I love running. I’m still amazed to hear myself saying that. I tended more towards the couch potato when I was younger. It’s probably because I was the clumsiest child in history. My first primary school teacher told my Mum that I was the only person she knew who could fall over the floor.
So far I’ve managed to avoid major injury whilst running so I keep going. I’m not all that quick but I feel better afterwards. If there’s anything worrying me I generally find it seems insignificant when I’m out of breath labouring up a hill.
It can still be a struggle fitting it all in. One of the reasons I persevere is that I am my business. It’s important to me to try and stay healthy as there’s no-one else to pick up the slack if I’m out of action. If you’re one of those people who say that runners are a drain on the NHS because they injure themselves, stop reading now. We’re not going to get on.
“I hate keeping fit”
If you’re still with me but find yourself saying the above, ask yourself why. Were you tortured by a particularly vindictive PE teacher at school? Did your boss bully you into playing squash one lunchtime and you’ve never recovered?
Your body is designed to move. If you doubt this, watch the Paralympics. If you hate the idea of doing anything else, go for a walk. You don’t need any special kit and you can even meet a friend to walk and chat.
Try out different things. If you have a local leisure centre that does pay as you go classes, just book one. If you hate it you never have to go again.
If you have children, play with them. We’ve just bought a trampoline for the back garden and my kids could play ring a ring a roses on it for hours. My eldest has just discovered football and my toddler is a complete menace with a tennis racket. Or any other blunt object for that matter.
When do I find the time?
This is a tricky one, I admit. If you commute to work and can incorporate walking or cycling you’re onto a winner. My cousin lives in London and hates the tube so she walks a lot. Otherwise, take a break during the day and go out, even if it’s just for ten minutes. Taking a proper break is good for your mental state too. It offers you a new perspective on your work and ensures that you see some daylight.
If you’ve discovered a sport you enjoy, join a club. They have fixed training times so you’re more likely to make the time.
If all else fails and the only time you have for exercise is after the kids’ bedtime, buy a DVD. Or even a book. I’ve got a book of different yoga routines that take about ten minutes each and I do them when I’ve finished work for the day or once the kids are in bed. It helps me to recover from a day at my desk and supports my running too.
Don’t torture yourself. Find something you like and want to keep doing regularly. Also, be practical. If you hate early mornings trying to force yourself out of the house for a 6am run is going to end in failure.
Think about what success will look like. Do you want to be able to run a mile without stopping? Do you just want to be able to touch your toes?
I used to be able to run 5k in less than 30 minutes and I want to be able to do it again. It’s an easy one to measure and I’m hoping to get there in the next few weeks.
Wish me luck! If you’re taking on a new challenge, let me know. I’d be very happy to cheer you on.
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