The fitness industry seems to have exploded over the past few years. It has suddenly become cool to be fit, healthy and to share your progress with the world. Maybe it has always been this way and I haven’t been tuned in, but it certainly feels that this is bigger than ever right now. This has massively been influenced by all the cool gadgets out there to track your performance, share it with others and generally get you moving. I’m a big advocate of this, because any motivation to move, stand, push further, faster is very welcome indeed.
I remember starting off with a Polar Beat chest band and watch many years ago and then, as I got more serious about achieving my goals, I moved on to Fitbit and now I own an Apple Watch. I’m not saying you need expensive gadgets to get and stay fit, but I truly believe that they have helped me, and this links back with the previous article about accountability. If something or someone is tracking your activity and you have a goal, you will move more to achieve it. Trust me! I’m lucky enough to have a moveable desk in the office so I can stand or sit, so when my watch tells me to stand, I do. When it says I only need to walk 15 minutes to reach my move goal, I go out for a walk at lunch. It all adds up.
Another great tool I use are fitness apps. I’m a big fan of MyFitnessPal for tracking meals, the Nike running app, the Peloton app (which I share with my husband Anthony: spinning for him and yoga for me). Anthony and some friends of mine use Strava to share their progress and I know a lot of people rate Runkeeper. It just makes everything that bit easier. It’s like the age of the Fitness Video just got cooler. Anthony is much more into the gadgets than me, but it does rub off! He challenged me to a running competition this week to reach 30km by the end of May and that is a big reason why I got out of bed at 6.30 this morning and ran 8km – I didn’t want to lose!
Another great motivator is reading/watching people’s success stories. Ordinary people with huge goals who smashed it. There are thousands of motivating stories on YouTube to keep you going. I’m currently reading a book by Cheryl Strayed called “Wild” telling her story about walking the Pacific Crest Trail. It’s the first of this kind of book I’ve read before and I’m finding her sheer determination a real inspiration. I need a dose of this sometimes. Anthony often just says, just do it. Don’t think about it. Just do it. What’s the worst that can happen! And he’s right.
Since recovering from cancer I’ve also become much more interested in healthy eating. I like to read health and nutrition articles because I’m always on the lookout for ways to introduce more fibre, more calcium, more vitamins, get the macros right etc. And I want to be healthy without using supplements or medication. I find Women’s Health a good magazine to read, I regularly consult BBCGoodFood.com and get most of my recipes from there (it’s really helpful the way they break down the nutritional details of each recipe) and I also recently discovered a great podcast by a doctor called Rupy Aujly called Doctor’s Kitchen. He chats to various like-minded specialists in a number of fields about the importance of food and lifestyle as an alternative to conventional medicine. He has a fresh approach to why we should care about what we put in our mouths and why. It’s a little technical at times, but I’d really recommend it. I’ve learnt a lot. I like to call him my guru at the moment 😊.
One thing Declan taught me during our chats and WhatsApp messages is always question the information you are reading/receiving. Try to find other sources to support it. In the news, one day wine is good for you and the next it is bad. Chocolate is beneficial and then it’s not. I like to try and find out why these two are conflicting and understand the background to it a little better. One thing Dr Rupy’s podcasts have taught me is that everyone is different. No one plan fits all. The Ketos diet might be suitable for one person, but not recommended at all for the next.
So my advice would be to have your gadgets and gurus, but make sure they’re right for you!