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Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Healthy Living: Shaking Things Up

Healthy Living: Shaking Things Up

Today's post is from contributor - Natasha Gelder. Natasha is a full time Literature student based in Leeds who is juggling the quests for higher education, money and rock hard abs. She believes exercising is a vital part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle and should not be seen as a chore. You can find her blog here http://natashajadegelder.wordpress.com/


We have all lost motivation to do things that are a normal part of our everyday life at one point or another; we all know what it is like when things get stale and boring. The solution that we normally use to rectify such problems is to inject a bit of spice into what has become a routine and shake things up a little bit.

I recently got bored with the gym, my workouts were getting repetitive and I felt as though I was not receiving as much support and advice as I possibly should have been. It was not just a bad week that I was having but more of a bad month; rather than moping around and hoping that it was just a phase that would pass at some point, I decided to do something about it. I quit the gym.
   
Contrary to what you may be thinking, I was not having a mental breakdown. I just knew that I needed a change. I went to a pretty conventional gym which was full of men wearing lycra and women in full faces of makeup. Around 70% of the equipment in the gym was for cardiovascular activity; the weight section was crammed into the back and was primarily a male only zone, if a woman so much as stepped into this section then they got stared at as though they had two heads. A ham sandwich would have been more helpful than the personal trainers there; they were more interested in asking you out on dates than correcting your form and offering you advice. I was not happy, so I left.

I spent two weeks pondering what I wanted to achieve in terms of fitness and did some extensive research to find a gym that could cater to my needs before joining up to another. I knew that if I wanted to build more muscle then my workouts needed to be focused primarily on weight training and I knew that I needed help and support when it came to both my exercise plan and my nutrition. I have now joined a new gym which epitomises the stereotype of a ‘bloke’s gym’, there are weights scattered around everywhere and only 10% of the equipment is made up of stuff for cardiovascular activity. Despite a few wavering moments of regret over cancelling my original gym membership, I could not be happier with my decision to start at my new one; especially as my personal programme certainly puts me through my paces!  I finally have my motivation back and actually look forward to my workouts again.

If you feel as though you’re losing your motivation and like your workouts are getting stale, it’s definitely worth checking that your workouts are tailored to your specific needs. The easiest way to do this is to take a few minutes to actually think about what your needs are; what are your fitness goals? What do you want to achieve? If you are a size 22 and are doing the same work outs as your size 10 friend then you are not going to be achieving the maximum results from your workouts because they will not be tailored for your own personal aims. The best thing to do is ask a trainer for a programme, most gyms include these in their membership fees, sit down and go through what you want to achieve and get them to tailor you a programme designed specifically for your needs. If your trainer is not willing to do this, then take our custom elsewhere and find someone who actually has your best interests at heart and wants to help.

Natasha Gelder, full time Literature student based in Leeds who is juggling the quests for higher education, money and rock hard abs. You can find her blog here http://natashajadegelder.wordpress.com/