as I did in Vancouver oops). One of the best choices I made was sticking to water and avoiding sugar and dairy - it changed my skin completely and had a huge effect on how I feel. I do treat myself now and then though, being super strict and not allowing yourself a bit of chocolate or whatever is so dangerous for your mental health!

For my workouts, I find it easier to follow a set routine when I'm working out at home: I go to FitnessBlender.com on YouTube and follow Kelly's HIIT workouts - there are loads to choose from, whether you want to do a hard-core 40 minute HIIT or an 18 minute one. I would say DON'T begin with a hardcore HIIT if you are just starting out, or if you don't workout at all. It's definitely for those with more experience and a good level of fitness. That being said, there are videos for beginners, so those always something that you can follow without the fear of being so out-of-breath/dying.

I also got more into yoga the past year or so - it's a really nice way to wind down after a workout, or even to just stretch your body a little bit. It's crazy how good it feels, even the simplest of poses can make such a huge difference to how you feel, especially as you continue to do them over time. It's also great for posture! Nothing beats stretching that back after sitting at a desk all day.

*Again I'm not a professional but this is from my own personal experience - This is what I stick to and I feel great for it!*

It all boils down to 2 things: being conscious about what you eat and being active. It's just that simple. One thing I really want to underline is the importance of not putting too much pressure on yourself: being healthy shouldn't be a chore or something that puts you down, it should be something that makes you feel great.

This is the first time I'm travelling for a long period of time without settling down anywhere, which makes sticking to a routine super tricky. I've seriously missed doing my usual routine, my body is craving a good sweat and stretch, and because of my situation I just haven't been able to do much. Then again I have been walking an insane amount every single day and doing lots of hiking which is just a different form of exercise - it's interesting to see how my body adapts and changes to whatever my current routine is like. It's definitely made me realise just how good exercising makes me feel!

I ended up wearing sportswear most of the time in Vancouver because we did so much hiking. It's the first time I've properly ventured out in this kind of wear and I've loved it! Not only is it super comfortable but it's also allows me to let loose a little - that extra bit of security thanks to the sports bra, and not worrying about how much I'm sweating in my clothes, as silly as that sounds!

We're currently in Auckland as I type this, day 11 of our backpacking adventure! We have no Wi-Fi at our hotel which is super frustrating - I've been standing on street corners for 10-15 minutes at a time just so I can update my family and friends on our trip. We're just sitting in a café making the most of the free wifi before we return back to the hotel for the night. Auckland is such a trendy city and I'm honestly so impressed at how nice the shops are. Everyone in the streets are super fashionable, a different kind of look to London, with their own charm. I wish we were spending a little more time here, but there's only so much we can fit in.

Holly x


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