It might be time to step away from the gym and take up a sport, writes Hannah Spearritt…
Greetings to another column! This month, I thought I’d discuss enjoyment, motivation,
the relationship between the two and the impact they can have on achieving your wellness goals.
Enjoying your fitness is the single most important factor on most people’s exercise/health list!When I work out or exercise now, I find an activity or sport that benefits from physical fitness and tailor my workouts to it, and yes it’s usually a sport, as apart from my favourite activity of dancing, most fall under the sports category. That being said, there are a huge number of physically demanding sports to choose from that will also benefit from being physically fitter.
I feel that although going to the gym for a full-on workout is satisfying, the majority of gym-based solo workouts are comparatively dull.
Let’s take netball, for example; you can easily find a local league with varying levels and work your way up in your own time if you wish. Whilst playing a sport you enjoy you’re also unwittingly taking part in a high-intensity workout, as you will run up and down the pitch countless times for an extended period. So, if you play two or three times per week you can get into great shape without feeling like you’re begrudgingly off to the gym to go through the motions once again. And as you get better and play more regularly, physical fitness will probably become a bigger part of the game. The difference now is that when you go to the gym you are going to make yourself better at netball and that is where your motivation changes.
Now you might be playing two or three games per week and if you want to fit a couple of gym sessions in then that’s a pretty intense schedule of exercise! But you’re only doing two gym sessions per week max, and you’re in fantastic shape.
Next, you probably want to take your recovery more seriously and look after your body. If, like me, you’re not such a spring chicken, you might start to look at yoga as well to balance out all the shortening of the muscles through the other exercise. At this point you could potentially be physically active every day and of course this leads us to the final piece in the puzzle to make all this exercise possible: your diet!
If the foundations of your exercise are right and you’re enjoying yourself and want to improve, you will naturally progress to the right decisions for optimal health and a fun, more active lifestyle.
It can be great fun balancing out a schedule of sport/gym/yoga and learning about which foods to eat in the process to give you enough energy to do all that. The other great thing is that it leaves you far less time to socialise in the pub as opposed to on the court, pitch or wherever you choose.
Have a little look online at local sports/activities available near you and challenge yourself, it might lead you somewhere you never expected!