I thought I'd post an updated workout routine on the blog today because it's finally summer and I think exercise always goes up a notch at this time of year, because people are wearing less and braving bikinis, shorts and strappy tops. I've always tried to keep fit, and for me this is about being stronger as well as healthier. Of course I would like to look toned but so much Instagram #fitspo is so unnatainable. I like to eat well; I've been a vegetarian since I was 14 and these days I don't eat very much dairy because I have IBS and that can trigger it. I am not a vegan, and while I have considered it, there are simple pleasures that I've been unable to give up, such as a cup of tea or a piece of chocolate.
I think that moderation is the best course of action. I don't like to deny myself food that I like, but equally I don't like to eat for the sake of it or eat badly if I can avoid it. I try and eat lots of fruit and veg (both of which I love, and I understand it can be difficult to eat well if you don't like these things) pulses, some carbs. I try to avoid processed foods-Adrian and I will make our own pizzas from scratch rather than buying frozen ones, for example. The other element that comes into my eating habits are the facts that I can't cook, and I'm lazy-I just want to eat something when I'm hungry without faffing about for an hour making it!
That said, last night I had an ice cream and for breakfast I had a danish pastry! To maintain balance I work out most evenings. I also find this beneficial because I sit at a desk all day at work, so by the time I get home I like to be able to move around. I was running a couple of times a week, but I really struggled with it; I'm not a natural runner, I wasn't enjoying it, and I have shin splints which were really painful. So I'm ashamed to say I discarded that after a month or so, but I might consider picking it up again, as I'd love to be able to crack it and even manage to run 5k.
I did like the way my muscles looked when I was running often, though. I felt really strong as well as working up a sweat and getting my heart rate up, which is important. To replicate this at home, I have started using the Blogilates PIIT workout. This is a Pilates Intense Interval Training cardio workout which combines high intensity cardio with Pilates moves. It isn't easy, but it is making such a difference to my strength and my muscles feel more toned and less like jelly! I try and complete about an hour's worth of PIIT twice a week at the least.
I combine this with regular Blogilates videos which I find on Youtube-all the home workouts I use are free-and so maybe once or twice a week I will do a few videos focusing on a particular area-abs, arms, legs, etc. One night a week I ballroom dance, and most nights I do some form of yoga. Yoga with Adriene remains my go-to channel-I find the flows are challenging but not impossible, and the teacher Adriene is a nice, normal yogi-no strange chanting or lycra'd-up gym bunnies here.
I find yoga really helps me in a way that no other exercise does. It helps to relax my mind and appreciate my own strength, and allows me to build on it. If I had to do one exercise for the rest of my life, it would be yoga. But of course I'd keep ballroom dancing, too; that's my favourite hobby!