How to find a fitness routine that sticks

Saturday, 14 July 2018 London, UK

How to Find a Fitness Routine That Sticks
Let's be honest, how many of us genuinely love sweating it out in the gym or running for miles? So much emphasis is placed upon having a good body and keeping the weight at bay. It's easy to forget that the real reason we do fitness is because it makes us feel good about ourselves, both on the inside and out. Therefore, we should be doing the types of fitness that we genuinely enjoy doing, not because we feel like we have to punish ourselves. This is how you find a routine that you'll stick to.

I've always been a fan of sports and fitness, I'm naturally competitive so I love exercises that are fast-paced and varied. However, I've also fallen for for low-intensity activities such as swimming and pilates, which I try do at least twice a week. It's important to find sports and activities that you genuinely love doing, otherwise it's much more difficult to keep a good fitness routine going in the long run. 

My sport for life is undoubtedly badminton - I've played since I was young and I trained in a squad for a while before I went to university. I still play now; the beauty of a sport like that it's easy to meet other players and find new clubs wherever I am. Recently, I've also had the opportunity to get back into swimming at a local pool which has an indoor pool, a gym and outdoor lido. Park Road Pools and Fitness* is in North London, quite far up the hill in Crouch End. The team have kindly given me a two month trial membership to try out the activities on offer this summer. 

And what perfect weather it's been to give the outdoor lido a go! Time Out recently published a piece on how swimming is growing in popularity again in London since the weather has been so perfect for it for more than a few weeks now, incredibly rare in England, making this the perfect time to get swimming again. 

The lido at Park Road is larger than expected at about 50m, and the difference with this one compared to others in London is that the pool is heated when the temperature is less than 23 degrees, meaning that you won't have to contend with freezing water on cooler days! There's also plenty of sunbathing and picnic space for families who want to make more of a day of it.I'm a big fan of the changing rooms too, as they have free digital locks that you secure with your own code, meaning that you can safely store your things away with the knowledge that they'll be safe if you don't have spare change (cause lol who carries coins around these days?!).

Like most people, I originally learnt to swim when I was young and went to swimming lessons regularly until my early teens. After that, I only ever swam on holidays so trying to do multiple lengths again was a big shock! It's easy to forget how tiring swimming is if you don't do it regularly. But it makes me feel fantastic afterwards; I instantly feel more toned and I tend to come away with more of a glow! The beauty with swimming is that anyone can get good at it with the right technique and lots of practise, especially as the hardest part is the stamina needed to do all those lengths. 

How to Find a Fitness Routine That Sticks
As well as swimming, I've also joined a gym near my flat to add variety to my fitness routine. I found it difficult to find gyms that offered anything different to the usual spinning and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) classes. I go to pilates on Monday after work, which is perfect since the first day of the week is usually a bit hectic at work. I would recommend pilates to anyone - it's wonderful for stretching out and toning up your body, and the perfect way to switch off from your day. 

Most people think it's quite a difficult exercise and they tend to feel a bit intimidated by the idea of it, but with the right guidance on form from your instructor and regular practise, it's one of those exercises where you can see a huge difference quite quickly. Since getting into it, I've become much more flexible, I look more toned and I get less neck and shoulder pain. It's highly recommended for anyone who works in an office after hunching over a screen all day! 

I also go to a more gruelling circuits class, which is amazing for building your overall fitness levels. It's perfect for the type of person who gets bored of doing the same moves for too long; you rotate on stations or between moves between every 45 seconds to a minute. It's not a class for the faint-hearted, but I feel so good once I've finished! 

Moving to London has helped me to find a fitness routine that makes me happy. Living in a city like this means there is a lot more choice, which has allowed me to find a routine that works for me. Therefore, this should help me stick to a routine for longer! Essentially, there's no point in forcing yourself to run on a treadmill if you hate the gym or killing your legs on a exercise bike if you get bored. If you're not enjoying yourself it'll be harder to a stick to a routine. I would try as many different sports and exercises that interest you to work out what you love, then go from there!

Thanks for reading! What exercise makes you the happiest and why would you recommend it? Tell me all!

*This is a collaboration post. I was given a free membership for two months to Park Road Pools and Fitness in exchange for a review. All opinions are swimmingly my own. For more information, please see my disclaimer.

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How to Find a Fitness Routine That Sticks


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